Single Drunk Female – Season 1 Episode 9 “Higher Parent” Recap & Review

Higher Parent

Episode 9 of Single Drunk Female begins with Sam’s AA group celebrating her full year of sobriety. She gives a speech thanking several for helping her along her journey and also voices that she wishes her dad could be there to see her progress.

After that meeting, Sam and James waste no time to hook up at his place. The next morning, James says he has a breakfast meeting for work, and he leaves Sam in bed. 

Meanwhile, Joel takes Brit to a plot of land and reveals that he bought it as a surprise. She becomes angry that he didn’t consult her, and they start to argue about other aspects of their future.

Sam goes to see Olivia, who is feeling emotional after numerous cycles of IVF. They start talking about why Carol wasn’t at Sam’s celebration. Sam admits that she didn’t invite her because she doesn’t understand this part of her life. Still, Olivia encourages her to make amends with Carol, which Sam dreads.

Sam later asks Carol if she can talk. Carol says she can’t handle an emotional thing at the moment, so she suggests they go on a drive that afternoon.

Trying to cope with her fight with Joel, Brit surprises Felicia at her salon to ask her if she knows where she can get drugs. She thinks this will help her get “clarity” regarding her upcoming marriage. Felicia agrees to set her up. Felicia takes Brit to the park, where a woman named Val gives them hallucinogens. 

Meanwhile, Joel goes to a bar, and it’s obvious he’s not at home there. At the bar, Joel vents to the bartender about Brit. When he accidentally orders a drink he didn’t want, he gives it to the person next to him.

It’s James, who has already had at least one drink. He accepts, claiming that he’ll drink anything. 

Sam and her mom go for a drive and get out at a river. Carol takes Sam’s dad’s ashes out of the car and tells her that they are going to spread them.

Carol acts like it’s something to get over with, but Sam says a few words. She says he knew her better than anyone, even knowing she was an alcoholic before she did. Carol says she misses him too, and they throw the ashes into the water.

Afterwards, Sam apologizes to Carol for her actions after her dad died. She says she made him the “higher parent” and her mom “the evil witch,” even blaming Carol for his sickness.

Carol then decides to come clean. She says there were years of her life where she wasn’t present, insisting that Samantha can’t take all the blame.

She tells her Bob is moving in, but assures Sam that she can stay for as long as she wants. Sam says it’s time for her to start looking for her own place.

At night in the park, Felicia and Brit get high together while Val supervises. Even on psychedelics, Brit can’t let go of reality. She asks Felicia and Val if she should marry Joel, but they can’t answer that for her.

And at the bar, Joel now vents to James, who admits that he usually freaks out when things in his life start going well.

The episode ends with Brit finally loosening up and having fun with Val and Felicia.


The Episode Review

All the show’s subplots are drawing taut in preparation for next week’s finale. Unfortunately, I don’t feel that we’ve been made to care enough about Brit and Joel for their relationship to be one of the big draws going into the last episode.

Sam’s and Carol’s talk brought some much needed, if sudden, closure to their tumultuous arc–which was comically elevated by that spreading-of-the-ashes scene.

But the only storyline that was sufficiently and previously built up to was only given brief screen time here. James’ fall was heart-rending and expertly framed.

For James, freaking out when things go well definitely lines up with what we learned about him in the last episode. What do you think will happen between him and Sam now that their situations are reversed?

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You can read our full season review of Single Drunk Female here!

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