Workin' Moms | S02E06: Shame Spiral



More than just shame, this was an episode about grief - and the incredible the way these two emotions intertwine.

Beginning with the tiniest of the world's grievances, the episode opens with "Baby Mabel's" toddler temper tantrum at Mom group. Imagine, for one moment, that you are unable to express even the simplest of your displeasures. Imagine never actually being understood. Faced with so little agency you, too, may throw yourself to the ground in a fit of self pity.

Similarly, no longer someone's wife and struggling to be someone else's mother, Frankie continues on her path of denial. With typical nonchalance, she continues to throw herself into meaningless sexual escapades, this time with an emotionally-stunted 20-something and an older, wealthy and controlling woman, both from the local pool.

Kate, having recently lost her father and in full denial mode, is facing a decision after putting herself into a compromising situation at both work places (she pitched the same #NailedIt campaign for two very different clients: one in home renovations and the other specializing in nail art for women who never do dishes). The right thing to do is confess to her double working life and subsequent digital plagiarism... but who's going to do that if they can help it? 

As it turns out, her assistant Rosie. So Kate watches with relief as Rosie takes the fall for #NailedIt-gate, subsequently confessing to myriad other workplace offences, all the while ignoring the damage she's doing to herself.

Grief rises from Baby Mabel to Anne's nine-year-old daughter, Alice, who is heartbroken after learning that her Mom was married once before. Despite bickering with Alice about how inconsequential her first marriage was, Anne feels continued shame about allowing herself to be violated by a true predator - someone she once trusted enough to marry. So, by continuing to violate his space in the form of bent pen nibs and low wattage lightbulbs, Anne focuses on the shame she feels about seeing her ex-husband to ignore the grief of her unwanted, terminated pregnancy.

Until she finds herself sitting alone at a restaurant waiting for Kate, who never shows up. Driving home, Anne happens to spot the hipster version of Kate on a bike. In the middle of a bike lane on a sunny afternoon, they hash it out until Kate says the first true (and most misguided) thing she's said in awhile: she's pretty sure her problems, the things that seemingly happen to her - including the unfair and untimely death of her beloved father - are more significant than what she sees as the consequences of the choices Anne has made.

At the end of the day, a defeated Kate returns home to find Mean Nanny babysitting her sleeping son in the midst of a power outage. Only at our most vulnerable - in true grief - can we be manipulated into allowing someone to tell us our future. In the darkness of the power outage, Mean Nanny reads Kate's tarot cards and what's to come doesn't look good.


The song in the closing shot is Jess Ribeiro's Unfamiliar Ground from Kill It Yourself. The first hit after Googling the opening lyrics, "he gave me a ring from a guitar string" pulls up Please Be with Me: A Song for My Father.