NECESSARY ROUGHNESS "Baggage Claim" Episode 11 (1)
NECESSARY ROUGHNESS “Baggage Claim” Season 1 Episode 11 – Secrets are like baggage, according to Dani, and in “Baggage Claim,” this week’s Necessary Roughness, everyone’s hauling around their own personalized set.

But no one has more has more stuff weighing them down than Dani’s latest client, Anne Marie (Gail O’Grady), a home-decorating media mogul/obvious homage to Martha Stewart. When her board of directors order her into mandatory therapy, it’s up to Dani to figure out why America’s Sweetheart is displaying bouts of psychotic rage. I would think it’s obvious (decades worth of varnish fumes), but Dani feels there’s something deeper than simply a bitch with a glue gun.

At first, Anne Marie is a brick wall, but after another breakdown, she asks Dani to come inside her house, which doesn’t seem like that big of a deal until her boyfriend admits that he’s never been invited past the driveway. Hoarder, was my first thought, and I was totally right. Anne Marie is the world’s neatest and most organized hoarder (not a rat dropping in sight), but she still flips out in a spectacular way when anyone threatens her stuff.

It takes Dani’s ‘leet skills to figure out that Anne Marie is hiding a painful secret and to coax it out of her. Turns out she was forced to give up a baby when she was seventeen and was never allowed to grieve for him. That’s what makes her hurtle glue guns at her staff. Okay…

There’s someone else in Dani’s life who’s not been allowed to grieve. On what would have been her eighteenth wedding anniversary, Dani decides it’s time to get rid of her ex-husband’s crap by having a yard sale, but she faces strong opposition from her mother who tries to get her hold onto the memories. At first it seems like Mom is beyond insensitive, almost punishing Dani for the divorce as if she was the one who cheated, but eventually Mom reveals that she’s far more broken up about the family break-up than Dani.

The only good to come out of this weird little plot line is that Matthew winds up helping out with the yard sale and meeting Dani’s mother and actually gaining her approval. This prompts him to kiss Dani (whoo-hoo!) and tell her that he knows what he wants…she just needs to let him know if she wants it, too.

Okay, I sense your confusion. Wasn’t I rooting for Nico last week? Yes, I was, but that was before I had all the facts about Nico and Gabrielle, the team owner’s wife (played by Liz Vassey, who I met on the picket lines with the CSI writing staff during the 2007 Writer’s Strike–that has nothing to do with her portrayal; I just like pointing out that she was very sweet.)

Gabrielle feels that her husband is getting ready to sell the Hawks, which would suck considering that they’ve just made the play-offs. She asks Nico to help figure out what’s going on and when he finds out that her intuition is correct, Gabrielle makes it clear that she intends to fight for the team, even if that means buying it herself. If you’re a Dodger fan, you’ll recognize shades of this story, but I’m going to root for Gabrielle on this. She’d be a great recurring character, especially since she and Nico have a past (it seems she chose money over love) and I have to wonder if Nico’s devotion to her daughter could mean that he might possibly be her real father, which would make my earlier assumptions about their relationship totally icky.

Over in TK-land…there’s not much action going on. Literally. He’s pulling out all of his usual charming tricks to get Vivica (the hot reporter) into bed on their second date, but she’s much classier and smarter than that. Of course, TK is pretty much a kid in a man’s body most of the time, so he pouts and whines and cheats, but for some reason, it doesn’t work (again, literally) and he realizes that he actually likes Vivica and doesn’t just want an easy lay. But that revelation makes her suddenly want to get with him and he doesn’t turn it down which makes me wonder if she’ll be around next week.

One more episode of Necessary Roughness left. Can TK and the boys take it to the Superbowl? We might have to wait until next summer to find out.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Did you want to smash that singing fish as much as I did? Is Gabrielle a mother or a stepmother? Let me know below!