Harrison Ford is effortlessly exceptional in this installment, whilst Michael Urie makes for a welcome addition to the cast. This is another humorous and heartfelt episode. It might not be as succinct as the opener, but this is promising stuff indeed.
We recap the Apple TV+ series Shrinking Season 1 Episode 2, “Fortress of Solitude,” which contains spoilers.
The opening episode of Shrinking does a great job of setting up the narrative while introducing the show’s overall themes and tone. This Apple Original looks like another inspiring comedy series with a lot of heart, from the creators of Ted Lasso no less. Jason Segel plays therapist Jimmy Laird, who is grieving the loss of his wife, whilst trying to revolutionize his therapy techniques with outlandish methods. In the second installment, “Fortress of Solitude”, Jimmy tries to bond with his daughter Alice (Lukita Maxwell), and Sean (Luke Tennie) faces assault charges after the soccer match brawl.
Shrinking Season 1 Episode 2 Recap
After a year in a self-destructive downward spiral, Jimmy has finally started to make some progress with his life. He is trying his darnedest to reconnect with his daughter Alice and he’s making other small adjustments in his professional and personal life. However, Alice has been quite standoffish towards her father in return, still feeling some resentment over the way he distanced himself from her in her time of need. Jimmy invites her for dinner and Alice declines, stating that she’s going to Taco Tuesdays with Liz instead.
Who is Jimmy’s best friend?
Jimmy talks with co-worker Paul about Alice’s rejection. Paul tells Jimmy to be patient and not to force it. This will take time, wait until she is ready. Paul hears police sirens in the distance during the chat and asks Jimmy what’s going on. Jimmy is at the police station to bail out Sean, but he makes up an elaborate lie for Paul about donuts instead. Sean thanks Jimmy for bailing him out and asks if he knows any good lawyers, the victim is most definitely going to be pressing charges. Here, Jimmy is forced to contact Brian, his best friend, who he hasn’t spoken to in a year. What follows is of course an awkward phone conversation. Clearly, these two have a history.
At work, Jimmy tries to avoid Paul and lies about his black eye. Grace contacts Jimmy for her session over video chat. Again, Jimmy attempts to hide his shiner from those caught up in all this chaos. Next, Jimmy helps out another of his patients. This time it’s a hate-filled man, who is isolated because of his own simmering negativity. He forces the man to confront his fears and make small talk with an over-friendly barista. This isn’t exactly cage-fighting, but again Jimmy applies some of his out-of-the-box thinking with mild success.
Liz seems to be getting between Jimmy and Alice. She’s been supportive during the grieving process and has acted as a mother figure of sorts for Alice. But now Jimmy is on the road to recovery he needs Liz to back off. This is made embarrassingly obvious during a school meeting discussing Alice’s future. Afterward, Jimmy explains the situation to his work colleagues and Gaby proposes Jimmy faces his problems head-on. Gaby can’t help but interfere herself. She ends up getting into an argument with Liz though.
How does Paul find out about Jimmy’s lies?
She isn’t the only one meddling in Jimmy’s personal life. We catch up with Paul and Alice sat eating lunch together. Harrison Ford plays the role with his usual legendary ease, giving Alice advice without appearing too preachy. Paul tells her that she needs to decide whether to let the grief drown her or face it head-on. He suggests that she has dinner with Jimmy, to fake it until she makes it. Then they discuss the soccer match brawl, which Paul wasn’t aware of.
READ: Will there be a Shrinking Season 2?
Brian and Jimmy are reunited under odd circumstances. We find Brian representing Sean in a professional manner. Grace’s husband is pressing charges, with a fractured cheekbone and severe emotional distress to deal with. Brian counters this, mentioning the fact that they have thirty eyewitnesses that saw his client approach and assault Jimmy for no apparent reason. Brian works his magic and persuades them to drop their charges. He celebrates in style and invites Jimmy to his weekly sports match. Although Jimmy turns him down. This exciting new character returns in a later scene, interrupting one of Jimmy’s sessions. He makes a scene; angered Jimmy turned him down in the first place.
Shrinking Season 1 Episode 2 Ending Explained
Paul confronts Jimmy about the soccer match fight. He advises Jimmy to not mix up his professional life with his personal life and to focus on taking care of Alice. Things get rather personal, and Paul implies that he’s had issues with his own daughter in the past. He warns Jimmy not to let Alice slip away, to not jeopardize her well-being. You’d expect a happy ending of sorts with Jimmy and Alice eating dinner together and everything going back to normal, but this isn’t the Hollywood ending you have envisioned. Alice ditches Liz and waits for Jimmy, but he’s decided to go play pickleball with Brian instead. There’s an awkward back and forth, which ends in the two splitting, the meal is off.
Jimmy reunites with Brian and the two old friends bond. Brian asks why Jimmy ghosted him for a whole year and Jimmy begrudgingly confesses. Brian tried to help Jimmy mourn and he cut him off because he was too optimistic. Jimmy wanted to grieve and be miserable, yet Brian couldn’t see that. He was always trying to cheer him up, but Jimmy’s wife had died, and he was inconsolable. Brian apologizes and it looks like these two friends may just make it in the end.
The same can’t be said for his relationship with Alice. She goes to Paul’s house, breaking into the man’s fortress of solitude. Alice is annoyed that Jimmy shot her down, even though Alice kind of did the same thing to him. They are as bad as each other. Paul doesn’t pry, but it is great to see him changing too. He is a private man, yet here he’s finally letting someone in. If Liz is mothering Alice, then Paul is definitely trying to play the father figure here too. Possibly making up for his own failed relationship with his daughter all those years ago. The episode ends with Sean moving into Jimmy’s house. Another distraction for Jimmy and another annoyance for Alice.
What did you think of Shrinking Season 1 Episode 2? Comment below.