Being Erica: Brent was Born This Way (aparently)!
Yikes, Being Erica was full of pop culture references in this episode, wasn’t it? Where Dr. Tom prefers to quote classic literature, Dr. Erica tends to quote Katy Perry. And if the Lady Gaga influence on the episode title (Born This Way) wasn’t enough to raise a smile, the sneaky cross-reference to Degrassi was a Being Erica in-joke that I personally enjoyed!
So, what happened? Supercamp (or is that metrosexual) Brent is facing a hard time in River Rock as the new boss transforms the company into an uber macho publishing house. When Erica tells Brent not to pretend to be somebody else, he ends up getting fired and Erica doubts her ability to be a therapist. Dr. Tom sends her into the past to help a school friend she once gave the same advice to. Elsewhere, Erica and Adam row about his buying a motorcycle.
A note of criticism: Erica’s been spectacularly naive this season. In this episode she suggested to Dr. Tom that sometimes it’s better to pretend in order to fit in. Now, obviously the story hinged on this misconception, but it felt like Erica was being deliberately reactionary and dumb.
River Rock on the offensive again? The new River Rock has turned into Douche Central as Frank Galvin’s son surrounds himself with one-dimensional jocks. Brent never stood a chance, although I was surprised that Erica and Julieanne didn’t offer to hire him sooner. However, can these three succeed in publishing when Galvin’s trying to bankrupt their company?
Bit players: I love how Erica’s friends are reappearing as their younger selves in these episodes, even though they’re mostly not around in the present. Vinessa Antoine and Paula Brancati are always welcome on this show! Though one reason I can see for ending Being Erica after this season is that it’s getting harder to pass grown women off as teenagers!
On being yourself: Once again Erica discovers that meddling with the past doesn’t always have the desired effect. So, when she goes back to high school and gives her outsider friend a makeover, it leads almost directly to the girl being sexually assaulted in the back of a van by her ‘boyfriend’. As always, Dr. Tom finds the perfect analogy in a chopstick – if it bends too much under pressure it’ll break. A good way to illustrate that people need to find a balance between being themselves and trying to fit in.
Kai spotting! Everyone’s favourite wayward rocker Kai has returned (presumably from the future again?), but spots Erica kissing Adam on the street and wanders off looking a little annoyed. And you know that means Kai will be back soon. Much more intriguingly, there’s a future episode called Being Ethan that implies Erica’s old boyfriend will be making a comeback soon too!