Dr. Tom (Episode)
Season 1, Episode 1
Air date January 5, 2009
Written by Jana Sinyor
Directed by Holly Dale
Viewers Canada - 615,000, The Netherlands - 389,000
Opening "Being Erica theme" by Lily Frost
Episode Guide
What I Am Is What I Am

Dr.Tom is the first Episode of the show Being Erica.

Synopsis Edit

Down and out, Erica Strange is desperate to change her life and takes up an offer from a mysterious therapist, Dr. Tom, who sends her back in time to relive a high school regret.

Full Plot Edit

"You know that friend you have, the girl who seems to have it all figured out. She's got the great job, the great guy, the great life. Well I'm not that girl. My name is Erica Strange. I'm 32, still working at a dead-end job, still sleeping with my cat. I know why people wonder why the cute girl with the great education and the great friends can't get it together. There's a simple answer: bad decisions. I could teach a course about messing up your life, really, I am that good at getting everything wrong. The worst part is it wasn't always like this, I used to be a rising star. But these days i just feel like flamo."
Erica Strange about herself.
Erica Strange is walking to work, looking envious of the couples and the mothers around her. She's working at an insurance firm, when in the middle of a service call, the manager calls her into his office. She feels it's about time for her to catch a break. But no. She's fired. Taking her stuff home, she's accompanied by her friend Judith. With her Master's degree, she's told she's overqualified. Judith encourages her to put it behind her, and go on the date Erica has set up through Lava life with the dentist, Trevor.All dressed up, she looks very cute walking out in down town Toronto. This is going to be a great night... until she gets a call from Trevor saying that he has to cancel. To make things worse, a huge downpour of rain appears out of nowhere. Finding refuge in a nearby Starbucks, she's offered a free sample of a mocha mint latte. But something is wrong again. Breathing becomes forced. Struggling to the service counter, she finds out it was a hazelnut mocha mint latte. Unfortunately, she's also allergic to nuts. At the hospital, a man asks her how she's feeling. As he continues to ask questions, she wants to make sure he's a doctor. He's not: he's a therapist, who seems to know things he shouldn't. "In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity. Albert Einstein.". He leaves her his card. Later at her parents home, her mother has invited some friends and family for brunch. There's not enough time to change and she has to eat in her pyjama's. The pressure of disapproval is too much to handle and she escapes through a window in her room.

Erica's List

Unaware of where she's running, she unconsciously ends up at the therapist's (Dr. Tom) office.

He has been expecting her and vaguely explains how his form of therapy is not the traditional kind. He guarantees results though, as long as Erica is not a fence-sitter. Erica starts explaining how it was her bad choices that caused her to end up in the life she's in. Dr. Tom gives her a pad to start writing them down. It's a long list. Though there's more, he decides to focus on a single one.

The fall dance. She had plans to have a great time and getting drunk messed up all up. The kids talked about it for a long time afterwards.

He remarks that she really cares what other people think. She tries to deny this, but he says he's not interested in helping her any more until she's more committed to changing. He asks her if she's willing to fix her problems. After a bit of hesitation, she says "Yes!"

High School Erica

Erica in her High school years

With this answer, he asks her if she had the chance to go back, what would she change? She answers her that she would not drink and ruin the night. Just as she says this, she starts to feel really cold, and she's transported back to high school. She meets her former teacher, Mr. Leeds. He asks her if she's okay. Still confused, she heads home. Disoriented, she heads home to find her father smoking pot in the living room, and a younger version of her brother-in-law coming home from school with her younger sister. She rushes to her room to think. She realizes that she just needs to fix what she wanted to fix and then she'll be able to go home.

The next morning, after rummaging through her clothes and hugging her college-bound brother, Leo, she heads to school. She notices the hot dog vendor is Dr. Tom. She demands an explanation, but is told this is what she needs to complete her therapy: a chance to do it all over. Her plan: dance her ass off, make out with her boyfriend Noah and... remember her locker combination. So far so good. Her friends come over to remark on her weird behaviour, but she brushes it off. Her boyfriend then comes over for a few kisses. Later that night, while Erica is getting ready for the dance, she starts to shave her legs and realizes her bikini line needs trimming too. From the perspective of Josh who is peeking through a crack in the door though, it seems like a lot more. She catches him watching, and he bolts.

At the dance, Erica and Noah are sitting in the car. Erica is very anxious to sleep with him, but he's not so enthusiastic and wants to wait. She starts explaining that she doesn't want to wait and regrets not doing it. He doesn't understand why she's in such a rush, and says they could do it tomorrow. She doesn't want to wait because she's scared that there will be no tomorrow for them. He brushes her off gently and tells her to head to the dance while he parks the car.

In the dance hall, her friend Jenny tells her a 10th Grader is spreading a rumour about her episode with the leg razor. She tells her it's not true. Her boyfriend then rushes over to tell her the same thing. It's just a misunderstanding. Identifying Josh as the source of the rumour, Noah intends to take Josh outside, but Erica stops him. Confused as to why she would stop him, he leaves in a huff.Though she is technically 16 again, her mind has still matured to 32. Mr. Leeds asks her if she's okay again, and she starts ranting about how immature teenagers are despite their adult appearance. Realizing this must seem weird, she leaves the dance to find Dr. Tom. Dr. Tom is relaxing outside with a newspaper. Erica thinks she's done what she came to do, and wants to go home. From Dr. Tom's cryptic remarks though, her Quantum Leap-like job is not done.

Heading back to the dance, she's intercepted by her now very drunk friend Katie.She's been drinking vodka in the girls' bathroom, and even without Erica drinking her supposed share, the bottle is three quarters empty. Believing this is too much for Katie, Erica attempts to stop her. Jenny arrives to accuse her of acting really weird lately. Erica gives up and starts to leave, but Katie starts to throw up...on Erica's dress.Katie rushes for the toilet with Erica starting to hold her up. Jenny tells her she'll do it, while she cleans off her dress to no avail. She decides to change by removing her dress and getting Jenny to get her gym clothes from her locker. She'll take care of Katie. After Jenny leaves though, Katie collapses. Erica calls out, but no one answers.

Desperate, Erica wraps her top in toilet paper and rushes to the gym to get help. A half-naked girl at a dance does attract wanted and unwanted attention though. An ambulance has arrived to take Katie to the hospital. Erica, now in her extra clothes, turns to Noah, but he just ignores her and walks off. Mr. Leeds informs her that Katie's parents have been called. Satisfied, she heads out to find Dr. Tom. He's disappeared though. She does bump into the young Judith, but they haven't met yet so Judith doesn't recognize her. Mr. Leeds chases after her outside to offer her his help.

Erica tries to explain what's really going on, about being from the future, and finds that she even sounds crazy to herself. She wants him to believe her. She thinks he must believe she is crazy because she just walked naked into the formal. He tells her instead he was thinking that she was brave for doing what needed to be done to get her friend help. Then she starts to feel cold again.She wakes up in her apartment to her mother knocking on the door. She opens the door to find her mother and father. She finds that she's only been gone for one hour. Trevor, the Lava Life date, shows up to ask if she wants to go out, but suggests she changes out of her pyjamas first. She considers it, but decides to find Dr. Tom. His office is gone and has changed into a Second Cup coffee shop. Dr. Tom does show up behind her and Erica wants an explanation for the set up. He explains to her that though she still cared about what other people thought, she did what she did anyway. She claims she had to, but he counters that nobody is forced to do anything. She says she failed again, but he says she didn't fail. He wanted her to learn that her opinions mattered more than the opinions of her family and friends. "I have to leave now. I'll see you soon." He then smirks and walks away, disappearing into the crowd.

"Change. Sometimes it sneaks up on you. Sometimes it hits you over the head. And sometimes you turn a corner, only to find you're different in some small way, and that the world doesn't look quite like it used to.

Erica wondering what will happen next

So, where do I go from here? No idea. And for the first time, I feel like that's a good thing."

Quotes used Edit

List of Quotes Dr.Tom mentioned in the Episode:

  • In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. (Albert Einstein)
  • Curiosity does, no less than devotion, pilgrims make. (Abraham Cowley)
  • Pressure makes diamonds. (General George S. Patton)
  • The life which is unexamined is not worth living. (Plato)
  • We learn by doing. There is no other way. (John Holt)
  • Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand. (Baruch Spinoza)
  • If life's journey be endless where is its goal? The answer is, it is everywhere. (Rabindranath Tagore)

Music Edit

  • "Tricks Are For Kids" by Lauren Evans
  • "It's A Lovely Day Today" by Stacey Kent
  • "Where Does The Good Go" by Tegan and Sara
  • "Yesterday Man" by Roz Bell
  • "Tainted Love" by Neverending White Lights
  • "There She Goes" by LA's
  • "My Old School" by Steely Dan
  • "Roam" by The B52's
  • "Right Here Right Now" by Jesus Jones
  • "Wishing Well" by Terence Trent D'Arby
  • "It Must Have Been Love" by Roxette
  • "Tainted Love" by Neverending White Lights
  • "Free Your Mind" by En Vogue
  • "Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer
  • "More Than Words" by Extreme
  • "Where Does The Good Go" by Tegan and Sara