The Patient – Episode 7 “Kaddish” Recap & Review


In episode 7 of The Patient, Alan anxiously awaits one of two situations. Either the police found his note in Elias’ mouth and are coming after him, or Sam found it and will be coming to kill him.

To his surprise, neither situation occurs. Sam returns for a session, but Alan turns him away. He claims he’s too exhausted; it’s the first hard boundary we’ve seen the therapist set, and we can see the shock in Sam’s face.

Later, Sam pays a visit to his old school and chats with the school counselor, Mr. Buchella. He asks him whether he expected Sam to be unhappy as an adult. Mr. Buchella says he knows Sam was different, that he had a hard time. But, no. He had hoped for the best.

Sam then asks Mr. Buchella to be his therapist. The counselor says he’ll have to think about it; he’s never taken on a former student. Before they part, Sam asks him if it would be a good idea for a therapist and patient to live together.

No, Mr. Buchella responds. It absolutely would not.

Later, Sam calls his ex-wife to ask her if she ever thought something was wrong with him. Maybe he was too obsessed with food. And she was never sure if he truly loved her. “But, overall,” she says, “I know you’re a good guy.”

Sam then drives to a bridge and looks down at the water. Maybe he’s depressed about being unable to change or about not understanding himself. Then again, people often dispose of bodies by throwing them into bodies of water….

When Sam returns home, Alan is talking to Charlie in his head and pondering his relationship with his son. He’s so frustrated with Ezra and how he made Beth’s life difficult even in her last days.

He reveals that Beth was so sick that she wanted to die “on her own terms,” that is, by using pills. Ezra made a big deal about it being illegal and decided not to take part, which Alan saw as judgment and abandonment.

Sam comes in with a large bag, and it’s not food this time. He bought a printer in order to print the Kaddish for Alan, who earlier said he wanted to recite it for his wife but couldn’t remember the words.

Alan tells him this is what he was talking about earlier. This is empathy in action, and he’s thankful. We, of course, know he’s thinking murderous thoughts about his patient in his head.

Alan then wants to talk to him about what’s going to happen when the police find Elias’ body. But Sam responds that they won’t find it, as he changed his mind. He got scared, and he put the body somewhere it won’t be found.

Alan is quiet, his plan having failed. Sam hands him the copy of the Kaddish and asks if he can listen to his recitation. But Alan claims it’s private–daring to set another boundary.

So, Sam leaves. But he sits outside the door, listening to Alan’s emotionally charged voice recite the Kaddish for his wife–and maybe Elias, too.

The Episode Review

I have to remind myself when watching The Patient that Sam is someone who wants to change. It may seem like he’s not putting in much effort, but he ultimately wants to be different. He wants to be an empathetic, normal person, and that’s especially seen in multiple interactions this episode.

I like the scene where Sam carries in a big plastic bag. I expected it to be food. (I’m accustomed to it being food.) But this is right after Sam conversed with his ex-wife, and she commented on his obsession with food as one reason they split. Food is something Sam obsesses over for himself. But the printer is for Alan. Even if Sam is ultimately trying to make himself feel better by performing the “empathetic” action, this seems a step in the right direction.

Alan, as his therapist, has to see this as growth. But, as his captive, he is likely still feeling hopeless about Sam’s quest for change. The writers understand these nuances in therapy and in self-improvement, when they could easily get lost in trying to make an exciting thriller.

Sam’s words to Alan after he brings him the printer are interesting as well. “I don’t feel good,” he says. Is he feeling bad now that he’s starting to think about others? Is he regretting killing Elias? Or is he focused on himself, and how he wants to feel normal?

Similar, when he was standing on the bridge: Was Sam contemplating suicide? Or was this where he got rid of the body?

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You can read our full season review for The Patient Season 1 here!

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