It became apparent early on that the decorating of Anna Nicole's bedroom would be the grand overarching storyline of this entire series. We started with her putting a mattress on the floor after moving into the new house, and bit by bit we've watched her trials and tribulations in fixing up her bedroom, anticipating the season-ending realization of her fantasy abode in all its tacky grandeur. This subplot has also symbolized Anna Nicole's quest to renew her sex life: once she gets her bedroom in order, she'll be ready to get busy doing other things in it. But with the gradual transformation of a certain wacky guest star into the show's super-villain, it was inevitable that the saga of the pink bedroom would never reach its intended storybook conclusion.
"I had just completely had it with Bobby Trendy," Anna Nicole grimly announces, "to the fact that I just wanted everything about him and everything that I saw about him just away from me and gone." So there was nothing else to do but to rip, smash and destroy the principal artifact of her association with Bobby, the much-agonized-over bed. Just the bed frame, actually -- Howard and Kim preserve the mattress and box springs, which weren't really Trendy goods. In the process Anna Nicole discovers a lockbox full of money that she had misplaced some time ago, and laughs at her own stupidity. The gang kick down the footboard and Anna Nicole takes a pair of scissors to the pink silk covering the headboard. Howard maniacally stabs various remnants of the bed with a screwdriver, immensely enjoying himself. Oddly, there is no mention of all the living room furniture Bobby provided, which everyone has seemed to be happy with, but maybe they got rid of it too.
The demolition actually took place immediately following Howard's impersonation of Bobby seen last episode. That scene showed Howard freaking out and screaming "No! No! NOOO!," apparently in response to Anna Nicole calling him "supercilious." But in an unedited clip available online, what she actually told Howard was that she was going to go tear the bed down, and that was why he pretended to go nuts.
The genuine Bobby is only slightly more reserved in his reaction. "When I had heard that Howard and Anna thrashed my luxurious bed, I was appalled," growls the outcast decorator, fuming behind his ostentatious fur coat. "I thought that Anna was classier than that. That kind of behavior is normally viewed at the Los Angeles zoo!"
It is quite the spectacle, a bizarrely apocalyptic moment considering how much emotional involvement we have seen invested in that damned bed. E! is normally right on the money with their choices in background music, but they totally screwed this one up. They played some mellow lounge music during the carnage, when the scene clearly called for a fanfare with more dramatic heft and portent, like Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries." Anna Nicole applies the finishing touch by painting a defiant legend of victory in nail polish upon the denuded headboard: "BOBBY SUX." And that, folks, is the end of that.
Or is it...?
Next, our heroes recover their composure and we get the set-up for the season finale, as Anna Nicole meets with a representative from a dating service. And it's not just any old nickel-and-dime singles outfit -- this is a highly exclusive service called the Millionaires Club. "They set up rich men with beautiful women, so I wasn't shy about going," Anna Nicole says with a coy grin. It's kind of unfortunate that she chose to reinforce her image as a gold-digger in this way. It was be so awesome to see her hook up with some average guy along the lines of Benjy, and prove that she's not just interested in money. But I guess she knows what she wants, and if you've got what it takes to land a loaded bachelor, why not?
Anna Nicole interviews with Patti Stanger from the Millionaires Club, who identifies herself as a "third-generation matchmaker." Patti assures Anna Nicole that there is an art to her business, and she's not going to set her up on a date with just anybody. She also emphasizes the bank accounts of the prospective suitors, each of whom is certified to have at least a million bucks. "They can get their own dates," Patti explains, "but it's easier to outsource it." Ewww. The application of corporate jargon to personal matters just makes my skin crawl. Patti is pretty obnoxious, too, with her fast-talking, know-it-all attitude. She asks Anna Nicole the typical battery of matchmaking questions:
What kind of man she's looking for: "A big guy that can handle me, you know. I can run and jump in his arms, you know, and he can hold me and won't fall over."
What kind of things she does for fun: "I like to paint." (Not working out.)
What kind of restaurants she prefers: "I'm pretty open to pretty much anything but sushi."
What kind of music she listens to: "I like classical... rock. I don't like that headbanging heavy metal stuff."
So that's how that went, and we'll get to see how well Patti does in the season finale spectacular when Anna Nicole meets Claude.
The remainder of this episode focuses quite deservedly on Kimmie. The only time before when she got to have the spotlight was at the amusement park in Episode 4, so it's good for her to get some attention again. "People are always talking about my purple-haired assistant Kim," Anna Nicole says, "but she's more than that. She's my friend."
Anna Nicole reflects on how much Kimmie means to her, while there's a montage of Kim scenes dating back to the beginning of the show. This gives us an opportunity to realize how much we've learned about Kimmie since then, when she was just this weird girl with purple hair who probably had a lesbian crush on Anna Nicole. Back in my summary for the first episode, I wrote, "Both Howard and Kim came across simply as Anna Nicole's obedient supplicants, and I look forward to seeing more of their personalities in future episodes." And yes, we certainly have. We've learned that Howard is generally a smart-ass, a penny-pincher and a control freak, whereas we've seen that Kimmie is a sweet and reliable friend. With the possible exception of "Duck & Cover" Daniel, Kimmie has been the person on this show who acts the most like a normal human being, our anchor of sensibility throughout all the chaos. Anna Nicole's got Howard to take care of the big stuff like money and lawsuits, but she would be hopelessly lost without having Kimmie to handle all the little stuff. And she knows it.
The Kimmie retrospective includes clips of Anna Nicole riding in a gay pride parade, looking gorgeous in a summery red dress and wearing a flower in her hair. I always thought she looked very sweaty in those photos, but now we see that Kimmie was spraying her face with a water bottle to cool her off. Evidently prompted by the parade's theme, Anna Nicole asks her assistant the question that's been on everyone's mind: "Are you gay, Kimmie?" Kim flatly responds with a no. "I'm gay!" Anna Nicole proclaims, while she raises her arms and flaunts her dazzlingly opulent figure in joyous delight. "I'm gay every day! I think it's a beautiful day!"
So the deal here is that Anna Nicole has decided to do something special for Kimmie's birthday (which, as she inexplicably notes, is "on Halloween this year"). Since Kim has worn out her car, Anna Nicole is going to give her one as a surprise present. While she and Howard are buying goodies at a deli/bakery, Howard presses her on this decision. "Are you sure you want to get Kimmie a car?" he asks, purely unable to help himself from being the consummate Ebenezer Scrooge bastard.
"Of course I want to give her a car!" Anna Nicole retorts. "She's been with me for over two years. She's my most..." Here she falters, perhaps because she was about to call Kimmie her best friend but chose not to usurp that title from Howard. "She takes care of me, she does what I say," Anna Nicole finishes.
After they finish their cupcakes and candy (and get hassled by a lady in a wheelchair who tells Anna Nicole she's being exploited by her TV show), Howard drives them to a Santa Monica used car dealership. Anna Nicole has no idea what kind of car she wants to get Kimmie, so the salespeople present her a wide variety. Anna Nicole's methods of car shopping are most unusual. She goes around obsessively kicking the tires of all the cars -- probably because it's something she's heard you're supposed to do, but doesn't really know why. She gets them to pop the hood on one of the candidates so she can judge how "clean and pretty" it is under there. When she naturally gets engine grease on her hands, she chides the bewildered sales guy: "You should polish these cars before people see 'em!"
Anna Nicole makes her final selection by divine intervention. When she starts up one of the cars and puts it in reverse, she accidentally backs up against the front bumper of another car. The car she taps is a black 2000 Volkswagen Beetle. And that was it. This was undoubtedly the car for Kimmie, so Anna Nicole buys it. But that doesn't necessarily mean she's enamored of it herself.
"She's always wanted one of these stupid ugly cars," Anna Nicole tells Howard, "and I can hit her every time we get in the car!" Of course, you realize this is a major concession for Anna Nicole to make. In the epic Punch Bug battle of Episode 2, Anna Nicole viciously opposed Kimmie's assertion that the new Beetles qualify for the game. I suppose it's always Anna Nicole's prerogative to change her mind... especially if it means getting to abuse the ones she loves.
Then it's time for Kimmie's big birthday bash, which is also a costume party. But regardless of what Anna Nicole may claim, it wasn't on Halloween, since this episode aired on October 27, so maybe it wasn't really Kimmie's birthday. Howard dresses up as Dracula and Anna Nicole dresses up as "Draculess," while Kimmie chooses to be a nun. She says that's "ironic," because of all the partying she intends to do. We get a tantalizing glimpse of Anna Nicole's shapely legs and butt in fishnets while she's getting her vampire outfit together. When Angie gets done with her chalk-white face, black wig and fangs, Anna Nicole looks like Elvira's chubby little sister. I would gladly offer her my throat.
The spooky crew takes off for the party at a West Hollywood nightclub called FUBAR, but not before making a quick detour. "On the way to the party, we stopped to get my friend Rip Taylor." And out of nowhere. there's Rip Taylor getting into the limo. I just love that! How perfect is it that Anna Nicole Smith would be buddies with Rip Taylor? Like Charles Nelson Reilly and Abe Vigoda, he's one of those second-string celebrities of yesteryear who always surprises you when you find out he's not dead. I'd like to see a whole episode of Anna Nicole and Rip running around L.A., just raising hell and throwing confetti. Maybe next season.
Kimmie's party is pretty crazy, to put it mildly. I think it's safe to say that FUBAR is accustomed to its patrons dressing up in wild and scary costumes even when it's not Halloween. Many familiar members of the show's supporting cast are in attendance, including Angie (dressed as a vampire), Frankie (as "the Queen of Hearts"), Lisa the personal trainer (in a Brownie uniform) and Guy the hairdresser (in S&M gear). Rip Taylor is just dressed up as Rip Taylor, which is plenty good enough. Anna Nicole treats Kimmie to some strippers, both female and male. Further dispelling those rumors about her sexuality, Kim makes it clear that she prefers the guy.
Later Kimmie opens presents and gets a birthday cake. At some point, Howard and his sister sneak out to move the VW Beetle from its hiding place to the front of the nightclub. Once they're ready, Anna Nicole and Howard blindfold Kimmie, and everyone leads her outside, chanting "Kimmie! Kimmie! Kimmie!" When she takes off the blindfold and sees the cars, she basically shits.
"How could she have pulled this off behind my back?" she marvels. It not just that Anna Nicole kept it secret, of course -- it's that she managed to perform a complex series of actions without Kim's direct involvement. That's the really amazing part. Kimmie is overwhelmed by the display of friendship and generosity. "I'm pretty good to have around, huh?" Anna Nicole asks while they hug.
The partying resumes, with Anna Nicole getting a lap dance from a male E! producer dressed as Kimmie. There are a lot of E! staff members at the party, identifiable by their T-shirts with anti-Trendy slogans: "Trendy... So Last Season," "Stop Bobby Trendy," etc. On the back the shirts read "Anna Nicole Show Cast & Crew -- 2002." So it's reasonable to conclude that this isn't just a party for Kimmie, it's also the wrap party for the season. The finale's date sequence was taped some time back, so this was probably the final thing they shot. Judging from the "last season" comment, they probably already knew the show had been renewed, so they all had good reason to party.
Kimmie holds true to her word, and parties to sinful excess. Back in the limo at the end of the evening, she desperately tries not to puke until they get home... to no avail. She ralphs like a madwoman in Howard's Dracula top hat, which seems to be surprisingly and fortuitously watertight.
"I don't want millions of people watch me puke in a hat," the blotto Kimmie moans in dazed embarrassment.
"You know what?" Howard says. "F*** the millions of people. It's about us. It's about your friends." And for a change, the grumpy, cold-hearted attorney acts like he has some warmth and human decency, and says the right thing. Fuck all those assholes tuning in to this show who don't approve of what they see.
The only complaint I have about this excellent episode is that they never showed the full scene of Anna Nicole dancing on her bed in her bra and panties (as seen in the previews at the end of Episode 10) before the bed got destroyed. Oh man, I was so hoping to see that...