As talk that The Playboy Club may be one of the season’s first casualties grows, it’s time we make peace with the fact that we may never know if John Bianchi figures out what Maureen and Nick did to his father, or why everyone thinks Maureen must know what happened to Bruno Bianchi just because she danced with him. (She also danced with other men after she danced with him. Or did “dance” mean “bone in the back room” in 1961?) Regardless, let’s play along while we still can.
Right now, the most interesting story line on this show is Nick’s campaign scam. Sean, Alice’s husband who wants to manage Nick’s run for State’s Attorney, knew Nick needed to tap into the business community for funding. In order to land a big fish, he invited Frances Dunhill, the daughter of tycoon Arthur Dunhill, to meet with Nick at the Club and become the Jackie to his JFK. Nick asked Carol-Lynne for her blessing — it would just be for the papers, he’d continue to date her in private — and not wanting to hold him back, she gave it. It’s only for show, and she’s a performer who understands that the show must go on. As the Club’s seamstress (who needs more screen time) later told Carol-Lynne, Nick should know that she’s just as upstanding as that “fancy little rich bitch.” But he agreed with Sean that voters would respond better to Frances than a Bunny Mother with a quick wit (“The Lady is a Tramp” was a nice song selection for Carol-Lynne’s performance this hour, don’t you think?). Frances asked Nick to dance as Leslie Gore (guest star Colbie Caillat) sang “It’s My Party,” and he laughed — Carol-Lynne didn’t. She later paraded herself around with Nick’s political opponent to make him jealous.
Frances first told Nick that she had an interest in politics, and the only way a woman could get a seat at the table was to be a man’s date. But after he successfully charmed her father and his friends at dinner, she admitted she was using him to earn her father’s approval and handed him a $50,000 check from daddy. In the end, we found out the truth when Sean introduced Frances to Alice at a Mattachine Society meeting: there’s no better deal for a lesbian trying to pretend she’s straight than posing as the love of a high-profile hunk who doesn’t want to have sex with her (because he has a real girlfriend). I like Frances and her chemistry with Nick. It could be fun to have them both hanging around the Playboy Club — him stealing moments with Carol-Lynne and her trying to woo Alice, who, if we’re judging by her reaction to photographing Maureen last episode, is in need of some action. What would happen if Nick found out what they’re all hiding?
NEXT: These ladies may be bitches, but they’re not killers. Right, Brenda?