Sunday, June 27, 2021

REVIEW: 'In Treatment' - Brooke and Colin Grow More Combative Than Ever Before During Their Final Session in 'Colin - Week 6'

HBO's In Treatment - Episode 4.22 "Colin - Week 6"

Brooke and Colin discuss the terms of their new working relationship after overcoming hurdles to progress. But Colin soon leaves Brooke staggered by his misguided beliefs.

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 6" was written by Zack Whedon and directed by Jessica Yu

Brooke and Colin have been combative in the majority of their sessions. It's a dynamic that never grew monotonous or repetitive though. The story always ensured it was unraveling something new within the psyche of this man while having Brooke confront the numerous and wrong impulses in his head. However, the court order was always hanging over this dynamic. Colin felt as if he couldn't be completely honest with Brooke because she held his fate in her hands. She would decide if he would remain a free man or be forced to return to prison. She acknowledges that the weight hanging over them has been an impediment to progress. She also believes his impromptu session last week in which they talked more openly and candidly was productive. In reality, Colin took all the wrong lessons from that conversation. Brooke thought she was being careful. And yet, the lines between personal and professional were blurred. She tries to establish those boundaries once more. However, Colin still views this dynamic as transactional. She signed off on his paperwork. In turn, he will offer her a job as the head of the mental health program for his new tech startup. He is starting his life once more. He was always terrified of that prospect. But now, opportunities are suddenly presenting themselves to him. He can remain in the tech space. He can still be approached as an executive level hire. He still has that reputation and access. He didn't really lose anything from his time in prison. He can return to this profession with the same mindset. He can still have those opportunities. He is free. Brooke offered that to him. She did so believing that they can still accomplish great things in these sessions. Her recent clarity made it apparent that she needed to make some changes in her life. She couldn't do things solely because of her personal necessity for them in order to control her life and emotions. The transference between her and Eladio wasn't beneficial. As such, those sessions needed to end. Here, she still believes she can help Colin. They can continue working together. The mistakes she made in the past weren't as profound. And then, this session occurs. It highlights the truth within Colin. It takes so much to drag that out of him. But he also believes that he doesn't need to change or be redeemed because the guilt of his actions is minuscule compared to the larger concerns of this world. He gives himself the freedom to forgive himself. That's not the most pressing concern though. He shows no true accountability for his actions. He isn't taking responsibility for the damage he's caused. He is simply no longer blaming himself for the ways in which his actions hurt others. Instead, it's easier to blame the system that conditioned him into being this way. That's the simple observation. He has no real consideration for the observations Brooke has made or the ways in which inequality is rampant throughout the world. He can't change that. His actions don't mean anything. As such, he can return to the life he had before. He can be an arrogant narcissist who believes he knows exactly what everything thinks or feels. He tells them as much. That's not Brooke's understanding of the world or the relationship she has with this patient. It's not sexual. It's not personal. And yet, these observations cut deep. Colin attacks Brooke. That's part of his coping mechanism. It's a way for him to remain in charge. She has to be just as vicious in order to get through to him. That means threatening to end this work for good. She questions just how beneficial all of this can be if he reverts back to being the pompous individual he was trying to mask at the beginning of these sessions. He needs Brooke to like her. He believes that she reluctantly does. She can't stand him. His frustrating ways may further compromise her sobriety. That isn't depicted here. Instead, it all climaxes with the confession that Colin inherently believes everyone else in the world is stupid. As such, it's easy to manipulate them. That's the way he has always operated. That continues to be the pinnacle of his survival. He admits this as an act of desperation. Brooke accepts it though. The session ends. It's not the conclusion for the work between them. That is a key distinction. One where Brooke may only make small progress with Colin each week. And yet, the benefits can still be felt despite how frustrating he can be and the backslides he endures along the way too. All hope isn't lost. Brooke sees the nuance. Colin misinterprets so much about what Brooke is trying to say. Brooke questions his ability to do the work to improve his life and deal with the fallout of his actions on other people. Not all of that can be magically fixed in six weeks. This is the conclusion nevertheless. It's a promise to continue working despite the obstacles and resistance. That's what this work is. Brooke has clarity over how objective and forceful she must be. And Colin realizes that these sessions truly will delve deep into his mind and not the fantasy and easy solutions he wants so much of life to be because it always has been for him.