The Wife:

“Chapter 12: Scary, Scary Night”

This episode was Lipstick Jungle‘s attempt at a Halloween episode in which each of the women faces something scary in her life: for Victory, its the nightmare’s she’s having about Joe’s imminent demise; for Nico, it’s having to play ball with a man who thinks women don’t belong in the workplace; for Wendy, it’s kissing a man who isn’t her husband.

While Shane’s away at the Toronto Film Festival promoting the movie he scored, Wendy makes friends with the attractive father of her son’s best friend. Wendy and Dennis hang out and talk about their spouses being in such high demand at soccer games and arrange for the boys to go trick-or-treating together on Halloween. At the post-candy sleepover, Dennis tells Wendy that he and his wife are separating and moves in to kiss her. Wendy, appalled by this act, is immediately uncomfortable and asks Dennis to leave. She is also flabbergasted when she meets up with her friend Sal, whom she plans to start a production company with, and he announces that Griffin has offered him Wendy’s job. Sal offers not to take it, but Wendy eggs him on to do so, even though it bothers her. Wendy’s issue, it seems, is that she’s too fucking accommodating. She leads Dennis into thinking that she’s just as lonely as he is by complaining about how much Shane is gone these days and how sad it makes her, not realizing that this is leading Dennis on. Furthermore, if Sal taking her job bothers her as much as it clearly does, she could cause a lot fewer problems for herself by being honest with people. I really don’t like this jobless, needy Wendy. I hope she gets her own company started soon so that she stops creating so many problems for herself.

Nico spends her Halloween helping Griffin land a deal to buy a men’s magazine with the promise that she might get to be editor-in-chief of more than just Bonfire in the future. The magazine’s owner is a boorish man’s man who treats women as objects and doesn’t want to do business with Nico, automatically assuming that she’s Griffin’s date. Nico tries to appeal to him with her keen business acumen, citing the ad revenue of Bonfire and its other properties, but he refuses to listen and thinks she’s too uptight.

taking it like a man.

Nico: taking it like a man.

Nico realizes that the only way to get his business is to act like him, so she starts to close the deal by doing tequila shots, talking about sports and Harleys and thoroughly crossing the gender-line this man has so clearly drawn in his head. Griffin is impressed, and they close the deal for the purchase by the end of the night. Meanwhile, at home, Kirby feels emasculated by Nico’s money and her ability to pay for lavish gifts for him. He takes an extra catering shift at a Halloween party where he snaps a photo of a dry celebrity going on a bender, which he sells for $4,000 a shot to a tabloid, allowing him to purchase the plane tickets to Aspen that Nico had been talking about.

At the same party, Victory is desperately trying to forget her vision of Joe falling to his death on the face of a mountain that she had in a dream. When she finds out that Joe is preparing to climb the Matterhorn, she urges him not to go, citing how afraid she is that he’ll die and that she’s concerned for a man that she very much considers her friend. Joe refuses to listen and goes anyway, but Victory still keeps seeing him: she sees him in a white dinner jacket that she chases through the party, only to find out that it isn’t Joe at all; nonetheless, she is terrified to see the man turn around bearing Joe’s icicle covered visage from her dream.

Not so pretty or pink.

Andrew McCarthy: Not so pretty or pink.

She returns home from the party to find Joe sitting on her stoop. He decided not to go on the trip, but that his only reason for going in the first place was the fact that his father died when he was Joe’s age and Joe prefers to take big risks rather than sit at home safely, just in case each big risk is his last. He thanks Victory for caring about him enough to not want him to die unloved.

“Chapter 13: The Lyin’, The Bitch and The Wardrobe”

This episode is all about Victory Ford’s upcoming fashion show and the various bits of sabotage perpetrated by one Rosie Perez. (You do not fuck with Rosie Perez! You do not!) Joe brings some receipts to Victory’s attention that show just how far over budget Perez’s Dahlia has taken Victory’s fashion show. Victory confronts Dahlia about this issue only two days before the show and ends up firing her, which she immediately realizes is probably not the best idea. Dahlia, being the vindictive girl-child that she is, pulls out all the stops to destroy Victory’s show.

You do not mess with the Dahlia! The Dahlia messes with you, bitch!

You do not mess with the Dahlia! The Dahlia messes with you, bitch!

She sabotages the runway order, fires the caterer, uninvites several key guests, steals some of Victory’s models and misprints Victory’s name on all of the programs as “Victory Fork.” Fortunately, Victory has friends in high places. Nico takes up the reigns to get the seats filled with important people and Kirby offers his catering companies’ services for the evening. Wendy, still having a good relationship with the print shop Parador used to use, decides to handle the reprints of the programs and press kits. As for the runway, Victory desperately calls Rodrigo, who offers to help rebuild the runway, despite how much he’s still hurting from their break-up.

Wendy, amidst helping her friend with the program misprints, is setting up to restart her relationship with Parador as an independent producer. She brings in a pitch for an adaptation of a book she loves, which she intends to sell only if no changes are made to the original story. Her young daughter suggests that the main character, who is a hermit who doesn’t understand people and is much better with animals, have a boyfriend, lest the film lose out on the key demographic of 15-year-old girls. Unfortunately, Wendy hears the same suggestion from a bubbly young VP of Production named Paige that Griffin brought in to keep an eye on the youth-oriented markets, despite Sal’s insistence that Wendy’s original pitch is the best (and most sensical) one. Wendy storms out, angry at Sal for insisting she bring him a “passion project” that he could greenlight. At the copy shop, the girl behind the counter recognizes Wendy as a producer and asks her to read her manuscript. At first, Wendy resists, telling the girl that she can’t read anything not submitted by an agent, and then she realizes that she isn’t that person anymore and accepts the girl’s script. Wendy falls so in love with the story that she realizes that she needs to produce this film – with her own company.

Friends fill the seats at friends nearly-ruined fashion shows.

Friends fill the seats at friends' nearly-ruined fashion shows.

As for Nico, she runs into her husband’s lover Megan and baby Charlie. Megan, at 22, seems hardly fit to care for this baby on her own, without a proper diaper bag, as Nico notes. Megan seems hesitant to even let Nico hold Charlie, fearing that Nico (who has been nothing but wonderful to that child) may want to take the baby or otherwise harm it:

“I’m not a dingo, Megan. I won’t run off with him. I swear.”

Nico spends the majority of this episode trying to find a gift for the baby, before she finally realizes that the best gift (other than the blanket she decides on) would be to give Megan a box of Charles’ things so that little Charlie can grow up knowing that his father was an impressive man. Megan is surprised by Nico’s kindness, but is ultimately grateful that Nico has decided to share of her husband so freely with his mistress and his illegitimate son, which forces her to think about maybe one day having the children she said she’d never have.

Nico also gets a visit from Joe in this episode, who comes to her hinting that he suddenly wants to propose to Victory. Nico tells him that Victory was not currently seeing anyone else and that Joe’s proposal would not be unwelcome. When Victory finishes her runway show, Joe is crushed to hear her thank Rodrigo for his help, rather than her investor, Joe (who really did make all of this possible). He disappears from the show as though he were never there, and Wendy and Nico debate whether or not they should tell Victory about it, or tell Joe that they honestly didn’t know Rodrigo was back in the picture.

Planting one on the carpenter.

Planting one on the carpenter.

In a final note to Nico’s very crowed storyline this week, Kirby reveals to her that becoming a paparazzo paid for their trip to Aspen when she tells him that he shouldn’t be taking catering shifts just to make ends meet, but should be following his dreams and working on his photography. I have a thought for Nico: she should pull a Wendy and anonymously drop Kirby’s portfolio off at the newest Bonfire subsidiary that she helped purchase in the last episode. If Kirby can get a staff photographer job at a magazine, he’d be able to make steady money doing what he loves . . . and get to take pictures of hot girls riding motorcycles, to boot. Just a thought, Nico. That tactic worked out pretty well for Wendy and Shane. Shane was only a little mad when he found out that Wendy’s cred got him the job. He got over it.