THE BOLD TYPE: The evolution of the leading ladies in “Carry the Weight” (and why we need a Season 2 already)
There’s a scene in the season finale of Freeform’s THE BOLD TYPE of the three young leading ladies holding hands and supporting a fellow female that takes us back to a scene in the pilot where they also held hands in support, but at the same time also reminds us just how far these women have come. As I first admitted after first watching the pilot, this show has pleasantly surprised me and since then, week after week has me coming back for more. Just like the 20-something leading ladies of the show, THE BOLD TYPE is by no means perfect and has its flaws but I (along with many others if you read critics’ reviews) have been impressed with the way the show has tackled topics from the current social and political climate. As we anxiously await news about the show’s future (c’mon Freeform, please just announce that you’re renewing the show for Season 2 already!), we look back on how the leading ladies of the show have grown and evolved since we met them in the pilot.
I’ll be the first to admit that in the pilot Sutton was probably the one out of the core three that I connected with the least. She was sneaking around and hooking up with a superior so I chalked her up to being a stereotyped teen drama character. I was wrong. As the show went on and I saw that Sutton was more than a pretty face as she fought to chase her dreams, she slowly but surely became one of my favorite characters on the show. The quippy and comedic side of her helped too. With her determination and hard-working nature, I feel like I have a bit of Sutton in me (but am also realistic that I am probably more of a Jane with her tendency to overanalyze and need to control/plan things. I’m definitely not a Kat…) When we first met Sutton she was an eager to please assistant, she’s still an eager to please assistant but now in the fashion department, and one step closer (albeit baby step) to her dreams of having a career in fashion. In the finale she manages to impress her boss Oliver and worked hard to prove herself worthy of obtaining a seat to an event during Fashion Week and she did.
On the romance side of things, Sutton began the show sneaking around with Richard, a member of the company’s legal team and the more episodes we saw the more viewers realized that this just wasn’t a fling but rather a relationship. Relationships are hard though and the pair ended up breaking up when they realized that sneaking around wasn’t going to help their relationship but nor could they be together in the open. In the previous episode we saw Sutton hook up with good friend and colleague Alex and after a bit of awkwardness in this episode, they decide to see whether the latest development in their relationship could lead to anything. The irony is that after sneaking around for what seems like five minutes, they’re sprung by Jacqueline and commanded to face HR and a member of the company’s legal team, which of course happens to be Richard (#awkward), who she snuck around with for months and never got caught. After uncomfortably revealing the details of her newfound relationship with Alex in front of Richard and then later a confession from him that he should have fought harder for their relationship, Sutton realizes that it’s not fair to pursue anything with Alex when she still loves Richard. The last we see of Sutton in the finale is her in an elevator with Richard and it looks like they could be reconnecting as the elevator door closes on them. Whether or not they do, is something that we will hopefully find out in Season 2, but that’s definitely something we’re feeling about the current status of their relationship – hopeful.
In contrast to Sutton who is thriving and prioritizing her career by the season’s end, Kat comes to the realization that professional success isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and finds herself boarding a plane to see Adena – something that she didn’t have the courage to do last episode but is being brave and doing now. But let’s rewind a little – when we first met Kat she was bold, outspoken, confident and so sure of who she was. Then she met Adena, at first inspired by her art and everything it stood for before falling for the woman herself, leading her to not only wonder about what she believed herself to be but also being aware of those around her, their plights and how they may not be as privileged as she grew up to be. There have been many occasions over these past 10 episodes where Kat has pushed the boundaries when it comes to her job, but has also learned that yes having a voice is important but it’s also how you use that voice that makes a difference. Yes, Kat is still the confident one but we’ve also seen her have her moments of uncertainty – just last week she was all set to board a plane to go with Adena back to Peru, only to lose her nerve as it was time to board the plane. Kat wasn’t ready yet. In the finale, Kat distracts herself from thinking about what could have been with Adena, with the goal of seeing Scarlet’s Twitter account hit the magical 2 million followers mark. When it finally does, Kat feels just as hollow as when Adena left and finally works up the courage to board the plane this time and see Adena. Is she going there long-term? Did she pull a Tiny Jane and resign from Scarlet (more on that in a sec) before she left? Or is this just a quick one week trip? We don’t know but we sure hope that there’s a Season 2 so that we can find out!
Tiny Jane, when we first met you in the pilot you had finally landed your dream job as a writer on Scarlet after four years of working as an assistant. Now 10 episodes later, you’ve surprised us and defied your Type A personality and need for knowing what happens next by resigning from Scarlet to join rival and start-up publication, Incite. I didn’t think that you had it in you but also am convinced that this is not going to be a long term thing and you’ll be back at Scarlet before we know it, even if it means grovelling a bit because c’mon, we need those Three Musketeers fashion closet chats! But seriously Tiny Jane, you sure have grown over the cause of 10 episodes – when we first met you, you were obsessing over your ex that dumped you and freaking out that you had to use your personal experience to write a story and dredge old feelings about him and your former relationship. Just a few episodes later, you were casually hooking up with the snarky but okay charming guy from your brother magazine like it was no big deal. We have to admit, we were kind of proud of you for taking control and letting loose like that.
On the professional side of things, we’ve seen Jane dig deep and use personal experience to push herself to write the best story that she can write. We’re not going to deny that it hasn’t been easy but there’s always been a sense of accomplishment for Jane at the end of the day. Now in the finale, we see her decide to leave everything she knows at Scarlet and take on a more prominent role at start up publication Incite. It’s a risky decision for someone like Jane who likes to be in control and have everything planned but is once again an example of Jane pushing herself. Before she leaves Scarlet though, she is assigned one last story – a story about a performance artist/activist who was sexually assaulted and now stands in a park carrying weights as a symbolic representation of not just lady justice but also of how the justice system failed her. It was a story that Jane first pitched to Jacqueline when she first started but Jacqueline refused because she didn’t think she was ready. Now that she thinks Jane is, there’s a lot of pressure on Jane to get it right. This story is a full circle for Jane’s career at Scarlet but also includes a scene that is full circle for the show – the one that I mentioned at the start of this post with the girls holding hands, a reminder of how the girls started off when we first met them- starting out in the world and supporting each other – to how they are now, evolving but still holding onto each other. Evolving means change but it doesn’t mean that everything has to change.
The Scarlet Editor-in-Chief may not be a member of the core trio but has just as an important role on the show as they do. As the seemingly fearless leader of Scarlet, she has mentored the girls, pushed and inspired them. It’s been nice to see a boss on screen who doesn’t belittle their employees but also doesn’t baby them and takes the time to guide them so that they can reach their fullest potential. Jacqueline Carlyle is more than the boss lady at Scarlet magazine though – throughout the season we’ve slowly gotten to know the woman outside of the office and what her home life is like when she’s not working. Then in the finale, we discovered that Jacqueline was sexually assaulted earlier on in her career and while she doesn’t let it define her, it is something that she carries with her 20 years on and ends up becoming a part of Jane’s article. I have to say I’ve really enjoyed seeing the dynamic between Jacqueline and Jane this season and it’s also one of the reasons why I’m sad to see Jane leave Scarlet. Like I said though, I’m still convinced she’ll be back.
There may have been a lot of endings in the finale but there were also a lot of new beginnings, so please Freeform, please announce a season two!
THE BOLD TYPE: Three Big Moments in “Before Tequila Sunrise”
THE BOLD TYPE: Three tough decisions that were made in “Three Girls in a Tub”
THE BOLD TYPE: Six revelations in “The Breast Issue”
THE BOLD TYPE: Four times the women took a stand in “If You Can’t Do It With Feeling”
THE BOLD TYPE: Four times you don’t underestimate these ladies in “The Woman Behind the Clothes”
THE BOLD TYPE Series Preview