The sixth episode of AppleTV+’s comedy-drama show “Shrinking” arrives with a number of surprises, both for its characters as well as for us viewers. The previous episode had dealt with Jimmy’s best friend Brian fearing failure with regard to his plan of proposing to his boyfriend and had been encouraged by Gaby to give it a try. Jimmy had to get his relationship with Sean mended by the senior therapist Paul, who himself had only just managed to tell his daughter about his Alzheimer’s. “Shrinking” Episode 6 now picks up on all these sides as a surprise engagement party planned by Brian becomes the central event.
‘Shrinking’ Episode 6 Recap And Ending
The episode opens with Sean’s therapy session with Jimmy, in which the young man says that he is often mentally dragged back to the days and times of his overseas military service, during which he did some regrettable things. Jimmy seems to know where to draw the line for a day’s therapy session, and Paul also regularly checks in with Sean about how things are going and how he is doing. Even though the two do seem to be talking, it is clear that Paul is still angry with Jimmy for his unconventional therapy experiments.
A little while later, Brian, Jimmy’s best friend, arrives at the center and tells Jimmy and Gaby that he is finally about to propose to his boyfriend, Charlie, and this time he is very serious. Brian has even bought the engagement ring and shown it to his friends, both of whom are very happy for the man. He says that he wants to throw a surprise engagement party at which he will propose to Charlie but is confused about where to host it since his house is not as big to accommodate such a party. Jimmy’s house is a perfect fit, as Alice soon exclaims, and she has been looking forward to any such event for a long time. Jimmy’s wife, Tia, used to have many parties at the house often, and Alice had yearned for such days ever since her mother’s death. At Alice’s urging, Jimmy agrees to host the surprise engagement party at his house, and preparations for the same are started.
Alice meets with Paul in the park, as is usual for them, and the two also meet Liz, as the neighbor is driving Alice home. By now, Liz, like everyone else, has heard about Paul’s Alzheimer’s, so she decides to help in her own way. Someone she knows with Parkinson’s takes some gummy bear drug candies to help with her anxiety and tremors, and Liz now gifts one such container to Paul. Having told his daughter Meg about his disease, Paul was indeed quite nervous about what was to follow, and he decided to skip the party in order to stay home and try out the drugs.
Back at Jimmy’s house, Brian runs over the plan once more—his boyfriend Charlie would arrive soon, knowing that it was a party to celebrate Jimmy winning the “best therapist” award. At this time, Jimmy would be playing the piano, and Brian would sing their favorite song, followed by his proposal to Charlie. By the time guests start to drop in, Brian is a bit fazed and nervous, but Jimmy and Gaby provide him support and comfort. When the doorbell rings, everyone expects it to be Charlie; the new guest turns out to be a drugged Paul. Claiming that Liz had wanted to kill him by giving him the drugs, Paul slumbers into the party and stays there the rest of the evening. He tells Liz how he felt terrible for having moved away from his daughter Meg’s life after his marriage broke when Meg was just a young girl. Ever since feeling regretful about this, Paul has wanted to spend more time with his daughter and be a part of her life but has always been turned down. Now that he had told her about his Alzheimer’s, Meg immediately grew concerned and was flying to her father the very next day.
From her text messages to Paul, it was clear that Meg even has a full itinerary about how to help her father out. But to Paul, this is not the attention and love that he wanted; in fact, he had feared this very treatment, for he understands such a situation to be equivalent to emotional blackmail. Because Meg was his daughter, she must have felt an obligation to help her father in sickness, and Paul does not want such obligatory and dutiful love. He even tells Brian that the very scenario of a surprise engagement party with so many friends and people around was also emotional blackmail, for Charlie would be forced to say yes just to avoid public embarrassment, even if he did not actually want to. It is through Liz’s words that a bit of healing happens to Paul, as Liz explains how he should be grateful that his daughter was so concerned and loving towards him rather than feeling sorry about himself being so distant from her during her childhood. Later on, Paul also has one last piece of advice to Brian and Charlie, that they should always stay emotionally open to their loved ones, or else such relations will fade away. This is Paul very much talking to himself, regretting the mistake he had made in his time, which had brought him to such a lonely existence at present.
When Charlie finally arrives at the party, Brian excitedly starts the proceedings, but his plan is completely ruined by a single factor—Jimmy is too drunk to play the piano or even sit straight. By the time their song starts and reaches mid-way, Jimmy violently vomits all over the piano and the room, creating a huge ruckus and personal embarrassment in front of all friends. Brian is sad that his carefully thought plan had gone to waste as he tells Charlie that the party was actually a ruse before he proposed to Charlie. Although the setting up of the matter till this point did seem like Charlie would not agree to the marriage proposal, it actually panned out very differently. When Charlie hears of Brian’s plan, he immediately agrees to his proposal of marriage, and the two have a private celebration of their own despite such grand plans earlier.
Brian’s engagement is not the only matter that drunk Jimmy spoils, for he causes embarrassment for his daughter Alice as well. Seeing that his teenage daughter is about to drink alcohol, Jimmy intervenes and tells her not to. By this time, the man is already very drunk, so this act seems to be an overreaction due to the alcohol in his system. He further says that Alice must have been doing all this to act cool in front of Sean, for he had earlier overheard Alice express her interest in him. Hearing the father say all this extremely embarrasses Alice, and she runs up to her room. Sean follows to give her comfort and help her calm down. Earlier in the evening, Sean had expressed to Alice how he wanted to skip the party and avoid meeting with the crowds because everyone would ask him what work he did. Admitting that he was jobless and that he was having to deal with his anger was something shameful for Sean, so he wanted to skip the party altogether. It was Alice who encouraged him otherwise by saying that she would stick by his side and help him whenever Sean got into such an uncomfortable situation. At present, Sean goes to support someone he considers a very good friend, and Alice perhaps takes this as a different hint. In the flow of the moment, she approaches to kiss Sean, which really comes as a shock to the young man. As Alice keeps apologizing and blaming herself for such a stupid step, Sean says that she is still a kid, meaning a minor, and walks out of her room.
What Do We Get To Know About Jimmy And Tia’s Marriage?
Although Jimmy’s drunken behavior causes trouble for his close ones, his act of getting drunk is also because he had to face a tough time at the party. At the very beginning of “Shrinking,” it is established that Jimmy had gone through months of mindless revelry and partying after his wife died, with alcoholism being a primary problem for him during that time. Even though he had stayed away from drinking after starting to recover from the grief of losing his wife, Jimmy could not hold back on this particular evening. Every guest arriving at his house for the party, other than his close friends, recalls and talks about how good Jimmy’s bond with his late wife Tia was and how happy they looked together. The people here are foolishly tone-deaf and have no idea what kind of effect their remembrances of the happy couple will have on the husband, who is still grieving the death of his wife. As more people continue to flock and show their sympathies towards Jimmy, the man keeps pouring drinks and gulping them down one after another.
However, there is a deeper reason for Jimmy’s sorrow than just being reminded of his late wife. It is particularly the way in which the guests remember the couple that makes the man sadder. All remember them to be a very happy couple, as some state, the best couple there ever was. But in reality, this was very far from the truth since Jimmy and Tia were having a very rough patch towards the end. As shown through scenes from the past, the two seemed to have grown out of love and happiness in their lives. Both felt the other to be the reason for their unhappiness, and both hated the fact that the other considered them the reason for their sorrows. Jimmy admits to Gaby that the relationship had turned so bad that Tia was apparently considering getting a divorce. Even though Gaby denies such a claim, saying that her best friend would have told her if she was thinking of such a step, the scenes from the past perhaps make it clear that a separation could have very well taken place.
While Jimmy had been reeling in his own internal struggles, Gaby, too, had her own. From the beginning of “Shrinking” Episode 6, she is shown to have been unable to get physically intimate with any man. She starts to wonder whether she is no longer a sexual person and wonders about the meaning of such a life throughout the party. Also, at the party, a number of the guests get to hear of her divorce for the first time, and they all express sympathy as if the divorce was the worst thing possible for Gaby’s life. It is with all these things swarming her mind that she helps Jimmy recover from his vomiting outburst at the party and helps him up to his room. After some time, late at night, when Jimmy recovers, Gaby is there to listen to him talk about his memories with Tia. But what happens next is indeed a total surprise, as Gaby and Jimmy start to passionately make out, and “Shrinking” Episode 6 ends at this very point. This sudden twist in the tale seems quite problematic at this very early stage. Not only are Jimmy and Gaby connected by the memory of a dead wife and best friend, but the two are also colleagues at a therapy center.
What To Expect Next From ‘Shrinking’ Episode 7?
There are plenty of things to look forward to after episode 6 of “Shrinking,” starting with the most obvious one: what happens after Jimmy and Gaby make out with each other? While it could (a bit forcefully) be that the two start a relationship, such a kiss would perhaps end up in the two characters realizing their own desperation and the frailty of such a romance. As of now, it seems clear that Jimmy and Gaby indulge in such lovemaking out of desperation on both their parts rather than the two of them having any serious romantic spark. What becomes of this will be revealed in the next episode. There is also the matter of what happens between Sean and Alice, for they finally fall apart at the end of “Shrinking” episode 6. More than anything else, this was the outcome that Liz, Gaby, and even Paul feared when they warned Jimmy about having Sean live in his house with his teenage daughter around. Lastly, how Paul manages to live through the care of his daughter Meg—whether he cherishes her company or goes back to being bitter about it—is also something to look forward to in the coming episodes.
See More: ‘Shrinking’ Episode 7: Recap And Ending, Explained: How Does Jimmy’s “Apology Tour” Go After The Party?