And now to Vera, who despite her short shrift in last week’s recap, is one of my favorite characters. Vera is coping with the loss of her scalp and sense of self, to which Marco gives his usual amount of help by attempting to take the blame for her accident, since he obviously distracted her by being really, really, ridiculously good looking. Vera cautions him not to be too proud of his cannoli.
And just when you thought we wouldn’t be seeing much of Betty and Kate (Ketty? Bate? What are we going with here, guys?) we learn that Kate is missing her security clearance for this job, because Kate Andrews is just the name she made up to escape from her father.
But not to worry because Betty knows a guy. Of course she does. The price however, may be too high. To earn the precious papers, Kate must pose in A ONE-PIECE.
Betty coaches her through the scandalous photo shoot, and you can just see Kate wondering if this is how friendship with another woman is supposed to feel: this much heart pounding and face touching? It’s all new to her—friends and music and smiling and the color red—so she just goes with it. And I have seen this scene like five times now and I still freak out every time at what an adorable spaz Betty is, totally putting Kate at ease. The experience leaves her shaken though, and as she dreams of her father punishing her, we get a sense of how deep her emotional trauma really is.
The next day at Vic Mu, Gladys tries to introduce a suggestion box to the factory, but is shut down by the other women, who are afraid of stirring up trouble. But Gladys, like Spencer, has never in her life stopped crusading for a dumb reason like nobody wanting her to. The men of Victory Munitions, as usual, take this opportunity to be terrible, making suggestions of the “make me a sandwich” variety. Gladys is on the verge of turning in her kerchief and giving up on the proletariat, but the boys have finally gone too far. They have awakened Betty, who can’t stand to see anyone get picked on, unless it’s by her. She stomps to the hat box, drops her own suggestion inside, and leads the rest of the girls in a full on Norma Rae revolt. Even Lorna is impressed by the show of solidarity, and Gladys and Betty finally join forces. Because, to paraphrase Ms. Rowling: there are some things you can’t do without becoming friends afterward, and tearing down the patriarchy with your bare hands is one of them.
The Dream Team is Born
Also, you know Kate suggested “allow singing,” and probably also has “petting zoo” in there somewhere.
That night, Lorna is about to go to bed when she realizes she hasn’t quite met her chaos quota for the day, so she heads to The Sandy Shores to make a little trouble. She’s yelling at Marco, who for once is actually blameless, and you’re just thinking “god, make out already,” when THEY DO. THEY DO MAKE OUT ALREADY. He kisses her on the mouth and she surprises even herself by kissing him right back. I believe this proves my point, which is that Lorna exists in a constant state of adrenalized hyper-reality.
While we’re at The Sandy Shores, I’d like to say that one of my favorite details about this show is that, whatever the rest of the crowd is drinking, Betty is always drinking whiskey. I feel like in preschool when all the others toddlers were nursing juicy juice, Betty was leaning against the wall of the sandbox with an airplane bottle of Cutty Sark.
And then Betty tells Kate that she can come sleep in her bed and I don’t have words for it, just a sort of a glow. Because who hasn’t been there before? Your heart is so full of hope and fear and just saying, “I could help you with those nightmares” feels 10 times braver than taking on a whole factory of Cro-Magnons.
You know who else likes pictures of girls? GLADFACE, THAT’S WHO.
Betty goes to sleep with Kate’s picture tucked under her pillow, while across town Lorna begins her nightly ritual of staring unblinkingly at the ceiling, deciding whether tomorrow she’ll save the world or burn it down.
See you next week on the Reelz channel, where we are all definitely watching this show.