The Patient season 1 episode 9 recap & review: Auschwitz

Episode 9 of The Patient sees Alan make one more attempt to prolong his life by suggesting Sam have a guest over for a meal. The episode is now streaming on Hulu.


Alan finds himself in a dream where he’s at Auschwitz and comes across one of the prisoners having a nightmare so he wakes him up, only for the prisoner to tell him that he shouldn’t do that.

When he gets up, he continues to sharpen the edge of his foot cream tube. He goes into one of his therapy sessions with Charlie who tries to analyze his dream with Victor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist from the 40s and 50s who wrote about surviving the camps.

Charlie suggests that this is Alan’s brain trying to tell him that there’s still a way out and he shouldn’t give up yet. Alan believes the dream is telling him to go ahead with his plan of stabbing Sam with the sharpened edge of the tube.

Alan calls Sam because he wants to have a short session before Sam goes to work. He talks about Victor Frankl and his book which explores the idea of finding meaning in one’s life. He tells Sam that he needs to build more relationships in his life to help him find meaning.

They move onto the topic of Mary and discuss how their marriage was. Alan says that he wished he could talk to Mary or see how the two of them interacted so he could form an opinion on whether that relationship would help him.

He suggests inviting Mary over for a meal and setting up a camera so that Alan can observe them and make notes. Sam isn’t too sure about the idea but ultimately agrees.

He tells his mother about it and invites Mary for brunch the next day. Alan goes over his plan with Charlie, who tells him that it’s not a very good idea.

Alan wants to stab Sam and then call out and alert Mary to his presence but Charlie says that he’ll only end up getting her killed.

Before Mary arrives, Alan goes over a few things Sam can ask her and just advises him to have regular conversations about her life and work. Sam is nervous about it.

Mary arrives and the brunch is very awkward. Sam tries to recount the anecdote that Alan told him about the three prisoners he completely messes up.

He leaves the table and goes down to Alan for help. Alan sees this as the perfect opportunity to carry out his plan. He holds the tube in hand but is filled with hesitation as he remembers how Elias was choked out.

He imagines himself calling out to Mary while he’s in the room with Charlie but doesn’t do it for real. Mary leaves after the meal and Sam walks her out.

He comes back and tells Alan that Mary doesn’t want to get back together with him. He feels immense pain and sadness because of this and Alan tells him that this is a true moment of growth. He says that life is all about taking risks and getting hurt until you find what works.

Sam says that this breakthrough doesn’t change anything and he’s still going to go to Mr Buchella from next week. Alan says that for things to work better this time, he needs to be more forthcoming about his memories of his father.

He tells Sam that he holds so much anger for his father and all his victims are most likely substitutes for his father. Sam has a sudden realisation and gets his laptop from his room.

He plays an interview with Ed Kemper the serial killer, where Kemper talks about killing his mother to stop him from killing other people since all his victims were substitutes for his mother. Sam believes he’s in the same situation and to end his compulsion, he must kill his father.


  • Steve Carell and David Alan Grier have great chemistry together and the back and forth between them during Alan’s “therapy” sessions are a brilliant way to balance out the tone of the series.
  • There is one particular crack that Sam makes about defiling his father’s skull the way Ed Kemper did before clarifying that it’s a joke and it’s totally out of the blue making it all the more hilarious.
  • The season is approaching its final episode and yet, it still doesn’t exactly come across as a high-stakes thriller meant for wider audiences.
The Patient season 1 episode 9
The Patient season 1 episode 9 recap & review: Auschwitz 1

Director: Chris Long

Date Created: 2022-10-18 10:30

Editor's Rating:

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