Pitch Recap: Blowing Off Steam

PITCH: L-R: Meagan Holder and Kylie Bunbury in the all-new “Wear It” episode of PITCH airing Thursday, Nov. 3 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Cr: Ray Mickshaw / FOX. © 2016 FOX Broadcasting Co.
Meagan Holder as Evelyn, Kylie Bunbury as Ginny. Photo: Ray Mickshaw/FOX


Wear It Season 1 Episode 6
Editor's Rating 3 stars

I don’t understand this show’s commitment to flashbacks. In “Wear It,” we see Ginny’s previous 48 hours through a nonlinear story line, although it could’ve been told chronologically with an equally satisfying payoff. I can’t say this enough: As a narrative tool, the flashback is no longer working for Pitch. It’s meant to add suspense, but it only drags down the episode’s pacing. On the bright side, Eliot finally gets more to do than eat and crack dad jokes.

Ginny has signed an endorsement deal with Nike, and the pressure of everyone’s expectations quickly overwhelms her. The Nike campaign, which treats her like an athlete and not a sexualized model, features a video that highlights trailblazers like Jackie Robinson, the first woman in space, and the first black U.S. president. Ginny doesn’t believe she belongs among those heroes because she’s a No. 5 starter; she isn’t the first woman or the first black woman to play baseball professionally. I’m glad Ginny finally mentions those women — the lack of acknowledgment was glaring in previous episodes. With the weight of a big sponsorship on her shoulders, Ginny begins suffering panic attacks, from chest pains and shortness of breath to sudden sweats.

She reaches out to Amelia, who’s over at Mike’s place. Amelia rushes over and talks Ginny down. During the next game, Ginny struggles on the mound and when Mike approaches her, he asks if she’s having a panic attack. The only way he could know is if Amelia mentioned it to him. Ginny already has a problem with Mike and Amelia dating, and she definitely doesn’t like them talking about her in such a way. Later, as Ginny gets ready for the party celebrating her collaboration with Nike, she reminds Amelia not to share her confidences with Mike. She puts her agent in her place, reminding her that she’s just there to do contracts and borrow $10,000 luxury gowns for PR events. Ginny swears never to contact her again if she has personal issues.

At the party, Ginny can’t handle all the requests for selfies with fans and the need to be “on” all the time. When waitress Cara (Lyndsy Fonseca) offers her an escape, she takes it. So begins a night of Ginny getting a hint of the college life she never had. She drinks, dances, plays games, and dunks a basketball over a pool. The dunk makes a big splash — but she’s wearing New Balances, not Nikes. That’s a big no-no after signing an exclusive deal. Several partygoers are recording and post the video online.

Of course, Amelia isn’t happy to see Ginny land in a pool in an expensive, borrowed dress, so she sets out to track her down with Eliot’s help. But Ginny isn’t the only one resentful of fame’s effect on her life. Eliot was flirting with one of the assistants at Nike before Amelia enlisted him to find Ginny. He tells Amelia she’s not the only one who’s made sacrifices, then demands a raise and better job title. I loved seeing Eliot stick up for himself and it was great to see him flirting. Asian and Asian American men are rarely allowed to be romantic leads in Hollywood, so it’s refreshing to see Eliot get some play.

Cara makes sure that Ginny arrives at the clubhouse the next day, but Amelia and the men in the front office are waiting. They’re quite upset about a video she made during her night of college fun. She apologizes and assures everyone she’s just blowing off steam, but it’s not the pool dunk that has everyone concerned. While they were recording a silly video, Ginny broke down to Cara, crying that she wasn’t sure if she wants to keep playing baseball. Cara only shared the video with Al and Amelia, who made sure she deleted it from the cloud so it would never get out.

Al and Oscar have seen burnout before and don’t want it to happen to Ginny. Al insists she’s not okay, and Ginny’s eyes well up as she finally admits the truth. This is how she ends up recounting the last 48 hours of her life to Dr. Andrea Barton (Rita Wilson), a former Army psychiatrist who understands what it’s like for people to work in high-pressure situations.

Dr. Barton gets Ginny to admit she’s not sure she can keep playing baseball. She can’t reconcile her public image with who she knows she is, which is why she tried to sabotage her Nike deal by wearing a competitor’s brand. Dr. Barton reminds Ginny that she’s no stranger to hard work, so figuring out what’s next won’t be as bad as she thinks. This extended session with Dr. Barton arrives just in time, too: Amelia later tells Ginny that the nude pictures she took with Trevor are about to be published. Facing such troubling news, she squares her shoulders and looks ready to face it all.

Hooray for Ginny, but the buildup around her last 48 hours is a bit more dramatic than the situation warranted. A 23-year-old woman went out and had a good time in a borrowed dress and the wrong shoes. (It’s not like she went on a coke bender or anything.) Of course, a lot of people have invested themselves in Ginny, so her safety is important. And I appreciated how the men in the Padres front office made great efforts to protect her mental health. The average sports fan probably doesn’t want to acknowledge the pressure that comes with million-dollar contracts, but feeling like you’re not allowed to disappoint anyone can be utterly crushing. Although Pitch took a roundabout way to highlight Ginny’s mental health, I’m glad it’s being covered.

Throughout Ginny’s wild night, Mike is dealing with his own confusion. First, he breaks up with Amelia because they were affecting his professional relationship with Ginny and how she played. Just as Eliot had to sacrifice the potential beginning of something new, so did Mike. A drunk Mike ends up at his ex-wife’s Rachel’s house, where she’s having a small dinner party with her fiancé, David (Jay Ali). After an awkward night, Mike makes it even more uncomfortable by admitting to Rachel that he still loves her and wants to settle down with her. Rachel tells him he only wants what he can’t have. He needs to go home and figure out what he really wants.

In other words, both Mike and Ginny need to do some soul-searching. Will their self-reflective journeys point them toward each other? Pitch seems to be laying groundwork for a potential hookup, but honestly, I don’t even know anymore. Mike surprised me with his confession of love for Rachel, especially so soon after breaking things off with Amelia. He needs someone, but Ginny needs someone in her life, too. It’s only a matter of time until they start wondering.

Pitch Recap: Blowing Off Steam