[Header Image: Christina Hendricks as Beth Boland and Manny Montana as Rio | NBC]
Despite the shortened season, episode 11 worked surprisingly well to bring things to a satisfying enough end all things considered. Naturally, it doesn’t feel entirely like a planned finale might but as a make-shift one, it was a good place to stop things. There is enough insight into what’s to come and while, as of writing this, renewal hasn’t been announced, there is plenty to give us an idea of where the story might go next.
In this final episode of the season, there was something so satisfying with Phoebe approaching Ruby at the start of it and then approaching her, Annie, and Beth at the end of it. It made the whole episode feel somewhat contained while still leaving enough open for another season. It could have easily worked with the original length of 16 episodes but now has also provided a wonderful spot to close up the season and take us into a hiatus.
Both Phoebe and Henry have been slowly but surely closing in and now, they not only suspect Ruby but Annie and Beth as well. Little by little, they’re discovering more and it’s really only a matter of time before that becomes a serious problem. Hopefully, it’s one that plays out differently to their run-ins with Turner. At the very least to avoid too much repetition but already it feels vastly different. Phoebe might be taking small steps, even seemingly winging it at times, but she’s arguably making headway very quickly and now that she’s approached the girls, that could be a major source of tension next season.
Speaking of, that opening montage was so good and fun to watch. After the focus on Annie’s test last week and those montages of Ben helping her study, it was nice to concentrate on Ruby this week. That being said, it’s not just her working day that we see but there is yet even more tension in her relationship with Stan. They’ve both been through a lot this season but like always, they’ve come back together. They’re definitely changing, a big example in this episode is when they both decide to skip church. While they’ve both chosen to step into some kind of life of crime, it’s always been for good reason (Sara’s health or simply providing) and this episode has once again proven that they have some pretty low opinions of themselves. Despite their choices and regardless of whether or not it’s for the right reasons, they’re both struggling and constantly questioning themselves, their morality, and where they might be heading. At this point, thanks to that scene with the ring (which was so wonderful!) we know that Stan and Ruby are a team but this is by no means the end of their current journey and conflict.
They might have fought a lot this season but it’s never felt like the end of them. They could go on fighting forever but what makes those scenes so good is knowing that the two of them always find their way back to one another. Their journey might go darker and become a lot trickier but it doesn’t seem like we’ll ever lose them and their relationship.
Now, while they are still at odds, an opportunity opens for the girls to rob Sweet P’s to solve some of their other problems and what an absolutely entertaining sequence it was. It was yet another example of how well Good Girls combines its more intense moments with comedy that’s genuinely hilarious. Beth screaming at the guard about her husband going to Sweet P’s for the Cesar salad is something I don’t think I’ll ever forget and I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself laughing about it randomly in the near future. It worked so well when paired with their need to convince the guard that Annie works there and Ruby inside trying to keep Stan from leaving.
It does seem unlikely that Stan wouldn’t have figured out what was going on considering the truck would have left without him doing the drop but there was something even better about him knowing and even looking at the money inside. There have been so many pivotal points for Stan throughout the season. He’s made decisions that are arguably much different from the ones he’s made in in the past and once again, he’s made another by choosing to let the money go without correcting it even though he had the chance to. Throughout the entirety of Good Girls, we’ve seen the decisions the girls have had to make and not all of them have been easy, in this third season, it’s been really great to now see Stan have to make his own set of choices. Especially because while they sometimes relate to Ruby (i.e. letting the money go in this episode), they are also sometimes their own thing (i.e. getting involved with Krystal’s side hustle).
Still, Stan’s choices don’t go in vain. By letting the truck go, it meant Ruby could pay him back, prompting them to have those needed conversations and eventually hit some kind of conclusion at the end of the episode but it also allowed for Beth to get the money so she could buy Four Star Pool & Spa. Those were scenes that I did not expect to be as amusing as they were. It was especially great to have that added little detail of Beth getting the know-how from Mick on how to completely rob the place without getting caught so it would force Gayle’s hand and could also be bought at a cheaper rate.
I’ll be the first to admit that it felt like there were some missteps with Dean, Gayle, and Four Star Pool & Spa throughout the season. Both actors involved (Matthew Lillard and Ione Skye) have been so wonderful this season but something about their characters’ combined storyline just didn’t quite reach the mark. That being said, buying Four Star Pool & Spa does mean that there’s potential for the girls to expand their endeavours into crime even if Rio is still involved. As Annie and Ruby point out at the end of the episode, it’s a very small business they’ve got but still, it’s something and with them unaware that the FBI is onto them, owning Four Star Pool & Spa is now bound to create a much bigger fallout if they’re ever properly caught.
So far, it’s been framed as something for Dean meaning that he’ll most likely front the place which may or may not work in the girls’ favour as the FBI closes in, however, buying a car with cash did make Phoebe suspicious of Ruby and if she’s now looking into Beth and Annie as well, perhaps buying a business when arguably they shouldn’t have the money, might send up yet another red flag. With the Phoebe on their trail and Rio being killed at the hands of the hitman being a little too repetitive, it seems more likely that Rio is only going to become more involved and let’s face it, Dean is hardly going to be able to stop him. All of that means, there is just so much room for the intensity to rise and for things to get a whole lot messier. It’ll be interesting to see how a lot of that plays out now that it’ll be (fingers-crossed) happening in the beginning of season 4, as opposed to the end of season 3.
Again, for an unintended finale, episode 11 was a wonderful way to bring this third season of Good Girls to a close and has only helped to highlight all of the fantastic things we could see in the future.
Some other things:
- Beth using Danny’s science project idea to burn the fake money was so good! It’s such a little detail but seeing the two of them do it together and then finding the ball of tin foil in the bag made the whole thing feel seamless and avoided having to verbally explain to the audience what their plan was to stop the money going to to the bank.
- Beth’s interactions with Gayle were really wonderful and honestly, the fact these two haven’t shared any scenes before now is a crime.
- Dean being asked if he would have slept with Gayle was such a fantastic moment. He does what he can to ignore it before finally decides to answer honestly. The thing is, at this point, him admitting the truth feels more like a bad thing for his relationship with Beth. They’ve hardly been on solid ground and it’s been made perfectly clear he hasn’t really changed and she hasn’t forgiven/forgotten what he’s done before. Instead, Dean finally being honest for once opens up the floodgates for them to be more so with one another and perhaps finally have nowhere to run from their problems, leaving only the admittance that things will forever be broken with them.
- While every Beth and Rio scene was a joy to watch this episode (when are they not?), that final one at Four Star Pool & Spa was by far the best. There was that almost light-hearted, flirty edge to the way they spoke and also the off-handed comment about how Beth should have emptied the clip if she didn’t want him involved. This is by no means the end of their conflict but it definitely felt like something different while also being reminiscent of some of their behaviour prior to season 3.