Sunday, March 30, 2008

In Treatment Concludes (For Now)

Laura and Alex, for very different reasons, are no longer in treatment In Treatment with Paul. So it was only appropriate that the finale week concluded with Sophie, Jake and Amy ... and Paul as patients.

Let's start with Jake and Amy. As I've been saying throughout my reviews, I think theirs was the weakest, most obvious segment in the series. Nonetheless, it concluded on a pretty good note, if unsuccessful for their marriage. Jake could just not get over Amy's sleeping with her boss. Not even when she was punished by being fired. Not even when she made some affectionate moves to reconcile with Jake. Not even when Paul tried to get them to see that there was still some powerful energy in their relationship. All to no avail. The therapy got them - at least, Jake - to see that their marriage had to fail.

In contrast, Sophie's final session was an uplifting success. We get to meet her father. Sophie finally lets him know how his leaving her, when he left her mother, was so devastating to Sophie. She may not be 100% whole, but Paul has done a fine job in getting her onto that road. "Goodbye, old fart," she says to Paul. "Goodbye, young fart," he replies. A healthy, productive relationship, in which Sophie is brought well back from the brink of suicide. Well done, Paul, and In Treatment.

And Paul? Well, Laura may be out of treatment but not out of Paul's life and yearnings and therefore not out of the show. Paul goes to see her. He tells her he loves her. She's not quite as seductive as usual, but does wind up sitting on her bed, as she takes off her top, and invites Paul in...

And we cut to black. Not quite a Sopranos' ending, though. Paul arrives at Gina's ... and we learn that Paul had an anxiety attack, and left Laura and their relationship unconsummated.

I found parts of this less than fully believable. I'm not convinced that Paul would have gone to Laura's house in the first place. And, on the other hand, that, once there, in her bedroom, he would have walked out.

But these are quibbles. All in all, In Treatment was a splendid series - the most unique show on television this year. And I very much hope this series of day by day sessions is renewed. You don't find a show like this on television, even on HBO, with Gabriel Byrne and such a superb cast, every day...

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






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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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