American Gigolo – Season 1 Episode 4 “Nothing Is Real But The Girl” Recap & Review

Nothing Is Real But The Girl

Episode 4 of American Gigolo begins back in 2006. Lorenzo and Julian are together, but the latter leaves his escort life to be with Michelle. “One last job, I’ll meet you later.” He says. And that final job? None other than the infamous Janet. It’s now clear that Michelle and Julian were going to run away together, and someone killed Janet to stop that from happening.

In the present, Julian is reluctant to take up an offer of 10 grand to sleepover a lady called Anne’s house and escort her to a high school reunion.

Lorenzo and Isabelle appear to just be helping a friend out, giving him a boost. Julian is flattered but refuses, instead heading up to sit outside Michelle’s house. Or at least outside the gates anyway. Michele doesn’t come meet him though, instead she’s too busy haunted by the ghosts of her past and suffering bad dreams. Colin is still missing and presumably hiding out at the motel where we left him last week.

Michelle has head nothing and Richard is growing increasingly distant from her. She tells Panish about the picture she left at the crime scene and he’s not happy. He heads off to clean up her mess. Part of this comes from Michelle giving a false confession about Julian at the station. She mulls it over across the episode but eventually realizes that she can’t do it and leaves Panish high and dry at the station. Panish instead takes matters into his own hands and decides to “talk on her bealf”.

Sunday shows up to question Isabelle. She’s taken aback by the luxury of the place she’s inherited, immediately asking about Olga’s prostitution business. Isabelle is quick to point out that she’s running a clean business now, and that Olga “pissed off a lot of people at the end.”

She can’t think of anyone in particular that would want Olga dead, and even has an alibi for the night of the murder, given she was surrounded by a dozen or so people. Sunday is not wholly convinced, but she leaves her business card and heads off.

Meanwhile, Julian decides to reluctantly take up Anna’s offer after all. When a poor dog is run over and needs urgent surgery, he decides to make a big call and takes up his old role. This brings back painful memories of the past though, with Janet’s memory haunting him at every step of the way.

Still, Julian slips into a suit – and his escort persona – and meets Anne. When they arrive at the front of the high school reunion, Anne gets cold feet and decides they should leave.

Sunday shows up to speak to Julian’s mum. After she rushes off into the desert, she takes all day to return but when she does, she lets Sunday in. The place is a complete mess and there’s some serious hoarding going on there too. Sunday snaps pictures, before sitting with Julian’s mother and gently taking a statement.

Julian’s mother brings up how her son was only 15 when she sent him away with Olga. So why is Sunday so invested in this? Well, it turns out she has a dark past herself, stemming from her brother dying in the past.

Anne is clearly a little unhinged. After screwing around in a toilet stall together, they head out up into the hills, overlooking the gorgeous twinkling metropolis below.

Once there, Anne tells Julian to call her a bad person. She admits that she killed someone back at school, a guy called Tom. Her parents got her the best lawyers and Anne’s life went on; she was never punished. It’s clear she wants to go to the reunion as a way of getting some sort of closure but she wasn’t able to follow through with going inside. That is, until Julian helps talk her into going again.

Anne plucks up the courage and decides to go in alone. Julian takes his payslip and leaves. With the money, he heads back to the vet where he pays for the dog’s surgery. When Julian heads back home though, he finds Michelle there waiting for him.

The Episode Review

American Gigolo returns this week with a somewhat subdued and slower paced chapter. There’s not much in the way of plot progression beyond Panish deciding to tell the police about Julian “from Michelle’s perspective” but instead we get a much more intimate episode honing in on both damaged people putting on a front for the public. Our perception of Anne to begin with is a wealthy and confident woman but in reality, she’s completely crushed and damaged from that horrific incident back when she was younger.

Julian is carrying a lot of scars too and seeing him use this as a source for good, giving Anne some encouraging words, is a nice way of framing his character as a sympathetic main character.

At the same time, Sunday’s investigation takes on a slightly new dimension given she has ties to what’s happening too, given her brother.

Despite the slow pace, this is still another good character developing chapter and the ending, with Michelle showing up at the apartment, is likely to kick this one up a gear next week.

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