GLOW, episode 2, opens with Ruth showing up for training as Roxette’s “The Look” plays over the credits; an appropriate opening for a show about a show where casting was based primarily on appearances.
Today I can reveal the spoiler alluded to in yesterday’s review of episode 1. Ruth had an affair with the husband of her best friend, former soap opera star Debbie (played by Betty Gilpin). Debbie found out about the affair in episode 1 and confronted Ruth at the audition, and the two got into a skirmish in the ring.
Sam Sylvia, the shlockmaster film director chosen to helm The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, saw dollar signs. At its heart, wrestling – just like film and television – is all about conflict and storytelling. Seeing real life emotion unfold in the ring sparked a blaze in Sylvia’s mind. Up until then, this wrestling TV show was just another gig; now it’s becoming a passion project.
Maron (after making the most un-athletic ring entrance of all time) tells Ruth that he wants Debbie (or, as he refers to her, “That smoking hot blonde who kicked your ass the other day”) for GLOW. Sylvia has fired trainer Salty “The Sack” Johnson (John Morrison), because he didn’t want to do a by-the-numbers wrestling show. Sylvia names Cherry (Sydell Noel) as the new trainer as he runs off to recruit Debbie. Sylvia begs Debbie to be his star. “You’re like Grace Kelly on steroids,” he says, “and I want to put that on television every single week, Debbie!”
Back at the gym, Cherry establishes herself as the locker room leader by choking out another girl who was goofing off during practice.
Sylvia begins browbeating Ruth, setting the seeds for casting her as a “home-wrecker” heel, already envisioning his dream match between good girl Debbie and the Ruth the Home-Wrecker. “She has nothing,” Sylvia says. “No man. No love. No friends. Her hair is brown … the color of shit.”
Sylvia’s first crack at a storyline goes over like a fart in church as he has Ruth and another woman work out a miscarriage scene, leaving some of the GLOW girls with second thoughts about participating in this bizarre new show.
Ruth is dismayed to find out that she is Sylvia’s choice to be the villain of the series. “I don’t want everyone to hate me,” she laments.
“Relax. The devil gets all the best lines,” Sylvia says.
Episode 2 is all about bringing Debbie into the fold and establishing the underpinnings of the animosity between Debbie and Ruth. Cherry and Melrose (Jackie Tohn) get a small bit of character development. A bit of a filler episode with less laughs and less action, but episode 2 establishes the conflict that will run throughout the season.