We’re nearing the end of season four with recaps of episodes 10 & 11…
Ha. Alan’s drinking in a bar and “working”. Jake skeeves on by to ask Alan if he’s heard. Alan almost makes me snort soda out of my nose when he counters by asking, “which thing?” It’s a nice meta tip of the hat to Venice’s usual insane plot twists.
Jake is worried that their plan will fail now that Gina’s up and about again. Alan reminds him that this plan was in play before Lara did them a giant favor by drinking and side-swiping. I like Jake a little bit more for pointing out to Alan that Katherine isn’t as dumb and he needs to keep on top of the situation with her. We don’t find out much more about their plans, but I’m guessing money laundering? And speaking of Katherine, I do hope we get to see her as a pissed off woman scorned, coming back to reign fire and brimstone down upon Alan. I think Tina Sloane would be awesome at that.
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Logan comes and sits down at the table where Katherine’s hanging out. They’re both wearing the same lovely shade of blue. I don’t know think that detail is particularly important. It just struck me.
Katherine comments that she knows Logan still has feelings for Gina and asks if the two of them will be getting back together. Logan denies it and says it’s too late. Katherine urges her not to give up. If she can find love at her age, surely Logan in the prime of her life can. I wouldn’t be surprised if Logan knows what’s really going on between Alan and Katherine but it doesn’t show on her face and she seems to be touched that someone’s being nice to her. I like these two together.
Meanwhile, back at Lara’s house, the woman in question is just leaving when Jake shows up. She tries to blow past him by saying Ani’s not home and she’s going out, but Jake’s not having any of it. Instead he takes his shitty day out on her and puts her in the headspace that he needs by reminding Lara that no one will believe it was an accident that she almost murdered her fiance’s ex-girlfriend that she hates loads and loads. Lara responds by asking why he’s doing this, which seems a much more aware question than her usual way of dealing with the world. Jake apologizes, name checking said shitty day and compliments her on getting Ani to sprint down the aisle with her so quickly, just like they planned.
I don’t like Jake, not one bit, but his disbelief that Lara’s ridiculous speech to Ani about life being short and how much she loved Ani actually working made me laugh. It’s uncharitable towards Ani, but yeah. I felt the same way Jake does. Of course, as viewers we know that it was Gina’s words to her on the beach that pushed Ani to agree to get hitched so quickly, but still. The woman needs a backbone infusion.
It’s a Stella sighting! Only the second of the season sadly. Gina says she’s alive and well – mostly. Therapist!Stella says it takes time to heal. Therapist!Stella also seems kind of pissed which Gina points out. Stella softens a little but when Gina asks about her kid, she shoots back and asks about Gina’s own kid. Gina realizes that’s part of what Stella’s upset with her about. And maybe a tiny bit about the fact that Gina dropped her like a hot cake after they kissed and hasn’t spoken to her since? Just going out on a limb there. But Stella can’t stop herself from helping – or offering snarky life commentary. No bullshit is her setting at all times and it’s a good thing for Gina. Stella doesn’t cut her any breaks. Not even when Gina admits she can’t remember why she and Ani were arguing when she got hit by that car but she refuses to just ask Ani. Hint: because Ani’s getting married on Sunday, whenever that is. Gina is sad but asks how pissed off her family is with her. Stella calls her a coward for hiding, but Gina admits she just couldn’t deal. Does this mean she’s ready to start trying now? I’m not convinced. But Gina asks for Stella’s help at making it up to her family, and Stella agrees after checking to make sure that Gina is prepared for what her help means. Which sounds ominous actually.
Ani is on her way to pick up her wedding dress, but stops to recall her argument with Gina the day she was hit. That damn letter. It’s the gift that just keeps on giving. Then we get a shot of Ani dissolving into tears after Lara pulled out the ring and proposed to her. They didn’t really look like happy tears. In fact, they looked so unhappy I’m surprised Ani said yes to Lara at all. Jake was right about that though. Ani does have a need to say yes to people and fix them when she can – and even when she can’t. Ani does her best to convince herself that everything will be okay if she marries Lara as she gets in the car.
Gina’s family – sans Richard and Van, plus Brandon – are gathered at Malbec’s. Brandon and Guya are sitting across from one another with pointed looks and even more pointed not talking. It’s so weird and jarring to see these two like this. The Colonel sees Stella come in and asks if she knows what this is about. Stella says yes but doesn’t elaborate. The Colonel clarifies that point, but there’s a comfortable camaraderie between these two that I love. I miss having more of their scenes.
Oh, wait! Richard was there. I just missed him a minute ago. My bad. Gina comes out to face the music. Then she tells everyone that she appreciates them waiting on her while she’s acted like a brat and thanks them for it. As a speech, it’s kind of underwhelming and she’s clearly uncomfortable. She tries to end it with a little bit of humor, but while Sarah quirks her lips, no one spares her a laugh. It made me miss Owen on her behalf. He would have laughed for her, come up and slapped her on the back and suggested that they get drunk instead of making Gina be the one to suggest that herself. He really was her best wingman.
Brandon tries again to speak to Gina, but Guya walks away, ostensibly to speak to Gina. Gina tries to make light of the serious look on her face and says Guya won’t throw the martini at her because it’s a really excellent martini. Guya will forgive her niece a lot but there’s one thing Gina hasn’t done yet and that’s apologize. Stella agrees that Gina hasn’t apologized yet. I love the slow nod to Stella that Gina does here. Hillary B. Smith lets this scene spool out with a slow methodicalness that creates the perfect tone for it. Guya loves her niece but part of loving someone means being tough sometimes too, and that’s what Guya’s doing here. She’s loving Gina in all the best ways. Gina apologizes to her aunt and Guya makes her apologize to everyone else that’s there as well. Then Guya hugs her because Guya’s awesome like that.
Lurking in the shadows of Malbec’s Jake sees the reunion and looks less than thrilled. It seems as if it might be time to screw with Gina again, some more.
Meanwhile at Lara’s house, Lara’s setting out a romantic dinner – complete with roses – for her fiance. They share a cute moment about how hot of a couple they are – and they ain’t wrong. Lara asks Ani how her day was and Ani admits that it was just the usual and that she was going to go see Gina to tell her about the wedding. Ani says that she’s tying up loose ends so she can be with the only person who’s always been there for her to slam her into walls. Okay, so maybe that last part wasn’t in Ani’s speech. Unsurprisingly Lara would rather not talk about Gina at all. They make out for a second until a timer goes off and Lara heads into the kitchen to grab dinner before it burns.
Ani takes another bite of the appetizer and it’s a little hot. She reaches for Lara’s seltzer water and smells bullshit, I mean alcohol. She takes a sip just to confirm and gets pretty damn pissed off and horrified. Lara comes back into the room and realizes she’s busted as soon as she sees the glass in Ani’s hand. Ani is pissed, realizing how much of a fool she’s been. As much as I don’t care for Lara’s actions a lot of, it still gets me every time when she falls apart, looking so scared and vulnerable. When Lara uses lack of perfection as an excuse, Ani says she doesn’t care about perfect, she just wants honesty. Lara struggles to give her that though when Ani asks how long Lara’s been drinking again.
Given Venice’s sometimes wonky timeline, it’s hard to tell how much Lara’s lying when she tells Ani that she’s only had one or two drinks over the past two or three weeks. Lara thinks she should get a gold star for only drinking that much and maintaining (forgetting that pesky little hit and run while drunk) as well as she has while all this shit with Gina’s been going on. Ani seems fed up and they get into an argument about whether this is about Gina or not. They both have good points on that score, but Lara snaps and gets pissed and slaps the table. It shocks Ani and Lara too. She’s immediately regretful, stammering about how she’s never hurt Ani, only loved her. It’s a particularly poor denial at that moment. Ani counters with at least Gina’s never lied to her, which Lara scoffs at. Lara tries to touch Ani again, tries to blackmail into staying by saying that she knows she’s sick but she needs Ani to stay to be okay. Ani doesn’t know what to think, but this time she’s having none of it. It’s too big of a betrayal for her – for now. Ani takes off her ring, putting it down on the table and brushes past Lara to walk out the door.
It’s a perfect clusterfuck of awful.
And now, finally, the pentultimate episode of Venice the Series: Season 4. Gina’s apologized to her family for acting bitchy and ungrateful when she came back from the dead. Ani discovered that Lara’s still drinking and responded by taking off her ring and walking out of the house.
The episode opens with Lara still sitting at the dining room table where she’d prepared a romantic meal for Ani and drinking. She picks up Ani’s ring and mulls it over for a while. She tries to fit it on her pinky finger with limited success and I’m struck by how tiny Jessica Leccia’s fingers must be. Lara begs Ani to come home. With the open bottle of something alcoholic on the table, it’s probably not the most logical plea, but Lara’s heart-broken, devastated and not in a logical place at all.
It must be Sunday because Jamie and Drew are working on wedding preparations. It looks gorgeous. Apparently no one thought to tell them that Ani walked out and ditched the ring with Lara? I mean, it’s not specifically a “we’re not doing this” but it does seem like a pointed statement to me.
Ani’s hanging out in her giant SUV looking sad as she leans against the steering wheel. Gina is looking particularly hot in a sharp suit as she sits at what I’m assuming is the table of Damn Letter Writing. Something buzzes on Gina’s phone and it seems to leave her taken aback.
Brandon’s back in his car!office on the phone with someone as Dana comes back with coffees. Looks like Sami’s been found! Brandon’s relieved to be getting this case wrapped up and out of his hair at long last. Dana calls him on that, pointing out that he knows darn well that Van’s involved in this somehow and that he won’t have done his job if he doesn’t follow up on that. Brandon starts listing out the facts of the case. He starts off with mentioning that Sami stabbed Owen with scissors. It never fails to crack me up.
Dana’s not okay with Brandon’s plan to just let Van walk away from this scot free without following up on this, but she knows Brandon isn’t really okay with it either. So Dana doesn’t try to fight him on it, she just tells him that if he’s really happy about his decision then, she’s fine with it. Try to deny it though he may, Brandon’s not happy about it either.
Guya is happy though. Gina’s better and Gina’s bringing her a martini. It’s two of her favorite things. Gina admits to Guya that she saw Owen in the Waiting Room in the Sky. Guya freaks out a little about that while Gina tries to reign her in. Guya points out that if Owen’s worrying about Gina is causing him to lead a stressful afterlife, Gina should get her shit together – more or less. Gina doesn’t appreciate the pressure.
Lara’s at the wedding site, looking around in pained sadness. She’s still going through the motions, struggling to pretend that things are going to be okay. Natasha the wedding planner comes up to her and gives a self-compliment on how awesome it is that all this got pulled together in a few days instead of a few months. Natasha is excited to meet Ani. Lara can’t bring herself to admit that it might never happen, that Ani’s pretty much ditched her at this point. She looks around sadly, thinking about what she was so close to having.
Ani is still sitting in her SUV. Apparently she’s been sitting outside Gina’s house since sometime in the middle of the night. Cool stalking, Ani. Sarah comes up to Ani and says as much. Ani admits she’s been trying to talk herself into going in, but then she saw Guya go in and couldn’t. Sarah asks if Ani wants her to tell Gina she’s out there. Ani doesn’t. Sarah asks, isn’t Ani getting married that day? Ani drives off without answering, but carefully so that she doesn’t run over Sarah, ‘cause that’d just be bad form.
Lara’s in a robe, doing her makeup and getting ready for her big day. Jake comes in and Lara compliments him on looking good. And she does have a point. Those pants fit him mighty fine. Jake isn’t worried about that though. Lara’s not okay and it’s easy to see. Jake demands to know if Lara and Ani have been fighting. Lara says, just once last night but everything is going to be fine. She’s still trying to convince herself. Jake has too much riding on this to join Lara in the Land of De Nile. He gets pissed and asks if there will even be a wedding, but quickly realizes that the best way to keep Lara where he wants her is throw positive reinforcement at her. It’s a little sad how easy Lara is to manipulate with a little affection – even the sleazy brand that Jake’s offering.
Guya’s visit is over at Gina’s. Gina admonishes her to not spend the whole day obsessing over channeling Owen’s spirit. Guya counters by telling her not to spend it obsessing over Ani’s wedding. Guya leaves Gina with a parting thought: that sometimes things work out for the best. Gina gives her a “…the fuck” look as she’s leaving, but there isn’t’ much time to dwell on Guya’s brand of crazy because Sarah’s walking up to the house.
Gina lets her in – metaphorically and physically. When she came and apologized to her family it was with the proviso that she wasn’t shutting people out any more. It seems like Gina’s really trying to make good on that.
Gina starts with a little honesty. She’s doing this – meeting up with Sarah – because Owen wanted her to. It’s not the worst of reasons. At least she’s doing it. Sarah’s being incredibly gracious when Gina admits she doesn’t even know how or where to start with this relationship. She thinks that just this, the two of them finally talking is as good of a place to start as any. Sarah reveals herself to be a nice, mature well adjusted individual, or at least she seems to be. She’s also cutting Gina some slack for the way Gina’s treated her so far. Then she decides to tell Gina that Ani was out there, despite Ani asking her not to tell. Good call, Sarah. Maybe. I don’t even know at this point. There’s so much drama and bullshit with Gina and Ani.
Gina swears when she finds out that Ani sat outside her door all night, then apologizes to her kid for swearing. Sarah reminds her she’s not four so Gina swears some more. Oh, Gina. Anyway, Sarah can’t help herself and lets out a little honesty, telling Gina that she thinks Gina and Ani love each other so much their teeth hurt but that they’re both terrified of each other. For someone who’s met these people barely a handful of times, the kid’s got a remarkably good grasp of the situation. Just like Logan the other week, I also appreciate someone who’s telling it to these two straight (pardon the expression). It makes me want to cheer and squee.
Gina’s so busy being worried about Ani that when Sarah tells her that she probably terrifies Ani just like Sarah’s terrified of her (Gina) that Gina just jumps right over that to mention that Ani’s not scared of her. It’s very interesting and I wonder if it will come back to bite Gina in the ass later. Doesn’t everything always come back to bite Gina in the ass eventually?
I do love Sarah’s “Is she?” little shit-stirring moment when Gina once again points out that Ani’s getting married that day. It’s a nice touch and something I could totally see Gina doing.
Guya’s burning some incense or whatever out back, trying to call Owen. Brandon comes up and Guya is giddy to see him. What Gina told her has put the life back in her. Guya thanks Brandon for letting things go with Van and Brandon actually seems okay with that. Okay with that and resigned to Guya’s crazy. Guya tells him all about Owen and the other side and Brandon manages not to roll his eyes too much. He seems so happy that she’s happy too. Sometimes I wonder what Brandon’s damage is that he loves Guya this way and this much. I mean, what’s his secret issues? Because this is Venice and everyone has secret issues. Maybe it’s just the contrast? He’s the tight ass cop and she’s the free spirit. Guya is awesome, but the amount of career ending things he’s done for this woman… I hope she appreciates it – and all the martinis – is what I’m sayin’.
Jake is at the wedding, drinking and freaking out. Alan notices and is pissed. Jake assures him with a reassurance that’s very lacking, that he’s on it. Alan is disgusting, as Jake points out, but good at keeping Katherine distracted. Poor Katherine.
Natasha’s helping Lara get her jacket on. Lara does look striking and Nadia Bjorlin is as gorgeous as ever. Jake comes in, still drinking and freaking out, and admits to Lara that he can’t find Ani. Boy, is he sure not happy about that either. Just as Natasha asks if there’s a problem though, Ani shows up. Natasha leaves to give the brides some time alone together, but Jake has to be shoved out the door. Oh, Jake. I might find Jake skeevy as heck but CJ LeBlanc has been one of the awesomest things about this season, hands down.
So Ani’s back in this relationship. She tells Lara again that she needs honesty and that Lara has to go back to AA for her to stay in this thing. I’m of two frames of mind about this. It sort of makes me happy that Ani didn’t go running to Gina when things fell apart with Lara. Ani does need to learn how to stand on her own two feet and make her own decisions without just falling back and forth between two women. That said…Ani has literally said all this before to Lara, when the drunken, getting knocked into a wall incident happened, and look how well that decision worked out for them. They’re right back where they started. So what does Ani do? She decides that she’ll marry Lara, because that will totally improve the situation.
Lara seems contrite and tells Ani she’s already called her sponsor. Given that Lara’s mouth is moving, odds are good that she’s lying about that, just like she spent all that time lying about drinking. I’m sorry. Was that harsh? Ani starts to leave and Lara calls her back to put the engagement ring back on Ani’s finger. Woo.
Also? Jessica Leccia’s fingers might not be as tiny as previously suspected – or she was just a little bloated that day – because Lara had to shove that little fucker past her knuckle. It looked slightly painful and too snug. I’d be tempted to look for a metaphor in that but it almost seems too obvious?
Ani tells Lara she looks beautiful before she walks out of the room. Jake is waiting outside to make sure they patched things up. He knows how to play Ani. This time he does it by saying he’s being supportive. Ani thanks him for not trying to change her anymore. He says something about maybe he was the one who needed to change and walks away laughing. It’s sort of Joker-ish. Ani finds it as weird and creepy as I do though, so that’s something.
Ani takes another look at her ring and a deep breath too, fortifying herself, telling herself she can do this. She turns around to go down the stairs and sees Gina at the bottom, waiting for Ani with her feelings written all over her face for anyone to see.