Once and Again
Food For Thought

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Some guy in a sweater vest pops his head around the corner. I guess he's the therapist because that's what they always seem to wear. He introduces himself as Daniel Rosenfeld. He's really Edward Zwick, the show's executive producer, and one of the forces behind My So-Called Life. Dr. Rosenfeld asks if it's okay for him and Jessie to talk alone at first, just to get to know each other, and then next time they'll all sit down together. The parentals agree, and Jessie looks like she's being led to an appointment with an eighteenth-century dentist's drill.

As soon as her ass hits the chair in Dr. Rosenfeld's office, he's saying, "So, you don't like eating." He twirls his glasses in his hand and stares at her confrontationally. "If you have to look at one more leafy green vegetable or one more piece of meat, you'll kill yourself." Jessie, arms folded, looks at him like he's mental. She denies that she's suicidal over vittles. "So you love eating. This is all a conspiracy," Dr. Wise-Ass says next. Jessie raises her eyebrows and gives him another disdainful "no." "So what are you doing here?" he demands. "They made me," Jessie answers, her eyes shifting toward the door.

"They," meanwhile, are camped out in the waiting room. Rick asks about the doctor, and whether he's a friend of Leo's. Karen, thumbing through a magazine, says they just worked together, and Leo said that "he's really good." "Leo is...uh..." Rick says lamely. Karen shuts her magazine firmly and says, "An epidemiologist." There's an edge in her voice, like she already knows where Rick's questions are headed. Rick's drumming his fingers on the arm of his chair. "But he knows about therapists," he says. Karen's voice is hard as she informs him, "If you wanted a different therapist, you could have found one." It's a good point. They both stare straight ahead.

Dr. Wiseacre, meanwhile, is commiserating with Jessie about how hard it is to be thirteen. He remembers that his parents forced him to take piano lessons, and he "had no discernible talent whatsoever." He concludes by saying that he thinks "if you make it to your fourteenth birthday, they should just give you a medal." Jessie's eyeing him with her head tipped back, resting on the chair. The doctor snagged her attention with the last comment. "I'm almost there," she says, fighting a little smile. He congratulates her then asks what she "likes to do, to read, to play." She says she likes lots of things, and his approval encourages her to keep divulging. She tells him about her black belt in tae kwon do. "Very cool," he says before asking what her grades are like. She tells him, "A's." "Excuse me," he says, "all A's? Nobody gets all A's. There's not a little B in there somewhere?" Jessie confesses that she got a B in Science last year, but her "mom went and spoke to the teacher and there was this whole big thing so [she] got an A for the rest of the year." "Well, I guess if you got a C you could never show your face again," the good doc muses. "Why would I get a C?" Jessie asks, looking at him like he's grown another head. The doctor mocks her, saying that he's "never met anyone who's gotten a C." Jessie says she's just lucky, she guesses. The doc agrees that she's "very, very lucky" and then switches the subject back to tae kwon do, asking how long it took her to get a black belt. "Four years," she says. He asks how long it takes most kids. She says she doesn't know. "Yeah, you do," he counters. Man, he's good. He suggests, "Like six, seven years? Most never do?" Jessie says she guesses so. The doc goes for the arm cross, which means he's about to challenge her some more. "So you're a very motivated kid," he says. Jessie says not really. "And a very modest kid," he says. Jessie hesitates until he tells her it's okay to say she's modest. Blushing, she admits that she's modest. "And you demand a lot of yourself," the doc notes. "That's sort of my family," Jessie says. A-ha! The doc's ears perk as he eyes her levelly and asks what she means.

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Once and Again

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