The 2022 psychological thriller The Patient is available to stream via the Hulu section of Disney+. Created by Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, the 10-episode limited series is anchored by the exceptional performances of Steve Carell as Doctor Alan Strauss and Domhnall Gleeson as his patient Sam Fortner.
The Patient Is Filled With Twists And Turns
The series kicks off with an intriguing premise. A therapist, Doctor Alan Strauss, is approached by a new client who is seemingly unwilling to reveal too much about himself. Strauss is eventually drugged and kidnapped by said patient and chained to a bed in his basement/bedroom. The man then reveals his real name and dilemma to his terrified doctor.
A Different Type Of Serial Killer
Sam (Domhnall Gleeson) is a serial killer who is seeking therapy to quell his homicidal urges. While the premise could have played out like a conventional thriller, filled with escape attempts and a climactic showdown, the creators took a different route. Instead, The Patient explores the intricacies of an evolving relationship in captivity.
Steve Carell Gives A Fantastic Performance
This narrative choice allows Carell to showcase his acting prowess, elevating The Patient beyond a mere suspense thriller. One of the strengths of Carell’s performance lies in his ability to infuse Alan Strauss with a complex backstory and a rich inner life. Flashbacks reveal the haunting death of Alan’s wife, Beth, and the estrangement from their son, Ezra, due to religious differences.
Lines Become Blurred
In later episodes of The Patient, Carell’s controlled-panicker persona becomes increasingly evident, depicting Alan’s fear and frustration. The character’s irrepressible professional interest in understanding Sam’s psyche clashes with his desire to escape, creating a dynamic tension that Carell navigates with finesse. Alan’s enduring grief about his losses makes the character more relatable.
The Ending Is Worth The Journey
As Alan and Sam work together to fix his impulse to murder people, it’s easy to forget that the Doctor remains chained to his bed. The Patient ends tragically for both men, but not in the way one would expect. Instead of a major showdown, viewers are given a clever and challenging exploration of empathy, complicity, and responsibility.
The Patient Was An Immediate Streaming Hit
The Patient premiered on FX on Hulu in August 2022. According to Whip Media, the series consistently ranked among the top 10 most streamed programs, peaking at the third position during the week of October 30, 2022. Reelgood reported it as the fourth most-watched show across all platforms during the week of September 9, 2022.
Critics Praised The Patient
Critics and audiences praised The Patient for its intense story and standout performances. The series currently holds an 89 percent critics rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes alongside a 67 percent audience score. Domhnall Gleeson was commended for his performance, while Steve Carell’s portrayal was deemed one of the best in his storied career.
A Well-Crafted Well-Acted Limited Series
The cast also features Linda Emond as Sam’s mother, Candace Fortner, who is aware of the kidnapping situation. Andrew Leeds, Laura Niemi, Alan Blumenfeld, Alex Rich, and David Alan Grier appear in supporting roles. Viewers who want to watch The Patient through Disney+’s Hulu section will require a subscription to both platforms as the service is still in its beta version.