GLOW Season 1 Finale Recap: With Liberty Belle and Justice for All?

Warning: The following recap contains spoilers from the Season 1 finale of Netflix’s GLOW. Proceed at your own risk.

Nothing can prepare the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling for what they’re about to endure as GLOW‘s first season enters the main event.

As production on their pilot commences, Sam is nowhere to be found, forcing Ruth to play producer and Bash to step into the role of host. What’s more, low turnout forces Tammé, Melrose and Sheila to pay nearby moviegoers to come fill the seats. Later on, Rhonda takes a beer bottle to the head after a rude seat filler throws a cold one at Arthie’s “Beirut the Mad Bomber” and misses.

All of that may seem bad, but none of it can compare to what Sam and Debbie are going through in “Money’s In the Chase.” Let’s recap, shall we?

DADDY ISSUES | Sam arrives at the motel, just as the ladies are loading up Melrose’s limo. He reeks of alcohol after a days-long binge, and informs Ruth that Justine is his daughter. Per Ruth’s advice, Sam makes his way over to Justine’s room to try and talk things out. Unfortunately, she’s not there.

Sam manages to find Justine at Billy’s house, where he apologizes for trying to have sex with her. (In his defense, Justine’s decision to follow him around like some “crazed fangirl,” rather than just come forward and admit why she auditioned for his show in the first place, probably wasn’t the best idea.) Before he leaves, Sam — in his own very Sam way — tells Justine that he thinks they should be in each other’s lives: “It can only get better from here, I think… I hope.” She eventually turns up at the ballroom, where she joins Sam on the balcony to watch the wrestling match.

IT’S NOT SILLY TO HER | Debbie backs out of the pilot at the last minute in an effort to save her marriage. As a result, Ruth is forced to come up with an alternate final match alongside Jenny, Dawn and Stacey. Debbie still attends the taping with Mark. That’s where Sam tracks her down and tells her that she’s a quitter. Coupled with Mark’s decision to belittle the entire project and call it “silly,” Debbie is inspired to interrupt the taping, at which point she reveals herself to be Liberty Belle and joins Ruth’s Zoya the Destroya in the ring.

Liberty Belle defeats Zoya as planned, earning the GLOW crown and the adoration of the audience. For Sam, it’s the response she elicits that helps him realize that this is more than just a pilot, but a franchise in the making. With that in mind, he makes a last minute storyline change, sending the Welfare Queen back into the ring to take down Liberty Belle and steal her crown.

At the end of the match, Ruth asks Debbie if she’d like to go out for a drink, but Debbie still isn’t ready to be friendly with the woman who slept with her husband. “We’re not there yet,” she says, leaving the door somewhat open for reconciliation in a hypothetical Season 2. As for the other thread left hanging at the end of Season 1: Glen informs Cherry that she got the lead role in the station’s cop drama, but accepting the part would force her to leave GLOW behind. Keith wants her to take the job, but it’s clear she’s having doubts.

What did you think of GLOW finale? Grade the episode, as well as Season 1 via the following polls, then drop your thoughts in a comment below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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6 Comments
  1. Wordsmith says:

    I inhaled the entire season in one afternoon. Just could not stop watching. It works pretty well as an artfully open-ended one-and-done miniseries, but I would love to see another season, and I feel pretty good about their chances, given the people involved and the early buzz.

    • kiddo says:

      Yup second that, it was awesome and fun tv series. Empowering but hilarious and I love Alison Brie. She’s so underrated she needs to be in more projects. Debbie and Ruth frenemies relationship reminds me Blair and serena relationship, i need to see more of that.

  2. leo says:

    The trailer looked pretty good. But the entire season was so boring.

    • Wordsmith says:

      I will say, if you’re tuning in expecting action-packed wrestling matches, there are fewer of those than you might expect. It’s a show about weird, broken people who happen to be making a TV show that happens to involve wrestling.
      People didn’t watch 30 Rock for the sketch comedy – it was about the craziness backstage. This show is the drama equivalent of that (or very dark comedy, depending on your viewpoint).

  3. christopher bee says:

    I´ve binged it too on one day and i´m very happy to have had a substitude for my canceled favorites “Rhodies” and “Vinyl”. Wrestling is not my thing, but these Ladies and the Settings are just pure fun to watch.

    Ready for season two.

  4. dan says:

    Watched the whole season in three days. The first couple of episodes weren’t as funny as we expected for a comedy, but the show hit its stride somewhere around episode four. The last few episodes were great (reminds me of how each season of OITNB is structured where the plotlines improve as the season progresses). It was obvious that Debbie would come out of the audience to fight in the finale (she and Ruth had it planned), but the Welfare Queen twist was a good one. Hope its back for a second season!