Also based on 'Wakefield', an update of Hawthorne's tale, by E.L. Doctorow that appeared in the Jan. 14, 2008 New Yorker.
At around 32 minutes Howard is reading the book "The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Vol. IV" by Robert A. Caro. This is likely to be a nod to the actor's portrayal of Johnson in stage productions with the American Repertory Theater, a separate production on Broadway and in the film All the Way (2016).
Babs is also the name of the character portrayed by Beverly D'Angelo in the series and movie Entourage.
In order to make the relationship between the two leads more believable, given the detached nature of their domestic lives, director Robin Swicord suggested that they both attempt a therapy session she felt might expedite their intimacy. Both had to stare into each other's eyes for an uncomfortably long time as the director suggested that they imagine each other as a baby, then a 6-year-old, etc. They then had to sit on the floor back-to-back, rubbing shoulder blades together. Bryan then had to remove Jennifer's socks and look at her feet. They had to stand side-by-side and sniff each other. Trying to keep serious throughout the session proved to quite difficult for both parties.