Being Erica

Season 1 Episode 2

What I am is What I am

2
Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jan 12, 2009 on CBC

Episode Recap

"A resume. It tells a story. School. Job. Hobbies. It's a snapshot of who we are. And it all comes down to the choices we made."

Judith is helping Erica with her job search. Judith has found her a lot of publishing job postings, which fits her Masters in English Literature. Thrilled, Erica then tells Judith that their friend Ethan is coming for a visit from Montreal and that they should get some wine to celebrate... except that Judith is expecting... okay, fizzy grape juice then? She won't be able to make it though.

The next day, Erica is out running around handing in resumes. She spots someone she knows, but doesn't want to see. Unfortunately, she's been spotted as well. It's Antigone Kim (or rather Morris now that she's married). She's an assistant managing editor, who would be her boss if she got the job. She got the job by being a member of Literati, a secret university society. Erica had turned down membership at the time, and now the job opening had just been filled by a more recent Literati member.

Flustered, she drives away. Down the street, she spots Dr. Tom. She waves to him, but he doesn't see her. This distracts her enough to crash into a couple of newspaper boxes.

Erica is having coffee at the breakfast table while her sister, Sam, tries on a wedding dress, and her mother and Uncle Ruby, a wedding dress wholesaler, discuss Erica's future prospects (and the cost of repairs to the car). Uncle Ruby offers her a job, and she reluctantly agrees.

At her apartment, her friend, Ethan, is waiting outside her door with an usual amount of luggage. His phone rings and it's from a girl named Claire, but he ignores it. Erica walks in, remarking on the luggage. He jokingly explains he's moving in.

Over wine, they reminisce about their university days. Erica tells him that she's starting a new job at her Uncle's business. He can tell she's not really excited, and she ask him what his deal is. He tells her he's moved out because his wife, Claire, was cheating on him. Her father practically owns half of Montreal so he didn't have any place to go. Erica promises to help him out.

The next day at the office of White Dreams, Erica gets started on her new job. She goes to use the washroom and finds herself in Dr. Tom's office. After overcoming her shock, she has a lot of questions, but Dr. Tom instead reminds her of the deal they had. The list of regrets includes her brother Leo dying which she believes is her biggest regret. However, Dr. Tom tells her she needs to focus on herself and can not control the lives of others. The regret that Dr. Tom is interested in refers to not joining Literati during her second year at university.

She the initiation process didn't feel right to her though and she quit. She believes that she made a mistake. If she had a choice, she would go through with the initiation.

Erica finds herself at the front of a protest for lower tuition fees led by Claire. She accidently hits one of the riot police with her protest sign. Luckily, Ethan pulls her away from the protest.

Erica, Claire, and Ethan are walking to after the protest disperses. Claire rushes off to Women's Studies after giving Ethan a kiss. Ethan tells her the secret Claire is actually rich, but hides it because she insecure and doesn't want to compromise her message. Erica promises not to tell anyone. Judith meets them soon afterward to head to an English Literature that is also attended by Antigone Kim.

After a short fight in over the subject matter with Antigone, Erica is handed a blank envelope that instructs says only, "Graveyard. Midnight. Bring a dress."

First task, Erica and Antigone face-off with verbal insults. Erica seems to get the upper hand.

Second task. The pledges are told to bury other pledges in a test of faith. After the first shovelful, Erica and Antigone are unsure if they should continue. They are told that if they stop, they will be cast out. Erica says she can't go on and opens the casket, but the buried pledges are actual members. The task was actually to test the pledges ability to think for themselves. Erica and Antigone are the only ones that pass the test.

Erica and Antigone are attend to the Literati social, that even a former Prime Minister is attending. They are told that Literati are the ones that publish the university slam paper, The Punisher. The Literati know Erica is Claire friend so the head, Barrett Ironside, wants Erica to dig for dirt on Claire, whose protest got ten people arrested. Unless she does, her membership will be revoked.

The next day, Leo stops by to drop off a gift. Erica notices scratches on his arms, and admonishes him to be more careful. Erica is otherwise very happy to see her brother (who is dead in Erica proper time period).

On campus, Erica sees Dr. Tom and explains her dilemma. He doesn't really help, but serve as a sounding board. The killing spirit that makes Antigone doesn't feel like a good fit for Erica, but she rationalises that that might be her problem. Plus, Claire will one day break Ethan's heart. Dr. Tom starts talking about an egg, but not getting it, Erica leaves.

Erica sees Claire flirting with another guy while she's putting up posters for her next protest. Erica doesn't like her attitude, and is more resolved, though not wholly committed, to outing Claire as a spoiled rich kid.

At a Literati meeting, Antigone has found dirt on a drama professor who claims to have been a professional actress, but was nothing more than a stage manager. Though hesitant, Erica doesn't want to be out done, and tells Literati Claire's secret. Barrett is impressed.

The next issue of The Punisher features a full issue on Claire. Of course, no one knows who leaked the information. Judith sees Claire approaching her and Erica, and bails. Claire is devastated that her work and credibility as an activist has been ruined, and Erica feels terrible.

She finds Ethan to talk and apologise. Ethan explains to her that Claire's parents don't like what she's doing and he fears he doesn't think he knows Erica any more.

Erica confronts Literati. Literati is very pleased with her work, but she is not. Even Antigone can not find anything bad to say. Still, Erica tells them she quits, saying the price is too high.

She joins Claire's protest in from of the dean's office where she has still has the support of about a dozen students including Ethan. Erica apologises profusely and even joins in, handcuffing herself to the rest of them.

She jumps back to her own time to see her watch caught in the binder with the wedding dresses sold by White Dreams. It's nearly lunchtime. Her Uncle Ruby tells her to go photocopy some documents. But instead of the copy room, it's Dr. Tom's office. Despite ending up in the same place, he explains to her she needed to learn to listen to her gut. The first time she rejected Literati was still the right choice for her. Is White Dreams for her though? Also a 'no'. With that he dimisses her. She steps through the door...

And into Uncle Ruby's office. She's not the only one a little surprised. Erica explains to him that this isn't right for her, and he understands and agrees to explain to her mother (his sister), and then shoos her out.

Erica helps Ethan check out a new apartment. Though it's a bit small and cheap, it's right next door to Erica's apartment, a bit like residence at university. Erica asks Ethan if he regrets his decision to stay with Claire. Ethan doesn't though. She was his life.

They are interrupted by Erica's cellphone. It's River Rock Publishing with a job offer. After a short talk, Erica has an interview!

"Everyone's got their own path. Some are only just beginning. While others end all too soon. How ever you do it, the fact is the path you're on, the choices you make, define who you are. Choices. They're the building blocks of our lives. They shape our past, present, and future. And despite all the mistakes I've made, every day brings with it new choices, and whole new world of possibilities."

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