"The Libertines" is the ninth episode of the third season of GLOW. It is the twenty-ninth episode of the series overall. It was released via Netflix on August 9, 2019.


Ruth heads to LA for her big audition, Debbie helps Bobby take the Libertine Ball to the next level, and Rhonda plots to rekindle Bash's interest.


Bobby Barnes discusses a dress that he was after, and how he could retire on the price that he was quoted. Thus, he bought a serger and did it himself, and nobody can tell the difference. A man asks him if it's what he'll be wearing at Friday's Libertine Ball. He replies that it depends on if he can finish the beading on the white tulle. Debbie suggests that they bring out the tulle, that she'll give him a hand. They go in the back, where Bobby says that he's boring the guy. Debbie suggests that he focus less on the dressmaking process and more on the ball itself, why the cause is his important to him. This is for a featurette in a listings magazine, so they just need some good quotes. He tells her he doesn't do a lot of press and she says that's why she's there.

Later, she is sitting at a table with a group of a men, including her boyfriend, J.J., or "Tex." One of them offers a toast - "To J.J., for having such a beautiful reason to get his ass off that ranch now and again." Debbie calls herself just a perk of the job, and they says "here's to the perk." One of them asks him if KXF is still giving him the runaround and he explains to Debbie that it's a little television outfit out of Orange County that he's looking to buy to expand his media holdings. It's worth about a 11 million dollars. There's potential for something bigger, but it's owned by a jerk who "thinks he's God's gift to the airwaves." Debbie says that they all think that they're Brandon Tartikoff. J.J. replies that his case the "god" part is literal and that he respects faith, but the guy actually said to him that he had to "pray on" selling the family business to a divorced man. Debbie says to tell him he's seeing a nice Christian girl that makes him see Jesus on a regular basis, putting on an affected southern accent. The guys all laugh at this one. Later, as J.J. and Debbie walk together, he notes that she had the guys eating out of the palm of her hand. She calls herself an "incredible asset." He says that he has another meeting like this on Friday and that it'll be just as boring, but he'll be twice as appreciative. She tells him that she'd love to, but she already has a thing going with the girls on Friday night, a team building thing. He says it's fine. She tells him that if he steps into her upstairs office, she'd be happy to make it up to him.

Yolanda meets with Arthie, who is getting off the elevator. Arthie asks her if she's going to the ball, and she says she wouldn't miss it. Arthie says she's going too and Yolanda mocks "Bunch of straight girls going to an underground drag ball." She walks away. In her room, Ruth shows Sheila two dresses, asking her if she should go with yellow or green. Sheila asks if she ever had a history teacher that wore a mint green suit. She says it makes her look sallow and Ruth sarcastically thanks her for the confidence booster before the biggest opportunity of her professional life. Sheila tells her that it doesn't matter what she wears. Ruth replies that she's nervous, that she's never auditioned for a friend before. Sheila tells her that Sam asked her to read because she's a great actress who's right for the part. Ruth says that it's complicated because it's Sam and Justine. Sheila tells her to build a brick wall between the personal and professional, to compartmentalize and to get back in time for their scene. Ruth responds that it's only a four hour drive, and they don't go on until after midnight, so she'll have plenty of time.

Rhonda oversees a group of bicycles that are being tuned up for the show Rhapsody. A guy suggests she take one for a spin, but she admits that she never learned to cycle. He tells her to come on, that "it's as easy as riding a bike." She gets on and he tells her to balance her center of gravity. He tells her to keep pedaling, that she'll fall if she slows down. She falls. Bash approaches, asking just what is going on. The guy tells him to take it easy, that they were just fooling around. He tells him that he's not his buddy and that if anyone will teach his wife to ride a bicycle, it'll be him. The man nods sullenly and walks away. He asks if she's okay, and they kiss. He tells her he'll see her later.

Ruth is sitting in a waiting room with a group of actors auditioning for roles in Justine's film. A woman calls her in and Justine squeals in delight upon seeing her. Ruth tells her that the script is great. Sam thanks her for coming in and introduces her to Jonathan, their producer, and Mitzi, the casting director and the woman who called her in. Jonathan tells her that Sam and Justine have been singing her praises all day. Mitzi suggests they begin right away, and Ruth begins reading for the role of Ms. Hayes. The part is the role of a teacher, trying to get her student to do a report about Moby Dick. Everyone seems to like Ruth's performance. Justine thanks her for coming. Ruth leaves the room. Sam approaches her in the hall, telling her that she was great. He says that he's stuck there for a couple more hours, but asks if she'd like to go out for a drink after and catch up. A couple of the other auditionees look troubled at this familiarity as Ruth tells him that she really needs to get on the road for the ball with Sheila. Sam seems disappointed, so she demurs that she should be fine as long as she's on the road by 7. They agree to meet at 5:30. She giggles happily.

Rhonda chats with Melrose about her relationship with Paul, asking if it's really more emotional or physical. She says that it's a very personal question and Rhonda admits that things haven't been good lately with her and Bash. She says that they're not anything, that it's like he's lost interest in her. It's been weeks, no months, since they've even had sex. She asks if she can "borrow Paul," though not in the way she's thinking. She says that a guy in the car park was flirting with her and Bash got possessive and turned on. She thought maybe Paul could pretend to be a handyman and make a pass at her, in order to get Bash jealous. Melrose mulls this over and decides that it's an amazing idea. She says it's one night where she doesn't have to wonder if Paul is off with some other woman for money because instead he's there, but not actually with Rhonda. They high-five.

Back at the movie studio, they discuss who should get the roles for the film. Sam says that there's no question that the role of the English teacher should go to Ruth. Everyone else looks unsure about this. Sam, stunned, says that she was great, but Justine says that while she loves Ruth, she's not sure she's right for the part. She was good, but she's not sure that she buys her as a tough-talking woman with a past. Sam says that she doesn't know her like he knows her, but Justine wonders if he would really see her that way if he didn't know her, if he would remember her at all. She likes a red-head named Angela for the role and Jonathan agrees that she was great. Sam meets Ruth at the bar. He sees her reading a book, and asks her if she's still cutting it loose at the Las Vegas Public Library. She asks him how the rest of the day was, but then says not to answer, that this is totally separate. He tells her it's good to see her. She reminds him that he left without even saying goodbye. He says that goodbyes are for teenagers. He summons over the bartender as Ruth tells him that she thinks she's in love with him. The bartender asks what he can get, and Sam tells him to get out. He asks her since when, and she says it's been a while. She went to his room, but he was gone, and she was taught to respect people's privacy. She says she's also still dating Russell and needs to do something about that. She asks if it's too late and he calls her a "nightmare," chuckling. They share a passionate kiss. He says they can't do this there, that he doesn't want to make out in public like the children in his daughter's movie. They kiss again and leave.

They make out just outside the door of the bar. She asks he wants to walk to his house or run. He starts to confess to her that she didn't get the role, but she stops him, saying that what they're doing has nothing to do with the movie. He tells her to just listen and gives it to her straight. He says he has to do what Justine thinks is right for the film. Ruth gasps and sobs, asking why he's telling her this now. He says that if they're to go home and do what he thinks, he would feel like an asshole if he didn't tell her. She yells that he called her in, that he knew how much it would mean to her, like she finally had a chance at something real. He asks that they go home and talk. She says she'll pour out her heart about what a failure she is and he'll pretend to listen and try to get in her pants. He notes that ten minutes ago, she said that she was in love with him and now because he didn't give her some part, he's just another sleazebag. He starts to walk away, asking if she's coming. She just stands there, and he gets into a car and leaves.

The Libertine Ball is in full swing. Arthie comments that everyone there seems so free. Cherry says that she's sure as hell feeling it. Jenny says to let her freak flag fly, but Cherry says that what she's talking about is being out of debt. She suggests they get a drink. As "Requiem for Evita" for Evita plays, a group of men appear, carrying a heavily made-up woman on a bed. Everyone cheers as they place it on-stage and raise it, the woman opening her eyes. She raises her arms and welcomes everyone to the Third Annual Libertine Ball. They applaud and the woman, who is actually Bobby, thanks them for being there. She says that she's their "host who's not yet a ghost, Miss Bobby Barnes." She calls it an important event for the community, and that just their presence is doing so much to help those in need... but not as much as their money. She encourages them to give generously, as she won't be spending it all on her Hawaii trip. She introduces the first act, the fabulous Imelda. Backstage, she talks with Debbie. Debbie says that it's a great crowd, and Bobby replies that it's incredible, that she's not screaming at the bartender. There's people there that she doesn't know, that she hasn't already slept with. Debbie tells her that she just needed a little publicity. Sheila asks Debbie if she's heard from Ruth, and Debbie replies that it's still early. Sheila says she can't go on without her, and she should have been there by now. Debbie tells her that she probably just hit some traffic. She gives Sheila a hat to get a collection going in the crowd, telling her that they'll save her and Ruth for the end.

Rhonda invites Paul into her room, whom she says looks very convincing as a handyman. He calls her and Bash's place nice and she explains that they're in the process of converting into an office and will soon be moving into Henderson Estates. He says to let him know if she needs any help "maintaining the alkalinity of your hydrotherapy system," that he read a bit of the manual on his way up. She hands him an envelope and he is wowed by the contents, asking if she's sure she doesn't want anything else. Back at the ball, Arthie enjoys a performance of the song "My Cup Runneth Ove." She gives to the collection hat as she watches Yolanda kiss another woman. J.J. approaches Debbie in a tuxedo. She asks what he's doing there and he tells her that he has a subscription to the magazine that is sponsoring the ball, that he likes to keep up with the goings-on around town. He asks if there's a reason she lied to him, and she says that she didn't think he would approve of this sort of event. He takes the collection hat and starts to make a generous donation, but Debbie says he doesn't need to. He makes his donation, telling her that he had a nephew, his sister's boy, with a beautiful voice. Though he doesn't say so directly, the implication is that he died of AIDS. They stand together and enjoy the ending of the song.

Backstage, Sheila is a wreck. Bobby tells her that it's her time to go on. Sheila tells her that she can't, but she insist that the show must go on. She reminds her that Debbie said she could wait until the end. "The end is nigh," she says, there's only one big act left and she's not going to be the closer for her show. She insists she can't do a two-person scene by herself. She suggests that she sing a song, maybe howl at the moon, or wrestle someone in the audience. He sends her out, warning her to not mess it up. So, instead, of doing the play that she and Ruth were working on, she recites a monlogue from Miss Julie. Her performance is compelling, receiving a rousing ovation. She smiles and bows.

Bash arrives home to find Rhonda chatting with Paul. She calls him "Joe," saying that he came to fix the hot tub. He asks if it was broken and Paul calls it "just a little problem with the pump diffuser." Rhonda calls him a genius with hot tubs. She says that she didn't know when he'd be back and she was lonely, so she invited him to stay for a bit. He asks why he would mind, asking if he can top off "Joe"'s drink. Paul says that he wouldn't say no to a Scotch. Bash talks about his busy job, and Paul replies that it sounds glamorous, but he could never do it. Rhonda says that he could, that he's charming and good with people. He starts to reply, then says that he shouldn't say it and she tells him to go ahead. He says that if he had a girl like her waiting at home, he'd never make it out the door. He apologizes, saying he didn't mean anything, but that Bash is a lucky man. Bash agrees he is the luckiest man, to just look at his wife, kind and sexy. Paul agrees that she is. He asks if he wants to kiss her. He agrees that he does. He asks if she does. He says to not worry about him, that he wants her to have everything that she wants. They kiss, passionately. He asks if Paul wants to touch her, suggesting he touch her breast, to rub his thumb over her nipple. He does, and they kiss again. Bash comes over, and kisses her shoulder, then her lips. She tells him to come with her. They start taking it all off. Paul comes up behind her, getting in on the action too. Bash kisses him. It's now a three-way, with all of them together kissing and grinding and feeling.

Back at the ball, Bobby introduces the final act, a very special guest. Miss Las Vegas Showgirl 1962, Sandy Devereaux St. Clair. She enters in a white, feathery jeweled dress, looking very glamorous. She schmoozes with the crowd. Bobby says that she is speechless. "For once, thank God," quips Sandy. She tells her that she couldn't look more gorgeous if she was 25 years younger. She replies that age has benefits. She sings the song "I'm Glad I'm Not Young Anymore" and Bobby dances and sings with her. She asks if he smells smoke. She sings back "I think you're having a stroke," but she's not kidding. There's a fire in the back. She yells that it's not a drill, as everyone leaves in a panic. Outside, there is graffiti scrolled on the ground and walls: "Die, faggot," and worse. Bobby quips to Debbie, "I guess we got the word out."

Guest starringEdit


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