[Header Image: Manny Montana as Rio and Christina Hendricks as Beth Boland | NBC]
In the last episode, Rio had mentioned that the people he answers to would want to meet Beth. With Good Girls now on its fourth season, it makes sense for the story to step a little further into the criminal world within the show, therefore, exposing Beth, Annie, and Ruby (along with the audience) to much more highs and lows of committing crimes.
While those steps do seem to be small, they are happening. In this episode, Beth is invited to have dinner with Rio’s family and we discover that for him, family and business is the same thing. While the actual dinner is casual and fairly relaxed to being with, there is some tension between Rio and Nick (Ignacio Serricchio), the latter who insists on calling Beth “Elizabeth” even when she corrects him and that’s on top of his questioning of her relationship with Rio. It seems he’ll be showing up in future episodes so no doubt there’ll be more to unpack. While Nick declares he and Rio are brothers, Rio doesn’t agree, saying they’re cousins instead. It could be entertaining not just to see the two of them interact and direct that relationship a little more but to see Beth thrown into the mix as well.
Despite these scenes, not too much information is given and there’s not a lot of (if any) talk about work either. For now, we’re breaking the surface. Rio’s family apparently likes Beth, something that seems truthful enough, and their curiosity — particularly Nick’s — really opens things up for further exploration especially when you consider that Beth still hasn’t gotten enough evidence for the Secret Service and therefore, has even more reason to get closer to Rio and discover more about his family and business.
Speaking of, during the episode we see Beth remove her wire. It comes after Rio puts his hand on her back and she quickly excuses herself to the bathroom. She does manage to get the wire off and hide it just in time before Rio shows up. He doesn’t seem to seriously suspect her of anything at that moment but we already know he’s aware someone is keeping tabs on him and he’s considered Beth to be a part of it. Still, despite her obvious nerves, things are surprisingly light between them. She does start to initiate sex by reaching for his belt, most likely to distract him from the shelf where the books haven’t been placed back correctly and probably to stop him from asking more questions (especially considering she stumbled a little when he asked was she doing). He, however, technically turns her down which is unsurprising considering she shot him and since then most, if not all, of the physical contact between them has been initiated by him, suggesting that he may not be ready for her to touch him yet and the action has to be his. So, in this scene, he still plays on the moment but instead chooses to pleasure her instead.
It’s the most intimate they’ve been since season two and it was nice to see that things can still be like this. There’s no way things are suddenly good between them again but it does certainly complicate matters and only makes Beth and Rio more interesting to watch. No doubt things will continue to get even more complicated with them as the season continues on and their lives (both business and personal) become more intertwined.
There’s also the fact that Dave and Phoebe are more in the know of Beth’s connection to Rio and just how deep that goes. And by the end of the episode, Beth is finally spilling the beans to Dean about working for the Secret Service. With his disappointment of being stuck on house arrest and being unable to go too far, it’s yet another way in which things are going to be tenser. We’ve already seen the pressure on Beth and her guilt over what’s happening manifest itself in the form of hallucinations when she sees Rio, Phoebe, and Dave while trying to get on with her day. Scenes that were great to watch and hopefully the start of a more complicated and spiralling road for Beth as the season progresses.
Before the family dinner happens, Beth, Annie, and Ruby settle into forcing the Secret Service into a slightly better deal. The jewellery store robbery had such a fun build up but the best part was the appearance of Baby Tyler. Good Girls has so many great minor characters and he is certainly one of them. It’s always such a joy to have him back on screen and this time, seeing him work with Annie again, was even better to see.
The entertainment didn’t stop there either. Afterward, we get a fantastic scene of Beth, Annie, and Ruby inside the interrogation room. They are relying on the invitation that Beth got from Rio to keep them completely out of trouble but it does seem like they thought through their plan and were confident they’d get what they were asking for. In the end, we have a scene that’s satisfying to watch but also very hilarious.
Christina Hendricks, Retta, and Mae Whitman have always had some of the best chemistry on the show. Whether the scenes they share are dark and intense or something a little more lighthearted and hilarious like the ones in this episode, it’s always a pleasure to watch the three of them share the screen.
Elsewhere, despite leaving therapy, it’s not the end of Annie and Josh just yet. When he shows up at Annie’s apartment to declare he’s not sure he should get married, the two do end up talking and we get to see some of her growth in action as she not only turns Josh down but actually asks him if he really is interested in her. Something she wouldn’t have bothered with earlier in the show. Instead, we actually get a somewhat nice scene of her and Josh talking with the satisfaction of it staying appropriate (or as appropriate as it can get with those two) as he sleeps on the couch and leaves her to it the next morning to go and handle his own personal problems. It seems far from over between them and no doubt things will get messier but I have to say, I do enjoy watching them together.
Of course, the whole situation does lead to Ben becoming disappointed in Annie when he jumps to the conclusion that she’s had sex with Josh, something that is understandable all things considered. It always hurts to see Ben and Annie arguing or having any kind of disagreement, however, luckily this time the moment does pass quickly and we get to focus on something positive: Annie passing the GED! This was something I hoped the show would come back to and it was so satisfying that this storyline didn’t stop at her failing the first time and instead, continued to show her recent growth by having her give it another shot. It’s technically not a smooth road but she does study and take the test and is allowed to feel the satisfaction of passing, a moment she gets to share with Ben in a super cute scene that has them screaming and hugging.
Annie’s journey in season three and now four has been such an enjoyable one to watch. It’s been up and down but despite how much of a mess we’ve seen she can be, it’s been nice to witness her taking steps forward. It’ll be interesting to see where she goes from here. We know her GED journey started with her wanting to be an EMT but we’ve also seen her take the selfless action of offering to put her prints on the gun that killed Lucy and letting Ben spend more time at his dad’s. While her journey to figuring herself out and bettering herself may be slow, it is moving forward and this episode was yet another example of that. There are so many different directions she can go in and I’m anxious to see which route she takes.
Elsewhere, we see Ruby giving Stan advice on how to be a criminal which is something that I will admit I didn’t know I needed so badly. These two work so well together so to see them not just support each other in their everyday life but also in their business/crime lives as well brought a ton of joy. And it technically worked. Stan was able to convince his boss to cut him in so that he could at least get something out of the weird job tasks he has to do and late nights but it comes in the form of having to move a ton of fake bags.
Still, this is no doubt the start of Ruby and Stan scheming together more and colliding his life at Sweet P’s with her criminal activities. While Rio deals more directly with Beth, he’s still technically Ruby’s boss in this whole thing and now there’s the Secret Service involved too. We’re still fairly early on in the season when you consider there’s 16 episodes total, so having Ruby and Stan’s worlds come closer together in regards to business could provide some entertaining scenarios throughout the rest of the season now that there’s so many things happening and lots of different people involved.