Fleishman Is in Trouble Episodes 1 & 2: Based on her novel by the same name, ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble’ is a drama miniseries created by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, streaming on Hulu. It is about a recently divorced liver specialist from Manhattan named Toby Fleishman, who tries to map out his dating life at the age of 41. Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Lizzy Caplan, Claire Danes, Adam Brody, and Josh Radnor in the lead roles, it is a black comedy about this privileged, white man – whose tragedies become a point of laughter and ridicule. While keeping the iconic city’s signature style of humor intact, the miniseries smartly navigates its satirical lookout into a white man’s world.

Fleishman Is in Trouble Episodes 1 & 2 Recap:

Episode 1: Summon Your Witnesses

The miniseries begins with an eerie tracking shot that shows the New York landscape, upside down, and takes us to the apartment of 41-year-old Toby Fleishman (Jesse Eisenberg). We see him sleeping on his bed and getting woken up by a series of messages he receives from young women. After 15 years of marriage, he finally wakes up to a reverie of app-based dating and scours his luck in the landscape. However, he is conflicted with the memories of being with the woman he was used to being with – his ex-wife, Rachel (Claire Danes). She is a theatre agent of a company called Fleishman & Co. and has accomplished quite a success.

However, his perception of her changes the very next moment when he realizes that she bailed on taking responsibility for their children as promised. She leaves them at his house and goes to a yoga retreat. Once the kids wake up, he tries to pump up their spirits. While their son, Solly (Maxim Swinton) is just as enthusiastic as him, their daughter – Hannah (Meara Mahoney Gross) is not pleased being in his house. She wanted to be in her house in the Hamptons (the one they shared in the past, but now only she owns). While he is frustrated by Claire’s mismanagement, he is even more enraged for needing to enter a place for the kids, swarming with privileged, white mothers.

One of the mothers sympathizes with him, saying that they would be there for him and not just for Claire. Through their inquiries, these parents often look for ways to satisfy their own egos and discover whether their marriage is healthy or not. When he had met this woman last time, it was at a party with her school-mom friends and their husbands. All these white men were using their generational wealth while bragging about their present accomplishments. Unlike their capitalistic tendencies, Toby chose to believe he cares more about people besides himself and criticizes them on their way back home.

While he is a specialist at one of Manhattan’s top hospitals, he does not get enough salary to fulfil Claire’s expected kind of lifestyle. However, he is committed to his duties as a working doctor and not a fundraiser, who forgets the purpose of their degree after their promotion! While speaking with his interns – Clay (Brian Miskell), Joanie (Ava Yaghmaie), and Phillip (Ralph Adriel Johnson), he tries to grow in them a deep interest in their job and the organ itself. When the topic of his divorce comes up, Joanie suggests him dating apps, where someone’s desirability is discussed so is the level of their sexual thirst. He kept using the app passively until one weekend when he was on his own.

He starts answering the strange questions from the app as honestly as he could, and the moment he logs in, he starts getting a series of messages from women living around him. It becomes overwhelming to the point he has to pinch himself to know that it in fact is real. While checking on a patient sometime later, she gives his interns valuable lessons from looking carefully at their medical history to observing their body carefully for any other signs. That’s when Joanie finds the woman having Wilson’s disease, which looks beautiful but is detrimental.

He soon goes to meet his friends, Libby (Lizzy Caplan) and Seth (Adam Brody). After over 12 years of lost contact with her, he starts meeting them on a regular basis. Right after he calls her to inform her about his divorce and she comes to meet him. She is married to a lawyer named Adam Epstein (Josh Radnor) and does not live in the city as Toby does. He shares the update on his flourishing dating life and tries to show that he cares about her by saying how he is proud of her work in a magazine while being oblivious to the fact that she left that job and became a stay-at-home wife, years ago.

Fleishman Is in Trouble Episodes 1 2 Recap Ending Explained (1)

While Libby is surprised by his sudden dating epiphany, horny Seth sees his divorce as a golden opportunity. Looking at his new apartment downtown, Libby is elated whereas Seth sees it utterly unworthy of praise. While speaking with them, he compares his marriage to the tragedy of Othello, in which, he is now realizing the traces of bad memories. He blabbers on about the marriage, while Seth blames marrying at the young age of 30 when he was not mature enough to commit to anyone. He shares anecdotes about his office colleagues to enforce the same point – even if something felt great at that young age, you outgrow the thing you loved once.

In the diner, Toby then goes on to share his sexual adventures while Seth and Libby find them amusing for different reasons. As a man of 41, Toby wants someone around his age group, who ‘understands the nature of consequences’. Both friends start having fun over his dating life and while laughing at it, he leaves the place. A day after that, he decides to take Hannah outside by bus, and she feels ashamed traveling by it, unlike her peers whose parents picked them up and dropped them in their cars. He gets enraged at her for her lofty expectation. However, at the back of his mind, he is still in an existential crisis, thinking about his divorce.

However, he keeps going on dates with the women around him. He meets Mona at a bar one day and has a time of his life in her bed, at the night. Meanwhile, back at home, Hannah is angry at him for not buying her a phone. He promised to do it on her 12th birthday and does not budge in his resolute even in the slightest. While going around with these kids, he sees places that remind him of the encounters with women who fulfilled his sexual fantasies. While he drops Hannah at her friend Lexi’s house, he goes out with Solly to buy him a book on the relativity principle.

Back at home, he explains it to him in simplified terms. It is just his way to make Solly want to see the world from his side. Despite taking care of the kids for the past few days, Rachel still does not reply, and he has to face Hannah’s anger while being responsible for taking care of her. While he initially assumed that Rachel would be back by that time, he takes both Hannah and Lexi back to his shadowy place downtown along with Solly. However, he forgets to have asked Mona to come to his place, and she shows up at his doorstep in her lingerie. She happens to be there right when the kids open the door. As a result, Toby gets another problem to manage.

Episode 2: Welcome to Paniquil

The 2nd episode directed by Alice Wu begins with Toby, Libby, and Seth as teenagers in 1994 Jerusalem, whose mundane conversation gets disrupted by a female beggar. When Seth gives her a meager penny, she starts cursing at him in Hebrew. Even when Libby gives her some more money, she keeps cursing at her. While getting tired of her bickering, they decide to leave, Toby gives her a note and she blesses him. While Libby was told that she would get gonorrhea, he is told to be destined for a life full of kindness and a righteous path.

Back in the present day, the narrative shows Toby walking to his hospital in a hurry while speaking with the children’s caretaker – Mona. Unlike the beggar woman’s blessing, his life is in shambles since his wife left him with all the responsibilities, including taking care of Mona, who had her son arriving in the city, in a few days. At the hospital, he learns about a possible promotion and gets elated by this news. Dr. Donald Bartuck, who tells him the news, was once worthy of his respect for treating the patients, before becoming a fundraiser. Toby always found his job rewarding, while Rachel found his constant praise for his job, utterly boring.

In the past, when they went to visit the second home of Mariam and Sam Rothberg to celebrate the New Year. Sam used Paniquil as the house’s name, which is an antidepressant that does not interfere with sexual arousal. Every single thing about Sam’s life represented his strong belief in himself. After their dinner, he offered Toby a position in his company with a lofty salary and flexible hours, unlike his current demanding job. He learned Rachel’s prior knowledge about it and questioned her when they return home.

She ridicules him for not even considering it Sam’s offer as an opportunity. He feels his desire for servitude towards patients is ignored for the sake of her wish to attain a certain lifestyle that she hoped to get used to. Sometime later, she takes him to an apartment suggested by Sam, which she had booked without his knowledge. He gets enraged at her for taking such a decision without him being even aware of it. Meanwhile, in his present, he still struggles to keep up with the kids’ demands in her absence. While Rachel bails out on her, Hannah expresses her anger at him, and he stoically listens to it.

While speaking with Solly about his newfound sexual curiosities, he evokes his maternal instincts for this young son. Meanwhile, he keeps trying to get in touch with Rachel but cannot trace her current state and location. As a result, he takes the kids along with him to the hospital, since he does not want to miss his duties either. However, he soon feels bad for them and decides to fulfill their wish of going to their house in New Hamptons. While driving through the streets between the fancy constructions, he keeps with his attempts to make them more grounded in the approach towards the underprivileged. However, Hannah seems to have had enough of his bickering and does not pay heed to him even for a moment.

Before reaching, he goes through flashbacks of their past as a family, where at times, Rachel was a caring mother and over the period, their bond started to weaken. He hates this place with the utmost passion, more so now that he does not own it. His awareness of economic disparity and wealth distribution seems to be limited to teaching others while being the same privileged person under his skin. In the same house, they had spent a winter where Rachel brought up the subject of divorce, after him having asked about it for a while. However, despite it being his wish, right when she asked about it, he feels an aching pain in his heart.

The next day, after dropping the kids off to do their activities, he comes back to the place and finds the housekeeper, who did not expect any guests. Perhaps because of Rachel’s suggestion, or perhaps of her own accord, she decides to file a complaint against him for breaking and entering. Technically, the complaint stands true, since he does not own the place anymore. So, he leaves the place right afterward with their kids.

Sensing her constant anger at him, Toby decides to finally make Hannah happy by purchasing her a phone. Later at his house, a conversation with Solly about him going to a summer camp reminds him of an argument with Rachel. While he wanted Solly to learn something like Ice Skating, she wanted him to look for a camp that can be fruitful in terms of habit-building for a career. In his sudden anger, he throws up the meal he was preparing, right toward her face. In the present, he reconciles with this terrible memory, while trying to comfort his sensitive son, who makes him feel needed.

Meanwhile, when Hannah tries calling Rachel with her new phone, she gets heartbroken by the lack of response. He caresses her and feels to have gotten a moment of him to claim his position as the more caring parent. However, she does not pay heed to his words of affection later when he goes to drop him off on a bus for a summer camp. While Solly cries while leaving his father, Hannah sees Toby’s words to be shallow and perhaps also realizes that he is letting them go to escape from having their responsibility on his shoulders.

Fleishman Is in Trouble Episode 2 Ending Explained:

Where is Rachel Fleishman?

After dropping the kids off for the summer camp, Toby meets Seth and Libby yet again when they speak about his marriage with Rachel among other subjects. They ask whether he still harbors any feelings for this ex-wife of his, besides thinking out loud about her absence as her death. While they speak about it as a part of casual humor, Toby goes through a whirlwind of emotions because of this conversation. At the time, he gets a call from his intern, asking him to attend to a patient urgently.

Toby starts walking towards the hospital, while feeling sick and dizzy, blurring his field of vision. While walking, he gets another call from the same intern, who apologizes to him for requesting to come right away, and then tells him that the issue is solved. Toby shows kindness to this young man but still feels woozy. He then goes to a supermarket to buy some things for himself. That’s when Rachel’s mom-friends meet him in their yoga pants and mention the second sighting of Fleishman’s in a single day.

When he questions them further, he learns that they saw Rachel the same day before him. It is news to him since she kept ignoring his calls and his messages while not taking any responsibility in the last few days. He blanks out the further blabbering by the white ladies in front of him and gets into his head about his wife who abandoned him, and left him high and dry, tending their kids.

Read More: The Sex Lives of College Girls (Season 2), Episodes 1 & 2: Recap & Ending Explained

Fleishman Is in Trouble Trailer

Fleishman Is in Trouble Episodes 1 & 2 Links: IMDb, Wikipedia
Fleishman Is in Trouble Episodes 1 & 2 Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Lizzy Caplan, Claire Danes, Adam Brody, Josh Radnor
Where to watch Fleishman Is in Trouble

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