Wow! The season finale of Bomb Girls was absolutely chock-full of drama, excitement, tension, and heartbreak. Secrets were revealed, loyalties questioned, and decisive steps taken that shook up the lives of our favourite Victory Munitions workers. By the end of the episode, we were left with many unanswered questions but also with an affirmation of the strength and courage of the Bomb Girls ladies. That being said, I am VERY pleased that this was just the season finale, not the series finale, and I am eagerly anticipating (see: I can’t wait, I can’t wait!!!) the second season.
Gladys and James in the season finale
There is certainly a lot to talk about when it comes to “Elements of Surprise”: Vera is released from the hospital and must decide whether to return to work at the munitions factory; the appearance of Kate’s frightening and abusive father leads her to question her life choices; Betty grapples with her love for Kate and desire to protect her; Lorna faces the terrifying reality of an unwanted pregnancy as well as her relationships with Marco and Bob; Gladys is faced not only with Lorna’s attempts to sabotage her, but also with the prospect of James enlisting in the war; and to top it all off, Pearl Harbour is bombed. So…not exactly a light episode. However, I really appreciated that all these events, which range from mild to extreme on the catastrophe scale, were addressed with respect, gravity, and care by the creators and actors of Bomb Girls.
“Armistice”, the penultimate episode of Bomb Girls, is a riveting hour of TV. The stakes are certainly raised this week as we begin to see how far characters will go for love, whether it’s love of country, love of others, love of self, or love of good old-fashioned jazz. Relationships are tested to their limits, and the varying results are devastating, encouraging, and everything in between.
Our well-to-do heroine Gladys runs into a spot of trouble when her fiancé James discovers that she accepted an airman’s proposal of marriage before he shipped off to war. James is livid, and I must admit he has a good reason. This in no way excuses him for having had a full-blown affair with Hazel, but the guy has a right to be a little miffed that his fiancée promised herself to someone else. The airing of their past transgressions threatens to break up their engagement, but also causes both of them to think long and hard about their feelings for each other. Yes, they’ve both made some sizable mistakes, but they sincerely love each other and this becomes clear as the episode progresses. Thus ensues James and Gladys’s sexy time, the remedy for all their ills! And I must say it was pretty funny to see their somewhat smug “we just got it on” faces as they snuggled in the car.
As usual, I’m pretty much on the same page as J when it comes to our favourite shows on TV. That being said, this review is going to be strongly tied to J’s initial review of Wednesday’s “Bringing Up Bombshell”, if you haven’t already, read it here.
J, love your analysis of “Bringing Up Bombshell”! As we’ve discussed, I know we were both pretty much sold from the first episode despite there being a certain degree of clunkiness in the set it. It’s Canadianness without being Canadian in a “Good for a Canadian Show” way was a cherry on top of the excitement about a new period piece about kick-ass ladies in a historical setting. (Note: Dear Readers, if you haven’t already noticed, we’re huge nerds, Canadian + History earns big points over here).
I feel like this was the episode that the first three were really building towards, as a middle episode of a 6-part series that seems appropriate. From the first moments of the series (if not the title), it was obvious that the show was going to be about women finding a certain level of independence in a time of war. How the show was going to deliver the goods was still up in the air. The first three episodes set the stage, and certainly contained some serious action, but “Bringing Up Bombshell” provided the biggest payoff characterwise so far. Continue reading
“Bringing Up Bombshell” was all about characters crossing thresholds and venturing out of their comfort zones, both willingly and unwillingly. Pretty much all the central ladies of Bomb Girls experience this in one way or another, from the timid Kate to the brassy Betty. In crossing those thresholds, the power imbalances of 1940’s Canadian society become clear. This is a world where there are major rifts between black and white, men and women, rich and poor. And we can also see the rift between women who don’t conform and women who do.
For Gladys, a seemingly perfect socialite out for a jaunt in a bomb factory, staying within her social boundaries is too much to bear. She wants to be one of the girls regardless of her wealth, and yet also wants to keep her job a secret from her domineering parents. When she discovers that her fiancé James has had an affair to “get some experience”, she too yearns to shed the restrictions imposed on her by her status, family, and fiancé. Gladys is infuriated by the double standard that condones James’s gallivanting while denying her any leeway in the relationship, and I kind of love that she gets drunk with the film director, plays strip poker, and associates with *gasp* bohemians. By the end of the episode, it seems like James might be getting the idea that he can’t view Gladys as an angel if their relationship is going to work.