After last week’s trainwreck of an episode, “Tattoo You” starts out promisingly with the arrival of Gigi’s mom, Cat (Callie Thorne). But, unfortunately, it turned into yet another desperate attempt to find something meaningful in a trivial setting. Admittedly, there were a few moments in this episode that could almost be considered “deep”—in a sitcom kind of way—but these tiny glimpses of hope were all followed up with such immature dialogues and scenarios, there was just no way to truly appreciate the sentiments. What’s worse is that this episode, which centers around a series of regretful tattoos, is named after a classic Rolling Stones album. That’s just wrong.
Johnny Rock is shocked to find that Gigi is now sporting a “Johnny Rock Forever” tattoo. Located on her upper arm, her heart-shaped ode to her father in bright red ink is a thorn in Johnny’s eye, a reaction Gigi interprets as yet another sign that he is not ready to commit to her fully. Johnny doesn’t have any tattoos and he feels pretty damn cool about it, referring to himself as a “rebel” for refusing a tattoo during a period when “every other douchebag on the street” was showing off their flaming dice and bodacious babes. As if Johnny wasn’t already getting enough heat from Gigi and his long-term missus Ava, a surprise visit from Cat brings tensions to an ultimate high. Gigi isn’t all too impressed by her mother’s visit, Ava’s insecurities become more apparent than ever and Johnny—well, he just seems more or less impartial to Cat’s presence. When Gigi spots a lightning bolt tattoo, Flash’s logo, on her mother’s hip, we get to witness a koo-koo-ka-choo scenario: Mommy Dearest and poor little Gigi start fighting over a guy. Eugh. One good thing did come out of this strange confrontation: we got to learn some new slang.
“You’re trying to muff cuff me—it’s the female version of cock block, you idiot, muff cuff! It’s a twat swat—you’re trying to steal my boyfriend!”
Seriously? Boyfriend? I mean, we know that Gigi and Flash share some kind of connection, even if it is based on obvious daddy issues and an undeniable midlife crisis in the making, but for her to refer to Flash as her boyfriend? When the hell did that happen? If anything, it proved that Gigi, as ambitious and feisty as she might seem, still harbors a very high school mentality: Ooh, he called me baby, that must mean we’re going steady. Cat responds by asking whether Gigi and Flash have actually slept together yet and when Gigi answers with a meek “no,” even she seems to realize that her hallucinated “relationship” is a sham. That doesn’t stop her from feeling hurt and self-conscious, when it turns out Cat did the dirty with Flash back in the day.
Cat, who apparently works as a song writer, has written a new tune with Flash in mind. The two of them get quite cozy while working on it in the studio and, in a way, we start feeling some form of solidarity towards Gigi here—the mom hitting on her daughter’s crush? Not cool. Johnny is obviously amused by the situation and seems to get a kick out of Gigi and Cat arguing; at least it means he’s not the only one to have a dysfunctional relationship with his daughter. Cat and Ava feel threatened by one another. Ava has embraced the role of the sole female member of the band for way too long to let Cat take over the show now. She has accepted Gigi into the family, but she’s not ready to do the same for her mother. On top of that, the history between Johnny and Cat plays a major part in her jealousy. Cat, on the other hand, is worried that she has been replaced by Gigi’s “surrogate” mother, Ava.
“Surrogate mommies get to be besties with their daughters. I am out to make sure she does not fuck up the way I did.”
This conversation was probably the best part of this episode. In order to make a patchwork family like Gigi’s work, it’s important for the parental figures to have clear communication and to feel secure in their respective roles. I quite liked how Ava and Cat tackled their differences and got over their territorial pissing routine, but once again, this genuine moment was ruined by their need to throw in pleasantries spoken through gritted teeth. It kind of feels as though this show is terrified of letting its characters feel any tangible emotions, desperate to cover up anything real with some lame joke. SDRR is the Chandler Bing of all TV shows.
The episode ends on what I am assuming was supposed to be a hilarious show of affection towards Gigi: Johnny gets both Gigi and Ava’s name tattooed on either side of his ass cheeks, while Flash covers up his old Gaga ink by replacing the a’s for i’s. Oh, how very rock and roll of you all.