|Such a Perfect Day|
|Season 1, Episode 7|
|Air date||February 18, 2009|
|Viewers||Canada - , The Netherlands -|
|Opening||"Being Erica theme" by Lily Frost|
This Be the Verse
Full Plot Edit
Erica is hard at work at River Rock - answering her phone while paperwork continues to be stacked up on her increasingly cluttered desk. She narrates:
"Remember that little fishing boat from The Perfect Storm? How it climbed up that endless wave hoping to reach the top and cruise down the other side to safety? That's me. But, just like that fishing boat, I can't seem to crest the wave."
Increasingly overwhelmed, she gets another phone call - this time it's from Ryan though. He's calling to let her know he's back from Ecuador - where he's been on business - but needs to rearrange their plans to the next night because he needs to get together with Josh instead.
Erica is understanding, although she asks him for reassurance that their relationship is not going to be affected by the fact Sam still isn't speaking to her and he is best friends with her husband. Ryan says it will all blow over, and Erica hangs up as Julianne approaches her.
She tells Erica she needs her help giving a pitch to Frank on the strategy for Marc Stahl's book. Erica is surprised they are launching a book for which they haven't even received any chapters of yet, but Julianne is keen for Frank not to find this fact out.
Julianne, Erica, and Brent present their ideas to Frank, explaining the potential target market and it being ready for launch before Christmas. Erica then shows him the proposed book cover and he seems impressed.
However, when Frank asks to look at the chapters, not even Brent telling him they are still raw deters him from wanting to read them. Julianne stalls when he asks who has them, with Erica suggesting someone called Dory has them.
Frank knows that Dory is working on a book about the history of coffee though and rages at Julianne to ensure he has Stahl's pages by the end of the day. Julianne and Erica head back into her office.
"So, if you're in the water and the waves keep smacking you down, what do you do? Sometimes you manage to solider on, clutch the steering wheel, and face the storm."
Julianne tells Erica that, unless they produce the pages, Frank will throw her out of the window and warns that she will throw Erica out first to break her fall. She sends Erica away to make sure she gets her Stahl's chapters.
Erica returns to her desk only to find the phone still ringing and even more paperwork being stacked on top of the existing piles.
"While other times you look around and see the situation clearly. That ultimately, you're going to drown."
Erica and her dad, Gary, are eating as they walk past a water fountain on the streets of Toronto. He says that when he invited her to lunch he meant at a restaurant. Erica tells him she doesn't have the time and jokes that standing up is better for digestion anyway.
He tries to turn the conversation onto her feud with Sam, but Erica is reluctant to discuss it. Gary asks her if she knows how difficult it is to have two daughters not talking, but Erica says she has tried to call Sam, left her messages, and emailed her, and can't do any more.
Gary accuses her of giving up on her sister. Erica confesses she misses Sam and he asks if there's anything he can do. She tells him not to do anything, describing how in family arguments it always seems to be her and him on one side against Sam and her mom on the other.
He tells her he just wants them to make up and isn't taking sides, and suggests that he should talk to Sam as a mediator in their argument. Erica cuts short their talk as she has to rush back to work and they hug one another goodbye.
Erica returns to the office to find that an agitated Stahl has arrived. He apologises to her for not returning her messages, saying things have been crazy and he is trying to construct something good. Erica says they were starting to get worried about him and asks if he brought them with him.
We then see Julianne horrified to discover that Stahl, despite his best attempts, hasn't written anything. He tells her that he is walking away from the book and will pay back the advance he was given.
He then becomes angry when Julianne says they will get the company's lawyers on him, and tells her she can try anything she likes but he won't be writing the book. Stahl becomes quite emotional, telling them he can't, and won't, go back 'there'.
Julianne is shocked at this outburst, and comments that he can't write in a strait jacket anyway. Brent suggests he wouldn't be able to snort cocaine in one either. Erica, however, concerned at Stahl's behaviour, follows him as he makes his way to the elevator.
She apologises for them making him upset and tells him she understands why he is afraid of going back to that time of his life. He questions whether she is a shrink, but Erica continues, saying she might not know what it's like to have an addiction, but can empathise with the pain of facing the past.
Erica says that sometimes the best way to deal with something horrible is to revisit it with a long, hard look - which would be good for both him and the book. Stahl, now in the elevator, stops the doors as they are shutting, and asks Erica when she would need the pages by. She tells him today, but Stahl says he can't promise her anything and the elevator doors shut.
Meanwhile, Gary goes to see Sam at the hospital. She is unhappy with him for visiting and making her upset. She says her argument with Erica is none of his business, but he tells her that her sister would would never purposefully hurt her.
Sam reminds him of what Erica said to her about Josh, but he says not speaking to her isn't the answer and tells Sam he can see that she is hurting. He tells her not to give up on her relationship with Erica and try to understand why she said what she did.
She reacts angrily to this comment and warns him that if he continues to bring it up then they too will have nothing left to talk about.
Back at River Rock, Julianne is panicking about what to do now Stahl has pulled out, she also brands Erica "naive" for believing he will still produce some pages for them. She suggests they move onto a book about a lady who saved cats, although Brent quickly corrects her that she actually saved dogs.
Julianne is enthused, saying that nothing says Christmas like puppies being saved, Erica implores with her not to give up on Stahl's book though, describing it as important, hopeful, and original. Julianne tells her that, despite her investment in the book, Erica needs to let it go.
She tells Erica to make her a latte and warns that Erica can either drop it or keep fighting a losing battle and go home for good. Frustrated, Erica tries to continue arguing, but Brent stops her. He says he likes her and wants Erica to stay, but advises her that Julianne has reached her breaking point.
He says that, although she may be right about Stahl, she doesn't know for sure that he will come through for them, and that it may come down to his book or her job. Erica eventually agrees to give in. Brent is pleased to hear this and instructs her to make Julianne's latte and get to work helping on the dog book.
Erica, stressed out, sighs and close her eyes. Suddenly, she finds herself transported into Dr. Tom's office who watches her adjusting to her surroundings as he rocks back on his chair, smiling.
He asks her if she is just going to stand there, but Erica, irritated, tells him they are not doing this today. Unmoved, Dr. Tom tells her, "You can complain because roses have thorns or you can rejoice because thorns have roses."
Erica leans on her chair and looks at her watch, and Dr. Tom tells her she looks tired. She snaps back that she is and tells him her entire life is a mess. She describes how Sam won't talk to her, thanking him for his part in that, Julianne wants to fire her for having a different opinion, and now he is here.
Erica says she's not doing therapy and that it has been a big step back. She explains that the last thing she wants to do to top of this "craptacular" day is a session. Dr. Tom asks if she has finished. She indicates she is finished with therapy altogether and heads for the door.
He enquires as to where she's going and she tells him back to work. However, when she tries the door handle, it won't open. Dr. Tom suggests she is giving up, to which Erica replies that it's going around.
She becomes annoyed at the door not opening, and he tells her to stop trying and to sit down. Erica ignores him and uses ever-increasing force to try and escape his office. Dr. Tom angrily shouts at her to stop. She is stunned at his tone of voice, and stares at him, frightened.
He breathes deeply and, calmness restored, asks her to sit down again. Eventually, with trepidation, she does. Dr. Tom tells Erica he can understand her not wanting to go back and stare down another regret and suggests that maybe he can send her somewhere else.
Erica is confused, but he asks her if she can think of a good day she would like to return to. She says nothing springs to mind, so he reaches across his desk and presents her with a plate of mandolins.
He gets Erica to taste one, and explains to her Marcel Proust's belief in involuntary memory - that one bite of a mandolin could send him back to his childhood. Erica, who enjoys the cake, confirms she knows about this, referring to it as the "Proustian Rush."
Dr. Tom says that revisiting a good experience can be just as beneficial as returning to a bad one - which Erica is pleased to her. He has her close her eyes and instructs her to go to the very back of the 'filing cabinet' and find him a good day - when she made everything perfect.
Erica thinks and begins to smile, he comments that this looks promising and, despite her reservations that it is stupid, he has her recount a day spent with Sam and Leo on Toronto Island.
They had escaped from home, where their parents were arguing, and the three of them had an 'insanely fun' day with nobody around to tell them what to do or how to behave. She says it gave them a glimpse of what life would have been like without being weighed down by their parents' baggage.
She describes capping the day off with a sunset ferry ride back to the city - when she remembered thinking what a perfect day it had been - everything that her current day was not. When she finishes, he offers her, and she accepts, another mandolin, and Dr. Tom enquires what she will do when she returns.
Erica say she won't change a thing and, pleased to hear this, Dr. Tom declares "And so we rewind," and she is transported back - with the mandolin in her hand being turned into a jenga piece.
In her shock at returning, she manages to knock over the jenga tower. Leo and Sam are also playing, while Gary and Barbara argue about his desire to become a rabbi. She finds herself having to restrain Leo from confronting Gary over his comments, and suggests they all leave.
On the ferry to Toronto Island, Leo is still angry and, when Erica tries to calm him down, he accuses her of babysitting him. Sam pleads with Leo to calm down and Erica tells them both that today is going to "super fun," although Leo is less enthusiastic about visiting what he describes as a "garbage dump."
Erica then tries to get Sam, who is rubbing baby oil onto her legs, to put proper sun protection - much to Sam's annoyance.
When they eventually arrive, things take a turn for the worse when, trying to avoid being hit by Leo skateboarding down a slope, Erica and Sam jump out of the way - causing Sam to hurt her wrist.
Erica suggests they play mini-golf, where she celebrates wildly after registering a hole in one. Leo informs her that it isn't the PGA, although Erica suggests she is the new female Tiger Woods - a name unrecognised by both Sam and Leo.
However, her fun is cut short as Sam's wrist injury prevents her from playing properly, with Erica bemoaning that if she doesn't it won't be "the same." Leo then takes the opportunity during his turn to wildly hit the ball off course, declaring that "golf blows" and they should head for the nudist beach instead.
He then spots an attractive blond girl, called Tina, on the course and shouts over to her to join them - telling Erica that she said they needed three people to play. Erica is unimpressed, but Tina comes over and Leo introduces himself as "Tiger Woods."
She takes Sam's putter and plays a shot herself - taking an extra long time when bending over to place her ball, much to Leo's delight - which goes in at the first time of asking. Putting her arm around his neck, she declares that Leo is her good luck charm.
Erica suggests that, if Sam can't play, they should just go on the rides instead. Leo is perturbed as this suggestion, telling his sister he's close to scoring with Tina. She replies that he is close to getting an STD.
She tells him that today could be one of the last all three of them get to hang out together and, after Sam says she's bored, Leo eventually agrees to leave - much to Tina's disappointment.
Erica is eating some cotton candy as they all make their way onto the merry-go-round, ignoring the warnings of the ride operator, Alex, telling her not to eat so much before going on.
As the ride goes on, she begins to feel sick and eventually throws up all over Sam's new shoes. Sam is horrified and, after the ride, Erica suggests they find a water fountain so she can clean Sam's shoes. Leo finds the situation funny, but Erica is not pleased with his joking around.
He responds, telling her that the day has been no fun. She tells him she is only trying to give them all a day to remember, but Leo rages that it has been one of the worst days of his life and that he can't wait to escape from his family in September when he goes off to college.
Erica is left heartbroken as this comment and, despite trying to get him to stay, Leo walks off.
She is wandering, alone, trying to find Leo when she encounters Dr. Tom picking up garbage with a pick. She jokes that she's next, but Dr. Tom tells her that she's not garbage yet and that he'd need a bigger bag if she was.
He enquires as to why she's not with Leo and Sam, and Erica tells of the nightmare she has had trying to relive the perfect day and freaking out whenever the smallest thing has changed.
Dr. Tom puts down his pick and begins to explain the idea behind quantum mechanics to her. He says that we can never know with any certainty how an atom will behave naturally because as soon as we look at it, we alter it.
Erica looks intrigued, and he continues, telling her the act of looking is never passive and that physicists believe that reality, at its deepest level, is down to the response of the observer. He compares this to her reliving of past events.
She bemoans that today wasn't any ordinary day though, and it had been the last time they had all hung all together before Sam got with Josh and Leo went away to university. It had been the last hurrah before Leo did, but now that memory had been ruined.
Erica realises that just being there, trying to relive her perfect day, has changed it, and laments that this will now be her past - just another day that turned out to be a mess.
Dr. Tom advises her one thing she's learnt in their short time together is that life is all about choices. He tells her every day and every moment is a choice, and all she needs to do is decide what he choice is going to be here.
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it," he tells her as he leaves Erica to decide what to do.
Erica returns to looking for both Sam and Leo, and finds her sister by the water fountain trying to clean her shoes. Erica has brought a pair of flip flops for Sam to wear, although she bemoans how expensive her shoes were and how hard she had worked to save up the money for them.
When Erica promises to buy her a new pair, Sam snaps that she doesn't want a new pair but the current pair. Erica suggests Sam needs to cool off and flicks some water from the fountain at her. Sam is unimpressed and warns Erica not to do it again, but Erica does.
It escalates into a full-blown water fight with both sisters in the fountain kicking and splashing one another with water and having a good time. Afterwards, they walk arm in arm and discuss getting some funnel cakes to eat. Knowing how much Leo also enjoys them, they set about trying to find him.
Leo is on the beach, making out with Tina. Erica informs Sam - who correctly suspects where Leo is - that they can do without going there, and, that if being with Tina makes Leo happy, then they should leave him be.
She says that the sunset ferry trip back to the city will just have to be for the two of them. Erica checks whether this is OK with her after what happened with her shoes, but Sam tells her that it's fine with her and, although upset about the shoes, she doesn't hold grudges.
They wander over to a souvenir stall where Sam asks Erica to buy her a snow globe as a memento of the day. Erica agrees and presents it to her, hoping it will always remind her of the fun afternoon they spent together.
Meanwhile, Leo and Tina's make out session is interrupted by the appearance of her boyfriend, the merry-go-round operator Alex, who is angry with Leo and chases after him. Leo runs for the ferry - catching up with Erica and Sam in the process - and shouts for them to run too.
However, Erica turns around and warns Alex to leave Leo alone - slapping him across the face. Tina, who runs after Alex, then does the same, telling him he knows what it feels like now after he made out with Tiffany from the 'Whack-a-Mole.'
Erica, Sam, and Leo make their way onto the ferry, with all of them agreeing what a great day they'd ended up having and they laugh and joke on the way home as the sun sets over the city.
Back home, they find thing have quietened down and their parents are reading separately. Sam tells them how they'd enjoyed their day, and Barbara says that she's glad someone had a good day. Both of them then leave the room.
Sam asks if Erica and Leo if think they will get divorced. Leo tries to assure her they're only going through a rough patch, but Erica says they know that's not true. Leo says she doesn't need to worry though as he won't be going anywhere and neither will Erica.
Erica then heads to open a cupboard to get something to eat but, when she reaches in, she finds herself transported back to the present day where is reaching inside the cupboards of the coffee lounge at work.
Brent is there, too, and he is shocked to see Erica - who covers by saying she is making Julianne her latte. Noticing the can in her hand though, Brent jokes that Julianne doesn't take drain cleaner in it.
She asks him how long it has been since their conversation, leading to him questioning whether she has had a seizure. She pleads for him to cover for her, despite him insisting that she needs to make Julianne her latte and that she hasn't listened to anything he's said.
Erica concedes that she should probably listen to his advice, but says she isn't thinking with her head. He eventually agrees to cover for her, although he says that if it turns out how he thinks it will he wants dibs on her ergonomic chair, orchids, and coloured paper clips.
She heads for Stahl's house where, on letting herself in, calls out for him. She is surprised to find chapters for his book there and then heads over to his desk where she discovers some lines of cocaine and pills scattered everywhere.
Erica turns around and sees Stahl slumped on the floor in the distance. She runs over to him and tries to wake him up. She phones the emergency services, telling them he has overdosed, and eventually, through repeatedly slapping him on the face, manages to awaken Stahl.
She accompnies him as he is wheeled into hospital and then sits down in the waiting room, reading his pages as she waits for further news. At that moment she notices Sam walking past her and catches up with her sister, explaining she is there because of Stahl.
Sam continues walking away until Erica runs in front to cut her off, expressing her disbelief that, as sisters, they're never going to talk again. Sam says that, as sisters, they are supposed to love and support one another, but Erica adds they are also supposed to forgive one another.
She admits that she still feels the same way about Josh, and Sam tells her that Erica has forced her to choose between her sister and her husband. Erica denies this and tells Sam that when the day comes that she needs her, she'll be there.
She says that they have lost Leo but she refuses to lose her sister. Erica then leaves to go and see Stahl, and Sam considers her sister's words.
In Stahl's room, he is contemplating a return to rehab. When Erica asks if there's anything she can do he suggests she has already done enough and tells her he has done rehab before and will do so again - only this time he'll be busy writing a book. He thanks her and she goes.
Back at River Rock, Julianne is digesting the news that Erica went round to Stahl's, but Brent informs her he has produced some chapters. She says she doesn't want them, but Frank then comes in asking her where the pages are.
Julianne breaks the news about Stahl, but begins to describe what she refers to as an "incredible Plan B" to an unhappy Frank. Just then, Erica comes rushing in with Stahl's pages in her hand - telling Julianne how good they are.
Frank is confused at this news but, although she admits he is going into rehab, Erica says this is good as he is facing his problems. Erica pleads with them not to give up on the book, saying that, as his life proves, Stahl is not a quitter and that he has promised her a book when he comes out of rehab.
She hands the pages to Frank who, after considering things, decides that they will work on both Stahl's book and the 'Dog Book' - agreeing with Erica that Stahl is not a quitter. Julianne looks unimpressed, but he insists she makes it happen.
He goes and Erica breathes a sigh of relief. She realises her colleagues are not quite as happy though, and checks with Julianne whether she would now like her latte.
Erica is making Julianne's latte when Dr. Tom walks in - suggesting she could get a job at Starbucks with her coffee-making skills. She jokes that she may have to if her bosses don't like Stahl's writing.
She tells him that she felt she couldn't give up on him. Dr. Tom suggests she could have, but Erica says it wouldn't have been right to.
He indicates to her that Julianne is approaching and Erica jokes about how much they pay at Starbucks. He quotes to Erica that, "We cannot, we will not, choose the path of surrender," and goes.
Julianne informs Erica that she has read Stahl's pages and that they're not bad. She then tells Erica she is impressed at how she fought for something she cared about despite all the naysayers. She says Stahl will receive the extra time he needs.
Erica looks pleased at this news, although she is quickly brought back down to earth as Julianne registers her unhappiness, once more, with her coffee.
Back in her apartment building after work, Erica is leaving Ryan a message on his phone as she makes her wall down the hallway. However, when she opens the door to her apartment she finds him inside, shirtless, wearing an apron, and cooking.
She's shocked to find him there, but he explains how he bribed her building manager to let him in and how he re-arranged his plans with Josh. Erica is pleased to see him and they kiss.
Erica then narrates over a series of closing images including her mom looking at a wedding photo of her two daughters, her dad in the synagogue, Sam looking at the snow globe Erica bought her, Stahl in hospital, and finally Erica lying next to a sleeping Ryan.
"They say the greatest mistake in life is giving up. That true strength lies in the will to keep trying. Keep hoping things will get better. Keep reminding yourself of all you've accomplished. Keep everything in perspective. Keep up the fight.
"Because, at the end of the day, that's what you're left with - the knowledge that you did your best and that you'll wake up tomorrow and try again."