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  • Writer's pictureNick Biggers

Review: The Patient - Season One

Alan Strauss, a therapist, is held prisoner by his patient, Sam Fortner, who reveals himself to be a serial killer. After Sam kidnaps him, he gives Alan an unusual therapeutic demand: curb his homicidal urges. To survive, Alan must unwind Sam's disturbed mind and stop him from killing again, while he also confronts his past with his son and his own religion.

Starring: Steve Carell and Domhnall Gleeson

When this was first announced starring Steve Carell and Domhnall Gleeson playing opposites of each other, it piqued my interest. To no one’s surprise, this was as engaging as I anticipated. In the story, we follow Alan who has been kidnapped by a serial killer, who seeks Alan to help and attempt to fix him, as well as helping himself. Each episode, we dive deeper into Alan’s life, as we see his estranged relationship with his son. As well as looking into Sam’s life, and how he fits into this world, and what drives him to be a killer. With that Alan confronts his religion with Judaism, how his son has gone full Orthodox, how he hated the way he lived, and how he treated his own mother, the constant flashbacks added a lot of depth to each character.

Steve Carell shines in every episode, he does such an outstanding job, unusually being the first serious role I have seen of his. He does a beautiful job at portraying this complex, flawed character, afraid for his life, constantly questioning the fate of his life. Domhnall Gleeson is an actor that I deeply admire and enjoy, and what I love is how versatile he is. His range from comedic, to a deeply flawed human, is only a testament to his ability and dedication.

All the subtleties to his performance sent chills down my spine, whether it is through a calm, light toned voice. To his outbreaks. Sam was a character that glued me to the screen. All supporting actors, while not as present as Steve & Domhnall, did a wonderful job.

Despite the pile of compliments I have to throw at the show. The restriction of location left me feeling rather uninterested in certain moments, causing me to question the overall intent of those sequences. While the pacing began to drag, the subtle unsettling score made my skin crawl leaving me with a rather uneasy feeling. It was a great tool for building atmosphere and without it, the show could have felt as though it overstayed its welcome.

The Patient does an excellent job at building tension & keeping the tension consistent with each episode, building onto the next, leaving me breathless & even speechless. It never lets you go and with each moment, pulls you in tighter. While not perfect, I deeply admired the effort in every technical aspect here, even if the screenplay began to prolong. Certainly one of my favorite original shows of the year & certainly a recommendation from me.

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