Major, major spoilers for Season 1 of Shrinking, specifically the finale, are ahead! Read with caution. If you haven’t seen the comedy yet, you can stream it with an Apple TV+ subscription.
I think Shrinking easily had one of the more shocking cliffhangers out of the shows on the 2023 TV schedule so far. It really felt like things were getting better, the characters were healing and they were all in a good place when we left them. However, one violent decision made by Grace in the final moments of the finale will change the show forever, and deeply impact Season 2.
What Happened In The Final Moments Of Shrinking’s Finale
Early in Shrinking’s finale “Closure,” Jimmy (Jason Segel) had been in a session with Grace (who is played by Heidi Gardner, who is best known as a cast member of SNL), where they talked about Donny (Tilky Jones) and how she’s been “boop-ing” him, and standing up for herself. She tells her therapist that if Donny were to criticize her while they were standing on a cliff, she’d push him off of it. Jimmy then says he’s proud of her and how far she’s come, because she has been defending herself and not tolerating her husband's emotional abuse. However, Grace took Jimmy’s praise a little too literally, and that’s how we ended up with this wild ending.
Things were going great in the final moments of the episode. We left our main cast dancing at Brian’s wedding. It really seemed like they’d all turned a new page, and were truly healing. However, everything went south in the final moments when the episode cut to Grace on a hike with Donny.
He was being extremely rude, and Grace was trying to stand up for herself. He called her an “idiot” and told her to “shut the fuck up or I’ll shut you up.” After he notes the beautiful view while standing by the edge of a cliff, we saw Grace’s gears turning. She then walks up the cliff, and pushes Donny off of it, saying “boop.” So, talk about a problem going into Season 2 of the Apple TV+ series.
How Shrinking’s Cliffhanger Could Impact Season 2
There’s always been a looming question in Shrinking about when the other shoe was going to drop as Jimmy practiced frowned upon therapy techniques. His relationship with his client Grace is one of these minor, but consistent, storylines of the season that highlights the pros and cons of said unconventional practices. While Jimmy straight-up telling Grace to leave her husband led to her standing up for herself, and recognizing the abusive relationship she was in, it also led to her literally pushing Donny off a cliff, which is not OK on a lot of levels.
Throughout the season Jimmy’s tactics had been questioned (and criticized) by his co-workers Paul (Harrison Ford) and Gabby (Jessica Williams), however, in Season 2 it seems like we’re going to see the legal ramifications of the main character’s practices. Since Grace killed her husband it seems obvious that Jimmy’s unconventional practices and encouragement would become part of the investigation. So, not only does Grace have a big problem on her hands, Jimmy does too, and it’s a problem that will most definitely affect everyone in his life, especially his colleagues and their practice.
One of the EPs and co-creators of Shrinking, Brett Goldstein, explained that he learned a lot about “intentionality” while working with Jason Sudeikis on Ted Lasso. And all this intentional development and groundwork laid in Season 1 that led to Grace’s final action will deeply impact Season 2. I’d imagine Season 2 will deal with the ramifications of Grace’s actions and Jimmy’s advice. It seems possible that Jimmy could lose his license, and his relationships with Paul and Gabby will be put on the line. Jimmy’s relationship with his daughter Alice (Lukita Maxwell) will also probably become even rockier as they deal with all the legal, financial and relationship trouble that will come with the investigation into Donny’s death.
However, the show’s co-creator Bill Lawrence told Variety that Season 2 is all about “forgiveness,” and with that knowledge, I hope the season is all about the cast of Shrinking coming together and coming to terms with everything they’ve been through.