Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Being Erica "Dr. Erica" Reaction
Note: this review has spoilers for the series finale of "Being Erica". If you haven't seen the episode yet and don't want to be spoiled on some major plot developments in the final episode, please look away and come back later. Thanks!
"Everything that has a beginning has an ending."
That was the opening line of Monday's episode of "Being Erica" and it was appropriate, since the episode represented the ending of the series, and the ending of a lot of character journies -- but also a fair set of new beginnings too.
"Dr. Erica" was, at its core, about Erica's final step on the journey to being a Doctor, and Dr. Tom's first step out of that life into a new post-Doctor existence. The two stories were as tied together as the two characters have been throughout the four seasons of the show, and they each played the role of final roadblock for each other. Erica didn't feel like she was ready to be a Doctor and wanted to fall back on leaning on Dr. Tom, while Dr. Tom was hesitant to give up being a Doctor because he thought Erica still needed him.
It was clear that neither was going to move on until they realized they both needed to, and they got that help -- or, at least Erica did -- from a surprising source, Leo.
The "Leo" regret was one of the key ones way back in Season One, and while the character has popped up from time to time in visits to the past since, he hasn't been as important as he was in that first season. That changed in "Dr. Erica", where Erica learned that Leo was avoiding "moving on", living in a hallway of doors* where he could go back and re-live any day from his life. His perception of time had changed so that it seemed like he'd only been there for a few days, but in reality it'd been 15+ years. Erica implored him to go through the door with the light, but he didn't want his journey to end.
However, as Dr. Naadiah explained to Erica, going through the door isn't an ending, it's a beginning -- the beginning of whatever comes next, and that's exactly what Erica and Dr. Tom were facing. The end of their relationship was just the beginning of the next phase in their lives.
The episode would have been good enough had that been the whole thing (well, that, and a subplot featuring the progression of the Juilanne/Brent relationship), but then there was the twist. Erica got her first real patient -- a development that came complete with visions and a more complete explanation from Dr. Tom about how the Doctor-Patient relationship was first established -- and it turned out to be Dr. Tom's daughter Sarah, bringing everything full circle. While everything that has a beginning has an ending, it's also true that every ending is just a new beginning, which was the message of the episode, and really of the series as a whole.
As a series, "Being Erica" most definitely will be missed, but the journey we got to enjoy for the past four seasons has been incredible, and we, as viewers, can go on to new beginnings knowing the characters will be doing the same.
*Curiously, Leo's hallway of doors resembled the one future Erica showed to Erica in "Please, Please Tell Me Now", which makes me wonder if "Future" Erica was actually "not moved on" Erica. It's entirely possible I'm seeing something that was never intended to be there, but how creepy would it be if "Future" Erica really did die in 2019 and she only came back from her limbo hallway to help Erica get past her hangups and live the last seven-plus years of her life without that burden.