So we all know that the German green shift worker didn’t really sabotage the line, right? I can just skip over the part where Gladys gets her arrested? Except the part where she checks her reflection in the rear view mirror, because it is the best.
Ooh I look pretty when I’m morally compromised.
So besides Betty’s Feelings, the other most important thing happening here is that Vera is leaving us. And you don’t need a PhD in foreshadowing to know that whenever a character gets a long, bittersweet sendoff, while a melancholy trumpet plays in the background, trouble is in store.
Once Vera departs, Donald-the-attempted-rapist cracks a joke about how Kate should join the CWACs too on account of they are all lesbians. And with that, Betty McRae has had enough. She marches straight up to Donald and slaps him on the face. Guys, she slaps him like five times and it is amazing and you should watch anytime some sexist asshat is giving you grief.
Outside the factory, Vera and Marco embrace and say goodbye. Marco gives Vera his grandmother’s engagement ring and promises to wait for her, and I’m dying, I really am. Because when does this ever happen? When is a woman allowed to follow her convictions and go be a hero while the man she loves stays home and promises to be true? Only here. Only in our little, special show.
THIS IS NOT GOODBYE.
Okay, back to Gladys’ secret mission. Gladys thinks Berman is an improbable Jewish Nazi, and the factory girl was a spy because she was German. Gladys I love you but you’re wrong about everything. The factory girl was just depressed and Berman isn’t a spy, just a man with incredibly…long…pauses…between…words.
I will have…my screen time…and someone else’s.
At the Jewel Box, Betty and Kate are enjoying a quiet drink when they are rudely interrupted by Head Spy Davis, who sends Kate a card inviting her to dinner. But Kate knows she needs to put in some time with her friend so she listens while Betty tells her about her dream house. She had her little pamphlet with the model she’d chosen and she took it to the bank, but they turned her down (why didn’t we get to see that scene?). Apparently a felonious lesbian seemed like a bad bet for a home loan, so they are refusing to help her out unless she can come up with half the down payment herself. And Kate is like, “oh well, back to the boarding house I guess” but Betty won’t have it. Her voice shakes with the injustice of it all when she says “I need a house, okay? Because I deserve it. Because it is my haven, and that ain’t no crime.” That word, “haven,” makes me think of young Betty McRae, who grew up rough with too many brothers, finding the word “haven” in a book in one of her few quiet moments, and making that word into her dream house. Back in season two I said that Betty put all her forbidden feelings in the Secrets Cage, but now I realize that isn’t true. She’s put them in her haven, a little house in her imagination where who she is and what she wants can finally be safe. And you’re goddamn right she deserves that haven to finally be real.
Gladys is forced to accept that it is unlikely that Berman is a Nazi—for one thing she is getting a crush on him and we all know she has impeccable taste in men—so she goes to Clifford’s office to see if he just dropped any clues on the floor. Of course he did, because he was a terrible spy, and that clue was a picture of Mrs. Helen Buchinsky.
Finally on the scent of something real, Gladys interrogates Ivan, and of course wresting the truth from his guileless visage is considerably easier than taking candy from a baby. He’s just like “Yep, she came up to me at a bar, listened to my whole life story, and proposed marriage a month later. She has no parents or ties to the community to confirm who she actually is.” Well he certainly has a type. Gladys takes this information to Head Spy Davis who in turn takes it straight to Helen Buchinsky because (surprise!) they are In Cahoots.
He gives her a pen called a firefly, which, much like the show Firefly, will self-destruct and explode after two minutes. Its target: Gladys Witham-Hastings
Just remember: lefty loosey, righty murder.
Out on the street, Betty runs into her old boxing promoter and adversary, who try to coax her back into the ring. The lady boxer also gives Betts a playful tap that suggests that the two of them engaged in some gloves-off tussling a time or two.
I expect that fic on my desk first thing tomorrow.
Back at Vic Mu, Lorna whispers menacingly in Gladys’ ear that she knows those bullets aren’t for self-defense. Gladys menacingly replies “You overestimate your reach and influence” which is one of those awful truth bombs that maybe you meant but you didn’t mean to say. But Lorna replies, even more scathingly “You’re no better than all those men who dismiss us.” I kind of love it when these two go all Batman vs. Superman on each other, just so long as they go back to being on the same team at the end of the day.