The Bold Type 3x08 “Revival” Review
And just like that… we only have two episodes left? It seems like yesterday I was reviewing the season premiere. Now it’s almost over, and I’m hyped for the finale. I have to say, this week’s episode did a great job of building that hype.
All three of our girls go through some rough patches this week. As part of those rough patches? Sutton and Richard have a disagreement about money. Shocking, I know.
We finally get to see Sutton at one of her design seminars (the shirt that won was HIDEOUS), but unfortunately, she’s stuck using her old, practically broken sewing machine. Her lack of a dependable sewing machine is definitely making things harder for her, so Richard decides to buy her a sewing machine that costs over two thousand dollars. Now, I’m not an expert or anything, but that seems like… a lot for a sewing machine.
As per usual, Sutton is taken aback by this — from day one she’s been uncomfortable about Richard’s wealthy lifestyle (remember that maid argument?). Also as per usual, Richard is seemingly unable to understand why. The sewing machine is a gift, and boyfriends give their girlfriends gifts, right? So what’s the big deal?
Sutton does her best to explain why she’s refusing the sewing machine, and, unlike Richard, I completely understand her reasoning. We know that Sutton grew up poor, and we find out in this episode that as she was growing up, watching her mother wait for her child support check and panic when it didn’t arrive was something that really affected her. Money is power, especially to people who don’t have any. Seeing her mother be so dependant on someone else for financial support made her determined that she wouldn’t have to go through the same thing.
To my suprise, the role of gender never got brought up in a significant way in regards to Sutton and Richard disagreeing. During a “stitch and bitch” session at Jane’s (and Alex’s for now) apartment they did hint at it. Alex told Sutton she was overreacting, only to have Jane flip the situation and ask him how he would feel if his girlfriend would insist on paying for everything. He admitted it would make him uncomfortable. See? Money = power, especially for women. Actually, maybe I should rephrase. Money = independence.
In an attempt for Richard to get the point across, he makes a chart that breaks down every little expense that they share, divided equally into two parts. He lists rent, household expenses, and even what Sutton’s share of the OJ is in the morning. He’s trying to show her what it would be like if they were truly equal when it comes to financial matters and, basically, to tell her that she hasn’t been paying her full half this whole time, so why start now. His explanation might have been nicer, but that’s certainly how I saw it.
Now, Sutton is fine with this (and she ends up accepting that sewing machine) — but to be honest, I would have walked out. Taking the time to type up, organize, and color coordinate a spreadsheet of exactly how much money he’s spent on her, especially knowing how she feels about money? Honestly, that’s borderline emotional abuse, and it makes no sense that Sutton would be okay with that.
This is the third or fourth episode in a row where Sutton and Richard have an argument about something, most of the time that something being money. If you remember any of my previous reviews you’d know that I feel neutral about Richard, but after this season I just might become an anti. He has a fundamental misunderstanding about her feelings at LEAST once an episode, and it’s becoming clear that them moving in together has only exaggerated their differences. I also don’t know why Sutton would be interested in Richard — sure, we’ve seen that she’s attracted to him and that she loves him, but I don’t think we’ve ever been shown why.
Meanwhile, Jane and Jacqueline’s Pamela Dolan story is progressing fast. They’ve managed to get a handful of models to agree to open up about the abuse they endured, despite the fact that they’ve all signed NDAs. Jane and Jacqueline assure them that they won’t face any legal repercussions from breaking this contract, which confuses me. It’s a legal document that they signed in which they agreed to not speak about their experiences with Pamela Dolan under penalty of law — I don’t think that’s something you could avoid. This might be one of those “we know it doesn’t hold up but we need it to work for the plot,” which we’ve certainly seen from this show before.
Besides her professional stress, Jane is also experiencing some stress in her personal life. Pinstripe has left on his book tour and they’re struggling to connect, which is normal considering their hectic schedules and professional commitments. I have a feeling this is setting the stage for some kind of drama in the season finale, but as of now I’m interpreting it as a normal thing to experience. Alex, however, doesn’t help the situation — after reading Pinstripe’s book he points out that the main character has some questionable opinions about relationships, causing Jane some more stress.
In my opinion, Alex inferring that Pinstripe thinks the same things as his main character is… super dumb. He’s a writer, and if he’s a good one, he’ll know how to write about things that are different from his own opinions and thoughts. He does later on take back these assumptions, citing Madame Bovary, a book about a woman who has an affair that was written by a man, to Jane as a way to remind himself that writers step outside of themselves all the time when writing.
Um, obviously? I’m pretty sure J.K. Rowling isn’t an eleven-year-old wizard. I’m surprised that made it to the episode, if I’m honest.
(Also, I saw the Madame Bovary movie — please save yourself two hours and don’t watch it. It’s awful and there’s literally no point. Sorry, Mia Wasikowska, you were great, but that’s about it).
Also Also, Jane jokingly referred to Alex as “Jeff-lex” a few times this episode, which is a reference to a few episodes ago in which Alex found himself the subject of a #MeToo story describing how he pressured a woman into sex, who chose to use the name “Jeff” in the story to protect his identity.
Hey, Bold Type writers, how exactly is this funny? By joking about that story, both Jane and Alex are making light of what that woman went through, and by default, everyone else with a similar story. It’s not funny, it’s disgusting. Shame on you.
And now for Kat. Poor, sweet Kat. Just as things are heating up with Tia and they’re finally in a good place, Adena is back in town and asking to see her. This is further complicated when Adena is chosen to do the photoshoot of the models speaking out against Pamela Dolan, and her and Kat end up running into each other at Scarlet. I, for one, am glad that Adena is back. Even if her and Kat don’t end up getting back together, I think it’s important to offer both Kat and the audience some closure. Adena was incredibly important for Kat and her discovering her queerness. As a pretty significant character for the first two seasons she was (and is) also important to the audience as well, and let’s not forget the stellar representation she brought to the show as a lesbian Muslim woman of color.
The second season, however, didn’t do a lot to justify them being together, but I don’t necessarily think that was on purpose. I think that, without getting too much into last season, the writer’s wanted to create drama and instead created a list of reasons why they didn’t belong together.
Just as an example — one episode, Kat is shown to be pretty jealous of Adena hanging out with her ex, worried that there would be some lingering feelings. In a serious contrast, the very next episode saw Kat kissing a stranger at a bar.
That’s not to say I wouldn’t support them getting back together — but I would be sad for Tia, and confused as to why that relationship has been built up to all season. If they do choose to go that route I would need a realistic wrap up to Kat and Tia’s story, and for the clumsy storylines they forced on Kat and Adena in season two to not make a come back.
Alyssa’s episode rating: 🐝🐝 for the Jeff-lex comment alone
The Bold Type airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on Freeform.