Money can't buy you happiness. Neither can fame nor success.
On Fosse/Verdon Season 1 Episode 4, a very unhappy Bobby hits paydirt with his film Cabaret, leading into a windfall of professional acclaim.
At the same time, Gwen's career stutters in a lousy play for which she begs for Bobby's help to save the day. He fails her, and the play fails Gwen.
When Cabaret hit theaters, Bobby was afraid to stick around for the premiere. After his disappointment after Sweet Charity, he didn't trust his ability gain credit from moviegoers or critics.
Paddy: Bobby, reviews like these, you got a blank check. Anything you want to do from now on, Broadway, Hollywood -- total freedom.
Bobby: It's incredible.
Paddy: It's incredible.
Of course, Cabaret was a hit, and that success, combined with his inherent skills of choreography, production, and direction led him to much success in very short order.
But all that success did was fuel Bobby's need for more attention, and he used that attention to turn into even more of a first rate cad.
Bobby's days and nights were fueled with drugs, alcohol, and girls as he tried to satisfy his darkest urges.
He was always looking for more, no matter what it was. And the more women fell at his feet and his career flourished, the less fulfilled he felt inside.
Because whatever Bobby was seeking wasn't going to get satisfied by meaningless relationships and easy wins.
The scenes with Paddy pronouncing that Bobby wasn't happy with any of it because he always knew it was all bullshit hit home, but it didn't stop Bobby's quest for more.
It's around that time when Ann Reinking was a part of Pippin.
Her casual way of dissing Bobby and spurning his advances didn't make him angry. Instead, they attracted her to him even more. We don't see that come to a head in "Glory," but she'll play an important part on the show going forward and in Bobby's life, as well.
It's a shame others didn't have stronger backbones when it came to Bobby. But damn if his powerful position didn't make it impossible for his chorus girls to deny him pretty much anything.
Bobby, I know I haven't been dancing my best. But I know I can do better. I can do better. [silence from Bobby] Can I ... buy you a drink?Sherry
When one woman tried, she found herself on Bobby's bad side and out of the play. Enter Ann who was playing it low and casual.
Meanwhile, Gwen's star was fading. She was stuck in a play that was going nowhere. She felt the misery to the thing and desperately wanted Bobby to try to sway the director into a different direction.
Gwen assured Bobby that the guy thought the starts and the moon hung around Bobby's neck, but Bobby was too self-absorbed to pay her much mind.
She wasn't asking for much. She wanted Bobby to help her out so her work didn't suck -- much in the same way he was always asking for her assistance that she very often provided -- and she wanted him to get excited about securing the rights to Chicago.
Bobby: I have a lot of job offers after this. I'm not sure that's what I'm going to want to do.
Gwen: That's what I want to do.
He couldn't manage to do either.
Gwen: We have the opportunity to do something incredible. Together.
Bobby: Annie! You're still late. [to Gwen] Still behind. Hey, I'd love you to stay for the finale. Get your eyes on it.
Even while she was right beside him, begging for his presence in her professional life, Bobby was entirely consumed with himself.
At the same time Gwen's professional life was in the crapper, her personal live had ups and downs.
She found a new man kept her sexually satisfied, but she missed her friend, Joan, who was dying of cancer.
That appeared to be the only true friend Gwen had outside of Bobby, so the loss she'll feel when Joan goes will really diffficult for her.
It's even harder knowing that as Joan's life draws to a close, her friend has become all seeing and keenly aware of how badly Nicole got treated not only as a kid of two creatives, but after their split.
I need you to promise me something, Gwen. Promise me you'll look out for Nicole. She needs her mother. I worry for her. You take care of her.Joan
It wasn't any easier for Gwen to look deep inside herself than it was for Bobby, but once she heard Joan, at the very least she remained in the same room as Nicole when she watched The Partridge Family rather than ignoring her daughter's requests entirely.
And yes, little girls did want their mom to think Keith Partridge was as interesting to them as they thought he was. First crushes, even fictional, are a big deal. But it's sometimes easy for parents to forget that amidst their own issues.
The entire hour wound down to Bobby's inability to drag himself out of his doldrums.
With every pill he took and every new woman he screwed, Bobby saw the window beckoning. The window signified putting and end to it. Without meaning, what's the point in living?
That Pippin happened to feature a fella who could take one of two roads -- happily ever after or literally setting it all on fire and dying in the process -- only added more fuel to Bobby's inner turmoil.
He didn't think the happily ever after ending had any weight, philosophically or in terms of pizzazz.
So everyone got together in Bobby's mind and began taunting him.
Bobby: It's a long way. It's a long way down.
Paddy: You can't say you don't deserve it.
Gwen: Oh Bobby. You're so special. Nobody else can do what you can do. Nobody even comes close. It's time people see how extraordinary you are.
Pippin Cast: When you're extraordinary, you gotta do extra ordinary things.
Gwen: The ones who die young, those are the ones who live forever. You know that. You made me a star. But if you do this, you'll eclipse me. You'll eclipse everyone.
The suicide demanding sequence was quite effective, but would have been more so if there was every proof that the man changed as a result of his self-hatred.
Unfortunately, it seems Bob Fosse learned only inasmuch as he could use it to better his career. He'll eventually have a heart attack that he uses to solidify the lead's story in All That Jazz.
He's always pushing, but not always successfully living. Those who he passive aggressively allowed to remain in his life are the ones who suffered.
But Gwen didn't go running every time he called, and when he wound up in a bed she was sharing with someone else, she showed him no pity.
That's likely why the two remained life-long collaborators. Bobby had plenty of people in his life to tell him how great he was, but not nearly enough to read him the riot act when he deserved it.
If there are any Broadway lovers out there who also saw Rent, do you think the song "Glory" was a sendup to Fosse and his work?
They sound similar in tone, and the idea behind Rent's hit is that Roger wants to find that kind of success.
I'm sure Fosse productions were instrumental in many a musical that came afterward, but I thought it was an interesting thought.
If the triple crown of directing couldn't score Bobby happiness, there's little chance he'll find it before Fosse/Verdon ends.
What did you think of this hour? Are you enjoying the look at Bob Fosse?
Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams nail every nuance of their respective characters, but that doesn't mean I like everything I see. And I'd really like more insight into Gwen given the title of the show, but I'll take what I can get.
Share your thoughts below!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.