On this week’s episode of L.A. Complex, Raquel (Jewel Staite) nabs what she can never seem to nail in her actual career: the spotlight. In Season 2, the Lux’s resident D-list celebrity has blossomed from a monomaniacal witch into the show’s most dynamic female character. Unfortunately for Raquel, this transformation is only possible when her life is in shambles.
“Taking the Day” opens with Raquel in the slammer for drinking and driving (not to mention the punishment she deserves for drinking and being preggers). Staite gives a playful and heartbreaking performance in what might be the season’s best teaser. Raquel is at once the funniest and smartest and bitchiest girl on the show, and that’s exactly why I love her.
At the Lux, Abby (Cassie Steele) recounts her sexual escapes to Eddie, who loves every second of it (am I the only one who thinks this chick needs a fo’ reals gal pal?). Abby had a threesome with co-stars Brandon and Laura, but worries that she might have an actual connection with Brandon, which would lead to drama on- and off-set. “You fell in love in a hopeless place,” Eddie explains. “It happens everyday.”
Nick (Joe Dinicol), fresh out of a night at the brothels, shuffles into the writers’ room completely hung over. Sabrina prepares to pounce on this weakness like the Bitchy McBitcherson that she is, but is surprised to find that Nick has gained Scott’s favor: Apparently, the lovable nerd is way funnier drunk. While I do sympathize with Sabrina for being shut out of the boys’ club, after her previous crimes to humanity (and/or Nick a.k.a. Love of My Life), she’s going to have to do something other than lack man parts to completely win me over.
Back at prison, Raquel uses her one phone call to ask Connor (Jonathan Patrick Moore) to pick her up. He agrees, but fake girlfriend (and/or real girlfriend??) Jenn insists on accompanying him. This obviously thrills Raquel, who is already late to her Cactibear 2 shoot. She yells at Connor until Jenn forces her to apologize, leaving me to wonder… Is Jenn a good witch or a bad witch?
Beth (Dayle McLeod) takes Simon (Michael Levinson) to an audition that happens to be six hours long, which means that she’ll miss loverboy Cam’s BBQ at the Lux. Oh, the sorrow of true love lost! Which lasts for approximately three seconds, when Beth skips out with Stage Dad Jack for a free meal.
Meanwhile, Kal (Andra Fuller) takes Daddy Walter back to his mansion, where Rook (hereafter and forevermore known as “Richard”) reveals that Daddy Walter is an ex-con. However, the allegedly “reformed” Walter refuses to stay at the mansion after he sees its tempting party atmosphere. “This is my house,” Kal maintains. “Does everyone else know that?” his father replies. Like many celebrities, Kal, by far the most aggressive character on the show, seems to have surprisingly little control over his own life. As layer after layer is torn away, will he be left like the Wizard of Oz—a tiny man behind a big curtain?
On the set of Saying Grace, Abby attempts to confess her “like” for co-star Brandon, but gets roped into another threesome with the Donovan twins. As it turns out, co-star Laura ALSO has a special spark for Abby “Old Testament kisser” Vargas. Throughout both of these exchanges, Abby is wearing a shirt with the most ridiculous ruffle sleeves that PLEASE, PLEASE MUST BE A PART OF HER COSTUME.
Nick, Scott, and the rest of the male writers leave work early for drinks, while Sabrina stays behind write pitches. I get that Sabrina’s bitchy and Nick’s naïve, but why has no one pointed out the obvious… Scott is definitely an addict! In an ideal world, he’d get the boot and another writer would be promoted, leaving space on staff for both Nick and Sabrina. But we’ve learned that’s never the way the gritty L.A. Complex universe pans out. Dear show gods, please don’t let Scott take Nick down with him!
Over lunch, Beth learns that Stage Dad Jack is juggling a rocky marriage. She tells him she’s 22, backed by statements of impeccable maturity and intellect (e.g. “Reality shows have writers?!”), and they book a hotel room for some afternoon delight. Do we know how old this chick actually is? I’m guessing she’s jailbait. Anyway, Beth returns to the casting call with a huge afterglow, totally missing the message when Jack immediately runs off with his daughter. To see his wife. Who he is married to. But things keep getting sunnier from Beth when she—masquerading as Simon’s fake agent—learns that Simon has finally booked a gig.
How will things come crashing down for the brother-sister duo this time? Will it be child services? Impersonation charges? Disgruntled spouses? A reappearing father? At least if Beth herself is a little unlikeable (seriously, a spunky blonde streak can only go so far), the possibilities for her demise are deliciously endless.
Later, agent Navid informs Raquel that she is fired from Cactibear 2 for missing the shoot and will be charged with $120,000 in production losses. The struggling actress seeks some text support from Connor, who is too busy assuring ambiguously real girlfriend Jenn that his relationship with Raquel is over. O. V. E. R. Never to happen again. All in all, a banner day for Raquel (who, by the way, is still pregnant).
Kal instructs Richard Rook to end the mansion party, but Richard Rook forces Kal to choose between his trusty sidekick and his violent father. When Kal chooses Daddy Walter, Rook walks out. And, once again, Kal’s circle of support grows thinner. I get the feeling that before long, Daddy Walter will disappoint—big time.
Things aren’t great for Connor, either, even though he seems to have the best situation out of anyone. He excuses himself from Jenn’s publicity self-lovefest to go to the kitchen—YO JENN, DIDN’T YOU WATCH SEASON 1? I HOPE YOU HAVE HOME OWNERS’ INSURANCE, SISTER—where he burns himself. Jenn catches him in the act, freaks, and immediately goes into comfort mode.
Look, I get that Connor is battling some serious emotional issues, I just don’t buy ‘the pressure of fame’ excuse as a sufficient explanation for them. While all of the main characters need more backstory development (save Beth and Simon), I specifically hope to learn more about Connor’s history this season.
Abby has a super awkward threesome, which seems to be the only thing her character is good for this episode. Afterward, Ben confesses his “like” for Abby, but Laura won’t give them a second alone. Laura is clearly crazy, which will not turn out in Abby’s favor.
Walter says he wants the chance to know his “real” son. But before Kal can work up the courage to come out, Walter takes him to church and introduces him to a woman. Will this Donna character become Kal’s new beard, now that the mansion parties seem to have come to an end?
After some platonic counseling from a friendly hooker (honestly, I wish he would just date the hooker), Nick admits his feelings for Sabrina and returns to the writers’ room, where Sabrina sits in front of blank computer screen. They join creative forces—and, soon after, sexual ones. What could possibly ruin this relationship? Oh wait. How about the impending deadline where one of the lovebirds gets axed? Also, am I the only one who thinks Nick will get some bad juju from leaving a schmammered Scott in that whore house?
Back at the Lux, agent Navid offers Raquel a role in Celebrity Halfway House. The gig pays $150,000—enough to cover her damages to production. “If [your career] isn’t over, we’re definitely in the final act,” he says, leading Raquel to slam the door in Navid’s face. However, when Connor continues to ignore her pleading calls, she accepts her status at rock bottom and agrees to the role. I hope Raquel finds love in her hopeless place (maybe Nick can hook her up with Scott), yet can’t help but wonder: What will happen when Raquel’s baby bump starts showing?
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Did Connor make the right choice? Who should Kal trust? Will Eddie ever get any action? Leave your comments, hopes, dreams, etc. below!