Claws Gives Desna Away To Be Gregory's Unlawfully Wedded Wife
A hurricane is the natural disaster joining all the unnatural disasters on Desna's wedding day in our EPIC OLD-SCHOOL RECAP of 'Breezy,' Claws's Season 2 finale.
Previously: the back half of the season, pretty much, and thus many reminders that the run up to this fake wedding has lasted A WHILE.
Now: the voice of a meteorologist expositing that Palmetto is bracing for Hurricane Ignacio. Then there's a break from format that, depending on your preferences, you will compare favorably or not to the one in "Scream," as a secondary character supplies our narration; this time, it's Virginia. "I don't know where I am, but I can see everything," she says, Sunset Boulevardily. "Remember everything." As she speaks, we get hurricane b-roll intercut with shots of Desna and Gregory, engaged in hand-to-hand combat in a dark hotel room. "Everything that led up to what happened," Virginia VOs. She used to love storms when she was little, because she thought everything would be different when they were over: "Everything sure feels new now, after Desna's big day. Her fairy tale. Except that was all a lie." BITCH, WE'VE BEEN KNOWING. The montage then brings us shots of the happy bride and groom at various points during the wedding. Virginia's still not sure how she feels about the ending of Desna's fairy tale: "But we're not there yet, so we might as well start at the 'once upon a time.'"
So now it's TWO DAYS EARLIER, a title card tells us. Hurricane Ignacio has been downgraded to a tropical storm and is headed out to sea. At the shop, Quiet Ann is pulling down the masking tape on the glass door, even though experts have been trying to tell us for YEARS not to put that shit up in the first place and I feel Quiet Ann would know better! Anyway, Virginia's doing a manicure and glances up as Desna whispers to Quiet Ann that she only has to marry Gregory, and Zlata will do the rest. Desna then makes a throat slash motion with tongue click that, if Virginia can see and hear, are definitely also visible and audible to HER CLIENT, like, these people really need to work on their tradecraft. Virginia playfully asks what they're talking about, and Desna tells her to mind her business. Virginia shoots back that it's no way for Desna to treat her bridesmaid, and Desna's like, "Fake bridesmaid," before pointing at Virginia's client and ordering, "Don't ask." HEY, MAYBE DON'T BROADCAST SHIT IN PUBLIC PLACES THAT THE PUBLIC SHOULDN'T HEAR. Then there's some reiteration about Jenn's imminent move to Tampa, and how sad everyone already is about the thought of her leaving, and when the client's gone, Desna gathers everyone up and thanks them for backing her up in her scam as she heads out for the next phase of it: meeting Gregory at his lawyer's office. "Girl, you sign them papers like the accessory to murder that you are," Virginia tells her. Remember at the end of last week's episode when Desna was telling Polly they just need to accept that they're criminals because they're so good at it? They're REALLY not.
After the title card -- altered so the teeth are biting a rose, to a flourish of flamenco music, for no reason I can guess -- we're looking at Roller and Clint outside an RV, as the omniscient Virginia unnecessarily tells us that even the Hussers could feel the tension in the air. Clint asks how Uncle Daddy is, as though they didn't just spend the last several days together selling a bunch of cocaine and making plans to open another shady business, and Roller -- for the sake of anyone who's deciding to sample the show for the very first time with its second-season finale, I guess -- says he hasn't been the same since Juanda was killed. "Hey, I know that life," says Clint, and Roller seems to soften as Clint adds that seeing his late father in the ground messed him up. "I never said goodbye to mine either," Roller recalls. "To dead daddies," says Clint, and they toast on it, Clint pouring out a generous splash for Ted's sainted memory. "Your dad was quite the legend in Biloxi," Clint adds, setting down his mug so he can clean his gun. "Good businessman. Better gangster. Better than your uncle, that's for sure." Roller says Uncle Daddy's all right, and Clint gives him a sidelong look Roller doesn't see before continuing: "Must've felt real bad after your daddy died....My mama saw them both before the service, fighting like snakes. Then Clay found him bleeding out on the lawn. Last words he ever said was hateful. Can you imagine the guilt he must carry?" Roller squints back but doesn't answer, and Virginia cues us as to what this is all about: "Clint tried to put one over on Roller, but Desna was the one who had to put on the real show."
So over we go to the lawyer's office, where Desna convincingly acts surprised to see a list of all Gregory's real estate holdings. He says he wanted it to be a surprise, and she jokes to the lawyer that Gregory kept it from her in fear that she might be a gold-digger; Gregory laughs that he thought no such thing, and tells her, "Whatever is mine is yours, my love." I guess even if Gregory intends to share his assets with her in the event of a divorce, he has to sign papers to that effect because Florida isn't a community property state, and "equitable distribution" can be kind of squishy? Or possibly this paperwork is his will? Unclear. But Desna sells her premarital happiness and asks where she needs to sign, Virginia's VO admiring her "lying Grammy"-worthy performance.
Desna goes straight from this meeting to Zlata's office at Hammer & Pickle and reports that the papers are signed. She also wants to talk to Zlata about the big day -- which, I will remind you, Dean had told us in the last episode was TODAY, but is actually still a day off -- and looks over her shoulder at Olga before asking if they may speak in private. Zlata is just as messy as the Nail Artisans, saying that Olga is deaf to them while she's playing Candy Crush, and Desna takes Zlata's word for it, asking how she knows Gregory won't try to kill Desna as soon as they're married. Zlata says he's planning to do it on their honeymoon, which is why Desna has to kill him right after the wedding. First of all, the fact that we haven't seen Gregory and Zlata scheming about this since four episodes ago means we really have to take it on faith that Gregory's still sticking to whatever plan he shared with Zlata weeks ago -- and, indeed, that he was even telling Zlata the truth then. Since that time, Boris robbed Gregory (as far as Zlata and Gregory both know), so each now has more of a motive to get rid of the other; one might imagine that Zlata's real reason to take Gregory out when he's still got cake crumbs on his pants is so that Gregory can't take Desna on their honeymoon and get her to ally with him against Zlata.
But I'm just wildly speculating (read: asking questions someone in the writers' room should have) and blowing straight past what is actually the big conflict of the episode, which is that Zlata's just said Desna will be the one who kills Gregory. Desna is only shocked for a second before yelling, "That wasn't the plan! You supposed to do it!" Zlata says Desna's the only one who'll be close enough, and hands her a little zippered pouch with a vial and a syringe inside: "One drop in his drink. It's untraceable." Unbeknownst to Zlata, Olga looks up and watches as Desna repeats that she's not doing it: "That was not our deal." Zlata snaps that there's a new deal now. "I ain't gonna murder nobody!" says Desna. "That's your job." Zlata says Desna doesn't get to choose, and until Gregory's dead, Zlata's still boss: "Unless you want to go back to jail." Desna doesn't -- and really has no option since she's out on steep bail and, stupidly, BEING REPRESENTED BY ZLATA'S LAWYER -- so she takes the gear.
Over to the wedding venue. The other Nail Artisans are all delighted by the opulence, but Desna's in a terrible mood and apparently hasn't told them why, instead biting the head off the events co-ordinator who comes to greet them, on the pretext that it's unacceptable for there also to be a pharmaceutical convention booked on the ground floor. The co-ordinator stammers a promise that she'll hardly notice the conventioneers are there. "I better not!" she barks. Quiet Ann says it's going to be fine, and Virginia adds that they'll get her some edibles to go with the champagne. "Hurry," mutters Jenn. Desna physically shoves this poor events co-ordinator getting past him, though if it makes him look for a job that isn't at an establishment owned by a drug lord, perhaps she's doing him a favour?
At the Husser encampment, Uncle Daddy is grilling chicken. Roller comes over to say Desna just texted to say Zlata's killing Gregory at the wedding (which, was this scene supposed to have happened earlier?), and Uncle Daddy exposits that the Hussers will kill Zlata after that, whereupon things will go back to normal. Roller then abruptly changes the subject to the reminiscing he and Clint were doing about their dead daddies, and Uncle Daddy recalls that the anniversary of Roller Sr.'s death is imminent. Roller casually asks Uncle Daddy to tell him the story of how Roller's mother got shot. After briefly trying to put Roller off, Uncle Daddy spins a yarn with too many details, starting with what a pretty Sunday it was -- the kind of day that tricks you by giving no indication of the bad things yet to come. Furthermore, the sermon that day was about loss, as though the clergyman somehow knew. "Must've been a hell of a sermon, huh?" Roller comments. Uncle Daddy, squinting, says it was beautiful, and starts to choke up: "And then I walk out, and I see your mama and daddy, like that, lying on the lawn, full of holes. I'll never forget it."
Uncle Daddy is downcast until he gives the tiniest peek up to see if Roller's buying this. Roller gives no indication either way, looking off into the distance. Uncle Daddy asks why Roller wants to talk about this, and Roller says he just misses his father: "Each year it gets harder and harder to remember his face." Uncle Daddy says grief can cloud your memory like that, but that Roller Sr. is alive in both their hearts: "Juanda and I, we took you boys that very night, we took y'all home, 'cause I wanted you to know beyond a doubt that you had someone to love you and take care of you." Clint watches Roller grimace as Uncle Daddy pulls Roller into a hug. Uncle Daddy tries to downshift into his usual jocularity by saying that, with Bryce on his way to Tampa, Roller better not go anywhere; speaking of Bryce, Roller says, he has to go help him move. Uncle Daddy warily watches him go, and when he looks behind him, Clint's working on his motorcycle and studiously avoiding Uncle Daddy's eye.
That evening, the Nail Artisans have checked into their suite and changed into matching red satin pyjamas; Jenn's gluing individual rhinestones (or, given Gregory's black Amex, possibly real Swarovski crystals) on Desna's nails, while Virginia and Quiet Ann goof around on the bed. Everyone is uproariously remembering such past heights of debauchery as when Jenn flashed her tetas at a school bus full of children that she, for some reason, thought were a professional football team; Desna, however, is staying quiet and morosely pouring herself more champagne. Virginia warns her to cool it so she doesn't look bloated on Instagram, and when Quiet Ann says they'll need to document the event for Polly, Desna says she's glad Polly's missing it. Jenn decides to try to cheer Desna up with a preview of her wedding speech, but she can't even get through a whole sentence about the huge heart that beats under Desna's huge bosom before breaking down in tears, promising she'll keep it together tomorrow. Virginia takes her turn to say it used to bother her that Desna always roasted her for being half Asian and a former stripper, but now she knows it's because Desna just wants her to be better. ...I mean, I guess that covers the insults about her career, though it's not very respectful to a whole class of workers who are just trying to support themselves, the same as the rest of us, but denigrating Virginia's ethnicity is gross and entirely inexcusable?
Whatever: Desna makes no attempt to pretend she's moved, and then it's time for Quiet Ann, who doesn't even get as far as Jenn and surprises herself by starting to cry when all she's done is stood up and looked at Desna. But she pulls it together: "There are bad bitches in this world, right?...But once in a generation comes along a true O.G. gangster boss bitch." "I know that's right," says Jenn tearfully. "That's you, Desna," says Quiet Ann. "Don't ever change." Desna tears up at that one, leaping up and hoarsely saying "I can't" as she takes off for the bathroom. Jenn offers to go talk to her, but Quiet Ann is on it, since I guess if you break it you buy it?
Over to the Husser commune. I'm going to say whoever dressed this set never had kids, because who would keep a cardboard box of stuffed animals in the garage? Gross! Anyway, Bryce and Roller are in there packing when Roller jokes that they're not going to take any time before they leave to stab another rabbi, and they both crack up because murder is hilarious and Bryce is very sensitive but also isn't traumatized at all. Bryce bows theatrically, calling Hank's murder his "final performance as a lowlife"; he intends to be 100% law-abiding in his new life. You know, just like everyone else in Tampa. It's basically Salt Lake City. By chance, there's a framed photo on top of one of the boxes, depicting baby Bryce's first birthday, their parents behind him as he blows out the candle. Roller asks if Bryce remembers their father's death, which of course Bryce could never forget. Roller asks if Bryce knew Uncle Daddy and Actual Daddy "had a beef"; Bryce suspiciously asks where this is coming from, and Roller tells him to forget it. Bryce is sufficiently sensitive to notice Roller's preoccupation, and urges Roller to talk to him. When Roller says he's hung up on something Clint said, Bryce reminds him that they don't know him. Roller continues anyway, reporting that Clint's mother claimed to have seen Uncle Daddy fighting with their father at the church on that fateful day -- but Uncle Daddy was supposed to have been in Gulfport when their father was killed: "How do we even know who this man is." Bryce reminds Roller that Uncle Daddy has been good to them: "This whole conversation is a nest of shit hornets I have no desire to step into." Roller, disappointed, drops it.
In the bathroom, Desna tells Quiet Ann she's supposed to, you know, assassinate Gregory the next day. Quiet Ann intensely tells her it's going to be okay, then cryptically asks, "Did you make the call?" Desna says she's called five times and left messages, but then trails off. Quiet Ann says they'll just keep trying: "We got this." Desna repeats it, and wipes her eyes as she says they just have to make it one more day, and Quiet Ann's in the middle of reassuring her when a fucking SEAGULL smashes through the window above the tub. Then the power goes out. Cool, no ill portents here!
The storm is raging when the unlucky and definitely underpaid events co-ordinator goes up to Desna's room to get yelled at, by her, for suggesting that they postpone the wedding. "We will proceed with the wedding as planned," Desna declares. Jenn tries to change her mind, but Desna insists, "I'm not postponing this wedding one more day," and Quiet Ann, her voice tight, backs her up and asks what she needs. Desna loses it, sobbing that she needs "all the wedding shit," and the rest of the Nail Artisans have jumped in to list specifics -- food, flowers, drinks -- when suddenly Polly's at the door. Okay, I know they added a day to Dean's "tomorrow" but it still has NOT been 72 hours, and even Virginia knows to ask, "They let you OUT?" Polly evasively says it was something like that. Virginia then asks if Lillian's there with them right now, which, too soon (honestly far sooner than should even be possible), and Polly takes Jenn's phone to shine the flashlight under her chin as she says, "Lillian is inside me now." Everyone screams with laughter because psychotic breaks are a RIOT. The tone on this episode is...weird. Right?
Then we're montaging as the Nail Artisans throw together a makeshift dirtbag wedding featuring Twinkies, Cheetos, donuts, and pool noodle crafts. Desna's painting seashells gold when her phone pings, and as she slinks off, Virginia's VO tells us, "You may have thought things were going batshit, but Desna? She had something up her weave."
In a storage room, Desna meets Arlene, presumably the person Desna told Quiet Ann she'd called five times. Phew! She finally got her. Arlene's brought a hoodie with a wire in it, and a syringe filled with something she can swap for whatever Zlata gave her: "It'll knock Ruval out so you can get away." Desna smiles with a mix of relief and worry...
...and then comes out to the ballroom to thank everyone for their efforts: "Tomorrow's going to be perfect." Spoiler: it's not.
The next day is, per a b-roll bumper, still very stormy, and then the camera's panning down from the glass ceiling of the event space to the ceremony, Desna and Gregory already at the altar. Dean and Desna had that nice moment where he asked if he could give her away and then we don't even get to see it? Lame. Instead of traditional vows, Desna wants to speak from the heart, and tells Gregory he's the most gentle man she's ever known. Already this is starting off extremely fraudulent because, hello, DEAN?! And it just gets worse as she says he's honest and Virginia's VO is like, "Wait, WHAT?"
The Nail Artisans, arrayed behind Desna at the altar, are not doing near as good a job as she is at selling this con. Anyway, Desna goes on, calling Gregory generous, which is the most accurate thing she's said yet. "I mean, I thought my years of dreaming had passed," she says, before turning to the guests to say, "Y'all know I ain't no spring chicken." They chuckle politely. "But you proved me wrong," says Desna, while Madame looks on, scowling. "I will honour and cherish you," says Desna, "until the day you die." I get it. "Desna," says Gregory. "You had me eating out of your hand the very moment I met you. You fed me shrimp, if I remember correctly. I have never met a woman with as much strength and resilience as you." AND YOU NEVER WILL, MOTHERFUCKER. "I will honour and cherish you, in sickness and health, until death do us part." "And just like that," says Virginia's VO, "Desna's nightmare came true." The officiant pronounces them man and wife. Not that there was ever any doubt she'd pull it off; even if Gregory did suspect her, who could resist Desna in that dress?!
Over to the reception. Desna is still completely committed to the bit with Gregory on the dance floor, pulling him close to say, "Let's live tonight like it's our last." "I'm going to give you everything your heart desires," Gregory replies. They kiss -- first in a very chaste and appropriate way, and then Desna gives his lips a quick lick that even Virginia's VO finds a little much.
Elsewhere, Jenn says the nail shop in Tampa offered her a job over the phone after they saw her work. Bryce suggests "fancy hotel sex." Jenn's about it! Hope you liked that sendoff because other than a long shot of Jenn in a crowd later, that's the last you're going to see of either of these Hussers until Season 3!
Polly must be on some very hard stuff, because she's dancing with Dr. Ken, who says he went to the hospital "a bunch of times" to see her. She was in it for less than a day, but, sure. She claims they let her out for the wedding but, when pressed, admits that she snuck out of the hospital dressed as a nurse. At least no time was wasted on showing that caper to us after all the screen time devoted to the endless "True Colors" dance.
Roller's dancing with Olga, and based on the height differential I'm going to say Katherine Reis is wearing five-inch stilettos and standing on an apple box. It seems as though Roller has arranged to spirit Olga and Bogdan away from Zlata, and isn't even angry anymore, telling her, "It's not your fault. I was a pawn, you was a pawn. We deserve better than this." Even as his eye is following Desna as she crosses the dance floor to the ladies' room, Olga is desperately saying she and Roller can start fresh: "We good?" Distractedly, Roller says they are, before letting himself be pulled along by Desna's unintended yet irresistible tractor beam. This, Olga notices, and she follows them from a few paces back. (Gregory, dancing with Madame, remains oblivious.)
Desna's just opened the door to the bathroom when Roller comes right in behind her, in tears as he says he thinks Uncle Daddy killed his father. Desna thinks that's crazy: "He raised you and Bryce." "He put my mom and dad in the grave," Roller insists. "He didn't raise nothing. He's a fake. My wife's a fake. My kid's a fake, D. Your husband's a fake." "Slow down," Desna tells him. Roller sobs that Desna's the only real thing in his life, and falls onto her shoulder, while she puts her arms around him while obviously calculating how long she has to allow this before it's no longer safe for either of them to be absent from the reception. When Roller's stood up again to look at her, Desna promises him that everything's going to be all right, and he agrees before smashing into her face to kiss her. As usual, she can't resist him, and lets him maneuver her onto the counter so he can put his head under her skirts and go to work. Desna protests...for, apparently, exactly as long as it takes for his tongue to get through her wedding Spanx.
Outside the door, Olga listens in shock, and if she gasps, it's drowned out by the sound of Desna's moaning.
Then there's a brief interlude of Quiet Ann hitting on a beautiful bartender with "How do you get off. Did I say that?...I meant when." Of course it works. It would work on any one of us. Hope you liked that sendoff because that's it for Quiet Ann until Season 3 as well!
Roller and his pussface are making their way back into the party when Clint calls him into a store room, where Uncle Daddy is waiting. Roller says he's off-duty, but Uncle Daddy says they need to take Zlata out, as soon as the party winds down. I can't believe they make a point of saying she's staying in the Presidential Suite without including any jokes about Russians or hookers or pee tapes, so maybe this marks a new era of restraint with regard to the topical humour. Anyway, Roller's like, "Whatever you say," and Uncle Daddy asks what's up with him lately. Roller says he's just been thinking, and Uncle Daddy cracks, "Oh, that's a first!" Slowly advancing on him (as Clint subtly moves out of the way), Roller asks why Uncle Daddy's always calling him dumb. "'Cause you act like a dumb idiot sometimes," Uncle Daddy snarls. "Like a lot of times." Roller nods, waiting to retaliate, and Uncle Daddy soon backs down, saying Roller isn't dumb, but that he's ruled by his appetites -- you know, unlike Uncle Daddy, who's so chaste and disciplined he's basically Amish. (If we found out Toby had an Amish costume with a hat and beard and patent leather hot pants that he wears when he's "raising" the "barn," would we be surprised?) Anyway, Clint quietly says he's going to give them some space, but Uncle Daddy orders him to stay; they're all just going to wait.
The lights are flickering as we see Desna's moved on to dancing with Dean. They exchange compliments about their very sharp wedding looks before Dean comments that he wishes all this were real for her. Looking wistful for a moment, Desna says that Dean is real for her, and that they'll always be real for each other. Dean says he doesn't want to know what her plan is, but hopes it's going well; she says it is. Across the floor, Virginia gives Dean a deliberate nod, and he takes off as she comes over so Desna can tell her not to let Dean out of their hotel room tonight, no matter what happens. Virginia's on it. "Shit's about to get real," says Virginia's VO. "Realer than any of us could've guessed." As Virginia hustles off, the approaching Gregory asks, "Shall we, Mrs. Ruval?" "Ooh, I like the way you say my name!" purrs Desna, taking his arm. She agrees that it's "about that time" even though we can see out the doors to the courtyard, where it's so bright I'm going to guess it's about 10 AM. As Gregory and Desna walk through, she locks eyes with Zlata and nods. Zlata mouths something that looks like "Kill it," though even after a whole season with her mushmouth, I can't be entirely certain. Maybe it's "galette."
In the honeymoon suite, Desna's just squirted the entire syringe's worth of knockout juice into Gregory's martini glass when he comes out of the bathroom in a robe; she hands him the drink in another echo of her long-ago black-and-white sitcom horror -- but at the moment he's less interested in drinking his cocktail and more interested in telling her how beautiful she looks, which: understandable. Desna tries to keep a lid on her anxiety about his dosed drink while he leads her to the bed and tells her about his surprise: for their honeymoon, he's going to sail them through the Caribbean on the Matilde's Heart, as soon as the storm lets up. She says that'll be exciting, and then tries again to get him his drink, but he stops her (again) and says he's been waiting for this moment his whole life. She laughs and wriggles away, saying it's a whole production to get out of her dress, so she's going to deal with that and take a shower. "Don't be silly," he tells her, starting to tighten up. But she knows his love language (or whatever it is he actually feels for her) and sets a hand on his cheek, telling him, "I just want everything to be perfect." I feel like she should at least start by letting him undo all her buttons, but on the other hand, I see how good she looks, and maybe that's not safe.
So even though the power's on in Gregory and Desna's suite, the kitchen is lit by emergency lights when Roller and Uncle Daddy end up in there. Uncle Daddy complains that they're supposed to be looking for Zlata, which is when Roller slams him up against a pillar and accuses him of killing Roller's father. A struggle ensues, but obviously Roller pretty easily gets the better of Uncle Daddy, leaving him on the floor in a puddle of self-pity as Roller disgustedly spits that Uncle Daddy can't admit what he did. He stalks out, leaving Uncle Daddy to look at his distorted reflection in one of the pans they knocked down.
WHAT IS THIS TWISTED WRECK UNCLE DADDY HAS BECOME is what I think I'm supposed to feel, but like, he's a piece of shit, whether he's innocent of this particular charge or not. But then, as the door to the walk-in freezer opens in the background of the shot, Uncle Daddy, in the foreground, pulls out his gun and sticks it in his mouth? Wait: earlier, Virginia's VO said that "Clint tried to put one over on Roller." But did he? Because this reaction from Uncle Daddy makes it look like Clint was telling Roller the truth. At least Virginia hasn't opined on anything else important that we haven't also witnessed, but still, figure out your story, show. Uncle Daddy's about to pull the trigger when we hear Juanda's voice: "Take that shit out of your mouth. Always did have an oral fixation. You can think of better things to suck on than that old gun, can't you, Clay?" By now, Juanda's ghost is next to Uncle Daddy, still as bloody as the moment of her death, and crouches down to suggest, "Why don't you call Toby, baby? He has such a wonderful penis." I think we got it on "better things to suck on," but thanks for making sure we weren't missing any subtlety. Uncle Daddy sobs as he takes the gun barrel out of his mouth. "You might as well tell Roller," says Juanda. "I can't, baby!" Uncle Daddy sniffles. "Free yourself," says Juanda. "We had our reasons." SO WAS CLINT TELLING THE TRUTH OR NOT? GOD!!! Juanda tells Uncle Daddy to "end the Russian bitch" and get Roller back. There's a storm coming, and she doesn't mean the hurricane: "We need you strong." Smiling sadly, Uncle Daddy says he's ready to be with her, but she tells him, "Not yet, baby." She's just pulled her hand away from his cheek when Clint comes back in, saying he's got the master key. He stops at the sight of Uncle Daddy and asks what happened: "Did Roller do that?" Uncle Daddy says they had a disagreement. "That boy's got no respect," says Clint. "Treating the man who raised him like that? It's a crying shame." Instead of answering that one, Uncle Daddy wants to go find Zlata.
Desna comes out of the bathroom in her nightgown and robe, both martinis still untouched and Gregory leaning against the back of the couch next to them. She notes that he hasn't had any of his drink, and he says he wants to work up a thirst. He's about to go in for a kiss when his phone rings. "It's Olga," says Olga. "Zlata and Desna are working together." Gregory turns to look at his bride as she picks up the drinks AGAIN and brings his over. "Desna plans to kill you any minute now," says Olga, "so, maybe don't drink anything. Also, she loves Roller still. They do sex in toilet room after service." "That's great news, thank you," laughs Gregory, his eyes steady on Desna's in the mirror. "But you know what -- I just got married, and I'll have to get back to you next week." Gregory's menacing smile takes us, creepily, into the commercial break...
...and we pick up more or less where we left off, though Desna's actually managed to get their drinks into their hands so she can toast, "To us." Gregory puts his hand on her jaw...and THEN the power goes out for THEM, so I guess the wiring's completely different one floor up from where the Hussers are. "I know what you're trying to do," says Gregory, which Desna hasn't even registered before he's grabbing her by the throat and slamming her against the wall, smashing the glass on a framed piece of art with her body. She breaks a lamp on his head, and he grabs her again, pulling her onto a coffee table with him, which they both break. Desna stands back up, holding in her hand a large and very pointy piece of glass, which she holds between them. "You really did save the good stuff for the wedding night, huh?" he spits. "Don't come any closer to me," she chokes. "Or what?" he growls. "You don't want to find out," she replies. She demands to know what happened to make him turn so cold, and he laughs mirthlessly: "Now you want to get to know me?" "You made me love you!" she yells. "You wanted to believe!" he shoots back. As she struggles to catch her breath, he lunges toward her again, but she holds him back by brandishing her shard. He asks how long she's been working with Zlata, and when she doesn't answer, he basically dares her to stab him, opening his robe, and...I guess he didn't really get to know her, either, because of course she leaps forward and opens a slash across his chest. He laughs maniacally: "Even fiercer than I thought! But you know what? I love you. But I'm going to kill you and throw your body in the sea." "YOU LYING SACK OF SHIT," Desna screams. He comes at her again, and although, as I mentioned, it's very dark, I think what happens is that she uses this shard of coffee table glass to cut off his cock??? He's definitely holding his hands over his crotch as he staggers backwards, and while I know there would be a high degree of difficulty in making such a precise cut with a jagged, fairly blunt weapon, if any woman alive could do it, Desna Simms is she. (The only thing that makes me think maybe she didn't is that, when his body is discovered, there aren't any jokes about the state of his corpse, which normally I would think this show would be tasteless enough to make -- and not In A Dignified Way.) We don't ever get a really clear look at his injury, though, because before Gregory can come at her again, Desna's rushing him all the way back to the balcony and pushing him over. It's not a huge drop -- we saw the building from the outside and it only looked to be two storeys tall -- but whatever Desna did to him below the waist has already caused him to bleed through to the back of his robe, so even if he did survive the fall, he probably doesn't have the strength to seek help before he dies of blood loss. Uh. Bye, dude!
It's intense, but after catching her breath, Desna gets dressed, topping her outfit with the hoodie Arlene brought her.
In the darkened hallway, Madame is just scooting around in her wheelchair, a gun in her left hand, bellowing Gregory's name in English AND French. I hope Desna wasn't just being dramatic when she said they'd reserved the whole floor, because...nope, even if the other guests know who Madame is, that would be extremely annoying and unacceptable.
Down in the lounge, Roller is posted up behind the bar, and pours a Remy Martin for Polly. (There are a bunch of drunk revelers at the end of the bar, and while you might think these are the pharmaceutical conventioneers Desna was so worried were going to crash her wedding, that plot point never comes up again.) Roller asks why they never hang out, and Polly guesses, "That's probably because you're a dirty south, sociopathic, thug life, country boy, meatheaded sexist neanderthal." Okay, there aren't a lot of characters in this cast who could reasonably think they're superior to Roller, and Polly is absolutely not one of them. Anyway, Roller's not bothered and tells her she's right. "Nice look, though," says Polly, and I support her efforts to encourage him to close his shirts. Just then, Olga comes trudging in. Roller can tell something's wrong, and she denies it at first before admitting that she dimed out Desna to Gregory.
Polly delivers a soap opera-worthy slap as she barks that Desna's not going to kill Gregory, Zlata is, forcing Olga to give her the whole story. Polly then slaps her AND backhands her before telling Roller they have to go to Desna's room: "Do you have your gun?" "Does a crocodile shit in the woods?" Roller replies. "I hope so," says Polly. Off they go!
Desna's already vacated the honeymoon suite when Roller and Polly get there, but obviously the evidence of the struggle is all around them and disturbing, and they take off again to try to find her.
Desna is, we see, on her way to Zlata's room to get her confession on the wire. Zlata's first question is, of course, whether it's done; Desna tells her what happened, and that they have to get out of there since Gregory probably has muscle around. As soon as they open the door, however, Madame is right behind them, pulling her gun and ordering them back into the room. Again, she is SO loud, and she hasn't even shot anyone. Thoughts and prayers to the concierge who's getting all these noise complaints. They will have much to commiserate about the next time the events co-ordinator takes them out for drinks.
Zlata and Desna let Madame back them into Zlata's room with their hands up, Madame demanding to know where Gregory is. Desna claims he got a call from the front desk about a woman in labour that he went to help. Madame says she saw the room, "dripping with blood," and Desna tries, "Because...she had.....complications?" Madame hisses at her to stop lying, and then stands up, the better to glare straight at Desna as she demands to know where Gregory is. Just then, the power comes back on, and as Madame's startled by the lights, Zlata puts her hand on Madame's gun and shoots her in the stomach. She falls on the ground moaning while Zlata briskly directs Desna to the paperwork signing Gregory's properties over to her. I doubt that one signature on a one-page document would do it all, or that there wouldn't be tax implications on both their sides for the transfer of ownership of millions of dollars' worth of property without any money actually changing hands, but for the sake of moving on, let's pretend.
When Desna's turned around, though, Zlata's holding a gun on her. The video pauses as Virginia's VO breaks in to judge Desna for not picking her friends better, when everyone else knew Zlata "was a nope from the get-go." I seem to recall someone whose ethical qualms melted away as long as she was getting champagne and cash and moved into a mansion with a pool she and Dean could have sex in, but whatever. "You're putting a gun on me now?" gasps Desna, for the benefit of the cops. "You're only messy part left," says Zlata hoarsely. "All your 'we run the world' girl power bullshit," says Desna. "I believed it!" Desna, I know it's painful, but seeing through the grift that is commodified faux feminism is the first step to enlightenment. There is no true liberation for any woman under capitalism! Zlata could never tell you this BECAUSE SHE MAY BE RUSSIAN BUT SHE IS NOT A COMMIE!!!!! (I am so psyched never to have to scream this again.) (Spoiler.) Zlata says she also believed those slogans, to a certain extent, but was mostly telling Desna what she wanted to hear, and that it was sad how thirsty Desna was for it. Desna calls Zlata a sociopath, and Zlata doesn't deny it, saying she saw a lot of bad shit in her youth and had to figure out how not to feel it: "My way works." Desna breathlessly says, "You don't have shit," easily leading Zlata into a bunch of stupid confessions: "I have very attractive real estate portfolio thanks to dead doctor. I have thriving pain clinics. And I maybe lost some coke to Ruval -- who cares, I already have new source....I definitely won," Zlata concludes. "Did you, Zlata?" Desna asks. Zlata tells her to get on her knees, and she does, but then they both hear the sirens approaching. "I'm the last woman you should underestimate," says Desna, taking them back to the earliest days of their relationship. "Bad move, Desna," Zlata murmurs. Her hand is out of frame when we hear the gunshot, but she's not the one who pulled the trigger: Zlata falls, and behind her is...Dean. Virginia, you had ONE JOB but for once it's actually a good thing you didn't do it. "Sister friend," mumbles Zlata with a mouthful of blood...
...but Desna doesn't have time for her dying declarations and shoves her out of the way by her head as Dean slowly sidesteps into the room, keeping the gun trained on Zlata. When he gets near Desna, she frantically gestures for him not to say anything, and does the same to Roller and Polly as they appear in the doorway, folding back her hoodie to show them the wire inside. Gingerly, Desna takes the gun out of Dean's hand, and Roller and Polly hustle him out. Desna has just yanked the "BOSS" necklace off Zlata when Clint and Uncle Daddy come in, soon to have the worst murder blue balls ever.
Many hours later, various first responders are doing their various things in front of the hotel. Arlene comes over to Desna, sitting in the back of an ambulance having just had her shard hand bandaged; sounding amused, she chirps, "Well! We found Ruval's body!" Desna heatedly says he tried to kill her, and when Arlene adds that they also found Madame, Desna just kind of purses her lips instead of saying, I don't know, Zlata shot her? Which is the actual truth? If they test Desna's hand for gun shot residue they're not going to find any but they will on Zlata! Come on! Anyway, Arlene apparently doesn't care much about Madame, which, fair, and asks whether Desna got everything they need from Zlata. Handing her the hoodie, Desna says she confessed to everything, and Arlene says she'll have the charges dropped in the morning, then. (Was this supposed to be a day for night shot? It is morning.) "Even if she's dead?" Desna checks. Arlene says it still helps them shut down Zlata's operation. Desna then warily asks, "What about the salon?" "Sorry, Desna," says Arlene. "The salon is ours now." Good luck to Desna's old clientele. I would NOT trust a cop to give a pedicure.
Arlene's just moved off when Dean comes toward Desna, who rushes to cut him off, hug him, and then asks why he did it. Dean just wanted to make sure she was okay, because someone had to. Her voice squealing, Desna says she never wanted Dean involved in any of this, and she's sorry. Dean, perfectly chipper, tells her it's okay -- it was his choice. Desna intensely says he can't tell anyone, ever, and Dean says he wouldn't do anything that stupid.
"It felt like we lost everything that day," says Virginia's VO, "even the stuff we never thought we'd lose." Dr. Ken drives Polly up to the hospital, and before she gets out, they exchange "I love you"s, and even though he knows perfectly well that Polly already escaped from this hospital once against medical advice, he just lets her walk herself back in and pulls away before she's even gotten TO the door, never mind through it, and while I had assumed she was going to make a run for it...
...no, it's just that fucking Lillian is back. Great.
What happened with Bryce and Jenn? Don't know! Did Dean and Virginia move out of the shitty motel? Don't know! Where's Quiet Ann?! I DON'T KNOW. What I do know is that Desna looks spectacular in white.
With newly curly hair, Zlata's "BOSS" necklace, and a head-to-toe white look including a capelet, Desna strides into what is probably about to be She She's again, to meet with Uncle Daddy, Clint by his side and Roller by the bar. He starts with pleasantries for "Miss Desna," to the effect that the day she's been waiting for has finally arrived, and she agrees that she's been waiting a long time. Uncle Daddy condescendingly says they're going to make it simple for her: they'll use her license to open more clinics, and pay her once for each new clinic, "no profit participation." "No deal," says Desna. Clint looks confused as Uncle Daddy purrs that he promised Clint "a piece of the pie." Clint starts to tell Desna he admires what she did at the hotel, but she shuts him up by raising one pointy finger and then tells Uncle Daddy, "I like pie. I like it a lot. Only thing that's better than a piece of the pie is the whole pie, Clay." The government has seized the nail salon as a corrupt enterprise, but the other businesses Zlata took over aren't also padlocked? Sure! Sure! SURE! Uncle Daddy warns her to think about what she's saying, and she says she's thought what it might be like if she had a boss who actually valued and respected her and maybe even taught her something. Then she realized she knows more about running these businesses than all the members of Uncle Daddy's crew put together. "Boy, you need to get your woman here in check," grits Uncle Daddy to Roller. "I don't take orders from you, Clay," says Roller, getting off his stool to stand next to Desna -- actually, kind of beside her and kind of behind, as is appropriate. "She's exactly where she needs to be," Roller adds. Desna asks what Uncle Daddy has to say now. He ignores her, and hisses at Roller that no matter what happened between them, they're still family. Roller doesn't seem to agree, and lays a smacky kiss on Desna on his way out. "Thank you for underestimating me," Desna squints at Uncle Daddy. "That shit taught me a lot. Now get out of my face."
Nina Simone's iconic "Feeling Good" starts to play under the end of this scene and takes us outside, as Desna walks out and sees Virginia waiting by her car, taking a selfie. Desna smirks and says, "Let's ride." "It was like, in that moment, Des finally saw me," claims Virginia's VO, and since nothing we're seeing suggests that at all, I have to assume a shit-ton got cut out of this episode while they were also rearranging which scenes took place before/during the power outage at the hotel, BUT ANYWAY.
Virginia's VO goes on: "After Ruval, the cops, losing the salon, we were the only two left." Wait, SERIOUSLY, WHAT HAPPENED TO QUIET ANN?! We don't find out: instead, we hear Virginia's VO telling us that Desna helped Mandy, her old realtor, get back on her feet (in a matter of, at the most, weeks? SURRRRRRE), and Mandy helped get Desna "one more slice of the pie." Mandy meets Virginia and Desna outside a large, ugly building, where she explains that after looking through Gregory's portfolio, she found "he left this in [Desna's] name." Why IN THE WORLD would Desna be allowed to keep it given what the cops know? It's a good thing this show is about to end for the season, because I love it but IT MAKES ME INSANE. "Wait, what?" says Desna (me, also, I say that too). The building, it turns out, is a casino. Mandy asks if she wants to go check it out, and Desna asks her to give them a minute to freak out to each other that Desna's rich, bitch! Desna's still plotzing as Virginia looks over her shoulder and sees two figures in black pulling up on a motorcycle (not, by the way, the one we saw Clint working on earlier). I guess Virginia can hear the same foreboding music we do, because she gets a bad feeling about this vehicle and sure enough, the driver stops and the passenger on the back pulls out a handgun with a silencer. "OH SHIT, DES," yells Virginia, pushing her down just as the passenger fires. The bike pulls off and Desna sits up, Virginia unconscious next to her on the ground. As Desna pulls Virginia into her lap, Virginia's VO starts wrapping things up: "Why did I do it? Because I love her. She's the mother I never had, the friend I always wanted, and the sister I guess I had to earn." Desna screeches for someone to help her and jostles her around an awful lot considering Virginia's just been shot in the head, even though it sure looks like the bullet just grazed her -- and barely, by the way.
Virginia's VO gets the last word: "Never knew you loved me this much, did you, Des?" Please God, let the writers spend this year figuring out how to get all the Nail Artisans back together. And LEARNING HOW BUSINESSES WORK.