Oh, no. You know you're in for some drama when this is the first thing you see in the episode:
A photo of Cat and Sam! The bracelet Frankie gave Cat! And Cat's notebook and her lipstick and her whatever other stuff and ... her grieving partner.
Sam furrows her brow and thinks and tries to be her usual stoic self. But then she glances at a photo of The Gang: Jay, Frankie, Cat, Tess, and Ed (and let me just point out that more than half of them are no longer on the show). Surely she's comparing this photo to the couple photo in the opening shot, and surely that way madness lies.
The phone rings. It's Lexy, because she is a psychic doctor who knows Sam needs rescuing from her own terrible thoughts. Actually, she's just waiting for Sam to join her for their usual morning run.
Lexy: (on the phone) Hey, just wondering if you're still on for our run; I'm just on the bridge. (sighing) Uh... look, about the other night. We can get back from it, can't we? (pauses) You know what? I'm hanging up. You're probably already on your way.
Sam doesn't answer the phone. Which I think is pretty much an answer to that last question.
At the TriSexA flat, Sadie is yawning and scratching like a kitten. Yeah, maybe I have a teeny crush. Actually, it's not a crush at all: it's a sincere, profound appreciation for the much-needed comic relief she brings week after week.
Tess is surprised to see Sadie so bright and early in the morning.
Tess: Whoa! I thought you melted in daylight.
We've all been making the vampire joke for weeks now, Tess! But it made me chuckle anyway.
But Sadie has a good reason for being so bushy-tailed: Lauren is due back from a business trip.
Tess: Oh. Cue rampant sex-fest.
Sadie: You've got the makeup artist.
Tess: Um, I didn't sleep with her, thankyouverymuch.
Sadie: Oh yeah. How is the old bacterial hydritis?
I heart the funny banter and the fond nostalgia for what may turn out to be the best scene ever on this show. Stand and deliver!
Tess is on her laptop during all this; it seems Lady-Mound Meg is all over her wall (as in Facebook or something similar). I put that parenthetical in there for the two people who have been living under a Luddite rock and yet somehow are still reading this recap.
Tess wants to know when she can meet Sadie's sugar mama.
Sadie: If you come to see me at work, you'll get to meet her wife.
Tess: She's with someone?!
Tess: I don't... I don't reckon I could be in a love triangle. Be always, like, wondering what was going on in the other corners.
Sadie: Yeah, well, I'm not. Lauren's really into me, so...
On this show, saying someone's really into you is the equivalent of being Wile E. Coyote and ordering some TNT from ACME.
There's a knock. It's Sam and her pain. I'm not sure they'll be able to fit through the door.
Sam makes sure Lexy's not home, then stomps in like Bad Bart stomping into a saloon with his spurs jangling.
Sam gives Sadie a glare and doesn't respond when Tess offers tea or coffee. She attacks Tess:
Sam: I know about Cat and Frankie. You knew too, didn't you? That's why you've been avoiding me. How long? (Tess looks at Sadie) Don't look at her. Look at me. So when did it start?
Tess: Honestly, I don't know.
Sadie: Don't reckon it ever really stopped. You know what those two were like.
Sam: Are you all right with that?
Sadie: Didn't have much of a choice, did I?
Tess insists that she "only found out the day Cat died" and has been feeling very guilty. (I still find it difficult to type "Cat died" and suchlike.)
Sam tells Tess to "grow up" -- whuh? -- and Sadie does her Sadie-rific thing:
Sadie: What was she supposed to do? Make an announcement at the funeral?
Sam: (to Tess) You should've been straight with me.
Sadie: Oh, yeah, 'cause that would've made losing Cat a lot easier.
Sam: It would've made me feel less of a foolish idiot.
Eeek! Sam is very scary in this scene. I know I didn't say much about how pushy/assaulty she was with Lexy last week, but that's because I was in denial. Now it's pretty hard to deny.
Lexy arrives to save the day. That seems to be kind of her thing; maybe she's really a Powerpuff Girl? She tells Sam to back off because this has nothing to do with Tess. Sam can't stop lashing out; she asks Lexy whether she knew too but doesn't even give her a chance to answer. Sam storms out. Lexy calls after her, but it's no use.
Lexy, Tess, and Sadie embody a range of reactions to Sam's knife-edge state of mind. Lexy looks half-scared, half-angry as she plops onto the couch and falls silent. Tess fidgets and shifts on her feet, stunned, and wonders whether Sam is going to be OK. And Sadie, relaxed, one knee tucked under, takes it all in with her droll gimlet eye:
Sadie: Look, I feel sorry for her and everything, but there's only two people to blame for this mess. And, well, neither of them are here anymore, so...
I'll forgive you the grammar mistake, because that was simple truth. Preach!
Tess wants to go after Sam, but Lexy urges her to "leave it." We don't have this "leave it" expression in America, except with respect to dogs. Pity.
Tess goes off to get dressed instead. Sadie teases Lexy and tells her she's "even more of a hero now" to Tess. Lexy resists the idea.
Sadie: Oh, come on. She's like a little puppy around you.
Lexy: No, she's not.
Sadie: Trust me, one of these mornings, you'll wake up and she'll be there, licking your face. Or something a bit further down.
The term "lovable scamp" was probably invented for Sadie.
An indeterminate number of hours later, Lexy and Tess are at a diner (I guess it's called a cafe in the UK). They try to call Sam, but she's not answering. Tess wants to leave a message, but Lexy knows Sam needs some space.
Speaking of space and not getting it, Nora and Ed waltz in. Nora wants to know how Tess is feeling, what with the bacterial hyrditis and all.
Tess: Oh, I think um... I think I've managed to shake it off.
But you haven't managed to shake Nora off, have you, Tess? She wants to know when you're going to see Meg again. Tess says she plans to focus on Chekhov for the time being. I wonder if I can use that as an excuse for other things in life? "Sorry, I can't come to the baby shower; I'm focusing on Chekhov."
Nora won't be deterred.
Nora: If there's one thing the years in this business we call show has taught me, is that there's nothing -- NOTHING -- improves a performance more than great sex.
What is this, the anti-grammar episode? Years have. It's child's play. But I give Sinead Keenan props for the way she delivered the line "this business we call show." Very alternate-universe Megan Hilty again.
Nora gets up to get coffees. Ed, apparently a purveyor of the aforementioned "great sex" (ew), sits down and questions the bacterial hydritis thing. Lexy jokes that it's great for "getting rid of unwanted houseguests." Ed's not amused, so Lexy gets up to pay. Sit down, stand up; this scene is like whack-a-mole.
Tess asks Ed not to mention Meg again.
Tess: It was a blind date gone bad. End of.
End of! Why don't I use these excellent British phrases more often?
Lexy comes back briefly to talk about an invite from Ed: it's a book signing at a sci-fi shop, for one of Ed's agent's other clients. Tess mocks it at first, but when Lexy express interest in going, Tess has a change of heart. Lexy notices this about-face and looks a bit concerned, but she doesn't get to think about it for long because Ed is wondering whether Sam might want to go too. No, Ed: do not invite the Hulk. Did you see The Avengers? Hulk always want to SMASH.
Cut to Lexy, on her way to work. Smiling. Strolling. Being followed by a tall, angry-looking ginger-haired man. HE KNOWS!
At The Space, aka Jo Glass's gallery, aka the workplace of the wife of Sadie's corner of the love triangle, there's some new work to price. This is reminding me a little of the gallery stuff in Kissing Jessica Stein. That is a very good movie if you don't watch the whole thing.
Anyway, Jo is cute.
Sadie pretends be impressed by the new stuff. Jo tells Sadie that it's Monica McCarthy, which only makes me think of a weird mix of Melissa McCarthy and Monica from Friends.
Sadie asks Jo about the art on the wall at her place. Odd question, but Jo rolls with it. She says they have a few things, but Lauren's mostly into pop art. Sadie tries to sow some seeds of discontent.
Sadie: Artistic differences?
Jo: Not really.
Sorta like sticking your hand into weepy cheese, eh Sadie?
Jo hands Sadie a price list and leaves her to it. Sadie marvels at the exorbitant prices (£20,000 or more).
I think I'd happily pay £20 for a print of Sadie's gape-mouthed disbelief, because it's rare for her to lose her vampire veneer.
At the hospital, Bea greets Lexy. But Lexy just wants to mope about Sam.
Lexy: Remind me next time I fall for someone that there's no such thing as a perfect woman.
Bea: I have heard those ones you inflate are quite low-maintenance.
Lexy: (laughing) You're a little puddle of sanity in the ocean of dysfunction that is my life right now.
Aaaand you've just doomed yourself to whatever is worse than an ocean of dysfunction. A tsunami, I guess? Hurricane Bea?
They kiss. And then again. They lock the door.
Back at the gallery, Sadie is hanging squares of red and blue and wondering how they can fetch such high prices. Enter Lauren, who also knows how to fetch high prices but is much less square.
Sadie: Are you ignoring me?
Lauren: No more than I would any random receptionist.
Sadie reminds Lauren that she was recently unemployed and this "decent job" is no small thing to her. She's not going to screw it up by telling the boss she's "fucking her wife." Lauren says that's "fucked," past tense. I'm not sure your grammar skills are strong enough to quell your libido, Lauren.
Jo and Lauren leave; as they're walking out, Sadie texts Lauren: "I want to touch u." Lauren gets the text and glares back at Sadie, not very encouragingly. Sadie, when you text an editor, you should spell out "you."
At the hospital, Lexy is trying to figure out why Sam is ignoring her calls. Declan figures it's because Lexy "knocked Sam back" the other night. Oh, you mean when Sam was out of her mind with despair and kept pushing herself on Lexy? Is that rejection or self-defense?
Lexy: I don't want to be a rebound fuck.
Declan: Hey, a fuck's a fuck's a fuck.
And a Declan's an ass's ass. Gertrude Stein is turning in her grave.
Lexy has other opportunities for fucking anyway:
Lexy: Apparently my flatmate fancies me.
Declan: Oh. Is she hot?
Lexy: I don't know. Never thought about it. (thinks) Yeah, I guess she is.
She said that the way someone says "Yeah, I guess I should get the oil changed on my car."
Lexy sighs and says she really liked Sam, but Declan thinks she really just wanted to save Sam. Maybe. But I don't ever like to give him credit for any sort of insight. It's always more like in-sheit.
Back at the gallery, Lauren is still not answering Sadie's texts. And Sadie is bored; she's spinning and rolling in her chair. A bored Sadie is a very dangerous thing!
Yep, that didn't take long: She suddenly knocks over her coffee, right onto one of those pricey paintings. A white one. All white. A field of pristine, clean white, now sullied by java. She tries to wipe off the coffee, which of course makes an even bigger mess. Sadie! Yet another sticky wicket.
Back at the hospital, the frowny-faced ginger guy is still following Lexy. This should be frightening, but it's not. Tip for would-be menaces: don't wear a checked shirt. This guy's look is more Home Depot than homicidal.
Tess is getting a costume fitting. She's excited to get to wear a costume that "isn't made of foam rubber and doesn't have eyeholes." Awww, remember that whole thing, with Ed and Tess dressed as fizzy drinks and Tess flirting with Lou? Seems like a different show. Probably because it was.
Hugh and Tess talk about Lexy. Tess wishes Lexy hadn't met Meg, because she might think that's the "type of women" Tess goes for. What type is that again? Is there a Princess Ladymound section of the personals?
Nora brings Tess some lunch, on the house. Tess and Hugh are mystified by this friendly gesture. But they don't talk about it for long because Hugh is also mesmerized by the costumer's "spectacular jugs." Hugh is one of those sad-sack guys you can't help but root for, even though he just wouldn't be Hugh if he were to suddenly have a free and easy life.