Sunday, February 17, 2008

In Treatment 3: Triangle

Alex - brilliantly played by Blair Underwood (all of the acting is brilliant in this series) - was something of the outsider in the first two weeks of In Treatment on HBO. Unlike Laura, Sophie, Jake and Amy, he had no intersection with Paul's wife.

In week 3, Alex leapfrogs that intersection for something more profound and potentially disruptive to Paul: Alex is now sleeping with perfectly seductive Laura (Melissa George).

They meet when Alex shows up on the wrong day - Monday - and runs into Laura, who is leaving after a particularly aggravating session (actually, they all are, and that's part of the fun - Laura and Paul's, and ours).

I'm still not quite convinced by Alex's explanation that he lost track of the day, but maybe this is another indication that his well-ordered life is crumbling.

Even more important, this new affair yanks Paul around in multiple ways, like a puppet on half a dozen strings. He'll be jealous of Alex - because Paul clearly feels something for Laura - how can he continue to treat him? He'll be more likely to give in to Laura, the more jealous he becomes. And, of course, he's not likely to admit any of this - except, perhaps, maybe, to Gina.

And unlike Paul's sleeping with Laura, which he can forbid himself from doing, how can he forbid two patients from sleeping with each other? Much as he might dislike it, what can he do about it? Can he speak to Laura about it, and tell her he thinks she is not really attracted that much to Alex, she is just sleeping with him to make Paul jealous? Not an easy conversation at all - and another reason this is a great show.

The other event which caught my attention this week is Sophie's outright admission to Paul that she's sleeping with Sy. I think Paul believes her, and we see him in that last scene on Wednesday's show calling Sophie's mother ... But will he also call the authorities? Is he legally obligated? Do we know the age of legal consent in this state? Or will Paul's need to keep faith with Sophie, and her vulnerable state, take precedence? (Has he already compromised this faith by calling Sophie's mother?)

Difficult, fascinating questions ... complementing the new triangle and its questions ... and making for an irresistible series...

See also In Treatment on HBO ... 2. Scalding ... 4. Love and Death ... 5. Paul's Greatest Strength ... 6. Paul's Boat ... 7. Alex in the Sky with Diamonds ... 8. A Princely Performance ... In Treatment Concludes: For Now

The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book

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

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