The ladies of The Bold Type are back, bold and beautiful as ever! I believe this is one of my favorite episodes of season three so far, as it feels like season is starting to pick up speed, and we’re beginning to see how the next couple of episodes will play out.
In “The Deep End,” Scarlet gears up to celebrate Jacqueline’s ten-year anniversary of being editor-in-chief, with gala preparations, ball-gowns and life-sized photo blow-ups galore. Kat makes a decision about her future, Jane finds a story and helps Jacqueline make a decision, and Sutton learns what it means to really follow your dreams. In the background, tensions between the magazine and digital grow and something tells me that big drama is on the horizon!
What I particularly adored about this episode is how character-centric it felt. While yes, a lot happened plot-wise, “The Deep End” was a reminder of how important it is to have good friends and mentors you can trust when things get hard. Or, in the case of Kat and Jacqueline, people who remind you why you’re doing what you do, and push you to do better.
So, what have the ladies of the Bold Type been up to?
Now that Patrick’s poached her to be a digital writer, Jane’s been writing a lot more fluff and has been feeling all sorts of creative frustration. With Jacqueline’s ten-year anniversary on the horizon, Jane goes through her mentor’s works and wants to put together a piece on Jacqueline’s ten best pieces over the years. Patrick, however, has other ideas. Ironically, he sends her on a “date night” with a group of models to the Rage Room, an “anti-capitalist theme park” where you break consumerist objects with a baseball bat. Jane, in all fairness, is great at taking out her rage on the unsuspecting, so I understand why he picked her for the job.
While with the models, one of them hints, off the record, that the famous photographer, Pamela Dolin, is mentally and physically abusive. Back at Scarlet asks Oliver about the rumors. Oliver warns her to stay out of it as Pamela could easily ruin Jane’s career, but as we all know, Jane, for all her faults, is a reporter willing to risk anything to get the story she knows is out there. And sure as anything, she does her research and approaches Jacqueline with the pitch, even asking if they can work together on it.
At this point, we realize that Jacqueline’s been feeling all the pressure from the guys upstairs to quit and let Patrick take over Scarlet. She tells Jane no, but Jane, now worried that Scarlet is about to lose their best boss ever, won’t relent. At the gala, she approaches Jacqueline gently reminding her that running a magazine was never going to be easy, and that she had never been one to back off a challenge before.
Of course, Jacqueline realizes Jane is right, and in emotional speech at the gala, she reminds everyone that she is Jacqueline Carlyle, dammit, and she’s not about to back down just because the world’s changing!
In the last episode, Kat was asked to run for councilwoman. In this episode, she and Liz sit down to find out what steps she has to take to be eligible to run. The signatures aren’t a problem, but her team has to do some preliminary opposition research, to find out what others could find out about her, which makes Kat a little bit nervous. Well that, and the fact that she doesn’t have a platform of her own, just a bunch of reasons why they shouldn’t vote for the other guy.
So, the opposition research comes back, and most of it isn’t bad: she punched a police officer, smoked a joint, dropped out of a poli-sci course and… had an abortion. When Sutton points out that they’re living in NYC in 2019, Kat reminds her that when it comes to pro/anti-choice debates, it might as well be 1973. The question now, though, is does Kat believe it’s worth the emotional exhaustion of dealing with the opposition if her abortion comes out to the public?
For a while, it seems like she won’t join the race. And there’s plenty of reasons that it makes sense that she won’t want to. Kat works in social media, she’s aware of how unkind people can be about other people’s lives and while it may be no one’s business how and why she got an abortion, it won’t stop the trolls from having an opinion anyway. Liz, her campaign manager, completely agrees and understands, having been through something similar.
It isn’t until Jacqueline makes her speech at the gala that Kat realizes: the fact that she’s felt fear is the reason she’s the best candidate to run for councilwoman! She runs back to the offices in her cute as heck gown and tells Liz that’s going to be her platform, that she KNOWS what it’s like to not know what to do and to want somebody at a higher level to help her have the best choices.
This plotline kind of reminds me of Randall from This is Us, and while it’s inspiring that some of our favorite fictional POC are getting involved with more political storylines, here’s hoping Kat isn’t a total craphead to the people who love her.
You’ve got to love Sutton’s quiet and adorable determination. There’s this design seminar that she wants to go to, and Oliver’s ready to write her a recommendation if she creates a good enough piece. So, she’s working on this dress and well… Oliver doesn’t like it. Now, there is honestly nothing more disheartening than hearing that your mentor doesn’t like something that you’ve worked your butt off on, and Sutton feels the pressure too.
For a while, she considers not joining the seminar at all. Richard, bless his adorable little soul, Kat and Jane encourage her to keep trying, but it takes Oliver telling her that he knows she can do better because he believes in her talent to really push her to keep working on being better. Actually, I kind of loved what Oliver said to her: “And Red, if you wanna make it as a designer, you’re gonna have to be able to take a note, roll with the punches and bounce back with the confidence of… a mediocre white man.”
Oliver, too, has been struggling with his own issues this season. Parenting Carly, the daughter of his old friend has been harder on him than he’s likely to admit to anyone (except Sutton and Jacqueline!), and in his effort to give her the best care possible, he’s being a little too lenient. Sutton, daughter of an alcoholic, knows what it’s like to grow up without steady parenting, and in a heartwarming moment, she tells Oliver that the best thing he can do for Carly is to give her the constancy and support she needs.
And that, friends, is what I love about this show. The humanness of it. I know that The Bold Type is hardly a representation of what working life is really like for 20-somethings living in Manhattan, but by God, I have never felt friendships and mentor/mentee relationships so well understood as they are on this show.
Also, side note: I really missed Pinstripe this episode. I want him back!!
Tune in next week for more!
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The Bold Type airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on Freeform.