Perhaps it is residual anger from the bungled Let’s Talk About Guns installment last week, but these Jane-heavy episodes are becoming a bit of a slog to get through. There is no mention of Betsy or of the ridiculous notion that level-headed Sutton would give in to Jane’s dramatic demands, and life marches on at Scarlet … into another issue that has Jane REELING. I don’t want to be insensitive here, but when she finds a way to tie in the turmoil she’s feeling over having to think about her reproductive future to choosing a restaurant for dinner with Dr. Ben, I was filled with the fury of 10,000 fiery suns. Okay, now I’m being dramatic, which I guess is appropriate.
Jane’s troubles begin when after having very hot sex and a discussion of the Nicolas Cage oeuvre, she and Dr. Ben realize the condom broke. She immediately has PostMates deliver her the morning-after pill. Wait, I’m sorry, I should’ve said “Jane immediately video chats with both Kat and Sutton and then has PostMates deliver her the morning-after pill.” This is the Jane-Kat-Sutton friendship to the extreme and the whole “we come as a package deal” seems to be wearing thin on Dr. Ben.
This development is for another time perhaps, as it’s the side effects from the pill that take center stage the next day. Jane is so nauseous that she decides to go see her gyno for some meds to take the edge off (not before the ladies run into Pinstripe in the lobby working the Porch & Garden beat and he correctly guesses Jane took the morning-after pill — what is his existence, even?). Her doctor is very helpful with the pain, but still manages to ruin Jane’s day: She brings up Jane’s reproductive future in light of her BRCA1 gene mutation. She may only be 25, but she needs to start thinking about preventative treatment, and if that treatment includes an oophorectomy (the removal of her ovaries) and she wants to have kids, well she either needs to freeze her eggs or get pregnant ASAP. It’s super-heavy for someone so young to think about and it understandably throws Jane into a bit of a tailspin.
When a quick chat in the fashion closet does not conclude with Jane knowing definitively whether or not she wants to have kids at some point, she decides to do what any young journalist named Jane on The Bold Type does, she is going to pitch a story tangentially related to her plight. Jacqueline lets her young writer run with her “Are Babies the New Bling?” story until it becomes very clear that Jane is having some trouble writing much of anything, even after stalking young mothers at an NYC playgroup! Something is obviously going on. The editor and writer have a chat and Jane finally spills everything: She tells Jacqueline about testing positive for BRCA1, about having to suddenly think about treatment plans, and having to make a decision about children when the idea of children is so far from her reality. Jacqueline can’t offer too much advice regarding Jane’s unique dilemma, but she still manages to say all the right things. Jacqueline makes everyone feel better about everything! She doesn’t seem like much of a hugger, but I would gladly take a few hours sitting across from her on an impeccably designed couch sipping coffee from real china.
Jacqueline gives Jane the go-ahead to write a more personal version of her story, giving her room to open up as to why she’s not ready to have children, but Jane’s still blocked. She decides to open up to Dr. Ben about everything that’s going on, including her BRCA1 status. You’d think the good doctor would have a better bluff, but instead, after hearing the brunt of it — pregnancy and all — he looks panicked. Of course he knows how serious this thing is, but as Jane tells him, she needs her boyfriend right now, not a doctor. She doesn’t really have any clarity on the subject until she has one more chat with her best buds. Jane realizes that the reason she has a hard time even considering motherhood is because the only memories she has of her own mother is when she was sick. She wishes she could talk to her about all of this. Oh, you guys, in this moment, I truly felt bad for all the Jane bashing. BUT ONLY IN THIS MOMENT.
That realization, along with a phone call from her older brother (can we meet this Evan person?) to talk about their mom helps open the writing floodgates. We still have no idea what Jane’s going to do about kids or about Ben’s reaction, but the moment with her brother is so sweet, do we even care? (I mean, a little.)
Elsewhere in Scarlet, Kat’s involved in some dramz this week that seems to be setting up a big Jacqueline versus Cleo blow up for which I have already pre-popped the big bowl of popcorn I want to have at the ready for when this goes down.
Cleo wrangles Kat into becoming a spokesperson of sorts for a beauty-product company. Kat is a social-media influencer with a great story and a “unique look,” and the company wants her to be the face of their new Instagram campaign. Kat meets with the brand rep, and the guy is so creepy as he talks about how the product is biodegradable and also meant to empower women, that it is almost unfathomable that Kat would sign the contract right there at the table — but sign it she does. Just as she gets back to the office with a big basket of swag, she runs into Pinstripe who informs her that his friend is about to break a story on the company’s CEO, who apparently has donated money to several hate groups. And it dawns on Kat: They so badly wanted her to sign with them because when the scandal goes public, they can point to their black, queer spokesperson in an attempt to make it go away.
Do you think Kat would stand for that ridiculousness? Cleo swears she had no idea about the scandal (do we believe her?), and per Richard, there’s no way to get out of contract. So Kat does what she does best: takes her truth to social media. She gives them some Instagram content all right, but after talking about how much she loves their facial wipes, she calls out the CEO. Cleo isn’t happy — this could end up in a lawsuit — but Jacqueline will not have this newbie board member take one of her employees to task. Cleo should’ve known better. Scarlet doesn’t sell out like this, and both the magazine and Kat’s reputation are more important than increasing your revenue stream. It will be so satisfying when Jacqueline gets Cleo kicked to the curb.
In the meantime, Scarlet’s editor-in-chief has a few things to say to Kat. Sure, sure, Kat should’ve checked with her before signing on to any type of product endorsement, but she isn’t here to reprimand. Jacqueline wants to encourage Kat to do more of this kind of thing — well, the influencer stuff, not the hate-group scandal stuff. She thinks it’s time Kat finds some brands and causes she really cares about and work with them. Kat gets right to it, looking up beauty brands owned by black women. Kat’s getting hers in 2018.
From the Back Page
• Sutton has a very silly story line in which, filling in for Oliver, has to figure out how to have a photo shoot in a bar that they can’t afford, thanks to Sutton lack of know-how in a Scarlet budget meeting. Instead, Sutton re-creates the bar in the studio by building it from scratch for just over $200. This feels implausible and also wouldn’t the actual bar be pissed? But I guess who even cares because Oliver is impressed enough to reward Sutton with a ticket to Paris Fashion Week. You guys, will we all be in Paris before the season ends, or will the Brooke shenanigans rear their ugly head at the most inopportune time?
• Is there anything cuter than Sutton’s “I’m going to Paris Fashion Week” twirl?
• Alex Watch continues: Good news is that he’s alive and still working at Scarlet. Even better news is that he loves Meghan Markle. The bad news is that he still has no semblance of a story line. So close!
• Now we know the secret of Jacqueline’s perfect eyebrows: She has them threaded in the office on the reg.
• Where was Sutton during the morning-after-pill video-chat session? Show me her adventures, The Bold Type!
• “Or, how about the old-fashioned sperm delivery? Ben’s penis.” God bless Sutton Brady.
• Truth time: If there’s anything that’s going to reel me back into a show that I’m having issues with, it’s a montage set to a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.” Well played, show.