Wednesday, March 12, 2008

In Treatment 6: Paul's Boat

Paul continues to be the most effective - offering just right the blend of insight, keen questions, and protecting compassion - to Sophie. This is evidenced by her smashing one of Paul's model boats on his floor, as he probes the likelihood that she was abused. Unlike Paul's unprofessional reaction to hostile actions by Alex, he takes his boat on the floor as an indication that he is finally reaching Sophie.

The difference between the professionalism of Paul's responses to Sophie and Laura also continues to be pronounced and powerful in Week 6 of In Treatment. Paul tells Laura he loves her, and stops a micro-inch short of passionately kissing her. We might have expected Paul not even to admit his feelings for Laura - how can that possibly help her as a patient - but he is too far gone, too much in love with Laura, to not express his feelings, at least, verbally. And, besides, this gives us a chance to see Laura's reaction, which may be instructive: she at first doubts what Paul is telling her, and then lets herself believe it, apparently. For some reason, this made me think that once Laura is sure Paul loves her, and certainly if they sleep together, she'll soon realize that she doesn't really love him at all... A rough sea for Paul to sail.

Meanwhile, Alex, whom Laura quickly moved on from, is making genuine progress with Paul. In his most productive session yet, Alex admits that what he wants from life, and from Paul, are the means to not "feel shitty". This is by far the most truth we've heard from Alex.

We didn't get much truth from Amy this past week. She showed up without Jake, told Paul she's a terrible person and wants his permission to have an affair. As I've said in my previous reviews, I think the Amy and Jake sessions are the weakest, and have the most interest as parallels to Paul and Kate seeing Gina.

I've got to say Michelle Forbes is doing a great job portraying Paul's wife, Kate, whose anguish at Paul's love of Laura is ringing a little hollow: Kate, after all, went off with her lover for a week. Does the fact that that didn't work out, and Kate had no strong feelings for him, give Kate a moral high ground over Paul, who at least has refrained from having sex with Laura, as Gina correctly points out?

I admire Paul - if only because of his excellent work with Sophie - and this makes me think that maybe he'd be better off without Kate and with Laura. But the problem with that is Laura may not be likely to want him once that happens... A dangerous sea indeed.

See also In Treatment on HBO ... 2. Scalding ... 3. Triangle ... 4. Love and Death ... 6. Paul's Greatest Strength ... 7. Alex in the Sky with Diamonds ... 8. A Princely Performance ... In Treatment Concludes: For Now







The Plot to Save Socrates


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more about The Plot to Save Socrates... good reading if you're in a doctor's office...


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