Good Girls has managed to take this story of three seemingly innocent mothers who get involved with a dangerous crime figure and bring it into a third season… but is it still as fresh as when it began?
Season two ended in a great spot, hinting that the dynamic between Rio (Manny Montana) and the girls could be changing in some potentially creative ways. Then at the beginning of this season, it looks like those interesting and fresh changes had been made with Rio being hidden and protected by the FBI in exchange for information. This was looking to be a fantastic season as it was shaping up to be something a little different from the cat-and-mouse-like game they have been playing in the last two seasons. However, this new dynamic is very short-lived and before you have time to really enjoy what’s going on, we end up right back in the same situation as the first two seasons.
Don’t get me wrong, the dynamic between Rio and Beth (Christina Hendricks) is something that makes the show as special as it is. However, the constant back and forth with one trying to blindside the other and then the other retaliating with a power play is getting quite repetitive. It’s this seemingly never-ending loop where the girls do the work for Rio, try to cash something in for themselves, get caught and pushed out of the game, then work their way back in with some sort of incentive. It has, more or less, been that loop for three seasons now. I will say though, it’s just the main arc of the story that keeps on hitting those repetitive beats, as the individual character arcs do continue to shine.
Beth, Annie (Mae Whitman) and Ruby (Retta) all have their own individual family-centric dramas that they are dealing with over the course of the season, and all of that is great. This is one element of the show that has remained consistently engaging the whole way through; the ability to keep you interested in the personal lives of every character in here. There are a couple of arcs here and there that aren’t as gripping as the rest, but it’s not a major quarrel.
Now, towards the end of the season, things started to move back in the direction of getting a little more interesting. There’s an arc with Beth and a new character that begins to take off and an arc with Ruby and a specific shade of nail polish that also gains some traction. These arcs make the last few episodes some of the most engaging before the season was forced to end prematurely due to the impacts of Covid-19. Had this season continued to its natural finale, it could have been much better than it was up until that point.
Aside from the story, the performances from the lead cast are just as great as they have been. The chemistry between Christina, Mae and Retta is unbreakable as the three of them continue to trade hilarious one-liners and keep the ‘fun’ elements of the show alive. The comedy is still alive and kicking through these three performances, and even if the three of them aren’t together, you know that their respective scenes are going to be just as funny. There is also a good amount of heart that ties together their arcs and balances out well thematically with the comedy.
Of course, Manny is still one of the most valuable players in the show as it’s his ‘no bullshit’ demeanour that makes his character so compelling. He looks like he’s having a lot of fun with the character and that shines through in his performance. It gives Rio more of a layered personality that distinguishes him from the other crime figures who pop in and out. There is a returning character who shows up briefly for a handful of scenes and really didn’t need to. The arc is short and doesn’t go anywhere, meaning it wasn’t all too necessary.
There are a couple of new roles played by Lauren Lapkus, Rodney To and Andrew McCarthy, and they’re all somewhat interesting characters for the brief moments we get with them. I have a feeling we will see all of them when the series returns for an inevitable fourth season, so there’s that to look forward to.
In the end, this season of Good Girls didn’t head in the direction I thought it would and as a result felt too close to the previous seasons in terms of the main story arc. This meant the story felt a little repetitive with the cat-and-mouse game between Beth and Rio still going. It starts to head in an exciting direction in the final few episodes before unfortunately being cut short at episode 11. That being said, the fun tone still shines through the girls’ chemistry and individual family-centric arcs still hold up as really engaging parts of the show. I am still excited to see where things go in a fourth season based on where things end here.