Mistresses Recap: Shock Jock and Four Smoking Hotties

Welcome to a special retro edition of Mistresses!

Karen’s asking “What is a podcast?” like Downton Abbey‘s Dowager Countess getting befuddled by the concept of a weekend. April’s sounding out the word “transgender” like a kindergartener staring down a three-syllable word on the blackboard. And Kate’s biological clock is ticking so loudly that she can’t hear how ridiculous it sounds when she gets swoony over phone calls from an iPhone contact tragically known as “Taco Guy.”

Hey, at least Joss continues to fight the patriarchy at home and at work.

And also, Karen’s in full, ferocious monologue mode — and it’s pretty much the best thing to happen on TV all summer (even if she has to get accused of activating a “zombie tribe of whores” in order to unleash the sex-positive lioness within).

Did I just type the phrase “sex-positive lioness”? Oh don’tcha know I most definitely did. It’s an essential part of recapping Season 4, Episode 5 (aka “Lean In”). So let’s get to it!

TRANS LABYRINTH | April’s Season 4 arc has been somewhere between Dopey and Sleepy on the Seven Dwarves’ Scale. But this week, like a good Merlot, it’s full bodied and complex and worth a repeat visit. Michael apologies over an al fresco dinner for his unexpected kiss (couldn’t he have done it by phone?) but April quits her gig as his interior decorator when she realizes he’s sorry for the circumstance of the smooch (right after his separation from Theresa) moreso than the lip lock itself. She lies to Marc that she got fired, and it backfires when her live-in love shows up at Michael’s (overstep much?!), asks for Michael to rehire April and then punches Michael in the face when he learns about the real reason for the professional parting of the ways. April is righteously appalled when Marc comes home acting all wounded and grouchy (“I don’t go for macho crap!”), but things go from “Roy-G-Biv” to Crayola 64 Pack when Michael finally tells April he’s transgender — and that his attraction to April/punchout by Marc are all part of his first authentic experiences living as a man. This twist puts Marc and April on more solid footing — “I could be jealous, but I choose not to be — becuase I trust you. The question is, do you trust me?” April asks Marc, while noting his in a band with his own ex — but there are clearly other questions not being addressed. Did she ever feel any feelings for her wealthy client? Was there some part of her that wasn’t upset by Michael’s tipsy display of affection? Is Marc really the man for her at this moment in her life?

April winds up offending Michael at a visceral level during a subsequent meetup in which she suggests she can resume her work on his house because “I would never date someone who’s transgender.” Michael’s response – “Get out of my house, April. NOW.” — feels earned, and yet at the same time, dude is barking up a tree that’s already got Marc in the mix. On some level, he wants April to cheat (or dump her lover) — and it muddies the waters beyond the idea of whether or not she’s rejecting him merely for being transgender. It’s a not-as-easy-in-reality-as-it-is-on-paper look at a social issue that’s all too often (and all too ridiculously) reduced to the choice of a bathroom. (Ugh.) Is April attracted to the man in front of her — especially since in a lot of ways he’s more mature/right for her than manchild Marc? And on the flip side, whether or not it’s hurtful to Michael or rooted in her own upbringing, is it a commentary on April’s character that she’d dismiss a potential mate based on the difference between his gender identity and assigned sex? Does she need to apologize or feel bad for dismissing the idea of dating someone who’s transgender? (To my mind, April’s commentary about Michael’s “female part” is probably her most egregious comment.) In any event, here’s hoping Team Mistresses continues to explore these questions plainly and truthfully — since it’s a lot more interesting than Lucy’s high-school love life or Marc’s rockstar aspirations.

SEXUAL PERSONAE | Karen’s sophomore book ideas — involving far too many children and not nearly enough wah-chicka-wah — fail to impress her high-powered agent Barbara. (Ditto for her cringe-inducing, shoulder-shimmying exclamation of “I can roll!”) But things get even more uncomfortable after Barbara gets Karen booked on shock jock Jason Hughes’ podcast “Love Chat,” and he accuses the sexpert of setting back the women’s movement by 100 years — with little to no punchback by Dr. Kim. Joss convinces Karen to make a return visit (even/especially after Jason shows up at Karen’s office and sleazily declares that all she really wants from life is “a husband, security, and someone who can give you another child before your eggs dry up”). Karen’s followup finds her in delicious, take-no-guff mode, and she brutally schools Jason, interrupting him with a dismissive speech ending with the edict, “I’m not here to amuse you. I’m here to educate you!” (Yassss! Someone’s been listening to Beyoncé’s Lemonade! #ImWithHer) Alas, though, Karen’s dressing down of Jason leads to her getting fired by Barbara (since Jason is her longer-term, more lucrative client). When Barbara justifies her not-entirely-Steinem-esque stance, Karen goes for the kill shot: “In order for your soul to be compromised, you need to have one.” (Look. Karen’s dealt with Elizabeth Grey. This Barbara chick is, by comparison, not in the least bit intimidating. Anyone who’s read Unleashed has to know this.) In other words. Dr. Kim is gonna be just fine. But who the heck is the unseen person showing up at her door at episode’s end. I’m praying it’s Elizabeth and a bottle of vodka, but the smart money’s on Jason. Or maybe her baby daddy Alec?

MIXING BUSINESS AND PLEASURE | Joss and Harry grab dinner at an invite-only eatery with Jonathan and his wife, but it doesn’t take long ’til Joss is champing at the bit to dish the Iranian businessman’s public-relations strategy for the hotel-restaurant he’s building for her fiancé. Her ideas are actually spot-on, but when they get home, Harry describes the evening as being “so… undignified.” (This from a guy who almost gave it all up for a fish shack on the beaches of Melbourne!) The next day, Joss (in a fetching two-towel motif) argues why she deserves the job as the publicist for the join venture, but Harry’s one step ahead — having already agreed with Jonathan to hire Joss. The only trouble is he gets testy (again!) when she plays it a little loose on his official bio. Once again, it’s Jonathan who convinces his new pal that he’s overreacting — and then obliterates all bad vibes by having a motorcycle delivered to his business partner’s living room. (Is this OK for their floors though?) It’s all feeling as sweet and rich as a flourless chocolate lava cake, but there’s an undercurrent of dishonesty tiny fibs creeping into this relationship* that’s making me uneasy. (*Joss/Harry, not Harry/Jonathan, for what it’s worth.)

HOW ARE WE FEELING ABOUT THAT FOURTH MISTRESS? | Kate finds coworker Randy in the least Maison Sur Mer position you could possibly fathom: Hooking up in the stockroom with a married dude. Randy declares her reaction a little “judge-y judge-y” — later advancing his character past the world of botched candle orders and into real human territory when he bursts into tears about his desire for marriage and kids and a life of love — but it turns out maybe Kate wasn’t being 100 percent honest regarding her recollection of running away from a married-but-separated guy she met/rejected at a taco truck. I mean, if she fled the scene in a gust of indignation, how are her digits programmed into her cellular device? And when will she learn his government name?

What did you think of this week’s Mistresses? Should we be worried about Joss and Harry (and/or April and Marc)? Sound off below!

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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  1. Love marc and April together more angst coming for them because of Marc’s ex girlfriend Sofia

  2. Dave says:

    I have to say, April is working on my LAST nerve this season. Between being an awful bitch to Marc (who is way too good for her at this point), she came off in tonight’s episode really bad. I appreciate the show being topical and doing a trans story and I guess people really do have that mindset of “I would never date a trans person” but still, I wpuld have liked her to admit the better reason to not work with Michael is because of the kiss and possible issues from that. Ugh. April really needs to turn it around for me because she was once my favorte.
    Joss & Harry were okay, though the show needs to be wary of going with the “fight then makeup” story with each episode. Let’s get back to Joss’ obvious anger issues and how that night with Wilson affected her. Seems we are going back there next week.
    LOL @ that lame shock jock. I did enjoy Karen kicking hiss ass though. As well as being done with that ridiculous agent.
    Finally, still not totally om board with Harry’s sister as the new girl on this show. They are trying but she doesn’t really fit yet. I actually miss Calista despite how problematic she was.

    • Al says:

      Agree about Kate. Although I do like how they’re slowly trying to establish her with the group. First with Joss and Kate’s search for a fling and this week with April at the shop. She’s even sat in on the “gossip group” like 2-3 times now?

      Unfortunately they never did that with Calista and I feel like this transition with Kate could’ve been done with the Calista character. Instead they really isolated her with a storyline that never really gelled with the rest of the girls, aside from them supporting Joss while she was in jail but even that was tangential to Calista. It never felt like they wanted to fully incorporate Jennifer Esposito into the group. She had like what, ONE group scene with the gals all season?

      • alanlicious says:

        And even one-on-one scenes with Jennifer Esposito and the rest of cast (aside from Joss) were few and far between

    • Karen says:

      April used to be my favourite, but she just made me cringe this entire episode. She was really transphobic and it made me very uncomfortable. Even if she thinks she’d never date a trans person, you don’t say to the person! How awful. And I completely agree that she’s been terrible to Marc this season. Frankly, both Marc and Michael can do a lot better…

  3. I just have to say ... says:

    I’m going with Alec @ Karen’s door since Ed Quinn has been tweeting BTS photos.

    • Tennisnsun says:

      I immediately thought Alex when Karen said “what are you doing here?” on last week’s teaser. Just show up already!

  4. Dave says:

    — especially since in a lot of ways he’s more mature/right for her than manchild Marc?
    LMAO. Umm, how to put this delicately? No.

  5. spindae2 says:

    U’re review/recaps are certainly a highlight! Such great stuff.

    This season so far is so so, but glad they’ve picked up some pace with this week.

    The4th Mistress is just boring, such a terrible mistake. Making Barabara it would be so much better. Harry’s sister has no charm and is freakishly annoying.

  6. hannah says:

    Done with this cornice show.bunch of drama obsessed high maintenence mind game playing drunk dumb females. .Ramblin incoherently about feminism with no bloody clue what it truly is..on that note the no talent writers lame jump on the bandstand for Transgender /gay issues not to support but just c for c ratings. Getting so tired of every show now need in some gay/lesbian character..that they never c even give c the character good lines..Never mind the fact no one on this show can act. April criticizes every man she’s been with..if she wasn’t pretty they’d run screamin..Karen is a moron don’t get how she’s a shrink and joss needs to be gagged. .oh AND the show is called MISTRESSES..except for season 1 there’s been NONE. ..the idiots need to change the title. .better yet give it a mercy killing already. ..k done here

  7. Leo says:

    I like Kate and how she’s slowly working her way to the clique. Like starting with having her own mini-arc with Randy without the other ladies.
    I’m embarrassed for April but I guess if it happened to me in real life, I’ll probably be as clueless as April.
    And Karen, you go girl, I love her throughout the episode and now I like her haircut.

    • Jason says:

      I LOVE Randy!!! Finally there is a normal grounded gay character on TV that’s hot too!!:)
      More Randy!

      • Adam says:

        I agree it would be fun to see Randy in the mix with all the Mistresses. It’s about time they put someone that we gays can fantasize about being with.

  8. TAB says:

    This season feels really off for me. I’m barely interested unlike the last 3 seasons when I looked forward to it. I can’t stand what they’ve done to Marc and April’s relationship. It’s a mess. Harry is still shouting all the time and will apparently never change. I can’t stand him anymore, they’ve made him completely unlikable. Alyssa Milano will never return so Savi is just a forgotten character. And Karen is boring this season compared to last. It’s such a shame. I think I’ll just wait for the season (series?) finale and see how it all wraps up.

  9. Anne says:

    This whole season has been a boring hot mess. I don’t know if they changed writers or what but I am about done with the show.

  10. liame says:

    What April needs to do is get rid of Marc because if you have to walk around on eggshells in a relationship because some people can’t handle constructive criticism without being labeled as a “bitch” than it’s not worth it, I know Marc didn’t say it but some commentors love throwing that word around when it comes strong independent females. As far as michael/michaela goes, advertise for new clients immediately.

    • Dave says:

      Lol. The truth hurts.

      • liame says:

        No the truth is liberating, it’s just some people are too weak to handle it, right boys? LOL.

        • Dave says:

          What truth though are you speaking of? I know it’s hard to face facts and see how utterly abysmal April’s attitude has been toward Mark this season. It’s okay. Continue to live in that bubble where she’s just a strong woman as opposed to what she is really coming off as.

  11. Layla says:

    I started watching the show from the start. But now I don’t think I am liking it. I don’t know what it is. But before there was all the girls. Now you have a ppl dating ex brothers in law. No baby daddy on one side an another who is dating a band member. I don’t know if I will be watching in the future.

  12. I’m liking this season a lot more than last year’s murder plot, which bored and annoyed me. And I also love April/Marc together – she completely overreacted to him punching Michael. And honestly, I don’t blame Michael for throwing April out of his house after how she acted. What was that?

  13. Brittany Calvert says:

    This season is SO boring. The first two seasons were the best. The story lines are drab and the characters are turning that way too. I’ll never get how weird it is that joss is with her sisters ex husband too… Also the acting is quite low par. That new Michael guy is a Terribble actor and frankly so is April and Joss. If it doesn’t pick up this season (better storylines) I think I’ll stop watching.

  14. Allison says:

    If there was a genie in a bottle on the set of Mistresses, will someone please rub it and wish for a new haircut for Karen? Please, pretty please, I beg. I plead. Anyway, Randy’s situation was the most interesting thing to come from the episode. The actor was spot on and he really tugged at my heart strings. I am still not sure what to make of April’s situation with Michael. She was insensitive and insulting and to top it off, she took advice from Harry’s sister?! It seems to me that for something that deep, she should have talked to her closest friends first. It was fine to bounce ideas off of her, but not actually take her advice. I think it was just easier for her to run with Kate’s suggestion rather than to take a deeper look into her feelings. I wanted to strangle Harry. He totally misunderstood Joss’s intentions. She was clearly trying to help him and she said and did nothing wrong in my opinion, but he doesn’t see it that way. Then lo and behold, Jonathan says Joss is the best thing since sliced bread and all of a sudden, Harry sees the light and agrees with everything Jonathan says! Un-freakin-believable! Harry got on my last nerve. Why does it take a business partner for him to realize how wonderful and how rich an asset he has with Joss? I wanted to kick him! Well, at least this episode made me feel something. My heart went out to Randy, I applauded Michael for telling April to make like a banana and split and I hoped that a falling rock would land on Harry’s head so the show is getting better…kinda…sorta…in a way… It still doesn’t have the pizzazz of seasons past, but I’ll stick with it.

    • Sara says:

      I felt so bad for Randy too. He seemed so upset and I know that feeling! Poor guy he will find someone.

  15. Lisa Echerd says:

    Kate really does not fit this group. She has the maturity of a teenager; send her back to Australia and find someone else or leave it at three friends. We need to move on to the explosion Joss is obviously going to have. Otherwise the season is very boring.

  16. anonymous annie says:

    I totally know that it’s PC to be all pro transgender and such, but I hate that saying aloud that they wouldn’t date a transgender makes that person a bad/bigoted person because Hollywood tells us so. What is that!? I agree, April’s character never should’ve thought about working with Michael again after them kissing, but the fact is, the writers are making a PC point for ratings and to be applauded by the LGBTQ community and we all know it. Even more so, they are also taking this opportunity to make a mockery of marriage when they say they don’t care about someone being married if they’re in love (but that’s a point for another day). It’s not fair to make everyone think the same way, and in fact, I’m offended by it. Why does it have to be a diversity issue? Why doesn’t anyone see that making everyone see things the same way is the very opposite of accepting diversity? I feel like I’m the only person left in America that thinks it shouldn’t be politically correct to expect everyone to think the same. And since I know that I’ll get attacked unless this comment is anonymous, I’m gonna stay anonymous. Sorry trollers.

  17. Jake says:

    I’m liking this season much better than the last one, but it’s definitely not as good as one and two. I cannot stand Harry’s sister. She is completely unnecessary. Just because someone moves it doesn’t mean they need to be replaced. Calista fit the role better and she was a total bitch. As far as the trans storyline I find it completely unnecessary. The gay employee of April is pointless too. Are we just checking off boxes on shows for what characters to have now? Also, as a gay man I have absolutely no interest in dating someone trans. It’s not phobic to not be attracted to someone.