Shrinking – Season 1 Episode 4 “Potatoes” Recap & Review


In Shrinking Season 1 Episode 4, Sean continues to live with Jimmy, who doesn’t see a problem with their arrangement. Paul, of course, is ever the voice of reason in Jimmy’s life. Sean is going to open up to him as his therapist if he sees him as his friend. And true to reason, Sean doesn’t want to talk to Jimmy about his time in Afghanistan.

He’s not the only one with trouble opening up. Paul can’t seem to gather the courage to tell his daughter Meg about his Parkinson’s. Brian needs her to sign Paul’s medical power of attorney. But when she briefly visits Paul, their discussion reflects a strained relationship, and only ends in Paul asking to spend more time with her and her family.

Jimmy continues his invasive methods of therapy by making a home visit to his OCD patient. But he has to rush out when she mistakes his visit as romantic interest.

Later, Jimmy finds Alice and Gaby hanging out. Gaby encourages Alice to be more open with her dad, so Alice shares that they were talking about how she once slept with Liz’s son Connor. Jimmy tries to be the “cool dad,” but he can’t help it. He goes up to the balcony and starts yelling at Liz to stop interfering in his life. 

He claims that not only did her son take advantage of his daughter; she’s responsible for Paul knowing that Sean is staying with them. He’s tired of her sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. Gaby hears all of this, and for the first time, starts to feel bad for Liz.

Afterwards, Jimmy runs into Sean and guilts him for not opening up. Of course, this doesn’t work, only causing Sean to angrily walk away.

Connor comes home from college to visit, but he’d rather hit the jacuzzi and text Alice than spend time with Liz and Derek. Gaby approaches Liz to tell her she didn’t deserve the things Jimmy said to her. Liz confesses it saddens her that everyone thinks of her as only a mom. Maybe she got too invested in Alice. But what was she supposed to do when no one else was caring for her?

Jimmy decides to have a chat with Connor. Eventually, he cools down and assures Connor they didn’t do anything wrong. Connor, in turn, asks if he can put in a good word for him to Alice–but Jimmy won’t go that far.

Jimmy then apologizes to Liz for being so out of line. He finally thanks her for all she’s done in the past year to help him and Alice. Liz and Gaby invite him to drink with them, and they get on the topic of Alice. The women assure Jimmy it’s not Connor he has to worry about when it comes to Alice, but Sean. But Jimmy isn’t concerned about them.

That night, Jimmy goes to the pool house to apologize to Sean for how he acted earlier. He didn’t mean to push him too hard about Afghanistan. Sean invites him to watch a game with him.

Later, Alice pokes her head into the pool house to talk to Sean, but he’s asleep. Not seeing her dad there, she comments to herself about how beautiful Sean is. It turns out Jimmy might have to worry about Sean after all.

The Episode Review

I think Paul’s potatoes contain a lesson Jimmy has yet to learn fully. You can’t just bite into a raw potato like an apple, as Jimmy does. You have to go through one of the pre-established methods of cooking it. It’s the same with Jimmy’s clients. He’s trying to take shortcuts to healing with his clients, just as he once tried with himself. It simply can’t work for them in the long run.

I’m looking forward to seeing how Shrinking is going to handle the process of Jimmy’s self-realization, even if I’m a bit frustrated with the lack of believability of his current process. He just discovered Grace is still with her husband in the last episode, he can’t get Sean to open up, one of his clients kissed him–and yet he still thinks he’s doing the right thing?

On the one hand, it makes sense that Jimmy, experiencing grief himself, is grasping for friends in his life. But surely this new revelation about Alice will give him pause in how personally he deals with his clients.

Previous Episode

Next Episode

You can read our season 1 review of Shrinking here!

  • Episode Rating

Leave a comment