Friday, October 29, 2010

What I’m Watching: In Treatment

In Treatment: Season 3, Episodes 3 & 4 “Jesse – Week One” (B) & “Adele – Week One” (B+)

As I described in yesterday’s rundown of the first two new patients Paul will be seeing this season, it’s hard to evaluate each episode of this show since it’s so dialogue-heavy, and I think I may try to take all four sessions together in coming weeks. Like Frances, Jesse is a patient who tries to commandeer the session and refuses to listen to much of anything that Paul says, thinking that he can diagnose himself and that he’s smarter than his therapist. I would posit that Jesse is the least interesting patient of this season, but that doesn’t mean he’s uninteresting; I would just rather focus my attention on the other patients and sessions. Paul’s visit to his new therapist, Adele, was particularly revealing since he let out a vicious, cruel tirade against her supposed inexperience and incompetence. Adele, played well by Amy Ryan, seemed fairly unaffected by it, though I suspect that she’ll let her anger show through eventually if Paul continues to bully and insult her in such an unprovoked, despicable way. Paul’s revelation that he’s been taking Ambien to get to sleep for the past fourteen months, plus an occasional extra half a tablet in the middle of the night, is pretty disturbing, and if he had a hard time dealing with his patients the past two years, this round isn’t going to be a cakewalk. The arrival of his son at his doorstep is an interesting development, though I could have sworn his son used to be played by Max Burkholder, now starring as Max on “Parenthood.” It turns out my suspicion was correct – the actor has now been replaced. Another fun tidbit: his sister Rosie was played by Mae Whitman, who currently portrays his cousin Amber on “Parenthood.”

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