"The Truth Will Set You Free": Recap of S4E14 of The Bold Type (SPOILERS)
Although I am a huge fan and avid watcher of The Bold Type, I rarely post reviews; this is mostly due to wanting to be in the moment, week to week. But, there are instances where an episode has either left my jaw on the floor, has truly shaken me or has impressed me to no end, that I have no choice but to give a rousing review. And, season four episode 14, which aired July 2, has done all of the above.
Just to recap a bit of the previous episode "Lost," Sutton was grappling with her pregnancy and ultimate miscarriage, eventually feeling relieved that she was no longer pregnant; Jane was not comfortable with her new breasts and how they fit with her body, overall, leaving her feeling unlike herself; while Kat was struggling financially but also on a quest to start a podcast, not yet finding an ideal first guest.
I've seen a few tweets from viewers who can't (and seem to have never) sympathize with "Tiny Jane" and her "tiny problems", especially, as they see it, compared to Sutton's and Kat's. But, I must say that Jane surprised me the most in this episode, literally bringing me to tears. Jane's life as a young magazine writer is what initially piqued my interest in the show; I wanted to be that. But, as the show went on, my love grew for Sutton and her relationship with Richard, which I will address in a few.
I want to start with Kat.
I'm still not over her being fired from Scarlet, especially now that it seems the show is leaning toward hooking her up with Ava (Alex Paxton-Beesley), the daughter of RJ Safford (Aidan Devine), Safford's CEO, who also happened to run conversion therapy (trying to convert LGBTQ+ people to heterosexuality). Not only is Ava RJ's daughter, but she is white, conservative, Republican and does not share Kat's ideologies.
At the last moment, writers seemed to slyly squeeze in that Ava just happens to be a lesbian, during their conversation for Kat's first episode of her podcast -- which is not enough to make up for what her father has done, even if she may not be directly involved. In reading other reviews, I get what the writers are trying to do with uniting a Black, queer, liberal woman with the total opposite, but it may have been more well-received if Kat's potential love interest wasn't RJ's daughter (or any relative). I'm not sure how this will pan out, but it may only work if Ava completely removes herself from her father's wrongdoing and calls him out for it, consistently holding his feet to the fire. Otherwise, throw her to the curb! Kat deserves better!
Next is "Tiny Jane," who brought the waterworks in full effect this week! I *NEVER* cry -- honestly, I trained myself years ago to never cry unless absolutely necessary -- but something came over me, out of nowhere!
After pitching the idea to Jacqueline to write about "The Failing Feminist: Powerdressing Outside the Office", inspired by a DVF [Diane von Furstenberg] wrap dress her mom used to wear, Jane quickly realized how unsexy and unempowered she had been feeling since her double mastectomy and subsequent breast implant surgery. Needing a specific photo of her mom in her own DVF dress, she called her dad, Mr. Sloan (Kelly AuCoin) to email it to her. But, being the terrific father that he is, he sensed something was wrong over the phone and thought it necessary to surprise Jane by hand delivering both the photo and the dress to her.
What ensued was Jane telling him exactly how she's been feeling ever since the procedures, which I thought was super cute (and vulnerable) between a father and daughter, *cue the tears*, and him taking Jane out of her apartment and over to her favorite childhood bookstore to buy pretty pens and a planner (a girl after my own heart).
They eventually sat down for another heart to heart, with Jane's dad reminding her of her original plan and goals in life and how she should view the procedures as a second chance at life, especially after her mom wasn't given the same. This unexpected visit from her dad turned into exactly what Jane needed most: a familiar voice and perspective from someone who knows exactly what her mom went through and who could get her to step outside of herself and her thoughts, to see herself for what she's always been -- beautiful and strong. Go Jane!
Now to my absolute fave (individually and together) -- the reason I look forward to each episode week to week -- my guilty pleasure -- Sutton and Richard (Sam Page).
Hold on to your seats kids! This one's gonna be a long and bumpy ride!
We last left the happy couple at a bit of a crossroads, even if they didn't know it yet. Sutton was extremely relieved that she was no longer "with child", and Richard, as always, was there for her as the loving and doting partner.
Fast forward to this episode, and we learn why Sutton is so relieved.
After being a personal assistant to a snooty boss before becoming Oliver's (Stephen Conrad Moore) assistant in the styling department, ultimately gaining a world of experience, Sutton, with her own degree of expertise, has finally gotten to a place in her career where she's always wanted to be. At age 26, she is newly married, has patched up her strained relationship with her mom and now has her own assistant. Life could not be more complete. But, wait! What about the baby she almost carried for nine months and brought into this world with her husband, Richard?
Meanwhile, Richard, although sympathetic, is excited to try again for another baby. When Sutton tells him that she isn't ready just yet, which is understandable after what she went through with the miscarriage, he understands, like he always does, and reassures her that they can always try again when she's ready.
However, after talking to Jane who recently regained her strength, beauty and confidence, Sutton comes to her own realization that she never wants kids. Her career and new marriage are enough for her, but she's afraid of how Richard will receive her newfound revelation.
Before I dive in to the most explosive scene of the night, I'd just like to point out the irony in the large age gap between the pair. Their gap of 14/15 years, with Sutton at 26 and Richard at 40/41, has been their triumph (and the reason why I always rooted for them to succeed), but has now become their downfall. Sutton, as mentioned before, is finally at a place she's always dreamed of as a young stylist, but Richard, who has been in his dream career for years now, is at a place where he is happy with Sutton and wants to build a family.
This is where things become tough to grapple with.
The Bold Type writers really outdid themselves with this one! I think I can count on both hands (and feet!) the number of times Richard has sacrificed his wants and desires to allow Sutton to reach and achieve hers. O.K., O.K., maybe not hands and feet, but it's more than enough, and definitely more than Sutton has for him.
It was already a huge risk for them to be together, especially at work; more of a risk for Richard, who had a more stable and substantial position at Safford than Sutton had with Scarlet, at the time. But, as always, they powered through.
Then, there was the issue of Richard wanting to buy a house and raise a family in Connecticut with Sutton. Not fully on board, Sutton made an effort to meet and dine with his closest friends, ultimately concluding that that life was not for her, with Richard seeing things from her point of view. Once again, they made this work.
Then, the night before their wedding, Sutton announced to Jane and Kat that she would be moving to San Francisco with Richard. However, on the morning of their wedding day, Sutton let Richard know that Oliver offered her a stylist job at Scarlet, which ultimately meant that she would not be moving to San Fran with Richard. A pep talk just a few moments before with her mom, Babs (Rya Kihlstedt), in the limo, reminded Sutton that she has always been the kind of girl to go after what she wants, no matter what.
Richard didn't immediately like the idea because in his mind, they had already made the decision, together, to move out west and start a family. However, his own pep talk with Jacqueline, reminded him that he chose to marry a woman who tells him exactly what she wants, instead of holding things in and letting resentment build up over time. This would come back to bite Richard and Sutton in the butt, when Sutton confesses to Richard that she never wants kids. Even after pinky swearing to try again in five years (instead of 15 after Sutton suggested that they freeze his sperm), once again, Sutton changes her mind, as she always does, and goes against their promise.
On one hand, I can completely understand Sutton's plight. I'm 28 now and I can't imagine being married, so I wouldn't even begin to think about that at 26. I'm not exactly where I want to be in my career yet either, so I can't say that I wouldn't react with the same content with life just the way it is (sans children) that Sutton did. So, I understand how she feels being at the start of her career and her life, especially after dealing with abandonment and mommy issues. She is a hard worker who always tells it like it is and sticks to reality; traits I've always admired about her. But, she chose to get married.
The same way Jacqueline reminded Richard that he got married to a woman who tells him exactly what she wants, is the same way that Sutton has to remember that she is not single and living for herself. Time and time again, Richard has put his life on hold to accommodate Sutton's goals and dreams. This is great! I'm sure every wife or girlfriend would appreciate a partner who does this, but when will it be Sutton's time to do the same for Richard?
We can go into a deep discussion about feminism and equality and the male ego, but at the end of the day, Sutton chose to marry Richard, just as he chose to marry her. He can't always be the partner who puts his wants and needs on hold just to make sure that Sutton's wants and needs are being met.
On the other hand, however, I can respect how open and honest Sutton has been with Richard with her feelings and wants and dislikes. She went through a miscarriage which, despite his perfect ability to understand, he will never truly know how it feels, so, she has the right to not want to try again any time soon. But to pinky swear to try again in five years, then turn around and crush that dream, must have been devastating to Richard. However, this isn't to say that Richard should hold Sutton's decision against her, but maybe to say that, after all, they may just not be right for each other.
Richard and Sutton have always been the power couple who have this ability to jump through any hoop, climb over any bridge, and crawl through any tunnel to solve a problem and stay together, but something as crucial as wanting to have kids (or not) is a dealbreaker. It's also something that should have been discussed in depth prior to saying "I Do".
Has the truth set Sutton free? Could this be the end of #Rutton? Or is it #Sichard?
Either way, I'm certain episode 15 will be one for the books, after the way Richard threw his phone at the wall. We have never seen him that angry or violent in any capacity, but I see that as being the straw that broke the camel's (his) back. After letting Sutton have her way with all their prior major decisions, this revelation just sent him over the edge.
Are you #TeamRichard or #TeamSutton? Think the dynamic duo will survive this one?