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?
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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.
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