Being Erica recap, episode 1: wherein Erica reveals herself to be better than everyone else
BEING ERICA Episode 1
Being Erica returned for its fourth—and possibly final—season on Monday, and the question on every viewer’s mind was, “Who is Erica’s first sort-of patient?” ‘Sort-of patient’ because, as Dr. Tom is sure to remind Erica Strange about a billion times, she’s a “doctor-in-training.” Patient #1 wasn’t the obnoxious but lovable Julianne, whose problem childhood was outlined in a holiday special after last season’s finale, or Jenny, because, well, she’s now relegated to the past, like in last night’s time-travelling adventure to the summer of 1998 (where Jenny danced up on a gentleman named Jesus and got in a bar fight with his saucy girlfriend; why isn’t this show about Jenny, again?). Instead, the gloved hand tapping Erica on the shoulder at the end of Season 3 belonged to Josh, her sister Samantha’s ex—a man who is rude to Erica, hated by Erica and, of course, secretly in love with Erica (because every straight man who ever comes into contact with the Strange sister becomes infatuated). We track Strange-isms and discuss the drama between Erica and Josh after the jump.
What initially felt like an underwhelming development turned out to be the glue that held Episode 1 together: Josh, although loutish and somehow unable to escape the trend of ’80s power dressing, seems to be the only remaining character who won’t bend to Erica’s whims: he’s torturing Samantha in their divorce settlement, he won’t open up to Erica—who shows up several times throughout the episode on his doorstep uninvited (oh, Erica!)—and he’s defensive, because on two separate occasions he has expressed his love for his sister-in-law, only to be rejected. Conflict is the lifeblood of a drama, but this episode was low on the juice: Julianne and Erica’s disagreements are resolved in half an episode (and Julianne doesn’t call Erica “chicken” once), and Erica and Adam’s relationship is proven to be so successful that she’s naked in the first five minutes. Oh, and Adam also tells Erica he loves her, something he has never done for any woman, proving further that Erica needs Josh, because otherwise we’d be watching an episode of “No, You’re The Best.”
We get it, Erica
We didn’t think it was possible for Erica Strange to grow a bigger head or become even holier-than-thou, but in one episode, we counted at least a few instances that were just classic Erica:
• Dr. Tom became the equivalent of an interventionist as soon as Erica found out that her first test patient is Josh. We know this sounds unusual, but she was complaining at almost every turn, claiming she can’t work with him, because he’s—more or less—the worst person of all time. We get it, Erica: everyone loves you, and if they don’t, they’re the worst.
• In the final scene of the Season 4 premiere, Erica returns to Josh’s place, begging for his attention. She takes off her jacket, hoping that he will open up (even though he ignores her), and when he finally decides to open up, she immediately turns the conversation to herself, asking how he thinks she felt when her life was rife with struggle and feelings of being “trapped.” When Josh asks her if she still feels trapped, she says no and smugly walks away. And this, folks, is why she’s merely a doctor-in-training and not a card-carrying member of the time-travelling doctors’ club. We get it, Erica: you’re stronger than everyone else.