Heat Wave
Air date: November 15, 1999
Summary/Review by Dana Bonistalli

Skip summary and go straight to Dana's "Bits and Pieces"

Richard is scooping whipping cream onto his coffee (or cappuccino) when Ling enters his office and asks if they can talk. Immediately, an alarm goes off. Richard intercoms his assistant to tell her the smoke alarm is acting up again. "Do you think I'm stupid?" Ling asks. "You have your house wired the same as your office." He asks her what she is talking about. "Hello, Richard," she says, "What shall we watch on TV tonight? Hey, I love your tie." Picking up his megaphone, she yells, "Can we talk?" The alarm goes off again. Speaking over the alarm, Ling tells him that she knows it is voice-activated to go off when she wants to talk. The alarm stops. He denies it. "Richard, we need to talk," she says again. The alarm goes off again. It stops. "How about this one?" she asks, then whispers, "Marriage." This time, the alarm is louder, with many more bells and whistles. "Better safe than sorry," Richard says as he leaves his office.

As Billy exits the elevator, Richard walks by and asks when the next meeting is. Billy tells him he isn't coming. Ally comes to tell Richard something, but before she can, he tells her that Risa Helms is there to see her. "Remember the woman whose fiancé you slept with right before you stood up at their wedding and ruined it?" Ally, of course, remembers. Richard points out that Risa is walking their way. Ally turns and watches her, imaging that Risa is walking towards her in her wedding dress. Risa hands Ally a summons and complaint. She is suing her for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Ally is talking to Billy about this as they walk into the unisex. "You did destroy her wedding day," Billy says. The camera moves and we see that Ling is also in the unisex. She and Ally are now standing at the sinks on the same side. "I was there," she says, "you were vicious." The camera moves again and we see that Nelle is also there, standing at the sink on the other side. "The question goes to your intent," Nelle says, "Were you really trying to help her or did you not want her to marry him because it was the best sex of your life?" Ally turns red. "Excuse me?" she says. Nelle says, "Well, John said," as John comes in the unisex and walks behind Nelle "that the guy was a really good.." Ally stops her from finishing the sentence. We soon notice that Richard and Georgia have also joined the group in the unisex. A toilet flushes, and everyone turns to see who else is there. A young lady (nice body, nice hair, and nice smile) exits a stall with toilet paper on her shoe. She pulls it off, then notices everyone there and starts to laugh. "I'll have to get used to this whole unisex thing," she says. To the surprise of everyone, Billy introduces her as Sandy Hingle, his new assistant.

"What?" Billy says, a short time later, alone in his office with Georgia. "What's the problem?" he continues. Georgia says Sandy can't be more than 19 and Billy says he interviewed several people and she was the most qualified. "Certainly, you're not suggesting she be penalized for being attractive," he says. Georgia tells Billy she doesn't want Sandy working for him. Billy says it isn't her decision. Georgia reminds him she is his wife but Billy says this decision is "work, not home." "Home is going to be hell!" Georgia says. "Then I will spend more time at the office!" says Billy, as he sits behind his desk and places his feet on the desk before asking, "You going to hit me again?"

Billy recounts this event to the men at his male chauvinists meeting later that day. Stone, the leader, doesn't think that Billy's reaction was in the spirit of what they are trying to accomplish. "Why have we all come?" Billy asks. "Because we feel like we're failing," he continues. "Who is it that has made us feel like a failure? Our wives. We are here because they emasculated us. How many of them are going to meetings trying to learn how to be better in bed? We keep hearing that for men, the relationship is oriented towards sex and for women, communication. Why the hell is it that we are out there trying to get better at communicating while they don't make the slightest effort to improve the sex? Let's be honest. We are really here because we are not having our needs met. I've replayed various relationships I've had with different women and I've polled a few friends about their past girlfriends and there is one clear consensus. The women that treated us the best were the ones we treated the worst! We need to take back our lives! They don't like being dominated! Well, why the hell should we?" The men all start clapping in support.

Renee and Whipper are representing Ally in Risa's suit against her. The three meet with Risa and her lawyer. Renee asks Risa if she doubts Ally was looking after Risa's best interests. "It's one thing to raise your hand and say 'wait a second.' It's another to say into a microphone that you slept with him," Risa says. "And then, after we go into a back room to iron things out, we decide to go on with the ceremony. She does it again. Twice." Feeling sympathy for Risa, Whipper sniffles, then apologizes, adding, "It's just so awful." Risa says she still wishes she had gone through with the wedding. "How could I have ever gone through the ceremony in that moment, after the things you said?" Whipper, touched by the story, blows her nose.

Sandy sits at her desk, giving John and Richard, who are upstairs in the library with binoculars, a perfect view of her cleavage. Richard wonders about her age. "She's young enough to spank," he says. "We need her to sign a waiver on sexual harassment," he adds. John doesn't think those clauses are enforceable. Ling comes up behind them and again tells Richard she needs to speak to him. "I have a problem," she says. "Can you state it quickly?" Richard asks. She tells him she's been faking her orgasms. Richard is so shocked that he spits his coffee onto Cage's face. Richard and Ling quickly move the conversation into his office.

"How could you be faking it?" he asks. "I know it sounds bad," says Ling," but please don't take it personally." She says she only does it so he will roll off and she can go to sleep. "So, what you're saying is you're not sexually satisfied?" Richard asks. "Oh, I'm very satisfied, trust me," Ling says, "It's just that you're not always there at the time." Ling wants Richard to stop taking Viagra. "First of all, you don't need it. I think it desensitizes you. You might be able to go all night, for me, after ten minutes, it gets old. You and I both know that deep down, you're only interested in your own climax. So, go off the Viagra. We live in New England. Be a minuteman again. It's colonial. I'll take care of myself."

Renee and Whipper believe that Ally should settle. They think a jury could possibly issue a seven-figure judgment against her. But before a final decision is made, Renee has an idea. She says it would help if they can show that being married to Joel would have caused Risa even more emotional pain. Joel would have to be a witness for Ally, and while none of them think he will do it, they agree he should at least be asked.

Sandy is in Billy's office having him sign and initial a document. Georgia comes in and asks if she can have a second with "Mr. Thomas." Sandy leaves and Georgia shuts the door behind her. Georgia says she doesn't know what's going on, but she believes he is obviously going through something and whatever it is, she wants them to work on it. Billy says he's really angry at himself. "I think I've aspired to be what constitutes the modern idea of an evolved, secure man. He's not old-fashioned, I guess, and I've been denying that I am old-fashioned." Georgia asks what that means. "I want children," he begins. "I don't believe in nannies raising kids. I think the mother should be at home. And, I know this sounds terrible, but I want my needs to come first. That saying, 'A man's home is his castle,' it's maybe a stupid thing to want, but I do want it. And, I'm sick of denying it. I'm sick of playing the sensitive male thing. I'm just sick of it." Georgia stares at him in amazement.

Ally goes to see Joel at the car wash. She starts off with small talk but he doesn't respond well to seeing her. "Are you angry?" she asks. "Why should I be angry?" he says, "Just because you ruined my life? Because the only woman I ever loved says she can't look at me?" Ally tries to explain that she was Risa's bridesmaid and her lawyer and that she felt she had a duty to her. "The minister said to speak now or forever hold your penis," quickly correcting herself, "peace, peace," she says. Joel wonders why she is there and asks if she came back to get waxed. "Don't flatter yourself," Ally says, "you weren't that good." He reminds Ally that she told Risa otherwise. "All right, you were that good," Ally says, "but she told me that you didn't touch her like you knew what you were doing. And I know that you know what you're doing, so I figured you must not have any passion for her." Joel again asks her why she is there. Even though she figures it is a lost cause at this point, she says, "I was wondering if you would be willing to testify that it was probably best that you didn't marry her?" She doesn't wait for an answer, but turns and starts to help buff the car Joel has been working on.

John and Richard are on their backs on the floor of John's office, looking up at the skylight. "Richard, you were the one that said, and I quote 'The sex is good if it's good for me'," John says. "To give is to receive," Richard says, "and if she's not getting, there's a danger she'll stop giving." Richard asks if Nelle always has an orgasm. John isn't sure but says she makes little sounds. He imitates her. "Ooh, ooh," he says. "Once she screamed," he adds, "but she'd been stung by a bee." John says he isn't even sure that Nelle is in favor of them. "She's big on control," he says, adding, "She doesn't like to let go." A voice comes from the doorway. "I'm sorry now I even brought it up," Ling says. John and Richard both sit up. "Look, we're talking about five seconds here, okay," Ling starts. "That's how long the big 'O' lasts -- five seconds. Sometimes six. This is so typical of men. What we want is affection, commitment, companionship. Somebody to spend our days and nights with. Somebody to make us happy in life. And instead, you focus on five to six seconds of a few major muscle contractions. You're a pathetic species. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings, Richard. I only wanted to get you off that drug so we could become a normal couple again and get it over with during the commercial breaks. This will teach me to be open."

Ally reports back to Whipper and Renee. Ally thinks Joel might be a faithful man who just "had to have me." Renee and Whipper give each other a look. "I saw that," Ally says. "I'm suddenly thinking that maybe he's not even a phenomenal lover," Ally continues, "I was just so incredible, and, you know, he kept up." Whipper and Renee share another look. "I saw that," Ally says again. Renee has another idea. She thinks maybe they can get Risa and Joel back together.

Georgia is sitting alone in a bar (a much more sophisticated bar than the one downstairs from the office). An older gentleman a few bar stools down from her asks for his bill. Georgia notices his drink is full. "You didn't drink it," she says. He says he doesn't drink, at least not any more, but he sometimes comes there and orders one. She asks why. The man isn't sure the explanation will make him seem any less strange, but he tells her anyway. He says he used to have a nightcap at the end of every workday. The nightcaps relaxed him, but when he started to feel as if he needed them, he stopped. Georgia says she understands why he would stop, but not why he would come to the bar and order a drink. The man says that he realized what he missed wasn't the drinking, but rather the relaxed sensation he got somewhere between the first drink when he was still stressed and the third, when he shouldn't be driving. Looking at the drink makes it easier for him to imagine that feeling. "You're right," Georgia says, "You're explanation makes you seem no less strange." "You know," he begins, "it's really the same principal as taking off your wedding band. It makes you no less married, it just makes it easier to imagine feeling like you are." He tells her goodnight and she looks at her left hand. She is not wearing her wedding ring.

Richard stops by Whipper's office and asks her if she's seen Ally. She says she thinks Ally is trying to set up a meeting. Richard comes in and they share some small talk. "How's Thing?" Whipper asks. Richard tells her it's "Ling" and that she's good. Richard asks her a technical legal question, gets the answer, and then asks, "Oh, and, when we were together, did you reach orgasm?" Surprised, Whipper asks, "What?" He says never mind and starts to leave but instead, shuts the door for privacy. "Thing has been faking them," he says. Whipper can see he's crushed. "Well, if a man isn't good in bed, and rich, then what is he?" Richard says. Whipper tells him he doesn't have anything to be insecure about. "You could put me into orbit by just diddling my wattle," she says. Richard says that's different because he's good with necks.

Ally again goes to see Joel, but this time to ask him to meet with Risa. "If you love her as much as you say you do, what's not to try?" she asks. Joel agrees to meet that evening and Ally gives him her card so he will have the address. Before she leaves, she asks, "Assuming that you do love her, how could you, you know, with me?" He says he doesn't know. Ally is the only woman he's been with besides Risa in the last six years and he really had no intention of having a fling before going down the aisle. He says he really doesn't know why it happened but it had something to do with the way Ally was looking at him. He does admit that when he and Ally had sex, it was the first time he didn't feel a little inhibited. "What happened in that car wash," Joel says, "never happened before and it'll never happen again."

Billy comes out of a hair salon with very blond hair. He strides confidently into the office, where everyone stares at him, except for Georgia, who screams. "What have you done?" she asks. "You like it?" Billy says. Georgia answers, "No. You look like Billy Idol." "Well, I'm just plain Billy," he says. He goes to his office and Georgia follows him, slamming the door behind her. She tells him he is losing his mind and she demands to know what is going on. "I sat in the room listening to all those men apologize for who and what they are and it made me realize I've been doing it my whole adult life," Billy says. "And you are?" Georgia asks. "A guy's guy," says Billy. "And you've been acting like?" asks Georgia. "A woman's guy. A wussified piece of wet toast woman's guy. Well, there's a new man in town," he says, leaving the office. "I hate the new man," says Georgia.

In the unisex, Nelle asks Ling why she even said anything to Richard. Ling says she can't take it any more. Nelle doesn't think you should tell a man he doesn't please you in bed. "Better to deceive them?" asks Ling. Nelle says women should do that, or tell the man what will satisfy them. Ling says she wants Richard to stop. "You don't even like having sex with him?" asks Nelle. Ling admits she likes it for about ten minutes. Nelle wonders why she didn't just continue faking it. "Because I hate ending my day on a lie," Ling says, "Plus, I'm getting a little polyp on my throat. The doctor thinks it's from irritation – he doesn't want me to scream. I could go 'ooh, ooh' like you." Nelle says, "Ooh, ooh?" Ling tells her John told Richard that is the sound she makes. Nelle asks what else John said. Ling says, "On a hot summer night, you'd be drowned out by a lone cricket." Nelle is visibly angry about this and leaves. "Great. This is why I'm against honesty," Ling says to herself.

Joel exits the elevator at the office and calls out Ally's name. She comes out and says it's only 7:30. He says he didn't know how long it would take him to get there. Ally says Renee and Whipper and coming over with Risa. Joel and Ally talk about a few different things, but soon Joel says he doesn't really want to be in a room alone with Ally and asks if there is somewhere he can wait. She walks to the door, tells him he can sit at her assistant's desk, then closes the door before he can leave and they start to kiss. What happened in the car wash happens again.

Joel and Ally have just finished getting dressed when Whipper comes into Ally's office. She tells them Renee is on her way up with Risa and Ally introduces Joel. "Did you take the stairs?" Whipper asks him, "You look a little flush." He says he's just nervous. "My ex used to get a look just like that right after sex," Whipper says. Ally screams, then coughs, then stutters her way through, "That went down on the wrong windpipe, lifesaver, it went down on the wrong windpipe - I swallowed the wrong thing." Renee yells from outside the office that they are there. "Good," Ally says once everyone comes into her office, "Let's get it on – the meeting – start the meeting."

At the bar downstairs, Ling and Nelle dance together. John and Richard try to join them but Nelle doesn't want to dance with John so she walks off the dance floor. John follows her and asks if something is wrong. "No, it's just seeing you dance might arouse me to the point where I can't control myself and I'll explode right there on the floor and go ooh, ooh, with no cricket to drown me out," Nelle says. John is embarrassed. "How dare you mimic the sound I make in bed?" she says. "Do you want to know what you sound like?" Richard interrupts and says that he does. Nelle tells him to go away. John tries to explain that he was only sharing with Richard, that he wasn't disparaging her. He adds that Richard is his best friend. Nelle doesn't want Richard to be John's best friend. Nelle says she needs some space tonight and she gets up to leave. Billy comes in and walks past her. Nelle stops long enough to stare in amazement at his hair, then goes to tell Ling that she's leaving. Ling leaves with her. Billy tells John that women talk, but they don't like it when men talk. (We notice that now Billy has added a pierced ear to his "new man look.") Billy tells John that at least he knows Nelle is serious about him because she's starting to dictate who his friends can be. "Does your wife do that?" John asks. "Oh boy," Billy says. John asks if Georgia would object to Billy saying that. "She objects to everything," Billy says. "Well, that would explain her current expression," says John. Billy turns and finds Georgia standing behind him. John leaves and Georgia sits. "You want me to leave you," she says. "I beg your pardon?" says Billy. "When you do go for therapy," Georgia starts, "your shrink is probably going to tell you this is about you not liking your life. Then, third or fourth session, he'll crunch it to your not liking your marriage. When he or she figures out that you are too nice a guy to ever leave your wife, he'll realize that you are doing all this to get her to leave you." Billy says that is ridiculous. He tells her he loves her, but he doesn't sound too convincing. "Yeah," says Georgia, then gets up and leaves.

In the conference room upstairs, Joel and Risa try and talk it out. Joel says his fling with Ally was great sex, but that was all it was. "She is not the mother of my children," Joel says. Ally imagines herself in a delivery room, popping out several baby dolls that are being caught by Joel and the other people in the room. Risa says when she had her fling, the man didn't even have a face to her. She asks Joel if Ally had a face when he had sex with her. Joel says he can't lie, that Ally did have a face, and he starts to say something about what happened before they got there but Ally again screams and laughs and blames it on her windpipe. She asks to talk to Joel in her office for one second. Once they get into the office, she asks him if he was going to tell Risa about what they just did. He says he was but she convinces him not to. "Trust me, as a woman, if she hears it happened again, it's over," Ally says. Before letting him go, Ally flirts with the possibility of them continuing to see each other. Joel says he really does love Risa.

Richard comes back up to the office and he and Whipper share a look as he walks past the conference room.

Georgia goes back to the other bar and finds that same man there. This time he has three drinks in front of him. He tells Georgia he was just about to leave but he guesses he could stick around and not drink one more. He asks what brought her there on a Friday night. Georgia says she came there to sit next to something she knows she can't really have. She introduces herself, and he tells her his name is George. Georgia points out that her wedding ring is on. She doesn't want him to get any wrong ideas if she buys him a drink. He says he's old enough to be her father so if he were going to make a move on Georgia, it would take the form of a lecture. Georgia says if it made sense, she'd accept a lecture. "Actually, I'd like to dance," she says. George tells her he can accommodate that.

Risa, Joel and the attorney leave. Risa tells Ally she hopes she never sees her again. Joel and Ally share a secret goodbye.

Whipper goes to see Richard in his office. "You didn't come to my office this morning looking for Ally, did you?" she asks. "I miss you, too," Whipper says. Richard says he adores Ling. He says that many women have told him "the problem with you is there is no 'there' there" but Ling is the first to say it referring to his penis. Whipper asks where Ling is. When he says she's with Nelle because Nelle is upset about something, Whipper reminds him that he is upset about something and Ling is not with him. Whipper says they settled Ally's case and invites him to come down to the bar with them. He tells her she's a great lady and apologizes for not saying that enough. She asks him if he misses it. "What?" he asks. "You know," Whipper says. She turns her head up, showing him her wattle. "It's even more creased than before," Richard says. He tries to keep himself from touching it, but he is unable to. Whipper moans.

Ally sits in her car outside the car wash, thinking back to all that has happened between her and Joel. Richard and Whipper dance together in his office. Georgia dances with George. And Ally continues looking out her windshield as it begins to rain.


That was the funniest opening I've seen in a very long time. Ling really had some great scenes tonight. She gets all of my favorite lines. (See below.)

If I thought Billy was an ass before, I really can't imagine what I would call him now. I don't care what kind of problem he is having, I would never put up with someone talking to me like that. And that hair. Oh my gosh! I screamed along with Georgia. It was incredibly awful.

I was surprised by how Georgia handled the situation with Billy, but I also felt it was completely believable. (I guess I expected her to throw his sorry ass out of the house. After all, if he is going to continue being this "new man," he certainly isn't the person she thought she married.) I don't think I really understood how bad things had gotten between them until she confronted him at the bar.

The new girl didn't have enough scenes for me to determine whether I will like her. (I'm a bit confused about how long Gina Philips will be on the show - Reuters calls her a new cast member, but "Entertainment Tonight" reports that she is scheduled to be in at least five episodes.)

I was entertained during this entire episode. There are times when I watch when I look at the clock during the commercial and think, 'I can't believe I still have half an hour to watch.' Tonight, I was shocked to see it was almost over and I was still having a really good time.

Favorite Lines:

Ling, to Richard: "I'm very satisfied. Trust me. It's just that you're not always there at the time."

Ling, to Nelle: "Nobody asked the women if they like Viagra. Why do you think Eliazabeth Dole was running for President? Anything to get out of the house.

Ling, again to Nelle, when telling her what John said about the sounds she makes: "On a hot summer night, you'd be drowned out by a lone cricket."

Copyright © 1999 Dana Bonistalli. All rights reserved.