“The Playboy Club” recap: Episode 2

A little bit later, Alice asks Carol Lynne for the night off to be with her in-laws. She explains that she needs to take the night off because they don’t know she’s a bunny and would be mortified to find out she worked there. Carol Lynne tells her there is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to being a bunny and they should all hold their heads high.

It’s time to announce the finalists for the Playboy cover and Brenda, Maureen and Janie are a part in the top five. Janie is pissed that she was called because she hadn’t entered. When it’s her turn to get on stage, she tells Hef to choose the other girls and storms off.

While the other girls tell Hef about the positive things they want to do to if they get the cover, Maureen seduces him with her sad stories. If there is one thing I have learned from being friends with straight men, it’s that they love a girl with daddy issues. Game, set, match.

When the ladies get ready for bed, Brenda asks if Maureen was giving the sob story as part of the audition. Then they bond  and Brenda shares how she wants the cover spot so badly, not just to be the first African-American model, but also because she wants to own something. She’s been saving her money in order to buy some real estate. Maureen thinks that’s really nice. They hug.

I’m a little bit confused by the space-time continuum but we are taken to the powder room where Maureen is now smoking a cigarette in her lingerie and reading the paper, as one does in their lingerie in the powder room.

Nick walks in and they talk about their situation. He tells her not to worry because he used to be the clean-up guy for the Bianchi family. She says, “Wow, you told me something real about yourself.” He says they are the only two who know about it. Carol Lynne sneaks into the background unnoticed and overhears a small portion of their conversation. Nick asks Maureen to tell him something about herself that’s real. Maureen says she’s a fixer too, but before she can elaborate too much, Carol Lynne breaks up the convo and once again accuses Maureen of wanting a piece of her man. She tells her to back off or else she’ll show her how bad things can get in Chicago.

Finally we’re back at the gay house for awkward family diner. I was wrong about Sean’s mother, she seems like a well-intentioned pushover while his dad is rough around the edges and won’t shut up about politics. Alice interjects and says, “Enough about politics,” and his mom couldn’t agree more. The baby-making question comes up quickly and it’s time to pass the rolls.

At the bunny house, Maureen can’t figure out who stole her red lipstick and Carol Lynne starts doing her passive-aggressive complimenting of Maureen, who she has dubbed, “The Scarlet Bunny.” It’s time to announce the cover model and Bunny Janie wins it. There’s no time for celebration – she runs out crying and yells at Max saying it was none of his business and she’s going to be in trouble now because she’s already married to a crazy guy who doesn’t know where she is but he definitely has a subscription to Playboy. Max gets pissed and throws down his bar towel.

Outside the club, Mayor Daley and Mrs. Daley arrive at the Playboy Club in the new Jaguar Nick scammed off of John. John and company arrive shortly after and see the car parked outside.

There are jokes being told back at the gay household and it’s reminding me a bit of Serial Mom. “Who is the most famous big singing elephant?” “Elaphitsgerald.” Laughter! Alice tries to give them the “get the heck out of here” signal but her father-in-law decides tonight’s the night they should all go as a family to the Playboy Club. Some families go to the Olive Garden, others go to strip clubs. He says he got the key from Abe Froman, which I totally missed but was reminded by Chad today that it was a Ferris Bueller reference – Abe was the “Sausage King of Chicago.” I love little sneaky pop culture references making their way into the storyline.

On the floor, Maureen’s red bunny costume is a big hit with everyone and she thinks it’s really cute when Alice walks in with her in-laws in tow. John comes over to talk to Nick and tells him it seems like he’s not really doing much asking around or helping out. Nick gives him smarmy looks back and says he’ll do what he can. John says he’ll stick around to watch Nick’s back and, oh yeah, he saw the new car outside. Nick says he told him it was a donation to the campaign; they shake hands and get photographed. Crafty gay swoops in, pays for the picture and uses it to talk himself into a job with Nick’s campaign. This is why gay men get ahead in life. He says to Nick, “It’s not about who you are, it’s about what you portray.” Prediction: Sean will be credited with coining the term, “Queer eye for the straight guy” later in life.

Somewhere in the bowels of the club, Carol Lynne does more of her good cop/naughty cop mood swinging and tells Maureen she decided to put her on the cover since Janie can’t do it. She thought wearing the key was a very smart plan. Maureen is happy but can’t fully appreciate it because Janie should’ve been on the cover. Janie says she is trying to get lost. Maureen says she’s trying to get found. I say, just get naked. As predicted, Maureen has daddy issues. She wants her dad to find her … by seeing her on the cover of Playboy. I think even I’m going to need therapy after this.

As Brenda sleeps, Maureen adds some of her prize money to her roommate’s real estate fund. Nick and Carol Lynne laugh and walk arm-in-arm out of the club while John looks on and tells his mob friend to keep an eye on the blond one. The blond one is busy pondering her key again and decides to put it into a jar that literally reads, “Vanishing Cream,” but I’m pretty sure it isn’t going to make the key vanish.

In next week’s episode, bearding is invented as the gay gives Nick’s campaign a makeover, secrets start to come out, and Maureen wonders why the vanishing cream didn’t make the key actually vanish. I made that last one up.

What did you think of last night’s episode? I was hoping for more time spent on the Lavender marriage, and to learn a little bit more about their background and the role they play in the Mattachine Society. Also, Alice was looking super hot this episode and I swear it’s not even because she’s the gay one! I’m ready for the show to pick up a little bit and I want to see some of the subplots explored more fully throughout an episode rather than a bunch of subplots thrown in at the same time. I’m hopeful though, and think now that the first two episodes filled with character introductions are out of the way, we’ll get to see these subplots explored.

By the way, Alice’s husband, Sean, is played by actor Sean Maher who only recently came out publicly. I want to extend big CONGRATS and big hugs to him and his family!

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