The Starter Wife Recap: June 21

I’m a sucker for the opening dream sequences, were Molly places herself and the people in her life in scenes from classic movies. I particularly liked this one, the ending scene in Casablanca, where Ilsa (Molly) is torn between leaving Casablanca (Malibu) or staying with Rick (Sam). “We’ll always have Starbucks,” Sam says. “As Time Goes By” plays softly in the background. I have always thought Debra Messing looks remarkably like Ingrid Bergman, and here she is--trench coat, hat, the whole shebang! I always wondered what it would look like if she did that.

Molly meets with a hard-nosed divorce lawyer who informs her that the trial will be pretty nasty, and is instructed to sign nothing. Meanwhile, Rodney goes out to a successful little date with Aaron, who invites him for a weekend getaway to Santa Barbara. It seems like the romance is blossoming, though Rodney is a little timid.

Cricket can’t seem to shake the image of her husband screwing the nanny. To make herself feel better, she stops by an open house to see the sexy realtor that she met when Molly was house hunting, but before anything happens, she becomes embarrassed and leaves. It is clear that “settling the score” will not solve her problem--the marriage will never be the same.

After a “walk” to Sam’s “house,” Molly (who's been doing a lot of, ahem, "walking," with Sam as of late) sits down with Joan for an afternoon heart-to-heart, who tells her flat-out that she is quitting drinking, for good. She seems sincere--though she still vows to never tell her husband, Pappi, the truth about rehab and the car crash, Molly doesn’t push the issue and goes to bed, proud of her friend. But of course, the second Joan is alone again, she pulls out the vodka and is back at it.

Kenny and Molly’s first court battle is just a complicated game played by lawyers, offering money here, declining there, pushing around the proper reasoning and jargon as necessary. Kenny is on an ego trip about his new high-paying job and offers her a very generous amount. Molly hesitates, and before you can say “alimony,” Kenny’s lawyer decides that they’d rather wait a few days.

Molly and Sam are out on one of their cute cheap dates when they get to talking about Joan and the car accident. Sam finally shares his secret story: During his wealthy days as an investment banker, he got in a drunk driving accident, killing his friend and landing himself in the hospital. Devastated, he pleaded guilty, and has forever felt in debt to his friend’s mother, who he contacted after his prison sentence. The mother is none other than Mrs. Caldecott, the older woman he works for. Sam is a “broken man.” This is some serious emotional baggage.

For the second time in this episode, we see Molly dressed in all black, this time for Lou’s memorial service, where she runs into none other than Lou himself, in disguise so he could see what people would say about him. He sits in the giant theater and becomes emotional at all the wonderful things person after person has to say in his memory. Full of regret, Lou gets on stage and reveals himself to everyone. It’s a little strange, (he’s wearing heels and a pearl necklace) but everyone is overjoyed and just happy he’s back.

Back in Malibu, Joan bails on the plastic surgery (everyone’s bailing on things today!) and the girls gather around the TV to watch the news coverage of the now-resolved scandal. They catch a clip of Lou firing Kenny, getting the bad news that he’s fired, and they revel in the “poetic justice.” Molly finally seems to have a peace of mind. She gets a call from Lou as he’s doing roadside cleanup as community service, and he invites her to dinner. As she’s watching Sam and Jayden play on the beach, she gracefully declines. Everyone (minus Kenny) is glad Lou’s back and all, but now Molly is back to the problem of two men! Will Lou’s more typical lifestyle and newfound zest for life win her over, or is she willing to forget all that to stay with Sam and his permanently broken spirit?

On the way out the door to her first children’s book publisher meeting in years, Molly realizes that she left something in the house and goes back in. She catches Joan pouring a glass of vodka while simultaneously lying to her husband on the phone about how well she is doing in rehab, but Joan doesn’t see her. She decides to keep silent and head out. At the meeting, she faces the hard truth that her story is simply not good enough. Ouch…rejected.

Her luck has begun to take a turn. The next thing we know, she is in a meeting with her lawyer, who has some more bad news. Kenny is “crying poor” after losing his big exec job and Molly’s out to get nothing in the divorce.

Rodney and Lavender head over to Shoshanna’s to take some decorating measurements, and walk in on her getting busy with someone who is definitely not Kenny. “Who’s Kenny?” says the man under the sheets. Shoshanna quickly explains that he’s the former movie exec who’s always trying to get in her pictures, making some air quotes when she used the term “boyfriend.”

At a weekend brunch party at Joan’s, Sam is finally put in the same room as all of Molly’s friends. They are discussing TV and Sam says the unthinkable…

“What is American Idol?”

They are, understandably, speechless. It’s the first time that it’s so obvious they live in two separate worlds. Sam briefly leaves the table and walks in on Joan sneaking a swig of vodka from the freezer. They have a cold encounter, and he is blunt with her about not trying to quit. She counters, and is blunt about his relationship with Molly. “Do you really think you’ll be around long enough for us to become friends?” she asks. These two do not get along.

Back upstairs, everyone is just trying to have a good time. Aaron finds out that Sam is an extremely qualified businessman and offers him a decent job. Sam says he’ll think about it, but is hesitant. Molly seems offended that he wouldn’t immediately accept, but she really should have known better. After a little tiff, Sam decides he’s just not cut out for that life and bolts. Everyone is awkward. Jorge and Cricket are even fighting. And then, just as you think it can’t get any worse, Pappi comes home. He takes one look at Joan and tells her, “The party’s over.” What is happening to everyone here?!

Molly is completely overwhelmed, and goes to Lou’s. She’s looking for a friend, and he is there to welcome him with open arms.

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