Last week, Hello Ladies tricked us by showing Stuart and Jessica in bed together. (Of course, they were only co-bunking because her roof caved in.) But, on Sunday night, Stuart and Jessica danced together by choice. But the tease goes nowhere. The whole Stuart-almost-getting-somewhere-and-then-screwing-it-up central premise continues to work, because, despite every bonehead move, we still hold out hope for the guy. This time, someone in the writer’s room wondered just how much Stuart and Jessica could be humiliated. The answer, delivered during this penultimate episode set against the backdrop of a wedding? Quite a lot.
STUART GOES FAR WITH MISCHIEF
In a predictable turn of events, Stuart lands at the loser table where there is no chance of getting action. The funniest part is when Stuart doubles back on the line of well-wishers to complain to the bride about why he’s not at the single table. He swaps name cards, only to get vetoed right back where belongs. (There's a solid joke in there when the mom annoying Stuart, and the audience, reveals she was disappointed by Amsterdam because where Anne Frank lived was actually quite spacious so she didn’t suffer enough.)
JESSICA GOES FURTHER WITH A PORTABLE SCREENING
Just as she found a way to create makeshift tap dance shoes out of coins, Jessica finds a way to torture a clearly annoyed playwright by forcing her to watch her film, Descent into Madness, on an iPad. All the while, Jessica is creepily beaming at the playwright and raising her eyebrows to accentuate the a-ha moment when her character discovers herself in a blood bath in some ridiculous dream sequence. The playwright calls it overwrought, and Jessica rejects the criticism.
STUART’S BED SEES ACTION (OBVIOUSLY STUART’S OUT AT THE TIME)
Stuart assumes his usual guise, grinning through his obvious desperation. He chats Kimberly up and gets her alone in his hotel room, but then Paul, who DJs for Kanye West, conveniently pops in and Kimberly explains that’s who she wants the alone time with. Paul orders $185 worth of room service and charges it to the room. Playing the nice guy, Stuart excels at bankrolling Paul’s shot with Kimberly. Yet again, two people are going to have sex in Stuart’s bed because he can’t close.
SOMETHING KINDA GOOD HAPPENS TO HIM, BUT NO DICE
Jessica and Stuart come together on the dance floor. Their dancing isn't as awkward as you'd expect, and they finally share some truly tender moments. There’s twirling and a dip, and they have rhythm. For all their teasing, they respect each other. This is the show's story that's worth telling. And then they’re interrupted. Jessica’s got the lead on a network primetime show.
Jessica tells Stuart he has a good personality and good looks, but he can’t dance. She’s almost right. He runs an entertaining solo show, but doesn’t know how to engage with people. He indulges himself in some air guitar and Jagger imitations, but doesn’t really confront what’s staring him the face.
Jessica and Stuart were almost about to give up, but things are looking up for the finale. Jessica’s all set for a meteoric rise to fame, Stuart has a text from Kimberly, and he and Wade have a cooler packed to the gills with room service leftovers. But as this show and Stuart’s idol Mr. Jagger have taught us, you can’t always get what you want.Image: HBO