Being Erica

Season 1 Episode 5


Aired Monday 9:00 PM Feb 02, 2009 on CBC

Episode Recap

"When you're a kid, being grown-up looks so easy. Nobody tells you it's harder than it looks. That those feelings that you have. That you're not keeping pace. They never go away."

Erica is picking out items for Judith's baby shower with Judith's friends Alyson and Marie. She spots a set of cute temporary baby tattoos, but Alyson advises them to stick to the essentials first. Marie points out that her and Alyson's baby loves his "Daphne", a reclining plastic bath seat. Erica nods in feigned understanding. Marie takes Judith on to take a look at high chairs.

Alyson hangs back to ask about Erica's baby shower preparations. Erica tells her she's almost done. Alyson mentions that Marie's sister is a caterer. Before she has time to think about it though, Judith asks Erica for her opinion on two high chairs. She informs her that Anthony (her husband) likes the low tech one, but she is unsure. Alyson and Marie believe the obvious choice is the practical high-tech one. Erica personally believes the low tech one is really cute and the natural wood is nice. Judith looks at the price tag and exclaims it cost the same as a Lamborghini. Her phone rings and excuses herself to take the call, while Erica is also shocked when she takes a look at the price tag herself. Marie explains that high chairs are pricey, but lets her know that "that's what godmother are for", looking pointedly at Erica. Erica is stunned, as Alyson then chides Marie that it was supposed to be a secret. Recovering, Erica assures them that she can just pretend she doesn't know.

Judith returns from her phone call telling them that she needs to go. Marie tells her that she still needs to put the items on the registry. Erica volunteers to do it so they can head off.

Erica tells the sales girl to enter the items into the registry, to change the delivery address to her apartment since she's hosting the baby shower, and to add the cute high chair to her bill. The sales girl remarks that she must be a really good friend. Erica tells her that she's going to be the godmother.

The day of the shower, Ethan is assembling the newly bought high chair, while Erica is redecorating her apartment. Erica wants to make the place look more mature. Ethan asks her to hand her an out-of-reach piece, when Erica remarks that there should be instructions in English for a $400 dollar high chair. Ethan wonders if Erica inherited some money that he doesn't know about. Erica explains it had to be done since she's the godmother. Erica spots Ethan's look of surprised. He just says it's a big honour though his expression is a bit unconvincing.

Erica tells him to stop by the shower. Ethan is naturally reluctant, but Erica tells him it will be fun, and catered. Ethan tells her that he's going back to Montreal to talk to Claire and it needs to be done face-to-face. He needs to understand what's going on. He reassures her it's not to reconcile. Erica is disappointed, but tells him to do what he needs to do.

Jenny walks in with the cake, but informs Erica that she needs to wrap her present. Jenny comments that having a baby shower is just rewarding people for having sex and wonders, with all the sex she has, where her reward is.

Ethan has finished the high chair and tells Erica he's going to go now. She hugs him just before he leaves. Immediately after she closes the door, there is a knock and Erica opens the door to see Dr. Tom walk in. Surprised, she explains that Jenny is just in the other room and that he should leave. Dr. Tom is unconcerned and tells her he's just checking in. Erica informs him that Judith made her the godmother. "Really?" Dr. Tom asks. Erica wonders why he also looks surprised. Dr. Tom retorts that Erica looks more surprised than anyone. Erica admits that she hasn't been the most mature and responsible, but thinks Judith can see Erica's progress in life.

Jenny walks back in from her present wrapping to ask for Erica's opinion. Before she gets an answer, she notices Dr. Tom. Erica explains that he's just a neighbour who came to borrow a book, which happened to be "Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy". Erica escorts him out. Jenny reiterates her question, and Erica tells her that she'll take the present and Jenny can apply her skills to the napkins.

During the shower, everyone looks to be enjoying themselves, while Erica explains to Judith which foods and drink the caterers made that do not have alcohol or other products that could harm the baby, as well as other features of the menu. Judith is surprised Erica thought to have it catered. Erica explains it was an obvious choice and tells her to enjoy herself.

Erica spots her sister Sam on the phone in the hallway and remarks that if she keeps checking in on Josh, he won't have fun at his stag night. Sam explains to her that he doesn't want him to have too much fun. His best friend, Ryan, is in town and that tends to lead to trouble. She wants it to be a clean, affair, like the one Erica has organised. Erica appreciates the compliment.

As they head back in, Jenny appreciates the fact that Erica included beverages for those that were not pregnant. As the other women start opening some presents, Alyson and Marie come over to thank Erica for the party. Erica is pleased and asks them if they would like a drink, particularly the elderberry juice she bought. Jenny walks away bemused.

Judith opens another present. It's a shirt that says, "Made in Vagina". Judith assumes it was from Erica. Embarrassed, Erica informs her it was actually from Jenny. Erica actually bought her the high chair. Judith is overwhelmed, but Alyson and Marie are not looking awkward. Marie explains that they bought the high-tech high chair because they're both going to be the godmother. Erica is clearly upset, but says it's not a problem and that she can always get a refund. She rushes back to her bedroom to saying she needs to make sure she still has the receipt.

Judith excuses herself to go in after her. Though she denies it, Judith knows Erica is upset. Erica remarks that Alyson and Marie are obviously godmother material. Judith sees why she's upset now, and tells her she put a lot of thought into her decision. Erica verbally agrees and she's more of the "wacky aunt" type. Jenny walks in to remind them that there's still a party going on. Erica reassures them that she's okay and she'll be bringing the cake out soon. Judith heads out to rejoin the party, but Jenny walks in and closes the door. Erica explains that to Jenny that she thought she would be godmother. Jenny remarks that Judith has only know Alyson and Marie for a year, and asks if Anthony knew. Erica shakes her head. Jenny tells her that this is actually a good thing. A bit more relieved, Erica brings out the cake. Before they cut though, Judith toasts Erica for the great party and that she'll be a great wacky aunt for her child. Just then, Jenny promptly faints, and weakly asks Erica to drive her home.

Outside of Jenny's apartment, Erica helps Jenny out of the car. Once she's on the sidewalk though, Jenny reveals that she was faking all along. She was using it as an excuse to get Erica out of the party because she saw how uncomfortable it was for her. Erica is angry for being tricked. Jenny tells her she needs to unwind, and that Judith was insensitive for not informing Erica beforehand. Erica says that if she were more successful and stable, Judith might have picked her. Jenny decides she needs to take action, and runs off with Erica's purse to a nearby karaoke bar.

Erica walks in and immediately notices the guy singing on stage. After she spots Jenny and demands her for her purse back, Jenny slips it down her pants. She makes Erica a deal: One drink and a song, and then she can go. Erica relents.

Jenny convinces the DJ to let them on next. The guy finishes singing and smilingly hands Erica the microphone. Jenny and Erica start singing "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" as the guy looks on. There's another person that looks on. It's Josh, Sam's fiance, who pulls out his camera phone to tape the scene.

Back at the shower, Sam is talking to Josh who doesn't believe him, since Erica hates singing in public. Josh sends her the video, but Judith is also watching. Realising that letting Judith see the video was a mistake, Sam excuses herself into the other room. Judith is now the one disappointed.

The girls finish the song and walk off the stage to be greeted by Josh and the guy who sang before them. Erica suggests that they leave now, but Josh tells them they should meet his friend, Ryan, seeing as he's Josh's best man. They flirt a bit, until Josh sees it, and orders Ryan to accompany him in the VIP room for poker. Ryan invites them to come along, but they politely refuse. Erica checks her phone and sees two missed calls from Judith. Erica calls her back. They argue a bit and Judith hangs up. Erica is even madder, but Jenny tries to convince her to go back and explain things. Erica stalks off to the VIP. She opens the door to Dr. Tom's office.

Dr. Tom is reading the book that he borrowed. Erica tells him that she won't need it anymore. He comments that the party didn't go as planned and now Erica doesn't want to go back. Erica is only interested in where she is being sent today. He tells her she's going back to her bat mitzvah, because he ran away from that party as well. He asks her why that party was a regret. She explains how her parents spent six months planning that event, complete with a "Dirty Dancing" theme. However, it didn't feel as good as it should have. The last straw was being called a "Jewser" by the cool kid, Cody Maxwell. Dr. Tom is confused, so Erica explains, it's like loser, but with Jew. He nods in understanding, and she continues. The party was a failure, so she felt like a failure. She left and spent the rest of the night in the car crying. Because of this, her parents got into a big argument. Dr. Tom asks what she would do differently. Erica says she would stay this time for the whole party, and enjoy it for what it was.

Erica travels back. The disorientation this time includes her now thirteen-year-old body. She's standing in the temple where the rabbi is reading from the Torah, until the rabbi informs her that it's her turn. After so many years though, she has forgotten and asks if he could help her with the first line. He does and Erica is eventually able to finish on her own.

Her parents lead Erica with her eyes covered to her party, telling her that she is now a woman. The music starts and Uncle Ruby struts out as a Johnny Castle impersonator from "Dirty Dancing". Erica and Uncle Ruby dance as the band plays "Do You Love Me", and the rest of the guest watch on. After the dance, she spots the young Jenny who explains she's never seen someone commit social suicide before. Erica is not worried though. Jenny informs her that Cody is here and thought he might kiss Erica, but it's not going to happen now.

Just then, Cody walks over telling Erica that he should have picked some other girl's bat mitzvah. Erica confidently tells him that he can always leave. He says he will and calls Erica a "Jewser". Erica is unembarrassed as she explains that a bed wetter shouldn't talk. He now looks worried, and doesn't understand how she knows. She continues to tell him that during next year's school trip, everyone will know. Leo walks over and tells Cody to get lost. He leaves, with an embarrassed Jenny following.

Erica is as always happy to see her brother, and remarks on his choice of hair He tells her he brought his guitar and maybe he'll jam with the band later, if they let him. He also came to compliment Erica for telling off Cody, and how cool it was. As he heads off, Erica spots Dr. Tom as a bartender.

Dr. Tom has just handing two Tom Collins to Erica's father. He asks her daughter if she's enjoying herself, and she assures him she is. He tell Dr. Tom to make sure she only get juice or water, and Dr. Tom tells him not to worry.

Erica thanks him for making her read the Torah and ask why he couldn't just bring her to the party. He responds with another his quotes. Erica recounts her accomplishments tonight and says she's earned a cocktail. Dr. Tom reminds her he can not serve alcohol to minors. "The fact that I'm a child, is a technicality." He instead hands her a non-alcoholic Shirley Temple. Erica turns around to survey her party, and comments on how happy even her father seems, whom she doesn't remember smiling until the late 90s.

Her mother voice calls out to her to have a little chat. She tells Erica about the changes that her body will be going through. As she's already been through it, Erica stops her. Her mother understands and tells her that it won't be long before Erica is married, she's playing her grandchildren, and visiting Erica at the law firm, an ambition that Erica totally forgot about. Erica then asks if she's not those things, everything would okay too, right? Her mother tells her that that won't happen, and to not have such negative thoughts. She then tells her to run along and play with her friends.

Instead, Erica heads to an area in the kitchens to sulk. Dr. Tom comes in through another door with a supply of clean glasses. He stops to talk to Erica about how she's missing a once-in-a-lifetime event. "Twice, if you're me." Erica wonders why she even cares what her mother thinks, and what she was supposed to do by staying. She not going to reach adulthood, as defined by her mother. He tells her to just be who she is, but she's not even sure who she is. Dr. Tom tells her to think of herself as rowing a boat. One oar is fueled by everyone else's expectations of her, and it's got her going in circles. To move forward, she needs to row with the oar that represents her expectations of herself. She thinks about this for a bit before heading back to the party.

The band is packing up, and Jenny informs Erica that Cody is pulling everyone to another bat mitzvah. Erica is confused and goes to talk to her parents, who are arguing. Her father informs her that they only paid for the band a limited time and there's no more money to make them keep going. He tells his wife that a DJ would have been cheaper. To stop them from arguing, Erica tells them she doesn't care if it's a DJ or band. Her father says they should've just hired Leo and his guitar. Her mother thinks that's a ridiculous notion, but it gives Erica an idea. She drags Leo on the stage.

Erica grabs the microphone and starts talking to the remainder of the crowd. She first thanks her parents for the work in the bat mitzvah. She signals Leo to start playing, and starts to sing. Erica motions for Jenny to join her and they sign together. The guests seem happier and stay for the remainder of the night. After the dancing is done, the party ends with the traditional candle lighting ceremony. Erica lights the last candle and jumps back to the future.

She's rushes headlong into the VIP room. Ryan asks what made them change their minds, while Josh insists the game become strip poker. Jenny is in, but Erica realises she needs to head back to the baby shower. Ryan asks if he could take her to dinner the next night, but seeing as Erica is in a rush will torture Josh for her address if necessary so she doesn't need to leave him a phone number.

Erica makes it back to the apartment just in time to see Judith leaving. Erica pleads for her to stay so she can explain, but Judith is too angry still and leaves.

Later that night, Erica is leaving yet another message on Judith's answering machine. She hears a knock at the door, but it's Dr. Tom, here to return the book. She takes it back, but will probably not need it. She's not the godmother and she doesn't want to be the wacky aunt. Dr. Tom asks why she needs to be either one.

The next day, Erica is outside Judith's house. After much yelling and doorbell ringing, she heads to the back. Judith finally walks out. Erica looks relieved, but Judith still looks angry.

She's mad because Erica walked out on her baby shower. Erica apologises. Judith explains her choice because they have experience and she's scared. Erica reassures her that she made the right choice. Judith tells her how Alyson and Marie started to talk about newborn poop. Erica tells her, much to Judith's surprise, that she knows what they were talking about because she did her research. This makes Judith feel bad again, but Erica tells her not to. In fact, she's so fine with Judith's decision that she bought her the last item on the registry, a diaper heater. Judith tells her she'll think of Erica every time she uses it.

"There comes a point when you realise. Truth is this: being grown-up is simply knowing who you are, and having the courage to be that person. Warts and all."

That night, Ethan has returned from his trip and is just about to head out. He tells her the trip went better than expected. She's surprised, and then even more so when Ryan shows up. Ethan excuses himself. Erica remarks that Ryan is early, and that she was just about to change into something nicer. Ryan tells her that she looks great. She invites him in while he waits, offering him some elderberry juice. He accepts, but asks why she has elderberry juice. She smiles and says, "Don't ask."