The first episode of Physical Season 3 ended with Sheila finally getting a spot on television, which is her first step towards defeating Kelly Kilmartin, who seems to have become her nemesis, even without Kelly realizing a person called Sheila exists. Sheila’s inner voice has turned into a projection of Kelly, and her life has gone back to this entity demoralizing her constantly. Her inner voice is her biggest bane, and she is a long way from becoming better mentally.
Greta, Sheila, and their competitors
Physical Episode 2 begins with Sheila preparing herself for her up-and-coming segment on the morning show of a local San Diego-based television channel. This is the kind of publicity she was looking for, and thanks to John Breem, she is closer to becoming a celebrity. Sheila has bigger plans for herself, and since aerobics is something that has changed her, she is keen on imparting that knowledge and monetizing it. She wants to build an empire for herself, which will free her from many things that are tying her down. Hopefully, Ernie’s insufferable behavior will not make her want to exit this business deal as well. She will want to create a positive image before asking Ernie to leave. Greta may also follow Sheila’s pursuit and ask her husband to make way for her friend.
One step towards becoming a renowned face is to scout the competitors and figure out their plans to get the hang of what Sheila should be doing. Greta is invested in understanding competitor analysis for obvious reasons. Just like Sheila, she wants to create a brand. Greta believes in Sheila’s passions, as it is this inherent quality that makes her a good friend, even though Sheila has been awful to her in the past. Greta narrows down her search to a European ballet dance teacher, Rita Bachman, who is slowly gaining popularity, and to understand her way of working, Sheila joins one of her classes as a student. Viewers feel Sheila is still feeling a bit overwhelmed with Kelly’s projections following her practically everywhere and wonder if she will find a way to get rid of them. She has resorted to not letting anyone know about her current condition to avoid being branded insane.
John is looking for a miscreant
John Breem has gone back to being a devoted Christian and is pretending as if everything is fine now, giving his family and neighborhood enough time to get rid of the sins he claims to have committed. This subplot in the episode felt farfetched compared to the ongoing narratives around Sheila and Greta. The writer probably wanted to talk about how John has become delusional and in denial about many things around him and seems to have lost touch with reality. Even since the affair and his revelation of it to his wife, John has gone back to being a devout Christian, and by the looks of it, there is no way he’ll go back to normal. Maybe this narrative is a reflection of how religious brainwashing changes people for the better and makes them unable to see things around them in a normal way. Their neighborhood is being attacked by a certain miscreant. Even when he gathers a team of men to keep watch every single night, they aren’t able to find the nuisance creator.
His wife Maria had been feeling a lot more stressed with the child around, and it can be understood from the constant wailing of her and Grace, her daughter with John. There is a chance Maria might be suffering from postpartum depression, which was never openly discussed back in the 1980s. Women were expected to move on from the birth of the child to taking care of it in no time. This kind of routine puts a lot of pressure on women, especially when no one asks her if she is doing well after the birth of the child.
Maria turned out to be the miscreant John was looking for because she was done being at home all the time. Grace was her only solace, and indulging in unlawful activities gave her a breather that she was unable to take at home. John is livid, but he cannot take any action against her for obvious reasons. This happens because Maria is finally trying to break away from a rigid Christian lifestyle. Her rebellious behavior may also encourage John to do something radical in the upcoming episodes of Physical Season 3.
Will Sheila reveal her traumatic past?
Sheila joins Rita’s class, and on admission, Kelly appears in front of her, along with many other projections that remind her of a past she does not want to think of at that moment. She has a tough time in ballet class because Rita turns out to be a strict instructor. Sheila did all this only for the betterment of her class. But this class turned out to be trauma-inducing because memories from her childhood started flashing up, and it felt like there would be no end to this ordeal.
Sheila has a lot of trauma suppressed in her body and mind, which comes in waves as she figures out what she wants to do with life. Even when she finds her calling in aerobics, she must walk past her demons to achieve her goals. The ballet class turned out to be disastrous because it managed to bring up emotions Sheila was not ready to face. This ballet class experience leads her to talk about the trauma of being a rape victim in her teenage days to her support group and how her father’s close friend was the one who took advantage of the young Sheila. This incident cemented plenty of issues in her system, which she could not get rid of for most of her life. The molester always asked her to perform ballet choreography, and the class she attended managed to open the floodgates of repressed emotions, followed by stress to deal with them.
Sheila is a classic case of a sexual abuse victim who has repressed memories because she did not want to deal with them at any juncture in her life. She considers these bad memories, and they are locked somewhere in one corner of her brain. For the first time in many years, it came out, and instead of heading to binge eat and throw up, she headed home. It is only the second episode of the show, and the viewers are already taken aback by the number of issues Sheila is carrying with herself daily, wondering how she is not breaking down. She revealed that heading home and feeding her daughter some food, and sleeping off to get rid of her urges is the best she did. This proves that Sheila is on the road to recovery. She does have a long way to go from here because the Kelly projections are far from over.
The second episode of Physical Season 3 ends with Sheila finally getting a weekly spot on the morning show. This small spot on the local channel could pave the way for bigger things for Sheila, and she is willing to take any opportunity that will help her establish an empire and be successful in running it. Sheila probably felt good talking about her traumatic childhood because it was her first time outside of her family. A bunch of women validated her feelings, which reduced half the pain. A bunch of strangers brought her relief that her toxic parents could not provide.