Series Review: The Patient

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The final episode of The Patient just released and I can’t help but feel some disappointment. This series is too long for what it is, but it isn’t terrible.

Alan is a therapist who has been kidnapped and imprisoned by one of his patients, Sam. Sam is a serial killer who is desperate to cure himself of his wicked desires. He believes that Alan is the only person who can cure him. Through a series of sessions, Sam hopes to cure himself of his affliction. Will Alan be enough to help Sam, or will he be another of his victims?

First off, the acting is terrific. Steve Carell and Domhnall Gleeson are simply amazing. The chemistry between these two is the only reason I stayed with this show as long as I did. You won’t be disappointed by anyone’s performance in this series. That said, this series has an issue with its pacing. If you watch the series in a sitting or two, it is a bit more palatable as you can more effectively experience the nuances of narrative as they unfold. You get a fuller picture as you watch the growth of both characters under the circumstance, and it makes an okay story. It is still too long for its good, but it makes for a better experience. 

Unfortunately, the series was released weekly, and as a result, the narrative felt fragmented. The episodes are short and often weren’t satisfying. There are a few episodes where not much happens, hurting audience retention. This series doesn’t have enough tangible excitement episode to episode that would convince a viewer to come back for more. Watching this series without such a big gap makes this less of an issue because you are getting a more complete narrative experience. Had they combined some episodes, made them longer, or even had it been a movie, it would have been a better experience. 

The Patient sits in a weird space for me because while there are some impressive moments, it takes too long to make its point. I do like how they deal with mental illness and how they highlight the importance of mental health. I do love the characters and their motivations. What I don’t like is that it feels like they drag this series on too long for profit, and it hurts the narrative. The Patient isn’t a bad series, and if you need something to watch, it is defiantly an option, but be prepared to skip around a bit. I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch this, but you can stream the whole series on Hulu.

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Image By FX / Hulu – Title card from episode, Fair use,

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