It's pretty hard not to make a connection between HB and those cheesy 80s shows like Love Boat or Fantasy Island sometimes. The focus might be more on staff than guests, but there's a definite formula to the show, and that tendency to descend into major cheeseball territory in some episodes. Including this one. PURE CHEESE. Ben and Gino vying for a walk-on role was so stupid, and it wouldn't have worked if it wasn't for the actors making the best of it. I liked that the episode's focus was on Jack though, his character really needed to be developed properly, and they've finally made a start on it. Anna's storyline probably didn't get as much attention as it deserved, but it served to wrap up her remaining hang-ups with Charlie.
Maybe it was just me, but Barrowman seemed to be majorly chanelling crazy!Tom Cruise in this episode. It was kind of weird, because he wasn't charming or flirty or displaying any of the qualities of any character he's played in the past. Not that I particularly mind, it's fun to see him play a stressed, angry guy for a change. The "TITS! TITS TITS" seem was also FTW, LMAO.
And I should add that if anyone actually wants to see Alexandra Moen's breasts (I know you pervs are out there ;p), they should watch Tripping Over, which also has the added bonus of Paul McGann (more Who alumnae working together!).
And so, on with the recap!
There was a 'previously...' at the beginning, basically explaining that Anna's turned down Charlie's offer to have another chance at a relationship, Charlie's then buggered off to greener pastures, and now Jack is in charge of things.
Tony narrating again, this time waxing lyrical on how hotel staff fulfill more roles than just what the job description states, and how they're actors putting on the best show possible for the guests. This may even include Gino doctoring a wine label to make it appear even more vintage and important than it really is.
And Tony acting in a myriad of roles to one guest who's separated from his wife. He does draw the line at cuddling with guests though. Except if he's planning on running with said guest off to Rio to start up a dance school, obviously.
And he narrates about Jack as a n00bie, who has all these great diplomas but no actual experience of being a manager to go with them. Cue the bad omen of diplomas crashing from wall!
They've revamped the credits again. This is what, the third time this series? Really pleased that Dexter Fletcher's got first billing now though. Yay!
And here's Emma Pierson's new credit title....
...and Lee Williams. When are they going to put Damira Govic (Tanya) in though? Like classics_lover said, they have to make her head of housekeeping now!
So the main plotline this episode is this really stupid-looking movie that's being filmed in the hotel. Barrowman's playing the cranky director, Simon. And Simon has to deal with two diva leads (Tom and Katie - entirely a coincidence that the writers chose those two names?) who can't stand each other.
First day on the job and Jack's already feeling a teensy bit of pressure to perform well, the poor lad.
Anna's received plane tickets for a weekend trip to NY with Ned, omg! Ned/Anna = srs business, though Anna's obviously a bit taken aback by this.
Emily and Tony observe the nervous, flighty Jack, and Tony says that they all need to help him out in these early days.
I...I couldn't resist. It's always funny when John Barrowman acts with his whole body and silly arm gestures. Anyway, Simon wants to know why there was a story about Tom's leaky botox injection on a gossip website and explains to young Jack that it's impossible to keep the two leads happy at the same time, since they hate each other.
Jack holds his first staff meeting as GM. And gets off on the wrong foot with everyone by saying he'll sack anyone caught leaking information about celebrity guests to the press.
James' reaction to Jack's ultimatum is like 'O RLY?'
Tony's reaction to Jack is so 'UR DOIN IT WRONG'
And Gino's just like 'Whut?'
After the meeting, Jack stumbles again when he asks Anna how Charlie's going. When Anna obviously hasn't been and isn't likely to be in touch with him.
Ned swings by the hotel to see Anna, but she's not prepared to talk with him and ends up hiding behind a luggage trolley.
In order to win Tom over and apologise for the press leak, Jack decides to give him a gift. Emily says she'll arrange tickets to the cricket, but Jack's like 'No, I'm doing this' and says he knows what he's doing. Jack, that arrogance does not go with your schoolboy-cute good looks.
Scottish guest Rachel helped divert Ned away from Anna earlier, and now they're having a bit of a girltalk about Anna's love life and how she's not quite over Charlie yet.
James gets the diva treatment from Katie in the restaurant over orange soup.
In what is probably the stupidest plotline, Gino and Ben are both trying to convince Simon to cast them in the film.
After promising Tom 'the best suite' in the hotel and getting him seats at the cricket, Jack then has to cheer up Katie, who has lost her lipstick and doesn't want to do a topless scene in the film. He manages to do so by promising her 'the best suite' in the hotel.
And thus manages to trick both actors into being happy with virtually the same room they had as before. He also promises Tom a hooker.
Ben and Gino do their best impressions of wannabe actors until Simon comes out of his room and gives the boys a couple of bit parts on the proviso that they won't bother him again.
LOL @ Jack with the hooker. And he's still refusing help, the silly boy.
Ben tries to learn his lines with Anna's help.
After seeing Gino and Ben downing shots at the bar, Jack is compelled at the next day's staff meeting to announce that there will be no drinking on the job.
Then he gets called out of the meeting to deal with a new film-set crisis: namely, Katie doesn't want to go topless (after taking Jack's comforting counsel about 'acting with your eyes' to heart), thus triggering a hilarious argument where John Barrowman screams 'TITS!' at the top of his voice. Many times. The argument ends when Jack's eyes inevitably end up on Katie's..er, tits rather than her eyes. Who didn't see that coming?
Tony catches Jack in the middle of a frustrated hissy fit and asks if he's ok. And still Jack thinks that he can do it all by himself.
Ned and Anna catch up, and Anna admits she's shocked at trip, at which point Ned backs right off.
Emily manages to save the day by negotiating a resolution between Katie and Simon re: the love scene. That shot makes out like there's a threesome that's about to take place between the trio and they want Jack out of the room, snerk. Captain Jack/Lucy Saxon, anyone? I'm sure there's at least a few people in the DW fandom who ship that pairing. Because you can ship Jack with pretty much anything in the Who fandom, monsters and inanimate objects included.
The staff bitch about Jack's alcohol ban. Tony's still trying to defend the newbie, but for how long?
Anna goes to chastise Rachel for being promiscuous and sharing their girltalk with Ned, and discovers that she's dying of cancer and is in the hotel for a last hurrah. And the boyfriend whose photo she keeps is her ex, who she left after discovering she was dying. And there's angst because she can't bring herself to tell him and stuff.
So naturally Anna starts scheming to get the two of them together again.
Tony has his photo taken with some tourists and looks rather confused by why they want him in the picture.
Then Tony narrates about celebrities staying in hotels, and how they demand attention and ridiculous things and whatnot. Blah blah blah, but then THIS HAPPENED, which is surely the best scene in this episode. BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY SING-A-LONG FTFW! Complete with the video pose! FREAKING AWESOME!
Tony's about to taste-test a new cocktail Gino's created when Jack comes to wag his finger and put a stop to it. And finally Tony decides that he can't be arsed helping Jack and he's on his own from then on.
Like the new kid at school, Jack can't find a table to sit at in the cafeteria.
But lunch doesn't really matter, because the night before he arranged for an attractive blonde guest to go up to Tom's room. And somehow it all ended up like this, and Tom's now leaving him to deal with it.
Obviously he rings Tony for help first, but Tony can't be bothered, and who can blame him?
Meanwhile, Gino and Ben are filming. In lurid oversaturated technicolor that puts CSI: Miami to shame.
Tom's conquest has woken up just as Jack's managed to put her knickers back on (hee, he looks cute sitting there like that). As far as initiations into the hotel industry go, this clearly beats the test that Luke was put through in series two. However, the fling is less-than-pleased about the situation and wants to go to the press.
Jack runs down to tell Simon, but he's drowning his sorrows at the bar after being told that the film financiers are pulling funding. Leaving Simon with a massive bill he can't pay and Jack with a massive unpaid bill that he'll have to explain to his superiors. Angst all round, and Jack can't even have a drink with Simon because he's on the job!
After a talk in the lift, Anna convinces Rachel's boyfriend to go and support her and the emotional scene prompts Anna to call Ned.
Jack finally concedes that he's at crisis point, so Tony takes him for a walk in Hyde Park(?) and lets him vent about how miserable it all is. And then Jack admits he's been an arrogant prick and finally asks for help, bless him.
So Tony, Jack and Emily hatch a plan to create some chemistry between Tom and Katie to get the film back on track. Emily teases him a bit about asking for help, and my God it is so obvious that the writers will hook these two up if there's a series four.
It turns out that Tom's fling is a serial attention seeker who hangs around hotels in the hope of hooking up with celebrities. Tony gives her marching orders.
That done, Tony and Emily go about convincing Katie that Tom is totally into her.
And then Tony helps Jack convince Tom that Katie is totally into him. With the typical mishaps that occur when walkie-talkies are used in a situation like this.
In the name of saving the day, Jack breaks his own rule (gasp!) and consumes an entire bottle of scotch with Tom to keep up the charade. And is rather drunk as a result.
And after this really unsexy montage of Tom and Katie eating all these sexy foods, the trio succeed in hooking them up and getting the story into the press.
Happily reunited with her boyfriend, Rachel gives Anna her Marc Jacobs bag as a thank you present.
In a symbolic gesture, Anna throws away a photo of her and Charlie....
....and tells Ned she'll go to New York with him. Happily ever after? Well not yet, considering there's one episode of this series left and a possible series four to test their relationship further.
Simon gets a kissing scene wrapped, with the financiers impressed by the newfound chemistry between the leads.
He also explains to Gino and Tony that the topless scene crisis was averted by hiring a breast double.
And who would that be, exactly?
Gino and Ben are informed that their roles have been combined into one character....
...who is being played by tuxedoed James. Ha! Looking very good in the monkey suit, I might add.
And finally, Jack finally sees that a little drinking on the job did nobody any harm. So all's well end's well!
The next episode looks interesting (a bit of violence, a crazy person and Tony being called a pimp). And I really hope that James doesn't get hurt by that waitress he's kissing (which is the impression I get from the trailer).
And now, back to the thesis work. Need to have the first two chapters done before Rick goes on holiday next month.