[Header Image: Reno Wilson as Stan Hill | NBC]
With the way things ended last week, it was no surprise that this episode picked up right after. It was only a matter of time before Beth and Rio crossed paths again but, as I said in my review for episode two, the show managed to create a level of tension as to when he would find out about Beth’s friendship with Rhea and finally go to see her. ‘Egg Roll’ gave us those interactions and set the wheels in motion for where things may go from here.
The conversation between Beth and Rio at the bar was really great. With the ringing that sounded as she heard his voice for the first time, it worked well that he did most of the talking. I loved the dramatic nature of him placing each bullet down on the bar while mentioning where they hit him and then the fact that he toasted to her bad aim (something that also comes up again later when Annie goes on about it which I found hilarious). Throughout, Rio has one goal in mind which is to go and kill Beth there and then, warning her that if it becomes delayed, the anticipation of waiting will be worse which we do see considering at one point she imagines him approaching her and pulling something – presumably a gun – out before she realises it’s just a guy walking his dog. Even with the lifeline that she receives this episode, no doubt that fear will continue to linger in the back of her mind.
Quite a lot is laid out for us during the bar scene at the beginning and, without words, what Beth was feeling and thinking is portrayed so effortlessly. Not only could you tell that there was fear but it was obvious she was going through it all in her head, trying to process the fact that he was alive and trying to figure out a way to save her life before she finally blurted out that she’s pregnant.
It’s both a stupid and smart thing for her to do. Stupid because, as we see from this episode, it’s something she’s going to have to prove and that’s going to be an ongoing thing. However, it’s smart because it really is the one thing that in that moment would save her life. Rio clearly wasn’t bothered about potential blowback on him otherwise he wouldn’t have considered killing her in the first place and obviously the fact that he’s been seen with her in public isn’t phasing him either. There’s one thing that Beth (and even us, the audience,) can be sure about and that’s the fact that Rio would never risk harming a child (and that’s bound to be more so if the kid is actually his). We’ve seen examples of it throughout the show, an extreme one would be when he hides his gun in 2×06 as Dean steps outside with Emma, or even just the fact that he stops talking about “work” when Marcus approaches him in both 2×01 and 2×03. It’s definitely the one thing that would make Rio put his revenge on the backburner until he can be sure.
Which, let’s be honest, led to some pretty great scenes at the doctor’s office.
I love how Rio mentions that Beth being pregnant doesn’t seem real to another woman in the waiting room. Throughout all of these scenes, he’s so nice and bubbly to everyone around him which really is typical behaviour for him but it just makes the fact that Beth is internally freaking out and he clearly doesn’t believe her even better. It also adds to the moment when the doctor confirms Beth’s fake pregnancy and convinces him that it’s real. Rio asking for a paternity test next had me laughing out loud but overall this is only a temporary solution. With a lot of hurdles, she’s going to have to figure out what to do before time runs out and it becomes obvious she isn’t pregnant. That being said, it does buy Beth time to come up with another way to save her life that might work if enough time has passed for the initial dust to settle between her and Rio and for him to start edging away from killing her as his only course of action. Let’s not forget, he doesn’t have to forgive, like, or trust her, he just has to not kill her but it all comes down to what she’ll do because I can’t imagine being lied to about the pregnancy (even if he was suspicious) will work in Beth’s favour.
Now, the lie wouldn’t have even worked if it wasn’t for Rhea. The last we saw of her was at the beginning of episode two when Rio finally came back. In this one, we find out that she knows enough about what’s going on and she doesn’t seem all that surprised that Rio will try to kill Beth. While I don’t want to say it was predictable that she would eventually help, it wasn’t necessarily a surprise either. It’s explained later that Beth being a mother is what pushes Rhea to help out in the end, a fact that does make a ton of sense considering their kids have played together and Rhea seems to be a very involved mother. However, another point is that the friendship was a hundred percent genuine from Rhea’s side and despite the hurt, it would still have been believable that she would have helped in the end.
Still, even though that conclusion does make sense, it also worked that there was a bit of a “what if” in which the show played with the potential of there being no help at all. When Beth sees Rhea while the kids are playing soccer, the latter seems determined not to get involved and does everything she can to try and ignore Beth. Of course, we know it doesn’t work entirely but the scene also highlights the fact that Marcus and Jane are a factor in all of this as well. The pair of them ask if they can have a playdate and are immediately turned down. Sure, soccer and whatever else would give them the chance to play together but will it be enough? Even Rio mentions that Marcus talked about Jane. That’s a curveball that none of them are going to be able to avoid considering the show has told us time and time again how much they care about their kids.
Regardless, by the end, Rhea mentions that Rio isn’t dumb and she’s not wrong. He’ll figure it all out eventually and, as I said before, I can’t imagine this new lie will work in Beth’s favour and could serve to make Rio angrier. Still, with thirteen episodes left to air this season (some of which are still being filmed), a lie like this is hardly going to maintain and even if Beth was genuinely pregnant, there’s nothing to stop Rio from killing her later if he really wanted to. This was never going to be a full-proof plan in any sense which has me hopeful that there’ll be a lot more twists and turns to come.
Even though her lies may have worked right now, it’s not exactly an easy journey. Although even the idea of her having sex with Dean again is the last thing most of us want to think about, I loved the little montage scene of Beth taking all of those pregnancy tests (as well as the little detail that more than one had a sad face to indicate that it was negative). The whole thing helped to highlight Beth’s desperation because even she seems a little shocked at her actions when Dean calls her out on it.
At the end of the day, while it is understandable that she’s just trying to save her life, there are so many problematic things involved with her going about it the way she does. We might not like him but Dean is right to point out that they can barely afford to look after the four children they already have and his entire speech does make her come to her senses. Not only that but it is yet another blip in the road of Beth and Dean’s recovery. She once again brings up his cheating and he seems to really be hit with the idea that things are not, in fact, normal between them again. Things with them are always a constant back and forth so who knows what will happen now. The two of them being in a good place isn’t a bad thing, they do have four children between them after all, but maybe season three will be the time for them to not only realise that, in terms of getting back together, the boat has sailed but that it’s also never coming back so they (especially Dean) need to move on.
And if it’s not enough for Beth to have to figure out how not to die, her one employee goes and gets himself arrested. Sure, it’s the least of their problems but it is just something else on the ever-growing pile of issues that the girls have faced and we’re only three episodes into the season. No doubt more things like this will happen in future but the thing I actually liked the most about this whole situation was Ruby and Stan and how significant getting the girls’ employee out on bail became to them.
When we first check-in with the Hills we discover that the reason for this week’s episode title is that ‘egg roll’ is the safe word Stan came up with which is absolutely the best thing and not at all what I would have guessed. It’s also wonderful because we’ve seen how Stan has reacted to crime in the past and how upset he was when he first heard about Ruby’s involvement in it all, not to mention all the things he had to go through in season two, but even so, he chose this time around to be open enough to let Ruby get on with it while still maintaining a degree of separation. However, by the end of the episode, he does open up completely and takes safe words off the table altogether. Although I do love that he introduced a swear jar in replace of it.
Something that I was looking forward to this season was finding out what would be going on with Stan and Krystal and how that relationship might develop. So, I’m really happy that their scene in this episode, no matter how small, was a big step in showing that change with Stan and how he reacts to Ruby diving back into crime. Krystal talks about telling a lie (pretending she’s a surgical assistant) so that she can continue to provide for her mother, a fact that completely lines up with what Ruby is doing. The other reason that scene is so great is because it was hardly subtle the way in which Krystal was judged for the work she does and was showcased is a very narrow light. It was obvious we (and characters like Ruby) are supposed to make snap judgements about her but this episode mixed with the scene from 3×01 where she reveals her real name is Diane shows us that she’s caring and there are layers to her beyond what we might initially see or think. Despite the limited screen time, it feels like we’re getting yet another character who has had some thought put into them and I’m excited to see what else is to come from her.
Also, I really quickly have to mention that scene in the interrogation room where Annie and Beth stare Ruby down in order to convince her to ask Stan for help with the van because it was genuinely really hilarious. It also gets better when, after she caves, Ruby uses the safe word ‘egg roll’ against Stan when asking him for the favour.
While things change for the Hills, even Annie is making some progress. Her therapy sessions with Josh are a weird mix of casual and professional but they’re also both hilarious and honestly quite adorable. What works is that although this clearly isn’t the normal standard for the work he does and things are a little laid back and comical between them, Josh is able to keep things on a borderline appropriate level. It does feel like if the two of them do end up in some kind of relationship (whatever that may be), it’ll be a lot more organic, appropriate, and honest than her previous relationships with Greg and Noah. Although we see that Josh is the one to keep things in line during their sessions, it does feel like Annie is slowly getting to the point where she’ll actually approach things properly instead of jumping in headfirst if things do change between him and her.
It’s no surprise that Annie has needed to talk to someone. It’s often shown and talked about how immature she can be and there have been comparisons between her and Beth. The progression was really great. From Annie initially trying to be quite comical to her questioning the hierarchy between herself, Beth, and Ruby when it comes to their work, and finally when she comes to realise that Beth has always tried to protect. The fact that she questioned who would protect Beth was yet another example of how selfless Annie can be, something that is often overlooked. She does act out and often falls back on hiding behind her but Annie is such a caring person.
Her time with Josh really is a breakthrough. We see it not only in the way she speaks with him towards the end but also in the way she tells Beth that she can have anything she likes when talking about ordering postmates and also during that scene with Ben where the two of them eat cereal and watch cartoons. Point is, Annie became more observant and self-aware as the episode progressed, at least enough to stop hiding and to become more proactive in figuring things out. There’s still a lot of room for Annie to make mistakes but so far, her journey into figuring herself out and making changes has been really interesting to watch and will hopefully continue to be so.
Now, while the girls have a lot to deal with separately in this episode, Rio being back also affects their work especially with Carlos Aviles’ character – now credited as “Mick” – showing up to keep an eye on Beth. Which, let me say, I’m super stoked about his return. Presumably, he (and possibly more of Rio’s boys) are going to be following her around making it much harder for her to get on with things and figure out her next step. That being said, it might be a pain for Beth but it’ll be a ton of fun to watch unfold. Good Girls has always been pretty great at mixing comedy in with the drama so while I’m sure things will only get more intense, it’ll make those moments of hilarity even more satisfying.
At the end of the day, I’m reluctant to call this episode a favourite but I did have a wonderful time watching it. It was by no means perfect but, as of now, a lot of my concerns are minimal and more about what might happen from here and how things might progress. I could talk in detail, for example, about how a fake pregnancy is a flimsy way to push the story along permanently (basically, it can’t last) but for all I know, the writers have already included another solution to stop Rio from killing Beth (and continuing to work with her) in a later episode. There’s a lot of things that can’t be fully judged without the bigger picture but I will say this, I had a great time watching this episode and I’m pleasantly optimistic to see what’s to come.