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TV REVIEW: Life Is Like A Box of Chocolates in Mistresses “Open House”

BY Abbey White

Published 10 years ago

TV REVIEW: Life Is Like A Box of Chocolates in Mistresses

Coming off of last week’s semi-high, Mistresses “Open House” felt like an opportunity for our women to open themselves up again. Nothing spells reinvention like welcoming new possibilities. Opening up is risky though and you might get some unexpected (and undesired) results.

The episode put the sale of Savi and Harry’s home at the forefront as they officially moved into the open house stage. The offers start rolling in, but Harry doesn’t want to communicate directly with Savi about their proceedings. Savi forces him to confront the necessity of their uncomfortable and rather inconvenient interactions, however, after he attempts to accept an offer on the house without ever talking to her about it.

It all culminates in an emotionally charged scene that’s pure dramatic gold thanks to Alyssa Milano and Brett Tucker. In the moment, Harry calls her the most selfish woman he’s ever met. While she doesn’t necessarily come back swinging, she does reveal part of why she chose Dom: she believes Harry only said he loved her after the crash because she was dying.

For the first two episodes we watched Savi expertly avoid Harry at his wish while he waited like a ticking time bomb for her to show up. It’s gotten to the point where Harry is really only likeable when he’s not around her. Not to say that he shouldn’t feel the way he does after what she put him through. Any reservations about his present behavior lie with how much the character’s dimensions suffered as a result of him not having much else to do, something that translated on screen into a lack any emotional growth. This scene gave purpose to the behavior while craftily arguing for a continuation of the love triangle. Miscommunications happen, so their ultimate question shifts from “Can they still love each other?” to “Are the wounds too deep to have a healthy love again?”

The house sale issues manage to spill over into Savi’s work life, forcing her to miss an important meeting. Her absence upsets Dom, continuing their back and forth tension. Toni takes this as an opportunity  to solidify herself as a thorn in everyone’s side. Mercilessly the woman pokes and prods Savi about her love life all the while knowing about her relationship with Dom. This gives Toni bitter and childish vibes, but she really nails the wicked witch of the firm act after she tries to use the couple’s argument as a way into his romantic graces. Savi may not have the best sampler right now, but Toni revealing her true nature may end up working in Savi’s favor. Getting out from under that house will as well, despite the rather rough nature of that development.

April was largely preoccupied this episode with fitting in and being liked. Afraid she wouldn’t live up to the standards of the parents at Lucy’s new prestigious and pretentious school, April sweats over hosting a fundraising party she is tasked with throwing. It seems like the perfect job for Joss until Mickey steps in, giving the party a little spice. The end result is a “raw art” type of gathering that includes half-naked men covered in paint. (Does that remind anyone of anything?) The event might not have impressed every snobby pair of parents, but April manages to win the attention of one dad in particular, landing her a midday date at the urging of Mickey.

It doesn’t go well as we see, and the guy ends up being a bad chocolate — self-absorbed and invasive. He also gives off some creep vibes for April, which she has confirmed after the parents of one of Lucy’s new friends show up for a scheduled cocktail hour. After inviting the mother in, April sees non-other than the girl’s (married) father at her store step. Thank god Lucy fixed her mom’s phone after messing with it. Now we know that sexy smoldering is still interested. Hopefully that will be enough to keep super creep at Mr. Fantastic arms length.


Pictured: Rochelle Aytes, Corinne Massiah -- Photo by: ABC/Eric McCandless

Pictured: Rochelle Aytes, Corinne Massiah — Photo by: ABC/Eric McCandless

Outside of Lucy inadvertently helping her mom with man troubles, the mother-daughter duo get some quality screen time together was a great addition to the episode. Both actresses have a wonderful and warm chemistry, and their relationship adds a touching layer to the positive female relationships aspect of the series. This was definitely one sweet treat in that box of unknowns we liked getting a taste of.

Karen, meanwhile, reunited with her former practice partner and colleague Jacob. It ignites a flame inside of her that gives her the confidence to test the dating waters. Meanwhile, Joss is (not so) busy giving up her role as the middle man between her sister and her ex-husband, instead opting to be a dating guru for Karen. Karen’s meet up with her old partner was perhaps one of the more interesting things the episode had to offer. Seeing Jacob again was rather nice, despite his venomous move of throwing Karen to the board wolves last season. What can we say, Matthew Del Negro has a great smile.

Things get weird though when Jacob confesses the reason he reported her was because she didn’t reciprocate his feelings. Woah dude. It’s a bit startlingly that Karen takes this as a compliment, getting butterflies about the idea of asking him out. Which she does after the careful coaching and coaxing of Joss. He, however, feels like there’s too much history between them. It is great to see Karen taking initiative and putting herself out there again and watching her navigate the logistics of attraction was actually pretty adorable.

There is something intrinsically uncomfortable about the idea of her liking a guy who’d sabotage her because she did not like him back though. Despite what most of our media has told us, that is not romantic. Jacob does seem to be a better guy and it is possible that that was a moment of weakness, but it was a pretty petty and foul one. At the same time, her attraction to him after he has revealed this sort of falls into Karen’s patterns of picking bad love interests. Let’s cross our fingers and hope that either Jacob makes up for his actions or Karen gets over her attraction to men with”nice guy” complexes.

“Open House” was certainly less sexy than the two previous episodes and it could have utilized Joss better. The love triangle might need a little life pumped into it as well, but overall the events were exciting in classic Mistresses style. Everyone tried to open themselves up and though each character’s open house may not have gone as they had planned, they all got some things off their chests. Nothing like cleaning out the closets and getting rid of those old anxieties to help you start again.


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