Tuesday, June 26, 2018

REVIEW: 'The Bold Type' - Sutton Is Faced with an Agonizing Choice in Order to Make Industry Connections in 'OMG'

Freeform's The Bold Type - Episode 2.04 "OMG"

Jane crosses paths with Pinstripe, who inspires her to try a new style of writing. Meanwhile, she learns something new about Ben. Adena reluctantly brings Kat out to meet her friends, and Kat quickly immerses herself in the New York lesbian scene. Sutton fights for an in with a well-connected influencer named Brooke.

Jane, Sutton and Kat became friends because they all started at Scarlet at the same time. They bonded over their shared experience of being assistants together trying to achieve their goals in this industry. That was several years ago. And now, they are in such wildly different points in their lives. Kat is a department head who is in love. She had the opportunity to go off on a vacation and came back with more responsibilities at Scarlet. She was now in the board meetings alongside Jacqueline pitching ideas for how the company could expand its social media focus and messaging. Meanwhile, Jane is just a freelancer now. She thought she could easily return to Scarlet after her firing at Incite. Instead, Jacqueline told her that she needed to live in this failure a little while longer in order to find whatever comes next in her story. That adventure may still lead her back to Scarlet. It may have been a cruel thing for Jacqueline to have done because Jane is struggling to have enough money to pay for anything. But it's also inspiring her to try different forms of writing just to see if a new spark could ignite for her in that regard. Meanwhile, Sutton stayed an assistant the longest. She is still technically an assistant as well. She has just moved to the fashion department where she wants to build on her dreams. She has been killing it as the assistant to Oliver as well. Everyone has noted what a keen eye she has when it comes to fashion. She always gives the best advice and is able to find the perfect accessory whenever the situation calls for it. And yet, she still feels like she has to work all of the time just to get some of the respect and the hope that she will be given even more responsibilities soon. As such, she is desperate to make industry connections. She sees it as the one thing that will allow her to move up in this world. All it takes is one connection for her to suddenly be lifted up to a new level of contacts in this industry. However, everyone should be very worried about Sutton moving forward as well.

At the start of "OMG," Sutton is envious of how an influencer like Brooke has already achieved so much fame in life. She wants that seemingly perfect life where Brooke always looks absolutely flawless every moment of the day. As such, this becomes a story of Sutton becoming friends with Brooke. They find that they actually have a lot in common. They are both newly single and ready to just hit the town and celebrate their new status as two single women. It's all presented as this honest connection that is going to do so much for Sutton's career. Yes, she puts in more work upfront to ensure that she actually has a physical fitting with Brooke at work. She easily could have just collected a bunch of outfits and emailed the choices to Brooke's team. But Sutton was willing to put the work in to ensure that she remained a memorable part of Brooke's life. This is a connection that could lead to new opportunities for Sutton. She has been at Scarlet for four years and she still feels like she doesn't have enough to show for it. That's depressing and simply not true at all. But at this moment in time, Sutton still believes she has to hustle in order to be rewarded. She has proven herself to be able to connect with people very easily. She is able to be that friend whom everyone can trust immediately. That's a powerful tool. But now, it appears as if she is being taken advantage of by her new friends. Sutton and Brooke go out to this club one night and have a blast. It's a night that goes completely well and forges a deeper friendship. The following night they do so again and Sutton meets even more industry connections as well as an invite to a dinner party that everyone is always so desperate to attend. But she is also presented with a choice. She discovers that this group of people also charged five hundred dollars worth of cocaine on Sutton's card for Scarlet. She is understandably freaking out. She doesn't want anything to ruin this job for her. She knows that she has gotten noticed and is appreciated at work. But now, she fears that she won't advance any further in her career if she doesn't support these friends financially with their various addictions. Sutton being pulled further into that world and costing Scarlet a ton of money could end up being very disastrous for her. As such, the audience should be very worried about her at the moment.

Meanwhile, Jane is being pulled in a couple of different directions. Sutton keeps suggesting that she is now caught in a love triangle between Pinstripe and Ben. Jane bumps into Pinstripe at the local coffee shop and presents her with a new job opportunity. She sees it as just two friends helping each other with their jobs while getting the money to finance their actual dreams in this world. Pinstripe says this job working the gossip column may not be great. But it's also allowing him to have the free time during the day to actually work on a novel. That's exciting. Jane manages to get a couple of huge scoops when she hits the club with Pinstripe as well. This has never been a type of writing she has done before. And yet, she also does well at it because people in clubs may be more honest and forthcoming with beautiful women instead of strange men. That's the advantage that Jane has in this kind of work. It proves that Jane and Pinstripe do make quite an effective team. It never crosses the line into fully establishing itself as a romantic connection either. Yes, they were dating last season and it was very sweet. But that never gets in the way of their personal agendas in this episode. As such, it's refreshing. It shows that exes can genuinely look out for each other even if they are no longer a part of each other's daily lives. Jane hasn't seen Pinstripe in awhile. She didn't know what he was doing for work. But he gives her a way out of the house that does give her the opportunity to write. And yet, she struggles with the morality of this profession. Pinstripe argues that the more scandalous the news the higher it will sell. It will be more impressive if Jane breaks this story about a local newsman cheating on his pregnant wife. But she doesn't feel comfortable doing that because it would be destroying a family. Of course, that destruction has already occurred due to the man's philandering ways. It mostly just proves that she doesn't have the stomach for this kind of work even though it would still allow her to pursue other creative endeavors in the hopes of rediscovering her voice.

Elsewhere, Jane is no longer certain about her chemistry with Ben. She only has doubts now because she sees him praying before a meal. That immediately makes her uncomfortable. Every other aspect of this date goes well. This is the only thing that really bugs her about him. She is willing to be completely honest with him about her current struggles with her job. Meanwhile, she also refuses to have a genuine conversation with Ben about religion for the longest time. She doesn't understand how a man of science could believe in God. His answer basically only makes Jane fear that he is pushing this religion on everyone around him even though that's not what he's saying at all. He relies on his faith in order to have peace and understanding after all of the difficulties and heartbreaks he experiences on the job. He needs it for himself. He doesn't want others to believe the same way that he does. But it takes all of these experiences at the club with Pinstripe for Jane to actually confide in Ben about what really annoys her about religion. It all has to do with her mom. She was a devout woman who believed if the family prayed hard enough then she would beat cancer. She didn't even though Jane prayed as hard as she could. Then, the priest's form of comforting her was telling her that God took her mother to a better place. She just couldn't understand a life that was better for her mom that didn't include her in it. It just didn't make any sense to her. As such, she no longer sees religion as anything more than a complete fantasy that a bunch of people tell themselves into believing that something grander exists. It's an important conversation for the two of them to have though. It brings them closer together because Jane is being honest. And then, it may lead to inspiration for the next piece of writing she is working on.

Meanwhile, Kat becomes worried and paranoid that there is something in Adena's past that she is keeping from her. It's not as effective as the other two stories of this episode even though it too is about being honest with oneself and sharing those hopes and fears with those you love. Kat and Adena do love each other. And yet, they are still in that place in their relationship where they feel the need to keep certain details from each other in the hopes of protecting them from the damage they may inflict. But Adena's refusal to answer these very basic questions about past relationships only sends Kat spinning more. She is starting to become worried that there is some tragic thing in Adena's past that she is keeping a secret. It makes her also worry that she is going crazy just like Coco because of the way that Adena is making her feel. Kat expressing these thoughts is even enough to start a fight between the two of them. But it's also important to end in that happy place of the two of them confessing their love even though Adena still refuses to tell Kat how many women she has had sex with. It's once again a story about honesty and communication. Adena feels the need to keep aspects of her life and her feelings from Kat because she doesn't want the woman she loves to be guilt-ridden for keeping her away from other opportunities in the world. Adena is saddened by the fact that she can't return home to spend time with her mother on her birthday. She is afraid she won't be allowed back in America if she goes. She doesn't want Kat to think that Adena is making a choice between the two of them. That's easy to understand while also being completely heartbreaking. This connection is only growing more deep and loving just as the season continues to state that Adena's future with her visa is completely up in the air.

Some more thoughts:
  • "OMG" was written by Neel Shah and directed by James Travis.
  • So, Jane plans on writing about her connection with God. That should be an interesting subject for her to explore especially as it connects back to her mother and all of her fears that she will follow the same trajectory as her. And yet, is this new project she's writing going to be an article to fuel her next round of pitching to various outlets? Or will it be a book? She could succeed in either outlet. It should just be interesting to see which she chooses.
  • Jane also doesn't believe that Pinstripe is actually writing a novel. She believes he's just using this latest job as an excuse to go out every night on someone else's expense while also showcasing how he's completely okay with the immorality of this kind of gossip work. It's nice to see him back this week. But I also wonder if he'll listen to anything Jane has to say and explore other opportunities. As such, the season should bring him back for more.
  • Of course, there's also the unfortunate state of the love triangle where Jane has more chemistry with Pinstripe than she does with Ben. Pinstripe just feels like a more natural fit for her even though they have had volatile moments as well. Meanwhile, Ben still feels pretty stiff and awkward around her. It makes it more difficult to actually buy into them as a couple who could be beneficial to each other.
  • Over eight hundred dollars is a lot to spend on one night out having drinks with a client. And yet, that's what Sutton writes down for the expense report. As such, it should be fascinating to see if it goes completely unnoticed by whomever is in charge of the finances at Scarlet. Brooke believes it will be completely fine. And yet, she's also snorting cocaine. So, she may not have the most clarity on the subject.
  • Also, it's bold of the show to just explore the seedier elements of the city that Jane, Kat and Sutton are living in. Sutton is wrestling with whether or not she's comfortable in an environment where people are abusing hard drugs just because they can lead to more opportunities for her. Of course, it's also notable that cocaine is never seen onscreen. The audience just sees Brooke sniffing her nose after Sutton comes back to the table.