I mean, I wanted a horse… but that’s not why I was shagging you.
We open in the “grey, depressing shithole” that is Chavo’s, where Ruth sits down next to Debbie with a medicine ball to ask if she’s okay. Debbie doesn’t open up to Ruth, but she tolerates her presence. It’s civility, it’s a start. Ruth takes it. Poor Rhonda waits outside the door for everyone else to go inside before she does because Sam doesn’t want them to be seen coming in together. When she makes it in he gives a curt, “Rhonda, you’re late,” while eyeing his watch.
In the bathroom after practice there’s a scramble for tampons and Melrose is dishing them out like candy, “finally a team,” she sings joyously, announcing that they’ve all synched, and Justine proclaims, “the moon sisters rejoice.” In the office above, Sam calls for Bash and the tiny butler Florian answers. Bash is nowhere. He hasn’t been seen for days. Not even for breakfast for dinner night.
Debbie has to contend with Mark to see her child and tries to smooth things over with her, telling her that she is “entitled to [her] anger and [he] acknowledges it.” Mark is in therapy now. He’s working on himself in hopes of working on their marriage. Gross. He convinces Debbie to stay for dinner and it’s hella awkward. When he announces that he’s being healthier, on a diet, Debbie responds, “so am I. I started when I was 14.” Maybe Debbie is really the Steel Horse. Even before Randy was born, Mark felt Debbie pulling away. She went 46 days once without touching him or asking him how his day was. He still thinks they can fix the marriage. They share a therapy hug. Now I need therapy.
Meanwhile, Ruth is standing in for Bash as Sam tours a potential venue, and their event planner is BROOKE HOGAN, known for being Hulk Hogan’s daughter, but also for her smash 2005 hit “About Us”, what it do, Pawl Wawl! She mistakenly assumes Ruth is Sam’s girlfriend and they’re both like, “nah”, and it’s so important to me that the show go nowhere with that. They have zero chemistry and the idea grosses me out. I didn’t know I had a notp on this show, but I do. There it is. Anyway… Ruth is being herself, which is to say that she does not respect the wrestler/promoter relationship in any way and she’s dismissive of the venue and Sam’s creativity. But then Sam is really and truly passionate. It’s becoming clearer and clearer that while this may have started as simply a means to fund Mother Lovers (it hurts to type that) Sam genuinely cares about GLOW and these women. He lights up in a way we haven’t seen before as he explains the layout, the fixed cameras, how he’d leave room to get a camera ringside “so we can feel the struggle, the drama, the victory, the defeat.” Ruth ribs him a little more but has to admit that the venue, the plan… it’s perfect.
Sam drops off Ruth and picks up Rhonda, the plan being to break up with her that evening. Ruth narrowly misses revealing to Melrose that she’s buying a pregnancy test and then narrowly misses revealing to Sheila and then the entire roster that she has taken a pregnancy test (apparently you had to be a full blown chemist to take a pregnancy test in the 80s, that looked horrifying, I had nightmares). No one finds out, but it is positive. There’s no time to deal with it immediately because it’s Sheila’s birthday.
Sheila’s party is in a skating rink. I wasn’t alive in the 80s, but felt nostalgic all the same. I think I spent more time at a skating rink than I did at home in elementary and middle school. It’s not Sheila’s scene, but everyone is surprisingly respectful that she’s trying. She ends up having a phenomenal time, feeling so comfortable with her newfound family that she howls on the floor. Beautiful. Carmen is noticeably glum, since she knows that Bash is in a bad way and that money may never come to them again. Cherry tries to mom her a little bit until she figures out that Carmen knows something not good. All in all this doesn’t kill the party vibe. Jenny, who is soft, sweet, and girly, and desperately deserves a B or C plot on this show, brings out a cake. The candles say, “106.” It’s wolf years, not dog years. Dawn and Stacey helped her to calculate. “If she were a dog she’d be 87.”
“We figured it out, wolves die young.”
Sheila is now entranced by the roller rink and can’t leave the floor. Satisfied with a job well done, Jenny blows the candles out herself, and every claps. An amazing feel-good moment, not a boy in sight. Pretty profound if you think about how often we’ve seen that.
While everyone else is having a good time Rhonda and Sam are breaking up. And just when they’d reached the relationship milestone of going hard in the paint. Sam says he’ll take the cost of new sheets out of her paycheck, then quickly tells her he’s kidding.
“I can’t tell when you’re joking and when you’re just being mean,” she says, towel drying her hair and getting dressed. “I know, I can’t either sometimes,” he responds earnestly, very much on brand.
In a twist, Rhonda tells him she doesn’t think he’s working out. He tries to play it off, like this is great, and he says that he isn’t a fool, that he knows she’s only been sleeping with him because she wanted things. And then a little something I didn’t expect happened. Rhonda tells Sam that that’s not true, she really liked him. In fact, it was seeing his dating video that made her pursue him. He tells her they can reset, he’ll go with her to Sheila’s party, they’ll pick up a cake. But Rhonda says her goodbye by way of, “You don’t actually like me, Sam. You’re just afraid to be alone.”
It’s a good moment for Rhonda. She’s a sweet creature and I’ve loved how fleshed out her character has gotten in these last few episodes. Of course, Sam calls after her, somewhat undercutting her wisdom and maturity, “What do you mean I don’t like you? I just had period sex with you.”
Wow. Dudes are weird.
The next day, Ruth gives Sam a call. She doesn’t know who else to call. Sam takes her to the clinic for her abortion. On the way he gives a, let us say, embellished version of events in regards to his break up with Rhonda. At the clinic he is shocking supportive. Sam Sylvia is an onion if I ever saw one! “I’m not her boyfriend, I’m her husband,” he tells the woman behind the counter. “A common mistake, sort of like having sex without a condom.”
They talk about nothing. They talk about donuts. He makes fun of Ruth for wanting a pink frosted like some kind of 6 year old. Sam also asks if she’s okay and if she’s sure. She is.
“I feel like I’m supposed to ask you if this is what you want.”
“Yeah. It’s not the right time. Not the right baby.”
When she goes back he lets her know he’ll wait, they’ll get donuts after. She can pick them out.
The episode could’ve ended here. It would’ve been a fine closing. But we follow Ruth into the room. And in the room she is calm, sure. She’s asked if she can handle the pressure she’s about to feel, if it all makes sense. “I’m a wrestler,” she replies. And as the doctors around her, women, walk her through what’s about to happen, professional, kind, she looks towards the ceiling, and focuses on one sky-painted tile. And she is okay. Someone is waiting for her and she has a show to put on. And guys, she’s gonna get fucking donuts.
Heel: therapists who hug
Face: Sam Goddamn Sylvia
Marc Maron Moment:
“I’m not paranoid. Who told you that?”
Hello, Where Are My Jenny and Arthie Plots?
“If you liked pink things a little less, maybe we wouldn’t be here right now.”
“I don’t trust shoes that move.”
“I’m not a fancy robot, Sam.”
Rating: A for Abortion is a medical procedure, ok?