[For Mozart in the Jungle “Touché, Maestro, Touché” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]
Touché, Maestro, Touché. Hailey goes out with a famous guest Cellist, Pembridge and Rodrigo enjoy a guys night in, and Gloria proves herself.
Searching is the theme of Mozart in the Jungle episode four. They haven’t left for Mexico yet but these characters are already on their way somewhere. Hailey explores the world of elite classical musicians, Rodrigo and Pembridge reach a newfound echelon of consciousness, and Gloria harkens back to her former self in a search that takes her to the most unexpected place of all. It begins, as many explorations do, with an inspiring guest, in this case the famous cellist Andrew Walsh (played by Dermot Mulroney) who brings fresh insight on the status quo of the orchestra. In this case his insight is merely that Rodrigo needs to cut down on the cookies… but it’s new thinking nonetheless.
The show opens on the symphony now glorious with the addition of the star cellist who’s a free agent in the classical music world; a nomad who comes and goes as he pleases, and sexy too. After the performance he introduces himself to Hailey and invites her out “to see Lang Lang play” (Lang Lang is a virtuouso Chinese pianist) after sniffing around red-lipped stunner Cynthia in such a way that it’s clear they previously slept together. Meanwhile outside the concert hall Rodrigo gazes at the photo of Hailey on the marquis outside when Pembridge comes by in a limo and offers him a ride. So, Rodrigo puts his bike in the trunk and joins his hermano maestro for the evening.
Turns out Walsh was using the verb “play” as a double entendre because he takes Hailet to a bar party that doubles as a sort of playground for the classical elite. World-renowned pianist Emanuel Ax plays ping pong with Joshua Bell, famous violinist, while Lang Lang asks Hailey for dating advice. They bowl and play assorted arcade games then end up in a photo booth together, Hailey ensconced in the middle of all this musical genius. She’s in heaven. It’s a whole new world and, though surrounded by virile young men, it’s clear Walsh is the Aladdin to Hailey’s Jasmine. After the party she goes back to Walsh’s place and he paints cello marks on her naked back to take a photo before they fall into each other’s arms for the night. Later in the after sex glow they talk about their careers and Hailey’s intrigued by Walsh’s independence and happiness as he travels the world playing music freelance style.
Back at Pembridge’s apartment it’s pity party time as he explains to Rodrigo his “fugue of despair” AKA divorce papers, a bittersweet symphony. He pulls out a bottle of booze and Rodrigo stops him from opening it saying it’s poison for Pembridge (who gave up drinking) and they don’t need it. Maestro is mad grateful and Rodrigo says that’s what hermanos are for. Then he offers up a way for them to seek their own brand of abyss – booze free. His friend in Fort lee, New Jersey gave him this odd hallucinogenic concoction of resin, mushroom, and frog venom which, though they both declare “smells like shit” they also immediately start eating. Before long they’re curled up in a tent they concocted on the floor of Pembridge’s study to play a mind blowingly funny game of question and answer. Their deadpan faces and absurd commentary are laugh out loud hilarious and then they get serious, talk about mothers and death and recite a loving poem to each other in unison before Pembridge passes out on the couch. Then Rodrigo stays up to conduct an imaginary orchestra but gets distracted by the luminous face of imaginary Hailey, sitting in the oboe chair and looking at him that way he loves.
All the while Gloria is off on her own brand of adventure, an open mike night. She tantalizes the room in a gorgeous sequin dress with a sexy song. She doesn’t see Pavel from the orchestral crew in the audience but there he is with his Czech absinthe and beard, leaning against the brick wall. Gloria walks over near the wall to sing the end of the sultry song and then recognizes Pavel. She sings to him, even rubbing up against him a little. After her song she joins Pavel for a drink and it turns out he just happens to be a regular at this place because it’s right by his apartment. He compliments her voice and Gloria says it was the last place she expected to see someone she knew. Pavel asks her what she’s doing there and she says, “Searching… I suppose,” and then the episode ends as Rodrigo’s assistant tells him it’s time to go to JFK and get on their plane to Mexico. So, their journeys continue.