Turns out Wendy's husband Shane is a jazz pianist and composer. And he's really, really talented! At least, that's what everyone in Lipstick-land thinks. Hoping to encourage Shane to use his gifts, Wendy submits a demo of his work (under a different name, and behind his back) to the director of a Parador film, who contacts Shane and expresses interest in hiring him as a composer. At first, Shane is annoyed, but he warms to the idea. Wendy, talking to the director, is so excited to hear that he likes Shane's music that she IDs Shane as her husband -- before the director has made a final decision. Shane gets the composing job, which thrills him, but now Wendy wonders whether he really got it on his own merits.
You know who else is really, really talented? Victory! Her dress designs, stolen by former assistant Reese, are now in production under a major designer's label. Reese comes by Victory's place to apologize, but she doesn't cop to selling the sketches; she makes herself out to be the victim of ambition (which led her to take the sketches) and an unscrupulous potential employer (who memorized them and used them as his own). Victory sees through this act, shockingly, and plans a major showdown at a charity ball hosted by Nico. Reese, Victory, and the rival designer, in one room! Victory, wearing one of her own designs, from her rival's new line! The setup is promising, but the confrontation fizzles: Victory confronts Reese; Reese accuses Victory of building a career on her powerful friends; their fight briefly turns physical; the rival designer doesn't seem to care about any of this. Things are looking up for Vic, though; a potential investor has materialized, and he sees potential in her red-carpet dress for Chloe Jamison.
Hey, you know who else is really, really talented? Kirby! So says Nico when she's admiring his work and having breakfast at his place. (Charles is out of town.) Before falling into bed with Kirby again, Nico tries to set up some rules for their affair, but she breaks most of them herself over the course of the episode. She asks Wendy to find Kirby a job on a Parador movie set. Then she drops by to watch him work and gets jealous when he catches the eye of a starlet on the set. Kirby and the starlet go to the abovementioned charity ball together, making Nico jealous, but Kirby later declares that he wants only to be with Nico. They have yet more sex as the episode fades out, and it looks like Nico may be putting her heart into it this time.
This week's "Previously..." opener reminds us that Victory was betrayed by her two-faced assistant, Reese, several weeks ago, which means we're finally going to get the payoff! Yes! We are also reminded that Wendy's husband Shane has issues with being the non-breadwinning, stay-at-home Healy. They picked the mumbliest of his mumbly lines on this topic, so it's hard to catch what he's saying, but you don't really need to hear it, because if you've been watching the show you'll know that they've been reminding us about Shane's Househusband Insecurities every single week since they were heavy-handedly established in Episode 1. Those issues haven't manifested themselves in his behavior so far -- he seems quite supportive and grounded to me -- but they want us to think Shane is a bomb of masculine insecurity that could go off at any second. I keep expecting Wendy to come home and find a note that says, "Gone to live in tent in REAL jungle -- must find myself -- I am a MAN! (Casserole in fridge for dinner.)" Maybe tonight. Finally, in three seconds we get the extremely abridged tale of Nico and Kirby: adultery, lawsuit, reunion.
Tonight we find the girls (and Shane) at a jazz club, although the establishing shot puts them at "Sushiden Restaurant" (which, by the way, has a pretty hilarious website). It sounds like they've managed to find the only place in New York where you can still hear lite rock-jazz fusion played live. Normally -- barring time-travel -- you'd have to go to the fitting rooms of a low-end department store, or be put on hold by your doctor's office, to hear this sort of crap. Although I wouldn't have pegged Wendy and friends as smooth-jazz enthusiasts, they seem really into the music. Of course, they also seem to have been drinking since noon, so that probably explains their enthusiasm. "Shane, why did you ever leave these guys? They're fantastic!" gushes Victory. Wendy non-sequiturs, "They did a lot of original stuff, and Shane wrote most of it." Shane replies modestly, as you would if someone accused you of having written the garbage we've just heard. Yeesh. Then a voice says, "Excuse me, are you Victory Ford?" A pretty young woman introduces herself as "Serena" (I guess it might be important to know that name, someday), and the much-older man she's with as "Diego." Serena says she loved the dress Vic designed for Chloe Jamison, and that she wants one for herself. Victory tells them that it was a one-of-a-kind design she has no plans to mass-produce. Diego remarks that this is too bad, because his lady friend "would buy one in every color." I like how he just assumes that it would be produced in other colors -- because, you know, pretty much any other color would be an improvement over the one Victory chose originally. Victory thanks them and ends the conversation, like she's dying to get back to talking Muzak with Shane. The other girls think it's cool that Vic got recognized, but she's humiliated that she had to tell strangers about her limited production plans. Wendy proposes a toast anyway. They all clink glasses tipsily. Then Nico's phone rings (oh, no, don't worry about turning off your ringer; it's not like you're at a live musical performance or anything like that), and she announces that the call/text/whatever is from Charles, who is currently in Vienna. Boy, it's a shame that he's missing this big night out! Victory gets up from the table, saying that she's going to fetch Joe. Then the bandleader calls Shane up onstage to join the group. We see a weird montage of people clapping, to show how very excited the strangers in the audience are about hearing Shane play whatever instrument he plays. (This place must serve extremely potent drinks.) After protesting that he hasn't played live in ages, Shane hops up onstage and takes his seat at the piano, and Wendy confesses to Nico that she is both frightened and turned on by this scenario. Shane looks confident as he leads the band in what sounds like a rendition of the theme song to The Cosby Show.
Joe is outside the club in his car, talking business on his cell. Victory hears the end of a call about some sort of land-development deal, and accuses Joe of "playing dirty." Her philosophy, in business as in life: "I think people treat you the way that you treat them." Yeah, try buying a private jet with that, honey. Antisocial Joe tries to get out of having to go inside and make nice with Victory's friends. "We could pop in a Coltrane CD and start our own party right here," he suggests smarmily. Better yet, why don't you bring that CD inside and pay the club manager to ditch the band? Everybody wins! Victory doesn't care for Joe's idea, so into the club they go together. Wait till you taste the drinks, Joe.