This week’s episode of Minx gave us more backstory into both Doug’s (Jake Johnson) and Tina’s (Idara Victor) relationship and also Shelly’s (Lennon Parham) and Joyce’s (Ophelia Lovibond) relationship, making it my favorite episode of the season so far.
As an early Doug and Tina truther (I tuned into the show based on one clip in the season one trailer of them interacting), I know it was made clear last year that their relationship is not without its problems, so it was interesting to shed a bit more light on that while also getting to meet Tina’s family. The episode begins with Doug barging into Joyce’s office and smashing the wall in to retrieve a ring box since he plans to propose to Tina. He explains that since he’s going to Europe soon to oversee Minx’s international affairs, he wants Tina to come with him, and he can’t imagine being with anybody else. He plans to propose before Tina’s mother’s retirement party.
A wrench is immediately thrown in Doug’s plans when Tina tries to convince Doug he doesn’t need to accompany her to the party. She mentions that her family doesn’t like him, since the last time they were together, they broke up, and he immediately married someone else. For this reason, Tina hasn’t mentioned to anyone in her family that she and Doug are back together. Doug pleads with Tina that he wants to make things right, so she calls ahead and tells them that Doug will join her.
Upon their arrival, Tina’s sister Ruby (Dawntavia Bullard) refers to Doug as a “sack of shit” and she apparently likes him the best out of the entire Lewis family. It becomes quickly apparent that everyone hates Doug because they feel he stole Tina away from the family stationery store; her mother, Evelyn (Cleo King), wanted to pass it on to her rather than Tina’s brother, Marvin (Jalen Gilbert). Now, through Doug’s well-intentioned pep talk similar to the one he gave Tina all those years ago, Marvin decides to follow his dreams of becoming a truck driver, meaning Tina’s mother has nobody to leave the shop to. Tina stands up to her mother, telling her that nobody wants to run the store anyway and she should sell it. She then declares she has a new job anyway since she’ll be the head of Minx’s international publications.
In the last episode, we see Joyce promise this job to Doug, but it seems like she and Constance (Elizabeth Perkins) have their wires crossed since Constance promised the job to Tina. Doug seems taken aback by this news for more reasons than one, but mainly because he doesn’t understand why Tina didn’t tell him. He wants to be the first person that Tina tells her big news about how she is that person for him. Clearly, there are some challenges in communication they need to work out in their relationship if things are really going to work out this time around.
Meanwhile, Joyce and Shelly are on a trip of their own, as Shelly accompanies Joyce to Vassar College, her alma mater, as they honor her for endowing a new fellowship for women in print. Joyce is particularly excited because she hopes to ask one of her favorite professors to write the foreword for the book she’s working on. Shelly finds she has to fend for herself at times, what with Joyce being pulled away with her schedule, but she’s able to hold her own as she talks with Doreen Merrim (Melinda Page Hamilton), who actually turns out to be Joyce’s old professor that she so admires. Unfortunately for Joyce, Doreen seems more interested in talking to Shelly than her, which is how Joyce learns that Shelly actually went to college for a semester but had to leave school and return home to care for an eight-year-old Joyce after their mother left.
Joyce’s jealousy gets the better of her as Shelly connects with many of the Vassar professors in a way Joyce wishes she could. Seeing Shelly come out of her shell and fit in so nicely is lovely. It’s one of the first times in the series we’ve seen anyone really listen to what she has to say. It’s also clear that Joyce has a preconceived notion about who she thinks Shelly is that doesn’t match up with what we know about Shelly. This all comes to a head when Joyce observes Shelly having sex with Doreen.
Joyce and Shelly’s ensuing fight was probably a long time coming, seeing as Shelly seems like the type to keep things bottled up. She’s much more intelligent than Joyce gives her credit for, and Shelly finally lets her know that the world does not revolve around her. She gave up her dreams to care for Joyce and wants a chance to get to know herself a bit more, which is part of the reason she created her Bella La Rouche persona. I’m sure this probably isn’t the first time that Joyce has heard that the world doesn’t revolve around her, but it seems that it hits home a bit more, seeing as she’s never heard it from her older sister. Though Joyce brings a peace offering of scones the following day, Shelly does tell Joyce she meant what she said the night before, even if it was delivered in a harsher way than she intended. She decides to extend her trip and stay on to do some soul-searching of her own.
With only two episodes left in the season, it seems everyone has a bit of thinking to do on Minx. Richie (Oscar Montoya) and Bambi (Jessica Lowe) as well, as Richie tries to figure out if he’s outgrown Bottom Dollar and Bambi is still searching for her place in the new order of things. For now, the team is hanging on by a thread, and only time will tell if they can get through this together or if some will be heading their separate ways.