The whole show equates to this:
‘Everyone, your best friend, your dad, your mom, your boyfriend, can and will screw you over. The only one who will look at for you and your dreams is yourself.’
Af first glance, that is just straight up depressing as fuck. Basically, all you have to count on is yourself and when you die, it’s going to all alone with no one there but yourself. No one walks you over the bridge to success in life and no one does with the rainbow bridge either.
On the other-hand, that statement is full of hope and power. Sure you can’t count on anyone else, but you yourself is not an anyone. You are a boss babe who can create an empire, make your own image to sell, make best friends – who you can’t count on as much as yourself – and pay your own bills. If you’re lucky and smart, you’ll use the money you make to support other self-empowered women like yourself (enter Annie and Kaavi, which by the way Kaavi is a badass awesome name and totally saving it for my daughter… or cat).
Sophia decides though that relying only on herself doesn’t mean giving up on friends, cutting people out, and being a basic garbage person. When she sees her mom act out against the performing company she’s apart of when she doesn’t get the part, that is a turning moment when Sophia realizes that she is her mothers daughter, in that she knows she is ultimately all alone, but that knowing this doesn’t mean being an asshole and doing it all alone.
She begins to mend fences because just because she doesn’t need anyone or anything at all, she also knows that she doesn’t want to end up an alone meanie like her mother. She goes back and does her best to mend fences, and realizes that she really does need – in the sense of moral support – her best friend Annie and really does want her to be on the Nasty Gal team. She apologizes for being selfish. Because being self-sufficient is not equal to being selfish and being an asshole.
On the other side of the selfish not selfish spectrum, she deals with her cheating boyfriend Shane. When she calls him on his bull shit it is not to be a meanie to screw him over, it is the exact opposite. She is standing up for herself and making him do the same, being alone with others is about being as open and honest with them as you are with yourself. She realized she couldn’t take it and couldn’t forgive him in the sense of getting to stay together. But she does stand up for herself and owns that he might be okay with living in the lie, but she is not. It comes back to her taking care of herself, and her relationship, by looking out for herself.
She forgives him in the sense that she decides not to let him rain on her own parade and success. She takes away his power, because ultimately he doesn’t have it, only she alone has that power. The letting go is shown when she says that she wishes him the best, that he doesn’t do it to the next girl. Some might equate this to forgiveness, but it’s not. Forgiveness implies giving him a clean slate and pretending nothing happened, basically what he gave himself by not telling her. She gives him a clean slate, but not in a way that muddies her success and happiness. She lets him go. For herself.