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American Housewife - One Step Forward, Three Steps Back - Review: "OCD in a Coke Can"

Katie and Greg's hectic schedules begin to have an effect on the family on the winter premiere of American Housewife.

Katie's busy trying to keep up with her lasagna business and Greg's tirelessly chasing after Lonnie Speers, the dipstick Youtuber who he's agreed to ghostwrite a memoir for. Trouble is, Lonnie is so busy pranking other people and making an idiot out of himself, Greg hasn't been able to get anything substantial out of him. Katie and Greg are both driving each other crazy as they continue to get in each other's way trying to accomplish their various work tasks. So it takes something pretty shocking to get them to stop bickering for a moment.

That shocking thing - it seems Anna-Kat's OCD is back in full force. Katie and Greg observe her repetitively walking up and down the stairs, and although they try to shrug it off at first, that quickly falls to the wayside when they notice the change in her room. She's meticulously organized and color-coated every object in her room - from her stuffed animals to her ponies to her shoes. There's no denying something's up, so Katie and Greg hightail it over to the school to speak with Dr. Ellie, who's surprised to hear Anna-Kat's backsliding at home. She's apparently doing wonderful at school and has shown no signs of her OCD behaviors. When Dr. Ellie asks if there have been any changes at home, and Katie and Greg dive into another bickering competition, the cause of Anna-Kat's behavior becomes obvious to Dr. Ellie. She tells Katie and Greg that Anna-Kat maybe turning to her old behaviors for comfort, because of the stress she's witnessed between the two of them and suggests they try to fight less in front of her.

While Katie and Greg are dealing with Anna-Kat's problems, the older kids are each facing their own issues. Taylor and Trip have decided to try out a "long-distance" relationship, in preparation for when Taylor goes to college. So, they're going to try to go several weeks without seeing each other, which doesn't seem to be as hard as they thought it would be because they're constantly FaceTiming. Oliver, meanwhile, is taking his first shift at Teen Helpline, and despite being assured that the teens in Westport have the same problems as less fortunate kids, the majority of his calls are just a bunch of snobby rich kids complaining about their Porsches being the wrong color.

Oliver's just about had it with the spoiled brat calls, when he gets an obviously different call. The caller is depressed and thinking of suicide. Oliver tries to find a supervisor who's better equipped to handle the "real problems," but no one is around. Before he can get much information out of the caller, he says he has to go, although Oliver does get him to say he'll call back. Oliver's first real call has shaken him up.

Katie tells Angela and Doris about Dr. Ellie's suggestion not to bicker in front of Anna-Kat. Angela suggests Katie do what she has her clients do when they get on the stand, count to five before they respond so they don't say anything impulsive. After Lonnie walks into the kitchen and takes a bit out of one of Katie's lasagna orders, Katie tries to employ the new tactic when asking Greg to keep him out of the kitchen. But Greg's already frustrated at Katie for turning his office into her ingredient storage closet, and the counting tactic quickly devolves into the two just yelling "Five!" and snapping at each other. In the middle of their squabble, Anna-Kat walks into the kitchen and obsessively washes her hands before continually going up and down the stairs. It doesn't look like Katie and Greg are making much progress!

Katie and Greg try extra hard to curb their arguing and despite finally going an afternoon without bickering in front of Anna-Kat, they still find her outside combing the front lawn with a hair comb! Katie and Greg continue to try to play normal while they figure out what's really causing Anna-Kat's behavior. They don't have to wait too long though. Anna-Kat comes inside from combing the lawn and upon seeing that Katie and Greg are pretending nothing's wrong, she finally confronts them. "What do I have to do to get you guys to pay attention to me? I'm running out of ideas!" she yells.

So apparently Anna-Kat isn't actually having an OCD episode, she's just doing some of her old compulsions to try and get her parents' attention. Anna-Kat misses all the attention she got when she was a "weirdo," especially now that Greg and Katie are both so busy with their careers. Katie and Greg tell her that she doesn't need as much attention as she did when her OCD was bad, and that's a good thing. They remind her that although change is hard, it's worth it.

Downstairs, Taylor and Trip are Facetiming, when Lonnie joins in, which obviously bothers Trip. Soon enough, he shows up at the Otto's and accuses Taylor of wanting to do the trial separation so she can get with Lonnie. And shockingly enough, it's Lonnie who's able to smooth things over. He tells them both that they need to be able to trust each other. Growing up, his mom was always convinced his dad would cheat on her since he traveled frequently for work. He never did and never would have, but Lonnie's mom's constant worrying all but ruined any chance of happiness she had. Lonnie assures Taylor and Trip that if they just trust each other, they'll be fine, and Greg finally sees something they can begin to write about! Trip apologizes, and to prove he trusts Taylor, promptly does a trust fall. He just forgets to tell her about it first!

That night, Oliver comes home and tells Katie about the call at Teen Helpline. He asks Katie what he can do and why he feels so horrible. Katie tells him that all he can really do is wait and hope the guy calls back. She also tells him that in a way how bothered he is about the call is a good thing, because it means he's learning to care.

Random Thoughts:
-Katie's little mind trick with Lonnie at the end was hilarious!

-The best quote goes to Katie when discussing why Lonnie became famous - "He's rich? Our kids are idiots too and they're not earning a dime!"

Were you surprised at Anna-Kat's tactics to get attention? How about seeing Lonnie finally open up? Let me know below!

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