Sunday, June 13, 2021

REVIEW: 'In Treatment' - Brooke Demands the Total Truth From Colin During Their Final Mandated Session in 'Colin - Week 4'

HBO's In Treatment - Episode 4.14 "Colin - Week 4"

In their fourth and final court-ordered session together, Brooke mines the extent of Colin's evasiveness - and struggles to form a comprehensive picture of her patient.

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 4" was written by Zack Whedon and directed by Janicza Bravo

Colin wants Brooke to like him. That was his core objective in their first session. It's still his core objective during their fourth and final court-mandated session together. It's an overly simplistic view of his desires in life. But it's central to his fundamentally being as well. The dynamic Brooke has with Colin is the most detailed relationship on the show. Brooke feels the confidence to call Colin out on his bad behavior. She knows precisely how to treat a patient like this even though she swore off dealing with narcissists a long time ago. She still has full command over the session though. Colin can't just walk in here with elaborate stories hoping that Brooke will believe every single word. She recalls every detail and knows when to call back to something in the past that shapes how he behaved in a specific moment. She is horrified by what she discovers underneath Colin. He leaves these sessions without the appearance of wanting to atone for his past whatsoever. It's remarkable and staggering. He just wants people to like him. When that doesn't happen, he concocts elaborate stories that help ease his bruised ego. His charm has afforded him a lot of opportunities in life. All the lying caught up to him eventually. He defrauded investors. That's why he was sent to prison. He was released early because of the pandemic. He wants Brooke to like him because he believes that's the only way she will write a positive recommendation to the court. That's how he viewed every single moment of these sessions. That's not how Brooke approached the situation. She wanted to treat him just like all her other patients. That hurdle was always present in his mind though. He could never fully open up or trust Brooke. He had to make her like him. And now, it all seemingly ends with the true monstrosity coming out. Colin lays it bare for all to see. He has lied constantly to Brooke. He supports therapy and enthusiastically promotes Brooke. When the situation turns more tense, he too makes a similar shift. He lashes out at Brooke for believing she has any authority to tell him anything about his life and how he functions in this world. His life implodes here. That's a direct result of him being honest about what his marriage was like long before he was arrested. He wants to believe that everything was perfect until that moment. It wasn't. Hanna was in agony and pain. She wanted a family. Colin continually denied that to her. He never shared that he had a vasectomy. He decided from a young age he didn't want children. He views the lie as a situation that grew out of hand. He couldn't control it without coming across as a heinous monster. But he still feels entitled to Hanna and the love he believes they share. He wants to hope that she will appear during this session so that he can atone for the past. He also believes that is the story to sell this full redemption arc to Brooke. She already believed they had a major breakthrough in the last session. They finally got to dig deep and confront the neuroses that have long plagued his life. They had fun in doing so. They weren't confrontational. And yet, that may always be the baseline between these two. Brooke expects respect and trust. That's the only way this process is going to work. She needs Colin to be honest with her. He is still trying to convince himself that everything he did was for a valid and understandable reason. In reality, he just didn't want to have uncomfortable conversations that would dramatically change people's perceptions of him. That is still true to his core now as when he was deceiving Hanna for years. Brooke is proud to declare that their time together is done. Of course, the audience knows that two more episodes of the season will be devoted to Colin's story. So, this isn't the end between these two. This is all that has been required by the court. Brooke's life is so much more complicated than the time she spends with Colin. She may even believe it has all been wasted at this point. That may spurn her to take action against him. She makes no determination about the recommendation she will give to the court. That lingers over the air though. The anticipation of such defines this dynamic. This isn't a bond she wants in her life. It has certainly challenged her. She has appreciated that in the past. Right now, she may just want it to be over. She can no longer deal with the deception and the need to be liked. Colin has always been a challenge. He believes his stories are reality. They are convenient for him. They are destructive to those around him though. Brooke isn't immune to that. She speaks bluntly because she believes that's what the situation requires. It's all that Colin deserves at this moment. Sparks ignite. It's bombastic and visceral while revealing the true weight of words in confronting the darkest parts of the human mind.