TV Review | GLOW | Season 1, Episode 4 | "The Dusty Spur"
Episode Summary: With just five weeks left to crank out a show, Sam and Bash move all the ladies into a motel. Ruth struggles to nail down a memorable character.
An interesting episode this time out, with a lot of focus on a single character that still has time to further develop others and still keep the always excellent Alison Brie on-screen.
The tone is set immediately during the opening scene, which shows Sheila the She-Wolf (Gayle Rankin) getting ready, going from a pretty blonde with short hair to the dark-haired character with stained teeth that she plays. It was odd to have a lengthy sequence dedicated to a single character that isn't Ruth, but it does pay off.
Sam and Bash arrive at the training facility to meet the girls after spending time together in Palm Springs and enjoying their time in the sun, telling the women that they are all going to be put into a motel to live together – except Debbie, pissing off Cherry.
I still think it's interesting that someone as grievously wronged as Debbie is being consistently portrayed as an egotistical, self-centred character and I look forward to seeing how this pays off later in the season.
All the girls get their things packed as needed, including showing that Rhonda (Kate Nash) is apparently homeless and has been sleeping her car. This was another bit of a shock, although a Brit living in America might well struggle considering they won't have any family home there. Sheila is apprehensive on arrival, and finds out she is sharing with Ruth, who still can’t figure out her character.
Carmen and Rhonda are also sharing and Carmen ends up staring at the British woman's chest because she’s never seen tits like them before and Rhonda says it’s because she always puts on lotion and gives some to Carmen to use. It's a nice moment between the pair, helped by the fact that they're both likeable characters too.
Ruth wakes Sheila by accident that night and Sheila is upset that her actual hair is visible, quickly tugging her wig down to hide her blonde hair, even though Ruth clearly doesn't care. The next day, the girls are lounging by the pool when Sam arrives and there’s some banter between him and them until Cherry shows up to remind them all about training.
Inside, Bash and Sam tell the girls they really need to develop their personas. Melrose and Rhonda pair off as party girl v nerdy girl – Ruth is still struggling to come up with something, so Sam pairs her up with Sheila despite the ‘weirdness’ (as Ruth puts it) between them.
Carmen’s family (all wrestlers – including former WWE Superstars Carlito and Brodus Clay as her brothers) then show up and want Carmen to come home, but Sam sticks up for her and gets knocked down, prompting Carmen to leave. Bash follows them out to the car park and pretends to be her boyfriend, but her dad sees through it.
This whole sequence does add a little extra depth to the two guys in charge - yeah, they can be dicks to the women, but they'll stick up for them when needed (even if their concern is mainly about protecting their project).
Tammé (Kia Stevens, aka Awesome Kong, which I only realised this episode) complains to Sam about her character, Welfare Queen, because she thinks it’s offensive and doesn’t want her adult son to be embarrassed. He just gives her tapes of his old movies to watch and take notes.
We then see why Debbie is so self-centred as she goes home and meets her husband, who reads out a prepared speech saying he is moving back in as he has rights in this situation too – so Debbie simply moves out and takes their baby with her. No matter how mean of selfish she might seem, it's still worth remembering that her happy life was completely destroyed by the two people she trusted most.
As day turns to night, Sheila then pranks Ruth by leaving a dead squirrel in her bed, wanting Ruth to sleep somewhere else, but changes her mind after Ruth calls her a ‘wolf’ instead of ‘freak’ and gets rid of the squirrel.
Sheila says she has dressed the same way for 5 years and says that she does it for her, not anyone else – and Ruth says she’s done similar but for much shorter times. Again, another nice little moment although it is a little spoiled as Sheila indicates she still wants Ruth to leave for now.
Some of the women gather to watch Sam’s Blood Disco with Tammé, while Debbie arrives at the motel. Cherry’s husband says he did stunts on the film, and that Sam is more sexist than racist, before the film cuts out and goes to a video dating advert Sam did. The episode ends as Debbie wanders the motel with her baby and discovers Ruth sleeping on a sunbed, before falling asleep opposite her at the pool.
"The Dusty Spur" is another decent episode with some nice character interactions between some unexpected pairings, adding depth to a number of characters. The overall story is still moving at a snail's pace though, which is the only concern I still have about how this first season will eventually play out.