“Fleishman is in Trouble” does not seem to keep things halted by presenting things and emotions and the traumas of being left alone only from one side. Yet, this had been the case for all six episodes till now, but “Fleishman is in Trouble” episode 7 is a big change. This week’s episode focuses entirely on Rachel Fleishman, as Libby suddenly meets with her at the park and listens to her side of the story. We are now given a more balanced look at Rachel as the episode takes a deep dive into whatever trouble she was in and the reasons for it too.
‘Fleishman is in Trouble’ Episode 7: Recap And Ending
Once Libby notices Rachel sitting at the park bench with the most lost and distraught look on her face, she approaches the woman and asks if she is alright. Rachel’s replies are rather incoherent; she says that she has been really confused about how many days there are in July and has been unable to find any answer to this doubt since she lost her phone. Even though she vehemently asks Libby not to call up and inform Toby about their sudden meeting, Rachel agrees to be walked home by Libby. As they reach the lavish Fleishman apartment, the same one that Toby had angrily broken into towards the beginning of the season and taken his toaster away, the whole place is a big mess with items thrown around. Rachel’s behavior makes it clear that she herself has been responsible for all this disarray, and as she tries to make coffee for her guest, she has a mental breakdown and starts to sob. She tells Libby that she cannot make her any coffee and then starts telling her the story of her summer. In fact, Rachel’s story begins, or at least roots from, way before this particular summer or her divorce from Toby.
Rachel actually had humble beginnings when it came to her familial belonging; she did not have rich or influential parents who could make every step of her life easy. While there is no mention of her father at all, her mother passed away when she was young, and it was her grandmother who raised her. Despite them not being as rich as required, the grandmother managed to send Rachel to a fancy Catholic school, perhaps hoping that she would get the best education to build her life from there. But growing up in a setting where most of her classmates really had opportunities and contacts already waiting for them, Rachel felt the urge to be like them. What Libby calls in her narration “an outsider’s desperation” was Rachel’s desire to become not just rich and with contacts, but someone built by her own hard work. She strived for this forever, even up to the present, and this had been the reason for her despair. Before that, though, she had acted and behaved like the company she saw around, pretending to speak the language of sophistication, as Libby calls it. While some appreciated her for this and some perhaps saw through her pretension, she found a perfect person in Toby when she met him at the party all those years ago. This was because Toby did not care about her pretensions or sophistication; to him, all those things did not matter at all. Gradually the two fell in love, got married, and had children, but that drive to be someone else kept developing inside Rachel.
Rachel’s experience of childbirth for the first time had been extremely traumatic, way more than was revealed earlier through Toby’s perspective on it. The woman had been genuinely stressed out about the whole procedure, and when the visiting doctor broke her water without her consent or even without informing her of what he was about to do at all, Rachel spiraled out of the situation. She panicked and felt the day of Hanna’s birth was the worst day of her life. This then further ruined her ability to switch into the role of being a mother, for she always felt that baby Hanna could understand her hatred for her and would never forgive her for it. After trying multiple times to get close to the baby at first and then to get over her postpartum depression, Rachel chose to share her trauma with a survivor support group rather than a postpartum support circle. This helped her immensely, and Rachel was almost over it when she happened to see that particular doctor once again and was again pulled back to her trauma. But this feeling was soon taken over by her determination to not be a victim, and it was then that she first thought of leaving the agency she was working for to start her own agency. While this major step in life did bring her success over time, it was also this decision to run her own business that gradually drifted her away from Toby. She would have to work hard for very long stretches of hours, meaning that she was unable to attend or partake in other familial or parental activities, and this frustrated Toby. The fact that she was doing all of it so that her kids would have what she did not while growing up was something Toby could not understand since he, too, had come from a privileged background. It was Toby who first claimed that their marriage was falling apart, and while the idea of divorce seemed very difficult for Rachel at first, her constant hyperventilating about it prepared her for the actual time when it happened, and she was not at all affected.
After their divorce, Rachel got even busier, taking on more work and professional pressure. For some time now, the husband of her good friend (more like pretend-friend), Miriam, Sam Rothberg, had been in touch with Rachel personally. He had initially asked for a favor to help a nephew of his get acting jobs, and Rachel had helped with it. She knew the importance of doing such favors and building contacts through them. Since then, Sam had asked her out on a couple of occasions, but she kept turning them down due to her busy schedule. When she accepts his invitation, it seems almost like Rachel does so to break the monotony of her life and is somewhat surprised by his perseverance in pursuing her. This gradually developed into an affair: an extramarital one for Sam since he was still married, and Rachel seemed to enjoy it a lot. Her new partner would listen to everything she had to say and showed interest in her work, too, unlike Toby, and she was happy after all. She was also thinking of expanding her business to Los Angeles, and Sam supported her cause in this, too, while Toby protested. It was at this time that Sam Rothberg asked Rachel on a weekend getaway to a yoga retreat place, and despite her busy schedule, she decided to take a much-needed break. While on this getaway, though, Rachel kept being stressed by her professional requirements and perhaps also by the fact that she had left her kids at Toby’s apartment without any prior information. She tried some consciousness-raising therapies, which brought out all the angst and emotions that were waiting to burst out anyway. She refused Sam’s wishes for them to take Ambien to get intimate and instead cried her heart out the entire night. Sam, who had never really cared for the woman and was only pursuing her to have some “fun time,” left the retreat the very next morning. Rachel decided to stay back, and she kept avoiding all professional and personal attempts at contact. By now, her phone had been buzzing with calls and texts from her assistant at work and from Toby, and Rachel decided to put an end to it all by burying her phone underground.
It was because of this decision that Rachel’s life spiraled out of control, as this, too, was not the most sensible thing to do. Overwhelmed by the responsibilities that were sometimes thrust upon her, she decided to turn and run away from them all. After returning home, she kept making more of these hasty decisions, which harmed her more than doing any good. She was unable to sleep or rest at all back at her apartment, stressed by what she had to do and yet frustrated that she was not doing any of it. She remembered Sam had left his Ambien medicines with her, and Rachel now took them, despite earlier being against them after her experience with sleeping medication during childbirth. From then on, she continuously kept ordering “Beef Lo Mein” over and over again, even though she would be grossed out while trying to have it each time and would not have it at all. She had nightmares of her children asking her to come and get them and her ex-husband condescendingly making her realize how all of it was her fault. She had lost track of days as well, and by the time she had decided to leave her apartment, a week or two had already passed. All her work had been suspended for all this time, and Rachel immediately decided to visit her most important and high-profile client, Alejandra Lopez, to mend her mistakes, but it was too late by now. Alejandra exclaims that she had been helpless and confused for these two weeks about her agent never returning a call or helping her situation and had decided to end her professional terms with Rachel. It seems like Rachel now feels that she has not just let herself down but has harmed her favorite promising actress’ work too. From there, she went to the park once again, all dejected and lost, and it was now that Libby happened to see her there.
After listening to all of it, Libby mentions in her narration that although Rachel’s timeline of events did not coherently match up at times, as she clearly missed some time in between, Libby was able to get a grasp of what the woman had gone through. As she helps Rachel onto her bed to get some rest, Libby takes out her phone, probably to contact Toby and tell him what had happened. But she listens to a voicemail from Toby instead, in which he apologized for his earlier behavior when he had rudely asked her to leave his house. Confused about what her next step should be, for she now relates with both Rachel and Toby, Libby sits down to think.
How Was Toby Also Somewhat Responsible For Rachel’s Situation?
It has perhaps been apparent from the very beginning of “Fleishman is in Trouble” that Toby and Rachel are quite different from each other as individuals. In “Fleishman is in Trouble,” Episode 6, Toby’s being somewhat forced and molded into the shape of how Rachel wanted him may have attracted some sympathy from viewers. Now, in “Fleishman is in Trouble,” Episode 7, the narrative from Rachel’s perspective gives us insight into what she had been going through as well. There is no doubt that both the characters are flawed in their own ways, as Libby even mentions so at one point in the episode, but it is also perhaps important to consider the perspectives of both sides too before any evaluation is made. The first admission that Rachel makes to Libby is that everyone just leaves her, and that has happened once again. By this, she definitely meant the most recent case of her being abandoned—Alejandra Lopez changing agents. There were, of course, reasons for the young actress to have done so, but those are perhaps not more important than Rachel’s feelings at this point. This had been preceded by Sam Rothberg’s strange and disgusting treatment of Rachel, making it evident that the rich man had simply been making use of the woman for his fancies. Even preceding this was the abandonment that hurt Rachel the most—that of Toby. When the two had fallen in love and decided to get married, Toby had made genuine promises of always being with her and never leaving, and yet he had been the first to talk about leaving. Toby seemed unable, or even uninterested, in realizing Rachel’s decisions, motivations, and grievances. He seemed uneasy about changing his position to accommodate his wife’s wishes. Of course, these changes were not small or easy ones either, and they really demanded a lot, but Toby ultimately decided to call it quits rather than work it out. It was he who first mentioned that their marriage was not working and that they should put an end to it. Even later, after their divorce, when Rachel expressed her wish to expand to LA, which would mean that she would have to stay in Los Angeles for some time, Toby’s reaction was very hurtful. At first, he was angry that he would not be able to see his kids if they were taken along by Rachel, and his tone made it clear that he did not expect the kids to be left with him either. Toby then went on to angrily tell Rachel that the kids would actually be fine with him and that they would not even notice that she was gone since Rachel apparently spent no time with them, despite her making all the time possible to spend with them. And so here Rachel was, impulsively deciding to kick it all away and go to the yoga retreat with Sam, which would then cause her to have possibly the most difficult summer of her life.
What Should We Expect Next From ‘Fleishman Is In Trouble’ Episode 8?
“Fleishman is in Trouble” will be ending next week with its finale episode, and now what remains to be seen is how Toby will react to all this when he gets to know of Rachel’s miseries. As mentioned before, there should not be an expectation of them reconciling as partners, for that is not how things work in real life, and this drama series has been very real in that context. However, it is possible that the two accept each other’s faults and move on from their complaints against each other. As divorced parents of two young children, Rachel and Toby are required to work things out as mature adults to ensure that their kids get as healthy a life as possible. While this can perhaps be expected from this side of the story, all these events in the recent past might also encourage Libby to work on herself, her emotions, her thoughts, and her failing marriage. At the end of “Fleishman is in Trouble” episode 7, when she sits down on Rachel’s bed looking affected, it seems like Libby now contemplates her own life and situation, wondering whether she, too, is headed this same way.