Be careful what you wish for!
That's the lesson thrust upon us on Why Women Kill Season 2 Episode 5.
When your greatest wish comes true, it's not always what you expected.
Rita is a real piece of work. She's one of the nastiest people in Los Angeles.
Once she got wind that Dee was Alma's daughter, Rita raised holy hellfire to crush Alma and Dee under the weight of her tyranny.
Proving that she's not to be toyed with, Rita planned a double-edged attack on mother and daughter, leaving one devastated and the other eagerly accepting the next step in her new life.
Alma: Rita deliberately humiliated me today. I've been sitting here for hours wondering why. What could I have possibly done to make her hate me?
Dee: Mom? Is that the woman who runs the garden club?
Alma: Yes. That's Rita Castillo. Do you know her?
Dee: Oh my God. Oh my God.
Alma: What are you going on about?
Dee: Mom. What Rita did, it's not cause she hates you. It's cause she hates me.
Alma's emotions were dragged all over the map as the result of Rita's machinations. She was on cloud nine at her acceptance to the garden club and utterly humiliated by the reality of Rita's shenanigans.
Refusing to play Rita's games and vowing to rise above her rival, even when she learned from Dee why the abrupt devastation came her way, Alma chose to forgive and befriend Rita instead of being defeated.
Rita is a lot savvier than Alma, and Alma's attempts at smoothing the waters weren't as magnanimous as she led herself to believe. She took a play from Rita's book when she used Rita's affair with Scooter to ingratiate herself back into Rita's graces.
Alma: How horrible you are. To think I ever admired you.
Rita: I don't want your admiration. I want your fear, and now that I have it, get the hell out of my house.
Needless to say, it didn't work. If anything, it angered Rita more and put an end to the thing that Alma holds most dear -- her colorful garden.
Alma could have used Scooter's affair against Rita nonetheless. Rita pointed out that she used the garden club humiliation against Alma to sully her name and make any accusations Alma pointed at Rita seem hysterical and retaliatory.
Had Alma pushed forward and made a stink, it's possible that Catherine could have caught wind of Rita's connection to Scooter, and that would have been far more damning to Rita than the members of the garden club catching wind of it.
Rita is putting all of her faith in Scooter to turn Catherine's head. Scooter is doing a good job of it, but now, he's playing both women.
Rita: Someone's in a good mood.
Catherine: Yes, so please don't ruin it by speaking. Or breathing.
It's possible he's not as adept as I see him and doesn't realize the opportunity that lays before him, but his expert portrayal before Catherine and Carlos seems a lot more heavyhanded than Rita thinks him capable.
Isabel: Scooter and Miss Catherine? What the hell's going on?
Rita: Oh, something delicious. Come on upstairs, and I'll tell you all about it.
The ice cream on his nose was a brilliant touch, showing Catherine he needs a woman's touch. He could make a play between the women that will leave Rita in the dust and Catherine presiding over the manse with her father and Scooter.
Hell, Rita might not even live long enough to rue the day she crossed Catherine and Alma, two women who have long awaited their days in the sun.
Bertram was struggling over his conversation with Aunt Martha, and when he shared his dream compelling him to put her down with Alma, Alma put her foot down instead.
Bertram needed to get himself under control no matter how he went about it.
Bertram chose to return home to the scene of his first murder before the age of ten. Bertram didn't come by his compunction to murder without help. His ailing mother pressed her young son to end her life.
Celebrating his cooperation and achievement before he did the deed left Bertram motherless and associating her murder with all the praise she had bestowed upon him.
In his young mind, if he earned such accolades from his mother for the deed, then he knew that everyone else down the road would also be appreciative beyond measure.
Demented Harriet lavished Bertram with an indelible impression of a misdeed she directed, and he failed to understand that the other party wasn't a willing participant without that interaction.
Once his mentor, former minister Keegan had hoped that Bertram would figure things out on his own in short order. He wouldn't have made a very good father, and the jury is out on his success as a preacher.
If he was the first and only person who knew that Bertram killed Harriet, it might have behooved him to explain to the lad why what he did was not to be done again. Sheesh. Would that have been so hard?
Keegan: I don't need to hear about every victim. Just give me the grand total.
Bertram: Oh, right. [adds in his head] Twenty-six.
Keegan: You murdered 26 people?! Sweet Jesus!!
He probably didn't want Bertram to hate himself for what he did, but Keegan went a little too far over that line, and the result was disastrous for 26 unsuspecting people.
Keegan was a hoot, though, and some of the best quotes from Why Women Kill Season 2 so far came from their interaction.
Bertram: How much of that whiskey do you intend on drinking?
Keegan: How much will keep me from remembering this conversation tomorrow?
And Keegan's advice delivered too late and without a full picture of Bertram's marriage to Alma will have the opposite effect than he intended.
By the time Keegan told Bertram to heed all of Alma's advice so that he was never steered wrong again, Alma had done an about-face regarding his compunction to kill. After all, what could Rita have that would trump a serial killer for a husband?
While the older women were making insane decisions, Dee was feeling the brunt of them. Rita got Dee fired, but it might be one of the best things to have happened to Dee.
Dee made the connection between her firing and Alma's shocking humiliation, and while she couldn't stop her mother from confronting Rita again, Dee put it all out of her mind to connect on a deeper level with Vern.
The two of them do have a lot in common. Dee struggled with looking different than the picture-perfect girls in town and Vern with his war wounds.
Together, they began to tear down each other's walls. Dee allowed herself to accept kindness, and Vern allowed himself to be seen again.
Where Vern had previously turned his head to the future, believing there was nothing left for him, now he realized he could embrace it with someone like Dee in his life.
What better time would there be for Dee to discover she's pregnant?
It seems that a rosy future will have to wait, and whether she likes it or not, she might be stuck with a little bit of Scooter in her life.
If Alma has her way, Rita won't be a part of it, but things turn on a dime with these characters, and how the remainder of the season will unfold is anyone's guess!
If you're watching along, please drop me a line below. I'd love to hear from you.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.
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