As the zen masters behind [[Being Erica (TV Series)|Being Erica]] might tell us, nothing in life remains static. Change is everything. If you were hoping to tune into the season 3 premiere to see Erica plumbing her past regrets, you may well have been startled by the turn Erica’s story took.
The mysterious hall of doors that we saw at the end of Season 2 turned out to be the pathway to Phase 2 of her therapy. However, Phase 2 was sprung on Erica almost as much as it was sprung on the viewer – it was a sudden change to the format of our favourite show, it was uncomfortable and it was alien. Moreover, Erica (Erin Karpluk) was upset to discover that Dr. Tom (Michael Riley) had other patients. Naturally, since he doesn’t have a waiting room per se, she wasn’t likely to bump into them.
We find ourselves in the middle of a support group where the participants – all patients of Dr. Tom – are encouraged to bare their souls. New character, the abrasive Adam, challenges Erica at all turns and makes her feel extremely uncomfortable. (Though one thing that she didn’t touch on is how the third phase of therapy leads to Erica herself becoming a therapist. I’d have thought after dumping Ethan for trying to control her life, she’d have been offended that Dr. Tom hadn’t revealed that part.)
Back in real life, she and Julieanne (Reagan Pasternak) begin their business venture in earnest. They attend a publishing event together, where Brent (Morgan Kelly) snarkily comments to Erica that Julieann is still using her as an assistant. In return Erica blabs about The Purple Door, the book they’re hoping to publish. Oops.
I think the fact that there were very few familiar faces (and Dr. Tom was acting odder than usual) made this episode feel alien and different.
Most of the episode was spent working through the regret of Irish former thief Adam Fitzpatrick (Adam Fergus) – he regretted that his mother had to die alone, so he wanted to be at her deathbed. But after trailing Erica into his criminal past – they were chased by police and a drug dealer offered Erica crack in exchange for sex…classy – he reveals that he hates his mother. Erica returns to the support group and by letting go of her inhibitions around them, she discovers how she can empathize with Adam.
This first episode wasn’t nearly as watchable as the series has been so far. But what I like is that Erica was dragged through the changes with us. She’s having a tough time adjusting to this new phase, and I think so will we. It was nice to see her make that quote (included below) about how one day she feels she’s doing great, and the next day, life can pull the rug from underneath your feet.
Certainly, turbulent times are ahead for Erica, and I hope that the series settles into its new format over the next couple of weeks. I’m not saying the changes are a bad thing, by the way, but they’ll take a bit of getting used to.
I mean, did anyone else hope we’d see Ethan looking forlorn in that scene where Erica was outside her apartment? Maybe next week a few familiar faces from Erica’s family would help?
Julieann: “I heart that name, I heart it!”
Erica: “I feel angry. With you. Because you, you did this. You came into my life. You made me trust you, and then I find out that I’m not the only one.”
Adam: “I hate her. She was an awful mother, and you’re not supposed to say that.”
Erica: “One day I feel like I’m on top of the world, and then the next day I feel like I’m an imposter, like I’m not ready for this, like I’m not contributing nearly enough.”
David: “Ivan, I have spent our entire relationship bending over backwards for you. Now it’s your turn to bend over for me.”