‘The Riches’: The Kisses of Death

More sociopathic than we thought? . Photo: Courtesy of FX

The con’s almost over! There’s one episode left in the season, and a month until the corrupt-as-hell development deal that will deliver Wayne’s mega-million-dollar share is done. The whole family will then extract themselves from suburbia. Or will they? Peruse today’s Edenfalls Cost of Living Index and you will see that everything has pretty much gone haywire.

Edenfalls Cost of Living Index: Kisses and Kiss-offs Edition
DiDi’s headmaster tells her she’s headed for law or med school — if she beefs up her extracurriculars. Like all Ivy strivers, she finds a meaningless after-school group to join: the Leadership Council, where the prisses running the show wear “Cute and Celibate” T-shirts. DiDi scoffs, and then makes out with a soulful dude in the chapel. Blasphemous minx!

Sam, meanwhile, lurks backstage at a Buttercup Princess audition. Cautiously applying some makeup in the mirror (as he’s wont to do), he’s approached by a precociously sensuous redheaded girl. Instead of teasing him, she helps him apply the makeup and gives him a blush-inducing kiss. Progressive minx!

Moping around the Traveler’s camp, Cael is seduced by Rosalee, the sexy young widow who helped quasi-kidnap him last week, and who may be in cahoots with freaky Traveler leader Eamon Quinn. Crafty minx!

Boss Hugh is running for mayor so he can pull strings but needs 500 signatures within twelve hours! No worries: Wayne gets the names from a local parish and forges the sucker. As the board selects a contractor, Wayne passes over an Irish traveler in disguise, another tipped-off crony of Dale’s. To explain why he’s not as beholden to friends as other humans, Wayne shares a terrifying childhood story about setting fire to an orphanage as a child and stealing another kid’s money, and fires Dale as his mail guy and associate. Is Wayne more sociopathic than we thought?

Neighbor and secret-sharer Nina’s septic tank is broken, but she’s scheduled a birthday party for her openly gay-with-boyfriend husband, Jim. Drag-disco party at the Riches! Dahlia, digging out party supplies from the cupboard, finds $40,000 in cash. That’s the money they stole from the Traveler settlement; it’s also the cash Wayne claimed to have bribed Pete Mincey, the snoopy friend of the real Riches, with. In truth, of course, Dale accidentally bludgeoned him to death and Wayne helped dispose of the body. Dahlia was already suspicious since that P.I. showed up.

Wayne fesses up to Dahlia as the party’s in full swing, and she’s weeping gorgeously, resplendent in seventies finery. He says he covered up the killing to protect the family; she says “we lost our souls,” that Wayne wanted simply to stay put in “this cursed and godforsaken house.” Distraught, she falls off the wagon, snorting coke with two guys in drag and singing Meatloaf’s “Will You Love Me Forever?” Then she showers the revelers with the tainted cash.

Finally, Jim, dressed as Diana Ross, tenderly kisses Nina (as Cher) and tells her it’s “the best birthday party ever,” thanking her for sticking with him despite the gay thing. Then, during a game of charades, Jim has a heart attack and dies in the arms of his lover. Dale, banned from the house forever, encounters a mysterious, unseen stranger outside. Perhaps more than anyone, Dale, recently threatened by Wayne, looked like he could use a kiss — or at least a hug. —Justin Ravitz