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The Shrink Next Door - The Family Tree - Review: Crossing The Line

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In "The Family Tree" The Shrink Next Door shows us for the first time how the facade that Ike uses to manipulate Marty cracks, but will it be enough? Time for a review!

Here we go!

In this episode of The Shrink Next Door we see how Ike is introduced more and more into Marty's life and the way he does it, the way he makes Marty feel as if it were natural as if it were what he must do.

In "The Family Tree" Ike's father dies and his non-reaction to this speaks volumes about what he is like. Even if Ike had problems with his father and they weren't close, I think news like this always hits you hard and, at least, you need a moment to assimilate it. But Ike reacts as if he had been told that it was going to rain tomorrow. And this is key to understanding not only what happens in the episode but also who Ike is.

Of course, Marty is willing to help and, of course, Ike takes advantage of that to the point of "taking" Marty's main room in the house. It's just… the way he takes advantage of Marty unnerves me. Ike knows how to get to Marty's heart, how to control him so that it seems that everything was his idea and so that he feels that he must do just what Ike tells him because it’s the logical thing. After all, it’s the right thing to do.

I think the next key point from this week's episode of The Shrink Next Door is Ike's fury at the neighbors' party. It’s as if no one could be richer than him, more sociable than him, happier than him. Ike must be the best in everything and if he is not, he is already in charge of crushing whoever he/she is to achieve it.

That is why he leads Marty to remodel the house to his liking, taking the liberty of giving a party like his neighbors', as if he were the owner and, of course, buying his neighbors' house so that the only party that there is in that place whatever Ike organizes…in the house and with Marty's money, of course. As always.

But this week at The Shrink Next Door we saw Ike not only has control…but also loses it. When Marty decides to heed that alarm in his head that tells him that Ike is manipulating him and that what he is asking him to do is not correct, Ike immediately becomes defensive and attacks him, attacks him until he destroys his self-esteem, that fragile bravery with which he dared to contradict him. Ike attacks Marty until he destroys his power, so much so that it leads him to cut down the family tree, the tree that connects Marty to his mother, to his family, to his past.

Ike has a sibylline way of controlling Marty and getting into all aspects of his life. Ike not only makes Marty believe that everything is his idea but also makes him feel that Ike is the only one who can help him move forward and in everything he needs in his life, Ike makes him feel that he is the only one who is always there for him no matter what. And how does Ike do that? Sharing a bit of himself, just to make Marty feel a sense of trust and security.

After all, the key to a good lie is that it must always have a part of the truth. And Ike gives that to Marty. He shares a bit of himself, his true personality, and his fears, just enough to make Marty feel that it is not only one who shares his life, that it is not only one who is vulnerable.

But what happens when you pretend to be someone that you are not, like Ike does, is that you cannot maintain the facade for very long. As much as you want, in the end, your facade ends up cracking and you begin to show traits of your true self. That's what happens with Ike in "The Family Tree."

When Ike first encounters Marty's resistance to his manipulations and control, Ike loses it and shows who he is by hurting Marty in a way that makes him cry and making him feel guilty for not wanting what Ike wants him to do, as cults or abusers do. As it does any aggressor in reality.

Of course, Marty still can't figure this out. It's still too early...and I'm looking forward to it.

In the middle of all this, we find Ike's wife and children. Of course, the children are too young to realize what a monster their father is, but what about the wife? I think Ike is manipulating her too. She confuses what she's seeing and I think she thinks it's all Marty's idea and she has no idea who she's married to and what's going on. She looks too gentle and good for her performance to be faked.

In any case, I can't wait for the next episode!

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

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