Tuesday, July 10, 2018

REVIEW: 'The Bold Type' - Jane Writes a Piece About Jacqueline's Impact on the World in 'The Domino Effect'

Freeform's The Bold Type - Episode 2.06 "The Domino Effect"

Jane is thrilled when her sexual assault article for Scarlet is nominated for a prestigious journalism award. Determined to prove herself to Jacqueline, Jane jumps at the chance to write a follow-up piece, until the story takes an unexpected turn. Kat struggles with whether to tell Adena a secret. Sutton is given a challenging assignment - styling Richard's date.

In the first season, the most important articles that Jane wrote were her coverage of the BRCA gene and her profile of Jacqueline as it pertained to sexual assault. Those were very moving stories that featured Jane at her absolute best as a journalist. Yes, she allowed her personal opinions about both subjects dictate her views and what she was comfortable doing. But they ultimately turned out to be great pieces for Scarlet. And so, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the show decides to revisit those topics in its second season. Of course, Jane is in a completely different headspace now. She is working as a freelancer. She doesn’t have any particular outlet where she is writing exclusive content. She is doing her best to assemble pitches in the hopes that someone will commission her to write the story and pay her for it. It’s proven to be a difficult transition for her. She is used to having the structure of a workplace. She enjoys reporting to an editor who will sit her down and discuss the ways in which the article can be improved. She loves that collaborative aspect of this job. Even though she is no longer working for Scarlet, she still craves Jacqueline’s opinion and approval. Of course, there has been tension in their dynamic as well. Jane was heartbroken when Jacqueline didn’t hire her right away after she was fired from Incite. Jane felt absolutely rejected. She interpreted that moment as Jacqueline denying her a chance to work for her ever again. It was her teaching her a lesson. She had to learn that there were consequences to her actions. Jacqueline wanted to ensure that Jane actually learned something from being fired. It would be too easy for her to get a job back and being the same as she was before. That shouldn’t have been an option for Jane. She has struggled with the realities of this profession. She had to learn that she is still representing a company that has a specific perspective that she must obey. She has found work as a freelancer. But it’s clear she is still yearning for more as well. She wants to be back working alongside her best friends. Kat and Sutton have missed her in the fashion closest. They are still in each other’s lives. Their friendship conversations are now just happening more at Jane and Sutton’s apartment. That’s where they gather to talk about their various struggles at work and in their personal lives. They are still the best of friends. But "The Domino Effect" proves to be the episode where things return to the status quo. It always seemed inevitable that Jane would return to work at Scarlet. The show was simply pointing out that it couldn’t just be an easy fix for her. Jacqueline enjoys working with Jane. She sees a rising star capable of greatness in this industry. She has a voice that needs to be heard. All it takes is for Jacqueline to see that Jane has a newfound sense of confidence. An award nomination helps. But the care and consideration she is willing to show to the subjects of her latest article is just as powerful and significant. It proves to Jacqueline that Jane has learned from her mistakes.

Of course, Jacqueline frames all of this as Jane no longer being afraid of the world. When she first approached Jacqueline for a job at Scarlet, it was an action out of fear. She was afraid that she would never work again after blowing this great opportunity at Incite. And now, Jacqueline sees a radically different woman. She sees Jane as someone confident about the stories she has written and the newfound acclaim that she has received for her work. It’s a huge confidence boost for Jane this week with her getting a journalism nomination for her sexual assault piece. Now, the audience will have to debate whether or not Jane has earned such a nomination in the current state of her career. She has made some very foolish and problematic decisions this season. She has wanted the moral high ground in a number of instances where it seemed like she had a fundamental misunderstanding of the profession she was in. She wanted the world to know just how perfect and great she was. She needed some adversity in her career right now in order to grow with confidence. Of course, the show is still validating her story with this nomination. It reflects upon the great work she did at Scarlet last season. There is nothing so far this year that would also be worthy of consideration. Additionally, she is still deeply afraid after the nominations come out. Yes, she’s happy to receive this recognition. It's a huge accomplishment for her that has the potential to boost her career. Strangely though, it takes Ben pointing out to her that she could use this as leverage in order to get more meetings with individuals who could hire her to write for them. She is able to succeed that way as well. She gets a meeting and a new assignment. She is tasked with writing a follow-up piece to her sexual assault article that got this nomination. Sure, that may just be her trying to repeat her past success. And yet, it’s also an important story to tell because it’s even more timely and relevant now than it was a year ago.

That just means Jane is back talking with Jacqueline. They do a photo shoot together in order to capture the best image for this high-profile nomination. It highlights that the two actually work well together even though Jane is still completely intimidated by Jacqueline. But Jane still has the final say when it comes to the story that she gets to publish. She has that power even though she is still just sending her story to an editor in order to get approved. In fact, she is very surprised by the reaction to her initial story. She is shocked to see the turns that it takes. She knew that it was going to be a conversation starter. She understood that it was an important topic where an influential person is sharing her story of abuse. Jacqueline being open about what happened to her inspired other people to come forward. Of course, the show only gets into the specifics of one women, Elena. And yet, it’s the most personal for this story. In fact, it seems like Jane has just a vague objective with this new assignment. Her new editor is only looking for a follow-up story touching on how the first article had an impact in the world especially given the new culture we are all living in. Instead, Jane focuses on how Jacqueline’s story gave another person the confidence to speak out about her assault from the same individual. Jane has questions about how Elena knows for certain that it was the same guy. This was apparently a pattern for this editor. He abused so many women who worked for him. He is dead now. So sharing these stories may be the only amount of closure that they will receive. Jacqueline is so appreciative of what Jane allowed her to do. She felt comfortable sharing the story with her. She could trust her with even the most brutal details. This was a life-changing experience for her. And now, she has new confidence after being able to share it with the world. There is the potential for her to be haunted by knowing that the man did the same thing to women who came after her. Silence only helps the perpetrators. The man who did this to her was allowed to do it again because Jacqueline stayed quiet. As such, it’s easy for Elena to have resentment and anger towards Jacqueline. This assault didn’t have to happen to her. But she doesn’t blame Jacqueline either. She holds all of that pain towards the man who abused his position of power in order to hurt her. That’s the most devastating thing about this story. The focus should be on listening and believing in women when they come forward with these stories. They may just be tossed aside as nothing but mere allegations. But everyone feels comfortable talking with Jane because she is a champion and supporter of women’s rights. She understands that this is tragic and wants to do the best version of the article that is still respectful to the survivors.

All of this ultimately comes to a head at the awards ceremony. Even though Jane and Jacqueline are celebrating this success, they are still discussing the next article and the best way to handle the story. Jane knows that the story will ultimately dictate the direction that it needs to go in. That’s one of the many things that Jacqueline taught her. It’s all told in Jane’s acceptance speech. She actually wins this award. Of course, that too should start the debate over whether or not Jane deserved to win. The story takes the spotlight for the majority of this plot. The importance of this article is played as the reason why Jane wins the award. But she also wants to be sensitive to what everyone else is going through. That too is a sign of maturity and respect. She has learned a lot during her time as a freelancer. She understands that Sutton and Kat may not be in the proper headspace to actually get all dressed up and celebrate this award. Sure, it’s still absolutely sweet and rousing when they do make that commitment to her. They show up to ensure that Jane is surrounded by love. She is so gracious in the moment as well. Her victory speech isn’t this long-winded thing talking about the lessons she has learned over the past year in this industry either. Instead, it’s a reflection on Jacqueline and her values. Jane appreciates everything Jacqueline taught her. It makes it so that even though Jacqueline isn’t her editor on this latest story she feels the need to share it with her and get feedback. Jane is hoping to start a conversation with the people who read this article. She is hoping that her freelance job editor will give her notes that will only improve the piece. Meanwhile, she just wants Jacqueline to know that she did a good job with this story. She listened to the stories of the survivors and ultimately made the right decisions as to what to do with it. It may make the initial story complicated. But it’s also a vital component of this story. As such, it must be shared with the world at large. Jane simply has that responsibility as a journalist. Jacqueline recognizes that as the quality that she wants working for her. It’s clear the moment that Jacqueline calls Jane in for a meeting what the outcome is going to be. And yet, it’s so terrific to see the three friends reunited in the fashion closest. Sutton and Kate are so completely happy for Jane. She is back where she belongs.

Meanwhile, Kat and Sutton have to make some important decisions about their personal lives. The show plays Sutton’s story as her relying on Brooke so much in an attempt to get over Richard. She is still reeling from that breakup even though it was her decision. Of course, the audience should be aware and worried about Sutton because her new friends are addicts who may just be exploiting her for her company card. In the end though, Sutton decides to be with the friends who actually mean something to her. Brooke just wants to go out and party in order to help Sutton get over Richard. But Sutton knows that supporting Jane and Kat is what will really make her happy right now. And then, Kat understands that she needs to be honest with Adena about what happened. The sex dream wasn’t even that bad. It didn’t actually happen. She’s not a cheater. But the show makes sure to change that with Kat getting caught up in the moment and kissing a stranger when she goes out to a lesbian bar. Everyone is just flocking around her because she is new on the scene. They want to know everything about her. That attention is intoxicating. But it’s also destructive. She feels the need to tell Adena right away. But that only further highlights the growing problems between them. Adena is hurt right away. But she does come back home in an attempt to understand why Kat did this. She returns with the understanding that Kat is still very curious about what it means to be a lesbian. Adena is the only woman she has ever been with. As such, Kat could want to get more out of her system until she is ready to settle down for good with Adena even though what they have is so special right now.

Some more thoughts:
  • "The Domino Effect" was written by Amy-Jo Perry and directed by Anna Mastro.
  • More information is given about Richard’s new girlfriend this week. In fact, it’s someone he has dated before. They have a lot of history together from law school. That’s when they were first dating. It didn’t work out then because Richard couldn’t make a lasting commitment. And yet, it certainly seems perfect now - at least that's what Sutton fears.
  • Of course, it’s also incredibly melodramatic that Sutton has to dress Richard’s new girlfriend for this big awards ceremony. It’s meaningful that Jacqueline is seen interacting with her at the event as well. She exists outside of just her relationship with Richard. But that’s also the most important thing about her with Sutton then being awkward around her.
  • Oliver can definitely sense that something is wrong with Sutton and her new friendship with Brooke. He was so happy to be working with Brooke just a few episodes ago. But now, he sees the negative effects that lifestyle has been having on Sutton. It is affecting her ability to do her job because she is showing up late and he is taking notice.
  • Kat knew that the sex dream was a problem. She struggles to sleep afterwards as well. She is over at Jane and Sutton’s apartment at three in the morning. She is just making hangover cures. But she still ultimately makes the decision to go out with Leila knowing that that temptation is there. So, Kat and Adena may not be able to work at the moment.
  • Is the show actually going to show any of the work that Jacqueline promises to do in partnering with Elena? It definitely sounds inspiring from the vague tease that she gives Jane. It proves that awareness of the situation and that the story extending beyond just one person can also be life-changing. These two are coming together to help those also affected by sexual assault feel heard and empowered.