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American Housewife - The Great Cookie Challenge - Review: "All Roads Lead Back to Poorness"


On this week's episode, each of the Otto's face their own challenges, and respond to them in different ways.

Taylor's waiting to hear back from Carnegie-Mellon and she can't get out of the Otto household soon enough. But, if she actually gets in, first year's tuition is $56,000. That's why Greg's still "selling out" writing a memoir about "social media halfwit" Lonnie Spears. Money may not always be able to buy happiness, but it can finance tuition at an extremely expensive university.

Anna-Kat's busy trying to catch up with her rich friends in Wildflower Girls cookie sales. All the other girls' parents just bought their entire stock, but seeing as that's not an option for the Ottos, Anna-Kat's falling behind in sales. Katie's not too concerned that Anna-Kat probably won't be outselling the other girls anytime soon until she hears what the prize for selling the most cookies is - an all-expense-paid vacation to Hollywood! Now she's interested! Katie wants to try and sell the old fashion way but walking the streets and setting up shop outside the grocery store, but Angela and Doris advise her to take advantage of social media and have Anna-Kat make a video she can blast the inter-waves with.

At school, Oliver and Cooper attempt to reach Will Hansen, the suicidal Teen Helpline mystery caller they've finally identified. They stage a poorly acted (and quite comical) run in where Oliver talks about how wonderful Teen Helpline is while Will's standing near them at his locker, but understandably, he doesn't pay them a bit of attention!

Back at home, Taylor's admission letter finally comes. But since she will be sad if she doesn't get in and Trip will be sad if she gets in and moves away, she decides not to open it until after the two get back from their date at Winter Festival. Of course, not thinking about the letter is easier said than done, and it's pretty obvious that it's the main thing on both their minds throughout their date and they end up deciding just to go ahead, go home, and open the letter.

Katie, Anna-Kat and Franklin consult Lonnie about the best way to make a video that will go viral. It looks like they're running pretty low on good ideas when Lonnie sees Anna-Kat and Franklin joking around putting as many cookies in their mouths as possible. Bingo! The face stuffing, "Great Cookie Challenge" has been born. Unfortunately for Anna-Kat and Katie, Sage and her daughter assure them that no matter how many cookies Anna-Kat sells, they'll just buy one more box so they win. At home, Katie and Greg try to console Anna-Kat, but she admits that she wanted them to have one last vacation as a family before Taylor goes off to school, and they can't really argue with that logic.

At Teen Helpline, Oliver gets another call from Will and he's actually able to keep him on the line this time. Oliver assures him that whatever it is that's bothering him, he can tell him and they'll work through it. So Will tells him the truth - he's gay, and he's never told anyone. Oliver assures him that he's not alone and things will get better. The two seem to be making headway until Oliver accidentally reveals he knows who Will is and Will realizes who he is. When Oliver goes outside to leave at the end of his shift, Will is there, presumably waiting to beat him up enough to scare him into keeping his mouth shut. Oliver tells Will that he really thinks everyone would support him if he came out but admits there's really only one way to find out. Will doesn't seem to be buying it, but at least leaves without beating Oliver up. (After all, he doesn't want to die in a pair of Kirklin jeans!)

Taylor and Trip arrive home and Trip thanks her for putting him first by waiting to open the letter. "That's what I love about you. You always put other people first," he says. Taylor goes upstairs and privately opens the letter, while Greg and Katie discuss just how badly they can't afford Carnegie-Mellon. After a few minutes, Taylor comes back down and tells them she didn't get in. They console her and remind her that she can always re-apply next year.

Upstairs, Taylor asks Oliver if there's something he needs to tell her. Oliver's bewildered, but then asks her the same thing and tells her he knows she actually got into Carnegie-Mellon. ("I steamed open your admissions letter, read it, and sealed it back up...I open all the important mail that comes to the house. I'm still hoping my real parents are trying to find me.") Taylor admits that Trip's words about her always putting other people first really got her thinking, and she's realized she hasn't been putting Katie and Greg first lately. She overheard them talking about how they can't afford the tuition, and she's decided she's going to defer admission until the next year and spend the time working to help them come up with the money.

Taylor then asks Oliver again if he has something he'd like to tell her. Oliver still has no clue what she's talking about, so she shows him a new Instagram account that's been created in his name and forwarded to the whole school - announcing he's gay. Oliver realizes that Will must have made it to scare him into staying silent about Will coming out. Taylor asks Oliver if he's doing to post anything denying it, and Oliver tells her that for now, he isn't. He wants Will to see that people will be accepting, hopefully enough so that it will inspire Will to actually come out himself.

At the announcement of the winner for the Wildflower Girls cookie sales, Anna-Kat and Katie sit back and get ready to hear that Sage's daughter Paris won. But Paris gets second place. And first place - goes to Anna-Kat! She's somehow made over 87,000 sales! It's clear that not only is Sage confused, but so are Katie and Anna-Kat! They have no idea how the number got that high until they get home. Apparently, Lonnie decided to take matters into his own hands after Greg's advice that he needs to use his platform to do some good in the world. He made a video doing Anna-Kat's Cookie Challenge himself and pledged to donate $5 to a food bank for every box of cookies his followers bought from Anna-Kat. He may still be throwing "pudding eggs" at Greg, but it looks like Lonnie the Internet Half-Wit is finally starting to change!

Random Thoughts:
-Franklin has a podcast called Getting Frank with Franklin? I kind of want to listen to that...

-The ending with the whole cast doing the "Great Cookie Challenge" was hilarious.

-The best quote goes to Greg and Katie when they're bouncing ideas about how they'll pay for Taylor's college - Greg - "We've talked about this. You can't kill me so you can cash in my life insurance. It's illegal and you'd get caught." Katie - "Oh, I would not get caught."

Do you think Greg and Katie will eventually find out the truth about Taylor's admission status? How will Oliver handle everyone thinking he's gay? Let me know below!

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