The Baby-Sitters Club
As the show has been heavily hinting, there’s something up with Stacey McGill, and now that the new girl in Stoneybrook is our narrator, she fills us in: She was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It was the reason she left New York City in the first place. One day at school, she went into insulin shock and started seizing. The video of it was spread all over — by her best friend at the time, no less — so the McGills moved to Stoneybrook for a fresh start. Because of that scarring event, Stacey works extra hard to keep her diagnosis a secret from, well, everyone else.
Although the other girls can definitely tell something’s going on with Stacey — remember, Kristy caught her in a lie (okay, technically she caught her in a Porsche) — they are extremely preoccupied at the moment. Lacy Lewis and her Baby-Sitting Agency of high schoolers has infiltrated the BSC’s market and it is not good. Loyal clients are loyal no more, as older babysitters mean child care with later curfews and driving licenses. The girls are worried, but refuse to simply give up. If Lacy Lewis justifies stealing their idea and their clients by “free market” rules, they’re going to show her the free market.
Unfortunately, simply making kid kits (book readers, I clapped at the invention of the legendary kid kits) doesn’t help with client retention, and the Agency takes things up a notch by hiring the girls for fake jobs. Will Mary Anne ever recover from old man Carl yelling at her about his Depends? We’ll never know.
So Kristy gets peak Kristy and leans in hard to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, calling the other girls in for the first ever Emergency Meeting of the Baby-Sitters Club. They all have their reasons for needing to fight to keep the BSC alive, but Stacey’s is the most heartwarming, even if she does keep it a secret: She needs the club because she can’t bear to lose her friends again. Stacey’s breaking my heart in this episode — just tell the girls!
Things take a turn: While the four girls are out, they come across one of their used-to-be-regulars, Jamie, playing in the street. When they get him inside, they find his new sitter, the one and only BSA President Lacy Lewis, hanging out on the couch with her idiot boyfriend who is probably the worst poet on the planet, no exaggeration. (Mary Anne: “That doesn’t rhyme, sir.”) Honestly, she — the high schooler who bullies 12-year-olds and steals their business model only to put out an inferior product — deserves that clown. I hope they are very happy together!!
Obviously, the BSC will not stand for this. Stacey immediately calls Jamie’s mother to tell her about the situation. Lacy tells Stacey that she’ll pay for what she’s done and honestly, could Lacy please get a life?
Instead, Lacy finds the video of Stacey in insulin shock and sends it out to a whole bunch of parents as evidence as to why you shouldn’t hire the Baby-Sitters Club. It could happen again! While she’s watching your kids! Pardon my language guys, but Lacy really sucks.
Thankfully, only good things come out of this video: First, it forces Stacey to confide in Claudia, Mary Anne, and Kristy, and immediately she realizes that she had nothing to fear. They’re obviously sorry for everything she’s dealing with, but they know people with diabetes. It’s not some shocking revelation. Plus, they would never make fun of her, they’re her friends, after all. It’s a very nice moment and yeah, okay, maybe it made me tear up a little. I am only human!
The next thing the video forces is another emergency meeting, this time with a gaggle of parents. I applaud the ambition of our BSC girls, but come on, at least one of these parents had to get a notice from their 12-year-old sometimes-babysitter calling for a meeting and be like, “Excuse me, I do not have the time for this.” At least from the looks of it, the girls provided a very nice app spread. Were you not the proudest watching Stacey stand in front of all those adults, explain her situation, and then offer to resign from the BSC if it meant keeping the other girls in business? These girls give me hope! Thankfully, it doesn’t come down to that because one of the parents, Dr. Johanssen (we met her and her wife at the Halloween dance) is an endocrinology specialist, spotted Stacey’s insulin pump the first time she watched her daughter and is, frankly, impressed with Stacey’s ability to manage her symptoms. Stacey is mature. Also, she’d never be a punk like Lacy. The BSC is back on top!
The whole mess does one other very positive thing: It helps Stacey get rid of the shame she feels surrounding her disease. She also confronts her mother about seemingly always wanting to hide Stacey’s diagnosis from other people. Mrs. McGill couldn’t be more sorry that she ever made Stacey feel ashamed of herself — she simply wanted to protect her from ever getting hurt again. Of course she’s on board with Stacey bedazzling her insulin pump and wearing it loud and proud. Okay, fine, now the tears are really flowing. Lay off me, these girls are my role models.
• Here’s my truth about Stacey: Growing up, she was my favorite sitter. I had her doll. She was chic and cool and I was most definitely not those things. Like, when Mary Anne was blown away by Stacey referring to NYC as “the city”? I felt that.
• I still can’t decide who’s my favorite in this version of the BSC, but know that Claudia Kishi is for sure in the running, especially thanks to lines like this: “Why don’t they loiter at the mall like normal teenagers?”
• Obviously Mary Anne Spier is up there too, because when Kristy announces that they’re going to do the most responsible thing of all in regard to the Baby-Sitters Agency, Mary Anne responds: “Vacuum.” And guys, she isn’t wrong.
• Kristy has certainly not come around to her mother marrying Watson yet. When she sees Elizabeth sporting a huge engagement ring, she wastes no time in dragging her: “What’s next, are you going to start walking behind him all the time?” But Elizabeth, who gets her daughter, replies: “Of course. And it would make us more comfortable if you would refer to me as Ofwatson from now on.” Well, okay Elizabeth Thomas with The Handmaid’s Tale references.
• I’m ready to dig deeper into the life of Mary Anne Spier. At the end of the episode, as the other girls are sharing the stories their mothers told them about the day they were born, she’s visibly upset. Mary Anne is the most precious. Protect her at all costs.
• Oooooo Stacey loves Sam Thomas! Stacey is no match for her feelings when Sam, Kristy’s brother and a freshman at Stoneybrook High, saunters in strumming a guitar that he barely knows how to play and says things like, “That’s what your club is? I thought you just sat around and talked about babies, you know.”
• “Where have you been keeping him?” “High school.”