'Betty' Episode 2 tackles with the vengeful side of #MeToo, but is this the last of Janay and Donald's troubles?
Spoilers for 'Betty' Episode 2 'Zen and the Art of Skateboarding'
What all the torch-bearing pillars of the #MeToo movement have done so far, it goes without saying that some people have tried to use everything the movement stands for, to their unfair benefit. More often than not, it is jilted lovers who can't take no for an answer - as highlighted by the second episode of 'Betty' where Janay (Dede Lovelace) and her good friend Donald (Caleb Eberhardt) find themselves in a predicament with no easy way out.
And without discrediting anything the #MeToo movement aims to achieve, Donald's incident of a vengeful lover scorned enough to slam false allegations really makes one taking it all in with a pinch of salt or two. But is this the last of Janay and Donald's troubles? Or does Janay have further bitter realizations to come?
Janay and Donald have known each other since forever; long time friends, her first boyfriend, and now partner on a YouTube channel where they make videos on cultural appropriation and unnecessary whitewashing of ethnic neighborhoods surrounding Brooklyn, New York. Despite their brilliant chemistry and a tight bond, Janay finds it a little absurd that Donald would turn comments off on their channel without consulting her first, or even addressing the reason at least.
When confronted, he tells her people were being rude to Janay and to ward off online bullying he turned off the comments. But it is only later in the episode when Honeybear asks Janay how close she really is to Donald that the truth comes out.
Janay couches for knowing Donald and the great person he has been all her life, but Honeybear shows her comments under some of his videos which leave Janay unsettled. Honeybear suggests maybe Janay doesn't know him all that well after all, which drives Janay to confront Donald and the poor guy is evidently frustrated beyond his wit's end. The #MeToo movement has taught the planet to not take 'nice guys' at face value because you never know what intent lies masqueraded within, but Donald's plight as what seems like a genuinely well intending man reminds us to not take every allegation at face value either.
The comments under his video turn out to be from who he claims is a girl he used to be close with until she caught feelings and he didn't - thus leading to her slamming him with sexual harassment allegations all over the internet. Donald claims he turned off comments because he didn't want Janay to be associated with any of this as even the slightest allegation surrounding something as serious as rape can ruin lives.
He also tells Janay he hasn't spoken up against it because no matter what he says will be used against him - twisted to fit the girls' narrative. The miserable helplessness Donald feels purely because of the stigma surrounding baseless allegations slapped all over the internet without proof is something really worth considering. And while the grain of salt rule applies to both parties, Janay's faith in Donald leads us to believe maybe he should be offered the benefit of the doubt.
This coming right after Janay tackled casual harassment from an old man coming on to her, grabbing her arm in the pilot is a wonderful parallel that 'Betty' holds up. For a show that focuses on women trying to establish their skills in a male-dominated sport, dealing with incessant sexism and bias on a daily basis thus enunciating the significance of the title, 'Betty' continues to surprise with these little elements.
But what has our attention is a trey tiny sneak peek from the upcoming third episode, where Janay can be seen hunting down Donald's accuser and confusing her in public for her grave vendetta. This is definitely not the end of troubles for Janay and Donald because it is yet to be revealed who's the liar in this manipulative game, because if the accuser turns out to be saying the truth, Donald has a whole other whirlwind waiting for him
'Betty' airs on Fridays at 11pm only on HBO.