PINK SKIES AHEAD*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
Los Angeles, 1998 – Winona Lendale (Jessica Barden) is taking her road test, but she keeps talking out of nerves, and it causes her to run a stop sign. She automatically fails and flips out.
Winona has blue hair and lives with her parents Pamela (Marcia Gay Harden) and Richard (Michael McKean), but she doesn’t have the best relationship with them and prefers to not be at home. She dropped out of college and works for Richard as a secretary but goofs off. Winona’s best friends are Addy (Rosa Salazar) and Stephanie (Odeya Rush). She also has ambitions of becoming a writer.
Winona goes out with Addy, her boyfriend Cameron (Evan Ross), Stephanie, and Winona’s boyfriend Frank (Richard Blackmon). Frank ditches them to get food and doesn’t come back, so Winona figures she is done with him. They see a group of “normal” young men, and Winona chats up one guy named Ben (Lewis Pullman).
After feeling an ache in her armpit for over a month, Winona visits her pediatrician Dr. Cotton (Henry Winkler), since she refuses to see a doctor for adults. Dr. Cotton does an examination of her and determines she may have an anxiety disorder. Winona denies this because she has never suffered a panic attack, but Dr. Cotton suggests she visit a therapist. She brushes it off to Addy, who thinks a therapist would help her. After Winona starts choking on a Slurpee, she decides maybe she should visit a therapist.
Winona visits Dr. Monroe (Mary J Blige). Although Winona feels she isn’t going to cry during the session, Dr. Monroe asking her about her relationship with her mother causes Winona to break down into tears.
Winona starts dating Ben, and he invites her to his place where he lives with his roommate/ex-girlfriend Jen (Sea Shimooka), who is openly snobby toward Winona. They are hosting a party for Jen’s mom, but Winona hangs out with Ben in his room for a bit. They join the party and give speeches, but Winona accidentally wishes Jen’s mom a happy birthday, which leads to everyone gasping and Ben having to explain to Winona that Jen’s mom had her cancer go into remission a year ago. Winona is humiliated and asks Ben to help sneak her out.
Winona starts to attend group therapy sessions with Dr. Monroe and other people, including a girl she knew from school. She doesn’t feel that she needs to be there and sees it as a waste of time.
Pamela and Richard tell Winona that they are “downsizing” and are essentially asking her to move out and find her own place. They are less subtle when they put empty boxes outside her room for her to pack. She is annoyed but decides to start looking for her own place and a job. She applies to her favorite book store, as well as a clothing store. However, when she has to do an interview at the clothing store, Winona begins to suffer a panic attack. In a daze, she grabs lip gloss and applies it before collapsing. The interviewer calls Pamela to get Winona. Winona tells Stephanie about the panic attack, but she appears to have a callous attitude towards it.
While at work, Winona realizes she forgot to give her dad a file. She goes to the parking garage and sees Richard leaving with another woman. Thinking he is having an affair, Winona attempts to drive after him, but she gets worried since she only has a learners permit, and she unsuccessfully tries to get a stranger to ride with her. Later, Winona has another attempt at following her dad, but she gets distracted from talking to herself and she rear-ends the woman’s car. Richard steps out and isn’t mad, but more concerned when he sees that Winona suffered a minor head injury. She declines to get help from the hospital. Richard explains that the woman is a real estate agent showing him other houses.
Ben takes Winona out on a date, but she becomes nervous when she sees Frank there and thinks he might approach them. They leave the restaurant but continue to hang out. He later invites her to meet his mother Hayley (Melora Walters), whom Ben says also has bouts of anxiety attacks. Winona ends up having an uncomfortable conversation with Hayley.
Winona has lunch with her parents, who are talking about the new house they found. Winona is excited to move there until Richard and Pamela make it clear that the place is only for the two of them. Winona gets angry at them and storms off. She later joins Ben and suggests that they move in together since he also wants to move away from Jen, but Ben says that he doesn’t think it will work out between them because he plans to be a doctor and thinks his life is moving in a different direction from Winona’s. She angrily tells him off before deciding to walk home.
When Winona gets home, she begins to suffer another panic attack. It becomes more intense and uncontrollable, and she can’t go into her room without vomiting. Pamela and Richard find Winona in their bedroom crying, where she starts to blame them for why she is like this since they never got her treatment when she needed it, as well as them selling the house and forcing her to move out. They take her to Dr. Cotton, who gives Winona a pill to treat her anxiety. Richard then admits that he once suffered a panic attack after Winona was born, but he and Pamela agree to help Winona get through this.
Winona starts to get her life back on track. She maintains her friendship with Addy and Stephanie, starts working at the book store under a guy named Greg (Devin Bostick), and she writes back to her college professor about potentially returning to school. Winona then goes to her local convenience store and is noted by the clerk that she is alone when she is always there with a friend. Winona simply smiles.
Winona Lendale is a college dropout who is diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. She finds little support from her parents Pamela and Richard, who aren't even aware that she is starting to see a therapist, and who also want her to move out since they are planning to find a new home.
Winona sees a therapist, Dr. Monroe, and starts dating a nice guy named Ben. However, when Winona starts to suffer panic attacks, it hinders her attempts to find a job, causes a rift with her friends, and then Ben breaks up with her when he thinks their lives are moving in different directions (he is an aspiring doctor and she is a dropout). Winona suffers another panic attack that is more uncontrollable, and she has to tell her parents the truth.
Winona's parents bring her back to her doctor, who gives her anxiety medication, and they agree to help her through this. Winona starts to get her life back on track by getting a full-time job and potentially returning to school.