That investigator who keeps trying to prove that Tom committed suicide shows up at Karen's office to try and prove that Tom committed suicide. Turns out "new information" maybe have turned this into a criminal investigation of Widow Grey's insurance fraud, said new info being the fact that she dismissed their hospice nurse the night she helped her husband die. No Sam this week, but still some excellent movement in this plot:
After an attack of the What Would Hilary Clinton Do's, Karen decides that she should probably write a whole medical history that completely invalidates everything she told the guy before, so that it looks like Tom committed suicide, and that way everybody can move on. It's fairly moving, in the end: This idea of actually writing out the narrative of your lover's death, as a favor to his wife, with complete license to make it even darker and sadder than it actually was, even perhaps by virtue of your not being a part of it.
April and Hot Dad Richard (last seen giving her the cold shoulder for being a beautiful disaster) are called to the principal's office because their daughters took the morning off to meet Selena Gomez, which sparks two things: First, a rekindling of that April/Richard magic (their chemistry being one of the best and most authentic things about the show)...
And secondly, a conversation with Precocious Lucy, who brings a fair amount of reason and gravitas to helping April figure out that Lucy's only being rebellious because April is such a doormat she's even, for example, leveraging their entire future to pay for this con woman's mysterious ghost-schemes. So when Richard shows up at the boutique and they fuck it out in one of her show beds, it's not only the sweetest thing -- seems like we've been waiting forever! -- but a classic rom-com trope: Can the goody-goody cut loose? (Turns out you can do that without looking like a total borderline, if you don't use it as a weapon. Joss, I'm lookin' at you.)
Actually Joss is doing fine. I think she might be the MVP this week, if it weren't for Savi. It starts rough, she finally hooks up with Alex, but just when it's getting to insufferable levels of straight privilege I don't even have time to explain, everybody decides to cut loose with all the real talk they've been assiduously denying Joss so far on the show: Harry points out that sleeping with Alex was an act of sabotage against their friendship, and then Sally unloads a righteous mouthful about how Joss very specifically helped Alex take their marriage apart from the inside out.
It's gratifying, not because of seeing Joss brought low, but because it gives her the opportunity to really think her shit through, and so by the end -- when she's once again ignoring Generic Blonde Hunk to run off to Alex -- it's a much less bittersweet affair. And they hit every note, too, you get so many different Josses over the hour as she takes the info onboard and processes it. She might be smarter than her sister. Plus, Joss in new-to-friendship mode is possibly the most romantic and innocent thing the show has to offer; it balances her character out beautifully. I'd say they bought whatever happens next with Alex, at this point, and redeemed Harry a ton in the process.
But best and finally, Savannah. She spends the entire episode being even more unreasonable than before, but this time you can see more clearly how the various strands in the web are pulling tight around her: Harry's starting to figure out she's pregnant, Dominic is playing up their attraction at work, and everybody's being super demanding about stuff she's not even allowed to think about. Harry puts her through an EPT, during which she discovers she's spotting...
But before you can say Sliding Doors Convenient Miscarriage, she's breaking down in tears of relief, because she's no longer ambivalent about the baby! Which is doing fine! I mean, whatever. Reduce your stress and watch your blood pressure, and everybody knows spotting is normal you idiot. But get this, when she comes back from the appointment to a softly weeping (and more attractive, inside and out, than ever before) Harry, she looks him right in the goddamn eye and says: "I am pregnant. And I don't know if it's yours."
All of which begs the question, what do you do with a pack of bad-decision-making ladies when they start being great at life? I don't know. I guess terrible things will continue to happen to them. Bastard Babymama lurks yet. Harry is going to shit a brick, presumably. And Karen will no doubt get back up to her usual nonsense in addition to this new terrible idea she's got going, but still: Not a bad time to be a lady on this show.
A phrase I despaired of ever typing, given the lack of respect this particular generation of Hollywood tends to show women -- usually in service to "camp," which at this point is just another word for "misogyny" and makes no sense to the rest of us -- but leave it to playwright Jordan Budde to bring that GCB magic: This was the first episode where they seemed like real, human women, with actual journeys. I forgot it was my job.
Next Week: Harry loses his goddamn mind, that mean hostess from the restaurant probably gets an inch in, and Dominic seems to be back in the mix. Olivier comes back, I think. Hopefully we can see some Sam since there's a break-in at Karen's office. Richard sticks around, for now. And Karen probably invents the atomic bomb by accident and then sells it in a garage sale.
Karen Kim erased her lovers' files from her computer in anticipation of an investigation into his insurance-voiding assisted suicide: Problem solved! Joss destroyed a gay marriage and invited the one she's going to sleep with to come stay at her house: Problem solved! Savannah submitted for a paternity test about the baby she may have ended up with after a one-night stand: Problem solved! April Malloy paid her dead bigamist husband's secret con-man family's medical bills: Problem solved!
While Karen Kim practices the Eastern Arts of Self-Defense for some reason, and April dead-eyed stares into space not caring if her invisible progeny lives or dies, and Savannah showers and rubs her belly and wonders what could be inside it, Joss has sex with one of those hunks she's always having sex with. Maybe it's the same one, maybe actually it's just the same one every time* and she is actually mistaken about her distaste for monogamy. Maybe she can't recognize faces and that's why she acts so confusing. Perhaps she has mistaken him for a hat. But one thing she will never mistake for a hat is sex, because sex is her best thing that defines her because she is a free spirit.
*(I think in this case I'm wrong by being right and it's the same one, it's the guy that walked Jenna Thing into [SPOILER]'s funeral even though she is no longer [SPOILER] at the moment, whom we have not officially met on the show yet but I believe is named Nigel. I would imagine he wears more clothes on PLL than here, or at least more often. Shame.)
Harry: "I had a dream about a mummy's tomb and Madonna, but I think the punchline of this joke has to do with her singing and not the fact that she is actually a mummy from a tomb."
Savi: "I don't know what a mummy is but I guess I'm supposed to feel jealous."
Harry: "In the dream I was looking for you, but I couldn't find you. It was reductive and stupid and I guess I don't understand how dreams work even though I have them every night."
Savi: "I have so much work to do! I am a busy, busy businesswoman!"
Harry: "Your kiss. You taste... Pregnant. Or like a pennychewer."
Savi: "Is that a derogatory term in Australia?"
Alex: "I didn't realize you would have a naked man in your bed this morning! Just kidding, you always do because you are a sex addict."