After a year of wrestling for Las Vegas audiences at the Fan-Tan Hotel and Casino, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling go their separate ways at the end of GLOW season 3 - but where are they going next? The season finale is packed with everything from a GLOW-favored take on A Christmas Carol to a dramatic chase through an airport, but it ends on a rather sobering note as the show's original protagonist, Ruth (Alison Brie) refuses an offer from Debbie (Betty Gilpin) to direct a new wrestling show on Bash's (Chris Lowell) freshly-acquired TV network.
Ruth isn't the only GLOW girl who is seeking a new path in life. Carmen (Britney Young) reveals that she's planning to go on the road with her brother Kurt (Carlos Colón Jr.) in order to continue wrestling. Meanwhile Sam (Marc Maron) has abandoned Las Vegas and GLOW to head back to the bright lights of Los Angeles and help his daughter, Justine (Britt Baron) get her script turned into a movie. Cherry (Sydelle Noel) reconciles with her husband Keith (Bashir Salahuddin) after a disagreement over having kids, and it looks like the Bangs might be about to adopt a child - which could leave Cherry's priorities torn the same way Debbie's were.
GLOW's season 3 finale also saw two very different outcomes for the show's in-the-closet LGBT characters. Following a threesome with Rhonda (Kate Nash) and a gigolo called Paul (Nick Clifford), Bash had an emotional breakdown over his wife discovering his attraction to men, and bounced back from it by telling Rhonda that he wanted to move back to LA and start a family with her. On the other end of the spectrum, Arthie finally worked up the courage to stand in front of her fellow wrestlers and declare, "I'm gay" - news that surprised exactly no one. But now that the run at the Fan-Tan has come to an end and GLOW's characters are moving on - what's next?
GLOW Is Finished... Forever?
After extending its three-month run by another nine months, GLOW's time at the Fan-Tan Hotel and Casino came to an end in the season 3 finale, and it looks like that could be the end of the wrestling show entirely. As established in season 2, the TV rights to GLOW are owned by K-DTV, which prevents the show from being shopped to other TV networks - hence its transformation into a Las Vegas stage show in season 3. Now Debbie is planning to launch an all-new wrestling show with all-new characters on Bash's new TV network, which means that she will be staying in Los Angeles along with Bash and Rhonda. Sam, the third member of GLOW's production team, is also in LA and has been roped into directing Justine's film (assuming another heart attack doesn't take him out first).
It's possible that GLOW's showrunners, Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, anticipated the likelihood of the Netflix show being cancelled after three seasons and wanted to wrap things up properly in case there isn't a GLOW season 4. Whereas GLOW season 2 ended on a note of hope for the future, as the GLOW girls boarded a bus to Las Vegas, GLOW season 3 ends with a definite sense that the show has come to an end, with the wrestlers each going their separate ways. Of course, we wouldn't rule out the possibility of the gang getting back together if Netflix does decide to order another season of GLOW.
Debbie Sacrifices Romance For Business
Throughout GLOW season 3, Debbie was frustrated by the fact that her job as producer wasn't getting her the kind of influence that she'd hoped, with Bash ignoring her input and bulldozing over her objections. However, all that changes that Bash has a breakdown following his threesome with Rhonda and Paul. It's been hinted at through Bash's ambiguous relationship with his close friend and butler Florian, who died from an AIDS-related illness in season 2, that he might be either bisexual or gay and closeted. Season 3 both confirms this, and also makes it clear that Bash has no interest in coming out - being too terrified of losing everything, from his wife to his relationship with his mother.
Bash's crisis ends up being Debbie's fortune, as he pleads with her to tell him what to do. Debbie, who has been dating ranch owner J.J. 'Tex' McCready (Toby Huss), takes the opportunity to steal Tex's planned acquisition of a TV network out from under him using Bash's money. She also tells Bash to pull out the money he had pledged to the Fan-Tan's other big show, Rhapsody, and to sell the house that he bought for himself and Rhonda. All of this puts Bash and Debbie in a very promising position financially, with the power to run their own TV network the way they want to, but also means that Debbie's relationship with Tex is effectively over.
Why Ruth Turned Down Debbie's Offer
Ruth and Debbie have certainly had a tumultuous relationship over the course of GLOW's three seasons. The show began with Ruth ruining Debbie's marriage by having an affair with her husband, Mark (Rich Sommer), and then the two of them reluctantly being forced to work together on GLOW. By season 3 they managed to get back to more or less being friends - even swapping roles for one show, with Debbie playing Zoya the Destroya and Ruth playing Liberty Belle. GLOW's season 3 finale concludes with Debbie literally chasing after Ruth as she races to catch a flight back to Omaha to see her parents. Though she was warned not to tell anyone about the deal until it was signed, Debbie gushes about the purchase of the TV network and how she's going to be president, telling Ruth that she'll build them an "Eden" where they don't have to audition any more and they'll get to call the shots.
The speech almost seems to be working until Debbie bluntly tells Ruth that if being an actor was going to happen for her, it would have happened by now, and that the TV network and new wrestling show are an "off-ramp" for both of them. But unlike Debbie, who had a successful acting career until she got pregnant, Ruth "never got on the road," and she's not willing to give up her dream of being an actress yet. She walks away, leaving a frustrated Debbie behind to catapult herself into a more successful future - but leaving her old friend behind.
While this might seem like a cliffhanger ending, it could also work well as an ambiguous and bittersweet series finale. Despite her many failed auditions (including a failed audition for Sam and Justine's movie), Ruth's work on GLOW has inspired her to keep pursuing a career as an actress. Meanwhile, Debbie has finally found a way to break free of having her life and work controlled by men, but she'll have to head into her new life without her old best friend by her side.