When we last left our love-lorn Wegie she-roes, Tess was seducing sunny, sexy news anchor Lou Foster, Cat totally blew her date with Sam the Cop and Shane/Frankie was coping with the death of her beloved aunt by doing what most people do when they grieve, which is obviously having furious, symphony-conductor-hand-motion-y sex with the receptionist of the funeral home IN FRONT OF A CORPSE.
So now that you’re totally intrigued (or grossed out, or both, which is sort of what happens every time we turn on TLC), let’s check back in for Episode Two of Lip Service. And, because this episode was mostly about dating and sex and awkward moments with your ex at a relative’s funeral, along the way, we will provide you with some Lip Service Dating Dos and Don’ts.
As the guitar and harmonica and mandolin main title flurry fades, we are greeted, in the first few seconds of the show, with the blissful sounds of moaning. No dialogue, very little traffic, no incidental music, just pure, slightly-between-porn-star-and-chat-up-line-operator-on-the-believability-scale moaning.
GOOD DAY SUNSHINE DAH DAH DAH DAH GOOD DAY SUNSHINE
+Anchor-Lady Lou Foster is getting a nice little wake-up call from Tess, but work obligations cut the reverie short. Upon realizing that Tess is funemployed, Lou half-heartedly offers to help get her a gig as a runner for the show. Because in this economy, sometimes you need to make totally irrational choices bound to end in total disaster or humiliation.
DON’T: Mix business with pleasure. This is, like, Rule #1. It’s the premise for at least a third of existing romantic comedies and most lesbian-owned businesses. Needless to say, Tess, we are concerned.
Meanwhile, in Sulksville, Frankie and Cat are preparing for the funeral and trying on outfits and generally having lots of feelings. When they meet, results are typical: Frankie is creepy and snaps a photo of Cat looking pensive and broody, Cat is dressed in meticulous, “professional” black and looking oh-so-stern.
YOU LOOK VERY SHANE TODAY
Also, Frankie has forsaken the blouse-and-jacket ensemble and decides to go to the funeral dressed like Mark Zuckerberg at a business meeting. To a funeral. In a hoodie and jeans. To a funeral.
The funeral itself goes about as well as Frankie’s outfit sampling, filled with awkward glances around the coffin, notably between Frankie and a sort of dismal looking fellow across the way.
I SEE UNFORTUNATELY NOT-DEAD PEOPLE
THAT’S WHAT WE CALL AN “ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE HAIRCUT,” LASSIE
The reception goes even worse. Frankie drinks out of the bottle (red flag #1) and tries to get a rise out of her asshole Uncle Cameron by seducing Cat, her ex-girlfriend (red flag #2), in front of the family (red flag #3).
DON’T: Use your ex as bait for making a scene at an important family function. Like a funeral.
DEATH DOESN’T BECOME HER
There’s a really horrible confrontation between Frankie and Cameron in which some awful things are said and Frankie is referred to as “damaged goods.” The vague references to Frankie’s “troubled past” are killing us, Heather Braun. Obviously, we have to find out more, lest we fill in her entire family history with branches from the McCutcheon family tree.
After the reception, a mugger side-swipes Cat’s mobile and Cat fights back and somehow, beyond the rocky heights of logic and reason, Cat ends up in the police station, cuffed for assaulting her mugger. Luckily Sam, her bad date, is the cop in charge and she gets Cat off (HAHAHAH!!!) and they schedule a second date to further probe the depths of each other’s steely boringness.
At Lou Foster Productions, Tess’ day isn’t exactly funeral-bad, but it’s still bad (as the awful lavender runner shirts may imply). Back in the dressing room, there are a lot of feelings and reiteration that the relationship has to be hush-hush (Tess is introduced, with great conviction, as “an old school chum”) and that you know, Lou will have to take the midge to the premiere.
I WONDER WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE UNDER YOUR T-SHIRT I WONDER WHAT YOU SOUND LIKE WHEN YOU’RE NOT WEARING WORDS
Lou pretends to be cozy with her male co-host, making Tess jealous and causing her to (as lovestruck folks often do) forget her surroundings and collide with a cake prop, angering ferocious producer Mark. HIJINKS!
Nevertheless, Tess invites Lou to dinner to meet her friends/roommates but later, while preparing with the kind of excitement you just know is destined to end terribly, Tess accidentally sticks Cat’s fought-for mobile into the washer. This will be important later.
Clearly, Lou calls to cancel at the last minute, saying she’s just so exhausted from pretending to like boys and panty hose and hairspray all day, which is annoying and unsurprising to everyone but Tess.
For those still intrigued by non-dating/sex-related plotlines, Frankie is still carrying around a photograph of her aunt that looks suspiciously similar to the generic photographs sold with picture frames at Wal-Mart and is now hunting down the name/address of the person who now possesses all her childhood photographs, which her aunt delivered to someone as part of her will. It’s all very DaVinci Code-ish.
She asks an electrician, who she bribes with a sexual favour (and then re-negs on it) (uh-huh, Frankie passes) to steal the will information and breaks into the given address, only to find the place totally abandoned, except for a young male squatter. We don’t get much further into this or into any hot lady’s vaginal canals, unfortunately.
dinosaur vs. lizard
At the studio, Tess gets her shot at redemption which you knew was gonna be a disaster if you read “Tess makes a fool of herself on national television” in the episode description and have been dreading this moment ever since, but are slightly relieved that it did not involve an on-air marriage proposal of some kind.
Tess’ mission is to pick up today’s Special Guest Star, child psychologist Marie Chambers. Like many people who have to deal with young children professionally, Marie has a bit of a drinking problem, and passes out in the green-room chair two minutes before call. Tess takes the other runner’s advice and decides to go on as Marie. There is a glimmer of hope that poor Tess might actually save the day. She doesn’t.
DON’T: Impersonate a professional to save your secret girlfriend’s TV show.
Tess, unfamiliar with child-rearing, bombs. She’s fired. More feelings in the dressing room, which eventually lead to clandestine happy making-out times.
Tess: It’s one thing you telling everyone that I’m a school chum, it’s a whole other thing you bullshitting me. And by the way, I don’t give a shit what the tabloids say, it’s you that’s the coward, it’s you, you’re a complete coward.
Lou: [sobbing] No, you’re right, I’m the coward. I was gonna come last night, I got ready, and then I felt terrible and that’s when I went for a drink. But if you’re fed up with me, I understand.
Tess: I never said that.
It’s still unclear what they see in each other besides breasts, and while we’re on that line of discussion, let’s go follow Frankie to Cat’s (because she wasn’t picking up her phone, which Tess washed) to try to talk to her about this mystery contact. Moar old feelings are re-hashed.
Here, we start to notice a shift in Cat: she’s starting to move away from the past and toward the future (Sam), whereas Frankie is burying herself even more in her past. Deep, right?
But also are we so used to hearing Shane get yelled at for being an asshole while she goes “I know, I know,” that we don’t even stop to think that it’s kinda a dick move to be an asshole to someone whose aunt just died and is being estranged from her family and unable to procure her deeply meaningful childhood keepsake? Salt/open wound?
Anyhow, Tess and Lou, having kissed and made up back at the studio, return to Lou’s for more sexytime and a choppily-edited sequence where Tess’ contorted o-face expressions are interspersed with speeding traffic. It’s reminiscent of a student film, or perhaps a tribute video culled from the annals of YouTube. Speaking of annals, a rim job happens. Yup.
kiss my ass for reals
For someone who just started having sex with other women, Lou Foster is clearly a fast learner. Maybe she had field training?
Frankie uses her creeping superpowers to follow the mysterious bookstore lady into a café. Her name is Sadie. If the White Album taught me anything, it’s that Sexy Sadie will end up making a fool of everyone. Foreshadowing!
I also considered this was an estranged relative of Frankie’s in disguise
DO: Take Mr. Chi City’s advice and keep your fridge stocked with many varieties of drinks.
At this point, the show starts doing quick cuts between Frankie and Cat. The Cop goes back to Cat’s place, and they start talking over drinks (Five-O is a beer gal. Of course she is). Everything kind of feels like a booze-and-awkward-romance-fueled Hold Steady song (except no one in a Hold Steady song would date an officer of the law, but I digress). Sam makes the first move right after she calls herself brave (get it?), and the two start making out.
Resisting the Urge to Use So Many Police-Related Puns Right Now
And then, back in Frankie-world, we have this:
DO: Keep Calm and Strap On.
So Frankie is “happy,” and the viewership is very happy, and pretty much everyone is in favor of this except for Becky and Jay, who have to hear the intimate play-by-play.
Jay’s reaction is priceless.
While Frankie and Sexy Sadie are waking the neighbours, our frazzled architect, Cat, finally gets some, in a rather tender, tasteful, intimately-lit sequence with Sam. NOTICE THE CONTRAST. IT’S CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT THROUGH MISE-EN-SCENE, OR SOMETHING.
So we end, for the most part, on a positive note. Except the part where crazy Sadie steals the necklace Jay got for Becky and cleared the cash out of Frankie’s wallet (surprise, surprise) BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BRING HOME SOMEONE WHO COMPULSIVELY STEALS THINGS.
DO: If you decide to bring home a kleptomaniac, LOCK UP ALL THE THINGS.
DON’T: Don’t bring home a kleptomaniac, even if your heart is un-steal-able.
Back at the ranch, Cop and Cat are snuggling and Cat looks relaxed for probably the first time in the entire series. Cop asks about Cat’s tattoo. Cat says someone convinced her to get it, and when Cop prods about who, she says, “No one important.” Could she be finally over Frankie? We’re gonna guess the answer is probably no.
Now, it’s your turn. Share your feelings, rants, fantasies and other insights in the comment space below. For those who watched the first episode and were on the fence, does this week’s installment change anything for you?