Bomb Girls – 2.10 – Romeo Foxtrot

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Previously on Bomb Girls: Ivan liked it so he put a ring on it, Teresa nabbed a posting at the factory, and Gladys got into the spy game.

Marco and his buddies are hanging out at Casa Moretti performing strange male bonding rituals that seem mostly composed of arm-wrestling and drinking grappa. They’re interrupted when Giulia comes in, looking shaken, and Marco helps her into a chair. Someone offers her a drink (“I said WATER, not wine!”) and asks what’s up. Apparently she was shopping in a Witham Foods store, and the manager kicked her out, claiming she was stealing from them. Marco kicks everyone out so he can brood in peace.

Marco is also the topic of conversation as Gladys and Clifford drive down a deserted foggy road, in a scenario that usually ends with “and when they opened the door, THE HOOK WAS HANGING OFF THE HANDLE!” Clifford insists that  Marco’s buddy Frankie has ties to the black market, which makes Marco a threat, and when Gladys expresses doubt, insists that it’s for the WAAAAAAAAAAAAR.  It’s a shame I used my Grease 2 “Do It For Our Country” joke back in season one, because it would be so perfect here.

Marco and Frankie the Black Marketeer chug some more grappa while Frankie pumps Marco full of rage about how little old Italian ladies are getting run out of grocery stores all across the nation. He pokes Marco’s sore spot about his low wages at the factory, and then hands him a pamphlet- “Creed of a Fascist Revolutionary.” Frankie, I hate to break it to you. but “fascist” and “revolutionary” are kind of mutually exclusive concepts. Marco is outraged, but Frankie insists that he doesn’t BELIEVE it, per se- but hey. the Allies seem to be on the losing side, so . . .

Lorna is hanging up the laundry and teasing Reggie about her scandalous drawers while Reggie reads the paper out loud- the SS Caribou, a passanger liner, was torpedoed off the coast of Newfoundland. Lorna tells Reggie that she’s not going to be home for supper, because there’s a dance class for her to supervise after the Blue Shift. Reggie, meanwhile, has moved on from the newspaper to enthusing over “Wuthering Heights.” I would pay money to watch Reggie host a book review show, by the by. Fund it, Global!

The milkman stops by, and Lorna chews him out for leaving their milk and cream in the wrong place and forgetting the butter. He reminds me a bit of my drunk uncle Walter, who once accidentally got arrested for stealing a bus that he happened to have passed out in. Walter was a milkman too, but to the best of my knowledge, leaving milk crates on the wrong porch was the least of his problems.

Vera and Betty are perusing the newspaper when Kate comes in with Ivan, and they show her the announcements section- there’s a cartoon of Kate and Ivan’s proposal. Kate’s apprehensive, but Ivan insists that they should take out a proper announcement, AND put another one in the Winnipeg paper. Betty’s face says it all.

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Insid the factory, Teresa and her company go marching past without stopping to say hi to Betty- they’ve got new orders, and they’re shipping out. Betty’s face crumples, but she agrees when Lorna asks her to take over quality control until they can get new replacements in. Oh Betty.

Vera and Marco camp outside during lunch hour while Marco rants about how shitty everything, up to and including the factory, is. Gladys pops out to inconspiciously “join” them, but Marco just gets in her face about what a dick her dad is and stomps off. Gladys apologized to Vera for “honing in” but Vera sighs that there doesn’t seem to be much to hone in on. Marco, you know I jate to suggest that you take a leaf from Ivan’s book, but . . . maybe take a leaf from Ivan’s book?

Speaking of Ivan, he and Kate are in the cafeteria writing out their marriage announcement while an unimpressed Betty listens in. Ivan asks about her dad’s name and profession and Kate’s like “his name was Da . . . Daniel Andrews, and he was an, um, a vet! Yeah, a vet.” Ivan picks up on none of this, because as I may have mentioned, he’s not what you’d call perceptive, and eagerly adds “DR. Daniel Andrews” to the announcement. Betty raises an eyebrow and says that she wasn’t aware of any of this. If looks could kill, Betty would be a smoking crater in the floor right now.

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Don’t rain on my parad, MCRAE.

Ivan takes Kate’s hand and simpers about how sad it is that her parents won’t be there to give her away. Kate says she’ll live. Betty looks like she’s going to puke. Sidebar: can you IMAGINE Vernon Rowley officiating at a wedding?

Lorna arrives at the dance class, only to discover that the new instructor is none other than her wayward milkman. He has a name, but I’m gonna call him Walter because I can. Walter smoothly invites her out onto the floor and swings her around, calling her “a regular Ginger Rogers.” That may be, sir, but you are no Fred Astaire.

Marco and Frankie roll up to the Witham Foods depot, and plunder the packing truck for fresh food. “They mess with you, we mess with them.” Well, I see no way in which this plan can go wrong! Meanwhile, Gladys stops by the Moretti house to drop off a gift- a box of oranges from her mother’s greenhouse, as an apology for what happened at the store. She assures Giulia that Witham Foods accepts everyone, but Giulia isn’t fussed- she remembers Gladys from their aborted attempt to get Marco’s dad out of that internment camp, and offers to stuff her full of biscotti and espresso. In a few years, Giulia can open her own Starbucks. Gladys, meanwhile, sees the fascist pamphlet and sneaks it off the table.

While Marco and Frankie are loading up their car with groceries, a hapless Witham employe comes around the corner, and gets a faceful of brick wall for his troubles. He calls Frankie a “dirty wop,” and Frankie goes to town on his face while Marco tries to invervene. Frankie yells that guys like this one interned Marco’s dad and kicked his mom out of the store. Way to go, Frankie. I’m sure none of that can be used as a potential identifier when they investigate the insult.

Gladys comes downstairs the next morning to find her mom up and about for a change, but she;s busy listening in while Rollie is on the phone with the Toronto Star about last night’s assault. As soon as the phone call is over, Rollie and Adle both go off on how THESE PEOPLE come to THEIR COUNTRY and act like hooligans, and when Gladys gently tries to point out that maaaaaaaaaaaybe they haven’t fostered much goodwill, Rollie stomps out. Adele starts to read Gladys the riot act about taking control of her trust, and points out that she still technically lives undr her father’s roof and his rules. Gladys looks thoughtful.

Betty is prowling the lines at the factory, giving Kate an earful about how she hasn’t cleaned the shell casings properly. When Kate finally snaps and asks what the hell her problem is, Betty starts whisper-yelling about how Kate SITS ON A THRONE OF LIES re: Ivan. Betty. Bro. What exactly would Kate telling Ivan how she threw her father off a fire escape accomplish? Kate says much the same thing, but Betty keeps railing about Kate being a lying liar who lies until Lorna tells her to move along and check the rest of the line. Betty, I know you’re mad about not getting any nookie, but taking it out on Kate is not the answer.

Gladys catches up with Marco, and notices the bruises on his knuckles. When she asks how he did that to himself, he brushes her off with an explanation about bare-knuckle boxing. When Gladys points out that this holds zero water, Marco goes off on her about how it’s none of her damn business, and she backs off.

Down in the basement, Gladys attempts to stick the camera up her nose.

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She examines the pamphlet she stole from Marco’s house, but hides it when she hears someone coming down the stairs. Turns out it’s Clifford, still very interested in what she might know about Marco. She tells him about Marco’s bruised knuckles and brotp with Frankie, but Clifford tells her that’s not enough. They’re interrupted by footsteps coming down the stairs, and Gladys responds with the first distraction that comes to mind: sticking her tongue in Clifford’s mouth. “Sorry,” she says as the footsteps recede. “It was all I could think of.” He assures her not to worry- “it’s all I could think of, too.” Smooth.

Marco and Frankie retreat to Casa Moretti to split up the stolen food, but when Giulia arrives, she is not impressed. She kicks Frankie and his buddies out of the house, and starts telling Marco off about how she did not raise him to be a thief. Marco sasses back about how nobody gives him any respect. So Giulia slaps him. Don’t fuck with your mama, Marco.

No one shows up to the next dance class except for Lorna and Walter, so he suggests an alternative: maybe they can go out on the town, do a little recreational dancing . . . ? Lorna says there’s “no harm in a firm hand,” and follows him out to the Jewel Box.

Also at the Jewel Box, Gladys sidles up to Marco to offer him a drink. Marco grumbles that he doesn’t know why she hands out with him, but she insists that she’s his friend and doesn’t want to se him ruin his life doing something stupid. HEM HEM. From the sidelines, Vera looks on with a frown.

Walter keeps on spinning Lorna around the floor, sweet-talking Lorna about how dancing is good for the body “and the heart,” and how her husband couldn’t begrudge her a dance, right? Walter, I’m starting to suspect that “dance” might be a metaphor.

While Gladys freshens up in the powder room, Vera comes in and asks her why she’s up in Marco’s business all of a sudden. Gladys tries to explain, but since she can’t bring up any of the spy stuff, her explanation falls a little flat, and Vera remains suspicious. Vera, come on! Ovaries before brovaries!

After the dance, a drunk Marco comes crashing into Vera’s room at the boardinghouse, complaining that he can’t go home because his mom is there. “You’re scared of your mother?” Vera asks. Well have you SEEN her? Woman packs a mean right hook. Vera asks if Marco’s just screwing around with her, and he gets this look on his face:

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Finally, they get to the root of the problem: Vera’s still not entirely secure in her looks after the accident, and she’s afraid Marco’s gonna run off with “some beautiful girl.” Marco assures her that he already has. Even drunk, Marco is way smoother than Walter.

The next morning at Lorna’s, Reggie comes in with the mail and an update on Wuthering Heights: “that girl Cathy’s in love with a big mope.” See above re: Reggie having her own show. She hands over a postcard from Bob, which is awkward, becuse Lorna’s having Walter over for dinner that night. Whoops!

Vera wakes up the next morning to find a hungover, half-dressed Marco in her room, ready for some morning delight. She’s more interested in who he was talking to on the phone when she woke up, and he pitches a hissy fit about how women are always up in his business telling him what to do. Vera’s like “I do not have time for this shit.”

Ivan hands Kate the paper at work, and she’s delighted to see her name in print: “Katherine Margaret Andrews. Kate Andrews, that’s me!” It sure is. Ivan wants to celebrate by picking her up and spending some, ahem, “quality time” with her after work. When she tells Gladys, she just laughs and says that they are engaged after all, and Reggie rhapsodizes about how Kate can “sue the SOB for breach of promise” if he dumps her. Reggie, you are my queen. She’s not taking any shit from Betty either, and when Betts comes storming down the line yelling at her about not paying attention, Reggie snarks that she might as well be goose-stepping. Lorna intervenes and puts Betty in time-out.

It's time for a cookie and a nap, Ms. McRae.

It’s time for a cookie and a nap, Ms. McRae.

In the changeroom, Betty is expressing her feelings by punching the lockers when Kate walks in. Betty snaps at her to get lost, but Kate won’t budge, and says to Betty that she’s sorry Teresa’s gone. Betty sniffles that Teresa’s the only one who really knew her, but Kate counters that she does, too, and offers this:

Kate: I can’t pretend that I understand, but I don’t believe God put us here- any of us- to go through life alone.

And then they hold hands. Aww!

Vera catches up with Gladys in the hallway, demanding to know what she suspects is up with Marco. Gladys fidgets and confesses that she thinks Marco was involved with the food theft, and possibly with whatever else Frankie is up to. Vera starts to cry, and Gladys gives her a hug.

Betty is in the boardinghouse sewing angrily and listening to what sounds like Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbour on the radio (“but you didn’t tell him the baby isn’t his, did you?” “How could I? He’s off to fight the Jerries!”) when there’s a knock on the door- Teresa’s come in to say her goodbyes before she’s sent to Newfoundland to deal with the fallout of the Caribou sinking. Teresa tells Betty not to be sad- “life has so much in store for you. You’ll see. You’re just starting.” They kiss briefly, but are interrupted by people in the hall, so Teresa just gives Betty a hug and leaves.

Lorna is setting the table for her dinner with Walter, but picks up Bob’s postcard and stares sadly at it instead. When she’s interrupted by a knock at the door, she hides in a corner instead of answering, and Walter says through the door that it’s okay if she’s changed her mind- maybe she’s “got the wrong man.” She seems to agree, because she lets him leave without stopping him.

Back in the car with Clifford, Gladys asks what’s to be done about Marco. “Nothing.” Nothing? Nope, they’re gonna keep watching him to see what his next move is. Gladys is outraged, saying that she thought they were just doing this to keep Marco safe, but Clifford’s like “whatever, national security’s a bitch like that.”

Betty stops by Lorna’s to apologize for flipping out on the factory line earlier. Lorna pulls her best I’m Not Mad I’m Disappointed face (and no one does that face like Lorna) and tells Betty that she just wants her to be herself. Uh, that’s nice in theory, but a bit more dangerous in practice. Lorna’s not holding anything against her, though, and invites her in to eat the roast she made for Walter.

Gladys is packing her bags and leaving her parents’ house, much to her mother’s consternation. She explains to Adele that she’s taken her mom’s advice to heart and wants to “stand on her own two feet,” with the money her trust gives her. You’re going to stand on your own two feet . . . living at a hotel? Truly, the rich are a different breed.

Marco gets in the car with Frankie and his buddy “Mr. Mahoney.” Marco asks what the hell a guy named Mahoney is interested in anti-British activities anyway, and Mahoney says mysteriously that a lot of people are disgusted with the British government, and asks Marco what he knows about bombs.

At the factory, Vera congratulates Kate on her engagement announcement (“have you picked out your patterns?” “My what?”) before moving on to apologize to Gladys for falling apart the other day. Gladys assures her that it’s no big deal, and that she’s sure Marco will straighten out soon. Meanwhile, he’s busy discussing bombs. Whoops.

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  • Gnatalie

    There are a couple scenes where I read a whole lot of disinterest in the whole Ivan thing on Kate’s face. Like, you mention Betty’s facial expression in response to the idea of putting an announcement in the Winnipeg paper, but I read (in the brief glimpse we get of her) something similar on Kate’s. Maybe I’m misreading her.

    And then there’s Kate’s face in the “quality time” segment, too. I see second thoughts on it.

    It could just be me.