Okay, Bold Type darlings, there is much to be discussed as Kat, Jane, and Sutton have some very tough conversations to get through this week, but first: karaoke. Listen, I love a good TV musical moment as much as the next recapper, and one of the best things about The Bold Type is that it’s clear these friends enjoy each other, so yes, it was fun to see the ladies out getting their Mamma Mia on. Still, I fear there was a hilarious missed opportunity here. All three of them were good singers! And there was choreography! Wouldn’t it have been so much better — and much more realistic — if at least one of them was complete and utter trash at karaoke? I will suspend my disbelief for many, many ridiculous things, but can’t we all work together toward more accurate portrayals of karaoke in the media?
I’ll move on to the rest of the episode because there are (arguably) more important things to chat about, but know that I am constantly thinking about karaoke on TV, okay? Now, let’s talk about inherent racism in hiring practices and awkward conversations about privilege with friends. As Scarlet’s social media queen, Kat needs to make some new hires for the department. She’s running into a problem: Every résumé she reviews looks just like the one before it. Great college, great internship, great recommendations. Each one is a carbon copy of the last and none of them are demonstrating the fresh voice that Kat wants to help grow Scarlet’s online presence.
Help comes in the form of fashion department extraordinaire Oliver when he overhears Kat’s dilemma and tells her his own story. As a gay, black man from Oklahoma, he wasn’t exactly what HR at a place like Scarlet was looking for, but one day he was delivering coffee to models in an excellent outfit, and the next Naomi Campbell was helping him make some inroads in the fashion industry. Kat needs to think outside the HR box. And so she posts the job on Twitter (wouldn’t the social media maven have done this immediately?), and wouldn’t ya know it, she finds that “diamond in the rough” Oliver told her to look for, by way of Angie Flores. Angie is smart, funny, has a ton of followers, and an outrageous social media engagement rate. She is perfect for the job, except for one small detail: Angie never finished college. That’s a problem because Safford Publishing has a blanket college-degree requirement for all of its hires. When Kat sends Angie to HR, they reject her application. It is extremely #NotCool.
But the biased hiring practices at Safford Publishing aren’t the only staffing issues Kat is dealing with: She and Jane get into some things.
Pinstripe gives Jane a lead (yes, he’s still hanging around the coffee shop with his ex — will they be making out soon or … ?) on an open position at Yes Girl! magazine. She nails the interview — this job is as good as hers. Well, until she gets a call from Pinstripe who got word from his friend that Jane won’t be getting hired. Yes Girl! is doing a big diversity push with new hires. Jane is understandably upset — the freelance life is exhausting and this was her out — but she’s also angry. She’s angry that she’s perfect for the job and still not getting hired. Kat reminds her pal that a push for diversity, much like what she’s trying to do with Angie, is a good thing, and her complaints are starting to smell of white privilege. Jane is hurt that her friend doesn’t see how frustrating this is for her, and also by what Kat’s insinuating. Things are very tense.
Come on, you guys, Jane and Kat’s relationship is much stronger than “tense.” Kat goes to see her friend to talk things through. Jane tries to explain that she really needs a job, things are bad, and it’s upsetting that the reason she isn’t getting hired is because of something out of her control. Kat listens to her friend and then is like, um, “Welcome to the entire existence of people of color.” She points out that whoever the mag hired could also be perfect for the job and Jane shouldn’t assume it was just some handout. Jane reminds Kat that she, too, has some privilege thanks to her well-off parents (so that’s how she affords her killer loft), but deep down Jane knows Kat has a point. We know this because we catch her Googling “how to check my white privilege,” which is very on-brand for Jane. We also know this because Jane wants to make it up to Kat and she does so in a very big way.
Kat convinces Richard (he doesn’t seem like The Saddest anymore, does he?) to let her take her hiring issue to the board. She wants to put Angie in the room and show them who they’d be missing out on. She is taking a stand against business as usual. I mean, no pressure on Angie or anything.
Step one for pulling off this presentation: Get Angie over to the Safford building. That’s where Jane comes in. Angie has no one to cover her receptionist job at her local recreation center, and she can’t risk losing the job she already has, even if she would give almost anything to be Scarlet’s social media manager. Enter Jane Sloan. She hightails it over to the rec center, learns how to answer a phone, and sends Angie to Scarlet. Angie makes an impassioned speech to the Safford Publishing board about loving Scarlet and making the old rich dudes money and the old rich dudes are like, “We’re in.” They aren’t changing the college degree requirement completely, but they are lifting it at Scarlet. Is the bigger win for Kat here getting the board to approve Angie and changing the magazine’s policy, or having Jacqueline be proud of her? Deep down you know the real answer.
And in case you were wondering, Kat and Jane formally make peace over a bottle of “I haven’t examined my white privilege and I’m sorry” rosé. Kat apologizes for not fully understanding Jane’s unemployment plight and both ladies admit to still learning and growing every day. In the end, isn’t that really all you can hope for?
From the Back Page
• Don’t think Kat and Jane have copyrighted Tough Conversations. Sutton discovers the guy she’s hooking up with is married (it really kills karaoke night) and decides to reach out to his wife, Allison. Yeah, that could be a tricky one. Thankfully, it goes about as well as one could hope. Allison just wants someone who loves and respects her and now she knows her husband isn’t that guy.
• You know who does have a guy who loves and respects her? Sutton. The events with Allison make it clear that Richard was The Guy and in true rom-com fashion, she goes to him. But in true TV drama fashion, she sees him walk into his apartment building arm-in-arm with another woman. Now Sutton is The Saddest.
• I’m constantly baffled by the time travel on this show. We know Scarlet is in the Madison Square Park area, so that means Kat left work to have a maybe three-minute conversation with Jane in Greenpoint and then made it back in 15 minutes for a meeting with Richard? In what world?
• Dear interwebs: Please make me a gif of Kat’s face after witnessing the intense sexual tension still lingering between Sutton and Richard at the elevator bay. That face is perfect.
• How about a round of applause for Dr. Ben’s prowess in bed? I was worried after seeing him dance at the hospital, but there was no need.
• Another great friendship moment in this episode: Jane and Kat bringing supplies and support as Sutton performed her walk of shame — ahem, stride of pride — into the Scarlet offices.
• Wait, so does your childhood Halloween costume predict your future? Because I dressed as a witch like four years in a row and I am very concerned.
• And of course: YES I AM STILL REELING FROM KAT’S FAKEOUT DREAM ABOUT CHEATING ON ADENA WITH LEILA. Anyone else completely fall for it? Here’s hoping Kat has an honest conversation with her girlfriend instead of letting the dream fester and become a bigger deal than it is. Don’t hurt Kadena, please!
• “In my mind, you were just born here.” In all of our minds, Kat.