Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Come Travel With Us To The Bold Type

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Freeform’s The Bold Type is edging into the close of its first season, with the finale airing today. Dabbling in the comedic, dramatic, romantic, and the political, The Bold Type manages to be deeply compelling while still being fun. And it looks like the last episode will be the cherry on top of what was a near-perfect season that has had me eagerly clamoring for more every week.

But not everybody has been lucky enough to catch the show as it aired, and so we’ve put together this little (Little?) recap to help bring you up to speed and prepare you to dive right in.

(L-R) Alex, Sutton, Kat, Joan, Richard, Jacqueline. Yes, there’s a reason that Richard is standing and Jacqueline has her own seat. It’s symbolism.

The Cover

The Bold Type is a romantic/political work-comedy, set at the fictional Scarlet, a women’s fashion and style magazine along the lines of Cosmopolitan (The series is even inspired by the life of Cosmo editor-in-chief Joanna Coles, who serves as Executive Producer) .  Its three leads — upcoming writer Jane Sloan, aspiring assistant Sutton Brady, and social media head Kat Edison — are starting to climb the rungs of the company, but need to struggle with personal and professional complications on every step.

However, while “Young woman works at a magazine” might just be the most overplayed concept on TV (Anybody else remember the magazine-boom of the 90’s and early 00’s?  I originally started to list them here for comedic effect, but they made up a full paragraph on their own.) this series isn’t “just” about working at a magazine.  Without ever insulting its premise — they honestly and intensely love all the ways that fashion is important to people, especially young girls — they tackle the issues of sexism, racism, and politics that hit people in their everyday lives.

The Content

Jane Sloan has just been promoted up from assistant (Where all three characters started), and the series begins with her very first day as a Writer.  Scarlet’s articles and advice filled the role of the big sister she wanted when she was young, so to Jane this is a dream come true, but not quite in the style she expected.  Jane wants to write “serious” pieces, and even though Scarlet isn’t “just” a fashion magazine, it doesn’t feel any need to shy away from the articles on romance and appearance that are its bread and butter.  It can’t devote itself solely to the political/social exposes that Jane wants to tackle — and Jane wouldn’t want it to — so this puts limits on just how much she can spread her wings here.

Sutton Brady is the one who is still “only” an office assistant, and wondering where her life is going.  Sutton is passionate about fashion — she loves all aspects of style and crafting a look — and wants to work directly in the fashion department.  Ironically, her education and background are in practical areas like economics, leaving her professionally unqualified for that aspect of the magazine’s business. Undaunted, she pitches her transfer based on her natural talents and can-do attitude.  Complicating the entire affair is her hidden relationship with Richard, legal counsel for Scarlet and a board member, which will have drastic consequences for both of them (But more for her) if it becomes public knowledge.

Kat Edison is the one who first managed to work her way out of the assistant pool, and serves as the social media director for Scarlet.  Her career doesn’t have the question-marks of the others — social media is rapidly becoming a dominant part of the publishing industry and she is set to climb the professional ladder — but her personal life compensates by inverting itself right on its head.  Despite self-identifying as “out-and-proud hetero”, Kat finds herself undeniably drawn to Adena El-Amin, a socially conscious lesbian Muslim artist that the magazine is doing a feature on in the first episode.  If grappling with her own sexuality wasn’t complicated enough, the politics of the world throw harsh light on the difficulties of their relationship as Adena struggles with issues of immigration and residence in the United States.

The relationship between the three of them is so integral to the story that no one specific person can be called the uncontested “main” character, as each supports and nurtures the others through their own issues.

Over them all is Jacqueline Carlyle, editor-in-chief at Scarlet who oversees the magazine itself (And the stand-in for Joanna Coles). Straddling the very fine line between caring mentor and practical businesswoman, Jacqueline has to simultaneously nurture and support the employees under her guidance while still producing a profitable, justifiable product to placate the cutthroat Board of Directors.  At first glance she looks like a carbon-copy Miranda Priestly-wannabe, but that superficial categorism is dismissed in the first episode as she guides everybody around her both personally and professionally.

The Back Issues

With the finale just a day away, you might not have time to binge the entire series (Although if you can, you should).  So, in lieu of you  cutting class or skipping work to catch up, here is what you need to know.  In simultaneously both more and less detail than you need.

Pilot (Episode 1)

While struggling to come up with a pitch for her first article, Jane accidentally proposes a story on how to “stalk” somebody who isn’t on social media (“How To Stalk Your Unstalkable Ex”).  This winds up with her actually following around her ex-boyfriend, which Kat and Sutton hope will help her move on.  The experience — though not at all what she had wanted to write about — winds up being the subject of her very first published article: “How To Get Over It When The Guy You Love Leaves You Standing In A Train Station”.  This part of the first episode is probably the weakest the series is throughout its run, as I had a lot of trouble connecting with Jane as she wrote this article and tried to find her voice.  Thankfully, Jane’s story picks up as it develops.

Meanwhile, Kat takes it upon herself to talk to Adena El-Amin, an artist who had declined an article due to feeling that Scarlet’s focus on fashion and sex is un-feminist and harmful to women.  Kat convinces Adena to give the magazine permission to run the article by pointing out all of the ways that Scarlet takes an active role in gender politics, and even the way its focus on the superficial aspects of makeup serve a true purpose.  It might have ended there, but what throws it all for a curve is the fact that Adena is arrested when she tries to smuggle disassembled sex toys back into her repressive home country (Sex toys which she had gotten from Scarlet, and taken apart with Kat’s help). Kat has to restrain herself from from throwing a social media fit and instead let some of Scarlet’s lawyers and contacts at the State Department work the issue, and the surprising strength of her own feelings start to help Kat realize that she is feeling more for Adena than just friendship (But she’s not quite ready to actually admit that yet).

Sutton in turn begins to feel that her life and career are are stagnant since everybody who started as an assistant with her has already been promoted.  She is also secretly seeing Richard Hunter, a lawyer and member of the Scarlet Board of Directors.  Sutton does not want any favors or preferential treatment from the relationship, but dreads how it will be seen if word of their relationship ever gets out.  The women of Scarlet have a specific term for somebody who uses sex to advance their career: “Screwing Up”.

This first episode comes out swinging, and does everything a show should do.  It introduces the characters, clearly establishes who they are in relation to each other and their various storylines, and gives us an episode engaging enough to have us come back next week.  As I said, I had trouble connecting with Jane’s story, but even that was just “meh” as opposed to bad, and it is more than compensated by the rest of the episode.  The introduction of Kat & Adena’s relationship, which will rapidly become the beating heart of the show’s fandom and something to get me literally cheering as I watched, was beautiful. Sutton and Richard’s relationship also managed to walk a razor-edge between sweet and creepy and get it just right.  It would have been too easy to make Richard come across as predatory given how he is older, richer, and literally Sutton’s boss, but the show establishes that he honestly doesn’t want to use his position to coerce her into anything, while still setting up for the later exploration that it doesn’t matter what he wants.  The simple fact of their positions can’t be escaped.

O Hell No (Episode 2)

Sutton decides to take a leap and go for a promotion at work, and awkwardly winds up in an “information interview” with Richard.  She insists on not receiving any preferential treatment, but Richard is instead legitimately impressed with her economics degree and education at Penn State, feeling it would be a great start with the business side of the magazine.  The problem is that Sutton loves fashion — more than either Jane or Kat — and she does not want to settle for a boring, practical job just because it’s easier than what she wants to do.  At the end of the episode she chooses to pass on the job offer in ad sales to instead try for the fashion department.

Jane has her own professional problems, as she is assigned to write a sexual article and has to admit that she has never had an orgasm, which eventually becomes the subject of the article (And the title of the episode).  She also has her first meeting with Pinstripe, the inevitable Mirror!Jane doppelganger: He is a writer at the male-focused magazine Pinstripe which has its offices just one floor down from Scarlet (We do know his real name, but everybody just calls him “Pinstripe” or “Pinstripe Guy”, and I like that better).

Kat, meanwhile, is now actively confronting her feelings for Adena.  Despite still claiming to be “totally hetero”, she cannot deny that she is feeling something.  She even sits down and starts talking about her “sexual identity issues” when she accompanies Jane to a sex therapist for Jane’s own article.  This is exacerbated when Scarlet wants to do a follow-up piece on Adena, so Kat cannot even dodge the issue, and Adena invites her to attend a gallery showing.  Kat eventually decides that no matter what label is applied, she is feeling something, so she needs to talk to Adena…and that is when she sees that Adena has a girlfriend (Coco).  Deciding that Adena had just been nice and not flirting, Kat passes on saying anything except talking about the show itself.

Almost everything in this episode is a direct build on the first episode, which shows that the series has a fundamental grasp of storytelling and serialized production (I know this seems like an obvious thing to say, but trust me: It’s huge).  It also helps establish that the characters are real people, and that includes having real desires and making real mistakes.  I said at the time when I first saw this episode, and it’s even more obvious in retrospect, that Sutton should have taken the job in ad sales instead of trying for the fashion assistant position (She could have leveraged it into a job in fashion in a year or three, and until then she would have gotten a much higher paycheck and not been buried under the frustrating makework of being an assistant).  Despite that, it makes sense that she not take it.  If I’d been in her shoes I would have made the exact same choice, and I’d have been wrong just like her, but I still would have done it.  This is her dream career, and it’s potentially available right when her friends are realizing their own dreams, and she already feels like she’s taking the easy way out of life.  Who wouldn’t make the short-sighted-but-meaningful decision in that situation?  It’s a rare show that can have a character make the wrong choice and have me support them for it, but here they pull it off.

I don’t like Pinstripe though.  He creeps me out.

The Woman Behind the Clothes (Episode 3)

In Kat’s first serious professional trial, she is subjected to vicious personal attacks online after she posts about gender inequality in technological development.  She dismisses it at first, but becomes shaken when they manage to dig up and post private photos of her.  When she is contacted by other women who have been similarly harassed due to their challenges of the sexism and misogyny, Kat decides to go on the offensive.  She launches a campaign speaking out against the online harassment of women (#choosekindness and #typewithkindness) and gets other women who have been victims to help her bring attention to the issue.

Sutton makes her first efforts at getting the highly coveted assistant position in the fashion department by filling in for a fashion show.  Unfortunately, this means she is buried in work as the extra assignment is added on to her own responsibilities, and Lauren (Her boss) notices that she is flagging in the responsibilities she is actually paid for.  When confronted over this, Sutton tells Lauren that it is time for her to move on, and that she needs to make the jump to fashion full-time.  She won’t abandon Lauren or leave right this second, but she’s made up her mind and after all the hard work she has put in she deserves Lauren’s support in her lobbying for the new job.  Lauren, who recognizes Sutton’s talents and can’t argue that she has paid her dues, agrees to help push her into fashion.

Jane is now casually seeing Pinstripe, but has to cancel a date when she gets the potential opportunity to interview a Congresswoman. Unfortunately, when she is side-by-side with “serious” news outlets, still wearing her fashionable-but-not-business outfit from the date, Jane is passed over with visible condescension and a dismissive once-over (“Not tonight, Scarlet” the Congresswoman’s aide said). Not willing to accept the insult or the way she and her magazine were dismissed, Jane sets up an interview with a specific topic of talking about the Congresswoman’s fashion.  They accept since that is in Scarlet‘s wheelhouse, and Jane uses that as an opportunity to ask more serious questions. Her resultant article discusses the way the Congresswoman uses the sexism inherent in political reporting to distract from her controversial voting (“Pay Attention to the Woman Behind the Clothes”), and the way the media’s focus on her outfits instead of politics misses the critical points of her career.

This is the first episode to give Jane a political piece, which is where she clearly wants her writing career to go.  It’s an interesting take on politics, too, with the final reveal that the Congresswoman would deliberately wear unflattering clothing when she knew she was going to cast an unpopular vote, so the media would focus on that instead of critiquing her policies.  It shows how a systemic problem can be turned into a temporary advantage, but that doing so doesn’t remove the underlying problem itself.  Kat’s run-in with harassment is flat-out disgusting, and it has to be to convey just how revolting online attacks are.  Whether it’s doxxing, stalking, or death/rape threats, it’s inexcusable and definitely needs to be better addressed in our society, especially with the way people often dismiss it as “It’s no big deal”.  I still remember the time I attended a panel at NYCC and one of the speakers had to explain to the crowd that she hadn’t been to her home in several days due to the number of threats made against her.  As Kat points out in her campaign, there is a person at the other end of your keyboard, and they don’t deserve to be treated like this.

If You Can’t Do It With Feeling (Episode 4)

Sutton is now formally in the running for the fashion assistant position, and is even in the lead with the glowing recommendation from Lauren (Which Oliver, the head of the fashion department, is expressly surprised about).  The road bump is that Oliver mixed up her resume with the other applicant (Who has much more experience) and Sutton doesn’t speak up about the mix-up before he ushers her out of his office.  Throughout the episode her lie (Unintentional though it was) gets deeper as she never gets around to correcting the issue.  When Oliver finds out via a well-meaning-but-ruining comment from Richard, he is furious.  Sutton manages to recover the situation through a brilliant showing of her innate skill (or at least a brilliant showing of her willingness to work hard and learn what she doesn’t already know) and finally manages to get the position.

Jane is not working on a new story this week, but is instead participating in a discussion panel featuring rising voices in politics under 30 (Her article on the Congresswoman from the previous week got quite a bit of attention).  She starts the evening feeling unworthy of even being there — the other panelists are award-winning journalists with long pedigrees — and during the discussion itself she feels that she is talked over (and talked down to) by the men on the panel. Unstated in the show, but readily apparent, is that the panel was dominated by Mansplaining and Manterrupting (BTW: I just now had to look up the phrase “Manterrupting” to know the proper term to use here), which is why Jane came away with such a negative opinion.  The other women on the panel were instead very impressed by what she had to say, and one of them (Who Jane holds in serious High Regard) even quotes her on her twitter page.

It is Kat who has the craziest day, though, when Adena reaches out to ask for a personal favor: She is trying to extend her visa in the United States, and would like a letter of recommendation from Kat.  They wind up having what can only be described as a date, and everything is going perfectly until they run headfirst into Islamophobia.  When Adena takes a call from her mother overseas (Speaking Farsi), a passing bigot insults her and tells her to go back where she came from.  Adena tries to just ignore him, but Kat refuses to let it pass, and when he escalates to shoving Adena, Kat slugs him right across the jaw.  Unfortunately, a passing police car saw it and pulls up with lights flashing, and when Kat looks around for Adena to explain what happened, it turns out that Adena is gone.  Jacqueline bails Kat out of jail the next morning, and points out that Adena was likely scared of not just being arrested (Which carries severe risks for a Muslim woman today) but was also afraid of being deported since her residency is not permanent. When Kat goes to Adena’s apartment and offers her the letter of recommendation she also finally confesses all of the feelings she has had, and the two of them finally kiss.

Until you’ve watched these episodes and have taken in the full Kadena (Kat/Adena) feelings, you will not appreciate just how much I screeched at the scene of their kiss.  It was everything we could have wanted, and I re-watched it so many times that I even got hooked on the song (“Scars to Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara) and added it to my playlist.  Just as important, though, is the way the episode addressed directly just how different their experiences are due to the fact that Adena isn’t from the United States.  Love though it might be, the two of them have entirely different cultural baggage that they’ll need to overcome in order to understand each other.  The aftermath of the scene with the bigot could have been handled better — the writers have acknowledged that they should have better portrayed Kat’s own dangers in dealing with the police — but it was still amazing.

No Feminism in the Champagne Room (Episode 5)

Things take a sudden unexpected turn for Jane when the subject of her most recent article — a stripper (Morgyn Stanley) who left Wall Street because she felt this was more empowering — sues her over the article.  Jane is confused over the response, since she spent the article showering praise upon her, but it eventually becomes clear that Jane harbors some condescending preconceptions of her own that came through in her writing.  Eventually she agrees to a settlement of the lawsuit because Morgyn deserves compensation (The article contained enough information to figure out who she really is, and her child was forced out of school in response), and resolves to reexamine her own supposedly-progressive beliefs.

Now that Sutton has officially been offered the job in fashion, she just has to sign the paperwork regarding salary and responsibilities and such.  Except that the starting salary is less than she is already earning, too low for her to keep the apartment she shares with Jane or cover her expenses, meaning that her hard-fought transfer is actually a demotion.  When she frets over her options, scared to risk losing her job completely if she demands more money but unwilling to debase herself, Jane, Kat, and Alex (Another friend at Scarlet whose relationship with Sutton has been growing) inspire her with confidence to try anyway.   They also give her fallback options in case the worst happens. With them behind her, Sutton is able to work out a better deal with Oliver.  He can’t give her any more money (Apparently he was serious when he said that that was the only salary his budget allowed), but they are able to work out various perks and expenses that compensate for the lower cashflow.

Kat and Adena spent the night together after their climactic kiss (No, they explicitly did not have sex), but are now beginning to regret their actions when they remember that Adena already has a girlfriend and neither are the “type” to cheat.  Adena explains that things had been bad with Coco for a while, and decides to end it…but since Coco is currently in Paris that is more difficult than they thought.  Kat is simultaneously panicking because she has always been a no-strings-attached person when it comes to relationships, and the depth of her feelings for Adena scare her and she is not prepared to deal with them.  When Adena’s talks with Coco stretch on and apparently go to some dark places, Kat panics completely and pushes her away, right back towards Coco.  By the time Kat decides that she wants to be all-in (Complete with dramatic run to Adena’s apartment to confess her full commitment), Adena has booked a flight to Paris to work things out.

When Sutton realized just how little she’d be making in fashion I had a little “I told you so!” moment (Harking back to when she turned down the job in ad sales), but I loved how they approached and dealt with the issue.  Too many shows would say that after wowing Oliver she was hired as Executive Fashion Director with a six-figure salary, but here they took the time to examine just how little money there is to start at the bottom of a niche career.  Sutton still wants in, this is still her dream, but just because it’s her dream doesn’t mean it will be easy.  On the same note of how just wanting something doesn’t make it easy, the collapse of Kat & Adena’s relationship before it even started was beautiful (Heartbreaking, but beautiful).  They started on a rocky foundation given how Adena and Coco were still together, and Kat’s commitment issues couldn’t build atop that.  The scene where Kat sends Adena a blow-off text and then turns her phone off — something akin to abruptly hanging up on somebody in the middle of the conversation — hit me like a punch to the gut.

The Breast Issue (#FreeTheNipple) (Episode 6)

After taking part in a breast cancer awareness event and ongoing charity campaign, Kat becomes determined to address the double-standard when it comes to male and female nudity.  Men’s nipples are perfectly acceptable, but women’s nipples are obscene and/or sexual.  She launches an unauthorized protest on Scarlet’s Instagram account with pictures of classical nude statuary and topless men in tight focus, and needs to be reigned in by Jacqueline and Richard.  Richard points out that their Instagram account generates massive viewership for the magazine and they can’t afford to have it shut down due to posting “pornography”, and Jacqueline points out that Kat has lost sight of the original point (Breast cancer).

Jane, as part of the same cancer awareness program, interviews a doctor who controversially recommends that women start getting tested for the BRCA mutation  (Which would indicate a predisposition for breast cancer) even earlier than before.  Jane’s article is harsh and one-sided, and when she has an outburst at Jacqueline in the Scarlet main offices it is revealed that her mother died of breast cancer, and Jane is terrified of learning if she has the BRCA mutation.  She decides to have the test performed at the end of the episode. She does have the BRCA mutation, indicating a much higher chance that she will develop breast cancer.

Sutton has her first opportunity to prove herself in the fashion department, as she is able to use some connections from her assistant days to temporarily obtain a $5,000.00 pendant for Oliver to use in a photoshoot.  Unfortunately, she leaves it in the taxi when she gets a panicked phone call from Jane, and she doesn’t remember even what taxi company it was, let alone the cab number or driver’s name.  When she confides in Richard, he tells her to report it to Oliver right away, phrasing it as his official legal opinion. Sutton, however, wanted her boyfriend’s opinion.  This is the first time their separate positions in the company have really impinged on their relationship, and highlights their different perspectives: Sutton is worried over her friend getting fired for loaning out the pendant and hopes to be able to get it back, while Richard wants to protect the company by handling everything officially. Sutton does manage to get the pendant back with the help of Alex, but that introduces another complication as Richard showed up right at the end in order to give the help that a boyfriend would give, and Alex figures out that they are seeing each other.  He also confesses that if Sutton hadn’t been with Richard, he would have tried to use this opportunity to make a move himself.

It’s weird: During this episode I was solidly on Richard’s side when it comes to what should be done (Report the lost pendant, don’t try any Zany Schemes), but I also solidly believe that he shouldn’t have been on that side.  As Sutton said explicitly, she was talking to her boyfriend, not her lawyer, and he should have realized that.  As has come up before, this is another example of the fact that they can’t disengage their relationship from who they are at work.

Three Girls in a Tub (Episode 7)

Kat’s assistant, the first person she has ever personally hired and directly supervised, cannot seem to grasp the job of working in social media at a professional company.  The tweets she sends out could land Scarlet in some serious legal hot water, and all of Kat’s attempts to kindly or firmly guide her don’t seem to connect.  An additional problem is that one of the problematic tweets was sent out while Kat was with Richard at a dinner party Sutton was planning to throw, and he can’t believe she wants to deal with it at the office tomorrow instead of calling in right now.  He goes to Jacqueline the next day — obviously not mentioning that he was with Kat at the time — and Kat can’t believe that he went over her head like that.  Richard then bluntly explains that he is over her head.  Eventually, Kat realizes that she has no choice but to fire her assistant, and needs to deal with that aspect of management.

Jane tries out a new dating system for an article, and uncomfortably explains it to Pinstripe by pointing out that they’re not exclusive.  After “juggling” these two men, and trying to accept that Pinstripe is himself also seeing multiple women, Jane admits to herself that she does want the commitment of an exclusive relationship, and that she cannot get that with Pinstripe.

Sutton tries to make some new connections in the fashion world, attending “high tea” to meet other people in the industry.  Unfortunately she misunderstands what “high tea” is and winds up becoming quite high herself.  When she makes it over to her party — where Jane is drunk from her date of the night and Kat has just had the awkward exchange with Richard — the three of them wind up curled up in the bathtub to recuperate.  Richard is a good sport about the ruined evening, even making a joke about how it used to be a fantasy of his to have three women in his bathtub, but in the harsh light of day he and Sutton realize that this is a microcosm of all the problems of their relationship.  Their disparate powers and status at the company, and their need to keep it a secret, will only lead to greater and greater problems.  With that realization, they break up.

When I realized that Sutton and Richard were breaking up I almost clapped. I didn’t actually clap, because it was very sad and I like them both individually, but I was happy that the show built on the problematic aspects of their relationship.  They didn’t need to manufacture some sort of false drama, their secret wasn’t discovered forcing them to end things, it just ran into the fundamental problems of who they both are.  It was just another example of the show treating the characters as people, and not as focal points for arguments.

The End of the Beginning (Episode 8)

Layoff rumors are swirling around Scarlet, and Kat is the only one who has any solid info, because hers is the only job which isn’t on the line.  The problem is that she is a department head, which is why she has the info, and she can’t share it with Jane and Sutton or anybody else who is scared of being let go.  Just like with firing her assistant in the preceding episode, Kat needs to deal with the unpleasant aspects of management, and does her best to comfort Jane and Sutton without being able to actually tell them anything or give any advice.  The bright spot for her is that Adena is talking about returning to New York since things have not been going well with Coco in Paris.

Jane tries to make herself look more valuable to the company by writing the kind of cheesy, clickbait stories she has previously shunned (Butt facials) in order to get more traffic.  She is also approached to try for a job at Incite, an up-and-coming new digital publication that would be able to give her the more focused social/political topics she wants.  Unfortunately Alex is also trying for that same job at Incite, and in fact Jane only heard about them — and they only heard about her — because Alex had listed her as a reference.

Like Jane, Sutton is trying to make herself valuable to the company, and her way is to assist in overseeing a photoshoot after Oliver is unexpectedly trapped in Cuba. Despite Sutton being an excellent #2, the woman who is actually in charge cannot handle the pressure and literally flees the set, leaving Sutton to to take complete charge.  She manages to pull it off and the shoot itself is a success, but the woman who folded under the pressure claims the credit in front of Jacqueline.  Sutton is too timid to take a stand then, especially since she is “only” an assistant, but Jacqueline confronts her later with the report from the photographer that she is the one who ran everything, and points out that she cannot let herself be taken advantage of like that.  It is not even an issue of morality: Scarlet really is in financial difficulty, and it needs to operate well as a business in order for Jacqueline to protect as many jobs as she can, and that means she needs to know who can perform well and who can’t.

This is where things begin to come to a head, and also begin to break apart.  Combined with her first firing last episode, Kat is beginning to understand some of the burdens that come with the perks of being management, and it’s killing her to not be able to help Sutton and Jane. Not enough to undermine their friendship, but it certainly knocks them about.  Jane first considers leaving Scarlet, something that wasn’t even on her radar last episode, and Sutton gets a stern lecture on self-confidence.  I also loved Jacqueline’s speech, and the way it combined both ethics and business.

Before Tequila Sunrise (Episode 9)

The majority of the cast is stuck at the Scarlet office as a visit by President Trump has caused massive gridlock, and a street protest has lead to even more road closures.  Jane runs into Pinstripe, and learns that he has been laid off from Pinstripe and is here to say goodbye.  The lockdown means that his goodbye is a little longer than intended, and the two of them decide to get good and schnockered with Sutton and Alex.  The four of them rehash some of their ongoing personal and professional issues, as Jane reveals that she has received a job offer from Incite (Alex takes the news rather well since that means he didn’t get the job) and the Sutton/Alex sexual tension rises a few notches.  By the time the lockdown ends, Jane has decided to take the job and leave Scarlet, and when they head home Sutton and Alex spend the night together.

While everybody is stuck at the office , Kat rushes to the airport when she learns that Adena is being held by Customs after she flew back from Paris.  They are going to return her to her home country — where if you’ll remember she was arrested the last time she went home — and Kat buys an $11,000.00 ticket so that she can meet her at the terminal.  Stuck in the airport, they finally have their first true and proper date together, and Kate decides that she will fly with Adena back to her home.  Alas, as the time gets closer and they start boarding the plane, Kat cannot bring herself to fly across the world on a whim and tearfully remains behind.  Though unlike when they last separated, Kate is honest about what she’s feeling, and Adena tearfully understands.

It’s weird, I couldn’t stand Pinstripe when he and Jane were together, but he was so fun in this episode.  Great chemistry with the group as well.  I in no way think he and Jane should get back together (Seriously, not even a little), but I would definitely like to see him merge into the larger ensemble.  As long as he sticks to the group scenes he’d be a welcome addition.  Especially since we need some fun times given the way Kadena pulled out our hearts and shoved them into a blender in this episode.  Their entire event at the airport, from beginning to end, was so beautiful, so sweet, so heartwarming, so sad, so tragic, so heroic, and so….so.  It had everything, and it gave us everything, and it took away everything, because there was no way it could have ended any other way, but I know I would have given anything in order for it to do so.

Hold On (Episode 10)

Well, this one hasn’t aired yet, that’s kinda point of this article.  Here’s the trailer:


All together, The Bold Type is one of the best shows currently airing, and is currently the only show that is good enough to get me rigorously tracking when it airs to make sure I don’t miss the live showing.  It is both politically and socially relevant to the times, and covers topics that I have seen more “serious” shows not have the courage to approach.  It also handles them with a deftness that I honestly didn’t expect, and never manages to come across as “preachy” even when it most certainly is preaching.  And make no mistake, the show does preach, but that’s because it has clear points to make and it is upfront about that.

In just the episodes that have already aired it has taught me lessons about the way people with different experiences live some parts of their lives that I never thought about, and I say that with all sincerity.  This show has helped me better understand the human condition, and it did it while being fun, heartbreaking and engaging.

The Bold Type airs on Tuesday nights at 9:01 EST on Freeform.  Previous episodes can be seen on the Freeform website at http://freeform.go.com/shows/the-bold-type, and by using the Freeform app.


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