TV Recap: Dietland – I Don’t Like That …

Dietland
“Rad Fatties” (Episode 108)
July 16, 2018

When we ended last week, Plum was blowing up Kitty’s spot by announcing her own truth – that she was the one Kitty’s Girls were speaking to all along. Tonight’s action picks up where that bombshell left off.

Plum is feeling pretty woke y’all. Let’s see what happens. Read on for our deep dive recap & review … after the jump (spoilers!! spoilers ahead)!

We begin tonight’s episode with an extended narration from Plum, detailing the history of men and women from the POV of Innies (women, traditionally) and Outties (Men, traditionally) and how much of human civilization has celebrated Outties but in this modern age – Outties have become baddies and Jennifer isn’t having that bullshit any longer.

The Penis 100 – this is Jennifer’s name for the Top 100 Worst Outties and Jennifer is calling on all women to have a sex strike against them – no penis of the penis 100 shall enter a woman. Plum thinks this is a brilliant stroke of genius – a modern take on Lysistrata …

Photo: AMC

And for women who don’t cooperate with Jennifer’s demands … well, Plum warns, you don’t want to see what the consequences will be.

Plum has gone full Jennifer by the start of tonight’s episode and even has a “Jennifer Lives” sticker on her laptop – I believe laptop stickers are actually pretty decent windows into a person’s soul. Like a well thought out tattoo, a laptop sticker is a deliberate meditation on how you want the world to see you.

Joy Nash as Plum Kettle, Mya Taylor as Barbara – Dietland _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

Plum’s Jennifer Propaganda Narration is interrupted by a video message from Jack, the Force Eater. Jack is very sorry for his actions and wishes they can be friends at least.  “Bitch, please,” is Plum’s reaction. She is then interrupted by Barbara who has come to tell her that Plum’s “I Am Kitty” rant has gone viral.  So Viral that Cheryl has called her for an interview, again.  Plum doesn’t want to step foot in Austen Media. Plum additionally demurs that she doesn’t want to be lightning in a bottle, she doesn’t want this to be about her – she wants it to be about helping messed up girls.  Barbara informs her its already about Plum – ever since Plum started blogging, she’s become insta-famous.

Sana comes by to let her know there is a messenger for her.  Downstairs, the messenger, recognizing Plum by name, tells her that she’s a fan and tries to confirm that Plum is “one of them,” meaning Jennifer.

“No, I’m just a woman who thinks.”

Joy Nash as Plum Kettle, Alaska McFadden as Messenger Woman – Dietland _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

Too bad, says Messenger Woman – she was looking for a way in to joining Jennifer. As she leaves, she let’s Plum know that she has been served.  “Sorry.” Inside, Plum learns that Austen Media, Stanley and Kitty are suing her and, if her imagine conversation with the judge is accurate, they’re looking for $15 million in damages.  “I don’t even have a job anymore,” Plum says to the imagine judge. “Who’s fault is that … big mouth?” Plum is having some internal issues with her state of being right this second.

Title Sequence.

When we come back from commercials, Plum meets with Dominic (suited up for his new job at Austen Media) and tells him about the lawsuit.  She hands over the summons and explains that Kitty, among other things, is trying to block her from blogging ever again, asking for a public retraction – essentially silencing Plum.  Just as Plum is figuring out what she wants to say.  Dominic defends Kitty, saying she’s got a lot of free time since Stanley booted her “upstairs.” Plum delights in Kitty losing her girls and as Plum goes to leave, Dominic tells her that they’re Plum’s girls now.

“No matter what Kitty pulls, they’re yours.”

On her walk home, Plum overhears a video feed of a wife of one of the Penis 100 complaining that Jennifer doesn’t get to dictate who she sleeps with (interestingly, we hear in the same news report that several separations have already occurred of wives from members of the P100).  Plum is #TeamJennifer on this movement and imagines a graffiti wall of women following her banner of the Jennifer movement.

**It’s interesting that Plum is still not fully identifying as a member of Jennifer as she seems fully committed to the cause at this point.**

Tamara Tunie as Julia – Dietland _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

On the streets, Julia has a clandestine meeting with a member of Jennifer. Julia says she deserves to be heard and Jennifer Spokeswoman says Jennifer no longer needs Julia’s input or her money – the people are on their side and Julia has become irrelevant to them.  Julia is outraged that they’ve escalated things so far and Jennifer Spokeswoman defends their actions by relating her being raped by men that were supposed to protect her so … yeah, she don’t give two fucks.

“Every revolution has its martyrs.”

Julia threatens the Jennifer Spokeswoman that she knows who they are. Jennifer Spokeswoman fires right back that likewise, they know where Julia is. And her sisters. And their kids. So, don’t make threats against Jennifer, please and thank you.

Austen House. Dominic begins a surreptitious recording of Stanley, who is lamenting the state of a World where is known as “Penis #7.”  Stanley, and his bodyguard, seem to think this all rather amusing. But, at the same time, Stanley also now has bodyguards so maybe, not so funny.

“I must say. All these whiny lesbos have given me my first unmedicated erection in some time.  If they want a fight, I’ll give ’em fight.” -Stanley

Stanley, seeing Dominic’s soured face, asks him what his problem is. Dom cites his daughter at home and Stanley backpedals a bit saying he agrees gross men should be locked up but he, Stanley, is NO gross man.

“But I have never hit a woman in my life. Never raped anybody. No roofies. And now I can’t smile at a girl. Even if her tits are hanging in my face.” – Stanley

Stanley is very enlightened. Way to set that bar high for proper male behavioral standards, Stanley.  Also, maybe never hit a woman but his menacing grab of Kitty’s arm last week … that’s pretty close to your own bullshit meter going off, Stanley.

Campbell Scott as Stanley, Adam Rothenberg as Dominic – Dietland _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/AMC

Stanley dismisses his bodyguards but not “new guy,” meaning Dominic.  Alone, Stanley drops some knowledge on Dom after belittling him for how Dominic’s father-in-law hung him out to dry – the wealthy man’s secret, Stanley teaches, is to always let other people fight your battles.  Dominic ferrets out that Stanley is arriving to a point and asks what it is. Stanley says there have been “reports” over the years and while no charges were ever filed, in the current climate, he’d like to tie up loose ends so … what would father-in-law chief of police like as a present to make everything go away?  Name it and Stanley will provide.  Dominic says he can ask but that’s not good enough for Stanley – convince FIL, don’t ask.  He promises to give Dominic what he’s worth if he proves himself, well, worthy.  Commercials.

Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

When we return, Kitty finds Dominic in her (crappy) corporate office. He cuts right to the chase asking what she’ll settle for in the lawsuit against Plum.  Kitty is very ready with an answer – an apology from Plum in the form of an interview with Daisy Chain. Having already turned Cheryl down, Kitty doesn’t want to ask the question to Plum without knowing the answer.  Which is a sound strategy.

“Let’s just say, we didn’t end things on a positive note.”

Understatement of the year, there, Kitty.  Moving on, Kitty explains that this lawsuit was all a part of Kitty’s plan – Plum is an “it” girl right now and Kitty doesn’t want to lose her to a rival magazine – “It” girls sell copies.  Dominic agrees to pass the offer on to Plum and then the convo turns to Stanley.  Dominic tells Kitty that Stan the man isn’t happy about Jennifer and mentions “some reports” that Stanley is worried might surface.  Kitty had forgotten all about those reports – she asks Dominic to dig them up for her.  “What else,” she asks.

Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

Calliope House. Dominic swings by to tell Plum about Kitty’s offer. “You’re a conman, what would you do,” Plum asks Dominic?  Dominic takes her question seriously and tell her it depends on what she wants – does she want to be more famous?   Plum is worried that Kitty is going to try and humiliate Plum. Dominic doesn’t disagree but tells Plum that she’s a writer – she can sell her words and this could be great for business.  Plum thinks about it and says she’ll do it, with some conditions: (i) Plum gets to choose the interviewer; (ii) she agrees to not bash Daisy Chain and in exchange, wants the interview streamed live so they can’t edit her; and (iii) Plum wants hair and makeup so she looks good. “Done,” says Dom.   The nice moment is interrupted by Dom taking a call from his kid.  Plum, the illusion of getting back together with Dom having been shattered runs back inside Calliope House.  Stay Away, Girl, he’s only going to hurt you!

Quick Cut over to Cheryl in an editing bay. She is confused over the reaction to her College Bombing piece (I’m assuming she means Jennifer’s reaction to her piece) when her editor informs her there is a new ending she wasn’t aware of.  He rolls footage on a male student getting weepy over Jennifer killing his friends. Cheryl does NOT look happy and leaves the editing bay. Commercials.

Ricardo Davila as Eladio – Dietland _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

Beauty Closet. When we return from break, Kitty is haunting around the Beauty Closet with Eladio.  When she catches him snacking on Julia’s old crackers, Kitty grows wistful, ruminating on how she misses Julia and Plum – there is on one she can confide in these days.

“I need the basement people.” – Kitty

Julianna Margulies as Kitty, Rowena King as Cheryl – Dietland _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

Cheryl storms into the BC, demanding answers from Kitty on why the college bomber piece was changed. She accuses Stanley of making the coeds look like “Al-Qaeda.” This is news to Kitty who, as you can imagine, doesn’t have much  of a relationship with Stan the Man these days.  Cheryl is confused because this kind of thing is not Stanley’s normal behavior – he doesn’t micro manage. Cheryl wants to understand from Kitty what Stanley is thinking. Kitty falls back on her obvious trope that Stanley he is scared of possible skeletons and Jennifer in general and is reacting. Cheryl tells her that his action might get people killed. Kitty drops a bomb that she tried talking to Stanley but he wasn’t having it – she mentions that he threatened her, physically. Which is the rare, unvarnished truth from Kitty. its refreshing to hear.

Joy Nash as Plum Kettle, Ava Eisenson as Kara – Dietland _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

The Interview.  We join the interview in media res and the interviewer, Kara (Ava Eisenson), is asking Plum about the contradiction of Plum being Kitty’s voice when she doesn’t look anything like the ideal perpetrated by magazines like Daisy Chain.  Plum says that she believes Kitty wants her “girls” to be happy, even if they are not perfect looking; Plum certainly isn’t it. She says she’s fat and she’s okay with that. She also calls magazines part of the “global dissatisfaction industrial complex” (I’ve missed hearing that term). Kara asks if that’s a radical notion and Plum counters that the radical idea is “women just accepting what they look like.” Kara, being a good interviewer, picks up this thread and asks Plum if that is part of Jennifer’s message – is that why Stella Cross was targeted – for representing some “impossible beauty standard?”

Plum is quick to distance herself from Jennifer or speaking on their behalf – she can be a feminist without being a murderer.  She compares herself to Calliope House – they have the same basic tenets as Jennifer but they are non-violent. Hmmm, saya Kara, “what is Calliope House?”

“Their emphasis is more on healing and creating bold new leaders that are interested in peaceful resistance.” – Plum

Joy Nash as Plum Kettle – Dietland _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

At this, Kara stops the interview. Off the air, Kara tells Plum that she wants to hear more about Calliope House – Daisy Chain is fully committed to the “socially conscious thing now” AND Kitty has no say.  Plum chuckles at the thought but tells Kara to send her an email.  Alone, Plum picks up ANOTHER video message from Jack.  This time, Plum responds with a smiley face emoji but is interrupted by Kitty sneaking up on her. Kitty compliments how the interview went and even compliments Plum on how she seems to be glowing. Always weary, Plum thanks her and then Kitty warns her that even 15 minutes of fame can go to someone’s head. Plum recovers herself and confirms that this has made the lawsuit go away. Sure sure, gentle woman’s agreement and all that, Kitty responds. Kitty asks Plum about her future plans and Plum finally gets an upper hand on Kitty:

“Just not being here. It’s probably why I’m glowing.” – Plum

Julianna Margulies as Kitty, Joy Nash as Plum Kettle – Dietland _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

Kitty glowers as happy Plum walks off.

Tamara Tunie as Julia – Dietland _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

Knockers Restaurant. Meeting at the same restaurant as they did previously, Julia and her sisters meet to conspire and grouse. Julia is taking sarcastic responsibility while Jacintha (Kelcy Griffin) freaks out about how they’re all dead. Her kids included. Jillian (Karen Eilbacher) accuses her of sounding overdramatic like their mother and Julia agrees. They need to fight like the big boys, “dirty or go home,” Jill and Julia agree.  Julia’s plan is to contract some guys to hunt down Jennifer and take them out before Jennifer comes for them. That’s what the big boys would do, Julia posits.

Ami Sheth as Sana, Mya Taylor as Barbara, Robin Weigert as Verena – Dietland _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

Calliope House. Plum returns home to an unhappy bunch of Calliope House women.  Verena tells her she’s not in trouble but man, the looks on the assembled faces sure doesn’t support that theory. Plum is confused and Verena tells her that the women of Calliope House “have a reasonable expectation of privacy” and that by talking about Calliope House and Verena – by exposing them by name – it is “dangerous and destabilizing.” Barbara and Rubi are not about playing the niceties game like Verena.  Barbara tells her that she is hiding from ex-boyfriend and Rubi … she’s ignored all of Plum’s “micro aggressions up to this point but this affects all of us.”  Plum apologizes and Verena thanks her but says, the women have to be allowed to have their say. Sana, her closest ally, tells Plum she is confused as to why she would draw attention to them when there is all of this “violence out there.”  Plum, again, tries to defend herself; that she gets it as someone who has also been abused by men.

“Join the club, Plum! What do you want to do, compare battle scars?!? Cause I will smoke you!” – Rubi

Joy Nash as Plum Kettle, Robin Weigert as Verena, Ami Sheth as Sana, Mya Taylor as Barbara, Jen Ponton as Rubi – Dietland _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

Rubi gets in Plum’s face until Verena backs her off. Plum, still defending herself, says that response has been supportive – there is even a link to Verena’ book in the comments section now.  She turns to Barbara and says that this was what she told Plum to do.

“I didn’t tell you to give away coordinates to the house.” -Barbara

Joy Nash as Plum Kettle, Robin Weigert as Verena, Ami Sheth as Sana, Mya Taylor as Barbara, Jen Ponton as Rubi – Dietland _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

That might be my favorite line of the night!  Plum starts to get snide and Verena reminds her that she needs to fucking listen.  Barbara continues that she was a baseball player before her surgery and she gets that Plum is loving the attention she’s getting from strangers, especially when you’ve lived a life of being ashamed.  Plum is offended that they think she’s allowing her head to get too big.

“That’s what you think this is about? That I’m getting high on my own supply?” – Plum

Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

Plum defends that she’s only done 1 interview and 1 blog post, which, supports their position. As Rubi points out – look what you’ve done to them all in such a short time frame. “You’ve made us feel unsafe,” Barbara hits home since it doesn’t seem to be sinking in for Plum.   Verena cautions them all to take it down a notch but Plum isn’t having it. At all.

“No, Verena, no. This is what you wanted. You wanted me to feel my anger, find my voice. I did it, and now you’re punishing me! ” – Plum

Verena, in that calm way she has, tells Plum that she’s dealing with some of her anger right about now so listen up buttercup (she doesn’t call her buttercup); Verena tells Plum that if she’s going to be a part of their community, Plum needs to respect all of their beliefs. If not? Maybe you belong somewhere else. In her room, Plum looks distraught but grabs her things and leaves. Where is she going? Don’t know. Commercials.

When we come back, Julia is once again meeting with the Jennifer Spokeswoman in the bathroom. Julia tells her that there is discussion of hiring assassins to kill the Jennifer leadership BUT she and her sisters are willing to give Jennifer one more chance. If they stop the violence, they’ll pay each of the Jennifer Families $500,000  “Jennifer’s not for sale” is the too quick reply form the Jennifer Spokeswoman but Julia disagrees. This is Jennifer’s peak. right now.

“Real change only happens when the stakes are life and death. The problem is, there’s an inevitable end to your story: death or life on the run.”  – Julia

Julia ends her pitch with the fact that there has to be someone this Jennifer Spokeswoman would like taken care of after she’s gone so, take the offer to your people.

Rowena King as Cheryl, Campbell Scott as Stanley – Dietland _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/AMC

Austen House. Cheryl has arrived to pleasd with Stanley in person. She tells him that the whole point of her piece was to make clear the Botha women’s group weren’t Jennifer affiliated – that they’re not terrorists. Stanley understands that but counters that his point was the country learns its news from social media and he’d like to compete for once. This offends Cheryl who finds herself quite competitive. Stanley doesn’t disagree – he hired her after all – but her version of the truth would have only had 700,000 hits, Stanley’s version  of the truth got over two million.  Stanley dismisses Cheryl’s concerns and tell her to trust him. Also, dig into this “Penis 100 situation.” Cheryl really doesn’t want to but Stanley tells her that women are now disappearing – he rattles off some names that Cheryl clearly knows and asks if the police are involved. They are but they’re not publicizing it right now.

“Most men on that list are honest, upstanding, job creating Americans. I need you to show that.” -Stanley

Cheryl understand her marching orders and takes her leave.  Alone with Dominic, Stanley mocks Cheryl’s opinion that she’s a “serious journalist” and then says that they only watch Cheryl for her tits. *sigh* Stanley. You’re a disgusting pig, dude.   “Did you talk to your father-in-law yet?” This pleases Stanley.

On the street, Plum gets another video message from jack – this one asking to meet for a beer. In her current state, of course she says yes. Cut to a bar and Jack telling Plum she was totes in the right for her statements on Calliope House.  Plum says that Jack’s message about asking for a second chance resonated with her because of what she was feeling with Calliope House – one mistake and she’s on the outs.  Not fair, she says.  Jack apologizes again for reading Plum’s signals wrong – he wanted something to happen and misunderstood what she wanted. Oh, he is giving her everything she wants to hear at this moment. Deeper and deeper into the drinks, Plum and Jack talk about how not every man is an attacker and Plum’s rising star is a boon to Calliope Clown House – and if they can’t see that, “screw ’em.” “Screw ’em,” Plum agrees. Commercials.

When we return from the last commercial break, we are into the final act and you should not be surprised that Plum has come back to Jack’s apartment. And they are still drinking.

DANGER WILL ROBINSON. DANGER.

Before she goes, Jack would very much like to kiss her.

“Part of me feels like that would be very nice and part of me is very scared.”

Joy Nash as Plum, Drew Gehling as Jack – Dietland _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

Jack isn’t daunted and pushes the issue.  Let’s try it and see how it goes, he says.  The first kiss is tacit and anxious. A few sweet words from Jack and the kissing gets more intense. More kissing and now Jack’s hands are wandering. Her over shirt is untied.  More kissing. His hands are wandering. More kissing. His hands enter her crotch area and she puts on the brakes. He says, “ok, ok” but then tells her:

“It’s gonna feel so good. Trust me.” – Jack

She says okay and Jack gets back into it. Soon her shirt is pulled apart again. More kissing.  He begins to work his way down her torso. At her stomach, she says, “stop” and “I don’t like that.”

“I don’t like that. I don’t like that. Stop.” – Plum

Joy Nash as Plum, Drew Gehling as Jack – Dietland _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

Jack isn’t hearing her words and instead of responding to her “I don’t like that,” tells her that he wants to do her from behind.    She gets up, apologizing all the way, and says she’s going to go.  Jack persists and recaptures attention with some sweet caressing. “Doesn’t this feel good,” he asks? It does, Plum agrees. More kissing. Suddenly, Jack spins her around, pins her to the bookcase and takes her from behind. He doesn’t stop when she says stop and then … you see her shut down. In slow motion, we hear Jack … finish and tell her that was great. While Plum, Plum looks like she has been knocked into a dazed state – she doesn’t quite seem to know where she is or how what just happened could have happened. But it did, it did happen.  “Hey, you wanna sleep over,” is Jack’s oblivious comment to her. Silently, Plum flees the apartment as the tears begin to fall on the staircase.

“The die was cast with Adam and Eve. Kicked out of Paradise, and she took all the blame.  She had to. Safety was the coin of the realm, and the Outties had that market cornered.  The Innies had to suck it up, play along. Until the Innies screamed that they’d had enough with that world and blew it the hell up.” – Plum

Plum ends the episode with the above narration as Plum stands on the street, collecting herself, composing herself … steeling herself? To what comes next? What comes next?

And scene.

Thoughts.   Consent is not tricky. It should not be tricky. It should be a bright line test for all – men and women. If there is no bright line of consent, take a fucking cold shower and live to try another day. God, don’t be fucking shit bags people. Consent IS NOT tricky.

That final scene, born a little bit of bad decisions (Plum should have trusted her initial instinct on Jack) but even shittier behavior (women should not have to fear for their safety. No One should have to fear for their safety Goddamit), is played out every day in this country. Somewhere. Somewhere, someone is saying “no. Stop. I don’t like that.” And someone else is NOT LISTENING.   People, we need to listen and communicate. Consent is not tricky. Its bright line – it has to be.

I’m exhausted and drained from that episode and need to meditate on it but I think the Calliope House versus Plum scenes were extremely effective at communicating the complicated issue of protest and privacy; how far is too far – if we stand up to the oppressors, can we also then expect the ability to retreat when they attack? Plum has a point and I see that but she is on the wrong side in this scene BECA– USE she acted on the behalf of the women of Calliope House WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT.

Consent is not tricky. We need to listen to each other and communicate clearly. We cannot assume we have a right to do a fucking thing to, or on behalf, of someone else.

Consent.Is.Not.Tricky.

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