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”.
Over at Casa Moretti, Marco’s excited because Joe DiMaggio has enlisted with the Americans. This is a big deal because it means Italians are being allowed to fight, and that means Marco will be allowed to fight. If you’re like me, you might be wondering why Marco, a great character but still a secondary character, is going to be given one of the main storylines in this film. Fasten your seatbelts, folks, because the fun is just beginning! Also, let’s all take a moment to appreciate how completely fabulous Vera looks in this outfit.
In the name of Mario and Luigi, something unexpected happens and that unexpected thing is that Marco’s dad is all “Itsa me, Ima home!” out of the blue because they released him from internment camp. Vera gazes upon the happy reunited family and then straight up leaves the house. I assume we were meant to interpret this as “Vera sees them together and realizes they should be together so she’s gonna go join the fucking army without saying a word???” but I really thought that characters leaving the scene when struck by a new emotion was something left behind in the days of “Saved By The Bell” style sitcoms.
Everyone grab your tissues because Kate and Betty are finally reunited. It’s emotional even though I literally have no fucking idea what anything Kate said meant. Betty assumes Kate is still in love with Ivan and Kate has this knowing look and then says “It’s different now” but what the heck does that even mean? As a queerio who is super invested in this couple, obviously I would interpret that as “I’M FUCKING GAY IT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE I’M FUCKING GAY I AM FINALLY LEARNING TO OVERCOME THE INTERNALIZED HOMOPHOBIA AND YEARS OF ABUSE AND SEXUAL REPRESSION BUT IT’S A SLOW PROCESS BUT OUR TIME APART MADE ME MISS YOU AND MADE ME REALIZE THAT I DO LOVE YOU ACTUALLY AND THAT MY SEXUALITY IS NOT AS I HAD ORIGINALLY THOUGHT IT’S DIFFERENT NOW HI” but then my interpretation is never backed up ever during the rest of the movie. Instead, Kate’s behavior gets even more cryptic, the writing of her character gets even more blah and shallow, and she’s used as a final scapegoat in a way that’s really gross and weird? I. DON’T. KNOW.
Kate says she’s kept all of Betty’s things. Shut the front door with this cockadoody. Don’t make me feel things that are still raw, Bomb Girls, especially if you’re not gonna back it up later. As Betty’s looking through her old things, all of which Kate kept under her bed, Kate looks at Betty in the mirror, her face a mix of emotions I cannot define because I don’t know! For sure, I could interpret everything that’s happening through my giant rainbow-hued gay glasses, but I’m not getting cues anywhere else that my suspicions can be confirmed. I could write whole essays on the way these two are interacting and avoiding each other’s direct gaze and tiptoeing around certain conflicts but that’s not gonna save the farm, you know? I mean, this woman went to jail for this other woman. This other woman went through harrowing circumstances to reclaim herself and her ability to love. Can we learn at some point how either one of them feels about the other one? Aren’t we owed at least that?
Lorna confronts Gladys down in the locker room because she found out Gladys was never in the women’s corps. Gladys, unsure of how be good spy in this situation, jumps to the next worst lie she can think of, which is that she was pregnant and had a miscarriage?! Did no one drill her on all the possibilities for cover stories available to her? Obviously this is of extreme personal relevance to Lorna, who gets visibly upset and says if Gladys ever needs someone to talk to, she’s there. Gladys inner panic attack count: 6.
Betty shows up at the factory to lots of judgmental stares. Everyone knows she went to jail, and everyone knows she’s gay for ladies. Kate still walks by her side, perfect Disney Princess face shining in defiance.
Was anyone else snorting out loud at Betty’s swagger down in the top secret shift? McCrae is back in business, motherfuckers.
Marco’s arguing with his father over dinner about wanting to join up when he is interrupted by his girlfriend showing up in uniform. Retroactively I am bawling at this scene, but the first time I saw it I was filled with this strange sense of foreboding and dread. And yet look how cute Vera is in her uniform, y’all. This girl could make a paper bag look like it was made by Dior. Marco is obviously conflicted about this but will support Vera because he’s a really good guy.
Gladys is doing some after-school hobby spywork when she sees Jakob taking out one of the sonar thingies and fiddling around with it. Good spy! After this single observation alone, Gladys has come to the conclusion that Jakob is a bad guy and he cannot be trusted. He even was talking to the one girl who is actually German who was doing her job wrong! Gladys will immediately run to Bossman to report all of this without consulting Jakob first. Kind of like that time she falsely accused Marco on very little evidence, right?
Sheila and Ned are preggers and married, which means they will have the most perfectly coiffed babies of all time. Super bummed we only got to see Ned for five seconds or the fact that they’re all shacked up in a traditional sense, because he and Sheila having a modern anti-marriage relationship was really kickass. Remember when Sheila didn’t give two fucks? That was awesome. Luckily Sheila is still super wanged that Lorna is trying to run her baby shower for her, because old people just don’t understand. Lorna feels bummed that her daughter won’t let her micromanage, and then she sees Bob being told by Ned that soon he won’t need any help anymore! Because he’s being healed of an injury that has affected his life negatively for a really long time! That’s a good thing, yo! But Lorna pulls a Vera and immediately leaves without warning. I’m just picturing Bob sitting on the curb outside the hospital waiting for Lorna to pick him up, checking his watch and playing with his blue Gameboy.
Gladys is loading her little gun and preparing for spy things when Lorna shows up. Lorna’s feeling like she can’t help anyone, so she’s come to help the one person who might still need it. She’s brought some books about recovering from miscarriages and Gladys has yet another inner panic attack. Take a shot or two, kids!
Gladys tracks down secretly German girl Jane and makes her get in the car with her. SPIES! Then she turns Jane in and essentially ruins her life. SPIES!
Vera shows up at the factory in uniform and everyone freaks out. I mean, Vera is the rock. Vera was the first time they realized how dangerous it was to work in this factory — it was her accident and her struggle that made everyone understand the significance of their jobs, even if they ostracized her at the same time. And it was Vera who rose through the ranks to go from the factory floor to the office, to show up snobs like Carol and stand on her own, to live her life the way she chose and be shameless and proud of that life. So yeah, Vera leaving this thing she’s worked so hard to own is pretty upsetting.
Ye Olde Shitty Dude who is always saying shitty things gives Betty and Kate a hard time, accusing them of being lesbians and also murderers. Technically, yes, but fuck you for making that sound like a bad thing, dude! Betty sheds her jacket and gets ready to pummel the shit out of this loser, but Kate tells her to stand down. And for those Disney Princess eyes, Betty’ll do anything. Betty’ll jump off a burning building into a piranha-infested lagoon just to see Kate doing cartwheels on a fuzzy VHS.
In a rare delightful moment, we got a subversion of the traditional “waiting for your soldier” plot where Marco proposes to Vera, leaving for the war, and promises he’ll wait for her. I don’t even want to screencap this moment of Vera driving away because it makes me incredibly upset, but I’ll do it because breaking heart is what this show does.
Downstairs in top secret green shift sonar whatever blah basement place, Jakob tells Gladys she 100% bungled that last mission, that Jane is not the saboteur and tried to hang herself and Gladys is 100% wrong and should feel bad because this NO HOW BE GOOD SPY. Gladys inner panic attack, take a shot.
Betty’s gone to see Kate sing. Of course she has. Of course Betty is invested in Kate’s success, just like she was in the first season. Of course Kate wants Betty to be there, just like the old days, just like when she sang that first song and pointed at Betty when she’d wished on the moon. When Bossman asks Kate to dinner, Betty asks Kate why she’d want to be there with her when she can be with that dude. And Kate says very clearly that she’s chosen to stay there with Betty.
Betty tells Kate about the house she’s trying to get, even though the bank won’t give her a loan. Kate keeps suggesting that Betty just come live in the lesbian commune with everyone else, but Betty says she needs this house. I read this as Betty needed something she can cling to as an attainable goal after everything that’s happened, and Betty knowing she can’t return to the boardinghouse because it represents a life she can’t have again. At the same time, I have no idea how to read Kate’s reaction to Betty’s commitment to her plans, or her insistence that Betty can just come back to the boardinghouse. Does this version of Kate want things to go back to the way they were? Is that why she keeps pushing the boardinghouse thing? Is she afraid of losing Betty again? What is going on in that beautiful Disney Princess head of hers?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Then 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?
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.
From 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.
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:
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