Monday, August 12, 2019

REVIEW: 'GLOW' - Sheila Delivers a Stunning Performance While Rhonda Works to Be Intimate With Bash Again in 'The Libertines'

Netflix's GLOW - Episode 3.09 "The Libertines"

Ruth heads to LA for her big audition, Debbie helps Bobby take the Libertine Ball to the next level, and Rhonda plots to rekindle Bash's interest.

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 Netflix's GLOW.

"The Libertines" was written by Rachel Shukert and directed by Phil Abraham

This is an episode of hugely rewarding moments that emerge after a season's worth of build-up and tension. It's also just truly stunning to watch Sandy walk out in that Showgirls outfit. That is such an unexpected moment because Sandy isn't in the rest of the episode. It's something the audience probably wasn't expecting. And yet, Geena Davis looks amazing. Sandy and Bobby have so much fun bantering and singing together before everything goes awry. Yes, tragedy does strike during this ball. In fact, there are a number of moments throughout this episode in which any kind of progress can be seen as a double-edged sword. Ruth gets her confidence back about acting only for Justine to want to pursue a different direction with the character. Rhonda reignites the sexual spark between her and Bash. It just comes with him slowly coming to terms with his sexuality by engaging fully with a threesome with Paul. Arthie feels welcomed and celebrated by the LGBTQ+ community during this ball. But she finally experiences the horrors and discrimination that the rest of the world can direct at them. And finally, Sheila freaks out about Ruth missing their big acting showcase. But she rallies and delivers one of the most moving monologues of the night that sends the audience into tears and rapturous applause. This is an episode worth celebrating. It's one that sees major romantic developments as well. Ruth admits her feelings to Sam and they kiss. They don't ultimately make it back to his place though. Instead, he feels the need to tell her that she won't be getting the part in Justine's movie. That's enough to ruin any kind of momentum the two of them were hoping to get by reconnecting. The series has long positioned them as romantic interests who were slowly building to that realization. Sam admitted his feelings early on this season. When Ruth was willing to do the same, he was gone. And now, she feels confident enough to open herself up in this way once more. But he instead disappoints her with news that her life won't be changing any time soon. GLOW's run in Las Vegas may be coming to an end once more. Ruth still doesn't have any sense of direction in her life. But it's also important to point out that her choosing to be with Sam in a romantic way was also destructive to the promise she made to Sheila. She was kissing him when she should have been getting back on the road. Sheila had to go on solo because of Ruth's actions. It's unclear what happened to her. She just leaves everyone in limbo not knowing how to react to any offer of what to do next. That is absolutely crippling and paralyzing to her. It all eventually works out for Sheila. Again, her monologue is tremendous. She may truly be the best actor in GLOW. Everyone will now fully appreciate that and probably even incorporate it further into the production. This season has been one of personal growth for all of these characters. Sheila is allowing more people to see who she truly is. She shines so brightly in this environment. So many people have a blast during this ball. Bobby was proud to raise funds for AIDS awareness and treatment. Debbie was excited to produce her first show. It's just tragic that it ends in flames. Angry protestors disrupt the love and celebration. That's absolutely heartbreaking. It makes it seem as if it's all destined to end in despair and disaster. This is something that Bobby, Yolanda and their community know all too while. Their new straight allies may not understanding the sheer viciousness of it and just how common it can truly be. Of course, the show still wants to be a celebration during the central threesome between Bash, Rhonda and Paul. That truly is eye-opening. Rhonda was just trying to trick Bash into being intimate with her once more. The plan doesn't go how she expected it too though. Everyone seems game for the changing dynamics of this situation. However, the look that Bash gives Paul right before the kiss is so insightful. It's as if a world of possibilities is opening up to him. That could be absolutely frightening and terrifying because of all the hatred pointed out elsewhere in this world. In this moment though, it's a freeing experience. It may not be what Rhonda wanted. And yet, it's also her becoming more aware of the truth. She and Bash have formed a genuine connection this season. The audience always feared that it would end in tragedy over his sexuality. But now, that reveal happens in a way that could still cause a lot of drama but is largely about acceptance of one's true self. It's awkward leading the conversation to that point. But it's also one that illuminates so much about the people within this sexual dynamic. It may just be a job for Paul but it opens the world up so much for Bash and Rhonda in ways both exciting and purely terrifying.