Mistresses Recap: Post-Traumatic Mess Disorder

Normally, you’d hear no complaints from me about Mistresses‘ Josslyn Carver hacking a rival’s cell phone, using his rotten texts for her professional gain, then celebrating with a giant glass of vodka (followed by a beer in a plastic cup).

After all, I cheered wildly in previous seasons when she explored the world of Japanese bondage rope, attempted to seduce her boss’ husband as part of a sex-lies-and-videotape sting operation, and work-work-work-worked from home* with her sister’s ex-husband. (*Thanks for the innuendo, ladies of Fifth Harmony!)

Trouble is, Joss’ latest adventure comes at the same time as she’s isolating from friends and family, putting an inordinate amount of trust in an instructor from her thisclose-to-Fight-Club self-defense class, and (nearly a year after it occurred) still unable to utter the terrible truth about whatever happened to her on the night she was held captive by Calista’s deranged assistant Wilson With the Wig and Caftan.

In other words, our heroine may look like the next incarnation of Wonder Woman — ABC brass, feel free to run with that idea and give us Jes Macallan on our TV screens all year long — but inside, she’s crumbling faster than a Lay’s potato chip in the fist of a ravenous kindergartener. (I know, I know, that’s a super specific metaphor, but if you saw the detritus my 5-year-old twins left under the kitchen table tonight, it would all make perfect sense.)

Speaking of crumbs, let me scatter a few in your direction as we recap Season 4, Episode 4, “Blurred Lines”:

THE FIRST RULE OF FIGHT CLUB IS… TO SHARE YOUR FEELINGS IN A CIRCLE? | Joss, wearing the hottest studded skirt I’ve ever seen on TV, mourns the loss of a big client, and the consequences it’ll have for her fledgling PR firm. (Not that it stops her from razzing Harry for wondering if she’ll take his last name professionally. “Is now really the time to be suggesting antiquated sexual traditions of female subjugations?” Grrrl, yasss!)

Joss sets her sights on landing Selena Gomez type Stacy North for her firm, but winds up getting humiliated big time by the actress-turned-wannabe-singer’s current rep. Joss’ self-defense instructor gives her the sketchy advice to lower herself to her rival’s level, and so she manages to get her hands on the guy’s phone, finds some cruel texts about Stacy’s singing voice, and leaks ’em to Gawker. Bam! Days later, she’s in Stacy’s employ, but it appears to sting a little when Harry (who doesn’t know what she did to get ahead) excitedly declares “sometimes the good guys win.”

Meanwhile, when Joss finally begins to open up to Karen and April that it’s “scary when you’re feeling totally powerless and your life is in the hands of someone else,” her besties are unfortunately caught up in their own drama (aka paying attention to their phones/paint swatches). Joss’ self-defense instructor then suggests she get “a psychological workout” in a sharing circle. Joss begins to hint that her night in Wilson’s captivity was uglier than she said on the witness stand — but she stops short of a full reveal. WHY CAN’T HER FIANCE AND BFFs DETECT THE TRAUMA BENEATH HER OUTWARDLY PERKY SURFACE!? (Oh, right, paint swatches.)

MANNY DOWN | We knew it wasn’t gonna last between Karen and Robert – never mix professional child-care with twice-a-night pleasure, I always say — and this week’s installment brings their ill-advised romance to an end. “I can’t keep coming in second to people with sexual issues,” Robert huffs, when Karen blows off his unplanned offer of lunch in the middle of her work day, but it’s a subsequent case of date-night interruptus that makes them realize their futures aren’t intertwined like (Season 1 shout-out) Elizabeth Grey and top-shelf liquor.

Don’t shed a tear, though. Because while Karebert is kaput, their final hours allow us a glimpse of Karen being as absurdly wonderful/terrible/misguided/fascinating as a sexpert as you’d expect. “You will have this orgasm if it’s the last thing I do,” she tells a female patient, before realizing that (oops!) it sounds like she’s willing to get her thurple on to get the woman’s motor running. When Anne and Connor wind up breaking into Karen’s office — in full superhero garb — to get their freak on, and the cops wind up busting their hookup, Karen’s forced to abandon a romantic night with Robert to bail them out by telling the arresting officer that the perceived felony was a case of following doctor’s orders. All’s well that ends well — or starts with a big O, right? Except Karen’s rekindled excitement about work makes her realize she doesn’t have time for the man who started out as baby Vivian’s caregiver. “You made me feel alive – like a woman again — after becoming a mother. I’ll never forget that,” she says as she dumps him. Let’s just hope the breakup leads to even greater levels of crazy for our wackiest Mistress.

IT WAS ALL YELLOW | Oh the tedium of April and Marc’s romance! They never seem to be on the same vibe, romantically speaking. He’s irked that she’s spending so much time on wealthy client Michael’s home decor (even though it’ll potentially bring in money). She’s irked that he’s playing the awfully named Nutunes Festival (even though it’ll provide his band with great exposure). At least he’s “very generous” in bed (wink wink).

By the end of the hour, Michael’s wife has filed for divorce and he’s trying to plant a kiss on April. And Marc’s bandmates have hired his ex-girlfriend as their new lead singer. The only difference is Marc ‘fesses up about what’s going on in his life, while April keeps her secret to herself. To quote Arrested Development‘s Lucille Bluth, “This does not bode well.”

SISTER ACT(ING PETULANT) | Kate spends the hour eating Lucky Charms in her Snuggie — until Harry puts his foot down and insists she return to the land of the living. Unfortunately, she misinterprets that demand as “have a temper tantrum and scribble all over the architectural plans for Harry’s restaurant.” The incident ends with Harry demanding “Go to your room!” — which sounds about right. Somehow, Kate comes to realize her big brother’s advice isn’t so bad — nor are his meddling efforts to get her a job in April’s store — but forgive me if I’m worried she’ll prove as inept at selling throw pillows and scented candles as she is at navigating her life as a newly single woman. I’m still not sure about this chick, mates!

What did you think of this week’s Mistresses? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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14 Comments
  1. Tennisnsun says:

    Next week ~ enter Vivian’s father. Yay, we needed him! Robert’s a doofus.

  2. Syl says:

    Never liked Robert. I’m so glad he is out, now. You are right, Mark and April are soooo boring. Not that Michael could compete with Daniel, but still. I’d like to have more Jes Macallan, also during fall season. She is so good and underrated!

  3. Mara says:

    Love Jess MacCallan!! Harry’s sister is just annoying and not a good addition.

  4. liame says:

    4 episodes in and I’m really bored. I hope there’s something better coming up. Casting Jerry O’Connell to play someone’s lover was a huge mistake, he’s annoying. April and Marc are boring, she’s needs a real man in her life and that Michael guy is not it, please don’t go there.

  5. Allison says:

    I wonder if it is just me, but Mistresses seems to have lost its sizzle. I am not as invested in the show as I was in the previous seasons. It is missing a little somethin’ somethin’. I guess without the psychos and any imminent threats of danger, the show is drab, I suppose drab is the word. Harry’s sister has added very little so far and Karen is almost normal and April and Marc used to be a couple that I rooted for, but now not so much. He and his ex showed more heat and chemistry while performing onstage than Marc and April showed in bed. The only thing that keeps me tuning in is the same thing that hooked me in the first place and that is Joss. I love Joss. I wonder exactly what it was that Wilson did to her that caused her to act the way she has been. It is obvious we will not get any answers for a while, but whatever happens, this show needs to find its rhythm again. I still love all my girls (not feeling Harry’s sister at the moment) and I will hang in there with them, but the magic has been lost. Yet and still, I will be watching next week and will try to fall in love all over again with this show.

  6. Judiwb says:

    It isn’t as much sizzle as prior seasons. Haven’t liked April with Mark at all. He needs to grow up. They are on two different levels. She needs Daniel. Bring him back!! They had chemistry! I like the decorator guy even less. UGH!!! Really that is the best they can do? Not really liking Harry’s sister too much either. Just watching to see what is up next for hot mess Karen and Joss

  7. Sam says:

    The guy who plays Michael is a terrible actor. Did someone owe him a favour or something? So wooden!

  8. Reeve says:

    I’m totally worried about this instructor of Joss’s! There seems to be a lot of not-quite-right advice coming from her and pretty sure this new dark side of Joss is going to get sucked into her web. And I hope Mark and April are going to split up! He is a boring character and (can I say it?) April just gets whiney and boring with him, too.

    • Sofie says:

      Completely agree with everything you said Reeve! April is whining about everything and acting like a child. She’s jealous of Marc finding a way to fulfil his dreams, obsessing over Lucys social media, being naive enough not to see that something is off with Michael, and lacks respect when she decides to have wine with Michael instead of going to watch her boyfriend’s band. Also, she has become so self-absorbed – Marc tried to tell her about his ex and she just goes on about how she may not make it to the gig.

      And something is definitely up with Joss’s instructor. I’m all for doing martial arts and group therapy, but the way the instructor seems to hone in on Joss in particular and force bad advice on her is suspicious and kinda creepy…

      • MJ says:

        Agreed – that’s a creepy ass fitness instructor. And April needs to stop taking Marc for granted! Yeah, he is a manchild, but he is also so cute and so considerate and energetic! She just straight up doesn’t seem to care about him! Hey, I’ll take him if she doesn’t want him.
        Also….
        – Karen and the Manny = so awkward and bad. Sorry, but he just seemed like a condescending guy with intense cheeks and too much free time. Is it horrible that the only person I’ve seen her have chemistry with was that college kid?
        – I want to know what happened with Wilson!!!!
        – These music industry plotlines, though. Ha!
        – Joss is by far and away the best thing about this show. I LOVE HER.
        – And props to the author for bringing 5th Harmony into this.

  9. Elle Jackson says:

    I really am bored with this season!!! The writers have lost their touch. I’m hating everyone’s storyline. What happened? They should have just ended with last season, at least it would have ended with a bang. It’s already 4 episodes in and I’m not excited about next week. Tell me I’m not the only one who thinks this😒

  10. Susan says:

    This season is a bore. I guess with the increase in episode count, they had to stretch out the stories. Regardless, every story is boring.

  11. I have yet to watch episode 4 because I’m losing interest in the show. Karen has a kid from that unholy threesome, a dreadful new haircut and an annoying manny. April has downgraded her entire life to accommodate an immature fixer-upper. Joss doesn’t understand that other people are not applauding the fact that she’s boning her sister’s ex-husband. Yeah, none of these storylines are working for me.

  12. Mandy says:

    Here are the facts as I see them:
    -April and Mark have no chemistry
    -Karen’s hair is redonk and I hate it
    -The actor who plays Michael is a terrible actor and looks a little strange, like someone painted his beard on
    -The girl who plays the up and coming singer (who I don’t care enough about to look up her name) is also a terrible actress and her line was lame too (You remember blah blah. That wasn’t on the album. You really were there.) Also that writing and logic is terrible. As if YouTube doesn’t exist.
    -Where is Lucy? Her secret boyfriend story was almost interesting.
    -How does April feel like designing is this huge opportunity? Her store is a DESIGN store. She buys inventory and does the displays! She designs all the damn time!
    -Hate Mark’s band and that story line. It makes me dislike him and he used to be very charming
    -I may be alone in this, but I really like Harry’s sister. Also, the woman can act, which is a welcome addition.
    -I love Joss. More Joss, please. Joss.