Perhaps this episode should have been titled Crime and Punishment. Trouble with the law becomes the lithmus test of Riley’s mettle. She shows herself to be no wimp as she visits her husband in jail and eludes authorities and the detection of her own naughtiness. She knows how to choose her battles, and this is a very attractive quality; whatever the secrets that she holds.
Almost everything that landed Riley in the turbulent waters that she’s in was based upon different circumstances that were not of her choosing. Financial desperation drove her to a secret career. A husband walking out on her led her to seek solace in his brother’s arms. It’s hard to judge her for her choices, some of them seemed to be forced upon her by unfortunate experiences that were beyond her control.
Her clueless children are so sweetly innocent. Viewers want things to go well with Riley, partly because of them. Riley is also so winsome and courageous that one also embraces her and wants things to turn out well for her. Still, she dances on the dangerous edge in so many ways.
“I saw you with my wife. What kind of a man takes advantage of his brother’s wife?” These words, spoken by her husband when his brother visits him in jail, lead to a fight. Evan (the brother) wants her as much as Kyle (the husband). It’s hard to argue that Kyle left the door open for other men to enter his beautiful wife’s life. It doesn’t seem that the decision to close that door is left up to him.
She also has choice words for Kyle, “I never gave up on you Kyle, you gave up on us.” She lets him know that he is in a season of reaping. What is clear to viewers, is that she may also close to reaping some of the seeds she has sown. Not that viewers want this.
It’s good this show is called a drama. Riley attracts drama like light attracts moths. At the same time; she has a steel resolve, a strong fighting spirit, and no tolerance for foolishness. One can appreciate that she is not quite the low-down skank that she seems to be. How she manages to balance wisdom with folly is part and parcel what makes this show so interesting.
“I’m the manager, so I call the shots,” she tells a possible addition to the ever-growing client list. Somehow, she has won the trust of her boss, and has been given more responsibility. Her promotion is a win-win for both her and her boss (played by Loretta Devine).
One thing that makes this show so compelling is that each of the women have a life that is sweetly seeped in the same goals and desires that more “virtuous” women have. They want relationships, have outside interests, hold some rock solid values, and are seeking affirmation. It’s this common ground that makes the show so watchable.