Fact checking The Bold Type: 'Marathon'
Welcome to Fact-Checking The Bold Type! A weekly post where we recap the week’s episode, but also add some insight into which of the editorial storylines would actually happen at a magazine — since, you know, EW is one of those! Let’s get into it.
On this week’s The Bold Type, Jane gets a new haircut, Sutton gets frustrated at work, and Kat gets involved in someone else’s business. Meanwhile, a bunch of New Yorkers get leg cramps, running the city’s marathon.
Let’s start with Jane’s plight. Her new short hair-do is great, but her relationship with Ryan? Not so great. The pint-sized couple hasn’t had sex since he got back from his book tour — you know, the one where he kissed a girl that was not Tiny Jane. Well, it’s proved to be not-so-tiny an issue for Jane, who’s all up in her head every time they get intimate and can’t go through with it. Fortunately, Scarlet is covering the NYC Marathon in a big way and Jane — still desperate for her own vertical — is going to use her lack of sex life as inspiration for a story. After hearing all about tantric sex from someone on his basketball team (wait, what?!), Ryan thinks they should give it a go and Jane can write about the, um, marathon experience for work. That night, they sit crosslegged, with her on top of him and do weird breathing exercises. It doesn’t take long for Jane to ditch this attempt at intimacy for food (relatable).
The next day, Jane goes to the girls for advice and Sutton tells her to ask Ryan about the illicit kiss — she might be imaging it worse than it really was. So Jane and Ryan go for a walk and he explains the whole thing. Basically, he was incredibly drunk and the random girl kissed him and he kissed her back. Then he felt terrible and called Jane. He tells Jane he regrets it every single day and she believes him. They hug and she invites him over the next night for tantric sex research for her article. But now Ryan’s the one all in his head and has trouble performing. Regardless, by episode’s end, Jane has submitted her article. He points out that she didn’t include everything (assuming he means his troubles the night before), but she says she included the important themes. She tells him she thinks it’s okay that they’re working through some things. Ryan smiles at her but then looks away, worried.
On the Sutton front, Oliver has her running errands, including grabbing his prescription. While at the pharmacy, she bumps into a girl who’s on the fashion design program with her. This bubbly gal tells Sutton how she’s now selling a jacket at Bloomingdales. Feeling she has nothing career-wise to boast about, Sutton tells her she got engaged. Later, she’s feeling dejected about the whole thing and the state of her career, worrying she’s made a mistake sticking with styling when she had shown so much promise with designing. Jane and Kat advise her to speak to Oliver, but she doesn’t want to be a whiney millennial. Eventually, during the photoshoot for the marathon coverage Scarlet is doing, Sutton plucks up the courage to tell Oliver she’s not feeling satisfied doing all this scut work. She suggests hiring another assistant so she can do more styling. Oliver tells her they’re on a hiring freeze, but that the next career step for her is a promotion to stylist — it’s going to take a while, so she’s just gotta hang in there. She accepts this, but Kat has another idea. They’re going to make her more promotable by developing a Sutton brand via Instagram with all Kat’s social media expertise.
Speaking of the social media whiz, let’s check in with Kat. She orders lunch and when the delivery girl shows up they get to chatting about running. Kat’s working on profiles of diverse people running the race. Delivery-girl Chloe mentions she got bumped out of the marathon because of a paperwork glitch. She ran the qualifying race when she’d been taking estrogen for over a year and her testosterone level was low enough for even the Olympics to classify her as a woman, but her registration was outdated and they still had her listed as a man. In that category, she wasn’t fast enough to qualify. Kat, always an advocate for the overlooked, decides to help Chloe run and buys her a bib that an injured runner was selling on the internet. However, when Kat tells Chloe the good news, she’s not exactly thrilled. She wants to run as herself or not at all. Her life has been full of people telling her she can’t be her and she can’t let running be another thing that won’t accept her. Kat tells Jane she’s worried she offended Chloe and Jane’s kinda smug about it since Kat’s been calling her out a bunch lately for her cultural indiscretions. Kat agrees they need to both do better. Then Jane uses the word “woke” and Kat’s like, have you learned nothing?! That’s appropriation! Anyway, of course, Kat has a plan and ends up talking a member of the marathon committee into letting Chloe run as herself by dropping into conversation Scarlet‘s 3 million readers.
So Chloe runs the marathon and stops mid-race to chat with a tipsy Jane, Sutton, and Kat who are sipping Bloody Marys roadside as they watch and drunkenly decide they’ll run next year. Chloe picks up on Jane and Kat’s “woke off” and tells them if their hearts are in right place and they’re trying to make things better, that’s all that matters. Elsewhere, Jacqueline’s husband is heading off to work overseas and has had it with his wife never prioritizing him. She point blank asks him how unhappy he is with their marriage and he tells her he’s about as unhappy as her. So, you know, that sounds promising. Guess we’ll see where all these relationship woes wind up next week!
A fact check or two:
- Sutton isn’t getting promoted because of a hiring freeze at Scarlet: Ugh, all too accurate.
- Jane writes about whatever she wants without really doing any reporting, getting her pitches approved or including all the information: Inaccurate.
- Kat is a social media team of one — pitching all the concepts, shooting the Instagram stories, and still has time to perform good deeds: Inaccurate.
- The website traffic is up 12 percent because of streaming the shoot live: Inaccurate. Aren’t they streaming it live on social media platforms? So no one is actually visiting the website…?