Everyone has something to say about the last episodes. And some have something to say about the entire series, what Irrfan Khan and Dane DeHaan will be doing now that they have foregone therapy, and even the future. For instance:
A total formal break from most dramatic television, In Treatment is one of the purest pleasures around, a no-frills showcase for great performances with no distraction from support casts, multiple locations or format divergences – just two or three actors at a time, sinking their teeth into some of the best writing in the medium. As ever, Gabriel Byrne anchors it all as Paul Weston, the psychoanalyst with a litany of his own, ever-present issues complicating his work. This season boasted excellent turns from the likes of Debra Winger and Amy Ryan, the latter of whom is rumored to take over for Byrne should the show get a fourth season. Regardless of whether or not it continues, In Treatment has proven to be one of the most consistently high-minded and engaging dramas anywhere.
Alan Sepinwall did a great job recapping In Treatment this year, as always, but his enthusiasm for the proceedings seems to have waned a bit. Still, this review of the final four episodes offers a lot and his final words coincide with what many of us are thinking:
If the show comes back, I’ll happily tune in for the great moments, for the new actors (and maybe the return of Debra Winger and Amy Ryan), etc. But there’s a part of me that feels like that final shot of Paul disappearing into a sea of people on a busy Brooklyn street is the place where we should stop. Paul has decided that the solution to his life can’t be found in a therapist’s office. Whether he’s right about that or not, I don’t know, but I’ve gotten attached to the sad bastard, and I’d like to think he’ll find something that makes him happier and more fulfilled, rather than just returning to that office again. He could be a damn good therapist at times, but he wasn’t doing very well at healing himself.
Ellen Gray believes spoilers are a bad thing. Sort of. But she thinks HBO going off on its own as a solo channel is just dandy. [This article is no longer available on the Internet]:
So in deference to anyone else who watches and might be a little behind on “In Treatment, which stars Gabriel Byrne as a therapist named Paul Weston, I’ll refrain from talking in too much depth about the part in which Paul’s own therapist, Adele (Amy Ryan), is abducted by aliens.
Except to say it was a really cool moment.
Jesse decides one dad is enough at The Backlot [this article is no longer available]:
In the end, though, Jesse pushes Paul away as well. Just like in real life, the patients on In Treatment don’t always conclude the season with their problems all neatly fixed. Sadly, under the advisement of his father, Jesse ends up leaving therapy with most of his issues unresolved.
Paul expresses concern that Jesse will end up burying the issues that they’ve been working to unearth. We get the sense that Jesse is trapped in a vicious cycle, searching for a sense of home and self only to sabotage his relationships with the people around him. Not exactly a satisfying resolution, but if you’re looking for happy endings, you’re probably watching the wrong show.
Listen, Jesse. I get it. I really do.
Maureen Ryan: Best TV of 2010 (but In Treatment does not quite make it to the top 10)
Paul ends therapy and considers ending his career. Whether he actually does the latter, of course, probably depends mainly on whether HBO picks up a fourth season of the show. If not, though, it would make sense to end the series on Paul’s recognition that his style of therapy may have been effective—if not always—but at too high a cost for him to sustain.
And what a gorgeously shot final scene, courtesy of director Paris Barclay, to end on: Paul melting into a crowd of pedestrians in Brooklyn, no longer a patient, maybe no longer a therapist. Just one more guy, alone with his problems.
Paul, free at last. In Brooklyn. Or is this Gabriel Byrne in “Stories From Home”?
The Big Telephoria Recap : “Paul Weston is one of the most complex characters currently on television, and Gabriel Byrne has essentially given three season’s worth of master classes on the art of listening to his troubled patients.” Oh yes.
Cheers to Irrfan Khan from TV Guide
David Zurawik, who writes “Z on TV” for the Baltimore Sun, experiences separation anxiety as In Treatment comes to a close. We agree, Z! It is tough to say goodbye.
EDGE New York loves the Jesse story line:
In the ’Jesse’ story, the primary issue is surprisingly not anything having to do with issues of sexuality but with Jesse’s identity in terms of his finding out who his adoptive parents are and, in doing so, who he truly is…What has transpired has been some of the best television on the drama landscape.
But a professional sabbatical probably won’t kill Paul. He needs to spend some time out in the real world hanging out with people instead of trying to shrink them, making real friends instead of trying to turn his patients into friends. Brooklyn, in a certain sense, seems to be Paul’s Calcutta. It’s a place, he tells Jesse, where he can be alone without feeling too lonely. As Paul walks out into the crowded street there is always the hope that this may be a place where he can free himself from his loneliness and not just another place to avoid it.
The ArtsBeat blog at the New York Times tells us what the future has in store for Irrfan Khan.
Deadline.com : Dane DeHaan’s therapy takes a tragic turn (unless you find vampires interesting in a psychological way!)
Irrfan confirms role in next Spiderman : Paul had some tough cases this year, didn’t he?
Berta at Couchslobs picks her three favorite shows of the season. Her comments about Paul are right on! [This blog posting is no longer available].
Also I’ve read in some places how Byrne’s character Paul Weston is described as McDreamy. Bishes – please! Yes Gabriel Byrne is a very handsome man (I’ve always been particularly fond of the Irish so I might be biased). And he happens to play a doctor. But any and all similarities end there. Paul Weston is far, far, FAR more complex character then any we have ever seen on Grey’s Anatomy. Even back in the day when it didn’t suck. Why this need to dumb it down and hype it up to get people to watch? It is good, it will stand on it’s own and hopefully we will get another season.
Absolutely! So, let’s say Hail and Farewell to Season Three of In Treatment and offer a toast to the possibility of Season Four!
Many thanks to Sara and Aragarna for these screencaps!