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Mess-Prone Housewives
Devious Butlers 1x05
Season
Episode
05
Airdate
July 17, 2016
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"Mess-Prone Housewives" is the 5th episode of Devious Butlers.

Summary

Liz feels that Rena owes her for her help and has a very specific idea as to how he can make it up to her, with a little home-style torture play. She's not the only angry housewife in recipience of sexual sating though, for, after being confronted over his true sexuality, Matthew feels the need to prove himself as a man to Joanna in bed, though for some reason she remembers less of their insatiable past encounters than he does. Meanwhile, Joe knows about Jose's "videos" and locks on to a new suspect: the very same girl who Ben is currently trying to convince to stay with him in spite of his apparent lack of ambition.

Plot

Teaser

Focus on the face of Benjamin Gold as he is seen laughing while on a date at a local Wikerly Hills restaurant. At last he has succeeded in winning the heart of Justine Dussault, a woman most would consider to be far out of his league. For once in his life Ben had found himself to be lucky with love; things were just working out so smoothly, finally, unlike a particular relationship in his past. The camera pans around to the back of Ben's head where we are taken through time to years prior.
Back in Scotland, as a high school teenager, Ben is seen undressing his clothes in the back seat of a car, prepared to have sex for the very first time. With him is his high school girlfriend, Jennifer, excited to take her boyfriend's virginity, but upon seeing what Ben has to offer down below, she is not the slightest bit impressed.
However, cut to eight months later as Ben stands at a wedding altar as a very pregnant Jennifer begrudgingly joins him, as both their families have forced them to get married. While Ben is excited to start a family with the woman he loves, Jennifer feels the complete opposite.
But then cut to some years after this where an older Jennifer is screaming at an older Ben inside what appears to be a very cramped apartment. "You ruined my life!" she screams at him, "I had to throw away everything because of you!" As she goes all out with demeaning and degrading her husband, Ben fights back the urge to cry. However, he finally stands from the chair he was sat in and without saying a word he slides off his wedding ring and puts it down on the table next to him, proceeding to walk away. This doesn't make Jennifer stop though, for she only screams louder.
Circle back around to Ben in the present day as he spends these moments focused on Justine and not on his torrid past. "I'm happy we finally do proper date," the French says to her new beau, who agrees in turn. They lean in for a kiss. "I hope this is but one of many," Ben exclaims, resulting in Justine blushing. But this leads her into a particular topic; she wonders what this means for Ben and his future. "Well what do you mean?" he asks, and the blonde maid shrugs. She assumed that he didn't plan on being a mere butler his whole life. "What dreams have you do?" she asks, "What are life motives?" However, it's now Ben who is doing the shrugging. "Well, I mean, I'm pretty content working for the Del Barrios," he admits, to Justine's surprise. "Oh," she says in response, "well besides that. Like say, for my own self I cook good. Maybe one day I be gourmet chef. That is what I mean with future." But Ben still doesn't really have that good of an answer. "Justine, I'm pretty happy where I'm at. It's nice, peaceful, good pay. I get a free mansion to live in; all I have to do is clean a few toilets, make some meals and do some dusting here and there." Justine nods, trying her best to not show a look of disgust; she takes a sip of her wine in order to block her face, but Ben can tell there's obviously something off. "Is there a problem with that?" he wonders. "Oh, no, no," she replies, trying her best to sound supporting, "No I understand your wish. It's okay, Ben; some guys are just not as... menly as others." This comment upsets Ben though, who exclaims that he is so "menly". However, as Justine finishes her glass of wine, she shakes her head and waves her hand. "Ben, please, it is fine you don't wish to do more with your life. I mean, some persons has to be the house boy." Ben is left offended as Justine calls out to a waiter for their check.

DEVIOUS BUTLERS

Act I

Joe is busy wiping one of many sets of windows that fill the upper floors of the Del Barrio mansion, his eyes a little bloodshot from tire, when his cell phone begins to ring, and the caller ID tells him that the person trying to contact him right now it doing so from Wikerly Federal Prison. Surmising that it's Tyson, Joe looks around before answering, so as to make sure that the proceeding conversation isn't heard. Knowing the house is also laced with security cameras, he bows his head also and talks in a particularly low register as, finally, he answers with, "Hello?" "Joe!" Tyson exclaims from the other line, at the front of a line of several other inmates wishing to speak with their loved ones, and the detective-turned-butler asks his old foster brother what's wrong. Tyson explains that nothing's wrong, for in fact something is very, very right: "I remembered something about Jose!" Tyson then drops to a whisper as he adds, "Something I think led to him getting killed." "Really?" Joe asks, shocked, and Tyson nods, then remembering that Joe can't actually see him through the phone and a few seconds later stating, "Yeh." "Well, what is it?" Joe is eager to learn, and Tyson tells him, "Oh, right. Well I was trying to sleep last night but I couldn't because of how you yelled at me." "Yes, Tyson, I'm sorry, but could you make it with the relevant info?" Joe hurries, and Tyson finally relays that he recalled Jose making a phone call, threatening to expose a video of them in exchange for money. Joe is deeply intrigued by this, saying, "A different blackmail scheme… This is good; this is very good." "Really?" Tyson asks, excited, and Joe tells him, "Yes. You've done well, Tyson." Tyson smiles, and Joe says that he'll do his best to look into this immediately. Tyson asks him how he plans on doing so, and Joe tells him, "Easy. There's a certain group of butlers I've recently entered into that I have yet to seriously pump for information." Tyson smiles again before being ushered off of the prison phone. Joe, meanwhile, slips his phone into his pocket and continues wiping the windows as he prays to himself that his next suspect not end up a dud like Joanna…

Joanna, meanwhile, is passed out on the new couch when Josh and Matthew return home from Camp Straightwater, just like she promised she would be. "Honey, I'm home!" Matthew exclaims upon re-entering the mansion and, when he's met with no reply from his wife, it doesn't take him long to discover her in her sleeping state. "Honey," he says as he crouches down and gently shakes her away from her drunken nap, and soon enough her eyes shoot open and she jumps, startled, at the sight of her husband. "Hi…" she murmurs once she realizes what's going on, "you're home early." "Actually we're right on time," Josh assures as he carries one of Matthew's suitcases through the door, at which Joanna asks what the time is. Matthew tells her that it's 11:30 in the morning and she replies with, "Damn. I better start my day." And with that she pours herself a glass of wine using the bottle currently resting on the end table, nursing it as she stands up to greet her husband and her butler home properly. "That's the stuff," she sighs with relief, but before she can truly regain her bearings she is approached by Josh and he asks if he can talk alone with her in the kitchen for a moment. "Uh, sure," Joanna replies while Matthew ascends the stairs with his overnight bag so to as unpack it amidst his bedroom. "So what is it, honey?" Joanna asks Josh once they're firmly out of earshot of her husband and, in a hushed tone, he tells her, "I have some news… about your husband." "I know." "You know? What do you know?" "That he watches Once Upon a Time, but, like, what're you gonna do, yanno?" "No, that isn't it," Josh assures, "although… I wouldn't say it's far off." "Wait," Joanna interrupts, finally putting down her wine glass and allowing for her head to clear, "honey, what is this? What's going on right now?" "I'm trying to tell you that your husband is gay!" Josh exclaims, hushed, but Joanna just looks at him confused and says, "He told you this?" "No, I overheard him," he makes clear. "Oh," she states, "so… that's your news? 'Cause honey, I knew that. People out in space knew that." "You know?" Josh questions, shocked, and Joanna chuckles, saying that of course she does; "I may look unassuming but I am one smart-ass alcoholic. I mean, it's so obvious. We haven't had sex in, like, forever; he's obsessed with all things gay, punishing or otherwise; he wanted to go to straight camp, I mean, you were clearly a front. Honestly, this is even less shocking than R+L=J." "So you're married to a gay man and… what? What are you gonna do?" Josh wonders, but Joanna shrugs and tells him, "Nothing." "So you're… not gonna do anything to help him be himself? Free him from this life of oppression that he's clearly been geared towards since childhood with all this religious crap." "To be honest… meh," Joanna shrugs, then reclaiming her wine glass and exiting the room. Josh appears less than pleased with his employer's reaction.

Elsewhere, at the local Wikerly Hills cafe, Ben is seen waiting at a table for the other butlers to join him when he notices Justine entering the establishment. Not wanting to miss his new girlfriend, he quickly calls for her attention, causing her to make a detour from the line she initially had planned to stand in. The two greet one another with a hug and kiss, and Ben wonders why Justine is there. "I just on break of work," she says, to which Ben responds that he was too, and that he was planning on meeting his friends. "You're more than welcome to join us," he says, "I'm sure they'd love you." "Pass," is all Justine replies though, going to head back to the line to order herself a latte. Ben rushes to keep up with her though, wondering if there's a problem, and she simply shrugs her shoulders. "To be honest, I rather choose not surround myself with persons with your work profession. They just make the depression of me," she admits. "Also, Rena is pig." Ben is rather surprised by his girlfriend's remark, or rather the first half of it at least, and wishes for her to elaborate more on it. So, Justine goes into detail that she cares not for the constant reminder that Ben is throwing his life away to scrub toilets and polish some rich mens' shoes. "But I thought you, despite all those low-key jabs made, supported me," he questions, to which Justine also admits that she was just trying to be nice. "Really it make me see you less of man... No offense." Ben is still quite offended, however; he wants Justine to see that he really is a man and he also wants to make her happy. "I was just hoping that your happiness would stem from me being happy too, is all." "Meh," Justine says in turn. She goes to move up in the line, but Ben continues to follow her; he asks if there is anything he could do that would make her happy, and she simply shrugs her shoulders. "Benjamin, how you think with job as butler you can give me everything I ever wanted?" she asks, "I'm French, for God's sake. I'm, how you say, high maintainable." "High maintenance," he corrects, but she ignores him, going on that she doesn't see how she could ever get the things she wants out of life if Ben is just wasting his way. "And what is it that you want?" he wonders, to which she replies that she wants everything. "And if you love truly me, you should no have problem giving me all things I desire." Ben assures that he does love her; he hasn't loved someone the way he loves her in a very long time. "Well then reach me out when you do the straightening of your priorities." With that, the French exits the cafe, forgetting to order her latte.

"Well maybe if you weren't away all the time I wouldn't need to spend so much money on trivial items to keep me happy," Liz shouts into the phone, in the kitchen of the Davis house, as Rena is sat at the table, with his feet up and flipping through a magazine. He takes notice of his employer's argument though, as she continues berating her husband over the phone. Eli, meanwhile, in Rome, shouts back. "I wouldn't have to be away all the time if you would cut back on spending. You're bleeding me dry, woman!" He continues that maybe if Liz would find some work then maybe it wouldn't all be on him and he could be there for her. "Excuse me, but I had a career until I married you," she tries, only for Eli to point out that playing the hot woman in car dealership commercials and acting as an episodic zombie in The Walking Dead hardly constitutes as a career. Appalled, however, Liz hangs up the phone, proceeding to hit it against the counter, hard enough to get someone's attention, but gently enough to where no damage is done to the device. "Is something wrong?" Rena asks, and Liz, clearly frustrated, explains that Eli has just insulted her and she is not in the mood for that type of attitude from someone. Rena nods, trying his best to console his friend/employer; he wonders if there is anything he can do for her, such as brew a fresh pot of coffee or run out and get her something, but Liz shakes her head, telling him that it's fine. As Rena goes back to reading his magazine though, a thought does come across to Mrs. Davis' mind. "Well," she admits, "there is something you could do." Trying her best to appeal to the Portuguese, she takes a seat next to him and plasters on a friendly smile. Rena is intrigued as to what Liz is interested in, and so she flat out says it: "Let me beat you." And thus Rena's interest is lost. "Liz..." he exclaims, very uneased, but Liz pleads that it would just be light torture play. "C'mon, you're the only one who knows I'm into this kind of stuff and you did say you owe me for the whole Yas sitch." Rena, very cautiously, however, is forced to decline Liz's request. "I... just don't think that's something I'm really interested in. I mean, you gave me those teases and it looks..." "Painful. I know, that's the point. I want to cause you pain and a lot of it. However, the pain is meant to also be pleasurable, so as I smack you around and turn you into my personal bitch, you're supposed to be benefiting from it." This only makes it sound worse for Rena, though; he wonders, in an attempt to divert Liz from this, if perhaps Eli would be more interested instead, if she asked him. "Please, Eli would divorce me in a heartbeat and I'd be ruined," she exclaims. "No, you're my only option." Rena is still very hesitant though, trying to clarify to Liz that he is really not interested; but alas, she still insists. "Look, we can start off small. Lemme go and get a ballgag and some handcuffs and we can take it from there." However, as Liz leaves the kitchen to do so, Rena decides he's not going to wait around to see what any of this entails. Immediately he jumps from his seat and runs, trying his best to stay quiet, heading in the opposite direction of his employer. He grabs the car keys and from there he makes it out the door. By the time Liz is back with the ballgag and handcuffs, she's disappointed to see her butler has fled.

Ben remains sitting alone at the café when, finally, Joe arrives on the scene. "Hey Ben," he says as he sits down, "I would've been here sooner but I just got swamped wiping windows. You know how it is." "Actually, I don't," Ben replies, "it was always Jose's job." "Is that so?" Joe asks, unable to continue because Josh soon arrives, says his hello's, and sits next to them. "Well I am having one hell of a day," Josh tells them, and Ben asks him where he's been the past few days. When Josh tells him that he's been at straight camp and Ben, shocked, wants to hear more, Joe tries butting in, saying, "Wait a second, Ben, weren't you about to say something about… who were we talking about again?" He is clearly desperate, and Ben just says, confused, "I don't think so," before continuing in listening to Josh, who is delving in with, "So Matthew set off those sprinklers on purpose in an attempt to smoke us out of the house…" "Hey everyone," Rena whispers as he too shows up, and Ben greets him happily, pointing out how nice it is to have all four of them again. "Yes," Joe murmurs, "that is nice?" Josh then asks Rena why he's whispering, taking a break from his own story, and Rena explains that he had to sneak away from Liz and got used to having to be quiet on the way over. Josh asks him why he was trying to sneak away but Rena doesn't want to talk about it, and so Ben suggests that Josh finish telling them about his experience at straight camp. Rena seems surprised that this happened, and Joe just looks lost as Josh's lips begin to move and words start coming out, merely wanting to drive the conversation to what he wants to talk about. He appears practically whoozy, with this whole mystery taking longer than he expected, draining him somewhat, to the point that Josh's words become mere sounds and the faces of the butlers practically blur before him, like he's seeing double, wanting to sleep. "Joe?" Ben then exclaims, snapping him out of it, "Are you okay?" "Yes!" Joe exclaims suddenly in turn, "it's just the stress of, uh, cleaning… really getting to me." "Tell me about it!" Rena exclaims, "I had to scrub the toilets last week. Like, who does that?" "Everyone," Josh assures him, while Ben asks Joe if there's a problem he'd like to talk about; "Are those noises keeping you up at night?" "Not really…" Joe admits, thinking back to the previous night…
Indeed, Joe was staying up. But not because of the noises, which are more of a distant echo to him by now. Instead, he has a notepad and pencil and is busy constructing a miniature spider diagram of possible suspects for who really killed Jose Sanchez. It seems to be driving him a little crazy.
In the present, he tells the other butlers, "There's something else I've actually been wondering about…" "Shoot," Ben tells him, and Joe leans in to whisper a question, asking, "When Jose died, was… was he trying to blackmail someone?" Ben's face goes dead, and he simply asks, "What?" "It's just I, um, found this note," he lies, combining old clues with new ones in an attempt to make himself sound innocent of snooping, "in the fireplace; I didn't see who it was to, but, um, it mentioned videos. It seems he was trying to extort money out of someone I… just wondered if you knew anything about it." "How is that any of your business?" Josh wonders, confused, and Rena says, "Come to think of it, you talk about Jose a lot. Like… a lot a lot. It's not like he was your friend." "I'm sorry," Joe tells them, "I replaced him at work, it's natural for me to be curious I… I just can't bear the thought of sleeping in the same room where he plotted against the people who maybe killed him. It's affecting me in all these bizarre ways." "But he was killed by that guy at the benefit," Josh recalls, "with the special needs." "Well…" Ben finally speaks up again, "if he did it." "Ben?" Rena questions, and Ben admits, "It was always kinda fishy, right? I mean, if it's gonna make Joe shut up about it… maybe we should just tell him." "Oh, thank God!" Rena exclaims, "I hate keeping secrets. Yeah, Jose was totally blackmailing someone." Joe is surprised by this, asking, "Do you know who?" "No," Josh takes the lead, "but it was always his plan." "He said we were all stupid," Ben continues, "because we worked for the rich and the famous, learning all their secrets, and we never used these secrets against them. He wanted to find out all he could from the homes he worked in and then milk one of his employers for all they were worth - whoever he thought he could get the most money out of, I guess. Though we don't know anything about any videos." "He had lots of plates spinning at once," Josh finishes. "And he admitted all this to you?" Joe questions, surprised, and Rena replies that he had to get it all off his chest, like they did just then; "Carrying around a secret too long can do things to you." "Don't I know it?" Joe says to himself, still looking like kind of a wreck. "But it's what we do," Ben adds. "The people we work for, they're all prone to a little mess now and then, and we're their butlers; that means that we clean it up. Keeping secrets is practically in the job description." This declaration washes over the butlers, though Rena soon can't help but blurt out, "Liz is into BDSM." The others turn to him, surprised, before slowly returning to their earlier conversation. Joe, meanwhile, returns to zoning out as all this new information is compressed into his head.

Act II

At the Del Barrio mansion, Ben, who is currently supposed to be cleaning, is instead sitting on the grand staircase leading upstairs. While he has a spray bottle and rag to wipe down the railing, the butler is instead making no use of himself and instead moping around because of what Justine said to him earlier. Though this goes on for a bit, it doesn't go over well as Jorgio comes to find him there, not doing his job. Making his way down the stairs, Jorgio questions the meaning of this when seeing his butler not doing at all what he is supposed to be doing. "Oh," Ben realizes, snapping out of the trance he had been stuck in, "I'm so sorry, Mr. Del Barrio." He quickly goes to stand to his feet and get back to work, but Jorgio can tell there is obviously more going on with Ben than what he wishes to lead on. "What's wrong with you?" the employer questions his employee, but Ben, rather gently, points out that it's not really any of Jorgio's business. "When it affects your work in my home, it damn well is," Jorgio clarifies, now more demanding of an explanation. Ben lets out a sigh, seeing that there really isn't much of a point in keeping it from his employer. "It's about a girl I've been seeing," he finally admits, "Justine." Jorgio nods, understanding this to be the same girl whom he had Ali instruct Ben to not see any further; however, Ben is quick to point out that what he does off of the Del Barrio property line is not any of Jorgio's concern. To Ben's surprise, Mr. Del Barrio gives a chuckle at the butler's remark. "I'll admit, Benjamin," he exclaims, "I didn't ever think you'd have the balls to say something like that to me. If we're all being honest here, I picture you a bit of a, well, wuss." This doesn't make Ben feel any better though, but out of respect he hesitantly thanks Jorgio for what he believes has a compliment in it somewhere. "Now, son," Mr. Del Barrio says further, "why are you sat around moping - though you really should be mopping - when in reality you could be finding a solution to your problem." Ben points out, however, that it's not that easy; he reveals to Jorgio that the problem is he doesn't know how to give Justine everything she desires. But, Jorgio shrugs this off. "What does that matter?" he questions, resulting in Ben raising an eyebrow. "Tell this Justine what you want," he says. "When I've wanted to captivate a woman, I've never had trouble forcing my way into her heart... and other areas, if you know what I mean." Ben does know what Jorgio means, though he wishes he didn't, and while finding his boss' advice a bit disconcerting, he does think that perhaps he has a point. "Okay," Ben says in turn, "well, thank you, Mr. Del Barrio. I'll give that some thought." This pleases Jorgio, who pats the butler on the back. "Now, with that said, get back to work," Jorgio instructs, continuing down the stairs and out of Ben's presence.

"Well, I have to go," Josh tells Joe after Rena has already vacated the café in suit of Ben, "I've got other lunch plans I gotta get to. Will you be okay on your own?" As Joe assures him that he will be, with Josh proceeding to leave, Justine can be seen heading back inside, having never succeeded in receiving her coffee order when Ben was there earlier, while Joe remains at the table that the four butlers were previously sat at, muttering to himself a little as he runs through his head the possibilities regarding Jose's killer. "It can't be Joanna," he makes clear, "because he never sent the note." Justine collects her coffee from the barista meanwhile, as Joe is saying, "Video. What kind of video? USB? DVD? Tape?" As he says this, he is scribbling notes on a napkin but, when he notices Justine walking by, a sudden thought occurs to him and he drops the napkin into his coffee, purposely distorting it before asking the French maid if she'd like to sit with him. She shrugs and tells him, "Sure," for it isn't as though she's eager to get back into the house with Rena and Liz. "How are you?" Joe asks the maid, who blinks at him before replying, "Fine." "Good… good…" Joe nods, looking ever more strung out. "Why you want sit with me?" Justine goes on to wonder, a tad confused, "We're not friends." "Of course we are," Joe exclaims, "you're dating my co-worker!" "For now…" Justine replies, but Joe ignores this, simply moving on to say, "If you think that we're not friends, Justine, then it's my job to rectify that. You're on your break, I'm on my break; let's get to know each other a little." "Are you hitting me on? Because you look like drug addict," she says as she sips her latte. "No!" Joe assures, "I would never do that to Ben. And I'm just tired and stressed." "What do you have be stressed about?" Justine wonders, "You and I have the same job basically and I no stressed. Just tired and bored." "Look at us; asking questions, getting to know each other better," Joe smiles. "You didn't answer my question though," Justine points out, but Joe brushes this off and simply proceeds to wonder, "So how long have you been working in the area?" Justine shrugs, taking another sip of her latte as she replies, "A while." "Oh, so you probably knew the guy I replaced," Joe says, trying to seem as natural as possible, "Jose or something." "Sure I knew him. He worked at Davis house some before Rena arrive." "Really?" Joe questions, "Interesting." "Not really," Justine sneers. "And were you friends with him? 'Cause you know, I don't want you to feel like I'm a replacement for a lost friend." "Don't worry," Justine tells him, "you very much are not. But worry don't, because I no like Jose so much when he lived." Joe wants to listen, he really does, but that accent, it seeps through his mind worse than Josh's earlier story; his vision goes blurred again, seeing two French blondes talking at once as that drawl rots his brain, only allowing him to make out choice phrases regarding Jose. "… couldn't do windows to save a life…" "… his mopping, a travesty…" "… always leave me the dishes, ugh typique…" "… tried to use my own tapes against me." Joe stops now, snapping out of it. "What did you just say?" he wonders. "I said it is time for me to leave," Justine states, finishing her latte and standing up. "It was lovely to meet you," she lies, "let's never again do it." "Wait," Joe begs as she walks away, "did you say Jose used tapes against you?" She can't hear, already being halfway out of the café, while Joe looks somewhat alert for the first time in a long time. He takes out another napkin and writes on it, Justine = Killer???. However, he then realizes how damn conspicuous this is and so he tears the napkin in half, telling himself, "I gotta pull myself together, damn." He then sips his coffee in an attempt to wake himself up before recalling that it has his previous napkin inside, and so he then spits it out.

Matthew waits in a nearby restaurant, menu in hand, when he catches the eye of an attractive man a few tables over. The man winks at Matthew, whose eye twitches in response, and then he simply lifts his menu to block the view, wanting to stay far away from temptation following his "trauma" at Camp Straightwater. Finally, Josh arrives at the restaurant, having earlier left the café in order to meet his employer here, and Matthew asks him what took him so long, pointing out that since he's the one who invited him to lunch he could at least have done him to courtesy of arriving on time. "And why did you suggest this dump?" he asks, looking around, to which Josh replies, "It's the only place nearby that I can afford." "Jesus Christ, I need to give you a raise," Matthew realizes, at which Josh once again reminds him that he's breaking his own rule of taking the Lord's name in vain. Matthew assures him that it isn't in vain, for this line of restaurant legitimately calls for divine intervention, and Josh rolls his eyes before lifting up his own menu. "Why did you invite me to lunch anyway?" Matthew wonders, "It's awfully… nice of you." "Well, I'm a nice person," Josh states, "at least I was, before I started working for a homophobe and had to learn to become scheming, conniving, devious… all to keep up with him." "Getting less nice," Matthew murmurs, dropping his menu to partake in the conversation, and Josh does the same, continuing with, "But now I understand your behavior. I really do. And I wanna say that I'm sorry for the way that I messed with your head back at camp." "You 'understand' my behavior?" Matthew questions, "Meaning… what? You read the Bible at Straightwater?" "Oh, God no," Josh replies, at which his employer shoots him a dirty look, but the butler adds on, "I may have sort of… overheard you praying in the dormitory." "Oh, God no," Matthew echoes, using language that he himself despises, but Josh simply nods in response, assuring him, "It's okay if you're gay. I of all people have no problem with it. You should be proud!" "I am not a gay!" Matthew exclaims, drawing the attention of several people around them. "It's okay," Josh assures, keeping his voice down, having met in a public place specifically so that Matthew couldn't freak out on him, not that it seems to be working. The butler adds, "There's nothing wrong with being gay, really. It's natural." "Natural?!" Matthew exclaims, getting to his feet, "It's a mental disorder, a disease, and one I've done quite well to combat thank you very much!" "Don't let 'God' get in the way of you being happy," Josh tries, "like me," but it's no use, Matthew simply looks at him, as though about to cry, and states, "I am nothing like you." And then he storms out. The attractive man from earlier then approaches Josh, alone at the table, and slips him a napkin with something written on it. "What's this?" Josh asks, not in the mood, to which the man says, "My phone number." "What? After that you think I'm in the mood to be hit on?" Josh questions, standing up now, and the man responds with, "You are gay, right?" "And all gays are sluts? That is a damaging stereotype, the spreading of which is probably one of the reasons that the man I was talking to is afraid to come out!" That said, Josh pockets the number anyway and says, "Good day to you," before storming out after his boss.

Rena is now back at the Davis house, going about his daily chores, though seeming to act more cautious while doing so. Clearly he is trying to avoid a confrontation with Liz, so he sticks more towards areas of the home she would frequent less. However, one variable Rena had forgotten into take account is Justine, who just so happens to be making her way down the hall right this second. "Pig, you clean wrong," she says to the butler, upon noticing his presence, but Rena motions that she keep quiet. "Because of why?" she wonders, having not lowered her tone in the slightest, simply just not caring. And so Rena explains that he's trying to avoid Liz; he claims that there's a certain task he just cannot be bothered with doing today, so it'd be nice if Justine could just keep her mouth shut and be on her way. "Seriously, why you expect of me to be a assistant of you after you treat me ways poorly?" she wonders, in perhaps the most poorly constructed sentence one could possibly imagine. "Jesus Christ, Justine," Rena says in turn, "I swear your English is only getting worse; what even?!" Justine shrugs, "I read French to English dictionary upside down." "What?..." is all Rena knows how to respond with though, not understanding how Justine's explanation makes sense in the slightest. However though, at the moment, that's not exactly his top priority. He asks the French maid if she will do him this one favor of keeping quiet about his whereabouts, but Justine gives her squinty smile, stating that she expects something in return. "Do my chore the whole of a week and give me, how you say, back message." "I assume you mean a massage, but even then you can blow me." Justine is insulted, and Rena realizes immediately the error he has just made. As he goes to try and reprimand the situation with Justine, the maid doesn't give him a chance to before calling out: "MRS. LIZ!" Soon enough, Liz finds her two servants, and Justine steps aside so that the two can talk to one another, smirking at Rena as she walks away. Liz doesn't take any notice of this though, instead telling the butler that she has been looking for him everywhere since he disappeared on her this morning. "Liz," Rena tries, but she interrupts him, wishing to speak herself. "I'll admit it, okay," she starts, "I may have gone a bit overboard trying to convince you to... submit to me, and I probably made you very uncomfortable." Rena is quick to confirm this. She continues though, stating that BDSM, to her, is an art. It's also something one must do delicately, which is why she'd be especially careful with Rena as a first-timer. "Yes, I would be hurting you, but I wouldn't be hurting you," she says, "if that makes sense." "It really doesn't, to be honest." Liz sighs, and tries to use different wording to try and get her point across. She basically gives a full speech to Rena, explaining the joys, the pleasures, everything positive that comes from the pain that can be inflicted on one, or in Rena's case, felt on himself. She gives examples, scenarios they could partake in; she goes the whole nine yards with it. After a while though, she comes to a conclusion, and once again she asks if there is any chance he'd participate with her. After a moment of consideration, however, Rena gives his final answer: "No." Liz lets out a sigh of disappointment at this, and once more Rena explains that it just isn't for him. He apologizes, and tries to get back to his chores, believing to have finally gotten through this dreaded confrontation.

Joanna is at home reading a magazine in front of the TV, entranced in an article about upcoming storylines on The Passions of Falta. "God I hope that Rose and Spencito are endgame, I can't stand that 'Ernest'," she tells herself as she flicks through the pages, and then suddenly the TV is turned off and she looks up to realize that her husband, Matthew, is home, having been the one to unplug it. "If you're trying to get my attention then turning off my stories is a bad start," she tells him, standing up, and suddenly Matthew kisses her, hard. "Um, hi," she murmurs as she manages to pull out of it, but Matthew simply kisses her again and so Joanna, fairly bored and even more horny, just decides to roll with it, dropping her magazine and popping her foot and swinging full-on into this passionate make-out session. "What's this for?" Joanna wonders, not necessarily minding it, and Matthew just replies, "For loving me," as he picks her up and begins to carry her up the stairs, the two of them looking like a pair of honeymooners. She giggles as this occurs, allowing him to throw her down onto the bed as he starts to undress, and in concurrency she kicks off her heals and begins to unzip her miniature gown. "Can we do it like we did on our honeymoon?" Matthew adds and Joanna, breathing heavily, tells him, "Sure." He gets down on top of her, kissing her neck, and she enjoys it until he attempts to flip her over onto her hands and knees. "Um," she says, turning back around, "what are you doing?" "I think you know," Matthew smiles, trying to flip her back around, but Joanna stays put, making clear, "I don't do that." "What are you talking about? We used to do it all the time," Matthew tries reminding her, but Joanna tells him that she's never done that with him. Matthew then gets off of her, confused, and stares at her as she sits, dishevelled, on their marital bed. "Do you even remember falling in love with me?" he has to ask, and she, after a pause, tells him, "Of course I do." She gets up, trying to move past this awkwardness by kissing him, and he tells her, "Then prove you still love me." He kisses her neck again and then he whispers seductively into her ear, "Let me put it in your ass, bitch." Joanna is disgusted and can't help but slap her husband hard across the face. Insulted and defeated, Matthew reflexively strikes her in return, causing her to use all her strength to push him down onto the ground. "I can't believe you did that…" Joanna mutters, holding her cheek, but Matthew, from down on the floor, tries his best to apologize. "Don't bother," his wife tells him, grabbing her dress and her shoes and attempting to storm out. However, before she does so, she turns back to her floored husband and she says, "You hit like a fairy." And with that she's gone. Matthew is left injured in more ways than one, not to mention furious.

Act III

Back at the Davis house, in the master bedroom, Rena is seen making his employer's bed when there's a light knock at the door. He looks and sees Liz standing in the doorway, to his dismay, as it seems she simply won't give up. "Liz, I told you," the butler exclaims, "I'm not interested." But Liz is not one to give up until she gets what she wants; she approaches Rena and takes a seat on the just-made bed, and with a grin on her face. "I'm here to make you one final offer," she states, resulting in an eyeroll from her employee. Rena goes to deny it, but Liz puts up her hand, signalling that she is not finished. "But I've also done some thinking," she says, "and I think I've come up with a solution so that we can both benefit." Rena decides to give Liz a chance to make her proposal, and so she continues, "if you submit to me, just participate in some light bondage and torture play, in turn I can start spreading your name around to all my friends in the industry. I can get you a real agent this time, and you can finally get your big break." Rena scoffs at this, however, pointing out that Liz doesn't exactly have the most successful career herself. "No, but my husband does," she points out. "Think of it as spousal privilege; any connections he has are also connections that I have." Still though, the butler is still a bit wary about this offer; he's still unsure of the risks, health-wise, as well as the matter of either Eli or Justine catching them. "Eli will be gone for the next year filming his movie, and as for Justine, well, isn't she banging your friend? It shouldn't be hard to keep her out of the house." Rena still appears a bit unsure about the whole thing, but Liz stands from the bed and reaches into a nightstand drawer, pulling out a miniature whip. "Don't you wanna be a star?" she asks, one last time, and finally he sighs, proceeding to close the door behind him, giving in to Mrs. Davis.

As for getting rid of Justine, right now she's off in the park area down the street, meeting with Ben across one of the table-benches. "What you want to say that you meet with me here?" Justine wonders, and Ben, taking a few moments to process what it actually is she's saying, eventually replies, "My boss gave me some advice today. He inspired me to believe that if I want something then I should just take it by force. So… I'm gonna take you by force." Justine's eyes widen, and she doesn't hesitate in letting Ben know that she has mace and a rape whistle in her purse, but he simply laughs and assures her, "No, not like that. While Mr. Del Barrio seems the type to be into that stuff, my version of 'force' is directed more at myself?" "Is this some sort of metaphor for the Star Wars?" Justine wonders, "'Cause nerds are ew." "No," Ben tells her, "I took his advice onboard and… I'm gonna force myself to change, for you. I'll become a new man. Because, while you may think I'm not ambitious, I want you more than anything, and I'll fight like hell to hold onto you, even if it means sacrificing a part of myself that I love." Justine can't help but appear guilty now. "You would change… who you are… just to happy me?" she asks, and Ben smiles and nods, assuring, "I would change the whole universe if it meant… 'happy'ing you." She's the one to smile now, and as this sweet man stares into her eyes, she begins to realize, "Maybe… it was wrong of me… to ask of you that. Maybe… we should just live in moment… and move to future when we're ready. For now we could just enjoy each other being with us and… stuff," she trails off. Ben, appearing confused at first, soon tells her that he'd like that, and then he leans across the table to give her a kiss. "So you changed your mind on me… again? Either you're extremely bipolar or… I'm just really growing on ya'." "Both," Justine giggles, "and get used to it. 'Cause you are gonna be long time dealing with me, Benjamin, if we are to be... a duo." "You mean... a couple?" he asks. "Oui," she smiles. She kisses him again before announcing that she must get back to work and, as she leaves back down the street, heading for the Davis house, Ben enjoys watching her go. He then takes a brochure from out of his jacket pocket and unfurls it, and we see that it's for a numbered-step program for how to become an entrepreneur; an online course in becoming rich. Now that he's just had this conversation with Justine, he thinks about throwing it into the nearby public trashcan, but then he thinks to himself for a moment and decides to re-pocket it. "You enjoy the now, Justine," he whispers to himself, "I'll take care of the future." He then sighs and mentions, "The things I do for love…"

Joe's head is resting against a tea towel on the kitchen counter, with him hunched over in a wooden chair, when suddenly he is jolted awake by the rattling of the dishwasher which has just finished its cycle. Finally a little more alert after this brief period of shut-eye, he gives off a large yawn before going to empty the machine; out the kitchen window, however, over the well-trimmed hedge, he sees Justine heading back into the Davis house, fresh from her meeting with Ben just now. He decides to abandon his chore in the mindset that this house is so big his employers wouldn't even noticed if he disappeared from it, and then he heads across the street. He knocks on the door of the actors' large estate and, just as he hoped, Justine answers. "Rena isn't available right now," she tells him, "as he is cleaning the room of Mrs. Liz. I try knocking for him when I re-entered, but he told me he was cleaning deep, then screamed. I'd find that strange but I have been in Mrs. Liz's room and I too would scream; so messy." "Right…" is all Joe says in response to all of that, then revealing, "I'm actually here to see you." "Ugh," Justine's eyes roll, "you still trying to friend me?" "Sure," Joe shrugs, heading inside without her permission, adding, "really I was just hoping we could finish our conversation; you had to leave so abruptly." "I had to leave when I finish my story and say 'I have to leave'; you looked half death," she reminds him, and Joe nods, "Yeah… but it's just been intriguing me all day. You were saying all those things about Jose…" "And how annoying he was," Justine nods, "what that is to you?" "I just wanna make sure that… you don't think the same of me," he lies, not really caring, but whatever gets her to repeat herself. "Harassing me don't help," Justine states, and Joe says that he knows that, it's just he wants to know what she meant when she said about Jose using her tapes. "Why?" Justine wonders, and Joe quickly makes up, "I found this collection of porn in Jose's old room - lots of tapes - and if he was using tapes against you then I thought, hey… maybe they're yours." Justine raises an eyebrow and Joe sighs in response, knowing this not to be his best lie and indeed wondering where on earth of savvy detective skills have vanished off to; perhaps into the darkness along with his ability to stay alert for over an hour. "I don't know of what you speak," Justine finally tells him, "I mean, porns. Seriously? I think definitely you misunderstood what I say to you earlier." "As do I," Joe nods, and Justine tells him, "Jose when he moonlit in this house would often try steal the crepes I make for Mrs. Liz." "Please don't tell me I misheard the word 'crepes' as 'tapes'." "Non," Justine raises her other eyebrow this time, telling him, "I no at that part yet. When I catch him in act, I try to tape him." "'Tapay' him? What?" "Ugh!" Justine yells, "What is English word? Slap. I slap him, but he grab my hand and he say, 'Why you hitting yourself?', even though I was even not!" "Oh… so… you just said a French word… that doesn't even sound that much like tapes… jeez, I gotta snap out of this funk. But still, you hated Jose?" "Not as much as Rena," Justine shrugs, then giving off her squinted smile. Joe wonders if she was there the night that he died, for it must have been quite a shock to everyone, and she tells him, "Oui. It was..."
Justine, in flashback, stands as one of the party's caterers while Jose is fished out of the pool by the braver party guests (for most others are screaming), covered in blood. "Jorgio!" Matthew, who's come running over, exclaims as he sees the corpse's face, "It's your butler: Jose!" While Tyson is apprehended and drops the knife that was used to kill said butler, Justine finds herself commenting, "Well… at least he won't any longer steal Mrs. Liz's crepes."
"Wait," Joe pauses, "so Matthew Winters was the one who identified Jose? By name?" "Yeh," Justine shrugs, not really understanding the significance of this, and Joe points out, "Matthew must've had some interesting exchanges with him then." "Why you say that?" wonders the French, and Joe points out, "The people who live on this street don't take any notice of the help. I mean, trust me, I should be working right now and the Del Barrios haven't even noticed I'm over here talking to you." "Right," Justine squints her eyes, "about that..." She proceeds to ask Joe if his little visit is over, since she's pretty much bored of him now and would like to get back to her chores, and Joe tells her, "Sure," before awkwardly heading out, closing the door behind himself, and making his way across the street, feeling somewhat reinvigorated in his search. Justine, meanwhile, takes out her rag and bottle of polish and goes into the hall, starting her work by cleaning a mirror. She can't help but blow kisses at her beautiful reflection once she's done so while, on the other side of the wall, we see that the mirror is disguising a safe, and, inside that safe, is a small stack of videotapes…

At the same bar she once ran into Joe at (see "Custodian Horror Story" & "Buffing the Damp Mire Layer"), Joanna is sat waiting for a drink; in the meantime though, she holds a wallet-sized picture of that appears to be of her and Matthew on their wedding day. She lets out a sigh, commenting aloud, "You may look like me, but you sure are different. You really did love him, didn't you?" There's a moment of silence as Joanna continues to get lost in her thoughts, but they're abruptly interrupted upon the arrival of her drink. "Here ya' go, Emilie," the bartender exclaims, "your usual." Joanna thanks him, taking a sip of her drink of choice; however, the bartender notices the picture Mrs. Winters possesses. "Is that your husband?" he asks, and Joanna looks down to see the picture still out. She quickly slips it into her hand under the table, proceeding to shake her head, "No, I've never been married." The bartender raises an eyebrow at this comment, but Mrs. Winters then asks in turn if he is or has been himself; he shakes his head too. "Well then," she says with a smirk, "perhaps we could make some plans?" The bartender blushes at Joanna coming on to him, and he looks up at the clock; he tells her that he'll be off work in an hour. "I can wait," she says, still grinning, and the bartender nods, smiling as well. As he walks away to tend to other customers, Joanna discretely pockets her wedding picture, also sliding off her wedding ring. From there she has a drink, awaiting this night's bootycall.

Explicit content. Reader discretion advised.
Matthew's wedding ring gleams in the light of his laptop monitor as he types his wife's maiden name - "Joanna Klaveno" - into some generic search engine. Results seem minimal based on a quick scroll but then he quickly gives up on what he's doing, feeling wrong or somehow afraid of what he might find, and he slams the laptop shut in a rage, needing to do something to vent his frustration from his earlier encounter with Mrs. Winters. He finds himself storming through the house, into the kitchen where he finds one of Joanna's lazily hidden wine bottles in the cabinet under the sink. He pops the cork and pours it into the first glass he sees, not caring when he spills precious drops onto the draining board as he does so. And then he downs the glass. And another. And another. And another. Soon enough he's just sitting on the couch, drinking, looking a lot like his wife did when he arrived home from Camp Straightwater; practically passed out, except how could he sleep with all of this rage inside of him? And then, to add insult to injury, Josh walks into the mansion, asking if anyone's home. It isn't long before he spots Matthew, wine stains covering his tousled shirt, and he finds himself questioning if that's really him. "Or has Joanna grown a beard?" he jokes. Matthew doesn't find it very funny though. "What are you doing here?" Matthew growls, at which Josh, confused, points out that he lives there. Seeing that his boss is clearly sad, he goes and sits next to him, placing a hand on his back as a sign of comfort, though Matthew is quick to shrug it off. "Go away," he begs, but Josh doesn't obey this command, merely saying, "I know it can be hard… coming to terms with who you are… but in the long term… it is just so worth it." "Worth what?" Matthew asks, angrily turning to his butler, "What do you have exactly? A crappy job, a boyfriend who's stranded in a soon-to-be walled-off version of Spain and… me. Making your life into that very hell I warn you that you're gonna end up in." "You're not that bad," Josh lies, placing his hand back on his boss' back, but this time Matthew stands up in anger, dropping his wine glass on the floor and spilling red all over the nice white carpet as he yells, "Stop being nice to me! I don't deserve it! I'm filthy! I'm wretched!" "No, you're not," Josh assures, standing up so as to stare the poor old closeted man in the eye, "the only thing about you that's wrong is the years' worth of religious indoctrination pumped into your head. But you can fix that." Josh attempts to reach out to the man, to hold his hand, but Matthew slaps it away and yells, "Stop touching me! Stop touching me you filthy homo! I hate you! I hate all of you!" "That's just the alcohol talking," Josh tries, but Matthew then exclaims, "NO!" before whispering, tears rolling down his cheeks, "I hate you… I hate me… I hate everything." "Oh, my God," Josh mutters, making Matthew wince, and then he asks rhetorically, "What has the world done to you?" In one final effort to reach out to this pitiable and depraved soul, Josh tries one more time to take his hand, and this time, instead of slapping him away, Matthew latches on, hard. Josh finds himself crying out in pain as Matthew drags him by the hand and pushes him down onto the couch. "What the hell?!" Josh asks, clutching his injured limb, and Matthew asks, "Isn't this what you want?! Isn't this what you've been trying to tempt me into?!" as he tears open what's left of his shirt. "Matthew…?" is all Josh is able to say before his employer's hand is pressed over his mouth, and he tells the butler to shut up because he's sick of talking. Josh struggles, but it's no use. Matthew steadies and turns him, keeping one hand firmly on the butler's mouth while the other does all the real work: unbuckling his pants, tearing away Josh's clothes; his uniform, his dignity… When, finally, Josh's mouth is released, his tears are running into it, and a giant scream is heard. A repetitive scream that comes out every time his employer thrusts forward, and Matthew weeps too and he continues to yell, "I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! You're wretched! Filth! I hate you!" all the while forcing himself on the employee whose only crime is that he tried, too hard, to help.

Unanswered Questions

  • Who murdered Jose Sanchez?
  • Why was Jorgio threatening Jose, and vice versa?
  • What did Jose tell the butlers that they think might be the reason he was killed?
  • Why was Joe fired from the police force?
  • Why was Joe abandoned as a baby?
  • Why did Jorgio steal and smash the security tape?
  • Who did Justine's heart belong to and how did he betray her?
  • What was the situation surrounding Ben's past relationship?
  • What did Jose find out about Joanna? Was it her affairs, or something else?
  • Why do the Del Barrios keep chained-up women in their basement?
  • Why can't Joanna seem to remember her and Matthew's wedding?
  • Who was Jose blackmailing via the use of videos, and what did these videos depict?
  • What is the full story behind Ben's marriage to Jennifer, and what became of their unborn child?
  • Did Matthew really have a history with Jose?
  • Why are there tapes being kept in a safe at the Davis house? Is Justine involved?
  • "You may look like me"; what did Joanna mean by this when looking at her wedding picture?