[Header Image: Mae Whitman as Annie Marks, Christina Hendricks as Beth Boland, and Retta as Ruby Hill | NBC]
I was actually one of those people who read the spoiler article about this episode that leaked and I have to say, it didn’t ruin it at all. Although I knew most of what was coming, there was enough detail left out and I can safely say that this episode was really very good and things definitely aren’t slowing down any time soon. I doubt they will either which means the rest of season two is most likely going to be a wild ride.
As we saw last week, Beth has bowed out of crime and is trying to throw herself back into to her old life. It’s not all the same though and it’s clear she’s struggling. It’s also crystal clear that she’s only doing it for her children and that she can’t handle even the thought of losing them again. It really adds to that idea that she didn’t want to choose which we saw a lot of in episode 9 as she struggled to come to her decision. We also get to see that she and Dean are not back together and it looks like they (especially Beth) are just tolerating each other at this point. Overall, things aren’t looking particularly peachy for Beth. She’s come to the conclusion that she’s addicted to crime and has even joined a support group to talk about it (although she’s keeping particular details under wraps), and while she throws herself into the PTA stuff, the mundane decisions of the other PTA mothers are getting to her and she clearly doesn’t enjoy it as much as she used to.
It doesn’t help that Beth really is trying. She puts in a lot of effort to make a ton of delicious treats for a school event only for none of it to be used and instead there’s shop bought stuff that hasn’t even been put out properly. In frustration, Beth takes everything she made home and bins it all and it was heartbreaking. While I don’t think Beth will ever regret giving up crime because it got her kids back, she can’t just revert back to who she used to be. She loves her kids but she needs something else too which is understandable. While she might not have been a mastermind when it comes to crime, she was surprisingly good at it and was always improving even if there were some steps back. She also enjoyed it which is confirmed after her run in with Agent Turner at Boland Motors (the “hello, James” moment gets me every time I see it) and with the PTA stuff, she no longer has that same passion and now she’s also being undermined by the other parents. Beth really can’t go backwards anymore and we see that by the end of the episode.
The next three episodes are going to be interesting to watch. Beth is going to get back into crime again but she’s going to have to figure out how to do that and keep her kids. There’s no way she’ll let Dean or anyone else push her hand again. It’s not even like she can just go back to working at the dealership and leave crime behind still because even that doesn’t seem to thrill her anymore. It really is the crime that makes her feel that drive and power and thrill. Now that she’s had to live without it, I doubt she’s going to let go of it again any time soon. Plus, there’s also the fact that she can’t seem to walk away from Rio, even if she isn’t fully aware of that yet, it’s definitely a factor.
While Beth is out of her life of crime, Annie and Ruby decide to do another job. Although I would have preferred a much longer interaction between Annie, Ruby, and Rio, I do think it’s an important scene. Most often than not we see Rio interacting with Beth and everything seems to go through her primarily. He’s always listened to Annie and Ruby and acknowledged that the trio are a packaged deal but he clearly had favourites so it was nice to see that he was willing to hear Annie and Ruby out. After cutting ties with the dealership it makes sense that he’s going to look into different business ventures but I do think it speaks volumes that he not only heard them out but agreed to their scenario.
That being said, the plan doesn’t have a happy ending. While going across the border works really well and Annie manages to smoothly get them back across without border control checking the cooler with the drugs, it’s all for nothing. In a panic, Ruby dumps the drugs while they’re still in Canada. They made it across the border with no hitches except for the fact that the product was left behind. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming anyone here. Based on how Sara has been acting, doubting what is right and wrong, and seeing Stan in such a depressive state, it makes sense that Ruby wouldn’t want to risk making any of that worse. It really is just such a shame because they would have made it and they’re both losing out. Ruby now can’t afford a better lawyer for Stan and Annie can’t afford the medication that Sadie needs.
This whole situation has the two of them come to blows with some truths coming out. Annie is right to feel frustrated that her plan was doubted when it was a good one and she’s also not entirely wrong to suggest that if Beth had come up with the plan, there would have been slightly less doubt. Although, in this particular situation, based on what Ruby has been dealing with, I think she still would have chucked the drugs out if it was Beth’s plan. That being said, Ruby was also right to point out that Beth has been bailing Annie out their entire lives and sometimes Annie’s actions, whether they’re deliberate or not, come across as a little selfish. Point is, they both said things that are true but it’s going to also shift their dynamic slightly especially considering that Rio will probably want compensation considering they didn’t deliver his drugs.
Also, the talk about Beth confirmed that although she got into crime to help her family it’s become something that is purely hers. Sure she does it with Ruby and Annie but it’s this one thing that she can safely say is about herself and what she wants and it just adds to her current struggle with trying to leave it behind.
A lot of people who had early access to the episodes thought that this one was going to be the last of the season and I can kind of see why. By the end we’re left with a lot of open ended scenes that will ensure that the final three episodes of the season are just going to pick up more speed and intensity.
Beth is going to want back into a life of crime and if you watch the promo for episode 11, that involves washing a ton of cash and burying what looks to be Boomer’s body. Annie and Ruby will most likely have to face coming across the border empty handed as well as Beth finding out that they tried to do a job for Rio. On top of that, Ruby still has to deal with getting Stan a good lawyer and not only does Annie have to deal with scraping together money for Sadie but now she knows the truth about Noah. As soon as it comes out that she (unintentionally) gave the FBI information, it’s not going to bow well and there’ll most likely be a huge confrontation.
Speaking of the FBI, we saw two important things. The first is that Noah seems to have doubts. I think he’s starting to feel something for Annie and while that may not be love, it’s still something that makes him pause. I also think getting to know Sadie probably added to that as well. It’ll be interesting to see how conflicted he becomes but also, I’m curious to know if Annie reveals what she knows to Noah or if she decides to use it to her advantage. Regardless, for now the FBI don’t actually have anything. Thanks to Rio, Beth manages to destroy evidence of “book club” but Agent Turner, frustrated that the dealership is clean, searches the bathroom where Beth was hiding and the episode ends with him removing a panel in the ceiling and reaching in to find something (most likely the hard cover of the books that Beth wouldn’t have been able to destroy).
With everything closing in more and more, the rest of this season is going to be filled with tension and if it takes a leaf out of season one’s book, we’re most likely going to end on a fairly big cliffhanger. At least we already know that we’ve got a season 3.