HBO's In Treatment: Revelations and breakthroughs

If you have not seen week four of HBO's "In Treatment," which aired Monday and Tuesday nights, stop reading now -- and come back later after you have.

But for those of you who have seen Paul's fourth session with Adele, what do you think? I sort of saw it coming in Paul's put downs of Wendy during his sessions with Adele, but not this fast. In previous posts, I described Paul's slightly sarcastic or patronizing remarks about Wendy as nothing less than acts of betrayal.

The fact that he did that to Wendy made me like Paul a lot less. It also made me wonder if it wasn't a kind of come-on to Adele, a way of saying, "You and I are the same kind of superior people -- as opposed to Wendy who is really beneath me." That's kind of despicable, in fact, if you think about it.

And now comes his confession Tuesday night to Adele that he was thinking of her while lying in bed (on the couch actually) with Wendy. I wonder what folks make of that. Is he being honest? Is he being a good patient and telling the truth -- expressing his passion? Is it just classic transference, as he says? Or is it another attempt by Paul to have a strong (Gina, come back) woman to guide (control and dominate) him?

You have to admit the lady in the boots is in total control from the second he makes that confession. She tells them it is time to end, that they will resume with his feelings next time, and shows him the door. No resistance from Paul now.

Could those last few moments more packed with things not said? And by the way, are not Amy Ryan and Gabriel Byrne terrific? Casting Ryan to fill the huge void left by the departure of Dianne Weist was genius, and her cool, minimalist performance is superb.

Did Paul actually say how he loves Adele's "clarity"? I have to say that sounds like to me -- but oh-so-Paul when he is on the make. Of course, you love her clarity, Paul. She's not hung over on sleeping pills like you are, for one thing. She's not faking it in bed during the lunch hour either with a partner half her age.

And what about Sunil's revelation about the way his romance with a university student really ended? What a great and detailed description of the event, with her wearing his jacket and the rocks in the pockets -- and the metaphor of the bridge between their two worlds.

I felt his feelings toward his daughter-in-law were getting out of bounds, by the way. Entering her study, taking her birth control pills, listening to her telephone conversations and watching her sleep are all way over the line in my book.

But Paul's journey is the one that has my brain racing this week. Even though I am questioning my empathy for Paul in a deep and fundamental way, I love the new directions this series is taking this year now that the scripts are original and not adaptations of those used in the Israeli version of the series.

Enough for now. Let's just get the thread going, and I'll write more later in the week about Frances.

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