Monday, May 04, 2009

In Treatment: Oliver/Luke, Cashmere Walter, & Gina



Oliver shows up early, a runaway from school. His dad comes in and talks about his frustration with parenting and the fears that he's repeating his own father's sins. What timing, now that Paul has closed the circle on his father's mistakes and he's still grieving the death last week-- sounds like Paul is lecturing to himself when he tells Luke he has a choice to be a better father. Oliver may be the saddest looking child actor I've ever seen.
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Walter is in the hospital with "food poisoning." Or rather, for a suicide attempt by overdose. Paul comes to assess him, and while he denies the overdose at first, he soon gives details, and it's clear he wanted to die. Paul will have him committed, and Walter is angry. The pilot who died comes up, and Paul is clear that he can't take a chance like that. Walter is angry and tells him to leave, which Paul does. Paul mentions that Walter can have a hearing before a judge if he's still in the hospital in 2 weeks---hmmmm, in Maryland it's usually less than one week. Clink will know exactly how long.

There are continued family parallels----Walter's daughter looks strangely like Paul's daughter. Walter is laid out in the hospital bed just like Paul's father was and Paul reaches for his arm in the same motion that he reached for his father's hand.

I was surprised when Paul left and shut the door, leaving the potentially suicidal Walter alone. He's on 15 minute checks, and someone who wants to commit a desperate final act can do it in less than that. Why would Paul close the door--- why isn't Walter under constant observation? Ah, TV....
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Paul has a rather intense session with Gina the week after his father's funeral. He thanks Gina for the orchid she sent, and says he wishes she'd come to the funeral. She says it wasn't her place. She pushes Paul to talk about the funeral and his father, and redirects him from discussing other things he wants to discuss. Interesting....I might have let a distressed patient do what they wanted with the session, but Paul is surprisingly agreeable about going where Gina directs him.

After the session, Paul goes to meet with Alex's father, the man suing him. People don't usually go to restaurants to meet people they are engaged in litigation with, and for a moment, I wondered if the furious father might kill Paul (oh, the season has more episodes, so we need Paul to remain alive). My guess is that Paul's attorney wouldn't be happy about diner negotiations, and the waitress if strangely agreeable to letting the men stay there without placing an order. Alex's father says he will drop the lawsuit if Paul gives him a letter accepting full responsibility for Alex's death. He doesn't just want to believe Paul was negligent and should have done more to prevent Alex's death; he believes Paul killed Alex. Seems a bit of a stretch from negligence to murder.