Wow, this episode really pulled at my heartstrings! The pain that Gwen Verdon had endured in her lifetime is devastating. This episode dug at her painful past, Bob Fosse’s erratic behavior, and the return of my favorite character, little Nicole Fosse!
The show kicked back off this week with a dance number, our favorite aspect of the show, right? The bright colors of the girls’ sixty style dresses were to die for, giving whoever is in charge of the visuals on this show even more credit. It transitioned into the cutting room floor of Cabaret. Bob Fosse was very angry that edits were made to his film without his permission. After viewing the final cut, he was far from happy.
Thank god that scene transitioned into a Nicole Fosse moment. Did you guys miss her last week as much as I do? I don’t even like kids but this one is so good. Bob arrives home, sword fights with Zoro (Nicole), and then delivers Chinese Food. Bob pops some champagne because he’s taking on a new musical, Pivot. He turned it down before and admits it’s a pretty bad show, but hey, let’s celebrate!
Bob and Gwen Verdon share an awkward moment in the living room as he begs her to help him in the editing room. She says, no way, she has her own play to focus on. He calls her out on her inability to act in a straight play, asking the last time she acted. She fires back the second he walked into the door. We then learn that they are separated at this point, Bob is living elsewhere and the translator has returned home to her boyfriend. It seems like Gwen comes out on top again, while Bob heads back to his hotel.
Outside of his hotel, he uses a payphone to call up an ‘up-and-coming actress’. He convinces her to come to the hotel bar. The show cuts away to a flashback of Gwen’s life that left me asking for more about her past. Gwen is the character I identify with most. Her past looks as painful as her present.
Thankfully, after the commercial break we got a terrifying marionette scene as the editors work away at the movie. At least they looked like a bad challenge from RuPaul’s Drag Race, right? Gwen then storms into the dressing room with legend, icon, star Nicole, telling Bob he must babysit as the new actress joins in the editing process. Bob resists, but sometimes you gotta be a parent. He then begs Gwen for her assistance again, but she stands her ground. Also, Bob is pretty erratic. Maybe lack of sleep? Drug use? Both?
Bob drops Nicole off with a babysitter at the hotel, aka his unsuspecting friend who is very angry about the situation. Gwen returns to pick her up and finds her with someone else, she’s obviously not happy. Meanwhile in the editing room, Bob is popping pills and making out with a girl. Gwen waits at Bob’s hotel room and goes off just like she should. Who leaves their daughter alone with a grown man?! Slay, queen! Pop off!! We then see a flashback to Gwen’s past and it’s clear she was sexually assaulted by an older man when she was younger. My heart broke for her and the fear she must have felt for her own daughter. It gets worse, he got her pregnant and her parents MAKE HER MARRY HIM. The disgust and pain I felt. I can’t put into words.
Happier times were ahead, Gwen got her part in the play. It turns out that moment wasn’t too happy, as she’s told she wasn’t everyone’s first choice for the part. Then the abuse she faced at the hands of her ex is shown in a flashback with a crying baby in the background. This episode was a tough one for Gwen.
Gwen caves and joins Bob in the editing room of Cabaret. Gwen’s eye comes in handy as she points out things Bob didn’t notice and reassures him it’s not so terrible after all. After the session, the two head out to the hallway and share a laugh over Nicole’s music obsession of the moment and the issues she’s having with the play. She has a hard time with a dull part in the play about a little angel boy. Bob says ask for a rewrite since she knows nothing about raising boys. Gwen snaps and crumbles. We then see a flashback of a crying boy toddler as she leaves him with her parents. We learn that she did not return for him. Hence the pain she felt at the unintentional jab Bob threw at her.
Gwen’s show Can-Can opened on Broadway. She seemed to have had a great opening performance. She goes backstage to do a quick change only to be pulled back downstairs to a huge standing ovation. She goes out on stage in a towel and takes a bow! Though the show went great, the pain of her past follows her home as we hear the cries of a baby while she smokes a cigarette alone in the kitchen.