Thursday, February 07, 2008

In Treatment, week two: Jake & Amy

For the first time since "In Treatment" began, I'm going to share some of my own thoughts on an episode, and anyone who watched tonight will understand why. (And if you skipped tonight, you really need to catch up with this one, ASAP. Trust me. You don't want to see this week's Paul/Gina session without it.) Spoilers coming up just as soon as I find some club soda and table salt...

See what I mean? Both about the show really being about Paul and how watching every episode is essential? Here's an episode where the therapy session was over less than 10 minutes in, and yet it was the most riveting installment yet, and the one with the biggest development in Paul's life so far.

I can only imagine someone who's decided to only tune in for, say, Laura and Alex and then Gina putting on tomorrow night's episode and being dumbsquizzled by the major piece of news Paul's going to lay on Gina about his marriage.

And, frankly, I would say having seen last night's Sophie episode was just as essential to understanding this one as seeing this one will be to everything that follows. We can tell already that Paul is in trouble, that maybe he's not the best guy or the best therapist right now, but if we had Kate's infidelity dumped on us without those moments last night where we see her being so warm and maternal with Sophie, I can imagine it being much easier to take Paul's side. But when she lays into him about being an absentee husband and father, I'm inclined to believe her, you know? Not that it excuses cheating (you're either in a marriage or you're not), but I appreciate why she felt the need, you know? Hearing Kate describe how distant Paul's become with the kids, I have no problem thinking that he has a tighter bond with Sophie after two sessions than he does with his own teenage daughter at the moment.

Great work by Michelle Forbes and by Gabriel Byrne, who knows how to really turn on the brogue to show just how angry Paul was by this news.

As for the briefly-seen Jake and Amy, it's definitely a contrivance that she would miscarry at the exact moment she had made peace with having the baby and decided to make things work with Jake. But I also don't think all of their problems were solved. Miscarriage or no, they would have been back on Paul's couch within a few weeks.

What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

can we just open the floor to discuss the pure awesomeness that is Michelle Forbes? Once strike is over can we just send this episode to every casting agent alive please?

stoners.manual said...

This is definitely a turning point episode. I think Aurorasbored made a good point in a comment she left for me that this was not seeded enough...

I think the same of the pill popping on Friday.

See if you agree:

Theresa said...

I thought it was interesting that she accused him of being so completely oblivious to the fact that she was having an affair, when Friday's episode from last week reveals otherwise. However, he wouldn't even admit that he thought it was happening to Gina (or himself). So, oblivious or no? I tend to lean towards the latter.

Anonymous said...

Awesome episode. and I agree with jefferson Michelle Forbes is amazing in everything she does

Anonymous said...

I don't think he was oblivious, Theresa, but definitely in denial.

This was definitely the best ep so far. How can it keep up the intensity, though? Or rather, can I keep watching a show this intense five nights a week? I'm exhausted!

And as much as it pains me to admit...Michelle Forbes was fantastic tonight. Such raw pain. OUCH.

Anonymous said...

Gabriel always blows me away with his acting! He was amazing last night when he lost it with the wife, who was fantastic as well. Bravo Gabriel, you rock!

Mo Ryan said...

The less we see of Jake and Amy, the better.

The more we see of Michelle Forbes and Gabriel Byrne, the better. This was the best episode yet. The Sophie episodes are my second favorite, after anything with those two.

Anonymous said...

good episode, and good show in general. We happened to watch the Sophie episode and this one back to back, which certainly made for interesting viewing, as we were very moved by Sophie's hugging Kate. And loved Paul using the first few sentences of his evaluation to win Sophie's trust.

Then 10 minutes into this episode, Paul calls Kate in like she's the maid (actually, I'd never be that rude to an employee). And if you're a parent, how can you not be moved by Kate's speech about their friendless son. So sad. But Paul is to emotionally distant from Kate to react with anything more than "Okay, I'll talk to him." What a self-centered response! Where's his empathy for his own son?

And then I rather liked the abrupt way Kate dropped her bomb:

- We never talk.
- Okay, we have a few minutes, let's talk.
- I'm seeing someone.

Bam! I'm enjoying how this show manages to convey how cruel we can be to one another and how we can at the same time convince ourselves that it's the other's fault and that we are in fact the misunderstood or unappreciated one. Darn, relationships can really be hard if you don't have the courage and discipline to confront issues timely. (well, they're still hard then, too.)

Anonymous said...

I am utterly enthralled by this show. Why was I thinking I was alone? Bryne is simply astonishing. I find myself watching every well-placed gesture, tick, and squint. Where is this heading?

Cinemania said...

Two people engaged in intelligent, intense dialogue ALWAYS makes for riveting TV. Why don't more tv show creators get that?

Unknown said...

Michelle Forbes. wow.

I have never before seen her in anything. There are moments in that scene where she admits to her affair that are so raw that I find myself feeling her pain in a way that is so direct. I feel that she gives me a direct access to her pain, its rawness, in a way I am not sure I have ever before felt. Like the perfection of that moment. When he focuses her in on her guilt over cheating and she cries and gasps in the background with the camera on him and you can't imagine this is an actress you are hearing. It has to be that she is actually feeling it right then and there and you want immediately to cry for her, for that pain over her intense guilt that until that moment was masked by her anger, her feeling she'd been criven to this act of betrayel, and how in an instant that anger is overwhelmed by the unavoidable, irrevocable weight of her acts that sink her in an instant.

Unknown said...

Whew, Jake and Amy 3.

So many things to say. First, I am gald I stumbled on to this blog. I hope the feeling is at the very least not a-mutual, or whatever the right word would be for the oppositve of mutual.

Second, to the left of this comment window is "the awesomeness that is Michelle Forbes" and aside form her devastating acting, she knocked me off my chair when she came in to announce she was going to Rome. Stunningly beautiful.

What incredible timing personally for me is this vivid portrayal of those places in relationships where things break down. I am recently separated and while the hostility and resentment does not
ring as true for me, it is a matter of degree as opposed to brand, if you will. So maybe that's why I am feeling as in awe - literally jaw-dropping awe of both the intensity and quality of this show.

I do like Byrne, but there are moments I feel he's acting, where my suspended disbelief goes away and I fall quickly into "critic" mode as I think happens for most of us when we find an actor not credible. HTe pilot, for instance... maybe I just cannot relate to his personality, but I find him either a terrible actor or the role is one I simply have never seen firsthand.

Mo Ryan - I am curious if your take on Jake and Amy has changed. I find myself detesting Jake and siding with Amy, the only real hesiation to that being her fabrication of - I forget what - in their I think first visit - but it was so compelling that I am left never cerain whether I can trust her, and I guess that's what jake feels.

The thing about Jake that bothers me most is his insistence on blaming Paul for the miscarraige and imminent failuer of his relationship with Amy. She clearly wants out of that marriage and Jake clearly feels horribly inadequate and its axccompanying suspicions.

Ok, thanks for the venting forum. Outstanding show.

Byron Hauck said...

I thought the episode was very well acted, but I don't feel like the action was "earned" (to use a phrase used frequently to describe high points of The Wire). I understand that we're coming in to the middle of things, but I still feel like they're rushing this plotline.