In episode 8 of The Patient, Alan explores the strained relationship with his son while Sam gets a new victim in his sight. The episode is now streaming on Hulu.
Sam’s colleague tells him that she’s headed to inspect a place that she only visited the previous week. He confronts his boss, Kyle, about the assignment and tells him that he needs to respect the wait time for re-inspection.
Kyle tells him that he needs to stick to the job that he has rather than tell someone else what to do.
Alan observes the sharp end of the tube of foot cream. He goes into another therapy session with Charlie where he laments the fact that his note will never be found and he might not be either.
Charlie diverts attention to a complaint he had against his son for the way he reacted when he complimented his daughter-in-law’s steak. Alan admits that his compliment might have been construed as backhanded which is why his son reacted in anger.
Meanwhile, he’s sharpening the edge of the tube by scraping it on the bedframe, making a distinct noise.
Ezra goes around town putting up missing posters for his father. Alan brings up the issue Ezra had with his donation to the Yeshiva. Alan is frustrated with how his son took every act of his as a veiled insult. Charlie asks him what he would like to say to his son if he saw him right then.
Alan pops off and blames his son for breaking up their family and accuses him of disrespecting his mother’s final wishes just to maintain his orthodox beliefs. Charlie points out that Alan always believed that Ezra was very strong-willed, just like Beth.
Sam follows Kyle after work. Ezra’s stapler breaks and he visits his sister to borrow hers but she tells him to go home and rest.
Alan begins to talk about how Ezra was like Beth while Shoshana was like him, more open-minded and accepting. As he’s talking, he begins to realize how much Ezra resembled himself.
He has a breakthrough as he recognizes that he judged his son and treated him with contempt and Ezra must have felt every ounce of that which made him react in kind. He picks up that he showed more understanding toward a serial killer like Sam than he did his own son.
Sam continues to follow Kyle and pretends to run into him outside a cafe. He tells Kyle that he noticed a dumpster nearby that is not up to code and lures him to a secluded alleyway.
Ezra goes back home and everyone is worried about Alan. Ezra drives to Alan’s house and sits down with his mother to play a song.
Sam attacks Kyle and strangles him to death. He empties his pockets and leaves his body there to be found. Before leaving, he attempts to recite the Kaddish but doesn’t get far.
Sam calls Mr Buchella who agrees to be his therapist and sets a time for the following week. Ezra goes back home and tells his wife that he wasn’t a great son to his parents, especially during his mother’s final days.
Sam returns home to see Alan asleep. He wakes him up and asks him if he wants to play ping-pong. He then brings out a table and the two of them play a game. Before the game is done, Sam admits that he killed someone else.
Alan is worried and asks Sam if he’s ever killed two people in such a short period while Sam replies that he’s getting worse even though he wants to change.
He tells Alan that he’s spoken to another therapist and that he really likes Alan but he might be forced to hurt him, even though he’s never hurt anyone he’s liked before. Alan tells him an anecdote, as he comes to terms with the fact that he might be dead soon.
- The sound of Alan sharpening the tube is subtly placed throughout the episode in a great narrative technique, especially as he finishes his anecdote at the end of the episode. It raises intrigue over how Alan plans to use the object.
- Some of the scenes involving Ezra are confusing to understand. When he comes back home with sweets for his children, their mixed reactions don’t make things clear and no words are shared either. Later on, he uses some Yiddish or Hebrew terms that one needs to use purely context to understand as they are not explained.
- Having Alan conduct his own therapy through the projection of Charlie is a brilliant narrative subplot of the series and shows true character growth, even if it moves at a slow pace.
The Patient season 1 episode 8
Director: Chris Long
Date Created: 2022-10-11 10:30
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