Before any of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling had even made it into the ring, GLOW’s Season 2 premiere staged a fateful match in which a member of the cast lost more than bragging rights or a title, she lost her job. Who was it, and who should feel like a s—t sandwich because of it? Read on.
‘MY COSTUME STILL SMELLS LIKE BEER AND RACISM’ | As the episode began, Debbie was attempting to explain to the drycleaner why it was such a big effing deal if her costume had been lost. She’d be like Clark Kent going to work without his cape, she said. Luckily, her costume had just been mixed in with Mark’s pickup. Well, they’d need to establish separate accounts immediately. “And I’m not paying for his suits,” she added. Meanwhile, in the gym’s parking lot, Sam was gearing up for his — and everyone’s — first day back at work post-break by making it snow in reverse right up his nose. When Ruth saw him, she cheerfully proffered a tiny bottle of vodka in character. “Is classic start gift,” she said as Zoya. And she was so full of enthusiasm that, of course, the grouch had to stomp it out of her. He was slightly freaking because he was about to work on the show for the next 20 weeks, and he hadn’t known what he was going to be doing for 20 weeks in a row since he was in college. So “don’t pep-talk me,” he grumbled. Undaunted, Ruth volunteered to be the Alma to his Hitch — in other words, Mrs. Hitchcock, the great woman behind the great director. Any way she could, she’d help him. “Well,” he replied, “you’ve helped me to want to get the f— out of this car.” Oh, Sam.
Inside, the cast discovered that their costumes hadn’t been washed over the break. (Eesh.) And also, Yolanda, the Mexican woman that they initially mistook for the wardrobe lady, was replacing Cherry as Junkchain. Don’t give your old pal a second thought, Sam told his stars, because for sure, “she ain’t thinking about you.” For her part, Melrose was, as you’d expect, excited that the gym was now full of male crew members. And Bash, who’d shown up for work dressed like a James Spader character, was embarrassed to learn that prep day wasn’t short for preppy day. Prompted by Ruth to go over the show’s format for the sake of Yo-Yo, Sam explained that it consisted of: 1. promos in which the wrestlers smack-talked one another, 2. a series of matches, 3. a title match, and 4. a closer in which Liberty Belle vows to reclaim the crown from Welfare Queen. “Every week?” asked Ruth. “It’s not rocket science,” said Sam, who frankly desperately needed an Alma. Finally, he gave them all their contracts. Carmen’s brother’s first agreement was written on a napkin, she offered. So “this is a step up.” While Debbie discreetly snuck her unsigned paperwork into her purse, Ruth informed Sam that the wrestlers had some concerns about the contract. His response: Pretty much, “And… ?” He couldn’t have cared less. But, he told Ruth, “If you wanna be Alma Hitchcock, go make everyone feel special so I don’t have to.”
‘HELLO, YOU BEAUTIFUL STALLION’ | By the time Ruth rejoined her castmates, they were busily throwing side-eye at Yo-Yo, who’d revealed that Sam had offered her her role after she’d given him a lap dance at the club where she strips. But Ruth was sure she knew how to boost morale — by… what? Singing the theme song from The Mary Tyler Moore Show? In fact, she did, but it was only her way of telling the women that they were going to shoot a main-title sequence for the show. When the Cheers theme was mentioned, Vicky the Viking admitted that she’d never seen the hitcom. “It’s about an invisible woman named Vera,” said Sheila, just being the absolute quintessence of Sheila. Only Debbie scoffed at the idea; she couldn’t imagine Sam shooting a title sequence. It’s really happening, Ruth insisted. He’d… uh, put her in charge. Frost rising off of her, Debbie wished Ruth good luck, but she was headed to the mall to buy more shimmer tights. Great idea! Ruth decided. They’d all go. She grabbed Russell, the cameraman with a past in porn, and off they headed to a galleria that wasn’t gonna know what hit it!
At the shopping center, Ruth kicked as much ass as she does in the ring, setting up fun shots, raising morale to unheard-of highs and even being forward-thinking enough to get talent waivers from passersby who wound up being used as extras. “It’s a lot more fun when you direct,” Reggie (aka Vicky the Viking) told her at the end of the shoot. Just don’t tell Sam that, Ruth shrewdly replied. Even Russell admitted, “We shot some rad stuff today” and said Ruth had a “decent eye.” As he was asking her back to his place to, ahem, review the footage, Debbie intervened, offering her former pal a lift. While all that was going on, back on set, Florian arrived with a wardrobe change for Bash and sweetly assured him that now he looked like “a real Hollywood producer.” Just then, K-DTV boss man Glen showed up unexpectedly with Rick Hollander, the director of the network’s longest-running show Quilting Bee Easy, to introduce him to Sam, aka the new kid on the block. “Oh,” grumbled Sam, “well, I’ve been around all the blocks.” When Glen and Rick moved off, Sam hit the roof that Glen had brought another director to his set, prompting Bash to express his relief that he hadn’t replaced him like Glen had wanted. The idea, Bash said — “a guy who wears a turtleneck” directing GLOW!
‘IT IS A MIRACLE WHAT YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH WHEN YOU FORCE PEOPLE TO WORK OVERTIME’ | On the awkwardest ride home ever, Debbie suggested to Ruth that Russell was a sleaze. And no, she didn’t give a damn whether or whom Ruth dated. But, Debbie continued, “That guy’s a creep… and I don’t need you to f— up group morale by getting date-raped.” Did I mention that this was the awkwardest ride home ever? Ruth attempted to break the tension by saying that she’d wanted to call Debbie over their hiatus. “I really missed acting with you,” she admitted, recalling their days in scene-study class. In response, Debbie, threatening to cry off her glitter makeup, announced, “I’m getting a divorce.” Nonetheless, Mark was by her side that evening when she had dinner with Glen and his wife Jodi. As a former soap star, Debbie felt that she was worth more than the rest of the GLOW cast. So she had some ideas for addenda to her contract. Meanwhile, Sam returned home to find Justine working on merch for Billy’s band, S—pope and wondered aloud when she’d be heading back to Sacramento. He said she could stay, she pointed out. “‘Stay,'” he retorted, “implies a short time.” But it was clear that they had years’ worth of daddy issues (or daughter issues) yet to be worked out or even, for that matter, discussed.
By the following day, the gym had been transformed into a pretty impressive replica of the Hayworth Hotel, and the cast was in high spirits. Unfortunately, Glen showed up with Debbie just as they were about to show Sam their credits sequence (which Russell had edited overnight). Though nervous, Ruth pressed PLAY, and whew — the wrestlers loved it, and so did Glen. He even called it a romp! The one person who didn’t love it? Three guesses, and if they don’t all rhyme with “damn,” you’re wrong. “Who here is confused about who the director is?” asked Sam. Russell attempted to take the fall for Ruth, but she immediately admitted that shooting the opening had been her idea. When not outright insulting her work — which was, in fact, a romp! — Sam groused that he’d never put his name on something he hadn’t directed. “You put your name on the pilot,” said Reggie, going so far as to remind him that Ruth had saved his ass on it. Smoke coming out of his ears, Sam canned Vicky the Viking on the spot. “If you wanna fire someone, fire me,” Ruth told him later. But was that really what she wanted? Well, no. She just had ideas! He couldn’t talk about it right then even if he’d wanted to, as he was looking over Debbie’s new contract and learning that she wanted to be a producer. “Oh, no,” Debbie clarified. “I am a producer.” With that, she closed his office door, shutting out Ruth and her ideas.
So, what did you think of the Season 2 premiere? Alison Brie warned us that Ruth would have to take a lot of s—t this season, but damn. Grade the episode below, then hit the comments.