Sunday, February 24, 2008

In Treatment 4: Love and Death

Love and death - libido and thanatos - the two primal urges that push and pull our lives - at least, according to Freud.

And they both play a primal role in Week 4 of the continuing, powerful In Treatment on HBO...

1. Sophie shows up for her session, casts and neck brace off, and looking good. She makes a breakthrough, and begins talking about what she was thinking before and during her accident- but interrupts this to go to the bathroom (this is apparently a time out that patients take, to regroup their energies). But Sophie uses it to ... swallow a whole bunch of sleeping pills. She collapses on the floor of Paul's office, and is rushed to the hospital (we learn in a later episode that Paul talks the hospital docs out of committing her).

But - what is Paul doing stocking his bathroom medicine cabinet with sleeping pills - when he knows patients use that bathroom?

We find out the explanation on Friday, when Paul tells Gina that since he's sleeping on the couch, he put the pills in the medicine cabinet for his use.

So, love - not enough of it, between Paul and Kate - is the reason for Sophie's (second) near death. But the pills in the patients' bathroom are also an indication of how distracted Paul has become, because of another love ...

2. In Alex's incredible episode on Tuesday, we get all the details of Alex's time in bed with Laura, the day after we hear about the same from Laura. The two stories are of course different and similar. I have to say again that the acting in the whole series is superb - but Melissa George as Laura and Blair Underwood as Alex are in a class by themselves, top-notch movie-quality.

The kicker of this essentially two-part episode comes when Alex makes it clear to Paul that Alex may be falling in love with Laura...

This is probably just what Laura wants Paul to think - though, as we know already, and hear him say for the first time on Friday, Paul really needs no more inducement to love Laura - he's already there.

3. The best scene yet between Paul and Gina comes on Friday. She tells Paul she'll always be there for him as a therapist ... Paul now feels comfortable enough to utter the unthinkable - well not unthinkable, obviously, but unacceptable for a therapist - Paul loves Laura, his patient.

A wonderful, emotionally rich - and even satisfying - ending to a stormy week of In Treatment.

As always, I'm looking forward to more.

See also In Treatment on HBO ... 2. Scalding ... 3. Triangle ... 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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