Emily in Paris
Emily kicks off the episode in white, knee-high leather boots that make me think of Sally Draper before the Codfish Ball. (Don Draper, paragon of good parenting, makes her ditch the shoes before the event.) She is trying to avoid Gabriel and Camille, but Camille is quite insistent that they get lunch to discuss something “important.” Mindy assures Emily she has nothing to worry about — “You can’t punish people for their thoughts. I’m from China. We’ve tried.” — and anyway she has her own issues to worry about: her friends are coming to town for one of their bachelorette parties, and none of them know that Mindy is a nanny.
Not that I don’t want Mindy, a supporting character, to have an inner life and her own story, but this all feels a bit … unnecessary and distracting, no? I mean, the end result of it is Mindy singing and it just seems like we could’ve gotten to that outcome in a way that deepened the story we have, instead of adding a little tangent with new characters we don’t know or care about. (For instance, maybe the singer who was supposed to perform at some launch party for an Antoine perfume could’ve gotten food poisoning at the last minute and Mindy, Emily’s plus-one, could step in and save the day.) I know we use the party to get to the idea of spraying Champagne, but that could’ve been something Emily spotted on television and ran with or whatever; we didn’t need the entire bachelorette construct to get there.
Camille arrives to the important lunch wearing a leather beret; I assume this is Emily’s influence. She does not need to discuss the thing where Emily has kissed her boyfriend, because Gabriel is a liar who will obviously never come clean about that. No, she needs to talk business: Would Savoir be interested in taking on Camille’s family’s Champagne house as a client? Emily, with no authority to do so, says YES. So Camille invites her to the family château for the weekend. Emily believes Gabriel won’t be there since he and Camille are still in a tiff over the family money situation.
She returns to the office with absolutely no relevant information about Camile’s family business. What’s the brand identity? What did they make last year? This is such bush league shit, Emily! HOW OLD IS SHE HAS SHE EVER HAD A JOB. Sylvie, correctly, admonishes Emily for letting “your sex life dictate your business decisions.”
Mindy brings Emily along to this bachelorette party, which I feel like would be an issue for the typical bride but Mindy’s crew, busy partying hard, does not care. It is here Emily learns that rich people will spray a whole bottle of Champagne around without worrying about wasting money. (Aren’t they worried about messing up their hair and clothes, though?)
The weekend is here, and Emily learns that (1) Gabriel IS coming on what I’m pretty sure was advertised as a girls’ trip, and (2) the car is so teeny that Emily is sitting on Gabriel’s lap. I do really like Emily’s sweater, though, so there’s that! She also gets cute wellies later. For the first time in a long time: I approve.
As you might expect, Camile’s place is gorgeous. Emily is trying not to hook up with Gabriel and he is not making it any easier. She says they need to not do things like take “a romantic bike ride to a picturesque country market. Why don’t we just do it in the barn?” He is all, “We can be friends,” and it’s like … obviously you can’t and you don’t want to be, you’re so ANNOYING. Why would he think that it’s charming to be so brazenly hitting on her at his girlfriend’s family’s house? Are any of you charmed by this? Please tell me why in the comments.
Emily gets a tour led by a cute boy. She is the only young person and the only American there, so he flirts with her. She discovers that he is Camille’s brother. (What she doesn’t know and what we don’t yet know is that Camille has more than one brother. Why is everyone in this show so bad at communicating?)
During dinner, Emily doesn’t know what aubergine is even though that is also a word we use in America. (See previous recaps re: blunt head trauma). The cute brother insists on pouring Emily’s refills because “women are not supposed to touch the bottle at the dinner table.” You can see the light in Camille’s eyes go out when she says “Mama has so many rules.” The whole evening sours as Camille’s parents not-so-subtly try to egg Gabriel on into accepting their offer to pay for his restaurant, defying their own rules about not discussing business at the dinner table. Camille’s dad’s advice: “When a woman wants to take care of you, let her! Have you met a happier man?”
Meanwhile Mindy performs at a drag bar — really big of her friend, the bride, to let Mindy be the star of the night — and crushes the song she botched on Popstar. All her friends know that she’s been lying about business school; all they care about is that she’s happy. I care about how awful her dress is. Hot pink, that mesh-corsetry-strapless situation? No. No one on this show is supposed to be even tackier than Emily.
The little brother, Timothée like Chalamet, finds Emily in hiding escaping the bickering of her hosts. Of COURSE the caption she posts with their picture is “drinking Champagne in Champagne.” So embarrassing for everyone involved! As they talk, Emily comes to the late realization that she ran away from her “nice” life in Chicago, where she always knew what to expect. “Now I know nothing,” she admits, the truest thing she’s ever said. Has Emily really never heard the thing about those glasses being made in the shape of Marie Antoinette’s breasts? I feel like that, like “the word for orgasm is little death,” is pretty mainstream information! He feels her up in a very clumsy way which should be your first tip-off, if you didn’t already know, that he’s … young.
They have sex and Emily wakes up with what has to be a brutal hangover. Camille has a breakfast surprise for Emily, and Emily has a surprise of her own: a hickey that she hides very badly. Her jacket really brings out the red in the bruise. Just put your hair in front of your neck, Emily! At breakfast Timothee just kisses her hard on the lips in front of his whole family, which is when she learns that he is 17 years old and when Camille said she wanted Emily to meet her brother she meant the other brother, who is legal.
It’s all very mortifying. Camille’s mom pulls Emily into a little side meeting so that she can find out if her son is a good lover. “I worry for my children’s figure.” Okay! Then she offers to call her a car — “I imagine you want to run away from this bomb you exploded” — but first Emily insists that she pitch Savoir. If Camille’s family doesn’t find a buyer for this Champagne they’ll have to pour it all down the drain, so Emily pitches selling bottles specifically for spraying. “I can hear my grandmother rising from her grave to strangle me,” says the mom, but she accepts. Emily hangs her head in her walk of shame to Camille’s itty-bitty car so she can sit on Gabriel’s lap all the way home.
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.
• Just the whole thing where Camille’s family has a château and makes Champagne there, very French on French on French.
• Camille’s dad just lounges naked by the pool and wears the shortest robe you’ve ever seen.
• Camille’s mom having no problem at all with Emily screwing her son (a minor) but just being concerned that said son is good in bed.
Cliché rating: Savoring a glass of Champagne while complimenting your crush on his delicious coq.