We're back with the gang at Vinyl; things took an abrupt turn last episode, let's spoil it for everyone after the break, shall we?
So. There was an awkward dinner with Hannibal, CeCe, Richie and Devon wherein Hannibal did everything but dip his fingers in the honeypot and Devon did everything possible to give him access all in front of extremely jealous Richie, who didn't want to sign Hannibal THAT badly. The evening ended with Devon slapping Richie and checking into the Hotel Chelsea and Jackie Jervais signing Hannibal, all of which drove him to make the best decision of the show thus far: tracking down Andrea, his former assistant and lover, to be his new Public Relations rep with a stakehold in the company. DONE! Without a doubt, that was the only thing that gave this show any life over the last few weeks and I can't wait to see what will happen!
We're at a pool and "Rave On" is playing on a little radio while the poolman works; remember when people listened to music on transistor radios?? Me either, that was before my time, slightly, but they look cool! Richie freaks out and tells poolman to turn it off.
Inside it is party central, beer bottles everywhere and Richie doing as much coke as possible. He's got a little friend with him that I thought was Warhol but they talk about him so I guess not. It's been three days, and yeah
Friend says Devon is a spoiled little bitch and Richie wholeheartedly agrees. He has the kids?? Dude keeps baiting Richie, Devon is screwing a woman, then a black man, and Richie draws that line: his mom is half-black, bro. Who IS this guy?? Does he even exist or is Richie arguing with himself?
The nanny knocks on the door; she's taking the kids out for lunch but first there's an excruciating scene with Richie drunkenly fawning all over them and I mostly just watch to make sure he doesn't burn one with a cigarette. I would bet one million dollars that anyone reading this has had an experience similar to this, or BEEN the experience and addiction is a BEAST.
Richie is furious that the kids speak excellent Spanish, but you know...the nanny is Latino.
Devon is hustling to her new job at the Chelsea Hotel, she's working with Ingrid and is an artist assistant, and I totes just saw wang. Like more than once. Er... now Devon is naked. Full Demi and all. Dayum. This woman had a bebeh and she is glorious.
There's a strange interplay with the artist who is adjusting her body for the picture / painting; he's Ingrid's boyfriend and he says she and Devon used to share all the boys when they were young. Devon asks if now he and Ingrid share them? He answers with "who will hurt her more, do you think? Me or you?" and that felt like a shot. Devon seems hella lighter and happier not at home, even only three days in.
Richie is tweaking like a motherhumper back at the office, strutting back to his office talking out loud to his (pretty sure) imaginary friend who I now dub Harvey, slamming his door shut and asking for two coffees, his "black, black, black" and sliding Little Richard on the turntable. He send Harvey downtown to do a little recon on Devon.
Andy is settling into the office, ordering stationery and calling meetings, and runs into Zak and then Skip, who she of course knew from before.
Everyone is very excited to see her, right until Richie pushes her into explaining some of the changes she wants to make. First, decor, second the toilet logo has to go. Everyone: whuuu? "I can't be the first person ever to mention it to your face" and hahaha
The new plan also involves a Biafran Benefit (NOT a disease, turns out) and David Bowie. Andrea has an in and Zak tries, but he just can't keep up. BOOM! Skip says "Look at this fcuking chick" and it's AWESOME! Zito in the HOUSE! Richie rabbits at the name "Joe Corso" and runs off with Heather.
Can I just say? I hate when they don't have good female characters on a show. I'm not talking likeable, there are far too many likeable women on shows, I mean well written, complicated characters with shite to do. Andrea Zito is one of the first on this show that isn't just a foil to show off how some dude is missing the boat (like with Jamie Vine), I dig it.
JFC... Richie is fcuking Heather in the bathroom and we get to see it all, yay! I mean, I am totally pro-banging, just weird to see good actors go softcore porn like that. Save that for people who CAN'T act, yo! He er, can't complete the act, so not able to "tear her open" just now. Coke-dick for the sads.
Zak wants to know what the hell is going on? Andrea is gonna cost them a tonne and then out walks a disheveled Heather. Richie says it didn't happen, blaming coke-dick, awww, I totes called it! Zak is worried.
Julie calls. Richie's gotta come motivate Mr. Nasty Shits to pick a guitarist. Kip can't make up his mind because everyone who answered the ad is a "fcuking hippie" even when the ad clearly said "no fcuking hippies" but maybe the real problem is that all the guitarists are better than he is.
Richie gets all shouty and Kip storms out, calling him a c-word that doesn't moo. Can I just say? That word is EVERYWHERE.
Harvey shows up to report on Devon. Richie is so in the grip of cocaine-induced psychosis that it really isn't funny. Or, honestly, interesting. I have a line I draw when watching shows with addicts and we're fast approaching it on Vinyl. It's like The Knick; great show, but when the plot skews all over the place and it makes no sense becuz: addiction, or it gets super repetitive, I start to get bored. I know alllllllls about addiction, watching it is not a good time. Eyes on you, Vinyl.
Richie takes Jamie's coke from her bra and runs off downtown to find out what Devon's up to while Jamie tries to figure out what the FECK is going on.
We're at David Bowie (Noah Bean) rehearsing. Andrea has all her juice going, and this is a good act. There's a small sound problem; Bowie is arguing with the techs, so Andy tells him to stop interfering and sing the fcuking song, man! I wonder if it's too soon for a David Bowie episode. My friend Becks was DEVASTATED and I'm pretty sure she isn't alone.
Zak goes hard into a pitch, inviting Ziggy or David or whoever to do a concert, but Bowie's confused: is he not Andy's boyfriend? And he leaves; Zak RUINT it, but Bowie and Andy are having supper later, alone, so all is not lost.
Harvey keeps bringing up "going to Nathan's for a hot dog" and it's all very funny and I don't get it. Oh. Subtitles finally helps me out: he's Ernst, but of course he isn't listed on IMDB, this is fun! I get it from credits, Ernst is Carrington Vilmont. Anyway, waiting outside a club to see if his name can get him in, Richie spots Andy Warhol and gang and he pounces, only to be tossed aside by a bouncer while Ernst / Harvey laughs.
Ernst / Harvey tells Richie to get hold of himself, he doesn't want to end up bashing someone's head in again...like Buck Rogers...and now I know for SURE this guy doesn't exist. He tells Richie he's running amok because he feels guilty for killing Buck and yeah, I guess. Then he points out a Firebird that Richie should totally drive in his condition, yeah, do THAT!
Ingrid and Devon are smoking up and talking about Paul, Ingrid's boyfriend, whom she met while he was blowing men at the Port Authority bus terminal to get money for marble. I'm assuming he's a sculptor then; and a handful, but then, that's what she likes, Devon muses. Ahhh and Ernst was Ingrid's boyfriend when the four of them were friends, and could be merciless until Richie softened him up.
Devon does not want to talk about Richie, and she's all done with the "fcuking pastoral idyll" which is a beautiful phrase and almost deserves it's own line. Ingrid doesn't want Devon going back, not with all the suicidal ideation and wants her to stay at the Chelsea in her own room, as an artist. Devon says she's not an artist, Ingrid counters with "you're an artist when you say you're an artist" and amen, you wouldn't BELIEVE what they call art! And writing! They cuddle and there's always a weird vibe with these two.
It's the next morning and Richie didn't get very far, he passed out in the car before he could do any real damage, but suddenly he remembers it's Saturday and it's Zak's kiddo's bat mitzvah! Go!
Kip is pouting away in a guitar shop, trying out a new guitar on an amp when another guy comes in and starts playing just beautifully; they play together until the other guitarist asks if his axe comes with a rosewood neck. The shop clerk says he'll check in the back, which apparently means "rob me" in Musician, so off they go, running down the street together (side note: James Jagger runs like he has diarrhea and possibly one leg shorter than the other). Dude can't figure out why Kip is following him, until he asks him to be be in his band.
Devon is home again, looking like a recalcitrant teenager, doing her four days later walk of shame with her dress and clutch under arm. She hears the creaking (that she earlier identified as the sound of her own body swinging from the rafters) and her children playing.
I have to tell you, it is taking every bit of willpower I have to not mother-shame Devon for running away for three days without so much as checking on her kids, I mean, Richie does that all the time! The difference being that I blow it off as BusyJerkDaddyWithADrugProblem with Richie and don't exactly think that way about Devon but I'm trying! Devon doesn't wanna be out there, she's not 'bout that life, Richie didn't ever think he had to be. The kids deserve someone who will take care of them properly, Mom or Dad or even the nanny, as long as it's consistent and loving AND YES I KNOW IT'S ALL FICTIONAL, I'M JUST SAYING.
Richie shows up drunk, high and obnoxious at Zak's kiddo's bat mitzvah 6 hours late, deciding THIS is when he's gonna apologize and explain his vision of the company to Zak. Zak the Record Man doesn't see where he fits into this new vision (side note: that's when Alibi Records comes in, that's the sub-label), Richie's ruined his family and his own family, and he ain't having it. They end up in a pushy-pushy and Richie gets thrown out of the cheese-tastic bat mitzvah while Cherish plays in the background.
When you get bodily thrown out of a bat mitzvah by men in powder blue suits.
Richie's back to home too, listening to crickets, then going inside to find Devon. He tells her the usual, he's gonna stop doing drugs, he can change, oh and by the way, he's just been hanging with Ernst. This predictably freaks her out, but instead of worrying about him and seeing it for a serious problem, she treats it as though it's something he's doing on purpose and she refuses to handle or deal. For his part, he doesn't understand how she could leave her kids, she's a MOTHER and just then I know she's taking the kids to the city. They'll probably grow up more interesting for it.
Music montage time! Devon packs and loads the kids while Richie presumably looks for more coke. Zak is dealing with the fallout at the bat mitzvah, but the song is Life on Mars?, being sung by the piano player at the party and it's really good and it's really Bowie and it's everything. It's as though he remembers the point of being a record man: the music.
Richie comes out of the shower (sorry, my bad, shower time, not looking for more coke) to find Devon and the kids gone and Ernst, yeah, Ernst was dead all along and I love Bobby Cannavale, but I cannot watch him make that reaction face any more. Cannot. He took us out the last episode with it and it's come up before and it's lazy and sweaty-looking.
Now we see what happened with Ernst and Nathan's hot dog and why Richie hates the song "Rave On." It was playing when they were driving along and everyone was drunk and high, including Richie, who was driving, Ernst who was standing up and thrown from the car, and Ingrid and a pregnant Devon, drinking and making out in the backseat. Devon's keening tells us she lost the baby. Ernst died at the site of the Cyclone ride and that's where Richie sits, making that sweaty cry-face again and we're out.
So. Richie has some deep-seated issues. It's not just the drug addiction, which started as recreational and has become self-medicinal, perhaps to deal with the guilt about Ernst and presumably his lost baby, but there's also the Buck Rogers problem and the blaming-everyone-else problem and being-a-schmuck problem and I just don't know. This show is all over the place and I'm not seeing a clear direction at all. I don't need a predictable redemption story, I don't need a rehab story, i don't even need a crime story, I just need ONE story, you know? It's gone past complex to not treading water but we'll see what next week brings. Peace oot, Script Kiddies.