If season deux of The Riches seemed written in the dead of night by brilliant writers hopped up on Red Bull (or worse) and despairing against the deadliest deadline ever, perhaps it was: This season was a truncated (seven episodes!) by the writers’ strike. No wonder things took such a disconcertingly bleak turn for the Malloys: The writers never knew when they’d work or get paid again! The American dream is a sham! The writing bender had its payoffs, though, and while it’s unclear whether the show will ever return, we were at least left with an episode in which every conceivable bit of shit hit the fan.
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Jim’s funeral is nearly as wild as the drag-disco party where he died last week, with an alpaca, his gay lover’s gothy daughter, kilt-wearing men … it’s enough to make wife Nina, who was his beard for 25 years, lose it — which she does, announcing, “I hate funerals and I hate all of you!” And Dahlia has forced Wayne to confess to DiDi his complicity in the death and burial of Pete. It’s sort of like he’s had an affair or has led a secret gay life, but much, much worse.
Thus devastated and robbed of her innocence, DiDi picks up her new security-guard boyfriend, breaks into the fancy house of a vacationing neighbor, gets drunk, and loses her virginity (as does he) in an imported French bed, where emperors supposedly slept and defiled concubines. On the TV a homemade bondage video plays.
One on-site construction “accident”
Just after groundbreaking, the doomed Bayou Hills development claims its first grisly injury when a giant pipe nearly crushes a worker. It’s not an accident, but the work of a Traveler-contractor jilted by Wayne and controlled by Eamon Quinn. If the show continues, Quinn is so totally going to be like Phil Leotardo on The Sopranos.
One confirmed kidnapping
Turns out that Quinn did arrange for Cael to be kidnapped and brought back to the Traveler camp, pretty new girlfriend and all. “I have your son!” Quinn tells Wayne over the phone; Quinn wants in on Wayne’s enormous upcoming payday, of course, and will hold Cael ransom to do so.
One instance of political pandering
Talking in sound bites, Hugh nails the first appearance in his mayoral bid, his stripper wife in Jackie O. drag. Later, during sex, she begs him to “talk politics to me!” Hugh tenderly thanks Wayne for his devoted service. It’s too bad Wayne is going to betray him to appease the Russian Mafioso on his back.
One confusing game of dress-up
Sam gets a visit from the edgy yet popular girl who kissed him on the lips last week. She encourages him to wear the dresses he likes. But does he like her?
Too many rosaries to count
At her squatter’s apartment with Nina, post-funeral, Dahlia confesses she’s an ex-con, drug addict, and a parole violator. (Nina only knew about the grifter part.) She weeps that she’s “turned into someone else in here,” and it has nothing to do with the Cherien Rich façade. When Nina asks for the truth about Pete, Dahlia lies again. “You couldn’t tell the truth if you life depended on it!” Nina responds, storming out. Dahlia turns back to her rosary, candles, crucifix, cell phone, and hymn-singing. She almost relapses with (heroin) but doesn’t. She’s also stunningly beautiful, in case we forgot.
One adulterous kiss
Throwing herself at the mercy of her parole officer outside his home, Dahlia gets one planted on her. She really is incredibly attractive. (And uncomplicated.)
One returned phone call
Cael calls Dahlia! He’s alive! The family core can be rebuilt! Problems can be worked out! That’s the American dream! Tomorrow is another day … right? —Justin Ravitz