American Woman Season 1 Episode 8 Review: Jack

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Diana and Kathleen are better together than apart, but despite some fairly dark times, things were looking up for them by the end of American Woman Season 1 Episode 8.

Kathleen was having a hard time letting go not only of Greg, but the news of his sexuality, what it meant to her and about her, and Diana's keeping the news to herself.

Kathleen needs some work on her filter and her self-confidence, and if she takes the path that struck her like a ray of light at the end of "Jack," she should get some help in those areas soon.

The Girls Eat Together - American Woman Season 1 Episode 8

I remember growing up the girls from Texas always finished in the top in beauty pageants. 

If you were to watch Miss America or Miss USA (and all the little girls did at that time), you could count on Miss Texas to be stepping onto the stage as a finalist. It seemed the state was very good at producing superficial beauty and charm.

Related: American Woman Season 1 Episode 7 Review: The Agreement

Kathleen sure as hell doesn't know her value as a person outside of her physical appearance or her wealth. If either of those things was stripped away, she'd be lost forever.

It's a shame she thinks she can run from herself by changing out all of the furnishings inside her home. Yes, money can provide you with a new environment, but you're still going to be living inside it.

Kathleen on the Move - American Woman

Kathleen's friends are unlikely to realize just how low her self-esteem is as she does a fairly good job faking being someone she is not. 

Kathleen: Excuse me?
Man: Yes?
Kathleen: You're very well dressed.
Man: Thank you.
Kathleen: Are you a homosexual?

She got very lucky asking the "right" homosexual a question in a public place, as he had some sympathy for her obvious plight. I also had to wonder if she'd been brushing up on her gay facts.

Earlier, Kathleen seemed otherwise clueless about the ways of Greg's friends and now she's spotting well-dressed men and casting them as homosexual. Or maybe that's just because of her job as a casting agent. Right. Highly unlikely.

American Woman Interview: Jennifer Bartels on Diana's Journey, '70's Fashion & More!

It seemed he would be the man she hit in the parking lot to allow for a more lengthy discussion, but discovering an est billboard works, too. All I know about est comes from Philip attending on The Americans, but if he could be transformed, anybody can learn from it.

I have high hopes Kathleen can discover some sense of self if she allows herself not to become screwed up by the side of it that was kind of cultish (OK, I remember that side of it from the 70s).

Ladies, I'd like to propose a toast. To Jeff! The only man for the job.


Diana's discovery that she is an inspiration to the other women at work at the same time she lost the promotion to Jeff was a cool story detail.

They might not have been as inspired by her if they knew what she was doing at night (depending on the woman), but she needed to know how they felt about her standing up for herself against Mr. Bishop and leading the way for other women in the office to try to get ahead.

Related: American Woman Season 1 Episode 6 Review: The Heat Wave

She was starting to act like a man when she wanted to be a powerful woman, and that's not the way to get what you want. During all of the most important moments of change, it's hard not to want to become the other side while you try to rise above them and be better.

Another kick in the pants was screwing a guy with a wife and kid. Diana was so intent on herself and not knowing anything about the men she picked up, she forgot that men don't take the time to provide that information and that's how families like Bonnie's are torn apart.

My Fan - American Woman Season 1 Episode 8

It took a while, but I finally identified with her mom, Peggy, and the way the two connected on a different level. Maybe my relationship with my own mother is too similar, but when Diana got home with the bad news about the job, Peggy was genuinely concerned for her daughter.

The way Peggy consoled Diana, though, could have set a different pair off. 

Peggy: This tuna fish sandwich has given me terrible heartburn. I think the tuna might have gone bad. You want the other half?
Diana: You just said that it went bad.
Peggy: Oh, you've got a strong stomach. You're just like your father. He could eat an old shoe and be ready for anything.
Diana: Thanks, Mom.

That's a mother who cares so much for her daughter that she can't express it for how vulnerable it makes her feel. She does it with a side glance and the hope her girl knows her well enough to understand exactly what she's saying, and Diana did.

That's why when Peggy had a heart attack, it shook the frivolity right out of Diana. She and her mother talked for real because her mother was already as vulnerable as she could be being so close to death.

Related: Enjoy UNLIMITED access to thousands of Movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video

With the support of the women in the office and her mother cheering her on, Diana's new attitude with Mr. Bishop more than deserved the inspiration she was already spreading through the bank. 

And she has her fan back. Damn straight!

The situation with Bonnie isn't as cut and dry, though. Secondary infertility isn't a medical diagnosis as much as it's a state of fertility, just as Bonnie said. Whatever is wrong with her is something else entirely. Uterine damage, fallopian tube issues -- maybe the doctor didn't think she was smart enough to understand.

To Jack - American Woman Season 1 Episode 8

The issue is one many women would endure, but normally wouldn't discover unless they were actively seeking to become pregnant.

Nonetheless, the desire to have a baby when you're told you can't have one probably swells to a fever pitch, and I hope that's what happened to Bonnie in the hospital.

A story in which she decides she wants to adopt a child because she can't have one doesn't sound fun at a time she's without Steve or any other man in her life on a permanent basis. She still can't meet her bills, nor can Steve.

And getting back together with Steve just because they're in a better place doesn't sound like a good plan, either. But them being in a decent place to parent and stop jabbing at each other was a welcome change. 

What did you think of this one? Do you have a favorite character? Diana is mine because my experience in life most closely mirrors hers. If you're here, drop a comment below and don't forget to watch American Woman online if you need to catch up.

Jack Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (2 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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American Woman Season 1 Episode 8 Quotes

Ladies, I'd like to propose a toast. To Jeff! The only man for the job.


Doctor: Will you tell Steve I would love to get a round of golf in at the club when he's got the time?
Bonnie: Steve and I split up.
Doctor: I didn't know that. Getting back on birth control would not be wise, considering your situation.
Bonnie: My situation is my business, and the state of California agrees with me.
Doctor: I'm not talking about that, Mrs. Nolan, I'm talking about your examination. I'm afraid I have some bad news.