Swingtown

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Express Your (Most Authentic) Self

Back at the gala, Susan and Melinda are freshening up their lipstick in the powder room. Melinda breaks the ice with "Which one's yours?" Susan's not catching on, so Melinda clarifies, "Which trader are you married to?" Susan cops to being Bruce's wife, and Melinda says, "He's one of the good ones." Susan's a little surprised that Bruce has women working at his brokerage, and she asks Melinda how she stands the rough-and-tumble environment of the trading floor. Melinda says, "It's what I've always wanted to do -- and a padded blazer doesn't hurt." She further explains that the padded blazer lets the men cop a feel without actually touching her. Susan's all, "Fake it?" and Melinda says casually, "I laugh, bat an eye ... it makes the men easier to manage." I sincerely hope there's an episode where Melinda and Sylvia meet, because those two will either get on like Edina and Patsy or they'll become mortal enemies on sight. Either will be wonderful to watch. Susan asks, "That doesn't make you feel ... inauthentic?" Melinda shrugs, "They make it hard for me to do my job, I make it easier. Sure, I lie a little every now and then, but I'm still being true to myself. I know exactly who I am." We cut to Susan smiling wistfully.

Back on the dance floor, Trina and Luke are boogying to "Don't Rock the Boat." Nice job with the music, Liz Phair! Jan's sort of dancing on the sidelines, and Tom comes over. He turns on the old charm with, "Man, Jan! You look dynamite!" She very sweetly accepts the compliment and asks if this isn't the most fabulous party. Tom deflects with, "I've been to a lot of parties in my day." Janet admits she has not, then unwittingly prods a sore spot with "I had no idea Trina was such a lovely dancer." Tom manages, "She's a woman of many surprises." He then asks Janet to dance, and they commence disco-ing. I don't know where this is going with the two of them, but I like the interplay between these characters.

Susan and Melinda emerge from the powder room as BFFs, a situation that's lost on Mareno (who promptly cozies up to Melinda and whisks her away) but not Bruce. He comments, "Interesting priorities, Susan. You insult the boss's wife, but you befriend the lowly runner?" Susan protests, "You just asked me to give these people a chance," and Bruce clarifies, "I didn't mean her." Susan huffs that she respects Melinda for actually taking charge of her own life, and Bruce immediately points out that the price for independence is being labeled a whore, as "all the guys are taking bets on who'll be the first to sleep with her. That says something." Susan correctly points that "that" says more about the men than it does Melinda. She asks, "Did you try to stop the bet? Or tell her about it?" The guilty look on Bruce's face is all the answer she needs, and she stalks off with "Interesting priorities, Bruce."

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Swingtown

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