The Wife:

Unless a New Year’s Miracle occurs, this is the penultimate episode of Lipstick Jungle. Ever. Next week’s installment of the show will be the last it will ever see the light of day, unless, of course I get that New Year’s Miracle and Lipstick Jungle shows up on NBC’s fall schedule. (I am very doubtful that this will happen as virtually every strike-affected show returning for its sophomore season has been given the axe by its parent network – save for shows helmed by Josh Schwartz.)

Luckily, the season/series seems to be prepared to end in a satisfying manner, providing closure for Victory and Joe, compromise for Wendy and Shane and a new era of possibilities for Nico. I was very glad this week to see Wendy and Shane work out their shit after a much-prolonged and unnecessary imbroglio. When setting up her new home office, Wendy loses her shit when she and Maddie discover that Shane has been researching flights to San Francisco, the next stop on Natasha Bedingfield’s tour. The tour he allegedly turned down. (Why she would go from NY to SF with no Midwest stops in between is baffling. I know how rock and roll works. I’m watching Rock of Love Bus with Bret Michaels). She forces Shane to talk to a marriage counselor about his burning desire to abandon his family and after much seething resentment and seeing Shane play the NY club date on Natasha’s tour, Wendy beings to soften a bit to the idea of him going on tour, but only if she and the kids pack up and go with him. Clearly, this is a ludicrous idea and Shane won’t hear it. Even if he doesn’t want to be the lonely old guy in the bar who could have played keyboards on a 30-city rock tour, he also won’t disrupt his family’s life and force them all to live out of hotels for four months. Nico and Victory also remind Wendy that going on tour with the kids would be a ridiculous notion, and convince her to let her husband go on the road. She buys him a new road bag and a hot leather jacket as a symbol of apology for the tour fight and promises Shane that she’ll come visit and be a good rock and roll wife – but that she won’t visit too often, allowing him to have his time in the limelight.

Thanks, Brooke Sheilds, for letting Paul Blackstone come on tour with me!

Thanks, Brooke Shields, for letting Paul Blackstone come on tour with me!

I am glad this fight is over and that it has resolved itself in a way that benefits both parties. I wrote a lot in my last post about the nuances of the fight and who is right or wrong (no one, really), but I think this was the best resolution that satisfies the needs of both parties. It just took Wendy a while to realize that if she’s working at home, Shane being on tour doesn’t really affect her much except that she’ll be unable to wake up next to his glorious chest hair every morning.

As for Nico, because of last episode’s hormone-induced freak out/pass out session, she has decided to concede the website managing editor position to a new hire. She and Griffin fill her schedule with interviews, allowing for her to take a few days off after the new hire starts so she can have this off her plate while she recovers from her egg extraction procedure. Nico and Griffin hire a spunky young redhead who has never worked in print journalism but is one of the top ten bloggers of the year. When Nico returns to work after a loopy day in the hospital where the anesthetics made her believe Charles was still alive and that she was simultaneously still dating Kirby while romancing Griffin (in her fever dream AND in the Bonfire elevator), she finds that the new hire has scooped her next cover story in the interest of getting better web traffic for Bonfire. Griffin steps in to reprimand the new girl, protecting both the magazine and Nico’s best interests. Nico tells Griffin that she can fight her own battles, and he admits that he overstepped, feeling the need to protect the women he’s interested in. Their future for dating in the workplace seems pretty open – as long as they remember when business is business and when, as the Flight of the Conchords would say, “it’s business time.”

Victory, meanwhile, struggles with finding the right way to propose to Joe. After agonizing over going for the grand gesture, Wendy suggests that she look more for something small and meaningful, citing that even though Joe’s the kind of guy who picked Victory up from Tokyo in a private plane, the thing Victory remembers about that trip is the cupcake he sent along with it. She finally decides to make him a suit, handstitching The Question to be popped on the inside jacket pocket.

Probably one of the most creative proposals ever.

Probably one of the most creative proposals ever.

With the suit ready, the only thing missing is Joe, who has suddenly gone MIA. Even Ellen doesn’t know where he is or why he missed Victory’s small proposal dinner without so much as a phone call. After grilling Ellen, Victory finds Joe feeding the birds at the Coney Island boardwalk, gazing up at the disused Wonder Wheel. He tells her that he’s been evasive because he just fell into some bad business, and lost a significant sum of money. He’s spent so much of his life working to be on top, but knows full well that the only way to go from there is down. He admits that he’d been afraid to talk to her because he thought she would find him less attractive without his money. Victory says she doesn’t care and gives him his suit, a gift that Joe seems completely amazed by, that someone would take the time to make him something without him asking and paying for it. As he looks on the inside jacket pocket at Victory’s request, she says my absolutely favorite thing she’s ever said on the whole series, a line which I feel encapsulates the much stronger woman Victory Ford has become over this season:

“I may not be able to bankroll you, Mr. Bennett, yet, but I can keep you looking sharp.”

Amazed that someone would love him without the thing he feels defines himself, Joe and Victory kiss under the Wonder Wheel, fully accepting the answer to Victory’s question as a “yes.” I’m so thrilled to see Victory take charge like this – it’s just too bad that we’ll probably never get to see their wedding.

Stupid NBC.