If anything could make the events of last week’s episode any better, it’s the opening of this episode. Carolyn with a Y starts with Dave confronting Beth about what she got up to with Rio at his Grandma’s house. Her denial despite being caught on tape was wonderful and completely in character. That along with how Dave phrased the whole thing and approached the situation made for some hilarious content. Comedy that was intensified by the fact that Ruby and Annie were also there. We’ve seen their shocked reaction to Beth and Rio before but it really never gets old and their contributions during this scene were truly amazing.

Still, despite her talking-to, Beth goes to meet Rio who can’t help but bring up the family dinner. He is very light about the whole thing but eventually presents her with one of John Grishman’s books, presumably from the shelf where she hid the wire, which clearly has her mind whirling. Even if Rio is fully aware of the wire at this point, he swiftly moves the conversation on to give Beth the task of finding someone unassuming who can open a safety deposit box and from here, things really get moving towards an ending that doesn’t bode well for Beth.

[Christina Hendricks as Beth Boland and Retta as Ruby Hill | NBC]

After being given the task, Beth enlists Annie and Ruby’s help to teach Phoebe how to be a mother so that she can work undercover. The whole montage of them teaching her was yet another hilarious moment and while it did serve a purpose to push the plot forward, it was also a really nice reprieve from some of the heavier content we’ve had in this season. Especially during this episode, when things start to ramp up again.

When they meet up with Rio to discuss what’s going to happen nothing about it is right. Even if we hadn’t seen them prepare and we didn’t know who Phoebe was, it would still be obvious that Beth, Annie, and Ruby were up to something shady. Considering they often are, it’s no surprise that Rio seems suspicious as well. It continues on as he requests to go back to Phoebe’s house and the whole time, it’s clear that no one properly planned for this.

That being said, when they show up at the house Dave is waiting, pretending to be Phoebe’s husband. There’s an awkward kind of tension as Rio moves around the space but it works so well for the scene considering we know he must be suspicious. A fact that is thankfully touched up on in the same episode and not dragged out. By the time we get to the bank sequences, Rio shows his hand, revealing that he knows about the wire and suspects Phoebe is undercover. In a few cut up scenes, we see yet another Secret Service plan fail and Beth being questioned by Rio as to what she’s going to do next.

It’s never been surprising to find Rio a step or two ahead and I, for one, am pleased to see this constant push and pull between him and Beth but with the Secret Service failing time and time again, that push and pull can’t exactly last forever. Sooner or later something (or someone) will break and at this rate, it’ll hopefully be explosive and satisfying to watch.

[Christina Hendricks as Beth Boland and Manny Montana as Rio | NBC]

There’s been this tension between Beth and Stan for a while (mostly since Ruby got shot in the leg) — something that we will hopefully get to see more of as the show progresses — so it was hardly a surprise when he didn’t want Beth involved with the handbags. The scene itself was quite hilarious and while I do enjoy having the girls work on the same things, it is always fun when they branch out on something solo. With that, I do appreciate that Ruby refused to tell Beth (and Annie) about what Stan was involved in. She had promised him after all but it also led to somewhat of an argument between the girls and while I do love when they’re all on the same page and in the same corner, it does make their friendship feel more realistic and deeper when they have fallouts and arguments. Not that it lasts all that long. As always, they stick together (or come back together if they do fall apart).

Still, even though Ruby does her best to keep things close to her chest, Stan is left trying to sell the handbags alone. It didn’t go at all how I was expecting and while he was clearly suffering, it was hilarious to watch. It also felt better that Stan did it alone. If Ruby had been there, it would have been too quick and too easy for them and while being sucked further into Gene’s schemes isn’t ideal in any sense, it adds to the tension to know that they did struggle a little with selling the handbags even if the numbers show success.

[Retta as Ruby Hill and Reno Wilson as Stan Hill | NBC]

Going into this episode, I knew there was going to be something along the lines of Ben being pulled from school but what I wasn’t expecting was that it would be down to Greg and Nancy’s finances. It’s been good to see both of them this season and I hope they, Annie, and Ben have a lot more interactions in the future. For this particular episode, it was great to see Greg and Annie discussing the school situation, especially after she backed out of telling Ben he couldn’t go to St Anne’s anymore.

So far, Annie’s finances have been brought into question — a recent example was the school auction — and it feels like it could only put her in hot water but I have to admit, for now, it was nice to see her offer to pay something towards Ben’s tuition. We know she has a lot of money struggles and with the whole Secret Service situation, money coming in isn’t exactly what it used to be so it could also be very interesting to see how she approaches doing her part in paying for his school.

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