‘The Bold Type’ 4×04 Review: ‘Babes in Toyland’

The Bold Type isn’t afraid to embrace any and every topic that affects women — or men — in our world. And it flat out tackled a somewhat taboo subject when it comes to women’s sexual independence.

Jane discovered that a sex club isn’t a cocktail party, Sutton learned to embrace her true self, Kat continued to fight for what she believes in and Alex found a way to connect to his readers.

Let’s break down this sensual episode:

It’s not a cocktail party, it’s an orgy

Freeform/Jonathan Wenk

Jane had to journey outside of her comfort zone in this week’s episode, where she was tasked (well, she volunteered) to write an article about why sex clubs are becoming more popular with millennials.

It just so happened to be the most perfectly-timed piece, as Jane and Ryan were going through a bit of a sex slump. While Jane forgave Ryan for his ill-advised decision to kiss a stranger, Ryan isn’t so sure, which has contributed to his struggles in bed.

So, actually, Jane volunteers for the sex club piece more because she wants to use it as an opportunity to fix their intimacy issues rather than just branching out. While Ryan initially agrees, he becomes hesitant when Jane indicates that she wants them to have sex at the sex club.

Basically, Ryan isn’t convinced Jane has forgiven him, and it’s going to take something like, oh I don’t know, kissing a stranger for her to get an understanding of what he’s going through.

So that’s what Jane does. She goes to the sex club alone (well, actually Kat and Sutton are in the bar for moral support), and she conducts her interviews. More importantly, she kisses a rando. And she’s immediately turned off, because it was so bad. She realized why Ryan was so quick to return home to her — he wanted to be with her. Now she has an understanding, and it helps the two love birds rediscover that magic.

Yes, yes, yes, it’s so good

Freeform/Jonathan Wenk

Keeping with the sex theme, The Bold Type continued to explore the inequality that is men and women. When Sage promotes her friend’s company Broads, a company that creates an array of vibrators, Kat is excited to see that women are going to get a fair chance of expressing their sexual independence.

That is, until the billboard company decides to nix the billboard because if was “profane.” Although, not as profane as a similar billboard promoting male sexual pleasure. Because, of course. Just another area where men get the upper hand and women are made to feel inferior.

So Kat partners with Sage and is determined to dedicate a feature that promotes sexual independence for women. Which is exactly what she does. She exposes the sexist double standard that is men vs. women sexual independence, and she does it in an impactful way.

The Influencer

Freeform/Jonathan Wenk

Sutton is exploring a new side job as a fashion influencer, where she can highlight some nice-looking fashions. But it can also help show the world who Sutton Brady is while she waits for her impending promotion.

The only problem is, Sutton doesn’t want to be in the photos. Mostly because she doesn’t want to be one of those people walking around Manhattan taking selfies. Which I definitely respect. So, why not — Richard suggests — make it more about getting to know the real Sutton. Take the photos at home, where she can show herself in her normal environment.

The only problem is, Richard’s place is too fancy. It doesn’t exactly fit with the brand she’s trying to create. So she decides to return to her old place: Jane’s apartment, where she’s able to create some nice shots that capture the real Sutton.

Given how social media has shown us that most of it fake — people putting on a show, pretending to be happy when they’re actually sad — you can’t help but wonder if Sutton was fearful of that. So instead, she decides to capture her real life, her real happiness. And it’s fucking beautiful.

Ask Alex

Freeform/Jonathan Wenk

As Scarlet digital continues to expand and explore, Jacqueline tells Alex that they’re taking his “Ask Alex” column to the interweb. As in, they’re going to do a livestream — as in, live podcast — where he can interact with readers.

Only, on his first attempt, Alex crashes and burns. Of course he did, he was nervous. And he thought about it. Still, when he’s ready to quit, Kat suggests he stick with it. “You have an opportunity to make a difference,” she tells him. He can make his as a straight black man working at an all-female magazine.

Which Alex understands. But it’s not that. It’s more about the fact that he’s a writer. He’s not good with being on the spot. Needing to have immediate answers. He needs to take his time with ideas, craft them. And I’ve never related more to Alex than in that moment.

So Alex decides a different approach. Instead of being the focal point of the conversation, he decides to make it more about the readers. Have them guide conversation, but also bring in experts — or Scarlet employees — to have discussions about important topics suggested by readers.

And I’ll be damned, Alex found his confidence.

The Bold Type airs Thursdays at 9/8c on Freeform.

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