American Woman Season 1 Episode 9 Review: The Breakthrough

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Whether it's drugs, est, or a letting your hair down to a Bay City Rollers song, insight comes if you allow it.

It wasn't wine and friends night that helped anyone take a step forward on American Woman Season 1 Episode 9, even if Kathleen was pretty proud of herself for reading the est pamphlet twice. She had a lot of work to do.

Bonnie needed a few hours to herself, and Diana needed advice she could only get from -- Alan? Yep. 

The Delegate - American Woman Season 1 Episode 9

Diana made a pact with herself to do whatever she can to get ahead at the bank.

Then the reality of Jeff's promotion hit her square in the face when decided he no longer needed to work because his new role was to delegate. It's too bad to go back and wonder whether Diana's recent transgressions had anything to do with Jeff's promotion, but now she's stuck with it.

What stinks is she doesn't have any friends she feels she can confide in about what she was doing to balance what she felt were the imbalances in her life. That may change with Kathleen's new est discovery, but until they're on the same page again, Diana reached out to someone else.

Diana Makes a Friend - American Woman

Even though a romantic entanglement was off the table when they first met, Alan and Diana had a wonderful conversation upon their initial meeting. They got along well and understood each other as if they'd talked before. 

That doesn't happen often, and Diana knew it. She was comfortable enough to ask Alan for a drink, and she dove straight in with the awkward question about how many men he had slept with in history as a gay man.

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

Of course, Alan was shocked and ordered another round of drinks, but he wasn't offended. It wasn't like Kathleen asking some stranger in the grocery store about his sex life. Alan and Diana already had a kinship.

She admitted what we already knew -- that her escapades had nothing to do with enjoying the act of sex, but they were more about controlling the situation and probably controlling the men.

When you never have the opportunity for that control anywhere else, discovering the power you have as a sexual woman can be a little heady. Whether Alan can help her lasso that power and use it in different areas of her life remains to be seen, but at least Diana got to talk about it.

And dance.

Another Saturday Night - American Woman Season 1 Episode 9

It didn't sound like the Bay City Rollers, but the song was Saturday Night by that band, and I can't stop singing it. It was just a pop song about having fun on a Saturday night. It wasn't about love or lust or drugs or angst, just a good old-fashioned fun night out.

We could use music like that now that just pushes your ass to the dance floor without wanting to cry or beat up one of your enemies or take drugs or start a revolution. 

I'd like to see Alan stick around if the show does the same. He'd make a decent addition to their posse. He can offer unique viewpoints on the things the gals talk about, and he's a lot of fun. 

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

Plus, now that Kathleen has had her breakthrough about rolling through men in the hope of finding daddy's respect, maybe she won't care what Greg did, or Alan did with him.

Kathleen likes being the center of attention, and that worked very well for her at the nine-hour est meeting. If nothing else, I would have pushed the envelope to get my share of the proceedings so I could leave to have a wee. I mean, damn!

est Leader: Are you a football fan?
Kathleen: I am. Even when he and my brother would go to a game, I'd still sit in front of the TV and watch.
est Leader: Did he ever take you to a game?
Kathleen: Oh. No. But he only had two tickets.
est Leader: Didn't you ever think one of them could have been for you?

The way Kathleen talked about her daddy was heartbreaking. Timmy got everything while she sat in front of the TV and waited for daddy to be proud of her. I have to hand it to the est leader; he knew how to read the signs of their relationship.

She was so shiny about her daddy, but it was an outward shine that didn't seem to go very deep.

When she started outlining the ways he supported her by the times he bought her things or lent her money, you could see the light dawning within her. But her breakthrough was very cute.

Related: American Woman Season 1 Episode 8 Review: Jack

I think many women still seek approval from all around them as Kathleen was doing when she asked the leader if she had the breakthrough. Then she didn't give a shit because to her, THAT was her breakthrough. Only to realize THAT was the breakthrough. It was two-fold.

With only one episode left this season, we don't have a lot of time to see how she changes, but I have hope after her call to daddy.

There is Something About the Dress - American Woman Season 1 Episode 9

Bonnie may not have a job after taking shrooms and blowing off a wedding dress dropoff, but the dress did a lot for the two men in her life.

Her attire and the shrooms effect on her already spunky personality led both guys to comment on how sexy she looked. And let's be honest, who didn't think Alicia Silverstone looked superb in that strange getup?

I sort of missed my psychedelic drug window. I was too busy raising my girls.


When you date a man 15 years younger that you (give or take), you get to relive all kinds of things.

Bonnie and Adam continue going strong, with him interested in both showing her things she missed and discovering stuff he has yet to experience.

Bonnie gets stronger as a result of their adventures together, and facing the principal on Becca's behalf while half-high was a hoot (but not a good lesson for the kids in the audience ... bad. Very bad!)

Bonnie: Why? Are you intimidated by intelligent young women? You know, Jerry, I see you. You're just a dark, rainy storm cloud hovering over a beautiful tree, and you try to scare everyone with your thunder and your lightning, but you know what? My daughter can take anything you rain down on her because she's that tree. She's a goddamned redwood.
Steve: Yeah! You're goddamned right she is!

Bonnie is growing up to be just like her daughter, Becca, and in doing so is going to dive into later in life adventures with her girls that she wouldn't have had if she'd remained married to Steve.

Similarly, Steve is also seeing how he held his sexy wife back from developing into someone he might have been challenged by and attracted to for the rest of his life by not including her more closely in his world.

Take That, Knave! - American Woman Season 1 Episode 9

A lot of marriages have failed because men thought wives were to be treated one way while their mistresses could be treated another. In other words, their wives were to be cared for and treated like fragile objects, protected from the world. 

And while they withered away without anything exciting in their lives, their husbands would go out and share all of their dangerous thoughts and inhibitions with women who wouldn't be raising their children.

As Steve sat there rubbing his thumb along her neck and shoulder, it was fairly obvious how Steve was feeling. What makes Bonnie a stand-up woman was that she kept him at arm's length and told him to leave.

She could have easily succumbed to this different side of the man I'm sure she still loves, but she's not allowing herself to fall for his behavior. That's redwood behavior, alright.

If you watch American Woman online, you know how discussion can revolve around the show. What did you think about "The Breakthrough"? Drop me a comment below, and share your thoughts on what might come in the finale!

The Breakthrough Review

Editor Rating: 4.25 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.0 / 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 9 Quotes

Adam: So this is what you looked like on your wedding day?
Bonnie: No. I wore my mother's gray, wool dress. It hid the bump that would eventually become Becca.

I sort of missed my psychedelic drug window. I was too busy raising my girls.