Once and Again
Food For Thought

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Niki: A | Grade It Now!
Chew on This

We cut to a shot of Rick wandering in the waiting room as Jessie voice-overs, "Everybody is, like, successful, or whatever." The office door opens and Jessie joins Rick and Karen. Dr. Rosenfeld pokes his head into the room and asks if it's okay for all of them to meet next time. Karen and Rick quickly agree and dive for their daybooks. Jessie's discussion with the doctor continues as voice-overs. "Well, my dad's an architect, and he's working on this big project downtown that's in the news." "Whoa, and your mom's the President?" Karen peruses her schedule and asks how Friday is. The doc says he was hoping for something sooner. Rick taps his Palm Pilot, and Karen thumbs through her book while Jessie watches them, looking apologetic. "She's a public-interest lawyer," her voice-over tells the doctor. Karen and Rick continue trying to juggle their appointments. "You're right," the doc agrees, "that's a very successful family."

And we're back in time and back in the office again as Dr. Rosenfeld asks whether Jessie has any brothers or sisters. She tells him about Eli. "And he's the President?" Dr. Wise-Ass quips. Jessie smiles and says that Eli is a great athlete. The doctor brings up grades. Jessie fidgets with her hands as she admits that Eli has a learning disability. The doctor pretends to be shocked and disappointed by the news. Jessie jumps to Eli's defense. "Well, it's not like he's not smart," she says. The doctor's frowning a little as he says, "Well, that's not very successful of you brother, is it?" She wants to know what he means. The doc says that Jessie claims her family is "so successful, so how come [her] parents are divorced and [her] brother has a learning disability?" "Well nobody's perfect," she snaps. Her voice is a little choked. The doctor has hit a nerve. "Ah," he says sagely. "Except you." "I'm not perfect," Jessie says. "You're not?" he asks, as if issuing a challenge. "I'm not. I'm a slob. I'm a million things," Jessie confesses, picking at her cuffs. "I'm not popular. I'm just this dork."

The scene changes to the underground parking, where Rick and Karen are walking with Jessie. Things switch back and forth between voice-overs, the session, and the scene in the garage afterward, so just bear with me. In a voice-over from the session, Dr. Rosenfeld voice-overs the question of how Jessie's parents feel about her being a dork. She says she doesn't know. Karen tentatively asks Jessie what she thought of the session. Jessie says she doesn't know. Karen asks what they talked about. "Just stuff," Jessie answers. Back in the office, the doc wants to know why they had Jessie come to see him. "They think I'm anorexic," she says. Her face falls. In the garage, Karen asks if the doctor talked about Jessie's eating. "Sort of," Jessie evades. "And they're upset about that," the doctor asks Jessie. "Oh, yes," Jessie says regally. She has an odd expression, like she thinks the parentoids are overreacting and being ridiculous, but at the same time she's sort of enjoying it. Karen gives Jessie a mini-lecture on how "we owe it to ourselves to try" to fix problems when we can because there are so many things "we can't control." Man, she's annoying. Like Jessie hasn't had enough to deal with -- now she needs a lecture, too? The doc says, "If your mom went to your teacher over a B, I can imagine how upset they'd be if you were anorexic." Jessie gives him an emphatic "yeah." He suggests it'd be "kind of like a C...or a D..." He lets it hang there for a moment before saying that he'd like to see Jessie again. He tells her that he doesn't want to see her to make her parents happy; he only wants to see her if it's what Jessie wants, too. Jessie agrees. "So what grade do I get?" he asks mockingly, throwing his arms up in the air. Jessie chuckles, but we cut away before we get to hear her answer.

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Once and Again




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