Liza is just not cut out for the Brew Grass Festival
No matter your hangups or proclivities, “Into the Woods and Out of the Woods” likely provided some amount of nightmare fuel to spark your phobia flame. Overflowing outhouses. Broken penises. Accidental sexts. I feel like I need a hot shower after watching this episode! And I didn’t even eschew polite society for the wilds of the Brew Grass Festival. Let’s start at the beginning…
The scuttlebutt around the Empirical Publishing offices: Charles’ imminent appearance in the New York Times‘ highly regarded By the Book feature — a questionnaire probing the tastes of the literati. An avid reader of the paper’s rubric, Liza is brimming with ideas and becomes Charles’ de facto adviser — to Diana’s chagrin.
But Diana’s got her hands full (literally) with her new male feminist author Hugh Shirley, who whispers sweet nothings in her ear extolling her “barely feminine mystique.” This verbal foreplay leads to actual foreplay, and in a show of his equal-opportunity leanings, Hugh asks Diana to take the top position. But as she leans back in the throes of passion (“She arched her back like a Romanian gymnast,” Hugh later moans), a loud crack (or is it a pop?), resounds. Diana has broken his penis! (In college, one of my Dairy Queen colleagues broke his penis, and I’ve been assured it is very painful.)
One indignity down, but oh-so many more to go as Liza ventures to the Hudson Valley for the Brew Grass Festival, where Josh is playing with his band. The accommodations, for one, are totally lacking. A holey air mattress with Josh’s roommate as the Big Spoon? No thank you! Coffee stout instead of actual coffee? Blech! Liza tries to make the best of it though, and despite the rural locale, is able to get enough of a cell signal to answer Charles’ repeated calls and texts for advice about his piece in the Gray Lady. But she would soon wish she’d left her phone in Brooklyn.
Somehow along the way, Josh and Liza pick up a pair of topless groupies, who follow them from activity to activity. (Corn hole tournament, anyone?) And as Josh finally take the stage with washboard in hand, he texts Liza trying to goad her into take her top off! (After all, there’s, like, no one there they really know…) But in one of those 21st-century comedy of manners moments, Liza confuses her text thread with Josh with her text thread with Charles, and texts her boss, “I’ll take my top off if you take off your pants.” Her phone battery lasts long enough for his “WHAT?!” response to come through and abruptly dies. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
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The site has charging stations, thankfully, but of course, some hipster chick beats her to the last outlet. Liza will not be daunted though, hip-checking the girl and claiming the last power source as her own. She gets just enough juice to call Charles to profusely apologize (he’s cool about it) and complain about just how terrible her outdoor digs are. He suggests a nearby B&B, and seeing as she gets kicked out of the campsite for her earlier “violence,” she and Josh end up taking Charles up on his suggestion. Which, they come to find out, he’s paid for! Josh snaps a selfie of Liza and him in the lodging’s matching bathrobes to send to the boss as a “thank you,” but Liza hesitates and ultimately doesn’t send it. She is clearly a woman torn.
Where do you land in the Josh vs. Charles debate? Sound off in the comments!