Monday, June 7, 2021

REVIEW: 'In Treatment' - Rita Confronts the Ugly Truth About What Her Best Friend Has Become Lately in 'Brooke - Week 3'

HBO's In Treatment - Episode 4.12 "Brooke - Week 3"

After receiving a distressing phone call from Brooke, Rita helps her friend process a recent complication while struggling to accept a potential shift in their relationship.

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.

"Brooke - Week 3" was written by Joshua Allen and directed by Uta Briesewitz

Brooke and Rita forged their friendship through the program. They are both alcoholics. Rita serves as Brooke's sponsor. And yet, their friendship has blurred the lines over the years. They are a part of each other's lives. The narrative has always affirmed that they are close and have been that way for a decade. That's why it was so frustrating when so much information about them was being detailed in these intimate conversations. Those would have already been known. It was meant to benefit the audience solely. It wasn't about these characters and who they are in this particular moment. Brooke has relapsed. The audience knew that before Rita did. Brooke was lying to her sponsor. She was also lying to her friend. She did so because she didn't want to disappoint her or make her angry. She doesn't see this as an action that should destroy their friendship. She also doesn't want this bond to have conditions attached to it. She has already had that dynamic in her life. It wasn't productive whatsoever. In fact, her living her life for another person contributed to her drinking in the first place. She was being who her father wanted her to be. She sought comfort through alcohol. And now, she fears that Rita only values this friendship so long as they both remain sober. It's hard for Rita to disagree with that notion. She knows what she should responsibly do in this situation. She is meant to hold Brooke accountable for her actions. She is meant to offer strength and stability. She is also meant to direct her towards meetings and working the steps of the program once more. Brooke no longer knows if the program works for her. She is in a different place in her life than when she was previously drinking. This relapse didn't occur because Adam returned to her life either. It also wasn't because she had a couple difficult therapy sessions. She made the decision the night of her father's funeral. She dreamt about the drink she would relapse with. This action took planning. It was caused by a renewed sense of emptiness. She hits her darkest point so far because she learns that her son hasn't reached out to try to contact her. She has made that commitment this week. She wants his forgiveness. She wants his understanding. She has made her intent known. He hasn't made that same determination. There is nothing more that can be done until he decides to contact the agency to also know her. That's how the program works. Brooke sees it as a betrayal of her identity. She is lost because no one is curious about her or willing to engage with who she currently exists as. She believes she is being responsible in still treating patients. She is cognizant of the fact that she must give herself fully to them as they are the ones going through emotional turmoil. Brooke needs someone to fulfill that role as well. Rita has been forced into that position. It's one defined by friendship too. Rita cares about what happens to Brooke. She needs answers. She is angry with herself for not speaking up sooner. These friends made mistakes as they went through the motions of friendship in the last two weeks. They had the perception of genuine conversations. In reality, it was defined by lies and the willingness to ignore them. It was them not wanting anything to change. And yet, Rita can no longer live in that ignorance. She heard it in Brooke's voice when she called. She was drunk. She was reaching out for help. Rita knows the tricks. She knows how alcoholics lie and deceive. She offers support to Brooke. It's a personal and intimate conversation between them in the kitchen. Brooke wants to believe she is better and can handle herself differently than before. Rita knows that the mistakes of the past will repeat themselves once more. That's the behavior of alcoholics. The destruction is always just around the corner. Brooke wants to commit to the program. She wants to quit drinking. She is firm in that decision one moment and walks it back the next. She doesn't want someone to pressure her into doing this. She should do so because she knows it's for the best. She also doesn't want to lose Rita's friendship. They agree to continue talking. That conversation won't be seen. As such, it will be key to see how Brooke handles herself with her patients in the next week to determine just how well she is coping now that the truth has finally been revealed to the one person who can actually hold her accountable. She needs Rita in her life. The struggle continues though despite this blatant examination of the destructive truth.