We finally follow up on Daphne, the client introduced in episode two. Tiff and Pete, in full kink gear, visit her very uptight house and meet her and her husband, Andrew.
While Tiff is upstairs tickling Andrew, Pete and Daphne awkwardly hang out at the kitchen table.
Daphne: “What do you think is happening up there? Because I told her exactly what he wants.”
Pete: “Oh, um some people say things privately that they wouldn’t say publicly.”
Daphne: “I’m not public. I’m his wife.”
Pete: “Right. And it’s so exceptional what you’re doing for him.”
Daphne: “It’s not for him, it’s for me.”
That suggests this is more for Daphne’s peace of mind than Andrew’s pleasure. She gets more upset, almost crying.
Daphne: “I did try to do it one time. The tickling thing. I kind of, like, touched his armpit, and he let out this, like, weird moan. And I didn’t know who it was. I didn’t recognize the voice. I didn’t know if it was somebody that I wanted to even meet. It was like ‘Who is this, you know, stranger?’”
She talks about how she had an idea of a perfect husband and a perfect life.
Daphne: “Tickling somebody until they scream ‘mother’ is not really part of the vows.”
She gets even more anxious when he hears Andrew shout “Mother.”
Pete: “You could hit me, if you wanted. I already have the shiner, so…”
Daphne reaches for her purse and grabs $200 in bills. Pete takes it and tucks it in his pants. They stand up and Daphne punches him in the face.
There’s a wealth of dramatic material here that goes almost completely unexplored. Why is Daphne so uncomfortable with her husband’s kink? How does he feel about his wife treating him like a stranger because of his kink? Have they talked about it? What happens after Andrew indulges his kink with Daphne’s consent? Did Andrew know about this in advance?
Furthermore, Pete did something extraordinarily foolish. Instead of taking control of the situation and having Daphne spank or even slap him, he just stands there and lets her punch him. This hints at masochism he doesn’t know how to manage, even if he did it for money.
The other subplots in this episode, Pete struggling with gay dating and Tiff contending with her sexually harassing professor, don’t tie in to the ostensible theme of the series. It’s almost like somebody had a story about coming of age in New York and added some sexy bits to increase market appeal.