TV Series

The Bold Type: Season 4 Episode 16 “Not Far From The Tree” [Season Finale] – Recap/ Review with Spoilers

Community Rating: 44.01% (1) | How This Number is Tabulated

“The Bold Type” does some course correction is being bold with some of its storylines but certainly not others.

Director(s)Aprill Winney
Writer(s)Chase Baxter, Neel Shah
Aired (FreeForm)7/16/2020
Introduced This Episode
BillyBilly Magnussen

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Peer Pressure Is The Worst – Ava, Kat, Jane

Being that Kat has existed in a liberal bubble, being challenged by Ava and communicating with her, rather than trying to shut her down, is enjoyable for her. The problem is, between the Belle thinking she is too controversial and Jane not supporting the endeavor, it leads Kat to break things off. Mind you, like a f*** boy, and after they have sex just one last time.

Figuring Out The Right Thing To Say and Do – Jacqueline, Andrew, Alex, Ian, Jane

Alex is struggling thanks to Andrew beating up the guy who was harassing Alicia. It has even gone viral and led to Alex inheriting the title of being a cuck, as well as an example of how masculinity is on the decline and why millennials are having less sex. Which, for Alex, is mind-boggling since now he doesn’t know what he should do, say, whether to clap back, or take the high road?

Jacqueline (Melora Hardin) in her office.
Jacqueline (Melora Hardin)

And speaking of the high road, with Jane doing an investigation on Ian’s employer, “States & Nations,” it complicated things for Jacqueline, who is grooming Jane to be her successor. Specifically, Jane is looking into two people, Mark Afton and Nicole Keating, but to get to Mark, Jane needs to possibly expose Nicole.

The problem with doing so, however, is that Nicole dated Ian while he and Jacqueline were separated. Thus creating a bit of an issue, for now, the article can look petty, or out of revenge. Thus, while Jacqueline initially shuts down the story, she later trusts Jane to handle it and make sure, if this comes back on her or the magazine, it is bulletproof.

The Beginning Of A Dark Path – Sutton, Billy

Sutton is in a weird place and with New York reminding her so much of Richard, and perhaps wanting to escape the people who knew them so well as a couple, she heads to Harrisburg in hopes of seeing her mom. However, with her mother becoming as she was before, an impetuous drinker, Sutton realizes she can’t rely on her for some emotional support.

Billy (Billy Magnussen) talking to Sutton.
Billy (Billy Magnussen)

However, this, unfortunately, leads to Billy, who is not single, hanging out and later hooking up with Sutton. This is a notable action since it leads to her not only taking off her ring but seeming like she is prepping for the single life. One which might be wild, crazy, and, in Sutton’s mind, living up to the trajectory she might have been on if she didn’t leave Harrisburg. If not the trajectory her mother is on, and Sutton might be tired of fighting against.


Jacqueline Lacking Perfection

It is a difficult task to deconstruct a character like Jacqueline without it feeling like they are ruining them. Especially since Jacqueline wasn’t just ideal but an enviable force. After all, who wouldn’t want a boss like Jacqueline?

But, as her personal life became more and more part of the story, specifically her marriage to Ian, we’ve seen her flaws, and I’d like to say Jacqueline has benefitted from becoming more human than has been chipped away. For with getting to see behind the curtain, you realize even when it comes to people like Jacqueline, who often have the best things to say and often are impeccable figures of leadership, they still have room to grow.

Which, in many ways, gives hope. Plus, it makes you realize, if you don’t have a Jacqueline in your life, what sacrifices are usually made to be the best at anything or perceived as such. That is, alongside the consequences of said sacrifice.

On The Fence

Is Sutton About To Blow Up Her Life?

Sutton getting to where she is was a long and hard road. Now, we’ll admit, the relationship with Richard was perhaps the sole easy thing about her story, but with how she is currently reacting? There is a need to worry she won’t just act single and up her body count. She may very well get sloppy at work and lose all she has fought for.

Now, mind you, Sutton could also work hard and keep a healthy social life. But, no matter how you slice it, there is this appearance that Sutton is definitely about to shake things up in such a way that could set her back. Leading you to wonder, is this how the writers are trying to keep things fresh? By undoing the work that made “The Bold Type,” what it is?


Ava (Alex Paxton-Beesley) talking to Kat.
Ava (Alex Paxton-Beesley)

While we always enjoy diverse voices on the show, since there comes the point where they can all seem far too similar, after Aisha Dee’s Instagram post, we must admit Ava is a difficult character to deal with now. On the one hand, we enjoy a progressive show and conservative voice that is allowed nuance and isn’t treated as someone strictly a villain.

Yet, as Dee noted, Kat being made into someone providing redemption is a hard thing to deal with. Plus, it does distract and detracts from the journey Kat seemingly was on. Which, for us, was being stripped of her privilege and having to work her way back up.

Alex Not Writing An Article About What He Is Dealing With

The issue with Alex, seemingly has transitioned from consistency, to going where things needed to go. Prime example, if we’re going to deal with gender dynamics, especially when the woman has finances that eclipse the male, let’s truly explore it and talk about it. That is, rather than throw around jokes calling Alex a cuck or avoid bringing in the ladies of “The Bold Type” to expand the conversation.

I get the benefit of isolating Alex, and having him not play an active role in Jane, Sutton, or Kat’s life is so he can disappear when they need him to, but you can’t keep putting him in as the male rep then not seeing the story through. If we are going to have people like Ava and Alex present different takes due to their gender, culture, or politics, don’t half-ass it or use a lead as a stepping stone.


Trajectory – Declining

The show is, by no means, on a major decline. However, red flags are popping up that it could begin the process of running out of steam. Leading us to hope, if “The Bold Type” is starting to become unsure what to do with its leads, as it has been about its supporting characters, that this could be the beginning of the end.

Where To Watch

Alex Not Writing An Article About What He Is Dealing With - 76%
Ava - 74%
Is Sutton About To Blow Up Her Life? - 75%
Jacqueline Lacking Perfection - 83%


The show is, by no means, on a major decline. However, red flags are popping up that it could begin the process of running out of steam. Leading us to hope, if "The Bold Type" is starting to become unsure what to do with its leads, as it has been about its supporting characters, that this could be the beginning of the end.

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Amari Allah

I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.

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