“Exposed!” S1 / E7
- B Community Grade
As Web Therapy nears the end of the line on its first season, the show has wisely honed in on two main elements: plots involving the most central characters and an embracement of absolute silliness. Both of those factors have helped the show rebound from a loose-feeling assortment of oddballs on parade to a more clearly defined narrative moving steadily along.
In "Exposed!", we see Fiona still in the grips of near panic over the potential imploding of her new-ish business. For Fiona, this basically means more stern talking-tos and slightly emphatic shifts in her sing-songy voice rather than full-out panic.
She returns to her client Jerome, the VISA credit card employee, who is now in the midst of losing his job thanks to the security breach that had him looking up Fiona’s husband Kip and relaying information after her strong-arming him into it. Just when he's hit with another wave of fear over the idea of continuing to help Doctor Wallace, she reminds him she’s the woman who has helped him most and magically has him submitting to her demands. That is, until security storms the room and drags Jerome out by his armpits.
There’s a quick check-in from Kamal who is growing impatient with Fiona after her promises to finally pay him for his work. But it’s on to another video check-in with Fiona’s mom Putsy, who is in the throes of maternal euphoria after reconnecting with her long lost Thai son, Tik. But while Fiona is trying to suss out the son who has materialized virtually out of thin air, he appears in the background of Putsy’s regal home, picking up and carrying out everything from the coffee table to framed art on the walls. Putsy is too involved with her own fresh feelings of motherhood to care much, even informing Fiona that she has plans to turn part of the house into a studio for her middle-aged son to create his art. Needless to say, Fiona is not amused and there’s a sure plan on the way to help prove the interloper isn’t a Hodge.
Back at Lachman Brothers, everything is absolute chaos, as Gina informs Fiona. Lawyers and accountants are buzzing around, apparently onto the shady financial dealings going on at the company. In fact, head honcho Russell is essentially catatonic and staying with busty n' lusty secretary Gina. He’s even got a case of the “limp dick,” according to Gina, and needs his clueless assistant to forge his signature on paperwork thanks to his equally limp hand. You’d better believe light bulbs have simultaneously gone off in Fiona’s brain.
Through some tidy maneuvering (also known as poor-advice-giving) by Fiona, Kamal and Gina have quickly ended their steamy affair after a terrible visit to meet his parents that ended with the term “Western whore” getting thrown around. Meanwhile, Putsy is in considerably rougher shape back at her Boston mansion. The family's fine art has been replaced with lava lamps and cheap wall hangings while Pusty has been reduced to a stoned haze, even going so far as to smoke out of a bong while video chatting with Fiona. It’s surprising and utterly bonkers but thanks to the bubbling chemistry between Lisa Kudrow and Lily Tomlin, pretty delightful to watch.
It also sounds like Fiona has made as many moves as possible to prove Tik is not nearly a member of the Hodge family, even supplying the requisite documents proving his parents exist back in Thailand. But Putsy is in a fog, nibbling on red licorice and showing off her newly acquired red tattoo on her neck. It’s a mess.
And just like that, Fiona’s troubles are essentially right where they were at the top of the episode. She’s no closer to securing financing for Web Therapy and must now contend with a Thai criminal posing as family. That’s to say nothing of her glaring marital troubles with Kip, which took a backburner this episode. But getting to see Fiona react to the crazy around her, instead of yelling and making wild demands, as she’s done in earlier episodes, is a treat to watch. And letting Tomlin’s Putsy devolve into a zonked-out pothead with neck tattoos certainly delivers a good time had by all.