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Satisfaction “…Through Exposure” 

Photo Credit: Richard DuCree/USA Network
Photo Credit: Richard DuCree/USA Network

Katherine LaNasa‘s Adriana is such an interesting creature. As you may remember from my character analysis of her last week, Katherine told us she thinks Adriana wants Neil “for herself” and that she might want “some of what Grace has with him.” But we can never forget that Adriana also likes to “control people.”

In this episode we see Adriana not only insinuate herself into Grace’s – and by extension Neil’s – life, but we also see her vulnerable for the first time. Neil’s “complexity” and “smarts” draw her in, but those traits she finds so attractive also frustrate her when Neil doesn’t do what she wants him to. When Adriana first told Neil about a married couple who were clients of hers, he wasn’t interested. But the more Neil thinks about it and the more he examines what does and doesn’t work in his own marriage, he more intrigued he becomes. Knowing that Gail won’t want to sleep with him, knowing it’s just a test her husband wants her to pass, makes it easier for Neil to go on the date.

Photo Credit: Richard DuCree/USA Network
Photo Credit: Richard DuCree/USA Network

For Neil the real barometer of a marriage isn’t sex, it’s conversation. But it turns out Adriana wasn’t being entirely truthful, so Neil’s surprised when Gail suggests they go to the hotel. He apologizes for the misunderstanding and leaves. When Adriana’s upset that Neil’s not doing his job, he once again tells her that maybe this line of work isn’t for him. Tired of hearing that, or maybe just wanting to push his buttons, Adriana tells Neil she now understands why Grace cheated. And it’s when Neil won’t let her get away with that statement that they have a real back and forth. Before it was Adriana digging and prying into his past and his life. But this time Adriana’s actually revealing a part of herself and Neil connects to that, to her.

Neil: You don’t judge my wife. You don’t get to judge.
Adriana: I don’t judge it. I applaud it. God. Why do couples always feel the need to test their spouses at the first sign of trouble when they should really be testing themselves?
Neil: What the hell do you think I’ve been trying to do?
Adriana: Bidding your time before you can make a real decision about what you want out of your life.
Neil: Bullsh*t. I know exactly what I want out of life. I want a partner. A partner that I can love. A partner that I can trust.
Adriana: You want a fantasy. Sorry, darling. We’re all alone in this world no matter how hard we try. We are alone. The rest of it, love, marriage, it’s just a distraction.
Neil: You only believe that because you’ve given up on that ever happening to you.
Adriana: I haven’t given up. I’ve surrendered. There’s a peace that comes with that.

It’s in that moment that Neil really and truly gets her, or understands a small part of her. He sees her vulnerability. He knows her struggle. And that’s what he wants. I don’t know where this connection will go or what it means for either one of them, but I’m intrigued by the possibilities even as I worry that ultimately it’s all just a game to Adriana.

Other developments

I like that Michael Vartan‘s Dylan is going to be sticking around for a while. He challenges Grace in a way that I think she needs right now. He’s something unexpected in her life. I don’t love that Stephanie has a date with him (and that she’s already talking about getting serious with him. Yikes. Slow down.), but that’s just more conflict for later when Grace admits that she might have feelings for him.

Photo Credit: Richard DuCree/USA Network
Photo Credit: Richard DuCree/USA Network

I don’t like that Grace and Anika still aren’t connecting, but I guess it’s really nothing new in their relationship. I do feel like Grace is trying and maybe it’s because Anika’s a teenager or because she’s been burned before, but she doesn’t seem to be giving her mom much of a chance. I also like that Anika put herself out there, even though it seems like things are coming a little to easily to her right now. We’ll see where that goes.

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

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