TV Review | GLOW | Season 1, Episode 2 | "Slouch. Submit."
Episode Summary: Cherry tries to whip the final group into shape, while Sam sets out in pursuit of a star for his show. Ruth acts out an uncomfortable scene.
It’s going to be a bit difficult to write anything in-depth about this episode, not because of a tricky subject matter or a complex plot, but rather because very little actually happens. Instead, in just the second episode, the story comes to a complete halt to try and give more depth to some of the supporting cast.
This would be fine in an hour-long show, but GLOW is only just over thirty minutes per episode, so pinballing around five different characters doesn’t really give any of them much chance to grow. It’s a really odd episode that suffers hugely in comparison to the rather good debut.
As far as the story goes, the women selected to continue in Sam’s wrestling show get together to practice, while Sam heads off to recruit Ruth’s former best friend, Debbie, after finding out she’s a legit former soap star and could add some draw to his project. Genuinely, that’s it – the summary at the top wasn’t lying, it really is that lacking in any kind of plot this time out.
And as for the characters, we find out that Cherry and Sam had a thing a while back, with Cherry suffering from a miscarriage. Melanie Rosen, calling herself Melrose, overhears this and uses it to antagonise Cherry later in the episode.
Cherry doesn’t take this well and puts Melrose into a sleeper hold, leaving the later unconscious. Fuming, Melrose later steals a ketchup bottle from a fast food place when they have a lunch break, using the red sauce to fake a miscarriage in the ring later on.
While this has been going, Sam has stolen Debbie’s contact details from Ruth’s bag, tracked her down and sweet talks her into joining his group with the promise that she’ll be the star attraction. Believing Ruth is no longer present, she is obviously furious when she sees her there.
Sam, wanting to placate Debbie and disliking Ruth, forces the latter to re-enact the miscarriage prank from earlier with a view to using it as part of the show. Ruth is hesitant, but goes through with it, ending up covered in ketchup sprayed on her by Sam – much to Debbie’s delight.
As the group break up, Sam tries to patch things up after having Cherry have to watch the grisly prank play out a second time, but she doesn’t look too happy at all. I really hope that Cherry sticks around, as Sydelle Noel – who plays her – gives the best performance of this episode.
The episode ends with Sam flat out telling Ruth that he intends her to be the villain and Debbie the hero. Ruth objects, but Sam reminds her that the villains usually get all the best lines. The episode ends with Ruth alone as the others all head off.
It’s a pretty decent end to an otherwise poor episode, which could’ve done with keeping the focus on Ruth if it wasn’t going to put a proper focus on any of the others. Yes, Debbie, Melrose and Cherry all get a little bit more development, but there’s nothing substantial to any of it.
“Slouch. Submit.” is a textbook example of how to not do a second episode. It almost completely drops the main character from sight, relegating Alison Brie to a supporting role; the story barely moves forward; and the only major character reveal is about Sam and Cherry’s past. Hopefully the next episode will get things back on track.