How the other half of Phyllis lives â€” At Phyllis' fund-raising shindig, Helena chats with Phyllis' husband, Leonard, who's eating all the hors d'ouevres. "[Phyllis] certainly manages to squeeze a lot in," notes Helena. Har hrrr.
Elsewhere, Phyllis is leaving a voice mail for Alice, in which she says (1) she wishes Alice were coming to the party; (2) she misses her; and (3) she loves her. Phyllis seems unable to believe that those last words came out of her mouth: She stares at the phone as if it's just shocked her. The never-ending mirrors framing Phyllis are a nice touch: Who will she be today? The executive vice chancellor, or the explorer of the whole of lesbian sex?
Truth is just as badass as fiction â€” Alice is at Shane's place, to pick her up for a night out at Here. Shane asks Jenny if she wants to go; Jenny replies affirmatively, again with her mouth full. And then the smackdown begins (try to read this really quickly because this is a zingy, fast-paced scene):
Alice: If she's going, I'm not going.
Shane: What? What are you talking about?
Alice: Jenny, you know what I'm talking about.
Jenny: [masticating] What are you talking about, Alice?
Alice: No, just call me Elyse, the bisexual fashion victim. I'm sorry, is my hat too much?
Jenny: A little. What?
Shane: What are you talking about?
Alice: Jenny wrote a story. It was published in The New Yorker â€” we're all very, very excited for you, Jenny â€”
Shane: No, no, no, I heard about it â€”
Alice: But we're in it.
Shane: [staring blankly at Alice]
Alice: We're in it.
Shane: [looking at Jenny] Oh.
Jenny: Thank you, Alice, for being so gracious about my accomplishment of being published in The New Yorker. But, Alice, if you actually read beyond the cover â€”
Alice: Oh, I read it.
Jenny: You did?
Jenny: â€” it's in the New Yorker fiction issue, therefore you'd see that it was actually a work of fiction.
Alice: Oh, that's bulls—. [to Shane] I take it you haven't read this [air quotes] story?
Shane: Clearly not, no.
Jenny: [to Max, the innocent bystander] You read it. Tell her.
Max: Yeah, I read it. [to Alice] She claims that it's not you.
Jenny: It's not. I draw from my own life, and I use my friends and my own experiences as inspiration, but at the end of the day, it's fiction.
Alice: Right. Right. [to Shane] Yeah, there's this character named Shaun, Shane, and, um [to Jenny] she's a make-up artist? Right? Correct?
Jenny: [innocently] Mmm hmmm.
Alice: Yeah, and she sleeps with a lot of girls.
Shane: [shrugging] That's not bad.
Jenny: Hey, Alice, you know, there's this crazy, weird thing that happens when you write. As a writer â€”
Alice: Wait, is this a lesson?
Alice: In writing?!
Alice: From Jenny Schecter?!
Alice: Oh, fahhkk, let me grab a pen!
Jenny: Get a pad too! So this thing that happens when you write is you draw from your own life, and then in turn, you take those experiences and you use something called imagination, Alice â€”
Alice: Oh, imagination! God, so that's the thing you were lacking when you could barely change our names, huh?
Jenny: Just a second. You guys … [cupping her ear] do you … do you hear that?
Alice and Shane: [staring, waiting]
Jenny: Oh, my God, it's Monet. Monet has come back from the dead and he wants me to give you a message. He says, "I am so sorry for sitting in front of my pond in France and sketching those water lilies and using the water lilies as actual inspiration. Sorry to offend, Alice."
Alice: Right, right. Oh, wait, he's talking to me! So weird. Huh? [listening] What? OK, I'll tell her. He said don't ever f—ing compare yourself to him.
I loved that so much, I watched it three times. And then like 30 more.
Hmmm, so last week, Jodi was talking about how revolutionary the Impressionists were in their day, and now Jenny's talking about Monet. Can I get a shout out to Cassatt next?