SUPER SPECIAL RECAP! Bomb Girls: Facing The Enemy

Gladys has decided to hunt Jakob down to do some spywork because I guess she’s learned literally nothing. Jakob catches her spying and tells her about his parents in concentration camps and how he can’t reveal his activist work or he’ll lose his job with the spies. Gladys inner panic attack, shots shots shots.

gob 5

That’s when Gladys heads back to the Farm and finally learns how be good spy! Good spy looks under cupboards where papers are obviously sticking out since there is apparently no janitorial staff at the spy headquarters. Good spy notices obvious photograph and sees it is of Bitchface McGee. Good spy realizes that Bitchface McGee must be real saboteur!



Gladys takes this information to Bossman, who takes this information to Bitchface McGee because SABOTAGE! He gives her an exploding pen to use in an ammunition factory to kill Gladys. In an ammunition factory. An exploding pen. I’m sure that will go well.

Yep just spark this baby in the middle of an explosives factory, should be totes fine.

Yep just spark this baby in the middle of an explosives factory, should be totes fine.

Jakob and Gladys talk about spy things some more. I stopped caring a while ago. Betty runs into the guy who runs the boxing ring and he says if she comes back and throws the game, he’ll give her double the earnings. She says she won’t but I think we all know given the obvious plot arc that she will.

Get your gay ass up in the ring and butch it the eff up, girlfriend!

Get your gay ass up in the ring and butch it the eff up, girlfriend!

Lorna comes down to see Gladys and tells her she’s worried about her. Gladys bitches her out and tells her mind her fricking beeswax. Obviously this is a huge mess and Gladys has an inner panic attack about being a terrible person when Gladys season one would have given anything to defend and be loyal to her friends and her factory family.

gob 6

Marco reads Vera’s letter in Ye Olde Canteen and this leads to the evil pencil being tossed around the room in a sequence that might as well be set to the Benny Hill song. Meanwhile, Kate and Ivan are having a… moment? What do you want from me, writers? What was it I was supposed to offer to you to get the actual main relationship on the show to have a goddamned moment of explicit intentions? My left kidney? My first born gayby? A toe, maybe a couple toes? Anyway, Ivan picks up the evil pencil.

You wanna hit up that freak folk gig with me later? I'll buy you a small batch brew.

You wanna hit up that freak folk gig with me later? I’ll buy you a small batch brew.

And then this horseshit happens:



Which leads to a slow motion hospital sequence where everyone is gravely injured, but none so gravely injured as Ivan. I guess a fiery explosion is the equivalent of pouring a bucket of fake blood all over Ivan?



So Ivan dies, I guess because we needed the stakes to be high. Great.

RIP IVANThen Bitchface McGee goes into Kate’s room, tells Kate that Ivan never stopped loving Kate, and it’s Kate’s fault Ivan died. ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS RIGHT NOW. ARE YOU FOR GODDAMNED REAL. Can we not emotionally torture a character who has gone through hell and back and pretend like she’s a trampled flower? Can we just not?



Kate tells Betty she doesn’t want to go back to the factory. She says the bombs they make have killed people, and she feels responsible for that. She’s seen murder firsthand, so it makes sense that being triggered by death again would completely put her in this mindset. When Kate cries, does anyone else want to hug themselves? Does anyone else feel like their soul will never smile again?

babies babies you are both babies and i love you

babies babies you are both babies and i love you and i wish you had gotten something better i do

Betty decides she’s gonna go do that losing fight to make some money to get a house to provide shelter for Kate to what end I don’t know. Marco stops her and says it’s a bad idea? I don’t know why it’s a bad idea, Marco. It’s literally guaranteed money, and it doesn’t seem like it’s been that physically bad for her yet? Anyway Betty shows up to this fight and Marco says she should win, because he’s put all of his lawyer money on her and the odds are 10 to 1 so she’ll totally get her house loan money. Bada bing bada boom, she wins.



Look, this is where the movie goes to heck in a handbasket. I’ll just attempt to keep myself emotionally stable but at this point I’m struggling. Lorna gets fired because the owner of the factory is a dildo. Mr. Akins is like hey, whoa, go apologize so you can get your job back, but Lorna says it’s not the truth so she won’t lie. Marco gets the notice that Vera’s ship was sunk at sea as she made her way to Europe. Yes, Vera is dead.

I just… I can’t reconcile this somehow. I can’t reconcile the most fiercely independent and feminist and sexually active character being killed off so Marco has a motivation to sign up. I can’t reconcile my favorite character on this show being killed offscreen so we can learn a lesson about the stakes of wartime.  This show was called “Same War, Different Battles.” It was not called “Same War, Actual Naval Battles.” Plus Vera? Vera is queen. Vera is the ruler of the universe. Vera is not mortal. Vera cannot die. In my mind, Vera ascending into the skies and achieved spiritual form upon the missile hitting her boat. Then she reappeared in Toronto a month later, glowing slightly, bestowing her gift of sexuality and shameless self-love on all who came in contact with her.

RIP VERAFrom here on out, it’s just a slippery slope of nope, no thank you, and I refuse. Even the scene where Betty tells Kate that she’s going to buy her a house to live in until she meets the man of her dreams felt like a big nope. We don’t need it implied that Kate is too fragile to go on, and she needs her big butch savior to step in. That’s never what that relationship was about. We don’t need a story where Betty sacrifices her fucking future to provide for a straight girl she’s still in love with, if that’s also what’s implied. But quite frankly, we don’t know what it is we need because we don’t know what’s being portrayed. Is this romance going to bloom in the house? It’s not really implied. Does Kate love Betty? Who knows, honestly. Is Betty still doing this out of deep love for Kate, or is it a selfless act, or what? We can’t tell. And that’s kind of the worst thing in the world for the most beloved ship in the series.

But by all means, make them hug again.

But by all means, make them hug again.

And thank god that we get to see some closure with Jakob and Gladys! I have been invested in this pairing since the first episode of season one! When Jakob was trying to open the door to his room and Gladys gave him that oneover and you just saw the way their interactions were full of tension and interest and complexity, I was all about it. It feels AMAZING to have had a film spend so much time paying attention to Jakob/Gladys, a ship that so much fanfiction has been written about and so many fans have been waiting to see end up together! I am SO GLAD I got to see Jakob and Gladys kiss after two whole seasons of waiting for them to hook up, for resolution and closure and a sense of how amazing their life will be from now on! Thank you so much, writers! This is exactly what I wanted and needed as a huge fan of the show!

In the immortal words of Lil Jon:

lil jon

So now that the fan favorite pairing has FINALLY received its due attention and happy ending, let’s deal with the other storyline everyone desperately wanted to see. Just kidding, I hate everyone and cannot acknowledge any of this as something that happened.







And that’s it. There it is. Vera’s dead, Betty and Kate are… something, Lorna’s fired, who even knows where Reggie and Leon were the whole time, but Gladys got her man and learned how be good spy, so. The end.

I’ll say this to conclude, because I wanted to have as much fun with this anti-funbags movie as possible and you didn’t need my super meta baggage clouding the silliness:

I was very disappointed in this film. I’m not speaking about the cast — I actually think the acting was the tightest it’s ever been, and the actors were doing wonders with the occasionally garbage material they were handling. My problem is that this didn’t feel like an effort to conclude these characters’ stories. In a lot of ways, it didn’t feel like the writers or producers understood the characters or the last two seasons at all.

Maybe I’m biased. I do care immensely for this show. I care immensely for the stories it has been brave enough to tell, the messages it has carried, and the incredible characters it has brought to life. I think Bomb Girls did something really impressive for a show of its size and budget, and it deserved a movie that paid tribute to those narratives and the people behind them. We didn’t get that movie, and that is a goshdarn shame. It’s a shame not just for the fans, but for the characters themselves, for the writers who left the project (for reasons that are still unclear) and the actors who gave so much to the stories they portrayed. I didn’t recognize my favorite characters. They were doing things that didn’t feel right given the last two seasons, and it made everything feel off and unsatisfying. Narratives were veering far away from their previous trajectory, all in the shadow of a storyline that had nothing to do with the point of the original series. What little we saw of Kate or Betty didn’t make sense after the immense developments between them. Vera wasn’t acting like herself — and then they cut off her storyline in the most unjust way possible, given her incredible character growth and the obstacles she had overcome by the end of season two. I couldn’t have been more upset or disappointed with the ending, because these girls felt like my girls, my friends, my feminist idols, and they deserved so much more.

I know there’s a war on, but this show has never been about the ruthless conditions of the frontlines. This show has been about the effect that war has on those it has left behind, how the homefront, not the battlefront, deals with losses and gains. You didn’t need death to raise the stakes on this show, especially not in the trigger happy way it was practiced in this film. It’s not fucking Westeros, okay? It’s Canada, it’s Victory Munitions, the stakes are high because the emotions of the characters trying to make their everyday lives work out are high stakes in themselves. You don’t need a beloved character dying offscreen because your soul already died every time someone gave Vera a hard time for asserting herself, and then soared when she reclaimed her body and her life and her incredible zest for gettin’ hers. You don’t need crazy stupid pen explosions because watching Betty’s heart explode as she tries to figure out why she’s in love with a girl who doesn’t seem to want her back is already super dramatic. You especially don’t need 90 minutes of a spy plotline because the show has never been about one single girl’s narrative — it’s an ensemble drama where every character gets an equal opportunity to shine and grow and give us her own unique take on wartime struggles. You don’t need Gladys smooching on some other new character we were just introduced to because we’ve already spent the last two seasons invested in a complex queer relationship that could have been. They knew how invested fans were in the McAndrews plotline. Why wasn’t that given a concrete ending, or even more than fifteen minutes of total screentime? Why did I feel so darn unfulfilled and let down when this film was something I and so many other committed fans fought for?

Also, Michael MacLennan, sir, you were sorely missed.

Anyway, that’s my twenty-two cents. I can’t believe this is the end and that my girls had to take that for a conclusion. I expect a great deal of fanfiction to fill in the gaps and erase all the wrongs that have been done. I’ll see y’all on AO3. XOXO, Gossip Bomb Diggity Girl

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Full-time writer, part-time lover, freelancing in fancy cheese and cider.

Kate has written 130 articles for us.


  1. 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.

  2. 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 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.

  3. Yep. Thank you for articulating everything that was completely, bafflingly WRONG with this ending.

    Once again, fanfic gotta fix errythang.

  4. Bless you.

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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. :)

  8. 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.


    • Vera Burr for mayor! The show owes us that, and Toronto needs her.

      And if AnnaY is right, it could happen.

  9. 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.

  10. ” …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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.


    It’s time for my morning beer.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. The Bomb Girls movie was just added to Netflix in the US. I’m currently watching it, and I’m feeling all the disappointment.

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