Watching Web Therapy can oftentimes lend itself to a claustrophobic feeling due entirely to the fact that the show takes place in pint-sized chat boxes on a computer desktop. While it's a modern and surprisingly realistic representation of how a lot of us communicate with the people in our lives every day, it can also be a tough transition from the filled-out worlds that normally pipe into our TV screens.
It's a lot of the reason the show has felt stifled, on top of the void felt after a great guest star like Lily Tomlin or Jane Lynch disappear. But in "We've Got A Secret," the stakes are nicely raised for Lisa Kudrow's Fiona and those near her in such a way that it feels like there's finally more to hang your hat on. We get to see Fiona fluster and fumble in surprising ways in an effort to hold together her marriage and business.
At the end of the last episode, Fiona's husband Kip is up to some kind of hanky panky with a beautiful, self-involved woman named Robin who coincidentally become a Web Therapy client. Somehow, Robin and Fiona agree to more sessions where the two continue to alternate jokes about each other's looks and age, before finally agreeing on the fact that the sexy new client is, indeed, having a relationship of some kind with Kip. And just when Robin thinks she's shamed Fiona by exposing a getaway the two have planned, Fiona gets the last word by outing her husband's longstanding impotence.
Meanwhile, IT helper Kamal is off to the races with the sex kitten receptionist Gina (who is also clearly still exchanging work perks for blow jobs with her boss Jerome) and also lets Fiona know that he can no longer work for her. It has to do with some kind of "conflict of interest" between Lachman Brothers and Web Therapy, due to the financial firm's consideration of a financial investment. It's a big blow to her budding business and there's more continued references to the fact that Fiona's clearly the laughingstock of the company she once worked for.
In a flash, Lily Tomlin is back as Fiona's chilly mom Putsy (again, the best name of the whole show) but bursting with maternal joy and excitement over where to direct her financial assets. Fiona understandably mistakes the loving turn as being directed at her — probably for the first time in her life — but is proven wrong before the ice can melt between them. Way out of left field, it turns out ol' Putsy was reconnected (through Kip, strangely) with a grown son she'd given away as a baby and plans to leave her fortune to him in an effort to make up for being an absent mother. He's also half-Vietnamese and as delightful as an "oriental rug" she once coveted, according to Putsy. In a flash, the money Fiona thought was in her grasp is down that drain, yet again, but at least there's a new brother about to enter her life!
Another blow hits Fiona when Robin returns and sits down for another session. Instead of rubbing the getaway with Kip in her face, Robin is a total mess. Amidst an open pizza box and wearing a stained sweatshirt, the beauty queen has been reduced to a pile of tears. It turns out Kip rejected her during their trip after seeing her nude, admitting he'd only pursued her in the first place because he thought she was… a transvestite. Yep, it looks like Kip's longstanding frigidity with Fiona suddenly has a lot more to do with him than her iciness.
Before everything slips through her fingers, Fiona is a woman on a mission and it's nice to see. She manages to strong-arm her pansy client Jerome into using his job at Visa to verify the credit card transactions that would prove Kip and Robin's escapade is a fact. Next up, it's master manipulating Kamal first into rejoining her team as IT support (this time for pay!) while using his access to Kip's law firm (his previous employer) to dig up financial info on her cheating hubby.
This tenaciousness warms up Fiona in an unexpected way, showing she's willing to do more than say the words "new modality" to ensure her own success. And that selfish unlikeability is able to finally morph into more than just a flat character squeaking through chat windows at a head and pair of shoulders. Fiona's had to claw her way to get Web Therapy even off the ground and it looks like she'll be putting up a fight to make sure it stays afloat.