At this point in the season—both for Episodes and for Pucks—it’s clear the characters will be moving on. Exactly where they’re headed is another story.
Beverly has her sights set squarely on the U.K., eager to get back home to her pre-Hollywood life with Sean. She’s already mentally started the move, using up the sundry ingredients in their cupboards to make a stir-fry dinner of chicken, raisins and amaretto cookies. For Bev, leaving L.A. is not so much an exit as an escape; she compares their plight to the von Trapps fleeing Austria. “Let’s not go back and give the Nazis one more song,” she pleads.
But damn, that script of theirs must be good, because agent Eileen Jaffe won’t stop calling Sean, dangling the new-series carrot in front of him even though he has clearly expressed Bev’s strong disinterest in carrots of any kind. By the end, though, Sean’s taste for all the perks that come along with Hollywood carrots might be too strong, and he agrees to take a solo lunch with the network exec without telling Bev—and without noticing Carol eyeing the meeting from a table nearby.
Matt seems unaffected by his break-up with Jamie, letting the relationship roll off his back and onto the heap of his many past conquests. Like a ghost, one of those dalliances, his former stalker, Labia, appears before Matt during a trip to the mall. But she’s not in search of her former fling. Instead, Matt is spooked by the realization she’s clearly over him, swooning over a new boyfriend in what appears to be a sane, healthy relationship. The only thing in danger now is Matt’s ego, which sees this as yet another blow in his inevitable slide toward obscurity.
Speaking of old patterns, Carol realizes history’s repeating itself in her willingness to be treated so poorly by Castor. The sex with him may be hotter (“Fifty Shades of Grey hot”) than it was with Merc (“That was just fifty shades of grey”), but at least Merc allowed her to, you know, look at him. At this point, Castor has gone from comic relief to straight-up plot device, but his arc will be worthwhile if it allows Carol some real character growth. Her weepy epiphany to Bev that she deserves better (and fears she may not get it) finally gave her some humanity, along with the season’s funniest callback: “Is there any more of that chicken-raisin-cookie shit?”
Later, we jump to a scene of an actor going through stunt training, and for a second it feels like we’re in a totally different show. Turns out, we are: It’s the NBC pilot Matt so desperately wanted. One kick to the head later, the guy who got the part is temporarily paralyzed, an injury Matt celebrates with high-fiving glee, eager to kickstart his own return to the top.
Despite its themes of looking forward, “Episode 7” spins its wheels a bit when it comes to the overall plot. But most TV seasons save the big action for their penultimate episode, which we have arriving next week. That should be when things really get moving.
Christine Moore is a freelance writer and pop culture geek based in Atlanta. She blogs about television and comedy at TV Kitchen. Follow her on Twitter.