The Bold Type: Season 3, Episode 3 “Stroke of Genius” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Sutton, Jane, and Kat working out.
63.54% (1)

On top of a lot of fun sex talk, The Bold Type gets real about consent and women being pressured into sex – with Alex being the one focused on.


Network
FreeForm
Director(s) Jamie Travis
Writer(s) Neel Shah
Air Date 4/23/2019
Introduced This Episode
Linda Mary Zu Zahalan
Kristen Alli Chung
Tia Alexis Floyd

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From Vanilla To Candle Wax/ I Dreamed A Dream: Ryan, Jane, Sutton, Richard, Oliver

Jane learns Ryan’s porn habits include some tame BDSM, and that leads her to wonder why hasn’t she been approached about this? They’ve been dating for a while, have sex, so why is she just learning he likes things a little aggressive, with whips and what have you? The answer, Jane comes off vanilla.

Which is an understandable opinion since as much as Jane may talk like she is liberal and open, she isn’t. If it doesn’t benefit her directly, and her point of view, she is hesitant if not antagonistic. Remember Sutton’s gun? What about affirmative action when she was unemployed? Exactly. But, after her eggs get harvested, she gets herself a whip, some tight clothes, and has some fun.

Sutton considering designing.
Sutton: I haven’t really thought about it until now

As for Sutton? Naturally, she guides Jane to getting in touch with her inner freak. And as she does that, she realizes she’d like a career shift. Not one as major as going from the business side to the creative team, but going from Oliver’s assistant in planning the fashion, shoots, and handling egos, to being a designer. An idea she approaches Richard about first, and he supports her since she is young and he thinks that’s the best time to take risks.

Now, as for Oliver? Well, while he is no Jacqueline, he is on her level with a different style. One which not only speaks of supporting her verbally but also putting a word in. Though with a reminder Vera Wang took many years working at Vogue before she branched out. So don’t jump ship just because you got an idea in your head.

Councilwoman Kat Edison?: Kat, Tia, Linda, Sutton

With Wild Rose being shut down due to Councilman Reynolds, and Kat still reeling over Adena, she decides to support Councilman Reynolds primary opponent: Linda Zephyr. Someone who has long been a progressive advocate for the city but has a litany of issues. One being she doesn’t dress in such a way to grab people’s attention, which leads to Kat sending Sutton in. However, the big issue is that, while tough on policy, and good with individuals, Linda isn’t inspirational to crowds.

Tia (Alexis Floyd) noting that she believes Kat should run.
Tia (Alexis Floyd)

That was why Tia, who works on the campaign, was brought in and wanted Kat to help with the social media aspect. But, in time, and with Kat outdoing Linda during a rally, this killed Linda’s confidence. Yet, with having such a good showing, partly due to inviting those who used to frequent the Wild Rose, Tia mentions the idea of Kat running for office.

Alex Faces #MeToo: Alex, Kristen, Sutton, Jane, Kat, Jacqueline, Patrick

Alex faces a situation similar to Aziz Ansari. To summarize the story, Aziz and a young woman, who is named “Grace” for her own protection, met up, had a few drinks, ended up alone and Aziz got sexually aggressive. Leading to him becoming entangled in the #MeToo movement. As for Alex, the story between him and Kristen is that she had a crush on him throughout college because he was the nice guy then that we commonly see. Also, he would read her writing and was a valued member of her friend group. So, after ending up at her place, because of the weather, and making out, she felt he took things past the point she wanted to go. Which led to her writing an article about a “Jeff” person and, when Patrick assigned Alex to write about Kristen, since they were friends, he learns he is “Jeff.”

This leads to a lot of questions internally. The first being Alex questioning his account of what happened vs. Kristen. From there, he feels the need to go over his whole history, including with Sutton. Someone who reassures him he didn’t do anything wrong with her, but what he did with Kristen does happen and isn’t acceptable but sort of normalized. Leading to Alex, to hold himself accountable, and be an ally, writing about how he was Jeff and then questioning if he should allow it to be published?

Alex reading the comments after he published his article.

Probably because, first and foremost, cancellation culture is real and Scarlet may not go to bat for him. Plus, let’s be honest, all Patrick cares about is getting hits for the “Dotcom.” That is, unlike Jacqueline, who Alex speaks to, who actually cares about her writers and their growth. Which is a whole other subject, the fact Patrick is still coming for Jacqueline and undermining her authority. But more on that later – point is, Alex talks to Jane, and Kat, and ultimately publishes the article. Leading to backlash from many but a thanks from Kristen for owning up to what he did.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Considering Alex’s comment about Jane writing a man-hating piece, when Patrick mentioned passing his story to her, is that how he feels about Jane’s work?

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

“The small things add up, and we should fight for them.”
— Kat

Highlights

Alex Stepping Up And Him Being Faced With the Truth & Support

Alex fell off in season 2 – I think we can all agree about that. With his relationship with Sutton going nowhere, he backed down from everyone, outside of Kat a little bit, and licked his wounds. Which does make him returning for a #MeToo storyline suck, but this show doesn’t have a whole lot of male characters who can present how complicated that is and weather the storm. Olivier has a storyline with his soon to be daughter and while offering a gay #MeToo story could have been cool, you know they won’t give him the screentime. Also, they could flip it and have Jacqueline in one which presents a woman in the situation, but with her having her reveal in season 1, that wasn’t going to happen.

Kristen (Alli Chung) calling Alex out on his actions.
Kristen (Alli Chung): You kind of knew what you were doing.

So, it’s only natural for Alex to take that mantle since he has been presented as likable and could rebound from such a storyline. Plus, he hasn’t had one really in a long time. Making him taking on this storyline unfortunate but necessary. Also, it follows up on the #MeToo conversation which began last season.

Getting to the point though, you have to appreciate how it addressed Alex in terms of him showing how oblivious he is to what dating is, yet also showed him hold himself accountable. Also, it presented one of the few times, in recent memory, we got to see him get something out of the friendships he has with the ladies of The Bold Type. For more often than not, he is the guy best friend who gives his two cents and support, while he says nothing about himself or presents anything about himself.

Making him comfortable enough to tell Sutton, Jane, and Kat about being the Jeff in Kristen’s story, listening to what Sutton thought about the situation, and Alex’s interpretation of dating, a type of vulnerability we don’t usually see. Especially in regards of going beyond someone dying, heartbreak, or anything like that. Alex had enough faith in his relationships with the ladies to present something which could destroy how they see him. Yet, rather than make a snap judgement, which even Jane didn’t do, they heard him out and acknowledged he wasn’t innocent in the situation but wasn’t a rapist either.

Alex speaking to Jacqueline on whether he should publish his article.
Alex: I’m questioning whether I should publish it.

But perhaps one of the biggest things was Alex and Jacqueline having a moment. Mostly because Alex has been one of the more senior writers at Scarlet so we’ve seen him pitch, do his work, and show he earns his check behind the scenes. So having him speak with Jacqueline and have the kind of scene which was formerly a Jane exclusive makes it so you can only hope this means Alex has fully returned to some kind of prominent role. Especially considering the backlash from publishing the article.

Kat Stepping Into Politics

Since we met Kat, we’ve known her to be about that action. She went up against the board multiple times, and others higher up on the totem pole, and not often for herself. More so it was for others, and she hasn’t really failed yet. So with her stepping up at Linda’s rally and Tia pushing her to run, this could be something major for Kat. Particularly since her storyline has primarily been rooted in her relationships, be it with Jane or Sutton, if not her relationship with Adena. Making it so, outside of Alex challenging her to own her Blackness, we haven’t seen something which solely focuses on her.

But this is all assuming she decides to step up. She could very well just work with Tia to find someone else and throw her weight behind them. After all, she currently only has a single issue she is focused on so expanding that enough to be a politician, a viable one, might be a bit much.

Sutton Finally Being In A Place To Dream

When it comes to Sutton, you have to recognize the long term growth. Each season whether it is growing at Scarlet, her relationship with Richard, or Oliver presenting challenges for her, she has shown herself to be more than capable. Not just in the eyes of others, but what she thinks is possible for herself. Lest we forget, she was on the practical route for a long time so she could make money since she didn’t have a safety net. Yet, thanks to Sutton and Kat, she decided to work for Oliver, negotiate her salary and the possibility of a raise and proved herself an asset.

Thus allowing her a certain level of privilege Jane, Kat, and Richard long have had. So her reaching that point where it’s not about survival but thriving has to get you a little teary-eyed.

The Possibility of Tia and Kat

While I support the idea of Kadena and characters being single, I must admit Tia could easily be someone I ship Kat with. Maybe it is because I like the idea of Black lesbian visibility? Perhaps since Tia seems more in line with Kat since she isn’t artsy but is trying to make a change like Kat is, but in a different industry? Either way, whether they develop a friendship or relationship, I’m hoping Kat and Tia grow closer to one another.

Kat processing the idea of running for office.

On The Fence

Jane’s Storyline Seems Meek Compared To The Others

Sutton is growing in her career, Kat may get into politics and while Jane freezing her eggs isn’t anything to huff at it just doesn’t feel as big of a thing. Even if you add Ryan’s part into her life and that situation, she just doesn’t bring the same oomph to the show. Which sort of makes me upset since Jane, and her actress, are pushed to the forefront and gets to do solo press. Yet, consider this me just lowkey hating.

Trying To See Patrick As Complicated As Jane

I came to realize this episode Patrick and Jane were put together because of their similarities. Both claim progressive values and yet contradict themselves in so many ways. We mentioned Jane’s above and with Patrick, it is him seeming like a radical feminist and yet undermining Jacqueline’s authority. Repeatedly making comments which clearly deal with Jacqueline’s age and you seeing how, like Jane, he is hypocritical to the point of being annoying.

However, unlike Jane, we haven’t gotten a sob story or moment which balances the scale so he just seems like straight up trash right now. Like the most annoying form of a millennial one could imagine.

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