Season 3, Week 1

Week 1: Paul & Adele

Paul is on the phone and is holding Gina’s book.  He is in a waiting room of another doctor. He and Wendy are discussing arrangements for the evening. Adele comes out and introduces herself and we meet his new therapist.

Her office is bright, light and modern. Paul comments on that right away and says his office is dark and burrow-like. Paul looks awkward and uncertain about how to begin. Adele reflects that he doesn’t want to be there. He called, he says, because he needs a refill of his Ambien prescription. His doctor in Baltimore had been refilling it but won’t now. So he called her because she is in the neighborhood and had an opening. He reports he has been Ambien every night for 14 months. Paul becomes irritated by Adele’s questions and tells her he had run out on Wednesday and hadn’t slept since Tuesday night. Paul says he didn’t expect her to be so young. She asks about his sleep -- he says he wakes up after a few hours. His college friend referred him, he says, and she remarks that his friend is an excellent doctor. He again attacks her age by saying he thinks she couldn’t know how excellent his friend is because she is so young. His hostility is clear. She remarks about his repeated statements about her age. Paul just wants the prescription. He says he has been in therapy for 20 years and when she asks,  he says  it was with Gina whose name she does not recognize. Paul needs to tell her how important Gina is and says he saw her first for supervision then she became his analyst. And that she had also seen his ex-wife. All of this feels like jousting. She asks if he is an analyst and he says yes.

Week 1: Jesse

Paul is reading the NY review of books. He sees an ad for Gina’s book. Then a knock on the door. He opens the door to a flash going off as his patient enters.

Jesse, a teenager, sits slumped a bit on the couch, his knees jiggling. Tension is his body is evident. He tells Paul he took a lot of good photos that week and put some on Facebook. He tried to friend Paul but discovered he isn’t on FB for which he admonishes him. 

Jesse says he likes the word bifurcated and then they spar a little about the way Merriam (of Merriam-Webster) is pronounced and Paul reveals a bit of dictionary trivia he knows. 

Jesse is gay. He talks in a dramatic and slightly pressured way.Swinging quickly from anger to a quieter state. He says he loves his camera and when Paul asks who gave it to him, he says he doesn’t remember, which is odd. Then he shows Paul pictures in the camera. Among them are photos in a bar. Paul asks when that was,  to which Jesse vaguely says Friday though Paul says the date stamp says Tuesday. Paul asks if it was at Josh and Rafe’s bar and was it last night? Jesse reluctantly confesses. Paul asks if he went to school that day. He says no. Paul reminds Jesse that he had said he wouldn’t go back to see them because he felt used by them, because they think he is a student at NYU. Paul says he is a minor and it is illegal for them to be with him. And Jesse says he will soon be 17, that they are safe and they always use condoms. His movements become more agitated. Paul asks if Jesse is taking his Adderall. Jesse says he means is he selling it. Jesse then says he found an app that allows him to see who is looking for a hookup. Paul told him to put the phone away.

Week 1: Frances

Paul is putting water into a vase with some white peonies. He opens the door and his patient is there -- early.

Thus we meet Frances, whose sister, Patricia, was Paul’s patient 18 years ago. She starts by asking if she looks like sister. Followed by talk between them of the ethics of Frances becoming Paul’s patient. He says given that it was so long in the past and that she is no longer seeing him, it is all right if Patricia is okay with it.

Frances says she called because she is opening in "Night of the Iguana" and is having trouble remembering lines. She asks if Paul sees her as a former star and then makes a joke about being the cliched narcissistic actress. Paul asks about her previous history and therapy. She ticks off a variety of alternative kinds of approaches, including seeing a shaman when she was on location. Then again in an attempt at humor suggests it is  cliche that she is coming to therapy, to the therapist her sister saw when her mother was dying. Frances says she was never attracted to traditional therapy because it seems naked, sitting and talking. She is anxious. She refers again to her sister. And then returns to the issue of the forgetting lines. She tells Paul she learns the lines and then in rehearsal, she loses them. Paul asks if the part makes her uncomfortable, if she trips over lines in particular places. She denies this is the case and asks if he saw Ava Gardner in the film version. Then that she has heard that one of the producers didn’t want her because she is too old.

Week 1: Sunil

Episode opens with Paul talking on the phone to his son. And we learn thus that his wife has moved in with another man and Max doesn’t like him. He and Kate spar with each other, she hangs up. Wendy, the woman he mentioned to Gina at the end last season, seems to be living with Paul.

Paul has a tremor in his right hand -- remember, his father died of Parkinson’s -- which we see when he puts down the phone.

First patient and first visit: Sunil’s son and daughter-in-law bring him to the appointment.  Sunil certainly looks depressed -- his face and his body reflect his sadness eloquently. Son, Aaron, and daughter-in-law Julia come in to session -- Paul comments on this as unusual. 

Sumil has been in New York for 5 months following the death of his wife and is having trouble adjusting. As Julia talks about what the problems they are concerned about are, we see she seems to be in charge, angry and wanting Sunil to be gone, though she doesn’t say that. The son seems rather passive and caught between his father and his controlling wife. At one point, Julia wants to talk with Paul without Sunil in the room, but Paul refuses.

© Cheryl Fuller, 2018. All  rights reserved.