Last episode on The Shrink Next Door, Marty had his first consultation with Dr. Ike, we met Phyllis, and Ike got Deborah off Marty’s tail about that trip to Mexico. Things seem to be looking up for Marty as of now, but we know it won’t stay that way…
Marty Has a Breakthrough
Marty has continued his therapy with Dr. Ike and he’s finally had a breakthrough. A big one. The lingering effects of his father’s death are affecting him greatly, from the way he sees himself to how he envisions others see him. After the death of his father, Marty was no longer able to hide under the pretenses of being a kid, his dad’s kid. Despite the fact he’s weeks from 40, having his dad around made it easy to remain his father’s son, but now it’s his turn to take the reins whether he’s ready or not.
We see the effects of this when Marty returns to the office. He’s got a new set of rules for the employees and he plans on taking over as the boss, and he’s seemingly finally accepted his role. However, he does get a little harsh with Phyllis, which proves to be the beginning of a rift formed by Dr. Ike between them that continues to play out throughout the episode.
Dr. Ike Reveals Some of His Own Issues
Not much has been revealed about Dr. Ike, but episode 2 brought about some hints. We know he grew up without a lot of money and questions about his parents have arisen. They couldn’t afford the big bar mitzvah he felt he deserved and he hints at maybe his parents not being very attentive. However, Ike could see his parents’ lack of money as a parenting flaw.
Knowing what we know about Ike and his feelings on his own subpar bar mitzvah, it made his suggestion to Marty much less endearing. Ike suggests that Marty make up for anxiety he felt at his own bar mitzvah with a new one, a redo. Not knowing what we know, that sounds like a sincere suggestion. However, it’s not hard to deduce that Ike wants this for himself. His parents not having money would appear to be a huge motivator for Ike, who values his famous meetings and prestigious career in high regard.
Also interesting to note is Ike turning down his wife’s advances in bed. Could be nothing, could be a clue for something he may be hiding.
Speaking of clues, Phyllis is already on to Dr. Ike. She sees the boundary-crossing here in its infant stage and she’s already not standing for it. She called Ike’s rabbi and is questioning his motives and intentions. Ike isn’t happy about it either. Is it purely in offense, or is it because he hopes she doesn’t uncover something?
The Bar Mitzvah
The bar mitzvah was a divisive event and an eye-opening one for audiences. It’s clear once we’re there that Ike is absolutely living vicariously through Marty. The guests are entirely made up of Ike’s friends, he’s hired a DJ, and rented a photo booth along with getting catering all on Marty’s dime (it is “his” party after all), and the videographer capturing the event doesn’t even recognize Marty, the supposed guest of honor.
Leading up to the event, he describes Marty as “a man held back by his 13th birthday,” yet Marty never seemed to be overly bothered by how his bar mitzvah went. Personally, I think that’s an insight into Ike. He’s never moved past his disappointment and is seemingly disgusted about his own celebration, and it’s still affecting him today.
Phyllis and Marty
Marty skips out on his birthday celebration with Phyllis and her three kids in favor of his bar mitzvah with Ike. A bar mitzvah that Phyllis never agreed with, because in her mind, Marty’s was perfect. His parents had been there; they were so proud of him. What did he need another one for? But Ike’s hold on Marty is already very strong.
When the siblings get into it over Ike, it’s a perfect showing of how one situation can be seen through two sets of eyes very differently. Phyllis sees Ike as a threat. His lack of boundaries is concerning. But Marty, on the other hand, is grateful for Ike and all he’s done to help him see things more clearly. It’s a polarizing view of this blossoming relationship and it leaves audiences questioning who may be right. We can see what Phyllis sees, but we can also see the benefit to Marty who’s coming into himself already here at the beginning of the series.
Of course, knowing the source material we know where it ends, but the ability to see this situation from both Marty and Phyllis’ point of view is certainly going to tug viewers in all directions.