Michelle Simms, a mostly likeable Vegas showgirl and former ballet prodigy, was wined and dined on the worst day of her life by a kindly stalker. She woke up married in a sleepy seaside town, at odds with his dance-instructor mother, and the subject of much local scrutiny. But just as she began to make peace -- with the mother, as well as this strange new life she'd blundered into -- her main reason to be there was tragically killed. It was random, and sad, and pretty devastating.
When they get home, it's silent. Michelle stands in the middle of a house, a life, that is not her own. Not even a guest, just a ghost. Fanny doesn't look at her, doesn't acknowledge her. Just goes about her brittle routine in the dark, turning off the downstairs lights one by one by one. Their choreography is just as practiced as it is brutal, as Michelle realizes she doesn't need to stay out of Fanny's way: She doesn't exist at all.
GYM - FIELD BLEACHERS
Sasha: "I dunno, either path is fraught with peril. If I ask for a car for my birthday I'll get it..."
Sasha: "Walked in on a really weird fight they were having, involving the guy who did our landscaping, and a fondue pot... The minute they saw me they totally clammed up. Which translates to busted, which translates to guilt, which translates to Beemer. However, I know that if I ask them for the car and then I receive said car I'm then indebted to them for the car, which means the next time one of them asks, Does this outfit make me look fat? I'm gonna have to look. [Beat.] How bad is the bus?"
No closer to figuring out the deal with Melanie. Boo's the sad one and Sasha's the awesome mean one, but Melanie and Ginny are just No Boobs and Much Boobs, still. Melanie's kinda dumb, but that's not a personality. Especially on this show, where the one who talks the fastest wins the game.
Melanie, to prove she's listening: "Car, birthday, fondue pot, am I fat, quandary."
A lot of the dialogue set-pieces in this episode don't work, which is weird because the same person that wrote them directed it, but I loved this next exchange, involving Melanie wrangling a newspaper made of actual paper, like in a museum:
Melanie: "I'm going to see my grandpa tonight, and he likes me to read the paper to him... I always pre-read it and circle the articles I think he'll like, because time is an issue at his age and he gets really upset if he falls asleep before I get to Gail Collins."
(The girls are called upon to flash Fanny's PE exemption note, which seems to be something that happens every day but in this particular case is explained using many words.)
Sasha: "Why don't you just use an iPad?"
Melanie: "Tried to. He couldn't grasp the concept of it. He just got angry and thought I was making everything up."