Shrinking Season 1 Episode 5 Recap – why is Sean mentally unstable?

By Adam Lock
Published: February 17, 2023 (Last updated: February 14, 2024)
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Shrinking continues to deliver more of the same winning formula, concocting the right mixture of sarcasm and heart-warming character progression. “Woof” is just as fascinating as the earlier entries, although one particular scenario seemed a little far-fetched and distracting.

We recap the Apple TV+ series Shrinking Season 1 Episode 5, “Woof,” which contains spoilers.

The Apple Original series Shrinking has settled into a consistent flow, finding its unique balance of heart and humor with blistering success. In “Woof,” the principal cast members each have their mini-stories to tell and their distinct issues to overcome, as is the show’s standard structure. Jimmy (Jason Segel) has fallen out with his co-worker and mentor, Paul (Harrison Ford), and decides to move forwards without Paul’s usual support. Meanwhile, Sean (Luke Tennie) finds moving forward equally challenging. We also explore Brian’s (Michael Urieo) relationship issues and Paul’s family problems in another comforting and hilarious offering.

Shrinking Season 1 Episode 5 Recap

The last episode ended with Jimmy discovering the horrifying truth about his daughter Alice: she is very much in love with Sean. He rushes to Liz’s house to admit defeat and ask for support. One of Jimmy’s patients, a man who also happens to live with them, maybe romantically involved with his daughter. This is quite the predicament. Liz soaks up this glorious karma, and then Gaby pops up to rub it in his face further, although she is late for work and races over to Paul’s house. Jimmy comments on Paul’s anger problems and that he sometimes even barks at people if they annoy him, hence the episode’s title.

Why is Sean mentally unstable?

Jimmy may be worried about Sean dating Alice, but there are more significant problems. Jimmy suggests Sean tries to reconnect with his father and family. Sean hangs out with his father and brother down at the park. Everything is going well, but then the dad gives Sean a picture frame containing his medals. Sean panics and bolts. He contacts Alice, and she skips school to go for a walk with her infatuation. Sean climbs a water tower on this particular walk and dangles from the bars. Alice is concerned by his reckless and dangerous behavior. He’s on edge, both metaphorically and physically.

While at work, Jimmy tries to reconnect with Paul. His mentor cannot move past their latest argument, though, and refuses to accept Jimmy’s truce. In response, Jimmy suggests that they don’t talk to each other anymore. Gaby finds herself caught up in this work rivalry. Paul goes to her for support, and Gaby states that she doesn’t want to be his sloppy seconds, although she has been waiting for this moment for years.

Why won’t Brian propose to his partner?

Episode 5 explores more of Brian’s personal life too. The lawyer is in love with his partner Charlie and wants to propose to him. Unfortunately, Brian has made this announcement many times before but constantly changes his mind at the last minute. Gaby chimes in with her analysis of the problem, and Brian is initially apprehensive about being therapized. Later he meets with Gaby, and they delve deeper into his past. Brian admits that everything goes well because he doesn’t take any risks. Proposing to Charlie is a risk. He could say no, or they could get married and then divorce. Gaby passes on her advice about marriage, concluding that she would do it all again.

Jimmy’s more out-there therapy techniques have backfired of late. His first test patient Grace has ignored his messages after going back on her promise, so Jimmy turns up to one of her house viewings under a pseudonym. Jimmy apologizes for his forceful approach, and Grace again asks to be his patient. Back at home, Jimmy addresses Alice’s truancy. She stands up for herself and confesses to everything; she’s mainly worried about Sean. Jimmy tries to chat with Sean and decides to move out instead.

Paul and Alice have a heart-to-heart. Their cute, secret rendezvous have been effective in helping both individuals to heal, but they are both currently stuck in a rut. Paul won’t make amends with Jimmy, and he’s still not told his daughter about his Parkinson’s disease. Alice could move forward, knowing that her father was improving, but he has gone backward since, and so has Alice. She needs Paul to do the right thing, and the therapist needs to hear these harsh truths.

Shrinking Season 1 Episode 5 Ending Explained

The experienced therapist, Paul Rhodes, listens to Alice’s pep talk and does the right thing. He arrives at Jimmy’s house with beers and speaks openly with Sean. The war veteran admits that he doesn’t see himself as a hero. He hates the person he was overseas with and feels guilty about many of the decisions he made in the army. Paul tells Sean he is a good person; he needs to do the work, adding that they are here for him. Sean quips that Paul is a lot better at his job than Jimmy.

The episode ends with Paul mustering up the courage to tell his daughter the truth about his Parkinson’s disease. Again, Harrison Ford is exceptional, delivering these final lines with a jittery nervousness and vulnerability. Give this man all the awards!

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