Being Erica: Julieanne becomes Erica’s next patient in Osso Barko

Julieanne Giacomelli in Being Erica

Julieanne could literally KILL you with "air quotes"...

There’s an emerging pattern in Being Erica this season that I’m already loving. Erica is being asked to help the people around her. Last week it was her “toxic” brother-in-law Josh. This week it’s her business partner (and former boss) Julieanne.

Things get off to a tense start when Julieanne begins bossing the new assistant Rachel around. Before Erica has even had her first flashback, we’re already reminded of how Julieanne treated her underlings at River Rock.

However, Erica, in a somewhat naive moment, decides that Rachel is the one who needs to change because Julieanne has always been that way. I suppose it’s necessary for this particular story, but Erica seems blind to Julieanne’s personality flaws in this episode. Elsewhere she mistook Julieanne’s rudeness at the restaurant for her ‘liking’ Michele, the author they were meeting.

So, Doctor Tom sends Erica back to relive her first day at work. Armed with her intimate knowledge of Julieanne, surely Erica would have a smoother second attempt at a first day?

Obviously not. Because while she’s able to satisfy her pernickity boss on a superficial level, the moment Erica shows a shred of ambition or self-motivation, Julieanne crushes it immediately. Because in this reality, at this time, Julieanne and Erica are not friends. They don’t have the shared history of being fired together and starting 50/50 Press. And Erica suddenly remembers this tougher side to Julieanne.

After some investigation, Erica discovers that Julieanne’s ferocious style is rooted in her feeling inadequate. And this ties back to a visit from her sister, who she feels always overshadowed her academically. Erica nudges Julieanne toward an open discussion with her sister and they discover that their parents were equally proud of them and that each has traits that the other envies. They were, after all, more equal than they thought.

Which brings us back to Erica treating her nearest and dearest as patients. It’s a wonderful direction the show’s taking: the message being that we should try to help the people around us, and be a force for positive change. In last week’s episode and Osso Barko, Erica seems to be dealing with negative traits in those people and seeing the causes for why people can sometimes be so hostile. The idea seems to be that if you can find the cause of that behaviour, you can help to stop it and make the person happier.

Next week: Erica goes Back To The Future to the time her mother was in high school!

Asides

Kudos to Karpluk and Pasternak: How good were Erin Karpluk and Reagan Pasternak at playing past versions of their characters? I imagine it’s one thing to play continuity in a regular drama, but for Erica and Julieanne to go from being 50/50 colleagues to being hostile boss/trembling assistant again must’ve been challenging but fun to play. Excellent work, ladies.

Do I ever fix you, Erica? Dr. Tom points out that his role – and Erica’s as a therapist – is to help people realise what is wrong so they can fix it for themselves. That seemed to come like a mini-revelation for Erica, but it was good when it came.

Awesome Adam: I like to live vicariously through anyone who gets to kiss Erin Karpluk for a living. But Adam is a perfect love interest for Erica: he knows her secret, he’s been in therapy, he seems to nurture her, but he’s not afraid to challenge what she says to get to the heart of the matter. I love that he’s encouraged her to try writing again.

No! Not Friedkin! Did anyone else breathe a sigh of relief that Julieanne hadn’t given Thomas Friedkin a booty call? That guy makes my skin crawl.

Galvin is dead. Yes, the man who fired Erica and Julieanne was laid to rest with a not-so-humble eulogy from that snake-oil salesman Friedkin. River Rock has been inherited by Galvin’s son, and you have to wonder if the company will play a part in 50/50 Press’s future?

Sam IS pregnant! Predicted it last week. She dropped the bombshell on Erica at the tail end of Osso Barko. Is the baby Lenin’s? Or Josh’s?

A+, newbie. I hearted Dr. Tom’s twisting of Julieanne’s words when he told Erica she’s done a good job!

by Gerard McGarry on October 5th, 2011

Gerard is the founder and editor of Unreality TV. He writes about TV dramas as well as reality TV talent shows and is obsessed by sci-fi and Doctor Who. Follow him on Twitter @gerrybot or Google+

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