Previously on Pitch, “Scratched”
The debut season of Pitch hasn’t been perfect. At times, it’s been a little predictable, a bit corny, too focused on Mike, and overly reliant on a flashback structure. Despite those issues, Pitch delivered 10 solid episodes full of engaging and thought provoking storylines, which made it easy and exciting to come back each week. There was something for almost everyone in this first season: enjoyable and relatable characters, drama, comedy, romance, sports action and suspense, and even a tiny bit of mystery thanks to its (sometimes) non-linear narratives. “Don’t Say It,” which is maybe my favorite episode overall, had all of these elements – from the serious tensions between almost every character, to the rekindled romances of Mike and Rachel, and Ginny and Noah, to the on-field anxiety during Ginny’s biggest game yet – which allowed for some of the season’s best performances from the cast. It did what every great finale should do; leave the audience eager for more, yet satisfied by everything they got. Many of the season’s plot points were either wrapped up or progressed to a new phase, while new plot points started to develop leaving the possibilities wide open for a second season.
There’s the tension between Blip and Evelyn, and Blip and Mike that still need a lot of resolving. Will Mike go back to Rachel or does he want to act on his feelings for Ginny? There’s the question of what will happen to Al since he ignored Oscar’s call in pulling Ginny. The baseball season hasn’t even ended, so will Mike get his World Series ring? Will Amelia and Will really turn their back on Ginny in her time of need? That last question leads to one of the more intriguing possible plots: how will Ginny deal with the aftermath of her injury? Not necessarily from a physical health perspective – she could need Tommy John surgery, but that’s fairly common – but from a mental and emotional health standpoint. Pitch has already proven itself in terms of being able to offer nuance to this type of subject matter, so there’s no doubt they could continue to explore it with success. It seems like this is a path the show will need to take too, because, regardless of her injury’s severity, Ginny took a serious fall and it’s unclear who will still be around to act as her safety net.
It was liberating to see Ginny take charge of the relationships in her life during this episode. Whether she was right (with Will and Mike) or wrong (with Amelia) doesn’t really matter, because these were important moments for Ginny’s personal growth. Noah’s words about wanting to live on his own terms, whether that meant failing or succeeding, really resonated with Ginny and pushed her into action. What followed was some really beautiful, relatable, and entirely organic character development. It was all too easy to root for Ginny at every step of the way. In the end, this injury is all on her and that’s going to be a good thing, both for the story and her character. Part of growing up means owning both your wins and losses, and it’s a perfect spot to leave her character at the end of a season.
In fact, character in general is where Pitch truly excelled. Not to discount the male characters, but the women on this show were especially well written. Ginny, of course, had the most to work with and Kylie Bunbury was never a disappointment. It was a joy to watch her navigate this new phase of her life from all angles. She went from being just a 5th starting pitcher to nearly throwing a no-hitter, and from a young woman just trying to fit in to a woman declaring her own space.
Amelia’s true motivations were tested at many different points, but every time she proved she was loyal to Ginny no matter the personal cost. Her confrontation with Ginny in this finale had echoes from past conversations, but this time it all came to a boiling point, leading to great performances from both of the actresses, and definitely a season high point for Ali Larter. While I agree with Amelia, I can understand Ginny’s perspective, too. She’s at an age where she wants to stand entirely on her own two feet, and that independence is vital. But, it’s going to be important for her to learn that it’s also okay to have help, especially when you’re such a high profile person. It would be nice to see these two reconcile and take some time to really work out what the dynamic of their business relationship should look like.
In the end, it was Evelyn’s character who surprised me the most. At first, I assumed she would be nothing more than a baseball wife, but boy was I wrong. She proved that female characters who support their male counterparts in all endeavors, don’t also then have to be one-dimensional. By the end of the season, she’s made it clear to Blip that it’s time she pursued something for herself, but even before that she was never just Blip’s Wife. She was smart, funny, caring, a true friend to Ginny, and she enjoyed baseball more than I had unfairly assumed. More of Evelyn in season two, please.
Pitch could easily have finished with a tidy resolution to the baseball season, or a more romantically focused cliffhanger, but they chose to make it about Ginny as an individual and that was definitely the better, more rewarding choice. It had me choking back tears and feeling sad this journey had already come to an end. Though this first chapter of Ginny’s career in the majors does feel complete, it would be a damn shame if we never got to see what happens next. Seeing this woman at the center of a sports story, where it’s usually a man’s world, has been hugely inspiring. If even one young woman or girl has been motivated by Ginny and Pitch than this show is worth bringing back.
- For anyone who was confused by Oscar’s conundrum in whether or not to end Ginny’s season, here’s a brief explanation. Younger pitchers have a cap on the amount of innings they can play, which is essentially just intended to protect their arms and ensure they can continue to play for several years. Screwballs are notoriously bad on a pitcher’s arm, and since Ginny throws this pitch a lot, her risk of injury is even higher. Good on Ginny for pointing out the difference between male and female anatomy though, cause you could tell NONE of the men had even considered that.
- Ginny’s surprise when her teammates upheld the superstitious tradition of ignoring a pitcher who’s on their way to a no-hitter seemed silly. She’s been playing baseball long enough to know this is how it works.
- I really appreciated all the on-field action in this finale. Though I think the show maintained a good balance between on and off the field drama so that both baseball fans and novices could enjoy the show equally, I’m always going to be up for more baseball in general.
- Team Evelyn all the way, right? Blip needs to cool it with that patriarchal attitude. If he can’t enjoy the very full and rich life he already has, I’m not sure he deserves it.
- As much as I was fine with a Mike and Ginny hookup, I’m happy with the way things turned out. Nothing was forced to happen just because it was the finale, and their own separate hookups, with Rachel and Noah respectively, felt very natural.
- “I don’t need a man to rescue me.” Preach, Ginny, preach!
Pitch S1E10 = 9.7/10
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