Emily in Paris
While trying to buy flowers, Emily is saved from the horror of walking away from the stand with slightly wilting roses by a friendly blonde French girl, who speaks English and assures her new best friend, “Paris seems like a big city, but it’s really just like a small town.” Case in point: The friendly blonde, Camille, works at an art gallery that is having an opening this very night and there will be people from Chicago there, including a hotelier whom Emily is very keen to meet. They accidentally kiss on the mouth when they say good-bye, and Emily doesn’t clock that she could be being flirted with, but that is definitely the vibe the show wants us to get.
Emily now has 10,400 Instagram followers for things like this: a photo of her flowers with the caption #everythingscominguproses! I write in my notes please kill me lol.
All of Emily’s packages from America have arrived and so, too, has Gabriel, to help her lug all her stuff up the stairs. (See my previous recap re: Maiseling.) Emily wanted Trader Joe’s peanut butter, which exploded all over her stuff. Why didn’t she just … order peanut butter online … instead of packing it with her other belongings? She is a CHILD. Gabriel is sure Emily can learn to live without her precious peanut butter and he will take it upon himself to prove it to her by making her an omelet. I mean, I love eggs, but they don’t really hit the same peanut-butter pleasure center, so. Emily admits to Gabriel that Antoine’s gift of lingerie is an issue for her, because it has made her life messy and she HATES messes. It’s time for Gabriel to explain that frying pans don’t get scrubbed because sometimes the mess is the thing that adds the flavor. I wonder if there is some significance to this beyond just egg-frying??? Hopefully we will find out very soon.
Sylvie and Antoine are in a fight and it is Emily, and Emily alone, who can broker peace between these two adults whose complex and (probably) exhilarating tryst predates her arrival on this continent and, possibly, her birth. She leaps into their argument to say that Randy Zimmer, the Chicago guy and hotelier, is excited about this idea of Sylvie’s, wink wink, to have Antoine come up with a signature scent for his hotel. The most important thing about this scene is Sylvie’s dress, which fits her perfectly and has this great gold situation on the shoulder. As soon as Antoine is gone, Sylvie returns Emily’s “happy Tuesday” roses to her with a warning that (a) she can solve her own problems, merci, and (b) to grill her again on who gave her the La Perla gift. Emily insists it was her new friend, Gabriel. HMM.
Luke and Julian whisk Emily away for an early lunch (“Has anyone noticed this is a very dysfunctional workplace?”) and tell her that they can see the obvious: La Perla = Antoine. Because we are really laying it on thick this episode with the symbolism, Emily stepped in shit on her way to this meal. Meanwhile, Mindy has a very different take, which is to just say fuck it and hook up with Antoine and if Emily won’t, she will. I like Mindy’s chaotic energy.
At the gallery opening we meet Randy Zimmer, who looks exactly like Antoine except for he is American. (This is just like on Nashville, where clearly the casting department has a TYPE! It’s a great type, no complaining, just saying.) Emily swoops in to be quite creepy (she’s memorized his interviews, very fangirl) and gets in some convoluted thing about baking cookies for your open house and how his hotels are missing the cookies. That she never explicitly states the vision — a signature scent for the hotel experience; honestly she could’ve been going in a Hilton DoubleTree fresh-chocolate-chip-cookies-upon-arrival direction — does not dissuade Randy who, as the laws of this show’s universe require, is at least intrigued if not fully smitten with Emily. He grants her a meeting during his last day in the city.
Emily arrives at work wearing a crop top, which, anyone who knows me knows I will defend a crop top to the death but … really? Daytime at the office? I guess so! Luc, the casual sexual harasser of the office whom I suppose we are intended to find charming, calls Emily “the legs” to Antoine’s nose and Sylvie’s head, and everybody stands around spritzing perfume and inhaling each other, as one is wont to do in a meeting. Emily suggests they all get dinner, for deal-closing purposes, and Sylvie decides to set her up to fail by demanding a reservation at an impossible spot. Interesting to me that Sylvie, who seems like a savvy gunner, would jeopardize a major business opportunity just to be petty, especially since Antoine was threatening to leave.
In my notes I write Emily just CALL GABRIEL and stop with this charade! But it takes a little longer for her to get there. First she has to believe that she got the reservation but discover she had the dates backward — 11/8 not 8/11 — and THEN she begs Gabriel, at the last minute when it is a much bigger ask for everyone, to rescue her. Which he does, because of course he does.
Before that happens, though, she and Antoine have a little chat about his gift. She says it’s “a tad inappropriate” and he assures her, “I didn’t buy it for me. I bought it for you. I want you to feel sexy and powerful. A bold woman, unafraid to take on the world.” Yet for some reason I find it unlikely that he bought this underwear without picturing her in it.
At dinner, Sylvie looks fabulous — the slit in the skirt! — and the eventual dinner at Gabriel’s café goes swimmingly. The perfume deal is a go and Antoine isn’t leaving the agency; instead he is murmuring in Sylvie’s ear “I will never leave you.” I kind of hope she cheats on him with the American Zimmer, just to keep things interesting. We’ll see! Sylvie tells Emily she is actually impressed with her and encourages her to go for it with Gabriel. Emily doesn’t want to do this because he lives downstairs. EMILY. Jesus. That’s an ideal arrangement!
Emboldened by Sylvie’s approval, Emily skips back into the restaurant and kisses Gabriel. On her way out, she bumps into: Camille, the blonde! Who — TWIST — is Gabriel’s girlfriend! OooooOOooh. Maybe Emily should’ve just gone home with that guy from last episode’s party after all? Or does she still have the number of that Gaston man who helped her with her luggage on day one?
This is the part of the recap where I list the most egregious, eye-roll-inducing, come-ON-now clichés, and then award each episode a special cliché rating.
• “It’s one thing to cheat on your wife with your mistress, it’s another thing to cheat on your mistress with a young American.”
• Mindy’s advice to Emily: “You haven’t done Paris right until you’ve had at least one wildly inappropriate affair.”
• I swear to God if Emily explains away a dust-up by saying something got “lost in translation” ONE MORE TIME.
Cliché rating: Embracing the messiness of flirting with your boss’ married paramour