The Family Tree
Episode 5 of The Shrink Next Door begins in 1990 with Ike and Marty playing basketball out in the streets. Ike receives a call though, confirming his father has passed away. After the funeral, Marty encourages Ike to head over to the summer house for the weekend as a way of cooling off and unwinding.
Marty offers himself up to the pair, who now have two toddlers, and even suggests they stay in the master bedroom. So naturally Marty heads over to the guesthouse to stay. Ike believes company is the best medicine for Marty, who starts to get into the spirit of having company, playing with Bonnie and Marty’s kids in the pool.
Ike sees this as the perfect business opportunity and decides to spin this as a win for himself. With the house next door also up for sale, he tries to convince Marty to pay up. Marty pushes back though and decides against it, until he plays reverse psychology. Renovation for his own Summer house in New Hampton though isn’t off the table.
Ike has big ideas, ignoring Marty’s concerns and continues to pedal the idea of buying the property next door and combining the two together. That way they’d have a much bigger place. Marty, being the ever-gullible goofball, convinces Ike to take the house in New Hampton for himself in order to clear his head. For now he’s taking a two week sabbatical to work on his book. Marty just so happens too be with him.
The trouble is, Marty is also neglecting his duties at work and because of that, he’s in danger of losing the tailors completely. If that wasn’t bad enough, Ike decides to join in with a party next door while Marty is left doing all the hard word.
There’s a tree out in the yard that has sentimental value to Marty. He’s fond of this, given it’s an important part of his past, but Ike spins this into a negative, claiming it has poor connotations and is indicative of his Mum raising him poorly. Ike suggests he knock the tree down to put these feelings to bed.
It’s tough to watch Marty being manipulated like this, and the more Marty pushes back to Ike’s ideas, the more he plays the victim card. It works too, and Ike watches gleefully that night as Marty heads outside and begins chopping the tree down.
One year later and off the back of another funeral, Marty buys out the property next door. When Ike finds out, he immediately lets his pent-up frustrations out on the fence, knocking it down. Now who has parental issues, eh?
The Episode Review
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; The Shrink Next Door should have been a 2 hour movie. This episode does absolutely nothing beyond showing a more manipulative and ruthless side to Ike’s persona. But yet, we’ve seen all this before in previous episodes.
Beyond chopping down the tree, there’s very little going on in this episode which is pretty disappointing. Like most of Apple’s shows, the story seems to be dragged out unnecessarily and I’m not sure why this was commissioned as 8 episodes. Hopefully things start to pick up a bit in the coming episodes.