This is not the angst I wanted.
On The Bold Type Season 4 Episode 7, “The Space Between,” Jane makes a big decision about her health, Sutton’s first solo styling opportunity doesn’t go as planned, and Jacqueline has a girls night out. Meanwhile, Adena returns to Scarlet and tension arises between her and Kat.
Jacqueline is the highlight of this episode. We get to see her in a different light and just watch her let loose with her friends and dance at bar. All her scenes are very silly and light-hearted and much-needed given everything that’s going on between Kadena. But we’ll get to that later.
When Alice Knight, played by Raven Symoné, comes to Scarlet, Sutton jumps at the chance to style her, but it doesn’t turn out how she planned. Due to a miscommunication, she, yet again, ends up in hot water with Oliver and unlike usual, he isn’t so quick to forgive her. She reaches out to Richard for help, but unfortunately there isn’t much he can do from San Fransisco. That being said, he does come up with a plan to help her emotionally, even if he can’t fix things between her and Oliver. The writers also felt the need to add in something about the devil… I mean Brooke. Why exactly they felt the need to personally attack all of us by reminding us of her, I do not understand.
As for Jane, she spends the episode playing hooky in the park with Ryan after her doctor’s appointment prompts a life-changing decision. This episode, similar to the last one, really expresses how much Jane has grown and we get some full-circle character development. I’m really interested to see how exactly they’re gonna go about this story arc with Jane because it’s going to be a big one. And as much as it pains me to say this, Ryan was actually a good and supportive boyfriend in this episode. Now forget I ever said that.
Like I mentioned above, Adena makes her highly anticipated return to Scarlet and upon her arrival calls Kat to let her know she’s back. They actually get off to a really great start and Adena even invites her to a party with the girl she’s seeing and all the “Wild Susan Regulars”. All is well until Kat tells Adena about her recent experience with “Mr. Peg” and Adena doesn’t have the best reaction to it, and subsequently regrets inviting Kat to the party. The moments leading up to her finding out were actually really sweet and even funny, but everything goes downhill from there.
Similar to with my last preview, I’m not going to spoil any important plot points, but I am going to go a little more in depth about my opinion in regards to Kat and Adena’s storyline. If you prefer to go into the episode with a completely open mind and want to wait and just watch the episode for yourself, you should stop reading now.
When confronted about her reaction by Kat, Adena gives her a messy speech about how the people (read: the lesbians) at the party might not be accepting of her bisexuality. It’s very obviously a ruse to hide the real reason Adena is upset, but some of the things she says make lesbians seem biphobic and exclusionary. All-around, it was just a very out-of-character ideology for Adena to perpetuate as a proud lesbian. In fact, Adena is pretty OOC during this entire episode, and it’s very disheartening.
As we see in the trailer, Kat later confronts Adena about their earlier conversation and points out that the only one who seems to have an issue with Kat being bisexual is her. Adena proceeds to explain the real reason she’s upset, but honestly, the wording doesn’t really make her look any less biphobic. I know that wasn’t the writers’ intention, and we as fans know that there’s no chance in hell Adena El Amin is biphobic, but that doesn’t change the fact that some of the phrases they included in the scene make her look like she is.
As a fan of her character and an avid watcher of the show, I can sympathize with where Adena is coming from, in spite of the unfavorable writing, as I suspect a lot of her fans will. But to casual viewers, she could be perceived as a villain in this situation. Is biphobia and bi erasure rampant in the LGBT community and in general? Yes. But did they need to use their only lesbian character to tell that story? Absolutely not. Adena is one of the only, if not the only, muslim lesbian on television, and they can’t afford to make an example out of her like that. And again, it’s a really confusing situation because they try to clarify in the episode that she isn’t actually biphobic and it was all a misunderstanding, but certain parts of the dialogue contradict that.
All in all, I just feel like this story was unnecessary and didn’t do anyone any favors. Writing off Adena for the second season in a row, only to bring her back and potentially make her (and other lesbians) look bad just isn’t a good look, and I don’t quite understand what they were hoping to achieve here. To make matters worse, Kat is still seeing Mr. Peg. I thought the whole point of her turning down Adena in the season 3 finale and turning down “French Ped” was because she was only interested in one night stands right now? If that’s the case, why is she facetiming Cody and receiving gifts from him at work? If we’re not going to see Kat and Adena, can we at least stick to seeing Kat with only women? There aren’t enough gay women on this show for them to waste her screen time on a white man, especially not when Jane and Sutton are also dating white men.
Speaking of the white men, the juxtaposition of Richard and even Ryan being very emotionally supportive of Sutton and Jane in the same episode they drag Adena’s character through the mud really is just the cherry on top of this poorly executed storyline. And don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for the other 2 girls, and it’s great that those relationships have seen so much development. However, it’s hard not to be resentful that both the straight couples, in spite of their ups and downs, have been together throughout every season of the show, while the one wlw couple, Kat and Adena, have not.
I don’t want to be too negative, especially since up until this point I’ve enjoyed the direction the season is headed and I’m still looking forward to the next few episodes, but I also don’t want to sugarcoat it. For me, personally, this episode (at least in regards to Kadena) missed the mark, and I’m hoping we get back on track after this. I appreciate good angst and a slow-burn as much as the next person, but after four seasons, I really just want to see Kat and Adena happy before time runs out. They deserve that, and QWOC deserve that.
As always, just keep in mind that this is my personal opinion and you may disagree and take a completely different message away from the episode. I look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts and seeing what happens next.
No Context Quotes
- “The South was bleak, but I was exposing the darkness, so it had its purpose.”
- “I forgive you because anybody can be fooled by an accent.”
- “No touching… beyond a mutually consensual hug.”
How do you feel about Adena’s return on The Bold Type Season 4 Episode 7? Leave your thoughts in the comments down below!