Emily In Paris
Do You Know the Way to St. Tropez?
Photo: CAROLE BETHUEL/NETFLIX/
Isn’t it exciting when a show veers away, however briefly, from its premise? When Jane is no longer a virgin? When the Veep is actually the president? When Emily is, for one glimmering moment, not in Paris? The THRILL of this excursion, whose exhilarating promise Emily is determined to undermine at every turn by making every recreational activity a professional one and letting no spontaneous moment go unsponconned.
Emily, abandoned by a guy she did not like and will not miss but with whom she should have taken greater care given their professional entanglement, is in Saint-Tropez for all of ten minutes when her phone rings. Camille, dressed like she’s in that excellent Baby-Sitters Club reboot, is calling Emily, who is wearing … some very statement-y sunglasses. Emily, who cannot tell a truth, does not just tell Camille that she got dumped but rather pretends Mathieu had to stay in Paris for work. A totally unnecessary lie! Mathieu could’ve dumped her for some reason that had nothing to do with his overhearing her conversation with Gabriel! For instance, he could’ve realized her personality was bad.
Emily’s repeated insistence that Camille and Gabriel get back together has gone beyond her standard bad decision-making and reached a new level of denial-slash-sociopathy. Also, it makes no sense for several reasons: First of all, Gabriel was a shitty boyfriend to Camille and Emily KNOWS this, and if Emily actually cared about Camille, she’d be on the “you deserve better” train, not the “make it work, I swear he’s super sorry!!!!” express. Not to mention that if Camille gets over Gabriel, she is less likely to care (or even find out) that Emily and Gabriel had sex; also, this would free up Gabriel to date Emily, which is what Gabriel says he wants and is obviously what Emily wants. Camille is providing the neat solution to all of Emily’s problems and Emily’s response to this is to attempt to derail it at every opportunity.
Camille, newly single and ignoring Emily’s counsel (good call), invites herself to Saint-Tropez. A panicked Emily calls Mindy, who tells her, “I don’t do three-ways with friends” (again, good call), but agrees to join the girl trio. Now is as good a time as any to note that Emily’s exceptionally bad Instagram captions have earned her 26,300 followers.
At the hotel, Emily runs into a Mr. Dupri, who gushes over her ringarde luggage. He swears he and Pierre go way back. To the twist that is coming I say, yet again, Emily has proven to be so wildly incompetent at even the most elementary aspects of her job — reading up on her clients, learning who their friends and competitors are, knowing the history of the brands she represents — that perhaps the least realistic thing about this completely bananas program is that she has yet to be fired (like, for real fired, not just that fake-fired she got last season). The way Emily’s eyes widen when she says, “I guess it could be good for brand engagement” bruises my soul. Dupri models with the suitcase, posts it on his own Instagram, and the shot quickly goes viral. I mean: Even IF Dupri were an ally and not an enemy, it would STILL have been unprofessional and, worse, very stupid, for Emily to go around making these PR decisions involving one of her company’s most high-profile clients without even consulting the client, or her boss, or anyone. Because obviously there would need to be some sort of rollout arrangement so all the engagement went to Pierre Cadault before Dupri. But Emily does not know this, for Emily knows nothing … I once thought the issue was preseries blunt head trauma, but I wonder if instead her head is just empty inside, like a doll.
Emily frolics around Saint-Tropez. Given the opportunity to do anything interesting at all, she takes a bunch of selfies. For some reason, she is not worried about the optics of advertising that she’s on this trip all by herself, even though she’s apparently committed to pretending she and Mathieu are still together (a ruse that will be impossible to maintain because everyone at Savoir will be talking to Mathieu sooner rather than later, but okay!!). Naturally, she gets a call from Mathieu telling her to take down the Dupri photo immediately. “Emily, are you really that clueless?” he asks her, perhaps asking himself, Why did I ever think I could date this woman, who has the brain of a child, who is some indeterminate age between 21 and 35, who blinks blankly at all the world and absorbs nothing but ideas for terrible hashtags … am *I* really that clueless? “Make it go away before Pierre has a stroke.”
Emily still does not understand what the problem is. At this point, even a dumber person would probably think to Google “Pierre + Dupri + what happened?” I’m sure the “Personal History” section of both of their Wikipedias could clear this up for our fair anti-heroine. Instead, she talks to Julien, who confirms that Emily fucked up and that Dupri and Pierre are nemeses. He correctly accuses her of being a moron for not knowing this. Emily calls her only remaining friend, Luc, who is playing chess against himself; he chastises her for doing work on a weekend and advises her against swinging by the club that took in the Champere shipment. Emily, who I guess has not inferred from her repeated, extremely avoidable yet massive errors on the job that she should not be making any work decisions without the approval of at least one person from Savoir, goes ahead and ignores this counsel.
At the club, Emily asks for the Champere and the manager, Laurant, quickly asks for a waiter to “bring a bottle of that garbage up from the basement.” Why Emily would request a bottle of celebratory-spraying Champagne while eating lunch in the middle of the day by herself is beyond me. She’s very upset to see it isn’t on the menu. When it arrives, she coerces some waiters into spraying her with it for her Instagram, like a very sticky wet T-shirt contest. Miraculously, her immovable robot hair, as well as her makeup, emerges from this totally unaltered. As Emily leaves the club, she spots a black-and-white photo of a young Sylvie (!) on the wall. Does she do anything with this clue, like Google Sylvie’s name with that of the club so she can put together what will later come as a shock to her? No, because Emily is constitutionally opposed to learning anything new or useful, ever.
Back in Paris, Julien capitalizes on Emily’s screwup and absence to get into Pierre’s good graces. His take, which I agree with, is that if Pierre responds to the slight, he will seem “defensive and small,” and that a better strategy is to do nothing.
Mindy and Camille arrive. Mindy learns from the concierge that her dad was actually here two weeks ago and didn’t even tell her. Their estrangement is worse than she realized. Meanwhile, Camille is posting a ton of Insta Stories and already has chats going with a hot art dealer and a gorgeous Italian. Camille is a hero. Emily is appalled. Mindy wisely says to Emily, “I think she just wants to get laid right now,” and Emily, prude and rude, is all, We canNOT let that happen. In my notes I write, “Emily if you’re gonna fuck her boyfriend you can’t say she’s not allowed to have sex w the hot italian art dealer or whoever just leave her alone!!!” Mindy, rising in my rankings by the minute, responds to Emily’s dopey plan of getting Camille and Gabriel back together with a sarcastic, perfectly delivered, “And you’ll have magically unslept with her boyfriend.”
Camille and Mindy want to go to this fantastic-sounding house party. Emily wants to do brand promotion. Interesting choice of this series to have someone so lame as its protagonist. Fortunately, cooler (as in, opposite of lame, not cooler as in calmer) heads prevail and they go to the party. Emily is in a purple sequin dress (ringarde) but her hair is in a French twist (looks nice!). Camille finds a very Eurotrashy guy — is that a sheer, zebra-striped button-down undone to his navel? — and just when they’re about to have some fun, Emily insists on interrupting. She asks the hot guy to take a picture and as he does, Gabriel calls so many times that Emily has to pick up. Of course Gabriel called to be like, “What is going on, I thought you were in Saint-Tropez with Mathieu?” Instead of saying, “Do not contact me again until you actually break up with your girlfriend like a grown man instead of the coward and fuckboy you obviously are,” Emily pretends Gabriel wants to talk to Camille, because Emily’s idea of being a good friend is to kill Camille’s buzz. EMILY, BLOCK HIS NUMBER.
Later, Camille recovers by drinking some more and is happily making out with the hot Eurotrash boy, so Emily ruins that too by insisting they call an Uber and leave the (exclusive, very fun) house party to go to the beach club. “I just don’t want you to do anything you’re going to regret,” Emily, the woman who had sex with Camille’s boyfriend, says to Camille. So the girls leave the party to go to the beach club, where Emily maniacally demands they get the bad spraying Champagne “for the brand.” In her clumsy efforts to do this, she bumps into Sylvie on the dance floor. Sylvie, as usual, is perfectly attired. Love that deep green V-neck on her. The two women have a sidebar, wherein Emily admits that Mathieu “literally jumped off a moving train to get away from me” and Sylvie, who has yet to be wrong, tells Emily to stop trying to fix everything. “You’re just making everything worse for everyone else. You’re going to have to live with the consequences of your infidelity.” Emily makes the mistake of calling Laurant (who is hot and hasn’t actually done anything gross or bad, no?) a “dirtbag” and Sylvie’s like, actually, that’s my husband. INCREDIBLE. Sylvie is better at living than anyone else on this show, and possibly than anyone I’ve ever met. I wish this show were Sylvie in Paris.
Back at the table, Emily cannot believe that her boss, with whom she has no real relationship and who has repeatedly refused Emily’s invitations to socialize outside of work, did not share this piece of personal information with her. Mindy is distracted, despondent about her dad not speaking to her anymore. Emily starts to intervene but miraculously (if only temporarily) stops herself: “At this rate, even I wouldn’t listen to me.”
Later that night, Emily and Mindy drunkenly pass out in their hotel bed. Camille sends an SOS text and Emily goes out to rescue her as the sun is coming up. She finds Camille at a very pretty church where she once brought Gabriel and they had what sounds like a very meaningful and joyful day together, inadvertently crashing a small wedding. The first time he told her he loved her. That whole thing. You know. Camille confesses that she didn’t have sex with Hot Eurotrash because she is still in love with Gabriel and she’s afraid she’s lost him. Emily says, “I know you haven’t.” I say, Emily, you know she HAS.
That morning, Emily finds Laurant to apologize for her terrible behavior. He is very gracious about the whole thing and gives her a little more background: He and Sylvie were together for more than 20 years! He says Sylvie was wild and fun and “always had a bikini in her purse, just in case.” WHY are we not watching a show about THIS person?? Emily can’t believe it, but I feel like it absolutely tracks with the Sylvie we’ve met. Anyway, Sylvie decided her career was important to her, so she moved to Paris and got a new attitude. She is still able to emerge from the sea in a string bikini looking phenomenal into the arms of this hot (ex?) husband, so I feel like, again, Sylvie is the only person who knows what she’s doing.
Emily convinces Mindy to text her dad even though as recently as the night before, she’d sworn off interfering in other people’s affairs. Dupri’s yacht pulls up and the girls bound aboard, claiming they are owed a favor for his trickery. Emily gets video of the boys using Champere as the Lord intended and Emily is gifted the slogan she needed: “The gay spray of Saint-Tropez.” She’ll post it later, though. Okay? She’s on vacation.
Emily in Paris Recap: Out of Office