Like many shows this season, the first half of the season led into the winter break. While it wasn’t particularly long, the hiatus created an interesting effect on the audience. This plays more like the beginning of a new season than the continuation of the first season. For example, the teaser quickly covers the same amount of time that the show was off the air, as though the story has jumped forward from the previous run to the next phase.
All of the plot and character threads remain, of course, and they’re important enough to warrant a three-part mini-arc. That leaves most of the story in “set up” mode, which is another reason why it feels more like a season premiere. Four major plot threads are explored in the episode, and none of them are resolved in any way by the end of the episode. Oddly, there’s little frustration as a result; just anticipation for the next installment of the story.
Danny has followed through on his promise to pursue Jordan relentlessly, and at first, she seems to take it all rather well. She’s very patient with his constant advances, and in his defense, she never seems to shut him down in a definitive manner. As a result, his actions border on stalker territory, especially when he drums up support from high profile friends to press his suit. By the time that Jordan finally makes it clear that she wants him to let it go, things have gone far enough for Danny’s situation to get nasty if she feels the need to make a case out of it. Oddly, by refusing to stop, he’s discounting her feelings in the matter, which fairly close to the definition of sexual harassment (if not dead on).
Matt’s typical passive-aggressive approach with Harriet may be stoking his creative fires, but it leaves him an emotional wreck. It’s ironic that his methods might actually work better in the long run. Then again, considering the level of neurotic jealousy required to buy a date with a woman just to keep someone else from having the satisfaction, it still may be a hopeless gesture. Never mind the fact that he’s planning to denote an equal amount to a charity that Harriet would despise!
For all the relationship brouhaha, some of the best character work comes out of Jack, who gets to be the most sympathetic he’s ever been in this episode. Jack really is in a horrible bind, and his tactics display his more creative side. Even knowing that he’s often the devil, it’s hard not to like the guy and feel for his troubles. I was left hoping that he would succeed, even after his little stunt with the new girl.
Hallie comes storming into Jordan’s office like a political officer in the old Russian army: a necessary and dangerous evil. Jordan knows that reality TV is an unfortunate staple of the medium, but she doesn’t make any concessions. It’s the perfect opportunity for someone with equal ambition and less morality to present a challenge. The pregnancy attack was incredibly harsh, and it spoke volumes. Hallie could very well be the character we love to hate.
It’s practically a given that Jack’s major plot thread will intersect with Tom’s pursuit of Lucy, causing endless complications, and the tension between Simon and Darius will likely escalate into something far more substantial before the mini-arc is over. It’s good to see so many minor details from earlier episodes come back into play. The series has hit its stride, and though this is mostly a set-up episode, it still manages to remind the audience of all the good points from the first half of the season.