Gosh, is there anything better than that ABC melody at the beginning of each episode? (You know exactly what sound I’m talking about). It’s a signal you’re about to sit down for some wonderfully mind-numbing television (I mean that in a good way), and tonight’s Notorious was no exception.
We pick up 36 hours after Sarah Keaton’s murder. Louise Herrick is speaking to a nation highly fascinated by the high-profile murder, and she’s just the person to inform them: calm, cool, and collected. That is, until the tape stops rolling. The second she’s off air, Louise strips down to a lacy red bra to greet DIDDY?! Oops, sorry, I mean her dear pal “Sean.” (Talk about a cameo — he couldn’t at least stick around for an impromptu musical number?) I had hoped we’d leave the “Louise is a cougar who doesn’t take anything very seriously” shtick in episode 1, but judging by the bra thing and the fact that she’s next seen playing strip poker with a shirtless 20-something, it looks like that won’t be happening soon.
Meanwhile, between the time he spends watching old home videos of Sarah and crying, Jake is dealing with a client named Abby whose toddler son Noah was mysteriously kidnapped from her home. Of coooourse Jake is going to send her straight to Louise Herrick Live to share her story (we saw that one coming a mile away). But what we didn’t see coming is an ex-boyfriend (and apparent avid LHL viewer) who calls Julia after seeing Abby on the show to tell her that Abby doesn’t actually have a child. It’s all an elaborate lie!! (The Notori-Shots drinking game is back on.)
Back in Oscarland, the potential murder suspect (that would be Oscar) has been locked away in a hotel since the murder, with nothing to do all day but get drunk and practice shaping his hair into a perfect coif. He insists to Jake he had nothing to do with Sarah’s murder, and was only at the house in the first place because Sarah had called him saying she was scared. “You have no idea what it’s like to lose the woman that you love,” a drunken Oscar says to Jake, not realizing the irony.
At this point, if anyone should be scared, it’s Jake, because not long after his visit to Oscar, Julia approaches him with the four words that could bring any man to his his knees: “We need to talk.” She finally spills on the photos she received in the mail, and Jake seems genuinely sad and surprised by the ones showing Sarah’s bruises. The more complex Jake’s character becomes, the more I like him. He’s got the exterior of a macho big shot, but he’s also not afraid to be vulnerable and seems to embrace his sensitive side, which is nice to see in a character.
NEXT: What’s Ryan hiding (under that shirt)?[pagebreak]
Jake and Julia want to figure out who this anonymous tipster is. Of course Megan’s on it because she loves solving Julia’s mysteries (and taking long tangents before revealing what she actually knows). Eventually, she tracks it to Ryan, the young PA desperate to make a name for himself. (Also the one with the abs, as we saw when he slept shirtless in Julia’s office, a.k.a. my favorite scene of the night). Julia angrily approaches him, and he admits he sent the photos but swears he was just trying to help. He shares a poignant moment with Julia where he explains why he’s so gung-ho on being the best gosh darn PA there ever was. “Five years ago, you showed up to a family dinner, and in front of everyone, you called my father, your boss, an ass,” he explains to her. “I’d never seen anyone stand up to him before and ever since then I kind of wanted to be more like you.” Wow, talk about sucking up. The kid’s smooth. (But will we get more gratuitous shirtless scenes? Here’s to hoping.)
Meanwhile, the B plot of the episode’s gotta be solved at some point, right? Turns out Abby has an abusive ex in prison who is up for parole soon. After a series of threatening calls from him, she felt she had no choice but to give her son away so that the ex couldn’t find him. Her ruse quickly spun out of control, and there was no way for her to stop it, especially not once it got to a national, LHL level. Jake gives the police tapes of the ex threatening her from prison, which ensures that he will not make his parole and therefore cannot hurt the child, meaning Abby can take him back home and no one ever has to know she made the whole thing up. At least these guys got a happy ending.
Two guys who didn’t? Jake and Oscar, who must now mourn the woman they both loved at her highly publicized funeral. We get a tiny bit of backstory on Oscar and Sarah’s history: They dated eight years ago, he wasn’t ready to commit, and so she moved on to Oscar. It’s still a sore spot for Jake, and he realizes it’s finally time to tell the police that he and Oscar didn’t discover Sarah’s body together; Oscar found her first. That can’t look good, can it?
At Sarah’s funeral, Oscar gives a drunken, rambling speech about how much he loved his wife, but he’s interrupted by cops who arrive to take him into custody. And what do you know? Jake planned the whole thing. This way, Oscar is forced to sober up AND gains the sympathy points of having to be removed from his own wife’s funeral. Yikes. Jake has no problem stepping up and taking Oscar’s place at the podium (just as he had no problem taking Oscar’s place in the man’s own marital bed).
The episode ends with Julia nabbing yet another ratings-gold guest for LHL: Sarah Keaton’s brother, Alan, who has finally agreed to go on the show in order to preserve his sister’s memory. “I want the world to know the truth about Oscar Keaton,” he says ominously, and we’ll have to wait until next week to find out what he means by that.
What did you think of Notorious? Which characters are you loving, and which are you loathing? Let us know in the comments below!