The Bold Type 2x10 "We'll Always Have Paris" Review
We made it! Ten episodes later, and it’s a wrap for the second season of The Bold Type. Our girls are in Paris, and not without the drama. Kadena is on the rocks, Jane is confronted with yet another difficult choice, and Sutton is living her best life. Oh, and Ben’s still here.
Millennials Are Killing the Fertility Industry
Because they can’t afford it. This is what Jane learns when she makes an appointment at a fertility clinic to freeze her eggs, allowing her to put off having children right away but not taking that option completely off the table. She fills out the paperwork, hands it to the receptionist, finally at peace with her decision. Unfortunately, her insurance company isn’t. Apparently any kind of fertility procedure isn’t covered by Jane’s insurance, and it would cost her around $12,000 out of pocket for the whole process. So, she does what any sensible millennial would do: grab all the free food from the lobby and get out of there faster than Donald Trump will get out of the presidency.
Angry and confused, Jane does what Jane does best. She dives head first into her research and quickly writes a pretty scathing article about Safford’s insurance policies. Viagra prescriptions and vasectomies are covered, but not fertility treatments. Terrible? Yes. Sexist? You bet. Surprising? This is the United States, so no.
Jane’s worries don’t end with her insurance, however. It’s going to take her a long time to save up that money, and the longer she waits the more difficult it will be to actually perform the procedure. Ben actually offers some non-medical advice here: they could sign up as domestic partners so Jane can qualify for the fertility program at his hospital, which is only available for staff and family.
She’s understandably caught off guard, telling Ben that this is something she’d have to think about. It would basically ensure her access to the necessary health care, but she realizes she simply doesn’t want to take that step with Ben. Sure, she still likes him, and she’s content at the moment with their relationship. However, taking such a large leap forward in their relationship seems too much, too fast. Not to mention, “hey do you want my health insurance” isn’t the most romantic way to propose a domestic partnership.
Especially complicating this new issue is Pinstripe, who's still sticking to his promise from last episode that he’s ready to take Jane and their relationship seriously. Jane also tells Pinstripe about her fertility issues, and he offers to help her pay for the procedure. (This offer isn’t dependant on her dating him, which I appreciate). They kiss (!!!) and he leaves her to make her decision.
I won’t go too much into this, because you all know how I feel. Ben is BORING. Sure, he’s nice, and smart, and he’s a doctor. He sounds good on paper. But the show hasn’t given me a reason to root for these two, besides the fact that he’s a “nice guy.” Ben and Jane don’t add anything to each other's lives, and not a stitch of their dialogue is interesting. Jane says it herself (actually, she’s said it a few times this season): her and Pinstripe have a connection. They have a great back and forth, and they encourage each other to write and keep pushing in their careers.
I’m not gunning for Jane to choose one over the other (I promise). She doesn’t have to choose either of them, as far as I’m concerned. But if the show wants us to believe that Jane and Ben are good for each other, they have to show it.
Lucky for Jane, a perfect distraction comes up: Kat lets her use her frequent flier miles to join her and Sutton in Paris! Admittedly, this was an obvious choice: it seemed a little disjointed to end the season with only ⅔ of the crew in Paris.
Passport to Paris (1999)
Our girls are finally all in Paris! Although, it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. Sutton, after attending Richard’s father’s wake, is feeling down despite the trip of a lifetime. Her and Jane had gone the night of their flight to Paris, wanting to show support. Richard gave a great speech about going after what you want, because life is short. It seems like her relationship with Richard is truly coming to a crashing halt. Jane hears some gossip about a well known engagement ring designer making a visit to Richard’s office, and Sutton is faced with the knowledge that there is no turning back.
Sutton does great in Paris, of course. In Oliver’s words she’s “impressive and ballsy,” but she ends up breaking down in front of Oliver anyway, still processing that she has to let go of Richard once and for all.
Now, given all that we’ve seen so far about Sutton and Oliver, this is pretty out of character. Sutton has been given this job of a lifetime with incredibly high stakes, so it’s an odd time for her to finally talk to Oliver about something personal. I am glad they got there, because Sutton and Oliver’s new found bromance is a thing of beauty, but I wish it was more organic.
Sutton realizes that the reason she broke things off with Richard wasn’t to protect her professional reputation; it was her own insecurity. She’s just now realizing she’s GOOD at her job. So good that it’s simply undeniable, and given her talent it would be impossible for anyone to think that Richard is the only reason for her success. Not about to let fear get in the way of her love life, Sutton makes plans to…. fly back to New York?
I’m so glad that Richard showed up in Paris at the last minute, ready to confess his feelings, too. It would have made zero sense that Oliver would let Sutton leave Paris in the middle of fashion week, and pretty unbelievable that Sutton would want to.
In spite of some odd hoop jumping to get these characters where the writers wanted, Sutton has FINALLY caught a break, and it’s great to watch her character be happy again.
You Know What They Say About Cliffhangers….
Too many, and it makes your season finale feel unfinished. While Sutton’s story is wrapped up nicely in a fashionable bow, Kat, Jane, and even Jacqueline, aren’t afforded the same.
Kat and Adena are still struggling, and to make matters worse, Kat finds out that Adena hasn’t produced any art since she and Kat started dating. Kat’s worried that she’s hindering Adena in some way, and in so many words Adena agrees. She always produced more and better art when she had her most freedom, and apparently she’s not getting enough of that with Kat. The episode ends with the fate of their relationship unknown, abruptly ending their conversation, the whole thing feeling messy rather than suspenseful.
While in Paris, Jane gets a text from both Ben and Pinstripe. At the same time, she gets a notification that her health care article was successfully published on the Scarlet site. So, she has her three choices right in front of her: Ben, Pinstripe, or herself. The episode ends with Jane telling Kat that she knows who she’ll choose, but that decision is kept from the viewers. Again, I’m not sure why — it’s not a monumental, plot heavy decision, and it would have been more believable to end the season with Jane still unsure.
Speaking of Jane’s article; Jacqueline doesn’t publish the article at first. Jane calls out Safford by name, and while Jacqueline supports her, she’s still on thin ice with the board. She’s still suffering from the comment backlash from last episode, and there is a rumor going around that she’ll be fired. Calling out Safford by name seems like a suicide mission. She holds up Jane’s article at first, but comes around to publishing it at the very end of the episode. We then see Richard get an email outlining possible replacements for Jacqueline, but that’s the last we see of her possible fate.
The Bold Type was renewed for a second and third season at the same time, possibly explaining why the show left so much up in the air in the finale. But leaving too much unknown comes off as messy rather than enticing; it’s unlikely that fans of the show will still be concerned about all unresolved plot points when the third season finally premieres. There are so many unresolved points that it’s difficult to assign your feelings to a particular one, spreading viewer suspense pretty thin and ultimately leaving little significance to each one.
All in all, this was lacking as a finale episode, and reminded me of the clumsy nature of this season. Too much time was spent forcing conflict between Kat and Adena, ultimately turning Kat into an unfamiliar character. Adena’s immigration storyline would have been much more relevant, and made more sense in the context of the show and characters. We were introduced to great characters like Angie, only to never hear from them again. They kept Ben much longer than they should have. The gun episode, 2x07, added nothing to the season.
The show’s saving grace, as always, is the social issues they got right. The best episodes of the season featured poignant and well done conversations about female reproductive rights, addiction, and race, to name a few. Supporting characters like Jacqueline, Alex, Sage, and Adena are incredibly strong (when they’re utilized properly). I also can’t write my last review without mentioning the great acting chops that Aisha Dee, Katie Stevens, and Meghann Fahy bring to the table. As long as season three utilizes The Bold Type’s talent and tidies up their plot lines, the show will continue to be a hit.
Season 3 of The Bold Type will air in 2019.