The Patient – Episode 4 “Company” Recap & Review

Company

In episode 4 of The Patient, Alan can’t sleep. He breathes uneasily, filled with worry about what Sam will do to his new captive.

And yet, when speaking with Sam, Alan is extremely calm. Sam explains how strong the urge has been to kill the man (his name is Elias). But, true to his word, he won’t kill him before speaking to Alan.

Sam demands that Alan fix him. The idea of protecting his mother supposedly didn’t work–not that we have proof he tried this suggestion. So, Alan suggests they try to distract him from his feelings. He tells him to go to work and have a normal day.

Sam begrudgingly leaves, and Alan is no longer the humble therapist, but the scared and angry captive. Elias finally speaks up from the other room to ask where he is. Alan whispers to him that this “lunatic” has captured both of them. 

Candace interrupts them briefly to apologise on Sam’s behalf. She insists he really wants to change and states her opinion that his father is not the ticket to why he’s like this. “He was always… just Sam.”

When she leaves, Alan continues talking with Elias, who is blindfolded and securely tied up. He doesn’t reveal who his captor is, but describes the room he’s in. He assures Elias that his daughter would have realized by now that he’s missing. Elias, too, thinks his parents will be calling the cops.

Alan talks about his family to fill time. About his wife, Beth, who died of cancer a few months ago. And his son, Ezra, who became an Orthodox Jew, which put a great strain on his relationship with Beth.

Meanwhile, Sam has a rough day of work and calls Alan. He can’t take it any longer. He says he’s coming back to finish the job.

Alan urgently pleads with him to keep distracting himself–to stay at work and even go to a concert afterwards. Sam hangs up.

Elias starts panicking and asks Alan to tell his parents he loves them if he dies. Alan, barely holding it together, affirms his request.

Sam returns home with a white noise machine, which he puts in Elias’ room so he can’t hear them talking. He insists to Alan that nothing is working, that it’s a ridiculous idea to just keep going to work everyday.

Alan tries to calm him. Elias didn’t see his face when he captured him, so he can still work through this and let him go.

But when Sam keeps approaching the door that leads to Elias, Alan finally yells at him to stop. He abruptly shouts that Sam should go see his ex-wife. Maybe that will give him the emotional shock he needs to get him away from his impulse to kill.

Sam just shakes his head. Turns away from Alan. Steps into bathroom.

When he comes out, Alan quietly–stepping into dangerous territory–asks him to turn off the noise machine. Sam walks toward Elias’ room again, his intent unclear. He then unplugs the machine, leaves the house, and gets into his car.

Elias sobs in his room, to which Alan responds by softly singing “Country Roads.”

“My name is Elias,” he says eventually. “Elias Petraki.”

“I’m Alan. Strauss.”


The Episode Review

The writing/directing team for The Patient is improving every episode in the ways it utilizes the psychological thriller’s unique, minimalist style to create exceptional tension and drama. 

Of course, a lot of credit is due to the cast as well. Steve Carell is outstanding, incredibly believable as a calm and concerned therapist and then–at the drop of a hat–so compelling as a distraught prisoner approaching the last straw.

The show continues to present interesting themes about the practice of therapy, especially as it attempts to humanize those in the therapeutic profession by presenting different facets of Alan’s personality in different situations. Still, in many regards, The Patient holds its cards close to its chest.

Will Sam’s arc be to show that anyone can change? Or to argue that some are lost causes? We’ll have to wait on Sam’s actions to find out.

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