‘Good Girls’ Goes from Good to Great With ‘A View from the Top’
I have really been enjoying Good Girls so far, but Monday’s (April 2) episode, “View from the Top,” was an absolute home run. All three women had such great individual material as they dealt with their personal lives, and the criminal element keeps expanding, which raises the stakes considerably.
While all three storylines were excellent, I have to give it up to Ruby (Retta) and Stan (Reno Wilson), whose marriage and family situation is so heartbreaking. This week, Stan finds out that Ruby lost her job and now doesn’t trust her at all, because what has she been doing if she hasn’t been at work all these early mornings and late nights?
Ruby eventually tells him the “truth,” which for them means that she started her own secret shopper business and has been doing really well for herself, but she was too scared to tell him she lost her job and started her own business until she saw whether she would succeed. Stan buys it, and if this comes crashing down on her family at some point, that is going to be so hard to watch. They have a great marriage, but trust is an easy thing to lose and a hard thing to regain, and I am very worried about their future.
One couple I’m not so worried about is Beth (Christina Hendricks) and Dean (Matthew Lillard). When the FBI finds the stolen car in the lake, Beth basically tells Dean the actual truth, though she lets him think for a while that she was “taken advantage of” by the criminal element. Of course, Beth can’t keep that up. Part of the reason is that she can’t stand Dean being so patronizing toward her, acting like she’s some little innocent girl who can’t take care of herself. But another part of it is that her Walter White is showing — Beth likes being a crime boss. She’s finding her assertive self, she likes being in control of her life now, and you know the adrenaline rush is becoming like a drug for her.
The fight she and Dean have when he finds out about the car was the truest depiction of marriage we’ve seen from these two. It was also nice to see her assert herself to him at the end. The only thing I wish wasn’t going on here was Dean’s cancer scam. I’d rather watch these two coexist with her life of crime hanging between them and leave that whole mess out of it. I also don’t buy that he found a doctor to help him fake cancer. But I’ll guess we’ll just ride out this storyline until Beth eventually learns about his deception.
Finally, Boomer (David Hornsby) continues to be a huge problem for Annie (Mae Whitman), not only because he knows about them and is seething with his feelings of inadequacy, but also because his grandma (June Squibb) finds out that Annie works with Boomer and makes no bones about how much she likes Annie and how she finds Boomer to be kind of a loser.
I love the Marian-Annie friendship, especially when Annie tells Marian the truth about wanting to rob her and tries to make it right by replacing the Hummel figurines they stole. Marian just wants a friend and she’s sympathetic to Annie’s situation, so she invites her in for a drink even after Annie confesses about what they did. It’s really lovely.
What’s not lovely is that Boomer plants a ton of drugs in Annie’s locker at work. Honestly, I didn’t really want the show to go to a place where the women had to kill Boomer, because that takes their life of crime to a whole other level, but now? I feel like they’re going to have to kill him.
The tension is high by the time the episode ends. I hope they keep it up throughout the rest of the season. Now that we’ve seen what the actors and writers can really do, I want that level of excellence every week.
Oh, and — the women’s interactions in the park? “I used to get high in this park!” Laugh-out-loud funny. But also, they’ve managed to prove to Rio (Manny Montana) that they can handle more product, so they’re now laundering $750,000 for him. Which means they’ve recruited fellow housewives (and the Fine ‘n Frugal security guard) to be “secret shoppers” and unknowingly help them out with the money laundering. That seems like an awfully big risk.
(photos via NBC)