'Gaslit' Episode 1: Will John Dean’s decision to cancel his resignation come back to haunt him?
Starz's new drama ‘Gaslit’ is based on the ‘Slow Burn’ podcast and is a five-part series. The show tells the story of Watergate but from the fresh perspective of Martha Mitchell and other lesser-known figures, from the story of political espionage in Washington that eventually led to the resignation of Richard Nixon.
The central Watergate figure John Dean is played by Dan Stevens. Stevens stars alongside Academy Award winners Julia Roberts and Sean Penn in ‘Gaslit’. John Dean is portrayed as an ambitious politician who wants to climb the ladder of success. He wants to stand alongside powerful men especially President Nixon, whom he admires highly.
In the pilot episode, titled ‘Will,’ John Mitchell (Penn) calls John Dean (Dan Stevens) at his office and reveals the plan to spy on the Democrats. Dean, who works under Attorney General Mitchell, is afraid that he is going to lose his job. After he gets to the White House and learns about Mitchell’s spying plans, he is shocked. Mitchell asks John Dean to gather information on the Democrats to help Nixon get re-elected. John Dean feels the plan is unnecessary and if things went wrong, they could end up in jail. Mitchell's offer makes John Dean feel uneasy. He initially even declines the offer, but Mitchell convinces him by saying that Nixon has personally asked for him. By appealing to his ambition, Mitchell makes him agree to the plan.
Later in the episode, Dean discovers that Mitchell lied to him about Nixon’s interest in him. He decides to submit his resignation. He types it out and goes to deliver it to Mitchell personally. However, his boss isn’t in his office at the moment. He places it on John’s desk, only to find a memo on John’s desk. The memo says that Nixon is impressed with John Dean and wants to meet him personally. Surprisingly, John removes the resignation letter and is very happy at the chance to meet with Nixon. Dean’s blind ambition immediately removes his desire to do something right. By removing his resignation he also consciously agrees to Mitchell's plan. He takes his letter and promptly departs making the viewers wonder if he made the right or wrong choice. What happens next? Stay tuned to 'Gaslit' to find out.
The first episode of 'Gaslit' is available to stream on Starz.