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Parallel On The Other Side: Mistresses “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” Review

By on July 30, 2013
Andres Londono, JoBeth Williams, Jes Macallan -- Photo by: ABC/Peter "Hopper" Stone

Andres Londono, JoBeth Williams, Jes Macallan -- Photo by: ABC/Peter "Hopper" Stone

Karen’s paranoid delusions about the Grey’s finding out about Tom’s affair were apparently not so delusional or paranoid. The girls come to support Karen, but the details of how Elizabeth found out are unclear, making it harder on Karen to get passed it.

Paul is eager to share in his excitement with April over telling the kids about their relationship, but there wasn’t much to share… initially. Meanwhile, Savi and Joss’ mother comes to town and makes herself at home in Savi’s house, drudging up old issues which results breaking the facade on one relationship, but repairing another.

Savi is struggling with her marriage as both Harry and Dominic pull at her in different directions. It’s hard to understand, with how both men are currently, why Savi wouldn’t just read the paternity results now. It’s the one thing keeping her from moving forward and being able to repair her life, despite different that life may be from a several weeks ago. The avoidance becomes clearer, however, during a late night conversation between Savi and her mother. In it we learn that Joss is only Savi’s half-sister and that their mother had an affair while she was still married.

During their discussion she becomes a more fleshed character than she’s ever been. This one bad mistake that just won’t let go of her has Savi desperately trying to differentiate herself from her mother. The fact that she is even fighting for Harry at all should be enough to convince her of that difference, but it’s the moment at the going away party – when Savi puts her mother on the spot about never really being there – that Savi feels confident they are. They may have committed similar acts, but Savi’s heart – even at its most judgmental – has always been in the right place. It has always been about sustaining and protecting the relationships she holds most dear.

As usual, one of Karen’s friends has some life advice. The parallels between April and Karen’s current situations made their suggestions for each other seem less like a Dear Abby column, and more like it came from a genuine place of understanding. April understands probably more than anyone else what it means to be duped  by one someone you care about. She was lied to for 3 years and wasn’t even aware of it, while Karen was lied to for months, only to have the people she was trying to comfort turn on her. Karen had been holding onto a sadness over Tom’s death that April had been holding onto over Paul.

April encourages Karen to hire a private investigator to look into Elizabeth, and Karen follows through. The bombshell of last week was tough to sit through, especially after so much tension was built over protecting the secret. This is exactly why though it was so nice to see Karen step up and actively defend herself and maybe even Tom. April encourages Karen to hire a private investigator to look into Elizabeth, and Karen follows through. The bombshell of last week was tough to sit through, especially after so much tension was built over protecting the secret.

This is exactly why though it was so nice to see Karen step up and actively defend herself and maybe even Tom. It would seem that having a sociopathic jealous widow on your tail completely with sonny boy stalker might throw your game. The Karen that we glimpse at episode’s end has us eager to see though what exactly’s in store for her next week. Karen is reasonable, but when backed into a corner has showed that she can come out swinging. Let’s just hope she gets Elizabeth square in the jaw.

Cameron Bender as Richard, Rochelle Aytes as April -- © 2013 ABC

Cameron Bender as Richard, Rochelle Aytes as April — © 2013 ABC

In the midst of all this fuss, Karen gets a visit and it’s… Paul? He’s come to beg her to give April a heads up that she hasn’t left, and instead of shutting him out, Karen agrees to play telephone. She shares with April Paul’s request and it seems like April may be forced to tell Richard . Instead she fakes illness, excuses herself from the party and heads home to deal with Paul head on. The bombshell he drops, however, could cause one’s eyes to roll so hard they get stuck facing the back of their skull. He wants to see his daughter again, but really hasn’t he done enough? Paul officially lands a spot in the worst parents there ever were book after this stunt.

The tension between Savi and Joss’ hasn’t really ebbed and it seems to leave Savi more isolated than she was before. Their issues are clearly deeper than a broken sister bond, however. So when Joss sees an opportunity to fly away with her mother to Rio, she jumps on it and you can’t quite blame her. She’s a different person than we saw in the pilot and clearly unhappy in a very conditional way. Perhaps a simple trip away would be good for her. Too bad her mother flakes – as usual – leaving Joss heartbroken.

Joss’ reaction to her mother’s swift departure without her highlights why Joss is so different than every other female lead on this show. She is nearly always everyone’s second. She’s never a priority and it may explain why she has kept such an emotional distance from people. Because realizing that how much you care about something or someone isn’t mutual is a hard thing to do over and over again. So when Savi entrusts Joss with her paternity results, for her and her alone to keep, it’s a bigger gesture than it would be for anyone else.

Hopefully Joss, and the rest of the Mistresses crew, can look in the mirror and see their situations as is: something they either let hold them down or something that can make them stronger.

Catch Mistresses Mondays at 10:00 – 11:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.