Well viewers, we’ve reached that point – Being Erica has its very last episode tonight (sniff). I thought it was fitting (especially considering how uneven this season has been) to remind myself why I think Being Erica has been one of the most interesting and engaging shows of late (serious bonus points for being a decidedly Canadian show as well).
So let’s take a quick trip down memory lane and take a look at some of Being Erica’s best moments (in chronological order).
*Obviously there are many more great scenes that aren’t included in this list. These scenes represent those which really stuck out to me as being something special and memorable. It is by no means an exhaustive list. Please share your top picks in the comments!
‘Dr. Tom’ – S01E01
Let’s start off with a quick little scene from the pilot episode of our beloved series. This scene is what initially piqued my interest in the show. I really related to this moment (I think a lot of us did) as it set the stage for why Erica (Erin Karpluk) was such a prime candidate for this trippy time travel therapy. I just love her last line – it sums up perfectly what I’ve felt on numerous occasions. Where’s my Dr. Tom (Michael Riley)?
‘Everything She Wants’ – S01E09
Of course, how could we forget the very racy tryst between Erica and bestie Cassidy (Anna Silk)? I had the pleasure of first watching this scene on my laptop on an international flight, right smack in the middle of the night. Let’s just say that my surrounding passengers certainly got a wake-up call. When I first saw this scene, I was shocked that the CBC (our national public broadcaster) aired this in prime time. Kudos to you, CBC for pushing those boundaries and really allowing stories to be told without restriction. *Warning: Likely NSFW
‘Leo’ – S01E13
In this scene we see Erica heading back in time right before her beloved older brother, Leo (Devon Bostick) dies in an accidental fire. She’s presented with the choice to save his life, thereby altering her future, or say her goodbyes and allow him to perish with an understanding of how the accident happened. She impetuously chooses to save him. Her subsequent visit shows us a side of Dr. Tom that we’ve not seen yet. By reacting to her choice, in such a passionate way, Dr. Tom becomes a much more three-dimensional character. Superb acting between Karpluk and Riley, which is really at the very core of the entire series.
‘Leo’ – S01E13
The aftermath. Both Erica and Dr. Tom realize the consequences of their actions, which fundamentally changes their relationship. It’s pretty heartbreaking to watch, especially with the counterpoint of Erica’s frantic desperation and Dr. Tom’s cool indifference. This sets the stage for a great first season finale and shows us the potential that the series has. Not only do we get a glimpse into the time traveling rules, but we also get some powerful displays of emotion.
‘Battle Royale‘ – S02E02
Riding high on the momentum from the first season, the second season focused on Erica’s new relationship with long time, best friend Ethan (Tyron Leitso). Here we have another riveting scene as Erica hits her “scary” age – wondering when she’s going to walk down that aisle – and throwing that immense pressure on Ethan. Who are we kidding? This is an extremely relatable scene for any single woman in her late-20s/early 30s. It’s also an issue that has been tip-toed around in more traditional mainstream media, but I felt was much more honestly depicted here.
‘Papa can you hear me?’ – S02E10
Hands down one of my favorite episodes of all time. Although it’s an ‘Erica-lite’ episode, we really get a solid glimpse into Dr. Tom’s past as he, himself, goes on a regret. Michael Riley is just superb throughout this entire episode. I picked a touching scene when he finally seems to get through to his estranged daughter Sarah (Tatiana Maslany). It’s a pretty simplistic revelation, but I feel that it’s played perfectly and reminds us that bells and whistles aren’t always necessary.
‘The Importance of Being Erica’ – S02E12
It was a hard one, but I think my favorite all time episode of Being Erica is its second season finale. There are so many amazing scenes in the episode, including the (rightful) closure of the Kai story arc, and this scene where Erica and Ethan break-up. It is so honest, so well-written and acted, it’s just pitch perfect. This episode is one that I’ll always remember, and its title couldn’t be more fitting.
‘The Rabbit Hole’ – S03E01
Even after such a strong second season, there was question on whether or not the series would be renewed. I felt extremely satisfied after the second season finale, I was actually okay if the series had ended there. But if it had, we wouldn’t have gotten this powerful display of acting by Erin Karpluk. I definitely welled-up after viewing this scene. This episode introduced the concept of ‘group therapy’ and *GASP* that Dr. Tom actually had other patients (!) I thought it was a huge elephant in the room and felt just as betrayed as Erica. The whole “group” concept is still one of the series’ major weaknesses (especially since the concept, and the remaining patients in it, have been so unceremoniously dropped in the final season). But as Erica released a gamut of emotions, it was if she was speaking for us, the entire viewing audience. Give this woman an Emmy (or a Gemini) please!
‘Physician, Heal Thyself’ – S03E08
Season three gave us another stellar Dr. Tom-centric episode, and Michael Riley couldn’t have been more on top of it. We see even more of Dr. Tom’s evolution and Riley just carries this entire episode. I defy you to keep your eyes from tearing up! While we’re talking Emmys (or Geminis), make sure Riley gets one, too!
‘Erica, Interrupted’ – S03E12
The third season finale takes a cue from Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s ‘Normal Again’ where Erica goes back to the pilot just after her nut allergy incident. Perhaps her time traveling adventures have all just been a figment of her imagination whilst in a coma. I think this probably would have been a better card to have played in the series finale, but again, it was likely that the show was facing some dicey odds about renewal when this was written. Let’s hope the actual series finale is able to give us a mind-bender akin to this one:
Regardless of how the series ends, no matter how satisfying or unsatisfying, I think the scenes I’ve recapped above show us that Being Erica definitely delivered some damn good television. We will bid adieu to our lovely Canadian cast, but hopefully with all the talks of international remakes we won’t have to say a permanent good-bye to our beloved heroine and her guiding sage.
So that’s it folks. How do you like my list? What are the glaring omissions? (I know there are some!) Ready for finale time tonight? Chime in below in the comments section, and be sure to visit us after the finale for our final recap!
Great review! I agree with all these unforgettable moments you chose. But I want to add the song “Alien Like you” performed by Kai, in season 2, episode 12 (“The importance of Being Erica”) and also the moment when Kai tells Erica she dies in 2019, one of the most important mysteries of the show (season 3, episode 4, “Wash, Rinse, Repeat”). Oh, and Dr. Tom and Erica’s dance in season 4, episode 9 (“Erica’s adventures in wonderland”).
Looking forward to the big finale!
Yes! I’m totally in agreement with you about Kai’s song – that was one of most very favorite scenes, as well as the dance with Dr. Tom earlier this season. And I completely thought about Kai’s first return- probably because he’s returned so many times, the novelty has kind of worn off. But the ‘groundhog day episode’ was great.
Those were actually all of the scenes I would have chosen. And I have to say that I also thought the season 2 finale would have to be my favouritte. Loved exactly that scene the most and must have watched it about 20 times. Thanks for showing me why I was so in love with the series after the fourth season let me down a little. 🙂
When I started this post, I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to fill it up – but even just sitting down and thinking about it without reviewing my DVDs, I had a huge list. And then watching some of these scenes again, I remembered why I’ve loved this show since it’s beginning. Overall, I think season four was the weakest season, but I wanted to remember the series as a whole – which is a pretty fabulous one. I really wanted to share this because I’m sure others felt the same, or needed a bit of a reminder 😉
Thanks tvangie. I’m glad I didn’t have to do this!
What really grabbed me in those early seasons in particular, wasn’t the individual scenes so much, but the great connections and very believeable relationships between cast members – in my opinion, this was far better in the first couple seasons than the last couple. I’m not sure if this was a conscious effort as Erica grew to find her own identity more, or if was just a consequence of changing up the cast.
Regarding Cassidy – it’s hard to resist a Succubus (see Showcase’s Lost Girl, which just confirmed season 3 – yay!).
I agree SirBeegus – I definitely wanted to see more character development this season. Even if Erica has made strides in discovering who she is – there is always that room to grow and learn. Plus she’s meeting new people and there’s always new opportunities for growth when that happens. Generally, I think this last season was a bit of a missed opportunity.
But there are tons of scenes and characters i wanted to put in – like Val! Remember Val in the video diaries on the first season website?! Love.
You nailed all of my favorite episodes! Not only that, you also nailed all the points where the show lost its way. I have to say, you have provided the best reviews on this show that I have seen anywhere on the internet. I’m linking to your site when I finally get around to writing my final thoughts on the show in my blog.
thanks for reading Corey! Can’t wait to read your thoughts on the finale as well
Well Angie, I was a bit disappointed with the finale. Well, OK, that goodbye scene between Erica and Dr. Tom was just awesome, the finale was of a similar quality as the other episodes this season and they did a good job wrapping up the loose story lines. But, the real draw of this show was Erica’s journey and it finished when she was on that bridge with Leo at the end of season 3. The show and my interest just drifted after that episode.
I ended up exploring the Erica-fan bond for my series review and gave your website a plug in the process. The plug can be found at http://randomleaves.blogspot.com/2012/01/erica-strange-wins-game.html Glad you found some friends to watch shows with you….Maybe I’ll check out some of your other recommendations for CBC shows in the future!