HBO's In Treatment: Week 3 Recap

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Three episodes from week 3 of the latest season of HBO's psychiatrist-focused drama, In Treatment, are reviewed.

The following three posts, providing recaps and insight into three episodes from Week 3 of this year’s season of HBO’s In Treatment were posted this week to Shrink Rap.

SunilSo last week, I took my kid to the doctor. He knows I'm a psychiatrist and greeted me with "Have you ever watched In Treatment?" Oy. He wanted to talk about Sunil.

Sunil continues to develop as a character. He and Paul have tea. They talk about dignity and passion and living a principled life. Sunil is animated when he talks about Survivor and about his daughter-in-law as she exercises. He's overheard his son having sex with her, he thinks she's having an affair, and we learn that Sunil was secretly in love briefly, before he met his wife in an arranged marriage. Maybe he is jealous of his son, Paul suggests, or maybe he feels the daughter-in-law is betraying Sunil personally.

Who is Sunil? Is he laughing or is he crying? Is he wise or is he insane?

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Frances

Paul asks his girlfriend if he has 'happiness deficit.' She hasn't seemed to notice what a miserable creature he is.

Frances is a hurricane of stories about her mother, her daughter, and her sister. The sister, you'll recall, was once a patient of Paul's and the entire session is a play of who is having a relationship with whom and of competing jealousies. Mom liked sister more, even from infancy, and now daughter likes her dying sister more. Frances is always on the outside, always the one abandoned by everyone else, and on cue, Paul recalls how the patient used to put lipstick on her dying mother until the very end. Oops, Paul got the wrong patient, it's a story that the sister had told him 18 years ago! One more jealousy. And Frances wants Paul to help rehearse her lines, like her ex-husband used to do. He refuses and she storms out. Somehow, he feels more like the patient in this episode as he fumbles to apologize and cover his mistakes. Ah, the episode started that way when he fell asleep and the patient's knocking woke him--and he lied to conceal that he'd been asleep.

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Jesse

Why is Paul always chasing people?

Jesse brings his mother to the session, but he doesn't want it known that he wanted her to come. Jesse continues to alternate between being a gentle, vulnerable boy and being a provocative, hurtful monster. He tells his mother about the sexual event, in all it's glorious detail, that got him beaten up and suspended from school, and just in case that's not enough, he announces that his birth mother wants him back. Mom gets upset and leaves the room. Paul asks her to stay. Why does he do that? When someone says "enough" or "I need space," maybe it makes sense to listen.

Paul tells Jesse he's creative, an artist. I like that, he's saying something to build the kid up. He tells Jesse that his own son is an artist and that sometimes he doesn't understand him and feels distant. Is this the right thing to do? At first it seemed kind, like an attempt to connect with Jesse, but for a moment I wondered who was the patient. The revelation doesn't seem to have an impact on Jesse, who is drowning in his own complicated life and problems. He wants so much to be loved and valued as he pushes the world away.

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