After last week's take on gun... we mean hatchet control, this week's episode of Another Period — The Prince And The Pauper — played around with the concept of the modern day dating show, The Bachelor in particular.
Lillian (Natasha Leggero) and Beatrice (Riki Lindhome) are single again and need to find themselves new husbands. After being refused by most of the eligible bachelors around, the Commodore (David Koechner) manages one more option for the two heiresses – Prince Apato (Rizwan Manji).
In true The Bachelor (TV show) style, the prince first tells the ugly sister Hortense, "I'm sorry but you have been eliminated". He is then unable to decide between the two women and opts instead to make his choice after going on individual dates with both. The episode is rife with critique of not only perception of women by men, but also women's own opinions on their role as commodities and breeders.
In their contest for the heart of the royal, Lillian and Beatrice go head to head, both trying to outshine the other. Keeping with the competitive reality show style, Beatrice mentions, "I didn't come here to make sisters" echoing scores of show contestants who love to point out that they are there to win and not make friends.
Prior to her date, Beatrice sips arsenic, an actual "beauty tip" practised by women in the early 20th century to gain a paler complexion (to look more delicate). However, she is unable to keep up the "delicate flower" charade during her hunt date with Apato and decides to start a game of people hunting with Garfield the under-butler as her victim.
On seeing her sister sip on arsenic, Lillian decided to down most of the bottle before her date – a hot air balloon ride, clueless to the fact that higher doses of the drug can also cause digestion problems. So, there they are, the couple and the prince's personal butler Parshwal (Aasif Mandvi), high above the ground, when Lillian starts experiencing tummy troubles and is forced to go to the toilet over the side of the balloon basket.
That is bound to bring any date to an early end.
Talking about the scene, Lindhome told Entertainment Weekly: "We were all in the writers' room and brainstorming, 'What's the worst thing that can happen in a hot air balloon?' And then we're like, 'Oh, diarrhoea. That's the worst thing'."
Downstairs, Peepers (Michael Ian Black) is trying to prove that he is a better butler than Parshwal, unsuccessfully. To add fuel to the fire, Blanche (Beth Dover) the maid sides with the guest's man servant and we see sparks fly.
Somewhere in between all of this, Chair finally manages to get her memory back (for the most part). "I know who I am. I'm Chair... and I'm a b***h," she says after falling down a flight of stairs and regaining her memories.
By the end of the episode, Apato reveals that he is not interested in either of the Commodore's daughters and is in fact not even the prince. In keeping with the title of the episode he reveals that Parshwal is the real prince and has decided to marry Blanche instead.
Obviously, the show is not ready to end on a happy note, and in one last effort to prove that he is the better butler, he points out that according to the latest "Butling manual", Blanche is not allowed to leave Bellacourt without his permission... and just like that the engagement ends.
The closing scenes — once again reminiscent of most reality TV competitions, shows Lillian, Beatrice and the Commodore crying as they make their way someplace in the back seat of a car.
Another Period airs every Wednesday at 10/9c on Comedy Central.