Welcome to the super special recap of Bomb Girls: Facing The Enemy, a two hour television movie that left you in tears. If it didn’t leave you in tears, likely tears of anger and frustration, then we probably weren’t watching the same film. Because of how upset and exhausted I assume y’all must be, I’ve made sure this recap is chock full of inappropriate captions and semi-offensive image editing and even drinking games you can play the next time you feel up to the challenge. Here is your veritable stuffed French toast of a recap, so go ahead and dig in.
Lesbihonest, ladies and gentlebombs. The title of this movie should really have been How Be Good Spy, because I would say 85% of the film was spent watching Gladys be the worst trained spy of all time. Running in heels? No backup plans and terrible cover stories? Getting nookie from yet another superior? I am very worried for Canada if this is how their version of the CIA is running things. Then again, I imagine defending the country from moose attacks and maple syrup thieves isn’t the hardest job in the world.
I gotta say, I know they were going for more of a Return of the Jedi feel with this film, but all that bleakness and unraveling of narrative threads felt a lot more The Empire Strikes Back, except instead of your favorite characters getting the girl or losing a hand, relationships were torn apart/ignored and main characters died. Which is exactly why The Empire Strikes Back is not the movie you end the series on — it’s why you need to follow that heart-destroying shit up with a planet of teddy bears and space fireworks. WHERE IS MY PLANET OF TEDDY BEARS MOVIE, BOMB GIRLS? WHERE IS IT? I WAS PROMISED A GODDAMNED PLANET OF TEDDY BEARS AND INSTEAD I GET THIS INFLAMMATORY MURDER-HAPPY BULLSHIT.
The movie opens on Gladys shooting up a target with fan favorite Bad Accent No Why over her shoulder. Looks like homegirl has gotten very familiar with a gun in the time we haven’t seen her. Maybe she can use that gun to keep away any unsuspecting new male characters who would otherwise be sucked into the swirling vortex of her magical womanhood. Haha just kidding! The tractor beam that is Gladys’ ladyparts is still alive and well!
Lesbian Jesus bless us, for the first human voice we hear in this film is Bad Accent No Why stretching his vowels and sounding like a snake with a mouth full of marbles. He says the best thing he ever did was recruit Gladys and woopdeedoo, they’re headed to Zurich next week, where Gladys’ black hole of a noonie will be tested on the men of Switzerland before being unleashed on Nazi Germany.
Over at the factory — and didn’t y’all just breathe a big sigh of relief when you saw it on your screens, like coming home to a cozy bed and a cuddly pet after too many buckets at the gay bar — your faves are back. Lorna’s all smiles because the news says Canada is kicking Hitler’s ass (but firmly apologizing afterwards). Who wasn’t grinning when they saw Vera and Marco being cuddly, or Kate’s perfect Disney Princess face? Like damn, have I missed these kids or what?
They’re skipping into the factory, birdies tweetin’ and deadly weapons assemblin’, when they run into the film’s obvious enemy! Vera doesn’t take well to new bitches on her turf because Beyoncé’s “Bow Down” plays every time she enters a room.
Turns out the film’s obvious enemy was super quickly married to Betty’s ex-beard and Kate’s ex-fiance Ivan, which doesn’t raise a red flag at all. Given this dude’s history of being used as a cover by ladies who needed an alibi, there’s no way he’s going three for three. That would just be monumentally unfair and, like, super bad writing, right? But this is the Bomb Girls movie, where the rules are made up and the points don’t matter. Suspend y’all’s disbelief and get drunk, folks.
Which reminds me. Here’s what I was drinking during the first five minutes of this movie. I call it the Witham Family Teatime. This is what you’ll need:
- A bag of cheapo Tesco “apples and cinnamon” tea.
- A shot of apple juice.
- Half a teacup of Jameson Irish Whiskey.
Brew the tea normal, add the shot of apple juice, and then just dump a lot of whiskey in the teacup, like maybe half of the cup? You should kind of shudder a little when you drink this tea. It’s warm and delicious and everyone thinks you’re just drinking tea but nope. You’re gettin’ your drink on, kid!
Back at “The Farm,” which is the name for the Canadian spy headquarters and also the name for Ilene Chaiken’s unfinished L Word spinoff about Alice’s time in jail, juuuuuuust in case you’d forgotten, the spies are watching newsreels solely for the point of the boss telling everyone that they aren’t true. Okay, couldn’t you have just told everyone the facts instead of making them waste time by watching newsreels? Like, they’re all trained operatives, right? They know the media is going to be inaccurate and slanted and the actual truth as known by spies will be different because spies. SPIES! At least we get our first glimpse of the new male character on the show before he is sucked into the endless vacuum of Gladys’ lady business. Just look at the strain on his face while he fights the urge to make out with her despite what would be a clear show of unprofessionalism!
Bossman says that it’s a case of someone sabotaging the top secret sonar equipment and these spies are gonna have to save the day! SPIES!
Back at Ye Olde Factory Floor, Ivan has grown an impressive mustache that would make any Brooklyn barista or American Apparel employee envious. Dude looks like he enjoys a good craft beer and loves to screenprint in his free time.
Kate and Ivan apparently haven’t seen each other in a while, since they have a forced and awkward exchange where we the audience still have no idea if the relationship between them was authentic on either of their parts. I mean, in review, Ivan did some really shitty stuff to Kate in terms of her autonomy, and Kate’s feelings with Ivan were portrayed as the ambiguous emotions of an abuse survivor who is desperate for normalcy. In some ways, this interaction is important for us to see, but at the same time, we learn nothing from the moment. A scene like this should show us where Kate is in terms of emotional and psychological growth, right? We’ve had almost a year away from this character, and the last time we saw her, she was an iron heart in a sea of turmoil. Her relationship with Ivan seemed like her choosing between a rock and a hard place, so the way she is in this moment should show us teach us everything we need to know about how much she’s grown and changed in the wake of that relationship. NOPE. We have no idea how she feels about Ivan. We have no idea how she feels about anyone. It seems like she’s weirdly jealous and still attached, which would be super out of character for someone who was emotionally hardened by the events of season two? I mean, come on. Kate is a complex and amazing character who 100% got thrown aside for the most shallow and underdeveloped narrative in the movie.
Sorry, I promised this would be a fun and silly recap, and here I am criticizing the inconsistency of the movie’s writing. It’s almost like the plot is laughably constructed! Anyway.
Back at “The Farm”, Bad Accent No Why is opening a top secret document sent to him by an unknown source that will never be identified ever. Even though it’s actually really important to know who that source is, given the fact that the top secret document identifies the saboteurs and thus um shouldn’t the person who sent him the documents also be involved somehow? If they’re a higher up, why would they allow the saboteurs to keep doing what they are obviously doing? Really, what the fuck. He calls Gladys and tells her to meet him to exchange top secret infos. Then he gets straight up gunned down and the top secret infos are stolen!
Rest in peace, Bad Accent No Why. We will miss your scrunchy faces and your untraceable accent. Sure, you used your penis to recruit Gladys, and your strong jawline never could outdo Betty’s strong jawline, but it won’t be the same without you continually popping up at inconvenient moments and taking precious time away from the lesbian plot. Thanks for the memories, old boy.
The next day finds Gladys and Jakob in Bossman’s office. They are distressed by Bad Accent No Why’s death, but this is wartime and as they say in the spy biz, the spy must go on. Clearly the saboteurs are even more dangerous than they thought, and they need to nip this in the bud before shit gets crazy dangerous. Gladys volunteers to go undercover at the factory, which is fine, whatever, because it means my ensemble cast might actually be an interactive ensemble again.
Gladys’ return to the factory is levels of adorable you haven’t seen since Hermione walked back into the Great Hall after being cured of the basilisk’s stare in their second year. Everybody gathers to give her big hugs. Nobody even questions that she got kicked out of the women’s corps because everyone remembers all those times when Gladys went Cher Horowitz on everybody’s ass and broke the rules with her pretty face.
Lorna tells Gladys that she was sorry to hear Gladys got kicked out of the women’s corps because she’s always proud of her girls. Aw, Mama Bear Lorna. Lorna says she can call a friend on Gladys’ behalf and see if she can get Gladys back in, to which Gladys says it’s totally not necessary and is obviously distressed because she didn’t plan a cover story? That is not how be good spy, honey. Also if you want to play a fun and potent drinking game that will have you wasted in no time, take a shot every time you can see Gladys having an inner panic attack.
Down in Ye Olde Top Secret Factory Basement, Bitchface McGee is giving Gladys the 411 on how the top secret sonar project works. As predicted, she’s a cunt about it.
Over at the Jewel Box, the place is hoppin’. Don’t you wish you had a cool hang like the Jewel Box, a locale where your friends and all the other characters are guaranteed to all be at the same time no matter your schedules or where you live or whether or not you have to work the next day? Kate is in full Disney Princess mode, having a perfect face and singing like bluebirds helped her get dressed this morning. Marco and Vera are boogeying it up when Vera confesses that she wants to enlist in the women’s corps. Um, okay? Feel like Vera of seasons 1 and 2 would have zero interest in joining the fucking army given how hard she’s worked to rise to the top in the factory, and her general opinion of the war re: all of her interactions with soldiers and talking to the other characters about war but okay, whatever, I guess this is happening.
Gladys shows up, and so does every fucking spy she works with and all of her factory coworkers and seriously is there only one bar in the greater Toronto area? Bossman says he’s into Kate, Gladys is like psh your vibes on her whole sexual identity are as good as mine so why not, and then Vera invites Gladys over to dish on her fake cover story. Take at least a few shots for all of Gladys’ inner panic attacks during this scene.
And now for more baffling unclear content featuring Kate! Bossman hits on Kate, and she confidently and un-Kate-ly flirts right back. Part of me was like, oh wow, Kate’s finally confident in herself and knows how to interact in a social situation with men who are hitting on her, that’s amazing for her! Another part of me was like, hey, okay, Kate’s a trauma and abuse survivor whose relationship to sexuality is extremely complicated. If this change in her personality really has occurred, can we see it fleshed out or find out how and why it happened? This is a huge deal. Growth as a survivor is a huge deal. And yet Kate is treated as anything but a huge deal throughout this movie. Why isn’t anything Kate does ever explained? Why do we have to infer all of our intentions through Kate’s beautiful but mysterious doe eyes?
Gladys tells Vera she needs to get in touch with Betty. No one has seen Betty since she got out of prison, and Gladys needs Betty as part of her spy plan. At this point, I’m sure you were all pounding on the walls of your apartment with your little fists, orgasmically screaming Betty’s name at the top of your lungs in anticipation for your gladiator of lezdom to arrive onscreen. And I’m sure none of you were physically prepared for what followed.
Yeah, goddamn. Betty’s a fucking boxer now. What could possibly be more titillating to a bunch of ladyhomos than chiseled forearms and a couple battle scars, am I right? Betty gets clobbered and loses the match, but she looks damn good while she does it. Gladys changes her pantaloons and then goes to meet Betty in the locker room. Betty looks like hell up close, and we can assume those months in jail really did her in. Gladys begs her to come back to the factory but Betty says she’s got a good gig here, losing matches on purpose in a sport that is super gay. Gladys plays the Kate Card and Betty’s like, welp, better go back to knight in shining gay armor mode! Oh honey, you’re still so in love with Kate and it’s still so painful. I can’t wait for the script to give zero screentime to this romance we’ve all invested so much time and energy and fanfiction in to get back to “Same War, Spy Battles”.
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Thank you. Not saying much here because I don’t want spoilers to show up in the “recent comments” on the homepage – just – yes – I cosign all of this.
at this point bc the recap is up, autostraddle is no longer a spoiler-free zone. so you’re 120% allowed to put all your feels out there even if they’ve got some plotpoints in ’em.
I agree, this was a disappointing end to a fantastic show. The characters didn’t make sense, there was way too much How Be Good Spy and romance with Random New Guy at the expense of all the other characters’ storylines, and it was way too trigger happy.
I started the film being so happy to see everyone again, but at the end my only coherent thought was VERAAAAAAA NO WHYYYYY *sob*
I’m convinced Joss Whedon somehow got his hands on this.
If it were Joss, Kate would have died.
I felt Vera’s death was more in-line with Wash’s death from Firefly. I wasn’t going strictly with the “kill half the queer ship” approach.
EXACTLY. That is exactly how I’ve been explaining it to people.
Of course, it also could have been Suzanne Collins who snuck in to kill everybody who makes you feel hope for humanity just to make a point about how terrible war is and to cause emotional trauma for the main characters.
Yep. Thank you for articulating everything that was completely, bafflingly WRONG with this ending.
Once again, fanfic gotta fix errythang.
This ~movie, along with “Skins: Fire” will now go into the “pretend it never happened, you never saw it” pile.
Ha! I live in a world where half of the second season never happened; there were plenty of shitty things going on already. So that´s okay with me, I can pretend that Vera never joined the favorite character = dead character club and Betty is not forever caught up in a pulp-ish situation of lesbian misery.
Kate, I feel you. I have been mad about Vera’s death all damn day.
Wow, what bullshit.
Your final paragraphs were awesome, though, way to drop the mic
Can I point out how even at Vera’s *sob* memorial *sob* – Betty and Kate were separated by the holy Gladys……..
And also how blindingly predictable the plot lines were – after the first 10mins or so I could feel the impending doom of Vera as well as the ‘Gladys/new guy’ situation. From then on it was just a steady stream of nope nope NOPE
Yes (blindingly predictable lets never have Gladys single, EVER plot line).
The only good thing I can see is that they killed off Bad Accent McHelo rather quickly.
also ivan’s new way-too-unlikeable wife (sry i dont remember her name) as the saboteur?? i didn’t suspect her purely because it would have been TOO obvious.
and maybe i missed the development of this plot line, but i also didn’t expect gladys and the new guy at ALL so when they kissed it was just one more fucking ridiculous random thing that they threw into the movie.
bomb girls deserved SO much better than that.
Dude, seriously. Betty and Kate not even standing next to each other at the memorial was like… the BIGGEST fuck off of the whole thing for me.
Not to mention they pretty much spoiled a lot of new guy’s twists on facebook by posting an interview with his actor about how Jakob’s Jewish/holocaust background meant a lot to him. So it was blatant that he wasn’t the mole and also he happened to be a Pretty Cool Guy. With the personality of a slab of wood, yet still highly preferable to Helo Jolly Good Day Old Chap the Spy Guy.
I agree with everything you said….I’m still so sad about Vera’s death. She is perfect and flawless and in my mind immortal. It’s incredibly unfair that nothing was resolved with Betty and Kate, they didn’t even get to KISS but Gladys and Generic New Guy totally made out. Thank you Kate for helping me process my feelings…
That ridiculous spy storyline ruined season two, and is what caused ratings to drop and the show to be cancelled. If the movie is any indication of what season three would have been like, it’s just as well that it never happened. I watched the movie, twice and then I went back and watched all six episodes of the first season, in one sitting. The difference in the two was amazing. Somewhere along the way, the producers and writers forgot that this was a story about the lives of women working in a munitions factory, and decided to change it into some silly spy/espionage thriller. I really hate to see the show end, but it really looks that all things considered, it’s for the best. Love you Betty, See ya in the reruns. :)
Somewhere in the Atlantic, Vera Burr clings to a piece of driftwood. She washes up on an uncharted island where she learns to survive off the land and becomes hardened to the rigors of an austere lifestyle where everything and everyone is trying to eat her. Five years later she returns and dons the mantle of a masked vigilante to drive crime out of Toronto with her trusty bow and arrow and her I Do What I Want lifestyle.
AND NO ONE CAN CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE.
Vera Burr for mayor! The show owes us that, and Toronto needs her.
And if AnnaY is right, it could happen.
Drats! Queer-baited again. 21st century entertainment, why do you mock me so?
I mentioned elsewhere how I was just as excited for how be good spy recap as I was for the movie, but halfway through the movie I became vastly more excited for the recap.
You hit every nail on the head here and put all my frustrations to words too. I was disgusted by Gladys’ miscarriage lie, by the uncomfortable spy thing at the boarding house, where new Betty who is quick to anger didn’t just wreck spy bossman entirely, and all of the scenes that just didn’t make sense.
I also saw most of the plot events/twists coming from so far away that they were probably having tea and crumpets with Winston Churchill. My ladyfriend and I spent most of those moments saying no, this is Bomb Girls, they’d never make it that obvious.
But they did.
I want someone to count all of the lies told overall, and times someone said sorry in the first twelve minutes.
And someone on tumblr told me Leon was in the background of the Jewel Box scene with Kate singing but I don’t have enough moonshine to bother watching it again.
I can’t even come up with a good place Reggie could be, other than maybe having higher standards than these plotlines.
Yes, Leon was on the piano, but that’s the only glimpse we got of him.
” …the ambiguous emotions of an abuse survivor who is desperate for normalcy.” That insight stopped me in my tracks, even as I was laughing and nodding at the rest of the recap. Just wanted to remark on it and say thanks for the writing and sharing; I look forward to all Kate’s articles.
All hail lesbian Jesus!
In honour of Kate’s amazing recaps, in memory of all your amazing images, I have made one of my own which I think surmises how I feel about this film.
It’s been a wild ride Kate — sad to see these recaps go… hopefully there’ll be a new series in the future you can recap!
Just watched the movie and I’m super angry and bummed out.
I’ll just go put on that show where queer characters and fans were treated with respect and allowed to be complete beings.
Oh wait, there isn’t a show like that! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
It’s time for my morning beer.
This. I cannot even say how much this and how exhausted it makes me feel.
I teared up/cried during the film, when Vera died and at the end. They shouldn’t of made the movie so much about Gladys and there definitely wasn’t enough Betty. I’m glad we all finally got to see the movie though, even if it could of been loads better.
When Betty told Kate that she could live with her “until you meet the man of your dreams,” I totally thought Kate was going to say, “I’ve already met her,” and they’d kiss, and the movie would end with the two of them walking to their house together like in the newsreel from Season 1. THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED. THAT IS CANON. THE END.
The Bomb Girls movie was just added to Netflix in the US. I’m currently watching it, and I’m feeling all the disappointment.