Erica and Julianne learn that Brent is outbidding them for Seth Newman's book, not because he wants to publish it, but because he will do anything to ruin Erica and Julianne, who, to him, is purely the competition who he doesn't like. Erica wants to use diplomacy to deal with this situation. When Brent doesn't seem interested in diplomacy, the battle between 50/50 and River Rock becomes an all out war. Armed with incriminating information from Brent's past, Erica and Julianne decide to ruin Brent like he seems determined to do to them. Before Erica makes this joint decision with Julianne, Dr. Tom wants the therapy group's take on the situation. With a split decision amongst the group, Dr. Tom believes Erica can learn what her actions will lead to by visiting a time in her past when she went to visit Leo at university, specifically during rush week when he was pledging a fraternity which was two weeks before he quit school. The first time around, Erica did not spend any time with Leo as she hooked up with a man she met there, but she vows to spend all her time with Leo this second time around. She is initially unaware of how this revisit will help her, but with Adam accompanying her, she sees how Leo's situation with the fraternity makes her feel even more angry than she is with Brent. But only with a further visit to a time in Adam's past does she truly understand the nature of her revisit to Leo's rush week. Meanwhile, Sam finds some anti-anxiety pills prescribed to Barb and wants to find out the underlying issue for the prescription. And Erica receives an urgent visit from someone in her past.
Full Plot Edit
At 50/50 Press, Erica and Julianne are waiting for Seth. They get a phone call from Leslie informing them someone signed Seth Newman, that there was another offer for his manuscript. Erica and Julianne figure out it's Brent at River Rock, who has come up with a higher price and wants The Purple Door at any price.
Later, Erica and Julianne are reading prospective manuscripts and in frustration Erica throws a manuscript, declaring she hates Brent. Julianne outlines their options: option 1, surrender and find another book. Erica doesn't want to, she wants The Purple Door. Option 2: Bring Brent down. Erica suggests option 3 - talk to Brent. Julianne disagrees, she said he got us fired, she won't beg. Erica manages to convince Julianne to try a meeting to see if they can all coexist professionally.
Sam has been working non-stop since the weekend. She's hunting in a kitchen cabinet and spots pills her mom has been taking.
At River Rock, Erica and Julianne meet with Brent. Erica says they're a new business trying to establish themselves and they're feeling some hostility. Brent says they are now River Rock's competition, it's survival of the fittest. Erica tries to reason with him but he says any book they greatly desire, River Rock intends to pay whatever it takes. They leave and an indignant Erica asks: what happened to you?
At the hospital, Sam is tired and strikes up a conversation with Lenin. She may save lives but readily admits she herself has no life. Eventually she tells Lenin she always wanted to try rock climbing, and it turns out Lenin has gone rock climbing all over the world and is a member at Rock Oasis, a safe place to start.
As Lenin leaves, Sam sees her dad. She asks him about the pills she found, which are an anti-anxiety medication Lorazapam. Gary demurs and tells her she should talk to her mother. A phone call interrupts Sam and she has to go, promising Gary she'll talk to Barb right after work.
At 50/50 Erica and Julianne are trying to figure out a solution when Julianne remembers a salacious video taken at a party in honor of Julianne's promotion to editorial director, the same day Erica started at River Rock. The video shows a very drunk Brent saying derogatory things and mimicking Frank Galvin.
Julianne is scheming about sending the video to the entire River Rock family, saying Frank Galvin has fired others for less. Erica looks distressed, wondering if this is the right move. Diplomacy before war normally, but Julianne says they tried diplomacy and now it's an eye for an eye. Erica hesistates and says OK. They're about to send the email, when Erica finds herself in group therapy.
Dr. Tom: An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. - Gandhi. Erica insists: Show me any option and I'll take it. Camilla and Rebecca both agree with Erica. Darryl wants a plan B and asks: do you have to publish books? Erica insists yes. Adam says he wouldn't do it, he'd do something, but not that. War never ends well. Erica wonders where that's coming from, and says he doesn't know about running companies. He agrees, but says he knows about wars and she doesn't. Dr. Tom asks Erica to tell the group about the frat house and she's surprised, not seeing any connection with her situation with Brent.
Her brother Leo left for university, everyone stayed in Toronto but he went to London, Ontario. She visited him for a weekend, but on the bus ride down, met someone named Trent and split a cab to the campus. When she saw Leo, Leo spent the weekend with her bags and she spent the weekend with Trent. Two weeks later, Leo dropped out and came home. Apparently he was having a rough time but she was clueless. This time she vows to spend every second with Leo.
She's back in cab in 1994. Adam is in the cab with Erica and Trent, and firmly chases Trent out. They arrive on campus and see Leo, and Adam introduces himself. Leo is perturbed because Adam is in his 30's and Erica is his 17-year old sister. Erica and Adam witness Leo being badly treated by upperclassmen, asked to fetch beer during rush.
As Erica and Adam grab something to eat, Adam asks Erica if she knows what a goat is? It's the loser of the group, and he thinks Leo is the goat. Erica denies this, saying Leo is the coolest guy I know.
They go to his dorm and the guys are teasing Leo. Adam interrupts the group, and Erica looks distressed.
They're dressing for a toga party. Leo comes in waaring a pink toga that he was given, and wants to trade with Erica. Erica says sorry to ask, but since when do you like this kind of stuff? Frats, rushing, being a preppy? I don't think you're happy here. Leo insists they ride all rushes and Erica rebuts: as much as you? I don't think this is the right place for you. They're laughing at you, at your expense. You're their goat. Leo insists he is not and leaves.
Back at the party the frat and sorority members are mixing, and Leo's taunter says no more Gamma girls for you, instead giving him "Lucy", a broom dressed with lipstick and two soccer balls for boobs. Leo gets mad, shoves the broom back, and leaves. Erica is furious and tells the upperclassman to lay off her brother.
There is heavy partying, and Erica finds Leo. She apologizes for what she said but is interrupted as the bully wants another beer, throwing his beer mug at Leo as it crashes and shatters on the floor. At one point Leo sits down hard and it becomes obvious he's in considerable pain, and both Erica and Adam realize there are indications he was gang raped by the group with the broom handle.
Erica and Adam are talking to Leo in a bedroom and Leo confesses it wasn't just Jordan, others helped. Adam: The gang mentality brings out worst. Erica wants to call the police and her parents, but Leo says no, if she does he'll deny it. Adam tells Erica to give Leo some space and they leave, Erica telling Leo to lock the door.
Adam wants to get Leo out of there but Erica is too furious and wants to confront Jordan, saying this is her past and her regret. Adam can't stop her. She barges in on Jordan and a girl making out and asks what he did to Leo. She's crying and telling him what he did was sick, then grabs a trophy and swings it at his head, breaking his nose.
Erica leaves quickly, finding Adam. Leo also shows up, and they want to leave. However, Jordan comes out of the bedroom, furious about his broken nose, and takes it out on Leo, walloping him. Adam retaliates by hitting Jordan and confronting another frat member, giving Erica and Leo time to escape. Adam then leaves.
The three are walking outside, and Erica declares she doesn't feel guilty, that she feels pretty good. Adam rebuts she has nothing to feel great about, she lost control. Leo: I should go back there, trash the place, smash his RX7. Erica says you can't, but Adam can. She wants Adam to smash his head, break his legs and Adam asks: Is that what you really want? A yellow taxi drives up and Dr. Tom is the cabdriver. They tell Leo to get in the cab, and Dr. Tom, Erica, and Adam talk.
Erica: If you wanted to teach me perspective, lesson learned... things can get darker. Dr. Tom quotes that darkness must be driven out with light, not more darkness. - Martin Luther King. True, good can come out of darkness, and Brent could be fired. It can be a gain, but Dr. Tom asks Erica to consider what will be lost. She says with Jordan, nothing. Dr. Tom: Well, I think Adam has something he wants to show you about perspective.
She suddenly finds herself in front of a warehouse, with Adam. It's his past. They go into the warehouse, and see that Adam from the past is enjoying himself beating up a guy. The guy owed a lot of people money, and past Adam is savage, kicking him and breaking his hand. Erica can't take it anymore and she and Adam find themselves back in Dr. Tom's office.
Dr. Tom: A history of violence is something Adam and I have in common. I remember the first time I beat someone up. In a bar, it was a week after Sarah had disappeared. I picked a fight with the bartender. I remember my hands shook. I felt like I wanted to vomit. The second time, it was easier. And after that, it stopped registering, it became normal. Erica asks: Do you think I'll become like you and Adam, when I want to protect a brother from a monster, and my company? Dr. Tom says if you take one step, then another... it might solve a problem, but it creates a far more serious one. Acting counter to values will change more than your circumstances, it will change who you become.
She flashes back to Julianne about to send the video, and Erica stops her. Julianne is still upset, and wants to destroy Brent, then Friedkin, then Galvin and River Rock. Erica asks: Is that why we opened this business? Julianne says they started it. Erica agrees, but she wants to publish books, saying it's gross what we're doing, and leaves.
At Barb's home Sam tells her she found her pills and asks if it's about Norm. Barb says no, then finally divulges she has breast cancer. Sam looks stricken. It's possibly localized since they caught it early, and Barb hadn't wanted to tell Sam until she had more information. Erica doesn't know yet. Sam cries.
Julianne knocks on Erica's door. She didn't send the email to River Rock, and is working on Plan B to outbid Brent on The Purple Door. Since they don't have the money, Erica offers to get a side job.
Voiceover: "Some things are true whether we want them to be or not. Thoughts become words, words actions actions habits habits character, and character becomes destiny. It's a hard thing to look deep down and examine our character. Will we do the right thing, even when no one is looking, when it's not convenient, when it's really hard? Will we do the right things simply because we have to, because it's who we are? Because it's right."
Erica gets a freelance job editing Blu-ray manuals on the side. She hears a knock on her door, and opens it to see Kai. Kai tells her we Need to talk right now."