American Woman Recap: Number One Fan

American Woman

Season 1 Episode 8
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Paramount Network

Each week I find something else that I’m in love with in Bonnie’s house. This week it’s a beige pedestal rotary phone with a metallic detail wrapped around the base that looks like a sparkly wristband that you’d get for the VIP section at a rather forgettable nightclub. While we’re at it, can we talk about every single last thing in Kathleen’s house? What about the circular doorway between her sunken living room and her dining room, ringed around with a brass accent? The only thing more ‘70s than that is Cher dressed in Bob Mackie talking to a pet rock and Gerald Ford. It’s absolutely spectacular.

Kathleen, however, wants to knock it all down. After last week’s revelation that her boyfriend Greg is a homosexual of the highest order, she’s decided that she wants to eradicate any semblance of her old life. That includes inviting a decorator to come over to redo the whole place. “What’s the budget?” the designer asks. Kathleen says there is no budget, as long as Greg is eradicated.

Which brings me to this question: Where does all of Kathleen’s money come from? Do we just assume it’s family money? Did she have a husband who died and left her a fortune? Did she win the Monopoly game at McDonald’s? Wait, they didn’t have that for like another ten years. Maybe it comes from her father who she tearily calls out in front of the supermarket when she’s feeling sad and lonely.

Kathleen goes to see Greg’s “friend” Alan whom she caught making out with him last episode. Alan claims that he loves Greg. Um, I’ve seen the way that Alan looks at Greg and the way they engage in heavy petting in wood-paneled rec rooms. I don’t know that he loves him necessarily, but he sure is hot for him. Kathleen, however, lashes out at Alan and gay people in general. “There’s an order to things in this world. You’re not allowed to rewrite the rules to fit your needs,” she says to Alan, which basically translates to, “Boys should be with girls and you took my boy and I’m hurt so I’m going to hurt you back by calling you unnatural.”

Then she makes that fateful trip to the grocery store. Kathleen walks up to the first tall, handsome, muscular man she sees wearing a tight shirt and fitted pants and asks him if he’s a homosexual. Of course she’s right. Seems like it’s a little too late for Kathleen to develop some gaydar. He tells her to keep her voice down because he doesn’t want to be outed at his local Ralph’s. Ironically Local Ralph’s is also the name of one of L.A.’s oldest gay bars. (Just kidding. I made that up.) Kathleen tells him that her boyfriend is gay and then asks what she can do about it. He tells her the truth, “Nothing.”

Out in the car, Kathleen is trying to calm her nerves the only way she knows how: by cramming a bunch of pills down her gullet. She backs out right into another car. When she gets out to inspect the damage, she looks up and see a billboard on top of the supermarket advertising an EST center. Hey, I know what that is, because I watched The Americans. For those of you who don’t watch The Americans, I’m not going to explain it to you. Go watch The Americans you philistine. Just kidding. It’s like a self-help group founded in the ‘70s that eventually morphed into the Landmark Forum that is still active today. Looks like Kathleen is about to get a little New Agey with it.

Diana is having a rough time as well. She was passed over by Mr. Bishop for the promotion at the bank for a man. Duh. We all saw that coming. The women in the office take a collection to buy Diana a gift because they all feel bad she didn’t get the job. They tell her she’s an inspiration to them for rising up the corporate ladder as much as she has. But Diana is bitter and just takes a shot of whiskey right there in the conference room and stampedes home.

At the house, her mother asks why she’s home early, and Diana can barely answer before she says, “I just ate this tuna fish sandwich and I think it’s bad because it’s giving me heartburn. Want the second half?” That’s Diana’s mother for you, giving her daughter a rotten tuna fish sandwich that will probably give her some type of indigestion.

Diana’s so pissed about all of it that she goes out to a bar and picks up a long-haired hippie dude and takes him home to his place. They’re getting dirty on the couch and she gets all dominatrix on him, trying to have power over a man in at least one area of her life. Just as she’s about to take off his incredibly baggy briefs, his wife and kid come home and she curses out Diana for being a homewrecker. Will someone please get in a time machine and tell this woman that we don’t do slut shaming anymore? Thanks.

Diana arrives home to find out that her mother had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. She decides, right then and there, that she’s going to be a better daughter and a better person. She marches into her bosses’ office the next day and says she won’t be passed over for another promotion. She’s going to be so good at her job that he’ll have to notice her. I don’t know that this strategy is really going to work, but good on Diana for finally having the guts to take back her electric fan that her boss stole off her desk two episodes ago. It’s all about those small victories.

Bonnie had the most boring story of the episode. Nothing at all really happened. We find out that her ex, Steve, entered a plea bargain and won’t go to jail for the fraud he was perpetrating. However, he has no money so he can’t help Bonnie pay the mortgage. Then she finds out that she doesn’t need birth control anymore because she’s infertile. She gets all weepy about this, looking at baby pictures and stuff, but she has two healthy and somewhat moody daughters. What does she need more kids for? Now she can just bang that hottie Adam as much as she wants and not worry about having more mouths to feed. All in all, her life is looking at lot better at the moment than her friends’. She should be celebrating!

American Woman Recap: Number One Fan