Love is messy. I don’t care what kind of love we’re talking her. It’s all messy. And yet, that’s what makes it great. There isn’t one right way. Which means it’s open to interpretation. Which also means you’re allowed to make mistakes.
But, in the case of The Bold Type, it also means that we don’t always get happy endings. In an episode aptly titled “Love,” we got five short love stories centered around Kat, Jane, Jacqueline, Alex, and Sutton. Some of them ended well. Others, well, not so well. But there were lessons to be learned from all five of these love stories.
Let’s discuss this week’s episode of The Bold Type, which examined five short love stories and brought some newfound understanding or created an irreparable rift.
You can’t help who you’re attracted to. It just happens. Case in point, Kat’s attraction for Ava, someone who is the antithesis of everything Kat stands for. But leave it to Kat’s new podcast to not only open the doors to a new opportunity at The Belle but also to a potential new relationship.
I’ve always loved the rivals to lovers trope, and this show is giving it to us with the pairing of Kat and Ava, who don’t make any sense but also make sense. During Kat’s first podcast, Ava revealed that she was a lesbian, which completely shocked Kat. As if your sexuality defines your political views. Clearly Kat couldn’t stop thinking about Ava, as she called her name out during sex with her girlfriend.
When Kat and Ava are doing a photoshoot for the podcast, there’s undeniable sexual chemistry between the both. We know for sure how Kat feels, and we see it in the way she looks at Ava and those lingering touches, including how she brushes a strand of Ava’s hair back.
But it’s almost as if Kat feels the warning of forbidden love and tries to push it away. Because she’s trying to push Ava’s buttons, asking why Ava never told her she was a lesbian. Why she chose the podcast to mention it. Ava says she only brings up her sexuality when it makes sense, and continues to insist it doesn’t define what she believes in.
But not even different political views can keep Kat away. She stops by Ava’s place to thank her for being on her podcast and getting it off the ground running. Sure, they have completely different views on almost everything. But that’s okay. Because this podcast is bigger than both of them.
And we all know Kat didn’t have to come over to her place to tell her that. A phone call could’ve sufficed. But that was just the cover conversation, when we all know Kat wanted to explore something more. Especially when she mentioned how she mentioned she wasn’t going to let their different political views affect her “feelings for Ava,” which Ava took to mean exactly what we knew Kat meant. Not professionally. Obviously, the only question is if Ava reciprocates.
Because it’s Kat and Ava, they continue to feud over different opinions about how they make a difference for the queer community until Kat silences the rift by kissing Ava. It’s unspoken…they shouldn’t be doing this. They’re the antithesis of what each other believe in. And yet…Ava kisses Kat back, and the two are full-on making out in Ava’s hallway.
And…now we wait for closure. Because if there was something this episode didn’t provide in spades, it was closure.
When it comes to love, it’s more than just the romance that we see as a popular focus. There are different kinds of love — friendship love, family love, romantic love, hobby love. When you love something, it means something special to you.
So when we learned that Jane’s portion of this love story had to do with her first love of writing, I related immediately. For me, my first love was sports…and writing, as a result. And it’s been something that has been a significant part of my life ever since the age of 7. So listening to Jane talk about how she knew she was going to be a writer even when she was young, I felt that. And felt that in this part of her love story.
Jane’s love for writing extends beyond the actual act. It’s about the story itself, chasing the story, and helping people. Which is why when a story about three attractive women being fired to protect men came to her attention, she jumped at the opportunity.
Scott, Jane’s employee and secret crush, introduced Jane to his friend Kim who was wrongly fired from her investment banking job, one that she was well qualified for. Not just her, but two other women. And all three of them were replaced by men. Sexism at its finest.
Turns out during a party, Kim was dancing and people were paying attention. Huh? Kim wasn’t dancing provocatively, but management still felt her and two other extremely attractive women were a liability. Ultimately, the women were fired to protect the men from doing something stupid. Which is absolutely ridiculous and disgusting.
On an unrelated but kind of related note, Scott mentions that working with someone you’re attracted to is difficult. Which is basically Scott coming out and admitting that he’s attracted to Jane. And she’s internally freaking out, as we all are.
Obviously there are ethical reasons for Jane not to pursue things. It’s why she hasn’t been honest with Scott about the feelings she’s been having. It’s also why she chooses to pick up Sutton’s call to avoid Scott’s question, where he asked her if she felt the same way.
But, again, a lack of closure. Until next week. One can hope.
Jacqueline and Ian have had their issues in their relationship. But they’re both dedicated to fighting for their relationship. They’ve been going to therapy and trying to work things out. But the healing can’t begin until Jacqueline realizes some harsh truths in her relationship.
Even just playing tennis, we can see how headstrong Jacqueline is. As if we didn’t already know. But as Ian was trying to communicate that he doesn’t feel heard by her, she pushed it aside and refused to acknowledge he was right. And it seemed like things were headed south for the couple. Until she got a call from Richard, which at first hurt her relationship with Ian and then simultaneously saved it.
Given that Jacqueline is an adult that’s experienced a lot in her life, she’s able to learn from Richard’s struggles and realizes that she hasn’t been fair in her conversation with Ian.
Jacqueline admits to Ian that he was right — she has trouble taking advice from him. But it’s not for the reasons he thinks. You see, us control freaks have a hard time giving up control. In any way, shape, or form. And Jacqueline doesn’t want to give up emotional control. She admits it’s something that she needs to work on. But it’s also because being wrong makes her feel vulnerable. It’s never because she doesn’t respect his opinion.
From here on out, Jacqueline asks Ian to tell her if he doesn’t feel heard. She wants to know, she wants to continue to work on it. She also promises to not let work get in the way of a trip to Iceland they’re planning. While things will surely come up, she’s determined to not let it get in the way of her personal life.
There’s nothing more complicated than love. Regardless of what kind of love it is. But especially romantic love, as Alex found himself dealing with in his new girlfriend Alicia. You see, Alex is trying to find his place in their relationship because Alicia isn’t just any woman. She’s a strong, empowering woman that knows what she wants and can take care of herself.
So where does Alex draw the line? That’s the question. He doesn’t want to be overbearing. Even as he sees this guy trying to hit on Alicia, as she’s waiting at their table. Alex remembers that she said she can deal with things herself, so he’s letting her handle it. Even as he approaches the scene, he doesn’t engage the guy. He simply suggests they move before Andrew — decked out in his amazing drag — comes out and beats the guy with his purse.
Later, Alex can’t help but keep thinking about that moment. Mainly, he feels like he should’ve done more than just stand there. But he didn’t just stand there. He tried to get them out. Still, Alex wanted to punch the guy. But he knows that Alicia likes to fight her own battles — which she agrees — so he let her be.
Still, Alicia recounted the tale calling Andrew “brave” for fighting the guy off, which only confuses Alex more. He wishes he knew, because then he would’ve done something. But for Alicia, she didn’t realize that she felt in over her head. The guy was big, and she was afraid to admit she was scared, which she thinks makes her a hypocrite. She’s someone that wants to fight her own battles but then wants help fighting some of them. But she’s not a hypocrite. She was just scared in the moment.
Sure, it makes her more complicated and frustrating — Alex’s words — but she’s human. While Alex has been searching for his place, Alicia is also searching for hers. So it’s complicated for both of them, which is oddly reassuring.
Of course, The Bold Type saved the most complicated of all for last. Following the final moments of last week’s episode, where Sutton told Richard that she doesn’t see herself ever wanting kids, there was this thick anger that seemed to hover over Richard. And things just cut off. We picked up right where that cliffhanger left off, and it was pretty brutal.
The Bold Type is so amazing with how it’s able to take storylines that people can relate to and breathe life into them in a way that seems so real. Which is exactly how I felt watching Sutton and Richard hash out their issues.
Richard is obviously pissed with this monumental bombshell that Sutton dropped on him. But it’s more than just the single decision that’s angered him. It’s that he feels that he’s always the one that has to make adjustments in their relationship. Whether it’s coming to Paris, her showing up at his father’s funeral, not letting him buy her a sewing machine, laundry — she hasn’t let him do anything. And he’s someone that wants to provide. It just so happens that Sutton is self-sufficient.
But Sutton has also adjusted. She wasn’t ready to move in with him, but she did so because she loved him. So she adjusted. When he wanted to move to San Francisco to pursue his job, she supported him. Which meant she had to adjust. They’ve both had to adjust, which is called compromise. But when it’s something as significant an issue on the table, it’s different.
Then there’s the obvious when it comes to the main issue: Kids. This is usually a conversation couples have before they get married. Because, simply put, if you have different stances on the important issues, it’s best to know before you commit to each other.
Richard insists that he told Sutton that he wanted kids, but she doesn’t remember that conversation ever happening. It wasn’t a conversation so much as it was a causal mention. That he “wanted what they had,” in reference to his friends and them having a family. But the actual convention never happened, which is equally their fault.
Sutton believes they have everything they want — each other, their careers. But she’s speaking specifically for herself. She has everything she wants. Richard wants kids. So it’s not them.
Which brings us to Sutton’s career, which causes a whole blowup. “All we do is talk about your job,” Richard tells her. “What you want, what you need.” Which is partly true, but not the entire truth. Given that Sutton’s career is the most important thing to her, of course it’s a topic of discussion. But it’s not the only thing. But it does seem to be the thing that’s getting in the way of what Richard wants.
A hot topic of conversation has always been regarding whether people change or not. And usually, change is indicated as a positive in that sense. Which change can certainly be good. But in this case, people are change to the point where they can grow apart depending on where they’re at in certain times of their life.
Just as Richard loved the passion Sutton had for her career when the two first started dating, it’s something that maddens him now. Because, in a way, he hoped that she’d fixate that same passion on him. But he feels like that passion only continues to grow for her career and it’s pushing him away.
They both want to be honest with each other, and they both were brutally honest in this conversation. But the simple fact of the matter is that Richard wants kids and Sutton doesn’t. Seems like a dealbreaker. Right?
Ultimately, Richard reaches out to Jacqueline for advice. Richard doesn’t have his whole life ahead of him to hope Sutton changes her mind. Given how bad of a parent his own father was, Richard has been determined to do the exact opposite when he had kids. He wanted to show his kid what a great parent looks like. So what does he do? While Jacqueline can’t tell him what to decide, he comes to the realization on his own. It’s one or the other. What does he want more — Kids or Sutton?
The answer, unfortunately, is kids. Which we learn after the two exchange apologies, have makeup sex, but still can’t shake the uneasy feeling between them. Nothing will be the same. And Richard can’t wait for Sutton to perhaps change her mind.
Earlier, Richard mentioned that one of them loses in the end. Unfortunately, with his decision, they both lost.
The Bold Type airs Thursdays at 10/9c on Freeform.