'Lipstick Jungle': Our hearts will go on
Watching Lipstick Jungle knowing it's just been canceled is akin to trying to save the Titanic from sinking using only a bucket: you know your actions are futile, but for some reason you simply can't help yourself from picking up that bucket (or remote, if you will) and fighting for however much time you have left.
Let's bail some water, shall we? The episode begins with Wendy at a job interview, talking about how she's going stir crazy at home. The company gives her the hard sell but even though Wendy says she is unhappy at home, she asks for the weekend to mull over the offer. She also makes the decision to keep the offer a secret from Nico and Victory for the immediate future.
Nico is dealing with a work situation of her own, as Griffin wants her to spend the weekend at a new media conference with him so she can help him face the "hostile bloggers." Hey! I resemble that remark. Also, how is it that "bloggers" isn't recognized by spell check? It's enough to make a girl feel like a second class citizen. Back to Nico, though, it's quite clear Griffin just wants her to be his conference wingwoman so they can do a little blogging of their own. Together. In bed. In case I wasn't clear.
Victory's career is completely on the right track this week, but her love life is in shambles. Still reeling from the information that Joe bought her an engagement ring, she starts the episode attempting to write him an apology letter. In the process, she spills the beans to Wendy and Nico that Joe was going to propose. They were already aware of these beans, though, and their attempt to cover their non-reactions is amusing. Wendy almost comes clean that they knew but Nico stops her, cementing this episode as the episode of many secrets. Wendy, to her credit, is determined to tell Victory the truth because "they don't lie to each other." To help Victory take her mind off Joe, Nico suggests a girls weekend at a B&B and spa upstate owned by her former boss.
When the ladies get to the B&B, the culture shock begins: no cell phones or alcohol allowed at this healthy retreat! Ha. Wendy and Nico fight about who will stay in a room with Victory because Nico doesn't want Wendy alone with Victory because she knows Wendy will spill the beans about Joe. After a healthy (and paltry) dinner of mostly vegetables, the ladies return to their rooms excited to find one piece of chocolate to split between the three of them. The rub? It isn't chocolate, but carob. That cements it. This place isn't a relaxing retreat, it's hell. Without the aid of alcohol, fattening food or chocolate to numb her pain, Victory finally starts to get angry at Joe for not even giving her an inkling he was going to propose and then shutting down on her when things didn't go his way. In the heat of the moment Nico (and not Wendy) is the one to reveal her and Wendy's complicit nature in the proposal. Victory is understandably upset and not receptive to Nico's explanations, mostly because they sound a lot like excuses and not a lot like apologies, which is very Nico.
Victory goes downstairs to drown her sorrows in carrot juice and meets cute waiter Bryce, who reveals he's not just a waiter but a "therapist," which Victory thinks means shrink but really means massage. He offers her some sound advice anyway and books her a massage for the next day, which is killing two birds with one stone if I ever saw it. Wendy and Nico come downstairs as well and actually apologize. At Victory's massage the next day, her therapist/waiter points out that the tension in her neck is centered right around the sections that control her eyes and her heart. Ouch! Did an anvil just fall on anyone else's head? Just me? Victory decides to ignore this anvil and forget the entire Joe debacle ever happened. Sure she will.
Nico, meanwhile, takes a stroll with the spa owner Maureen, her former boss. They talk about Kirby and how complicated the relationship is in light of their different ages and social strata. Nico's main question is how Maureen could go from being the "center of the universe" to pampering weekenders in the middle of nowhere, and Maureen assures her she was never the center of the universe and doesn't miss the city one bit. Kirby picks this moment to show up at the spa with beer, which officially makes Kirby the coolest boyfriend ever. He and Nico have a romantic picnic together and Nico starts to get stars in her eyes about the country vs. city life, and I really can't see Nico living the simple life in the middle of nowhere. Kirby and Nico then take their picnic to the next level and get it on in the great outdoors. Post-coitally, Nico reveals that she put in an offer for the land they just got biblical on, saying she wants a quiet place for them to come and get away from the chaos of the city. The issue? Kirby loves the chaos, seeing as he grew up in quiet and doesn't need it any more. Once again, Nico and Kirby aren't on the same page unless they're in bed.
Maureen is the guru of the week, as Wendy takes her opportunity to talk to her about her career. Mostly, Wendy wants to know if any friends gave her grief when she walked away from her career in the city. Hmm...who could Wendy be worried about judging her? Maureen says she should only take the job for herself and no one else, or else she won't be happy.
Victory apparently has a guru of her own this week, as she and the masseuse are drinking beer on the lawn. He's obviously only around to help Victory make the big decision about Joe, and I have no patience with these sorts of characters on TV shows, especially ones as bland as Bryce. Anyway. He kisses her and Victory realizes she would have said yes to Joe's proposal, saying "He's the one, he's always been the one." Victory then runs around the property screaming her revelation so loudly that Nico can hear her in her room. Hee. The next morning, Victory anxiously awaits a return call from Joe and eventually can't stand it any longer, convincing the ladies to leave for the city early.
In the process of saying goodbye, Maureen spills beans about Wendy's job offer (a job offer Nico already knew about because she was the one who recommended Wendy for the job). This awareness doesn't stop Nico from getting on Wendy's case for not being honest, which is totally hypocritical of Nico but so in keeping with her character that it doesn't even raise my eyebrows. I like Nico, but she definitely has her flaws, and being a bit hypocritical has always been one of them. During their fight Nico runs over a possum, and the following very funny exchange occurs:
Wendy: "You're not going to stop?"
Nico: "No, I'm not certified in possum CPR."
Wendy: "It really is Nico's world and we just live in it."
Victory: "Not if you're a possum."
Hee! I do love it when the ladies are snarky with each other. When they stop, they don't see a dead possum, but they do see a dead car because the car won't start up again. They peer under the hood like they know what's going on and just as they do Joe returns Victory's call and promises to come to their rescue.
When Joe shows up with two cars, Wendy and Nico get into one and Wendy goes right for the big guns, accusing Nico of not respecting her as much since she lost her job at Parador. Nico says she doesn't feel that way, she is just worried Wendy is abandoning their dream of running a company together. Wendy says that dream was long-forgotten, and Nico finally tells Wendy she won't judge her for not taking the job (a claim that Wendy doesn't believe). In the end, Nico assures Wendy that they won't let themselves drift apart if they have divergent life paths, and Wendy admits doesn't want the job. Aw, Nico. You should be happy. It will be much easier for you two to meet for your many lunches and daytime shopping trips and the like if Wendy isn't officially employed.
Back to the big guns, Victory and Joe. Joe agrees they need to talk, and Victory allows him to go first as she obviously wants him to lay it all on the line about the proposal and sweep her off her feet. Instead, Joe says he should have listened to her and never bought her business or tried to be her friend, because "he's not interested in those things from her." It sounds as if he might be gearing for a proposal, but instead gives her the business back, saying she's free and clear of him for good. He then leaves in the car he came in, leaving Victory completely broken down on the side of the road. At least he left her a car to ride home in, but it's still pretty harsh. I have to say, as much as I'm not sold on Victory and Joe as the big love story of this series, if this is the last thing to ever happen in their relationship that's going to be a bummer. At least Victory has her friends to cheer her up, and the episode ends where it should: with our three ladies, always there for each other and together in friendship.
Next week: Thanksgiving. (Don't tease us, NBC. Please actually show the episode.)
What did you guys think? Are you upset about the cancellation? Do you want a happy ending for Victory and Joe? What about Nico and Kirby? And what should Wendy's path be?