Shrinking (Season 1) Episode 6: From The Sopranos to ‘Shrinking,’ representation of mental health therapy has come a long way. Besides the HBO show, therapists were mostly shown as godly creatures whose power to heal souls can work like how an antibiotic would.

The new Apple TV+ series shows them as flawed characters, capable of the same mistakes that their patients make. While they may have answers for solving the emotional issues of their patients, they won’t always be mindful of implementing them in their lives. That’s what makes this series incredibly human in its approach.

While dealing with such stories through its narrative, Shrinking digs much deeper into their emotional issues to provide a mature meditation on healing. Be it Jimmy, Paul, or Gaby, we see them being vulnerable in the latest gut-wrenching episode. Before reading further, please note that there are spoilers ahead.

Shrinking (Season 1), Episode 6 Recap:

Episode 6: Imposter Syndrome

After a session with veteran therapist Paul (Harrison Ford), Sean (Luke Tennie) finally starts opening up about his traumatic Afghanistan war experience. In a session with Jimmy (Jason Segel), he speaks about the flashbacks he experiences about the times when he killed innocent civilians. They are so visceral that he can’t separate them as mere memories. Jimmy tells him that such flashbacks are very common for trauma survivors. He then explains the way the brain functions in layman’s terms. The brain is filled with assholes, be it a judge or a critic, that does not let a person move on.

While talking, Jimmy mentions a voice that makes someone make impulsive decisions. Since he gives an example of ‘hot wings,’ he cannot think of anything else but to have them right then! There is another lesson that Sean subtly learns. Impulses need to be controlled, but not always. He needs to be kinder toward himself and toward all that he is feeling.

Meanwhile, Paul is worried about his daughter Meg treating him like a patient. After hearing his diagnosis of Parkinson’s, she planned a trip to meet him at the earliest. Paul is conflicted about her arrival, particularly because he does not want to appear to be a burden. Having lived most of his life independently, he finds it hard to connect with others on that front. He takes his mind off of himself and diverts his attention to Jimmy. He indirectly tells him to work on the pain from his life, which can otherwise creep up out of nowhere.

Their playful banter makes up for an incredible comedy, especially because it tosses their respective energies back and forth effortlessly. Jason’s laidback cheerfulness complements Paul’s grumpy sageness in the best possible way.

While the two keep trying to mend their relationships with their daughters, Gaby (Jessica Williams) is trying to bring back a sexual spark in her life. After her divorce from Nico, she keeps jumping from one sexual partner to another, trying to seek some pleasure. But every time she is about to do it, she either laughs at her partner or embarrasses herself in some other way. And it’s not like they’re unattractive. They all are sexy hunks anyone would desire. But she just couldn’t go through it with them. So, she speaks to her new friend, Liz (Christa Miller), about it, who says that it might just be because she tried to have it in the morning. In short, Gaby shouldn’t worry about it too much.

While Alice (Lukita Maxwell) meets Paul for their usual walk together, he keeps using the ‘raw dogging’ as ‘someone making you do something without your will’! Alice can’t stop laughing hearing his definition. He drops her off with Liz, who gives him gummies that helped an acquaintance of hers with anxiety related to Parkinson’s. Paul reluctantly accepts it while being cynical about its effect.

Brian (Michael Urie) gets over his anxiety about asking Charlie’s (Devin Kawaoka) hand for marriage. His previous session with Gaby made him open up about his deep-rooted fear of abandonment. Now he is mentally prepared to take on this challenge of marriage (and isn’t in two minds about it). He brings the engagement ring and shows it to Gaby and Jimmy in his nth number announcement. Unlike before, both of them enthusiastically cheer for him as he always wanted them to.

Brian asks them to host his surprise party. While hesitant at first, Jimmy agrees to do so because of Alice’s desire to have some celebration in their house. As a result, he finally gets the big, tight hug he’s always wanted from her. Meanwhile, her bond with Sean keeps getting stronger. While she processes her grief as per Paul’s suggested method, Sean approaches her to talk about bailing out on the party. He says that he doesn’t want old people to ask him what he’s doing, especially in his current situation of unemployment. She offers her support in such awkward situations. So, he agrees to attend the engagement party.

Shrinking Season 1 Episode 6 Recap Ending Explained (1)

Brian makes an elaborate plan to propose to his beau. For that, he wants Jimmy to play the piano so that he can sing over it. After their preparations, Liz and her husband – Derek (Ted McGinley), arrive a little too early. Derek cracks a lame joke that he wanted to ‘beat the traffic’ (he lives just next door). Liz eye-rolls at his joke and tells how redundant it has become since he insists on cracking it every time they come there. While she argues about it with him, Jimmy gets lost in thoughts about a time when it happened, when Tia (Lilan Bowden) was there, inviting them with the brightest smile.

Liz eventually breaks his chain of thought, and he invites them inside. That’s when Alice walks down wearing one of Tia’s dresses. Jimmy chokes up and tries to control his excitement to praise how beautiful she looks. She does not respond well to his compliments. But when Brian says the exact same thing, she thanks him. Then Brian goes back to talking about his party plan. He says that Paul is not coming since he said that he has something important to do that night. Meanwhile, back at his home, Paul is on a trip on Liz’s gummies, listening to ‘She’s gone.’ He sees the texts from Meg one after the other, which shows how deeply she cares for him. Due to a pang of guilt for not giving her enough time, he decides to descend further down this trip and takes another gummy.

Meanwhile, at the party, different guests approach Jimmy, all of whom tell him how sorry they are for him. They speak highly of their picture-perfect relationship and about being jealous of it while not realizing that their words can actually have an adverse effect on him. Meanwhile, an acquaintance approaches Gaby, who feels sorry for her divorce. However, she is more concerned about not being able to have sex. Liz tells her about a sex window that she currently has in her life, hinting that Gaby should listen to what her body tells her.

Jimmy’s old friend – Ben (Jeffrey Stubblefield), shows up with his new partner – Kiara (Ashley Elyse Rogers). Jimmy knew her as the prostitute that he was frequently in touch with when he was in low spirits. Then, Paul suddenly shows up for the party, tripping balls due to the gummies. He gets upset at Brian for suggesting he speak with Meg, who is now overprotective of him. He does not want to emotionally manipulate her like Brian, who takes offense at his surprise engagement party being emotional manipulation.

Meanwhile, Jimmy is not his best self due to all the queries about Tia and his married life. In the same state, he ends up ruining Alice’s mood, who was only having a casual conversation with Sean. He interrupts their conversation and then tells her in private that he heard when she said that Sean is beautiful. Hearing that, she gets furious and runs up the stairs to her room. Sean follows to console her.

Gaby notices this awkward interaction and senses that Jimmy is not doing well. She asks him what the problem is. He then speaks about the guests thinking his marriage with Tia was perfect when it was not. Especially before her death, they struggled quite a lot and had many arguments. Even at the time of Alice’s childbirth, Tia was angry at him for not pulling off his weight and investing all his time in his work. He recalls an argument in which he told her that he was not the reason why she was unhappy.

Due to all this bitterness, Jimmy now questions whether Tia even liked him. Being her close friend, Gaby confirms that she did. But Jimmy doesn’t believe her. He asks for proof. But how could she provide one when Tia’s not alive anymore? She becomes anxious as a result over how to persuade Jimmy.

Meanwhile, Liz and Paul speak about his relationship with Meg. Liz thinks that, as a parent, you earn your children’s emotional support as a sort of reparation. Paul thinks otherwise since he isn’t present in all of Meg’s important (or even mundane) moments. Then Liz makes him look at it as a reward and feel grateful that she is offering to take care of him despite that neglect. They would have a great moment of camaraderie, even if it were when both of them were heavily intoxicated.

Shrinking (Season 1). Episode 6 Ending Explained:

Does Brian finally manage to propose to Charlie?

When Charlie gets to Jimmy’s house, he is surprised to see so many people there. Brian still refuses to reveal the purpose and brings Jimmy to start the grand proposal. Jimmy shows up, caught up in his own turmoil. He starts playing the piano and, mid-way, starts singing along with Brian. Jimmy keeps singing passionately despite Brian’s attempts to stop him because he is so engrossed in his feelings for Tia. You see his aching pain reflect on his face. Unfortunately, he ends up puking on the piano and then around him, which ruins Brian’s grand plan. Gaby takes him back to his room so that he can get cleaned up.

After this awkward interaction, Brian gets anxious yet again, thinking that his plan has magnanimously failed. Charlie joins him, trying to cheer him up. That’s when Brian ends up confessing to his plan of proposing to him, which Jimmy’s stunt has ruined. But that news makes Charlie so happy that he says yes, regardless of that. They finally propose to each other. Soon after, Paul finds his way to them. He mentions that two vulnerable people always find a way to connect. (The entire episode is based on this core message.)

What happens between Alice and Sean?

While Alice storms out to her room, Sean enters and asks if she wants someone to speak with. She says that she does not want to speak about what happened. So, he decides not to force her to talk but to give her company. That comes as a refreshing change from Jimmy, who often ends up pushing others to be more open about their emotional state. Soon after, she tells him to go back to the party instead of boring himself in her room.

What she perhaps doesn’t realize is that he understands that she is in a vulnerable state, and he wants to be there to support her (which is something he would have wanted as well). Alice sees his stay as a sign of his romantic interest in her. So, she goes up to kiss him. He backs off and tells her that she is just a kid. It suddenly brings her down to her reality and to the realization of how Sean sees her as. It shatters her dreams of being with him, and she starts crying about this encounter.

Meanwhile, Jimmy walks out of his bathroom to find Gaby in his room. She shows him a photo not so long before Tia’s death, where her mere look conveys how much she loved Jimmy. In that tender moment, these two friends end up passionately kissing each other. Maybe it was her wanting him to be content with his life. Maybe because they are in the same boat, nonetheless, they kiss each other.

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Shrinking (Season 1), Episode 6 Links: IMDbRotten Tomatoes
Shrinking (Season 1), Episode 6 Cast: Jason Segel, Harrison Ford, Jessica Williams, Lukita Maxwell, Luke Tennie, Michael Urie
Where to watch Shrinking

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