At the dinner, Tim Gunn begins the intro for Paula. She's not even in the building yet, so he has to stall endlessly about Paula's many achievements (…I know); this is intercut with Paula wandering around backstage and bumbling into closets and whatnot. When she finally takes the stage, she makes a joke about how short she is, and then there's something about AI, and then she's like, "Why did I just say that?" and the crowd is like, "…Um." Then she finds her way back to the scripted speech and pulls it out.
Backstage, Tim Gunn holds her upri-- er, "chats" with her. She accepts accolades from girls who remember her videos from when they were "little."
Outside. She wants Starbucks. Jeff's like, "You have a sleep disorder and it's the middle of the night," but they end up at Starbucks anyway, and she's ditzing about how the staff should surprise her (the baristas stare at her with "like we've got nothing better to do" faces on) and will someone in her posse split something with her so she's not "being bad." The sequence is incredibly long; the part where Paula announces that she has no money on her is not entertaining so much as irritating -- like these people don't put up with enough working for her, now they have to go out of pocket for whatever non-fat chai hoop-de-hoy she wants made.
She staggers out of the Starbucks, wrapped in Jeff's blazer because it's cold, and some production plants recognize her really loudly and fakely. She inserts herself back into the limo, which the mermaid dress makes difficult, so she's rolling around all Karen in Goodfellas "I'm sorreeeeeee!" but without the hollering.
Her staff tells her she needs to get some sleep. She's a four-year-old: "I'm not tired." She rambles about how she's gotten at most an hour of sleep a night for the past week, which would maybe explain the alcoholic presentation. Jeff foreshadows that "it's really important that she gets her sleep on this trip," making it out like she doesn't make time to sleep because she's so busy and important, like, even Bill Clinton got a few hours a night, good grief.
A few hours later/the next morning, Paula meets with the team working on her custom perfume. She's wearing a cute military-esque jacket at the meeting, but she's minutes away from face-planting from exhaustion (…or whatever); she's doing that fidget-to-stay-awake thing as the team gives a little pre-presentation of the scent concepts blah blah. I feel bad for these people, and in fact for anyone who has to work on a celebrity-branded project, because you will get exactly no credit, plus I think people do reach a point in their fame where "real" people cease to exist to them as anything but an idea, so on top of the regular project-based aggravation, you've got the lateness and the imperious behavior and the "hey, what if we put antlers on a cat" eleventh-hour whimsy that has to be addressed as though it's a factor until she gets distracted by something shiny. Anyway, Paula sniffs the scent strips. Her licensing agent sniffs the strips. Everyone sniffs the strips while Paula moans, "Mmm…mmm." Oh my fucking God, does this show have an editor? A staffer says she can tell Paula's exhausted and the New York trip has barely begun. Now Paula is sniffing people's elbows. Now Paula is in a lab coat. The perfumier is trying to give her some insights into the scent recipes and what ingredients cost; Paula is slurring about violet. Now she's crouched on the floor, Rain-Manning "uh oh" over and over again while wiping scent strips on her hand, and fondling the lab techs, and babbling about making people "sexpots," and zzzz.