Shrinking (Season 1) Episode 3 Recap & Ending Explained: The first two episodes of Shrinking introduced its characters and the issues they are dealing with. We get a brief understanding of their personalities. However, the focus was largely on Jimmy and his efforts to mend his broken relationship with Alice. Now, the third episode starts exploring the supporting characters a little further. It explores more emotional struggles and introduces different ways they choose to tackle them.




Shrinking (Season 1) Episode 3 Recap

Episode 3: Fifteen Minutes

The episode begins with Alan (Asif Ali), one of Jimmy’s (Jason Segel) patients, on a dinner date. He tries to impress his date with his shining accomplishments. He prides himself on being the COO of his organization, tells her about all the work he has done under that title, and assumes that she will fall for him. Instead, his self-obsession creeps her out. So, she decides to go to the washroom.

That’s when Jimmy arrives at Alan’s table out of nowhere and gives him a bit of advice. He sees that Alan is needlessly bragging about himself. Instead, Alan should be vulnerable and honest the way he is during his therapy sessions. Alan accepts his suggestion of being more open. However, he ends up blurting out that he cried four times that day.




Meanwhile, at Jimmy’s place, Sean (Luke Tennie) and Alice (Lukita Maxwell) are still not on the best terms with each other. While Sean is dealing with his anger issues, Alice is still processing her mother’s death. For the same reason, she texts Paul (Harrison Ford) about their next meeting. Since Jimmy is of no help, she seeks support from Paul, whom she finds more reliable.

On her way to the kitchen, she bumps into Sean, who is cleaning the fridge door. She sarcastically asks why he is not in their pool room where he is supposed to be. He finds her remark unnecessary and asks her to say directly whatever she wants to. While they are talking, she notices her orchid plant is missing and asks where it is. He mentions that he threw it in the trash since he thought ‘it had passed.’ She finds that absurd and asks him to bring it back.




So, Sean goes out to the trash can and starts looking for the plant. That’s when an old white woman from the neighborhood walks up to him and tells him it is not his trash. Since he would have been used to similar interactions before, he responds with the most modest voice possible and calls her Karen! She clarifies that her name is Pam, as if that is the most pressing issue at hand.

Luckily, Liz (Christa Miller) comes out and asks Pam to stop bothering Sean. Then, Jimmy joins them and tells them that Sean is staying with them. Since Jimmy has brought one of his patients to live with them (the one who beat up someone else), Liz gets concerned about whether Alice is fine with it. Alice has a lukewarm reaction to him staying at their place. So, Sean mentions his plan to move out of their place.




On the other hand, the friendship between Jimmy and Brian (Michael Urie) seems to have grown stronger. We see them going on a run together, reminiscing about the old days from their college. Brian wonders why Gabby does not join them like she used to. Jimmy feels that she finds them boring now that Tia is not with them.

Then they start talking about the old days when they all used to hang out together. At the time, Brian had not come out to them and kept making terrible attempts to pretend that he was straight. They both share a laugh about it.




Meanwhile, Paul goes to meet his doctor, Julie, who asks about his mental health. He shares a new technique he has started using recently, where he grieves hard for fifteen minutes and then tries not to dwell on the subject. Meanwhile, Gabby is over the moon about the new Tesla she has purchased. She asks her husband, Nico, if he wants to join her for a drive. He rejects the offer, saying he does not want to listen to her music that day. She gets upset but tries not to show it.

In her usual cheerful manner, she starts driving up to the office. When she parks her car, Paul bumps into it by mistake. Since she and Jimmy know about his symptoms of Parkinson’s, they consider it to be the result of his muscle reflexes. Out of concern, they try to speak with him about it. Gabby also offers to drive him to the office.

Shrinking (Season 1) Episode 3

But Paul refuses their help and does not open up about his pain either. Right after, he meets Alice, who speaks about her recent behavioral patterns. Even the smallest, inconsequential things have suddenly started to upset her. Having lived a long life himself, Paul understands that grief can creep up on a person like that. He then guides her about his ‘fifteen minutes’ technique.




Meanwhile, Jimmy finds Gabby kissing a man who is not her husband. He does not say anything to her right away. He returns home with Sean, who spent his day boxing. Liz sees Sean’s wounded eye and asks about it. He jokes that Jimmy makes him fight for money. Jimmy calls it a clean, consensual assault. After their harmless fun, Liz apologizes to Jimmy for trying to replace him as Alice’s support system. He accepts her apology.

The next day, Paul goes to meet Julie. He asks her to join him for his driving assessment test that he is taking because of his reflex issues. Meanwhile, Jimmy meets Gabby at a party and confronts her about the kiss with a stranger. That’s when she opens up about her divorce from Nico. Jimmy asks about Nico’s sobriety issues. She prefers not to talk about it.




Back home that night, Jimmy sees Alice sobbing in her room while listening to music. She mentions that she is trying a new technique where she grieves hard for 15 minutes daily to relieve her pain. He makes a silly joke about it to make her laugh. Through that, she notices him making constant efforts to connect with her. So, she comes down to join him. He heats up a pizza, and they have it together.

The next day, Jimmy speaks with Grace (Heidi Gardner), who has started working on herself to get out of her people-pleasing habit. She thanks him for making her keep her distance from Donny. Jimmy is pleased to see that his rebel strategy is working for her.





Then Gabby meets him to invite him to her divorce party. He accepts the invitation since he understands the stress she must be under. However, right after that conversation, he meets Paul to speak about her. Jimmy is upset that Gabby is deciding to celebrate this sad occasion. Eventually, he ends up opening up about his real reason for feeling sad. He did not get a choice to end his marriage (to get closure) the way she is getting.

Paul understands that everyone grieves differently and gives Jimmy a technique to tackle his issues – the same ’15 minutes’ technique. Jimmy decides to follow it while riding on his bicycle and starts sobbing while listening to his choice of depressing song. It lets him express his feelings instead of running away from them as he always has.




Alice goes to Liz’s place and speaks dearly about her dog. Sean asks about her close relationship with Liz when she returns to her place. He also wonders why Liz is quite often at their home. Alice mentions that she received emotional support from this neighbor after her mother’s death. So, in return, she lets her get the emotional crumbs of her feeling of joy and satisfaction.

That makes sense to Sean, and their dialogue takes a pleasing turn. They start chatting and laughing together, unlike how they started out when he moved in. Liz sees them from her balcony and feels like Sean is now replacing her as Alice’s friend.




Shrinking (Season 1) Episode 3 Recap & Ending Explained

Jimmy goes to Gabby’s place for her divorce party. He expects her to be as cheerful as she always is. However, he finds her in a hoodie when she opens her door. He understands that she is not keeping well and decides to have a dialogue about it. Jimmy advises her that she should not mask her sadness under the celebratory ruse. She soon opens up about her immense guilt for leaving Nico in his stage of recovery. She also admits that she badly misses Tia, who was ‘her person’ with whom she could be honest.

Meanwhile, Liz stumbles upon Paul and starts speaking about Sean flirting with Alice. She assumes that he knows about Sean living at Jimmy’s place. But only then does he learn about it. It is unethical to stay in touch with their patients beyond the therapy sessions. That’s why he calls Jimmy to school him about it. He tells him that he is tired of Jimmy’s rebel techniques and that he is done with him. However, Jimmy still believes that there is merit in his new method.




The next day, when Jimmy goes running with Brian, he sees Grace kissing her husband, Donny. Jimmy assumed that his new method worked for her and that she had left this toxic man in her past. But it seems like she has fallen back into the cycle of people pleasing, which made her come back to Donny.

<<Previous Episodes

Shrinking (Season 1) Episode 3 Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Shrinking (Season 1) Episode 3 Cast: Jason Segel, Harrison Ford, Jessica Williams, Lukita Maxwell, Luke Tennie, Michael Urie
Where to watch Shrinking

Similar Posts