[Header Image: Andrew McCarthy as Mr Fitzpatrick and Christina Hendricks as Beth Boland | NBC]
For an episode that wasn’t supposed to be the penultimate of the season, Opportunity works surprisingly well as one. We’re given just enough information on what might happen in next week’s episode even without watching the promo video for it but we’re not given too much, meaning that really anything could happen. Considering next week’s episode wasn’t supposed to be the finale, it’ll be interesting to see what cliffhangers it ends on (if any).
That being said, one of the things that will continue on into the finale is the hitman plot and there’s a good chance it’ll be front and centre. This week’s episode sets it all up nicely. It starts with the girls at the park, knowing that the hit on Rio should be happening while they’re there before ultimately realising that it never took place and having to deal with that instead. I think I’ll forever be amazed by how Good Girls can slip in some funny moments that feel genuine no matter what else is going on and in this episode, a surprising amount of that comes in through the hitman portions especially when the girls discover they’re still being charged, despite the hit not taking place, and then attempting to follow him around.
Before we continue, I feel like I have to take a moment to talk about how great Andrew McCarthy is as Mr Fitzpatrick. He’s a character who (presumably) has a limited run on the show and so the fact he’s really easy to like and enjoyable to watch is a wonderful thing. I’ll admit, I’ll be sad when there’s no more need for the character. That being said, he was particularly good in this week’s episode. The intimidation of the character is subtle but still very much there and his line delivery is so perfect, particularly during that scene where he approaches Beth’s car and asks which one of them was sleeping with Rio. I think Annie and Ruby’s responses will forever be some of my favourites from the entire series.
While the hitman storyline is running dangerously close to overrunning its course, Andrew McCarthy has certainly done a spectacular job at bringing Mr Fitzpatrick to life. And here’s the thing, it incredibly unlikely that Rio is going to be killed. It’s too repetitive, so it wasn’t too surprising that the initial hit didn’t take place and that something is bound to go wrong with the real hit next week. That’s not to say it isn’t impossible for him to perhaps get shot (or injured) in some way but even that seems unlikely. At this point, Beth just needs a reason to hit pause on her desire to kill him just like her (and Annie’s and Ruby’s) ability to print counterfeit money as well as her speech outside of the van in 3×05, made him hit pause on wanting to kill her.
It was shown that although Beth did give the order for Mr Fitzpatrick to take the shot at the end of this episode, she didn’t exactly seem thrilled by it. Earlier in the episode, she was dancing around and drinking champagne when she thought the deed was done but at the end, she has her eyes closed and there’s a moment of hesitation before she gives the order. It tells us that while she seems to think that Rio being out of her life might be a weight off her shoulders and help her to feel in control again, there’s no pleasure coming from wanting him dead.
Now, chances are, that reason for Beth will be the FBI. Phoebe and Henry have both figured out that Ruby might be a person of interest and are, by the end of the episode, on her trail. What better way to stop a hitman storyline than to have the FBI breathing down the girls’ neck again? It is arguably one of the few things that completely outweighs whatever kind of threat Rio could be for Beth and it could be used so well in forcing the two of them to work together properly to go up against a common enemy, especially if they don’t want the same repeats of what happens with Turner. Of course, this is all pure speculation on my part but Rio actually refers to their past interactions with Turner in this week’s episode when they’re at the carwash and he mentions the counterfeit money from season two being burned with the FBI. Regardless of whether Beth and Rio are ever on genuinely good terms again, they do need to move on from everything that happened at the end of season two so that, in the long run, the story doesn’t drag and things don’t become to repetitive.
The FBI is a problem for both of them, just like they were in season two. A lot went wrong on all ends and it ended quite disastrously. Even if Beth and Rio don’t work together to deal with this new problem, it seems likely that the FBI making itself known and Phoebe getting closer to figuring out who is making and handling the money, will be what shifts the overall story from Beth and Rio wanting to kill each other into new territory without completely sweeping it under the carpet. As I said, they will eventually have to move on and dealing with the FBI — together or separately — could create some (in canon) time for them to do so. Again, this is pure speculation but regardless, with Phoebe getting that little bit closer and the hit on Rio taking place, I’m interested to see where everything closes up in next week’s early finale and what will be left open for future seasons.
Now, while Beth is trying to deal with the hitman (and keeping Rio from figuring out where all her money is going), Annie and Ruby have their own stuff to deal with outside of that. So, let’s start with Annie who, despite making mistakes, really is trying her best.
It feels impossible not to love her even when she’s being a bit of a disaster. I’ll give her credit, she didn’t seem at all happy about the idea of cheating her way into getting a GED even if she did give the go-ahead for it to happen. While the decision was ultimately taken out of her hands when she couldn’t pay Darren for his help, I’m so happy the cheating route never went ahead. We know how deeply she feels guilt and there is no way she would have been able to keep it to herself. She might have failed her test but it’s a start. Even if she doesn’t go all out on becoming an EMT (although that would let the show go in some really interesting directions), I do hope she keeps trying and gets her GED at least. Having some failures along the way could be really useful in helping Annie to grow as a person. Back in 3×04, Josh talks about how Annie doesn’t pursue things that could make her happy because there’s a chance she might not get it and, if there is even an ounce of truth to that, failing every once in a while as she tries to get her GED could be really good for her.
Now, speaking about her incredibly inappropriate relationship with Josh, there was another moment I loved that also shows positivity when it comes to Annie’s character growth. While going to a bar and drinking with him might not have been the best choice, there is a point where they are so clearly close to kissing when he drops the bombshell that he’s engaged. Thinking about the way Annie had immediately started sleeping with Greg again in season one as well as kissing him last week and how she instantly opened up to Noah while not knowing him for very long, I was actually surprised that Annie — who has a history of doing things she shouldn’t when she’s down and/or feeling sorry for herself like she was with failing her test — didn’t follow through on her obvious want to kiss Josh.
Annie might have made a few mistakes this season but she is learning and growing and I really can’t wait to see where she goes. Of course, things have been cut short and a lot of her journey — whether it be working on herself or getting her GED/becoming a certified EMT — will have to wait for another season. Still, it’s been great watching her in season three and whenever it might be, I’m excited to see more of her story play out.
And then there’s Ruby who is hosting the family whose daughter died, allowing for Sara to get a new kidney and let’s be honest, “awkward” is by no means a strong enough word to describe that whole ordeal. Whether it be that dinner they had or the breakfast, it was uncomfortable to say the least. It was interesting though to watch the ways in which Ruby and Stan feel guilty and how the whole situation adds to their desire to feel even a little good amongst their criminal ways. While I’m confident the Hill family will always love each other and constantly come together no matter what, I am curious to see where they go from here, both together and separately. What will Ruby’s desire to be good again turn into? We know her intentions are positive, she just wants to provide, but we also know how much everything is weighing on her. Not to mention there’s Stan’s feelings over having to be the good one all the time and being fed up of doing things the right way (especially when there’s little to no pay off) and with an early finale, I’m even more curious to see where things leave off for them.
Overall, as I said, this episode worked so well as a penultimate one even if it wasn’t planned. It was genuinely hilarious, had an enjoyable pace, and works really well to set certain things up for the finale. Presuming nothing was changed last minute in this episode during editing (to fit with the season being cut short), it also would have worked well in the full 16-episode run as a way to start transitioning the story into new territories. It does feel like there’s a great chance that next week will be a decent finale and, as sad as I am that this season is coming to an end sooner than it should be, I’m excited to see what comes next.
Some other things:
- Good Girls has some of the best minor characters and what pleasure it was to see Darren again! He’s such a fantastic character and his dynamic with Annie is one of my favourites to come out of this show.
- Speaking of, that little moment with Darren and Ben was wonderful and that is a dynamic I really didn’t know I needed until now.
- Ben helping Annie study was so good. Montages on Good Girls are always amazing but that one is definitely one of my favourites.
- During that scene where Beth is dancing and drinking champagne (which I loved the way they filmed it and just acting overall from that scene), Rio pops up like he always does but I mean, how long was he there for before he revealed himself? Anyway, he’s so dramatic and I love it.
- That, of course, continues on during the car wash scene. There was this very subtle underline of intensity especially as things got noisier and he reached into the glove compartment but overall it was actually a great scene and a lot of fun to watch.
- And he’s not the only one who’s dramatic, Beth can be too. It’s always so wonderful to see her demand attention and take centre stage but that little moment where she throws the ball at the wall was such a perfect little detail/addition.
- I mentioned it before but I feel like I need to bring up the girls trying to follow Mr Fitzpatrick again, particularly the way they kept thinking he was going to kill every person he stopped to interact with and how they point-blank refused to look at him when he knocked on the car window. It was all fantastic and surprisingly hilarious to watch play out.