It’s not great sleep. The sex is nice though, I’m pretty into it.
Sam has taken Debbie’s call for a heel seriously. And he pulls the heel move of like 6am to let her know. Neither Debbie nor Ruth know they’ve been summoned to the gym at the crack of dawn to face each other. Debbie tells him to find someone else and honestly, who can blame her? It’s like 6am, Sam. No french press in the WORLD… Vince McMahon himself could offer to be my heel and if it was 6am I’d likely scoff.
(No I wouldn’t, I’d DIE)
That being said, Ruth is a great heel. She’s dubbed herself Zoya the Destroyer. She’s grating, repetitive, and a caricature of an entire culture, the perfect recipe for any 80s heel… or right now heel. The beauty of Zoya the Destroyer versus Liberty Bell in concept is made even better by the fact that last episode demonstrated Working Class versus Money Bags Guy. The way tropes are used in wrestling is beautifully illustrated in the tiniest moments of GLOW. But Sam wants his star to be comfortable, so together they begin trying on other company heels for size. Tamee as the Welfare Queen has none of Liberty Bell’s shit, creating a situation in which she has seen her before on the freezer aisle. Anyone who has even passed an improv class will have a small stroke during this scene because all Debbie does is say no. Outside of her inability to give in to circumstances the two tropes, both fairly offensive, simply don’t mix together. The crowd is cheering for Tamee, not Debbie. Debbie is frustrated and doesn’t understand. If you’re new to wrestling, what’s happening here is Debbie is not going over. Tamee is over as hell. Arthie, the actual face of this group of women as far as I’m concerned, tries her hand at Beirut, her awful terrorist gimmick, but their wrestling styles are in no way compatible. The Viking gives her one hell of slam in the ring and reminds her that Liberty Bell was supposed to be her gimmick. Sheila is another option, but she barely moves and doesn’t go for anything, despite Debbie trying her hardest.
Sam has to remind her that Ruth is enough of a piece of trash as Zoya, and perhaps just as a person in general, to make her look great. Debbie still won’t have it.
Ruth is given the day off by Sam and decides she’ll use this to hone in on her character. She does this by accosting motel man Gregory and somehow cons her way into going to a family affair with him. She claims she wants to be a real representative of Russian culture and not just an offensive trope, but lord on high, she has to know she’s lying, right? Her behavior at the event is the most insufferable she’s ever been. She’s drinking too much, she’s standing the middle of conversations in Russian, she’s trying out her accent on his poor family who did not agree to this, and she’s incredibly insensitive about Judaism and persecution. For reasons unknown to me this event is about a 16 or 17-year-old getting a circumcision in this ballroom of some kind and when Ruth mentions Yentl, because of course she does, he basically begs for a performance.
Justine is a key player once again this episode, canoodling with Billy the Babe (that’d be a great gimmick and you know it) at the diner. They’re sweet and tender, but it is short lived. Billy insults Sam Sylvia’s films and Justine can’t stand for it. She tells him she’ll [see him later maybe check] and bail. Her no good, very bad, teenaged day gets worse when she finds out that Rhonda is boning Sam and that Rhonda, who doesn’t even appreciate it, got to her Sam read his new script for Mothers and Lovers. Rhonda is even going to get a part in the film after GLOW opens. She confronts poor Sam while he’s just trying to take a piss and he lets her know that her behavior could be less stalker-y and more training-y.
Hammered from shots off of Chess themed ice sculptures, Ruth returns to the gym as Orthodox Jewish character because this show really wants us to not like her at all or something. It is so horrific and unnecessarily offensive that I almost missed the heart of her drunken show out, “If Russia can’t go to war with America, then what’s the point?”
The show wasted considerable time with cultural insensitivities and Barbara Streisand worship to then only give us one single line to remind us that Ruth is hurting due to the loss of her friend. I’ve been worried before about the show toeing the line of satire and actively inviting us to laugh at minorities or serious issues that are stigmatised without their help but they really went there this episode. If that’s their cup of tea and they themselves come from these backgrounds, cool, whatever, but I’m left thinking of Tamee asking Sam if anyone would know that Welfare Queen was satire.
Debbie becomes a face, both in saving me from what the hell this Ruth storyline was this episode (I can’t get over how so many people said, yes, this is a constructive use of our platform, our talent, and our time) and in stepping up as Liberty Bell to end Ruth’s drunken shitshow. She calls her out, but as Zoya, and tells her to get in the ring. Ruth nearly eats it trying to get in the ring, but somehow pulls through. Debbie is killing it as the All American face, “In America we’re free, free to kick your red, scary ass even redder.” They whisper to each other and use their eyes to lead the match as Sam, sensing something great, grabs the camera and tails them with it. Ruth sells not just as a broken heel but as a bad guy up on current events, “You may have defeated me today, but this Cold War is only starting to heat up.” It’s a beautiful moment and then Ruth vomits just out of site of the camera.
Justine, suffering in that special teenage way, steals Sam’s camera. I really hope there’s only wrestling on that reel. Yikes.
Heel: Ruth (and the writers)
Face: Sam, weirdly enough
This Show Needs More Arthie
I’ve repeatedly done the disservice of not letting non-wrestling folks know that Kia Stevens, portraying Tamee the Welfare Queen, is Awesome Kong/Kharma. You may not have looked into the show before clicking play, I let you down, and I’m sorry. Find some of her matches or watch her scare the shit out of Kelly Kelly. She’s phenomenal.
“Babies are boring! I mean, they don’t party. They haven’t traveled. They have no sense of irony.”
“Russia! World’s biggest alcoholics and they can’t even hold their liquor, amirite?”
“I eat Stars and Stripes.”
“That’s cause you don’t have any food.”