TV Recap: “Single Drunk Female” – Season 1, Episode 9 “Higher Parent”

“Samantha Fink, come on up!” Olivia welcomes Sam in front of the crowd of AA. The Sobriety Calendar displays One Year Sober and the whole gang's here to celebrate; Felicia, James, and Mindy hold a cake proudly for Sober Sam. Taking the stage to deliver her brief thank yous, Sam’s hair is neatly up and she is glowing.

Sam thanks her sponsor, Olivia, as she knows she was one of her more annoying sponsees, thanks Mindy for being the greatest boss she’s ever had, and thanks Felicia for not giving up on her. Finally, she thanks James for his support, camaraderie, and boundaries. As she tries to talk about her dad, wishing that he could see her sober, she decides to keep her speech brief. “I love this room,” she closes as she is met with supportive applause. Sam and James embrace and let’s just say they do not waste a minute. At 366 Days Sober, we’re seeing Sam and James finally getting together, and this time, sober.

Jumping over to an empty plot of land, Joel and Brit are quietly surveying the area with Joel at the helm. “Do you see a house?” He asks with excitement behind his words. Brit is not catching the hints and soon enough Joel reveals that he’s bought this land for their future home that he’s going to build. Why wouldn’t Brit catch hints for such a ridiculously large life moment that her fiance decided without her knowledge? Brit begins to spiral about a series of “what-ifs” and suddenly slips up about her theoretical UCLA fellowship across the country. Joel seems crushed about her hiding things from him, but Brit reminds him he’s not innocent either.

James has to leave his freshly friend-to-lover, Sam at his place to go to a meeting for his app. The pair are looking really happy and natural, yet James seems a little distracted. “I’m glad we waited,” Sam gushes.

At AA, Sam brings Olivia some leftover sobriety celebration cake. We learn that the IVF estrogen is putting Olivia in a rare state where she’s crying at animal friendship videos. Sam asks about this new arrangement between Stephanie and Olivia and Olivia shares that it’s now Stephanie’s eggs and Olivia’s womb at work. Catching up on Sam’s one year of sobriety, Olivia asks why Sam’s mom didn’t show up to the celebration. Sam clarifies she wasn’t invited. “You haven’t made her a part of it yet?” Olivia convinces Sam that it’s time to make amends.

Feeling a bit encouraged, Sam approaches Carol and there’s some awkward energy. “This feels like it’s turning into a thing, not emotionally ready for a thing,” Carol shakes Sam off a bit and suggests they go for a drive later where they can both stare forward.

At the salon, Brit comes into talk which throws Felicia completely off. Cutting straight to the point, Felicia asks Brit why she has made the work visit. “Do you know where I could get some drugs?” Brit whispers. She wants the drugs for clarity about her situation with Joel and saw hallucinogens may be helpful on Reddit. Very doctor of her. “Because I had weed in high school, you thought I’d have the hook up to dealers and shamans,” Felicia gasps, “Wow, I’m a mother.” Before Brit can back off, Felicia breaks. She was just giving Brit a hard time and says she’s in for the adventure too. Plus, Felicia gets a discount because it is her same dealer from high school.

Joel is at Good Time Sally’s and orders a beer, but realizes it's too dark for his taste. He is confused about Brit and venting to the bartender. So confused, that he orders another incorrect beer and offers it to the person next to him. It’s… James and he’s not in good shape. “I’ll drink anything.” Later on, Joel shares he’s never been more in love.”I freak out when things are going too well,” James says unknowingly to his new girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend. They cheer for champagne problems. ”And problems with champagne,” James adds.

Brit learns a valuable lesson from the drug dealer, Val, that “women can be drug dealers too.” As she begins to explain what she has for a stash, it’s all going over Brit’s head. Thankfully, Felicia is there to ask for hallucinogens and tells Brit to pay Val on Venmo. Val suggests they have a sober-sitter and suddenly it looks like this trio is due for a trip to the playground.

We join Carol and Sam in the woods and no car-discussion, car-amends have occurred. Carol brought Sam’s dad's ashes along with a very distinct plan of sprinkling them. “There are laws against this,” Sam is shocked, but Carol knew Sam wouldn’t come if she had asked. At the edge of the water, Sam says they should say a few words. She starts while Carol chimes in with her additions here and there. “I’m sure dad is very proud of you,” Carol expresses to her daughter as they begin their trekk back to the car.

“I’m sorry I didn’t show up for thanksgiving after he died,” Sam confesses and takes a deep breath as she lays out her long-awaited amends. As soon as her father was diagnosed, Sam began to drink more and it caused a lot of additional chaos for the family. Carol says Sam made her dad “the higher parent” and her, “the evil witch.” In a change of pace, there are no excuses from Sam’s end. She admits that she blamed her mother for her dad getting sick and it wasn’t fair nor justified.

As Sam continues her spiel, it becomes harder. Not because she isn’t ready, but because Carol begins interrupting with her own apologies, “I knew there were years I wasn't present.” The pair begin to fight over the blame. However, after they get everything off their chest, there’s less and less tension in the air. Carol shares that Bob’s moving in, and says she would like Sam to stay. However, Sam says it's time to move and insinuates maybe it’s time to move in with James.

“When are we gonna start to feel something?” We’re back at the playground with Brit, Val, and Felicia awaiting a high. Although it was suggested Val would be trip sitting, she’s definitely on her own journey. “I can’t not do well, it’s like a serpent,” Brit proclaims with conviction and stresses about her soon-to-be-husband. It looks like they’ve started feeling something. “Should I get married?” She desperately asks Val whom she met mere minutes ago. “I don’t know I’m tripping balls.”