TV Reviews

Review | ‘The Bold Type’ Season 3 Episode 6: #TBT

Hacked emails give us a trip down memory lane to when the girls first met.


Starring Katie Stevens, Aisha Dee, Meghann Fahy, Sam Page, Matt Ward, Melora Hardin and Stephen Conrad Moore


To recap from last week:

SCARLET HAS BEEN HACKED

Sorry, I just like doing that. Such drama. Following the hacking scandal, all of Scarlet’s emails have been released, which is causing a major headache with the press. One of the more contentious emails is one sent by Jacqueline five years ago, in which she expresses glee at a major ad buyer Bobby almost dying in her office. This revelation sends all of the girls to the fashion closet to cast their minds back to Jane’s first day at Scarlet.

Back in 2014, three years before we even met any of these wonderful women, Jane is beginning her career there as an intern, without voicing any of her aspirations to be a writer. Kat is working underneath an old-fashioned Head of Digital, who is reticent to make waves, while Sutton is merely temping and eager to become part of the unit. The first task that Jane is given by Lauren (who used to be Sutton’s boss in Season 1) is to get coffee for the meeting that Jacqueline is having with Bobby and his team. She slightly messes up, to Lauren’s fury, and is led by Kat to the fashion closet to have a little cry and a chat.

It is there that they meet Sutton, who is lamenting her last day as a temp by trying on some of the dresses there. In an effort to cheer Jane up, the three try on the dresses and chat about their respective problems: Jane about her dreams to be a writer and her longing to be a part of Scarlet, Sutton about her money issues and the possibility of having to leave New York and Kat being reticent to make waves with her boss as she only got the job due to her dad.

It’s quite a crucial scene as we see just how much the group have progressed even from when we saw them in the series premiere, and it makes their journeys even more remarkable when we see them making these small decisions. While we know that they will have lasting and meaningful ramifications for them, the three women do not. In particular, Sutton’s research and dogmatic approach to become Lauren’s assistant by revealing that she is the only junior editor in Scarlet’s parent company not to have an assistant is what gains her the job that we see her in at the opening of Season 1. Furthermore, it’s nice to see Kat at an early stage in her career, since we’ve only ever seen her as head of her team since the show began.

Additionally, it’s brilliant to see how this wonderful friendship began. We can see the beginnings of it when they are talking within the fashion closet, but the real cementing moment comes with almost killing Bobby. The gang see plates of food and immediately start eating them, failing to realise that these were intended for Jacqueline’s lunchtime meeting with Bobby. Andrew (who in 2014 was Head of Interns and not Jacqueline’s assistant) tasks them with replacing the sandwiches, leading to Sutton first encountering Richard as she steals the sandwiches from his conference room. Turns out that Bobby has a serious peanut allergy and has a reaction to the replaced sandwiches, a fact that the three have kept secret all this time.

In the present, the trio confess to Jacqueline about their role to play in Bobby’s near death, which she finds amusing, as well as commending the three for their honesty. Turns out that Bobby and Jacqueline have a complicated history, and there is the hint that there used to be something romantic between the two of them. Regardless, Bobby takes the email in good humour and promises to release a statement as well as maintain the ads in the magazine.

Meanwhile, Sutton struggles with the fact that she has loaned her mother $500 dollars and has prevented herself from investing in a sewing machine to help with her design seminar. Jane tries to get some more intel about Pamela Dolan, but the final informant – a hair stylist – refuses to talk, leaving her at somewhat of a dead end. Elsewhere, Tia tries to pull out of being Kat’s campaign manager, leading to Tia admitting that she has long had feelings for girls but that she has been suppressing it for reasons that she won’t disclose. Regardless, it turns out that the attraction that Kat (and we) detected was not in her head, as the two end up kissing at the end of the episode.

Highlights

Where it all began…

It’s so empowering to see that even these ladies who have come to far in their career all started at the bottom. When we see them in the past, they seem so young. The styling for a start is impeccable. You can tell and detect the change in Sutton’s dress that has come with her change in confidence, and you can also see it in their hairstyles. In the past, Jane’s hair is very professional, Sutton’s is plain and Kat’s is cute and playful. In the present meanwhile, both of Jane’s and Sutton’s hair is high volume and free, showing how much more confident and glamorous they have become, as well as Kat’s hair showing her journey to self-confidence and becoming more edgy. It’s truly a testament to how remarkable these women are to see how far they have come, even down to Sutton previously struggling to have $10 in the bank account, to now being able to loan her mother $500. What was also lovely to see was the first interaction between her and Richard. A pleasant surprise, considering how many twists and turns their relationship took, and that when we met them in the series premiere they were already an item. You can tell that there is an instant attraction between the two from the off. Furthermore, you also see a great interaction between Jacqueline and Jane, showing that Jane’s appreciation and idolisation of Jacqueline even predated working with her, and reinforcing that Jane’s current job is her dream, even as she still develops as a writer. Episodes like this are just plain fun, especially when they recount events that happened before the show. In this case, it’s benefitted by picking a time long before we met and joined the action, so there are no awkward continuity errors, or characters bumping into each other who we never knew had encountered each other (for instance, Glee‘s flashback episode was tricky because of the fact that most of the characters met during the course of the series. There’s far more to explore with The Bold Type as we joined the narrative part-way through).

Relationship communication

Something that The Bold Type does well is to have relationships that are portrayed in a consistently healthy manner. They are not used for drama purposes, we don’t have cheating storylines (except when it was masterfully done with Adena and Kat), but rather they are drama-free and revolve around the characters communicating through their other problems separate to their relationships. In this episode, Jane makes it clear to Ryan that his success will still be celebrated regardless her own tricky career. It really highlights Jane’s maturity, as she has been guilty of jealousy before, but it’s a wonderful model that even when you’re in a relationship with a fellow professional in the same area that you can be happy and supportive for the other person without displaying jealousy. Elsewhere, Sutton communicates with Richard that she has loaned money to her mother and that will always be present within their relationship. Even though it’s not yet a relationship, it’s good to see Kat and Tia also communicate.

A new angle on a familiar story

I confessed last week that I was concerned about another “first gay relationship” tale like we had with Kat discovering Adena and I’m pleased that a way has been found to make this appear unique. For whatever reason, Tia is not comfortable with her undisclosed sexuality. While Kat’s coming out was relatively straight forward and she did not struggle with it, it’s nice to represent the other side of that coin of people who repress their sexuality and try to run from it. It’ll be interesting to see how open Tia will be with others about the relationship, as well as her involvement within the LGBT community as she and Kat progress.

Good fun

Generally, this episode was just good fun. It’s so empowering and heartening to see how far these extraordinary women have come, and really shows their strength of character and talent.

Brain Thunks

I entirely forgot that Lauren was a thing, I’m not going to lie. Where did she go? Clearly the actress is available, so how do they not bump into her? It’s a relatively small office, it seems a little strange.

Sutton stealing sandwiches from Richard as their way of meeting is simply delightful.

I always get nervous with Jane and her relationship. Out of all of the ladies, she definitely flips out in a more emotional way before stopping to think, so I am pleased with her growth that she is currently happy for Ryan and his success with his book, but I can see it perhaps becoming more of an issue when he starts his book tour. Fingers crossed it won’t, but every relationship has its issues after all.

Also, The Bold Type has been renewed for Season 4. Joyous news! Long may the Queens of Television reign!

The preview for next week has already pre-emptively made me stressed out, with Kat facing racial profiling while canvasing her neighbourhood.

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