DISCLAIMER: This recap of the A League of Their Own episode “Full Count” has spoilers. Remember, there’s no crying in baseball. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, Rockford Peaches! It’s penultimate episode time for A League of Their Own, and sh*t’s hitting the fan. The arrival of Carson’s husband Charlie throws a wrench in her and Greta’s relationship, while Shirley claims to know her secret, and Jo joins the Blue Sox. Interestingly enough, Max’s narrative reaches new heights as she finds a woman with whom she shares interests, and that same woman got her a new job as a pitcher for Red Wright’s All-Stars.
For much of the season, Carson and Max’s stories mirrored one another. There were parallels aplenty in some respects (not all). However, since the end of episode six, “Stealing Home,” we see Max finally obtaining the success and happiness she deserves. Instead of their stories intertwining, they become individuals, discovering who they are in this crazy world. This distinction and purposeful separation of their storylines is a brilliant move.
Ready to delve into “Full Count”? Let’s get to it.
Waiting for Jo
We open with Carson (Abbi Jacobson) and Greta (D’Arcy Carden) waiting nervously for Jo’s return. Maybelle (Molly Ephraim) informs them that Lupe, Esti and Jess are also MIA. Jo (Melanie Field) finally comes into view, escorted by a bevy of officers. Her face is peppered in bruises and cuts, courtesy of asshole law enforcement. Beverly (Dale Dickey) speaks with the police while Carson, Greta, Maybelle, Shirley (Kate Berlant) and the other ladies watch from afar.
Shirley, whose homophobia kicks into high gear, scolds Carson for lying to her regarding Jo’s affair with Dove Porter. Beverly fills Carson in on what transpired, disclosing that Jo cannot stay in Rockford for her well-being. The police caught her with another woman. Thus, Jo’s getting transferred to the Blue Sox. Jo has only mere minutes to pack her belongings and depart.
Meanwhile, Greta tries to persuade Jo to run away with her. They always planned to go to California — now they can! However, Jo doesn’t want to flee this time. She might not be a Peach anymore, but she still gets to play ball. Greta tells her BFF she was right about adhering to their self-imposed rules. Greta regrets straying from them. This scene ripped my heart out of my chest and stomped on it repeatedly. Carden and Field deliver powerhouse performances.
Then, the ladies line up to bid farewell to Jo. It’s emotional and heartwarming all at once.
Looking for S/Finding Esti
Later, Max (Chanté Adams) wakes in her Uncle Bertie’s house with a lipstick smudge on her cheek and a Stetson on her head. That’s a surefire sign of a good ole time. We see slumbering partygoers strewn around her on the floor—another mark of a successful shindig. Bertie (Lea Robinson) and Gracie (Patrice Covington) grill Max for details regarding her brief but fruitful encounter with “S.” They give her advice on how to track down the elusive S.
Next, Lupe (Roberta Colindrez) and Jess (Kelly McCormack) find Esti (Priscilla Delgado) napping at the train station. Esti flees, urging them to stay away from her. Lupe reminds Esti that she can’t get to Cuba by train. She begs Esti to get in the car with them. They borrowed Beverly’s vehicle. Esti goes with them under one condition — she gets to drive.
We see Jess coaching Esti from the front seat while Lupe sulks behind them. Esti is utterly adorable, and Delgado is such a vibrant presence onscreen.
Meanwhile, Clance (Gbemisola Ikumelo) seeks constructive criticism from a cluster of boys about her latest comic for Guy. Naturally, the kids are heavy on criticism and light on constructiveness. She reunites with Max, and they head into a meet and greet featuring the Rockford Screws and Red Wright baseball teams. Max believes it’s to promote employment at the screw factory. Suddenly, Max and Clance spot S, a Red Wright player.
Greta and Carson discuss their future as a couple. Greta wants Carson to go with her to California, despite doubts Carson would leave her comfortable life with Charlie. Greta believes they’re risking their lives for something that “isn’t real.” God, this is so heartbreaking. I can’t imagine the pain they’re enduring.
Then, Carson learns Charlie (Patrick J. Adams) is downstairs for a surprise visit. A-plus timing there, bud. Everyone watches Carson and Charlie reunite, and it’s abundantly clear Carson’s mind is still with Greta. Talk about a drastic gear shift.
Meanwhile, Esti blows the tire on Beverly’s car; unfortunately, there’s no spare in the trunk. Jess claims she spotted a station a mile back, so she gets to walking, leaving Lupe and Esti to stand guard over the vehicle. Carson accompanies Charlie to his hotel room. They don’t score a home run, but there’s second-base action. See, utilizing these terms feels apropos here.
Esther the All-Star
Max approaches S (Andia Winslow), whose name is Esther. Esther is also a pitcher like Max. Clance gushes about Max’s extraordinary abilities, which doesn’t sit well with Esther. Of course, there’s such a small window for female pitchers, let alone Black female pitchers, that the competitiveness is understandable. Turned off by Esther’s defensiveness, Max and Clance flee the scene.
While making out, Carson inadvertently smacks Charlie in the nose, so she hurries into the bathroom to find something to help. Charlie coaxes her out of the said bathroom with pure charm and wit. Charlie and Greta are charming and attractive, so I can see why Carson is in a bind.
Charlie takes a shower, so Carson seizes the moment to unpack his suitcase. She finds the letter she sent him while she was drunk in the pilot episode. It’s opened. Uh-oh.
Meanwhile, Lupe tells Esti about a daughter she had when she was Esti’s age. She didn’t have a partner at the time, and she was young. Her family thought Lupe would “screw up” the baby, so they took Lupe’s daughter away. Lupe reveals that Esti has her daughter’s eyes. Looking at Esti is like “seeing her and not seeing her.” The pair hug it out. What a beautiful moment, played tenderly and lovingly by Colindrez and Delgado.
Then, Jess returns with a few bottles of Coca-Cola. Lupe finds a spare tire in Beverly’s trunk. Jess reveals she knew the spare was there but needed something to “fix it.” It’s abundantly clear that Jess gave Lupe and Esti space to work through their differences. A smart cookie, that one.
Later, Maybelle delivers Shirley a stark wake-up call. Shirley lives in her bubble and doles out judgments because she fears the unknown. But it’s time to open your mind! Shirley makes a beeline for Greta’s room to blatantly ask Greta if she’s gay but finds all of Greta’s belongings are MIA, including Greta herself.
A Game/A Confession
Max and Clance attend a game between the Rockford Screws and Red Wright’s All-Stars. Max imparts advice to Esther regarding how the Screws play. Carson and Charlie bicker, with the latter accusing Carson of wanting to leave at the first sign of turbulence. Charlie shares some of his experiences while serving in the military and vows to ensure Carson doesn’t feel what she expressed in her letter again. You can see how conflicted Carson is here, as it’s crystal clear she loves both Charlie and Greta in different ways.
Carson confesses she wants to keep playing baseball. She’s also unsure about starting a family. However, Charlie supports her. Maybelle calls the hotel to inform Carson about Greta’s disappearance.
Max Sends the Screws Packing
Next, we see Esther get injured on the pitch, so she urges her coach to allow Max to step in for her. The coach begrudgingly gives Max a glove. Max wows the crowd, leading the All-Stars to victory over the Screws. I knew she would knock their socks off. We later learn Esther faked her injury to give Max some time in the spotlight. The crowd gathers around Max, raucously cheering for our fave pitcher. Huzzah!
Meanwhile, Carson finds Greta at the station before she boards a train. She urges Greta to give her one week for the team to make it to the championships. Greta accepts.
Later, we see Max celebrating with the All-Stars at an outdoor party. As Max and Esther are about to kiss, the coach interrupts. He gives Max a spot on their team, saying she and Esther could be a dynamic pitching duo. Max will tour with the Red Wright’s All-Stars on the road. My baby is employed and ready to live the dream.
“I know your secret.”
Carson motivates the team to keep working toward the championships at the Peaches’ house. She returns to the room she shares with Shirley, wherein the latter reveals she knows Carson’s secret. Welp, this bombshell will make for a thrilling season finale.
“Full Count” is as effervescent, yearning, and joyful as it is poignant and heartbreaking. Everyone brings their A-game, performance-wise. It’s gratifying to watch Max come into her own (in a league of her own, wink-wink). Meanwhile, Carson’s relationship drama sets the stage for what’s sure to be an entertaining grand finale.
Do you think Charlie will find out about Carson and Greta? Will the Peaches win it all at the championships? How will Toni feel about Max going on tour with a baseball team? Join me while I continue recapping A League of Their Own, only on Geek Girl Authority.
A League of Their Own Season 1 is now streaming on Prime Video.
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