Saturday, March 29, 2008

In Treatment week 9 open thread

And so we head into our final three episodes of "In Treatment." No Monday or Tuesday shows this week, but we're sticking with the usual pattern of respecting the airing schedule. We can talk about Sophie tonight, Jake and Amy after tomorrow night, and the whole shebang on Friday.

29 comments:

Alan Sepinwall said...

Peter Horton doesn't act much anymore (according to IMDb, this was his first on-screen performance in about four years), but he was dead-solid perfect as Sophie's dad, wasn't he? Very much in the same Peter Pan vein as Gary from thirtysomething.

I loved how Paul was able to recover from that awkward moment with the balloons and take control of the unexpected presence in the room. When daddy dummy barged back in, itching for a fight, Paul completely defused it in a way the guy wasn't at all prepared for. And I love how Paul was smart enough (as were his writers) to keep himself silent as much as possible during the session. This wasn't about him; this was about Sophie, and the more he interjected, the harder it was going to be for Sophie to express herself and for her dad to actually listen.

Also, a lovely moment at the end with Paul's daughter (her?) looking through the window and assuming Sophie's dad was cool, when we know just how uncool he is. Peter Horton doesn't act much anymore (according to IMDb, this was his first on-screen performance in about four years), but he was dead-solid perfect as Sophie's dad, wasn't he? Very much in the same Peter Pan vein as Gary from thirtysomething.

I loved how Paul was able to recover from that awkward moment with the balloons and take control of the unexpected presence in the room. When daddy dummy barged back in, itching for a fight, Paul completely defused it in a way the guy wasn't at all prepared for. And I love how Paul was smart enough (as were his writers) to keep himself silent as much as possible during the session. This wasn't about him; this was about Sophie, and the more he interjected, the harder it was going to be for Sophie to express herself and for her dad to actually listen.

Also, a lovely moment at the end with Paul's daughter (her?) looking through the window and assuming Sophie's dad was cool, when we know just how uncool he is.

Question: if, somehow, there's a second season, would you want to see Sophie continue as a patient, or do you feel like her story's been told?

Bobman said...

It's funny, I love Sophie as a character, and watching her development over the course of the season was one of the best (if not THE best) reason to watch... but I don't think there's much more to tell. She has a ways to go with her father and mother and life in general but she's pretty obviously on the right path personally to getting it all in order on her own. This episode PERFECTLY showed how much she's grown and matured and how beneficial this whole thing was for her.

I've avoided previews and whatnot pretty religiously, so I dread that the call to Laura at the beginning of this episode foreshadowing some awkward reunion in the next two eps. I suppose it's inevitable though.

Theresa said...

Paul diffused the volatile situation with Sophie's dad pretty perfectly, I must say. Her dad looked totally defeated when Paul agreed with him about not being able to know her completely from a few one-hour sessions.

I think this may have been the first episode where I really wanted it to go on for an hour instead of just half an hour, but at the same time I think Sophie said everything she needed to say. I'm totally with you, Bobman: although I love Sophie's sessions, I think she's said everything she had to say and sort of knows what she needs to do now and doesn't really need the therapy anymore.

Is it just me, or does Peter Horton look a lot like Steven Weber? Also, not being a thirtysomething watcher, I had to IMDB him before I realized that he was a Grey's Anatomy producer/director. Crazy.

That First Andrew said...

I think Sophie still needs therapy, but we are past the breakthrough stage. She isn't going to have those "Egads!" moments she has had when she talked about Cy or her father. When she comes back from training, she'll likely continue therapy, but it will just be mopping up. Maintenance. While it would be interesting to see her pop up now and again, maybe in the waiting room after another patient leaves, her journey from here on will be far less cinematical.

Very curious to see Jake and Amy tomorrow. See how they handle their ending. Laura quit therapy, Alex died and Sophie is taking a break. Paul is going to have trouble paying the mortgage if this keeps up...

Simon Crowe said...

Sophie's storlyine was the most satisfying part of In Treatment because it was the one time you saw Paul really wake up and demonstrate he was capable of helping another person. (and because of Mia Wasikowska's performance)

That said, there is plenty for Paul to work on with Sophie (and if there's a second season it would be nice to have some continuity). Sophie has come to grips with her feelings about her parents, but don't forget she was sexually abused by her coach and tried to kill herself twice. Here's hoping she comes back.

dez said...

Although I would love to have Sophie come back, I agree with the posters above who think her story is basically told. I don't think we need to see her weekly sessions any more, but I would love to see her pop up occasionally or get some sort of update on her--maybe even just a picture of her in the background wearing a medal :-)

Great ep, as usual with the Sophie sessions. I liked seeing her stand up for herself, and that she understood what Paul was getting at last week and absorbed it--you could hear Paul's words when she told off her dad, but she owned them. Peter Horton was great in that role and I wish he would act more. I also look forward to seeing Mia Wasikowska in future projects.

Anonymous said...

I for one hope they keep Sophie on for next season (has it even been picked up for another season). Although I love the show, I'm worried that it treats characters like problems to be solved, so that once we understand the central problems animatin a character, that character becomes expendable. This might just be a limitation of the format, but I hope that it's not, and that the show still finds something worth showing about a more self-aware, slightly less screwed up Sophie

kathy said...

If there is a second season, I like to see one or two of the patients continue on. I think it would be more interesting to see both new and old patients.

I think Sophie had a breakthrough but in no way is her story over and though I love this show, it doesn't seem accurate to me that a teenager who slept with an adult and who tried to kill herself twice would be considered "done" with therapy after 2 months and allowed to go off and be by herself - what the eff? That was a little too magical of an ending. Having a breakthrough in therapy doesn't solve all the problems, and in fact, it usually creates a new set of them as you react to the breakthrough and deal with the consequences.

So while I loved this episode for the way Sophie finally stod up for herself and the wonderful acting from everyone involved, the resolution seemed very simplistic for a show as good as this one.

Great to see Peter Horton again.

Bobman said...

I don't think anyone believes Sophie is "cured" and perfect now, just that the part of her story that is actually television worthy is probably over. This show didn't have great ratings to begin with; I can't imagine how bad they would be if they showed more realistic, normal therapy. Sophie's story was building up to this breakthrough, just as each character was building up to something dramatic. No one wants to watch the years of standard therapy the majority of people actually go through, regardless of how much we may have invested in the characters involved.

At least, IMO.

Stacie said...

Fantastic episode - for many reasons. As a therapist, how satisfying to see your work pay off in that way! I'd love to have a whole caseload of Sophies, but few adolescents are like her in therapy, at least in my experience. Second, having Peter Horton around felt like seeing an old friend. Finally, I agree that Mia W. was fantastic in this role. I'll miss the Wednesday episodes most of all.

Nicole said...

Was that definitely a call to Laura at the beginning? I was hoping that it was Alex's father or someone else... anyone else really.

As for Sophie, I think there could be more with her because sexual abuse is a serious issue to deal with, although the issue with her dad is probably as resolved as its going to be.

dez said...

^Yes, it was definitely (and unfortunately!) a call to Laura.

@kathy, I don't think Sophie quit therapy; she's just taking a break to go train in another state. I had the feeling that she would be back with Paul as soon as she returns.

Dan Coyle said...

I guess Horton was coaxed back into acting by Melanie Mayron, who directed the Sophie episode I believe. I'm glad for that, because he can be really good, and he was excellent here, with his childlike behavior towards Sophie and Paul. Mia Wiaskowska blew the doors of the hinges with her performance.

It's kind of mindblowing that Mayron directs this stuff and then goes and does that idiotic Naked Brothers Band on Nickelodeon (which was created by Polly Draper and features her husband and sons). Two totally different shows, shot in a completely different manner. she's good.

If there's a second season, I'd like to see Jake and Amy again.

drake leLane said...

Boy, something about the set of thirtysomething sure spawned a lot of television directors. It was great seeing Horton in front of the camera again.

Dan Jardine said...

Probably due at least a little bit to personal issues I choose not to elaborate on, this was the first episode of the series that had me weeping by the end. Really a great bit of acting by Mia W, and Horton was well cast (which is to say, the part played right into his acting wheelhouse). But the paralleling of the two father-daughter scenarios at the end of the episode completely wrecked me (as if I wasn't already fucked up by the rest of the ep). I don't see how there is anywhere for Sophie's story to go that will come anywhere near this emotional apex, so I say retire her story now. In fact, I'd even suggest a completely new slate next season, from the therapist on down. Otherwise, the danger of retreading material is just too great, while the new canvas will give new writers and directors room to try new tacks.

special k said...

What a beautiful episode. The actress playing Sophie continues to stun me. Her reticence with her father, the way she almost cowered in his presence... it was an incredible new dimension to her strong-willed, often antagonistic, always challenging personality.

Great to see Peter Horton back in acting mode (I was a huge thirtysomething fan). And wonderful responding and reacting by the always fantastic Gabriel Byrne. Their final hug at the end had me all weepy. What a beautiful moment, despite hugs being against the rules. Paul broke the rules for Sophie, and I am glad he did. Lovely stuff. I'll miss you, Sophie, but I am so glad you seem to be mending.

BF said...

Is it just me, or does Peter Horton look a lot like Steven Weber?

Looks more like Michael Bay to me.

Bobcat said...

This was my favorite episode of the season and one of my favorite half-hours of television ever. I was also weeping at the end, not for personal reasons, but just because of Sophie's assertion of her justified grievances against someone who really wronged her, especially after it was so hard for her to admit them before.

I don't think there's any more need to explore Sophie (maybe Sophie's dad, though, or perhaps dual-therapy with Sophie and her dad).

As for a second season, I would love to see it, but of course there would have to be new patients whose issues dovetail with Paul's own. Consequently, I think Jake and Amy might be able to come back, but not any of the others.

Alternatively, we could have a Gina-centric season 2, as someone suggested on another thread.

dez said...

Well, it took nine weeks, but I finally felt something for Amy. Embeth Davidtz's naked emotion as Amy finally lets go was wrenching.

Jake matured quite a bit since the beginning. Although I understood why he wouldn't want to continue therapy in "that room," I hope he seeks help elsewhere. Same for Amy.

Yes, I know these people aren't real :-)

Nicole said...

Perhaps it's just me, but Paul seemed a bit more interventionist in this Jake and Amy session than in the past. If this does return next year, this couple would need therapy if they decided to stay together.

I still don't understand why Paul thought he was in love with Laura. For someone who is perceptive with other people's issues, he couldn't see that this wasn't actual love, but more of a need of being sexually wanted. Anyway, I'm super glad he didn't go through with it, although it did seem like Laura was pushing boundaries to try to take control from him.

Gina was great as usual, and she must return next year.

kc said...

I was beginning to get really creeped out thinking they were actually going to go through with it. His whole Laura fixation felt like incest and after Paul admitted his feelings for Laura awhile back I could barely watch their interactions anymore without feeling the need to take a shower. It just felt wrong on so many levels.

In contrast to how fatherly and protective he was around Sophie, this Paul felt like some dirty old man. I know that at this point in his career he would have had ample experience dealing with sexually flirtations and manipulative women like Laura, even with dealing with the breakdown of his own marriage.

At least they ended with him coming to Gina, taking the next step to help him rebuild his life. Overall, an interesting exploration into the psyche of a man.

special k said...

That truly was a strange and disturbing scene with Paul and Laura. She was so obviously not into him anymore now that the challenge of getting him was taken away, and it was just so off and wrong in every way. I too felt the need to take a shower thinking of them together in a sexual way. Thank God Paul didn't go through with it... but a very odd editing cut. At first I thought something was wrong with my Tivo.

Hopefully that was the last we'll see of Laura. And I too am thoroughly stumped by how Paul can possible think he is or was in love with Laura. Where is the love there? Lust, yes, but love? Huh?

jcpbmg said...

Is it just me, or does Peter Horton look a lot like Steven Weber?

Looks more like Michael Bay to me.


He does look just like Bay, it was also weird to see Horton clean-shaven (in all of the pictures from the greys set he usually has a beard).

Anonymous said...

The Sophie episode rocked, partially because Paul shut up and took a step back from his theorizing.

He was dead wrong about Gina, and, despite bragging about he knew all about Laura, how to push her buttons, he was clueless there.

Did anyone notice the parallel to the Tony/Dr. Melfi sessions? And the rather weird and abrupt ending had a similar feel. Transference interruptus.

I'd like to see the show return, but if Jake and Amy are back, I won't be.

dez said...

At least they ended with him coming to Gina, taking the next step to help him rebuild his life.

Seems like a good starting point for a Season 2 focusing on Gina, too :-)

Unlike what Paul reported to Gina, Laura doesn't seem to truly believe that she doesn't need to have sex with one person to break an attachment to another. Even though she claims to have this realization and after her behavior makes it clear (at least to the audience) that she isn't interested in Paul any more, she leads him into the bedroom anyway. Her not answering his calls was yet another way to keep control of the situation instead of a way to break her old patterns, IMHO.

I'm glad Paul was unable to have sex with Laura; as Gina said, he really did save both himself and Laura from further emotional harm. I'm also glad Gina insisted Paul give himself some credit for his actions, even if he had to "give" himself a panic attack to back out of the situation with Laura (and I'm sure the call from Rosie helped precipitate that).

Poor Kate sure looked sad when Paul said he was going to see Laura. I wish there had been more time in the ep to show what happened once Paul came home from his session with Gina--was Kate still there? Was Rosie?

Zach Haldeman said...

The Wikipedia entry for it leads me to believe that in Betipul, Paul, Gina, and Jake and Amy come back but no other patient. Personally, while Sophie was my favorite character, I'm really happy to be done with her story. It sort of had a positive ending, and I just want that to be it in terms of her sessions. What I would really like to see happen is have Paul run into her somewhere one episode next year, similar to how he ran into Laura at the funeral last week, and have a nice little epilogue for Sophie. And maybe she can come back in the (WARNING: extreme wishful thinking ahead!) third season with a whole new set of problems from the year away.

Eric said...

I just got an email from HBO leading to an interesting survey about In Treatment. They asked what I liked and disliked about this season, would I watch second season, if there's a new therapist for Season 2, should it be male or female, should they continue the same scheduling with Season 2, what extras would I like to see on the DVDs, and what special features would I like to see on the web site.

Perhaps there will be a Season 2 despite the ratings. And it looks like they'd be willing to do a much less direct adaptation of Be'Tipul for Season 2.

Nicole said...

Gabriel Byrne is the main reason I watched this show, so if they replace him, I am unlikely to watch... unless it's Dianne Wiest's character that takes over.

dez said...

Alan, what did you think of the last two eps and the series as a whole (now that you can talk about all of it freely--i.e., it's all spoiled, heh)? :-)