Physical may be all about disordered eating, lies, and self-hatred, but that doesn’t mean the Apple TV+ show can’t be hot. Decider has your exclusive first look at Shelia’s (Rose Byrne) latest self-destructive habit. And in Season 2, it involves spanking.
Last season ended with Rose starting an affair with John Breem (Paul Sparks), the Mormon mall owner who served as her foil throughout Season 1. We’ve seen a lot of sex scenes in this show, and most of them have ranged from unsettling to comedically bad. But when Shelia and John touched themselves from across the mall in “Let’s Get Together”, it was the steamiest this show has ever been. At least that’s the case until this week’s episode, “Don’t You Ever Stop.”
As Shelia is applying her makeup in preparation for an on-stage performance, Greta (Dierdre Friel) notices a bruise on her butt that’s the exact size and shape of a man’s hand. Greta, always quick to think the worst of Shelia’s husband, immediately assumes the mark is a sign of abuse. Shelia has three options: tell the truth and admit she’s having an affair, let Greta believe that Danny (Rory Scovel) is a monster, or come up with a more creative lie. You already know which option she chooses.
“It’s not what you’re thinking at all,” Shelia starts, remembering her very consensual and very hot hookups with John. “We’ve just been having, like, intense, you know…”
“Like hate sex?” Greta fires back. It takes seconds before Greta is back on board. “What you are doing? Like bossy stuff? Light bondage? Heavy bondage?”
“It’s more like emotional,” Shelia lies. “I know it’s not healthy. But it’s one way for me to figure it all out, you know?”
“It’s not healthy. But that’s super hot,” Greta says. That sort of unwavering support is what friends are for.
As funny as it is to see Greta hypothesize over Shelia’s sex life, this scene is a symptom of one of this show’s bigger problems. Out of everyone in her life, the one person Shelia should be able to trust is Greta. Shelia’s enemy-turned-best friend has stood by her side when she was at her cruelest and most distant. But even when it comes to admitting that she’s cheating on her obnoxious husband — a secret that Greta absolutely would love to hear — Shelia can’t tell the truth.
This lingering self-sabotage is partially what makes Physical such a great show. There are no easy answers or pretty bows in this story. Instead, there’s just one woman who keeps falling into traps of her own making, but for ever stumble and setback, she gets a little closer to becoming a better person.
Physical’s “Don’t You Ever Stop” premieres on Apple TV+ this Friday, June 10. New episodes premiere Fridays.