This Be the Verse
Season 1, Episode 8
Air date february 25, 2009
Viewers Canada - , The Netherlands -
Opening "Being Erica theme" by Lily Frost
Episode Guide
Such a Perfect Day
All She Ever Wanted

Full Plot Edit

Erica is waking up in bed, she narrates as she gets up, puts on Ryan's shirt, and heads into the kitchen where he is cooking breakfast.

"They say we should strive to forgive and forget. Too often we do neither. Instead, we hold grudges, we stay mad." - Erica

Ryan has his back to Erica and she decides to creep up on him. She shouts 'surprise' and goes to jump on his back but, shocked, he ends up dropping the frying pan he's holding onto his toes.

Erica apologises and asks him to forgive her - reminding him tomorrow is Yom Kippur which means he has to forgive her. He jokingly says 'Happy New Year' before admitting he knows about the Jewish 'Day of Atonement' from an ex-girlfriend. They kiss.

"Hurt, anger, betrayal. These things are hard to forgive, much less forget." - Erica

The phone rings, and Ryan breaks the kiss to tell Erica it's her mom. Erica begs him not to answer it, as she doesn't want to deal with her mother's attempts to reunite her and Sam. Erica tells of their Yom Kippur tradition of going around to Barbara's for dinner after going to her dad's Synagogue.

Erica says she doesn't want to do that this year, and Ryan suggests they do something else on his credit card. She says Yom Kippur is the one holiday she does take seriously, so can't. Erica then goes to make Ryan breakfast, but he says it can wait as his hurt toe requires 'make-up sex' and they go back into the bedroom.

At work, Erica is bringing Julianne her latte when she, to her surprise, she discovers her boss talking and joking with her mom. Barbara explains she hasn't been able to get in touch with Erica and has come to firm up plans for Yom Kippur.

Julianne leaves them to talk, and they argue over Erica's plans to do Yom Kippur on her own. Her mom suggests this means still going to the Synagogue but not coming to her for dinner.

Barbara then says she wants an end to Erica's fight with Sam, which she describes as pulling the family apart. Erica retorts that somebody else deserves credit for that.

Knowing what she means, her mom claims she, and not Erica's father, is always to blame for everything that goes wrong. Erica suggests that if she wants to see her tomorrow, then she should bury the hatchet with Gary. Her mom scoffs at this idea and Erica walks off leaving Barbara speechless.

Back home, Barbara is sitting down to eat with Josh and Sam, discussing Erica and Sam's argument. Sam accuses her of defending Erica, but she suggests Erica was just trying to be protective. Sam believes she was motivated by jealousy though.

At the table, Barbara goes to put some salad on Sam's plate, but Josh warns her not to eat it because of the raw egg in the dressing. Sam admits to her mom that she is most likely pregnant, and has a blood test coming up to confirm the fact.

Barbara is delighted to hear this news, and tells Sam that her life would now be perfect if her two daughters would resume talking to one another - reminding Sam that tomorrow is Yom Kippur.

Meanwhile, Erica is in her apartment holding her phone and rehearsing what she is going to say to Sam to try and patch things up. Ethan then knocks on the door and enters, he takes the phone from her and begins to call Sam so Erica can apologise.

Erica says she doesn't know what to say and wishes she had joined Ryan in going to Wonderland. Ethan tells her she just has to keep apologising until she gets through to her sister and he hands her the phone back.

At Barbara's, Sam phone begins to ring and Josh picks it up, telling them it is "she who shall not be named" calling. Barbara reminds Sam that she may well be having Erica's niece or nephew, and Sam reluctantly decides to take Erica's call.

Erica apologises, saying she never meant to hurt Sam and asks for forgiveness. Eventually Sam says she forgives Erica and they say they will see one another tomorrow before hanging up.

Unimpressed by how easily his wife has given in, Josh sarcastically says he loves a religion where you can screw up throughout the year but clean the slate with just one phone call.

The next day, Erica and Ryan are walking to the Synagogue, where they are greeted at the door by the cantor, Lily. They enter and find Barbara has accompanied Sam there. Gary is pleased to see her and leads them all to the front row.

On the way, Erica tries to speak to Sam. She says she is pleased they're taking steps forward in making up, but Sam accuses her of taking advantage of Yom Kippur and says she is as forgiving as Erica is sorry.

Gary is giving his sermon, with Barbara sitting between Erica and Sam. She whispers that she is pleased they are all doing this, and Sam sarcastically replies that it is "up there" with the home perm she gave her in Grade 5.

Erica tells Sam that her apology was sincere, but Sam says she sounds like a broken record playing a sad, pathetic song. Conscious of the argument taking place in front of him, Gary tries to raise his voice to mask it and then interjects with a message about sisters getting along.

Hearing this, Sam accuses Erica - much to her disbelief - of getting Gary involved on her side. Both Ryan and Barbara try to get them to stop until, so annoyed, Gary addresses them directly, pointing out he is trying to give a Yom Kippur sermon.

However, the sisters continue, with Sam accusing Erica of "going through the motions" with her apology, and Barbara suggests Erica apologises properly. Erica says her mom is taking Sam's side, but she says she is just trying to save the family.

Erica snaps and, raising her voice, says it was Barbara who walked out on the family after Leo died - when they needed her the most. Gary stops giving his sermon, looking embarrassed as everyone focuses their attention on the front row.

Barbara makes a hasty exit, followed by Sam. Erica goes to follow them, apologising for her behaviour on the way. When she pushes the doors of the synagogue to leave though, she finds herself entering Dr. Tom's office instead.

He is sitting in her chair spinning a Buddhist prayer wheel and quotes to her: "They screw you up your mom and dad. They may not mean to, but they do."

Then he begins to tell her about Catholics who climb the steps of Saint Joseph's oratory in Montreal on their knees - reciting a prayer on each step. Erica tells him it sounds as painful as Yom Kippur.

Rising to his feet, Dr. Tom suggests it didn't need to be painful, but she says she has been trying for weeks to make things right with Sam. Sitting down in his chair, Dr. Tom tells her that: "There is no try, only do," which she recognises as the words of Yoda from Star Wars.

He explains that Yoda was just a mash-up of eastern religious traditions, particularly Buddhism, and tells her about the prayer wheel and how it is supposed to inspire the spirit of compassion, understanding, and forgiveness.

Offering her the wheel, he asks whether she would like to give it a spin. Erica declines, and instead he gets her to explain another regret from her list - 'calling Mom a total Nazi.' Erica shakes her head as he reads it out, telling him it was not her finest moment.

She recalls it was at Yom Kippur in 1997, the year after Leo had died. Everybody was in a bad mood and her mom completely lost it when somebody from the Synagogue had come asking for her dad to go and help them.

Barbara had accused Gary of spending more time at the Schul than with his family and had given him an ultimatum - his Syanagogue or their marriage. Erica thought her mom was being unreasonable and controlling and had shouted at her that she was behaving like a "total Nazi."

Erica says that afterwards, her mom had gone to stay with her sister in Ottawa for a couple of weeks and on her return asked for a divorce.

Although she knows she's not responsible for their divorce, Erica tells Dr. Tom her relationship with her mom changed forever - splitting the family into two camps, her and Gary and Sam and Barbara. She says her and her mom have never recovered properly since.

Dr. Tom begins to play with the prayer wheel again and Erica says if she went back she wouldn't take sides this time and instead stay neutral - like Switzerland.

At that moment, she finds herself transported back - playing Twister where, in her shock, she ends up collapsing over. Josh is delighted with this, declaring his team, also including Sam and Barbara, the winners over Erica, Gary, and Ethan.

After the game, they are sitting around the living room - with Josh still boasting. Sam notices Josh is chewing gum, which she says he isn't allowed to do on Yom Kippur. He complains he isn't allowed to chew gum, watch the game, or do anything.

Hearing this, Barbara says Josh is free to watch the game in her office. Gary protests though, saying Yom Kippur should be respected. Barbara reminds him Josh isn't Jewish and says both him and Ethan should be allowed to do whatever they want.

Gary argues that Josh is a guest in his house and should respect his rules, but their row is interrupted by the doorbell ringing. Erica shifts in her seat as Ethan goes to answer it - knowing what is coming.

The messenger tells Gary that the rabbi is sick and they need him to blow the Shofar. Barbara warns him he not to leave, but he says it is an emergency and they need him. She replies that his family need him at home.

Then Erica steps in to push the messenger away and tells him they will have to find someone else. However, the argument continues, with Barbara suggesting the story of the rabbi being sick is "bullshit" and asking Gary how stupid he thinks she is.

Erica manages to diffuse things and suggests they go ahead with their next game - scrabble. Barbara isn't playing, but she leans over Gary's shoulder and suggests a word he can make with his letters. Unappreciative, Gary leaves the game to go and read.

He is followed by Erica, who quits the game to speak to her mom in the kitchen. She suggests Barbara was trying to pick a fight with Gary, knowing how he hates her helping him. Erica tells her that at least he stayed and defends her dad's involvement with the synagogue, claiming he has found his "passion."

Barbara tells Erica that there are things she doesn't know and, after agreeing to stay out of their argument, Erica goes to fetch her mom her big roasting pan. On her way back with the pan, she goes to see her dad and suggests he give Barbara a break as she's cooking the first big meal since Leo's death.

Gary understands and takes the roasting pan to Barbara himself, offering to help prepare the meal.

At the dinner table, they are getting ready to eat when the phone rings. Gary answers and tells Lily that he can't come to the Schul because he is spending tonight with his family. After he hangs up though, Barbara convinces him to go if they really need him - as it will at least stop them from calling.

Gary leaves, telling them he will be back in an hour, and Erica thanks her mom for being so understanding.

After the meal, Gary has still not returned, and Erica jokes he has been caught up talking to people at the Synagogue. She, Ethan, Sam, and Josh all depart leaving Barbara alone in the kitchen.

On the cab ride home, Erica stops off at the Synagogue with some food she has brought for her dad, suggesting he will be starving after missing dinner. As she enters the Synagogue, she overhears voices.

She sees her dad and Lily on the balcony, and discovers that they have been having an affair. Stunned, Erica runs out of the Synagogue and takes the cab back to her parents' house.

There, she discovers the house empty but finds a letter for Gary from her mom explaining how she knows about his affair with Lily, that she has gone away to her sister's, and now wants a divorce.

Just then, there's a knock on the door. Erica answers it and Dr. Tom walks in, carrying a bag. Erica, upset at her dad's actions, asks him what kind of man calls himself a rabbi but then cheats on his wife a few months after his son's death. Dr. Tom suggests she tells him.

Erica says she can't believe her mom knew and registers her surprise at how both of her parents have behaved. She tells Dr. Tom her dad is not impulsive or underhanded and can't understand why her mom covered for him.

Dr. Tom suggests that Erica doesn't know her parents as well as she thinks she does and that it is something she could work on. He then opens his bag and presents her with a tambourine, telling her she will need it.

Erica is confused, but Dr. Tom leaves her and makes a 'peace out' sign. Erica drops the tambourine in her confusion but, when she goes to pick it up off the floor, finds herself outside in the woods and dressed like a hippie.

Not understanding what's happening, she then spots Dr. Tom chopping wood. He greets her as 'Sister Starlight' and Erica asks him to explain where she is. He tells her they are at a camp they run in the wilds of Ontario - and this is the hippie commune her parents came to in 1974 before they were married.

Erica can't believe this, telling him she was only born in 1976, but Dr. Tom explains that Hindus believe in existence before birth and that some traditions teach that children pick their parents for what they have to teach them.

Erica remarks that, if true, her selection of Gary and Barbara as parents was a "bad choice." Dr. Tom challenges this assertion, and pointing to a young woman in the distance suggests she checks things are out for herself.

Erica is shocked when she realises the woman is her mom and is unsure of what to say to her other than not to marry her dad because he's a "big cheater." Dr. Tom says that she only has ever seen her parents at sea battling the storm, but this is the calm before the storm. He suggests this could be the piece of the puzzle she is missing.

She approaches Barbara and they share a joke before sitting down for some lemonade. She tells Barbara she can't believe she's here as she hates camping.

Barbara tries to protest, but Erica continues, describing how she dislikes how the food tastes smoky, and the damp, and how she hates waking up covered in both sweat and dew. Erica tells her that pretending to like all this stuff for Gary's sake will do her no good in the long term.

Despite Barbara claiming that you just have to handle differences in relationships, Erica says she doesn't get her, detailing information Barbara is shocked she knows seeing as they only met yesterday. Erica covers herself by claiming she is psychic.

Barbara thanks Erica for her concern, but says her love for Gary is built on opposites attracting. They then discover their mutual love of coffee in the morning when Erica asks for some. Erica tells Barbara she takes after her mom like that.

However, hearing this, Yosemite, another hippie, approaches Erica with a flask of tea and pours her some, which she gratefully receives.

At that moment, Gary approaches, going over to Barbara - who jumps into his arms and they start making out. Sensing how uncomfortable Erica is, Barbara stops the kiss and Gary informs them that a Vision Quest is being organised and invites them to both take part, which they eventually agree to.

Just before the Quest begins, Gary ties a special necklace around an annoyed Erica's neck. She suggests he is "full of it" and accuses him of ignoring his wife to spend time with his junkie friends.

Erica continues her attack, telling Gary that he is wrong to expect Barbara to continue looking at him with stars in her eyes as he calls all the shots, and labels him deluded. He says he's not deluded, and loves Barbara with all his heart and self.

Gary asks Erica what made her so bitter and, when she says her parents, he tells her he used to think the same until realising that they don't have the answers. He then challenges Erica, questioning whether she has always been perfect and made the right choices. Erica is stumped.

Sitting around the camp fire, the Vision Quest is underway, with everyone looking into the fire and saying what they see. On Gary's turn, he tells everyone that he feels alone and like no-one does, or ever will, understand him. Erica is intrigued with this answer.

Barbara's turn is next, but she hesitates and tries to pass. Gary tells her to open herself up and find her truth. She once again struggles, telling Gary she doesn't want to talk about it in front of everyone. He reassures Barbara she is safe here and she should say what she has got to say.

While this is going on, Erica has finished off her tea, and is beginning to play with, and look strangely at, her hair.

Barbara eventually tells Gary that she hates it at the camp. He is shocked to hear this, and she tells him she believes it is all bullshit, feels cold and nauseous, and wants to leave. Gary asks why she didn't tell him this earlier and Barbara explains that often he doesn't listen to her.

Meanwhile, Erica begins to have visions in the distance - of her mom in the present day, who she calls out to and shouts at not to go. She begins to feel faint, and Gary steadies her from falling, telling her no-one else is there.

Erica is then guided back to the van by Gary and Barbara. On the way she has another vision, this time of Dr. Tom sitting at his desk in the middle of the woods, wearing shades. "To err is human, but to forgive is divine," he quotes at her.

This vision is then replaced by one of her parents in the present day. Her mom asks why her dad didn't tell her and he says every time he tried she pushed him away. She tells him he has ruined everything and the visions go their separate ways, despite Erica shouting for them not to.

Barbara is concerned with how Erica is behaving, blaming Yosemite and comparing her to one of "Charles Manson's girls," which Gary objects to. Erica tells them to stop and that they have to hold onto their precious love for the future when Barbara will constantly pick at Gary and when Gary will spend his time smoking weed all day.

Barbara then asks Yosemite what was in the tea and she confesses it was actually made from magic mushrooms - which causes Erica to gaze in wonderment when she finds a maple leaf.

Later in the evening, Erica has recovered from her trip with Gary telling her he will never forget her or the stories she has told them about the Berlin Wall falling and phones that can be carried around in people's pockets.

Barbara suggests they will be tales to tell their little one as she pats her stomach and tells Erica she is ten weeks pregnant. Gary informs her that if the baby is a boy they will name him Leo and if it's a girl she will be called Erica.

Smiling, Erica says she is sure it will be a boy, which Gary and Barbara are delighted to hear and they kiss. Erica, once again uncomfortable, begins to make a move away, but as she walks she finds herself transported back in time - bursting back through the doors into the Schul.

Meanwhile, Barbara and Sam are back at home after returning from the Synagogue. Barbara begins to get dinner ready when Sam gets a call from Josh informing her that he won't be able to come round because he is working.

Sam, trying to hide her disappointment, tells her mom not to make her feel guilty, and tells her Josh has a high pressure job and he would be there if he could. Barbara insists that she understands.

At the Schul, Gary blows the Shofar to signal the end of Yom Kippur. Erica asks Ryan to wait in the parking lot for her and, after a cold exchange with Lily, she tells her dad they need to talk in private.

Gary thinks Erica wants to talk about Sam, but Erica tells him she is confused and struggling to think of what to say. She says she knows there was a time when he loved Barbara and asks him what happened.

He explains that people change and Erica suggests that this is what he told himself when he cheated on Barbara with Lily. He is shocked she knows and suggests her mom told her. Erica tells him she didn't, but that he should have and she then discovers that he broke up with Lily 11 years ago.

Erica is angry that her dad had 11 years to tell her the truth but didn't, instead letting her think Barbara was to blame. Gary insists Barbara didn't want Erica and Sam to know the truth, but Erica laments that, had she known the truth, she wouldn't have kept taking her dad's side.

She goes to leave, telling him that she has to make things right with Barbara and, that if he believed anything he's said today, he should do the same.

Barbara is surprised to see Erica when she comes in. Erica apologises, saying she never realised the sacrifices that her mom has made - never using Gary's affair against him whenever Erica took his side in arguments.

Her mom is shocked she knows, but Erica wants to understand why she protected him. Barbara explains that, while Gary wasn't a good husband, he was an amazing father to his kids and that, after losing a brother, she didn't want Sam and Erica to lose their father too.

They hug tightly and Erica apologises once again. Barbara tells Erica to clean up ahead of dinner but, when she goes to the washroom, she encounters Sam coming out, who asks Erica for a tampon.

Sam explains that she wasn't going to say anything until after the first trimester, and Erica realises her sister's disappointment at not being pregnant. She tells Sam she is there for her if she needs anything.

Erica heads into another room and finds herself back in Dr. Tom's office. She sighs and tells him she thought her and Sam weren't going to be able to work things out. He tells her there is no limitation, timetable, or last chance when it comes to forgiveness.

Dr. Tom then asks, now Erica has been forgiven, whether she can turn around and forgive someone else. She realises he is referring to her dad, and says she doesn't know whether she can.

He responds by explaining the German word 'Einfuhlung' - telling her it means "the you in me and the me in you." Erica says he sounds like her dad, with Dr. Tom replying that her father is a wise man. She brands her dad a hypocrite, but he says Gary is only human.

Erica says that doesn't make him any easier to forgive, and Dr. Tom remarks that nobody said it was easy. He tells her to go and break her fast, saying that her Day of Atonement is over.

At the dinner table, Erica, Sam, and their mom sit down to eat, and Erica narrates:

"No family is perfect or stays that way. It changes shape over the years and sometimes loses its original structure."

Barbara remarks that, despite everything else that had happened, it was worth it to get her two daughters together at the table.

"Every sin, every slip up, is another opportunity to grow. They give us the chance to change things we can, and to accept the things we can't."

The doorbell then rings and, as Barbara goes to answer it, Gary walks in. He apologises for interrupting, but before he can say anything else, Barbara invites him to sit down and eat with them. She gets a plate and glass for him and he sits down next to Erica, who smiles and sighs.

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