Being Erica (2009) s02e12 Episode Script

The Importance of Being Erica

Previously on "Being Erica" You will pack up your desks and be out before lunch.
What is that? A manuscript, and it's amazing.
What if we publish it? Why won't you talk to me about your therapy? Someone died because of me.
How's it going? Travis's suicide was incredibly shocking to all of us, you know.
And Kai took it really hard.
'Cause, baby, I'm an alien like you Was "Alien Like You" one of those songs? Nah, that was all mine.
I In fact, I never finished writing it.
Erica, starting your own publishing company, it's a risky move.
It might not work out.
Why're you being so negative? I'm sorry, I just don't think it's a good idea.
You don't think it's a good idea? I think you're being impulsive.
You know what? I'm sorry I even brought it up.
Come on, Erica, you just lost your first job in publishing and now you wanna run your own business? A lot of people start their own companies.
A lot of people also fail at it.
You don't think that I can do this.
Wow, that's great.
Look, I'm just being honest.
You don't know anything about running a business.
Well, then I'll figure it out.
And what if you can't? What happens then? Look, try and be realistic here.
Do you honestly believe you're ready, 100%? Yes.
I I don't know.
You're getting ahead of yourself.
You're jumping in totally blind.
It's too risky.
Maybe you're right.
Slow and steady wins the race, okay? Yeah.
it's clearer inside of me who I will always be open me up to my heart feels like I'm seeing in the dark waking me up to my heart to do it all over again and again until the end the sum of my dreams and everything I ever wanted to be Have you ever woken up and had that feeling like something just isn't right? Like you've slept all night, but still aren't rested? Like there's a weight, a heaviness in your heart that you can't quite name? Ethan? Hey.
What're you doing up? Habit, I guess.
How're you feeling? Good.
You sure? Yeah.
I mean, everything that you said last night, it it makes sense.
I'm just processing it.
I love you.
I love you, too.
See you tonight? Definitely.
Have you ever woken up in your own bed and just felt lost? Hello? Rise and shine, chicken.
Julianne, it's not even 8:00.
She can tell time, good, because our level two Ashtanga class starts in less than an hour.
It's a slippery slope, Strange.
One morning you sit down to watch "Oprah.
" Two years later, you're agoraphobic, morbidly obese, and sharing your apartment with 53 cats.
Cautionary tale.
You are not gonna let me sleep in.
No way, Jose! Plus, this is yoga and our first business meeting, so chop-chop! I gotta say, your demo It's righteous, guys.
A bit raw, of course, but it's good.
So you, uh Got the song I sent, right? We did.
The boys have it, we're on it.
Good to hear.
Any thoughts, Kai? Yeah, song's okay.
I guess.
It's commercial.
It's not a bad thing, you know.
See, your sound's a bit too garage band.
But we sign with you, we sing your song, you'll get us a record deal.
And if we do, who steers our ship? You or us? I'll tell you what.
I'll bring some guys from Universal to uh this open mic night.
Just play the song and you'll be golden.
Okay? But you blow it? We'll be gone before the chorus.
Got it? See ya tonight, boys.
"Who steers our ship?" Are you insane? He wants to sign the band.
I know, but we have to protect ourselves.
I'm serious, man, if you screw this up for us, then this whole thing-- the band, our friendship? It's over! Oh! Hello, stranger.
So I loved it.
The manuscript? Yeah! That's great.
I liked the book.
You should be happy.
I am.
It's just Julianne, I don't think I can do this.
I can't start a business.
What? Why? Hi, everyone.
Welcome to class.
My name's Jess.
Just take it at your own pace today.
And remember to listen to your body.
Let's begin, standing with feet hip-width apart.
Arms at your sides.
from here, come to stand on the knees, to prepare for camel.
Now we're gonna open our hearts.
Inhale, lift up through the chest.
Then, as you exhale, trace your eyes along the ceiling to the back wall and reach for your heels.
See if you can lift up through the chest.
Open Open And breathe.
You're doing great.
No, no, it's okay.
It happens.
You're just releasing what you were feeling.
Excuse me I'm sorry.
Erica! Erica, hold up.
What is it? What's wrong? I don't--I don't know.
I'm just, I I'm acting insane.
Is this about our plan? The manuscript? You said you couldn't do it.
Why not? Look, I talked with Ethan and It's too risky.
I'm a junior editor, and I'm barely that.
Listen, I admit it, yesterday I was a "Debbie Downer.
" But then I thought about what you said and I realized you were right.
We have this amazing opportunity here to do something bigger.
And we're smart, and we have had successes and we both want this.
Don't you want this? Well, no risk, no reward, sister.
Oh, God.
I'm just so confused right now.
Just, just Think about it, okay? Okay You look like a man on a mission.
I'm done fighting.
Everybody wants me to finish the stupid regret-- you, Erica.
Now I've had it, so screw it.
I'm sick of arguing about it.
What're you gonna do? I'm gonna finish the damn song and go back.
The question is: Are you happy? Do I look happy? My apartment runs outta hot water every morning.
I can barely afford to eat.
My friends all talk and act like teenagers.
Me and Travis? I resent him and he hates me.
I feel like like you've made things worse, not better.
I'm worn down.
And I get it, I can't I can't save him, I know-- it doesn't matter what I do.
This therapy's not about changing the past, Kai.
It never was.
So what is the point of it? That's for you to figure out.
I am lost, Dr.
Really? You're three blocks from your house.
Oh that kind of lost.
I mean, Ethan's reasons for not opening a business totally make sense.
But what Julianne had to say I mean, it does, too.
So whose advice do I follow? Come with me.
I wanna show you something.
"Every wall is a door.
" Emerson.
Go ahead.
Where are we going? Where indeed.
Choose a door.
Just any door? Oh, help me out here.
I need some context.
I mean, what am I What am I supposed to do and how do I choose? One day, Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a cheshire cat.
"Which road do I take?" She asked.
"Where do you want to go?" Was his response.
"I don't know," answered Alice.
"Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter.
" I don't understand.
It's not complicated.
You can't stay in this hallway forever.
You have to choose.
But how?! I mean, how am I supposed to decide? Which one feels right? Honestly, I don't know.
So Wait! Dr.
Tom, wait! You followed me.
Well, where else was I supposed to go? Okay.
So, tell me about "sillyfingers.
" Just okay Wait a second.
You just threw me down the rabbit hole and I have no idea why.
Can we just please back up here? Erica, you had three choices back there.
Choice one: Choose a door.
Choice two: Stay in the hallway, undecided.
Or choice three: Follow me.
Okay, so clearly I made the wrong choice, but that's just because I don't understand what you're trying to tell me.
Ergo "sillyfingers.
" Okay, it was It was 1999, I'd just started my master's program.
I was working part-time as a T.
for my thesis advisor, Professor Audrey Hogan.
She was this Rhodes scholar, Phd from Oxford, and I'd fought to get her.
And then lived to regret it.
She was brilliant, but she didn't suffer fools.
I mean, everyone was terrified of her, including me.
And when she would do something that would stress me out, I would email Cassidy-- 'cause her office, it was just down the hall from mine.
We would write the most awful things.
This one time, Hogan, she got me really worked up, so I emailed Cassidy, she wrote me back, and instead of hitting reply I forwarded the message to Hogan by mistake.
And I didn't even know that I did it until an hour later when she called me into her office to inform me that she was withdrawing as my thesis advisor.
I was formally reprimanded, I was assigned to a new Professor who basically ignored me.
I used to love academics.
You know, I thrived in that world, until my masters.
And it's like Hogan and that whole stupid incident, it it tarnished it for me.
So, you're saying that you might have stayed on, gotten your Phd? Maybe.
And if you could go back? Well, obviously, I wouldn't have sent the email.
Okay Okay No.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no! Oh shit! No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no-no-no! No-no-no-no! Oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God! Erica, what's wrong? No, there's no time.
That email? I- accidentally, I hit "forward," not "reply.
" Hogan, not Holland Oh, my God.
You sent that, all of that, to her? Yeah! Come, come on! Excuse me! Move it! Abort, abort.
Okay, don't worry, I got this.
I need to speak to Professor Hogan.
Oh, I'm sorry, but she's not in.
Can I give her a message? She gave me a "D" on my Caleb Williams paper.
And I can't get a "D.
" Okay, well, I'm afraid I can't help you.
I'll just call her at home myself, then.
Hey! Uh, let me call you back.
Uh, excuse me, you can't look in there.
Excuse me.
What are you gonna do, huh? Call security? It doesn't matter because Professor Hogan has already ruined my life.
See, my father was a lawyer and my father's father was lawyer, and his father Oh, thank God! But he worked with lawyers nonetheless, and I am the last one! I wanna go to arbitration, I want a second opinion.
Erica, I don't know what I'm gonna do.
This is so unfair, she failed me! Oh, you know what? You're gonna be fine.
Let's go.
Look, Professor Hogan, she'll be back any minute.
If your friend wants to wait No, no, I think that it's better if she just cools down for a bit, thank you.
Oh, if she had gotten that email, it would've been so bad.
You have no idea.
"The Importance of Being Earnest" is a memorable title.
But what does it communicate? What is Wilde trying to tell us? Yes? I think he's using the title to reinforce the play's message, which is the importance of honesty.
All right, but let's not forget the recurring theme of hypocrisy.
Jack is living a lie, and yet all turns out well in the end.
Where's the morality in that? Erica.
What's your view? My view.
Um I think that you both make very good points.
There's a kind of unconventional honesty to the way that Algernon is living, whereas Jack, he appears more conflicted.
Well, thank you for that summary, but I asked for a point of view.
Your own.
It appears you don't have one.
Come in.
Have a seat.
We are meeting to discuss your thesis proposal, yes? Yes, but I was hoping we could talk about what happened in class today? Erica, my time is valuable.
If you wish to spend it rehashing this morning's events, well, that is your choice.
I think your time would be better spent presenting your proposal.
Okay, my proposed thesis is titled "The Woman in the Attic: Hidden feminism in Bronte's Jane Eyre.
" I see.
That's it? Well, if you must choose the blandest possible thesis topic, who am I to stand in your way? Bland?! Professor Hogan, I have put a lot of research into this.
Oh, I'm sure you did.
But as thesis topics go, you must know that it is pedestrian, it's boring, and it's been done.
Regardless, your thesis is approved.
Thank you.
I didn't even send the email and, I swear, she hates me more than before.
Well, she's crazy, clearly.
I mean you're so smart, so talented, so adorable Okay.
Just tell her to shove it.
Really? Yeah.
Just 'cause the woman has a Phd doesn't make her God.
You need to confront her and tell her off.
Um that's the worst idea.
I don't know.
When I stood up to Lozar, I mean, things got better.
Yeah, but Lozar wasn't the head of the English Department.
Oh, my God.
Is that what they teach you in teacher's college, huh? Hierarchies, and blind submission? Why're you chewing my head off? Because university is about passion, it's about original thought and taking a stand.
Think about the '60s, or Vietnam Trust me, most students in the '60s weren't sticking flowers in guns, or taking acid trips at Woodstock.
They were at university to learn and to graduate and get real jobs.
Okay, I need to go now.
Oh, wait Hey, Cassidy.
No, really.
If everyone was as complacent as your friend Ethan here, you and I wouldn't even be allowed to go to university.
Someone needs to chill out.
Seriously, Erica, you can't afford to alienate your advisor.
You need to win Hogan over.
Yeah, but how? I have no idea what she wants.
Then ask her.
Get her involved! People love being asked for advice.
That's what I would do.
Professor Hogan? Can I talk to you? Well, if you can keep up with me.
I was thinking about what you said about my thesis.
And, of course, the last thing I want is to present a topic that's underwhelming.
Do you have another topic in mind? Actually, I was wondering if you had any ideas, or any suggestions.
Are you asking me to come up with your thesis proposal? No, no, I'm just I'm just asking for some guidance.
You're asking me to do the work for you.
Remind me, why exactly are you in this Masters program? Um I'm just trying to give you what you want.
This has nothing to do with me.
It is your thesis, your degree, your life.
Figure it out, Ms.
Strange! And do it with another thesis advisor.
Frankly, I don't have the time for this.
Professor Hogan, you can't just-- Yes.
I can.
You find someone else.
I'm withdrawing as your advisor.
Erica, what are you doing here? This is my level 200 class.
I need to talk to you.
Well, I am not going to change my mind.
I know, but I wanna understand what I did to make you dislike me.
You never answered my question.
Why are you in the Masters program? Because I need my degree.
You need your degree.
You know, Erica, when I was your age, there wasn't one female tenured Professor in this faculty.
But I didn't care, because I knew that this was what I was meant to do.
Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to watch students waste years hiding out in university when they could be pursuing their dreams? And how do you know I'm hiding out? Because you can't answer the most basic question.
Why are you here? You're a bright girl, Erica.
What do you want to do with your life? I wanna be an editor.
I wanna publish books.
And I wanna start my own company-- as crazy as that sounds.
You know, Erica? when I told my father that one day I wanted to chair the English Department, he laughed in my face.
Leave the degrees to the academics; you follow your heart, Erica.
Don't you let anyone try to stop you.
Thank you, Professor.
You're welcome.
Hey, Julianne, uh what're you doing right now? And so, if my crazy mini nervous breakdown didn't put you off the idea, I would still really like to do this.
Okay, this morning, it was all too "risky" and then now it's Peachy? I mean, Erica, what's the dealio? Oh, I don't know.
You know what? Actually, I do know.
Ethan, he convinced me that it was a bad idea.
Oh, well, maybe it is for Ethan.
But he's not you.
What does that mean? Well, no offense, but Ethan's not exactly Jean Claude van Damme.
You know? I mean, he plays it pretty safe.
You know, he'll come around.
Look, I just wanna make sure, before I say yes, that you're not gonna change your mind again, or let him change it for you.
I promise.
How "stoked" am I?! Partner.
Kai? Hey.
What're you doing here? I know you said you needed your space.
I'm not here to get in the way but I need to tell you something.
Yeah, no, of course.
What's wrong? Well, I finished my regret.
I'm finished writing "Alien Like You," but I'm still here.
Why am I still here? I don't understand.
Is Dr.
Fred just messing with me? Is this some kind of test? Everything is a test with them.
Hey, listen, can I ask you? What What made you decide to finally go through with it? When I first got here, things were great.
Travis was alive.
There was no money, no drugs So you decided to stay.
And it was great for a while.
But I feel like I'm messing it up with band, with Travis.
I keep trying to change things, it's not working.
Kai, the therapy, it's It's not really about changing the past.
That's what Dr.
Fred said.
It's true.
You learn that little lesson pretty quick.
Then what's the point? What do they want us to do? Oh, come on, Kai, it's called "therapy" for a reason.
I mean changing your past, it's easy.
But changing yourself? It's much harder.
You have to figure out why you're really here.
How? I honestly--I've got-- I have no idea.
Um Okay.
What are you doing? I am helping you.
Please, have a seat.
Erica? Just indulge me.
So, Kai Booker, let's go back to the beginning.
Please explain to me why was "Alien Like You" a regret? Okay, if we're gonna do this, you gotta talk like a normal person.
Sorry, I just got a little carried away there.
Well, that song was just honest.
It was how I felt when I wrote it.
I wasn't trying to please anyone or sell records.
I was just Being true to yourself.
If I was Dr.
Tom, I would say "This above all, to thine own self be true.
" Shakespeare.
It sounds better when he does it, but you get what I'm saying.
How can you be true to yourself in your current situation? What can you do? So? So, I guess I should find the guys, huh? Yeah.
Can I ask you something? Sure.
If this all works and I go back, what's it gonna be like when I get there? The same for the most part.
And will I remember everything? Will I remember you? Yes.
So, should I look you up? Please, Kai, don't.
And if you're going to, don't tell me because it's just too weird to think about.
Plus, I'll be 40.
More like 42 I'm gonna miss you.
But you'll be fine, right? I mean you got Ethan.
I bet you won't even notice I'm gone.
Yes, I will.
Erica Hey Go.
I'll come and see you after.
Now, folks, put your hands together and give it up for my favorite band-- Head.
Hey, man.
I'm sorry I've been letting you down.
No worries.
You okay, man? Yeah, I'm fine.
I'm great.
Hey, how's everybody doin' tonight? We're gonna play a song for you.
It's called "Alien Like You.
" Took me a while to finish it, so you're the first ones to hear this song in its entirety.
What the hell are you doing? Come on, man.
I know what you're feeling it's hard to believe in that home must be millions and millions of light-years away so let the stars align let the water make wine 'cause broken souls will become whole tonight oh, tonight we know it's right, so lift your eyes and let me in 'cause, baby, I'm an alien like you will you ever let me be an alien with you Aren't you tired of running from what you're becoming the truth is it's useless there's nowhere to go it's not going to find you so let the heavens flare and let's not be scared 'cause we know love's a world above this one it's like the sun, so lift your eyes and let me in 'cause, baby, I'm an alien like you will you ever let me be an alien with you So, guys, it's time to hire a lawyer.
You'll need to, uh, sign some contracts tomorrow.
You got balls playing a song like that.
Good job, huh? Nice work.
Kai! That was incredible! Thank you.
I mean, it was just It was It was perfect! And I am so glad that you sang that song.
I'm sorry, I don't mean to be rude, but I have a terrible memory for names.
Who are you again? I'm nobody.
I'm just a fan.
Thank you.
Hey, there.
Where were you? Look, I'm sorry, I shoulda left a message.
But I just got caught up and then, before I knew it, it was late and Hey, did you have dinner? There's some left over pasta in the fridge.
If you're hungry, I could heat it up.
No, thanks, I'm not really hungry.
Um Look, Ethan I There's a lot going on in my head right now and I kinda need to talk about it.
Okay, let's talk.
Okay, well, I I met with Julianne today.
And I told her that I am gonna go into business with her.
I see.
Okay, well what do you expect me to say? I want you to say that you understand and that you get how much this means to me.
I can't because I don't.
I don't understand why you wanna take on that kind of stress and turn your life upside down.
Because it's exciting and it's challenging.
And I know that you're just looking out for me, but please, just back me up on this one.
Okay? No.
I'm sorry.
Ethan it's my career.
Yes, but this is our life together, Erica.
We have to start thinking about the future and what we want.
Okay, and what is that, exactly? Not this.
Not you running from job to job and getting fired one day and then opening a business the next.
I mean, come on.
You know, if the situation was reversed-- You'd support me.
I'm being a shitty boyfriend because I'm being honest.
Look that's not what I'm saying.
Well the situation wouldn't be reversed, 'cause I wouldn't do this.
So there's nothing else that you want? I mean, you've You've got it all? Yes.
I have a career that I love, and good friends.
And I have you.
And in ten years from now? Ten years? We're married, we have kids, a dog and a house.
And I'm still teaching, and you're working, and life's simple.
And we'll be happy.
Hey Are you crying? No.
I'm not crying, I'm not crying.
I'm just I am freaking out right now.
I thought you wanted this.
I did.
But right now we are we are in completely different places.
And there's this voice inside of me that is telling me something that I don't wanna hear.
Erica, look and I'm trying so hard not to hear it.
I don't think that we're right for each other.
What? And there's no amount of talking that's gonna fix it, Ethan.
It's just It's a fundamental difference between us.
You know, whether it's our sex life, or my career, or the future I mean every time I try to step outside of the box a little, it's like you keep trying to push me in.
And I think that we should break up.
Erica, don't.
You're overreacting.
We're just having a conversation.
You don't just give up because-- Ethan, I am not giving up.
But if we keep going, we're gonna keep pulling in different directions until we tear this thing apart.
And even though I can't stand the thought of you not in my life I also can't keep shutting out this voice inside of me that's telling me that this isn't right.
I can't believe this is happening.
I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.
Ethan, I'm sorry.
Please, Ethan.
Ethan Ethan Block all the windows I know it sounds simple but you never know who's listening turn off the tv I know it sounds crazy but I can feel you coming in 'cause there's a ghost in this house when he sings it sounds just like you when he falls it brings me down too so I put myself to sleep and the birds out on the street they keep talking 'bout the year I can hear it I can hear it 'cause there's a ghost in this house when he sings it sounds just like you When he falls he brings me down too Honey Doesn't get easier to do hey, are you sure you wanna have drinks here? I mean, you know, you and Ethan No, you know what? It's fine, Jude.
This place has a lot of memories-- good memories.
Okay, well Then you find us a table, and I will get us some drinks.
'Cause I'm unemployed.
You won't find him here.
For some reason, I kind of knew that.
He quit yesterday.
But Jody signed the band, he's already got them working on their line-up for V-fest.
That was fast.
Strike while the iron's hot.
And Kai? I mean, the Kai that I know? He's adjusting.
You remember what it was like.
I do.
Thanks, by the way.
Take care.
Hello, Erica.
Where have you been? Waiting until you were ready.
I broke up with Ethan.
I know.
Kai, he's gone back where he belongs.
I have no job, no boyfriend And how does that feel? It feels scary, but strangely, okay.
And why is that? It's like talking to Ethan, it made me realize how much I've changed.
Everything that you've taught me, it's made me braver somehow.
And fear, it no longer holds me back.
It It actually motivates me, if that makes sense.
"We cannot teach people anything.
We can only help them discover it within themselves.
" Galileo.
It's time, Erica.
Choose a door.
Knot your fingers through mine and we'll walk from this dark room for the last time every minute from this minute now we can do what we like that one.
Right there.
Tell me that you'll open your eyes tell me that you'll open your eyes tell me that you'll open your eyes
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