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Mistresses - What Could Have Been - Review: "It's a Not-So-Wonderful Life"

Directed by Eric Laneuville
Written by Jordan Budde
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

Karen makes a life-changing decision. Joss considers what her life could have been if she'd chosen Scott instead of Harry. Upset that he can't visit Joss in jail, Harry focuses his energy into helping his agent Ari instead. April sleeps with Daniel while Blair is out of town, and Daniel has a mysterious tape that might help Joss.


  • Season 2 Episode Guide
    2.01 - "Rebuild" (June 2, 2014)
    2.02 - "Boundaries" (June 9, 2014)
    2.03 - "Open House" (June 16, 2014)
    2.04 - "Friends With Benefits" (June 23, 2014)
    2.05 - "Playing With Fire" (June 30, 2014)
    2.06 - "What Do You Really Want" (July 7, 2014)
    2.07 - "Why Do Fools Fall In Love?" (July 14, 2014)
    2.08 - "An Affair to Surrender" (July 21, 2014)
    2.09 - "Coming Clean" (August 4, 2014)
    2.10 - "Charades" (August 11, 2014)
    2.11 - "Choices" (August 18, 2014)
    2.12 - "Surprise" (August 25, 2014)
    2.13 - "'Til Death Do Us Apart" (September 1, 2014)


Sometimes, shows have special kinds of episodes to show the viewer how different (or similar) things would have been had things happened differently. I'm sure most of us have wondered what would have happened if Joss didn't run to Harry on that beach and ditched Scott at the alter. A lot of us have probably thought she made a mistake in doing so because it cost her her relationship with Savi as well as, potentially, a better, more secure life. While I'm sometimes impartial to episodes like this, I was very glad it happened. It showed us that it didn't matter that Joss ran to Harry in the season 2 finale because Joss and Harry were inevitable. I was holding grudges against Joss for what she did to Savi, and Scott, but this episode helped me look past that and see that Joss did the right thing for herself.

There was some beautiful poetry in the whole story. Joss thought she was being punished for her choice of choosing Harry, and she came to think that when she was booked into jail. The opening with Joss crying as she's searched was heartbreaking. I found it odd that the police would arrest her until the lawyer explained to Harry later all the things she did that night (which I already knew) but they sound way worse in context. I liked Joss's cellmate too, she was pretty funny. "I've got a smidge of time, as do you." I knew from the episode title that there would be some sort of reflection but it was pretty nice to get scenes of what would have happened if she stayed with Scott. It looked ideal at first and I LOVED when Joss got the phone call from Savi, but then things started to return to normal and we remember why Joss and Scott couldn't work out - not just because he had those big ideas for Joss and how he liked to rush into things, but because Joss's heart just wasn't in it. As long as Harry was around, she would always go back to him.

It's really touching and romantic, but lately I have been resenting the Joss/Harry relationship because it's only brought conflict between them (and those around them). I hope this whole mess with Joss will force both of them to realise what's important and get past their silly debacles. Where is the love? They have been on and off and always bickering in between. If the show can remind us that they are, in fact, in love then I can get on board this romance train. I'm sure both will appreciate each other more now that Joss is going through hell. It was very touching that Harry was so forceful with the lawyer and that he tried all he could to get the chance to see Joss. Harry does have a tendency of being rude upfront though as I did feel a little sorry for the lawyer - he was just doing his job. So I'm in two minds about that - Harry was just wanting what was best for Joss, but there is a way of doing it.

To further prove Harry's tendency to judge too quickly (and harshly), I'll talk about his side storyline with Ari and the restaurant. So she is his new agent and I do quite like her, even though at first even I thought she was being far too forward and controlling - the only way is her way. But even so I really liked how she was getting things done and that she's very vocal in giving her clients the best opportunities. I was still quite reserved about her though until her speech during the dinner about her younger sister. It's an emotional story about how she suffered from breast cancer and unfortunately lost her battle, but she donated her money to someone else who needed it to help with paying for their treatments as well as keep a roof over her families' heads. I couldn't have been the only person with tears in my eyes during this part. It added some much-needed humanity to Ari and provided her character with a lot more definition. She is a good new addition to the show but I wonder how her relationship with Harry will go after that hug he gave her. She seemed to linger after it, so is that a sign?

Karen seemed to float a bit in this episode as she tried to make sense of her situation of carrying a child that she conceived with a married man and his wife. Seriously I have never come across this storyline ever so I am always so excited by Karen's parts of the episode to find out how they react and process. Unfortunately she didn't tell Vivian and Alec of her latest development in this episode, so instead we had Karen confess her pregnancy to April and a very judgmental priest. My heart was breaking for Karen when she thought Vivian and Alec would want to raise the baby without her, and that she still loves them. This is so hard for her, it's easy to see, yet it's such a confusing situation. The priest scene was very well done and I loved it. He did say some pretty cruel things that ties in with the black-and-white vision of the church he represents. I loved the way Karen spoke back at him about how she would tell her child with compassion, sensitivity and patience, and that the child was conceived in pure love. It resonates with a lot of the problems some religions have with people who are different so it was a pretty proud moment for Karen. I had to punch the air when she said "thank freaking God" and then walked out.

April was so much help to Joss this episode too and I loved her for it as it appears the flash drive she secured off Daniel will help Joss out. Firstly though, I was very happy to see Daniel again. I really liked the dynamic they had last season, and even with Lucy as it appeared everything was happy but, of course, April can't see past the broken trust so unfortunately these two don't work out. I enjoyed the chemistry between the two this episode as she is so much better with him than she is with Blair. I'm still team Mapril so I'm partly glad Daniel isn't sticking around, so we have to find a way to get rid of Blair next but something tells me he won't go down without a fight. Daniel and April having sex was a little steamy too and I'm glad it happened, though it makes me wonder if April will tell Blair and what his reaction will be. Not enough April/Marc scenes this episode as we had just the one, but it was a pretty good scene and, to me, it highlighted their bouncing chemistry. So for now I will say goodbye to Daniel and pray for Blair to go away soon (but not without a fight just to make things for us more interesting). Also, I freaking loved the scenes between April and Karen. Their friendship is awesome and I love knowing they're there for each other. They also had some funny bits during their wine night. "Oh April you know the drama I attract" - true dat.


I liked this episode but it felt more filler than anything else. Even for a bit of a filler, as Joss ponders what life would have been like without choosing Harry on her wedding day, there was still enough progress to make this a very good episode. I'm glad April did more to help Joss out and now possibly handed over the key to proving her innocence - I am dying to know what was on the flash drive! Karen is moving towards telling Vivian and Alec of their situation, and I am really liking Ari. I hope she doesn't come between Harry and Joss because I want her to be more than just a love interest. It was a shame there was no Calista in this episode (though I did like the little nod with Scott outbidding her in the alternative-flashbacks) as I missed her spark, but judging by the promo she will have a very big episode next week.

Best Character: Karen, for standing up to the priest.
Most Interesting Character: Joss, for sharing her alternative story.
Best Moment: Joss gets booked in at the police station.
Most Emotional Moment: Ari telling the story of her younger sister.
Best Line: "So you and your big glass of wine can shut it." - Karen.
Best Pairing: Joss and her cellmate.
Shadiest Moment: The priest giving bad advice.

Did you guys enjoy 'What Could Have Been'? Let me know your thoughts in the comments and be sure to watch the next new episode of Mistresses, August 20th on ABC!

About the Author - Gavin Hetherington
Award-winning author of 'Abyssal Sanctuary: Remnants of the Damned'. Gavin joined SpoilerTV in August 2014 and reviews 2 Broke Girls, Mistresses, Pretty Little Liars, Salem, Scream Queens and Sleepy Hollow. Gavin will write previews for Devious Maids and Shadowhunters, and backs-up Empire, The Flash, iZombie, Once Upon a Time, Reign, Scandal and Supergirl. You can contact him at gavin@spoilertv.com.
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