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American Housewife - The Snowstorm - Review:"Off-Season Family Bonding"

Karma moves quickly in Westport - almost as quick as the cold front that turns a “light dusting” into a snowstorm. The weather traps the whole family in the house and gets Katie to see the error of her ways in tonight’s new American Housewife.

Katie’s karma is screwed up in the first place for lying to Greg and the kids. They are planning their annual off-season, memory-making camping trip. Greg insists on making the kids independent and smugly showing off his Eagle Scout training. Katie hates it. She hates it so much she got pregnant with Anna-Kat just to get out of going camping with Greg. That excuse worked for six years, but now Anna-Kat wants to go and Katie is forced to turn to her best friends for a new out.

Luckily, Angela’s horrible relationship with her ex-wife comes through. Katie tells Greg that Angela can’t get through the first anniversary of her divorce alone. Doris has already booked a suite at the Velvet Zen Spa.

The show doesn’t punish Katie for not wanting to go camping. While Greg’s enthusiasm for MacGuyver-ing mops into shelters makes camping exciting for Anna-Kat and Taylor, it’s obviously not something Katie would enjoy. She is in trouble, however, for lying to Greg and pretending that she‘s torn up about having to stay home.

Katie’s so good at lying that, when the Ottos are snowed in and the power goes out, Greg thinks that she will be happy with the situation. He enlists the kids’ help in turning the living room into a campsite, while Katie spies Viv in her warm house (marrying money means you can afford a generator). Under the guise of taking Anna-Kat’s fish over to Viv, she sneaks out of camping and into a paradise of heated floors, champagne, and cookies baked just for the smell.

Viv’s happy to share her house with Katie. She’s desperate to get into Katie’s friend group, the Second Breakfast Club (named after their favorite cafĂ©, Second Breakfast). Angela and Doris hate her, but Katie is clever enough to feign interest if it can keep her in warmth and comfort. Finally, Viv’s neediness gets too much and Katie confronts her on her compulsive lying. Viv tells the group that her husband gave her a bouquet “just because”, but admits that he’s fishing with his children in the Bahamas. Viv reveals that she lied to fit in with the group, and Katie tells her that to truly fit in she’s going to have to be “real”.

Viv isn’t very good at being real. When asked what her biggest regret could be, she waffles between upholstering a chaise with the wrong fabric and losing a shoe in Nantucket.

While Katie is chatting it up with Viv, Oliver is having problems with her housekeeper, Luz. Luz and Oliver have been making money with their knockoff polo shirt business, but now Luz wants her money and Oliver’s trying to placate her without giving her any. Any morals he may have shown last week go out the window as he keeps dancing around Luz.

Luz keeps calling Oliver because she wants the money to go back to El Salvador. Now that he knows he may be losing his business partner, Oliver is even less inclined to get Luz her money. Instead, he mopes around the house and refuses to help his sisters set up the camp. When Greg finally snaps and yells at him for complaining, Oliver tells him Katie’s secret. Greg storms over to Viv’s and tells Katie off for not being on his team. He may have sounded enthusiastic about camping out with the kids, but he knows that he’s just putting a positive spin on a bad situation. He expected his wife to help him.

After Greg leaves, Katie, surprisingly, gets sympathy from Viv. Then, things get very real.

Viv launches into a monologue about her first husband, who loved toy trains. Viv tells Katie she understands what it’s like to not share in your partner’s hobbies, but quietly reveals how much she misses her ex-husband and how much she wishes she could have paid more attention to him when they were together. Viv’s biggest regret is actually heartbreaking.

Katie honors Viv’s confession by using it to inspire her to be a better partner. She goes back to the house and even accepts Greg’s punishment of digging the snow latrine.

Oliver learns something from Katie’s apology. You don’t screw over your partner. He gives Luz his savings. Oliver tells Luz that he’ll miss her. Luz can’t really say the same, but the two part on good terms. The episode ends with Katie and Oliver joining the family in front of the fire. The power may have come back on, but they’re going to enjoy their family camping trip for a little while longer.

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Let me know in the comments!