Shrinking Episode 1 and 2 Recap and Ending, Explained

AppleTV+’s ‘Shrinking’ is a comedy-drama series created by Brett Goldstein (‘Ted Lasso‘), Bill Lawrence (‘Scrubs’), and Jason Segel (‘How I Met Your Mother‘). It follows Jimmy Laird, a therapist grieving the loss of his wife. Jimmy’s grief has an adverse effect on his personal life. Meanwhile, Jimmy takes an unconventional approach to treating his patients by telling them his real feelings and thoughts. Jimmy’s decisions have a drastic impact on his and his patients’ lives. If you are wondering how Jimmy deals with the complicated emotional situations in his life while working as a therapist, here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Shrinking.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!

Shrinking Episode 1 and 2 Recap

The first episode, titled ‘Coin Flip,’ opens with Jimmy Laird (Jason Segel) having a pool party with hookers and doing drugs at his house. Jimmy’s neighbor, Liz, is alarmed and puts things into perspective for him. In the morning, Jimmy gets left for his appointment at a psychiatrist’s office. However, it is revealed that Jimmy is a therapist struggling with his mental health. During his day, Jimmy becomes depressed after listening to his patients talk about the same issues but not taking any corrective steps.

Jimmy lashes out at Grace, a patient in an abusive relationship. He tells Grace to leave her husband or stop seeing him as her therapist. Meanwhile, Jimmy vents to Dr. Paul Rhodes (Harrison Ford), his senior, and colleague Gaby (Jessica Williams). After Grace takes Jimmy’s advice and leaves her husband, she sees a positive change in her life. As a result, Jimmy is promoted to share his actual feelings with his patients to help them grow. However, Paul exclaims that Jimmy is robbing his patients of a chance to grow on their own and acting unethically.

Simultaneously, we learn that Jimmy’s wife, Tia, has passed away. As a result, Jimmy is grieving and losing control of his life. His relationship with his daughter, Alice, also deteriorates. Jimmy’s neighbor, Liz, looks after Alice and becomes a surrogate parent to her. On the other hand, Jimmy takes on a new patient Sean, a young man with anger management issues. After making a bad first impression on Sean, Jimmy decides to take a similar approach to his problems as with Grace.

Jimmy signs Sean for an MMA class, which miraculously helps him control an urge to fight. Consequently, Jimmy decides to regain control of his own life and tries to make amends with Alice. He attends Alice’s soccer game but creates a scene after Grace’s husband attacks him. Sean fights with Grace’s husband, and the two men are arrested. However, Alice appreciates Jimmy’s efforts but isn’t ready to forgive him just yet.

The second episode, titled ‘Fortress of Solitude,’ sees Jimmy bailing Sean out of police custody. However, Grace’s husband presses charges against him. Therefore, Jimmy contacts his best friend, Brian, a lawyer. Brian takes care of the assault charges and convinces Grace’s husband to drop them. However, when Brian invites Jimmy to a game of Pickleball, he shies away, hinting at the animosity between the two.

Elsewhere, Alice discusses her issues with Paul, who acts like a friendly ear while providing therapy for her. Alice contemplates extending an olive branch to Jimmy by agreeing to have dinner with him. Meanwhile, Jimmy and Liz are called in by Alice’s Principal, who wants to discuss Alice’s college prospects. However, the meeting leaves Jimmy with the impression that Liz is overstepping her boundaries. Alice is invited to a party by her friend but also has plans with Liz.

Shrinking Episode 2 Ending: Do Jimmy and Alice Have Dinner?

The first two episodes of the series highlight the issues between the father-daughter duo Jimmy and Alice. After the death of his wife, Jimmy’s grief led him into a spiral, and he ended up neglecting his daughter in the process. However, as the narrative progresses, Jimmy tries to mend his relationship with Alice. After her dad starts making efforts, Alice also gives him a chance to make amends. Encouraged by her conversation with Paul, Alice decides to have dinner with Jimmy. As a result, she postpones her dinner plan with Liz and gets them chicken sandwiches.

On the other hand, Jimmy realizes that he has distanced himself from Brain for far too long. Therefore, he agrees to join Brian in a game of Pickleball. After seeing her father make plans, Alice backs out of her idea of having dinner with him. While Paul goes to play Pickleball, Alice visits Paul and has dinner with him while watching a game of basketball.

The chain of events triggered by the dinner plan is hilarious as well as emotional. While it keeps Jimmy and Alice from mending their relationship, it also highlights their mutual understanding. It furthers Paul’s shamanic presence in the father and daughter’s life while Liz receives a harsh reality check. Therefore, the very simple dinner conflict highlights the need for emotional transparency in relationships giving the show a firm grasp of its theme and tonality very early.

Do Jimmy and Brian Reconcile?

Brian is Jimmy’s best friend, but the duo has grown distanced since the death of Jimmy’s wife. However, after meeting Brian again and spending time with Sean, Jimmy realizes the importance of spending time with his loved ones. While Jimmy is grieving the loss of Tia, he must also find a way to move forward. It is an advise Brian consistently throws advice his way. In the second episode, we learn that Brian is naturally optimistic, encouraging everyone to look at the brighter side of things. However, after Tia’s death, Jimmy becomes nihilistic, leading to a rift between the two.

At the end of the episode, Jimmy admits to enjoying the game with Brian but isn’t ready to make things normal. He explains that being around Brian stopped him from hitting rock bottom when he needed to feel miserable to bounce back. Brian’s presence made it difficult for Jimmy to find his own way to deal with the loss. The episode ends with Jimmy recognizing Brian’s efforts, and the two friends reconcile. However, the episode ends with Sean’s parents throwing him out and him moving in with Jimmy. Sean’s arrival could change the future dynamic between the two friends.

Read More: Is Shrinking Based on a True Story?