Single Drunk Female: Season 1/ Episode 8 “James” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

It’s time for James’ backstory and how he found rock bottom and decided to get sober.

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James walking into Ronnie's bar, "Good Time Sally's" already drunk

It’s time for James’ backstory and how he found rock bottom and decided to get sober.

Aired 3/3/2022
Network FreeForm
Directed By Leslye Headland, Adam Silver
Written By Jenni Konner
Introduced This Episode
Lucas Yassir Lester
George Carl Anthony Payne II
Annalisa Shondrella Avery
Ronnie Tom Simmons


The Golden Child – Lucas, James, George, Annalisa

Believe it or not, even when James was a reckless drunk, he was still his parents’ favorite. George and Annalisa, because of James working at an MIT Media Lab, praised him more than his older brother Lucas, who worked at a cell phone store as the manager. This perhaps is why James has been drinking 729 days straight. No one, be it at work or in his personal life, calls him out. Lucas tries, but even with James having a car accident under his belt, no one but Lucas seems comfortable with saying anything.

But with Lucas pushing the issue, even Thanksgiving dinner isn’t enough to keep James from bailing.

Come Ride My Pony – Sam, Ronnie, James

Good Time Sally’s is the best place to be for an alcoholic who knows Ronnie will serve them despite being clearly intoxicated. Hence why Sam is already there and went straight there from the train station because going from New York to her family home? That’s not an option. Sam has to pre-game, and James dancing to Ginuwine’s “Pony” is starting to mess with her mood.

Ronnie (Tom Simmons) at his bar, getting ready to kick out Sam and James
Ronnie (Tom Simmons)

But at the same time, while he is obnoxious, he is easy to talk to, so she hooks up with him and decides to spend the day with him. They walk around, get more to drink, and even talk about serious things. James talks about his recent promotion and how he likes the accomplishment of getting it but worries about being overwhelmed by the responsibility. Sam gives back in the form of noting she used to have imposter syndrome until realizing she is really bad at what she tries to do.

This back and forth gives both a date they didn’t expect and helps you understand the awkward chemistry from when they met again earlier this season.

That Day With You Changed My Life – Lucas, Sam, James

While the day went well, and the night led to both Sam and James opening up, unfortunately, as Sam was ready to wrap things up, James showed his drinking wasn’t about avoiding responsibilities and people. With talking about standing in the street, waiting for a car, and barely avoiding getting hit, we see there is a stark difference between Sam and James’ drinking. Sam has a problem, but James perhaps has a death wish, and it seems she is the one who breaks through to him.

Hence, James has Lucas join him the next day as he takes his first step into Club 24/7.

Things To Note

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Does James remember anything beyond hooking up with Sam that day?
  2. Where is Lucas now?
  3. Did James ever go to a counselor, or the further he went was attending Club 24/7?
  4. What started James’ 700+ day binge?
  5. What got Sam into heavy drinking?

What Could Happen Next

  1. Sam meeting James’ family and recounting the day they met
  2. James meeting Sam’s mom and being the barrier she talked about when her dad was alive, and everyone came over for Thanksgiving
  3. Seeing Mindy and Olivia at their worst, and when they hit rock bottom


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James’ Backstory

From meeting his family, learning how bad it got, like him getting into a car accident and him opening up to Sam, we got to see James at his worst. He was a man who had 700+ days of drinking, possibly in an effort to drown out the negative voices in his head which seemed to want to play chicken with day. This gave us insight into someone who wasn’t a “fun drunk” like Sam, but someone really battling some kind of demons and self-medicating to really avoid counseling.

James heading to Club 24/7 to get and stay sober

Which does lead to the question of whether James is wholly reliant on what Club 24/7 offers in terms of support and whether his reaction to selling the app is meant to show sobriety might be good for you, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t more work to do. Especially when you’ve been avoiding that work for your whole life, potentially.

Seeing Sam At Her Worse

We saw rock bottom Sam when she hit Nathaniel with that phone, but seeing her when she was more functional and not bottoming out allowed us to see a different side to her. Mainly the side she told Olivia about regarding her being social, sexual, and not as awkward as she might appear. For the way she interacted with James, as he was making a fool of himself, we wouldn’t see that in early sobriety Sam. Also, her opening up like that and being able to listen, I would submit that even the Sam we know now is still trying to figure out how to be vulnerable and not want to run.

But, as noted in the question(s) left unanswered section, this all does push you to wonder how things got so bad?

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James walking into Ronnie's bar, "Good Time Sally's" already drunk
Single Drunk Female: Season 1/ Episode 8 “James” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Seeing James at his worst opens the door for hoping others may get exposed as we see how far they came and how far they have left to go.
Seeing Sam At Her Worse
James' Backstory

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