Sunday, June 20, 2021

REVIEW: 'In Treatment' - Eladio Shares Major News About His Life as Brooke Crosses a Significant Line in 'Eladio - Week 5'

HBO's In Treatment - Episode 4.17 "Eladio - Week 5"

As Brooke contemplates a pressing life decision of her own, Eladio shares a major development. But when he asks for help sifting through the repercussions, Eladio is surprised by Brooke's answers.

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 5" was written by Chris Gabo and directed by Karyn Kusama

The sessions Brooke has with Eladio serve as an example of how therapists have adapted during the pandemic. Virtual sessions became a unique way to continue providing this service while maintaining safe distance. Of course, that distance was also felt deeply in the storytelling. The overall season has positioned Brooke and El as having an incredibly personal and intimate dynamic. They care about each other. And yet, a screen has always divided them. They were either talking on the phone or video chatting. That's how their sessions have been conducted. It was an obstacle to a certain extent. It stood out as different than the way Brooke handles her other patients. El remains in a certain world. Brooke is grounded in hers as well. Their lives still intersect. And now, that division is taken down completely. El shows up at Brooke's house for this week's session. He does so saying that he quit his job working for the DeMarco's. He was inspired to do so because of the guidance she gave him. She rocked his world with her suspicion that he was falsely diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She also uplifted him in speaking about the power of his empathy. Once he lets his guard down, he shares his love unconditionally and fully. Those feelings aren't always reciprocated. He doesn't always recognize that either. He goes into this session believing Brooke will be happy for him. This is the precise action she was pressuring him to do from the very beginning. He was always tentative about saying anything about the family he worked for. These feelings already existed within him. He used Brooke's words as the freedom to feel them and act on them. Of course, Brooke sees the error of such impulsive actions. She sees it as both destructive to El's life as well as to the DeMarco's. She is concerned about her patient. He remains committed to the work they are doing together. He is also upset about the conflicting responses he gets from her all the time. This may be the new relationship he places all of his love in. That's not inherently wrong because Brooke genuinely wants to help. She cares about El. She worries about his future. She wants to know that he is doing okay. She extends that curiosity and compassion. She does that when the DeMarco's didn't. He operated under the presumption that they were like family. It didn't feel that way when he decided to leave. He did so abruptly. And yet, Brooke and El can both share some fault in how all of this developed. Brooke still has the necessary perspective to know that the therapy she offers may be doing harm to El's well-being. He doesn't care about that. He trusts her. He is accepting of her being a complicated person with messed up things in her life. She realizes that her troubles elsewhere may actually be impacting how she does this job. When Rita first learned Brooke was drinking again, she questioned how she could continue treating patients. Brooke rationalized her behavior and believed that nothing could compromise her objective ability to do this job. She found her calling. Nothing was going to disrupt that. The drinking has though. She has purpose in these sessions. She wants to lead her patients down a certain path to provide enlightenment to them. She provides them with the space to come to these realizations on their own. She is also inserting herself into the drama and uncertainty of their lives. The process is just as involved with her as it is with them. El doesn't see the potential danger that could create. Brooke does. El refuses to walk away even after Brooke loses control. That moment provides clarity for her. It startles El but not enough for him to listen to her advice about seeking help elsewhere. That's just another example of a person not actually caring about him and choosing to walk away when he needs help. Brooke is at a complete loss over what can be done. She is puzzled by her behavior. It's destructive. She can't deny that. She has to atone for her actions. This relationship needs boundaries. They can operate with empathy while never allowing that to distract from the work. That's been nearly impossible for them to do. And now, El is committed to that path. He shows the same determination as Brooke has when it came to drinking. She has been seeking a void to place her uncertainty in life. And now, the one thing that always provided her with meaning is being corrupted in the process. Will that inspire any change though? That's hard to say. What's clear in the moment may be easy to write off later on especially when dealing with more temptation. Brooke chooses to take the Plan B pill despite her prior consent with Adam while having sex. She has every right to choose what happens with her body. The turmoil can simply be costly and invite further agony. That remains Brooke's plight and essentially prevents her from offering insightful therapy at a time when her patients really need it.