Bomb Girls Recap 1.4: To Catch a Thief

(This recap was originally posted on September 26, 2012)

I have to admit, in the first two episodes of this show, I was a little troubled by my dislike for all the male characters. Had I finally become one of those man-hating lesbians I’d heard so much about? Or possibly, had the writers of this show? Then I thought about it and realized a: television writers took the same classes I did in college and devote a great deal of time and thought to their work. And b: the men of Victory Munitions are not equally awful.

The men of Bomb Girls are only sympathetic to the extent that they are denied positions of societal power. The less clout, the nicer the guy. It’s not a point made with much subtlety, since Archie becomes more saintly with every labored breath, but it is a “point” as opposed to a “mistake.” (Also I gave Mr. Witham more awfulness and less power because the way that guy struts around, it’s like he thinks he runs the mob, not a chain of Piggly Wigglies.)

This week at Vic Mu, Lorna is plotting her revenge on Marco for hate-kissing her. She spies her opportunity when he throws away an Italian newspaper right in front of her. Sir, have you learned nothing from the fate of Edith’s letters and the suggestion hat box?

She’s climbin’ in your trashcan, snatchin’ your paper up.

Trouble is brewing inside the factory too, when a gentleman known only as The Colonel shows up to inspect the line. In the course of the inspection, Lorna finds a locket of Kate’s with her old name, Marion, engraved on it. High on all this pure, uncut evidence, Lorna pockets the locket and plants the newspaper in Marco’s locker. It’s enough to get Marco fired (and possibly sent to an internment camp? Seriously, Canada?) and Kate exiled to work in the warehouse.

But wait! Halt any and all other investigations because Gladys Witham-Hastings is missing a bottle of French perfume. Since Lorna’s sleuthing skills can’t produce it, she docks the cost from every girl’s paycheck. Betty for one is incensed that anyone might think she stole Gladys’ “toilet water,” since her there is no improving on her own natural scent of whiskey, cigarettes, explosives, and perfection.

The show then takes us to intensive care, where Vera is hanging out with Archie, who is still in the hospital from the whole bomb-chest incident. After every crass, mean thing he said in the first two episodes, I never thought I would say this, but Archie is less horrible this week. Sure, he still makes some insensitive jokes about how part of Vera’s face is gone, but he’s not actually trying to put her down. On the contrary, Archie is the first person who doesn’t treat Vera as though her life is ruined because of her scar, and that is why I bothered to learn his name this week.

But hang on were there other stories this week? If there were I don’t remember them because GLADYS HASTINGS IS MISSING A SCARF.

“Have you seen my scarf? It’s purple silk and my fiancé — I want to say his name is John — gave it to me.”

This time though, Gladys is taking matters into her own hands, dumping thief-catching silver nitrate into her purse because she saw it in a movie. It’s awesome but please no one ever tell Spencer Hastings about it or she will hose down the entire town of Rosewood.

Kate is terrified to be working in storage, and who can blame her, since it looks like the set for every there’s-someone-behind-you nightmare you’ve ever had. She’s singing to keep herself company, when suddenly a man’s voice begins to duet with her from out of the darkness. Kate, sweet baby deer that she is, does not run in terror, but keeps right on warbling, which I’m actually grateful for, since it makes for one of the smartest moments of the show so far.

We each of us walk the lonesome valley
We gotta walk it by ourselves.
Nobody else can do it for us.
We gotta walk it by ourselves.

It’s beautifully sung and the lyrics are both relevant to any person who has ever been oppressed or afraid, and also contradicted in the loveliest way, since even when Kate feels most alone, there’s another voice coming from the next valley. Way to go, show.

Kate tries to track down the mystery singer in the cafeteria, and decides it might be the creepiest, perviest guy she can see. FACEPALM.

Meanwhile, Gladys’ silver nitrate trick actually worked, to general astonishment, and the culprit turns out be a blonde nonentity named Hazel. The others refuse to believe it though, and even suggest that Gladys might be taking this whole quest for justice thing a bit too far by filling her purse with antiseptic.

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