Good morning my kiddos. Here we are, at the third chapter recap! We’re looking back at the third chapter of Bad Town For A Pretty Face: New York, so make sure you’ve read up before you scroll down or you’ll be hit with a few spoilers!
We’re starting off with Brienne, our first time with her! It’s only the third chapter so that’s not a huge shock. The fact that she’s just woken up probably clues y’all into the fact that Wendy’s big heist was last night and we’re about to get the morning reaction. She’s up early so no one has to wait on her (she’s so considerate, y’all) and ends up hearing a bunch of uh, interesting voicemails congratulating her and the rest of the team. When she sneaks downstairs to listen to the news as quietly as possible she waits for everyone else to wake up and react with her.
Eyana’s first, good enough not to hit her with an I-told-you-so, and then Cleo, wordless and well-dressed. Then Astor shows up yelling and it kind of reminds me of my childhood, how the day didn’t officially start until your mom started shouting about chores. So it begins! Astor’s pissed, and though she momentarily directs that pissyness at Eyana (who could still be a suspect technically but really, do you guys think Astor’s thinking it?) she’s moved on to trying to make sense of all this. After Cleo lets everyone know security footage proves Eyana’s innocence (surprise! Except Not At All) Astor tells everyone FUCK the farmer’s market, they’ve got a hotel to investigate.
At this point she drops a name we haven’t heard before in explaining how they’re able to go to a place they allegedly robbed, Tate. Which is odd, because we don’t really have named characters who aren’t significant somehow, except Karen, the lady Candy kicked out of a plane back in Miami. I can’t think of any others off the top of my head. Maybe Fia’s cat, Monsieur Beaumarchais, but he’s only been in paid-for content and I’m not about to call that fluffy bastard insignificant. So who is this Tate? I gave y’all fuck all, so you’re not about to find out any time soon! Or you will in a few chapters. Spoilers!
So they all head down to the hotel, which isn’t far from their Upper West Side home (please watch all six seasons of Gossip Girl for a more rounded definition of these New York neighborhoods, but I’ll describe the area here as Rich People Pretending They’re Upper Middle Class). Astor speaks to an officer and advises Cleo and Eyana not to, because if you thought tense racial bias existed just in the south you’ve never been here before! And she learns that yes, there’s been a robbery, yes, it’s allegedly them, and yes, they may question the receptionist that Wendy handcuffed last night about it.
When they talk to this receptionist we get a little more of their personalities, since this is chapter three and we still have crap to learn about everyone. That’s one of my favorite things, writing in stuff at the beginning of these stories to clue you into what everyone’s like without flat-out telling you. Even though sometimes I do that regardless because that’s my big weak point, but maybe let’s not point those out whilst you’re trying to read and enjoy my content! But yeah the receptionist interview is pretty straightforward. We’ve seen Brienne’s sweetness, but now we see her competence. She thinks things through and knows when to ask questions even if she’s typically quiet, and when speaking to a white woman from Indiana she and Cleo know it must have been easier to trick her into buying this copy-cat than a fellow woman of color. Which is very lucky for Wendy, but to them is all part of a sinister plan.
When they’re through with the receptionist the cop approaches them again with some fresh evidence, the laser pointer Wendy left behind. When they settle down in the nearby park on the steps of the Pulitzer Fountain (an absolutely beautiful place, highly recommend if you’re ever hunting landmarks in the city) they think about everything that’s gone down so far and piece what they have together. It’s something this gang is going to continue doing throughout, the sitting, talking, piecing that I really enjoy about their dynamic and this particular tale. They’ve got a mystery to solve that Miami didn’t, and unlike Las Vegas they’re not solving it with running around and unlike New Orleans they’re not building up some already powerful defenses. It’s too early to really see the full picture on this, but trust me, it’s nice to write your characters actually sitting the fuck down and talking things out instead of all the yelling and shooting and yelling while shooting we’ve been doing for three books.
Of the things they piece together:
- The bodega hit was a test run. Correct! Points for Eyana.
- This is a threat and someone is toying with us. Wrong! But understandable, no points removed from Astor.
- They use a laser because they don’t have enough people! There’s one girl playing both Cleo and Eyana! Half correct, but so thoughtful that Brienne gets points anyway.
Other things discussed include Astor defining a smear campaign dramatically enough for y’all to sense — dare I say it — some backstory. We’ll get to that one day! Also included: people have beef with Eyana, but no major power players. Again, that seems to hint at backstory! That we won’t deal with right now! Also discussed: the price of the painting. I looked up the original one, the one that actually got stolen, and after it was recovered it went to auction for about 150k. So not exactly comparable to the thirty million Astor was being offered, but whatever I already wrote it. Let’s just say the notoriety of the gang that stole it helped drive the price up. Or that people buying on the black market over-spend big time. Whatever.
Other other things discussed: ‘we don’t necessarily have genders but it’s well done enough to assume it’s not men.’ Also: Cleo is going to check security cameras in the surrounding area for a getaway car or some sort of lead. Also also: Brienne’s hungry. They all decide to head over to Levain, which I’ve never been to but I think is just cookies according to Instagram. So they head on over and get some chow (God, Good Omens was so good, I’m still thinking about it) and then head on home so Cleo can do their investigative work. Except Astor stops dead in the middle of the sidewalk, a New York Cardinal Sin, and everyone knows something is really, really wrong. And when they all look up the apartment is in flames.
So that’s not good. And unexpected. And Cleo’s freaking out because their computer with all the stuff they need is in there, and they’re willing to risk their life to go get it. Brienne, sweetheart of the year, volunteers to go with them, and Astor and Eyana stay on the ground to take care of things from there. As the two run off Brienne can distinctly hear Eyana cursing the copy-cat gang for doing this, which makes sense to them but for us it’s a huh. type situation. Because huh. Wendy likes the gang, she’s pretending to be them to honor and impress them. And last night it seemed like she was driving back to Long Island. So was she really the one who arsoned the penthouse, or is there some other malarky afoot? Time (and the next chapter) will tell. Until then, thanks for reading and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone next time!