Shrinking Season 1 Episode 3 Recap – what is Gaby’s secret?

By Adam Lock
Published: February 3, 2023 (Last updated: February 14, 2024)
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Shrinking provides equal screen-time to all the many cast members, as their own individual stories build in a satisfactory manner. This is wholesome and hilarious filmmaking. Yet again, Harrison Ford shines as the grief-stricken therapist Paul, it’s an utter joy to behold!

We recap the Apple TV+ series Shrinking Season 1 Episode 3, “Fifteen Minutes,” which contains spoilers.

Therapists are trained to assess and treat their patient’s emotional, social, and mental issues, but they are just regular human beings themselves, like you and me. They also face problems like any other person does. In Shrinking, the three main therapists of the series are clearly dealing with a lot of personal issues themselves. This may be grief, social pressures, or relationship problems. In the third episode, “Fifteen Minutes”, we get to see more of Paul (Harrison Ford) and Gaby’s (Jessica Williams) personal woes, alongside Jimmy’s (Jason Segel) main storyline.

Shrinking Season 1 Episode 3 Recap

Jimmy has decided to try a new tactic with his patients and is becoming far too involved in their personal lives. As if to illustrate this in painful detail, Jimmy crashes one of his patient’s dates in the opening scene. Alan is mortified to see his therapist sit opposite him, whilst his date goes to the toilet. Jimmy says that Alan has been an unreliable narrator, placing the blame on his dates, but he is the one who is putting on an act. Jimmy urges Alan to be himself, before shooting off.

Jimmy is heeding his own advice and is starting to make little changes. He has resumed his friendship with Brian, and the two are seen together, walking in the hills. Brian is still a little passive-aggressive about Jimmy’s previous ghosting, but palms it off in a sarcastic manner. Jimmy’s also helping out one of his patients (Sean) and trying to rebuild his relationship with his daughter Alice. Alice is less than enthusiastic about Sean staying at their house though. The two clash early on. Sean cleans up the house and throws out an old plant, which has sentimental value to Alice. Whilst fishing the plant out of the bin, Sean’s presence in the neighborhood starts an argument between a nosy neighbor and Liz.

How does Paul deal with his grief?

This installment also explores more of Paul’s personal life. Played exquisitely by Harrison Ford, he is fast becoming my favorite character in the series. Paul goes for a health check-up and is asked about his own emotional well-being. Paul jokes that he listens to his favorite sad songs for fifteen minutes exactly, each day, to let out the grief. He is also suffering from early-onset Parkinson’s disease, which may explain why he suddenly drives into Gaby’s brand-spanking new car at work. Gaby and Jimmy suggest he stops driving altogether, but Paul isn’t having any of it. Just to spite his colleagues, Paul retakes the driving assessment and passes with ease.

READ: Will there be a Shrinking Season 2?

Paul continues his cute meet-ups with Alice, down at the park. He asks her if she had dinner with her dad yet, which he proposed to her in a previous installment. Alice says no, she is easily irritated by everyone and everything at the moment, she doesn’t feel sociable or herself. Paul understands what Alice is going through, adding that grief can sneak up on you. He passes on his fifteen-minute sad songs idea. Alice takes him up on this suggestion and is caught by Jimmy, whimpering to her playlist. Jimmy goes to cook himself some piping hot pizza and Alice joins him for the meal. It’s a wholesome resolution, the two finally sharing a loving moment together. Hurray!

What is Gaby’s secret?

Later, Jimmy catches Gaby cheating on her husband and confronts the co-worker that night. The two are out for drinks with Brian and Jimmy can’t help but bring up the scandal. Gaby admits that she is getting a divorce and is relieved that her relationship is finally over. Brian congratulates her and they plan to celebrate signing the papers with a divorce party. Jimmy is unsure about attending, fearing that Gaby is in denial, and he asks Paul for some words of wisdom. The ever-wise therapist tells Paul that everybody grieves differently. He believes Jimmy spent a year numbing himself and now he has replaced that self-destructive streak with a new one, becoming overly involved in his patients’ lives. As a parting gift, Paul suggests the fifteen-minute sad songs playlist.

Taking up Paul on his recommendation, Jimmy cycles to Gaby’s with a sad song playing on repeat. It works a treat and soon Jimmy is in floods of tears, even before he has a small crash. At Gaby’s, his co-worker isn’t her usual, flamboyant self. She admits that she is feeling guilty about the breakup. Gaby also states that she is missing Tia (Jimmy’s wife) and needs her best friend during this trying time. Jimmy says he is here for her and the two hug. Then Brian turns up with balloons and booze, but this time he reads the room perfectly.

Shrinking Season 1 Episode 3 Ending

Alice is starting to improve too, dealing with her own grief as well. She laughs with her friend and reaches out to those who are supporting her. First, she shares pizza with Jimmy and then she has a chat with neighbor Liz, who has been her mother figure of late. Sean apologizes to Alice about chucking out the plant and the two housemates have a casual conversation. Alice confesses that she feels guilty about laughing whilst bereaved and Sean cracks a dead mom joke. It shocks Alice, but she does laugh. Liz spies on these two, believing they are flirting.

Liz happens to bump into Paul, whilst out shopping. The poor man can’t go anywhere without being asked for advice. Liz introduces herself and tells Paul about Alice and Sean’s interaction. She also thanks Paul for helping Alice. Paul is shocked to hear that one of Jimmy’s patients is living at his house. He instantly calls Jimmy up and let’s rip. Paul orders Jimmy to look after his daughter, to put her needs first. Jimmy tries to explain himself, but Paul is livid. Jimmy admits that he knows about Paul and Alice’s secret meetings. He thanks Paul for helping her out and you can tell that he really means it.

Alan messages Jimmy, thanking him for his advice. The rebel therapist shtick seems to be working. Jimmy gets another win; Alan sends a photograph of himself with his date from the opening scene. Jimmy celebrates with cake, but his high is short-lived. Walking the hills the next day, he notices Grace is back with her emotionally-abusive husband. Maybe his tactics aren’t working after all?

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