‘Pitch’ 1×02 Roundtable: ‘The Interim’

Here at Fangirlish, we’re huge fans of Pitch, the scrappy new baseball show about a strong woman getting the chance to play Major League baseball. Last week, we gushed about the incredible first episode, but expressed some concern that the wouldn’t be able to keep it up.

This week, join us as we share our thoughts on episode two, The Interim, and don’t forget to share your own thoughts in the comments below!

What were your overall thoughts on this episode?

Beata: I loved it. I had high expectations after the pilot, but this episode surpassed them. It was just as good as the first episode, and honestly took me by surprise with the way it handled Ginny’s fame. It developed its characters and relationships, to the point where I already had to reconsider the way I thought about a lot of them.

Lizzie: I was so worried it was going to be bad  — so, so worried. And yet, it wasn’t. It was .good. No, it was more than that ….it was great. And, after a superb Pilot, that’s a tad surprising. After all, writers sometimes spend years tweaking a Pilot, and then, when they get the go, they have to produce the episodes – which means, they usually don’t put as much care into episode 2. I’m, however, happy to say that’s not the case with Pitch. This episode did a good job of expanding the characters we saw in the Pilot, making me care even more about the ones I already cared about and, gasp, even making me reconsider some that I’d dismissed before. Go figure.

Lyra: It came out as a strong second episode that proved to me that this is more than a show about a girl playing baseball or winning a game. Pitch is about family, friends, and who you decide to be when things change all around you. it’s about taking those rules set out in front of you and disregarding them because you’re not here to follow anyone else’s path. You’re hear to make your own. Ginny is here to make her own.

We got some backstory on Amelia Slater this week. What are your thoughts on her character so far?

Beata: I adore her. In the pilot, she was a total badass, and a really strong character, but this episode proved just how awesome she is. She’s someone who’s had a pretty rough go of things, but has been able to bounce back and take control of her own life. I also loved that she was so different from Ginny in terms of personality and interests: though that might create conflict in the future, they’ll be able to balance each other out and it should make for an interesting dynamic.

Lizzie: I like that Pitch shows that they’re not just one type of strong women. Yes, Ginny Baker is a role model, but she’s not the only role model in this show. Amelia’s out there, also a woman in a man’s world, and she’s kicking ass. And, in a way, the scene at the end helps explain why. Once, Amelia put her hopes in another person, and that person let her down. Now, Amelia likes to be in control. She likes to be the one in charge of her own happiness. Healthy? Maybe not. Understandable? Completely.

Lyra: I thought I couldn’t love her anymore. I was wrong! The flashbacks made me see the woman behind the cut throat attitude and killer heels. She pushed through her pain and decided that she was going to write her own future with a ball player in the foreground. I’m looking forward to how she develops and what she learns being by Ginny’s side. (*hint* I want the ladies to bond, big time.) My hope is that they do for the rest of the characters what they did for Amelia. The stakes are always higher and you are more likely to watch when you understand what got them there in the first place. You hear that Fox? Invest in your characters and I will invest in you!

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We also got to see a lot more of Mike Lawson, who is revealing himself to be a much more nuanced character than we originally expected. What did you think of his character, and of his relationship with Ginny?

Beata: I’m almost embarrassed to admit how much I like him, because I was sure sure he would be a total jerk after the first episode. But Pitch did so much more for his character in this one episode than I could have hoped, because they didn’t just make him funny and entertaining. They also humanized him, making me actually care about Mike Lawson the human being, not just the narcissistic pretty boy the media sees.

Lizzie: I love him. Like, legit, so much love. I didn’t expect him to stay a one-dimensional character, especially considering that he’s basically the main guy, but I’m glad that in just one episode they’ve been able to make him grow so much. He’s got layers! He’s got fears and hopes and dreams and desires. And, he’s Ginny’s mentor. He cares about her, and I don’t even mean in the romantic sense. He wants to help her be better, and he likes that she pushes him and I think he genuinely just likes her. I don’t need that to turn romantic to be into the relationship.

Lyra: Pitch surprised me with the character build they have for Mike Lawson. First we got an impression that he was a cocky, womanizing, asshole. Really nothing different from what we’ve seen on TV. This episode pulled back and showed us that there was more to Zach…I mean, Mike Lawson. He’s a man going through a divorce, a man who is incredibly lonely at home & at work, and a man who can feel time weighing heavy on his body. His career is almost done and he can feel it. All of this makes him a character worth investing. As for his relationship with Ginny, you can tell that they’re still testing the waters. He supports her as part of the team, treats her like one of his buddies, and seems to be realizing how hard she really has to work to be on the same level as the rest of the ball players. (Looking at you gym scene.) These two are gonna be BFF’s in no time.

Ginny was very reluctant to use her platform to talk about anything not related to her team. Do you think she should continue to speak out on important issues, or avoid topics that might create tension in the dressing room?

Beata: I totally understand why Ginny might not want to be too outspoken about feminist issues.  Athletes in general are very reluctant to say anything remotely political or unrelated to their sport, for precisely this reason. Not to mention that for Ginny, talking about this stuff means drawing attention to the fact that she’s a girl, and different from the rest, when she’s clearly trying so hard to fit in. That said, with great power comes great responsibility. She has the opportunity to create real change in the world, and people are always going to look to her for comments on this kind of stuff. So though I understand her point of view, I definitely think she should continue to speak out.

Lizzie:  I don’t think she can avoid it. She is who she is, and just be existing she’s already breaking barriers. I understand not wanting to be a distraction, but sometimes avoiding the issues can be just as much of a distraction as tackling them head on. I think Ginny needs to do what she feels comfortable with, and she should speak her mind, even if that sometimes might create problems with her teammates. The guys will adjust. And, honestly, do we think she’d be able to go on keeping it all in all the time? That’s a hard way to live.

Lyra: Ginny has to find a balance that works for her. She’s a ball player and the team dynamics are incredibly important to her. But she’s also a woman that is doing something inspiring and unimaginable to many. She’s caught people’s eyes, minds, and hearts. Ginny would be a fool to let that platform go to waste. Despite her initial reluctance she spoke about things that were important to her while on Jimmy Kimmel because she’s human. She’s gonna have an opinion on important matters. We can only sit back and watch as she tries to balance out these new parts of her life.

It looks like we’re approaching the end of the Al Luongo era in San Diego. Will you be glad to see him gone? Or do you feel bad for him?

Beata: By his own admission, Al’s a bit behind the curve in baseball. Doing something as revolutionary as bringing in the first female pitcher automatically makes you a more progressive team, and that demands a younger, more progressive manager than Al. However, the guy is really starting to win me over. He genuinely cares about his players. I’ll be sad so see him go, for sure

Lizzie: Can we please keep him? He might not be the perfect manager and he might be a guy behind the times in more than one respect, but I genuinely think he’s one of those good guys who cares about people – and a guy like that, well, a guy like that can learn. I’d rather have a genuine manager like that than be saddled with a guy who’s only thinking of the bottom line.

Lyra: I had to look up who this was. (There’s no use lying about this one.) Most of the time I write off people like Coach Al “Skip” Luongo. They’re never dynamic, don’t stand out, and leave much to be desired in character development. And does Skip have foot in mouth syndrome? Yes. Do I think he was sincere in his “apology” to Ginny? Yes. Do I think he’s a good coach? No. He just doesn’t have what it takes to deal with the changed dynamics of the San Diego Padres. What makes it worse is that he doesn’t realise that he has to. He’s a fossil of the way baseball used to be played back in the day. I won’t be glad to see him go but I do think it’s time.

The Padres are clearly not working as a team right now. What do you think it will take for them to finally pull themselves together, and do you think they can do it in time for the playoffs?

Beata: They need to rally around Ginny. Right now, a few players like her, but most of the team sees her as an intruder who is stealing their spotlight and distracting them. Once they finally accept her as part of the team and stop fighting amongst themselves, they’ll be able to work together. As for the playoffs, I’m guessing it’ll be too little, too late. They’ll fall behind in the race, then go on a nice run, maybe make the playoffs, and then finish the season with hope that next year will be better.

Lizzie: Well, this is a TV show, so yes. In real life – doubtful. Dysfunctional teams hardly ever start working after a good speech. Unmotivated teams, however, those do. Right now I can’t tell which one the Padres are supposed to be, but my money’s still on the first of those two.  But again, as I said ,this is TV. They’re either going to get to the playoffs or they’re going to come really, really close. Not that they’re going to win the World Series. Not in year one. That’s too good even for TV.

Lyra: I’m hoping that Lawson’s speech, reminding them how they’re family, will be enough to get them to pull together. We sometimes forget how we got somewhere and how significant the people around us truly are. Lawson reminded them of the fact that the coach has always had their backs. Why not pay it forward and have his? It’s not too much to ask for, is it? This isn’t the kind of show where something crazy and dramatic has to happen to get our key players moving. They’ve got a little more sense than that.

Pitch airs Thursdays at 9pm on Fox.

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