Shrinking “Apology Tour” Spoilers Ahead
We’re nearly a quarter into the series, and Shrinking Season 1, Episode 7, “Apology Tour,” dives deep into making amends. Or, at least, it attempts to because we all know that apologizing for something and putting action behind making matters right are two vastly different conceptions. And after a night of highs like in “Imposter Syndrome,” nearly everyone’s due for some sort of an apology.
Yet, as the show accomplishes best thus far, it shows us the progress that’s made, which sometimes veers from point A to Z seamlessly, while other times, you take a couple of steps back and reevaluate. Shrinking “Apology Tour” gives us examples of both situations, showcasing the complexities of progress through well-written, hilariously organic character arcs. It’s a series that continues to get better and more promising, and a quiet episode as poignant as this, written by Brett Goldstein, is proof of it. We went from a big party to a small gathering where the intimate moments reveal what’s important and what’s working.
Shrinking “Apology Tour” | Paul’s Journey
Anyone who’s followed Harrison Ford’s indomitable career knows that the actor’s range is boundless, and Shrinking dives deep into the waters by taking him from the ultimate comedic relief to the subtlest and maybe scariest breakdown. The content from this episode should be used as Ford’s 2023 Emmy reel as one of the strongest, most harrowing performances in his career. Meg revisits after learning about her father’s Parkinson’s diagnosis, but Paul’s means of reconnecting aren’t as rewarding as they could be. The fascinating detail that makes this episode riveting is that it’s challenging not to understand both sides of the arguments made here.
Paul wants to do right by his daughter, but it’s hard to jump back into the relationship when so much time has passed. He might remember slow dancing to “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” by Simply Red, but Meg wouldn’t. Plus, as beautiful as recreating the memory and constructing a new one today is, it’s not enough to make up for the fact that she’s been fatherless and the second choice to his clients this entire time.
Further, how the episode examines their relationship through a messy conversation is what makes the narrative arc compelling. We knew that it wouldn’t be easy for a man like Paul to accept help in his life, and we knew it would be a winding journey because much of it has to do with learning how to adjust. He’s excellent at his job, and he’s fine in his home and the routine life he’s built, but one day, he is going to have to choose his daughter. Also, while he doesn’t move today, it doesn’t mean he is abandoning Meg again. Paul’s journey isn’t going to be linear. Isn’t that what he’s meant to help his clients believe? Yes, he has much to atone for, but so much of that will come from his process of falling first.
Thereby, seeing his near breakdown as Meg walks out makes for one of the most haunting sequences on this show. For a split second, it was uncertain what would happen to him, but one step further in his growth is acknowledging the idea of someday. It’s understanding that his decisions have caused his daughter profound pain, and he needs to consciously work on improving himself to make up for the losses she’s endured in his absence. It’s a work in progress—he’ll get there. But for now, the authenticity of how this storyline is panning out is the best part of the show’s shrinking process. (I had to.)
Gaby and Jimmy waking up in bed satisfied but full of regrets is precisely how I imagined this scenario would go. She’s Tia’s best friend, and it’s wrong on so many levels, but at the same time, through some bizarre twist of fate, it also makes complete sense. But gah—Alice learning the truth the way she does kills me because it was such an achingly vulnerable moment for Jimmy that I wholeheartedly just wished was between him and Tia. Like Ford, Jason Segel shines impeccably in Shrinking’s “Apology Tour” by allowing Jimmy the space to pour his heart out sincerely. You could feel every ounce of the anguish suffocating him when he says, “I miss you so much. And my whole life just feels f–ked.”
It’s the kind of moment you’d expect from an episode like this, especially after a pleasant time spent quietly with their friends, paralleling the chaos from the night before. The fact that Jimmy feels comfortable enough to break some barriers and take Gaby’s suggestion to talk to Tia feels earned. It comes at an impactful juncture, setting yet another quiet fire rising through Alice’s entry. But still, it’s a significant scene and continues to showcase that much of Jimmy’s grief is tied to his guilt, the inability to believe she’s gone, and his immense love for her. And ultimately, moments like this exhibit real progress, even when it seems like another issue arises.
We have a long road ahead of us, but atoning starts with saying things aloud. Alice manages to make the moment between Sean a little less awkward. At the very least, Brian isn’t even a little mad at Jimmy’s drunken performance, and Liz continues to find ways to ensure Derek gives her space. It’s glorious in more ways than one because it’s raw and organic, and I can’t wait to dive into the rest of the season as we explore where we go from here.
- Christa Miller, the debt I owe you for featuring a Lord Huron song. I SCREAMED. Yes to “Not Dead Yet” as the perfect opening to set up the episode’s theme and where we’re headed.
- Doritos for breakfast. Icons only.
- “You do not call it Florida!” You tell him, Gaby. Seriously, Jimmy what is wrong with you? Florida?
- Sean is just out here making pancakes, applying for jobs, cooking burgers, and continuing to be the actual best.
- Paul knowing about Jimmy and Gaby, but also not is e v e r y t h i n g! The dynamic between the three therapists is exceptional, truly.
- Jimmy’s dumb decisions like shaking Alice’s hand after leaving the room will never not result in laugh-out-loud moments
- “That’s why my graham crackers taste like tarragon”!!! howling
- “They named him Cooper” “So they’re white?” THIS SHOW. I love this show so much.
- Liz is an A+ character. Period.
- “We’re beautiful people, Sean.” Sean and Liz in the same space isn’t something I knew I needed as much as now.
- Goodbye, Kevin! I just really love calling Brian “Kevin.”
- I’m glad we cleared up age differences between Alice and Sean—still, eh, but so much better than what I was picturing.