“Strange Bedfellows” S1 / E10
- B+ Community Grade
There was a great deal of excitement for Fiona Wallice and company on this week’s Web Therapy. And for those who have been following the show over the course of the season, this was yet another volley back into the realm of enjoyable from the humdrum realm it’s been at lately.
The last few episodes have followed much of the action circling around Fiona, particularly the collapse of her former employer Lachman Bros., as well as the various related characters who orbit around her and the company. But here, Fiona was able to break off and partake in a bit of her own forward momentum while the supporting characters tried to hold on.
The biggest surprise of the episode is the arrival of one of Fiona’s new celebrity patients, Austin Clark, played by the wonderful Alan Cummings. As a kind of media-hotel tycoon, Clark is at ease with his wild success—speaking to Fiona from his private jet, of course—and looking to ease his loneliness through therapy. Only, as he begins laying out the case for his failed relationships and the fact they’re primarily to do with his professional drive (and lack of sex drive), Fiona’s eyes turn to hearts.
They’re both smitten with one another within moments, which is an impressive acting turn on both actors' parts. They’re able create an easy, natural chemistry based on their mutual vanity and professional determination that has them seeing one another with tunnel vision by the end of their first session. It’s so pronounced that Clark is even begging Wallice for a whole week’s worth of her patented three-minute sessions, just to get more time with her.
Meanwhile, there’s a much-needed return by Fiona’s husband, Kip. It’s been said before, but Victor Garber’s presence on the show as Kip adds such a refreshing lightness to the show—particularly when contrasted with Kudrow’s heavy-handed portrayal of Fiona—that it’s like someone switched the lights on when he’s on screen.
He’s baffled for many reasons when he sees his wife in his computer desktop’s chat box. First off, she’s no longer living with him and has run off to join Clark on his private jet for a trip to Bali. Second, the information she’s accumulated to prove he’s been cheating on her is apparently all an elaborate trap created by co-workers looking to sabotage him.
There’s certainly a ton more explaining needed for it all to even be somewhat feasible, which doesn’t happen in this episode, but we’re left with one last big bombshell: Kip is headed for Congress. He’s been asked to represent a primarily Republican district in Philadelphia that he’ll have a strong likelihood of winning... so long as he remains a married man by outward appearances. The big question now is whether Fiona and her new, jet-setting paramour will put their romance on hold long enough for Fiona to become the Congressman’s wife she’s always dreamed of being.