The Bold Type: Season 4 Episode 5 “Tearing Down The Donut Wall” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Title Card - The Bold Type Season 4 Episode 5 “Tearing Down The Donut Wall”
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As Kat struggles with trying to be carefree and single, Jacqueline’s marriage issues start to become known, and Jane calls her dad.


Directed By Erica Dunton
Written By Sascha Rothchild
Aired (FreeForm) 2/20/2020
Introduced This Episode
Jane’s Dad Kelly AuCoin
Kat’s Love Interest Ashley Platz

Episode Recap

DTF Not DTN: Kat

While Adena is away, Kat is trying to play but finds herself coming to the realization she is a relationship kind of woman. Which, as seen by her love interest we meet, is a role, girlfriend, she easily slips into and does quite well. But, with her going being down to f***, not down to nest, she ghosts the woman, apologizes, and then hooks up with a male bartender. Thus prolonging what she needs with what she thinks she wants.

Individuality: Sutton, Oliver, Carly

With Sutton struggling with comparing herself to her friends, former classmates, even her mother, and not having the amount of IG followers she wanted and expected, she is a bit shook. She feels like she is on auto-pilot and, in many ways, that could explain why sometimes Sutton goes left when talking to Jane and Kat. It’s how she shakes things up not just in their life, but hers. For in their side-eye or surprise, she realizes she perhaps hasn’t lost what makes her, her.

Case in point, the whole wedding thing has Sutton shook and Oliver choosing her possible gown is nice, but makes it all the more real. Plus, when you add in Carly being your angsty pre-teen, at 12, rebelling against a uniform, it triggers Sutton. For that freedom of expression, Sutton wants that back. If not, she wants the validation she gets from her friends on a commercial level.

Sutton in a wedding dress.

Which, ultimately, she gets. For thanks to Jane’s idea for a wedding shoot, Sutton gets to be front and center and by the end of the episode, has 15,000 followers.

From Wedding To Multi-Decade Anniversary: Jane, Jacqueline, Jane’s Dad, Oliver

Jane’s pitch this week was all about millennial weddings, and between Andrew and Sage, Alex is nowhere to be found, it seemed no one was really high off the idea of weddings. So, since Jacqueline is Jane’s maternal figure, she goes to her, despite not being a millennial, to at least get some positive view on the wedding day and Jacqueline delivers.

However, what she also gives, thanks to Jane accidentally recording a private conversation, is the reveal that her marriage is hitting bumps. Something Jane confronts and leads to Jacqueline touching upon the subject, but luckily the real conversation she holds for a full-on adult and not a 20 something who idolizes her.

And speaking of idolizing, with Jane’s image of perfection cracking, it pushes her to need a new safety blanket. Something to cover up the damage done, and so she calls her dad, who we physically see, and asks about her mom. For with her mom immortalized and sanctified, she can remain on a high pedestal and not be brought down and made human. Which is what Jane needs right now.

Review/ Commentary

Highlights

Meeting Jane’s Family – At Last

Jane's Dad (Kelly AuCoin)  on the phone with her.
Jane’s Dad (Kelly AuCoin)

Well, specifically her dad, but considering we met Sutton’s mom, and Kat’s parents, it seemed strange that Jane’s dad, and her brothers, have yet to be physically seen. Especially considering how Jane is sometimes treated as the leader of a three-person group, so you’d think we’d see her visit her family, them visit her, or one of her brothers, especially when Sutton moved out, coming to New York. Which didn’t happen, and I’m thankful for, but it didn’t lessen how strange it was for Jane’s family to be spoken of but not seen.

And to be honest, considering the way Jane is, I hope we see more of her family and get to see their dynamic in the flesh. For, really thinking about it, perhaps the reason Sutton and Kat have always been such strong characters is due to you understanding how they became who they are via the people they grew up around or with. When it comes to Jane, Scarlet magazine seems to be her foundation, and as shown by her many missteps, her understanding only goes but so far.

So here is hoping unnamed dad and her brothers, be it for a vacation or what have you show up. Especially since dear old dad apparently didn’t know about Ryan, who Jane has been with for months, at this point, and has been in her life for years. Well, depending on the show’s timeline.

Jane Losing Her Fantasy Of Jacqueline and Her Life

I think it is of great importance for Jacqueline to be deconstructed. Not just in terms of viewers seeing it, and allowing this deconstruction to actually develop Jacqueline, but also so Jane can be further enhanced. I say that because, in my mind, Jane looks at Jacqueline as perfect, the ideal, and who she wants to be. And Jacqueline has, for most of the series, been that ideal person, boss, and even seemed like an ideal wife when we first met Ian and the boys.

However, now we’re reminded that she is a career woman who happens to have a family. People who, at one time, might have been her priority, but something shifted, be it at home or her career, that made it so they didn’t become secondary but pushed down on Jacqueline’s priority list. And in Jane learning of Jacqueline’s marital troubles comes the hope she’ll understand relationships further and maybe feel further firm in what is going on between her and Ryan. Specifically not giving up on something just because it requires work but also recognizing you can’t put all of your energy and effort into work and neglect your personal relationships – as seen with her father not knowing who Ryan is.

Carly and Sutton’s Relationship

While, in many ways, as Jacqueline is Jane’s mother figure Oliver is Sutton’s father figure, there is also something to be said about Carly and Sutton’s relationship. In that, you can see anything from a big sister, an aunt, or Sutton getting to experience motherhood. And considering the topics this show touches on, the struggle to get pregnant feels likely to happen and maybe even miscarriages as well. Granted, is the possibility high for it to happen to the main three? No. Yet, the subject matter seems likely, and it has been touched upon, the topic of pregnancy, through Jane’s medical storyline.

But, getting back to Carly and Sutton, the key thing I love about them is how Carly takes to Sutton. She, unlike her friends, doesn’t see her as the wild one, party one, or the one whose come up will come soon. Sutton is Carly’s Jacqueline, and it really reminds you, as much as you might be struggling, feel like a loser, or what have you, someone thinks the sun shines out of your behind. Not because you throw money around, but just because you listen, you try to see their point, and you put an effort into supporting them when they are right and talking to them when you perceive them as misguided.

On The Fence

Kat’s Personal Life

Kat's Love Interest (Ashley Platz) learning Kat isn't ready for something real.
Kat’s Love Interest (Ashley Platz)

Here is the thing, with Jane and Sutton with the same guys they have been with since the beginning, both only having one notable break from their current partner, it makes Kat not being with Adena weird. Further, it makes it so, no matter who she is paired with, there is the assumption they are placeholders and as we saw last season, even if someone wonderful does come in Kat’s life, all Adena has to do is show up, and they’ll be gone.

Which makes Kat’s personal life feel, not boring but uninspired. And while you have to love the show addressing, through Jacqueline, Kat needs to have a personal life, the question is, will it solely be through her friendships and a string of nobodies until Adena returns? Also, taking note of that, is it wrong how ingrained everyone’s partner is to their character to the point you can’t believe them ever being with anyone else?

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Title Card - The Bold Type Season 4

The Bold Type: Season 4 Episode 10 “Some Kind of Wonderful” [Spring Finale] –...

While it is Sutton’s wedding day, the decisions of Kat and Jane rival the nuptials.

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