'Dirty Sexy Money': Gamesmanship

Sexy_lIn the immortal words of Karen Darling, this show is starting to activate my yummy. I’m even beginning to get into the whole who-killed-Nick’s-dad plot, at least as it’s playing itself out in the rivalry between Tripp and Simon Elder (though Blair Underwood seems a little too lightweight for the part, like Donald Trump by way of Lando Calrissian). Simon convinces Nick that the NTSB report on his dad’s fatal plane crash was tampered with and that he’ll fork over the real report if Nick persuades Tripp to ante up Darling Plaza (Tripp’s very first home in Manhattan) in an ultra-high-stakes poker game among billionaire moguls (including a token woman) who seem to have nothing better to do than lose $100 million assets in a game of chance.

And it seems Nick isn’t the only member of the Darling camp currying Simon Elder’s favor. By the end of the episode, Patrick is cozying up to Mr. Moneybags too. You see, Tripp hires paparazzi to snap a pic of Patrick and Carmelita smooching, then tries (unsuccessfully) to pay off Carmelita. (I never thought Candis Cayne could hold her own with Donald Sutherland, but darned if she pulls off that feat with lines like: "I’m a living, breathing testament to the fact that nothing, and I mean nothing, is impossible.") When Patrick learns of Tripp’s plan, he goes ballistic on Dad, who has big plans for Patrick to fulfill the destiny of his assassinated Uncle Kenneth. (This is now the second reference to Kenneth, though we still don’t know what office he held or how he got killed. Any bets on whether Dutch and/or Simon Elder were involved?)

But back to the game. Nick does persuade Tripp to bet Darling Plaza, and Simon promptly wins the hand (seems the dealer doubles as Simon’s executive assistant). Then we get the surprise twist that I, for one, did not see coming. (Did any of you, sage PopWatchers?) Seems Nick leveled with Tripp from the get-go, and the two conspired to lose Darling Plaza to Simon and fake a falling-out so Nick could ingratiate himself with Simon and dig up more information — on Simon’s business interests, on Dutch’s death, on how a fairly recent émigré from Russia could, um, look and sound like Blair Underwood. The new lead in the Dutch mystery turns out to be a dead-end, literally. The airplane mechanic apparently lied to Nick about tampering with Dutch’s plane, but now he’s pushing daisies too. (It’s a shame Ned can’t hang around for a couple extra hours of primetime to solve this one.)

Speaking of Dutch: Not only was the man a crummy dad to Nickand possibly a turncoat working for Simon Elder, he was also apparentlya lousy family lawyer. Karen learns that Dutch never actually filed herdivorce papers, so she’s still technically married to Hubby No. 3.Luckily for her, and us, Sebastian Fleet is People‘s sexiest man alive in the "anthropologist division." (Think former History Channel hottie Josh Bernsteinis jealous?) She tries to dispatch Nick to see Sebastian, but he refuses, prompting thisutterly Karen-esque exit line: "Letting me risk ruining my marriage toFreddy sure makes it look like you want me free for you."

Fleet, whose name is remarkably similar to teddy-bear-clutching man-child Sebastian Flyte from Evelyn Waugh’s classic Brideshead Revisited, is embodied (and I choose that verb deliberately) by Third Watch alum Eddie Cibrian, who thankfully answers his door dressed (barely) in a towel. Karen, naturally, sleeps with him. (She’s no idiot, after all.) For his part, Fleet signs the papers and shares his opinion that Marriage No. 4 ain’t gonna work since Hubby No. 4 ain’t Nick George. (Like many a Dirty Sexy Money fan, the girl has apparently had it bad for Peter Krause for a verrry long time.) Karen’s response? She moves up the wedding,of course. Excellent. Better to move this plot along so we can get to the good stuff of Karen wrecking two marriages instead of just one.

Thanks to new working man Jeremy, we finally learn the source of the Darling wealth. Nick gives a tour of the family holdings in a quest for an entry-level job suitable for the twin’s unique skill set. (Wonder where one puts "zoning out" on a résumé.) So, the Darlings make their moolah from pharmaceuticals, organic produce, and real estate mostly (including some hotels, stadiums, office towers, and residential buildings). I had speculated that Jeremy (Seth Gabel, pictured) might end up as a doorman, but instead he’s working for his former doorman as a… valet. And he promptly crashes a — product placement alert! — Toyota owned by a hot Latina whom he tries to impress without revealing his secret identity as a filthy-rich guy (though he predictably winds up buying a new car for her until the old one can be repaired). Jeremy may be fickle when it comes to women (and life), but he’s got this endearing charm that recalls, well, Sebastian Flyte. Any guesses on how long he’ll last as a valet — or if he’ll cycle through a series of low-level jobs before deciding that employment is just not his thing?

Oh, one thing I should mention for those who’ve quibbled with my last recap: I reviewed the last episode (as well as this one) based on an advance screener from ABC and there were/are some small differences between the version I saw and the final broadcast. Juliet’s ringtone in the last episode, for instance, switched from "Rich Girl" to "It’s My Party." Also there was a line cut in which Brian admits that Brian Jr.’s mom initially came to him for counseling for the death… of her dog.

I’m glad that’s off my chest. I feel a little less Gustav, a little more Brian Jr. (Sure wish I had a $30,000 watch of my own.) Now let’s turn things over to you, PopWatchers. What do y’all make of Tripp telling Nick that he’s going to run the Darling businesses one day? Is that a ruse to lure Nick deeper into the fold and distract him from any involvement he might have had in Dutch’s death, or a legitimate suggestion, perhaps based on the fact that none of Tripp’s offspring seem up to the task (assuming that any of the Darling kids are actually his, or that he’s not secretly Nick’s dad)? And on a stickier subject: While I’m charmed about the two Brians bonding over videogames, backgammon, and pancakes, does anyone else find the notion of a "syrup hole" a rather dubious delivery system for rich, mapley deliciousness?

Comments (45 total) Add your comment
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  • Kelley

    I love THIS show!! It gets better and better…and like you, I am FINALLY starting to get interested in the “who killed dutch?” storyline! I didn’t see the Tripp/Nick plotting together coming at all…I was kinda mad at Nick for a minute. And you didn’t even mention the fun brother interaction between Jeremy, Patrick and Brian- I LOVED IT. It was nice to see the siblings act more like siblings for once. Brian has become one of my favorite characters also. I just can’t say enough good things about this show and for the love of Peter Krause- we need a TV WATCH!!!

  • Sina

    I LOVE this show also. I was also mad at Nick for doing that to Tripp but then they showed what really happen and I was releived. So Tripp wants Nicky to run the business. I can see why but once Brian finds out I think he will step in and try to run a company. Love seeing him bond with his son. I also loved seeing Brian Jr. with Juliet. When Brian Jr. came back and called Natalie a slut, I was rolling. Patrick is a spoiled brat but I love him. Loved the scene with all the brothers. We never really get to see them all together. Karen is just divine. I can’t wait for next week’s episode where it seems her and Nick almost kiss. Still don’t understand how Simon Elder is from Russia?!? Maybe the character was written for white person but they casted a Black person. I hope to see more of Karen’s ex. Loved her soon to be husband rapping, that was funny. THANK GAWD WE DIDN’T SEE NICK’S AWFUL WIFE. Please have her killed in a car accident or send her off to care for her sick mother.

  • Marty

    It sure is a guilty pleasure that show. I love Peter Krause in that role and I also find the twins funny.

  • Lara

    I’m not a big fan of homewrecking, but I kind of want Nick and Karen to get together. His wife is nice and pretty, but meh. You can see/feel the connection between N & K.

  • Josh

    When I watched the birthday ep, I told everyone else that the song on his phone was “Its My Party”, not “Rich Girl”. I think you are wrong and it was Leslie Gore the whole time. I apologized to everyone for being wrong…

  • mjade27

    Really loving this show. The scene with all the Darling boys together was priceless and Donald Sutherland continues to impress. The scenes between Letitia and Karen were nice to see too. I did think it was pretty obvious that Nick and Tripp were conspiring. They wouldn’t have made the scene so broad if Nick was really pulling a fast one on Tripp. Loved, loved, loved your comparison of Simon Elder to Lando Calrissian. His assistant/dealer is his Lobot. All Blair Underwood needs now is a cape!

  • Kelley

    Sina, you and I are on the same page! I love Karen! She is just too funny and so is Brian- and when Brian Jr called Natalie a slut, I about fell out of my chair! I’m with you, thank GAWD we didn’t see Lisa this episode, although looks like we’ll see her whining again next episode. Lara, I don’t condone homewrecking either, but it’s just TV afterall! I missed the twin interaction, but it was cute to see Juliet and Brian/Brian Jr together. This was the best episode by far!! Tripp is the man!

  • mypickle

    Great show. When is it going to get a regular TV Watch space? It deserves one.

  • Lynny

    Brian is a genious with the syrup thing. I love this show. Karen cracks me up.

  • Sina

    I am starting to think (I really hope I’m wrong) that Dutch didn’t file Karen’s divorce papers because he was scared she might run to Nick who is really her BROTHER! I really hope not. Brian making that comment that he never had any father-son bonding time with Tripp makes me think Dutch is his real father. I can only hope. Also Carmelita is the prettiest man I have ever seen!

  • aubie22

    Great episode! I was so mad at Nick, with me and the hubby screaming ‘he’s using you!!’ at the TV. We were proved wrong! I knew Elder fixed the hand, didn’t think he’d be so blatant about it though.
    Tripp-Nick have to be related…whey would he let Tich think he lost their building while actually doing it for Nick? And promising him the business? I wonder if Tripp and Nick’s mom had a little secret of their own? Dutch found out and turned to Elder to crush Tripp?
    Love this show!!! Gets better and better! Pop watch is okay, but it needs a TV watch!!!

  • JMJ

    As ‘Gustav’ was getting ready to pour the syrup on his pancakes all I could think was, “He really ought to cut a hole in the middle to make sure they all get some syrup.” Go Brian!
    This is easily the best show of the year and I fall more and more in love with Karen every week. She’s beautiful, sexy, and very funny.
    Give DSM its own TV Watch. Let’s all do whatever we can to make sure this show stays on the air!

  • Cindy

    Nicky my boy, CUT THE SIDE BURNS NOW! I know that boring wife of your put you up to it. Cut them NOW!

  • whaden

    Just adding my vote for regular TV Watch, please. Wednesday nights are turning out to be a tough night for my DVR with Daisies, DSM, Life and Next Top Model (please don’t judge the guilty pleasure…).

  • just me

    I figured Nick told Tripp about Elder’s plans when he first brought it up in Tripp’s office. Then at the poker game their back-n-forth made it seem obvious to me. But, I started thinking it was a test by Elder to see how far Tripp would go to help Nick. Maybe I’m way too in to this show…
    Oh, and at first I thought Karen awful, but now she’s my favorite! Ditsy like a fox.

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