Previously: Zoë witnessed Katherine and Clayton having an affair, after which Katherine enjoyed a promotion. Caitlin is enmeshed in vague difficulties related to her maybe lesbian-ness. Mia wrote a Letter From The Publisher in Modern Man that was meant for Jack. Juliet told Davis that she would be having an affair as revenge for his fling with Cilla Gray, but she didn't.
It's morning in New York and there's our beloved Central Park. Zoë, in three-inch heels, is in a playground area of the park, giving an animated explanation of her vision for Luke's Laser Tag-themed birthday party to Eric. He bemusedly remarks that Zoë has been planning this party for eight months. Well, she doesn't want this party to turn out like last year's disaster. Waiting...but no -- no explanation of how last year's party was a disaster. Was Luke even potty-trained last year? He can hardly talk -- how can he be old enough to freak out about the quality of his birthday party? That said, I want to hear about the crappy birthday party. But, nothing. Eric says that Luke didn't have "a horrible time" at last year's birthday party, and Zoë says, "What an accomplishment! Aren't I supermom?" Eric says that yes, in fact, sometimes she is. I guess her supermom costume includes super-high heels and fake eyelashes and a fashion-y red suit with a slit up the back of the skirt to the thigh like she's wearing right now, because didn't normal Zoë give Katherine the stink-eye last week because she thought her office attire was inappropriate? What she's wearing is no more polished for a banking environment. I understand -- if you've got Pat Field on the payroll, you're going to let her do her thing -- but then don't have one of your leads point out that another person's clothing is too provocative and the next week parade her around in stilettos and drag-queen eyes. Zoë gets a text on her Blackberry, makes a face, and tells Eric that she has to get into the office. Then, she runs off.
In Zoë's office, a meeting is taking place. This guy, who I'm assuming is someone they're representing for an acquisition (?), is wearing flannel and flip-flops at the conference-room table. I guess it's Dress Like Singles Or Other Equally Dated Grunge Reference Day. Katherine is in the meeting as well. Zoë bursts into the room and greets flip-flops as "Shane." He says that he just flew in that day and managed to "kill" Halo 3 and "throw down some code" for his new site. I bet the writer of this episode totally has a Fall Out Boy sticker on his walker. She tells Shane that they are going to sell his company for a lot of money, and then asks Katherine to step outside with her. Zoë is upset that Katherine started the meeting without her. She explains that they had been waiting for her, but Zoë says that it still wasn't her decision to make. Katherine reminds Zoë that Clayton promoted her because he has faith in her "abilities" and wants her to take more initiative. Zoë's all, "We know about your 'abilities,'" but Clayton's not handling this deal, Zoë is. Katherine says that Zoë's pulling rank, but Zoë points out that she's responsible for everything that happens, so she's the leader. Katherine says she gets it, and then facetiously asks if she can go make water. Zoë whispers that she thinks that would be fine.
Okay -- bad writers. In this setting, Katherine would simply be wrong. No two ways about it. In fact, Zoë would probably be happy if she walked into this situation, because she would know she was one step closer to getting Katherine out of her hair. The writers are lazy. People are actually trying to get other people's jobs all the time (that's what we're to believe that Katherine is trying to do), but this doesn't seem like a way that would happen. Taking credit for someone else's work, blaming someone for something that went wrong, keeping someone out of the loop (without fingerprints -- people aren't stupid; they would know what you were doing if they saw the evidence); these are all ways that you could conceivably usurp someone's position. Sure, they're a little subtler, and you would perhaps need more than one handy-dandy scene like we've got here to make the point. But, it's not like this show has a surplus of Story coming out of its ears. They could stand to take their time and give us a complex picture of multi-generational women (it's so weird to write that because O'Connor is such a hottie, but she said it first) working together in the corporate world. That said, Frances O'Connor and Kate Levering just did the absolute best job that anyone could do with these words. They were witty and sexy and they had zilch to work with. And, is it just me, or is Levering one of the only performers on this program settling into a somewhat exciting and unique characterization? Not that the other actresses are seriously to blame for not being able to make filet mignon out of a dead dog, but I like this girl. She seems to get a little sharper every time she's onscreen.