Monday, April 27, 2009

In Treatment: Season 2, The Rest of Week 3

Oliver shows up with his mom. She thanks Paul for miracles he's worked. She talks about how she and her husband got together. Bess talks about all her insecurities about entering the world of work. Bess gets angry at Paul-- she's anxious about leaving Oliver to go off with a friend, she can't find a balance between smothering him and letting him go. Bess leaves Oliver with Paul and goes on vacation.

Oliver tells us he's fine but he doesn't look so hot. He talks about his friend who brings him chocolate every day. I'm jealous. Then Oliver tells us he's stopped eating because he's tired of being fat. Paul tells him he can't do it alone. I can see Paul encouraging Oliver to eat healthy, but telling him he can't lose weight on his own? How does he know? Oliver wishes he was adopted. Paul says he also felt this way as a kid-- is this good self-disclosure, kind of like announcing he had an unhappy childhood? Oliver is waiting for his Dad and offers to leave, but Paul tells him he had a cancellation and he can hang out-- they can talk (haven't they been doing that?) or play blackjack, and then Paul brings Oliver into the kitchen (isn't this the poor-boundaries room?) and makes him a sandwich. It's like Paul is borrowing a son and Oliver is borrowing a dad.
Walter has lost his job, his blackberries, and now there's no point to talking. Then he talks. "I'm in a bunker with a remote control and pills." Paul assesses Walter for suicidal thoughts. Walter talks about how he can't stand people who live fake lives. He talks about a friend who lost his job and started taking photographs, "He's outlived his usefulness." Walter talks about his relationship with his employer, the old man, and how the old man's son died. "We would build something special and we did." Paul responds, "After 35 years all he said was 'Good luck?'" Funny, that when the episode started, Paul was on the phone with his brother talking about his father's problems-- Paul didn't know his dad was in the hospital, he promised to pay more attention to him. More father-son themes and questions of guilt and perception-- Walter's daughter blames him for his role in his corporate fiasco. His product killed babies, and he's struggling with trying to figure out what his role was, in all his relationships. "It was my fault," Walter announces. And now we find out that Walter knew his brother was going swimming and didn't stop him the night he drowned. Destroyed families, a theme both men know all too well.
Paul's life is a mess: he's being diposed in a lawsuit, he's already arguing with his new/old lover, Tammy Kent, he misses his daughter, "I hate my life." He's intensely lonely. "Do you have any water, you're so convinced I don't have water, you don't see it, it's sitting right there." He looks so vulnerable, and he picks at Gina. He misses his family life. He goes to bars at night and watches soccer and watches the women with bracelets that jingle. Paul tells Gina that Mia could be right for him if she worked through her issues, he's drawn to her, but no more falling in love with patients "for a while." Oy. Gina asks if Mia is in love with him. Funny between two refer to a patient's feelings so casually as 'is she in love?' Gina and Paul spend the session at odds. She gets in his face, "All you can do now is hope to heal this wound so you can move on."

He's handsome, he's compelling, he's charismatic, he's so insightful with other peoples' problems. Why is he so lonely? He has so little, he's chased away everyone important in his oh-so-empty life. Pathetic and fixated.

Paul goes to visit his long lost dying father in hospital. The conversation he has with his non-responsive father feels desperate, and way too late.

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