'Good Girls' Season 3 Episode 5 Review: How long will Beth continue to save the day as the body count goes up?

A lot goes down in Beth's life in this episode and Christina Hendricks does plenty to showcase that methodless madness her life has spiraled into


                            'Good Girls' Season 3 Episode 5 Review: How long will Beth continue to save the day as the body count goes up?
(NBC)
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Spoilers for Season 3 Episode 5 'Au Jus'

'Good Girls' Season 3 has pretty much followed its age-old trajectory with Rio (Manny Montana) returning to hound the titular trio and Beth (Christina Hendricks) finding some way or the other to save themselves from becoming his target, managing to come up with the oddest possible reasons on why he should keep them alive.

However, as she goes about her way of making sure their asses are not on the line, the body count keeps piling up and even though Annie (Mae Whitman) and Ruby (Retta) aren' t on that list yet, how much longer can Beth go before she realizes maybe Dean (Matthew Lillard) is right? Maybe it's time to detach completely and stop for good?

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These are the questions that Episode 5 'Au Jus' of Season 3 brings up as we see Rio's impending doom hanging large over Beth, Ruby and Annie as the most unwitting partners in the crime — probably the nicest, most innocent characters on the show — bear the brunt of Rio's wrath.

A lot goes down in Beth's life in this episode and Hendricks does plenty to showcase that methodless madness her life has spiraled into as dead fish in the aquarium aren't the only things she has killed on this pursuit to a good life.

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The episode kicks off with Rio's men hounding Beth's store every now and then, popping by to remind her of the $100k she owes him to save her own life. In the backdrop of all of this, however, Ruby and Annie's individual arcs are troubles by their respective kids finding out the not too squeaky clean bits about their mothers' engagements.

For Ruby, it's her daughter finding out what her mother actually does for a living and trying to take advantage of that by bonding extra hard with her father.

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For Annie, however, it is the aftermath of getting rejected by the make-do therapist that spirals her into seedy retail store sex with homeless guys, and of course Ben finding out about that.

For Beth, meanwhile, it is not her kids. The problem is much bigger as the print-plates she uses for laundering all that fake money gets spotted by Dean, after she decides to bring them home because that's the only thing keeping Rio from killing all three.

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Dean is furious when he finds the plates and doesn't stop at just expressing his anger anymore. There's an interesting shift in his character that the writers keep highlighting with bursts of aggression here and there and this time it is through chopping up one of the plates in front of Beth's eyes, making things even harder for her. 

Mae Whitman as Annie Marks, Christina Hendricks as Beth Boland, Retta as Ruby Hill (Jordin Althaus/NBC)

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Dean's little outburst causes Beth to resort to the very person who had grafted the plates for her the first time — the precious, innocent Lucy, who is not so clueless about the girls' agenda anymore.

When Lucy flat out refuses to partake in their shindig, Annie thinks stealing her pet-bird and threatening her with its life is the way to be, but there are bigger threats lurking around and Lucy honestly didn't stand a chance from the beginning.

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Sniffing his way in, Rio attacks his latest prey — the naive Lucy, who doesn't see it coming at all. She is visibly terrified, but her lack of experience makes her commit the biggest blunder of all — trust Rio.

So with Rio now having direct access to the plates, there's technically no reason for him to still hang on to Beth, Annie and Ruby. And his gangster suave rubs off on Lucy too, in all the wrong ways, as she really thinks promising to keep her mouth shut will save her from the imminent fate.

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Beth tries her hardest to convince Lucy before it's too late — perhaps it's out of care or affection, or maybe just to clear her own conscience, but Beth really does try to curb the body count from piling up.

Even when at the very last moment Rio decides to take Lucy on a little ride, thus deeming the other three women disposable now that he doesn't need them, Beth once again manages to come up with all the possible blunders that could happen with the printing press, the ink, or even the paper for that matter, stressing on how it's not just the plates that determine the success of the business.

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In all of this, Beth really thinks she had been able to save their lives by asserting how much Rio still needs them, but Rio is a man of minimalistic needs, or so is clear when he claims he doesn't need all of them and shoots Lucy before driving off with her body in his van.

There's a clear conflict between the need to protect those close to her and the need to satisfy her conscience from falling into the shackles of guilt and despair that Beth suffers from in this episode.

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This is one of the first instances of her actually realizing the cost she is paying for the hustle she has indulged in, as something this close to her suffers for a string of crimes she started in the first place.

Those closest to her might be safe now, and Beth could mask it all off as protecting her family and accomplices, but Lucy's death has to be a stark reminder of just why Dean feels so passionately about her quitting all of this. It was Lucy this time, next time it could be someone closer, and it's high time Beth realizes that. But will she?

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'Good Girls' airs on Sundays at 10 pm only on NBC.