Bomb Girls: Episode 6 – Element of Surprise

Knowing that this episode was only the end of Season 1 and not the series certainly made it easier to get through. If this had been the last time I was to find myself in the company of Betty, Gladys, Kate, Lorna, Vera, Bob and Edith then I’m not sure I would’ve watched the episode yet.

It’s like a good book you’re really enjoying, as you fly through it, enjoying the characters, the moments, the experience. But when you realize you only have a chapter or two left, you’re divided. You want to know how the story turns out, you want to know what happens to those characters you love, but you don’t want the story to be finished, you don’t want to leave them behind.

That is where I was this evening as I settled in for Episode 6.

Over the past 6 weeks, this series has found a welcome home in the hearts of Canadians, and to sound a little silly, both Sue and I feel a little attached to the leads because we got a chance to chat to them, and they made us feel like friends.

And now, who knows when we will see them again?

Thanks to the news this week, we know we WILL be seeing them again, and it made it so much easier to get through the episode.

That’s a good thing, because this season finale drops some bombs on us that rattled me to my core.

As Jodi promised us a while back, Gladys (Jodi Balfour) gets the rug pulled out from under her, and her world gets tossed upside down (though she isn’t the only one this week).

Gladys’ father shows up at the factory, expecting to find her working in the office like she told him. On learning she’s working the floor, the two of them have it out as the girls watch.

This spurs Gladys to skip the idea of returning home and going right to James, who have a little convincing agrees to elope with her after he returns from his trip to Buffalo.

You can see in Jodi’s performance that Gladys is just trying to keep her world together, the world she’s made for herself, independent and feisty, out from under her parents.

Unfortunately, her mother goes to visit Lorna and lets her know that if Gladys is fired, then she’ll help Lorna’s daughter with her aspirations of medical school.

Lorna arranges for a pregnancy test she took after suffering morning sickness to be filled in with Gladys name to get her terminated.

And then the Japanese decide to bomb Pearl Harbor.

This changes everything, because now, James (Sebastian Pigott) an American citizen, enlists.

Gladys is shaken, as her whole world has changed around her. But as the end of the episode draws near, she begins to reassert herself, find her feet and at the end seems stronger and more determined.

Not everyone fares so well, Lorna (Meg Tilly – have you heard our interview with her?!?! Amazing!) learns she’s pregnant, but there’s every possibility that it’s Marco’s. Despite the fact that she hasn’t told Bob, he learns it from Edith, who is angry with Bob over hinting to her son Skip, that his father may be dead.

Lorna is a wreck for most of the episode, she’s trying to do the best for her family, getting Gladys fired so her own daughter may have better opportunities. She reaches out to Bob, and for the fist time since we’ve seen the series begin, they have marital relations.  Meg’s performance is stellar as always, and her scenes with Marco in the lunch room are heart-wrenching.

The attack on Pearl Harbor shakes everyone, and they take their comfort where they can find it.

But part of me wonders if Lorna is trying to create a false trail for her pregnancy, not knowing that Bob already knows…

Vera (Anastasia Phillips) is finally forced to leave the hospital and after a visit from Lorna and Betty returns to the factory. After she has a rough moment on the floor, she decides that maybe she would be better suited to work in the offices, and attempts to seduce Mr. Akins (Richard Fitzpatrick), who is reticent to put her in the office due to her scars.

Which brings us to Kate and Betty, probably my two favorite characters in the series…

Oh boy.

Talk about your pain and heartbreak.

Kate’s (Charlotte Hegele) dad shows up, having tracked her down through the photographer who took her pictures, and it’s a kick in the gut to see the way he continues to treat her.

But I was so happy and proud when Betty (Ali Liebert) comes in to her rescue and runs her father off.

In fact I was delighted! Go Betty!

Kate and Betty head to the local bar, and have a heartfelt chat piano-side. In the moment I knew would have to show up since I first saw the way Betty looked at Kate, Betty reveals how she feels for Kate, who says she shares those feelings.

That is, until Betty leans in and kisses her.

Kate is disgusted, and calls Betty disgusting and flies out…

On returning to the girls’ house, Betty has a physical altercation with Kate’s dad, and Kate believing now that she has been living a sinful life, drinking, smoking, dancing, and consorting with deviants leaves with him.

Seeing Betty leaning against the wall, heartbroken, teary-eyed, didn’t just pull at the heart-strings, it played a whole symphony.

Both Charlotte and Ali have so completely inhabited their characters bringing them to life so vibrantly, that one feels more than empathetic towards them. The pain Betty feels is etched across our own hearts, and we can’t believe that Kate leaves.

Which brings us to the end of the episode, Gladys and Betty decide to present a united front, Gladys will help Betty find Kate, and Betty will help Gladys get her job back.

Now, if this was where the series had actually ended, it would’ve worked, not everyone would be happy with it, but it works. The series can stand on its own with that ending. In terms of characters, seeing Betty and Gladys together says it all. They would never have done that at the beginning of the series, both have grown and changed over the course of the series, doing their part not only for their country, but for themselves.

But knowing they’ll be back just leads me to wanting answers now!! Yes I’ll be waiting just like the rest of Canada to see what happens with our girls next.

Thank you to the entire cast and crew of Bomb Girls, everyone behind the camera and in front of it, you have made something wondrous, and something to be so very proud of .

Thanks to Shaw Media, Back Alley Films.

And a very dear thank you to Jodi, Charlotte, Ali and Meg for finding the time to talk to us.

You have made this series and these characters come to life, illuminating a part of our history that may well have been lost to time.

You have shown us that the war was fought not just in the Pacific and European theaters, but right here in our homes. That it affected everyone.

You have shown us that everyone can do their part, and victory never comes without sacrifice.

-Come back soon,


The Mind Reels.

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