Anton V's "Real Jeans for Real People" denim line featuring Riley Richmond has launched and it seems like it might be a big success. It's about damn time that thing launches. WPK is ready to sit back and bask in the kudos when Ms. Amanda Woodward takes the office by storm and takes over in a bloodless coup d'état. Caleb is fired and Ella is next on the chopping block if the unveiling gala for Riley as the face of Anton V's jeans doesn't go off without a hitch. That shouldn't be hard. They've only been working at this for, like, a third of the season.
Oh yeah... one problem: Riley's actual life story does not scream "rags to riches," being that she's a rich kid from the suburbs, raised by successful parents. Amanda wants Ella to get Riley to sign off on a fake biography of struggle, which Riley definitely opposes, but her hands are tied again by that $10,000 carrot dangling in front of her and Jonah. She agrees to lie through her teeth to the media. At the unveiling, a Vogue writer starts asking hard-hitting questions about Riley's tough past. Ella isn't exactly around to protect Riley from herself because she's distracted by a noteworthy talent agent who tries to recruit her away from WPK with her tongue. Ella deflects the offer in favor of staying loyal to Amanda, who is her idol. This little aside creates just enough separation for Riley to snap under the pressure of being a liar before Ella can reach her. Riley reveals the boring and unnecessary truth to the whole party before storming out and leaving Ella to answer to Amanda. According to Caleb, Amanda has been extensively researching Ella and it turns out the talent agent was a mole Amanda employed to try and test Ella's loyalty. Amanda tests the loyalty further by trying to get Ella to exact revenge on Riley for blowing the press junket and putting her own feelings ahead of Ella's job security. Ella refuses to get Riley fired from her teaching job on the grounds of using sick days to work the modeling shoots, but Amanda steps in and does it for her. No more schoolteacher jokes for Ella.
Auggie has been arrested for that whole murdering Sydney thing. So glad we're nearing the end of this. David goes to visit him and post bail. He and Auggie get to talking and come to the consensus that neither one of them could've been the murderer, though they both handled the murder weapon at some point. That's some odd trust right there between friends. David decides it must be his father who masterminded some elaborate framing of Auggie. The only way to find out is for David to do what he does best. He breaks into Dr. Mancini's house for the 2,418th time and turns up nothing, but then realizes evidence would probably be stashed in Michael's prized Mercedes. Inside, David finds Sydney's bloodied necklace in a Ziploc bag. This is the break in the case we've been waiting for!
Somehow during all of this, David finds time to try his hand at wooing Lauren. And my... he does a damn good job of doing it. Wouldn't have thought David had it in him, but he constructs a very romantic and sweet date by breaking into Lauren's apartment (gotta use what you know) and decorating it to remind her of her hometown of Cincinnati in the fall. David's saying all the right things and doing everything by the book, and just when it seems like things are finally going to progress with these two, Lauren's hooker sense goes off and she puts a stop to it. Listen, Lauren, when you have a guy treating you like that with the kind of money David has -- regardless of where it comes from -- you choose him over prostitution and get us out of this storyline rut. Thank you.
Soon we will be saying goodbye to Auggie and Violet, some way somehow. The rest of The Complex tenants seem ready to say goodbye to Auggie. They have already ostracized him upon his return from his short stay in prison. Even Riley won't give him the benefit of the doubt. Riley! Auggie seems ready to go back to hitting the bottle when Violet stops him and offers up her sexing instead. Interesting that Sydney banged Michael and son, while Auggie has now banged Sydney and daughter. Just food for pointless thought. Expect these two to ride off into the troubled sunset together unless Violet is truly as crazy as she seems and this is all part of some crazy-eyed scheme.
We open tonight's episode with a few scenic images of LA Beach and typical Los Angeles traffic, which transitions to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Riley chases Jonah down Hollywood Boulevard while he talks trash until he reaches a magazine stand. They find the mag they're looking for and Jonah hurriedly tears through the pages to get to the centerfold with the spread of Riley, tastefully topless in jeans. Jonah holds it up triumphantly above his head. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is my fiancée!" to the passers-by who seem about as interested as we are. Just then, a bus passes by the with same ad plastered on the side. Oh, and that ad says, "Your ass is 100% organic. Why aren't your jeans?" Let that sink in for a while. Jonah decides to buy all the copies of the magazine the stand has.
WPK. Caleb looks over the proofs for the ad and compliments Riley's hotness to Ella who sits across his desk with a forced smile on her face. Caleb's able to sense the angst and instructs Ella to leave whatever feeling she has about this at the door tonight at the launch party. Launch party, eh? Ella says there's no place she'd rather be except Fallujah, having her fingernails ripped out. The lengths women go to for fashion; I do not understand.
Cut to high-heeled feet quickly walking, shot like tonight's episode is directed by Jonah's favorite director.
Cut back to Caleb telling Ella it's her job as Riley's handler to not let her out of her sight and make sure Riley's story reaches the masses.
Cut back to the feet. The shot makes its way up to purse level as heads begin to turn.
Return to Ella telling Caleb that Riley is an adult who doesn't need her care. Ella will simply enjoy the free champagne.
Back to legs that command the WPK peons to stand up at attention and straighten up their appearance.
Caleb tells Ella that she will do this despite her attitude. Orders straight from New York.
Heels climb the steps up to Caleb's office.
Defiant Ella: "Oh. Well you can tell New York that when we're looking for their opinion, we'll ask." That's what I'm sayin'. "Why don't you tell New York yourself?" the mystery woman asks from off camera, startling Ella. The shot goes back to the heel-clad feet and works its way up the body of Ms. Amanda Woodward. Ella's mouth hangs agape while she slowly stands up from her seat. Caleb is almost as shocked because he wasn't expecting Amanda to visit for another two weeks. Amanda likes surprises, she says, before looking down at Ella's outfit with a look on her face that says, "I shaved my ass for this?" Ella self-consciously does a double-take at her own outfit. Priceless. Amanda launches into criticism of Caleb's operation. He gets defensive, saying that he was brought in to revamp the office from the ground up and he's still establishing client relationships. He cites Anton V. "Anton V?" Amanda asks, "More like 'Anton Why?'" Good one, Amanda. She wants to know why they're spending so many "man hours" on a denim line. Emphasis on "man hours." Amanda already knows that Caleb's focus has "shifted from [his] client's assets to [his] client's ass." Who is this woman -- some sort of wordsmith? (Just kidding, old school MPers. I know who Amanda Woodward is.) Amanda fires Caleb outright. Shit just got real. "Take your bat and balls with you," she adds to the wound. Shit just got surreal.
Waterlogged title card.
Out in The Complex Courtyard, Lauren is stretching, getting ready for a run. David walks out to talk a bit of trash in his playful way. They get to talking about how Lauren misses the weather back east and all the little things from her hometown like fall football games and Skyline chili. Lauren's from Cincinnati, apparently. David pulls out some tickets and asks Lauren out to a classical concert. "Kinda sounds like a date, David. [Will you pay me after?]" David charms her in a very sweet way and Lauren still declines. What -- the fuck, Lauren? They both simultaneously receive a mass text from Violet. "They arrested Auggie. He's downtown." David says he's got to get down there.
At the prison. David takes a seat across from Auggie behind glass and picks up a phone. Auggie denies everything, of course, but David doesn't really need the denial. He leans in to quietly tell Auggie he woke up with the knife in his possession. Auggie thinks someone framed them. David instantly thinks of his father. We. Are. Fam-i-ly. David vows to take care of this and to post bail for Auggie. He thinks there must be some evidence of all of this at his father's house. Stop trying to find reasons to break into your dad's house, David. Jeez.
WoodwardPK. Ella cautiously enters Amanda's office, formerly Caleb's. Ella immediately starts kissing ass, but Amanda doesn't want to hear all that jive. She didn't call Ella in for her life story of aspiring to be just like Amanda. "Although your absentee father and pill-popping mother would make for a very juicy tale." Ella's mouth drops open. Nice of Amanda to fill us in on that. Locklear's boobs are entirely the stars of this scene, by the way. Amanda brushes off Ella's questioning of how she knew about her past in favor of discussing the matter at hand. This whole Anton V/Riley denim thing is crap, she says. Wow... maybe Amanda can save this show. Nobody will believe a rags to riches story when packaged with a girl like Riley, Amanda adds. That's what we've been trying to tell you! Instead, Amanda hands Ella a piece of paper with a fake life story for Riley. Ella has a problem with it, but Amanda threatens to replace Ella and -- wouldn't you know it -- suddenly Ella doesn't have a problem with it. She accepts the assignment, straightens up and walks out down the stairs with an open-mouthed look of pure fright.
At the Renewed Love Nest, Jonah answers the door for Ella, who waltzes in and assumes that Jonah not responding to five voicemails means he must be completing his screenplay. "When do I get to read it?" she prods. Little tidbit here: Andrew Mischer got a Senior VP gig at Paramount, which means Jonah's Living in Reverse has been rerouted to Development Hell. Riley walks in and greets Ella with a, "What the hell are you doing?" Ella plays dumb, but Riley has her laptop open to the fake bio she's expected to sign off on. She won't go to the launch if she has to lie about who she is. Ella levels with her and Jonah. She admits her job is at stake if this doesn't go well. Again. Then things get a little more personal. Ella tells Riley that she doesn't get to come home to a hug from Jonah every day and hear about how proud her parents are. "My life is my BlackBerry." BlackBerry Mobile hands Ella a sack of cash. This little speech convinces Riley to resign her defiance. Fantastic. Ella leaves. Perfect fiancée Jonah takes it upon himself to try to figure out a way around this, but Riley concedes that Jonah has done more than his fair share financially for them. It's her turn to shoulder some of the responsibility in this relationship. Pssh... I'd say. "If getting paid means lying about who I am, then I guess it won't kill me this one time." Oh, come on. I can't take another Riley failure. At least not one this telegraphed. Dear readers, I absorb all of these failures on your behalf and it's starting to affect my daily life.
David roars around in his Porsche and I realize I have a lot of trouble spelling "Porsche" for some reason. He hops out and casually walks up the steps to his father's house with a purpose, but is oddly intercepted by Mrs. Mancini. How did she know he was there? She was supposed to be at yoga class and Michael is at a medical conference in Rome. Break-in attempt #1: Fail. Vanessa takes this opportunity to inform David she has filed for a restraining order in light of him kidnapping his little brother last episode. David has had about enough of all this bullying from his step-mother. He breaks the news about Michael cheating with Sydney and a