Episode 4 of The Shrink Next Door begins with Phyllis rocked by an ominous birthday card, full of cut-up pictures of her face from different photos. It immediately riles her up as she tries to work out if this is her ex husband.
Meanwhile, Dr Ike welcomes twins as he supports Bonnie while she gives birth. Ike is over the moon, although he’s very clearly sleep-deprived too.
During his session with Marty, he encourages the tailor to dive in and try fatherhood himself. “You just need to find the right person,” He says. Ike continues to manipulate Marty and talks about his “considerable means.” He thinks Marty should start giving back, and that would begin with starting a foundation. Eventually Marty agrees to do it together and be a force for good.
In order to start this though, they both need to invest some money. With the deal done and the pair setting up a 50/50 partnership, Ike invests 2500 while Marty obviously throws in a lot more money. Marty chalks it up to the guy being a new dad but that evening Ike forgets to cancel a big deli platter for 50 people. Of course, Ike’s absolutely fine to spend money on his work but when Bonnie suggests spending 350 a week for extra help, he’s not exactly enthused.
in order to get more money, Ike decides to pressure Marty into starting the Yaron Foundation by attending the PEN Gala that night. Only, it’S $1000 a ticket. Marty though, decides to think it over.
While this is going on, Marty also starts chatting to Hannah, Joe’s neighbour who’s doing shifts at the local store. Their chats are awkward but utterly adorable, eventually culminating in them going on a date together in the near future.
Meanwhile, Ike continues to cause no end of problems at work; snacks for executives only, a new coffee machine and whitefish in the coffee tin.
Marty is blinded by his loyalty to his therapist, unaware that he’s being completely conned. When he’s approached with an invoice for 54 psychology sessions, a new desk for Ike and a number of other changes around the place, Marty waves it away as necessary expenses for the team to sign off on.
The trouble is, in the wake of this, Ike takes blank cheques from Marty’s office, intending to use these for his own means. Things are about to take a very horrible turn.
Anyway, the PEN Gala goes ahead and Marty sits with Hannah, who listens as he innocently talks about how he’s basically the “bank of the operation” and that Ike is his best friend. Hannah is rightly concerned.
And when it comes to the bank, Ike starts auctioning and spends $20k of Marty’s money. It’s a shocking moment, and one that sees Marty spin out of control and freak out. When Hannah confronts him, calling Ike out for spending Marty’s money, Ike heads out and confronts Marty. Only, he realizes Marty may be having a heart attack and takes him to the hospital.
While Marty recovers, Ike suggests he talk to Hannah for him. Only, this obviously has the adverse effect of Ike basically telling her to leave him alone, calling out Marty for being mentally ill.
As the episode closes, Ike goes one step further. He uses Marty’s money to get his kids into Ramaz school, courtesy of a generous donation… of Marty’s money.
The Episode Review
Ugh this show is so difficult to watch. Watching a conman slowly con an innocent, mentally ill individual is a tough sell and The Shrink Next Door looks to be agonizingly drip-feeding its plot across the 8 episodes to showcase this.
Ike and Marty aren’t exactly likable characters either, and the supporting players aren’t fleshed out enough to make them worth getting invested in. Instead, what we’re left with is a story that would be much better suited to a feature film rather than an 8 episode series.
This is ultimately like a hideous car crash you can’t take your eyes off and I guess The Shrink Next Door is banking on people tuning in with an almost morbid curiosity to see what happens next. Whether that’s enough to keep the show watchable is another matter.