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Osso Barko

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Julianne and Erica have a somewhat uncomfortable time at Frank Galvin's funeral in the fact of running into some of their old nemeses, most specifically Thomas Friedkin. Julianne is also expecting a visit from her sister Georgie, a brilliant academic, who wants to pitch a book by her friend, local professor Michel Streith. Both these events place Julianne on edge, more so than usual, her frustrations which she takes out on 50/50's new assistant, Rachel. Julianne and Erica have differing opinions about Rachel, who Erica likes, despite her quirky nerdiness, which includes being somewhat psychic whenever she gets nervous, which is all the time. All these situations in combination make Erica incredulous to the announcement by Dr. Tom of her next patient: Julianne. Erica believes that strong, confident and results-oriented Julianne does not require therapy, and that Julianne's gruff demeanor only comes out when those around her don't know how to deal with her properly, much like Rachel doesn't know at this time. To test Erica's theory, Dr. Tom sends Erica back to her first day at River Rock working under Julianne. Erica believes since she now knows Julianne as a person, she can make a better impression this second time around than she did the first. But an incident shows Erica what truly makes Julianne the person that she is. Meanwhile, a confession by Rachel makes Erica contemplate her own future.

Full Plot Edit

Julianne and Erica have dinner plans tomorrow night with Julianne's sister Georgie. She's in town with a professor who is a friend, who wants to pitch a book on religion. Julianne makes a disparaging remark that her sister will likely give her a dictionary as a gift. She thinks their next smash will be Osso Barko, about healthy cuisine for dogs, a pairing to Sweet Dreams Kitty. Erica wants something more sophisticated. Rachel suggests an expose on the inner workings of the media, and Julianne snipes I'll need a latte after that. As Rachel goes to get a latte, she experiences a psychic moment where she feels something cold, like death.

Julianne tells Erica she hates Rachel and mimics her: I read four books a day so I must be brilliant. Erica asks Julianne to cut Rachel some slack and Julianne says you know how I operate - trial by fire to separate the wheat from the chaff. Rachel returns with the latte, the phone rings, and Rachel learns Frank Galvin had heart attack. He's dead.

At the cemetery, Erica and Julianne see everyone at River Rock. Friedkin gives a cheesy speech, saying Frank Galvin thanked him for turning River Rock around with the Secret of Now.

As they're leaving, Brent catches up with Julianne and Erica. Scott Galvin is inheriting River Rock.

Back at 50/50, Rachel lets Georgie in. She brought Julianne a gift, a dictionary for editors and writers. She notes there is a nice picture of Julianne and asks if the other person is an actor? No, he's a personality Jay Manuel, but Georgie doesn't watch reality shows and doesn't know him. They'll have dinner with her friend Michel Streith. Erica and Rachel know he has an impressive profile, having written about blurring the line between church and state, and he's been picked up by the Times quoted by Christopher Hitchens. Julianne shows her sister out and asks Erica why are you encouraging her? Rachel raves that Streith was the best professor she had in four years, and Julianne chews her out, wanting her latte.

At Goblins, Rachel gets a latte and Erica tries to console her: Julianne is a tough boss. My first job in publishing, I was Julianne's assistant. You'll learn a lot. Erica learns Rachel wants to be a writer. Erica used to want to be a writer, and learns Rachel's written poetry and a few plays, and is working on a first novel. She writes every day.

Erica is watching Adam play soccer, and he scores. He dreamed of being a Liverpool footballer. Erica is surprised and wonders if he wishes he'd kept going,  but he doesn't think about it anymore. He wonders where this is coming from, and Erica says it was something Friedkin said, and Rachel. Erica: I love my work, but sometimes I wonder if I should have tried harder to become a writer. Adam says he can't become a footballer, his knees are shot, but she can start writing. What's stopping you?

At Goblins, Michel is pitching his book and Erica thinks that's fresh. Julianne seems distracted and says anyone can write a book, will people buy it? She is humiliated when she mixes up the words prosaic and prose, not realizing prosaic means boring. Michel asks Julianne: if you were a wine, which wine would you be? She is speechless.

Later Erica tells Julianne she was prepared to hate him but he sold her. She noticed he had eyes for Julianne. Rachel gives Julianne notes from the course she took with Michel, and Julianne snaps: Just because you have a Masters degree, you think you have ideas that are useful. Erica tells her she's being unfair. Julianne: I'm trying to run a business, not train baby geniuses. She flees. Erica tries to follow, and ends up in Dr. Tom's office. 

Erica: Julianne is crazy. Dr. Tom: That's a loaded statement since she's your next patient. Erica is puzzled: She needs to ease up on Rachel, she doesn't need therapy. She's treating Rachel the same as me back in the day. Julianne has a particular management style. She's tough. You can handle her or you can't. I had a horrible first day at River Rock, she fired me my first day. I learned how to handle her. Dr. Tom muses: Interesting, take me back.

Erica reminisces: It was bad from the get go. She inherited me from her predecessor, and I gave her a reason to hate me. She wanted to kill Rocket Man, but I saved the book in front of the entire staff. Julianne put me in my place and humiliated me by reading short stories I submitted with my resume. Luckily I was able to prove myself after that. It's not how I would manage, but she gets results. Dr. Tom: Let's test this theory. Return to your first day at River Rock. Use your knowledge to blow her mind.

Erica is back two years ago. Julianne is sniping that she's not just looks, she earned her promotion. She's looking at Erica's resume - 2 degrees in English lit - and thinks she's an ivory tower lit snob. She mentions Erica's short story collection. Erica says she wrote them a long time ago and wants them back but Julianne refuses, and sends Erica to the coffee lounge for latte training. 

Dr. Tom greets her in the kitchen and Erica wants to know what am I doing here? Dr. Tom: You have a patient and a theory. Test it. Become the perfect assistant, prove you're right. Erica thinks of Rocket Man, and knows Julianne will kill it. She should take her own advice, she chose the wrong moment and this time she'll talk to Julianne in private.

Erica is wow'ing Julianne with subfolders in the documents folder, titles bolded and outlined. Her lattes still suck. Julianne asks Erica to type up notes, to show Galvin they came up with something but are not feeling the juice. 

Erica went over Stahl's material, and thinks there is juice. He launched a business that sparked a digital revolution, but he was addicted to crack. He beat his addiction, and went back to the top of the business world, a story of redemption. Julianne snaps: I asked you to make some notes to show Galvin we tried, I didn't ask you to pitch me a whole book. I don't pay you to think. Leave it with me. Friedkin walks in and Julianne tells Erica to get her two lattes.

Brent warns Erica the meeting is not going well. Friedkin insists he knows what his reading public wants or doesn't want. He tells Julianne just because she doesn't think she understands doesn't mean other people won't. Friedkin: Leave the thinking to me, busy yourself with pretty book covers and marketing campaigns. I want a meeting with Frank today. Julianne: No, of course. Friedkin: That's the smartest thing you have said all day.

Julianne asks Erica to gather up the troops. Erica, you stay. She reads from the worst submissions - Erica's story - and Erica snaps: I need to speak to you alone, stat. Julianne: If you think I'm impressed with your rebellion, I'm not. Erica: Shut up and listen. I thought the old trial by fire was to separate the wheat from the chaff. You use your power because subordinates can't fight back. Julianne says are you finished? I've been in the business for 10 years. No way these are your notes. There is just no way a secretary figured out a book I passed on. 

Erica is floored and says you're threatened by these. Julianne: I don't think so. Pack up your things, be on your way. Erica is fired for insubordination, rudeness and an out of control ego.

Erica is back in Dr. Tom's office and asks: Julianne is insecure? Dr. Tom: Sometimes a cigar is not just a cigar. She's so competent, yet she reads your notes and feels inadequate. Erica: It makes no sense. Dr. Tom: Feelings rarely make rational sense until we understand why we have them. "With the possible exception of the equator, everything begins somewhere. - C.S. Lewis." Find out why Julianne is insecure and fix it. Erica: That's hard to do. Dr. Tom: do I ever fix you? Erica: No... you help me see what's going on, and I fix myself.

She leaves, and calls Julianne but she's not answering. The door to her apartment is open, and when Erica calls her Julianne appears in a robe. Michel walks out of her bedroom behind her. Erica is flabbergasted, he leaves, and Erica talks to Julianne.

Erica: Why? Julianne: I don't know why. Erica: You just slept with a man you don't even like, that's not like you. Julianne: No, it's exactly like me. Friedkin. I didn't like him either. Ever since Georgie told me she's coming into town, I've had this permanent knot in my stomach. Erica: Do you think it's the same for her? You painted Georgie to be a monster, and the woman I met seems genuinely happy to see you. What is this really about? 

Juliane: She makes me feel like crap. Everything she does. All the time. Even when we were kids. Our parents... used to say Georgie is the smart one, and Julianne is our fun one. Erica: But you wanted to be the smart one. Have you ever told Georgie about how you feel? Growing up? The two of you? Julianne: She would laugh in my face and tell me to grow up. Erica: I don't think so. Julianne: You don't know my sister. Erica: I don't think you know your sister.

Georgie and Julianne talk at Goblins. Georgie: I don't understand, you slept with Michel to get back at me? I bring an author friend of mine and it just happened? Julianne: I slept with Michel because I just wanted to feel like I had something to offer... I'm talking about dinner, I sounded like an idiot. I wanted to make myself feel better. So I called Michel and this sounds pathetic, I just thought maybe I'm dumb but at least I'm pretty. At least I've got that. 

Georgie is taken aback: Julianne, you're not dumb. How can you think that? Julianne: You're the one with the brains in the family, a PhD. Georgie rebuts: You own your own publishing company. You're behind a best selling book, this is apples and oranges. When I called to tell you I was coming to town, I didn't feel you wanted to see me because you live a cool life, and I'm your boring nerdy sister cramping your style. Do you know what it was like having you as my sister in our house, in our school? Dad's favorites head cheerleader, Miss Popular. I couldn't compete. I was in awe of you. 

Julianne: OK, that's not how I remember it. You were straight As. Georgie: mom and dad have a framed copy of The Secret of Now. When I call, it's Julianne this, Julianne that. The sisters look at each other in amazement and say wow.

At Erica's apartment, Adam gives her a notebook as a gift. He notices Erica's reticent expression and prompts her. Erica: I'm kind of over it. Yesterday was such a weird day with the funeral and Rachel. I got caught up in wondering. Adam: You wanted to start writing and now you don't? What's going on? Erica: What if I'm bad? Adam: Yeah. You might be bad. But you might be great. There's only one way to find out.

Voiceover: "Insecurity. It's in all of us, that voice inside that tells us we're not good enough, that we shouldn't even try. And when we listen to the voice we hold ourselves back in ways we don't even realize, all because we're scared to take a chance to face our fears, to see what we're really capable of."

Rachel, Erica and Julianne are sitting in 50/50. Julianne apologizes for how she treated Rachel, saying it was unprofessional and unfair. I wish I could take it back, but I can't. So if you no longer feel you can work here I understand. Rachel: I say apology accepted under one condition. Never scream at me like you did ever again. Julianne: OK, but I can't promise you I won't... Rachel: snap at me or call me Ray Ray. A freaked Julianne indicates the area around her head and says: this is a no-fly zone!

Sam knocks on Erica's door and tells her she's pregnant.

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