Wendy gets a tip about an authentic Harry Potter prequel and has her eye on the film rights for Parador. She gushes to Nico, who ends up using the tip to get Hector off her back during a tense Bonfire meeting. Hector wants both women to go to Scotland to try to seal the deal with J.K. Rowling. Wendy says she needs to stay home to help out while Shane is busy composing his film score, so Nico, on a whim, invites Kirby to come along. Meanwhile, supportive Shane convinces Wendy to take the trip and stop Nico from stealing her thunder. Nico is shocked to see Wendy on the plane, and probably glad she told Kirby to fly separately; that means they can delay the moment of discovery until they're all gathered awkwardly in the hotel lobby. Wendy isn't interested in making nice with Nico's boyfriend, so Kirby -- very agreeable now that he has Nico -- heads home early, leaving Wendy and Nico to bicker and hurt each other's feelings. A jab from Wendy about Nico's questionable morals -- "Thank God you're not a mother" -- lands particularly hard. Back in the states, Wendy tries to smooth things over, but Nico isn't ready to forgive her yet. Shane, meanwhile, has landed another film-scoring job in the lucrative smooth-jazz market. Elsewhere: things have been really busy at Victory Ford Studios since Diego Exmachina showed up with his buckets of money. He's so generous, and so unquestioning, that Victory's starting to get suspicious. She is distracted for a while by the equally generous (and equally creepy) Joe, who invites her to move in with him and dedicates an entire wing of his mansion to her upkeep. Despite the separate beds, Victory swoons -- until she discovers that Joe is the one bankrolling her business, with Diego as his decoy. Joe defends his decision, claiming that investing in small businesses is the best he has to offer, but Victory can't get past the deceit, so she sends him packing. But don't worry, Andrew McCarthy fans: Joe still owns the business!
After the typically frantic "Previously..." opening, we find ourselves at Victory's place. At least, it looks like Victory's brownstone -- I recognize those gorgeous kitchen tiles -- but something's different. It's full of people. People doing actual work. Could this have something to do with Diego "Exmachina" Quintero, the easy-to-impress venture capitalist who showed up last week wanting to invest in Victory's work? Victory herself is not working, of course: she's on the phone with Joe, who is in Chicago, walking down a street, asking Victory what she's wearing. Let's make a list of people who don't want to listen to Victory and Joe have phone sex: 1) The people within earshot of Victory. 2) The strangers within earshot of Joe. 3) Me. Fortunately for all of us, the kinky conversation never gets off the ground. It turns into a screwball comedy routine, a succession of strained "No, not you, I was talking to so-and-so" jokes. Andrew McCarthy wrings a laugh out of me, I have to admit, but I'm happy when the connection drops out and we end on Victory's pouty face.
Over at the Healy home, Wendy and Shane are having in-person sex -- though we can only see their legs poking out from under the covers. Wendy is worried that the kids will hear, but Shane is on cloud nine from all his recent composing work, and before he starts making breakfast he wants to finish the job at hand. As they gasp for air, they argue about who has to take Taylor to school this morning. The fact that they're still giggling and smooching makes me think they'll work it out.
We go back to Victory's place, where colorful design sketches are taped up all over the walls, making the house look like a preschool classroom -- insert "Victory-is-childish" joke here. Nico is there, too, for reasons we are not given. Victory complains about how hard it is to find some privacy when she wants to have a little phone sex. In Nico's shoes I'd probably say, "WHY would you TELL me that EW!" But Nico does the next best thing and mocks the idea of having a sexy conversation with Joe, moaning about the NASDAQ being up. The talk turns to Quintero, whom our captioner (Marsha at CaptionMax) thinks is named "Contero," and whom Nico has nicknamed "caveman" for reasons I can't begin to guess. (Cavemen...have a lot of money?) That Nico is just a bundle of mysterious motivations! She tells Victory she's suspicious of this Diego guy, with his limitless funds. Victory shrugs: "He's a venture capitalist; he's capitalizing on my venture." Hee. She assures Nico that Joe knows Diego and approves of the arrangement.
Now it's Victory's turn to be suspicious, because she can't help noticing how radiant Nico looks, and she wants to know why. Nico lies that she's been working out. (Well, I guess that's not a total lie.) Then Wendy's voice calls out a greeting from the front hall, and Victory yells back, "You're late!" Late for what? Is this the "Asian distributors" conference call Wendy told Shane she had to get to? I mean...look, these three characters can be either very busy, very powerful professional women or inseparable, utterly codependent girlfriends, but I refuse to accept the premise that they can be both at once. It's the middle of the damn day. But okay, fine, Wendy is late for her coffee klatch at Victory's busy studio (where everyone works except Victory!). She tells the gals about an exciting tip she picked up outside Taylor's school this morning: J.K. Rowling has an unpublished prequel to the Harry Potter series, and the publishing and film rights are up for grabs! Wendy drools over how awesome it would be to get the movie rights for Parador. Nico anticipates a boost in sales for Bonfire if they could print "a chapter or two." So apparently what the Bonfire readership really wants -- in addition to racy photos of the heir to the British throne -- is an excerpt from a fantasy novel on a fifth-grade reading level. I never would have guessed. But I guess that's why Nico makes the big bucks (when she's not spending her day sitting around at Victory's, that is). Wendy orders Nico to keep the Rowling tip a secret until she, Wendy, can figure out how to proceed. Then she narrows her eyes at Nico and asks, "Why do you look so good?" Nico, now under intense scrutiny, pledges to "come clean," but then she credits her newfound radiance to a fad diet. Oh, it's a diet all right. All stud muffin, all the time!