Mia: The Piano Man
More parent(ing) issues. We feared the show was setting up a miscarriage; Mia is grieving. Her mother, recognizing that something’s amiss, comes over to talk: Mia’s birth didn’t ruin her mother’s faltering modeling career, but her mind. Mom spent a depressed postnatal year in bed, during which Mia and her father bonded. Paul asks Mia to grapple with the possibility that her mother isn’t as bad as she always thought. She resists and things get tense — Paul also pushes her to consider that her father isn’t as perfect as she’s insisted either, and to face this before her parents die. He’s the one who shunted her to Jersey as a kid and sold the piano. It’s not that Mia never found the right guy; she’s been pushing them away while clinging to this false idea of her father. In the end, Mia explains that she was never really pregnant; she’d never got around to a pregnancy test, and initially mistook her period for a miscarriage.
April: Trust Baby
Mia’s episode sets a high bar (for dramatic revelation and capturing the nuances of the client/therapist relationship), and April’s episode just about reaches it. Worried Paul called her mother and explained the cancer diagnosis when she was hospitalized for an infection; April is furious. Paul figures that her mother, afraid of autistic Daniel’s uncontrolled emotions, taught young April to toughen up; since then, April has been unable to trust — and she’s been quietly, independently perfect, always her mother’s hero-after-the-fact. Paul encourages her to use this struggle as a rebirth, helps her to leave, and asks her to let him know about the blood tests — just as he asked Mia to call and let him know how she’s doing. Looks like Paul’s regained his balance between humanity and professionalism, and learned how to offer his experiences without becoming overly involved. Things, however, do not look so good for April.