‘Physical’ Season 3 Episode 1 Recap & Ending, Explained: Why Is Kelly Kilmartin Meeting Sheila?

The second season of Physical ended bizarrely. Sheila is all set to start her aerobics classes with Greta and Ernie and plans to expand on them. Danny and Sheila have finally come to terms with the divorce, but he has finally put her on the back foot by introducing her to sitcom actress Kelly Kilmartin. Knowing the body image issues that Sheila carries within herself, Danny does this to mentally affect her, knowing she would be bothered by it. Sheila heads to meet John Breem and implies that she wants to annihilate her competition. As the third season begins, it will be interesting to come across stories about women from 1980s America and how they trudged through many obstacles to achieve absolute independence.


Spoilers Ahead

Sheila and Greta take over

Physical Season 3 jumps straight to the new aerobic classes that Sheila has begun, with Greta and Ernie being prime investors. Sheila could not have been happier because she was finally on the path to achieving what she had wanted all this time, and it seemed nobody could stop her. This time, Ernie is creating an issue and is requesting a board meeting to discuss the budget. There is also the problem of increasing competition, and Greta and Ernie want to expand their reach as much as they can, provided Sheila agrees to it as well. Sheila and Greta always remain on the same page because their friendship relies on trust, and Greta will always remain Sheila’s cheerleader.


It is interesting to watch the journey their friendship has taken. Their journey begins with Sheila hating Greta and ends with her finally accepting her as a person who happens to be the only woman who listens to her and does not judge her. Sheila’s inner critic has finally stopped talking, and credit should probably go to Sheila for working hard on herself and not spiraling. She speaks loudly to herself, but it does not go beyond happy thoughts. The voices she heard in her mind were her harshest critic, and they constantly berated Sheila. This is the first step towards her well-being, but knowing Sheila, she will relapse somewhere down the line.

Danny Rubin and his obsession

Danny Rubin, Sheila’s ex-husband, is single for the first time in years, and things are not working the way he wants them to. The man is still obsessed with taking care of the coastal line, and his point of conversation remains the same with anyone he meets. By the looks of it, the man probably never moved on from the election defeat and the fact that Sheila left him. Danny has a hard time conversing with women as well because, most of the time, he ends up speaking about his advocacy for the protection of the San Diego coast. He might end up finally meeting someone who is as involved with ocean welfare as he is, and there is a possibility that in Physical Season 3, Danny might become a renowned activist whose voice will finally matter.


Ernie and Greta’s marriage woes

By the end of Physical Season 2, it seemed like Ernie and Greta were at the peak of their marriage, where nothing could go wrong. Greta had hit a sweet spot with him, and there was no turning back for them as a couple who remained estranged while living under the same roof. Even though Greta supports Sheila’s decision to separate from her husband, she has a hard time asserting herself in this marriage. She had to mold herself to save her marriage, and it was never the other way around. This scenario of women having to sacrifice themselves is typical of that decade. Even though women like Sheila were confident enough to walk out, Greta was her biggest cheerleader, but with Ernie, she could not put her points forward. Hopefully, in the season ahead, Greta will find a way to put her foot down.

Ernie is getting as arrogant as before and is basking in the money he has and the amount of time and effort he is putting into making Sheila’s business viable. In that process, he ends up asking Greta rudely to back down and not embarrass him in front of his associates. This is his way of bringing control back into his hands, as he can see Greta can be a good crowd puller, which he is not comfortable with.


Why is Kelly Kilmartin meeting Sheila?

Sheila asks for assistance from John Breem to get any incriminating evidence against Kelly Kilmartin as her way of squashing the buzz around her all over the town. Sheila can sense Kelly is her biggest competition, and she can feel the pressure growing as Kelly’s popularity takes center stage. She cannot afford to lose her mileage and image after all the hard work because she has given up a lot to reach this stage. Her healing process has not reached a point where she can completely back away from implementing illegal methods to help her succeed.

Sheila also opens up to Greta about how an inner voice has always existed in her mind and has accompanied her constantly for the past many years. It implies that maybe she has had this issue since her teenage days. Because her mother never helped her with anything, this inner voice guided her to do many despicable things. The counseling and meeting a support group have helped her curb that, and Greta is proud of her for moving ahead and trying to help herself. Sheila has had a more traumatic childhood than she lets on, and that is the reason why her inner voice always takes over at the first sign of stress. Viewers as well have been distressed by how the voice slandered and hurled abuse at Sheila and everyone around her, making the woman hate practically everyone.


Greta, on the other hand, is having a tough time being independent because she does not have a source of income to rely on, and she seems to be taken aback by how Ernie is trying to control her. Greta is seeking Sheila’s help at this point, and for the first time, she seems to be listening to Greta, and her inner voice is not speaking. Greta, by the looks of it, is seeking validation that she is not getting, and for the viewers, it feels as if Greta can gather some courage to walk out on Ernie. The issue lies in the fact that she is used to a certain lifestyle, and moving away from it will be hard.

To her surprise, Sheila sees Kelly Kilmartin at her studio, and she remembers seeing her before. She wonders why the woman keeps appearing at her place of work in the same clothes and makeup. Viewers quickly understand that Kelly Kilmartin speaking to her is just a figment of Sheila’s imagination, and it is as if her inner voice has taken the shape of a human being she hates currently. The voice had stopped, but it has now turned into a monster that defames her, proving that Sheila is in dire need of treatment. Her mind is most likely to go on a loop, and there will not be an end to this if she does not speak out. She lived all her life by keeping all her issues to herself. There was a sliver of hope, but Kelly Kilmartin’s projections prove that Sheila is far from okay. Even though there are layers of dark humor injected into the writing of this show, watching Sheila’s deteriorating mental health makes one wonder if she will feel better.


The first episode of Physical Season 3 ends with Sheila approaching John and asking for a slot on the local morning news channel where she could talk about herself and the work she does. This will not only project her as one of the leading personalities in the field of aerobics, but it seems to be her way of saving her business from crashing and pushing Kelly Kilmartin away. But Sheila’s projection of Kelly refusing to leave her side could mean that there is a long road ahead for Sheila to recover from her trauma and stress.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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