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'Good Girls' Recap: Wait, What Is Going On?

By Dustin Rowles | TV | March 5, 2019 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | March 5, 2019 |


It’s been nearly a year since the first season of Good Girls ended, and it took me a few minutes to get up to speed on what was going on in the second-season premiere. Why is Beth holding a gun to Rio, and why doesn’t she shoot him to save her husband, Dean? Why did Rio shoot Dean? Why isn’t Beth relieved when she finds out that Dean survives?

So, let’s back up a quick second and recall what put Beth in that situation to begin with. At the end of the first season, Beth (Christina Hendricks), Annie (Mae Whitman), and Ruby (Retta) robbed a grocery store in an effort to get themselves out of a mess with Rio’s (Manny Montana) gang. The plan was to rob the grocery store, and when the Feds investigated the robbery, they’d connect Rio and his gang to a money laundering scheme.

It worked! Except that the indictment didn’t stick, and Rio was released. Moreover, during the robbery, Beth unwisely spit out a pen cap onto the floor of the grocery store. (Annie: “That’s an amateur move.” Beth: “We’re amateurs!”) That’s why Rio was sitting at Beth’s table with Dean — he was there to get his revenge on Beth for hatching the robbery scheme to frame him. He gave Beth an opportunity to kill him, but he knew that she couldn’t pull the trigger, so he shot Dean, making Beth and Rio even.

So, everyone is out of the woods, right? Beth and Rio are square, and Dean sort of got what he deserved for being a philandering asshole who lied about having cancer in an effort to reconcile with Beth? Well, not exactly! Because that pen cap restarts the entire process. It has Beth’s DNA on it, and Boomer (David Hornsby) — who is hellbent on taking down Beth, Annie, and Ruby — retrieves the pen cap and brings it to Jimmy, the handsome gay FBI Agent in charge of the investigation. Jimmy, in turn, insists that Beth give a DNA sample.

I won’t get into the chain-of-custody issues involving that pen (because it never would have been submitted at trial), but the point is, Beth and Co. think the pen cap will connect her to the robbery and bring their whole world crashing down. So, Annie, Ruby, and Beth try to rob the evidence van with the pen cap inside, but that fails, too, because remember — above all else, they’re “Good Girls” — and they can’t bring themselves to ruin the rape-kit evidence also inside the van to save themselves.

But no matter! Because Ruby’s husband Stan (Reno Wilson), a cop who now knows about Ruby’s criminal dealings and resents the hell out of her for it, steals the pen cap himself because I suppose a small part of him also understands the lengths a parent would go for his or her family (recall that Ruby got involved in this in the first place so she could afford a kidney transplant to save their daughter’s life).

So, the pen cap is out of the way, and Beth is squared with Rio, so everything is good now, right? Well, no. Because Boomer is still determined to take down the women — and Rio’s gang — so Rio (with his adorable son in tow) meets Beth and Co., in the park to tell them to clean up their mess, and by that, he means: Kill Boomer.

The Good Girls are going to have to step up their game in season two and commit murder to save themselves. Granted, it’s the murder of Boomer, an extortionist and rapist, but it’s still murder. Meanwhile, Boomer has also used his knowledge of the Good Girls’ scheme to exchange counterfeit money for cash against Mary Pat, telling her that she has to marry him so that he can’t testify against her. In other words: rape-by-blackmail. No one’s going to miss Boomer after he’s been murdered.

That brings us up to speed as we continue to embark on season two of a series that manages to strike a fine balance between Breaking Bad and a family comedy. While it is not as complex as the Vince Gilligan series, it’s dark, but it never spirals into grim, because Hendricks, Retta, and Whitman always manage to snatch it back with moments of comedy and levity, like when Ruby scolds Annie for stealing a fruit cup from a patient at the hospital they’re visiting because their own criminal dealings got Dean shot by a gang leader.

Also, Rio is hot. Beth knows it. And they’re going to do it.

Additional Notes

— Look: I’m just glad that Zach Gilford still has a job. He’s basically the only adult character on this show who is still out of the loop. He and Annie reconcile, and Gregg decides to leave his wife, but there’s a catch: Gregg’s wife is pregnant. Damnit. Poor Annie can’t catch a break.

— Speaking of which, quick note here, because people still get confused. Zach Gilford was on Friday Night Lights. Matt Lauria was also on FNL. He played Ryan Cafferty. He came in after Zach Gilford’s Matt Saracen went to college. Matt Lauria was also in Parenthood, where he was paired with Mae Whitman, who is now paired with Zach Gilford in Good Girls. Matt Lauria and Zach Gilford, however, are not the same person, although Mae Whitman was a huge undying fan of Friday Night Lights and has now made out with four former FNL cast members (also including Scott Porter and Jesse Plemons).

— I fully appreciate that Alison Tolman will continue on in the series, and I am sort of hoping that she ends up killing Boomer before the other women can get to it, and they all conspire to dump the body.

— Interesting side-note: One of the most popular Google search for Good Girls right now is Adelfa Marr, who is the real-life wife of Manny Montana, who plays Rio. I assume there are a lot of people wondering if Manny Montana is single, because now that we know that Rio is a father, the gang leader is suddenly that much more attractive?

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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