The Bold Type has put one of its characters, Jane Sloan, through a bit of career whiplash this season. She was flying high at Scarlet as a writer when she decided to get a new role at Incite, an online news publication. Everything was seemingly going so well for her, but she was canned almost immediately after accepting the job and flung into freelance madness. On this week's episode, however, Jane gets her job back on The Bold Type. Which is a very good thing, since there is only so much time one can spend in a coffee shop with their kinda, sorta ex-boyfriend before becoming a part of the décor.
Jane is ambitious and pretty type-A, so getting fired from Incite was affecting her a lot. She had been climbing to the top before she let her journalism ethics get the best of her and was sent packing. In the fallout of losing her new job, Jane went back to Jaclyn, her old boss at Scarlet, and asked for her job back, only to have Jaclyn turn her down because Jane was only coming to Jaclyn out of a place of fear.
Jaclyn explained that she felt Jane didn’t know what was next and simply wanted come back to that cozy little nest she had made herself in the fashion closet (figuratively, of course) at Scarlet. Jaclyn was all tough love sending her writer back out into the world to try her hand at something else.
But now, Jane has a Mandy Award (a fictional magazine award, for those of you not in the know) for the story she told about Jaclyn’s sexual assault, and it’s a pretty big deal. She’s getting all kinds of offers, lunch meetings, and, most importantly for a freelancer, she’s selling her writing. She gets to pay her bills! After all the attention dies down and Jane is done working on a follow-up piece to Jaclyn’s assault, her former boss realizes that she wants her back at Scarlet. It turns out that getting fired and having to figure it all out has made Jane more resilient and a better storyteller in Jaclyn's eyes.
It’s natural to want to go to a safe space after a major upheaval or trauma, which is why Jane rushed back to Scarlet after getting fired at the more hard hitting news site. Jane thought Incite was her big break, her dream job, and the fact that it turned out to be a terrible fit for her was jarring. If Jane was wrong about this, what else was she wrong about? But, like the cliché goes, all of this failure was grooming Jane for something else.
Jaclyn was right not to let Jane back into Scarlet when she first asked. Coming from a place of fear, as Jaclyn said, Jane was likely to make the same mistakes and be essentially the same writer and person she was the first time around. Now, Jane will be back in the same role at Scarlet, but she’s struggled a little bit, and, most importantly, she’s learned a lot about herself and her writing. Artists need a little bit of friction to survive, don’t they?
All of this just speaks to — again, as usual — Jaclyn’s wisdom. Scarlet is certainly lucky to have a woman like Jaclyn at its helm, because managing creative people is not for everyone. It’s one thing to delegate and pass out responsibilities, but it’s another thing entirely to mentor and actually care about your employees. Sure, Jaclyn sees herself in Jane, but she also wants all of her employees to be the best they can be. Even if means sending some of her best talent to hang out with Pinstripe Guy and work elsewhere for a little bit. It took a little bit of work, but Jane's finally back where she needs to be. Hopefully, it's only up from here.