Before we launch into what happened on "Devious Maids" this week, we need to honor the creepiness and sexiness.
The episode's creepiest moment: Adrian Powell saying, while starting to breathe heavy, "I love to watch women clean. I find it stimulating."
And its sexiest: Carmen naked inside the piano. (That is not a euphemism for anything.)
After all of the criticism about how this series reinforces stereotypes, the second episode proves a nuanced view of Latinas.
Lifetime's Sunday series features savvy women who work as maids. When the four women gather for a quick break, Marisol ( Ana Ortiz) is reading the news about her son being held as the suspect in the murder that kicked off the series. The other women are relieved that someone has been arrested -- after all, Flora was their friend.
They already know Marisol is different, and Marisol is not about to let anyone in on her secret -- that she became a maid to infiltrate this community to get her son out of jail.
"This kid is being framed," Marisol says.
A genuine moment of friendship seems to form among the women. Marisol explains that she cleaned up the murder scene. Zoila ( Judy Reyes) warns Marisol to keep her distance from the Powells, Flora's employers.
Zoila could not be more right.
Evelyn and Adrian Powell ( Rebecca Wisocky and Tom Irwin) are hilarious as idle rich. Creator Marc Cherry must have been channeling Mr. and Mrs. Howell from "Gilligan's Island" to invent them.
Evelyn Powell understands why Marisol's employer, younger trophy wife Taylor ( Brianna Brown), is reluctant to have Marisol work for someone else.
"We have a saying here in Beverly Hills," Evelyn announces as if she's delivering an edict. "To steal another woman's husband is rude, but to steal a maid is unconceivable."
There is something far more sinister at work with these two. And Adrian Powell is so creepy, we need to start a weekly creep-o-meter to track his nastiness. Last week, he was breathing down the neck of maids, this week he tells Marisol how he loves to watch women clean.
Marisol, no dope, poses in seductive positions to dust, figuring that's the way to elicit information from Adrian about the murder. She finds the letter Flora left but Adrian grabs it and tosses it in a fire.
(Do you need a roaring fire during the day in Beverly Hills when no one even needs a sweater?)
Meanwhile, Valentina ( Edy Ganem) keeps trying to ingratiate herself with Remi ( Drew Van Acker), the hot son of her employer, Genevieve ( Susan Lucci). But Valentina's mom, Zoila, who is Genevieve's main maid, is determined to keep her daughter on a short leash. Yeah, that's going to work.
The actors' marriage, built on mutual loathing and vanity, crumbles a little more when Spence ( Grant Show) finds men's underpants that aren't his under their bed. Peri ( Mariana Klaveno) is so shallow and duplicitous it's a wonder SAG or Actors' Equity aren't protesting this show.
Carmen ( Roselyn Sanchez) continues her quest, clothed or not, to get what she wants, a chance to launch her singing career. Since her boss, Alejandro, is never around to enjoy his mansion, she invites the other maids over for a respite and Carmen tells them how she was born to enjoy, not clean, the better things.
"It's different for me," Carmen tells her friends. "You guys know how to pull off poverty -- not me."
She is simply a diva in search of an empire, and we believe she will conquer all.
What we don't buy, however, is false confidences. So to that end, the episode's most unbelievable moment was Rosie ( Dania Ramirez) asking Spence if he is happy and him automatically opening up and saying, "You must be referring to my marriage."
Really? The housekeeper does not even call you by your first name and you're going to share that much?
But this second episode also gave us a very sweet exchange when Valentina tells Genevieve she's in love with her son, but is worried because she's a maid.
"That is what you do, not who you are," Genevieve tells her. "It is the duty of the old to help the young find love. And since there are no old people around, it's up to me."
Oh, Susan Lucci, if only everything were up to you.
Photo/Video credit: Lifetime