Brian’s dad has a short time to make his son’s day by agreeing to be his best man, even if the idea of a gay wedding makes him uncomfortable. Jimmy helps Alice get over her latest round of depression about her deceased mom. Sean and Liz head into business together. And Gaby looks for a second job with a little help from Paul.
It’s truly one half of an hour of TV — you can’t take that away from it.
Shrinking recap: ‘Closure’
Season 1, episode 10: In the episode, entitled “Closure,” Jimmy (played by Jason Segel) has decided to purge the house of his dead wife’s things — and to stop wearing his wedding ring. His daughter Alice (Lukita Maxwell), notices and it makes her furious. She’s been on a tear lately after forgetting her mom’s birthday. And everything Jimmy does gets her hackles up.
Sean (Luke Tennie) is making good on Liz (Christa Miller) and Derek’s (Ted McGinley) investment and confidence by presenting some of his culinary creations. They love his food, but Liz has a problem. She wants to be more involved in his catering biz. She knows, however, that she has a cloying management style and might be too much for a young entrepreneur to handle.
Liz talks it over with Derek and Gaby (Jessica Williams), but she’s still not confident in herself. When she finally asks Sean, he says yes, because of course he does. Everyone gets everything they want all the time on Shrinking. Even Paul (Harrison Ford) mended the relationship with his daughter.
Meanwhile, Brian (Michael Urie) tells Jimmy he’s not still smarting after his father turned down his offer to be the best man at his wedding to Charlie (Devin Kawaoka). But he, of course, is. When Jimmy and Sean talk to Brian’s dad that night at a party, he says he’d be uncomfortable at his son’s gay wedding. (The show glosses over this a little too quickly in my book, but hey, don’t let me ruin Shrinking’s vibe.)
They try to tell the old man that he’ll regret it if he says no. Jimmy would know from regrets about fatherhood, after all. Paul steps up to remind Jimmy he’s not doing all bad, and gives him a hug after his advice to mend fences with his daughter.
Grace, Gaby and a long-winded wedding
It’s also going better for Jimmy’s patient Grace (Heidi Gardner) because she’s coming to the conclusions Jimmy wanted her to come to on her own about her abusive husband, Donny (Tilky Jones). She’s becoming more assertive and understands herself better. And she thanks Jimmy for the breakthrough.
Gaby, applying for a professorship at a local college, asks Paul for a recommendation. He says no because he doesn’t want to, but Gaby tells Liz about this. So Liz storms into Paul’s office to complain. Her chiding apparently sinks in, because Paul comes to Gaby’s interview and personally vouches for her. So Gaby gets the job.
Brian’s dad finally agrees to be the best man. And Jimmy overcomes his fear and anxiety to give his officiation speech. And of course he makes it all about himself and his dead wife and his own personal growth for the first half-hour of the six-hour speech. (I’m joking, but man does that scene drag on and on and on.) Then everyone dances and has a great time and all is healed and beautiful.
Never gonna fall for this one
But then comes the cliffhanger, literally. Grace and Donny are on a hike, and he calls her all kinds of horrible names (realistically drawn stuff, let me tell you). So she shoves him off a cliff to his possible death. Naturally, this will land Jimmy in hot water later, because Grace will probably tell people her therapist told her to do it — so there’s your Shrinking season two story arc.
Jimmy’ll be exonerated and celebrated because he tried to get Grace to see her self-worth and she was pushed too far. He’s not going to jail — it’s not that kind of show. Brian will deliver Jimmy’s defense, and it’ll be showstopping “this guy sees the best in us” type stuff.
My guess is the whole community shows up for the exoneration. Then Sean will get the key to the city or whatever for his excellent food truck (after initial growing pains with Liz). Jimmy’ll beat the charges and propose to Gaby in the season finale.
Coming in Shrinking season three?
In season three, they’ll probably bring a new therapist into the office while Jimmy and Gaby plan their wedding. I’m gonna say Paul probably has to go to the hospital due to his Parkinson’s disease, but he’ll climactically re-emerge during the season’s final stretch. They’ll probably kill off the character, though, with teary-eyed bedside monologues from everyone. Maybe Derek will suffer a health scare, too. You can sense how excited I am for all of this.
Before I go, I need to flag the unbelievable self-aggrandizement from Segel in the actual Shrinking season one finale. Jessica Williams spouts a whole monologue about how good his character is in bed. Gross. See you next season.
Watch Shrinking on Apple TV+
You can now watch the entire first season of Shrinking on Apple TV+. The half-hour comedy series, which continues to rank among the most popular shows on Apple TV+, has been renewed for a second season.
Watch on: Apple TV+
Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of the long-running video essay series The Unloved for RogerEbert.com. He has written for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Nylon Magazine. He is the author of Cinemaphagy: On the Psychedelic Classical Form of Tobe Hooper, the director of 25 feature films, and the director and editor of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at Patreon.com/honorszombie.