Sunday, May 30, 2021

REVIEW: 'In Treatment' - El Grows Heated When Discussing the Wealthy Family He Currently Works For in 'Eladio - Week 2'

HBO's In Treatment - Episode 4.05 "Eladio - Week 2"

Brooke agrees to refer Eladio to a psychiatrist before his medication runs out - but only if he truly commits to therapy first. When pressed about his employers, Eladio opens up about his complicated relationship with their family.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of HBO's In Treatment.

"Eladio - Week 2" was written by Chris Gabo and directed by Julian Farino

At the end of Brooke's first session with Eladio, he was already transferring a maternal dependency onto her. He needs that energy in his life. He wants someone to love him unconditionally and offer complete support. He doesn't have that with his own family who live on the other side of the country. He celebrates his heritage. And yet, those personal relationships are distant. Brooke offers something much more close and intimate now even though they are communicating through their electronic devices. Brooke hopes that El is doing better because he didn't call her during the week. He saw that as crossing a line that would only lead to her admonishing him once more. He doesn't want that. He is embarrassed by asking her to be like family to him as well. He doesn't want to delve deeper into that concern. He's not wrong for making that request either. Brooke knows she has to carefully navigate and monitor her patients transferring their emotions onto the dynamic with her. She knows how tricky that can be. She just wants what's best for El. And yet, the audience is aware that she too may project her own personal issues onto him. He lives in that fear and voices those concerns throughout this session. He sees her as fundamentally trying to get him to say something bad about the family he works for. She isn't pressing that deeply. He quickly grows angry about the situation though. It bubbles up to a conversation about entitled and privileged white people thriving from capitalism. El is in pain. He can potentially benefit from these sessions with Brooke. But this entire dynamic is only possibly because the family pays for it. It's the most luxurious expense they are willing to give to him. He serves a specific purpose. One that could be easily replaced. He remains a steady aspect of their home solely because he cares about Jeremy. He also perceives this guy to be his enemy. Society tells him that he should be in conflict with a transphobic Republican. He has still managed to find a way to become friends though. He sees that personal dynamic. He experiences it every single day. As such, he feels the pressure to defend Jeremy even when he is the one also attacking him in the same sentence. He goes off on these wildly different tangents. He experiences a wide gambit of emotions. He yearns for Brooke's help. She too holds a desire to help him no matter what. She needs him to be safe. She needs him to be the same charming man that he was previously. That's one aspect of his identity. It's not the full picture. As such, she has a complicated relationship with him. He could serve as a stand-in for the son she was forced to give away a long time ago. She wants to be his friend. And yet, professional boundaries are set too. They make a deal to ensure he has access to medication to treat his chronic insomnia. Brooke even gives El the opportunity to obtain the pills legally. That's a blessing. She holds no judgment for what he has had to do to survive. He is grateful for the opportunities he now has because of this family. But he also feels diminished as well. This family doesn't truly know him. They don't relate to him. He's not part of the family. He is the help. He does a job. He does it well. He is passionate and caring. That's enough to keep things safe and secure. El still seeks validation though. He doesn't see the value in analyzing his dynamic within this family as being relevant to that cause. He is defensive and angry. He has this internal sense of conflict. He is ready to burst. Brooke doesn't have to do much. He projects so much energy onto her. She gets caught up in the moment as well. She believes that people should fundamentally understand and respect the choices others make. They should fight to maintain that path even when the person who made those choices is struggling. Brooke seeks that conviction in her own relationship with Adam. He believes she knows best. She doesn't need any reassurance to remain strong in her sobriety. She has already taken a drink though. The audience has seen that moment. And now, she loses track of time. It leads to an abrupt ending. One that may offer no clarity to El whatsoever. He shuts down the moment that Brooke is no longer paid to invest in his emotional well-being. She tries to assert herself in a caring mode once more. And yet, the damage may have already been done.