Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In Treatment: Season2, Episode 3: The Turtle in Therapy


Oliver is back for therapy because of his parents' separation. All three family members are in the waiting room plugged into their iPods (Oliver has a shuffle). A smiling couple walks out of the office, "That wasn't so bad." Beacons of hope: Paul cured them, perhaps he can cure the Oliver family.

Oliver's having a rough time. He's reading Lord of the Flies, people think he's fat, and oh, he has the class turtle with him, one he's sure he can't keep alive. To every question, Oliver says, "Because my mom would call my dad and they would fight." Paul does a good job in addressing Oliver's questions about the happy couple who left-- "I don't talk to my other patients about you and I can't talk to you about them."

Bess (Oliver's mom) distorts Paul's words: "You don't think we should get divorced....parents should stay together no matter how unhappy they are and ultimately it would be better for the children?" Ah, this has to be pushing newly-divorced Paul's buttons. And it's suddenly clear that one of the issues here is that Mom is still hung up on Dad. It's a kind of ugly session when dad announces he has a new girlfriend... kind of amazing it isn't bloodier. Little Oliver gives Paul's next patient a rather hopeless look and the forgotten turtle remains in the office with Paul. He (?) retracts his turtly little head into his shell.
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