‘Shrinking’ Episode 6: Recap And Ending, Explained: Is Brian’s Engagement Party Successful In The End?

No great sitcom was ever truly built on just the funny bits. What hooks us to anything really, and especially a sitcom, is the human drama of it all. There’s something about having a front-row view of the metronomic ebbs and flows of human relationships that satiates our intrusive craving for drama and hooks us to a show long enough for us to make it to the end. Episode 6 of the Apple TV sitcom “Shrinking” is, for the first time, an exceedingly intimate look at all the relationships we’ve only been seeing the surface of so far. The fateful unraveling of all that eats away at these people somehow finds a sanctuary safe enough to venture out when they’re confined in a closed space. Of course, no one was being held captive in “Imposter Syndrome.” They were all at a party hosted by a reluctant Jimmy in his home, which isn’t all that different from a hostage situation if you think about it.


Spoilers Ahead

Old Ailments New Symptoms

It looks like Sean’s afflictions aren’t just limited to random, fervent bursts of anger. As he admits to Jimmy before the therapist cracks a joke and halts the flow, Sean has episodes where he’s taken back to Afghanistan to relive his hauntingly violent days there. But Jimmy is okay with the extent of Sean’s self-reflection for now. Like a lot of the characters are doing just fine, apparently. For instance, Paul seems to have a handle on himself after coming clean about his Parkinson’s to Meg, who is en route to determining the perfect care plan. Even though just how jittery and defensive he is tells a whole other story. Gaby is also doing just fine after her divorce. Only, she can’t seem to summon a “lady get it up” for a super attractive guy and parts ways with a handshake (no, for real). It’s endearing to see how Gaby and Liz have bid goodbye to their differences and have come to be pals through thick and thin. After all, it is Liz who Gaby turns to about her problems in the bedroom. The only one who really seems to be doing okay is Brian. He has valiantly fought off his demons and bought the engagement ring. And this time around, Gaby and Jimmy are a tad more enthusiastic with their congratulations, even if Jimmy regrets it a fraction of a second later when Brian asks him to host the proposal party at his place. To help him with his anxiety, Liz hands over a can of edibles to Paul, who is fine with it as long as it’s medically approved. Oh, Paul!


Getting Ready To Open The Door With A Smile

Jimmy evidently hasn’t been doing much hosting since Tia’s traumatic passing. Just the thought of having a bunch of people over in his home when he won’t have his wife by his side opens up a whole can of worms he’s been trying to fend off. Triggering flashes of a glum-faced Tia from the last get-together in his home sneak their way through the worn-out tarp Jimmy is frantically trying to hold up to keep himself from getting drenched in troubling thoughts. But it’s not like he could say no to his best friend. Not when he is trying to mend the relationship that he almost ruined when he ghosted Brian for a whole year. Sean isn’t all that hopped up on excitement for the party. He certainly doesn’t want to answer a bunch of questions about what his life has been like when he has been living with his therapist after an unfortunate incarceration. Alice has decked herself out like a princess, partly for the party but mostly for Sean. Brian has intricately mapped out all the specifics so as to give Charlie a fairytale proposal. He does scoff a bit at Paul’s reluctance to join the group. Meanwhile, the old therapist is floundering around his room neck-deep in gummy-induced paranoia. 

Pity Party

It’s not a game of “never have I ever…” but Jimmy chugs down a drink every time an obnoxious guest glorifies just how amazing Tia and Jimmy were as a couple. Not that Jimmy needs another reason to be miserable other than constantly being reminded of his behemoth loss, but what really gets his goat is the flawless image that people have been harboring in their minds when their relationship, in reality, was far from perfect. If it could, in the relentless design of the devil, get any worse for Jimmy, the date his friend brought turns out to be the sex worker Jimmy used to fool around with. Even if all he could get himself to do with her was to play Uno. It isn’t just Jimmy who’s having an awful time at the party. Gaby is not having an easy time trying to communicate to the pitiful faces of the guests that her divorce was actually a good thing. Having finished the entire pack of edibles, Paul is a smidge too paranoid about being by himself and decides to bring over his anxious presence to spice up the party. With the three mental health professionals running amok, Liz has picked up the baton of being the party therapist. She comforts Gaby about the very normal phase she’s experiencing in her sex life, even though it really isn’t all that normal and certainly isn’t proportionate to whatever Liz and Derek’s deal may be. It’s hard to stop Liz when she gets going. To a sullen Paul who’s whining about his daughter having to drop everything at a moment’s notice and come over to look after him, Liz proudly waves her entitled parent card. I mean, I wouldn’t want Liz to be my mother if she told me that she is owed all of her kids’ attention at all times just because she has birthed and taken care of them. Stacking up the breakdown party with his issues, Jimmy comes clean to Gaby about the less-than-perfect relationship he had with Tia. When he thinks of his dead wife, all Jimmy can remember is the loveless look on her face. He doubts if she even liked him towards the end. The very generic notion of “liking” and “loving” isn’t surprising coming from a person like Jimmy. Seriously, how is a man who doesn’t know that love can still exist in a relationship, even with a fleeting phase of not liking your partner, a therapist? He believes that if she were still alive, they wouldn’t still be together—a conviction that Gaby proceeds to chop down at the root.


‘Shrinking’ Episode 6: Ending Explained – Is Brian’s Engagement Party Successful In The End?

Why Jimmy would take up the responsibility of hosting the party when all he would do is mope and drink is beyond me. But that’s Jimmy for you. Everything around him is blurred out to oblivion when he is miserable. Alright, so the moment of truth. Unsuspecting, Charlie is now at the party. Although Brian, from the get-go, is wagging his tail a bit too much to not give away the big surprise, he stands steady at the edge of the piano, ready to sing out his love for Charlie. But where is Jimmy when the cue has been given for him to sit down and do his part? Oh, that’s right! Inebriated, Jimmy finds it hard to stop himself from humiliating his daughter in front of Sean. Ignoring the plight on Alice’s face, Jimmy blurts out that he knows about her feelings for Sean and sends an upset Alice marching to her room. He does sit down at the piano when everyone is just sitting there, puzzled out of their minds. He plays the notes, too, if only to join Brian in his heartfelt and very unwanted rendition of the song. If he hasn’t already done enough to ruin the proposal, his projectile vomiting seals the deal on his behalf. Gaby takes him away to get him cleaned up while Paul sighs as he is too high for this. But all isn’t lost. Charlie appreciates the generous efforts the love of his life has put into the party, even though it has turned out to be a dumpster fire thanks to Jimmy. Nevertheless, it does come off as insensitive that everyone around him expects Jimmy to be okay when he is clearly far from it. Surviving all that went wrong at the party, Charlie says yes to Brian’s proposal without him having to verbalize the question. Gloomy by her lonesome in her room, Alice is happy to see Sean come in, even though she does play nice by asking him to join the fun downstairs. Sean would rather spend time with Alice than in the chaos downstairs—something that wide-eyed Alice takes as affirmation to make a move. When she goes in for a kiss, Sean pulls himself back. Alice has clearly misread Sean’s intentions. It’s hard to watch the wretched, embarrassed look on Alice’s face, but we’re relieved to finally learn that Sean isn’t a creep. Meanwhile, remorseful Jimmy has cleaned himself up. To soothe his latest emotional predicament, Gaby shows him a picture of Tia looking at him with only love in her eyes. She reassures him that if Tia did plan to leave Jimmy, she would’ve confided in her best friend. Whether it’s their shared misery or their respective distressed psyches, Gaby and Jimmy give into a moment of desire as they get closer for a kiss. Is it weird and kind of bizarre to look at? Yes. Is it also a morally questionable choice made by a deceased woman’s husband and her best friend? Also yes. But if it helps them both move on, so be it. After all, grief does bring people closer together.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Lopamudra Mukherjee
Lopamudra Mukherjeehttps://muckrack.com/lopamudra-mukherjee
Lopamudra nerds out about baking whenever she’s not busy looking for new additions to the horror genre. Nothing makes her happier than finding a long-running show with characters that embrace her as their own. Writing has become the perfect mode of communicating all that she feels for the loving world of motion pictures.

Latest articles