Sunday, June 6, 2021

REVIEW: 'In Treatment' - Brooke and Colin Finally Have a Genuine Conversation as a Breakthrough Occurs in 'Colin - Week 3'

HBO's In Treatment - Episode 4.10 "Colin - Week 3"

Brooke helps Colin realize how his hyper-focus on the opinions of others has long curtailed the development of his authentic self. After testing Brooke's boundaries, Colin makes an unusual request for their final session.

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.

"Colin - Week 3" was written by Zack Whedon and directed by Uta Briesewitz

Brooke doesn't need to like her patients in order to provide the benefits of therapy. Through her first two sessions with Colin, it has been very confrontational. He has a unique need to be liked by everyone. Moreover, he is desperate to impress Brooke because his fate rests in her hands. She is going to make a determination about his fate outside of prison. She has to sign off on his mental health. He believes he can tell her stories that will adversely affect that outcome. He wants to use those as examples to prove just how different this experience is than the rest of her patients. Brooke doesn't see a disconnect. She just wants to provide the help that she believes Colin needs at this moment in time. She isn't the one with a court order hanging over her hand. These sessions are mandatory on Colin's part. He dreads coming to them. He believes Brooke dreads having to be with him too. That's how he experiences the world. It's all about how a person is individually effected by a situation. Brooke tries her best to be an impartial observer. She provides guidance to break down bad behavior and replace it with good. She wants Colin to be willing to put in the work. That may be dependent on his ability to connect with the program. Brooke has a determination to make. She bases that on the progress made during these sessions. She already sees a breakthrough with Colin here. They drop some of the pressure of this experience in order to have a genuine conversation. Sure, Colin is still confrontational in moments. For the most part though, he isn't trying to trick Brooke. He wants to provoke her. He fundamentally believes he needs to test the people around him in order to see how they react. If they don't respond the way he likes, then he knows to pull away. He sees the damage this behavior has done though. It's easier to blame the world around him. He doesn't want to reflect on himself and the accountability he must face for the dysfunction. It's easier to blame the parents who cared more about their jobs and traveling the world. It's easier to blame the federal agents who just wanted to make an example out of a white collar criminal. It's easier to blame his wife for being someone obsessed with status. These stories aren't the truth though. Brooke pulls those narratives apart. This session is the first to truly delve into Colin's marriage. He has been reluctant to talk about it. It's the most painful betrayal he feels. He has reached out to Hanna on a number of occasions. And yet, he knows that he lost her the moment that he was arrested. The fantasy of their lives was destroyed. Every happy moment was now tainted because of this. It still takes him awhile to realize that his behavior contributed to that destruction. His lies and crimes made this relationship implode. It had its fair share of struggles beforehand. She wanted to have children. It was biologically difficult for her to do so. They tried so many natural tricks in the hopes of having success. That wasn't the path for them. Hanna was more engaged with it all than Colin was. That is still a loss in his life as well. He too thought that could be the future for him. Instead, he is on Brooke's couch after being arrested for fraud. After he committed that crime, it was easier for him to lie to his wife about it. He broke her trust. He betrayed her. He can see that clearly now. Of course, he also has hope that bringing Hanna to a session and seeing how great Brooke is will magically fix everything. Colin has shown a willingness to embrace the right impulses. He doesn't send a letter to a tech writer who criticized him in the past. He is still hoping for her public downfall. Brooke sees a lot of issues that still need to be addressed. She doesn't know if they can realistically unpack everything that happened within this marriage in one sitting. And yet, Colin wants that to be the focus of their potential final session. This therapy is meant to be about Colin. It may now morph into focusing on this couple. That evolution may be natural. Brooke doesn't argue against it. It may also clash with the hopefulness she wanted to end the session on. A breakthrough was found. Brooke found a way to connect with her client. She provides the clarity he needed to hopefully take the next steps in life. The flow of this conversation is interrupted several times. It's more helpful than harmful it seems. But again, Colin's response to all of this may only further identify issues that must be addressed within his psyche. Him making these realizations doesn't mean he is better equipped to avoid the same mistakes in the future. Brooke wants to set him on a better path. She has a better understanding of how to help him than her other patients. That may come from the appeal of this therapeutic challenge. It excites her in a way. She has concerns too. She also places her trust in people. They will listen to her advice and avoid making dangerous mistakes. She believes in that until she is given a reason not to. People may challenge her on that notion. And yet, that's what she conditions herself into believing in order to serve as an effective therapist. That's the only way anyone gets any better through this work.