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Jenny from the Block

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Having not seen or heard from her since she left to follow a guy to Los Angeles six months ago, Erica receives a surprise visit from Jenny, who admits she made a mistake, yet again, in making that move and didn't want to face Erica in disgrace. Rather than be angry, Erica vows to help Jenny get through this rough period in her life. As 50/50 Publishing is going through growing pains, Erica convinces Julianne to hire Jenny as their assistant. Although Jenny tries in her own way, Erica ends up doing most of Jenny's job while neglecting her own. And while the work at 50/50 piles up in general, Jenny is quick to abandon the office if she feels none of that work is her responsibility. Dr. Tom and the therapy group make Erica examine her friendship with Jenny, both in discovering what is the underlying reason for them actually being friends and how she can help Jenny amend her ways so that Erica doesn't end up hurt. And if being hurt is part of the "joy" that Erica receives from this friendship, is there only so much Erica is willing to take to stay friends with Jenny. Meanwhile, Judith, who admits that she and Anthony are going through preemptive marriage counseling, runs into an old boyfriend.

Full Plot Edit

At 50/50 Erica and Seth are talking, and the phone keeps ringing. They need an assistant. In frustration she finally unplugs the phone and gives Seth her undivided attention.

Voiceover: "Friendship. Two people choose each other through some mysterious mix of alchemy and circumstance. On the surface the reason for our choice seems obvious. They share our interest, they make us laugh. But is there more to it than that? And do we ever stop and wonder why one person and not another?"

Erica comes home to find Jenny in front of her door. She had been gone for six months and didn't return Erica's phone calls or emails. Jenny is in tears. She didn't return Erica's calls because she didn't want to admit she were right. Jenny: Following Rob to LA was a dumb move like you said. Within a week I realized Rob was a jerk, we fought, I moved out, I was too proud to come back. I rented a place in Venice Beach, maxed out my credit cards. I'm 32, and I have to get my s--- together. Erica: We'll figure things out. She offers to help, Jenny is grateful she is not mad.

At Goblins, Judith, Erica and Jenny are talking. Judith is in couples counseling. Marriage is hard, especially with a baby. Ivan brings champagne, Jenny offers to buy the round, and toasts to old friends apart for way too long. She's on a job hunt - something fun and creative but not too corporate.

Julianne comes by in a panic, looking for Walter. Erica says they were meeting at 7:30, and it's 7, so sit and have a drink. Julianne says we need to hire an assistant but can't afford one. Jenny says pay me in food stamps...

Ivan returns and tells Jenny her card was declined. She only has American dollars so Erica picks up the tab.

Julianne is talking to an agent who tells her of River Rock's troubles and bidding war, saying this makes 50/50 the coolest upstart. Judith comes by and recognizes him as Will. She has to go, her 18-month old baby calls. He's married with 3 children. They hug and she leaves. Julianne asks you're old friends? Will: I dated her from grade 9 until she left senior year.

Erica and Julianne drive into Goblins and Erica suggests hiring Jenny. Julianne reminds her she is a ruthless and demanding boss. Erica says I survived you. Julianne says barely. They decide on minimum wage plus overtime. No benefits.

Erica and Julianne explain to Jenny what the job entails and she says when can I start? She dives into dirty dishes and cleaning the place.

Erica and Seth are discussing the book, and Jenny is showing Julianne she can search her contacts. Julianne notices there are only 43 and chews her out, telling her there are a lot more, go through her inbox, anyone they've had communication with. Erica consoles her but says this business means a lot to us.

Brent is getting information from his industry spy Lewis, who tells Brent about Jenny. Lewis offers to romance Jenny for information, and Brent says no, it has to be him.

Will tells Erica he signed a new writer, who wrote a how to guide comparing renovating a house with dating a woman, called The Fixer Upper. No one has seen it yet. The photo shoot guy comes, but the photo shoot is tomorrow. Jenny made a mistake. Julianne and Erica will read Fixer Upper and Will can hold it for them 48 hours max.

Jenny goes to Goblins to order lattes, asking Ivan to make Julianne's extra special since she's mad at Jenny. Brent is at the bar, turns around and asks: Boss from hell? I know your pain. He tells her his name is Brad.

At 50/50 the photographer shuffled things around, and will be back tomorrow at noon.

Erica asks Jenny about hair and makeup, and Jenny thought Seth would do his own hair. Erica: Jenny, it's a photo shoot, didn't you book anyone? It's on the list. It's OK, let's go over everything and make sure we're ready for tomorrow. 

Some time later, Erica's checked everything. Julianne comes in, she read The Fixer Upper and says it's rough and wants to know what Erica thinks. Erica says she is getting there, still doing stuff for The Purple Door. She says she'll read the Fixer Upper.

Erica sits down and ends up in group therapy and asks: Do we have to do this now. I need to curl up in bed and read The Fixer Upper. The group reminds her she should have read it two hours ago, instead of doing Jenny's job. Erica gets defensive, saying if she didn't step in and they weren't prepared, Julianne would have fired Jenny on the spot. They say she should be fired if she can't handle the job, and Erica rebuts she's done that, and that was different. That woman deserved it, Jenny doesn't. Dr. Tom asks her to tell them about Black Creek. It's where she and Jenny worked one summer.

Erica: Jenny is in charge of the paddock, I'm in charge of the candle shop. One afternoon Jenny was supposed to be watching the paddock when she said she and a cute guy wanted to go smoke weed. Jenny asked Erica to watch the paddock, and Erica did but left a candle burning in the candle shop and the shop burned down. Erica got fired, and Jenny quit a few days later, saying working without Erica wasn't fun. The group added she had to do work after Erica left and needs a good kick in the ass. Erica wants Jenny to succeed and be happy, and the group gets it, but sometimes helping isn't helping.

Erica realizes she's not letting her fail or figure things out the hard way. She goes back to Black Creek.

Jenny runs up, wanting to smoke weed and will Erica watch the paddock? Erica says no, she won't, she has a job to do. Jenny says if anything goes wrong, I'm in the back field. Erica tells her to stay at her post.

An employee Joan comes by wondering where Jenny is, saying no one is manning the paddock. Erica says what do you want me to do? Joan orders her to find Jenny while she wastes her break watching the candle shop.

Jenny and the guy are smoking, and Erica finds them. She says you're supposed to be at work, and Jenny wants to know: why do you care, and when did you become my mother? Erica stamps out their cigarette and leaves in a huff.

She goes to the candle shop, and sees animals running around free. The gate is open. She mutters: Not your problem to solve, Erica. Jenny runs up in a panic, saying when I came back, the paddock was open. She wants Erica's help rounding up the animals. Erica refuses, saying this is your fault, not mine, so deal with it.

Adam, dressed in suspenders, joins Erica, and they talk. Hastings would bring in new recruits, and do something similar as with Jenny. He would drop them into it, if you didn't get killed or arrested you had what it takes. Jenny is high and there are dozens of animals, Erica realizes she won't make it through. What is the point? What is this teaching Jenny or me? Let her crash and burn? 

Jenny and Erica are getting chewed out - where were you Erica? Erica: At the candle shop. Boss: Great. Jenny abandons the paddock, and Erica does the minimum job required. They are both fired and will get their last paycheck by mail.

At Erica's apartment, Jenny in tears. Jenny: My parents kicked me out when they heard I was fired from Black Creek, I have nowhere to go. I'm so sorry about how I treated you, I didn't listen. Why don't I ever listen? This was a huge wake up call. I got myself fired, and I got you fired. No one else would take it so well, you're patient, generous, and our friendship means more than anything. I can always count on you.

Erica flashes back to present. They're doing the photo shoot for Seth, and the photographer will email links to proofs. Jenny says she's done on her end, and wants to go as she has a date. Julianne stares daggers at Erica, saying we're still standing here and our employee went off to have a life? She asks Erica about The Fixer Upper and Erica is only halfway through it. Julianne is even angrier and asks did Jenny organize the photo shoot or did you? Erica dissembles, saying she helped her a bit but Julianne knows she did all the work, and didn't read something slipping through their fingers.

Jenny meets Brad (Brent) and he pumps her for information. They have The Purple Door, and are editing 10 different titles in various stages. Favorite? She's not allowed to divulge a top secret project but it's a new title for a home renovation and dating guide.

At Goblins, Julianne is worried about Seth freezing up for a reading, and Jenny who can't make it through a photo shoot. Erica promises to tell her if she screws up again that's it. Julianne thinks maybe it should be now.

Erica leaves and Ivan approaches, and Julianne asks if he told Dave. He didn't and they agree to keep it that way.

Jenny sneaks Brent into 50/50, and he says it's smaller than I imagined. She points to the Fixer Upper but tells him he can't look at it. He kisses her, looks at the title page, sees the author is George Neeb, and smiles.

Erica gets a call, the photographer sent a link to the photos. She and Julianne go to 50/50 and Jenny and Brent are making out. Brent: Well isn't this awkward, I love the new digs. Erica and Julianne are furious, and chase Brent out. Jenny is confused: You know Brad? Yes, we do. Go.

Seth performs well at his reading. Will is apologizing to Julianne, there was no way they could have met their offer. He has no idea how River Rock got their hands on the manuscript. Julianne knows, and says it's our fault for not getting back to you yesterday. Six figures for an untested author. He promises they'll work on something soon.

Judith wants to know if Erica talked to Jenny, and she didn't. Judith did, and Jenny feels awful. Erica says she didn't just hurt me, she hurt Julianne and the business. Will joins them and Erica goes to check on Seth.

Judith and Will compliment each other and learn their respective spouses are not there. They decide to make the most of their night out.

Seth leaves, things went well, and Erica ends up in Dr Tom's office. Erica: Firing one of my best friends was one of the worst things. Dr. Tom: Jenny fired herself through her own actions. She finds something good and messes it up. Dr. Tom quotes a passage from Homer's Odyssey about Sisyphus rolling a monstrous stone to the crest of a hill, only to have it roll down to the plain. Erica realizes Jenny is like Sisyphus, and keeps repeating patterns over and over. Dr. Tom gently tells her: Jenny. And you. You are Sisyphus, and Jenny is your stone. The mountain is your friendship. At some point either you get the rock over the top, or let it go. Erica laments that Jenny is her oldest friend, and you don't just throw that away. Dr. Tom: But is it supposed to feel like a mountain? She screws up, you save the day. She feels grateful, you feel needed. Over and over and over again. What do you get out of this friendship? 

Erica returns, and sees Jenny sitting in front of her door. She had no idea who Brent was. Jenny: Why do I ruin everything? Erica: I don't know, but you do. Over and over. Jenny: I want to change that. I've said it before, I mean it this time. Can you forgive me, are we still friends? Erica: This is really hard for me, because I love you. We share a history, that's why I keep trying, but at some point you have to stop and ask if it's worth it, and if what we have can even be called a friendship. I'm not sure if this friendship is healthy or useful for either of us. Jenny: This feels like a breakup. Erica: I know you didn't mean to hurt me. But you did. And this time I can't fix it for you, I can't make you feel better, and I can't make myself feel better by helping you. Jenny walks out the door and collapses in tears. 

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