Shrinking (Season 1), Episode 5: Recap & Ending Explained

Shrinking (Season 1), Episode 5 Recap Ending

Shrinking (Season 1) Episode 5: With every new episode, ‘Shrinking’ manages to be incredibly heart-warming. It conveys its heavy themes with a light-hearted approach. And even when it does not manage to reach the level of Ted Lasso, it strikes a chord due to its sensitive subject handling. The last episode introduced us to Paul’s share of mental struggle by giving us a glimpse into his relationship with his daughter. Meanwhile, Jimmy is seen trying to process Alice’s romantic affairs, where he does not always come across as a ‘cool dad.’

The new episode, streaming on Apple TV+, takes the show’s introspective approach a little further, where the characters make efforts to improve their emotional intelligence.

Shrinking (Season 1), Episode 5 Recap:

Episode 5: Woof

Besides being a grieving therapist, Jimmy (Jason Segal) also has to fill in the shoes of being a responsible father. In his efforts to mend his relationship with Alice (Lukita Maxwell), he does not always come across as friendly as he would like to. One of the reasons is he continues to think of her from the perspective of a father, which makes him behave protectively. Upon learning that she slept with Liz’s (Christa Miller) son – Connor, Jimmy got all worked up about it.

However, Gaby (Jessica William) and Liz warn him instead about Sean (Luke Tennie), who they think Alice would find charming. It turns out they were right! So, he goes on to tell it to Liz, who cannot contain her excitement since her prediction was right. Meanwhile, Paul (Harrison Ford) tries to build a healthy relationship with his daughter, Meg (Lily Rabe). But he still struggles to share the fact of his diagnosis. And to get a ride to their office, he also has to put up with Gaby’s heaps of energy! So there’s another struggle he has to deal with.

Meanwhile, Jimmy notices Alice and Sean share a laugh about something. Sensing that as a sign of their romantic attraction, he jumps in and makes an awkward joke. But instead of being a part of their conversation, it makes Alice go back to her room. Once she leaves, Sean shares his issues with his father. On one instant, his father wants him to get his life together, and on the other, he speaks nicely with him.

Jimmy connects it with his relationship with Paul, where such mixed signals are typical as well. Just like Sean, Jimmy loves to stay resentful of his father figure since it means he doesn’t have to do any work or take any action. But seeing his patient struggling with the same issue pushes him also to seek a mature solution.

Meanwhile, during one of her sessions, Gaby tries to fix the issues of a couple by noting their individual faults objectively. She advises them to share their insecurities with each other and work out the issues accordingly. But the wife asks her back whether she does that in her marriage. While she says Yes at the time, it makes her contemplate it. She goes to Paul to seek advice. Instead of trying to see it from a traditional standpoint and giving a pep talk, he takes a more progressive look at marriage as an institution. Gaby had guessed that even before coming to him.

That’s when Jimmy walks into the room, hoping to speak with Paul about Grace (Heidi Gardner). From the time he found her getting back with her husband, she completely stopped responding to Jimmy. So, Jimmy wants to know how to proceed with her case. But Paul is still stuck in his resentment over Jimmy’s decision to let Sean stay at his place. So, it makes Jimmy’s appeal for professional advice a tedious struggle.

On the other hand, Brian (Michael Urie) is planning to ask his partner, Charlie (Devin Kawaoka), for marriage. He comes into Jimmy’s office to ask him and Gaby about it. However, he is hesitant at first because he does not wish to hit a sore spot with them, seeing that their respective relationships did not work out well. Jimmy and Gaby have already seen Brian trying to make this big gesture many times in the past. So, they continue to make fun of him! Still, he leaves with a resolve to do it this time. And as both his friends suspected, he gets scared when he goes to purchase the ring and reverts his plan! Even later, he refuses to seek their advice when he goes on a hike with Gaby & Liz.

Meanwhile, in his session with Reginald (Michael Shen), Paul learns that this patient has not followed up with his advice and decided to mismanage the prescription doses. An enraged Paul goes to Gaby’s office to speak about it. She instantly understands that Paul is looking at her as a replacement for Jimmy. Since they aren’t on good terms, Gaby is like a consolation to him. While on the one side, she is happy to see Paul seeking counsel from her, she refuses to help. He takes it as a sign to work out his relationship with Jimmy.

Shrinking (Season 1), Episode 5 Recap Ending

Meanwhile, Sean’s brother comes to meet him and shares a frame that their mother made of his past medals. He sees it as yet another sign of his parents’ mixed signals and suddenly decides to leave. Then, he texts Alice to ask whether she would come to meet him. She has to ditch a class in order to go out with him. But in the end, she decides to do so. He opens up to her about his issues, and they empathize with each other since both of them struggle to connect with their respective dads.

At the time, Jimmy manages to get a word with Grace and asks her to come back for her therapy sessions. But when he gets a call from Alice’s school, he runs back to know where she is. Back at home, he questions her about it and sees that she is genuinely concerned about Sean’s mental well-being, similar to how he is about his patients. He then goes to speak with Sean about his father’s issues. But Sean sees his questioning as Jimmy’s way of forcing him to open up.

Shrinking (Season 1), Episode 5 Ending Explained:

During her regular chat with Paul, Alice fights about Sean staying at their place. While Paul considers it necessary that he does not stay in with his therapist, Alice gets angry and wants Sean to stay until he needs to. There is clearly a sign of shared empathy that makes her see it that way. So later, Paul shows up at Jimmy’s house to speak with Sean in person. After years of experience, he knows how to make his patient speak about their issues without making them feel forced.

Paul shares his struggle to communicate his diagnosis of Parkinson’s with Meg. The reason why he does not want that is that he does not want to be seen as an old man who needs to be taken care of. Seeing him being vulnerable about his struggles, Sean finally shares his troubling experience from the war in Afghanistan. He feels guilty for senselessly killing innocent civilians without thinking about its purpose. Paul suggests he not be so hard on himself and to keep in mind that he was just 21 years old when these events occurred.

In that way, he helps Jimmy by getting his patient to unload a burden of years. While he helped others take a mature step, he decided to take one himself. So, he calls Meg to speak with her about his diagnosis.

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Shrinking (Season 1), Episode 5 Links: IMDbRotten Tomatoes
Shrinking (Season 1), Episode 5 Cast: Jason Segel, Harrison Ford, Jessica Williams, Lukita Maxwell, Luke Tennie, Michael Urie
Where to watch Shrinking
Akash Deshpande

Obsessed, fascinated, and always nerding out about cinema! You can find me in the corner of a room ruminating over the last TV series I watched.