Full Plot Edit
Erica is at work, sorting out some paperwork ahead of a staff meeting. Brent comes up and notices that she has failed to 'bold' the title - warning her that today of all days is not the time to have made such a mistake.
She doesn't seem perturbed by this, but then he points to Julianne entering the office wearing dark sunglasses - and he informs Erica that Julianne has been dumped by her boyfriend, Jackson. She narrates:
"Remember that song, 'Lovers In A Dangerous Time'? Whenever I listen to it, I think being in love is always dangerous."
Julianne is chairing the meeting and discussing plans for Frank Galvin's 50th anniversary party on Friday. She then notices that Erica has failed to bold the title on the paperwork, suggesting it looks like Frank's party isn't important and Erica apologises.
Then a delivery man enters carrying a box of roses and hands it to Julianne. Believing they are from Jackson, she suggests that somebody must be feeling guilty but, when she opens the box and reads the card, she discovers they are for Erica - from Ryan.
That evening, Erica and Ryan are making out on the couch in her apartment and he reveals to her he has made creme brulee for dessert. Erica is delighted to hear this and they go into the kitchen so Ryan can finish the desserts off with a blowtorch.
They then hear a knock on the wall, which Erica explains is part of a code with Ethan from college days. One knock back indicates that they are indisposed, two means comes over. Without thinking, and to Ryan's surprise, Erica knocks back twice.
Ethan opens the door and is confused to see Ryan there. Erica explains that she accidentally knocked twice and he leaves, saying they can watch the DVD he has brought over another time. Erica explains to Ryan about her and Ethan's regular Thursday movie night. Ryan suggests this is like a date.
Erica then asks him why he is pulling out all the stops tonight, suggesting it's because he's feeling guilty about flying away tomorrow and leaving her dateless for Frank's party. Ryan reveals that it's actually because it's three months since he and Erica first met.
She is surprised to discover this, and he tells her that he only makes creme brulee for those he loves. Erica is speechless at this declaration, and can only manage to stutter a reply about how love is a "very serious emotion."
He apologises for putting her on the spot and tells her it's fine if she's not at the same stage yet. He then feeds her some of the creme brulee.
"Love. It's the biggest risk we take, and the most enduring mystery - why we feel so powerfully for one person and not another."
The next evening, Erica is getting ready to go out to Frank's party when Jenny arrives with the dress Erica is borrowing from her for the party. Erica pours them both a glass of wine and Jenny asks where Ryan is.
Erica informs her he has been in Chicago and is now moving onto Vancouver, but tells Jenny that, before he left, he told her he loved her. Jenny is surprised that somebody can fall in love after just three months.
She then tells Jenny how bad she feels about her reply to him, explaining that Ryan is a great boyfriend in so many ways. Jenny tells her she is talking to the wrong girl about love and Ethan then arrives as Erica's date for the evening.
Jenny leaves to attend her yoga class, and Erica - getting ready in her bedroom - shouts to Ethan how grateful she is for him coming with her, warning him that the party will be high brow. He says, having been married to Claire for eight years, he's used to such events.
Erica then comes out of her bedroom and asks Ethan to help do up the zip on the back of her dress. He is taken aback by how great she looks and they share a moment as he rests his hands on her back having zipped her up.
She pulls away and asks him how things with Claire are going. Ethan admits things are "challenging" and then tells Erica how good she looks before they leave the apartment.
Erica and Ethan arrive at the party and are soon approached by Julianne, who wants to know who Erica's "mystery man" is. He goes to get them some drinks, with a flirtatious Julianne requesting a "dirty martini."
While he's gone she asks Erica whether Ethan is single, and Erica admits he is separated from his wife.
Later, Erica and Brent are watching from a distance as Julianne talks and flirts with Ethan, including touching him 25 times. Erica then notices that Ryan has emerged from the elevator and is shocked to see him there.
He tells her that, waiting for his flight at the airport, he had decided he had somewhere more important to be and had flown back to Toronto. Ryan then looks around and is surprised to see Ethan present.
Erica says that she brought him along as she couldn't face all the small talk by herself. She then takes Ryan to introduce him to people, joking that she will have to explain why she has "two dates."
A while later, Ryan is washing his hands in the men's washroom when Ethan comes in and quickly closes the door. He tells him he is hiding from Julianne, who Ethan describes as "unstoppable."
Ryan comments that she is a "babe" - but asks Ethan not to inform Erica of this opinion. Ethan says he wouldn't, but Ryan challenges this, reminding him he is Erica's best friend. Curious, Ethan asks him what Ryan thinks they get up to when they hang out.
He jokes that they watch re-runs of Sex And The City, drink tea, and discuss feelings. Ethan admits that his friendship with Erica has always been a thorny issue with Claire, with Ryan suggesting it's because her three main topics of conversations are "books, books, and Ethan."
Ethan looks unimpressed, and Ryan says he knows they're just friends, but enquires as to whether anything has ever happened between Ethan and Erica. When Ethan insists nothing has, Ryan finds it hard to believe that in 15 years they have always remained just friends.
However, Ethan informs him he has always either been going out with, or married to, Claire. When Ryan suggests that something would have happened between him and Erica if Claire hadn't been in the picture though, Ethan struggles to respond.
He is saved by Julianne coming through the door, commenting that she is either paranoid or Ethan is avoiding her. Ethan says he is just washing his hands and goes back to the party, leaving Ryan to reflect on their conversation.
Frank is giving a speech as everyone watches on and listens. Erica's attention is distracted by the way Julianne is all over an uncomfortable Ethan though, which she describes as "insane" and like Julianne is "on heat." Ryan fails to see why this bothers Erica, reminding her that Ethan is separated.
Erica insists she wants Ethan to move on, but that Julianne has all of Claire's worst qualities "minus the cute accent." Irritated, Ryan tells Erica it's none of her business. As Julianne continues, Erica snaps and goes to walk over to Julianne.
However, Ryan catches her arm as she's leaving to try and stop her. Erica is angry and tells him to let go of her and demands to know what he's doing. Wanting to avoid a public confrontation, Ryan leads Erica into the elevator so they can talk.
Ryan tells her he needs to know whether Erica is concerned about Ethan or just jealous. Erica can't believe this, but he tells her Ethan is always walking into her apartment and the two of them have their "date night."
Erica protests, but he says she always talks about him and, while he realises she has known him for longer, he has gone from the point of understanding to being jealous. Erica responds that she doesn't know what to do about Ryan's jealousy.
However, he suggests she considers it from his point of view that, after telling her that he loves her and her not reciprocating, he has returned to find her dressed up looking gorgeous for another guy.
Erica insists Ethan is there as her friend and, when Ryan asks why she couldn't have told him before, says she shouldn't have to vet her social life by him when he is on the other side of the country.
Ryan admits that he feels he can't compete with Ethan in any way that matters to Erica, but she is adamant she has no feelings for Ethan. Persuaded, Ryan suggests that Erica must think him a freak.
Erica apologises for not telling him that she was coming with Ethan though, and they kiss and make up. Ryan then opens the elevators door and heads back in the party. Erica lingers for a few seconds in the elevator. The doors then begin to close, but she manages to stop them shutting.
However, when she pulls them back open she finds herself entering Dr. Tom's office - exclaiming "Thank God" in her relief. Dr. Tom jokes that he doesn't know whether to be flattered or perturbed by her comment, but Erica tells him she just needs a little time out.
He says that she lied to Ryan, which Erica admits, but she suggests that telling him about a kiss that led absolutely nowhere would have done no good. Dr. Tom challenges her that asking, if it led absolutely nowhere, what harm would it have done to tell Ryan about it.
Erica is sure it would have and asks Dr. Tom to imagine he is Ryan - on top of her not being able to say she loved him finding out that she had kissed Ethan. He admits that it could cause some jealousy but that, in the end, it's better to tell the truth.
She agrees, but suggests she is in a tricky position at the beginning of a relationship. Dr. Tom reminds her that Ryan was able to bare his heart and soul and profess his love for her. Erica doesn't know what to say to this.
He then asks her to tell him about Cassidy Holland. Erica is confused, wondering what Cassidy has to do with any of her current problems, saying that their relationship was totally different. Dr. Tom suggests she enlightens him and she explains that Cassidy was the most amazing woman she'd ever met.
She had lived in the next door apartment in 1999 whilst Erica had been doing her masters, and they soon became inseparable and best friends. She admits that, in some ways, she had a crush on Cassidy - but not completely, as Cassidy was gay.
Erica had figured out that Cassidy liked her and the pair had chemistry. However, Cassidy had misread this one evening and, after Erica had insisted she could never "go there" in the way Cassidy wanted her to, they never spoke again afterwards.
Dr. Tom suggests because Erica didn't share her feelings, but Erica says it was because she had crushed Cassidy's feelings and that she had just pushed her out of her mind during a New Year's Eve party for Y2K. Cassidy had then gone overseas a few months later and she never saw her again.
She says if she went back, she would be honest with Cassidy - telling her she is straight, dealing with her expectations before anything happened, and saving their friendship. Dr. Tom suggests some friendships do just come and go, but Erica says what Cassidy and her had was one step short of a love affair.
Erica tells him she believes she lost a bit of her heart and soul when Cassidy walked out of her life. He suggests that she goes back and finds them both, and Erica begins to spin around until she is back in 1999.
In her shock, she knocks over a pyramid of champagne glasses in the shop she is in. Erica apologises profusely to the shop assistant and goes to pay for the damage. However, her credit card is rejected and she is unable to pay on her debit card either.
At that moment, Cassidy walks into the shop and offers to pay for Erica, telling her to thank the student loans company. Erica is delighted to see Cassidy, who jokes to the shop assistant that the last time she paid C$500 for crystal, she had given her a lap dance first.
Back at Erica's apartment, her and Cassidy open a bottle of wine as they get ready to paint a banner for the New Year's Eve party. Erica jokes that Cassidy's idea of painting apocalyptic images for Y2K is "very Dante," with Cassidy branding Erica a "lit nerd."
She then leans over to get some paint and Erica, who is noticably a little uncomfortable, moves out of her way. Cassidy spots this and pesters Erica to tell her why she's so stressed. Erica denies she is, but Cassidy says she can tell when she is lying.
Cassidy then asks Erica to close her eyes, which she eventually agrees to. She proceeds to get some paint on her brush and gently runs it up Erica's forearm - making her shiver at the sensation.
She explains that, as children, her and a friend would paint on one another. Cassidy then dips her finger into the paint and draws a 'T' shape on Erica's upper chest, gradually working her way down towards Erica's breasts.
Erica stops her, opens her eyes, and tells Cassidy she is straight and she doesn't want to send her any mixed messages but keep things clear. Cassidy, although a little disappointed, accepts this, but tells Erica that she thinks she is beautiful and is really attracted to her.
She says she knows Erica wants them to just be friends but that, in the spirit of being frank, she has wanted her from the moment they met. Erica considers this candid confession.
That evening, Erica and Cassidy are round at Erica's mom's for dinner. Sam is also present, and enquires as to whether Cassidy is a vegetarian. Barbara scoffs at this, suggesting people spend too much talking about food and not eating.
Cassidy thanks Barbara for all the effort she has gone to, and Erica is then prompted by her mom to comment on Barbara's new haircut. She tells that her hairdresser thinks she looks just like Jennifer Aniston, so has given her a similar hairstyle.
Barbara then asks Cassidy whether she finds Jennifer Aniston attractive and sexy. Erica and Sam are shocked at their mom's forwardness, and Cassidy replies that everyone knows Rachel is "the hottest Friend." Barbara suggests that, if she was a lesbian, that Jennifer is the woman she'd want to be with.
Erica interjects at this point, but Barbara - reminding them that her brother, Ruby, is gay - says she is open minded and likes to discuss these things. Cassidy is surprised to discover that Erica has a gay uncle, and Barbara says she wonders if it runs in the family - as Erica won't bring home "a nice boy."
She says she just wants Erica to be happy, and Cassidy tells them that her mother used to say the same thing, but actually meant happily married to a guy. She informs them that her mom has suggested she is damned and they haven't spoken in ten years.
Cassidy tells Barbara she wishes she had half the relationship with her mother that Barbara has with Erica. She tells her of how helpful Erica has been since she moved to Toronto, and how smart, talented, and "100% straight" Erica is.
Hearing this, Barbara begins to well up, and gets out of her chair to hug Erica, wondering how, whether straight or gay, any parent could care. Erica is first freaked, and then literally choked, by this display.
Later, Erica and Cassidy are walking towards a club on a night out. Erica jokes that when Cassidy described her as "100% straight" her mom was going to cry in relief. She continues by repeating her relief over their earlier conversation, saying that they both know and respect one another's feelings.
Outside the club, the doorman asks to check Cassidy's ID and she goes in. Erica asks whether he needs to see hers, but he declines. She suggests that it's because she isn't dressed up enough for his fancy club, but he replies that she looks fabulous, particularly for 32.
She realises the man is Dr. Tom, who she describes as being dressed like a reject from The Village People. He replies that she is full of confidence and sass tonight, which Erica attributes to the fun she has been having with Cassidy - describing how she took on and killed 'Barbzilla' with kindness.
Dr. Tom teases her, suggesting Erica has butterflies in her stomach and stars in her eyes. She reminds him that she is straight, and he says that's what she keeps saying. Erica insists she's not, and never has been, interested in girls.
However, she admits she is "bonkers" about Cassidy and the way she feels about her when they do things together. Dr. Tom suggests this is wonderful, yet Erica still believes herself to be straight. She agrees, and he says that her butterflies and stars must simply be friendly ones.
Erica is insistent that she isn't into Cassidy and can't be a lesbian. "Labels are for cans, not for people," retorts Dr. Tom, and Erica heads inside.
In the club, Erica and Cassidy are at the bar when they are presented with a couple of drinks which they are informed are compliments of a couple of guys who, after making themselves known, start to approach them.
Cassidy reacts by dragging Erica onto the dance floor. However, Erica notices the guys continuing to make their way towards them, and takes action herself - pulling and holding Cassidy closer to her as they dance provocatively with one another until the guys lose interest.
Back home in Cassidy's apartment, Erica is removing her shoes off her hurting feet, she is then embarrassed when Cassidy informs her that, looking how she does, she would have been swamped at a "dyke bar." Although she denies it, Cassidy can tell Erica finds this embarrassing as she can read her face.
Erica challenges her to read her face at that moment, and Cassidy suggests Erica is trying to look tough but her mouth and eyes show how she is actually nervous and insecure. She thinks that Erica wants to say something, but is afraid she will lose her nerve, and asks Erica what it is.
Then, Erica leans forward and she and Cassidy share a couple of kisses on the lips. Erica pulls away, overwhelmed by what's just happened. Cassidy, too, is shocked, and Erica suggests it's getting late and she has to go.
She goes, leaving Cassidy wondering, and Erica, outside in the hallway, leans against the wall struggling to comprehend what she has just done.
The next morning, Erica is on the couch in her apartment drinking coffee when there's a knock at the door. Ethan comes in, delivering food and drink for the New Year's Eve party later in the evening.
He tells her that, after getting into a fight with her, Claire will not be coming to celebrate what he describes, in reference to the Y2K Problem, as "the end of the world." Erica assures Ethan everything will be fine tomorrow.
Cassidy then appears in the doorway and Ethan tells Erica he will be back in a couple of hours to help set things up for the party. He goes, and Cassidy asks Erica how she is.
Erica says she is fine and tells Cassidy she hopes what happened between them the previous night hasn't got in the way of their friendship and that she will still be coming to the party. Cassidy approaches Erica and tells her to stop talking.
She then moves forward and kisses Erica on the lips. She checks whether Erica is still OK and they continue kissing. Cassidy then begins to unzip Erica's top, and tells her that she isn't going to do anything Erica doesn't want.
She removes Erica's top until she is just wearing her bra, and then Cassidy unbuttons her shirt, as Erica watches her. She returns to kissing her, their bodies against one another.
Cassidy begins to kiss Erica around her neck and goes to pull down her bra strap. At this point, Erica, clearly not feeling right, pulls away, and says things are happening too fast. Cassidy is confused, saying she thought it was what Erica wanted.
They are then shocked when Ethan suddenly walks in, telling them he's forgotten his cell phone. In his hurry, he doesn't notice the pair of them topless until he turns to leave and is stunned. Erica exclaims in embarrassment and he hastily leaves.
At the party that night, Jenny and Judith come up to Erica, registering their surprise with her. Erica realises that Ethan told them about her and Cassidy's kiss. Jenny asks her why she didn't tell them, and Judith suggests that Erica was worried that they wouldn't accept her "lifestyle."
Erica can't believe what she's hearing, but Jenny tells her it's not a big surprise and they point to her love of camping, her Ani DiFranco boxset, and joke about a Melissa Evridge collection and her joining of a women's softball team in Grade 9.
Annoyed, Erica, watched by Cassidy, insists that she's not gay and leaves to confront Ethan about telling them. He suggests that she would have done the same had the roles been reversed.
Ethan asks if this is when Erica informs him that she's gay, but Erica says no. He tells her that he's confused, which she admits to being herself, so he asks her whether being with Cassidy felt right. Erica tells him it didn't, but nor did her first time with a guy.
He explains that his problem is with her hooking up with a friend, telling her it is a line that you don't cross because, although it could turn out great, it could blow up in her face.
Intrigued, considering events in the present day, Erica asks Ethan if he would ever kiss a friend. Ethan insists he never would, unless he really meant it and wanted to take a friendship to the next level.
Erica reflects on this, and Ethan tells her she must either committ 100% to Cassidy or withdraw.
Erica goes to find Cassidy, who is sitting in her bedroom watching the snow fall out of the window. Cassidy informs Erica of how proud Judith and Jenny are of their friend taking a big, important step in her life.
She says she is confused, as Erica told her things were moving too fast, but now her friends are throwing her a pride parade. Erica insists things have got more complicated then she intended.
Cassidy responds that this is why she doesn't go for straight girls, suggesting that, while she is left with pain and kicking herself, Erica can now walk away with broadened horizons and a "sexy little story" to get her boyfriend off.
Erica protests that she does have feelings for Cassidy, but Cassidy doubts this and tells her it is not enough. She walks back into the party but, as Erica attempts to follow her, Jenny accosts her with the countdown to the New Year now underway.
Cassidy watches as everyone waits for the clock on the TV screen to countdown - barring a drunk Ethan who is still panicking about everything going wrong. Everyone cheers when the countdown ends and Erica turns to see Cassidy hugging some other people.
Ethan then bounds over to Erica, overjoyed that everything is still working - just as Erica had assured him - and he initiates a prolonged kiss between the pair. Ethan breaks the kiss and looks a little shocked, but then goes off to continue partying. Cassidy who witnesses the kiss, looks heartbroken at Erica and leaves the apartment.
Erica finds Cassidy outside on a bench, smoking. She apologises, saying the last thing she wanted to do was to hurt her. Cassidy admits that they could never work out, which Erica suggests is crazy because of how much is great between them.
They agree though that, for any relationship to work in the long term, it has to be all or nothing, and Cassidy says they don't have it all. She assures Erica it's not the end of the world and she is OK - before suggesting Erica goes back inside to the party. Cassidy kisses her on the cheek and Erica leaves.
Erica creeps back into the apartment finding, although the party has now finished, Ethan asleep on the couch. She smiles at this sight and heads into her bedroom but, instead, finds herself stumbling out of the elevator behind Ryan, back at Frank's party in the present day.
He asks her if she's OK, and they kiss. She then spots Julianne now feeding food to Ethan, who exchanges an awkward glance at her from a distance.
After the party, Erica and Ryan are walking home and she suggests that they talk, as that's what he had flown back for. He tells her he flew back for her and begins kissing her neck, but she insists they talk.
Erica tells him they have great fun when he's in town. Ryan agrees and says he has something to float by her. He suggests that, for them to work, sarcrifices are required, and he thinks she is the only one making any.
Ryan says she shouldn't have to be waiting for him to come home and having to invite Ethan as her date to events. He proposes to spend more time in Toronto, cut back on travelling as much as he can, and be with Erica more.
Erica listens to this, but tells him that he thinks he is sacrificing too much from a life he's happy with. He insists he's happy with her, but Erica says she isn't ready for him to change his life for her.
Ryan asks what she is ready for and she tells him that, although he is an amazing guy and they have fun together, she can't give him 100% and doesn't think she will ever be able to. Ryan digests this, and suggests that it's because of Ethan, but Erica doesn't reply.
He says he should have, and did, see it coming, lamenting that the joke was on him. He hails a cab for her and they both say how sorry they are. He watches on as Erica gets into the cab and goes.
The next day, Erica is at work, deleting emails from Ryan from her inbox, and narrates.
"Love. It's a strange mixture of alchemy and destiny, and, despite all our grand ideas about who we should end up with, love ultimately chooses for us every time."
She puts her head in her hands as she deletes the emails. Julianne approaches her and asks if there are any there from Erica's "friend." Erica replies there are none from Ryan, but Julianne says she was referring to Ethan - who never got back to her after she had called him.
Julianne sighs, suggesting that he obviously wasn't "the one." She then exclaims "The None" to Erica, suggesting it for the title of a guide for the modern practical woman who's sick of looking for "the one."
She goes to head back into her office, excited, telling Erica she has a "feeling". Erica checks whether she is OK about Ethan, but Julianne scoffs and dismisses him for being a teacher.
Erica then notices a postcard on her desk from Bali, she turns it over and finds it is from Cassidy, who writes of her trip there with her girlfriend Helen. Erica holds it to herself and reflects on events.
She is walking through the city on her way back home when she spots Dr. Tom waiting for her on the sidewalk and they walk together. He states that she has returned in one piece, although Erica doubts whether Ryan is. Dr. Tom reminds her of Cassidy's comment of "all or nothing" and says there is no prize for second place.
They agree that trying to force things generally doesn't work, but Erica feels guilty about the look on Ryan's face. Dr. Tom suggests that it would have been worse had it happened three years down the line and that three months is nothing. He concludes that Ryan "will live."
He stops walking and turns to face Erica, then challenges her about what she will do. He says she was unable to give her body to Cassidy and couldn't give her heart to Ryan. He asks her who she can give those all important things to and leaves her to think.
"They say love is friendship set on fire. And, if you're lucky enough to find someone you can give yourself to - mind, body, and soul - you should hold on and hope like hell you don't get burned."</span>
Erica begins to run home and she arrives, out of breath, back in her apartment building. She knocks on Ethan's door and enters to find him playing on the Wii. When he sees how anxious Erica is, he stops playing and asks her what's wrong - putting his hands on her arms.
She asks him not to, suggesting it will make her lose her nerve. Ethan says she is freaking him out and asks what has happened, wondering if it is about Ryan. Erica admits they have broken up, but tells him not to be sorry as it's a good thing and for the best.
Erica, struggling not to cry, tells him that she has a really loaded statement and wants to apologise in advance for complicating his life, as she knows he is trying to work things out with Claire.
He asks her what she has to say. "I love you, and not just as a friend. Both ways, and always," she replies. She explains that their kiss changed things for her and showed her what was always there.
Erica waits for a response from a silent Ethan and eventually pleads with him to say something. He replies, slowly, that he is married to Claire - which Erica acknowledges. His phone then begins to ring, which Erica begs for him to answer.
Ethan answers to find Claire calling - and he turns his back on Erica and explains that now is not a good time. Erica, devastated, takes the opportunity to quietly leave his apartment. Ethan turns around to find the apartment empty and tries to takes in what has just happened.