Episode 6 of Hollywood begins with Avis and Claire suddenly waking up and seeing someone has left a burning cross on their front lawn. The same is also left for Camille and Raymond, while another angry mob throw a molotov cocktail into Archie’s house. Getting the police involved, the cast and crew discuss whether it’s the American Colonization Society doing this.
Avis decides to plough ahead and make the movie regardless, while Jack, Archie and the others head to Ernie’s to raise the funds needed to budget the film. After a busy day at work, and Ernie using some of his personal stash to prop the total figure up, they raise the money needed to make the film. Handing it over to Dick, production goes ahead.
Jack visits Henrietta in hospital and checks on Erwin and their babies. They say goodbye to one another and part on good terms. Soon after, Jack and Archie invite Ernie to a dinner where they hand over a script for Meg and tell him they’ve got the perfect part for him.
After some encouraging words from Ellen, Ernie hones in his inner-confidence and owns the screen. After seeing the final scenes of the film playing out for real, Jack talks her down, deciding to ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after.
Henry watches the final picture and thinks the ending is missing something. He instead decides to pitch a subversion of expectations and have Camille swan dive off the top into a swimming pool. The editor calls him out for his ridiculous idea and presses ahead with what they currently have.
Meanwhile Archie gives Rock a key to his apartment and Ace awakens in hospital from his coma. Claire comforts Jack and speaks to him about how much he has to look forward to in the future. She suggests he take her to the premiere, throwing in a romantic sub-plot between these two.
Ace returns to the studio and takes the reigns of Ace Pictures from Avis. Since waking up though he’s a completely different person and tells everyone that Meg isn’t an issue. However, Lon encourages him to burn everything to do with the film to prevent it causing issues everywhere.
Ace sits with Dick after watching the final cut of the film and admits that it’s a brilliant picture. Dick puts his neck on the line and tells Ace that if he doesn’t green-light it, he’ll quit. He also goes on to tell him hes a homosexual and promises to hand in his letter of resignation the next day. After some deliberation, Ace decides to release the film and even better, makes Avie the vice-president. Only, when she heads up to see him that morning, he’s passed away in his sleep making her the sole President of the Studio.
Henry watches the final cut of the film again and decides that it needs one final quiet scene of contemplating with Camille. Unfortunately Lon arrives and confiscates all the film footage until further notice, given Ace is now dead. Lon takes the final cuts of Meg and burns them in the incinerator which is where the episode ends.
The scenes with Ernie in the restaurant are arguably the strongest of the whole series. It really captures that heartbreak and anguish of trying to break into the big time and the sacrifices that come with chasing your dreams. Beyond that though, the series continues to throw in plot contrivances and conveniences every episode. As bad as it is that Ace has now passed away, the fact that he woke from his comatose state, made Avis his Vice-President and then died in his sleep feels like another unbelievable plot turn.
That’s before even mentioning Claire and Jack who have little chemistry and yet somehow find themselves in a whirlwind romance that’s come from nowhere. With the finale up next though, there’s still time for this one to end on one final hoorah but there’s no getting around that this series has felt like a really pretty, gorgeously produced disappointment.