‘The Bold Type’ 3×01 Review: ‘The New Normal’

It’s felt like forever since we last saw our favorite ladies of The Bold Type kicking ass and taking names like the boss girls they are. And after a season finale where there some pretty monumental decisions, there’s a new normal when we pick back up in New York City after the events that unfolded in Paris.

Let’s quickly recap where we left off…

  • Jane: Decides to freeze her eggs for later in life only to realize that her insurance doesn’t cover fertility treatments. She writes a scathing editorial calling out Stafford for not covering women’s reproductive costs. Jane, with a little help from her girls, realizes she has to choose between Ryan and Ben. And she does (but of course, that’s saved for this season 3 premiere.)
  • Kat: Invites Adena to Paris (how romantic!) only for Adena to admit that she feels like she doesn’t have freedom and hasn’t been feeling very inspired. Adena proceeds to not show up to the Scarlet party, which leaves Kat feeling sad and vulnerable.
  • Sutton: Gets the opportunity of a lifetime to go to Paris to help Oliver with the Scarlet Fashion Show (which despite a bathtub mishap ended up turning out swimmingly!) Sutton is damn good at what she does, and she realizes there’s nothing holding her back from finally being with Richard. Richard shows up to Paris and they KISS. IN. PUBLIC.
  • Scarlet Magazine: Jacqueline goes to bat for Jane, publishing her story regarding the poor health care afforded women at Stafford. And Jacqueline catches some major heat. There’s talk of replacing her as Head of Digital.

The Bold Type’s season 3 premiere is all about the repercussions of these decisions. Jane, Kat, and Sutton are all entering new chapters in their lives that are guided by those decisions. It’s something that prompts change, which might be a little scary at first, but with which these ladies embrace with courage and open arms by episode’s end.

Let’s break down what went down in the season 3 premiere:

Changes at Scarlet Magazine

THE BOLD TYPE – “The New Normal” – Picking up right after the heartbreak, romances and uncertainties from the season two finale in Paris, Jane, Kat and Sutton are back in New York City and dealing with the aftermath of some major decisions. Scarlet Magazine brings in Patrick Duchand to run the digital branch, effectively knocking Jacqueline down to only running the print magazine. Meanwhile, Jane has picked her guy, but is frustrated that a man is put in charge of a womenÕs magazine. Kat struggles to keep up happy appearances on social media and as a speaker at the Scarlet Summit, while secretly suffering heartache, and Sutton and Richard enjoy their romance in the limelight and discuss moving in together. This episode of “The Bold Type” airs Tuesday, April 9 (8:00 – 9:01 P.M. EDT) on Freeform. (Freeform/Philippe Bosse)

The fallout of Jane’s scathing editorial about Stafford’s not covering women’s reproductive costs is vast. We discover pretty quickly that not only is Jacqueline going to be replaced as Head of Digital (she remains Head of Print, fret not), but that her replacement has already been chosen. And, shocker, it’s a man.

Like Jane, I too was shocked that Stafford brought in a man to lead a department in a woman’s magazine. As if Jane’s first encounter with Patrick, who runs smack into the door of Jane’s cab with his bike, isn’t enough. Jane proceeds to call him out for riding his bike in the street and the dangers that come with it. Ah, first impressions, am I right?

Patrick is certainly controversial in his first few minutes on screen. A man hired to run Digital at a woman’s magazine. But also someone who seems to really be dedicated to doing his job to the best of his abilities. He’s outspoken, he’s honest, and he’s open to feedback. And when Patrick tasks Jane with doing a feature on him, a man, landing the Digital job, Jane is determined to prove that he’s the scumbag she believes him to be.

But that’s the thing with first impressions, most often they’re wrong. Especially when blinded by bias. When Jane begins digging into Patrick’s past, she learns that he was fired from his last job for pulling his pants down during a Human Resources meeting. Jane’s focused on rolling with this misogynist angle until she sits down with the woman that was a witness. Turns out Patrick was standing up for gender equality. When he learned that his female counterpart was getting paid less than he was for the same job, he asked them why she wasn’t getting the same pay as him and dropped his pants.

So Jane gets something she didn’t expect: An article praising Patrick’s standing up for gender equality and being the kind of man that we need more of in the world. Granted, Patrick did set Jane up. He never came forward with the story because he’d signed an NDA. But he knew that a great reporter would find the story. And Jane did. Which landed Jane her new job: Digital writer. And let’s just say she’s not exactly thrilled.

No Expiration on Heartbreak

While Sutton and Jane are enjoying happiness in their love lives, Kat is struggling with her first real heartbreak after her breakup with Adena. And, like most people, what does Kat do when she’s drowning inside? Pretend to be alright. And not just alright. Fantastic.

Heartbreak isn’t something that ever gets easier. And first heartbreaks — those first loves — are especially painful. But perhaps one of the most important things we can’t forget is that it’s healthy to grieve. More than that, as Alex tells Kat, there’s no expiration on heartbreak.

We’ve all been where Kat is in the premiere. Trying to get over our ex but finding ourselves unable to move on even with our most determined desire. Stalking Instagram, text messages, looking at old photos. Letting go is the hardest lesson to learn. And Kat finds herself searching for answers. Searching for the magical way to get over Adena.

But it never comes.

Instead, Kat decides to throw herself into her social media duties. With A-list celebrities following her Instagram, new Head of Digital Patrick encourages her to be more active on social media, something she’d given up on after the Adena break-up. And Kat doesn’t just return to social media. She returns in force. Posting photos of her faking a smile, videos of her at a bar pretending to be having the most fun in the world, all while knowing that, deep down, she’s not okay.

It takes a drunken kiss with Alex for Kat to realize that she’s sinking deep — and she needs to do something about it. At the Scarlet Summit, Kat takes to the stage to deliver a beautiful speech about being queer in the world today. But, as Patrick tells her, the speech lacked anything of her. And Kat tells him it’s because she’s been pretending — she’s been pretending she’s still with Adena, she’s been putting on a fake smile, and she’s been keeping all of this locked inside of her.

So Kat finally takes an important step in moving forward: being honest and opening up, which she does with Jane and Sutton. It’s not an easy fix, but it’s a step that needs to be done in order for Kat to begin the healing process. And much like Alex said, there is no expiration on heartbreak. You can’t choose when the pain finally starts to hurt a little less and then a little more less until you come to a point where you feel okay. And it’s okay. Healing will come in time.

Sutton and Richard Take a Big Step

(Freeform/Philippe Bosse)

When we last left Sutton, she had been living her dream in Paris — and doing a damn good job of it. Last season, she’d broken up with Richard because she didn’t want anyone to assume that she was given her success. And, honestly, that’s what she needed to do for her. Flash forward to Paris — where she’s living her dream — she realizes something is missing. Richard.

Back in New York City, Sutton and Richard are thriving. From steamy shower sexy times to being out in public, Sutton is literally the happiest she’s been. She’s thriving at her job. She’s got her man. And she’s got the most amazing friends to go through life with.

While Sutton and Richard are together, they’re already at the point in their relationship where they know most everything about each other. They’ve already gone through the first dating rituals. So it’s really not so shocking when Richard proposes that Sutton move in with him. Well, let me clarify, it’s definitely surprising to Sutton.

No one likes change. Well, some people don’t like change, and it’s something that has Sutton holding back on the moving in with Richard front. She tells him she’s going to think about it, but in her mind she’s already so determined she doesn’t want to because she doesn’t want to lose what she has living with Jane. But, after a pep talk from her girls, Sutton realizes that she can’t hold herself back. She wants to move in with Richard. Change might be coming, but Sutton is realizing that it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Earlier in the episode, Richard told Jacqueline that he and Sutton were moving in together — back when Sutton was on the fence. Richard felt pressured by his colleagues, who all assumed that this thing with Sutton was nothing but a fling. He’d been outcast from dinners and such, and even garnered some misogynistic remarks about his girlfriend, to which he defended valiantly. Ah, isn’t it grand when men stand up to misogynistic men? More of that, please, society.

Jane Chooses Ryan

 (Freeform/Philippe Bosse)

We were all left on pins and needles wondering who was the man Jane would call to tell something first was. Was it Doctor Ben, who was a sweet and noble guy whose only fault was that he was a doctor and Jane’s BRCA gene made things way too complicated for their relationship. Or was it Pinstripe, aka Ryan, who was far from perfect but who was finally starting to stand up for what he wanted, which was Jane.

We get the answer to this question pretty quickly, as Jane and Ryan are busy getting down on the couch in Jane’s apartment.

Whether you were Team Pinstripe or Team Ben, the important thing here is that Jane is happy. She’s happy with her decision, she’s happy with her life, and she’s in a pretty great place. Personally speaking, I loved Ben. He was sweet, her was intelligent, and he was a doctor. What a combo. But there was something about Ryan that I just couldn’t shake, not unlike Jane. The way that he’s opened up with Jane — showing how he’s not as selfish as he might appear on the outside — is something that I quite enjoyed.

We don’t get much from Jane and Ryan in this premiere — that’s coming in the next couple of episodes, so wait for it! — we did get to see how they’ve acclimated to being in a relationship. Ryan has been supportive of Jane in her research of Patrick, and even helped her with a lead. But trust, there’s plenty more to come with Jane and Ryan — it’s so hard to call him that instead of Pinstripe now!

The Bold Type airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on Freeform.



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