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"The Liberal Chokehold" is the ninth episode of the first season of GLOW. It is the ninth episode of the series overall. It was released via Netflix on June 23, 2017.


With the show's future in jeopardy, Bash and the ladies search for creative ways to drum up cash. A pair of revelations leaves Sam reeling.


A news report talks of TWA Flight 847, which was hijacked five days ago by Shia Muslims, and is now sitting on the tarmac of Beirut Airport. They have an exclusive interview with the pilot, Captain John Testrake. The girls of the GLOW watch the interview. Tammé comments that the bathroom on the plane has to be disgusting by now. Stacey says that there's nobody else on-board, that they took off everyone else and hid them in Hezbollah. Melrose says that they're in Beirut, that Hezbollah is a group of people. The city they're in is Beirut. Arthie, who is "Beirut the Mad Bomber" on GLOW, asks that they stop saying that word.

Debbie meets her husband Mark at a cafe, saying that she's sorry she's late, but she had her own hostage situation, referring to their son Randy. She says that the hijackers have nothing on their little terrorist. She tells him she'll be back at 5. He asks if she's taking off and she says she has practice in an hour. He says that in an hour, he could have three meals. She sits down, saying that she's not staying for him, but the hotel has no food and she needs to load up on carbs. Sam sits with a group of executives at K-DTV, Ronald Reagan reporting that the hostages have been freed. Glen Klitnick comments that it's too bad the hostage situation is over, that it was a ratings bonanza. He shows Sam GLOW on a programming lineup, slotting in a chalkboard. They're between Dr. Gene Scott and Miyamato Musashi, a new anime. Sam quips that they're between a nutjob televangelist and an oriental cartoon. Glen says that he'd be surprised, that it's a great slot. Glen says that overall they're extremely positive on the show, but they do have a few notes. They didn't like the colorful language, or the KKK. Bash arrives, apologizing for being late. He asks if they've determined a filming location yet. Glen is surprised they wouldn't have that already. Sam, however, says that they have a great venue already picked out. Bash asks if maybe K-DTV has an extra studio as an alternative. Glen says that they were very explicit - that K-DTV provides the cameras and airwaves and they provide everything else. It's part of the reason they agreed to do it. Bash calls it first-time producer jitters. The meeting ends and Sam asks Bash where he's been for two weeks. Bash waffles and Sam says that the doesn't need to hear his travel itinerary, he needs $9,000 so he doesn't lose the venue. Bash tells him that there is no more money, that his mother cut him off. He tried to turn the money around at the racetrack, but his horse came in 7th. Sam says they had an agreement, that he's the human checkbook. If he's not, then he's just an overeager fanboy. Bash insists it's not over yet, but Sam replies that when there's no more money, it's over. He leaves.

Sam breaks the bad news to the girls. He says that you can't be canceled if you've never actually aired. They're on hiatus and should probably start looking for other jobs. Debbie says they've all worked really hard and Carmen agrees that she didn't talk to her dad anymore, she wanted this so badly. Ruth says she's done so many plays with no budget, where they had to build their own scenery. She once did Peter Pan being carried around by stagehands for three hours because they couldn't afford a flying rig. Debbie asks how much they need and Sam replies that it's $9,000. Everyone groans or curses. Debbie says they can make that in their sleep, they can fundraise. She says they should do a car wash. Ruth agrees that everyone in LA has a car. Debbie agrees that they can wear bikini tops and pretend to fawn over everyone's cars. Her college sorority raised thousands of dollars for world hunger and used it to remodel the deck. Bash meets with his mother, Birdie. She comments that all she had to do to get him over to the house was to freeze his trust. She says she'll remember that and has him hand her a pair of reading glasses. He asks about the seating chart she's examining, if his sister Lily is getting remarried. She tells him that his sister left the Persian months ago. She's having a fundraiser for Nancy Reagan's Just Say No campaign. She calls the calligraphy on the invitations terrible and he agrees that it's a lot to produce. She has a lot of people counting on her. She asks what he wants and he tells her he's requesting a thaw. She tells him that she won't, that he's spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in less than three months. She can't imagine where all the money has gone unless he's running for office. He tells her the truth about GLOW, saying that it's the first time he's put her money into something he really cares about. He just needs $9,000 more to finish what he started. He calls it an opportunity for her to get in on a new venture, saying he can get her a business plan. He suggests that she come on down to the gym and see it herself. She is less than enthusiastic about the idea. He asks her to cut him a check and he'll pay her back. She asks since when is it that they talk so openly about money. He says that he has people counting on him and that it's important. She tells him that keeping poor black children off crack is important to her. She says she needs him at the party on time and to introduce her, since Bill Buckley canceled.

The girls hold their car wash outside the motel. A car pulls up and Debbie says that it's $10 for a hand wash or $20 for interior work. The man agrees to do the $20. Sam sits and watches, smoking. Justine approaches him, asking if he really thinks the show might go away. He says that it's not sleep-away camp, it's a job, and that all jobs are a crapshoot. She stares and he asks if she stole more of his stuff. She walks away. Mark pulls up and Debbie says that she didn't invite him. He says he wanted to support women's sports. Additionally, they gave him a new parking spot at work and his car is filthy from the fig tree it's been underneath. She tells him he'll have to pay double for the fig juice. He says it's okay. Sam stares at Mark, asking if that's "the guy." Ruth says that he is and Sam says that he's not what he expected. Ruth asks if he was expecting Sean Penn. Sam says that what he was expecting was someone less like a giant Cabbage Patch Kid, that he's better looking than him. Cherry heads inside, complaining of soap in her eyes, and asks Keith, who is lifting weights, why he isn't helping. He says that he doesn't look good in a bikini, yet. The phone rings. He gets it and it's for Cherry. She asks who it is and he says it's a chick named Mallory. Mallory is agent, looking at her headshot. She says "Cherry Vang" can't possibly be her real name. Cherry asks if she knows her. She says she got her name from Glen Klitnick. K-DTV is developing a show called Chambers and Gold, essentially Cagney & Lacey with a black girl and a Jew. They'd like to bring her in to try out for it. Cherry is surprised. Mallory tells her that the audition is tomorrow. Keith asks what the call was about and she says she thinks she just got an audition.

The girls and Sam gather around a campfire that night. Bash shows up and Melrose calls him the "Little Match Girl." He clears his throat, asking to talk to Sam. He says that he can say whatever he wants in front of the girls. He says that he spoke to his mother and begged, that it wasn't easy. Ruth says that cleaned dead skin out of upholstery to try keep things afloat. Bash asks how much they made. Sheila, holding the take, says that it was $287, though she hasn't counted the change yet. Ruth says that they'll have another car wash, do one every day until they raise enough money. Melrose agrees, saying they'll step up their game and go topless. Bash says that his mother's having a fundraiser. It doesn't matter what it's for, it's a room full of rich people with open checkbooks. He suggests they crash it. Debbie asks if they get to dress up.

So they crash the fundraiser. Sam asks Ruth why they're all dressed like fancy Mormons. She tells him that Bash said to look conservative and they didn't have a lot of other options. Bash greets a man named Gary at the door, who tells him he's on the list for plus one, not 20. Bash tells him that these are "the girls." He asks if he means the former drug addicts and Bash agrees that they're from WAD - Wrestlers Against Drugs. Gary says again that they're not on the list and Bash says that it's because they're speakers, that they've turned their lives around. He introduces Jenny, saying that just two months ago she was selling her body for crack and now she's training every day. Gary lets them in, telling them not to mingle and to steal nothing. Birdie tells a guest that she thinks that in 1986, they will not only keep the Senate, but break the liberal chokehold on the House also. Bash, hearing "chokehold," says that she does like wrestling. He introduces Debbie. Sam hangs with Ruth, saying that it's ridiculous how they're supposedly fighting the drug war when really they're getting loaded on Kir Royales. He calls them all white, right-wing idiots and she says he's grumpier than usual. He says that they lost the venue; the lady called him an hour ago. He says he's there to drink and not be alone before he never sees any of them again. She tells him that they'll find another venue, that they may be down, but they're not out. She says she's going to charm some old people.

Sam approaches a couple of musicians, asking if they have any blow. One says they don't and he asks if they want some. So they do some blow, the one saying that two more of the Beverly Hills parties and they can get studio time. Sam agrees, saying that he's been making a wrestling TV show just to fund his next movie. He says that he's been working on it for ten years, a semi-autobiographical, psycho-sexual, time-travel drama. The musician asks just what that means and Sam lays out the plot of the film, Mothers and Lovers. Another of the musicians says that he's already seen the film Sam's describing, that it's essentially Back to the Future. He says it just opened and it's really funny. Sam sighs and curses. Back at the party, Melrose goes for alcohol. Rhonda reminds her that they're supposed to be sober and Melrose suggests that she fall off the wagon and sober up by the end of the party. Rhonda says they'll go to a bar afterwards instead. Ruth talks with Debbie, saying that what she's learned is that she really likes candelabra sconces. Debbie says that she's learned not to look directly into Bash's mom's eyes. She says that she knows Mark has been around a lot lately and she appreciates Ruth getting out of the way. She tells Ruth that Mark wants to work things out, for her to come home and try, and go to therapy. Ruth asks what she's going to do and she admits she doesn't know. She says that Debbie will get something else if the show doesn't pan out, that she always has. Debbie says that the craziest part of all this is that she actually likes wrestling. It's like she's back in her body and it doesn't belong Randy, or to Mark. She feels like a superhero. She admits though that things are a mess, asking what it'll look like even if they do get the money they need. Nobody might even watch it, as they're not even that good. She tells Ruth she's sad that she took away the option of them being able to have a normal conversation.

Justine finds Sam laying on the floor of a room, listening to a record of Perry Como's "Magic Moments." He says he didn't recognize her. She asks if she can talk to him and he agrees that she can join his pity party. Back downstairs, Bash toasts Birdie for organizing the event. He says that he'd like to introduce some powerful women - women who have struggled with drug addiction and found that coming to the gym every day to learn how to wrestle has kept them sober. The women of WAD - Wrestlers Against Drugs. He asks everyone to listen to their stories and open their checkbooks. "For the love of God," comments Birdie. Carmen gets up first, spinning a story about hitting her low point two months before waking up naked and high. The rest all spin their own stories of getting high on crack. Jenny speaks entirely a foreign language. Birdie tells Bash to tell the girls to stop talking and introduce her. He says there's just one more. Ruth steps forward, saying she's made terrible decisions, some she doesn't even remember. She hit rock bottom when she slept with her friend's husband, acting out of a deep well of resentment and it messed up a real friendship. She found wrestling, and it saved her, seeing the women struggle to use their bodies and learn something new. It's a better feeling than drugs, specifically crack. The fundraiser is a hit. Birdie grabs a check from Ruth, calling it a misappropriation of solicited funds. She asks Ruth for her name and she gives it. She says that she's always been embarrassed by Bash's obsession with wrestling. She's been embarrassed by a lot of things about him. Wrestling, though, always sounded like pure trash. She tells Ruth that what she said is the first time she's come close to getting what all the fuss is about. She thanks her, asking Bash again what it is that she needs. He says again that it's $9,000. She tells him she's not giving him any more money, but they do have a ballroom at the Hayworth. She asks if maybe that's too fancy for wrestling. He says that it isn't, that it's great, perfect. Ruth says that he should hug her, but he says they don't do that.

Sam talks with Justine, saying that he worked on things so long only for someone to get there first. He wonders why he even bothers to try to make anything. She says that's what he does. He says she's probably the only one who still cares about his work. She agrees that she does and he says he's going to stop trying. It's not about the next thing because that'll never happen. It's just whatever's in front of you. He says that she is pretty, but he doesn't even know if she's over 18. He says he doesn't care and kisses her. She pulls away, shocked. He's confused, saying she's been following him around like a puppy. "I am your daughter!" she tells him. Her mother is Rosalie Biagi from Sacramento. Sam says he never lived in Sacramento. She tells him he was at a Black Panther rally and got kicked out, went to her bar and went home with her. He thinks about it. "Oh," he says. He curses. He crosses his arms, asking what it is that she wants, if it's money or bone marrow. She just stands there and he asks her to stop looking at him. She flees the room.

Guest starring


  • Antonio D. Charity as Fletcher
  • Adam Lazarre-White as Dave
  • Hermie Castillo as Waiter