‘The Patient’ Episode 6: Recap And Ending, Explained – How Does Alan Finally Try To Help His Situation?


Things finally seem to take a turn in “The Patient,” episode 6, as Alan, the therapist, himself, has trouble dealing with such a tremendously upsetting situation, and he does seem to come out with a ray of hope. Picking up from the morning after Sam brutally murders Elias right in front of Alan’s eyes, Episode 6 has a glimmer of Alan trying to shape the narrative and also introduces a new character in a quite unconventional manner.

 Spoilers Ahead

‘The Patient’ Episode 6: Recap And Ending

As Sam returns home with the tools needed to execute his plan of disposing of the dead body, his mother stops him and expresses her displeasure with his recent actions. She says that she was almost about to call the police last night, and then advises him to not give up on therapy. This is indeed the reaction of a mother who has learned that her son has killed one more person, this time right inside their own house. It is this nonchalance of Candace that still remains baffling and also keeps her character a mystery. With the power tools he has bought, Sam now digs a hole inside the room where he had kept Elias hostage and plans to bury the body in it. Alan has been staying in the same room as the dead body throughout the night, and he is terrified of what Sam might do to him next.

For the first time since being kidnapped and kept hostage by Sam, Alan really struggles to cope with the situation and he himself has a dissociative episode. In it, he imagines himself in the office of his old therapist and mentor, who is now dead and has a conversation with him. This therapist, Charlie, is the one to suggest that Alan must think of some way to keep himself alive through this entire ordeal. Alan talks about Sam and the issues that he suffers from with his imaginary mentor, and the two seem to believe that Sam still has some sense of empathy left in him. As a psychotherapist, Alan does have a lot of experience helping his patients, particularly with empathy, but he also admits that he has never worked with someone as emotionally cold as Sam. Charlie also suggests that Sam should know about his mother’s having played an indirect role in the sufferings he bore as a child, and this analysis (which is actually of Alan, as he imagines this whole conversation) seems to be apt. Inside this imaginary office, Charlie now asks Alan why he has not yet tried to attack his captor, and the man replies that he does not want to be killed before his time is really up. It is then Charlie who convinces Alan that he should and must fight back, that he should try to think of a way to escape Sam’s house alive.

In the present reality, Sam does seem rather dangerous as he blames Alan for the murder of Elias that he committed the previous night. He then also treacherously comes up to the therapist and tells him that it is his time. While for a scary brief moment, it seems like Sam wants to bury Alan alive, what he means by saying it is Alan’s time is that he wants Alan to dig the hole to bury Elias. The chains tied to the floorboard are loosened, and Alan is allowed to walk into the next room, where he is chained once again and is handed a shovel. As Alan digs through the ground, he has flashes of his own son, of seeing anti-Semitic posters in Ezra’s college and even of the concentration camps. Later that evening, as Sam sits down with Alan for another session, the therapist tries his luck to try and pave his way to escape. He tries to convince Sam that he should not bury Elias’ body inside the house but instead should dump it at a place where it would be found by the police, just like his previous victims. When Sam fears that his address could be traced as he had brought Elias home, unlike the others, Alan convinces him that modern technologies like DNA analysis would not find him since Sam has no criminal record. In a tense moment, Alan tells Sam to take off the blindfolds from Elias’ body and look at him, to acknowledge Elias as a human being and not just someone who had disrespected Sam. However, when this method of getting Sam to grow empathy does not work, Alan tries another way, saying how Elias’ family deserved to know their son was dead. He explains the whole process of grieving one’s death in the Jewish religion and finally manages to convince Sam to dump the body somewhere it could be found. However, before doing so, Sam has to take another one of his bathroom breaks, where he noisily relieves himself, and Alan makes full use of this time. He quickly gets hold of the pen and paper that were part of their therapy sessions and scribbles down a few words for the police and for his children. Then he pushes this paper into the dead Elias’ mouth, knowing that his note will eventually be found when the body is found by the police. Sam soon comes out and asks whether something is wrong with Alan, as he looks perplexed. Alan admits that he is having trouble keeping up with so many horrible things happening around him and also thanks Sam for asking. Inside his mind, he is relieved when Sam drags the dead body out of the house and wraps it up with a cloth before driving over somewhere and dumping it with the note inside.

How Does Alan Come About To Help Himself?

After the first five episodes of “The Patient,” it might be argued that Alan behaved too well as a man held captive inside a psychopathic patient’s house. This also seems apt with how Alan is as a person—calm and controlled even in the face of disaster, while also easy to give up on himself. The reason why he had not tried to physically fight against Sam was that he was always certain he would lose. Alan tells this to Elias as well as to his imagination of Charlie when both of them ask about it. However, it is also true that Alan was confident in his therapeutic abilities, convinced that he would be able to help both himself and Sam out by talking to him. This conviction, and his confidence in Sam, break when the young man strangles Elias to death right in front of him, and Alan is now desperate to help himself. It is not that the thought of harming Sam for his own protection had not occurred to him, as Alan had earlier thought of bashing items on his captor’s head, and even now, during his conversation with Charlie, a ceramic jug makes its way into this space. This space, which is imagined by Alan’s mind, only has things that are present in the man’s conscious or subconscious, and it is through this jug that Charlie starts to talk about how Alan should help himself. When Alan finally takes the decision at the end of the episode, it is not very directly clear whether he does it only to make an attempt to escape. After all, he does seem very sincere and honest when he convinces Sam to let Elias’ parents get his body, which is consistent with Alan’s character and his short but real bond with Elias. However, for the first time in the series, it does seem like Alan prioritizes his own safety over everything else. After all, Elias’ dead body becomes a vessel for his secret message to the outside world, asking for help. This gradual turn in Alan’s character, and the way it is born out of his desperation, is rather enjoyable to watch.

What To Expect From ‘The Patient’ Episode 7?

With this new development, “The Patient” seems to take yet another turn towards more heightened drama, as it is now essentially a waiting game for Alan. There is no doubt that his note would definitely be found by the police when Elias’ body was found, but the body itself might take days to be found by the authorities. On the other side, Alan would still need to keep Sam calm or distracted from killing or harming him, and how he does so is to be watched. Despite his desperate attempt to essentially work against his patient, Alan has not yet dismissed his responsibilities and duties as a psychotherapist, and he would still act in certain measures. On the other hand, whether Sam realizes Alan’s ploy, or he turns against Alan for his own personal reasons would be something to expect.

See More: ‘The Patient’ Episode 7: Recap & Ending, Explained: What Are The Chances Of Alan’s Survival And Escape Now?

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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