From the looks of Vera’s newly acquired jewelry collection, Kate isn’t the only one getting too much of a good thing. Yes, Vera has personally taken it upon herself to de-virginize every soldier risking his life at the front, in exchange for a few luxury items. On the one hand, go Vera. She certainly has a newfound spring in her step and god knows I love a liberated woman. But I worry about her too.
“Whatever, we’ve already done unwanted pregnancies and STDs on this show. I’ll be fine.”
Over at the phonically pleasing but morally deplorable Camp Pedewawa, Gladys has brought Marco and his mother to help Papa Moretti prepare for his hearing. The guard at the gate didn’t get the memo that Gladys has an all-access pass to the entire nation.
Gladys: Gladys Witham-Hastings
Guard: Hold it right there. I asked for the password, not your name.
Gladys: My dear little mortal, they are one and the same. You’ve never heard of me?
Gladys ties a blindfold on, holds a scale in one hand and a sword in the other, but even that doesn’t earn her a spark of recognition, and she enters the camp very perturbed indeed.
Marco, meanwhile, is trying to talk his father out of jail. It’s a big job, because Marco’s dad is the most Italian person in the world. He shouts “Mussolini” although it’s unclear whether this is because of any deep political feeling or just a general affection for words ending in “ini.”
“Fettuccini! Linguini! Bikini!”
Having already seen Canadian reactions to spaghetti, it’s not surprising that this little outburst is enough to get both Marco and his papa locked up.
Back at the factory, Vera has commandeered Lorna’s “Life Skills Seminar,” changing the topic from “101 More Places to Hide A Weapon On Your Person” to “You Too, Can Be Goddamn Fabulous.” She’s teaching the girls beauty secrets (Kate and Betty don’t need the help so they skipped this one) and it’s clear she’s found her true calling. The chief beneficiary of her efforts is Lorna, although this seems like rather an elaborate way to introduce the idea that Lorna is going to start wearing makeup now.
When the show takes us to Lover’s Lane, for a minute I think it’s a continuation of Vera’s story, but the two people steaming up the windows turn out to be Betty and Ivan. Good ‘ol Ivan has pulled out all the stops, and yeah, Betty is charmed. The man made her a flipbook and a sandwich and wants to sit around listening to hockey and drinking whiskey, so this might be the closest to a lesbian relationship she’ll ever get. However, liking Ivan (and Michael Seater) doesn’t make this scene any easier for me. Even knowing that, were I a lesbian in 1942 I would want “a normal life,” it still stings. I’m sure many of us have had an Ivan, a good guy who made the lie so easy we almost forgot we were telling it. In fact, it is that knowledge that makes this scene hurt, with the deep ache of memory. Anyway I fully expect you to all share your reactions in the comment section.
“REMEMBER: IT’S JUST LIKE HITLER.”
The next morning, Betty McRae knows something has to change. She drags Kate out of her stupor and makes the most improbable announcement of all time: “we’re going to church.”
If that word doesn’t evoke the warmest or fuzziest feelings for you, you are not alone. This, however, is Black People Church, and if pop culture teaches us anything, it is that Black People Church holds magical healing properties for any white person brave enough to come inside.
Leon is preaching, and Leon’s god is a god of love and mercy and self-acceptance, and Betty thinks this god fella might not be so bad after all. Hell, she’s feeling so generous she may even forgive Leon for looking at Kate that one time. But the other half of our duo stays in the dark. She has a lot more processing to do before she steps off the Crazytown Roller Coaster, which means you and I and Betty have to just hold our collective breath and pray she makes it through.
“Ta ta! I’m off to discover cocaine!”
Betty, however, has been changed. And whether church is the thing that makes you feel it, or a bar, or the Lesbian Blogging Community, we all need to hear that we are accepted, that we are not alone. For Betty it was enough to tell Ivan at least part of the truth. She tells him that they are both meant for different people. And both of those different people have boobs and hopefully at least one of them has the green eyes of a freshwater mermaid.
The episode closes with Lorna and Bob throwing their shoulders onto the wheel of their marriage. Bob has emerged from seclusion to run a news-stand, mostly so he can sneak copies of his own pamphlet, “nothing Will Ever Be Good Again,” when out of the blue, one of their sons shows up. The way Meg Tilley’s face lights up, reminding that there is yet another layer to Lorna, is amazing. Seriously y’all, Meg Tilley is an actor, an author and she MAKES HER OWN FUDGE. I don’t know about you, but when the apocalypse finally does come, I’m headed north.
Our future queen.
See all you lovelies next week.