Emily in Paris: Season 1, Episode 2 Recap

emily in paris season 1 episode 2 recap

Welcome to our Emily in Paris Season 1, Episode 2 recap. (Here’s our recap of the first episode!)

Well! Here we are again, only instead of running through Chicago, Emily’s running through the Jardin du Luxembourg — and this time, she’s running while listening to language instruction tapes for tips on how to say such things as “I do not speak French” and “Please slow down a little bit.” We discussed this last week but I think it’s worth repeating: This show seems to portray Emily as both very sharp and very stupid, but I do not think her failing to learn a language spoken in a country where she was not anticipating moving to (and only did move to because her boss, with her master’s degree in French became incapacitated/pregnant) is a personal failing. If someone told me tomorrow that I was moving to Tokyo, I would be extremely happy but also in terrible trouble, language-wise. Justice for this non-francophone version of Emily! Current Instagram follower count: 230.

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emily in paris screenshot - gabriel

On her way up the stairs, she again tries to open the door belonging to her fourth-floor neighbor, Gabriel. I happen to live on the fifth floor, and my landlord is on the fourth, and I can assure you this is not a mistake I personally make very often — though I will agree that it an actually be very difficult to remember which floor you’re on, since they’re never marked in these small buildings. “You’re very wet,” Gabriel says. I was skeptical about this, and I have to do some research into it, but “mouillé de sueur” can be translated as “sweaty,” and “mouillé” does mean “wet” (it’s literally “wet from sweat”) I will report back on whether this is a normal problem (like how “excité” means horny, not excited) or a weak pun. TBD.

emily in paris screenshot

Emily goes outside and promptly steps in dog poo, an experience which she records for posterity on Instagram — where she suddenly 1205 more followers than she did five minutes ago? I can believe mouillé, but I cannot believe this.

Returning to the office, Julien offers a hearty “Bonjour, la plouc” (“good morning, redneck”) to which she responds, via phone translation: “Va te faire foutre” (“go fuck yourself”). “I think I like you!” Julien responds, which actually is even less credible to me than the Insta followers situation. Sylvie tutors Emily on why she is la plouc rather than le plouc (“It depends on the plouc you’re referring to,” she says — fair enough) as well as the pronunciation of “De l’Heure,” (the client which happens to be throwing a big party, I wonder if Emily will be invited!) and larger cultural ideas about the value of openness versus privacy: “You want everything to be accessible to everyone, everywhere,” Sylvie tells Emily. (This is not a compliment.) “You want to open doors. I want to close doors. We work with very exclusive brands. They require mystery. You’re very very obvious.” And this is why you still can’t buy handbags on the Chanel website.

As the plot requires, Sylvie relents, and invites Emily to the De l’Heure party, where she is promptly introduced to Antoine Lambert, “the best nose in France.” Real Emily would not, in any possible world, mistake this compliment for a critique of the actual man’s actual, physical nose — surely Emily, hyper-prepared Emily who works in marketing, would be aware that “nose” is a word used to describe those involved in the creation of fragrance. But Show Emily, because Show Emily’s a dumb bimbo, insists on saying something very stupid (“It’s very symmetrical”). Justice for Show Emily!

emily in paris recap screenshot - julienAntoine explains the industrial definition of the word, and his wife — yes, his wife — asks Emily why she’s come to Paris. To market, Emily says: to market all the beautiful things French people make so us crass, Cheeto-fingered Americans might buy them, and thus prop up their dying industries. Antoine, at least, is interested, and Emily is ready with her analysis: “I think you have an amazing, sexy product that could practically induce pregnancy in older women.” I mean, there’s a lot going on in that sentence, and not much of it good, but it’s clear that Emily has done her homework, and in no universe would that person not know what a nose is. Sheesh! After Emily’s impromptu presentation, Sylvie scolds her for talking shop after hours: “We’re at a soirée, not a conference call.” Maybe Married Antoine’s got an American stepmom or something though, because he’s all too happy to take things offline with Emily and continue the conversation. What does she smell in his fragrance? “Gardenia, leather, musk, and a little bit like sweat,” she says. (Yes, totally, that is the response of a woman who doesn’t understand the term “nose.”)

Married Antoine continues to make married-guy come-ons, inviting comparisons of his fragrance to lingerie and suggesting Emily get a French boyfriend, as the best way to learn the language is “in bed.” Mon dieu. “I’m not sure that’s going to help with your French,” Married Antoine says, when Emily says that she has an American boyfriend. He wraps up his seduction by explaining that his reference point for his fragrance was, in fact, “expensive sex.”

Back in the office, Emily hears that Antoine wanted her for his account — but Sylvie pulls her onto a different, slightly less glamorous product: Vaga-Jeune, for the dry vagina. (I do appreciate how this episode is basically a 30-minute exploration of the word “mouillé,” first used to describe Emily post-run.) “[Given] your experience with pharmaceuticals, this makes total sense,” Sylvie says. That seems actually very justifiable?

After Julien arrives to explain that Sylvie — best friend to Married Antoine’s wife, Catherine — is also his mistress, Emily calls her fellow expat, Mindy, to debrief: “I don’t get it — what’s the point of being married if you’re just going to cheat on your spouse?” says Emily.

Mindy, worldly-wise and weary, explains the French attitude toward affairs: “After being married for 20 years you might feel differently — I mean, the French are romantics but they’re also realists.” Pessimists, I’d say, but OK. They stop for dinner at a popular neighborhood restaurant, where Emily’s insistence on a well-cooked steak irritates the chef…who just turns out to be sexy neighbor Gabriel! Quelle coincidence. “I’d be happy to burn it for you, but promise me you’ll try it first,” Gabriel says. “Surprisingly tender,” Emily says. Also, Mindy is heir to a zipper fortune.

emily in paris recap screenshot - market

The random Cubs fan boyfriend who’s definitely not lasting beyond this episode is due to arrive the next day, so Emily hastens to a market, where she tries out quite an amazing hat. Good news: She takes a selfie with the woman from the bakery and now she has over 5000 Instagram followers? Bad news: Her boyfriend isn’t coming. “I packed, I took a week off of work and then I thought, what am I going to do there all day?” This is pretty dumb. He doesn’t know how to do long distance. He likes their life in Chicago. This is her pose as Lily Collins says: “This is Paris! This city is filled with love! And romance! And light and beauty and passion and sex! Which are clearly things that mean nothing to you!”

emily in paris season 1 episode 2 recap screenshot - emily at the pantheon

They’re not going to make it, so it rains. “Paris is weeping.”

emily in paris recap screenshot - paris

Back in the office, Emily settles in with her task: finding a workable angle for Vaga-Jeune:

In considering this text, however, Emily discovers that “the vagina” is a masculine noun (le vagin).

emily in paris season 1 episode 2 recap - le vagin

“Are you kidding me?” 

emily in paris season 1 episode 2 recap - office

This is Emily’s face as Sylvie explains that the vagina is masculine because “it’s something that a woman owns and a man possesses.” That literally does not make sense. “Le vagin n’est pas masculin!” Emily broadcasts to Instagram. And you’ll never guess who then tweets that out (after being alerted to this matter because Carla Sarkozy is following Emily on Insta?? Ok totally!!): none other than France’s most famous age-gapper, Brigitte Macron.

emily in paris - macron

Exactement!

Emily in Paris Season 1 Episode 2 recap recap: Emily is a vaga-jeune, Mindy is nice and also extremely wealthy, Sylvie is sleeping with her friend’s husband, and Gabriel is a sexy chef. Also, “mouillé” can mean a lot of different things, in both sexy and unsexy situations. 

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