‘Fleishman Is In Trouble’ Episode 3: Recap & Ending, Explained – What Happened In Rachel & Toby’s Lives?


Episode 3 of FX’s new drama “Fleishman is in Trouble” takes a step away from the events of the present to give more insight into Toby’s relationship with his recently divorced wife, Rachel, and also about his own self. After all, the series is about these insights, about the small details that gradually, over time, change individuals and their bonds, and so far, all this has been delightfully presented. Despite being almost entirely about the past, though, “Fleishman is in Trouble” Episode 3 also works on progressing the plot as well, as it gives hints to what is about to follow at the very end.

Spoilers Ahead

‘Fleishman is in Trouble’ Episode 3: Recap And Ending

As Toby returns home after learning that Rachel has not really gone away but has been spotted taking a nap on a park bench by some of her friends, he wonders how he has arrived at such a point in life. It is then the narrator, Libby, who takes us back to the very beginning of Toby and Rachel’s relationship, to the day they first met. After returning from Israel, Toby, Libby, and Seth had become even closer friends and would often meet up with each other. Toby, a young man attending medical school, was quite stiff and picky about small decisions in life and was rather obsessed with the fact that he was still single. Instead of making efforts to explore any chemistry (for Libby admits that she and Toby might have had some of that too), he was more indulged in the fact that no woman took fancy to him in a romantic sense. Around this time, the three friends attended a party, which Toby was not too interested in, until he saw a young woman also without a drink with her, just like him. This woman, a business student, was indeed Rachel, and the two spent the rest of the evening talking and flirting before heading back to Toby’s apartment for a night of casual sex. But what began with such a casual and sudden temper soon grew into something deeper and more effective, as on that very first night, Toby realized he was falling in love with Rachel. The two immediately started dating, spending some beautiful time together, walking long distances, talking, and getting to know each other better. Rachel opened up about how she missed having a family the most, and Toby made it a point to introduce her to his family, who would gather for dinner together every week. Rachel was amazed by how everyone would maintain this familial bond, and she admits this is what she would want from life. Toby could feel the transition from just being in love with someone to wanting to be with them forever, and he soon proposed to Rachel. The woman obviously accepted the proposal, and the two lovers were finally married.

The couple moved into an apartment and lovingly made it their own, even with limited funds and way less affluence than they are seen to have at present. Both were young in their professions, as Toby started to practice medicine during his studies, and Rachel became an agent for the theater. It is probably here that, for the first time, a hint of difference between the two individuals is felt. While Rachel is way more driven and ambitious about making it big, Toby is slightly more laid-back. It is not that he does not think of betterment professionally and socially, but the precise planning that Rachel shows is absent in him. Around this time, the couple attended a very small-scale show by a stage artist called Alejandra Lopez, even though this was mostly Rachel’s idea and Toby just tagged along. This particular event turned their lives around, particularly Rachel’s, as she saw huge potential in Alejandra and promoted her, and the artist became a sensation. While this made Rachel successful and recognized in her field, it also made her immensely busy, as she often had to stay away from professional duties even during late hours. Such a lifestyle was very different from Toby’s, who, despite having a serious and demanding job, had fixed work hours. It was also around this time that Rachel met Toby’s two best friends, making her dislike for them rather well-known. Toby still kept in touch with them after this time, as he visited Libby’s first reading session, but this, too, stopped when Rachel got pregnant with their first baby shortly after. Giving birth had its own complications, too, as, by this time, she had been drawn into the life of having to work extremely hard to stand a chance at professional betterment. Rachel had even, at one point, told Toby how she felt walking was such a waste of her time; an activity they often did together during their initial years of companionship was now something she could easily avoid. After Hanna was born, Rachel had a tough time getting close to her, as the delivery itself was an experience she had not expected to be so painful or unusual. Due to certain complications, the doctor had broken her water manually without letting her know, and she could not live with this either. The more time Rachel spent with the baby, the more the new parents realized that she needed help or therapy of some kind to ease into the role of being a mother. Even after numerous such appointments, Rachel could not bring that side of her out, probably because she is never one to prioritize such things. Eventually, the couple found the savior of their lives—Mona, the woman who was hired by them as the nanny to baby Hanna.

While this side of their lives was somewhat sorted with the presence of Mona, Rachel found a way to return to her professional ambitions. Shortly afterwards, she left her job at the firm she was working for and decided to form her own agency. Now a businesswoman gradually making her way up the ladder of social and professional recognition, Rachel’s perspective and understanding of life further changed. After their second child, Solly was of considerable age, she wanted both her children to be admitted to a prestigious private school with all the amenities and facilities that she could never have as a child. Toby was not too sure of such a step, for he admits he is a supporter of public-school education as a principle and was not convinced that children really required such lavish facilities. Eventually, he agreed to her plan, though, and they got Hanna and Solly admitted to the school. While Toby found himself more and more out of place among the parents of the other kids, Rachel smartly used these opportunities to grow her list of contacts and make her business more successful. After almost fifteen years of love at first and then gradual differences, there finally came a night that marked the end of Toby and Rachel’s marriage. While preparing for a dinner gathering, the two had differences of opinion with regard to a professional opportunity that Toby was getting. In the middle of such a discussion, Rachel received a professional call, and despite Toby’s wishes and wanting Rachel to prioritize their relationship over her work, she picked up the call and brought an end to their conversation. Toby could hold on no longer, and that night during the gathering itself, the two had a nasty fight. When they rejoined the others, these friends pretended to be playing a game of “free pass,” mentioning the names of people one would sleep with if their partner was looking away. While the general rule was to pick celebrities, to keep the playful impossibility of the game intact, Rachel picked the name of someone she actually knew, someone by the name of Sam Rothberg.

At present, this memory strikes a chord in Toby’s mind. If his wife was not responding to his calls and had actually not gone missing, then could it be that she was away with this Sam Rothberg? Toby searches the man up on social media and, from his recent posts, finds out that Rothberg and Rachel had indeed been in locations quite close to each other, only some ten minutes’ drive away. He is now totally convinced that Rachel is not in any danger and has instead been spending time with the man she has always been interested in, Sam Rothberg.

How Had Toby Dealt With His Own Opportunities for Professional Betterment?

While Toby did not possess the sharp intent and planning that Rachel had for her professional career, it was not that the man had no ambitions either. After starting to practice as a doctor at the Thaddeus Hospital, Toby found delight and contentment in the work he was doing. He, too, got involved with his job at times, failing to join Rachel on dates, as we are once shown a situation where Toby is unable to leave the hospital after he and his colleagues are saddened by the loss of a young patient. Gradually over the years, he too had some opportunities to climb the professional ladder, but to Toby, this did not really appear at the top of his list of priorities. He would often take baby Hanna to work with him, taking care of her throughout the day. Later on, when opportunities to head a department or facility came his way, Toby passed on these chances as he wanted to give his young kids some company since Rachel was already heading her own agency by this time. Libby’s narration mentions that Toby did not really have regrets for these missed chances and instead cherished this time he spent with his growing children. Instead, he always felt that Rachel might become regretful someday for not having spent time with the kids. Such a day did not ever come, and it was Toby who grew out of touch with the plans of his wife. He rejected the opportunity that Rachel had presented him with, through her friend, of heading a research department in a corporate pharmaceutical company. Later, on the very day that marked the end of their marriage, the discussion that turned into an argument between him and Rachel was also based on a chance he was getting. He was being made the head of the department, making his salary grow exponentially, but only if he would move to Philadelphia. While Toby presumably wanted to move with his whole family, such an idea was unthinkable for Rachel. To her, New York was the place of her work, and moving to a place like Philadelphia would set her back many years. Perhaps Toby once again had to place his family and fatherly commitments above his professional ambitions, and this time he lost both sides.

What To Expect Next From ‘Fleishman Is In Trouble’ Episode 4?

As episode 3 mostly seems to have sorted out the past events, “Fleishman Is In Trouble,” Episode 4 can be expected to delve into the present, as Toby still tries to track his ex-wife down. Although the earlier concern that Rachel was in some trouble has left his mind, he is now instead more settled on the idea that she is off on a romantic getaway, having left her kids behind. Perhaps we can also expect some more about what the kids are up to, along with the lives of Seth and Libby. So far, “Fleishman is in Trouble” is coming off as a really fresh and unique show presented in great style. Let’s look forward to all that might follow.

See More: ‘Fleishman Is In Trouble’ Episode 4: Recap & Ending, Explained: How Does Toby Deal With His New Suspicion?

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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