Welcome to the party that is Mistresses. Let’s say the show the way it’s meant to be said: Missssstresssses. It’s a hiss. It’s a whisper. It’s full of sexy secrets. The greatest thing about this show—and shut up, I do think it’s great and we should all lean in to the soapy wonder of it all—is how the show knows exactly what it is and seems to have a blast doing it.
Do you remember what happened last season? Me neither! Let’s recap, shall we?
We left last season on a bit of a cliffhanger: Joss was surprised by her handsome, rich boyfriend with an impromptu wedding. But at the moment she was supposed to be tripping down the aisle she instead rolls around From Here to Eternity-like with Harry, her super hot pal and former brother-in-law who loves her. We knew this was going to happen! But you know who didn’t? Joss’s sister, Savi, who unfortunately is in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time to see this all going down. Oops.
April: Her husband, Paul, was dead. Or WAS HE? After his other baby momma came to town with Paul’s son and tried to blackmail April, it turned out Paul was alive after all. But now he’s dead dead, which normally would solve things. But the problem is that Lucy, April’s daughter, is righteously furious her mother kept the truth from her.
Karen: After dabbling on the dark side (which involved sleeping with all sorts of dudes while pretending to be someone else) Karen is rattled when she finds out she’s at risk for HIV.
And Savi? Well, as we learn it doesn’t matter because the episode begins and ends with her being straight up missing. Anyone who watches the show probably already knew that actress Alyssa Milano chose not to return to the series, right? So yeah… interesting choices on the show’s part. I am glad they did not kill her off. But let’s move on to the action:
Joss and Harry make out hot and heavy while she’s still in her wedding dress. Things don’t get truly, uh, consummated cause his phone rings and it’s Karen looking for Joss. Busted. Turns out Scott’s grandmother had a stroke. Joss hops in the ambulance with Scott and his family. Scott’s mother seems to be deeply suspicious of her almost daughter-in-law, but Scott tries to do the old, don’t-worry-we-can-do-a-wedding-some-other-time thing.
Lucy is definitely really really mad at her mother for lying to her. When April goes to drink some wine with Karen they discuss how mad someone should remain about their mother lying to you about their father being alive. It’s a good question. But this is when the women start to figure out that Savi is missing. No one had seen her since she left the ceremony. But in better news, Karen doesn’t have HIV! The doctor wants to see her anyway, and she’s not sure why. She advises April to tell Lucy everything. The women sigh and glug glug glug. Word up, women.
More wine is opened when Joss comes to fill them in on the latest. I’d guess Karen and April are at least two glasses ahead of Joss. April, rather hilariously, half-slurs, “The truth shall set you free.” What kind of show would we have if everyone abided by this? Joss points out that hurting Scott isn’t a great idea and somehow that’s around when they realize that no one has heard from Savi. Karen: “Oh my god—Savi is missing!” See how Karen knows what show she’s on? Joss, however, is all: nah. She texts Savi and gets the response back: “You are no longer my sister.” Yikes. They quickly piece together that Savi must have seen Joss making out with Harry. Joss is horrified.
Let me say for the record here that Joss is, hands down, my favorite character on this show and I think Harry is super hot and I like them together. But wow, this does sort of break the ultimate sister code. Though, in fairness, Joss thought Savi was all done with Harry. But still, come on. This is a tough one.
Joss goes to Savi’s house and leaves a voicemail. (Was that really Alyssa Milano’s recorded message? I am dubious. Anyone?)
April levels with Lucy about every insane thing that happened last season. Everyone lied to April, but she lied to Lucy. Lucy does not forgive her. I love a grudge-holding little girl.
Joss meets with Dominick. Remember him!?! Well it turns out that Savi quit her job and didn’t even tell him personally. It didn’t go well with the partners. Bye Dom!
Karen goes to her doctor, Dr. Handsome Alec Adams. He informs her that he illegally screened her blood and discovered she’s AB RH negative. This is a very rare type and he’s been searching for several years. He has a patient suffering from severe Aplastic Anemia. The patient has a great-grandmother who was Korean (more on this in a second) and so he profiled Karen. Karen is outraged as this is fairly messed up, but then he explains the patient is his wife and she’s dying and there’s nothing he wouldn’t do to save her life.
Joss fills Harry in on the latest. He’s rather unruffled. He points out that Savi cheated on him when they were married and then picked the other guy to boot. He doesn’t think he should feel bad about moving on with his life. Harry gets a little worried when Joss doesn’t seem to be jumping up and down to tell Scott what’s up. He wonders if she was using him to get out of getting married.
Joss starts to go full feral animal and it’s not helped when she gets a call that Scott’s grandmother did indeed die. She’s coming undone and Harry, bless him, goes into soothing mode. He treats her likes a spooked horse, tells her he loves her and that they’ll figure out this mess together. Go Harry, go! He also rightfully tells her that if she doesn’t want this/him, she needs to make a decision.
NEXT: Karen feels part of a bigger picture
Karen fills in April about what she’d be doing for this stranger: stem cells and daily shots and possibly a bone marrow transplant. She tells April she’s doing it because after going to church she feels connected and thinks this is all part of God’s plan. April suggests Karen gets to know the woman she’d be helping. They have an obligatory exchange about not hearing from Savi. If every episode this season contains a where-is-Savi thread, I am going to be annoyed. I hope she lets them know she moved to Alaska soon or something.
Lucy asks April if she can go live at her grandmother’s house. April is all, hell no. Lucy uses the dead/alive/dead father card: It’s not fair that she doesn’t have more family. April decides the solution to this is to bring Lucy’s half-brother, Scotty, over. I guess we’re blowing past the whole extortion plot of last season for these guys to pal around? We also have the blackmailer’s wacky brother, Marc—a Jack Tripper sort—in tow.
At Scott’s grandmother’s wake, Joss pretends to be a good fiancee. It’s not easy, especially as Scott starts talking about planning for a fall wedding. Joss is all, oh about that… she pulls him aside and says that she thinks they really need to hit the brakes on the wedding front. She finally just blurts it out: She was with Harry. I wish she had clarified that she was only making out with Harry and not having sex with him, but probably gradations of cheating and betrayal are not helpful here. Scott’s switch flips to off: He goes cold and is basically like, byeeee and take all your stuff with you. Decisive!
Apparently it’s the next day because Joss goes to Karen’s house and exposits that she left Scott’s house and waited all night for Savi to come back. Spoiler: No Savi. But now Joss is at Karen’s with just a couple of roller suitcases—and where the heck is the rest of her stuff?—to crash. Joss is still somehow feeling good: She’s lost her home and her fancy car, and she knows Savi is pissed off, but she knows she did the right thing in telling the truth, and she believes her sister will one day forgive her. But then Karen clues her in on an important missing piece of information: Savi was still in love with Harry. Joss appropriately freaks out.
Karen goes to meet the stranger she’s there to help. Dr. Adams is all, gruff gruff gruff: here’s the lie you have to tell my wife about how we know each other. Karen bristles at his tone. She’s about to storm off when she meets his wife, a very attractive blonde woman with husky-blue eyes who has not yet been given a name. I must also point out it’s a stretch that this woman had a Korean relative. (I figure if Aloha had to go through this then what’s good for the Cameron Crowe movie should also hold true here.) It’s a little tense at first, what with the lying about how Karen knows Alec Adams, not to mention the weird emphasis on what he can do with quinoa, but then Alec gets called away and Karen decides to stay. She plays dumb when Wife Lady starts talking about her condition, but Mrs. Adams is not having it. She gently but straightforwardly tells Karen she knows what’s going on.
Joss is in what surely is an Uber looking for Savi’s car. She’s thinking she’ll find Savi somewhere where her sister likes to enjoy a low carb meal and the driver is all, this is impossible (especially with surge pricing). But this being this show, Joss sees Savi’s car and takes off to bang on the window and beg her sister’s forgiveness. But it’s not Savi behind the wheel. It’s that weirdo, Zack! He tells her Savi gave him her car after he dropped her off at the airport to a destination unknown. He even throws a little shade Joss’ way. But he doesn’t know anything and he counsels Joss to give her some space.
Lucy and April have a meal with the blackmailer, Lucy’s half-brother, Scotty, and Marc who likes to talk about the Partridge family. Lucy and Scotty exchange their first shy smiles when they bond over their love of The Magic Schoolbus.
Karen and Mrs. No Name Adams talk frankly about her condition. Karen kind of goes into therapy mode—she loves an inappropriate therapy session! She wants to know why Karen is helping her. Karen tells her that the past two years have been difficult and that she’s at a crossroads and wants to be of use. “Your husband thinks he found me, but maybe I found you.” They smile mistily at each other.
Joss still can’t find Savi. She’s despondent and there’s one person she wants to see. Do you guys know who? I DO. She tells him she wants to come over.
Harry is driving happily in the rain to his house, some flowers beside him but uh-oh—there’s a drunk and pissed off Scott waiting for him. Harry is all, sigh, okay. “I think it’s the accent,” Scott sneers about Harry’s appeal (uh, it isn’t) before going into gross male how-was-she talk. Harry takes it like the stoic Aussie he is. But then Scott punches him a lot and Harry just…takes it.
April and the blackmailer chat about how they should all hang out again soon and then we learn old blackmailer is going to work on a cruise ship as a blackjack dealer and that Scottie is going to live in the RV with his uncle. Of course, Lucy pipes up and tells them to stay in LA and they can all be a happy family and have weekly dinners. I’m already bored with this story line.
More with Harry and Joss! She arrives at his house and sees his beat up face. He’s all, shrugs, I was on the other side of this fight before, sometimes these things have to be done. (#Dudes, right?) Joss is a wreck and explains this isn’t how she wants Harry and her story to begin. It’s a little late for that! She tells him she loves him and wants to be with him but they need to wait. I don’t understand why as this seems to be a bit of the toothpaste being already out of the tube situation, but whatever.
Joss and the ladies drink on it. Question: In real life, wouldn’t April and Karen be circling the wagons around Savi? But never mind, let’s go with it because this is when my favorite part of the episode occurs. Karen says a wise man once told her you can’t help who you love. Let’s go to the actual tape:
Joss: Which wise man was that?
April: Which one was Ben again?
Karen: The one who slept with the hookers.
Joss: Oh, right! I thought he was the married guy whose wife tried to kill you.
Karen: That was Tom.
Oh show, you are so in on the joke and I love you for it. The women agree they all want to take a break from dating, but Joss, bless, wants to know if that means a break from sex, too. (I’m guessing not.)
The tone gets more serious when Joss asks if Savi will ever come back. April says the universe will find a way to balance itself out.
Annnnnd here comes balance! Jennifer Esposito, looking nuts in the best possible way, stalks up to the front desk and asks the front clerk if she knows who she is. Calista Raines, replies the desk clerk. So it seems that Calista’s husband is at the hotel, apparently with another woman, and Calista plans to catch her husband in the act and she wants this poor stranger to help her. “Have you ever been cheated on? Of course you have,” so begins an epic and awesome speech that should stir a desk clerk to the call of sisterhood. She also slips her a handful of hundreds. Savi who?
Hey, all together now: SAVI WHO?