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‘Minx’ Season 2 Episode 5: Battle of the Sexes (RECAP)

This week’s episode takes Joyce (Ophelia Lovibond) and Doug (Jake Johnson) on the road as they go to Las Vegas to try and sell the foreign rights to Minx. That leaves Tina (Idara Victor) in charge while they’re gone, though not much work gets done. It’s the Battle of the Sexes tennis match, and the entire office, especially Shelly (Lennon Parham), is excited to watch Billie Jean King play. Tina also wants to reclaim her “Good Time Tina” title since, now that she’s the managing editor, she feels like people have been treating her like she can’t have fun anymore. Unfortunately, a few situations arise that do throw a wrench into some of the fun, but Tina handles them the best way she can. Constance (Elizabeth Perkins) even notices how Tina handles things and tells Tina she’d like to chat about her future, so things seem good for her, even during a strange situation.

Lennon Parham as Shelly, Idara Victor as Tina, Jessica Lowe as Bambi in Minx (COURTESY: Starz Entertainment)

Once everyone agrees to stay and watch the match at the office, it causes its own Battle of the Sexes, as Shelly gets into it with Dustin (Chris Riggi), one of Richie’s (Oscar Montoya) models. Dustin disparages Billie Jean King and proclaims that he could easily achieve what she has. Shelly challenges Dustin to say that he can’t return her serve. He claims he can and that he can do it without his hands, which leads him to attach a tennis racket to his penis. He can return Shelly’s serve that way, but now the tennis racket is stuck on his penis, leading to a long saga of figuring out how to get it off (no pun intended). In the end, Lenny (Rich Sommer) stops by and aids in getting the models’ penises unstuck and taking a very inebriated Shelly home.

While dealing with this crisis, Tina notices Richie seems preoccupied. She finds him taking photos for an opportunity with General Mills. As we saw in the last episode, it’s clear that Richie has been feeling a bit creatively stifled, and Tina feels for him. However, she reminds him that what he’s doing is actually in violation of his contract since he has exclusivity with Minx. It almost makes us wonder if he will look for a way out, which Bambi (Jessica Lowe) seems to worry about, too. Similarly to Doug, Bambi is still getting used to all the change around the office, and she’s still looking for where she fits in. She spends a good bit of the episode shadowing Tina in hopes of learning from her after Joyce cancels Doug’s dance revue, though Tina asks her to stop, saying she’s not looking to be anyone’s role model. In a conversation with Richie, he tells her that she’ll be fine because everyone loves her, but Bambi doesn’t seem very reassured by his words.

Meanwhile, Joyce makes her first shark-like decision in the publishing business in Vegas. She’s a speaker on a panel about women’s magazines, which, funnily enough, features mostly white men. Joyce is surprised to run into two people from her past at New York Magazine, George (Josh Stamberg), her old boss, and her friend Maggie (Gillian Jacobs). Maggie is the editor-in-chief of George’s new magazine, Gal!, which is rather similar to Minx’s concept. Last season, Maggie and Joyce had a falling out, and they clearly haven’t spoken since, but they’ll be the only women on this panel together.

Oscar Montoya as Richie in Minx (COURTESY: Starz Entertainment)

Amid the panel, Marshall (Robert Curtis Brown), one of the men present, begins to pit Gal! and Minx against each other, which rubs Joyce the wrong way. She sticks up for Maggie, and they seemingly make up once the panel is over. Doug isn’t very happy that Joyce defended Maggie and Gal! because the foreign buyers seem to be getting cold feet with what they feel are too similar offerings on the market. Joyce doesn’t understand why their magazines can’t coexist, but Doug tells her she has to do something to fix this. Afterward, Marshall comes up to Joyce, wonders why things got so hostile, and says he never would’ve agreed to the plan had he known. He mentions that Maggie said they were on the same page, which makes Joyce realize she’s been left in the dark about something that Maggie had planned to get buzz going. 

By the end of the episode, Doug has made a deal with George (unbeknownst to Maggie, who was playing poker with Joyce) so that Gal! is now owned by Bottom Dollar and successfully sold the foreign rights to Minx. Doug now has a new sense of purpose since Joyce has given him free rein to do what he wants with the publication internationally. She should be happy, but Joyce can’t help but feel terrible for screwing Maggie over. It’s a side effect of doing business that Joyce hasn’t felt yet, but Doug is clearly no stranger to it. He tells her just to be happy, but being cutthroat is something that Joyce probably won’t get used to, especially at the expense of another woman. It’ll be interesting to see her grapple with these sorts of decisions throughout the season.

Rating: 8/10

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