Friday, November 12, 2010

What I’m Watching: In Treatment

In Treatment: Season 3, Episodes 9-12 “Week Three” (B+)

There shouldn’t be much debate about which of this week’s episodes has the biggest impact. From the moment he walks in with his black eye, Jesse (not to mention young actor Dana DeHaan) steals the episode. Even after he has detailed the way he feels about his adoptive mother over the past two weeks, it’s still a shock to see him speak so harshly to her and to watch Paul’s face as he can do nothing but sit back and let it happen. The discrepancies in the story Jesse told to the police and the one he tells in therapy are striking, and it’s no surprise that Jesse is pretty much the only thing Paul can talk about for the first half of his own therapy session this week with Adele. Then of course we do get to the subject, implied somewhat by the opening scene, that Max has come close to discovering Paul’s condition by seeing the search history on his computer. While the first half of the week does offer fascinating patients in Sunil and Frances, it’s hard not to favor the latter sessions because they’re so much more intense. Part of it is that Sunil and Frances ground the focus of their therapies in the past while Jesse and Paul (with Adele) insist on talking about the present and what’s currently happening to them. Fortunately, the two styles complement each other well, leading to one overwhelming, analysis-heavy, fulfilling week stuffed with plenty of personal problems and emotional issues.

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