When we last left the crazy kids of The Complex, Riley had secured a modeling gig with Ella's client, Anton V, a famous denim designer. It just so happens that Riley's photo shoot -- where she will reluctantly be thrust into the limelight -- coincides with Jonah's meeting with movie producer, Andrew Misher, in which Jonah hopes to get his big Hollywood break.
On Riley's side of things, she meets resistance from the photographer Anton has selected for this shoot. It's Jo Reynolds, of Old Timey Melrose Place fame. She has given up photojournalism in Darfur to become a fashion photog. Way to trade... up? There's a bit of a connection between Jo and Riley as the shoot progresses because Riley is a big fan of Jo's work and understands it, but Jo grows frustrated with Riley's amateurish modeling skills. You and me both, Jo. You and me both. Jo tries everything to get Riley out of her shell, including photographing her topless, but to no avail. When she tries to verbally light a fire under Riley's modeling ass, she goes a little too far by questioning Riley's life choices, namely her engagement to Jonah. Riley storms off the set, but not before Ella reminds her she is walking away from $10,000, the kind of money Jonah kills himself to ever see. Once she makes it back to The Complex, she ends up finding herself consoled by Auggie, who spurns Violet's attempt to get him alone in her apartment in favor of helping Riley instead. That attempt by Violet involved asking for help erecting furniture, by the way. That diabolical, crazy-eyed, ginger orphan. Riles is a mess, but Auggie does his best to make Riley feel all right about everything over tea.
Jonah has his fair share of trouble at his meeting, too. Good news: Andrew loves his movie. Bad news: Andrew totally missed the point of the movie and wants to completely reconfigure the concept. Jonah is too flabbergasted by the whole experience to speak up and set the producer straight before he leaves. As Jonah is making his way out of the meeting, he's met by Andrew's development executive Kendra. She has a great understanding of Jonah's film and wants to get it made true to his vision. After talking about it for a little while, they realize they have a lot in common and have a little spark. She invites Jonah out, but he politely declines. That is, until he comes home and finds out on a tip from the jealous Violet that Riley is already back from her photo shoot and she's in Auggie's apartment. He goes to check out what they're up to. When he sees it all seems innocent (they're drinking tea, for crying out loud!), he asks to have a word alone with Auggie and then launches into accusations of Auggie not having pure intentions about his fiancée. Auggie has nothing to hide except for that time Riley kissed him while drunk. Oops. That was supposed to be a secret. Jonah is stunned and leaves to go confront Riley. He can't, however, bring himself to accuse her outright based simply on Auggie's word, especially after she vehemently denies anything going on between the two of them. Instead, Jonah leaves and takes Kendra up on her invitation. Riley is found by Jo, who advises her to consider her options at such a young age. The Love Nest is collapsing! Oh, and an actual sparrow's nest collapses outside their front door to symbolize it. If that's a shout-out to me, I'll totally take it. Otherwise, yeah, no.
Meanwhile, David catches on to Lauren's financial troubles. Lauren is as modest about it as all hookers tend to be, but David bugs her until she discloses how bad her money situation is. He's probably had enough of Lauren's "trust-fund" comments, so he offers to lend her all $20,000 she needs for her tuition without interest. Lauren's hesitant about it, but she finally decides to take him up on the offer. It's then that she catches on to David's sneaking around when she notices photos and schematics of mansions in his apartment. Always catching on to each other, these two. Lauren actually follows David to one of his target mansions and catches him in the act. She confronts him about it later, but doesn't really offer any help besides promising to keep it between them. She tries to be all declarative about helping to make sure David never steals agains, but what can she do? She's a busy prostitute. She gets the obligatory phone call from Wendi right in the middle of trying to reassure David she'll help him. Oh well. Booty duty calls!
It was only a matter of time before we were greeted by the familiar CGI sky transition to begin an episode. Still not sure why, though. We're not really transitioning from anything. Inside the Love Nest, Riley is checking herself out in the mirror and pretend modeling. Jonah pops out of nowhere and starts snapping photos, egging her on with a faux British accent and standard fashion photographer speak. Riley asks if she looks tired, but Jonah's having too much fun. Her smile "could melt the polar ice caps," he says. She feels guilty about lying to her students to take the day off, but in typical MP fashion, Jonah has little concern for America's education. Riley obviously hates having all the attention on her so she brings up the fact Jonah has a big meeting at Paramount about his film Living in Reverse. He's not nervous at all about it though he will be meeting with Andrew Misher, a producer who has made billions off his feature films. Jonah credits Riley with talking him up so he could have this opportunity.
Outside, Auggie is staring up in a daze. Riley steps out to find Auggie looking up at a sparrow's nest in a tree. They had some sort of bet about when the sparrows would return or something equally cheesy and flirty. Violet comes out of her apartment, careless about her homely appearance, which suggests she saw the flirting from inside her apartment and came out to put a stop to it. She interrupts them immediately and begins asking Riley if she shouldn't already be at work. Riles reveals to the both of them she's a model now. Violet feigns excitement. What do you do when your crush is being impressed by another woman in front of you? Try to stress her out about her successes. It's all in the Passive-Aggressive Handbook. Given more time, it might've worked for Violet, but Riley leaves to go to her modeling gig. Now that she finds herself alone with Auggie, Violet starts setting him up to ask him a favor. She doesn't want to be the neighbor who always asks for a cup of sugar, she says, but we know that she's perfectly OK with being the neighbor who always shamelessly throws herself at said neighbor. Auggie has a look of pure discomfort and masked annoyance as Violet works up to asking him to help her put some furniture together. Auggie reluctantly agrees and leaves. Violet looks up at the sparrows' nest and walks off.
Out by the beach there's a busy scene in the parking lot where there's a bunch of nice cars parked and busy people buzzing around. I feel like I should say something about bees after that last sentence so here it is: bees. Ella greets Riley with bitching as she steps out of her car. Riley's late for the shoot and Ella is unforgiving. We get a few schoolteacher jabs, e.g., tardy slip and missing the pledge of allegiance (har har) before Ella explains WPK has asked her to make sure Riley doesn't screw up their relationship with Anton V. This means Ella gets to boss her around, apparently. Like she doesn't already do that.
At The Complex, Lauren checks her mail in the little courtyard mail center. David comes out of his apartment to do the same. They exchange pleasantries and Lauren goes on her merry way but she drops some of her mail without noticing. David picks it up and sees it's a past-due notice from ULA. Lauren says it's a mistake she's tried to get corrected, but David knows better. He says not to be embarrassed, but Lauren brushes it off since he can't possibly understand, coming from trust-fund land. She starts to walk off. David calls after her to ask how much she needs. At first, Lauren is a little speechless. She calls on what little pride she has left in her little hooker body to say it's nothing and she can handle it. David doesn't relent. Lauren reveals to him she owes $20,000. After looking off to the side for a second, David flippantly tell her, "Let me loan that to ya." Lauren laughs off the proposal, but David is steadfast in his charity. Lauren thinks it'll get complicated having money between friends. David will make sure it doesn't, he says. "Sleep on it," he tells her. So, let me get this straight. All this would really do is give Lauren an extension on whoring. Instead of needing to raise $20,000 in hooker dollars by the end of the semester, she now gets to transfer that financial debt to a good friend with no real deadline. This can only go well. By the way, the conversion rate of hooker dollars to USD is 1.433333.
At the fashion shoot, Riley steps out of her dressing tent in jeans and a purple top that exposes her midriff. Ella's on her hip explaining Anton has selected a new photographer for this shoot, making sure she's as condescending to Riley as possible while explaining it. They go up to the photographer who has her back turned to them. The woman turns around with a dramatic pause, which lets you know this is a character from the old show we should recognize. It's Jo Reynolds. Riley recognizes her as a famous photojournalist, but Jo corrects her that she's a fashion photographer now.
CHLORINE TITLE CARD.
Out at the Anton V fashion shoot for beginners, Jo announces it's time for test shooting. Riley looks so uncomfortable and wrong as Jo snaps photos. She blames it on being intimidated by Jo's photojournalism portfolio. For some reason, Riley decides it's OK to start having a conversation with Jo while she's trying to photograph her. Jo doesn't really seem to mind this since she'd probably yield the same results if Riley kept her mouth closed. Jo turns the conversation back around on Riley who explains she isn't as worldly as her because she's tied down financially in her relationship with Jonah. Jo asks if Riley's not too young to be engaged. Riley obviously takes the suggestion to heart while Jo excuses herself to "go change a lens." In reality, Jo needs a break from Riley's ineptitude. She complains to Ella that Riley needs to lose her inhibitions. Riley comes up behind Jo to ask how she's doing. Jo lies and says everything's going fine. She just wants to shake things up a little bit. "Keep the jeans and lose the top," Jo tells Riley and walks off. Riley turns to Ella in shock.
Jonah drives his yellow station wagon onto the lot at Paramount Pictures. He's all smiles as he takes in the wonder of his dreams being just beyond the front gates. He's escorted onto a set to a group of director's chairs where a man sits on the phone talking to someone named Johnny. The man ends the phone call after telling Johnny that Leo has expressed interest in the role he's trying to fill. This is Andrew and he introduces himself to Jonah who can't help but ask if that was Johnny Depp. Andrew ignores the question and talks instead about this being the dream. They hop onto the back of a golf cart together and start talking about Jonah's film. Andy loved it. Andy also wants to completely change the concept. Oh, you silly Hollywood producers. Jonah's not so sure about this. Andy just asks Jonah to trust him on this.
Back at the shoot. Ella goes into Riley's trailer to call her back to the set. Riles is definitely freaking out about this whole going topless thing. Ella puts it in perspective for her. Who else gets $10,000 for wearing jeans? Man, when Ella puts it that way, I really hate Riley. I mean, I think it's the appropriate response in any case relating to Riley, but this just makes it a burning hatred. Ella goes a step further and converts that dollar amount into Jonah dollars (exchange rate: .004). He has to work like a million birthday parties to see that kind of money. Then Ella -- realizing she's losing Riley -- gets nice and tells her she's the type of girl who can walk into a room and everyone falls in love with her. Riley admits Ella was the last person she wanted there with her and that she's glad she's there. Ella absorbs the somewhat backhanded compliment before snapping back into her publicist role. She orders Riley to think bitch and get back to the set.
David pulls his Porsche up alongside a cop car. The cop hands David a leather tube filled with mansion maps and secur