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'Satisfaction' recap: 'Got Happy?'

Season 1 | Episode 6 | “…Through Exposure” | Aired Aug 21, 2014

Good news! It seems like finally—finally—all the players on Satisfaction are a little bit closer to being able to answer the famous question: #AreYouSatisfied? Key words? “A little bit.” But hey, it’s progress.

Episode 6 opens with what might be my favorite scene of the entire season so far. Grace is at Adriana’s house–I’m sorry, her “Tuscan Villa”–getting a tour from the lady of the house herself. (Remember at the end of episode 5, Adriana called Grace and requested her decorating services?) The house is impressive; there are gardeners snipping the hedges and female escorts in various stages of undress wandering around the kitchen (and giving each other morning “sugar”—wink wink). Grace is understandably awestruck. Their conversation turns a bit personal (and deliciously awkward), and Adriana ultimately hires Grace (like we didn’t see that coming).

Madame A insists Grace sign a nondisclosure agreement, and makes it clear that even her husband cannot know of their arrangement. Solidifying my opinion of Grace as a bit clueless (and by “a bit” I mean full on Cher Horowitz), she agrees, yet impressively does have the guts to ask Adriana what she does for a living. Unfortunately, we don’t get to find out how Adriana answers that question, but I imagine it was something like this:


Putting Adriana and Grace together is brilliant and the most exciting thing that’s happened in five episodes. Finally, I’m back on the edge of my seat … until the very next scene.

The IT guy who Neil asked to help him with his new happiness app has come up with his first prototype: “Got Happy?” Apparently, he misunderstood Neil’s intent and developed an app that merely gathers the person’s information from social media and determines what thing will make them happy. (In Neil’s case, it’s pink running shoes. To answer your question: no idea.) Neil argues that he doesn’t want the app to be a personal shopper, but when the IT guy asks him what he does want, Neil stares out the window, pauses for about 30 minutes and admits he doesn’t know. Big surprise.

Neil finally tells his minion that he wants to create a human result. Umm, hey, buddy, pretty sure that’s already been done.

Remember in the last episode when Adriana told Neil that she had a couple who wanted his services and he was intrigued (and many viewers cringed)? Seems he took her up on her offer because suddenly he’s at a park, meeting Gail (Myndy Crist)—a dead ringer for Kristin Wiig—who tells him that it’s actually her husband Doug (Robert Pralgo) who sets her up with escorts. Wha??  When Doug rolls up (that’s right, he’s in a wheelchair), Neil begins to get it. (So do I, but then feel terrible about myself.) Doug tells Neil that his wife is a great dancer, so Neil assumes that he’s just being hired to take her dancing. Doug then goes on to list things he can no longer give his wife, and offers up this piece of TMI: “Everything below the waist, in case you’re wondering.” (OK, fine. I was.)

Doug, in classic Satisfaction doublespeak: “Love can only take a couple so far before their needs get in the way.” He also tells Neil that Gail is “absolutely amazing in bed.” OK. Too far, dude. TOO FAR.

In Anika news, Mateo (Leon Thomas III) has tracked her down at school to bring her lost guitar back (so happy!). He tells her that he can’t get her original song out of his head and wants to record it. He thinks it will be a hit. From the way Anika looks at Mateo, it’s clear she thinks they will be one as well. Later in the episode, they video chat (although whatever app they’re using is way better than Google Chat or FaceTime because there’s no jerky images or freezing screens), and Mateo instructs her to “take risks” with her lyrics (which are about love, because teen angst, obviously). Taking his advice to heart, she later kisses him.

Grace is still mad at her sister Stephanie for hiding Anika’s earlier car accident and injury from her (but really, it’s because Stephanie told her she was turning into their mother). But she forgives Stephanie when she brings over a box of Grace’s favorite macarons from a bakery in France, where we later learn Grace grew up. (Aha! So that explains the accent that keeps slipping in!) When Stephanie finds a postcard for Dylan’s photography exhibit (that features a candid photo of Grace) lying on a pile of junk mail, the two pop over to the sexy photographer’s studio unannounced and demand an explanation for the unauthorized use of Grace’s picture. Dylan blames it on his promoter, says Grace unintentionally signed a release, and invites the two sisters to model in his next shoot (after being pressured by man-hungry Stephanie, who has obviously set her sights on Dylan, who obviously only has his sights set on Grace).

It turns out the shoot is a “human installation,” which apparently is fancy photographer lingo for shooting a whole group of people lying around a space naked. Hey, it’s art. Don’t question it. Stephanie is immediately game and strips down, but Grace’s shoulder angel trumps her shoulder devil and she hesitates. (What? Sleeping with an escort for over six months is cool, but suddenly she’s found a conscience?) Dylan is totally OK with Satisfaction6photoher just watching, but tells her, “If at some point you feel like showing your sister what a real woman looks like, let me know.” You can almost hear Grace’s shoulder devil applauding. Sure enough, we later find out that Grace did indeed strip down, and Dylan’s lens was only focused on her, as he emails her an artsy photo of her naked self. Shoulder devil for the win. I knew it.

Neil, having been promised by Adriana that Gail won’t want to sleep with him (because apparently she never sleeps with her escorts; she just goes out with them to please her husband, who only hires them to “test” her—isn’t marriage fun?) is at dinner with Gail having a serious conversation about marriage. Meanwhile, back at Casa Truman, Adriana shows up with some wine. I immediately scooch to the end of my seat. This is about to get good.

In a cool move of switching back and forth between scenes, we discover that Neil and Grace are having the very similar types of conversations (with Gail and Adriana) to what they crave having with each other, but for some reason cannot ever seem to have. Oh yeah, and all of them are going through the wine like it’s water. (Side note: Did anyone else think Adriana was going to make a move on Grace? Talk about tension!)

Gail tells Neil that she just fakes things to make her husband happy (hold on, is that wrong?), and Grace tells Adriana that she lives with people she doesn’t even know anymore—that if it were just her in that big house, it’d look totally different. Yeah, it’d probably have Simon (who is mysteriously absent this episode) lounging naked on the bed.

Neil tells Gail that the kind of in-depth conversation they’re having is more important than sex (“Sex isn’t the true barometer of a marriage; conversation is.”) and admits he knows she doesn’t want to have sex with him. Gail explodes, “What kind of an escort are you?” and Neil walks out. Huh. Guess his theory isn’t too popular.

When Adriana finds out Neil didn’t close the deal with Gail, she’s furious and lashes out at her golden boy. Neil yells that he doesn’t want to do this anymore, and Adriana storms off, saying something about “knowing why your wife did what she did.” OH NO SHE DI’INT. Neil explodes. He storms into her room and rips into the partially clothed Adriana (seriously, she’s wearing an open robe and is thisclose to some serious nip slippage). Adriana accuses Neil of not being able to make a real decision as to what he wants out of life (totes true) and says that love and marriage are just distractions for him. Neil accuses Adriana of having given up (man, it’s like they know each other!), and in a strange turn of events, Neil is the person in this duo who—for the first time—is in control. Adriana, with an expression of pure weakness, crumbles, and Neil takes the opportunity to finally make a real decision: throwing her on the bed and making angry, passionate love to her. Wait a minute. Isn’t this the guy who just told his client that conversation trumps sex? I certainly don’t hear any talking.

Back at home, Grace opens a package left for Neil (which the IT guy anonymously left on the front porch for some reason) to discover a mirrored laptop that keeps repeating, “Tell me what it is that you need.” Grace is thoughtful. (Thinking of Simon? Or maybe Dylan, who she’s just learned her sister asked out on a date?) Looks like maybe the “Got Happy?” app is about to help someone find happiness after all.

Yeah, I don’t really believe that either.

Satisfaction airs Thursdays at 10/9C on USA. 


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