In the past couple of episodes, Plum has come into her own. She’s decided that she has the right to accept and love herself for the way she is. She’s refusing to conform to society’s standards of beauty, and it’s a beautiful thing. But in this week’s episode, “Woman Down,” she spirals from feeling empowered and ready to fight back, to feeling just plain angry.
After last week’s episode when she was abandoned by the women of Calliope House and assaulted by a man who she thought genuinely respected her, her empowered attitude has completely transformed and, unfortunately, not for the better.
— Dietland (@DietlandAMC) July 23, 2018
Two episodes ago, Plum’s perspective had changed from feeling unhappy with her appearance and her life, to feeling confident and loved. Now, she has lost that confidence entirely. When talking to Sana, Plum reveals that she no longer wants to change who she is—and not because she’s happy with herself, but because she feels like it would be useless.
“I would still be me. Me, who ruins everything I touch,” she says.
Because Plum now feels empty and worthless, she has to find a way to fill the void that Calliope has left in her. Plum is fed up with sitting on the sidelines watching women get hurt by men and hurt themselves because of society’s standards, so she decides to do something more drastic.
She finds a way to take her anger and turn it into something productive (or what she thinks is productive) by joining Jennifer, a group she once berated for their violent tactics but she joining the group because of those very tactics.
— Dietland (@DietlandAMC) July 20, 2018
After Plum joins Jennifer, we see a side of her that we hadn’t before. Plum is willing to learn to fire a gun, and she seems willing to kill, too. This time, when she has a nightmare about her sexual assault, dream-Plum turns around and shoots her attacker. Ominously, Plum wakes up from the dream smiling and content with the fictional murder she had just committed. Although you can’t blame Plum for feeling such anger towards the man who hurt her in such an unforgivable way, it’s disheartening to see the Plum that was (for a second) so happy with herself turn into someone so unrecognizable.
The one glimmer of hope we see at the end of the episode shows that no matter how angry Plum is, no matter how willing she seems to commit violence to enact change in society, she can’t seem to go through with it. When given the chance to kill a man who raped young women, she can’t do it. Deep down, no matter how badly she wants to get revenge on those who hurt her and men who repeatedly take advantage of women, she knows that violence is not the answer.