Being Erica had a pretty strong comeback with its second last episode of the season. Yes viewers, thanks to my trusty PVR descriptors – I scrolled ahead to next week and saw that indeed episode 11, titled “Dr. Erica” is our series finale (sniff). Although I’ve ranted about how uneven season four has been, as I’ve alluded to in previous posts and comments , the series as a whole has really been something special. I’ve gotten hours of entertainment of Erica’s (Erin Karpluk) adventures with Dr. Tom (Michael Riley), it’s offered me the opportunity for much inward reflection and I’m just not at the point of complete disavowal.
The elements which resonate in “Purim” really encapsulate what’s great about the entire series. So without further ado, let’s take a closer look…
The episode opens with a very real, but playful scene that I’m sure every new couple encounters at some point in their relationship. Erica enters her bathroom, runs the faucet and takes a seat on the toilet (oh CBC, how you manage to push the boundaries tastefully should be studied by many – bravo!). Adam (Adam Fergus) enters to brush his teeth. Erica’s jaw promptly drops (along with my own) as she tells him she’s kind of in the middle of something (!) and the door was closed. He doesn’t think it’s a big deal. The scene closes with the equivalent of a tickle fight with the innocent throwing of toilet paper rolls. Now all my problems with Erica and Adam aside, you’ve got to admit, it’s a pretty jovial scene. Perhaps this is what we were missing when we saw them together as couple in earlier episodes. These two do have chemistry (perhaps not as much sizzle as Erica and Sebastian Pigott’s Kai but for reasons stated in my last recap, I have to put my Team Kai banner in the closet for now) and my underlying problems with Adam are placated as he genuinely seems to be making an effort to try again.
Aside: I think in general terms, I’d like to see Erica alone in the series finale, just to really hammer home that it’s okay to not have a boyfriend if your current prospects just aren’t right. (I had especially wished the same for a Miss Carrie Bradshaw considering with all the single girl cheerleading on that show, but that’s beside the point…) But seeing as relationships are a major factor of Being Erica’s foundation, I think it’s ok that she’s with Adam. Besides, it’s believable that these two would try again considering the lack of closure in their last breakup. End Aside.
By the way, it’s Erica’s birthday and nothing says “time for personal growth” better than this special annual celebration. It’s fitting that we revisit the formula that worked so well for the series in its first two seasons – re-doing a regret from the past. Erica goes back to 1992, the last Purim celebration with her Zayde. Previously she snuck out her bedroom window and missed out on an opportunity to spend time with him before he died. She distinctly tells Dr. Tom that it’s a regret and she wants a do-over. And don’t fret too much about straying from the doctor training thread- doing redoing a regret gives you knowledge; knowledge is power and therefore you can be a better doctor.
I should mention that the journey is triggered by Erica’s rant on Julianne (Regan Pasternak) after she finally finds out about “Brulianne” (Ugh. Julianne’s words, not mine!) Erica reams out Julianne for putting her in an uncomfortable position and rails “I would never do that to you!” After seeing how harsh her Zayde treats her father (the always fabulous John Boylan) for not raising his kids under the tradition (cue Tevye) Erica understands a cardinal lesson that I’m sure we’re all guilty of: You can’t expect people to be like you. We get a really touching scene between Erica and her Zayde, when they start seeing each other as actual people rather than family members. Again, another moment that is highly relatable and made me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Dr. Tom says it best:
When people that we care about let us down, we have trouble seeing that we hold them to an impossible standard.
Testify! Of course, Erica sees the error of her ways and works it out with a very drunk Julianne. But what sets us up for the series finale (sniff) is the very last scene between Dr. Tom and Dr. Naadiah (Joanne Vannicola). It’s been not-so-subtly hinted that Dr. Tom wanted out of the whole doctor thing, but now he’s actually acting on it. He wants a new beginning with rekindled love, Amanda (Suzy Joachim). They want to travel together! Naadiah tells Tom that he’s given back “far more than he’s been asked.” (Wonderfully cryptic! This is what I’m talking about!) She goes on by saying “Tom, you need to know what happens next.” (Yes! We all want to know!) I was literally on the edge of my seat waiting for a big reveal. Alas, it’s just that he has to sever all ties with his patients, which I kind of predicted, and was alluded to in Please, Please Tell Me Know. Tom, on the other hand, seems utterly shocked at this revelation as we fade to black.
What do you think viewers? I think Tom’s going to undergo some sort of Men in Black memory wipe.
I guess my theory about Dr. Tom being an angel to shepherd the lost into heaven (or the *insert your theology here* equivalent) has successfully gone out the window. But finally we get a glimpse into what this whole doctor process is really about. What “has been asked” of the doctors as Naadiah mentions? Interesting, when Tom lists reasons why he’s ready to throw in the towel, he mentions how Erica will no longer be patient, but he doesn’t really say anything about all his “other patients’ (p.s. what has happened to our group therapy peeps?)
Some other observations:
- Judith (Vinessa Antoine) has returned! And so has Jenny (Paula Brancati). Rejoice! I knew we’d get a reunion of past players to wrap things up, although their appearance at Erica’s party could mean that they don’t show up in the finale. (The same can be said about Barb (Kathleen Laskey) and Gary as they appeared in the flashback)
- Drunk Julianne is really, REALLY annoying. We get mic squeaks and everything! Overkill.
- I am doing a complete 180 on the whole Julianne and Brent (Morgan Kelly) thing. Case in point: when Brent fell from a chair and Julianne did the whole “OH SWEETIE! Are you okay?” in such a high-pitch that I swear dogs perked up. UGH. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s enough time to give these two anything worthwhile to do come finale time.
- ‘BSC’ – brilliant. And here I thought it was just a Bachelor of Science…
So here we go viewers. Being Erica airs its very last episode next week. How are you feeling? What are your predictions? I’m putting my money down on the final scene having Erica saying goodbye to Tom just before his memory wipe. Something along the lines of when she said goodbye to Kai the first time. Chime in down in the comments section!
Side Note: As we bid adieu to the show in its Canadian form, I thought it would be fitting to recap some of Being Erica’s best moments ever. Stay tuned for this post which will be up this weekend in advance of the series finale (sniff) next week.
UPDATE: Check out ‘The Best of Being Erica’
Side Note 2: We’ve got a ton of great shows coming up in the new year, so be sure to check in regularly as we move forward to see what becomes our new Being Erica. And be sure to stay in touch in December for all of our other fun posts.