Oh, Alice. Oh, honey. After what can only be described as a pretty perfect Lunar New Year celebration, complete with a truly romantic kiss under the red lanterns, everything has gone to shit. And in record time. The never-ending comedy diversity workshop has come crashing down in spectacular fashion. Honestly, it might not be the worst thing for us as viewers because, hello, it’s time to move forward, but it does certainly seem devastating to Alice within the show.
Scott has selected the final sketches to be part of the showcase, and it winds up that everyone gets a lead in a sketch except for Derek. And you might recall that the last we saw of Derek, he was taking in some intel about Ruby and Alice dating before Alice was accepted into the program, and he was not having any of it. So it certainly seems curious when Scott returns later with the news that they found a way to make the showcase longer and Derek’s big sketch is back in. Everyone celebrates. I am overflowing with suspicion.
Things start to go awry once Scott announces they have given every sketch a sensitivity read and that he has rewritten some of them so that they can put on an inclusive and culturally and racially sensitive show. This really means that he has stripped every sketch of its substance, removing any mention of anything remotely cultural. Alice suggests that the whole group have a sit-down to talk it out and fight to get their original sketches in. They inform Scott that they “can do these [types of] jokes because they’re [their] experiences” and that the social and cultural commentary is what made the sketches funny in the first place. He has “overcorrected” in his attempt to be sensitive. Scott loses it. He thinks he can’t win, and he’s done trying. On his way out the door, he leaves the group with one little parting gift: He informs everyone that their “fearless leader,” Alice, was only put in the workshop “because she was banging the casting director.”
Everything’s in a tailspin from that moment on. Alice’s fellow comedians aren’t taking this new bit of info well. Ruby’s in tears in front of her boss. And it’s Derek who calls out Alice for getting them to trust her and give Scott a second chance when it seems that really all she was doing was trying to save Ruby’s job. It’s a mess, and Alice assumes it was Lindsay who told Scott about Ruby since they were the only ones who knew. Of course, we know that Derek also knew and that together with the fact that he suddenly got a sketch put back in the showcase, we can assume it was Derek who did the dirty deed. Regardless, Alice comes in hot, accusing Lindsay of betraying her. What Alice doesn’t realize is that she’s actually walking in on Sumi and Lindsay breaking up. Lindsay has no time for Alice’s accusal! At this point, Alice has ruined Lindsay’s career prospects by fucking up the workshop and destroyed their relationship by doing whatever it is that Alice is doing with Sumi. Lindsay is the saddest!
Before Alice and Sumi can talk about what this breakup and their kiss really means, Ruby shows up. Of course! She has bad news and good news. The bad news is that she was asked to resign from the comedy workshop, and it looks like the whole thing is just going to be canceled. If Alice’s comedian friends were pissed before, they’re really going to be pissed now. But the good news is that Ruby is still super into Alice and begs her to give their relationship a second chance. Okay, fine — given the confusion lingering between Alice and Sumi, Ruby throwing her hat back into the ring is probably more bad news than anything else. I just wanted a silver lining for Alice! She’s in the thick of it now, though!
Buddies, the drama is also coming for everyone involved in the Tommy Sung trial. It’s opening-statements day! Much like opening night on Broadway, this is both exciting and terrifying. Unlike Broadway, you cannot drink a sippy cup full of increasing warm white wine during the proceedings, which really is a shame. Anyway, both our DA Marc Rothman and Kathleen Gale are really bringing it to the courthouse. Rothman paints a vivid story about the rivalry and betrayal between football aspirants and best friends Tommy and Zac that honestly could be a super-intense episode of Friday Night Lights. I mean, you know that show did some light murdering back in season two, so Rothman might be onto something. Kathleen reiterates that Rothman’s story is nice, but every single piece of “evidence” the prosecution has is circumstantial. There’s no way to prove for certain that Tommy murdered Zac. It was simply a tragic accident. She seems choked up as she presents her case to the jury! Tommy tears up, too! Kathleen Gale is very good at her job, guys.
Maybe too good? While the first few witnesses — a bunch of football players who were also at the party the night in question and saw Tommy and Zac fighting — are being questioned, she assumes she has this in the bag. She gets all of them to admit that they were drunk or high at the time, and it wasn’t unusual for any of them to tussle with each other a bit; it’s just boys goofing off. But Rothman is sneaky. His final witness, Christian, comes in. He seems harmless, but when Callie begins questioning him, he talks about watching Tommy and Zac fight on video — a video he took that night. A video that the prosecution never disclosed. And now that it has been brought up in witness testimony, they’ll have an easier road to getting it admitted into court. The judge calls a recess to think it over, but it’s looking like he’ll lean into allowing the video to be shown. And friends, the video is bad news for the defense. That fight doesn’t look like goofing around at all. Tommy is yelling “I trusted you!” over and over at Zac before things get violent. If that video gets in, the trial is as good as over.
It’s a sneaky tactic, and the defense team is reeling. This, of course, means Callie goes off on Jamie. He says he had no idea Rothman was going to do that, and to be fair, that seems sincere; Jamie seemed legitimately caught off guard when the whole thing went down in court. Callie doesn’t believe him. She spits some very angry words in his direction about his “ethical fluidity” and how this job is the perfect fit for him and tosses in some stuff about Nicolette keeping him “on a short leash” for good measure. I know this trial is serious business and all, but seriously: When will these two just make out already? It needs to happen in the actual worst way. But also in the best way? Sorry, Gael.
• Malika’s not exactly happy with Dyonte at the moment: She loses out on a big grant for her DPN campaign to Dyonte after pulling an all-nighter to help him put his application together, and she learns that Tanya is bankrolling him, so he doesn’t need a second job while doing the DPN internship like she does. Of course, his offer to support her via a late-night massage session smooths things over a little. But it’s hard not to notice that Malika has a much easier rapport these days with Angelica, her new co-worker at Douro. Even Dyonte senses something is up when he sees the two chatting.
• So who do we think is getting the full-time position at DPN: Malika or Dyonte? And how does a newish relationship survive something like that anyway?
• Oooh, what was up with Kathleen seeing Tommy crying and commenting that he was “really selling it.” Is Tommy guilty??
• What a tease to have Raj back for like two minutes. Not enough Raj! He does make the most of his return. First, he is perfectly awkward running into Mariana and Callie on the street while holding hands with Claire and then second, he saves the day by helping all the Fight Club girls realize they need to get their heads out of their asses and all start working together again. He secretly texts Callie and tells her that Bulk Beauty isn’t actually going well despite what Claire says. Callie tells him Mariana is miserable not working on the project anymore despite what she says. So the two concoct a little scheme, and eventually the BB girls hire Mariana as a coder. We’ll see how long Mariana can last as an outsider on her own project, but for now this is a step in the right direction.
• Okay, so Mariana 100 percent needs to start a true-crime podcast.