“You don’t have to carry shrimp to be a super cool waiter / So let’s make a date to wait!”
Old patterns are tough to break. Even with all the evolving they’ve done since their reunion on the Fallon stage, the ladies of Girls5Eva are all stuck in a particular groove. Gloria is elated to be back with her ex but not particularly interested in exploring the reasons their marriage collapsed in the first place. Wickie, terrified that falling for a “normie” will eliminate her career drive, flits from one superficial celebrity relationship to another and wonders about her loneliness. Dawn “transgresses” in small, silly ways to shake up her domestic routine. And Summer, uneasy about her sudden freedom, empowers others to make her life choices for her. Summer and Kev’s Christian pop duet, while literally about delaying the boink for Jesus, has a title that several of the ladies can relate to. Each has an itch screaming to be scratched, but it’s harder to examine and deal with a problem than to postpone the diagnosis. It’s probably nothing, that full-body prickling sensation. It can wait.
The record label requests that a romantic number appear on Girls5Eva’s comeback album, which seems like a plot point designed solely to support the Sara Bareilles line, “I’m not gonna write them a love song ’cause they ask for it,” and I ain’t mad about it. As Dawn ponders what she can say about love that the Beatles haven’t already covered (who, after all, wrote the panty-dropping line, “I’m gonna love ’er ’til the cows come home”), her colleagues dish about their latest trysts. Gloria and Caroline are copulating like Percocet-hallucinated rabbits. Wickie, though contractually obligated to keep mum about the identity of her lover, is seeing a seven-foot-tall basketball legend who works for TNT and wears shirts emblazoned with the word “Shaq.” Summer had her first post-Kev hookup with a Christian Kringle match named Liam, though she expresses dismay that their shared love of elves and apostles didn’t lead to a love connection. Dawn listens intently to her pals for lyric ideas, as it is unlikely anyone’s gonna get their freak on to a ballad about binge-watching HBO in schlubby pants. On this assigned musical topic, why does she feel so uninspired?
Summer, too, feels a little lost. Making the choice to end her marriage and alienate her fanbase was painful, but it seemed worth it to find a true love match. But nothing worthwhile came from her vanilla coitus with Santa’s good boy Liam, and now she’s questioning her judgment. When her parents, Kris and Chris Dutkowsky (Amy Sedaris and Neil Flynn), roll up in their ministry bus for a visit, Summer is ready to be enfolded in their Christly denim arms. They remind her that she’s a newly-single internet villain who works in the entertainment industry; she might as well have a sign stuck to her back that reads, “Befoul My Lady-Flower.” Chris, therefore, presents Summer with a purity ring. Like he did during her teenage years, he vows to protect the sanctity of his daughter’s loins until those loins become the property of her husband. He even wants to throw Summer a purity ceremony, where she’ll be expected to declare to God and the other party attendees that her lady-bits are forthwith closed to randos. The gift registry for these sorts of events must be wild.
Summer considers the offer. Her folks seem convinced they know what’s best for her, and she sure as heck doesn’t have that kind of certainty. Her group-mates are also sure of what their friend should be doing with her purity contract — mainly, rolling it up and using it like a traffic baton to direct men to her nethers — but who are they to be giving life advice? Dawn has been “cheating” on Scott by sneaking Business Throne episodes with Ray. Gloria never met a comfort zone she didn’t stay firmly inside. And Wickie may have something wise to relay about the foibles of the human heart, but TNT’s legal team prohibits her from sharing it. Plus, isn’t 40 years of marital bliss proof enough that waiting pays off? Chris and Kris are still as smitten with one another as they were when they danced to “Do You Believe in Love” at their 1981 wedding reception.
Hey, wait a gosh-darn minute. Gloria uses her mathematical prowess and knowledge of the Huey Lewis oeuvre to deduce that Summer’s parents must have walked down the aisle with a fetus in tow. If Summer isn’t, in fact, the Second Coming, the Dutkowskys have some ’splainin’ to do. Chris and Kris admit that they engaged in premarital sex ’til the cows came home, and they told Summer they stayed pure until marriage so she wouldn’t follow in their slutty footsteps. 23andMe still doesn’t test for “whore genetics,” so they’ve always just assumed their child inherited their weakness for tapping all the asses, and parented accordingly. This confession only cements Summer’s desire to go through with the ceremony. She tells her surprised friends she hopes they’ll support her choice to walk down the aisle with her “Daddy boyfriend” while he croons about her maidenhood. Swallowing back vomit, the ladies agree.
The day of the purity party arrives. As Summer readies herself for the Great Vaginal Lockdown, Dawn broods over Scott’s recent behavior. Ever since she confessed to her husband that she’d watched their favorite prestige drama with another man, Scott has treated her like she’s a two-timing ogress. Wickie thinks Dawn wanted Scott to find out about her sneaky TV-betrayals, and Dawn snipes back that she doesn’t need relationship advice from a woman whose Raya dalliances barely last the length of a Business Throne episode. Wickie, however, knows more about normie love than Dawn realizes. She dated an Average Joe — in her case, an Average Ryan — who got her so accustomed to local sports and ample Olive Garden parking that she nearly lost sight of her pop-star dreams. Porking a succession of B- and C-list celebrities might be a recipe for loneliness (and STDs), but at least her goals always remain at the forefront of her mind. Dawn sees, peeking out through all the ridiculousness and self-aggrandizement of Wickie’s tale, a kernel of truth. What is it about her own normie union that’s making her act out?
Virginal in a white frock that displays only a fraction of her cleavage, Summer smiles out at the crowd. This smile barely wavers, even when her dad announces that should he die before Summer takes a second spouse, the governance of her girl-bits will go to a pubescent cousin. But then her parents present her with Jennifer Lynn, a childhood doll still preserved in its original packaging. The toy has never been played with, Chris enthuses, so it’ll never drop in value! Summer gazes at Jennifer Lynn, pristine behind her plastic screen, and blurts that she can’t be similarly encased. Even if she plummets in value and wakes up in strange vehicles with coins stuck to her body, it’ll beat having someone else making her choices for her. From now on, the only person who gets to decide when Summer gets “played with” is Summer herself!
Dawn, too, sees herself in Jennifer Lynn. Upon returning home from the ceremony, she admits to Scott that she HBO-cheated because she’s been feeling boxed into a routine. Every day, the two of them wake up, go to work, cater to Max’s needs, and then wind down by watching rich people scream at each other in helicopters. She felt compelled to rattle the cage. Scott confesses to some cage-rattling of his own, not through boinking Cara, who’s probably got a packed schedule as it is, but by buying a pricey bike and sprouting questionable facial hair. The two realize they need to make time for connection, and Wickie walks in on them connecting their mouths in a passionate smooch. She allows that maybe certain aspects of the normie lifestyle aren’t so bad. It does, after all, involve unlimited breadsticks.
• “Summer of Girls5Eva. Let’s talk about your music career. Are you a virgin?”
• Shaq and Wickie both have musical talent and a gift for grudge-holding. Potential duet?