Tuesday, June 4, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Bold Type' - Kat Finds Out the Results of Her Campaign for City Council in 'Final Push'

Freeform's The Bold Type - Episode 3.09 "Final Push"

When Kat begins to doubt herself on the eve of her election, an unexpected person gives her the reassurance she needs. Jane and Jacqueline are confident about their workplace harassment investigation and decide to take action. Sutton coaches Carly through a difficult situation at school.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Freeform's The Bold Type.

"Final Push" was written by Neel Shah and directed by Kimberly McCullough

Kat has been completely committed to her campaign for city council this season. It has been the narrative thrust of her story this year. Everyone has been so supportive of her exploring her identity outside of Scarlet. Plus, it served as a unique situation that tied into the current political moment of the younger generation taking action in order to address some of the major issues going on in our country. Kat never had the fear that she wasn't qualified for this job. Everyone built her up and said that she could do this. She would make a great city councilwoman. It was a one-sided race as well. Her opponent was never really onscreen and made it seem like a dead heat battle between them. However, the show also ran into the wall of the boundaries of the show itself. If Kat were to win this election, then she would pretty much be written off the show because she would be in an entirely new space altogether. The show has deftly tried to balance this yearning for more from the characters regarding their lives and careers this season. It's tried to remain grounded as they explore new ideas outside of Scarlet. And yet, the show is still fundamentally built around the group of people who work at this magazine and digital site. It would have been remarkable if Kat suddenly left that office but was still a prominent part of the ensemble. It just would have been really difficult for the show to balance that without her seeming isolated from everyone else. She hasn't had many responsibilities at Scarlet this season. She only seems to grapple with the reality of having to leave this job she loves so much in this episode. That's too little too late to be all that effective though. It's realistic in that she should be coming up with a plan to be replaced in her current job. She is a department head after all. But she is a little disconnected from everything else. She wants to fight hard in this race. But she also seeks clarity over her relationship with Adena. Tia has largely gone into the background as a love interest. The show trusts the audience to remember that detail without also providing evidence on the screen that they are still an active couple. Instead, Kat and Tia are too focused on the final days of the election. They aren't really intimate here. The history with Adena is powerful. It could fuel a major decision for Kat in the finale. And yet, the big twist here is that she loses this election. Again, it was somewhat inevitable despite the show's constant suggestions that this could have been an easy victory for her. It wasn't. And so, she is defeated. That could create an opportunity for her to examine her life once more and the right way she wants to help people and their struggles in the world. That could keep her at Scarlet. Right now though, that job seems more like a security blanket than something she is genuinely excited about. That passion is missing and will likely continue to be so in the finale as she deals with the aftermath of her election defeat.

Elsewhere, it seems like the show is creating romantic drama and tension for Jane and Sutton in order to disrupt some of their professional accomplishments. That's odd. It shows the many difficult complications that can come up while in a relationship. It's a balancing act in which the pair have to find the perfect compromise in order to last. Jane and Sutton have both been stable in their relationships this season as well. There was already tension between Jane and Ryan because he was on a book tour. He is a rising star in the literary community. Meanwhile, she publishes her story with Jacqueline detailing the abuses done by photographer Pamela Dolan. That story is a weird use of Laila Robins overall though. She just briefly pops up in order to move up the timetable. The death of Scarlet magazine may be inevitable at this point because the website needs to run the story as soon as possible. That always seemed like the better place for the story to run anyway. Plus, it will still be featured in the magazine. There is no reason why things have to be exclusive to one place over the other when they are a part of the same business. That close synergy can be very powerful as well even though there will be a new news cycle by the time the fall magazine comes out. There is the potential that Jane and Jacqueline's story will still be powerful and resonant. But there is also the potential that it may not because Pamela is already being aggressive with her defense. That's all very entertaining. And then, the show just stifles all of that intriguing drama in order for Ryan to come back to town and confess that he got drunk and kissed someone while on tour. That just seems like the show creating drama to keep everyone on their toes heading into the finale. That's not really earned in the slightest. Meanwhile, there is the initial concern that a prominent story with Sutton and Carly will force Sutton and Richard to have the conversation about having kids once more. She previously said that she wasn't ready for them at the moment because she wants to focus on launching her career. And yet, she is so supportive and empowering to this young girl in her time of need. She provides exactly what Carly needs in this moment. There is the sense that Sutton would make a good mother. But the conversation is so much more complex than that. That's also not the twist that happens in this relationship either. Instead, that concern comes from Richard who gets a job offer to do the work he has always dreamed about doing. He has also been at Scarlet for a long time. And yet, this position isn't where his passion is. Sure, his interests aren't prioritized in the same way that many of the other characters are. In fact, he is still mostly defined by his relationship with Sutton. However, this creates a conversation that should mean something even though it shouldn't distract from her big fashion showcase. That too needs to be a moment that will be celebrated.