GLOW (“Outward Bound”)

Season 3, Episode 6
Date of release: August 9, 2019 (Netflix)

We were so close! We could have had an entire episode of television in which there was not a single man. 41 Minutes of female friendship only, with no dick in sight interrupting the process or trying to get his opinion across. An hour of television without the presence of a male — that is what we would have had if it hadn’t been for the extra in the elevator Ruth got out of. Sure, that man had absolutely nothing to say, which makes this episode one of the few, if not the only one of television (I don’t know about that one though), without a man saying a single word, but at the end of the day it’s not an episode without a single man in it. I don’t know if this was a mark the writers and producers wanted to reach (hence the elevator guy) or if they even noticed they were reaching it, and missed it thanks to the one scene in the hotel.

This was a great episode. It’s almost as much of a throwaway half hour (plus twelve minutes) as the story of Britannica making a real-life boy out of Tim and having to wrestle for her own memory, but it’s as much of an entertaining episode as almost any other of the show, minus the beginning stages, which kind of feel like they have been left out of the room to rot, because maybe even the writers realized they were going to places the show could not handle (so far I am happy that the bulimia story hasn’t been touched ever since that episode ending). After six episodes, the characters are kind of busy getting around the thought of staying in Vegas a little longer while also being included in back stories that have never found a place in the show before. Until now when the women were out in the wilderness to spend some time together (instead of spending it with their loved ones — I’m kind of shocked that Debbie didn’t fly home for the night), using this opportunity to open up about their past, and as it turns out, their family’s immigration history.

It’s easy to be alone in this deserted universe.

I did not even know that Melrose was Jewish, but here she came with the horrific history of her family having been victims of the Holocaust. I also never figured that Jenny’s family was somewhat involved in the history of Japanese internment in America and that she was lucky enough for her family to have overcome it simply by having connections. And while Ruth was grappling with her love for Sam and Debbie was making decisions back and forth about staying or leaving the show, Sheila went through yet another transformation, almost completing her character arc of the season (although it’s gonna be interesting to see now where she lands — if she things she was being held back by her she-wolf persona, then the same can be said about the wrestling show) and pretty much dropping her back story for good. That scene I found lovely though, even if it means that the uniqueness her character has now been thrown into the fire — quite literally. But there had to be a time Sheila grows out of that persona and turns into a real human being. It’s almost like she has been this kid all the time while wearing the wig, the eye shadow and the fur dress, and now she has sort of reached puberty after she realized that playing Liza Minelli tasted quite well.

I also loved how the episode established that Tammé is not giving up her spot in the ring, even though it looks like she is about to break apart under the physical pressure of the sport. But her words of having waited so long for a shot at a career after shelving it for her son rang true, and even I was thinking to myself that Tammé shouldn’t give this up, just because she has a bit of a recurring pain in her back. Besides that, her story led nicely to Debbie making her ultimate decision — if the mother says that bringing your kid here is easier than quitting the show and moving to your kid over there, then there must be something true to it. Even more so when Tammé wasn’t the only one saying that. Of course, if Debbie makes the decision to move Randy to Vegas, it could smell trouble with Mark that could quickly lead to a custody battle. Except of course Mark is a good guy and follows his son to Vegas as well, but I don’t think his secretary girlfriend is going to be impressed about that one. Custody battle it is then — will it be a premise for the inevitable fourth season or did the writers stick it into one of the next four episodes?

The old comfort has ben shed and burned.

The rest of the episode was solid enough. Arthie and Yolanda’s story seemed a little cliche at first, but as long as it’s giving them screentime, then I will accept it. Dawn and Stacey’s homophobia could lead to some interesting things though, even if I never believe that a story like this fill find the time it needs to unfold throughout multiple episodes. When GLOW has already begun giving Justine a screenplay-related story and give her a shot at a Hollywood career while her once deadbeat father has discovered what it’s like to live a healthy life without snorting coke every once in a while and directing a crappy female wrestling television show, then the homophobia, which is certainly an element of the 1980s, especially when connected with the AIDS epidemic, will probably be cut down to its bare minimum, just so the writers can focus on the characters which have been getting a lot of attention this season.

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