As I said in my Advance Preview, while I love Johnny Rock, Flash, and the whole crew of Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll , I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the season 1 finale. Yes, I know at the time when it was written and filmed, no one had any idea what would happen with the show or whether we’d ever see these characters again. But, even still, they could have left things at a cliffhanger, even if only a small one, and no one would have thought much about it. Instead, we are left with images of Gigi (Elizabeth Gillies), stinky vaginas and Johnny (Denis Leary) getting chewed out by his daughter for potentially ruining her career. Kinda flat for a season-ender, in my humble opinion.
But, the good news is a brand new season is upon us, and with a little bit of luck, the writers will have found that magical working formula with a full season now until their belts. Well, if tonight’s season 2 opener is any indication of what’s to come for the remaining episodes, we’re all in for a hell of a trip for the next 10 weeks.
Okay, show of hands — how many of you remember the 2nd backup singer of the Heathens from way back in the Pilot? You know, the bubbly brunette who was always hanging out with Ava? Yeah, that one. Well, you may not even remember her name, but tonight, we are reminded that it’s “Micki.” Unfortunately, the reminder doesn’t come with many good feels after she drops dead at the young age of 45 from an aneurysm, and her former Heathen bandmates have to go through the morbid task of attending their friend’s funeral. Of course, the death also serves as a major wake-up call, with everyone now obsessing over life choices, their futures, and most importantly, the things that really matter in life like making sure you have the perfect photo ready to put on your funeral card. At least we can see that Johnny and Co. have their priorities straight.
But, besides picking photos and music (or in Gigi’s case, a whole f*ckin’ parade for her!) for the final send-off for themselves, it also makes everyone nostalgic about the Heathens, and so, on we go on a trip down memory lane. Ava (Elaine Hendrix) is actually the one who starts the whole reminiscing thing, but after she learns what the group stumbles upon, I bet she wishes she hadn’t. While she and Flash (John Corbett) are at Gigi’s picking up a few of her things, Johnny and the others decide to check out what they think is a cool VHS tape of the Heathens footage from back in the day. And, the tape starts out that way but quickly cuts to some cozy footage of Ava and Flash performing a sappy duet in Nashville back in 1993.
Okay, okay, we can manage this. The Heathens had broken up, and as part of that, Johnny and Ava decided to take a break from each another. And, since Ava is from the Nashville area and so is Flash, it does make sense they both would be down there, right? Uhhhhh, well, you could argue that, at least until the song ends and Flash plants a hot, steamy kiss on the lips of the love of Johnny’s life. Oops! So, so busted. At about the same time, Ava and Flash return from their little road trip and are instantly drilled about the video. Ava says the affair lasted only 20 minutes, but Flash blurts out what is probably the truth, which is close to a year. Oh, crap. #FacePalm
Oh, this is just like our dating. One minute I’d want to fuck your brains out. The next minute I’m pretty sure I already had — Ava to Flash
THE best quote of the premiere and perhaps one of the best of the entire series thus far. I swear I couldn’t stop laughing! Poor Ava, if only she could date a guy who isn’t a complete moron.
As would be expected, this reveal creates rifts in a group that is already rift-central. Gigi’s pissed because she had asked Flash about any relationship with Ava and he lied about it, but at least she’s civilized about it (but don’t you dare say you’re “smitten” with her!). It’s Johnny who acts like a teenage boy, pitching a fit about the entire thing and even going as far as telling Bam-Bam (Bobby Kelly) it’s time for him to go solo. Bad hair. No job. No money. No problem because every girl would still line up to f*ck Johnny Rock. Keep telling yourself that, Johnny!
The good news is Bam-Bam takes the time to try and talk Johnny down from the ledge, emphasizing that the past is the past, but this is “right here, right now” as the great Van Hagar put it. At first we think it went in one ear and right out the other, but it seems Johnny was listening. Gee, it’s a miracle! We know because the next day at the studio, he shows up and surprises everyone, even Bam-Bam. Instead of taking off like he had promised, he took Micki’s ashes and had custom maracas made, which was Mickey’s instrument of choice when she sang backup for the Heathens.
Here’s to Gigi and the Assassins and our little dysfunctional, kick-ass rock’n’roll family — Johnny
Ahhhhh. So, all is good again, and Flash even tries to make amends by giving Johnny one the guitars he got in Nashville so he could smash it against the amp. Yeah, our effed-up group of musical misfits are back to rocking again!
But, I wouldn’t count on things staying this way for very long. First, these are the Heathens/Assassins, and by default, they will always find a way to totally trash anything that’s good. But, also, if the promos we’ve seen for later episodes are any indication, Flash and Ava are far from over. Oh, yes, this shitstorm is just getting started.
Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll airs on Thursdays at 10/9c on FX.
Critic Grade — B+
Geeky computer and math nerd by day and TV fanatic by night. My beats are The Walking Dead, The Strain, Person of Interest, Z Nation, and anything that most people would call freaky. Editor-In-Chief and Lead Writer of TVGeekTalk.com
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