When we first met Adena, she described herself as a "proud Muslim lesbian" and we all fell in love with her. This made it especially hard to watch the racism she encountered in season 1 episode 4 of The Bold Type, 'If You Can't Do It With Feeling', but her story highlights how not everyone in this world has a choice to speak out when they want to. Let's take another look at what happened in our recap below.
It all started when Adena went to Scarlet to tell Kat that she was going to extend her work visa.
To do so, Adena needed all sorts of documents and character references. She asked Kat if she would write one for her, and Kat said that of course she would.
Later on, Kat told Sutton that she didn't really know why Adena had asked her to write the letter.
She didn't know whether it was because Adena wanted a letter to come from somewhere official like Scarlet, or whether it was because she truly cared about how Kat saw her. Sutton suggested that Kat use the situation to her advantage and tell Adena that she would like to meet face-to-face to go over the letter -- that way they could hang out and Kat could try to figure out how they felt about one another.
When they met up that night, it truly seemed like Kat and Adena were on a date.
Kat was a bit fidgety and kept looking at her phone so Adena took it away from her, which forced Kat to live in the moment. Kat soon relaxed and as they listened to a street musician play, there were definite sparks flying between them.
But then things took a dark turn when Adena answered a phone call from her mom and a passing stranger shouted, "Why don't you speak English, bitch?"
Kat was furious. Adena tried to get Kat to leave, but Kat confronted the guy and told him to apologize. Things got even worse when Adena tried to get in between them and break up their argument. The man called Adena a slur and Kat, totally losing it, punched him in the face.
The police then arrived and arrested Kat. Adena ran away.
Kat was kept in jail overnight. Since Adena still had Kat's phone, Kat had to call Scarlet as it was the only number she knew. When Jacqueline bailed her out the next day, Kat told her that the man she punched hated Adena so much for no reason. She couldn't get it out of her head and she couldn't understand why Adena ran away, especially since a statement from Adena might have kept Kat out of jail.
When Adena came to give Kat her phone back, Kat confronted her about running away.
Adena told Kat that she was really worried about her but since she ran away, Kat didn't believe her. Adena tried to tell Kat that she didn't have a choice, but Kat was adamant that everyone has a choice. Adena told Kat that she was wrong -- that as a Muslim lesbian living in modern day America, her choices are very limited. Kat still didn't think that should mean standing back and letting the wrong people win, but Adena just said that it was obvious they came from different worlds and left.
Later on, Jacqueline helped Kat understand why Adena had acted the way she did.
Kat still couldn't believe that Adena had run away from her, but Jacqueline said that if she had been trying to extend her work visa, Adena probably didn't have a choice. Kat still thought that that didn't matter since they were in the right, but Jacqueline reminded Kat that being right is not always enough and that had Adena been arrested, she could have been deported.
At the end of the episode, Kat went to Adena's apartment to apologize.
She told Adena that she was right -- that they are from different worlds and that she really wants to stay in hers. She gave Adena her letter and told her that she wrote about how uniquely talented she is and how valuable her art is because that's what immigration would want to hear. What she really wanted to say, however, was how amazing, courageous, thoughtful, and honest Adena is. Kat then finally told Adena that she really, really likes her and they kissed. It was beautiful.
In season 1 episode 4, Adena taught Kat (and us) that not everyone in this world has a choice.
And that's why her story on The Bold Type is so important. Adena and Kat were in the right, but Adena showed us that that is not always enough. Had Adena stood up for what she believed in, she could have been arrested and then deported. She has taught us that this may be modern day America, but there's still so much that needs to change.