Mistresses Recap: Man Down!

Let us not speak of the church bake sale on this week’s Mistresses.

It’s not that we don’t care about snotty teenager Lucy and her immortal soul — Hey, now! I can hear you hissing “speak for yourself” from the comfort of your laptop — but April’s parenting struggles and the strain they’re putting on her relationship with long-suffering Marc are nothing more than the decorative kale taking up space in the haute-(mess) cuisine being whipped up by Joss, Karen and Kate.

Bone-crushing takedowns in Vegas (which will definitely not just stay in Vegas). Threats to destroy overstepping exes and everything they hold dear. One of the biggest cross-familial, borderline-incesty, what-in-the-acual-what-are-they-eating-in-the-writers’-room hookups in recent TV history. This is where we must focus our energies, Mistresses fans.

Lucy’s brownies may lead her mother’s live-in lover to temptation — NOT a euphemism, in case you’ve lost all sense of propriety — but this will be the last mention of them in our recap of Season 4, Episode 6. More decadent, heartburn-inducing delights await, so let’s discuss!

DOCTOR WITHOUT BOUNDARIES | Some of you guessed correctly in last week’s recap comments section: The unexpected visitor at Karen’s door wasn’t Legendary Boozehound/Insult-Dropper Elizabeth Grey, but rather Karen’s former thruple participant/baby daddy Alec. He hugs her like I embrace a bag of Funions after 12 hours on a paleo diet, but Karen’s memory is strong enough to overcome the hotness of Alec’s new haircut. She recalls her dumped her (and his unborn baby) over concerns about “what people might think” of her having his child less than nine months after Vivian’s death.

Their subsequent meal out — with baby Vivian strapped in the car seat (¡!), as per usual — finds Alec dropping to one knee… but only to pick up a napkin. (Um, dude, next time just ask for a new one like a proper germ-phobic M.D., OK?) It turns out, he’s married, and his pediatrician wife Faith is Karen’s second unwelcome surprise guest of the week. Within a half hour, Faith (code name: THIS BITCH) is giving unsolicited advice about how Karen can soothe her baby’s colic and regurgitating Alec’s lies that it was Karen who ended their affair.

Unfortunately for Karen, the gruesome twosome is just getting started. Alec is extra judge-y when Karen tells him she’s interviewing nannies — “I’d rather not have our child raised by a stranger,” he huffs, conveniently forgetting he bailed on his own flesh and blood throughout Karen’s pregnancy and for the first four months of the baby’s life. But after he learns Karen slept with previous manny Robert — and still smarting from the raw sexuality and confessional tone of her memoir — he serves her with papers going for full custody and only supervised visits for Karen. (Allow me to correct my earlier statement: It’s Alec whose code name is THIS BITCH.) Karen isn’t about to have her maternal instinct questioned by absentee dad/the dude who never could say no to a three-way. Declaring herself a “self-aware truth-teller,” Karen adds, “I’m going to destroy you in court. I hoped we could be civil, but you just messed with the wrong mother.” All in favor of this plot development, get some vodka… in your hand.

CHIPS AND ASSAULT-A | Jonathan gifts Harry and Joss with an all-expenses-paid and ridiculously extravagant weekend touring his Las Vegas restaurants and hotel. Joss is excited enough once she gets there to suggest they elope in the town of quickie weddings, but she’s haunted by the news that one of her new pals from Impact: East Side self-defense class was hospitalized after her boyfriend broke his restraining order.

A happier mood creeps in thanks to champagne and gold-leaf brunches and $5,000 in complementary gambling chips, but like a “9” card when you’re sitting on a “13,” things go south when Joss witnesses Jonathan’s nephew/underling Reza roughing up his girlfriend in the hallway. “I told you to mind your own business, bitch!” he seethes, pushing Joss away as the nameless girlfriend pleads not to be left alone. And suddenly, Joss’ combination of Wilson-induced PTSD/self-defense training kick in, and she lands three brutal punches and a swift kick before breaking Reza’s arm (or at least dislocating his shoulder). Joss returns to the casino floor and postpones the wedding — telling Harry that ultimately, she wants to be surrounded by family and friends. But she doesn’t acknowledge her own bloody knuckles or the beat-up relative of Harry’s boss she left upstairs. When she tells her Impact trainer Jackie that she lost control, the steely instructor is quick to correct her. “No, you took control,” she shoots back. But the fact is, a 911 call probably would’ve been a smarter play than a brutal assault that was probably caught on security cam. Is there any way Harry and Joss’ engagement will still stand after he finds out she kept this incident from him?

THE EX-FIANCE OF MY FUTURE SISTER-IN-LAW IS MY… | Oh how I wish my twisted paragraph header covered it all. But remember, when Kate first met Joss, Joss was only the sister of her previous future (and eventually full-fledged) sister-in-law Savi. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please Hulu Seasons 1-3, and you’re welcome.)

Yep, I’ll pause for a sec as we all try to get our bearings.

So… Kate admits to Randy she had sex with Taco Guy — and when he points out dude is technically married (despite labeling himself as separated), she decides to call the whole thing off. Except then he sends her a box full of cheesy rom-com DVDs — Love Story and the all-time classic Splash among ’em, though there’s not a kinky high heel to be found — and before she knows it she’s caught between a rock-hard abdominal muscle and a hard place (aka a full-length mirror).

Whaddaya know, Kate’s lover is Scott (Justin Hartley), Joss’ former fiancé, the one she left at the altar in order to make out on the beach with her former brother-in-law Harry (aka Kate’s brother). Scott figures it out when he sees pics of Joss and Harry on the fridge in Kate’s crash pad, and before we can say “leave that t-shirt on the floor!” he’s fully clothed and headed for the exit, weak excuses trailing behind him.

Kate tracks him down at the hospital parking lot, and as much as their connection begs them to do otherwise, they both acknowledge the brutal truth. “I’ve made so many bad decisions — I can’t make another one,” says the guy whose rebound marriage is all but over. And Kate notes that their love affair would only “open old wounds” for Joss and Harry, and “be impossible” for herself and Scott. It’s a beautifully acted moment between Hartley and Tabrett Bethel, but hard as their tears are to witness, a split is the only correct decision.

But hey, if we don’t want to end on a somber note, here’s something: Karen is surprised to learn Randy is gay! (Don’t judge her, though: She may be a licensed psychiatrist, but she’s not one to stereotype!)

What did you think of this week’s Mistresses? Is there a future for Kate and Scott? Did Joss go too far with her takedown of Reza? Sound off below!