The Bold Type 3x02 "Plus It Up"
Hello friends, and welcome to the second episode of the current season of The Bold Type. While last week fell a bit flat, I’m happy to say that this episode hit every mark. It was funny, heartwarming, meaningful, and as always, well acted.
Employee of the Month
Now, Sutton’s portion of this episode was the least gripping, but heartwarming nonetheless. Oliver has some uncharacteristic absences from work, both worrying Sutton and causing her to put in more time for the magazine. Oliver isn’t sharing what has him missing work and snapping at Sutton, which worries her.
To complicate things, she’s also struggling with sharing these things with Richard. On one hand, he’s her boyfriend, so of course she wants to discuss what’s happening at work and why she’s having to stay late. On the other, she can’t forget that Richard is also part of HR. She can’t exactly vent about Oliver without revealing he’s been missing work, so she’s forced into silence.
While handling this crisis at work, Sutton also has her new move to deal with. The change from her apartment with Jane to Richard’s penthouse is pretty stark. Living in a super nice New York City penthouse isn’t what makes her uncomfortable, it’s the “perks” that come with it. Richard has a housekeeper that does his laundry (really), which is something Sutton isn’t here for.
Sutton is super relatable when discussing this uncomfortable situation with Kat and Jane. While Kat also grew up with a housekeeper and Jane admits that having one herself is something she would want if she’s successful enough, Sutton quips that not only has she never had one, but she almost WAS one herself.
(She also reveals she didn’t get the job because she failed the drug test. Never change, Sutton)
I have to admit, I’m team Sutton here. I don’t care what other people choose to do, but I would never be comfortable having a housekeeper, ESPECIALLY one that does my laundry. My mom cleaned houses when I was a kid, and I did the same for a little bit in college. I really can’t imagine hiring one myself.
Essentially, Sutton is doing two jobs at once while having exactly no time to do her laundry. Honestly, who among us. (Later on Richard ends up doing Sutton’s laundry for her, bragging that even though he had a maid as a kid he still knows how. Congrats I guess?)
Sutton does find out that the reason for Oliver’s absence is actually really heartwarming. Apparently, Oliver’s ex-boyfriend had something of a drug problem before they were together and has relapsed after thier break up. The issue is that this ex has a daughter, to whom Oliver was essentially a step-dad, and she’s now in danger of being sent to a group home since there is no one to take her. Oliver is in the midst of applying to be her legal guardian to prevent this from happening.
Not only is this super sweet, it’s an important conversation to have. As Oliver mentioned, it’s not exactly easy for a gay Black man to adopt a child. As someone who happens to work for a group home, I’m really happy that The Bold Type is approaching this subject. Here’s to hoping that they go into depth with this and don’t just leave it as a side story.
Write it Out
This episode we see Jane begin her fertility treatments, the first step in the process of freezing her eggs. The whole thing is pretty daunting: she needs to inject her medicine every day at the exact same time, visit the doctor every other day, and stay away from alcohol, carbs, and sex for 10 days.
The irony is that none of those things bother Jane too much, especially when compared to her anxiety about sharing this process with Pinstripe. After all, she tried the same thing with Ben in season two: introducing the added stress of the egg freezing process (and Ben’s not at all helpful response) is essentially what drove them apart. She’s more than happy to do all these things on her own, but our new resident Terrible Dude ruins her plan.
Patrick, said Terrible Dude, decides that it would be a great idea for Jane and Pinstripe to write an article on the process together. They’re both writers, they’re dating, and they can offer two unique views on the process. Great idea, right?
Jane definitely doesn't think so. Throughout the episode we see her anxiety at not wanting to share this process with Pinstripe, worried that this will disrupt the happiness that they’ve settled into in thier relationship. She doesn’t want to make things “heavy.” Pinstripe interprets this as Jane not wanting to open up to him, so the disruption that Jane predicted becomes a reality.
Because this is The Bold Type, the negativity doesn't stay for long. Jane realizes that Pinstripe isn’t Ben, and his willingness to support her outweighs her worry.
However, I’m afraid that they’re glossing over a pretty problematic point (say that ten times fast) of Jane’s arc this episode, which is Patrick’s complete disregard for Jane’s feelings and privacy. As a man, Patrick has no idea of the physical, emotional, and mental stress that Jane is dealing with. He completely ignores her when she’s clear about not wanting to write the article with Pinstripe. Jane’s right to discuss her own body and her own medical journey isn’t a thought. Sure, she was willing to write an article on her own, but doing so ensures that she writes it on her own terms. The article and her relationship with Pinstripe worked out in the end, but Patrick’s disregard for Jane the person at the expense of Jane the writer wasn’t lost on me.
We saw the same behavior from Patrick last week as well - he all but forced Kat to use her Blackness and her Queerness to lift up Scarlet. Now, Kat doing that is not the issue, but her choice of when and how to do so was taken away.
Patrick is also pretty rude to Jacqueline this episode - he’s insulted when he realizes that both he and Jacqueline are gunning to interview Cardi B, claiming that he needs to “up his game” since he feels that he is more on top of things than Jacqueline is. He also talks down to her later, over explaining what Rupaul’s Drag Race is with the assumption that Jacqueline is a little too out of touch to be familiar.
We do see Jacqueline put Patrick in his place later on by bringing Sasha Valor of Rupaul fame to Kat’s Queer Prom, revealing that her and Sasha are great friends and that she’s been her long time supporter. Melora Hardin deserves an Oscar for the look she gives him when he realizes that he’s underestimated her.
Raising Some Hell
Before I start, I need to mention how good Kat (Aisha Dee) looks in this episode. Her dress? Her hair? She’s a gift.
Kat’s journey this episode is by far my favorite. She’s back to being proactive and ballsy, throwing everything she has at a Queer Prom fundraiser for a local Lesbian bar that’s in danger of shutting down. She also discovers the reason for the shutdown; the neighborhood is looking to gentrify, and that means pushing out businesses like the aforementioned Lesbian bar. Apparently there were some fines that were brought up from many years ago that the bar wasn’t aware of, and combined with late fees they need to pay over $42,000 or close.
Here’s a definition for gentrification, just to put this into perspective:
“The process of repairing and rebuilding homes and businesses in a deteriorating area (such as an urban neighborhood) accompanied by an influx of middle-class or affluent people and that often results in the displacement of earlier, usually poorer residents.”
It’s the displacement aspect that we’re paying attention to here. The bottom line is that the influx of wealthy white people would rather live next to a Lululemon than a Lesbian bar, and by design gentrification seeks to clear neighborhoods of People of Color, Queer folks, and anyone who happens to be poor. I suggest reading a bit about this, so you should check out articles like Examining the Negative Impacts of Gentrification and 7 Reasons Why Gentrification Hurts Communities of Color.
Also, just a fun reminder that neighborhoods can and should be improved FOR the people that currently live there.
Before Kat thought of throwing a Queer Prom, she met with the local councilman to discuss options. She discovers that he’s written the bar off as a lost cause, telling Kat that unfortunately there is no way to get around paying the fine. He would love more than anything to save the bar for his constituents, but it’s just not possible.
Turns out, that councilman doesn’t actually care about the bar or his constituents. Shocker, I know. He shows up to the Queer Prom for some photos, and while talking to Kat he lets slip that the new condos they’re putting in when the bar closes wouldn’t be so bad afterall. She calls him out for attending the event and using it as a photo op to prop up the illusion that he actually cares about his neighborhood, which was amazingly satisfying to watch. During the end of the episode we see Kat searching up and coming female candidates for office, in what I hope is a bit of foreshadowing.
I’m super happy with this episode. It was uplifting, entertaining, and well executed. I can’t wait for next week!
The Bold Type airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on Freeform.