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  • Writer's pictureSteve

The Patient - FX

Nearly done, we're nearly seven episodes down with only a few to go, I'm told. If you wanted further proof that Steve Carell is much, much more than Brick in Anchorman, idiot savant though he certainly is there, this is coming from a much darker, much more desperate place.

Pitched as a thriller, the missing element 'slow-burn' was perhaps suspiciously but deliberately omitted from the synopsis. Split into 30 minutes chunks, it makes getting immersed a bit tricky for the viewer because as soon as you start to get invested, the credits are rolling again.

The story is not complicated, a serial killer (Gleeson) kidnaps his psychotherapist (Carell) and chains him to the bed in his out of the way basement, popping in every day for a session delving into his decidedly wobbly grey matter. In a the quieter hours when our protagonist is not in immediate fear for his life, his mind wanders helplessly of the life he led before his enforced incarceration. Wife, kids, church. As an enthusiastic man of the Jewish faith, you can only imagine the thought that go through his mind, not knowing if he will ever be allowed to leave the room he inhabits.

This is pretty full-on, performance-wise, and demands consideration and respect with the subject matter and kudos and credibility from the performers, who are both old hands already, and more than capable of delivering this kind of gravitas in spades, when required. With only a handful of episodes left, you would be right to wonder just where we go from here and what the outcome will be, but the pondering pace, dragged into this many episodes demands a reward for the audience for their patience. Whether they get it, only time will tell.


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