2011 Apr 05

“Mildred Pierce” recap: Episode Three

Hello everyone! Here we are again in the 1930s. We pick up right where we left off (I think), with Mildred curled in bed with Veda. Yes, it is right where we left off. Mildred is still in her summer suit. She gives an alarmed look at Ray’s empty bed, then buries her face in Veda’s hair. Poor lady.

Bert is sitting despondent at the breakfast table. Mildred and Lucy are discussing funeral arrangements. “Alright, baby. Mama’s listenin’,” says Melissa Leo. She says she’ll get Mildred a black dress, and then leaves. “She’s in heaven, Mildred,” says poor Bert, and then he starts weeping, and hag it’s hard to watch men cry. Mildred does the comforting. Now they’re in Ray’s bedroom and she’s laying out her clothes. Tiny socks. This is a bummer. Mildred lays out Ray’s party dress. Veda comes into the room and runs to her father. Then she immediately turns on Mildred. “Mother, where were you?” She was getting laid, Veda!

Funeral business. I think they’re bringing the casket? Yup, they’re bringing the casket. Now they’re at the funeral. Kate Winslet has the frozen face of strong woman anguish, Bert is openly tearful. Then the funeral is over. Mildred hangs up her black dress. Now we’re in a car! It’s a black car, I hope it isn’t a hearse. Can we be done with the funeral? It isn’t a hearse. Mildred is haggling with the chicken man. Now she’s buying vegetables. She goes to the bank and takes thirty dollars and change, which is like, mortgage money in the thirties. Woah damn!

Oh good, we’re back to the restaurant. Mildred walks into the dining room, and makes a face that says, “Well, my youngest daughter is dead but at least my restaurant looks great.” That girl from the “I Told You I Was Freaky” episode of ‘Flight of the Conchords’ is the waitress. Awesome. Wally built Mildred a pie case that lights up! He’s still creepy, though. Here we go, cooking funtimes! Mildred is cutting chicken. “We’re going to serve it in pieces,” says Mildred. Are we really supposed to believe that Mildred invented fried chicken in pieces? Maybe she did! They basically took a dialogue-free paragraph from the book and made it a monologue. She rattles off a lot of instructions and puts her sectioned chicken into the fridge.

Mildred in the empty restaurant. She’s wearing a nice floral dress. She fusses around in the kitchen. The waitstaff are giggling. She puts on an apron nervously. Then a car drives up. “People!” says her dishwasher, entering the kitchen. Four people. Mildred cooks dat chicken. The 1930s music of gettin’ busy plays. Mildred greets the family of four at their table, tells them they’re the first customers. Then more customers walk in. Oh shit, close up on some fried chicken and waffles. That looks so good. Why did I watch this hungry.

“Delicious chicken!” says a customer. Mildred says Buy some pie, bitch. The man says to his wife, “Oh well I think we should.” The waitress comes in with a special order for tomato juice with some celery, and Mildred immediately knows that it’s her harpy of a daughter, Veda. Mildred greets her family. Wally tells her that he sent out a mailing blah blah they’re going to be swamped. Veda says, “I think you’ve done very well, mother,” as if the opinion of thirteen year old is the end all be all of the restaurant. Of course, to Mildred it probably is.

Ida from the old restaurant comes in. Back in the kitchen, shit’s goin’ crazy. Mildred is totally going to burn some waffles. Mildred has to deal with an overflow of customers. The waitstaff is fighting in the kitchen. Letty’s dropping dishes like a mongoloid. Yup, she burnt the waffles, folks! Mildred flips. “Everyone, nothing’s going out! Start moving!” Ida to the rescue! Ida ties on an apron and takes over. Lucy pops in and offers to help. Mildred says no, Ida says yes.

The place is hoppin’. It is clearly a hit. A woman tells Mildred she’s very sorry about Ray. Way to bring the sad, lady! Veda swans uselessly into the kitchen and tells Mildred that Monty Beragon is in the restaurant! Mildred pretends she’s never had his penis inside of her, ha ha ha ha. Everyone is excited about Monty Beragon, because he is a society person. Then he enters the kitchen with a box of long-stemmed flowers. He looks grave and sexy. “Why didn’t you tell me about the little girl?” The box is full of irises. Mildred awkwardly introduces Monty to Bert and Wally, then Ida kicks everyone out of the kitchen.

The restaurant is closed. Mildred turns off the sign. The restaurant is a runaway success. Bert toasts Mildred, and this bit of dialogue happens: “To the best little woman that a guy ever let get away from him!” “You oughta know, you cluck!” “Aw, cut the mush!” WHAT. IS. THIS. I couldn’t make it in the thirties. I’d be laughing at everyone all the time.

Mildred arrives home. Veda and Monty are giggling in the living room. Mildred has an appropriate WTF face for a moment. There’s a lot of terrible fake laughing. Or maybe it just sounds fake because of the way they’re talking. I don’t know. I’ll never get over it. Mildred puts Veda to bed. Monty tells Mildred to take off her clothes. “I’m not much in the humor…” tries Mildred. “Get it off,” says Monty. What’s up. She gets down to her slip. He puts his toe in the hem. Oh no, is he really going to do what I think he’s going to do. Yes folks. Yes. He is fingering her. With his toes. This is so gross, I really want it to stop. Why can’t they get sex right in this show! He pulls her down to the couch and they commence doing it.

Veda at the piano. Mildred listens. Monty and Mildred driving in his car. They talk politics. Well, Mildred talks politics and Monty ignores her, and so do I. They talk about Veda’s piano lessons. Mildred pays for gas. Monty tells Mildred to get Veda a new piano teacher. They make out while driving and he goes off the road. That’s what happens, folks.

Veda is playing piano for the new teacher, Mr. Hannon. The actress who plays Veda can play some serious piano. Holy damn. It’s Rachmaninoff. She changes the end of the piece. Hannon tells her to call him ‘Sir’. Teach that girl some manners! Hannon tells her that her invention at the end of the piece is banal – that it sounds corny and cheap. I love this man. He tells her that she has a talented brain and clumsy hands. Really? She seems to play very well. “Your playing stinks!” Veda storms off crying. I don’t really understand what’s so terrible about her piano playing. Oh, but she’s crying because she’s happy? Because she has something in her head. It’s called the Evil Crazy, Veda.

Bert and Mildred. Mildred says she’s going to buy Veda a grand piano by saving up for it. Yes, reward your beast of a daughter. Mildred at some fancypants house. It’s a rich person garden party. Monty is a on a polo horse. Veda is with him. Wait, that whole scene was about Mildred picking Veda up? They drive her away in her car. FDR has been talking this entire time. Now they’re in the kitchen. He’s repealing prohibition. Lucy is telling Mildred that she has to install a bar in the restaurant if she wants it to keep succeeding. Lucy says she’ll run the bar. Mildred confesses that she’s paying for Monty’s upkeep. So she’ll have to sacrifice Veda’s piano in order to install the bar. SHE’LL GET OVER IT, MILDRED.

Mildred and Monty in a bar, squabbling. Blah blah, Mildred and Monty living in sin. She pays him for gas. “Your paid gigolo thanks you.” Woah shit. Monty threw down the gauntlet. “You’re the best piece of tail I ever had.” Gee, he’s winning this one. Mildred thinks he’s ashamed of her. I wish I was interested in this fight. I really don’t care about them as a couple. Oh now he’s forcing himself on her. Oh hey Guy Pearce’s butt.

Christmas at the restaurant. Mildred gives everyone a big bonus. Veda and Monty are making fun of the noisy kitchen staff. Mildred defends them, and then yells at them. Veda is unwrapping Christmas presents. Riding boots from her dad. Veda gets a gold watch instead of her piano. IT’S A BEAUTIFUL WATCH. Ugh, I hate Veda so much. I hate Mildred for needing Veda so much. A SHOW HAS A PROBLEM WHEN YOU DO NOT LIKE ITS MAIN CHARACTER. She talks to Bert on the phone. She and Veda fight. Veda tells her that Monty only likes her for her legs. Mildred tells Veda that he likes her for her money.

Monty goes to Bert’s for New Years. His huge house is totally closed down. He’s living in the servant’s quarters. Monty is surprised Mildred drove through the enormous storm to get to the party. Mildred expects everyone else to make it to the party, like a moron. Mildred starts shouting at Monty. I just want this episode to end. They are seriously fighting about Veda. This is the longest fight in the history of fights. Mildred throws ten dollars at his face. He throws it in the fire. Then he tries to sleep with her. Mildred is into it for a second and then she throws him off.

She runs out to her car. She drives through the storm like an idiot. She stalls her car in a huge puddle. It starts filling up with water. The police bring her home to Glendale. AND THEN IT IS OVER.

Source: Ology