Season finale: Being Erica

The session is over

Being Erica finale

Therapy is a process. Therapy takes work. Apparently, it also involves time travel. But is it ever truly over?

With Being Erica – aka Quantum Leap for girls – let’s hope not.

For 13 episodes, we’ve followed Erica over a well structured arc of stories in which we’ve got to know her, her friends, her family and potential boyfriends. While there has been the occasionally dull episode and Erika’s been a touch whiney at times, there haven’t been any real stinkers. It has, perhaps, veered into the absurd too many times, with Erica’s life in publishing not the most well observed of office workplaces – more in keeping with daft-as-a-brush Sophie than a show that at times has shown depth and pathos. Some of the characters have been a little wet and pathetic, and others have been moustache-twirlers of the most villainous sorts. Nevertheless, almost always worth watching if you have a sensitive bone in you.

While much of the wisdom imparted in the show has been of the blindingly obvious kind, it has at least been about making Erica do things that she might not have done and then the realisations about herself that her interference brings about. And it’s had a few clever moments, with Erica going back to change what she changed in previous episodes when it turns out she made a few cock-ups. With each episode more or less ending in a cliffhanger, it’s been a show worth waiting for each week.

The finale
The finale is slightly odd and strangely doom-laden compared to the preceding episodes, with roving all-powerful therapist Dr Tom offering Erica the chance to say goodbye to her brother before he died. Erica can’t resist the chance to stop his death and despite the show previously showing that changing the past isn’t a biggie in the grand scheme of things, everything goes pear-shaped, offering us a brief glimpse of a world in which Erica is now a complete bitch, feared by everyone. The glance is so brief and the alternative world so unexplored, with no real explanation of why the world has become so different, it makes you wonder if they’ll return to it in season two.

Equally interestingly, it gives us a glimpse behind Dr Tom’s curtain, as it’s revealed that he answers to someone, that there are other therapists like him and that if Erica ever changes anything too much, the universe will compensate somehow, to the extent of killing people if necessary.

Whether we’ll get to meet him and Erica again is a trickier question. Season one feels quite complete in itself. Erica’s life is on track, most of the questions and dilemmas in her life that needed fixing have been fixed and Dr Tom has gone. There’s a sense of closure already, despite the show’s cliffhanger ending. If the show weren’t to come back, it at least wouldn’t feel like we’d been cheated.

The ratings for the show haven’t been that great, especially since it’s slightly useless move to a Wednesday has pitched it against some big hitters in the ratings, giving it just shy of 500,000 viewers. It along with The Border and Little Mosque on the Prairie will be back, but with reduced episode counts thanks to CBC’s financial difficulties. So whether there’ll be changes to the show to meet the curtailed season or how much of a season it will get, is difficult to say.

I do hope it comes back. The main characters are involving, even if some of the supporting characters aren’t desperately compelling. It’s simultaneously intelligent while frothy and entertaining. And from time to time, it has the ability to surprise and bring a tear to the eye.

  • What a great review! I think the show is a cross between Quantum Leap and Northern Exposure. Soapnet is still 3 episodes back, so thanks for the finale preview.

  • Wait a minute! Quantum Leap wasn’t for girls?

  • @Persephone: Quantum Leap was for everyone. Being Erika is almost explicitly for girls. Although I do love that kind of thing.
    @corey: glad you liked it! Thanks for dropping by and hope you enjoy the last few episodes.

  • Anonymous

    “Being Erika is almost explicitly for girls.”
    While the storyline is certainly told from the female perspective, I’m not convinced its exclusively for them. The struggle of dealing with the consequences of past mistakes and regret for opportunities lost are universal ones.

  • a) That’s why I said almost
    b) If it had been exclusively for girls, I wouldn’t be watching, would I?

  • Sweety

    Great serie.
    Indeed it is great to watch and I guess men and women regret often things.
    Cool to know also men watch it.
    When I talk to friends of mine, well they never look it, they say it’s a girl thing.
    Ok, I am a woman, but like you men say, it isn’t only for women.
    Take care you all.
    Rob, you’re great to say that you watch it!!

  • Sue

    “Persephone wrote: Wait a minute! Quantum Leap wasn’t for girls?”
    alol that is exactly what I thought when I read that, too!

  • Finally, I have made it to the finale! Now that I’ve seen all the episodes, I do not agree its just quantum leap rehash or even Northern Exposure. I think the show builds from elements of both to be its own freestanding work of television.
    Regarding the last episode, wow, what a powerful episode and it wraps up the season so well. I don’t think the storyline needed Erica going back and saving her brother. It was strong enough with her getting Leo to write the letter and planting it for later discovery. But, I guess Jana Sinyor needed a vehicle for next season since Erica’s issues are now all resolved (maybe she works on tom’s issues next year?).
    Regarding the ending, the conversation/sex scenes with Ethan were out of place. That would have been a good launching point for next season’s first episode. They should have ended this episode/season with the family was trying to drive the stakes for the barn, then have Erica walk back into the farmhouse and transported to her new therapist’s office.
    But hey, these critiques are minor. This is still the best show I have seen in well over a decade if not longer. Jana Sinyor, thanks for creating this show, I’d make you latte any day!

  • dr tomms

    [this is good] The finale was weird, i would prefer if we had a more inview in erica’s life if leo survived.
    I dont know how season 2 will turn out. Cause the “Nadia” new terapyst thing is strange.
    Im a man and i love being erica. Just because a show is meant to attrac female viewers from a certain age doesnt mean that men cant watch or wont like.
    I watch shows like being erica, drop dead diva, that people can say are meant for women, but i dont care. But also i dislike shows like desperate housewives and gossip girl because are too cheesy or typical at least from my point of view =).