Katie Stevens
Photo: Philippe Bosse (Freeform)

Some stories are simple: woman is threatened by the exes of a significant other, friend gets jealous of another friend’s success, a person tries on a new job or new partner and realizes they just don’t fit. There’s nothing wrong with simple stories. The Bold Type has told its share. But in “OMG,” it does something different: It tells them with all the inconvenient complexities intact.

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That doesn’t mean it’s dour, or even messy. The Bold Type usually finds a way to end things tidily, with a bow, or at least a jaunty knot of some kind. The endings are not always happy, but they’re usually neat, with a lesson learned, a door closed or opened, or a hurdle hurdled. That’s true of “OMG.”

Jane figures out that she’s opposed to something she thought she might like, and that something she thought she didn’t want could still be good for her. Sutton allows her desire for advancement to lead her down a path she knows is wrong, and when presented with the opportunity to course-correct, she actively chooses to continue. Kat gets to the root of why she’s bothered by Adena’s reluctance to discuss her sexual history, and then gets to the root of why that reluctance exists in the first place. It’s not all simple, but it’s handled efficiently.

Efficiency, complexity, and simplicity all work in The Bold Type’s favor. This week, that’s especially true of Jane’s storyline, which Katie Stevens handles with the same restraint and sincerity as she did “The Breast Issue,” another episode in which Jane’s early loss lurks in the corner of nearly all of her scenes. Stevens doesn’t play Jane’s grief, or her damage. She plays irritation, confusion, self-recrimination, and frustration. When she heads out in search of a gig—any gig—with Pinstripe, it’s not entirely a reaction to Ben’s prayer, but the two aren’t totally separate, either. Stevens plays all that and more, without ever making things bigger or weightier than they ought to be. Sometimes in life, you find yourself judging someone else in a way that’s more about you than it is about them. Sometimes you tell yourself something is harmless, even when you know deep down, it isn’t. Sometimes you find yourself standing in front of a line that you didn’t realize until that very moment you weren’t willing to cross.

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Simple stuff, but it revels in the complexities.

Sutton also finds herself at a line, and she crosses it. This is an episode with several big “oh honey no” moments, and that one—which Sutton confronts more than once—is the biggest. Perhaps it’s because Dan Jeannotte does such an admirable job of making Ryan (alias Pinstripe) the kind of low-key asshole you’d still absolutely think is pretty cool, but Jane’s “oh no don’t do that” moment didn’t come close to rivaling Sutton’s or Kat’s, and while Kat’s (more below) is rough, Sutton’s is much worse. First it’s making more work for herself to get in with an Instagram influencer, then it’s signing on for a second consecutive night out when it’s clear she’s rather stay home and nurse a hangover. Then suddenly, bam, she’s got a $500 cocaine charge on the company card.

There’s no way this ends well, yes? Not because she ran the charge anyway—if maintaining a good relationship with this woman is important to Scarlet, it’s possible to imagine justifying such a decision. But in doubling down afterward, not finding a way to pay all or part of the charge herself, not explaining the situation to Oliver or anyone else, not doing anything to cover her own ass, it seems as though Sutton has found a surefire way to lose a dream job she seems to be otherwise killing. That it comes after Oliver chose to overlook her lie about attending Parsons—one that started as a lie of omission but became more active—makes the situation all the worse. He told her then that honesty was a requirement. This seems to qualify as not honest.

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Honesty plays a part in Kat and Adena’s struggle this week, too, and while watching someone spiral and self-sabotage is never fun, this story worked a little less well for me. On the one hand, it’s already established that both Kat and Adena have some insecurities in this relationship that keep them from always communicating effectively (something both Aisha Dee and Nikohl Boosheri are, fittingly, great at communicating). On the other, the prolonged buildup to the revelation of what’s actually bothering each of them doesn’t feel totally justified. Kat’s frustration is so obvious, so early, that it’s difficult to imagine the inevitable honest conversation would take that long to arrive. But the final scene works beautifully, in which two people who love each other once again find a way past their own hangups to speak to each other with vulnerability, truth, and affection.

It’s a portrait of a relationship in progress, while Jane’s final scene is a portrait of a relationship being born. Neither of those scenes bears any resemblance to what’s going on with Sutton and her Instagram influencer. That’s a pretty simple comparison, but hey. Simple can be good.

Stray observations

  • A note about the grade: when this review first published, I mistakenly left it on A+, which is what I use when setting up reviews to remind myself to change the grade once I’ve settled on one. It’s been changed to reflect my actual (still good!) grade.
  • “God, she’s like a truffle pig for hookups.”
  • “Once you get into oral and hand stuff, I’m gonna need a bigger boat.”
  • “I’m trying to get as much free food as possible.” Too real.
  • Some other things I loved, which a lesser show may have skipped: Kat bringing up Coco is a total asshole move, even if it did just sort of slip out; Sutton gets multiple opportunities to turn back, not just one; Pinstripe is kind of a douche, but he’s also not always wrong, nor is he cruel.
  • Needs more Melora Hardin.
  • Look of the week: Sutton’s moto over dress situation.
  • Not look of the week: They were both fine, but Jane needs to introduce some color into her going-out wardrobe. Two very-L LBDs are fine, but perhaps space them out with a nice gray?

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