GLOW season 3 debuts on Netflix this week, but what do you need to remember from season 2? The streaming series has established itself as one of Netflix's best original series in its first two years, meaning its return after a year break is hotly anticipated.
Based on the real-life Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling promotion from the 1980s, GLOW comes from the same creative team as Orange is the New Black, and blends those two inspirations together. There's some fun in-ring action and a great look behind-the-scenes of making the wrestling show, while also deftly balancing light comedy and serious drama in the lives of the women at its center.
GLOW season 2 took the Netflix series to new heights, but it also made some major changes to the status quo. At the end of the finale, the show has been cancelled, it's moving to Las Vegas as a live performance, and things are very uncertain for a number of key characters. As we recap GLOW, here are all the questions season 3 must answer.
Will Bash & Rhonda Stay Married?
In GLOW's season 2 finale, "Every Potato Has A Receipt", Rhonda a.k.a. Britannia (Kate Nash) is prepared to marry a fan in order to obtain a green card and stay in the U.S. before Bash Howard (Chris Lowell) steps in to marry her himself. It's a surprising move, and doesn't look like one that's going to work out. This is a marriage done for the wrong reasons from both points-of-view, and as they sat together on the bus to Las Vegas, neither looked particularly happy. There's pressure on them to stay married because Rhonda needs to stay in the country, but season 3 is likely to seriously test just how far they can take things.
Will It Reveal More About Bash's Relationship With Florian?
Staying on the subject of Bash, then his reasons for marrying Rhonda are seemingly linked to the death of Florian. Florian worked for Bash as his butler, but after he quit we saw Bash spending some time searching for him, before getting the phone call telling him that Florian had died of AIDS. Bash was understandably saddened by the news, but it's not entirely clear why. It could simply be that he's upset at the passing of a longtime friend (and that's surely part of it), but GLOW season 2 also hints that Bash might be struggling with his sexuality, and might've had a relationship with Florian. It'll be interesting to see if Bash does come out in season 3, and whether GLOW offers up a greater examination of homosexuality in 1980s America.
Is Justine Going To Appear Again?
Justine (Britt Baron) took a step back from the show-within-a-show in GLOW season 2, no longer performing as Scab after discovering that Sam (Marc Maron) was her real father. While that meant there was no presence for her in the ring, Justine continued to be an important part of GLOW as she and Sam attempted to build a relationship with one another.
After some initial difficulties, the two did eventually begin to bond and become closer, which looks set to continue until Justine's mother arrives to take her home to Sacramento. Despite neither Justine nor Sam initially being happy with the idea, she does go back with her mother at the end of GLOW season 2, while Sam heads off to Las Vegas with the rest of the team. They've been moved apart just as they got close, so will Justine be able to make it out to Las Vegas? Their bond was great for both characters, and it'd be a shame to lose that in GLOW season 3.
Will There Be More Debbie/Ruth Drama?
The relationship and rivalry between Ruth (Alison Brie) and Debbie (Betty Gilpin) is right at the very heart of GLOW, and has been a central arc through the first two seasons. The first was about the breakdown of their long friendship, while the second made the rivalry more heated until a big blow-up in the hospital, after which they started to set aside their differences and begin to make amends. Is that going to continue in GLOW season 3, or will there be more drama between the pair? The two are still going to be facing each other in the ring as Zoya the Destroyer and Liberty Belle, but it's when the in-ring action is informed by drama outside of it that GLOW's often found its best material.
One of the biggest secrets in GLOW is Ruth's abortion, after she fell pregnant from her brief affair with Debbie's husband, Mark. It's a difficult moment for Ruth, and one GLOW handles very well, but it also means that it's the kind of secret a TV show will typically save to reveal at the opportunity that will wring either the most character development or narrative progression. Debbie discovering that her husband got her friend pregnant, and her friend then had an abortion, is a complex storyline to tackle with complicated feelings on all sides, and could be something GLOW season 3 looks to deal with.
Is GLOW Going To Have A Sam & Ruth Romance?
With GLOW swapping Los Angeles for Las Vegas, it means that some things - and people - are getting left behind. Chief among them is Russell (Victor Quinaz), the cameraman with whom Ruth had developed a romantic connection. Although they clearly liked each other and she asks him to come to Vegas, it doesn't look likely that Russell will feature too much in GLOW season 3, because the show might have a different romantic pairing in mind. It's been gradually suggesting that Sam and Ruth could be getting together, from some casual flirting and furtive glances to him actually trying to kiss her. They definitely grew closer in season 2, and both actors have admitted to there being a certain chemistry between them. As they sit on the bus together at the end of GLOW season 2, we're left to wonder if a romantic relationship is on the cards.
Will GLOW Succeed In Las Vegas?
GLOW's season 2 finale was bittersweet, as K-DTV made the decision to cancel the show, with a further sting in the tail as their ownership of it means another network can't pick it up. However, just when it seems as though all hope is lost, Sam's friend Ray (Horatio Sanz), a strip club owner, offers them a job in Las Vegas. GLOW won't be on TV, but they will be able to perform live at the Riviera Hotel & Casino.
It's a big change for the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, albeit one that takes it back to its roots (the real GLOW was based at the Riviera in Vegas), and there's no guarantee of its success. Will GLOW work as a live show rather than a televised event? Are people going to turn up to see it? Will its performers, especially those who hoped to use GLOW as a launchpad for (or stopgap in) an acting career, be able to adjust? GLOW has been given a lifeline, but it's not a sure thing.
How Will GLOW Adapt To The Change Of Setting?
For as much as the move to Las Vegas will present a challenge for GLOW, the show-within-a-show, and its characters, it's also going to be a major shake-up for GLOW, the Netflix TV series. Although its focus has been more on the characters than it has the setting, it's nonetheless had two successful seasons set in Los Angeles, and the backdrop of Hollywood was important to certain character motivations and the show working. It's rare that a series with one established setting simply ups sticks and moves elsewhere, so although Las Vegas and GLOW should be a match made in 80s wrestling heaven, it's also a risk, and one that really needs to pay off.