Season 1, Episode 7
Date of release: June 23, 2017 (Netflix)
If this episode isn’t establishing GLOW as one of the best television shows in history, then I don’t know what is going on in the business. These 35 minutes gave me an equal amount of joy and entertainment than the first TRANSFORMERS movie would have given me, if I had been a ten-year-old boy watching the movie for the first time (I was 20 – it was still a fun movie). I couldn’t stop laughing during the tag team fight with the black ladies against the white supremacists, and I was happy that Ruth and Debbie were completely into their performance, almost forgetting everything about their personal conflict of distrust and hate and just loving their new job, which might have seemed really enjoyable for the two women for the first time ever. They figured out how to accept each other’s surroundings on a business level, and judging by how they wished each other luck right before their match-up, they were also on a path of redemption, which means they could have ended up being friends again. Which is why Mark needs to get shot for his sudden appearance and his non-belief and mission to destroy Debbie, because he wasn’t able to understand what might be going on in the mind of his soon-to-be ex-wife and her former best friend. Mark came in to screw everything up for Debbie (and to an extent Ruth), essentially becoming the villain and stopping the progress Debbie and Ruth have made over the course of this episode. Debbie should have smashed Mark out of the washroom, but I guess she was too flabbergasted about what just happened.
And the sudden drama definitely worked. It was painful to witness the change from an enjoyable and entertaining wrestling show to a character drama within seconds, and I definitely did not want Debbie to end up that destroyed by the end of the show, when she was having the fun of her life just a minute ago. It makes you feel for her enormously, and it makes Mark turn into the villain of her story, because GLOW still needs a villain, considering there isn’t really anyone on board at the moment who wants to destroy the wrestling show from happening or fire all the women. Sam should start fearing for the loss of his wrestling superstar, simply because Mark brought with him all the domestic problems and emotions, which will screw with Debbie’s mind. Mark’s appearance did so many things at the end of the episode, and all of them worked to perfection. It’s interesting how one character could change the dynamic and level of emotion of the show so much — and this within seconds. And I really wanted to see how the crowd would have lost their collective minds seeing Lady Liberty smash her body on the Soviet piece of crap. By the way, Ruth really sold that character to perfection. Her entrance gave me joy, and as it looked like, the same joy was given to the fictional audience of the first-ever live show.
The two-on-two fight also gave me joy, because I wasn’t expecting that at all. It’s nice to see that Cherry and Welfare Queen were also able to change their characters and fight choreography a little bit, just to pop things up a bit more, to make things more interesting. If Sam’s mind lights didn’t go on during that performance, then I don’t know what the hell Sam was even doing directing that show. During the performance I did love that the appearance of the white supremacists turned everyone down for a second – I bet even Sam was thinking ‘WTF’ for a few too many seconds, expecting to throw himself into the ring and fire everyone involved, but the show worked. The audience was into it. The white supremacists were booed off the ring and out of the gym, and the audience was wild about all of it.
In the meantime, the writers didn’t hold back to create some storytelling. Machu Picchu’s stage fright came out of nowhere and defined her character, and I especially loved that Bash was seriously worried about her (so, there might still be a love story here, which I would be happy to see, although I still believe that Bash is a closeted gay failure of a Hollywood producer). In addition to that, her brothers actually helped Ruth and Debbie to sell their show, which means Machu Picchu will soon see her family in the audience, and that might actually help her to overcome said stage fright — it’s a tiny little storyline, but for her it’s a huge character arc. Even more so for a half-hour comedy drama.
And finally, the little tidbits: As expected, Justine has a huge crush on Sam, essentially risking her position with the gorgeous ladies of wrestling. The story not only gave color to Rhonda, who told Sam about Justine like it’s one of the most normal things that could happen to a girl, it also helped Justine, whom I wanna see more of (as well as Sheila, but unfortunately she hasn’t gotten a lot of screentime since the reveal of her wolf back story). I would just hope that Sam makes good on his threat to fire whoever stole his video camera, because otherwise he couldn’t be taken seriously as a director and as the boss of the whole thing.
And the impromptu “rap” number at the end? If I would have been more emotionally connected to the show, I probably would have cried a tear or two, but I wasn’t, so I didn’t. Still, it was a cute moment, although the score that was running through that scene reminded me of the end of a battle scene in an anti-war movie in the vein of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. Maybe not the most perfect choice for a score, but the message was still delivered. The women had fun doing their draft show, and Sam and Bash and the producer saw that there is definitely potential in the wrestling show, if Sam and the women are being allowed to continuously work on their characters and performances.