Film and TV

'The A-List: Dallas' Episode 7 Recap: Keep it Cool, Cowboys

The one bad thing about last week's episode overflowing with crazy drama: It meant this week's episode would bore us with too much post-drama analysis. So I'll try to be shorter and bitchier than usual this week. We've all got places to go and giving to thanks.

Scene 1: Cowboy Levi, always the jokester, invites the brawl-happy Phillip to join him in working out at a boxing club. Phil fills Levi in on the drunken Austin fightfest with James. James is now dead to Phillip (for at least three more commercial breaks). Levi does a little shit-talkin' of his own, about his now-former eff buddy Taylor, the pixified Republican who makes fun of everything and everyone. Negative vibes all around. Hands are thrown up. Scene 2: James and straight-gal-in-charge Ashley go for a nature walk to hash out their differences from the increasingly infamous Austin trip. Ash has her curls in a tangle about James' threatening to hit rock bottom. She's worried his drinking will ruin their friendship if he doesn't get help. He continues to spout random, misguided self-analysis, but they somehow manage to patch things up long enough to share a "Sex and the City" joke. For anyone keeping track, James considers himself a "Samantha." Poor child.

Scene 3: James again, but this time there's booze involved. He commiserates with a suddenly-sweet Taylor over their problems getting along with other cast members. Taylor, on the Austin throwdown: "You gave [Phillip] a mimosa facial." James: "Mmm hmm, he looked thirsty." Gotta appreciate those moments of bitchery, especially in a come-to-Jesus episode such as this. Also notable: Taylor's hair seems to defy gravity here, possibly a subconscious nod to his current nemesis, Chia Cub Chase. (Also also notable: The way James treats a glass of wine like a buttery nipple shot. Bottoms up!) Scene 4: Ashley puts on her photographer blazer and meets with the editor of the very prestigious and well-known (cough) Evoke magazine about an upcoming assignment. He's giving Ashley carte blanche on the photos, which will front an issue addressing anti-gay discrimination. She begins to break down as she explains how important the issue is in her life. She's a loving, kind soul, dabbing her mascara with a business card. And who knows, maybe she'll spring for proper lighting on this assignment. Scene 5: Chase, in a lovely hot pink sweater, visits his aunt and uncle. They're the only ones in his family who accept his lifestyle. It gets sadder. With his birthday approaching, he's missin' his parents, despite their hellfire-and-damnation judgments. Good thing is, the aunt seems to be a true savior figure for Chase, having talked him down from the ledge during troubled times. Cheers to that. Scene 6: Taylor plays against type by going on a date with Mohammed, a Muslim cutie who just happens to be best friends with Chase. So Taylor's motives seem a bit questionable, considering how much he grills Mohammed on the subject of Chase and Levi. Jealousy doesn't look good on Tay-Tay. We pray (to Jesus) that upcoming episodes will focus more on his political life. Or his next anal bleaching appointment. Either one.

Scene 7: Ashley's going with a split-personality theme for her Evoke photo shoot, transforming a male model into half straight dude, half drag queen. But wait, there's more. The straight side will be holding a gun to the drag side's head. I know. Your mind is metaphorically blown. Thankfully, Phillip shows up to "help" with the shoot, and instead gets all "queeny" with Ashley over his hatred of James. Ol' Phil always comes with a heaping side of unpleasantness.

Scene 8: Chase and Mohammed meet to plan their joint birthday party. Talk turns to Mo's budding relasha-ship with Taylor. Since he believes he now has Levi on casual lock, Chase is willing to hold his tongue and support his friend's decision to date Levi's ex. He'll even let Mo bring Taylor to the party. Twinky steps.

Scene 9: Ashley takes James to church for a private counseling session with a pastor. He listens to all the sound advice that's thrown at him - cut down on the sauce; find a purpose in life. Minutes later, my snoring wakes me. Scene 10: We find Chase and Levi at the birthday bash, waiting for the revelers to arrive. Chase plays clingy, calling the cowboy "baybee" and palming his Wrangler-ed knee. Leev's suddenly uncomfortable with intimacy. His head almost spins off as he searches for someone else to focus on. Mohammed shows up, sans Taylor. But sooner or later, our smirking RepubliTwink makes his entrance, in a cap perhaps leftover from painful Little League days. At this point, Levi's so drunk that he nearly requires subtitles. But that doesn't stop him from laying into Tay-Tay, telling him how much he hates him. But the body language suggests otherwise. The two gents' chemistry is, to quote the great philosopher John Mayer, "sexual napalm." In another corner of the bar, Brayden teases us with some brief but brilliant Brayden-ness. (Can't wait until next week, when our favorite side character somehow ends up on a horse with Levi. Snick!)

Scene 11: Ashley shows the Evoke editor her photos. He loves them. He also loves awkwardly avoiding the topic of his newly acquired lip ring. We're surprised Ashley misses the chance to hand him her spare balm.

Scene 12: James and Phillip attempt to mend fences, have a boring bitch fight, then hug it out. How's that for the cold recapper's shoulder? See you next Tuesday, when the Tryptophan's finally worn off.

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Hunter Hauk