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The Shrink Next Door - 1.01 - 1.03 - Review: Trust In Your Family

The day is here! The Shrink Next Door premiered its first three episodes on Apple TV+ and now you know why you have to watch this show. The series catches you from the second one and it’s his time to review it!

Here we go!

At The Shrink Next Door we have to talk about Marty and his sister. At first, she thinks Ike can help his brother. He's in trouble and needs to talk to someone but he won't talk to her so Ike seems like the perfect solution. But soon she realizes that he’s anything but the solution. She has a hunch that this guy is overstepping any limits and that he’s manipulating her brother.

So Phyllis tries to protect him. First, she talks to him but it doesn't work, Marty is so… absorbed by Ike that he doesn't even listen to her and gets defensive with her. He treats her as if she is his enemy and is against her as if she doesn't want the best for him. Ike has been so introduced to his life that she has made Marty feel that no one but him can and wants to help him.

But when it comes to family, you don't give up. So Phyllis decides to go talk to Ike and make it clear that if he wants to take advantage of Marty, he’s going to have her in front of him. It’s a scene full of tension but also of control. Phyllis is in control of the situation at first but, little by little, Ike takes it to himself ... although Phyllis doesn’t allow herself to be manipulated and I love her more for that.

Phyllis tries to protect her brother from Ike even though he doesn't want her to, even though he despises her help and she helps him precisely because of that. Marty is her family and he may yell at her that he doesn’t need her, he may try to push her away but Phyllis will not leave because when it comes to family, you don’t leave, no matter how much that contempt and distance that Marty interposes between the two hurts.

Despite not knowing what to do or how to make Marty realize what is happening, despite not knowing how to get it back, Phyllis doesn’t give up and is still there, right next to him. Even though it’s frustrating and painful and heartbreaking, she’s still there. And that’s why she’s a hero. She follows her instinct that Ike has a dark side and is going to destroy his brother. And she defends him tooth and nail. This makes Ike decide that she has to disappear from Marty's life.

At first, Ike believed that he could manipulate and trick Phyllis so that she was not a threat to the control he’s exerting on Marty but when he realizes that he cannot do it, he decides to take Marty away from her sister completely. 

Ike manipulates and controls Marty just like cults do (yes, I’m that type of person who sees true crime and cults documentaries in my free time and that’s how you have to love me.) And he is little by little monopolizing all of Marty's life until he only sees him, he only needs him, he only listens to him. Meanwhile, he separates him from the people who truly love him so that they cannot defend him or help him or make him see the truth.

It’s surprising the sibylline way in which Ike surpasses all limits and begins to control every aspect of Marty's life, as if it were normal, as if it were the natural thing and the viewer is witnesses of this and, at the same time, we get carried away by it.

The Shrink Next Door has this way of telling the story that makes us feel and know that what Ike is doing is wrong because he’s manipulating and controlling Marty but, at the same time, it makes you feel the brilliance with which Ike does it, the way everything seems the most natural thing in the world.

And that’s the truly terrifying thing. The way Ike makes it look natural.

Ike keeps telling Marty that he will take care of him, that he will fix everything and help him, and is making Marty need him for everything in his life, to take charge. It’s brilliantly macabre.

And that's why the show grabs you.

The end of the first episode! It left me speechless. Did Marty end up murdering Ike? I don’t rule out this possibility. Right now, Ike is intruding into Marty's life through deception and manipulation. When Marty realizes what is happening, he will be more furious than ever, he will see everything red. And in a moment of anger, Marty can finish off Ike and then not know what to do except hide the body, hide what he did so that no one finds out.

It's chilling and fascinating that The Shrink Next Door is based on a true story. How this "doctor" intruded into the life of his patient, until he owned every aspect of his life, making Marty need him, making him the only thing that had meaning in life, manipulating Marty so that he would not realize it, the way he takes him away from the people who truly love him… the way he destroys his life completely. That this happened makes my hair stand on end.

Agree? Disagree? Feel free to share it with us in the comments below!

The Shrink Next Door airs Fridays on Apple TV+.

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