Thursday, November 4, 2010

What I’m Watching: In Treatment

In Treatment: Season 3, Episode 5-8 “Week Two” (B+)

More than any other show, this series offers extensive insight into all of its characters within an incredibly short span of time. Of course, that’s the point, considering each twenty-three or so minutes is devoted solely to conversation between Sunil, Frances, Jesse, and Adele and our friendly neighborhood therapist Paul. The second week of year three was a good follow-up on the first, skipping past all of the introductory stuff to dive in to the core issues of each patient’s treatment: Sunil isn’t sure how he fits into his family, Frances doesn’t want to appear as if she’s failing, Jesse doesn’t want to believe in anyone, including himself, and Paul is scared to death of having Parkinson’s and passing it on to his son just as he believes his father did to him. Picking which session is most interesting is a futile gambit since they all offer something extraordinarily enlightening and engaging. Not having his son and daughter-in-law present this week gave Sunil the opportunity to do most of the talking, and if Paul had to pick the patient he detests less this cycle, I think kindred spirit Sunil, who he allows to smoke during sessions, would be it. His phone call to Frances’ sister does seem a bit over the line, and in a sense he did just what he keeps telling Jesse that he doesn’t want to do: involve his family in an inappropriate way. It’s interesting to find out that Jesse’s parents are paying for his therapy despite the fact that they seem not to be able to afford much of anything else, and that also seems like a tricky thing, for Paul to be treating Jesse when he doesn’t realize who it is footing the bill. It’s always so interesting to see Paul take out all of his angst on Adele at the end of the week, and he did go in seeming rather apologetic. There’s something about his inability to get a rise out of Adele in any way that seems to infuriate him, and therefore he was back to bashing her age and inexperience by the end of the session. I, too, would like to see more enthusiasm out of the great Amy Ryan, but we have a few weeks to go, so there’s still time.

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