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'Mistresses' recap: 'The Best Laid Plans'

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Bettina Strauss/ABC


TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
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I’m embarrassed to admit that I only understood the humor of the title to this episode when I got to the very end of it. But that’s okay, cause no one on this show is so smart this week.

We open right where we left off last week: Harry realizing he’s been screwed (at least twice) by awful Niko, who basically used Harry as a pawn to make her boyfriend Ellis jealous. In fact, she’s Ellis’ mistress. That’s right! They said the magic “M” word now everybody drink! Harry realizes his job is now at risk and begs her not to tell Ellis. It pains me to side with my nemesis Niko, but she is right when she said that because they left the staff party together word will undoubtedly spread so that particularly slutty horse has left the barn. Important lesson number one from today’s episode: Don’t sleep with co-workers! (Also don’t you-know-what where you eat.)

April’s mom — believably beautiful — has gifts for everyone: a pretty dress for Lucy, a candle (that she stocks in her own store) for April. It is frosty and awkward and Marc — looking cuter and cuter every episode — drinks his coffee and observes quietly. April is vibrating from stress and Marc looks like he’d rather be surfing.

Karen wakes up alone for a change (again, that bed is not built for three) and finds Alec watching her from a chair nearby. He doesn’t sleep more than five hours, which explains a lot, I think, and they start to get cutesy and kiss till Karen hears that Vivian left to go to her sister’s. She immediately pulls back — this tripod is missing one leg.

Joss walks in on Calista and Luca fighting. Turns out these guys own a lot of cool property and Luca wants it all: the Paris apartment, the loft in Soho, the vineyards in Ojai. He drops a major bomb: He has proof that Calista cheated on him with Wilson (her seemingly gay but whatever) assistant. She explains to Joss — who explains to Calista that being Joss means she is judgment free — and generally loses her mind.

April vents to Karen about her mom. Karen alludes to something dark from April’s history with her mom, but we don’t quite get it just yet. Karen declines to bring her thrupple to dinner and explains that it’s a bit weird being alone with Alec without Vivian. That it is weird. More couples, more problems. The ladies tease Joss about how rich Calista is and Joss makes a stand about how much she loves Calista. Karen advises (ironically) not to get involved, and Joss puts her plotting cap on to see what she can do.

Marc tells Harry that everyone knows about Niko and him. But good news! Niko got transferred to a different restaurant! Maybe we will never see her again! Bad news: Harry is hosed since Ellis owns everything in LA apparently and couldn’t get another job if he tried. Marc advises Harry to go all Rachel Ray and brand himself as a celebrity chef and be his own boss. He pushes him to meet with an assistant to an agent that he once slept with. This is the most realistic L.A. sentence I’ve heard on this show!

At dinner with April’s mom, Lucy chats happily to her grandmother and ices her mother. April surprises her though with the news that Lucy can skip school the following day for a fun ladies day out at the beach and stuff. When left alone, April and her mom seem to not have a lot to say to one another.

Calista tells Joss she’s moving back to New York. And this is when Joss tells her the plan she comes up with. And you guys, I’d much rather lay my head on my desk for a nap than continue on with this because it’s all so terrible, and you know it is a huge mistake from the start! But basically the idea is that Joss will lure Luca into cheating and Calista can catch him red-handed. Ugh. Oh ladies, no. (The highlight of this scene, and possibly the episode, is Calista saying that miracles are for poor people.)

So here’s a question: Does Karen like Vivian more than Alec? After getting a cute picture from Vivian, she cancels dinner with Alec and basically starts giving him some major fade. He shows up later at her house with food while she’s doing yoga. He confronts her on her whole avoidance thing. They agree they don’t know what they are allowed to do. It’s so confusing to be a thrupple! So far I do not get the appeal.

April is searching her mother’s bag for booze. Marc gives her some pointers but April doesn’t find anything. Hmmm.

NEXT: The Worst Plan in the World is set in motion


Joss sets this stupid awful charade into play: She fake fights with Calista within earshot of Luca. Luca smarms over on cue where Joss is “crying.” He comforts her and gives the grossest shoulder massage of all time. Joss is feeling rather triumphant but Calista? Not so much. She’s all, um, you’re a little too psyched about my husband hitting on you. Calista — in case you are wondering, is being a full-on crazy. But not to worry about it: they decided to go ahead with their terrible, terrible plan.

Harry meets with Ari, an agent with curly hair so you know she is wild (wild!). She’s giving me major Valeria Golina in Rain Man vibes (where are you pretty Valeria?). Harry sort of tanks this meeting when he has no idea how any of this goes and the super brassy Ari sends him to go figure it out.

Alec and Karen have a flirty lunch, talking about his semester abroad from Duke. (Great call, writers!) Vivian phones and Alec lies about where he is and really, that says it all, doesn’t it? He hangs up and admits he doesn’t know why he lied. Now it’s his turn to freak out and huff off.

Harry and Marc talk celebrity chef talk. Marc suggests Harry teach a cooking class, and I’m pretty into how into Rachel Ray Marc seems to be. They put their plan into motion. Also, if Ari, the curly-haired agent is going to be a potential love interest then I’m not going to be happy. (Please note, I am a curly-haired person so I am allowed to say such things.)

April’s mother tells a funny story—which totally tracks—about how April was nuts with a BeDazzler. April seems real reluctant to leave her daughter alone with her mom though Lucy has clearly taken a shine to her. The women come home from their fun day off and April hears a message that Lucy missed a midterm. April flips and, tells Lucy she’s officially played her dead dad card one too many times. Later, the grandmother tells April to ease up on Lucy. April is not having that: Fireworks ensue. April says she’ll never leave Lucy alone with her mother. Turns out her mom drove drunk with a baby Lucy in the car. Yeah, that’s pretty bad. Grandmother says that she does not have a drinking problem and can’t believe April is still hung up on all this nonsense. And well that was that, April is all PEACE MOM. Sad but fair.

Joss and Calista work on installing a hidden camera to help pull off The Dumbest Plan of All Time. Calista’s heart does not seem to be in this. She continues with the farce though, making a show of leaving their house with suitcases. Joss too seems a little nervous as she makes herself up. Karen, reasonably, thinks this whole thing is crazy. The lady in the thrupple is the most reasonable one this week. Calista shows up at Joss’ and is all, oh you look pretty. She thanks Joss for doing it.

At the cooking class Harry seems to be flailing—do these women not have eyes?—till his natural passion for cooking takes over. He calls up old curly to assist. Oh brother. Afterward, he has a ton of fans. Ari admits there’s hope for him in this business. They clink glasses and make eyes at one another. Great.

April watches her mom drive away and then Lucy, who has overheard everything, asked why she never told her the truth about her grandmother. Lucy remembers the accident, but it’s blurry. They finally have an honest conversation that Lucy participates in, which is a relief. We see Lucy grow up a few years in this short scene. And it ends with a hug! So, overall success?

At the hospital Karen and Alec flirt by a vending machine involving the sentence “I know what you like,” (he doesn’t mean snacks) and then they have sex, Grey’s Anatomy style, in the supply closet. Afterward they both seem sort of regret-filled and that maybe they should not tell Vivian. All the complications of being in a threesome seem to come up—is it okay for two to couple off? Alec gets to make the decision and all this feels weird and bad.

Marc and April chat it up in the kitchen. April admits it was all a mistake to bring her mom there (thanks Blair!). Marc wonders why he gets to know so much about her and she friend-zones him so hard it makes my teeth hurt. Marc tells her some tough truths; namely her mom was totally drinking on the sly and hiding the bottles in the trash. Alcoholics are like raccoons: They can’t help being sneaky liars. But still this is sad and the two share a nice moment. Oh man, I can’t believe how on board I am with April and Marc. All of you in the comments section were right!

Joss shows up to Luca’s looking like sex on a stick. She tells him she left her phone, yada yada yada it’s under the bed, and then they both go up there and this does feel all sorts of skeevy and gross. Especially when they inevitably start making out. This feels….so wrong and Joss also seems pretty grossed out. Yeow. She disentangles herself to go to the bathroom and is all blech. She texts Calista to see if they are good to go, but Calista is not responding. And then all the lights go out. This can’t be good. And so what’s the worst case scenario for this entire thing? If you guessed Joss discovering dead Luca on the stairs, you’d be right. Ugh.