‘The Girls On The Bus’ Episode 1 Recap: How Did Sadie Interview Caroline Bennett?

The Girls on the Bus is HBO Max’s latest political drama, portraying the lives of four political journalists covering the candidates for the presidential election while trying to make a name for themselves in the process. It is an election year for the United States, which makes this series quite intentional. The Girls on the Bus depicts the expectations of people regarding their ideal candidate and the truth that these people hide under the facade. In a world where politics cannot be any dirtier than it already is, some journalists try to uncover the lies behind the false promises of politicians, while others just pander to the ruling party of the state. Based on Chasing Hilary, a memoir by Amy Chozik, this series doesn’t quite take things seriously, at least yet. The future of their nation seems rather fun and games for these characters, which doesn’t quite fulfill the intention of the series. 


Spoilers Ahead

What Is The Story About?

The series starts with Sadie McCarthy, the protagonist, at a rally. She’s trying to run away but is apprehended by FBI agents after being framed for something, setting the mood for the series. Taking place 7 months prior to her arrest by the FBI, the narrative revolves around Sadie, Kimberlyn Kendrick, Grace Greene, and Lola Rahaii’s journalistic journey into the world of politics. All of these women come from different social backgrounds, and even their political affiliations are with different candidates. As the election campaign commences, these journalists are supposed to cover the candidates on their campaign trail through the United States. 


Sadie is a young journalist working for the New York Sentinel, a media house trying to get back in the game. Sadie herself has been out of political journalism following an incident from three years ago, which made her a meme. Sadie idolizes the journalist Hunter S. Thompson and even to the point of hallucinating him. After finally convincing her boss to let her follow the up-and-coming presidential candidate, Governor Bennet, Sadie finally seeks the opportunity to make a break in the world of journalism once again. However, the unexpected world of politics has other surprises in store for her. 

Kimberlyn is a Black woman working as a reporter for Liberty Direct News, a far-right media agency. Kimberlyn defends working for this organization because she thinks everyone is racist, but her organization is open about it. She recently got engaged but hardly has the time to prepare for the wedding as the election campaign has occupied most of her time.


Grace Greene is a cutthroat panelist working for the Washington Union. She wants to find a scoop on anything that can get her enough material for an article, and the nature of her work has earned her the title of ‘scoop queen.’ She is also a middle-aged mother struggling to give attention to her daughter, who is having a hard time in college. She is also having a tough time making a name for herself in the shadow of her father’s accomplishments. 

Lola Rahaii is a TikTok influencer and journalist who uses social media to cover the campaign. She has been struggling to find sponsors to fund her coverage of the campaign. Her political affiliation is aligned with the left, which can be seen in her journalistic style as well. 


How Did Sadie Interview Caroline?

Caroline Bennett is a frontrunner in the upcoming presidential elections, which is why, to get back in the game, Sadie must cover Caroline. Something that turns out to be a problem for Sadie is the fact that she ends up abandoning her objectivity as a journalist. It is hinted that this happened even in the previous elections when she got obsessed with a candidate named Felicity Walker, which could be seen in her work. She only manages to convince her boss after ensuring him that she will try a different approach with Caroline. However, to reach Caroline, she must go through her press secretary, Malcolm, an old flame of Sadie’s, who ended up ghosting her given how hopeless she is at relationships. When she does run into Malcolm requesting an interview with Caroline, he turns her down, but Sadie is a relentless journalist, desperate to grab the spotlight. Watching Lola’s story about being stuck on the highway in Iowa as her car broke down, Sadie realizes that Kimberlyn is stuck with her as well. Kimberlyn’s misfortune, however, comes as a new opportunity for Sadie, who offers to help her get to her interview in time in exchange for Caroline’s room number. After Kimberlyn reluctantly agrees, Sadie rushes to meet Caroline against all odds and finally makes it against Malcolm’s approval. 

During their interview, Sadie has an epiphany that Caroline is indeed the frontrunner for a reason. She is honest and hardworking and wishes to work for the people. In Sadie’s own words, meeting the governor was like remembering what it feels like to fall in love. 


What Is Revealed About Caroline?

Sadie’s piece on Caroline is liked a lot by her boss, who feels that it has a voice of its own and could connect with the readers. He even declares that her piece will be published on the first page of their next print. Meanwhile, when Kimberlyn reaches the hotel, she finds out that, because of her delay, her colleague and rival, Nellie Carmichael, has already interviewed Caroline. Like Sadie, the opportunity to interview Caroline for her media house would’ve been a huge deal for Kimberlyn, but Nellie’s interference sabotaged her chances of getting that spotlight. As expected, her superiors inform her that they prefer Nellie’s piece more, upsetting Kimberlyn. This incident shows the racist nature of the organization for which she works, as they prefer a White woman over her piece, which is more deserving. 

Sadie’s achievement, however, is short-lived when a piece of breaking news about Caroline Bennett hits the headlines. Being the scoop queen that she is, Grace ends up finding a scoop on Caroline and publishing it. It turns out that the governor had been involved in a sex scandal in Chicago a few years ago. The surfacing of this piece of news is met with collective disappointment from both Kimberlyn and Sadie, but such is the cutthroat world of journalism. Subsequently, Sadie’s boss tells her to stay on the campaign bus until Caroline drops out of the election. He, however, suggests that her piece be posted online instead. 


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Shrey Ashley Philip
Shrey Ashley Philip
A teacher, photographer, linguist, and songwriter, Shrey started out as a Biotechnology graduate, but shifted to studying Japanese. Now he talks about movies, advocates for ADHD awareness, and embraces Albert Camus.

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