In episode three, Norman Mailer, Samantha Shortcake, the police raid the Bottom Dollar Publishing offices by order of newly elected councilwoman Bridget Westbury (Amy Landecker). It’s the nineteenth raid they’ve experienced, so veterans like Doug (Jake Johnson), Tina (Idara Victor), Bambi (Jessica Lowe), and Richie (Oscar Montoya) treat it as just another day at the office. Joyce (Ophelia Lovibond), however, is shocked how the police can come in and take anything they want. The publishing company has a spot at the printers in 36 hours that Doug refuses to let go to waste. He asks if any magazines were able to hold onto any photos or negatives, so they could cobble together an issue. Richie was the only one with the foresight to stash photos away from the police and they happen to be from the upcoming first issue of Minx. With no other options, Doug announces that Minx’s debut issue is getting moved up a month.
Unfortunately, the raid spooks all of Joyce’s planned contributors for the issue and they pull their articles. Left with only a few hours and an entirely new issue to create, Joyce must go back through all of the articles she’s written for previous iterations of the magazine to find replacements with input from Bambi, Richie, and her sister Shelly (Lennon Parham). They find all of Joyce’s articles to be too muddled, angry, and boring to enjoy and pen articles of their own that are much lighter fare. This upsets Joyce because she’s still married to this idea of having a no-nonsense, informative magazine.
At city hall, Doug hopes to charm the new councilwoman like he has done for the previous people who held her position. However, Councilwoman Westbury is seemingly immune to Doug’s usual tactics. She has taken it upon herself to rid the San Fernando Valley of “its tumor” of adult enterprises like adult video stores, adult gift stores, and all of Doug’s dirty magazines.
In this episode, we get a glimpse of the other side of women’s liberation in the form of Councilwoman Westbury. Her character feels like an obvious stand-in for Phyllis Schlafly, a conservative activist, author, and attorney who actively fought against the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s. Despite her fervent opposition to feminism and women’s lib, she had acknowledged that her path in life would not have been possible without the women whose causes she tried (and succeeded) to shut down.
Episode four, An Exciting New Chapter in the Annals of Erotics, sees the Minx team reunited with their cover model, Shane (Taylor Zakhar Perez), for their upcoming press conference. Joyce has some concerns that Shane won’t fare well because he’s not exactly educated on the state of current affairs, so she takes it as her duty to educate him about feminism. Those teaching sessions, combined with some glasses of wine, lead to the two of them hooking up. Joyce now has bigger concerns when her ex-boyfriend Glenn (Michael Angarano) shows up to cover the conference for his magazine.
Doug’s feud with Councilwoman Westbury continues to escalate with the councilwoman ordering Bottom Dollar Publishing to be audited. Tina takes it upon herself to look at their books and their accountant has made a mess of their finances. Unbeknownst to Tina and Doug, the company is missing $50,000. They don’t believe that the accountant stole the money himself and interview the rest of the employees to see if they can track down where the $50,000 went.
Perhaps the most outright humorous episode of Minx so far. It was such a delight to see Shane’s sweet, simple attempts at understanding feminism, taking a genuine interest in what Joyce is attempting to teach him. Does he think feminism started with witches in the Salem Witch Trials? Sure, but there’s something to be said about the effort he puts into learning. And then the final scenes are a deft switch to something more akin to Mad Men. Minx is great about matching Joyce’s realizations that she is not the pinnacle of feminism with other characters embodying the ideals of feminism she only understands in a booksmart sense.
After four episodes, it’s disappointing that Tina is relegated to a more periphery role. Even according to Doug, she’s the second half of Bottom Dollar Publishing, but she’s treated as a secondary character. Victor’s performance as Tina is quietly funny, a reserved strength. Hopefully, as the season continues on and the world of Bottom Dollar Publishing gets bigger, so will the role of Tina.