The Bold Type 3x04 “The Deep End” Review
Here we are, at Episode 4, and we’re starting to pick up speed! Jane discovers the story of a century, Sutton is taking her first steps into designing, Kat has a sold political platform to run on, and Jacqueline got her groove back.
A small disclaimer here: I’m not really going to be talking about Sutton this time around. Sure, her intro to design is nice, but unfortunately is pretty dull when compared to what else is going on this week. Sorry, Sutton.
Let’s get into it.
This episode begins the build up; it’s definitely functioning as the set off point for each character and what I assume to be the rest of the season. We might only be at Episode 4, but each season of The Bold Type is comprised of ten episodes total, which means they have to get the ball rolling on major plot points. After settling us into things — Jane finishing up her fertility treatments, Kat establishing her desire to run for office, and Sutton realizing she wants to explore being a fashion designer — they’re ready to get to the heart of the season.
All three of our gals spend the beginning (and the middle) of the episode struggling. In fact, so does Jacqueline. The tension between Jacqueline and Patrick is at an all time high, and the dotcom is performing better than any of the Safford execs thought it would. Patrick seems to be a bit of a fan favorite of the board (ugh), and as we’ve seen, he’s not afraid to undermine or underestimate Jacqueline. Times are changing, and with Jacqueline’s ten year anniversary as Editor-in-Chief fast approaching, she’s wondering if she’s lost her effectiveness at the magazine. In a rare bout of insecurity, she even expresses her fear that the print edition of Scarlet would soon be completely shut down, leaving only Patrick and the dotcom with no room for her.
Patrick also happens to be the source of Jane’s problems (shocked!). Since signing her up against her will to work exclusively for the dotcom, she’s been working on fluff pieces and missing out on some meaningful journalism. Par for the course, Patrick sends her on a “rage date” with some supermodels, which is essentially a (legal) place to go and destroy physical items to get your “rage” out. Think hitting a TV from the 1980’s with a baseball bat. Honestly, I’d sign right up for some anti-capitalist rage channeling.
Jane ends up stumbling into a goldmine of a story while talking with the models on this rage date — apparently world renowned photographer Pamela Dolan is extremely difficult to work with, and according to some rumors, is possibly abusing the models she hires. Whatever the case, it was enough to send one friend of the model’s back home, never to speak of it again. However, Jane’s excitement at uncovering this groundbreaking story is ruined when Jacqueline rejects it. If those rumors are true, Pamela Dolan has the power and influence to not only take down Jane, but Jacqueline and Scarlet with her. With Jacqueline already fearing for her future at the magazine, it’s not a chance she wants to take.
Kat is also dealing with some tough choices this episode. As a step in her campaign for Councilwoman, her team does a deep dive into her past. The purpose is to discover anything and everything that her opponent might learn, in order to anticipate any good old fashioned personal attacks and also plan a response.
They uncover a few things Kat knew they would, like some recreational marijuana use. But, they uncovered something else: she had an abortion while in college. While she doesn’t regret that decision, she’s not sure if she’s ready for the world to judge her on it.
The Bold Type hasn’t ever been shy about exploring sensitive topics, and I’ll be the first to say that they did very well when navigating Kat’s abortion. As Kat said — she’s not sorry she had the abortion, but she’s not sure that that issue is something she wants to run on. We also find out this episode that both Jane and Sutton never knew, either.
They have a great conversation about why she never said anything, the reason for which isn’t rooted in shame or regret. Kat brings up a good point — it’s not anything to hide, but you don’t necessarily introduce yourself as someone who’s had an abortion. It also wasn’t a traumatic experience for her: she slept with a friend, found out she was pregnant, wasn’t comfortable with having a child, then split the cost with said friend and got the procedure done.
I also think it’s important for the discussion that Kat’s thinking about her abortion not in the context of how it affected her life (or didn’t), but how she would be treated if that information would be used by a political opponent. She doesn’t associate her abortion with shame, but there are people who would be ready to assign shame to her.
Kat also has an important conversation with Tia, her campaign manager (and future girlfriend??????) about her fear of making herself vulnerable to judgment. Kat learns that Tia also had an abortion when she was in college, but her experience wasn’t as seamless as Kat’s. Instead of going to a legitimate clinic, Tia accidentally ended up at an organization that fed her anti-choice propaganda in an attempt to scare and guilt her into not going through with the abortion. Basically, the quieter version of those people picketing and shouting outside of Planned Parenthood. And, Tia points out, there are several of those types of “clinics” in the district Kat is trying to win.
Everything comes together nicely by the conclusion of the episode, which takes place at Jacqueline’s ten year anniversary gala.
(The secretary at work just retired after 38 years and my boss got her a Target gift card, so maybe I should change my profession. Anyway.)
Jane, who picked up on Jacqueline’s self doubt early on, made it her mission to instill a little more pride in her. Her little speech to Jacqueline was really touching; she referenced her hard work over the years, reminded her what an asset she is to the magazine, and how important she is to the whole team at Scarlet. In true Jacqueline fashion we got a rousing speech as a result, the driving force being: Run towards what terrifies you. Take a leap of faith.
This sentiment is the perfect send off for the episode, the rallying point for out characters to move forward into the rest of the season. Jacqueline green lights Jane’s new story, Sutton doubles down on her desire to be a fashion designer, and Kat decides to use her “faults” as her platform. Honestly? It’s the most excited I’ve been all season.
The Bold Type airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on Freeform.