Good Girls - Opportunity & Synergy - Double Review By Laura Wanberg (May 11, 2020, 1:30 am)
As I’m sure we all know by now, because of COVID-19, production on shows was shut down early, causing most of them to be forced to use the last episode they were able to shoot in full as their finale, with Good Girls being no different. They were set to have 13 episodes this season, but they had only filmed 11, so this double review, for episodes 10 and 11, will cover topics from what is being considered the penultimate episode and the finale episode of season three of Good Girls. Let’s jump in!
For this review, because nothing extraordinarily groundbreaking happens, I’m going to take both episodes and essentially combine them into one. I’ll pull parts from each episode and write about them as if they’re taking part as one episode across two hours, with scenes between specific characters taking place back to back. I find this a much easier way to write as I have the entire story placed in front of me, with a start and an end point. I also enjoy reading reviews like this better myself, because then I’m not forcing my brain to jump scene to scene, remembering things to happen out of order, or weeks apart, as some of these things happen. I’m hoping to make it all one easy flow for both of us.
Okay, NOW let’s jump in! We’ll start in the very beginning when the ladies genuinely think the man they hired to kill Rio actually killed Rio. Oh, girls. I guess, thinking about this from an outside perspective, if I wasn’t watching a TV show I might understand it, but come on, guys, you have to know it can’t be that easy. And, of course, it isn’t. I know what you’re thinking: we’re getting right into the Beth/Rio stuff, we’re gonna talk right away. HA! Do you think I’m not going to save the best for last? No way!
First up: the girls’ disbelief when they find out they’re being charged an extra $11,000 for a job that was absolutely not completed. The funniest thing about this, to me, is that I never know what the girls are thinking when they do things like follow a man for several blocks who they think is about to murder someone, and then eventually, a child. What were they going to do once he murdered the child? Call someone? Explain that the assassin they hired earlier just killed someone they didn’t hire him to kill? They just followed him knowing he was about to kill someone? Zero thought process goes into things like this and I absolutely love the chaos.
Then the delivery of Mr. Fitzpatrick (Andrew McCarthy - Lipstick Jungle) asking point blank “who boned him?” Ugh! Amazing. Of course, with this setback, the girls basically tell him to screw off. Then though, they try to get him to do it again and Beth meets him somewhere to see him attempt it, and though it turns out to be a paintball, wow was it an intense moment. Him making her tell him when to do it, putting what she thinks is Rio’s death in her hands and watching her come to terms with that? For a second time in as many seasons?! Goodness. So, yeah, I think they’re back on the schedule.
Next let’s talk about Annie’s decision to go back to school, backsliding into paying someone to take her tests for her, and then not doing that. Because she has to put her cut of the money towards the $11K for Fitzpatrick, instead of giving it to Darren to take her tests, she decides to just not go back at all… until Ben gives her a good pep talk! Look, I know we’re supposed to love scenes like this, and it was a sweet montage, of him keeping her awake and testing her and feeding her, but man scenes like this are so tired.
Kids being parents is a trope that’s been around for a long time, on TV as a whole, but on Good Girls as well. We saw more of Ben in this episode than we did in the last three and it was only to parent Annie. Usually, I’m a fan of the trope, but in my opinion, it’s been three seasons, it’s time for Annie to screw on her adult hat and be the parent that Ben needs, now. The world has gotten to be pretty progressive, but you’re telling me Ben hasn’t had any setbacks with changing his name? You’re telling me he hasn’t had any difficulties? It’s been perfect?
I don’t want to see LGBT+ people struggle. I’ve seen enough of it. But to give Ben a coming out that was in the process for two and a half seasons, then push him into the background and only pull him out for to act as a parent to an adult that should’ve had that at least a little in the bag by now, it can be a bit frustrating.
So they’re up all night, and when Annie tests, she tests high… for a sixth-grader. Josh comes over and takes her to a bar and says she’s smart for taking the test at all, which I’ll give him, but that’s maybe it. Here’s the thing: Annie has a sister she’s supposedly best friends with. Ruby is apparently her best friend. They do everything together. That’s evidenced in pictures we’ll talk about later. So why, when she’s feeling upset and sad, does Ben (I assume) call Josh? And why, why, oh why, does Josh come?! He is her therapist!
When Josh got that call he should’ve asked Ben if there was anyone else Ben could’ve called and Ben would’ve said ah, yes, Josh, the other two best friends she apparently has, the ones she’s not actively trying to sleep with, of course! I can call them. She’ll see you in her THERAPY SESSION this week. See ya! That doesn’t happen, though. And of course, it gets worse because Josh reveals that he proposed to Lila, and Annie is visibly heartbroken. God, it made me so sad. I really do love Annie, and she looked shattered.
Let’s take a breather and talk about something a little less intense: *checks notes* agents finding out about Ruby, Ruby and Stan fighting, Beth and Rio… Uh… Hm. I guess we’ll go with the agents? So Phoebe, remember Phoebe (Lauren Lapkus - Orange Is the New Black), unkempt Phoebe? Turns out she’s a pretty good agent. Which is great for the FBI, but terrible for us. She and her partner, Henry (Rodney To - Parks and Recreation) figure out that it was most likely Ruby who stole all the nail polish from the salon that was robbed, even though they don’t suspect her at first.
She decides to go and get her nails done by Ruby, and when she does, she steals Ruby’s phone, which is where that picture comment I mentioned from earlier comes in. She finds dozens of pictures on Ruby’s phone of Ruby, Beth, and Annie, which leads her to believe that all three of them know everything about each other and they’re most likely all working together. Then, at the end of the last episode, when the girls are in the park, Phoebe runs up to them and very, very awkwardly introduces herself to them. God, it is brutal. But. She’s found a way in. And our girls are definitely in trouble.
Now we have to talk about Ruby and Stan. Ugh. Ugh meaning I’m sad about it, not ugh that I don’t want to. So. Let’s start with the donor family coming to see them. The parents of the girl who donated Sara’s kidney are coming to see them and it goes just as bad as expected. They have pretty much nothing. No house, no car, no jobs. Then, at one point, Jenny (Audrey Wasilewski - Mad Men) flat out asks Ruby for a car. When Ruby explains that she doesn’t have the money, because duh, it gets to the point where she says “your daughter is sleeping safe in her bed.” Uh, I don’t have a kid, but isn’t that pretty much the opposite of having money? And Ruby has two!
Nonetheless, because Ruby is better than me, she gives her the money, which sparks yet another argument between Stan and Ruby. Ugh. Ughhhh. I understand why their relationship is taking the biggest hit in all of this; because it was the strongest. I know that’s why they’re fighting more, and that’s why their relationships with the kids and their faith are changing, but man, can this family have a dang break? I just want one straight episode where they’re smiling and enjoying themselves.
Since Ruby, rightfully, gets upset at Stan for saying he wants the woman he married back, which, what a gross line, Ruby decides to steal money from Stan’s work. Stan somehow doesn’t notice Beth and Annie watching his work, even though he’s pretty much security at this place and he used to be a cop? Stan. Bud. I think we have to talk. Then, he goes outside when he finds out what they did, and he puts a target on his back by double-checking money that will later catch on fire and combust?! Stan!
I just can’t see how that’s not a red flag? I guess if the truck makes several pickups a day, you maybe can’t trace it back to a specific bag, usually on armored trucks like that, you mark each separate bag with where they came from, plus a tag with a specific name of the person on the truck who verified it, who could easily say, “yeah, at this location, I spoke to Stan, who seemed a bit flustered this day!” Man. I don’t know. Am I reading too far into this? Let me know.
Stan and Ruby fight a bit more, which confuses me now, because two episodes ago Stan was ready and willing to go completely to the dark side of crime, ready to do crimes all the time but now he’s back to condemning Ruby for taking the money from the jar to actually help a woman? Come on, man. You gotta give Ruby something. There’s a sweet moment later where he decides to take the kids out for some fun and he tells her, “I don’t know where we’re going, I just want to go there together.”
Alright, y’all: Let’s talk Beth. This woman has such chaotic energy and I love her so much. We’re gonna go chronologically for her, so we’ll start with Rio practically kidnapping her to go to a car wash. Her trying to talk her way out of that, and Rio knowing she’s not BSing him anymore? Oh, man, that was good. You could tell he was sick of it and she knew, but you could also tell that she wasn’t gonna let him see that she knew.
Later, when she shows up to the bar and pitches her own idea to Rio for running money, hot tubs, not car washes, he completely ignores her. This scene is hot. I know she’s married or whatever (and, ugh, we’ll get to that later) but guys, come on, if it was just them in that room, you can’t tell me that wouldn’t have gone somewhere else. That conversation would not have ended at him saying “pay her,” it just wouldn’t have. She came in with facts! She was aggressive! She said what needed to be said! Did she theoretically kill him a few scenes later? Yes. Does that matter to me? No, it does not.
Guys. Guys. This scene in the finale between Beth, Dean, and Gayle? Some of the best scenes on TV are ones with intense scores, but others, like this, are ones where you could hear a pin drop in the background. I’m just gonna quote this scene and then we can talk.
Gayle: Why would I be looking to sell? Beth: Because my husband’s looking to buy. Gayle: Maybe he should look somewhere else. Beth: Why’s that? You didn’t.
Okay, many things to comment on here. First of all, the way Gayle looked at Dean when she said that first line and then Beth answered for him? Oh, man. Oh, MAN. Second, Dean staying absolutely silent during this entire exchange? As he should’ve, as he should all the time, 24/7, but especially here? Thank you so much. Thank you. Then, we get Beth practically smiling saying that last line! But it doesn’t stop here! It gets better! Beth propositioning her with either them taking the company quietly or doing it loudly so Gayle’s family will know she’s a sexual predator -- I can’t. It’s too much. I had to pause it and take a minute to just stare at my screen. I can’t believe Beth really just did that.
Later, though, Gayle kinda gets back at her when she realizes Gayle isn’t the first person Dean has fooled around with behind Beth’s back. She wonders if Dean is worth it, and why, and then Beth goes home and asks if Dean would’ve slept with her in the past, and he, in an all too roundabout way says yes. He starts talking about her perfume, and her style, and her breasts, and I thought he may somehow, someway turn it into a compliment about Beth, but nope, he didn’t, he just admitted he would’ve slept with a woman who wasn’t his wife. Then Beth thanks for his honesty and it’s supposed to be a sweet moment. I’m begging someone to free me of this marriage misery.
The girls have a few minor setbacks in getting the hot tub place before Beth says screw it and takes a page from Rio’s book and asks Mick (Carlos Aviles - Ant-Man) how he was able to get all of her furniture out of her house so quickly and efficiently. Then - gasp! - Beth shows up the next day and it’s just an empty showroom! “Oh, my God, what happened?” The fake shock, iconic, I love her.
At the end of the day, after Gayle has accepted her incredibly low offer now that it’s just an empty showroom, she’s showing Rio around, showing him where she’ll put everything and how it’ll work. At one point he says “I’ll take a dip. You wanna join me?” Sorry, huh? Pardon? Can we get more of that? Can we get more of them flirting? Less of Beth hating him for no reason? Less of this weird awkward hiring-an-assassin plot? Please? Thanks!
Well, we’ve reached the end of season three. While it feels like so much happened, it also feels like absolutely nothing at all happened. I’m slightly disappointed, and I also enjoyed it? I have a lot of mixed feelings, clearly. Here’s what I’m hoping for if we get a season four: I want Annie to start growing the heck up. I want her to put her big girl pants on and realize that not every man she wants is going to want her and that her kid is her kid and not the other way around. I want Ruby and Stan to start understanding each other again and stop fighting just for the sake of fighting. I’m sick of the show needing personal drama and deciding to pick on Ruby and Stan because they’re the only ones with emotional maturity. I want Beth and Rio as a team, not competition. And my goodness, I want Beth and Dean to get a divorce.
My favorite quote from Opportunity is between Beth and Rio during the car wash scene when Rio is asking what’s happening with her cut of the money she’s taking:
Rio: Where’s it been going? Beth: Somewhere safe. Rio: What, like a mattress? Beth: ...Yeah. Rio: Except you ain’t got one.
Yeah, because you stole it from her! Rio!!! Please!
My favorite quote from Synergy was during a scene between Beth, Ruby, and Annie when they’re talking about robbing Stan and Ruby is talking about how she thinks this makes the most sense and Beth looks her right in the face and goes “what makes the most sense is couples therapy.” Beth, please!
Here are some things I’d love to see in season four in a fantasy world: Beth and Dean divorcing, Annie with a girlfriend, Rio and Beth in a real actual relationship, Ben with a boyfriend, Ben getting more screentime, Annie actually going back to school and becoming an EMT like she really wants.
What did you think of Opportunity and Synergy? What were you expecting to see out of the finale had the planned one aired? What are your hopes for season four if the show is renewed? What were your favorite parts of season three? Let me know in the comments below!