Single Drunk Female: Season 1/ Episode 9 “Higher Parent” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

A title card noting Sam is 366 days sober

While Sam hits the year mark, the pressures of life lead one character to reset their sobriety calculator.

While Sam hits the year mark, the pressures of life lead one character to reset their sobriety calculator.

Aired 3/10/2022
Network FreeForm
Directed By Travon Free
Written By Simone Finch


I Don’t Think I’m Happy – Joel, Brit, Felicia

As shown before, Brit may love Joel, but she isn’t 100% sure about marrying him. Carol planted a seed before, that Brit ripped out, but with Joel buying a plot of land and talking kids in the near future? A lot of things aren’t matching up in a way that could make Brit comfortable. And while she has friends and family, she decides to go to Felicia for advice and drugs. Mainly drugs, but while on drugs, she also asks for advice.

Brit questioning if she should marry Joel

However, as much as Felicia appreciates getting high with Brit, she doesn’t necessarily feel comfortable answering this question.

So Much Can Happen In A Year – Olivia, Sam, Carol

Time has jumped once again, and now it has been a year since Sam stopped drinking, and it is a major celebration. However, what Olivia takes note of is Carol’s absence. Sam makes it clear they just aren’t at that place yet, and Carol doesn’t appear all that interested. Olivia counters that Sam could try and make amends and that she is ready to.

So, Sam approaches the subject while Carol is grading papers, and Carol postpones the chat Sam needs until the afternoon and springs on her not only dumping her father’s ashes but also tells Sam that Bob is moving in. But, while Carol came with her own agenda, Sam’s does get accomplished, and Carol even takes some responsibility for her part in their relationship not being what it could be. Which is a bit of a surprise to Sam, but it is overall appreciated.

It Could All Be So Simple, Yet… – James, Sam, Joel

Self-sabotage is James’ bad habit. When anything is going too good for him, he has to mess things up. He has sold an app at work, is meeting with new VCs soon, and is making money. Then, in his personal life, he and Sam are a thing, have great sex, and all is going a little too well. So rather than waiting for something bad to happen, James decides it is a good time to drink. And as he drinks, he talks to Sam’s ex, who is complaining about Brit.

Things To Note

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. When did James start drinking again?
  2. Did Carol get rid of her husband’s ashes so Bob wouldn’t feel uncomfortable?
  3. Is the reason we don’t see any of Sam’s paternal family because they didn’t like Carol?
  4. Was Carol grading college, high school or potentially even middle school work?

What Could Happen Next

  1. Sam having to be James’ sober buddy and try not to get dragged down to where he is in his sober journey
  2. Olivia struggling to get pregnant
  3. Brit breaking off the wedding



Carol and Sam Both Take Responsibility For Their Actions

Carol trying to take responsibility for her actions

One of the best markers that a parent is potentially done raising their child is when they are able and willing to apologize for their faults. At that point, you’re an adult, there is the belief you could have empathy, and while they won’t relinquish being your parent, they realize the main task set before them is done, and now it is on their child to make something of themselves.

However, getting to that point with a parent where they are willing to admit their faults and not get defensive is hard, but it seems Carol is at that place. Now, maybe it was triggered by Bob, who tries to be a bit more understanding than Carol is when it comes to Sam? Heck, considering how Carol’s ex is talked about, maybe Bob has so easily settled into his role since he is like Sam’s dad? It’s hard to say.

However, what matters is that with Sam’s sobriety and Carol’s willingness to recognize her part in what has happened with Sam and not just see it as Sam’s personal flaws, they can possibly move forward. Especially due to Sam saying she is going to move out (though with what money remains to be seen since she hasn’t changed jobs).

On The Fence

James Drinking Again

James drinking with Joel

It’s a show about alcoholics in recovery – you know someone was going to relapse. The only question was who and why and honestly, James seemed like an easy target. Olivia falling from grace would have been hard to see, and it potentially being because of work or pregnancy issues, even her marriage, would have been a lot – and with this show being a comedy, with dramatic elements, highly unlikely. Sam was pretty much out of the question since she is our lead character, and Mindy? Sadly, she shows up, and we see her around, but what initially led her to drink is a mystery.

So who else but James was an option? I would even add part of the point of showing his family was probably to establish all the enablers in his life and why he was able to get away with drinking so long. Add in – showing us his insecurities and him talking about his fears of success, it makes sense for him to be the one.

But, I gotta admit, with the show employing so many time jumps, I do feel like we lost the ability to see notable signs and temptations when it comes to James. We didn’t get to see him slip up or talk with his sponsor about his feelings. We just are introduced to him falling off the wagon without knowing what the specific thing that ended his sobriety was.

Which leads us to wonder, what may come of James’ slip up beyond showing that sobriety is tough and a fight that lasts a lifetime? Will he drag Sam down, or will Sam pick him up and become his sponsor? Could she even struggle to be with him and perhaps separate for the betterment of her sobriety? Will we get an update on James’ family and how they treat him? What about Sam pushing him to try rehab, counseling, and perhaps a full-fledged therapist, considering how dark things got before with James to the point of him seeming suicidal?

Hopefully, the finale next week will provide answers.

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