American Gigolo Episode 1 Recap: Does Julian Become a Gigolo Again?

Image Credit: Warrick Page/Showtime

Based on the characters created by Paul Schrader for the eponymous 1980 film, Showtime’s crime series ‘American Gigolo’ follows Julian Kaye, who has been in prison for fifteen years for the murder of Janet Holmes. When a serial killer named Kevin Finnegan confesses to killing Janet, Julian becomes a free man. The first episode of the show, titled ‘Pilot,’ revolves around Julian’s reunion with his former lover Michelle Stratton and friend Lorenzo. The intriguing episode ends with Julian meeting Detective Sunday regarding the murder. If you are intrigued to know more about Julian’s quest to find the real murderer, let us share our findings! SPOILERS AHEAD.

American Gigolo Episode 1 Recap

‘Pilot’ begins with Detective Sunday interrogating Julian concerning the murder of Janet Holmes. Although Julian denies murdering Janet, he gets convicted for the same. After fifteen years, Sunday visits and lets Julian know that a serial killer named Kevin Finnegan has confessed to the same murder, paving the way for his release from prison. He meets his best buddy Lorenzo, who has been sending money and books to prison for his friend. Michelle is dealing with her son Colin’s relationship with his 32-year-old teacher. In flashback scenes, a potent woman named Olga “bought” Julian from his mother to make him a gigolo.

Image Credit: Hopper Stone/Showtime

A young Julian, who had been having a sexual relationship with a neighbor woman, eventually became a high-profile male escort. Meanwhile, he met Michelle, the wife of a technological entrepreneur named Richard Stratton, and both of them start having an affair. In the present time, Julian tells Lorenzo that he doubts whether he killed Janet himself rather than a serial killer. Lorenzo tells his friend that he hasn’t killed anybody. Until he figures out his life ahead, Julian decides to stay with Lorenzo. Colin elopes with his teacher, infuriating Richard. The billionaire asks his men to find Colin and his lover, alarming Michelle.

Julian meets Michelle at the latter’s house, worrying her. Although she is glad to see and embrace her former lover, she gets concerned about whether Richard will see them and “do something again.” Detective Sunday goes to see Kevin Finnegan, who is on his deathbed, to find out the person behind Janet Holmes’ murder.

American Gigolo Episode 1 Ending: Who Hired Kevin Finnegan? Who or What is Kean?

Kevin Finnegan’s revelation that he killed Janet Holmes leads Detective Sunday to find out the individual/individuals involved in the same. After trying her best to make Kevin reveal the person who hired him to kill Janet, all she gets from the serial killer is the word “Kean.” When she shares the word with Julian to find out whether it rings any bell with him, the former gigolo identifies the possibility of the word being “Queen” instead of “Kean.” “Queen” is another name for Olga, Julian’s “godmother” in the trade of sex. As Julian suspects, Olga might have hired Kevin to kill Janet and frame Julian, reminding us of how Leon framed Julian Kay for the murder of Judy in the source film of the show.

Image Credit: Justin Lubin/Showtime

As someone who has known Julian since his adolescence, Olga knows the male escort inside out. She might have thought that it will be easy to frame Julian since he usually fails to stand up for himself in the face of adversities. Like Leon, Olga might have believed that Julian is “frameable” and she could have done it to please a high-profile client, who wanted to see Janet dead. If that’s not the case, “Kean” can be a distinct individual altogether, who doesn’t have any relationship with Olga as Julian suspects. His suspicion regarding Olga can be wrong and it may keep him far away from the truth behind Janet’s murder.

Richard, Michelle’s husband, can also be involved in the murder of Janet. While Julian meets Michelle, she asks him to be away from Richard as he will “do something again” to them. The suggestion that the billionaire already did something indicates that he might have hired Kevin to kill Janet to frame Julian and put an end to the latter’s relationship with his wife. Even though Richard doesn’t have any explicit connection with the word “Kean,” it can even be the name of one of his men who might have hired the serial killer for the billionaire.

Does Julian Become a Gigolo Again?

When Julian starts to suspect Olga’s involvement in the murder of Janet, he unexpectedly expresses his wish to become a gigolo again to Lorenzo. Julian must have realized that he needs to be a part of Olga’s inside circle to find out anything about her. When he goes to meet Olga, much to his surprise, he sees his “godmother” in a wheelchair. He realizes that Isabelle has become the new “Queen,” replacing Olga. Still, considering Olga’s warning to Julian, Isabelle seems to be as powerful as her mother. Since she has always dreamt of becoming a “Queen” like Olga, it is even possible that “Kean” is Isabelle and not Olga.

Image Credit: Warrick Page/Showtime

If that’s the case, Julian is expected to move forward with his plan to become a gigolo again. He must be aiming to discover anything and everything related to Olga and Isabelle’s past to find out whether they have played any role in his wrongful conviction. Since the only way to return to Isabelle’s good books is by becoming her “hot property,” Julian may need to stitch some elegant suits to please Isabelle’s clients.

Read More: Best Crime TV Shows