The final episode in [[Being Erica (TV Series)|Being Erica]]’s second season wraps the series up with some magical moments and more than a little heartbreak. Throughout the season, Erica’s life has been changing direction – firstly as she veered toward getting fired from her job and secondly as her romance with Ethan has become increasingly stale.
After getting fired from their jobs last week, Erica (Erin Karpluk) and Julieann bounce back with a plan to start their own publishing business. Until Ethan pours his customary brand of cold water on Erica’s enthusiasm. He briefly convinces her that it’s a bad idea to start a business, which leads to Erica completely breaking down in a yoga class with Julieann.
It’s up to Dr. Tom (Michael Riley) to lift her spirits, which he does by introducing some magic into the show – he draws a chalk door on a wall and invites Erica to push it open. It takes her into a hallway of doors, each presumably with their own magic destination. However, Erica’s not quite ready to make a choice, and ends up following Dr. Tom back to his office.
What follows is a swift diversion through one of Erica’s college regrets – which ends up giving her the advice she needs to deal with her problems in the present. The first nudge comes from Erica’s lesbian friend Cassidy, who snipes at Ethan: “If everyone was as complacent as your friend Ethan here, you and I wouldn’t even be allowed to go to university.” And the second is Erica’s adviser who gives her the courage to throw away Ethan’s misgivings and follow her own ambition: “Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to watch students waste years hiding out in university when they could be pursuing their dreams?”
Erica also takes the time to help Kai out. Kai’s finally accepted that he can’t escape his destiny, so he’s resigned to complete his therapy. He has to perform for record company execs which will set him on the course to being a rock star. When Erica meets Kai at Goblins for the open mic (where else would they perform?) they hedge their bets by saying goodbye in advance – there’s every chance that Kai will return to his own time.
As Kai’s band perform Alien Like You, Erica’s feelings for him are crystallized through a series of flashbacks. So when he doesn’t recognize her after the gig, it’s all the more heartbreaking for Erica.
This leads Erica back home to Ethan, where she asserts herself by telling him that she’s going ahead in her partnership with Julieann (who is much more likeable now she’s on a par with Erica). Ethan – understandably – thinks Erica’s gone a bit loopy and this is an extension of the non-committal Erica who was failing at everything a couple of years ago. But she comes to the realisation that she and Ethan aren’t compatible in the long term. Especially since he seems to have mapped her life out for her.
What I love about the treatment of Ethan in this series is that they’ve never vilified the character. He clearly loves Erica, and he’s been nurturing and dependable to her in places. But Erica craves excitement and Ethan is intent on settling down. He’s almost the personification of the Disney prince – downright perfect as a boyfriend, but really a little dull. I started cooling on him when he wouldn’t play with Erica at the sex club, by the way.
So Erica ends the relationship with almost brutal honesty: “Every time I start trying to step outside of the box a little…it’s like you keep trying to push me in.”
We finish back at the mysterious hall of doors, where Dr. Tom is waiting for her. It feels like this is where Being Erica has been heading, toward her making a big step forward. The two share a touching conversation, and Erica sums up Tom’s effect on her life: “Everything that you’ve taught me, it’s made me braver somehow. Fear no longer holds me back, it actually motivates me, if that makes sense.”
As the episode draws to a close, Erica enters a green door. It’s quite a mysterious ending to the series, but at the time it aired, there was no guarantee of a third season. So it hints at a strange destiny for Erica – one where she’s left Ethan and Kai has vanished. An emotional ending to the second season that left us with lingering questions and hope for a third season – which starts, by the way, on 21st September! Yay!