A Scintillating Conversation About a Lethal Pesticide begins with Shelly (Lennon Parham) and her husband. Two episodes ago, Joyce (Ophelia Lovibond) revealed on a radio broadcast that Shelly has never had an orgasm with her husband. There’s a series of Shelly’s imagined fantasies with Fabio-like men, but it’s still not working. Shelly is frustrated and feeling undesirable, but Bambi (Jessica Lowe) is determined to show Shelly that she can be sexy and wanted.
After the disastrous interview on Dick Cavett, Joyce has elected to stay in New York with Maggie (Gillian Jacobs) for a little while longer. Doug (Jake Johnson) has returned to Bottom Dollar Publishing with the task of putting together the last issue of Minx without the help of Joyce. His centerfold, the football MVP Billy Brunson (Austin Nichols), is more trouble than Doug anticipated. The tonal dissonance between Billy’s ideas for the photoshoot and the image of Minx leads to Tina (Idara Victor) and Richie (Oscar Montoya) walking off.
Joyce gets a job opportunity at Maggie’s magazine, Betsy. It’s seemingly everything Joyce wanted Minx to be. Maggie has swept her up into her world of fancy New York lunch meetings, plush offices, and pretentious dinner parties. Joyce at the beginning of the series would have loved to be here among these interesting people, but when the conversation turns to Minx and the models of adult magazines, Joyce realizes how much she’s changed.
You Happened to Me is the finale episode and sees Minx in hot legal water. Willy Wilkerson (Eric Edelstein), the radio host from episodes prior, is blaming Minx for his wife “maiming his penis with a substance measuring over one million Scoville units.” Willy claims that their article on marital rape is what caused her to do this. Joyce is explicitly named in the lawsuit which leads her to uncover that she is still proprietarily linked to Minx and is a part-owner.
Councilwoman Bridget Westbury (Amy Landecker) has teamed up with Willy and the Men Energized Now (M.E.N.) movement. She sees this as her opportunity to rid the Valley of pornographic endeavors once and for all. More lawsuits are filed and Doug’s lawyer recommends that Bottom Dollar Publishing lay low and do not, under any circumstances, put out the third issue of Minx.
Bambi’s plan to calm down the crowd of M.E.N. protesters outside of the Bottom Dollar office is to announce her plans to retire from nude modeling. The protesters are enraged and storm the offices. Tina, Bambi, Richie, Joyce, and Doug take up shelter in the layout room and call the cops. Councilwoman Westbury tells the cops to wait it out and not send any officers just yet. It’s only after Tina calls in a favor from some baseball bat-wielding Russians that the Minx team is able to escape.
Last episode saw Bambi putting together a makeshift photoshoot in her home for Shelly as a way to make her feel desired. The two end up kissing and spending the night together. This immensely important moment for the both of them is simply forgotten. Bambi comes home to an empty house after the raid is broken up at Bottom Dollar and Shelly takes her polaroids home to her husband. Nothing is mentioned or discussed further and it’s an extremely disappointing end to Shelly’s storyline.
Minx has so much potential going for it, but it continuously squandered that away in favor of the same reductive conflicts week after week. In these last two episodes, the audience was given a further glimpse of more interesting storylines that aren’t fully explained. There’s the growth and sexual discovery of two women whose identity was limited to “housewife.” Shelly sleeping with Bambi was the first instance of her putting her desires at the forefront. Wanda, Willy’s wife, says, “I just got sick of being told what to do and who to be in my own home.” These two women have internalized and repressed their emotions and Minx was the catalyst for giving in to their rage or desire. An entire anthology series could exist simply on the ramifications, good and bad, that Minx brought to housewives across the country.
Overall, Minx has some really shining moments throughout the course of the season. The characters are charming, the costumes add a liveliness to the world, and the premise remains intriguing. Should Minx receive a second season, the focus desperately needs to shift away from Doug and Joyce. They will always be necessary to flank the show as the initial introduction points to the world of Minx, but they no longer need to be the main characters. Let Bambi, Shelly, Richie, and Tina take the reins and see where Minx could go.