Sunday, June 27, 2021

REVIEW: 'In Treatment' - Brooke Hopes Eladio Can Walk Away From These Sessions Without Feeling Rejected in 'Eladio - Week 6'

HBO's In Treatment - Episode 4.21 "Eladio - Week 6"

Despite finally shaking a label that has plagued him, Eladio struggles when an empathetic Brooke pushes him to envision the future and shake his self-imposed limitations.

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 6" was written by Chris Gabo and directed by Jessica Yu

Eladio's life has changed dramatically since he started working with Brooke. He was misdiagnosed as having bipolar disorder. He quit his job working for the DeMarco's. He wants to see only the positive things that have come from this dynamic. And yet, Brooke has newfound clarity. She knew that he would be better off leaving and finding someone new to help him. In the previous session, Brooke had that realization after she snapped at him. In the week since then, she has gone on her own introspective journey. One that doesn't require things to escalate that severely in order for her to see the troubles within this relationship. She loves El as a patient. He loves her too. That emotional transference has always been a part of their dynamic. They acknowledged it. And yet, it takes so much more work to analyze why those emotions appeared and how to best address them. Brooke encouraged that intimacy to develop instead of laying out clear guidelines about what they should both expect from these interactions. El relies on Brooke as a mother figure. She stands in for the mother who has never been able to give him the love and praise he deserves. Brooke has lifted him up on a number of occasions. She speaks about his empathy being a superpower. He is deserving of so much in his world. She asks him to imagine his future here. He doesn't believe that these are realistic goals. He believes he will have to settle for less. He's beating himself up before any of the work truly starts. He is setting himself up for failure as a result. Brooke empowers him by saying that he is deserving of being truly understood and loved by someone else and having that romance reciprocated. He is deserving of having lovely interactions with his mother without being depressed when she fails to deliver on his unrealistic expectations of an apology. He deserves to occupy space and be fulfilled with love. That's the life he wants. He believes only half of it will come true. He believes that will also be enough. He also thinks Brooke can help guide him along that journey. He is determined to stay in these sessions no matter what. He won't allow her to quit on him. He can't handle that rejection. Moreover, he knows the tricks to make it impossible for people to give up on him. That has happened so much in his life. As such, he knows how to cope with it. He still takes it all incredibly personally. Brooke articulates that El feeling rejected by her would then lead to him feeling depressed and craving the pills that can make a difference. That is a crutch he is comfortable wielding. That isn't safe or productive though. It's just ignoring an important conversation that must occur. Brooke has contributed to all of this as well. She believes she has failed her patient because she willfully ignored her own emotional transference onto him. She explains so much about her life in this session. She shares a lot about her own sense of isolation, her dysfunctional family dynamic and her alcoholism. It's a lot. It's meant to illustrate a point. They are kindred spirits. But they also clash because of the deeper meanings they each took from this dynamic. It hasn't been healthy. It has only encouraged more bad behavior. That has left them even more isolated and uncertain about the future. Brooke operates with clarity that this can't continue. El arrives at that conclusion as well. His mental health will still be tended to. Brooke ensures that. She also uses her tricks to get El to take ownership over the power of walking away. It's not some grand symbol of rejection. It's not another example of someone having a personal impact on him and then suddenly disappearing. That has defined too many relationships for him. Brooke wants to ease him through this journey. It takes plenty of blunt conversations. It's all about the expectation of therapy and the impact it can have on those who need it. It is comforting for El to know that his therapist is a complicated person too. He can relate to her story. As such, he has better context and empathy for what she is trying to get him to realize. It's difficult. He still walks away. That is a major victory. It's an action done out of love. Brooke cares about El. She wants him to do well in working the program. They both have to be clear about the direction of these sessions. Brooke has acknowledged the developments that have occurred. She has made many mistakes along the way. She offers resolution. It's a gift to El. He accepts that. That's the best outcome that could have been expected. This dynamic was so personal to both. And now, they can leave without feeling disappointed about what they set this up to mean. That's huge progress that suggests hopefulness elsewhere in the narrative. Of course, that may not all work out as easily as it does here. Some complications still have to exist after all. El and Brooke will still have to work on themselves. They do so knowing that it must come from within. They determine their outlooks on life. They set those parameters. They must be mindful. That's handled delicately here. It's effective though.