The Wife:

Nothing says “Our meager half-season actually made it to TV because of the strike” quite like starting your new season with “Chapter 8” of something. What a random number and what a random way of titling episodes.

Regardless, Chapter 8 actually felt like a very natural place to begin a second season of this show, as Chapter 7 left off with Nico (Kim Raver) making amends with her husband on his sick-bed and vowing to herself and her friends never again touch the man candy that is Kirby Atwood.

Nico did not tell Charles about the affair, and never intended to . . . until he brought home photo of her naked back that Kirby had taken. The photograph acts as Nico’s tell-tale heart, silently reminding her of her misdeeds as it glares at her from the wall. Wendy and Victory assure her that Charles was simply subconsciously drawn to the photo because it is, after all, of her and that proves that Charles still adores her. Nico goes to Kirby to try to get him to un-sell the photograph, but ultimately ends up confessing her affair to Charles after he refuses to have sex with her and her newly plumped G-spot. She accuses him of cheating with one of his students, which is a legitimate fear considering Nico was once Charles’ student, but he denies her accusations.

Look, Nico, its shirts vs. skins. And if you wanna play, youre gonna have to play skins.

Look, Nico, it's shirts vs. skins. And if you wanna play, you're gonna have to play skins.

The G-spot plumping, by the way, was an incredibly lame subplot that really didn’t fit in with the tone of this episode at all. I’ve seen this plot on other shows and it worked a lot better on them. For instance, on Nip/Tuck when Sean gives a client a G-spot plump and violates her (sort of) during the procedure, the client later returns to have the collagen removed because she’s so overstimulated that she cannot lead a normal life. Nico, on the other hand, seems to do this for no real reason at all. It is only what I can assume to be a failed bit of levity in an otherwise heavy episode.

The day after Nico’s confession, Charles is admitted to the hospital for a double bypass. Nico, Wendy and Victory run into Charles’ student, Megan, in the gift shop and learn that Megan has been having an affair with Charles and is carrying his child. Oops.

And then Charles dies. Oops.

Nico, distraught over this news and learning of the affair, tears through Charles’ files and finds that he had known all along about her and Kirby, complete with surveillance photos, and was planning on filing a case for abandonment so that Nico would end up with the financial burden of the divorce. It seems that Wendy and Victory were wrong about that photograph of Nico, after all.

Meanwhile, Wendy’s mom, Mary Tyler Moore, came to visit and criticize her daughter for taking less time at the office after Wendy catches her teenager Maddie out at a bar. Props to Wendy for paying attention to her children, unlike the parents on Gossip Girl and 90210 who really don’t have any fucking clue where their children are going when they say they’re studying for a math test. No props to Mary Tyler Moore for having so much plastic surgery on her face that she no longer looks like human.

Victory is still battling with Joe Bennett for autonomy within her company, which he secretly bought at the end of Season 1 and which I can only presume is how he shows affection. She spent this episode looking for a retail space in which she could open a boutique store, only to wind up in a space owned by . . . Joe Bennett. I’ve always felt that Victory’s strange desire to get away from Joe in the business world is a little odd. Joe is a billionaire for a reason. He’s a great person to have as an investor in the Victory Ford line, and paying rent to Joe Bennett for the best retail space in midtown is not a bad thing. The fact that Victory can’t separate her personal life – in which she chose to break from Joe – and her business life speaks to a certain emotional immaturity that I just don’t understand. I mean, really. Joe was a great guy, and her resistance doesn’t make any sense to me at all. Sure, he slept with someone else, but that was after they had broken up. It’s not like the horrible disastrous relationship that Nico and Charles had. Not even in the slightest.

And this brings me back to Nico and Charles. This episode had by far the most intricate plot any Lipstick Jungle episode has had so far, and I really, really enjoyed it. I wonder now, in the timeline of Who-Wronged-Whom in the House of Nico and Charles, which of them was cheating first. I have to assume Charles, what with the advanced pregnancy of his former student, and all. In which case, how dare he try to fuck over Nico like that. He’s a dick, and he deserves people laughing at his funeral. Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh, but seriously. Even if he had survived the surgery, he was going to be in some deep legal shit. Which, I suppose, allows Nico to enjoy the last, highly awkward, laugh.

He left me for someone who sleeps in headgear. - Nico Reilly

"He left me for someone who sleeps in headgear." - Nico Reilly