|The Unkindest Cut|
|Season 2, Episode 7|
|Air date||November 3, 2009|
|Viewers||Canada - , The Netherlands -|
|Opening||"Being Erica theme" by Lily Frost|
Under My Thumb
Barb has just started dating a new man named Norm, for which Erica is happy. Erica volunteers to pass the news along to her father, who seems less than thrilled despite stating otherwise. Erica talks Barb into introducing Norm to the family at an upcoming family bris, at which Gary is to act as the mohel and a reluctant Erica the sandak, a role to which she agrees if only to feel more connected to Gary at this pivotal time. Meanwhile, with Dr. Tom's knowledge, Erica is called into Dr. Fred's office to discuss a roadblock that Kai is facing in his therapy. What little Erica has been able to glean directly from Kai is that he is unhappy with his therapy. Kai, however, knows nothing about this intervention with Erica. Erica is unsure if she should get involved, but decides at least to hear Dr. Fred out and hopefully to understand Kai better. Unexpectedly, Dr. Fred sends Erica to 2019 to what she thinks is Kai's future as a famous rock singer, a future if he discontinues therapy. This experience is not quite what it initially seems. But from this experience, Erica does learn from what Kai is running and why he wants to turn his back on therapy. But more importantly, Erica learns that she is not Kai's savior, nor is she her father's.
Erica is on the phone at work at River Rock. She ends her call and goes to see Julianne who is in the boardroom, scolding her new assistant for not doing what is expected of her.
Her assistant hands her her latte, suggesting she has done one thing that Julianne asked. However, when Julianne tries the latte it ends up burning her mouth. Seeing this, Erica jumps in, taking the paperwork off the assistant and offering to do it herself.
Julianne, relieved, thanks her, calling Erica her "fave" before firing her new assistant. Erica apologises to the crestfallen assistant. She narrates:
"The world is full of problems. Fix one, and you'll find another just waiting to take its place."
Later, Erica heads to her mom's house and lets herself in. She calls out, saying she has brought the boxes Barbara asked for. She meets Barbara at the entrance to the kitchen, with her mom clearly surprised to see her as Erica had said she couldn't come.
Erica, looking around at lots of junk around the house, replies that she didn't want to leave her in the lurch when she needs her help and suggests that Barbara has overdone it with the clear out she is doing.
She reminds her that the whole family is coming over for a Bris the next day and comments that the house looks like a "flea market exploded" in it. Barbara insists it will be fine and ushers Erica back towards the front door.
Erica is adamant she can't leave though and that her mom can't do it all by herself. They then hear a man's voice calling from the kitchen asking where something should go. Erica is shocked to hear this and asks Barbara who it is.
Barbara tries to stop Erica going to see before reluctantly revealing that she is seeing someone. However, Erica is excited to hear that her mom has a boyfriend and calls out to greet him.
She heads back towards the kitchen where Barbara introduces her to Norm. He greets Erica as the "hot shot editor" he's heard so much about, and invites her to stick around and help them with the clear out.
Erica and Barbara pack things away in a box as they talk about Norm. She asks why her mom didn't tell her about him, and Barbara admits she was worried Erica would be upset. Erica suggests this is crazy though and says that Norm seems nice.
Barbara confirms he is and floats the idea of him going to the Bris past Erica - who can't see a reason why it wouldn't be OK. Her mom suggests that circumcising a baby not be the best way to introduce him to the family.
Erica adds that Gary will be the Mohel too - and jokes about what he may do with the sharp instruments. Barbara then comments that she would have to tell Gary about Norm before inviting him, before concluding that the whole thing would be too much trouble.
They return to packing things away, and Erica begins thinking.
"In a world where problems abound, many of us are professional thinkers."
Erica then offers to tell Gary herself, suggesting it would be easier. Barbara checks whether Erica wouldn't mind, but Erica says she'll take a box of Gary's stuff, too, and that it will be one less thing for her mom to worry about.
"Whenever we see a problem, a need, a colonel of unhappiness, we have to get in there, we have to fix it."
Barbara thanks her and they hug.
"In our rush to fix, to help, to solve, most of us never pause to wonder if we're doing the right thing. Because, after all, how could trying to help someone be wrong?"
Erica heads to her father's, where she finds him in his workshop. She stops to watch him work, unnoticed, realizing that she has to break the news about Norm to him. She says hello and Gary looks up, commenting that she has come to make his day.
She hands him the box of his stuff she is holding, explaining that Barbara is doing a big pre-Bris clean up. They hug, and Gary invites Erica to stay for dinner - although she declines having already told Ethan she'd be home.
Gary is consoled by the fact that he'll see her the next day at the Bris, advising she isn't late so not to miss her "dad in action." Erica then admits that she has to tell him something, dismissing it as not being a big deal, before revealing that Barbara is seeing someone.
He digests this news as Erica explains how Norm will be coming to the Bris. Gary concludes that Barbara has been on her own for a long time and that it will be good for her. Erica is surprised by this reaction, and Gary switches his attention to the box she has brought.
Inside, he finds a telescope, which he removes, asking her if she remembers it. Erica replies that her and Barbara couldn't recall whether it belonged to him or Leo, but Gary tells her he bought it for Erica herself on her 10th birthday.
He reminds her they used to go out every night and look for hidden planets and UFOs and, judging by her reaction, suggests she doesn't remember. Erica insists she does, although looks ashamed that she has forgotten something her dad fondly remembers.
Gary remarks that it is "out with the old, in with the new," and Erica hugs him, saying she'll see him the next day. Before going though, she takes a moment to watch Gary with the telescope, looking sad.
That evening, Erica is in her apartment, sitting down with her laptop. She looks at a dating website at profiles of older women. Ethan comes into the room and spots this, joking that this is her way of telling him they're over.
Erica laughs, explaining that she is looking for her dad, which he finds creepy. She disagrees though, saying that Gary is lonely and needs to meet someone. Ethan comments that her father's love life is not Erica's problem.
She points to the fact that Barbara now has Norm and Sam is in London, but then turns around to see Ethan emerging from the bedroom wearing a Kippah and Tallit. She laughs and he asks her what she thinks, with Erica replying it's not too much "for the Wailing Wall."
The phone then rings and Erica answers it to find her mom on the other end. She tells her that she has told Gary about Norm and says he took it pretty well. Barbara is relieved to hear this before admitting she has one more favour to ask of Erica.
She informs her that her cousin has swine flu and won't be able to be the Sandek, and Erica realises that her mom is asking her to fill in. Barbara says it would mean so much to her cousin Stephanie, but Erica suggests that Aunt Roberta does it.
Barbara adds that Gary would be thrilled if she was to take on a more meaningful role during the ceremony, which makes Erica stop and think before agreeing. They end the conversation, with Erica wondering what she has got herself into.
The next morning, Erica and Ethan are sitting at a table at Goblins. He wonders what the big deal is, suggesting that Erica being the Sandek is like being the Godmother. She rejects this idea, telling Ethan she has to hold the baby while her father circumcises him.
Ethan replies that it only takes two seconds, which surprises Erica. She decides to get up and heads over to the counter where she checks with Kai how much the biscotti is. He replies that it is free for her and she takes one, wrapping it in a paper bag which she makes into a tube shape.
She then borrows a sharp knife from the counter and returns to Ethan. She holds the biscotti in the bag, asking Ethan if he can see the "penis" she is holding.
Ethan responds by saying it isn't a penis, but Erica, taking the sharp knife and cutting the top of the biscotti off, asks him how he'd feel if he had to hold down a baby while his father was circumcising a baby.
He watches on, uncomfortably, as she hacks away at the "penis" and Erica wonders why she is the only one who finds circumcising a baby brutal, violent, and wrong. Ethan begs her to stop her demonstration, and asks why she didn't just say no.
She stops and sits back down, saying that Steph asked her to. Erica explains that it is a really big day for her and that, if she can, she should make her and her dad happy. She concludes that she just to get through the day.
Kai then approaches the table, checking that Erica has finished brandishing the knife and takes it off her. He then runs up a flight of stairs and opens a door. However, he finds himself entering Dr. Fred's office instead.
He is sitting behind his desk and, seeing Kai holding the knife, remarks that Kai is armed and wonders whether he should be concerned. Kai approaches him and leans on the desk, angry, telling Dr. Fred he is working and he can't just keep pulling him into his office.
Kai asks why he keeps doing so, and Dr. Fred reminds him he made a commitment, although Kai says he told him he has changed his mind. Dr. Fred is adamant that Kai doesn't get to change his mind though, telling him therapy doesn't work like that.
Annoyed, Kai goes to walk away, but Dr. Fred gets up and walks around to him. He comments that he knows Kai is used to getting what he wants but that, as far as he can tell, it hasn't made his life any easier.
Kai suggests that Dr. Fred doesn't really know him and that he might have got it all wrong. Dr. Fred disagrees with him though, declaring that Kai turning his back on therapy is not the answer and implores him to give it a chance and allow him to help him.
Not wanting to hear anymore, Kai heads for the door saying he doesn't want his help and wants to be left alone. Dr. Fred replies that walking out of the door won't change anything because Kai can't run away from who he is and Kai angrily leaves the room, slamming the door behind him.
He re-emerges back in Goblins, where Ethan notices Kai's anger, and suggests to Erica that he is having a bad day. Erica, realising what has just happened, goes to check on Kai.
She asks him whether he has had a session and Kai rants that Dr. Fred thinks he knows what's best for him and is acting like he's a broken thing which needs to be fixed. Erica wonders if he has told Dr. Fred how he feels, but Kai insists that he doesn't listen.
Erica then suggests she could talk to her Doctor and get him to intervene. Kai tells her it's not her problem though, thanking her but telling Erica to let it go. They are then interrupted by a friend of Kai's, who he introduces to Erica as being Travis and the pair of them leave.
Later, at the Bris, Barbara and Roberta are talking about Norm, who Barbara then takes her over to introduce him to. Meanwhile, Erica is pacing around the foyer waiting for her father to arrive, with Ethan waiting with her.
Gary then arrives, and Erica hugs him. He greets her as "his partner," although he can sense that she seems nervous. She admits she is a little, but Gary says she'll be fine and that he'll walk her through it explaining everything, so she needn't worry.
They then spot Barbara and Norm in the main room, and Gary concedes that he's pretty good looking and checks whether he is Jewish. Erica doesn't think so, and he asks for her to introduce him.
The pair make their way over and Erica catches her mom's attention, and Barbara greets Gary saying the Mohel has arrived and they kiss one another on the cheek. She then introduces him to Norm, and they shake hands. Everyone smiles, not knowing what to say.
Later, Erica is sitting down on a chair, as Aunt Roberta hands her baby Jonah. Erica breathes in deeply as everyone watches on and Gary begins the ceremony. She shifts around in her chair, with the eyes of everyone fixed on her.
Gary then approaches her, instructing Erica to hold down the baby's legs and keep him very still. He then gets out the Hemostat ready to begin the circumcision. Seeing this though, Erica begins to feel faint which he notices.
He manages to grab the baby as Erica faints and falls off her chair. However, rather than hitting the floor, she finds herself landing on the grass in Dr. Fred's office. She opens her eyes to see Dr. Fred standing over her, asking if he can get her some water, juice, or a vanilla latte.
Erica begins to get up, puzzled. Back on her feet, she then turns around to see Dr. Tom standing behind Dr. Fred's desk. She asks him where they are and Dr. Fred tells her they are in his office.
Dr. Tom informs Erica that Dr. Fred needs to talk to her about something and he assures Erica that it is OK. Dr. Fred confirms that he has brought Erica to his office because he needs to talk to her about Kai.
He explains to Erica that Kai's therapy has hit a bit of a roadblock. She laughs at this understatement but, seeing that Dr. Tom doesn't find it funny, apologises. Dr. Fred invites her to sit down and share her thoughts with them.
Erica does so, saying that, although she doesn't want to tell them how to do their job, Kai isn't enjoying his process. Dr. Fred suggests that this is a polite way of saying that Kai hates his guts.
She explains that Kai doesn't feel like Dr. Fred understands him and Dr. Fred replies by telling Erica that this is where she is to come in, before correcting himself that this is where Erica came in a few months ago.
Erica doesn't understand, and Dr. Fred reminds her of a day on the streets. She realises that he is the guy who bumped into her - making her spill her coffee so she would go into Goblins.
Dr. Fred adds that he wanted Erica to meet Kai, befriend him, and then one day walk into his office so he can tell her that he really needs her help. Erica asks Dr. Tom if he knew about this plan, taking his silence on the matter as confirmation that he did.
She asks Dr. Fred how he needs her help and what she is supposed to do. He explains that Kai is resisting therapy and Dr. Tom suggests that Kai needs someone to help him gain "perspective" on what therapy can do when it works.
Erica chuckles at this, telling them it is a lot to take in and admitting that she doesn't like going behind Kai's back. She says that he has made it perfectly clear that he doesn't want to discuss the specifics of his therapy.
Dr. Fred asks her if she's ever wondered why that is and considered whether Kai is keeping something from her. She admits she doesn't know what to say, looking to Dr. Tom for help. Dr. Fred suggests she can say that she'll help and let him show her what he's talking about.
Erica thinks for a while before agreeing. Dr. Fred then nods his head in her direction and she suddenly vanishes, with an empty chair left before him. He turns to Dr. Tom and thanks him.
However, Dr. Tom tells him not to do so. He explains to Dr. Fred that he is not doing it for him or for Kai, but for Erica. He tells Dr. Fred to watch out for her before leaving.
Meanwhile, Erica finds herself in a recording studio where she stumbles forward and bumps into a sound engineer, causing him to knock a fader and deafen Kai - who is on the other side of a glass window, in a studio, behind a mic.
He rages at the guy, who apologises, wondering if it's "amateur hour." Another man, Kai's manager Jody, tells him it was a mistake and that, as a rock star, it comes with the territory.
Erica then apologies, explaining that it was her who caused it by stumbling.
Kai asks Erica what her name is and Jody answers for her, explaining that she is 'Noel' from Rolling Stone magazine. She then notices how differently she looks - with short, dark hair and glasses - from her reflection in the glass window.
She chuckles nervously as Kai informs her she's lucky she's a real journalist rather than a gossip columnist or paparazzi and describing how he has punched out a few in his time. Jody suggests Erica sits down and watches which, bewildered, she agrees is a good idea.
Erica looks on as Kai records his song. Jody is impressed as he finishes it, exclaiming that Kai nailed it, although Kai suggests he has only nailed "a piece of shit" before requesting some water. Jody assures Kai that it is going to be his new hit single though.
Kai comes to join the others as Jody receives a call on a high tech cell phone, which intrigues Erica. Jody tells the guy on the phone that Kai's new single will go triple platinum, describing how fans will eat it up as he leaves the room.
He congratulates Kai on his way out, and Kai asks Erica if she thinks it will go triple platinum too. She replies by telling him she thinks it was really "catchy." He isn't enthused by this reaction though, joking that she has a way with words.
Kai then proceeds to take a magazine and roll it up before hitting the sound engineer over the head with it. Jody returns to the room and informs them it is time for 'Noel' to start her interview and Erica is handed her bag.
She then glances down to a magazine featuring a picture of Kai and his band Head on the front. Erica picks it up and is shocked to see that the date on the magazine is August 2017.
Making her way outside to Kai's limo - where the interview is to take place - she encounters Dr. Fred posing as a music artist with two heavies walking with him. She calls out to him and he takes her to one side.
She asks him what's going on, admitting that she is freaked out and checks that she in the future and he has sent her to 2017. Dr. Fred, keen for Erica not to blow his cover, says he has sent her to 2019, explaining that it is Kai's past and he is about to hit rock bottom.
He explains Kai and the band are about to go on tour where Kai will blow off the first two gigs, overdose on opium, spend two weeks in a coma, wake up, meet him, and his therapy will begin.
Erica struggles to take this in, as it dawns on her that the Kai she knows as a barista back in 2009 is actually on a session. Dr Fred confirms that Kai has turned his back on his session and is stranding himself there after being sent to complete a regret but now doesn't want to leave.
He informs Erica that Kai is actually 32 and that, despite all the rock and roll bravado, he needs all the help he can get. Dr. Fred then advises her that Kai's limo doesn't even wait for a reporter from Rolling Stone magazine and Erica better run.
She heads to the limo, where Jody stands outside. He tells her that Kai has been looking forward to the interview for weeks and that, after having a rough year, they hope her story can get him back on track.
Erica gets inside with Jody, asking about the rough year Kai has had. He confirms that it has been awful, listing Kai's drug addiction, rehab, and Travis. She checks he means Kai's friend Travis, with Jody wondering who else she thinks he meant.
She apologises for the stupidity of the question, but Jody tells her that Travis's suicide was incredibly shocking to all of them and Kai took it harder than anyone else as they were band mates and best friends.
Erica listens to this in astonishment as Jody instructs her that talking about the suicide is off limits. She replies that she's just going to do a nice cover piece and to learn more about Kai, and Jody is pleased to hear they're on the same page.
Kai then enters the limo and sits down next to Erica, telling her she can ask him anything she wants. She delves into her bag, rummaging through trying to find a note pad or tape recorder. Kai steps in to remove a clear plastic screen which Jody then shows Erica how to switch on.
The interview progresses as Kai explains about his early years and Erica then suggests they talk about him and his band. He comments that they are incredible and he loves them, describing the band as one happy family.
Erica is surprised that everything for Kai is great and his life is amazing, and Kai confirms that he wakes up every day inspired and says his new album is going to be the best yet.
She remarks that he said he was unhappy with his new single, and Kai responds that she said it was "catchy" with Erica replying that Kai himself had branded it "shit." Jody steps in to explain that Kai has always been hard on himself and that they're all looking forward to the new album, which they view as a "rebirth."
Kai agrees with these sentiments, saying he has finished his time in rehab and turned a corner with the support of his band, label, and fans. He remarks that the vibes of love and positvity have made him practically a new man.
Erica suggests that everything sounds perfect, which Kai confirms. However, believing him to be lying, she then asks him how he's coping with the suicide of Travis. Kai stares at her at this question, not replying, and Jody looks similarly annoyed with Erica.
The limo then pulls up and Kai gets out, calling Erica a "bitch" as he leaves. As he steps out, Kai is mobbed by fans and photographers. Erica follows him out with Jody, who questions what she was doing and reminding her that talking about Travis was off limits.
Erica tells him she has come to find out who Kai Booker really is. Jody sarcastically wishes her good luck, betting with her that Kai won't say another word to her after her "little stunt." She doubts this however, and approaches Kai.
She asks whether they can try again, but he simply ignores her, and instead picks three girls from the crowd who he invites to attend a party in his penthouse. He then calls out to 'Noel' and, having got Erica's attention, proceeds to start making out with one of the girls he's picked.
At the party, Erica is entranced by a screen showing Kai and Head performing. Kai then comes up to her, wondering what she is still doing at the party. Erica comments that Kai is now talking to her and he asks her what she wants from him.
Erica reminds him that she's not one of his entourage or employees and that she has come to find out everything she can about him. Kai responds by telling her she crossed the line and, in trying to make a name for herself, has pissed him off.
He insists that, if she wants to interview him, she must respect his boundaries. Kai then goes to leave but Erica asks what happened to him and he turns back around, confused. She wonders how he went from a starving artist working at Goblins to what he is now.
She laments the idea of the Kai from Goblins seeing him now, and reveals that she used to hang out at Goblins. Sceptical, Kai asks her to prove it, and Erica replies by saying how he worked with a guy named Dave and once, at an open mic night, sang a song about aliens.
Kai says it was called Alien Like You and is surprised that Erica has been telling the truth. She confirms she is and comments on how good the song was and how much she loved it. Kai stares at her before conceding they got off on the wrong foot.
He promises not to be such a diva if she promises not be such a hard ass, which Erica agrees to. They chat on the couch, as Kai describes how he can still do latte art. He describes how it had been a time when nobody knew him and it was him, his friends, his music, and Travis.
Erica tells him she remembers meeting Travis once, describing him as "dorky." Kai agrees with this, commenting that he used to give him a hard time about it before saying what a great friend and songwriter he was.
They are interruped by a girl asking Kai to join them, but instead he takes Erica into his bedroom to show her something. He then shows her a coffee machine, which he wonders if she recognises.
She identifies it as the one from the end of the bar at Goblins and Kai explains how, when his first album went gold, he had offered them three times its worth. Erica wonders why and he gets her to promise not to write about it, which she does.
Kai sits down on the bed, holding his guitar, and recounts to her how him and Travis wrote all their first songs together every night after hours at Goblins and that the coffee would help keep them awake.
She asks Kai if Alien Like You was one of the songs, but he admits it was all his and he never finished writing the song. Erica wonders why, and Kai explains that it was never going to be a hit.
He begins strumming on his guitar and Erica sits down beside him, saying she thought it was incredible and that he can still finish it. Kai responds saying it's not his sound or what the fans want to hear. He adds that Travis thought it was the most personal song he ever wrote.
Erica says that's why she liked it and suggests the fans would love it too. Kai describes how Jody would argue that they have to protect the brand and that the fans want consistency and the band has to deliver, conceding that it sells albums.
She asks him if that's all he cares about but, before he can answer, they are interrupted by Jody who informs Kai that the manager of the label, Shawn, has arrived from LA. Kai is reluctant to see him but does so - inviting Erica to join him, much to Jody's displeasure.
They go to meet Shawn, who hugs Kai, and Erica introduces herself as being from Rolling Stone magazine before offering her hand to shake, which he snubs. Shawn and Kai sit down, and he tells Kai that he's been told about the magic he was making in the recording studio.
Shawn explains that he likes the song but that he doesn't think it's a lead song, which Kai agrees with. He then tells Kai that he wants him to record one more track that he's had written for him, and removes something from his jacket pocket.
He says that they hired some people to write it and, prompted by Kai's questioning, reveals the song is calledTravis. Kai stares at him and Jody chips in saying that, although he's sure the song is brilliant, he doesn't know if the band is quite ready for that.
Shawn replies that the fans are, but Erica questions whether he's not worried about the backlash from fans accusing Kai and the band of cashing in on a tragedy. He wonders why she is interjecting though, and brands Erica as just "a groupie with a way with words."
Kai then admits he doesn't feel comfortable and Shawn informs him that he doesn't like the way Kai's last album produced or spending millions of dollars on a busted flush. He orders Kai to get back into the studio and that they will lead with the single about Travis - leaving Kai in silence.
Shawn comments that they will shut down the internet with all the downloads and Jody agrees, saying that they will do whatever it takes and that it gives them a chance to tell the truth about Travis rather than some made up tabloid fantasy.
He adds that the more he thinks about it, the more he likes the idea, and Shawn smiles at this endorsement. Kai and Erica both look less than happy at this prospect though.
Kai returns to the party and pours himself a drink. Erica finds him and wonders whether he is going to do what Shawn wants. He confirms he is, but she reminds him that he hates his life and what he's become.
Erica says that he wishes he could go back in time but doesn't have to. She states that the rebirth he is looking for can start with him not caving in, but by standing up to them and saying no. She suggests that none of it matters to him anymore and advises him not to record the song.
Kai listens to this and goes back to confront Shawn and Jody and tells them he's not recording the song. Jody suggests they've already talked about it, but Kai reminds him he is supposed to represent him, and he tells Shawn to screw the song as he's not going to sing it.
Shawn accepts, suggesting that he'll get someone else to sing the song. Kai replies saying that Travis was in his band, which Shawn confirms is why he wants Head to record it. He says if Kai doesn't want to then they will do his album without a hit single.
He describes how it would move a few thousand downloads and would be a nice, small, personal album to wrap up his career. Kai sits down in resignation, and concedes that he could listen to the song, which Shawn comments couldn't do any harm.
Erica tries to persuade Kai otherwise, but he tells her not to and he takes the song to listen to it - leaving her disappointed about his change of heart.
Later, in his room, Kai picks up his guitar and, in a rage, sets about smashing it. Erica and Jody enter, shocked to see what he is doing. Kai finishes up and kicks the scattered pieces away, calming down.
Afterwards, Erica wanders around outside until she spots Dr. Tom, using a futuristic touch screen information board. She comments to him that 2019 isn't so different from 2009 and, aside from a few bells and whistles, it's pretty much the same.
Dr. Tom wonders whether she was expecting robots, flying cars, and everybody in jumpsuits. She doesn't find this amusing though, and he checks if everything is OK. Erica confirms it isn't, describing how she feels like she's losing it.
He suggests this isn't that surprising given, in the space of two days, she has become an adminstrative assistant, a messenger, home organiser, Sandek, and now her latest "high wire act" of trying to save a rock star from himself.
Erica finds this to be really unfair, reminding him he agreed to send her into the future. Dr. Tom explains that he wanted her to go for some perspective but Erica argues that there's nothing wrong with trying to help the people you care about.
He agrees with her, but suggests that there is a line. This confuses Erica, who asks what he is talking about. Dr. Tom tells her to imagine a mother who spends her entire life trying to protect her child from hardship.
Dr. Tom describes how the mother rushes in to fix every little problem and fill in every little need and then the child grows up and is left unable to cope with life's "vicissitudes." He says that the parent's defence is that they were only trying to help.
Erica disagrees that that is what she doing, before conceding that she may have been a little bit because she wants the people she cares about to be happy. Dr. Tom says he's sure that is the case but poses the question of whether their happiness is her responsibility or not.
She suggests that he helps her, but Dr. Tom comments that she does all the heavy lifting and that, rather than fix her problems, he just points the way. He then points her in a direction and walks way.
Erica follows his guidance and suddenly finds herself walking back into her mom's house. Gary, Ethan, and Barbara check that she is all right, and Erica replies that she feels much better and a splash of water on her face was all she needed.
Barbara suggests she lies down for a bit, but Gary takes her by the hand and says Erica should decide what she wants to do before telling "Number One" that "her Captain" needs her. Erica suggests she shouldn't continue as the Sandek though, in case she faints again.
Steph says this OK, and Aunt Roberta can take Erica's place, advising her to take it easy. Gary looks disappointed at this, but gathers everyone around as the ceremony resumes.
Erica watches on, with Ethan by her side. However, she becomes nervous just watching and apologises before excusing herself and leaving the room with Ethan in tow. This behaviour leaves Gary bemused.
As the circumcision takes place, Erica stares out of the kitchen window, reacting visibly as baby Jonah begins crying in pain.
Afterwards, Erica asks to speak to her dad and they go into the foyer. He asks her what is going on, suggesting it feels like it's more than just a little squeamishness. Erica confirms it is, and confesseses she should never have agreed to be the Sandek.
Gary is confused at this statement and wonders why and Erica admits she did it to make him happy and to take his mind off Norm. She then tells him that she feels conflicted about the idea of circumcising a baby, describing it as "awful."
He can't believe this though, but Erica suggests it involves cutting a baby without anaesthetic for no reason. She says she doesn't get it and never should have agreed to participate. Gary wonders why she did, and she tells him she wanted to do something to make him feel they were connected.
Gary labels this a "token gesture" and bemoans how Erica has spent years neglecting her religion. She rejects this idea, but he tells her he's a Rabbi and his family have rejected everything that matters to him.
He points to how Sam married an Anglican, Barbara now dating "Harrison Ford," and Erica interrupts him, suggesting he is unhappy that she is with Ethan. She wonders whether he wants her to dump Ethan and find a "nice Jewish boy." Gary doesn't respond though.
Erica, struggling to contain her emotions, says he's unhappy and lonely and that she'd love to help him. She states that she could be a "super Jew" and watch marathon sessions of Star Trek with him.
However, Erica concludes that the truth is she can't fix what's wrong and it has to start with him. She then goes, leaving Gary to reflect on her words.
Later that day, Erica heads to Goblins where Kai is working. She heads up to the counter, and he notices she looks exhausted. Erica admits she has had a rough day and orders a mint tea. Kai apologises for how he went off at her earlier and Erica understands, saying she has been there.
This surprises Kai, who suggests that she seems used to having some guy, who doesn't even have a lost name, call himself a Doctor and stick his nose in where it doesn't belong. Erica replies by telling him that her Doctor helps her.
Kai wonders if she has come to convince him he's got it all wrong, but Erica says she is just a friend and someone he can talk to who understands how crazy therapy is. Her tea is then delivered, as Kai reminds her that he doesn't want to talk about his therapy.
Erica suggests that he met his Doctor for a reason and that no one forced him into therapy, rather he agreed to it just like she did. She pays for the tea and leaves Kai thinking.
At home in her apartment in the evening, Erica and Ethan are on the couch watching TV. They hear a knock at the door which, considering it's so late, surprises them. Erica opens the door to her dad, who is carrying her telescope with him.
He tells her it's a clear night and was in the neighbourhood. He suggests that, if she isn't busy, maybe they could put the telescope to use and search for life on Mars. Erica smiles and after Ethan declines her invitation to join them, they head outside.
Erica narrates over closing images of Barbara and Norm in the kitchen, Kai in Goblins, and her and her dad outside using the telescope.
"There's no question that when we help we feel valued, useful, and more connected to the people we care about. The question is: when is helping not helpful at all?
"Sometimes the way we help the most is to give others the space and support they need to help themselves."