Episode 6 of “Fleishman is in Trouble” is arguably more internal and thoughtful than the last couple of episodes, which had a number of events taking place. Toby’s life and thoughts once again start to scatter, but this time he seems to cope better. Also, finally, the series takes a major shift from Toby’s life to that of Libby, as was being built-up in the previous episodes, and for the first time, perhaps, we get an idea of the other side as well.
‘Fleishman is in Trouble’ Episode 6: Recap And Ending
After reconnecting with his kids and perhaps growing closer to them than before, Toby Fleishman finds new hope and inspiration in life. He thinks of the human origin exhibit at his favorite museum, and upon revisiting the place, he realizes that human evolution was basically survival, for which it was required to recover and move forward. Toby decides that he will spend the rest of the summer trying to recover from the past few weeks and move on with life. One night, while reading to Solly at night, the boy brings to Toby’s attention the large spot on the ceiling of their room and the fact that it has been growing bigger every day. This spot, possibly from water leakage or mold, knocks on Toby’s conscience, reminding him that he, too, has such ever-growing spots in life that he needs to get rid of. The man once again visits Nahid and asks her to just go outside of her house with him and do some activity, with no fancy dinner date or anything such in mind. But Nahid is sure she does not want to do this, as she has always stated, and Toby now tells her that their arrangement is no longer feasible for him. The only bond that the two had with each other during these past few weeks was merely sexual, and Toby did not want it to be that way. Realizing that there is nothing more possible out of it, he decides to stay away from Nahid and gets rid of an ever-growing discomfort in his life.
While he is happy that he has learned to set boundaries in his new life, Toby gets more excited about a message from the hospital telling him to meet with his superior doctor the next morning. Toby is almost certain that this meeting will be for a due promotion for the position of subdivision head, something that he has been eyeing for quite some time now. He shares about this upcoming meeting with his kids and enjoys their excitement and validation regarding it as well. However, Toby can hardly believe what his superior tells him once he gets to the meeting; in fact, he even hears all these sentences jumbled up, with the words all over the place. Instead of promoting Toby to the role of subdivision head, the hospital had decided to hire someone from outside. That someone, too, used to be a batchmate of Toby’s at medical school. The reason that the superior gives for Toby having missed this promotion is that he had taken multiple personal leaves in the last three or so weeks. Despite Toby having had only a few bad weeks in recent times over a period of almost fifteen years working at the hospital, the opportunity has already passed for him. Our protagonist does not know how to even react to and accept this in his life; he tries to toughen up, but that works against him too. When a junior doctor asks for Toby’s recommendation on his application, Toby acts in an unfriendly manner and even asks the younger man to address him professionally. On the other hand, one of his closest assistants, Joanie, tries to comfort him by talking about how he had done nothing wrong, and Toby ends up asking her out for dinner. Although he probably does this to get rid of the loneliness that he still feels in life, and it might not necessarily be a romantic or sexual proposal, Joanie is obviously stunned and disgusted by such an offer. She makes her way out of the situation, and it is clear that she no longer wants to be friendly with Toby. The health of the patient, who had earlier had a liver transplant, deteriorates further as she suffers a rare outcome of the surgery that leaves her almost brain-dead. Toby has to deal with her helpless but also frustrated husband amidst all this personal strain, and the husband claims that it was unfair that the surgery of his wife had resulted in something that was not stated to him before. Toby cannot help but dismiss such claims at first, but then the word unfair sticks to his heated brain. He, too, now grows frustrated thinking about how every major happening in his life for the past year or so was unfair and how Rachel was unfairly enjoying her responsibility-free life with Sam Rothberg. That evening, Toby takes his children to dinner, telling them that he had turned down the promotion because he did not want to boss people around. While Solly is innocent enough to believe this, Hanna has no problem understanding what has happened. Out of sheer despair and exasperation, Toby digs into a plate full of carbs, eating such food for the first time in almost thirty years. As was obviously expected, he gets sick after returning home and remains stuck in this situation till the next day.
The next morning, one of Toby’s cousins, Cherry, turns up at his house with her daughter Jessica, whom the kids are really fond of. When Toby acts surprised, Cherry reminds him that he had asked her to come to his house and watch the kids so that he could go to a party. Toby is in no mood to go to any party, but it is Cherry who pushes him to see himself only as a divorced person, which is more often than not an occurrence in today’s world and insists that he visit the party. Toby agrees and carries himself to the place, which is basically the house of a friend of his from his time in Israel. Every year, these friends hosted a reunion party, which Seth and Libby also always attended, but Toby had stopped visiting after his marriage. Once there, he suddenly realizes and remembers how fun parties had been when he was younger and how enjoyable the company of these friends was. Toby’s life and general perspective of fun had changed with his wife Rachel, who only enjoyed hosting or visiting parties that were serious enough or had some discussion about ambitions, goals, and flaunting one’s lifestyle. But his friends from college days had not had to go through any such transformation; they still partied like they used to, cracking jokes without being too conscious of sounding wrong. Toby loves his time there, and his best friends Seth and Libby also arrive soon after. Libby’s husband, Adam, is also present, and over time he tells the friends of his wife’s constant complaints and unhappiness in life. Adam’s words do feel whiny at one point, and then he sternly tells Libby that they should leave. Libby clearly does not want to create a scene, and she definitely does not want to return to her drab life, so she tells Adam to leave, saying that she will return home later, taking a cab.
Some more time passes, and the three best friends go out for a smoke when Toby confronts Libby about her behavior with Adam. Meaning to say that he had always been on the receiving end of similar behavior, he tells Libby that she should have been more considerate in dealing with him, and Seth agrees. A disagreement among the three best friends follows, with each of them pointing out flaws and mistakes in the other. Toby is called “self-obsessed” for only speaking about himself to his friends and never inquiring about their well-being. Libby is called “nagging” and “bitchy,” for she is often inconsiderate towards people around her with her words. Seth is called a carefree forever-bachelor sort of a guy whose advice should not be listened to with seriousness, for he himself had had a lucky life without any stable relationship either. While all these complaints against each other have their harsh ways of being presented, since all three of them are drunk to some degree by now, what they say to each other is not very far from honest assessments of each other. Libby does not return home that night, and she instead shares a cab ride with Toby and then asks to use his washroom. After she is done, Libby sits in Toby’s room, smoking a cigarette and talking to him about her thoughts. But she soon realizes that Toby has dozed off, and she, too, then lies by him on his bed and falls asleep. The next morning, both of them are woken up by Solly’s cries, for he is embarrassed for having wet his bed. Libby tries to comfort him, but it is only now that Toby realizes Libby has spent the night at his apartment. Possibly still angry about their confrontation the previous night and the fact that Libby had stayed over without his knowledge, Toby asks Libby to immediately leave his house.
What Trouble Is Libby Epstein In?
After leaving Toby’s apartment, Libby takes a long walk through the streets of New York City, which she now dearly misses after moving to the richer suburbs following her marriage. Libby visits a cinema theater, which used to be her favorite place till one point in time, and she then also goes over to the building where she used to stay in a small apartment during her younger days. During her time at the men’s magazine, Libby had gotten romantically involved with an older colleague named Glenn. She knew that he was married at the time and was having an extramarital affair with her, but she did not seem to mind any of it. However, what Libby now realizes, thinking back on her life at the time, is that more than being in love with Glenn, her relationship with him was because she wanted to be like him. The professional seniority and position that man held were always a part of her ambition, and she somehow felt a part of it by being involved with him. Eventually, the relationship obviously failed, and the two went their separate paths. Libby now walks to the nearby park and takes a seat there, with her thoughts still busy about how her life had changed so much in the last ten or so years. Almost looking at her own younger self sitting at the park bench, she realizes how free and potent her life was in those years, how she could have done anything literally. Yet, after becoming a mature adult woman of forty-one, she had lost this entire freedom. Not only was she now bound to a specific life, but there was also no way to change or undo that either, like she could have done ten or fifteen years ago. The previous night, Libby had also talked of how she missed yearning for something at her present age, which was a very common feeling for her when she was younger.
It is perhaps this reflection on one’s life and the wish to bring change to one’s life that becomes the main spirit of “Fleishman is in Trouble,” or at least of this sixth episode. Seth tells his friends in this episode that he has been thinking of proposing to Vanessa after she learned of his firing from his job and provided him with full support instead of breaking up with him. Although both of his friends try to tell him that marriage is not a great experience, Seth insists that he at least wants to have the experience of settling down with someone. Even if it did not work out, Seth would at least want to know it for himself. During the reunion party, Toby wonders if all his friends love him and give him all the attention because they still remember him with all the potential, he had during his student years. Perhaps had they known about his failures, then they would not have been so appreciative of him, and of course, for Toby, these failures are about his personal relationships and not professional ones. Then there is Libby, who had not been able to achieve what she wanted from her life professionally, which had then gone on to mess up her personal life too. At present, she thinks about how she has been trying to find herself for quite some time now and, in the process, has been sailing further away from her husband and children. In the end, Libby sits in the park and wonders whether asking questions about life being unfair and unfruitful was even worthy of asking or not. As her eyes wander across the entire park in front of her, she spots Rachel Fleishman sitting on a park bench, looking equally lost and engrossed in her thoughts.
What Is To Be Expected Next From ‘Fleishman Is In Trouble’ Episode 7?
With Rachel once again seen at the park by Libby, it is very possible that the two women will converse about their failed, and failing, marriages. Now that Libby’s perspective on her troubles in life has been revealed, Rachel might be in a somewhat similar situation too, and this other perspective might be gradually revealed to us. Toby was last seen struggling with his kids, but at least he seems to be in a better place than he was a few episodes ago. While there is no chance for Toby and Rachel’s relationship to be mended again, they might at least come to terms with the struggles they both had in their unlikely marriage.