When Jane decides she’s going to take the other job offer at Incite and toasts with Kat and Sutton, it’s only appropriate that they borrow some of the same words said by their boss, Jacqueline, in the first episode of the season. “I expect you to have adventures,” Jacqueline says in a conference room full of Scarlet employees and board members during Episode 1. “I expect you to fall in love, to get your hearts broken. I expect you to have sex with the wrong people. To have sex with the right people, to make mistakes and make amends, take a leap and make a splash. And I expect you to unleash holy hell on anybody who tries to hold you back, because you don’t just work for Scarlet. You are Scarlet.”
It’s clear that these thoughts and philosophies, determined and encouraged by Jacqueline, are the backbone of the show. While her character is based on Joanna Coles, to most viewers she’s just Jacqueline, the fictional editor-in-chief who viewers tune in to watch on The Bold Type every week. She’s a strict, hardworking boss who cares deeply about her employees, especially those she’s chosen to take under her wing and mentor.
Kat, Jane, and Sutton (as well as the rest of their colleagues) respect Jacqueline and are sometimes intimidated by her, but more often than not these women are met with logical, motivational, and helpful advice from their boss. Jacqueline clearly has a vested interest in the success of her employees, which is a breath of fresh air when compared to the narratives about bosses we’re used to seeing on TV and in other fictional mediums in which editor-in-chiefs are more likely to be similar to Miranda Priestly (the notoriously difficult boss from The Devil Wears Prada, portrayed by Meryl Streep) than a compassionate boss who still cares about their publication succeeding.
Throughout the season, the show reveals bits and pieces of Jacqueline’s own professional journey and her personal history that led her to running Scarlet magazine. In the season finale, for example, viewers even see Jacqueline explain how she’s a sexual assault survivor — and equally as important, we see her support her employees time and again, constantly teaching lessons about the significance of work, relationships, and everything in between.