That brunette whose name we had almost forgotten returned to The City last night to act as an awkward liaison between, and adviser to, Roxy and Whitney, whose friendship has eroded over the past few episodes and now finds itself perilously close to breaking for good. But all the drama between them, which seems rather real, is necessary in a season where romantic interests figure in only as minimally as possible. Last season ended with the final crumbling of Whitney's relationship with the dude in the band whose name we almost forgot (do you miss Jay, too?). This season seems poised to end with the dissolution of another of Whitney's relationships. Indeed, Whitney has been treating Roxy like a boyfriend who didn't really do anything wrong. She's constantly testy and taking it out on Roxy — the victim (and not of her own outfits, for once) — who finally sees no way out other than to get out. And fast. But more on all of last night's bitchiness — and apartment hunting! — in this week's lessons.
Lesson 1: Apartment hunting.
Don't: Look at places that are wildly out of your price range. Samantha starts the episode off with a surprise appearance by apartment hunting with Roxy. Roxy is seeing her first place after telling Whitney she wanted to move out. Even more surprising than Samantha is this entire scene, which is finally honest to audiences about New York City real estate!! The apartment is $4,000 a month. But it has a doorman! And 800 square feet! And a great location! But it's still small by normal non-NYC standards. "That's really expensive," Roxy says, distressed. She can't afford it without cash from her dad, but since it's nice for a New York apartment, and looking for affordable apartments in this city sucks more than being forced to lie naked in a pit of spiders for an extended period of time, she decides to ask her dad. She's setting herself up for disappointment, because when he says no she's going to have to entertain the idea of living in some real shitholes.
Don't: Try to justify the overpriced apartment. Roxy's dad says no when she asks him over lunch for money to afford it. She says she can't live with Whitney because they're having an epic girl fight, but avoids, to her credit, saying anything truly nasty about Whit. "I know it’s a tough time but I don’t think I should give you more money to try to figure it out," Dad says, adding that he hopes she will start moving toward things she likes instead of just moving away from things she doesn't like. But she likes the pretty, roach-free apartment! "I just can’t continue to help support you. You have to commit to something that will afford you the opportunity to let you live the way you want to live," he says. So wise! Can he stay on as the show's resident sage and pop up randomly in bubbles in the corner of the screen with two-sentence words of wisdom?
Lesson 2: Being a good boss.
Do: Notice things. Kelly walks into the office and says to her assistant Andrew, "You're wearing pink today. That's good." What an oddly wonderful way to give a compliment.
Do: Keep the office chicks from fighting. Whitney and Roxy have an immature exchange of attitudes when Whitney tells Kelly about how Ashley Greene from Twilight might wear something of hers for an Elle shoot. Kelly brings up the Tulips and Pansies charity event that night and Whitney says in front of Roxy, "I'll ask Sammi if she wants to come." You know, like you would mention a hot new date in front of your very recent ex to make him jealous and pine for you again. Kelly goes one step beyond the eye roll when she says, "I don’t care how upset or unhappy you are, you better look like you’re having the time of your fucking life and that you believe in that charity."
Lesson 3: Being decisive about what you like and don't like.
Don't: Shoot clothes your editors have previously panned on national television. So after that episode a few weeks ago in which Anne Slowey and Joe Zee pretty much decided Whitney Eve was a crappy amateur attempt at fashion collection, they have the clothes on the rack for a major celebrity shoot. And they make Ashley wear one of the jackets for her interview with Olivia.
Do: Express hate by omission. Olivia's hatred of Whitney Eve may be based mostly on personal jealousy and other insecurities, but at least she's consistent, which is a notable trait in this industry. When Joe tells her to ask Ashley what she's wearing, she says, "I love these shoes that you're wearing." After Ashley rattles off the credits, including Whitney Eve, Olivia says, "I love the shoes and the skirt, they look great." Bitchy perfection.
Lesson 4: Telling your roommate you're moving out.
Don't: Give a moving date until you've seen apartments. Roxy told Whitney last episode she wanted to move out, so Whitney looks ridiculous for acting surprised that she's already looking for apartments. But what else does Roxy have to do with her time? Whitney scolds Roxy on the front row of the Tulips and Pansies show for looking at apartments without telling her. But Roxy didn't tell her because she wanted to make sure she was ready to take the leap and actually apartment hunt and actually move, which, as we've said, is the worst thing in the world.
Don't: Harass your roommate for not telling you she saw one apartment. If Whitney is really concerned about being left high and dry, she should consider making up with Roxy, which would require her to stop treating her like something the dog dragged in. By accusing her of being "sneaky" and dishonest she's just driving her into the arms of Craigslist and shady Realtors everywhere.
Lesson 5: Weird, unnecessary habits.
Do: Call people out on them. Erin walks around drinking coffee from a Starbucks cup with a straw. It's one of those things lots of people do for seemingly no reason that is always annoying if you refuse to partake in the trend. "Erin, who the hell drinks coffee with a straw?" Seth says. Such a direct approach!
Do: Be prepared to be called out on them. Erin explains it's better for her teeth to drink coffee through a straw, which sounds pretty silly but she clearly believes this.
Do: Remain incredulous. Like Seth. He's awesome.
Lesson 6: Going to Japan to host a party out of vanity.
Do: Pass it off as a work trip. Olivia tells Joe she's been asked to host a party in Japan and really wants to go. Joe says it's the busiest time of year so it doesn't sound like a good idea. But Olivia, who hates the idea of having to give up an opportunity so she can be at her fake job, claims she'll do a bunch of stories in Japan. Joe, who lets her do whatever she wants no matter what, agrees, even though he has to know she won't do shit over there other than pose for Japanese paparazzi.
Don't: Leave work when someone is about to steal your job. Erin is happy Olivia is going to Japan because she thinks everyone will realize how useless she is. Well, probably not, because they haven't quite realized it up until this point, but this is still a good opportunity for Erin to try to get Louise to replace Olivia if that's really what she wants.