The Patient – Episode 9 “Auschwitz” Recap & Review


Episode 9 of The Patient sees Alan dream again about Auschwitz. To wake him from his nightmare, he walks up to Viktor Frankl. Viktor Frankl, the author of Man’s Search for Meaning. Viktor asks Frankl if he has read his book. He replies, “I said not to wake the person up.”

Alan wakes up. He rubs the tube of foot cream against his bed and then feels its sharp edge. Charlie asks him if the dream means he should continue working, become a therapist and win. Alan believes it means that he should not die “like a sheep”.

Before he leaves for work, Alan calls Sam. He tries to persuade him to not see a new therapist. He claims he cares about him, despite his strange circumstances. Sam gives him at most a week to reconsider his decision. He plans to visit Mr. Buchella at that time.

Sam then hears from Alan about Viktor Frankl who was a psychiatrist who survived Auschwitz. In his writings, he stated that people need to find meaning in their lives. Alan says that relationships are the best place to find meaning.

He suggests Sam invite Mary to a dinner party so they can rekindle their relationship. Sam could purchase a nanny camera so Alan can view everything and give him an expert opinion.

Mary accepts to have brunch with Alan, and Alan’s plans are set in motion. Charlie informs him that he will be held responsible if Sam’s plan to stab Mary ends in her death. Alan is focused on escape.

Sam is anxious about the brunch so Alan suggests role-playing to help him. Sam struggles through it. He asks Alan about Mary and the possibility of having a baby. Alan isn’t the best person to encourage him. He believes that no one can predict the future of their children.

Sam invites Mary to brunch the next morning and Alan monitors from the nanny camera. He is holding his tube with foot cream in one hand.

Sam struggles to communicate with others when the meal is quiet. He panics and eventually goes to Alan for advice.

Sam stares at Alan as he holds the tub of cream. Charlie told him that he would get Mary killed.

Sam is back, but he doesn’t seem to get better at communicating. Mary learns that his father beat him as a child and that therapy is why he’s here. He hadn’t told Mary this before. Candace awkwardly rises from the table and Mary decides that she will leave.

Alan imagines Mary screaming for help, but he doesn’t. Mary leaves and Alan remains in prison.

Sam will report to Alan on how things went. Mary stated that she believes it is good for exes and should have friendly relationships once a year. Sam is devastated. He claims that this was a mistake and blames Alan.

Alan says this was crucial for Sam. It takes risks to build meaningful relationships. Sam doesn’t care. He tells Sam that he will be seeing Mr. Buchella next Wednesday.

Alan suggests that Sam first access his memories and feelings regarding his father. He claims that when he becomes so mad that he hurts another person, it is his father he is truly angry with and not other people. He murders his father instead of killing people.

Sam is then able to feel something. He shows Alan a clip of Edmond Kemper (a serial killer who killed his mother to end his vicious cycle of killing women like his mother), and he immediately clicks.

Sam agrees with Alan but takes his assessment wrongly. To stop others from killing him, he decides to kill his father. While Alan protests, he leaves the house.

Episode Review

This episode features Alan dreaming of another man held captive and then waking up in his prison cell. Like Victor Frankl, Alan finds inspiration to continue his search for meaning.

He fights with Charlie again in his head, who has in the past pushed Alan to fight for his freedom with all his might. When Alan’s escape plan could endanger Mary, that advice changes. Charlie seems to be suggesting that Alan’s actions can cause someone else to die. This would make his experiences meaningless.

He has come so far that he must wonder if he can save Sam and himself. Alan’s decision to stop using his foot cream and make a breakthrough with Sam is a great example of a patient-therapist relationship that balances self-preservation with selfless sacrifice.

Although I am not sure how the final episode will connect everything, I am excited about the possibilities. Sam is sent to kill his father. Alan remains trapped, and there’s the possibility of a family reunion. Alan’s daughter cannot be overlooked, but it’s not insignificant. Then there’s the question of Candace and Sam’s abuse.

Sam will have to do much more than just wrestle with his father to find closure. His traumatized childhood was largely caused by his mother. Can Alan save his family and help them heal?


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