Frances struggles with the prospect of losing her sister Tricia.

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Frances struggles with the prospect of losing her sister Tricia. Written by HBO Publicity

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6 December 2010 (USA)  »

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In Treatment
Written by Richard Marvin
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A death foretold
30 April 2011 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

As the episode begins, we watch Paul in an empty office. This was the time for Sunil's session, but he has not arrived as yet. Paul tries his patient's phone, but gets no answer. He seems concerned, so he dials Julia's number instead. Will Sunil ever show?

An exhausted Frances is seen talking to Paul. She has gone through an ordeal with her sister Tricia. After her last crisis, Frances told Paul the doctor taking care of her sister had advised Tricia should be put in a hospice. A nurse was engaged and things were going more or less smoothly until one night, when Tricia started getting worse. Without the assistance of the nurse, Frances called the emergency number for help. She was horrified by the experience.

Frances shows again all her insecurities. She needs to be validated by someone in authority, in this case, Paul. The situation with her daughter Izzy had not improved during the latest crisis involving her sister. Frances takes out a paper from her purse and hands it over to Paul asking him to read the bottom line. It is a living will her sister had made. In it, Frances is named as the executor. Tricia goes on to specify that she wants not to be kept alive attached to a respirator.

This is a tough time for Frances who must make important decisions, even is she provokes Izzy's anger. Paul insists she must carry out her sister's decisions. Trying to convey the importance of that action was not what Frances wanted, but she seems resigned to an impending end for a loved one as she walks out of the office.

Ali Selim directed the episode. It was written by Alison Tatlock. Both actors do excellent work, guided by Mr. Selim. Gabriel Byrne and Debra Winger compliment one another in this tense chapter of the series. "In Treatment" was one of the best adult oriented programs in television. Of course, the model was the Israeli sensation, "Be'Tipul", which we never saw. The American adaptation ought to be proud for its efforts to recreate the experience.


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