Episode 2 of The Shrink Next Door begins in 1956. It’s Marty’s birthday and he’s put on the spot, uneasy with the amount of attention on him the whole time. Thankfully, Phyllis is there to help calm her brother down, promising to be by his side the whole time.
Fast forward to 2010 and Marty arrives for another session with Herschkopf. He presses Marty on his feelings regarding his father. With the man gone, Marty has the weight of the world on his shoulders. It appears his father has always been his anchor in life, and without him gone then Marty is having a hard time taking responsibility for his own life. This could also be the root cause for his panic attacks too.
Herschkopf manages to hit a breakthrough… just as Marty’s session comes to an end. So naturally, he encourages Marty to keep paying and to head out and continue over lunch. Isaac encourages his patient to grab the reigns of his life, which sees a newly invigorated Marty head into work and gather the staff together for a meeting.
Marty begins to lay down the law, reading out his ground rules but exempting himself from them all. It’s not exactly a great look, and if anything it appears to move the staff closer to his uncle’s side, if that lawsuit goes ahead of course.
Another meeting with Herschkopf sees him encourage Marty to celebrate his birthday with another bar mitzvah. A do-over from his childhood. When Phyllis finds out, she’s not sure this is a good idea. Their parents were so proud of Marty that day and doing this appears to be erasing and replacing past memories.
The trouble is, Herschkopf knows exactly how to manipulate Marty and starts to turn Phyllis against him. Herschkopf claims that she’s sabotaging Marty’s life but that is, of course, completely wrong.
Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worst when Marty lashes out at Phyllis and tells his sister not to show at his bar mitzvah. Predictably, Phyllis doesn’t show up and Marty’s face is one of disappointment at the church. Now, his sister has always been the rock in his life and without her there, Herschkopf starts to take her place.
During the night’s festivities, Marty gets stomach cramps again, just like when he was 13. This time though, Herschkopf shows and tells him to man up. He also tells him there’s nothing wrong with him either.
As we cut across to Phyllis, she ends up sitting with the kids, eating cake and unhappy that Marty isn’t there. Unfortunately, she’s starting to lose her brother and now that Herschkopf’s claws are dug in deep, there doesn’t appear to be a way back from this.
The Episode Review
The Shrink Next Door returns with another decent episode, one that starts too solidly Marty turning to the dark side, if you will. It’s very clear that Herschkopf is manipulating him but Marty doesn’t seem to see it at all.
The ending with the bar mitzvah and the two chairs being raised – one for Marty and the other for Isaac – is certainly indicative of that and it’s clear this is going to get a lot tougher for Marty before it gets better.
Either way though, the show has been pretty good value with its two comedic stars. It’s certainly not a show-stopping entry on the TV calendar, but it’s good enough to stick with for the time being.