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Image Credit: Richard Ducree/USA Network

'Satisfaction' recap: Honesty isn't always the best policy

Season 1 | Episode 2 | “…Through Admission” | Aired July 24, 2014

“I think it was the happiest day of my life.” That is how the cold open of episode 2 of Satisfaction grabs us. Well, that and video footage of the inside of a jaw-dropping, gorgeous home, which we learn is Neil and Grace’s current home on the day they bought it. Sprawling floor plan, enormous bedrooms, slate-tiled bathrooms and open showers with heated towel racks (I’m assuming). It’s not unfathomable when Neil tells us that Grace thought they would grow old together in that house. They both believed it. They believed each other, which becomes especially evident when the video footage then captures them having “the best sex we ever had,” according to Neil. Hell, I’d be happy to have even crappy sex in that house.

We discover that Neil is sharing this happy tale of nostalgia with his Zen master (Tzi Ma), who apparently wasn’t scared off by Neil’s last visit, when he admitted he’d been getting paid for having sex with other women and dropped a pocketful of condoms on the floor of his temple. Turns out the Zen master isn’t only wise, but has a pretty decent sense of humor.

Zen master: What does this have to do with the part about the hooker?
Neil: Uh, escort. As far as industry terms …

Neil tells his new confidante that everything has changed and that even though he hates Grace for what she did (ya know, sleeping with a male escort for the past six months), he also did freak out on that airplane …

Zen master: Oh, and the having sex for money … that part as well.

Zen mastered. Bam!

Neil goes on to say that he still loves Grace, and while he knows he should come clean, that would lead to therapy (because UGH) and maybe divorce. And let’s not forget having to divide that kick-ass house. So why not embrace it? He feels alive and has learned so much that he doesn’t want it to end! Hey, he’s not stupid.

The Zen master has him try meditation. Neil sucks at it, but the Zen master does not suck at stealing the phone from Neil’s jacket and texting Grace, telling her Neil would like to meet. Only problem? He texted her from Simon’s phone. Dun-dun-dunnnnn.

Neil freaks out, but it doesn’t ruffle the Zen master (of course it doesn’t), who just calmly tells Neil that to get the answers he needs, he has to follow the path in front of him. You know, the one littered with condoms.

Here is Simon running out to catch the tow-truck. Take a moment and hum some Boyz II Men if you need to.

Here is Simon running out to catch the tow truck. Take a moment and hum some Boyz II Men if you need to.

When Simon’s Porsche is towed and the bank tells him that the IRS has frozen his assets, he realizes only one man is behind it. The very same man who has been behind all his clients lately? Um, yeah.

Grace lands the job with the interior design firm she’d interviewed for six months prior (whose rejection was the domino that set this whole Simon affair in motion), and has one week to present a design for a large office space. After her meeting, she gets the text from Simon (which was from Neil, but not really, since the Zen master actually sent it. Stay with me, people). Grace returns the text: When should we meet? which Neil gets on the red phone. Dun-dun-dunnnnn.

Back at Neil’s office, Charles Lipton (Tom Nowicki), the man Neil had seen at the art gallery the week before with Adriana, and who had mistakenly assumed Adriana was Neil’s wife, still wants Neil to manage his portfolio (it was why the asshole-boss-man had come back and offered Neil the partnership). While at the meeting with Charles and his boss (I’ll lose the “asshole” part, since Neil seems to have forgotten about it for now), Neil isn’t thinking about pounding numbers for Charles’ company, but is instead imagining Simon pounding his wife. Charles is alarmed at Neil’s distracted state and mentions that he called Neil’s wife, who assured him that Neil was ready to “chomp at the bit.”

Neil: You spoke to Grace?
Charles: Who’s Grace?
Boss-Man: Neil’s wife.
Charles: I thought her name was Adriana.
Dun-dun-dunnnnnnn.

Neil goes straight to Adriana’s palatial estate, and she is very happy he found his way back to her. When Neil grills her about why she talked to Charles, she tells him she did some digging and found the video of his airplane rant online. She wants to know more of his story, and tells him that she’s heard from half a dozen women who want to date him. Neil argues that he’s not an escort but just a regular guy who went crazy for a couple of days. Adriana thinks that maybe he’s a guy who went crazy for a couple of decades and finally came to his senses. Monogamy is so overrated.

Back at Casa de Truman, Anika reads her parents the apology letter she’s written to the dean for the awesome (and apparently terribly inappropriate) talent show song she’s been required to write before she can return to the school she hates. As expected, it’s halfhearted, and when Grace gets upset, Anika argues that she doesn’t want to apologize. Why should she lie? What she sang was the truth! Neil is proud of her for speaking her mind (don’t forget, he gave her performance a standing O). Later, while Neil and Grace are getting ready for bed, he questions Grace about why their daughter should be punished for speaking the truth. Grace tells him people’s private lives should be kept private. Oh boy. I sense a double-meaning convo approaching.

Neil: If you knew something that would really hurt me, would you lie?
Grace: Depends.
Neil: On?
Grace: If I didn’t think you really needed to know. I mean, right? What about you?
Neil: I’d probably do the same thing.

Hey, at least they’re honest. I mean liars. I mean honest liars.

Satisfaction2

Later, when Grace goes back to work on her design, Neil texts her from Simon’s phone. “Meet Tuesday?” Grace replies, “Sounds perfect!” Dun-dun-dunnnn.

[BTW, the above exchange is set to the song “Better Man” by James Morrison, which I’ve now been listening to on Spotify/repeat while writing this recap. Since a reader was curious about songs used in the last episode, I’ll try to include some of the more pertinent ones as we go on this season.]

Grace is having “creative issues” with her design and goes to her sister to buy some pot to help her loosen the juices. It appears sister is quite the reefer connoisseur; she pulls out multiple jars of pot in various strengths and makes Grace promise to take it slow. Getting in bar fights, cheating on your husband with an escort, and now getting stoned. It’s a slippery slope, my friends.

Back at the job-suck (which I still cannot figure out why Neil returned to), the boss man is furious that Charles is spooked, and doesn’t trust Neil and the company after Neil’s mini-freak-out at the previous meeting. The boss throws a phone at the TV (a lá Neil Truman) and pretty much pops a vein, telling Neil that if he doesn’t sign Charles, he won’t get the partnership, but will still owe him a year’s salary because he’ll forge a contract that says that was the deal. Wow. He really is an asshole. Name reinstated.

When Neil discovers Simon stole his Audi from the parking garage (Simon: “You’re gonna steal my life, I’m gonna steal yours”), he gets a ride from his coworker (in a sweet, tricked out Trans Am) to the auto salvage yard and buys Simon’s Porsche. Yaassss. [Song: “Big Wheel” by Cass McCombs.] Meanwhile, Simon discovers his phone in Neil’s car and texts Grace that he wants to talk soon.

Back at home, Grace is getting completely stoned [Song: “New Sensation” by INXS, one of my all-time favorites], and the more baked she gets, the more productive she is with her design. Because obviously. When Anika discovers what her mother is doing (dun-dun-dunnnn), she’s actually cool with it and finds it funny. Grace immediately attempts to turn it into a learning opportunity, but Anika is more interested—and impressed—with the completed designs on the table. She asks Grace when she learned to do this and Grace tells her that it was in college—but she gave it up for a new passion, which is code for “sex that led to 16 years of parenthood.” Bummer. Anika tells her that she rewrote the letter to the dean because she’s decided to stay at her private school. Turns out she’s, like, totally popular now that she’s outed her teachers!

Neil needs to save his job (again) and drives Simon’s Porsche to Charles’ house to try to fix the deal. When he finds Charles in the middle of a discussion with Adriana, he’s clearly baffled. Charles says that his “wife” has come to explain why Neil had such a bad day the day of the meeting (she lied about some kind of loss in the family). Neil, taking a page from his daughter’s book on honesty, comes clean and admits that Adriana is not his wife, but that they are in fact “a little more than acquaintances.” When Charles wonders why he’d tell him that, Neil boldly says that there should be trust between the two of them if they’re about to get into serious business together. Besides, he knows that Charles is supporting four different women who aren’t his wife, so hey, let’s sit under this trust tree together, shall we? Later, Neil asks Adriana if he can park the Porsche in one of her unused garages.

Adriana: You want to park your car in my garage? I like the sound of that.

Grace visits Simon at his house to give him the rest of the money she owes him (apparently she’s got good credit?), and tells him she wants to break it off. Simon tries to dissuade her with his sultry kisses and his smooth words (“It’s never been about the money”), and while she comes thisclose to caving to his charms (and his tongue), she resists and walks away. That’s a strong, strong woman (see: above photo of Simon).

Back at home, Neil finds Grace watching the old video of them in the new house having “the best sex they ever had,” which creates the kind of tender, special moment only watching your old sex tapes can create. Anika walks in on them (“gross”) and asks to borrow Neil’s car. He tells her it’s in the shop, so she takes Grace’s car to meet her new besties, The Plastics.

plastics

As they’re walking across the street, Anika spies Neil’s Audi parked along the curb and Simon walking toward it. She’s confused because her dad had just told her it was in the shop. When Simon gets in, Anika asks him his name, and when he drives away, she snaps a photo of him and texts it to Neil, thinking she’s cleverly busted a car thief. Dun-dun-dunnnn.

Satisfied with episode 2? How will Neil cover for the car lie with Anika? How long do you think it will it take for Grace’s secret (that’s not really a secret) to come out? And most important, Simon vs. the towel—your thoughts??

Satisfaction airs Thursdays at 10/9C on USA. 

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