Sunday, October 9, 2022

What I’m Watching: The Patient

The Patient: Season 1, Episode 7 “Kaddish” (B)

This show’s obsession with Judaism feels strange to me, especially because of some of the inconsistencies that come with that. Opening with scenes of prisoners in a concentration camp and the Mourner’s Kaddish being recited around them suggests that Alan is haunted by something in his past or at least by his heritage, but then he claimed not to be able to remember the words to Kaddish. That didn’t feel like a ploy, but there’s no way that the husband of a cantor who attended synagogue on at least a weekly basis would forget. It’s also not a private thing at all, said only in the presence of a minyan of ten people, and I suppose that could have just been a ploy to get away from Sam. The continued descriptions of ultra-Orthodox Judaism as a cult are also not entirely believable, though Ezra’s assertion that his mother didn’t have an authentic relationship with God might hold some water in similar real-life situations. All that focus on Alan meant that we didn’t actually see much of Sam, especially since Alan kept imagining different scenarios of the note being discovered by either the police or by Sam, which won’t happen given how he opted to dispose of the body. Sam asking his professor about whether it was smart to live with his therapist elicited a predictably concerned and disapproving response, though returning him to his life alive and unharmed hardly seems like the route Sam would change to right that situation.

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