A reporter learns the Club's secrets, just not the juiciest ones
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The Playboy Club
Credit: Matt Dinerstein/NBC
type
  • TV Show
network
  • NBC

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?

I assume new hire Bunny Doris, who turned out to be an undercover reporter for the Chicago Daily News, didn’t reveal Nick’s publicity stunt in her two-part exposé, even though Alice told her it was a scam. She must have had a lot of dirt to choose from if every Bunny told her something Carol-Lynne had to be concerned about (“Form a line”), and she didn’t lead with the murder accusation. I mean, really, what reporter doesn’t lead with A MURDER?! Doris was going to reveal the Killer Bunny in the second part of her story. That gave Nick and Maureen time to worry that she had overheard them talking about which one of them was going to deal with John Bianchi, who wants to question Maureen. Nick had told Maureen that John was dangerous, and she should let him handle it, but she said she didn’t want to wait around for John to kill her. She could be very persuasive, she insisted. So that means she’s planning to have sex with him to convince him she couldn’t possibly be lying?

Both Billy the Club manager and Nick went to the newspaper trying to kill the story. Billy failed and was told by Doris’ editor that he should just be happy that his gambling problem (he’s a regular at the Bianchi high stakes poker game) wasn’t part of the tale. Nick went directly to Doris, and she handed him her research to prove her story was airtight. You could tell by the look on his face it wasn’t Maureen’s Bunny file, which was among those Doris had stolen from Billy’s office. (And let’s face it, all that was in those files was body measurements anyway.) It was a file on Janie, who has a history of doing more than the Locomotion. Janie was going to leave the mansion before the story broke, but she stopped to tell Maureen her history: A few years ago, she and her husband Wade robbed a couple of stores. No one got hurt until Wade was speeding away from a robbery and accidentally hit an old man who died. Janie told the cops everything she and Wade had done, and they let her off easy while throwing the book at Wade. That’s why she can’t have Wade knowing where she is. (Does he get Playboy in prison, or is he out now?) Somehow Nick convinced the reporter that a Bonnie and Clyde Bunny wasn’t a good enough story, and instead, the paper was going to print a retraction saying it had sensationalized an accident. There was no murder. Okay, sure. Why not. Doris dropped off her Bunny costume to Carol-Lynne, and we got hit over the head with the moral of the show: Bunnies are hardworkers just trying to make something of themselves, but that tale doesn’t sell. Sure, every girl who becomes a Bunny has baggage, but she doesn’t want to be like “most girls” either. She wants to be late for work because she’s doing the Locomotion!

The final shot was of Maureen getting into John’s car to talk. I should appreciate her gumption, but I still find it infuriating that she hasn’t given Bianchi’s key to the Club to Nick to dispose of. If the man was a fixer for the mob, you let him fix this. Wearing the key for a photo shoot and then hiding it in vanishing cream in the mansion last week — not smart!

Your turn. Are you hoping the show continues? If so, which story lines are working for you, and which ones aren’t?

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Episode Recaps

The Playboy Club
Meet the employees (known as Bunnies) of the first Playboy Club in 1963 Chicago.
type
  • TV Show
seasons
  • 1
rating
status
  • Pending
network
  • NBC

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