American Gigolo season 1, episode 5 recap – “The Escape Wheel”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: October 9, 2022 (Last updated: October 16, 2022)
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American Gigolo season 1, episode 5 recap - "The Escape Wheel"


American Gigolo brings its storylines together with a big revelation, as competing forces finally meet in the middle.

This recap of American Gigolo season 1, episode 5, “The Escape Wheel”, contains spoilers.

“The Escape Wheel” is about, pretty explicitly, fathers and sons, which is a surprising theme for American Gigolo to suddenly adopt. But I suppose, once the components have all been laid out and their chaos has been assembled into something resembling harmony, much like the intricate building of a luxury timepiece, you start to get a sense of the bigger picture. Until now, the show has steadily unfurled a few obviously related but ultimately parallel plots; here, with a couple of revelations, it links them together in a much more meaningful way.

American Gigolo season 1, episode 5 recap

It begins with the end of American Gigolo episode 4, with Julian arriving home to find Michelle waiting for him. Their reunion isn’t romantic like the flashbacks we’ve seen of them. It doesn’t have the passion or the anger or the intensity of the flashbacks we see in this episode either. Instead, it’s awkward and tentative. Michelle reveals to Julian, in far too casual of a manner, that Colin is his son. And then, right on the back of that, she enlists Julian’s help to find him.

Julian never had a father. Given the nature of Michelle’s revelation, now that he is a father, he can’t imagine a way in which he won’t be a source of extreme pain and negativity for Colin. But since the previous episode established that Julian is fundamentally kind, principled, and unable to stay out of a situation that he believes he can help in some way, he agrees to go looking for Colin before the flyers that have been put up all over town result in him being discovered by someone who means him harm.

Julian’s old prison buddy Bojangles (Donte Johnson) is someone we’ve met before, but Diamond (Paula Jai Parker), formerly one of Olga’s girls who is now working the streets, is a new face. She helps Julian search for Colin, while Panish tries to track him down too, and Sunday looks for Julian himself – finding Michelle waiting out at his place instead.

Sunday, presumably inspired by some of the things she learned last week, seems to earnestly want to help Julian, which is going to be especially difficult now that Panish has set him up for Elizabeth’s murder. But Michelle gives Sunday at least some of the truth, and she, in turn, gives a little of that truth to Stratton, whose relationship with Colin we see snippets of in flashbacks to the two of them building a watch. All that talk about order and chaos comes from those flashbacks, as does the title, “The Escape Wheel”. But it also furthers the episode’s theme. Stratton, for all his faults, seems to care about Colin, and to have imparted in him some important lessons – or tried to, anyway.

But with all these competing forces, it was almost inevitable that things were going to take a downturn for Julian. And, just as he sees Colin being snatched off the street, the cops arrive to arrest him. After barely any time being free, he’s suddenly back behind bars – and with at least one more reason to wish he wasn’t.

You can watch American Gigolo season 1, episode 5, “The Escape Wheel”, exclusively on Showtime.

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Premium Channels, Showtime, TV, Weekly TV
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