“Work Out” Recaps: Episode 206

Still at the retreat — At Skylab’s version of Overeaters Not-So-Anonymous, typical food topics have given way to more personal revelations. Laurie stunned the room last week when she welled up and revealed her father’s suicide. Jackie floored everyone, including herself, when she revealed that her dad did the same thing.

Jackie: My father came back from Vietnam mentally ill. He was a casualty of that war.
Gregg: It’s very hard to be able to really let that guard down. I just want you guys to know that I respect you guys … the hell out of you guys. You guys are incredible. [to Laurie] Hearing what you were saying about your father, you know, it’s shocking.
Laurie: It’s not really something that I talk about or tell people, but he killed my stepmom and then killed himself.

I doubt this is what the eating-disorder therapist signed up for. All her pearls about childhood and body image went right out the window with that last statement. She sits mute and slack-jawed like the others.

Breaking the silence, Rita tells a tearful Laurie that she’s beautiful and worthy of love. When Jackie looks around the room, she says she sees survivors, not victims. Rebecca feels the empathy growing and says the clients now know “that they don’t have to do this alone.”

The therapist smiles encouragingly and says to take good care and honor the healing that has taken place here today. Everyone hugs, and they finish the session on a cathartic note.

It’s hard to recap (read: mock) this show when no one’s calling anyone a beeyotch or throwing things at someone’s head. Jesse didn’t chime in to express his odd jealousies toward Rebecca because even though he’s a self-absorbed drama queen, he knows “my dad killed my stepmom” takes the wind out of his my-best-friend-is-doing-a-slut sails.

Delayed reaction — Back in L.A., it’s business as usual, with a new warm-and-fuzzy feeling. Jesse is starting to regret the nasty things he said to Rebecca and the puerile way he’s been acting about Jabecca. He says he has two sides: glib, quippy best-girlfriend Jesse, and big-mouthy, pain-in-the-ass Jesse.

Good Jesse decides it’s time to bury the hatchet, and not in Rebecca’s skull this time. He finds her out on the deck and sits down next to her.

Jesse: I wanted to apologize for my behavior this weekend. I’ve been going through a lot of stuff in my personal life lately. … Jackie’s just one of the only people that I consider family and so … I’ve been really trying to hold on tight to her and not really wanting to share. … Your relationship with Jackie is really none of my business … and you make her happy. She deserves a little joy in her life, as do you. And I hope that you can forgive me and we can move past it. And I promise never, ever to …
Rebecca: [laughs heartily]
Jesse: … attack you again.
Rebecca: Well, I know that it takes a big person to admit that, and I do appreciate you coming to me and apologizing. Thank you. Hug it out.

They hug. It’s the episode where everyone hugs.