Westside season 1, episode 4 recap: Process


Taz walked out of a workshop in the last episode of Westside. Let’s see how she bounces back in episode 4: Process.

Westside opens its fourth episode with Caitlin making brownies for the family. The brownies taste like death because the mix has expired. That’s it. Seriously, nothing else happens in the opening scene.

Thankfully, the episode quickly moves on to more interesting things. Sean is shown around 1Oak, the future venue for the climactic live performance, by Stafford, who works for the marketing side of 1Oak.

There are great shots of the bar as Sean talks logistics—including prices for the cheapest table starting at $2,500. ($10,000 if you want that VIP experience.) But while Sean talks finances and investors, the episode awkwardly trips into its first music video about going from the small time to the big time of Los Angeles.

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After the music video, Keith is having a one on one session with Pia. The two discuss the idea of the facade of Pia’s life and talk about perhaps using that as the idea for her solo song.

In a side clip of her putting on makeup, Pia talks about the insecurities that came from being on American Idol and always searching for approval.

Elsewhere, Arika chats with her dad about having people over for a barbecue. When the idea of inviting the group comes up, Arika admits she’s still more comfortable keeping her personal life to her self.

Moving to James, busking on the streets of Hollywood and doing yoga outside, he reveals he’s now been sober for a week. Alexandra shows up near the end of his song and they talk about their upcoming workshop (and the fact that neither has written their song yet).

James confides in Alexandra that he’s been thinking about writing a song about not being able to make a relationship work, but shied away out of fear of hurting Yas’ feelings. Alexandra sympathizes with him since she has to mine old relationships for song ideas while not stepping on her current boyfriend’s feelings.

Things shift to the batting cages with Caitlin and Pia and to one of Taz’s dance classes. Caitlin and Pia talk about striving to do something they can be proud of and not letting themselves down. they also discuss their concerns about Taz and Taz’s work ethic.

Within their following conversation about childhood crushes, Caitlin brings up how comedians are funny because they’ve been through difficult situations in their lives. She follows that up by telling Pia that she had a miscarriage, filling Pia in on some of the ins and outs of her polyamorous relationships and explaining how she had to turn that emotional pain into comedy.

Next, we see Taz sitting down with Keith for her one on one—she doesn’t have fully written songs, but she has bits. After admitting to Keith that the first few workshops were scary for her, Taz finally opens up about some of past experiences, including going to jail for almost two months for DUIs. With her opening up, Keith can finally start crafting a song for and with her.

The show then transitions to a tattoo parlor where Austin and Alexandra get tattoos. As the two bond over tattoos, Austin admits he is concerned about the quality of what the group is putting together. He wants to make sure anything with his name on it is amazing and is willing to take over if necessary.

Austin becomes the center of the next music video as the episode takes a break from the tattoo parlor. The video, unsurprisingly, is called “Everyone Loves The Winner.”

Back in Jim Henson’s Studio A, the group gathers for their fourth workshop. Before they arrive, Keith and Sean discuss the need to start giving deadlines because Keith is worried about people like Taz not coming along quickly enough.

To the group, Sean and Keith explain that there are only five weeks left until their first performance in front of investors in the 1Oak show. Decisions on solo numbers will be made based on who has their song ready in time.

Keith, while prepping the ensemble for what they should be ready for in terms of performance, calls the creative process a “musical theatre process” which gets under Austin’s skin. James defends the descriptor saying that the best concerts are musical theatre, they manage to be real as well as performative. (He uses Prince’s “Purple Rain” as an example.)

Now that they’re through that hiccup, it’s time to get into performing what they’ve been working on with Keith. Caitlin is up first. There’s a quick flashback to her working through the song with Keith during their one on one.

Back in the workshop, Caitlin sings a haunting (yet occasionally funny) song called “Miss C. Ary”—a song about her miscarriage and polyamorous relationship.

As others offer compliments, Austin sits expressionless. The episode cuts to a conversation between him and his uncle. Austin admits not liking how everyone pats each other on the back and says that he doesn’t think some of what others are writing is good.

A difference in motive has emerged. Where Austin says he wants to write pop songs that sell and make people money, others have expressed the need to use music to find themselves and their voice and a way to be true to themselves first and foremost. They’re musicians, not songwriters, he tells his uncle.

Back in the workshop, Pia is up singing her song “Avatar.” The song examines a social media culture where the need to be someone who gets likes is overwhelming.

A cutaway to a conversation between Pia and her best friend where Pia expresses fear, doubt and panic about whether or not she’s going to make it this time. That pressure to be perfect melds back into her song and brings everything back to the workshop where everyone loved her performance.

Up next is Taz and her song “Do Better.” And she definitely does better. She performs the emotional song beautifully, including reading a mid-song letter from jail she wrote to her mom. It’s a lot. Get a tissue.

The episode wraps up with Austin stepping up to the piano to perform his song “Life Goes On.” Well, sort of perform his song. Perform part of his song. Or part of the concept of his song? It’s…not really a song.

The combination of the uncomfortable faces the cameras capture as he sings and the deafening silence after he finishes is astounding. It’s clear that the way Austin hears his work-in-progress music in his head is very different from how others hear and are experiencing it.

Next. Westside season 1, episode 5 recap: Pressure. dark

The final shot of the episode is Sean clicking his pen against his chin after Austin finishes. He does not look happy.

Did you watch? Does Austin’s song have potential or is he too full of himself? Let us know in the comments.