Friday, March 3, 2023

REVIEW: 'Shrinking' - Jimmy Projects His Insecurities Onto Others Instead of Coping With His Recent Actions in 'Apology Tour'

AppleTV+'s Shrinking - Episode 1.07 "Apology Tour"

Jimmy attempts damage control after his party. Paul's daughter pays another visit. Liz and Sean discover they have something in common.

"Apology Tour" was written by Brett Goldstein and directed by Randall Keenan Winston

Jimmy loves to project his insecurities onto other people. He believes that makes him an incredibly effective and empathetic therapist. However, it's actually quite destructive in his personal life. All of this is territory the season has amply explored already. It's still fascinating to see that occur in contrast to others reacting to similar situations. Seeing that actually forces growth onto Jimmy even though he is continually saying and doing the wrong things. He doesn't have his life figured out. He is reluctant to do any of the hard work to address the pain of losing his wife. He's absent in a lot of ways. He's incredibly present too. He is a mess of contradictions. He looks out and sees his friends being happy and celebrating in the backyard together. That's a moment of pure bliss. It's only a moment though. It inspires more action to be taken later on. That only highlights how much further Jimmy has to go. In the immediate aftermath of sleeping with Gaby, Jimmy believes they both regret it and are embarrassed it happened. And yes, it is awkward as they stumble around the room looking for clothes while trying to be coy around the other people who slept over after the party. Paul remains incredibly insightful. He knows right away that something has shifted between Jimmy and Gaby. He may only make a lucky guess. However, that's the way he functions in this story. He is always right. That's what makes it so compelling when he's uncomfortable and tortured at home. He wants to maintain dignity and control because he is so accustomed to having them. So much is changing. He's not ready to accept all that that entails. Again, it takes doing the hard work to acknowledge the limitations within these various situations. Jimmy and Gaby understand the same tools for how people should deal with stressful and confusing situations. Gaby simply has the level head to have an imaginary conversation with Tia about having sex with Jimmy. She does so in the privacy of her own office. It's all very rational and cathartic. Jimmy isn't at that place of enlightenment just yet. He struggles even making eye contact with pictures of his wife. Even when he does gather the strength to do so, it ends in him basically admitting to Alice that he had sex with Gaby. That only makes things more awkward. Jimmy knows he's not always the best guy to handle issues with his daughter. He's grateful to have Gaby and Liz around to deal with those situations. He directs them towards her because he still has the instincts to know something is wrong. He's incapable of doing much good. He sees that now. Of course, he still has to live in this world and manage these relationships. He can't escape completely. That's not fair to him or to them. He has yet to find the perfect balance. His worldview remains shifted. Progress is still being made.

Gaby appreciated the comfort of being with Jimmy sexually. She doesn't see a future between them. They are simply colleagues who respect each other and are friends outside the office. It mostly served as a confidence boost. She knows she still has her sexual prowess even after her divorce. She regains that energy and excitement. She acknowledges what Jimmy gave her. He still makes it all about himself and how he's spiraling. It takes a session for Jimmy to realize he hasn't been a good friend. He's had to learn that lesson over and over again. Brian knows it's better to simply ask for an exclusive wedding gift that's not on the regular registry. That's how he accepts an apology. Jimmy has plenty of messes to clean up. The people in his life are resilient. They don't always have complete clarity over what comes next. That's life though. It's all about exploring the unknown. Liz is tasked with finding some new activity outside the house so that she doesn't lovingly kill Derek because of all their free time together. She doesn't know what to do. Sean also can't find anyone willing to hire him. He faces so many hurdles. It's not even about finding something that makes him happy. He is only now starting to ask that question. It's not because of some thought provoking observation made in a therapy session from either Jimmy or Paul. Instead, it's simply Liz interacting with him as a human. She has that empathy and compassion. Part of it is as her experience as a mom. She also sees a kindred spirit living next door. She appreciates that connection even though it's so new. All of these relationships have deepened even though they were quite forced in the beginning. Even Paul is allowing his fortress of solitude to be broken. He offered that comfort to Alice when she was going through a hard time. Alice still believes she can show up whenever she wants. She needs guidance. Paul isn't the only trusted person who can give it. It's easier for him to deal with her because he views it as doing a favor for Jimmy. In interacting with Meg, it's all about the reality of his diagnosis. She comes in with these big plans for massive life changes. Paul is managing the disease as best he can. The symptoms will inevitably worsen. A few of them are actually quite frightening already. However, he's not ready to drop everything to move in with his daughter across the country. He doesn't want to burden her like that. The paperwork she needs to sign to oversee his medical directive is daunting enough. He wants to maintain his dignity and independence. That just inevitably pushes her away because he is once again choosing himself and his career. She did the honorable thing even though she isn't close with her father. She did what was expected of her. Paul was honest. However, he has to be even more so about what drives him in order to have any hope of mending things with Meg. Time is running out. He is aware of that more keenly now. He's also powerless to step forward and keep Meg engaged in the conversation. That's his limit. He chooses to stubbornly suffer in silence even as others worry about him.