[Header Image: Christina Hendricks as Beth Boland, Julian Gant as JT, Mae Whitman as Annie Marks, and Retta as Ruby Hill | NBC]
I feel like this episode and last week’s one are like the calm before the storm. While big (and arguably dramatic) things did happen, it looks and feels as if things are going to get more amped up during the rest of the season. The episode starts with a scene I knew was coming but was absolutely not prepared for. It was heartwarming to see the Hill family attempt to get ready for the day especially when Stan played the piano knowing that it would wake the kids up. They’re such a wholesome family that have been through a lot so it was nice to get a little moment like this. Only it doesn’t last too long before it’s ripped away by Turner when he shows up to arrest Stan.
It kind of splits into two from here. First, there’s Ruby who has to find a way to get bail for Stan. After the money was stolen from Beth they need to figure out another way. Ruby does try to get some from the cheque cashing place but when the encounter doesn’t go down well she makes the decision to rob the place alongside Beth and Annie. It was absolutely hilarious to watch the trio try and keep an eye on JT after they kidnap him. They really are such amateurs and it always ends up leading to these really bizarre scenarios. And JT was so chill throughout the entire thing, I honestly wouldn’t complain if we saw him again. However, during the process of it all we can see how everything is weighing down on Ruby. Her family’s money problems, her kids being there when Stan got arrested, and Stan know longer caring what Ruby has to do.
And speaking of Stan, a lot changes for him too. At some point after being arrested, Turner speakers to Stan and pretty much admits that he will fabricate evidence (eye witness reports) to get Stan sent down if he doesn’t agree to give evidence against Beth for Boomer’s murder (can we appreciate that Stan didn’t even consider it?). I’ve always figured Turner was shady and would do absolutely anything to get results. He doesn’t care who he hurts and in his own mind, he’s justified for it all. Stan sees the lengths that Turner will go to and it was really heartbreaking to watch because this entire time Stan has felt guilty and like he’s had to justify what Ruby has done. It also broke this ideal he had that the cops are the good guys. Stan’s whole way of thinking and viewing the world has been completely broken down and changed because of everything that has happened to him, especially in this episode.
It’s not only happening to Stan, it’s also happening to Sara. She believes that her father should stay in jail if he did the things he’s being arrested for and when they’re all together having dinner later in the episode, Sara looks completely unsure about everything. She now sees Stan in a new light and the fact that Ruby was honest with her was good but it’s also going to change how Sara sees the world.
Back tracking slightly, robbing the cheque cashing place was really their last attempt. Knowing that crime is (part of) the reason Dean took the kids, Beth is reluctant to jump straight into robbing somewhere else so she goes to Rio for the money. They talk a little but ultimately he doesn’t give her the money which isn’t entirely surprising (although he does mention it later and ultimately ended up changing his mind). He does listen to her though and is clearly sympathetic when it comes to finding out that her kids are gone. It’s definitely a far-cry from how their relationship used to be and while it was a small moment, it was great to see.
Speaking of the Boland kids, it’s clearly been a little while since Beth last saw them and this episode she gets a chance by going to Emma’s birthday party. You could tell from how Danny and Emma were behaving that the kids know something serious is up and that they miss Beth. It’s really no surprise that in the end she chooses to return to her kids and leave the life of crime. Unfortunately, that means Dean is probably going to stick around but I am curious to see how things go from here. We saw how quiet and empty her life was without her kids, she was day drinking, eating food that didn’t actually fill her up, and the housework seemed to take a slight backseat, so I’m willing to bet she’ll put up with a lot (including Dean) if it means she gets to be with her kids again. I’m guessing there will be a breaking point and I’m sure when it happens the results will be explosive.
The decision to quit also leads to her seeing Rio one final time. Beth convinces him to come back to hers and they have sex again. She’s pretty cold and dismissive towards him after the fact but it’s clear that it’s not so easy for her. It also seems to effect Rio too because he does look a little taken aback and hurt that she wants out. All of that being said, based on their talks (both times) at the bar and how adorable they were at her house leading up to the kiss, it is crystal clear that there are feelings involved. I don’t think either of them are aware of the other’s feelings at this point so right now their relationship is still in this in-between space where they’re both most likely looking at it in very different ways.
We know that things aren’t going to end here. Beth and Rio will interact again and I doubt Beth is going to be able to stay away from her new found life of crime. I’m curious to see how things go for the pair of them both together and separately.
Then we have Annie. As well as robbing the cheque cashing place, things are changing with her and Noah. It seems like he’s been hanging around at hers a lot because he’s clearly already met Sadie before and they seem comfortable enough around each other. This episode brings Gregg back and he clearly doesn’t like the fact that Annie has moved on with someone else. To be fair, he’s not entirely wrong, Noah can’t be trusted at all and in this episode he drops a fake story about being on probation for stealing money from his last job. He knows that Annie can relate in some way and it seems like she might actually spill the beans on all of the criminal activity she’s been getting up to. I really do hope that’s not the case but every time she’s with Noah it’s intense because anything she can say, no matter how small, could cause serious trouble.
It’s all such a shame really because Noah and Sadie interacting was actually really nice only at this point, it’s tainted by the fact that he’s trying to worm his way in so that the FBI can take down Annie, Beth, and Ruby. I do think that getting so close to Annie and the people around her has the potential to backfire so maybe Noah won’t be too much of an issue for long but as for right now, I still don’t trust him and I want him to stay away.