‘Good Girls’ Season 2 Brilliantly Continues Its Caper of Wives Turned Thieves
It’s not easy being a mom and a professional robber, as seen in the second season of NBC’s deliriously entertaining “Good Girls.” A rollicking take on the crime genre, the new season begins by quickly tying up plot threads from last season’s finale and starting new ones. The three suburban moms at the heart of the show just wanted to pull off a successful robbery of a grocery store, but now they find themselves scrambling to get rid of evidence and avoid murderous thugs while still make morning breakfast for the kids.
Picking up where the last season left off, Beth (Christina Hendricks) is having a stand-off in her house with money launderer and thug Rio (Manny Montana) holding her estranged husband Dean (Matthew Lillard) hostage. Rio is, of course, pretty angry at Beth and the other members of her crew, Ruby (Retta) and Beth’s younger sister Annie (Mae Whitman) for attempting to set him up to take a fall. A trigger is pulled, Dean is injured and Rio gets away. Luckily for Dean the shot isn’t fatal. Meanwhile Ruby and Annie are desperate to track down a pen with DNA evidence that is in the possession of authorities which could implicate them in last season’s caper. Ruby is also facing pressure from husband Stan (Reno Wilson) to dump the girls and save herself, but Ruby is adamant, her prime concern is still her ailing daughter Sara (Lidya Jewett). Meanwhile store manager Boomer (David Hornsby) is being cornered by FBI agent Turner (James Lesure), to turn into an informant. Faced by Rio’s fury, Beth might be able to redeem the group, but first she has to agree to a dangerous favor.
The first season of “Good Girls” played like a funny, lighter version of “Widows,” with the three protagonists attempting to become thieves. Their plight was endearing because as with many a good crime yarn, it was more than relatable. It’s conceivable to be pushed to desperate extremes in the face of economic ruin or health crisis. Now in season two the show becomes even more of a thriller as the women deal with the fallout of the grocery store robbery. Turner becomes a more classic “villain,” determined to take down the group, talking to Boomer in typical snitch-baiting lingo. By the end of the season premiere Rio ensnares the ladies into an even more dangerous scheme, forcing them to agree to whack someone. It’s the classic moment where wannabe criminals suddenly realize they are in the game for real. Creators Jenna Bans and Dean Parisot make sure the show continues to be more than a caper, hilariously combining elements of domestic drama. Beth juggles her secret criminal life with caring for her kids. Annie is caught in a tug of war over her daughter Zadie (Izzy Stannard) with ex Gregg (Zach Gilford). When Zadie wants to quit piano the two have a typical argument over whether to push her or let her be. Meanwhile Ruby and Stan attend marriage counseling. A scene where Annie finds herself attending a gender-reveal party for Gregg and his new wife is full of deliciously mean humor.
These storylines make the central plot more entertaining because it’s a total riot watching these characters then attempt to do other gigs like carrying out a hit. The three meet in the back of a donut shop, looking at a pistol delivered with a silencer for Rio’s assignment. They have no idea how this works and Annie suggests they check the “dark web.” When Rio takes Beth for a ride to do the job she complains that she still needs to pick up the kids on time. These are juxtaposed with some scenes of real intensity, like when Beth does come close to carrying out the killing. And as the stakes are raised, the women’s loyalty to each other gets sorely tested. The relationship between Beth and Dean is also given some new dimensions this season, with a bond still remaining there between the two but threatened by Beth’s connection to Rio and the danger it puts them both in. Infidelity is also treated in a new and fresh way in this show, especially in the way value judgements are imposed on Beth and Ruby, they talk about having had affairs like two soldiers with battle scars.
One good way of describing season two of “Good Girls” is as a larger game of cat and mouse. Rio wants his money back and wants to turn Beth into a kind of indentured servant and Turner wants to nail all three women. The first season introduced Beth and the gang to the crime, now they have to deal with the consequences. But it’s great fun to watch, because of the show’s winking combo of guilt and domestic unbliss.
“Good Girls” season two premieres March 3 and airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.