This week, we’re treated to Michelle and Fanny's differing morning power rituals as they prepare for… a meeting with an accountant who appears to be advising them on business matters (I'm a little foggy on this; I have the same problem staying awake through financial discussions that Michelle and Fanny do.) The ladies need to find a way to earn income, perhaps do something with the land they own. (On the drive home they run across an outdoor candle “shop” that Fanny is thrilled to locate since homemade candles are so hard to find. But how tough could they be to find if they've been available on your own property for ten years? Did Hubbel keep his mother locked up in the dance studio while he was alive? And yet she knows the lake that's only sometimes a lake. Hmm…)
So Stacia breaks up with Charlie in the hallway of the high school, making Stacia Melanie's (temporary) hero -- and Ginnie’s as well. But Charlie's genuine broken heart elicits an unexpected, subconscious protective response from Melanie. At the first opportunity, Melanie levels Stacia in the hallway of the high school, surprising even herself.
Meanwhile, Michelle, having determined the best way to become business savvy is to take a class in, you know, business, enrolls in the local community college -- or tries to. Turns out, Michelle only thought she graduated high school. In reality, she had been expected to attend summer school. Rather than summer school, Michelle spent two weeks at DollyWood - a concept which really hurts my brain, but to each his own.
Now. Can we just take a moment here to marvel at the need for the episode to include a Trivia Contest at The Oyster? After all, Fanny said it best early on: “Every conversation I have with you I feel like I have to add more movie channels”. Every episode has its own trivia test built in! Still, it brings all the characters into one space. And better yet…
… a scene in The Oyster allows us to finally enjoy the event we've all -- okay, maybe just me -- been waiting for: The return of Godot! Only Michelle goes and blows their not-at- all steamy reunion by offering up a toast to high school drop-outs. Yah, drop-outS. Plural. At which point we learn Godot has a master's degree in oceanography, so not as dumb as he is cute. But he takes offense (shocking?) and gives Michelle the brush-off.
Ginnie and Melanie, having witnessed Michelle's dejected retreat from the bar, follow and ask what went wrong. Michelle dismisses the falling out with Godot as the result of a bad luck day. Melanie, at first opportunity, dumps Godot out of a bar stool. Denied the chance to hook up with Godot or learn business from the local college, Michelle elects to ask Millie Stone if she’s interested in buying land. In her attempt to make a land purchase sound appealing, Michelle lets slip that she and Fanny are planning on building an amphitheater. That’s the sort of thing Millie can get behind, and before you can say ‘shot of blue alcohol’ Millie has pronounced herself partner and named the unbuilt amphitheater the Millicent Stone Performing Arts Center.
Now Truly is worried that she’ll lose her store and Fanny and Michelle, but Michelle assures her she won’t lose her or Fanny. Of course, Fanny doesn’t know that Michelle has made a deal with Millie.
It's not until after trivia night that Ginnie and Melanie - accompanying Sasha home - learn about Sasha's impending move. Sasha tells the girls her parents are bluffing. Mom seems pretty serious and advises Sasha the moving truck is coming in the morning and she has to decide between LA and San Jose. When Sasha insists she's staying, Mom gives in and tells her the house will be in escrow for two weeks and Sasha could stay there for that long. What the what!?!? What Mom… Anyway…
In the shockless moment of the evening, Sasha turns up at Michelle's asking for advice. Her mom had given her the keys to the house, and now Sasha realizes there was no bluff. She will have to move or live alone in Paradise.
Honestly, though, I found that last brief scene between Sasha and Michelle to be the strongest of the show, and finishing out the episode with a truly lovely and emotional dance number, with Sasha the lost soul in the center was just the right note.
But hey, how did I miss the teaser for next week’s episode? I really must stop getting so engrossed in the chips and guac that I miss previews…
And now, without further ado, your primer on the pop culture references from last night’s episode:
• 1976 Miracle of Life - may refer to the 1982 docu illustrating the creation of human life. Now available on Netflix. You know, in case you've already watched every episode of every show Joss Whedon has ever written and if you haven't, what are you waiting for?
• “Thanks, Seinfeld” - reference, of course, to comedian Jerry Seinfeld whose television show The Seinfeld Show is still being rerun on six thousand four hundred and twelve channels
• "Hello, Sundance" - reference the film festival, hello
• He's a 'better call Saul' - reference to Breaking Bad's Saul Goodman, attorney who runs late-night television ads to attract clients
• Zsa Zsa Gabor - Hungarian-born celebrity; Zsa Zsa was arrested in 1989 for slapping a Beverly Hills police officer
• Walking the property every day with the hounds, like Pride & Prejudice - no. just no. not going to give you this one, this one is worth earning on your own. Read it. Love it.
• Ace Frehley - lead guitarist for Kiss
• "Christopher Walken in Annie Hall is my vehicular role model" - nobody can explain Walken like Walken: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSRm_X3BLPU
• John Hughes - director/screenwriter noted for classic films of the 80s: The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Some Kind of Wonderful, Pretty in Pink and the list goes on… Marathon his work some day if you haven't already. You'll thank me.
• On the Road - novel? memoir? by Jack Kerouc (I checked amazon to see whether this was classified as a novel or as non-fiction and the blurb says this is one of the most important novels of the century. I presume they meant the last one. Does that still mean I have to read it?)
• Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
• Matisse - refers to French painter, Henri Matisse. "The Dance" is the painting being discussed. (also, really? Matisse didn’t know she was named after Matisse? Pretty sure my BFF’s cat knows why she’s named Monet…)
• Julien Schnabel - American filmmaker and artist
• "Check the town for pods" - reference to film Invasion of the Body Snatchers -- as are all the subsequent reference to Cozette "getting" people
• Judy and Mickey and shows in the barn - refers to Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney film, Babes in Arms, 1939, in which to raise funds those crazy kids decide to put on a show in the old barn
• Boy Meets World - television series 1993-2000 (currently, a follow-up series is close to or in production, featuring Corey and Topanga's daughter)
• South Park binder -- I don't have one of these. I do have Pirates of the Caribbean folders, though, and Tinkerbell loose leaf, so I have that going for me.
• Lucky Luciano & Bugsy Seigel - there's way too many unsavory facts about these gangsters to even begin to do an overview. Just go with: bad-asses
• Meyer Lansky - accountant to the mob (specifically the bad-assses)
• "a Ben Kingsley Meyer Lansky not a Patrick Dempsey Meyer Lansky" - Ben Kingsley portrayed Meyer Lansky in Bugsy for which he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar; Patrick Dempsey portrayed Meyer Lansky in Mobsters, for which he was forgotten
• Yaffa blocks - plastic interlocking blocks used for storage of books and whatnot; common in college dorm rooms (we used the cheap version: milk crates)
BONUS: Were you a Gilmore Girls fan? Shout out if you spotted any GG alum in last night’s episode!