‘The Bold Type’ 4×08 Review: ‘Stardust’

There’s so much to love about The Bold Type. How even in its fourth season, it feels as fresh and relevant as ever. How it can manage to tackle multiple storylines of significance in a single hour and leave us entertained week in and week out.

This week, The Bold Type even made me make comparisons to The Bachelor, which was therapeutic for this writer. It’s hard to imagine that there are only two episodes left this season — where did the time go?!

Let’s break down this eighth episode:

Fate or Freewill?

Freeform/Jonathan Wenk

The Bold Type wasted no time asking a very important question about life in general: Why do people want to believe that who we fall for is fate rather than freewill? That was Alex’s mission this episode, to try his best to definitively answer whether love is fated or chosen.

It was clear from the start that Alex wanted the answer to be freewill. After all, don’t our actions guide us to certain situations? We actively make decisions that put certain people in our lives.

But everyone that Alex spoke to in this episode — from Sutton discussing Richard to Jane talking about Ryan — their answers were the same. It felt like they were put there in the right place at the right time. Things worked out because it felt like that’s what was supposed to happen.

It got to a point where Alex was so determined to be right — and needed people to give the answer he wanted — that he made some insensitive remarks to Jane. There was something else more at play here.

Turns out Alex has been hung up on the decision he made to let Alicia get away. Alex says he pushed Alicia away, and it’s been hard for him to own up to it — under his own freewill. He promised to never mess up again. But he doesn’t need to tell his podcast that, he needs to tell Alicia.

But, wouldn’t you know it, Alicia’s cab driver just so happened to be listening to Alex’s podcast when she heard everything Alex said and decided to call him.

“What are the odds?”

Yes, Alex, what are the fucking odds? It’s fate, man.

All in the Family

Freeform/Jonathan Wenk

The timing of this storyline couldn’t be better following The Bachelor‘s insane live finale, where Peter’s horrific mother Barb basically attacked his girlfriend for disapproving of his decision to sleep with two other women. But I digress.

The point of The Bachelor comparison is that family, like it or not, plays a role in a relationship. Like with Peter and Madison, it would be hard for Jane and Ryan to continue with their relationship should the family disagree. And it looked like that’s where we were headed in the beginning of this episode.

Evan, Jane’s older, more Type-A brother, came after Ryan for his cheating ways, wondering why Jane would take him back. Turns out he was projecting, as his own wife had cheated on him and he was fuming.

(See, Barb, this is something that makes sense to get pissed over. Check yourself.)

Anyway, Jane begged Ryan to give it one more chance with her brother, as she openly admitted that he’s a big part of her life. And if there’s to be any chance for this relationship, he has to accept her family and they have to accept him.

(God, The Bachelor feels were strong in this episode.)

So Ryan and Evan hung out for a guys night, which consisted of drinking IPA and talking and watching hockey. And they bonded, just as Jane would’ve loved. But of course this can’t go over without a hitch. Ryan caught Evan kissing a girl at the bar, calling into question Evan’s faithfulness.

Turns out Evan is separated from his wife, as his wife cheated on him and is currently with the other man. Ryan knows firsthand how lying gets you into trouble, and he asks Evan to tell Jane. But Evan doesn’t want to just yet. She looks up to his marriage. So, Evan asks Ryan to keep a secret.

For the first time, I’m on Ryan’s side here. Considering his history with keeping secrets, you could see he was ready to tell Jane right away. Until Evan asked him not to. And given what Jane had said about the importance of him getting along with her family, there was really no choice to make here. If he outed Ryan, that would be the end of any sort of friendship. But if he didn’t, he’d be lying to Jane again. It was something that ate Ryan up the entire episode.

In the end, Evan came clean to Jane about his separation, but there was some friction between Jane and Ryan after she believed it was so easy for him to lie to her again. But that’s the thing, it wasn’t easy. And it wasn’t his news to tell. Still, you could see the doubt creep into Jane’s mind, which doesn’t bode well for the future.

Nothing’s Bigger Than Love

Freeform/Laurent Guerin

There’s no denying that Kat and Adena’s relationship has been in an awkward place, especially after last week’s episode where Adena admitted she didn’t think they could be friends after learning Kat is bisexual.

And that tension was still palpable in this episode as Adena sought Kat with help on an idea that was very personal to her: Conversion Therapy.

There was this kid Travis that led a movement for the LGBTQ community, and his parents sent him to conversion therapy. Not long after, he committed suicide because he couldn’t take it.

It was an issue so raw, so real, and The Bold Type handled it well. When Kat learned about Travis, she knew she had to help Adena let the world know about him.

But they had to avoid any sort of lawsuit from the family, that could sue them if they posted a picture of Travis. So Kat and Adena went around corporate and stuck to their guns. They made a wonderful collage of different people that had been sent to conversion therapy with Travis in the center, his face blurred out with a beautiful rainbow. How could they say no to that?

As Kat and Adena worked together to get this important topic out there, they started to bond again. Adena even came clean about her own coming out story, which wasn’t as easy as Kat’s. Adena was one of those children sent to conversion therapy by her father. And if her mother hadn’t come to get her, she could’ve been like Travis.

That’s why it’s important to share this story. No one should be made to feel that way. Conversion therapy is torture, simple as that. And more people need to be made aware of it.

In bonding, Kat and Adena looked like their old selves, and it was refreshing to see. While I’m convinced Kat and Adena’s love story is far from over, it’s going to take time. And this was the stepping stone they needed.

When all was said and done, Adena owned up to her mistake in judging Kat. She loves Kat for who she is, who she chooses to love. She doesn’t want to lose Kat as a friend.

Sure, just friends.

A Perfect World

Freeform/Laurent Guerin

Man, I’m feeling for Sutton because we’ve both had a terrible week. The kind of week that feels like it drags on for eternity. The kind of week where you hope you just survive to make it to the weekend.

Lucky for Sutton, Richard was visiting New York, where he surprised her and the two FINALLY got some quality screentime together — in the same place. While things started well — including some nice make-up-for-lost-time sex — they wouldn’t stay that way. Because of Sutton’s job.

Sutton’s not on the best terms with Oliver, after she messed up with a client the previous week. So she’s in the doghouse with Oliver, which is causing her to work even harder to try to get back in his good graces. Only that’s easier said than done. Especially when your fiance is in town and you’re trying to plan a wedding.

Richard is an understanding man. But even he was getting impatient with how busy Sutton was working as Oliver’s assistant. It basically interrupted anything and everything they had planned — dinner or wedding planning.

This whole long-distance relationship isn’t working well for them. They’re doing their own thing, but they want to be able to share it with each other. And they can’t do that when Sutton is in NYC and Richard is in San Francisco.

And then, at the bar where they first hooked up, Richard outlined a perfect world where Sutton would live with him in San Francisco. Which would never happen, right?

RIGHT?

But Sutton doubled down about that perfect world. She’s not any closer to getting that promotion she wanted — not after messing up with Oliver. Not to mention she can grow her Instagram following from anywhere. And the most important reason, she misses him.

Which is when she tells him that she’s willing TO MOVE TO SAN FRANCISCO WITH HIM. Oh, and she wants to get married in this exact bar where they met at. BUT MOVING TO SAN FRAN NOT LONG AFTER. WHAAAAAT.

A New Romance

Freeform/Jonathan Wenk

Jacqueline has gone through some tough times in her love life. While it appeared she had the perfect marriage, that was far from the truth. While they’d learned to occupy home life, they never made time for their love. And we’ve seen how that has played out.

There’s something so wonderful and empowering about watching Jacqueline make a decision for herself. One that has to do with her happiness. Instead of wallowing in her failed marriage, Jacqueline put herself back out there.

And wouldn’t you know it, fate brought her to an old flame that brought back feelings she hasn’t felt in awhile.

Jacqueline and Miles’ rekindling their college love story was so freaking cute, and it was important to show that there is love after heartbreak. It was fun to see a different side to Jacqueline — one where she let loose, gave in to her feelings, and did something for herself.

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

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