Being Erica – Being Adam (S03E05) – Episode review

Tired of Erica always being the centre of attention on this show? Well, tonight the spotlight is on former gangster Adam.

It’s not often that I repeat Erica’s little monologues that appear at the start or end of the episode, but this one’s a doozie, and the key to the episode as a whole. I wanted to share it, because it’s steeped in wisdom and is very thought provoking:

They say we manifest our intentions, that we choose how we live. But if life doesn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, it makes you stop and wonder. “Did you ever really have a choice? Or is this just the way it was meant to be. How much of our lives can we choose and how much is just the way we are?

This episode of [[Being Erica (TV Series)|Being Erica]] kicks off with a sequence showing Adam Fitzpatrick (Adam Fergus) helping someone else with a regret. We see him encouraging the guy to break the cycle and challenge the bullies that made his life hell. All of this has relevance five minutes later when Adam is given the opportunity to go back in time and change his biggest regret.

We all know that Adam’s had a shady past. A couple of weeks back, we watched his past self break the hand of a man who couldn’t pay up. Violence marked his life, and we see tonight just how much. Starting with an incident where he viciously beat his abrasive, bullying boss, Adam became involved with a gangster called Hastings and his life took a sinister direction.

In Being Adam, we see Adam being given the chance to change that one big regret. He walks away from the fight that changed his life, turns down a job offer from Hastings and authoritatively deals with his abusive father. But he hits a plateau on this return visit and isn’t sure what to do next. Dr. Tom (Michael Riley) sends Erica (Erin Karpluk) back in time to nudge him along.

Erica advises Adam that he needs to live in the present. He has all this knowledge of how his life turned out, so he should turn that around and live this new life as he wishes he had done first time around. That’s an interesting concept for this show – that it’s one thing to remedy a mistake in your life, but you have to apply a sustained effort to turn it around completely.

Adam eventually wakes up in a future where he’s got a wife and child, a successful business and he’s working with his brother. It’s a pretty freaky moment for Adam, since he’s arrived at a point where he’s bypassed all of that growth and arrived at the endpoint. Yes, he’s clearly loaded, and has a lovely house. But his wife and child are strangers to him. The actor – Adam Fergus – does a commendable job of being wildly impressed at this alternate take on his life, but also rather freaked out by the immense change in his life.

I’m a little confused by what happens next. Adam doesn’t seem to feel he deserves this future and wants to wallow in the consequences of his original actions. I wonder if he hadn’t protested so much, would Dr. Tom have allowed him to continue to live that life? Or was it all a big tease?

Regardless, Adam is returned to his original timeline. But something in the experience has changed him. He realises that while he wasn’t happy with his former gangster life, he’s not happy in his current situation either. As the episode closes, we see him apologise to Erica for being harsh with her in a therapy session, and then he enroles in a landscaping course. What I love about this is that we literally just found out that Adam’s a landscape gardener an episode back, and it’s become an important part of his storyline.

Like the episode last year called Being Dr. Tom, there’s very little Erica in this one. But just enough to keep us satisfied. While we see Erica in group and in a relatively light sub-plot with her mother, this one’s all about Adam.

Erica’s storyline follows on from last week’s big reveal about Barb’s breast cancer. She and Sam (Joanna Douglas) attempt to baby their mother, but she’s decided she doesn’t want to play to the victim script (nice callback to the scene with Adam at the very start!). Barb goes to Goblins with the girls flaunting her assets in a hot pink top. Just add Kathleen Laskey to the list of hot women on Being Erica! Who’d have thought?

It may be worth mentioning in closing that the series takes a very sympathetic view of Adam’s past. He’s clearly done some horrible things that at the time were commonplace to him. However, it’s clear – from being part of Dr. Tom’s therapy in the first place – that Adam has genuine regrets. We’re seeing a character here at a turning point. I like to think of it as a holding pattern, where he’s worked out that he’s living aimlessly right now. It was nice to see him rather tentatively take those first steps toward doing a course in landscaping. We’re not so hung up on his past now, but interested to see where he goes in the future.

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