In Treatment Season 4, premiere recap: Colin & Eladio Week 1 sessions

In Treatment - Courtesy of Suzanne Tenner/HBO
In Treatment - Courtesy of Suzanne Tenner/HBO /

In Treatment is finally back! It has been years since the acclaimed HBO series was airing new episodes. Still, the rebooted version starring Uzo Aduba as the main therapist, Dr. Brooke Lawrence, officially premiered with the first two episodes of In Treatment Season 4 last night.

It’s a timely new show that comes at the perfect time as so many of us are struggling to get our bearings back post-pandemic. We’re living in an era where therapy is (finally) becoming less of a taboo and more of something we should all be doing. Mental health is important. The first two episodes presented a perfect depiction of our current society, including telehealth sessions due to quarantine protocols and required vaccination paperwork. COVID certainly has a presence in the show.

Moving forward, expect four new episodes a week, two on Sunday nights and two on Monday nights. The original series aired one new episode a week to mimic a real therapist’s schedule, so In Treatment Season 4 is doing its own version of that. Sunday nights are dedicated to patients Eladio (Anthony Ramos) and Colin (John Benjamin Hickey), while Mondays are for Laila (Quintessa Swindell) and Brooke’s own therapy sessions with her counselor.

In Treatment Season 4
Anthony Ramos in In Treatment Season 4, Episode 1 – Courtesy of Suzanne Tenner/HBO /

In Treatment Season 4, Episode 1 recap: Eladio – Week 1

Eladio and Brooke do their sessions online via a telehealth system. We’re first introduced to their relationship with a boundary breach, as Eladio calls Brooke late at night after experiencing a nightmare.

Later, in their sessions, Brooke admits she shouldn’t have taken that call. Yes, she wants to help and take care of him, but she apologizes for not setting clearer boundaries upfront. They’re still very early into the process, having only met a few times thus far. Eladio works for the DeMarcos, a rich family who needs an in-house caretaker for their disabled son.

Throughout the session, Eladio frequently refers to the DeMarcos, and his patient, Jeremy, as family. They’re often interrupted by various family members needing Eladio to take care of something, even things seemingly outside of his job description. The problem is, Eladio is struggling to sleep. He says he hasn’t managed to in six days, apart from a nap here or there.

Initially, Eladio is interested in seeing a psychiatrist to get sleeping pills, but that’s not how Brooke operates. She wants to treat the disease rather than the symptom (insomnia). Eladio later reveals that he was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I during college. He hasn’t told anyone yet because he’s afraid he would lose his job if his employers knew. Brooke presses him to tell her more about what was happening in his life when he got diagnosed.

He also has fears of abandonment, likely stemming from his lack of relationship with his mother. By the end of the session, Eladio leaves Brooke with a question. Can she care for him, sort of like a mom? He wants to have a legitimate deep, personal relationship with her, similar to how he keeps building familial bonds with his employers. Brooke is taken aback by the question, but she doesn’t get a chance to respond before Eladio has to leave.

In Treatment Season 4
John Benjamin Hickey in In Treatment Season 4, Episode 2 – Courtesy of Suzanne Tenner/HBO /

In Treatment Season 4, Episode 2 recap: Colin – Week 1

Colin is your typical white-collar criminal and a man who hasn’t ever really had to face the consequences for his actions. He’s introduced to us as he attends his first court-mandated therapy session alongside his parole officer, Karla (Madeline Zima). Karla informs Brooke that it’ll be up to her to help decide if Colin is granted parole or if he’s sent back to prison, then she leaves.

Colin is a master at deflection, and he spends the entire session trying to put on a facade that he’s some happy-go-lucky guy who isn’t phased by anything. He gives Brooke shallow answers or dodges the questions. Eventually, she gets under his skin, and he snaps, intentionally trying to press her buttons. He makes several racist and misogynistic comments throughout the session, both intentional and unintentional.

Despite claiming that he’s a relaxed guy that doesn’t usually resort to violence, Brooke notes that she got him to yell, “f–k you” at her within one hour of their first session. We also find out that Colin was sentenced to jail for wire fraud, but initially, he was only supposed to serve one year. His sentence was extended to four years because he got into a physical confrontation behind bars.

Colin refuses to take responsibility for what he did to put him behind bars, claiming that all he did was make a simple “mistake,” and it wasn’t really his fault.

In the final moments of the episode, Brooke does seem to make a breakthrough with Colin, as she makes him realize that if he’s not going to try and do the work, then she’s not going to sign off on a form that lets him back out into society.

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New episodes of In Treatment air Sunday and Monday nights on HBO.