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Satisfaction - Season 1

'Satisfaction' recap: Who would you be if you weren't who you are?

Season 1 | Episode 4 | “…Through Self-Discovery” | Aired Aug 7, 2014

I know. The title of this recap is confusing. Almost as confusing as episode 4, but not quite. Are we still satisfied with Satisfaction? Despite all the double-speak and the overly clothed Simon in this episode, my answer is yes. And as for the title I gave this recap? I’m pretty sure that’s the message we were supposed to get from the following events that went down:

1. Adriana still wants Neil to come work for her. Seriously, didn’t anyone ever tell her that no means no? When Neil refuses to manage her fortune, Madame A happily presents him with a client opportunity (presented in the form of an ominous black envelope) and tells him, “You don’t have to give up everything to find out who you really are—just an evening.” WHO DOES SHE THINK HE IS? She clearly knows he’s “searching for himself” (whoever the heck that is) and obviously knows about his family (because of the time she pretended to be his wife and because she glances at the family photo on his desk). But at one point—stay with me here—didn’t she think Neil was Simon? I mean, she didn’t actually know Simon, although she did know Simon was a professional. But didn’t Neil kind of take Simon’s place on his first visit to Adriana’s house? And more important, did she always have bangs? I’m still a bit confused as to who Adriana thinks Neil wants to be, but since she is slightly scary in a fabulous way, she’s forgiven.

SatisfactionRebranding2. Grace is “rebranding” herself. Proving that she’s “not just a mom anymore,” Grace plays dress-up at a boutique and tries on all sorts of flirty new clothes that obviously make her feel confident. Some of the outfits are super-sexy (see photo), but other than the heels, I’m not sure the tank tops and tight pants are all that different from what we’ve seen her wear up to this point. Grace is feeling like such a new woman that she doesn’t even notice the call coming in from Anika, who is at the hospital with Aunt Stephanie after crashing her aunt’s car. For some reason they decide to punish Grace for not answering her phone by agreeing to keep the whole accident/hospital visit a secret. Anika: “She’s so busy with work, she doesn’t even know anything that’s going on in my life now anyway.” Hold on. Wasn’t that Anika’s complaint even before Grace got her job?

Later, when Neil asks Grace to model her new clothes for him, her confidence has disappeared and she is awkward and uncomfortable undressing for him. I’m awkward and uncomfortable watching the 10-second close-up of Grace’s lace panties as she pulls on her skirt, but since last week there was a gratuitous shot of Simon’s ass that I got to enjoy, I guess it’s only fair.

As for Anika, she makes the rookie mistake of throwing her hospital bracelet away in the kitchen trash, where Grace finds it. After confronting Anika and discovering the truth about the accident and the hospital visit, Grace heads over to Stephanie’s and lets her have it for hiding something so important from her. Stephanie accuses her sister of not knowing who she is and taking it out on Anika, and then delivers the sucker punch: “God, you’re so like Mom.” Worst. Insult. Ever. And we don’t even know their mom.

3. Neil’s airplane freak-out isn’t going away. Not surprisingly, it looks like Neil is in jeopardy of getting punished for his small crime of taking over an aircraft. OK, so maybe he didn’t actually take it over, but storming the aisle, taking control of the intercom, opening the sealed door and inflating the slide isn’t actually looked upon too favorably by the FBI. The firm has hired a lawyer to represent him, and suggests that Neil show a different side (“a good husband, a great father—the REAL you”) and write a formal letter of apology in order to avoid jail time. The problem is, every time Neil starts to compose the letter, he stalls. It’s just not who he is. But do you know who he is? A man who will open a black envelope. A man who will look at the headshot of the PTA President–looking lady that envelope contains, read Adriana’s message to “indulge the real you—just for one night” and think about it for about a split-second (or maybe 24 hours) before indulging. Once again, Adriana apparently knows Neil better than anyone.

After Neil #1 tells Grace that he needs to get out and clear his head, Neil #2 heads to the PTA-looking lady’s house (her name is actually Jennifer), where he discovers she is a recent divorcée who is being gifted Neil #2 by her very obnoxious friends. They partake in some drunken limo behavior and Neil persuades his client to do tequila shots, even though she says she’s not a tequila person. At the club (how many clubs does their town have, anyway?), Neil continues his persuasiveness by getting her onto the dance floor, even though it isn’t her scene.

Jennifer: I don’t know how to be this person. I don’t know who I am anymore.
Neil: Oh, I can relate to that.
Me: For the love of God, please figure it out. I can’t take it anymore.

Back in the limo, Dr. Neil the Love Doctor (Neil #3?) gives his patient surprisingly sage relationship advice, wondering aloud if we pick certain partners so we can hide from ourselves and avoid figuring out who we really are. He further wonders if we’d be happier not knowing about our hidden parts. So. Much. Wondering. Then he tells Jennifer to “accept yourself … all of it. Do whatever feels right for you.” So she grabs his face and climbs on top of him. And Neil #2 does what is right for him and unzips her dress.

But back to the letter of apology. Even though Neil found a little bit of who he was by being someone else for the night (I’m not entirely sure if who he was was #1, #2 or #3), he’s back to complete writer’s block when it comes to his letter. Anika is disappointed in her dad; she thought he’d done the right thing on the plane just like he’d told her she’d done at the talent show. “Maybe you’re just full of shit now that you have to show everyone who you really are,” she spits at him. Psst, Anika—tell us, please?

At the court hearing, Neil takes the stand, sets down the apology he was finally able to write with the words everyone wants to hear, and delivers a powerful and honest speech about how he doesn’t regret what he did; he stood up for common decency because that’s who he is, damn it. Anika gives him a standing O. JUST KIDDING. That was all in Neil’s mind—the real Neil’s mind (Neil #2?).

The other Neil (OK, now I’m even confusing myself) gives the boring, expected apology and gets off without jail time and everyone is happy … except Anika. Neil tells his disappointed daughter that “sometimes you have to be a different person in different situations to survive.”

In other words, who he is is who he’s decided to be. For now.

Please don’t ask me to explain that.

The episode fittingly ends on a confusing note as Grace shows up at Simon’s door in one of her new sexy dresses and throws herself at him. Different clothes; same woman.

Other Juicy Things Happening

AdrianatattooSimon, frustrated at being broke (the IRS is still messing with him), seeks out Adriana (at the recommendation from a fellow escort), who is definitely intrigued by him. Oh yeah, and when Simon gets to her mansion, she is GIVING A WOMAN A TATTOO. Last week she was painting; this week she’s a tattoo artist. My turn for the standing O. I love her so much.

If we liked the Zen master before, now he’s even cooler. When Neil goes to visit the garden of truth and wonders if this is who he is now (oh, brother. I’m not sure how much more I can take) and expresses the desire to be happier, the wise ZM quotes Led Zeppelin: “There’s no such thing as being happy. There is only what is and what should never be.” More Zen master, please.

Grace gets her new boss fired, and in retaliation, the boss walks off with Grace’s designs and threatens to blackball her. “You screw me, I screw you. Oh, and speaking of screwing, how’s your friend Simon?”

Satisfaction airs Thursdays at 10/9C on USA.

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