After last week's riveting two-hour premiere of The Starter Wife, we were worried that this week's installment β€” a scrawny 60 minutes long β€” would let us down. But lo and behold, the characters became more absurd, and acted out in exponentially more ridiculous ways as their strange, shallow little lives came crashing down all around them. So, to continue with our series of recaps, we're here to give you a rundown on everything that happened to our new favorite characters last night β€” from fantasy sequences shot in black and white to the case of the mysterious bloody band-aid β€” after the jump.

Molly Kagan (Debra Messing): Poor Molly. To quote the Bard, "The course of true love never did run smooth!". She can't get mean hot mystery man Sam off her brain, nor can she stop thinking about the man-who-stood-her-up, her ex-husband's boss, Lou. Molly likes Lou. Molly likes Sam. Molly learns that Lou didn't stand her up β€” he disappeared! She gets called in for police questioning. And then spends most of the episode asking some questions herself, namely, who is Sam, really? The only real answer she gets is that Sam is homeless. And that he likes Philip Roth. Could his homelessness and penchant for contemporary Jewish fiction possibly be linked to Lou's disappearance??? Also, this week, Molly is obsessed not with her weight, but with the bags under her eyes. She uses Pond's products which, clearly, aren't helping.

Joan MacAllister (Judy Davis): Pretending to want to be in rehab isn't fun anymore! Even having to vacation in France with her old man husband is starting to sound better than this, so dear Joan hatches a plot where she makes up an absurd story about her evil sister Bambi and about how her unresolved issues with Bambi are what drove her to drink. She then sneaks away from her therapist long enough to call Molly and fill her in the scheme... and convince Molly to make an appearance at her rehab facility posing as Bambi in order to spring her. Our heart grows sadder and sadder with each passing minute: Why did the brilliant Judy Davis accept this role? Anyway, Joan gets sprung and goes back home to Malibu, only to find that Molly has invited some others to move-in to her Malibu home as well.

Cricket Stewart (Miranda Otto): While at yoga class, Cricket hears a woman making fun of Molly and Cricket kicks her while she assumes Warrior 3. Could we be getting our little Cricket back? Could this the first sign that she's on the path back to Molly? Then Cricket finds out about her asshole husband and the slutty Russian nanny. She swiftly throws asshole husband and slutty Russian nanny out of her home, and then runs off to (where else?) Joan's home in Malibu. She and Molly kiss and make-up and swear they'll never be lonely again.


Lavender (Anika Noni Rose): Lavender the security guard and her sassy grandma get evicted for no reason at all from their apartment. [Of course they did! They're black! - Ed.] Molly invites Lavender and her grandma and their little dog to move in with her at Joan's Malibu pad. Ah, the benevolence of the white folk! Lavender and Molly also talk about how happy they are to be friends and swear they'll never be lonely again.

Rodney (Chris Diamantopoulos): Molly's #1 gay/decorator is inexplicably broke. He has not a dollar to his name and can't pay his bills. So, off he trots to join Molly and Cricket and Joan and Lavender in Malibu. Of course! No financial resolution is in sight, though some ugly straight-edged dude does want to do him.

Sam (Stephen Moyer): Sam is still super mysterious, but slightly-less mean. He takes Molly on a date to Starbucks and pays in change... because that's what homeless men do. He tells Molly he can't offer her stability, but he would love "to make love to" her. He also casually mentions to Molly that he's homeless because five years ago he killed a man! Oh, and also his bloody band-aid and a glass with his saliva on it were found at the home of Molly's other beau, Lou, the night of Lou's disappearance. Coincidence? And could Sam be the mystery man we saw sneaking into Lou's home and stealing money and stationary?


And most importantly. what does Philip Roth have to do with any of this? Next Thursday just can't come fast enough!

Earlier: The Unexpected Intrigue (And Totally Expected Banality Of 'The Starter Wife'