This week’s episode kicked off with a heart wrenching scene involving the best character, Nicole Fosse, showing off a drawing she made of herself at her dance recital. Her father, Bob Fosse, was spending time at a psych clinic after a suicide attempt. Nicole paid a visit with Gwen Verdon.
The family struggle got even worse when Gwen returned home and phoned an agreement she wasn’t given from Bob about directing Chicago because she wanted to be back on broadway. I couldn’t be mad at her, even if this was an out of line move. I think she had been put through so much pain and forced to be so selfless, she deserved to be selfish. Maybe just wait until Bob’s mental health issues were tended to fully first?
Flash forward to three months later, Bob is on the beach in Southampton… racing lobsters? What a turn of events. My favorite part was when the cook came out and took the lobsters away from the boys with no regard for their fun. Bob’s new girlfriend is there, hanging with Nicole and meeting Gwen. What could go wrong? Anne is the new lady in Bob’s life and she is certainly younger than most and of course an actress in one of his plays. Bob drops the bomb that he would be filming on location and clearly Anne knows his history. She looked very upset.
Things got even weirder when Gwen and her boyfriend arrived. This is the same boyfriend Bob climbed into bed with. He seemed to have forgotten that whole situation. Bob boasts about how well Anne gets along with Nicole to which Gwen responds, “well they’re the same age.” Oh Gwen, always giving us those one liners. We went on to learn a bit more about how he got involved with Anne, of course she was a dancer and he made a move. She opens up to Bob’s friend,Paddy, about how though he’s telling everyone he is okay but the hospital wanted to keep him longer and advised he take a month off of work. She tried to get him to intervene and say something to Bob but Paddy reminded her that Bob does only what Bob wants to do. Meanwhile, Nicole was eating five pickles and taking sips of the beers she was serving to the adults. What an icon. I mean, she went on to smoke a cigarette as a very young child a scene later, but we still stan.
While everyone is waiting on dinner, Bob drops the bomb that Dustin Hoffman was going to be in his next film that will begin shooting in November. This movie would be about iconic comedian Lenny Bruce, who everyone at the dinner apparently hated. This was a huge blow to Gwen, who was planning on doing Chicago with Bob in the fall. They had a theatre booked and everything. Everyone at the dinner table attempted to talk him out of doing the movie. Gwen was drunk, Nicole puked in the kitchen. Like I asked earlier, what could go wrong?
After the kitchen barf, Gwen took Nicole to bed where she admitted she smoked a cigarette. After that revelation, Gwen went downstairs and talked to Anne about how they could get Bob to back out of the Bruce film. Anne is pushing for him to take a full break from work, Gwen is pushing for him to work with her on Chicago. Meanwhile, the boys were talking about how they lost their virginities in the other room. Of course, Bob’s first time was with multiple women. No one was surprised.
Bob returns to the kitchen to find the ladies chatting. Gwen confronts him about dropping the new movie, Anne adds in that she agrees for his health. Bob snaps, saying he never wants to do another musical comedy again. Gwen is obviously upset, revealing she fought for the rights to Chicago for ten years. Gwen warns Anne of Bob’s selfishness in relationships. Anne storms off.
Paddy joins Bob outside and lets him know Anne told him everything the doctors said. Bob makes excuse after excuse. He should have never been in the hospital in the first place, he says. Paddy basically tells him to cut the BS. Stress is stress and he needs to chill out with work and take care of himself.
Bob then makes his way to the couch with a sleeping bag. Gwen comes downstairs for a glass of water and finds him there. They started talking and come to find out, Gwen got Bob out of the hospital. She calls Bob out for the fancy dinner and vacation. No one is going to forget he is struggling just because he is pretending he is not. Gwen goes on to say she won’t do Chicago, with or without him. He says he’ll do it in a year or two. Gwen says she’s not sure he’s going to be alive for another two years. Gwen breaks down, the royalties would be enough to take care of Nicole for the rest of her life. She cries about her best friend Joan leaving her two daughters behind. Gwen is not just struggling with her work life, she’s also grieving. I felt so bad for her until she started making out with Bob. Gross, Gwen.
Gwen’s boyfriend is the first one up in the house and is cleaning up everyone’s mess. How nice. Bob goes back upstairs to see Anne, pretending he didn’t just cheat on her with his ex wife hours ago. Nicole survived the great kitchen vomit of 1970whatever. Gwen reveals her ponytail is a clip on, which maybe was the most iconic moment of all. I say we bring those back. Anne and Gwen sip and spill the tea at the table. This time Gwen tells Anne about Hannah, the translator, ‘member her? She goes on about how Bob always hid her from Nicole, but since Anne has such a great relationship with Nicole she knows he cares for her. Though that should have brought comfort to Anne, she is clearly very shaken up by Bob’s history with women. She’s always looking over her shoulder, can you blame her? Basically, Anne realizes she’s there to keep Bob alive but at least she’ll get a career out of it, right? *Nervous laughter*.
If you were wondering, Bob decided to do Chicago. No Lenny movie? No way, he’s doing both at once. The look on Anne’s face says it all. “That’s not going to kill you?”, Paddy asks. No way, Bob remarked. Then a black screen with text let us know: Southampton, 1973, 12 months before Bob Fosse’s heart attack.
This episode was a lot! Let us know what you thought in the comments below! Is everyone else as invested in this story as I am?!