Let’s Get Down to Business
Photo: Apple TV+
Well, I really feel invigorated! That episode delivered simply the proper of high-octane blitz I’ve been wanting from Physical and now I’m simply craving extra, extra, extra, as a result of all of it flew by so quick. So right here we go: 5, 6, 7, 8!
“Clap, punch, kick. Clap, punch, kick. Clap, punch, kick.”
Sheila is reciting aerobics combos in her head. She’s waking up early and sneaking into her storage to work out in her PJs with a boombox. She’s hiding the money she swindled from Bunny beneath her mattress (that espresso can is sort of a supporting character at this level) and, when she’s not utilizing that money to mainly refund Bunny one aerobics class at a time, she’s tapping out aerobics rhythms on her kitchen counter. She is, as ’80s lady group Exposé tells us within the rating to this opening montage, being taken to the point of no return. (The first actually electrifying soundtrack selection of the present to this point! More, extra, extra please!)
But additionally, Sheila appears to be, for the very first time, content material. This all feels so thrilling, but additionally complicated and regarding. Is she simply changing one dependancy with one other? We see no bulimic exercise on this episode, however we do see some slight OCD tendencies in how she will be able to’t cease repeating aerobics directions to herself, and he or she is doing that factor the place you get obsessively into one thing and all you consider is how to take a look at of the remainder of your life and get again to that factor. When class ends in the beginning of this episode, Sheila tells herself, “And just like that, it’s over and you’re you again. Just another sweaty bitch sitting on your fat ass waiting for the next one. How long until you get back there. What’s it gonna take?”
Maybe what it’ll take is transitioning from pupil to instructor. Sheila asks Bunny and Tyler if she will be able to educate a category, promising she’d usher in a recent, new batch of attendees and that it’d be a boon for Bunny’s business. “You’re just like his porn directors: overpromising and under-delivering,” Bunny quips, which is humorous; then Tyler asks, “Isn’t passive income the American dream?” Except I don’t assume SoCal surfer stoners from the ’80s had phrases like “passive income” of their lexicon, however whatevs! Bunny acquiesces, however tells Sheila to swap out her ballet gear for exercise put on and to “bring some toilet paper” as a result of “I can’t afford another trip to the gyno” and I’m undecided I get that joke, however whatevs!
If Sheila needs she could possibly be extra like Bunny within the studio, another person appears to be sliding into Sheila’s turf at house: Simone, whose presence main Danny’s newest marketing campaign meeting makes me snicker. (Here’s a notice I wrote down, and actually, I can’t bear in mind if it got here from Sheila’s inside monologue on the present or my precise inside monologue in my brain, however both approach: They are completely gonna fuck.) Maybe it’s the aerobics speaking or perhaps it’s as a result of Simone, like, instructed Sheila how to cross out snacks and provides on the goddamned meeting (W-O-W), however afterwards, Sheila stands up to Danny and for herself when he asks her to gather signatures for him. “I have Maya, babe,” she informs him (“and a fucking life,” she says to herself), however then she realizes that she will be able to kill two birds with one stone by canvassing for brand spanking new aerobics college students on the similar time. There’s only one drawback: None of the ladies she talks to have an interest on this newfangled aerobics factor.
Or, it could possibly be that not one of the girls are focused on being round her, as a result of as the subsequent two scenes bluntly hammer house, girls don’t actually like Sheila as a result of Sheila places on airs indicating that she doesn’t actually like them. First, Simone (who now waltzes into Sheila and Danny’s house with out knocking) asks her, “Do you have any tennis friends or mom friends who will help us out?” (“Tennis friends” + “mom friends” + Rose Byrne instantly made me consider this Bridesmaids scene.) Danny interjects with, “Sheila’s never had any female friends,” which elicits a patronizing sort of sympathy from Simone: “I also struggle to connect with other women,” Simone coos at Sheila, “or at least, they struggle to connect with me.” It’s a hilarious and jaw-dropping remark for Simone to make, but additionally, it sounds rather a lot like Sheila’s interior voice? This complete present, Sheila’s been placing different girls down in her head and getting so wrapped up in her personal inside monologue that she acts downright dismissively towards individuals like Greta—a wonderfully good lady who, Sheila appears to have satisfied herself, has a extremely contagious type of loser-ish fatness—and her previous ballet instructor, Abigail, who she goes to go to for the primary time ever within the hopes of scrounging up some aerobics disciples. “You’re the only student of mine who hasn’t been here yet,” Abigail pointedly remarks. When she finds out Sheila goes to educate a category, her response is much more barbed: “I didn’t know you liked people enough to do that.” She additionally says that when she’d invite Sheila to a celebration, it wasn’t simply that Sheila wouldn’t come; it additionally appeared as if Sheila by no means even heard Abigail invite her within the first place. (Just like Greta!)
Man, Abigail simply nails her on this scene—which feels slightly gratifying to me as a viewer as a result of unexpectedly, the entire questions I’ve been asking myself about Sheila and precisely what sort of individual she comes throughout as on the surface are being answered. (I’ll quibble that it virtually appears like all of the solutions are all of a sudden coming slightly too simply, no?)
In true antiheroine trend, Sheila reacts to being rebuffed by Abigail by stealing the tackle ebook she wielded like a treasure map (ha HA!), and as we pay attention to Sheila’s finish of all these telephone calls, we get much more affirmation that aerobics has develop into as a lot a salvation for her as it’s a compulsion. “You’ll be amazed by how quickly it transforms you,” she says. “After just one class, you can feel it happen—you becoming you again.”
Speaking of turning into you once more, we obtain one other puzzle piece from Sheila’s previous as she walks by way of the mall to get to the studio and stops to have a look at a TV in a retailer window. Someone named Jack is on the display, spouting a really Seventies pressure of pop psychology. “You used to fuck that buffoon,” Sheila thinks to herself, and talking of fucking a buffoon, John Breems saunters up. (They are completely gonna fuck.) It’s a terrific interplay that crackles with uncertainty as Sheila and Breem every strive to measurement up the opposite, however simply as Breem looks as if he’s about to need one thing from her, Sheila tells him she’s working late and leaves.
Finally, we’re inside Sheila’s first-class. Greta is there, approach within the again the place Sheila used to position herself. After fumbling with the stereo and messing up her first few directions to the category, Sheila lastly finds a groove as Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough” blares. (Another slamming soundtrack choice, and in addition, one other track hinting at addictive or obsessive tendencies.) Sheila is, eventually, emanating all of the elements of herself, the wholesome and the not-as-healthy: She’s doing her phrase-repetition factor in her head whereas additionally berating Greta in her head whereas additionally encouraging her college students to use “every ugly thought you’ve ever had about yourself to fuel you,” which could possibly be her speaking or could possibly be Jack from the TV speaking. It’s a terrific scene and I would like to go watch it once more.
In the aftermath, a couple of issues occur. Sheila is shocked to see how little she’s paid for her instructing, prompting Bunny to provide up a sarcastic platitude: “Welcome to America. None of this is yours.” (Earlier on this episode, there was a second the place we heard Bunny speaking on the telephone in one other language and it’s hinted that she’s not initially from America. I’m enticed by this little narrative thread and excited to see what unfurls from it.) Then Sheila leaves the mall and finds Greta crying in her automobile. While her interior voice tells her to keep away from that pathetic cow, her higher instincts pull her towards Greta. (See, she can need to be round different girls!) Even extra shocking, she provides to educate Greta non-public, in-home classes so she will be able to keep away from the disgrace she felt in school.
The subsequent morning, Sheila wakes up earlier than Danny (as per normal now) and counts her coffee-can money. She’s nonetheless not shut to replenishing the grand that they had of their checking account, so she… heads to the studio on the morning time? To steal extra money? (That’s my finest guess.) What she occurs upon as an alternative is a few of Danny’s browsing footage, which prompts an epiphany: Make an aerobics video. This is conveyed to us visually, with a fast flash of Sheila in her Jane Fonda Workout Video finest (by the way in which, how have I not made any Jane Fonda comparisons but?)—identical to when Sheila’s thoughts’s eye made the connection between aerobics and binge consuming.
So we all know the place that is getting into Episode 4… 5, 6, 7, 8!