I started watching "Being Erica" because of the sci-fi elements in the show (the "Quantum Leap"-esque time travel, the mysterious "Doctors", even the guy from the future in Season 2) but I fell in love with Erica, the character. So I have mixed feelings about last night's Season 3 premiere, "The Rabbit Hole", because it introduces a new level -- or Phase -- of therapy that takes the focus off of Erica.
The episode starts off right where Season 2's cliffhanger left off, and when Erica goes through the door, she finds herself in a room with five chairs. Other people soon filter into the room and explain to Erica that she's entering "Phase 2" of therapy, a form of group therapy. Erica seems kind of surprised that Dr. Tom even has other patients. Honestly, I was too. Sure, it makes total sense that Erica wouldn't be Dr. Tom's only patient when you actually think about it, it just felt weird. It also felt like something like that would have come up in these past couple of years, so I can see how Erica would have felt hurt (and I loved her scene with Dr. Tom near the end of the episode elucidating exactly that).
This Phase 2 represents a shift for the series, and they jumped right into it, with Erica not going back to a moment in her life, but tagging along with Adam, one of Dr. Tom's other patients, on one of his regrets. Sure, the lesson of the regret applied to Erica just as much as it did Adam, but I already miss the familiar faces from Erica's life. I understand why we're not going to see Kai anymore, and sure, she broke up with Ethan at the end of Season 2, but it was weird to only see Julianne and Brent from Erica's personal circle.
Speaking of Julianne and Brent, it seems that they're going to be just as duplicitous with each other as they were when they were working together, possibly more so now that they're adversaries. And as much as I'm rooting for Erica and Julianne's company to succeed -- and I love the idea of putting their office in the back of Goblins -- I don't see it working out, for many of the same reasons that Erica and Julianne clashed in this episode.
As for the other big revelation this week -- Phase 3 -- I'm actually fine with that. It seemed like from about halfway through the first season, the show was building to having Erica eventually become a Doctor (with all the magical time-altering powers that encompasses), and I really hope that we get to see Erica playing the role of Doctor before the series ends. Also, the little scene at the end between the non-Tom Doctors added another layer of intrigue to how this all works, and I'm always up for a little more sci-fi mystery in this show.
For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the AdamReisinger.com TV Reviews home page.