With the Sarah Keaton story line officially dead (no pun intended), I was wondering what Notorious would be without Oscar’s amazing hair and Jake pining over his lost love. Luckily, the answer to that is: good. Tonight, the show hit the ground running with a brand-new plot that was oh-so-juicy.
Last week, we saw Jake and Julia get a mysterious call about a dead man in a backyard swimming pool, presumably setting up the next story arc. This week, we get the scoop on the dead man’s float: the house at which he was found is owned by Dana Hartman, a disgraced former news anchor currently renting the place to her daughter, Maya, and Maya’s three friends (one of whom is Johnny, the dead guy).
When Jake and Julia arrive at the murder scene, we quickly learn Dana basically used to have Louise’s job and acted as a mentor to Julia — until she got fired for fabricating an interview and lost all credibility (UGH, c’mon Dana, that’s like, journalism rule no. 1!) after JULIA sold her out to the Los Angeles Times. To be fair, Julia did it to save her own credibility and that of the network. Before her descent into infamy, however, it seems Dana and Julia were quite chummy, and for a while, Julia and Maya had a near mother/daughter relationship. Julia’s love for Maya is what brings Dana to her in the first place, and since Maya was found with gun residue on her hands following Johnny’s murder, Jake agrees to be her attorney.
As the group sits down to talk to Maya about what really happened, Dana admits to the ultimate no-no and says she read Maya’s diary, where she was shocked to see her daughter had written she wanted to kill Johnny. However, Maya defends herself by saying she was dating Johnny and was in love with him…which is suuuuper awkward for Dana, because guess what? She and her daughter are now Eskimo sisters. Yep, that’s right — Louise receives an anonymous tape showing Dana and Johnny (yes, her daughter’s boyfriend Johnny) having sex.
Now, at first I figured Louise would be impressed by such a video. Johnny is half Dana’s age, after all, and we know Louise is something of a cougar herself (have we dropped that story line? It’s been a while since we’ve seen her canoodling with shirtless eye candy). But Louise is McKayla Maroney-level not impressed, as she believes Dana’s fall from grace set women on cable-news networks back decades (and caused her to be passed over for the position of anchor in favor of a more “trustworthy” man).
Louise’s longstanding bitterness comes back to bite everyone after Julia and Dana make an agreement. Julia promises Dana and Jake she won’t air the sex tape if Dana makes an appearance on LHL, and after she accepts, all seems well. Maya appears to be on the brink of forgiving her mother for the diary thing, and the appearance will be a big, positive step back into the spotlight for Dana.
Meanwhile, things are looking up for Julia’s dreary love life, too. D.A. Max is totally into her and even brings her a blueberry muffin at work — which she then PROMPTLY THROWS IN THE TRASH. What a waste of a perfectly good muffin! “I am fond of you. I often wish you weren’t such a stinker,” she tells him, and at first, I’m embarrassed for her that as someone over the age of 5, she used the word “stinker.” But then I realize she’s actually quoting His Girl Friday, a reference that went right over my head, just like it did for Max (perhaps I have some brushing up to do on pop culture).
When Dana finally appears on LHL, things go smoothly at first. Dana defends her daughter in smart, reasonable ways. But midway through the interview, Julia’s boss appears and demands she show the sex tape, and Julia realizes the whole thing was orchestrated by Louise as a means of revenge against Dana. Julia does her best to prevent it from airing, but it does… And soon, Julia’s upset, Jake’s upset, Dana’s upset, Maya’s upset. Pretty much everyone is upset except Johnny, because he’s still dead.
NEXT: More sex, lies, and videotapes