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'Satisfaction' recap: Switching partners

Season 1 | Episode 5 | “…Through Partnership” | Aired Aug 14, 2014

Episode 5 was all about the dance, wasn’t it? I mean, really, I could save you about six minutes and myself about 1,000 words, and just discuss the dance lesson and all its obvious meaning and be done with this recap. But would that be satisfying? Wait, don’t answer that.

While the dance lesson was the most critical part of this latest episode of Satisfaction (and the easiest to understand the double meaning of), a lot more drama was developing for our favorite unsatisfied couple. Like them or not (and judging by the comments these recaps are getting, many of you do not), you have to admit something: If you’re still watching, you’re still somewhat satisfied.

We’ll get to the dancing in a minute. Let’s first try to make sense of these things:

Neil is once again at Adriana’s house. Let’s get this straight. Neil is at her house dissecting the previous night’s date with Jennifer (who I just realized was played by Kellie Martin—Becca Thatcher from “Life Goes On”. Holy ’90s flashback! I totally didn’t recognize her without the giant glasses!). Yet when Adriana offers him a new client—a couple!—he becomes abrupt and dismissive and acts like she’s suggesting something offensive. To add to the confusion (Neil’s and ours), he admits that dancing with Jennifer made him remember the dance lessons he and Grace took before their wedding, where they learned more about each other—how to trust each other and be a team—than they did about dancing. To recap: Dancing with his client—the one he was about to have sex with—made him fondly remember one of the best moments he’s spent with his wife, whom he is still married to. Are we all on the same page? Good, because I’m about to throw you another curveball. Adriana brings up the gigantic plot hole of Neil calling himself Simon when they first met. Neil brushes her off by telling her it’s not important. IT’S TOTALLY IMPORTANT!

The mixed signals continue when Adriana makes a pass at Neil and he ignores her. Guess Simon isn’t the only escort who’s developing feelings. Damn those Trumans.

Adriana shows up unannounced at Simon’s apartment and brings him a present. Her name is Rosalie. Adriana tells Simon that to pass the last part of the interview, she needs to see how he “adapts to the unexpected.” And by “see,” I mean literally. When Simon starts unwrapping his present with Adriana watching, he tells her he assumes she’ll be joining them. Adriana: “Sometimes it’s just as much fun to watch.” Hold on, let me check my guide. Nope, still USA. For a minute there, I was sure my TV got switched to Cinemax.

After Simon has finished playing with his present, he and Adriana have another typically cryptic conversation, where everything they say is wrought with double meaning:

Adriana: I guess I’m the kind of person who doesn’t find value in holding on to something after it’s been used. (Love ‘em and leave ‘em, baby!)
Simon: If something’s good, why not enjoy it more than once? (Like this bored housewife with bangs I’m currently banging.)
Adriana: Because you miss out on what’s great when you settle for good. (And don’t I look like I’m great?)

To prove he’s all that and to get her off his back, Simon shows Adriana his client list (a “who’s who of soccer moms”), and Adriana immediately zeros in on Grace’s name. Oh, calamity.

Grace is a hit in the design world. A few weeks ago, Grace was staging homes for open houses. Now, after just one job, she’s the darling of the design world and about to be featured in a magazine article. On second thought, let’s not waste time wondering how that happened so quickly (especially after all the drama with Alex last episode). Let’s move on to the sparks that fly (or that you just know are about to fly) between her and Dylan (Michael Vartan), the photographer who is assigned to shoot the space she designed for the article. After snapping a few photos of her, he tells her how great she looks. Not fireworks by any means, but this show has made me assume every person of the opposite sex has an ulterior motive.

Neil’s company has been hacked. It’s corporate piracy! Everything is compromised: accounts, assets, passwords. The hackers must be paid or they’ll start accessing personal information. Uh-oh. In an unusual show of Team Truman, Neil and Grace are sitting together at home changing passwords. Neil apologizes to Grace for missing her opening, and wants to make it up to her with dance lessons because he “misses having fun with her.” You know why you haven’t been having fun with your wife, Neil? BECAUSE YOU’VE BEEN HAVING FUN WITH BECCA THATCHER. 

Later, when Neil asks Bastion’s IT guy to test his new passwords and try to “pull up everything you can about me,” he’s shocked at how easily his personal information is accessed, but more shocked to discover “he” got a parking ticket while parked outside of Simon’s house recently (spoiler: It was Grace’s car, which is registered under his name). 

Neil parks outside Simon’s building (hoping to catch Grace?) and sees Adriana leave (which has to confuse him as much as any of us). When Simon heads off for a run, Neil creeps into his building, finds his door (it’s the one with the giant note that says “Let yourself in!” taped to it) and stalks around Simon’s apartment, visualizing his wife and her lovah in every room. Turns out Simon shares more than Neil’s taste in women, as Neil discovers the exact same Zen book that started his own journey in his bookshelf.  

Now, the dance lesson. The dance lesson that was supposed to be full of hidden messages. How does that saying go: If it was a snake, it would’ve bitten you? Yeah, the “hidden messages” were that obvious. Here’s the brief synopsis:

Grace gets there first. Neil is late, as usual. Grace has the instructor play their wedding song; she “thought they could pick up where they left off.” The instructor wants to see what they’ve got. They’re awkward and uncomfortable dancing together (think “sixth-grade dance” type of awkward and uncomfortable).

“We haven’t done this in a while,” they apologize.

Instructor: “It happens. You get out of sync. Lose each other’s rhythm.”

Tell me about it, mister,” they both say. (They really don’t, but I imagine it’s what they’re thinking.)

The instructor has them dance with other partners, explaining that “when two people haven’t danced with each other in a while, it’s actually better to dance with another partner. It makes the process smoother when you come back together.”  He actually tells them to “focus on your partner, not your spouse.”

You can almost feel Neil and Grace’s relief at having their indiscretions validated, even if it is just by some random dance teacher. 

Later, when Grace is showing Neil the office space she designed, he tells her he had fun at the lesson and he misses them like that. He wonders when it got so hard for them to dance together, and thinks maybe it’s time they try it themselves. So they dance. Fifty bucks says neither one of them will blink when someone asks to cut in.

In other news:

Neil tells the Zen master that Adriana suggested a married couple as his next client, and that maybe they’re looking for the same things that he and Grace are. Oh, brother. Time to check my TV channel again.

Neil asks Bastion’s IT guy to help him develop an app that will help people figure out what makes them happy. I really hope it’s not virtual.

The award for the “Most Real Person of the Episode” goes to Anika, who is asked to perform at an open mic night, leaves her guitar and ID on the bus (Grace wouldn’t let her drive, and for some reason Anika didn’t tell her where she was going), and meets another singer (Mateo) outside the club that she can’t get into (no ID). They sing one of Anika’s original songs together (by sharing her journal to read the words), which turns out to be lovely, honest and refreshing. How satisfying.

Satisfaction airs Thursdays at 10/9C on USA.

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