Good morning, all. Yesterday I posted the eighth (God, it’s still one of the hardest words for me to spell) chapter of Bad Town For A Pretty Face: New York, so today we’re going to look back at all the drama that unfolded. Make sure you read up before you scroll down or you’ll be hit with a few spoilers!
We’re with the boss! Astor, not Bruce, though we’ll need a Springsteen reference at some point since he’s a neighbor from Jersey. And she’s looking for someplace to go after her big blowup with Tate, and finds it quickly on the sidewalk in front of Tiffany’s. Reference! Also, New York City is weird in that you don’t realize how much crap is right next to each other because it’s such a small place. The Pulitzer Fountain, Plaza Hotel and Central Park are all together; so are St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller Plaza and Tiffany & Co. and ugly ass Trump Tower. I wrote this chapter in July and wrote in protesters assuming there’d be some around, as there always is. Of course I didn’t anticipate an impeachment (I mean, I wanted one) so it’s all pretty unexpected but still fits in. I’m writing this recap on October fifth and the chapter comes out the nineteenth, which is a week before the story takes place. I wonder what’ll happen between then and now: I’m going to predict a) A statement from Melania lamenting the media’s treatment of her husband b) Mitch McConnell’s head literally explodes whilst yelling nonsensically on the senate floor and C) In attempt to distract from the impeachment, President Trump releases campaign ads criticizing Bernie for having a heart attack. You’ll find out when you read which ones came true!
So back to our tale. Astor’s not as ready to point fingers as some of you readers may be. Tate’s being weird, but they’re best friends and business partners so she’s not about to accuse her of something when she’s not even sure what she could accuse her of. There’s not enough here, so they need to figure out what’s up. The gang goes over what they know so far, pausing to ask Wendy why she robbed the hotel. She’s talkative and rambling, and Astor thinks of it as a suburban trait. That’s really the way I wanted it portrayed because I do think her not quite understanding the social cues telling her she’s oversharing or speaking too much or too cheerfully during an inappropriate moment is a symptom of her autism, but I also think it’s something that stemmed from being a born and bred Long Islander. We can be relentlessly chatty. You know how your mom sees an old friend in the grocery store and they stop to talk for a few minutes? That’s genuinely a half hour experience for us. It’s kind of a nightmare. But I wanted Wendy to have traits and behaviors that you wouldn’t immediately lend to autism, nor ones you could erase to view her as “normal.” I just wanted her to be her own person, an individual, because I think that’s the most accurate portrayal of someone who’s autistic.
Regardless, she explains she was reminded of them while tracking a wealthy hotel shareholder awhile back, and that made her realize what a good target it would be. She raises a few questions, given that Cleo claims they have no connection to that shareholder. Eyana’s momentarily (and understandably) pissed when Wendy admits to being paid for the bodega robbery, but Astor’s more understanding: the politics of New York crime often involve hiring freelancers, so it doesn’t seem there’s any foul intent on Wendy’s part. Makes you guys wonder why that bodega was targeted though, right? Wendy also apologizes for attacking a business the gang was protecting, but Astor points out they weren’t protecting that place and suggests she may be “confused.” She’s not being unkind on purpose, but she has a question hanging in the air and is using Wendy’s autism as an answer, which is insulting and unwise. Brienne, competent and kind, assumes for now that the bodega owner confused her with someone else. That doesn’t quite add up either, but Astor lets the matter rest.
There are few conclusions drawn, but Astor’s certain that Tate would never hurt them. Wendy would never hurt them either, and though she’s been kind of a chaotic force in their lives they’re all aware she’s being sincere. Finally, right? She’s not officially part of the team, just consultation, but she gets those handcuffs taken off and some open respect for a change. They need to find someplace private to make a plan, but before that Brienne wants to stop at a Duane Reade (an oft found pharmacy in the city) “for a hair tie.” Right. So something’s obviously suspicious here given that she and Astor share a look. When they’re alone in Duane Reade Astor asks if she’ll be alright, if she should be sent off, but Brienne refuses to leave them with this mess. Even if she could morally she wouldn’t want to miss whatever adventure was about to be had, which is telling of the character. She’s not just their little sweetheart — she’s a force to be reckoned with, just like Astor when she gets that fire back in her chest. She views anger as a comfortable companion, and she’s glad to feel it again. It’s always been a safer emotion for her than fear or anxiety, and in her line of work those are the three she’s met with the most.
So her decisions now are going to be guided by anger, and that anger will lead the team to wherever they go next. It’ll be interesting to see where things go from here! So stick around and next chapter we’ll find out Astor’s grand plan. See y’all then!