“Why don’t guys just tell us what they’re thinking?” Mindy laments, for Nicolas has done absolutely nothing except text her constantly and make it inescapably clear that he is romantically and sexually interested in her. He invites her to an outdoor movie and tells her to “bring friends,” so she doesn’t know if it’s a date or the dreaded group hang. I write in my notes: “Maybe he just hasn’t heard that you and Benoit broke up? Seems like news he could use!” Emily invites herself so they can talk about work. Camille, it turns out, took Sofia up on her invite to Greece, and Alfie is in London visiting his mom, which means Gabriel is also free to join. Very funny that the restaurant is always packed when his girlfriend is around yet conveniently closed the night she’s away. Mindy, again, advises Emily against saying anything to Gabriel about Camille’s infidelity. Sidebar: If Mindy’s only job is singing at a nightclub, why is she up and beat for the gods at, like, 9 a.m. every day?
At the office, Sylvie is wearing pink metallic knee-high boots. She’s making them work, though I do wonder/fear … is this Emily’s influence? Gregory Dupree (who you may recall was/is Pierre Cadault’s nemesis) has a presentation for Air France’s new flight-attendant uniforms. Sylvie doesn’t think he stands a chance, “but I’ve been wrong before.” (Luc, stunned; “When?” Sylvie: “Oh, ask Emily. She probably journaled about it.”) Off they go to Gregory’s atelier, which Emily says smells like creativity (Sylvie: “That’s marijuana”).
Sylvie does not remove her sunglasses for the entire presentation, which is set in a mock airplane. To the tune of Janet Jackson’s “Control,” Gregory explains that being a passenger is like being a sub, so why not dress the flight attendants as doms? And out comes a parade of fetishwear — lots of latex, gift packs of condoms and lube, a leather halter, etc. (I feel like asking flight attendants to wear this extremely uncomfortable clothing on top of all the other shit they have to put up with at work is obnoxious. Imagine trying to wriggle in and out of it when you have to pee or maneuver around in the event of an actual in-flight emergency! Sorry if that’s a buzzkill of a take.) Sylvie offers an icy assessment: She’s seen Chanel’s submission, and it’s “understated and chic.” Gregory doesn’t take the note, even though he is in desperate need of an account. And, as he reminds Emily, their professional fates are intertwined.
Before they can really decompress from S&M in the sky, the gang is summoned to Pierre’s new store. He doesn’t trust anyone at JVMA, so the Grateau crew is going, Sylvie says, as friends. They arrive, and Pierre worries they’ve been spotted — he calls Nicolas “papa’s little puppet” and says he has “spies everywhere,” which is intriguing — then ushers them inside an absolutely garish mall store. To tell you everything you need to know, even Emily says, “It actually is ringarde.” Pierre regrets the deal, but Sylvie reminds him to stay cool: JVMA owns his name and face.
Somehow, by the time Emily is back at her apartment (or maybe it’s the next day?), Gregory Dupree has sent over the flight-attendant fetishwear with a note: “Air France said no. Wear this to my funeral.” I appreciate the drama. Mindy decides to wear this outfit to an outdoor movie? I’m sorry but no. Truly the worst combination of outfit and activity that I can think of; she would not look like some daring fashionista but fully like a clown, especially with the beret (which looks like a sad, deflated balloon) perched on the side of her head. That basically no one reacts to her attire except to occasionally compliment it is psychotic.
At the movie, Emily mopes to Nicolas that Gregory’s brilliance is criminally underrated. She tries to do some discreet digging into the Pierre situation. I was nervous here because “discreet” is not exactly Emily’s mode of operation, but she finds out that Pierre is, according to Nicolas, “infuriating” and “never satisfied.” She counsels patience, and Nicolas says — ominously! — that the store will open with or without him.
From some mysterious place on her person, Mindy reveals a coordinating jacket for her outfit while she and Nicolas sit stiffly beside each other for the duration of “How to Lose a Designer in 10 Days.” Everyone is making out except the people we know. Hilariously, a French girl sitting next to Gabriel gives the flirting her all — “Oh, your girlfriend is in Greece, and her boyfriend is in London? Okay, my boyfriend’s in Berlin” — and instead of getting into the spirit of things and actually having fun (illegal), Emily and Gabriel bail. They spend the night at one of those not-a-museum museums that exists solely to provide social-media obsessives with a panoply of backdrops for Instagram. It’s extremely 2017. (In real life, it was open in 2022, but I maintain that the vibe is very out of date.) When they’re done, Emily almost tells Gabriel about Camille but catches herself, instead offering up the idea of everyone going back to this place on a double date when their significant others are back in town. Truly, this sounds like a horrible evening: Alfie and Camille will have to listen to Emily and Gabriel talk about what a fun time they had last time around while awkwardly posing in a ball pit. I hope they don’t take us with them.
Mindy goes to bid Nicolas good night and again her outfit is so unhinged for the occasion there’s no way it wouldn’t be a mood killer or just a red flag about her personally. But miraculously they do what I have been begging everyone on this show to do for ages: They just ask each other, Hey, do you like me? And then they say they do. It is hot that Nicolas tells Mindy she is in charge because she’s the one dressed as a dominatrix. Is the payoff worth it? You tell me. They kiss, and the night is about to escalate, but a call from Pierre interrupts. Sigh.
The next day, Nicolas calls Emily to enlist Agence Grateau to help with Pierre. “I hope you’re adept in crisis marketing,” he says, which should be quite concerning to everyone involved, but even Sylvie has no qualms. Emily texts Pierre to join at lunch. Personally, I would wait to do that until after the deal is signed, sealed, and delivered, but Emily is living on the edge.
Lunch is really a Champagne toast. Nicolas joins to clarify the terms: Agence Grateau is working with Pierre Cadault the brand, not the person — who needs to be ousted and replaced. And thanks to Emily, Nicolas has the perfect replacement in mind: Gregory Dupree. These men hate each other’s guts, but that’s Agence Grateau’s crisis to manage now! As the horror of this dawns on the group, Pierre crosses the street to join them … and is hit by a speeding car. Certainly one way to make an exit!