Good Girls - Pilot - Review + Poll: "In Too Deep" By TheTVGirl (February 27, 2018, 4:00 am)
The pilot of Good Girls had a lot to unpack and they did it in a way that was filled with humor, drama and suspense. Let's Discuss!!
Before we start, I thought that it would be helpful to make a friendly key of our characters because when you start a pilot it can be difficult to keep track of them all:
Annie Marks (Mae Whitman)
Ruby Hill (Retta)
Beth Boland (Christina Hendricks)
Stan Hill (Reno Wilson)
Dean Boland (Matthew Lillard)
Rio (Manny Montana)
Sadie Marks (Izzy Stannard)
Sara Hill (Lidya Jewett)
Greg (Zach Gilford)
Boomer (David Hornsby)
Complicated Lives and Challenges
When Good Girls was ordered to series last year, I was really excited by the cast and premise and the pilot did not let me down. During the hour we meet three women who are loving mothers and trying their hardest to give their families the best of them, but as with most life challenges things never come easy. The three central characters, Annie, Beth and Ruby all have their reasons for needing money quick and by the end of the hour a one-time robbery sets off a chain of events that will carry us through the season.
Annie (Whitman) is a young single mom who is clearly trying to stay above water while taking care of her daughter Sadie. The love that she has for her child is very evident and you can tell from the start that she accepts and supports Sadie's desire to wear bowties rather than a dress. Annie tries to make ends meet by working as a cashier at the grocery store that will later become the target for our trio's robbery and her days are not easy. Her sleazy boss Boomer (Hornsby) does not let any opportunity pass to harass and make her feel uncomfortable. In this time of the Me Too movement, Boomer's treatment of Annie is awful to watch, but also very timely. During Annie's workday challenges, things seem to become more difficult when she gets a visit from Sadie's father Greg (Gilford). He informs her that he and his new wife Nancy are suing for custody of Sadie because they believe that they can provide her with more than Annie is able to. Greg tells Annie that he wants Sadie in private school and even suggests putting her in therapy for bullying that she endures at school. Greg does not seem like a bad guy, and he even tries to extend and olive branch when he points out that they were seventeen when they had Sadie and didn't know what they were doing. He seems to want the best for his child, but it is also unfair to throw around the fact that he can provide the money and stability that he thinks Annie cannot. As he leaves, he tells her that he's buying Sadie a laptop because hers is broken, which Annie was not aware of. These issues start to make the need for Annie to make some fast cash obvious and lays the seeds for her part in the heist.
Ruby (Retta) probably has the most heartbreaking reason for needing quick cash of our three moms and Retta plays this struggle to perfection. I loved her in Parks and Rec and it is awesome to see her flex her drama skills here. Ruby's daughter Sara is sick and her kidneys are failing. Ruby and her Husband Stan (Wilson) are two devoted parents who appear to be solid partners determined to do anything for their family. They work double shifts and are there to support Sara's awesome speech at school, but they seem to only have enough for low level healthcare. They take Sara to a clinic for a check-up where she is obviously just a number to the doctor. When Ruby tries to tell him that she's been doing research on an experimental drug for her daughter, the overwhelmed MD ignores her until Ruby finally raises her voice and gets his attention. He tells her that drug could help but unfortunately it costs ten thousand dollars, which Ruby and Stan obviously cannot come up with.
Beth (Hendricks) who is Annie's sister, seems to have it all together with a picture perfect family, but the cracks appear pretty early on. Beth is the ruler of the house and keeps things running for her four children and husband Dean (Lillard), but something seems off from the moment we meet them. Beth starts to become suspicious that her husband may be mismanaging their finances when her credit card is declined while she is on the waxing table at a spa. On top of her card being declined, an odd charge at a lingerie store is on the bill that she definitely did not make. As this is playing out, we keep seeing a commercial for Dean's used car lot where he is dressed as a pig, and once we see what he has been up to, the costume seems appropriate. Dean has been having an affair with aspiring actress and his assistant Amber, who was his co-star in said pig commercial. When Beth goes to to investigate the charge with Annie, they discover charge was for a sexy thong that is clearly for Amber and not Beth. Once they are back at the Boland house, Annie calls Ruby over to help console her sis but the only comfort Beth is finding is in taking a baseball bat to Dean's personal study and this is where she finds the mounds of bills that Dean has been hiding. When Dean tries to sneak in late at night, Beth is there to confront her lying hubby. He confesses to everything once he realizes Beth knows all and also drops the bomb that the family is in danger of losing their house due to his poor investments, but he wants her to know that is REALLY sorry.
The Heist is Born
Now that we have met our trio, who I must add have excellent chemistry together, it is time to get down to the brass tacks of how these three moms went from joking about robbing a grocery store to actually robbing it.
The plan starts to take shape as an amusing antidote between the three, but when each of the challenges I previously mentioned come to a head, the women decide to quit talking and take some action. They will hit Annie's grocery store and go straight for the safe because the registers do not hold the big money. The sequence of how this happens is actually quite funny because they have no idea how to be criminals, but Beth knows how to turn on her mom voice and that finally gets the above mentioned sleaze Boomer to come forward and unlock the safe in the back. Annie goes with Boomer which is mistake number one due to the fact he recognizes her lower back tattoo because he has disgustingly checked out her backside at work. The ladies make off with the money and are relieved they got away. They initially thought they would get 30k to split which would help their situations, but they actually raked in half a million dollars.
Annie, whose youth and immaturity comes through, is thrilled and doesn't see the problem. Ruby and Beth on the other hand are freaked out because no one can just walk up to a bank teller and deposit that much cash without raising eyebrows. They argue on what they should do and eventually agree to sit on the money until they can get rid of it, now at this point I thought 'yeah right' and this proved true. Annie buys a Porsche (way to lay low girl) and picks up Sadie at school with a brand new laptop; Take that Greg! Beth goes to Dean's work and gives Amber five grand to move to Los Angeles and leave her husband alone, but also let's her know that with her looks and personality the only acting jobs she may pull in is in porn. I did love that when Amber asked Beth why she was doing this Beth told her it was because they both deserved better than what Dean was doing. Beth then pulls a boss move and takes a joy ride through the car lot and plows into a cardboard cutout of Dean. Finally, Ruby wasn't buying off people or spending frivolously, she was getting an appointment with a legitimate doctor to care for Sara. The doctor actually listens to her concerns and comforts Ruby. She also gives them samples of the medicine that Sara needs and this makes Ruby cry tears of joy. Later on Sara is wrestling with her brother as Stan and Ruby look on, she is feeling better and it is wonderful to see. Things look to be working out for our trio, but we would not have twelve episodes left if things were going to be easy, would we?
Boomer shows up to Annie's place and tells her he knows that she and her two friends were behind the robbery because her tattoo gave her away. He points out that she should be grateful because he has not gone to the police and is willing to work with her. I knew exactly what he was implying the moment he showed up and it made me sick to my stomach. Annie is terrified and begins to do something she really does not want to when Sadie walks into the living room. This scene was just heart wrenching to me because, Annie was doing something she hated and Sadie may not have been sure of what she saw but down the line she will probably put together what Boomer was doing to her mom.
The next issue comes up when Beth returns home to find a group of strange men in her kitchen led by Rio (Montana) and they want their money. He tells her to call her girls over because they need to talk. Rio hilariously admires Beth's marble backsplash while the three women sit terrified about what is about to happen to them. Rio finally tears himself away from his backsplash envy and explains to the ladies that he has a deal with local business owners that involves him getting paid, but is pretty vague on the details of said arrangement. He wants the money plus interest and will be in touch. Our girls have now gone up the creek without a paddle partially due to the fact that they are missing 60k of what they need, and something tells me Rio won't make a payment plan.
From Bad To Worse
Annie, Beth and Ruby are now left to figure out what they should do to get themselves out of this mess. Beth takes her children to the motel that she made Dean move in to and tells him to watch them while she figures something out, he looks extremely confused but at least the kids seem safe for the moment. They convene at Annie's place to make a plan but alas they have no idea what to do except drink whiskey and panic. Annie does suggest that they rob one more place to pay Rio back but that is quickly vetoed. I do think that idea will get circled back to for sure because there is no way they are getting that money back without committing another heist. The exhausted women decide to call it a night, but their troubles are far from cooling down.
Ruby goes home where Stan can't wait to tell her that he applied for the police academy and got in! Me thinks Ruby having a cop for a hubby is really going to put a damper on her figuring out how to get out of the mess she and her friends have made.
Finally, as if Annie's day cannot get worse than being threatened by a group of very intimidating men and having to return that Porsche, the worst of the worst shows up in the form of Boomer. He tries to finish what he had forcibly started and is about to assault Annie when Beth, who had been in Annie's shower washing off the crime and whisky hears Annie screaming for Boomer to stop and steps in just in the nick of time. She holds a gun on him and tells him to get away from her sister. Hendricks was amazing in the scene and I was mesmerized by her speech to Boomer; Plus I was happy that he was finally in a position of being scared. Boomer notices that the gun she has is a toy and switches back to his disgusting intimidating ways. He informs the sisters he is going to the cops and begins to leave when Beth grabs the Whiskey bottle and hits him over the head. Boomer stumbles and a scuffle ensues until he falls into Annie's coffee table head first. Annie and Beth stand over a motionless Boomer in complete shock and we fade to black.
This was a lot to take in but the story was laid out really well for me. These woman were trying to make things better but now their lives are complicated and filled with massive uncertainty and I am here to watch them navigate.
So what did you think? Did you like the balance of humor and drama? Will you continue to see how our girls get out of this.... or don't get out of it? Let me know in the comments!