The Basement on ‘The Patient’ Traps Steve Carell and Domhnall Gleeson in a Lonely Place
In Joel Fields and Joseph Weisberg’s 10-part FX series “The Patient,” serial killer Sam Fortner (Domhnall Gleeson) kidnaps therapist Dr.
Alan Strauss (Steve Carell) in a bid to curb his homicidal impulses.
Chained to the floor of Sam’s basement, Alan is constantly guessing how (and how far) to push his captor toward healing and how to further the chances of his escape, working from the very limited information that Sam offers during their “sessions” and the guesswork he irons out through an imagined dialogue with his own (dead) therapist, Charlie (David Alan Greer).The show puts its audience in the nearly same position as Alan in terms of this guesswork; a sense of limited perspective is bound up in “The Patient.” Fields and Weisberg play any easy explanation for Sam’s behavior close to the vest, letting the dialogue between Carell and Gleeson inch tensely towards articulating those truths.
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