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!