Let me take this opportunity to officially announce my grassroots campaign for Nina Garcia to get an Oscar in March 2010. The episode centered around an industry fundraiser hosted by the inimitable Ms. Garcia. Home girl was only in the episode for a sum total of 30 seconds, and she put the rest of the actors to shame. Granted, consider the context… but, hell, if Ellen can have two shows, why can't Nina? Let's make it work, as they say.
Raina's career remains on the rise, while Chris is still completely unproven. Claudia thinks that Chris is an impediment and advises her star pupil to leave the rednecked hick in the dust. Naturally, she does the exact opposite and tries her damndest to pander to his every need. She feels particularly bad when he has a book-building photo shoot with some photographer that Cole suggests. Chris takes one look at the meth-faced, artsy-fartsy type and scrams. So, needless to say, even Raina's peerless guidance doesn't always pan out. Nonetheless, it helps her to land a position as one half of the most boring network television couple since Annie and Ethan. Pull out your vodka and Red Bull, viewers, because these two are going to drive you to both.
And speaking of substance abuse! Sonja basks in landing the Versace campaign that Raina scored for her with blackmail. The campaign brings renewed attention from the paparazzi. When she absent-mindedly leaves her Blackberry on the craft services table at the shoot, she has to barter with the pap so he won't expose her daughter to the rigors of fame. Instead, she gives him some three-year-old pictures of herself doing lines of cocaine. Some think it will ruin her career. I suspect it's just the beginning of (hopefully) good things to come.
The rest of the characters find themselves sidelined by continued exposition. Marissa and Cole insinuate themselves wherever they can. Cole acts like a smug prick all over town while Marissa bounces between Raina's dubious brother, the snooping paparazzo and Egan. The aforementioned part-time drug dealer finally gets sprung from the big house, no thanks to Claudia, who tells him to vacate the model house ASAP. It would be sad news for his roommate Isaac, but the former child model is too busy prostituting himself to Vivienne in service of his music career to be very concerned. It pays off as Vivienne gets Isaac a spot DJ-ing at Nina Garcia's big fete. And Claudia pretty much continues being the token Alpha bitch. Pity there's only one.
Previously: Pretty farm boy discovers a whole new world on the New York modeling scene. Washed-up former "it" girl with secret love child gets replaced by run-of-the-mill new "it" girl with incarcerated pappy. Others peddle their wares (drugs, their own bodies, etc.) to get ahead in this cutthroat world...
The models convene for their morning Mexican diet pills... um... I mean, coffee and listen to the fashion news courtesy of Giuliana DePandi Rancic. She runs down the highlights of the week in modeling: Nina Garcia's upcoming annual Unicef/Malawi benefit, plus the scandal-riddled Covet Models anniversary party from last week, including Egan's drug bust and Sonja's big return to the scene. Marissa can't be bothered to think of the poor, starving Malawi children because she's pissed that she's being described as Egan's girlfriend. Cole tells Marissa to wear her Page Six mention as a "badge of honor," but it's scant consolation. Meanwhile, Isaac is trying to get support for Egan's bail fund. Shockingly, there aren't many takers.
Upstairs, Raina tries to avoid waking up Chris. Turns out the morning is no less awkward even if you didn't actually have sex. Chris asks where the nearest Greyhound station is. Raina starts to Google it but still tries to convince Chris to stick it out in the big city. He admits he regrets blowing his chances by getting all uber-hetero. They share an awkward almost-kiss moment before the computer beeps that it has results. Raina lays out Chris's options, and he thanks her for everything. More sexual tension.
Across town, Mischa Barton is the worst actress ever. Seriously... yeesh. Sonja stares at the spangled dress from the night before while talking to her mother, insisting that her baby girl should not be brought to New York. Sonja's phone beeps, so she switches over to the other line. It's Claudia, who tells her to bring the Versace dress to the campaign because she's been booked. At this point, Sonja looks like such shit that I bet she's even confused by this development. Thanks, Raina for suspending reality for another week! Claudia tells Sonja it's time for them to talk on the record.
Back at the model house, Cole gives Raina and Chris a snarky morning greeting. Raina's phone rings, and it's Claudia, who coincidentally is looking for Chris. She has his stuff from Simon and wants to talk. The kids look excited. Both of the wide-eyed newbies make their way over to Claudia's office. She apologizes for not nurturing them sufficiently and makes it up to Chris by offering him a new development opportunity, complete with expenses covered. Much to his relief, Simon is no longer working at Covet. Chris decides to stay at Covet after all.