dietland TV TV Recaps

“Dietland” Ep.1.10: “Bedwomb”

The “Dietland” finale is a perfect combination of everything the show does both right and wrong. “Bedwomb” poses a lot of very interesting questions which is admirable, but it offers very few tangible answers which felt like the weak point of the whole season. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy every single minute of it, because I did!

Dietland Ep 10 Season 1
Joy Nash as Plum Kettle, Tara Summers as Sofia “Dietland” Season 1, Episode 10 | Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

The episode opens with the expected voiceover from Plum positing the theory that everyone is waiting for one thing or person that will fix them. But she’s learned that you have to live with the dark and broken parts of yourself and just try to be happy that way. This cuts immediately to Plum being dragged before all of Jennifer as though she’s about to be killed. Fortunately, she was voted in unanimously despite failing the murder test last week. Instead, she showed her loyalty by just showing up at the warehouse in the first place. This process of admitting new members seems super wack to me, as does all the slam poetry snapping Jennifer does instead of applause.

Kitty is watching Jennifer news coverage when Dominic comes back to ask for his old job. Now that his wife and kids have left him, which Kitty does not care about at all, he wants to stick with the opportunity that working for Kitty provides. He says he’s shown his worth by procuring the damaging files on Stanley, but Kitty’s not done being crabby so she makes him get down and kiss her foot or he’ll take a 50% pay cut. He nearly does it too before she pulls her foot away at the last minute and says she doesn’t give a damn if he wants to sleep with her or not, despite her previous advances, she only wants loyalty.

Back with Jennifer they’re voting on whether they should go ahead and kill Congressman Wells but they’re all very divided on the subject. There’s a lot of talk about what they’re going to be doing long term. Just killing people? Or should there be something deeper to their actions? Some think they should keep killing men until women feel safe and have real equality, others think there has to be more to their plan. As a group they are very disorganized; they are only twelve women, with no money and no clear path forward. Plum has some good ideas about making sure they try to keep feeling like they’re everywhere and still scary but it ends up being kind of moot.

In the beauty closet, Julia is taking care of Leeta with Eladio, though he is mostly useless. Leeta does seem calmer but the moment Julia shows her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich she freaks out because she thinks it’s blood. We don’t find out the full issue with Leeta before the end of the episode but it’s clear she had some kind of psychotic break when she “killed Snow White”. I can only assume that was the alias of one of the Jennifer girls.

Sofia, the bitchy British Jennifer, still has a lot of reservations about Plum. She might be very healthy despite being overweight but Sofia doesn’t think Plum will be able to keep up on actual missions and she promises to shoot Plum if she seems to be holding them back in any way. Plum does have one really nice friend within Jennifer, Tiana, who was one of the girls who picked her up in the park. She calls Sofia a “cuntch” which is hilarious and exactly what it seems. The girls are all having a party in honor of Plum joining them and we as an audience get a lot more information about Jennifer. It started as a support group, presumably for women who were raped in the military. It also appears that Jennifer has a lot of embarrassing truth or dare as part of their bonding exercises. This would definitely eliminate me from Jennifer immediately.

One great thing about this episode is its ability to raise the stakes for the women. We learn through implication that mostly everyone in the room has been victimized by men at some point, but where Calliope House teaches women to channel that anger in a way that heals them instead of the problem, Jennifer is teaching the women to take their fate in their own hands and insure the same thing doesn’t happen to other women. It’s a very interesting juxtaposition that I don’t think the show fully landed until the finale.

In any case we get some more information about both Sofia and Soledad in this episode. Sofia was the victim of multiple rapes while serving in the military which led to terrible PTSD. She says the only thing that might have been worse than the rapes themselves were being told they didn’t happen. She had a lot of thoughts that maybe she was actually in a relationship and didn’t realize or that maybe she’d implied consent in some accidental way. By the time Soledad called her about Jennifer she was to the point of suicide. Although I enjoyed finding out more about the women in Jennifer and their motivations, it did feel odd that none of the women seemed to have shared these stories before Plum arrived.

Back in the beauty closet Eladio and Julia are still trying to calm Leeta down when Dominic rings the bell. He’s trying to be really intimidating to Eladio and it works a little but not as much as I think he wants it to. He’s basically asking Eladio if he’s ever sold any of the products they keep down there and it seems like the answer is maybe yes, but also who cares? Eladio insists he’s done everything necessary to help the investigation and he’s clean. Dominic doesn’t believe him but he’s adopted Kitty’s “not my duck, not my bottle” philosophy. Eladio is very confused and asks if Dominic is hitting on him and I laughed out loud so hard I startled my dog awake from his nap. It turns out Dominic just wants to get in touch with Plum and despite Eladio admitting that he wasn’t close with Plum, Dominic tasks him with finding a way to get in touch.

Back to some more very performative humiliation in the Jennifer bunker, Plum is dared to read aloud the first poem she ever wrote. They ask her why she’s there and she says she’s tired of being the victim, she wants to be the winner for once. When Plum is finished she asks the same thing of Soledad and we get to hear her story. It’s identical to the book and it’s awful. While she was away serving in the military like her whole family, her daughter Luz was raped by a group of boys in the neighborhood. Despite being only thirteen she was called a slut and trash and even after Soledad came home she couldn’t handle it so she jumped in front of a train. We also find out that Leeta used to watch Luz but that she kind of lost it after they let her help with Stella Cross. Tiana and Plum have a really good talk about the benefits of being “awake” vs remaining oblivious to all the trials of the world. And then they all go sleep in a huge pile with everyone else that looks deeply uncomfortable.

During the night Plum dreams of being in bed with Dominic. He admits he’s not really a tiger, that he’s supposed to be more in control of himself but Plum makes it too hard. They end up making out for a few minutes, then Dominic’s eyes turn all tigery and he lunges at her growling and she wakes up.

When Soledad asks her about the dream she just says there was a guy. Soledad asks if he treated her badly and Plum answers “no worse than the others. That makes him a prince right?” Soledad answers this with kind of a “not all men” speech which is super weird .

While all the rest of this has been going on, Verena has been trucking her ass to the FBI and totally narcing on everything she knows about Julia and Jennifer! It’s obviously a huge betrayal but it’s also so funny. She’s literally just watching out for herself only because it’s taken her years to build her reputation as a feminist and a pacifist and she can’t be associated with any of the Jennifer stuff. She gets assurances she’ll be anonymous and then says “some people are just so reckless and selfish” which can’t go unpunished.

Stanley leaves Kitty a voicemail where he threatens to ruin her and also maybe blow up a building? It’s an oddly worded threat that could absolutely be interpreted as a terrorism threat. I can’t wait for that to come back to bite him in a future episode (hopefully!).

Plum is busy working on an update to Jennifer’s manifesto when Moana comes back to the compound with a newspaper showing that someone exposed Soledad and they’re now in code black. AKA it’s time to run.

Back in the city, Kitty and Cheryl are having a meeting where Cheryl hopes that now Stanley’s gone she can get back to reporting the actual truth on camera. Kitty has other ideas though and essentially forces Cheryl to resign. This feels like a really bad idea since she was literally Kitty’s last friend, but the scene ends with Kitty asking Dominic’s opinion on a fabric swatch that is so hilarious you have to just watch it. Dominic’s answer is born from years of being married and answering tons of similar questions he likely had more invested in. And Kitty’s exasperation at the answer is just total gold.

The rest of the episode jumps around quite a lot and through the majority of it one of my favorite songs of all time, The Lightning Strike by Snow Patrol, plays to great effect. First we see Soledad, Sofia, and Plum breaking into another warehouse trying to get away from the cops who are closing in. Tiana and Moana are waiting in the van for them at a pre-disclosed location. Back in the city Julia is about to go get the van to transport Leeta where she needs to go but just as she’s calling Eladio to have him bring Leeta out she’s surrounded by the FBI who arrest her. Eladio leaves Leeta immediately. We see both of Julia’s sisters getting arrested, one at yoga class, the other on the street with her baby. Verena walks down the street smiling like a fucking hero even though she sold out everyone.

Before I get to the main climax of the episode and the season I want to talk about the rest of Kitty and Dominic’s episode. She and Dominic finally hear the unhinged voicemail that Stanley left her. Kitty’s not worried at all but she is having a lot less fun with her coup than she thought. She wants Dominic to get a contact with Jennifer because she wants to be sure that even if Jennifer starts getting arrested the men who felt unsafe continue to feel that way. It’s better for her professionally, so she wants to help Jennifer if they help her. Dominic agrees and while he’s clocking out he finds out about Julia getting arrested so he goes to the beauty closet and finds Leeta. Instead of doing something productive he takes her to Plum’s apartment and leaves her a voicemail saying he has something she probably wants, namely Leeta.

The rest of the episode deals with Plum and Jennifer exclusively. As they’re escaping, Plum is rightfully freaking out because she doesn’t want to die. Sofia ends up sacrificing herself to the cops so Soledad and Plum can escape. The last shot of her is almost smiling as though she’s finally at peace. As they run away to the getaway car Soledad tells Plum to move her “fat ass” and you can see Plum realize she has not traded the patriarchy for a feminist utopia. Perhaps the patriarchy she thinks she’s escaping is in fact too ingrained in everyone and everything. But she keeps running anyway. When they arrive at the van she admits she doesn’t think she can do the Jennifer thing anymore and Soledad is surprisingly willing to let her go. She says when they catch her to say she was a hostage and then write the story of Jennifer. Soledad gets in the van and it starts to drive away. But Plum starts running to catch up because she still believes the world can be a better place and she wants to be a part of it.

As season finale’s go, this one was pretty good. It definitely could have been stronger but it works to tie up some loose ends and leave enough threads dangling should AMC give the show a Season 2. I would love to see more in this universe, but if this were to be the last we see of Plum and company I think it works well as a series finale. It ends about as abruptly as the novel, albeit in a much different place, but you can completely imagine how it would continue even if we didn’t get to see it.

Hopefully we’ll see where the stories all go, but for now, this was a wildly feminist outing that didn’t pull its punches and for that I’m grateful.

Catch up on all our “Dietland” Season 1 recaps here. Check out our next TV binge right here

Featured image credit: Patrick Harbron/AMC

Kristin was a military brat growing up but now she lives in Orlando with her husband Will and their dog Egon. She and her best friend Wil (not the husband!) have written a novel together and recently started the podcast “So…I’m Watching This Show” where they discuss movies, TV shows and pop culture in general. Most nights you can find her drinking wine and live tweeting way too many things. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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