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Dancing and Metaphors, Satisfaction “…Through Partnership” 

Photo Credit: Richard Ducree/USA Network
Photo Credit: Richard Ducree/USA Network

There was a lot going on in this episode of Satisfaction—an “interview” for Simon, a failed music gig for Anika, a gallery opening for Grace and a major crisis at work for Neil. But the dancing! That’s what this episode was really about.

In the opening scene, Neil is with Adriana, looking at a photo of himself dancing with a client. Adriana says, “You know what I love about this picture? That you look really happy. Free. Made me smile when I saw it.” I can’t decide whether to love Adriana or to hate her, but she does seem to understand Neil in a way that no one else does. And she’s oh so quotable!

Neil: “I will say, the dancing left an impression… on me, anyway.”
Adriana: “Really? Why?
Neil: “It took me back. Made me remember… my wedding.”

Then we get a sort of soap opera-esque flashback of Neil and Grace dancing at their wedding, surrounded by smiling friends and family. But more importantly, Neil and Grace are smiling too and they seem to be having a wonderful time. They even laugh and Neil looks at Grace in a way that we really haven’t seen before.

As Neil remembers the dance, he tells Adriana about the dancing lessons that he and Grace took in preparation for their wedding day: “I think we learned more about each other taking those lessons than writing our vows. We learned how to be a team. How to trust each other.” Adriana, in her possessive, casual way, insists that Neil show her a little dancing. He shyly smiles and gives her a twirl. She laughs and we’re reminded that Adriana sees Neil as more than just an employee.

Later, Neil and Grace are at home, sitting across the table from each other with their laptops, chatting in the most normal way. Neil apologizes for missing Grace’s gallery opening and offers to make it up to her. She’s a little too understanding—probably because she spent a good bit of time during the opening thinking about Simon. Even though she says she understands, Neil wants to make it up to her and tells her he has signed them up for dance lessons.

Grace: “What brought this on?”
Neil: “I miss having fun with you.”

And he twirls her around with a winning smile that she couldn’t possibly refuse. Okay, yes, this was inspired by a date with another woman, but Neil is making a real effort in his relationship. It’s too bad that Grace looks a little hesitant. I just can’t help but think Neil loves Grace more than she loves him. I guess that remains to be seen.

Before the dance lessons the next night, Neil discovers that Grace has seen Simon again. He’s visibly angry and hurt and we even see him hesitate in going through with the lessons at all. When he does finally go inside, he seems ready to have a serious conversation with Grace. But he’s interrupted.

To begin the dance lessons, the instructor asks Neil and Grace to show him what they know. They try to dance as they did at their wedding, but they are awkward and struggling. That’s when the dance instructor offers perhaps the most poignant line of the episode: “It happens. You get out of sync. Lose each other’s rhythm … I see this a lot with married couples. When two people haven’t danced together for a while and you try to learn, it’s actually better to learn with a new partner first. Just makes the process much smoother when you come back together.” Well, kids, if that isn’t a pointed metaphor, I’m not sure what is. But these words do seem to be ringing true for Neil and Grace, don’t they?

After their lessons, Grace takes Neil to her gallery. Neil is in absolute awe of her, as though he’s just meeting her for the first time. Grace asks him, “When did it get so hard for us to dance together?” But what she really means is: “When did it get so hard for us to be together?” Then the two of them dance— laughing, practicing what they learned with their new partners earlier in the evening.

More favorite lines:

Adriana: “I know what you’re looking for. A connection.”
Neil: “What you’re feeling… is my phone.”

Simon: “I assume you’ll be joining us?”
Adriana: “Oh, I dunno. Sometimes it’s just as much fun to watch.”

Simon: “If something’s good, why not enjoy it more than once?”
Adriana: “Because you miss out on what’s great when you settle for good.”

Zen Master: “Let me ask you… are you going to be telling her what’s been going on at some point or you gonna keep doing what you’re doing?”
Neil: “What the hell have I been doing?”

Neil: “Sometimes you have to dance with a new partner to get back in step. And even then it’s not easy. But I’m going to keep trying.”

Satisfaction airs Thursdays at 10/9c on USA Network.

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