When “The Bold Type” aired its fourth season finale, even the stars knew that fans would be frustrated. Not only did it leave a ton of loose ends — something particularly troublesome considering it hadn’t been renewed for a fifth season yet — but those loose ends were wildly out of character for Sutton, Kat and Jane. The good news is, this week’s season premiere took its job to heart and cleaned up the mess beautifully.
First, let’s recap where we left everyone — it has been almost a year, after all. When last we saw Sutton, she was coping with the fact that Richard left her after learning that she didn’t ever want to have kids. Hoping to find comfort from her mother, Sutton went home to Harrisburg, only to learn that her mother had relapsed in her alcoholism and run off with some guy.
The revelation destroyed an already broken Sutton, and her coping mechanisms weren’t great. She fell into bed with Billy — her high school ex, who has a wife and kids — got caught with him, and went on her own drinking bender.
Kat finally gave into temptation and slept with Eva, the ultra-conservative daughter of the ultra-conservative board member that Kat sacrificed her job at Scarlet to oust. Of course, she felt horrible after being with Eva and ended up ghosting her pretty harshly.
Only Jane really came out of the season four finale okay, spending most of it chasing a story that she continued to chase through the premiere.
But really, none of it fit. At no point have fans ever worried about Sutton having a drinking problem like her mother, nor had we ever seen her totally shut out Kat and Jane. And of course, seeing the always outspoken Kat end up with someone so diametrically opposed in views was just… icky. Even Aisha Dee, who plays Kat, noted that the move “felt confusing and out of character.”
Having those moments be the final moments with these women would’ve been devastating. Luckily, “The Bold Type” was renewed for a fifth and final season, giving them a chance to fix things. And fix things, the premiere surely did.
Though Sutton was still processing her emotions through drink — the episode was set only one day after the events of the finale — it was shown in a way that was equal parts fun and concerning. Meghann Fahy plays an entertaining drunk, let’s just be honest. Still, she nearly sabotaged her entire career in the process.
But, by the end of the night, Sutton hit a reckoning with herself. Having her pitch chosen for an upcoming ad buyers conference, she remembered that she loves what she does, and wants to be good at it. It’s nice to know she remembers, considering she’s spent four seasons working to get where she is.
Sutton comes clean to Jane and Kat, and the trio vow not to keep secrets from each other, restoring the OT3 that we know and love.
Meanwhile, after a bit of pushing from Sutton and Jane, Kat owned up to the fact that just ghosting Eva wasn’t cool, and eventually gave her an honest rundown of why it happened.
“After we slept together, I really, I didn’t like myself,” Kat admits. “And it’s not just that we see the world differently. It’s the things you believe in, the things that you work to protect. Those things hurt people like me.”
She’s not wrong, and it’s an entirely valid reason to keep the two apart. “The Bold Type” has done a phenomenal job in depicting what a real conservative and a real progressive look like. And it’s a beautiful thing not to see a show force the enemies-to-lovers trope. (Especially in this case, as it leaves the door open for Adena to return for Kat). And yet, it was simultaneously handled in a way that you sympathized, if only ever so slightly, with Eva.
The episode was a clear indicator that “The Bold Type” plans to honor its characters, and stay true to the fierce, inspiring women that they are (albeit, with semi-shoddy reporting skills in Jane’s case). And that’s just plain delightful.