This week’s episode of Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll opens up with the glitz and glam and seductive setting of a photoshoot. The former Heathens have now officially taken on the new band name The Assassins, and proudly pose for the camera. Meanwhile, Johnny Rock lurks in the background, a pained expression on his face. It’s not easy watching his daughter Gigi and his former band bathing in the spotlight, while he is forced to ward of clueless twenty-something-year-olds who have mistaken him for Christopher Walken. On top of that, Gigi and Flash’s relationship seems to have found new grounds with her calling him “Babe” and “Honey” in front of everyone. All this should be enough to make Johnny’s piss boil, but he holds it together surprisingly well and it seems to pay off. Shortly after the photoshoot, Ira comes in to announce that, following the rumors of Johnny’s death, Belgium has found a new love for The Heathens and has insisted on them playing a The Johnny Rock Resurrection Tour. While Ava and Johnny agree that this must be karma, Flash sees the tour as a disaster waiting to happen… until Ira points out that the Belgians are paying $175,000; suddenly all of Flash´s concerns are forgotten.
Later on in the evening, Johnny Rock is working on the setlist for the Belgian show while Ava excitedly (and drunkenly) dances around the living room, seemingly preparing for her performance as a back-up singer. She does seem a tad confused about where Belgium actually is though, waffling on about the Eiffel Tower and Brie. Gigi, clutching her phone as always, let’s her father give her some advice on how to take the crowd on a rock and roll rollercoaster by opening with a rocker (Boom!) and then hitting them with two more (Boom! Boom!), before mixing in some of the mid-tempo stuff and seducing fans with a few ballads. Johnny’s recipe for success is simple: Always leave them wanting for more. But, so far, he has lacked certain ingredients to make this truly happen. Does Gigi have what her father lacks? Ava sure seems to think so. As she continues her tipsy, interpretative dance behind Johnny, she finds herself speaking her thoughts out loud:
We’re gonna go to Belgium, we’re gonna get on stage, Johnny’s gonna totally screw things up and Gigi’s gonna come in to save the day.
Gigi isn’t entirely convinced about Johnny taking the center stage for the show either. She meets with Flash over a cup of coffee the next day and while he refrains from being overly hostile about Johnny—even referring to him as a “brother”—he makes it clear that he is expecting the worst to happen and has past experience to back up his fears. Between flirtatious comments about Gigi’s “gorgeous head” and her eyes, Flash makes his position clear:
[Johnny’s] gonna screw this gig up ‘cause he can’t get out of his own way and I am tired of his problems being our problems. I ain’t in this for the bullshit rock star stuff. I ain’t in it for the limos. I’m in it to make music—great music—with you. Let’s cut him loose.
While Gigi can obviously sympathize with Flash and understands exactly where he is coming from, she decides to give her father another chance. When the band meets with Ira later on that day, Johnny makes it clear that this decision is going to come back to bite Gigi in the ass. Ira comes in to ask the band about their respective stage riders and, within seconds, Johnny and the rest are buzzing more off of the idea of having decadent dressing rooms filled with ridiculous luxuries than actually playing the show. Flash and Gigi are sickened by the bands’ insisting on embracing their “new found rock status” with this pretentious assortment of stage riders, but there’s no talking them in to keeping it simple. They’re like a bunch of junkies in a pharmacy offering over-the-counter drugs.
When the band finally arrives in Belgium, their dressing rooms are decked out to the max—there’s an owl, an iguana, a 16 foot snake, a Batman bong and Belgian Blue—“the strongest weed in Europe.” When it’s finally time to start the show, Johnny starts out incredibly strong, with a whole lot of attitude and all the right moves. But when Bam Bam busts out a drum solo, Johnny goes off on a solo of his own, a trippy one. Suddenly the stage screen is telling him:
YOU SUCK. YOU’RE OLD. THEY HATE YOU. YOUR FLY IS OPEN. WATCH OUT FOR THE OWL!!!
His vision blurs and the dressing room owl starts soaring towards him whilst the 16-foot snake is slithering across the stage. A moment of chaos and confusion sweeps across the stage as Johnny warns the band of the non-existent snake, Bam Bam keeps banging away on his drum solo and Flash and Ava stand around indecisively, not entirely sure of what to make of the situation. Luckily, Johnny flees the stage before too much damage is done and urges Gigi to take over. Gigi’s performance has the crowd going wild and even though the gig started out in true, unreliable Johnny Rock fashion, they are all in a celebratory mood when they spill into the limo later that night. Johnny blames his hallucinations on Rehab’s pills, whereas Ava is convinced it’s the Belgian Blue that did it to him. Johnny’s embarrassed, but not as much as he is proud of his daughter. Flash, who was under the impression that he and Gigi had a solid agreement where her father’s concerned, takes it upon himself to fire him, only to have Gigi stab him in the back.
“You’re all on team Gigi,” she says and then continues to list everything she wants on her stage rider for the next show. At the beginning of the episode, Gigi stood against all things deemed “rock and roll bullshit,” including extravagant stage riders, limos and the big ass ego that comes with being a musician. Now it seems as though she is more than happy to follow in her father’s footsteps. On top of that, we may even be inclined to think that she’s merely using The Heathens/Assassins for her own personal gain—does she really care about the band?