The Patient is an American 10-part psychological crime drama miniseries by FX, now streaming on Disney+. The miniseries stars Steve Carrell and Domhnall Gleeson as the two key characters in the storyline. In our story analysis of The Patient Eps 1-2, we had concluded that the series was “not much to recommend with – the only direction is up. Wait and see.” Well, now that the miniseries is over, we have decided to re-examine our initial opinions.
To reiterate the premise of The Patient –
Alan Strauss, a psychotherapist (Carrell), who recently lost his wife, finds himself held prisoner by Sam Fortner, a serial killer (Gleeson) with an unusual request – for Dr. Strauss to curb his homicidal urges. (IMDb)
While the premise was strong and intriguing, we were not quite sure that the execution justified spending time with The Patient. However, as we moved from Ep 3 onwards to the end, the writing and performances improved greatly. The characters of Dr. Strauss and Sam were developed as their relationship deepened and fractured with supporting characters like Sam’s mother, Dr. Strauss’ children and his various dream sequences with his deceased colleague Charlie provided a certain context to what was happening between the pair.
To be fair, Gleeson really grew into the role as the miniseries progressed, he managed to demonstrate the cold detachment that serial killers possess while also plumbing the emotional depths that Sam once in awhile expressed underneath his sociopathic exterior. Carrell, on the other hand, impressed with his ability to imbue Dr. Strauss with a quiet desperation and noble dignity, while living up to his obligations as a therapist in the worst possible circumstances.
The denouement is shocking and unexpected but utterly faithful to what the episodes have been building up to. It’s traumatic but somehow still provides the story resolution needed. So, yes, The Patient is definitely worth binge-watching and with most of the episodes fairly bite-sized (30 minutes long), should not take too much time but the commitment would ultimately be rewarded. Recommended.
Watch The Patient on Disney+.
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