The midseason finale of Bomb Girls was a culmination of built-up emotions from the past few episodes that finally exploded in drama. As the episode’s title (“Where There’s Smoke”) suggested, there were many signs pointing to an impending fire throughout the episode, specifically one involving Gene and his addiction to adrenaline.
All the stops were being pulled to raise funds for the Witham Foods Freedom Cavalcade bond drive, as they hoped to beat the numbers raised by Ajax. And what better way to generate excitement than with fireworks and celebrity guests? They brought in Hollywood starlet DD Burke and war hero Gene to amp up the event. It would have been a great idea if Gene wasn’t an emotional recluse.
Even after playing a near-deadly game of chicken with him and purposely burning his hand with a cigarette, Lorna tried denying the fact that Gene needed serious help. But she eventually saw how damaged her son was. Everyone wanted him to go back to normal, but his sense of normalcy went out the window as soon as he started killing people for a living. For that reason, among others, I sympathized with him deeply. I’m sure those chats with his dad haven’t helped either, not to mention this new, confusing relationship with Gladys.
Speaking of Gladys, the girl almost came clean to fiancé James in a phone call. But he stopped her when dropping the bomb that they had enough troops to head to the front lines. Her father wasn’t making her life any easier either, trying to control her by cutting her off from the hotel he’d been paying for and publicly announcing how proud he was of his daughter’s devotion to her husband fighting the good fight. I don’t approve of her cheating, but I loved how she stood up to her dad. Rather than going home and admitting defeat, she’s going to start supporting herself.
Meanwhile, Betty was struggling with her feelings for Kate. She also finally called Kate out for vying for both her and Ivan. Kate was convinced all what Betty wanted was sin, so Betty said to heck with her and ended up hooking up with a soldier from the fundraiser, who was, conveniently, about to go on a tour. She finally found that extra bit of happiness she’d been looking for.
While at the bond drive, Gladys caught Gene necking with DD, and finally saw what everyone had been telling her about him. With the fireworks display going off above them, Gene slipped into another dangerous bout of PTSD, having to be talked off the roof by his mom and Gladys. Although his mother promised to let him return to the war, I don’t really see that as a viable option, based on his mental state.
I liked how Lorna and Gladys bonded over their worry for Gene and the severity of the situation. It made the final scene of the night all that much better, as Lorna delivered Gladys the devastating telegraph that had been sent to her home stating that James had been killed in an attack. Lorna showed Gladys how to make eggs and held her as she cried, making it clear that Gladys is going to be just fine on her own, as long as she has friends to support her.
Bomb Girls is on a mini hiatus, with the new season of Survivor taking its place starting next Wednesday.