This week’s episode focused on Bob Fosse’s health problems and the pressure mounting on Gwen Verdon as she began working on Chicago. Bob was caught up working on two projects, a film called Lenny and Chicago. The chaos of the opening scene alone was enough to give me a heart attack, so it’s no surprise the pressure got to Bob. He was popping pills and struggling to keep his head above water between the two projects, maintaining his relationship, and working with Gwen. He was coughing loudly while smoking a million cigarettes a day.
Bob meets Gwen to begin work on Chicago. The movie comes out in two weeks but there’s no rest for Bob. The first day of rehearsals for the show allowed Gwen to take a lot of control behind production. Thankfully so, because Bob coughed through the entire run through of All That Jazz.
Bob ends up in the emergency room, no surprise there. He was hacking and his chest was tight. He’s at a high risk for a cardiac event, believe it or not. Gwen meets him at the hospital bringing some honesty to the situation, because of course Bob is claiming he’s fine. He has a heart attack right there on the table as he argues with Gwen about the state of his health. Bob’s girlfriend arrives at the hospital panicked, of course. Gwen tells her to go home and she would stay. She was clearly upset about the entire situation. Bob does wake up, though. He of course instantly asks about work. Everyone involved with the production needs to be told he has a stomach virus.
In the hospital, a doctor comes into the room asking for Bob’s autograph. He and his wife are such big fans. It was a bit of a slap in the face to Gwen, who had to explain who she was for him to recognize her. Gwen is smart though. She uses the stan to her advantage, though. Bob was in a hospital room with a stranger who was yelling the entire time. Since this doctor was such a big fan, she convinced him to get Bob a private room. This girl has brains.
Back at Gwen’s apartment, she was signing playbills while Bob was preparing for heart surgery. Gwen’s boyfriend suggests replacing Bon for the show, which she objects. Bob’s girlfriend, Annie, was going to take legend and icon Nicole Fosse to dinner in hopes of keeping things normal as her dad’s health struggles. She’s also like, a full grown human being now? It seems like just last week she was barfing in the kitchen. Anyways, it looks like the show would be pushed back because Gwen couldn’t bring herself to replace Bob.
Bob goes into surgery and requests Gwen to be there when he wakes up. During this whole process, we saw several flashback scenes to Bob’s childhood narrated by his best Lenny Bruce stand up comedy impression. Bob survives the surgery and Gwen gives Nicole some bright blue garage door eyeshadow to sneak her into the hospital because she needed to be eighteen to visit and she obviously is not. She says Bob looks like a machines, Bob fires back that he doesn’t want to say what she looks like. He’s still got it even after heart surgery.
The flashback scenes got really dark. From his first sexual experience which was clearly assault. No matter how he tries to play it off, a thirteen year old having sexual encounters with forty year old women clearly affected him for the rest of his life. His relationship with his parents was also a problem in his life. We learn from these flashbacks why Bob is the way he is. Though at times he can be a monster, you couldn’t help but feel bad for him. After the montage of his past, we saw Bob suffer from an anxiety attack in the arms of Annie, who never left his side. Cut to her in the waiting room, crying. I feel terrible for her, just as I felt for Gwen.
Next week, it looks like Bob’s back to being somewhat healthy and Gwen FINALLY gets to be the star. I’m ready! See you then!