Being Erica recap, episode 3: wherein gay bears go camping (with straight bear Adam) and the gals have babies on the brain
There’s nothing quite like a baby to create drama, like when Taylor on Melrose Place fell down the stairs and learned she wasn’t pregnant, or when Ross from Friends was asked by his lesbian ex-wife to be one of two dads, or even in the movie Junior, when Arnold Schwarzenegger shook up the science world by carrying a child. In episode two of Being Erica, we learned at the last possible moment that Erica’s sister Samantha was pregnant, but what we really wanted to know was, how does everyone feel about it? In episode three, we find out that Erica is amazed, since she’s been thinking that her sister may have been getting fat, which of course sends the sisters into a public conversation about irregular periods and discoloured nipples. The whole situation spooks Adam, who isn’t sure he wants children, while Lenin, the baby’s father, is thrilled, and Gary, Erica’s dad, is overjoyed by the news that he will be getting his first grandson. It won’t come as a surprise that not everyone is as thrilled with the news—Sammy and Erica’s mother Barb is quieted by it, and no one knows why, which is why, surprise, Erica’s mom is her newest patient.
Erica transports to 1969, complete with trippy mod dress and slang like “groovy” and “swell.” The costume design is pretty great, but of course Erica stands out in the brightest, most conventionally ’60s-style outfit, and all the boys do a double take as she walks down the hall (it’s that beautiful hair). Dr. Tom sends Erica to meet her mother when she was still in high school, to find out what in her past may have caused a sudden personality shift (unlike, say, Erica’s multiple personality shifts on any given day). After high school rumours about a bookish Barb suggest she “went all the way” with a high school “stud,” Erica pieces together that her mother had an unexpected pregnancy at 17, and Dr. Tom tells Erica she was shipped to Montreal so no one could be the wiser.
While all this goes on, Ivan and David are busy having their “Big Fat Stag Weekend,” which is just five gay bears in a provincial park with Adam. Somehow, instead of the guys getting rip-roaring drunk, the get-together becomes a therapy session for Adam, who doesn’t believe he’d make a good father because his was so crummy. Leave it to five big bears who “look like bikers but are still homosexual” to change Adam’s mind, leading him to run back home to Erica—and by run back home to Erica, we mean take a bus back to Toronto. Unsurprisingly, when Erica returns from the past, the secret of her mother’s teenage pregnancy reveals itself, because, of course, at the time Sammy’s baby news came, Barb’s long-lost son was looking for her (of course) and it’s a secret that has become too much to bear.
As is becoming quite common with season three, we are left with a bunch of questions: where are Julianne and Ray Ray—why did the writers commit so much time and energy to two characters, if they aren’t going to be expanded on? Why develop a long-lost baby subplot for a mom character no one really cares all that much about? Are we going to have to start a petition to bring Jenny back? Can Ivan and David be more than just bears, because so far, besides Ivan’s vague bisexuality, their life is just a series of bad bear jokes and plaid cut-off vests? These questions aside, our favourite revelation came at the end of the episode, where Erica talks to Dr. Tom about how amazing her life is, and it’s all because she met him. Oh, Erica, it’s always about you.