Week 3: Sunil - Frances - Jesse - Adele
Paul is arranging flowers to put in his waiting room. He opens the door, flowers in hand, and there is his patient, come early. "You shouldn't have," she says to the man standing at the door with a bouquet.
Debra Winger plays Frances, an actress who is having trouble remembering her lines. Oh, and Frances is the sister of a former patient. Patricia was Paul's patient 18 years ago---she spoke highly of Paul when she saw him when their mother was dying of breast cancer. But now sister Patricia is dying of breast cancer, and Frances is 2 years out from a divorce and her teenage daughter is not speaking to her. Again, a parallel to Paul's life.
Frances is an in-your-face kind of patient. She knows Paul has teenagers and quickly jumps to "you know what it's like." He is clearly uncomfortable, and she backs off, but then she asserts that Paul doesn't have a wedding ring on and he must be sleeping with a boppy 25-year-old. She makes a sideways reference to the idea that men his age may have trouble getting it up, and then wonders if her sister was a nicer patient. Hmmm.
Paul continues to be an in-your-face kind of therapist. He's always been quick to point out a patient's issues to them in a confrontational manner. I never like this, and this session/episode is no exception. And Frances comments on it--- her sister said he was supportive and easy to talk to. Funny but Paul is irritating her. Sunglasses on, and Frances asks if he always puts out flowers or if he was trying to impress her. Two people dealing with issues of aging, fading, and self-doubt.
The episode ends when Paul calls a friend to ask for a reference for a neurologist. As Frances is worried that she, like her mother and sister, might get breast cancer, Paul is worried that he may get Parkinson's Disease like his own father.