In Treatment s01e32 Episode Script

Alex - Week Seven

Previously on In Treatment.
- Yeah, I don't think I can do this.
- Do what? This therapy, I - I just don't think it's leading anywhere, it's - Where do you want it to lead? Someplace where I feel less shitty about myself.
I got a call from my wing commander.
He's trying to figure out if I'm ready, for active duty.
- What do you think? - No, I don't think you're ready.
Well, I feel like I should salute you.
At ease, Doc.
This is gonna be my last time, for a while anyway.
I'm here to settle up.
And I need something from you.
- Would you like some coffee? - Sure.
I know I'm not giving you any notice.
- You want me to pay for the next session too? - No, that's fine.
- Sorry the gravy train is ending here.
- That's OK.
- So why are you leaving? - I got you curious, huh? Remember I told you my squadron commander called me? Mm-hm.
Last week they brought me in.
I thought they'd ease me back in, but no.
They need me to train the new pilots for their deployment, get them ready to fly ASAP.
- Always playing catch-up in this war.
- What did you say to them? I said, "Fuck you! I'm 39 years old, in the prime of my life "and one of the most decorated fighter pilots in the navy.
"You're not putting me out to pasture, not during a war.
- "Get yourself another boy.
" - That's what you said to them? Well, not really, but but I thought it.
Actually what I said was, "Yes, sir.
However I can be of service.
" And I reported for duty the next day.
You think I'm crazy? I can only get away with that bullshit with you.
At least we know why you come.
- So what's it like being back at base? - Ah, it's been a real trip.
Most of these guys are out of TOPGUN, cocky as hell.
They look in my eyes, they know I've been places they couldn't conjure up in their worst nightmares.
Makes them think twice before fucking with me.
So, training young pilots, is that something you can see yourself doing? I don't know, maybe in another context.
But this is set up to fail.
No way these kids are gonna be ready for combat missions in a month.
It's crazy.
I'm taking them through situations.
Some of them do better than others, but when you're up in the air, it's read and react.
Like a machine.
Split-second decisions that can cost thousands of lives, including their own.
Most of these kids, they look at me on the simulators and they're like, "Whoa!" - Well, they're blown away.
- That must feel really great.
I overheard some kids talking shit about me, that I might be good on the simulators but they'd kick my ass on the obstacle course.
Called me "old man".
Well, hey, I called their bluff.
Check this out - the drill is called the gauntlet.
It's a five-mile run through dense woods and sand traps and rope-and-barrier hurdles, balance beams and a maze.
Now after all that, there's the helo-dunker.
Now the helo-dunker is like this giant it looks like a beer can.
It's basically a crash simulator.
We hit the water hard, upside down, strapped in tight.
And we have to get out with almost no oxygen.
We're in full gear, helmet, spacesuit, G- suit, gloves, the whole nine yards.
There are four immersions.
The last two, the water's dark.
It's like a night landing.
A lot of these kids, they get disoriented and start flipping the fuck out.
So we have to rescue them.
It's tough.
It separates the men from the boys, let me tell you.
So, Doc, how do you think I did? Do I really have to guess, Alex? Touché.
I never panic.
I'm at home down there in the dark, swimming for my life.
And not only did I beat all their asses, I came within two seconds of a base record.
Not bad for a broken-down old pilot, huh? Huh? Come on, Paul.
OK, so my squadron commander calls me back up to his office.
This time all the brass were there and they want to know if I'm interested in active duty.
If I am, I have to go through a modified basic training at Pensacola, a battery of tests, physical, psychological just to make sure I've recovered.
So I said, "Bring it on, baby! I'm ready for anything!" Are you surprised? Well, a little, I guess.
I, um I shouldn't be, but I suppose it was always a possibility.
But you think it's too fast, right? Do you think it's too fast? Doc, you have no idea how good it feels to be useful again.
I think that's been the real problem.
I've been sitting around feeling sorry for myself.
I'm a doer, not a talker, so all of this, that's over.
Those days are over.
So, here's what I need from you - you'll get a call from one of your compatriots.
A navy doctor named Connell.
He's gonna be checking up on me.
You said you're seeing me? I thought that was professional suicide.
Yeah, they caught wind that I had left the house and they wanted to know if it was to do with the bombing.
I told them I'd been doing some counselling with you.
My marriage And that I was fit as a fiddle.
- Do you feel fit as a fiddle? - Don't fuck with me on this.
You're talking about my career now.
Just tell him all good things.
The navy can't afford to have someone like me just pissing around.
Tell him I'm ready.
- Let's talk about whether you are ready or not.
- Cut the crap! I need this.
You're putting me in a very difficult position, Alex.
We talked about a lot more than Michaela.
You don't expect me to lie, do you? OK, physically I'm fine.
I had the heart attack almost four months ago.
All the cardiologists say that They're amazed at my recovery.
I can handle it.
But what about emotionally? Can you imagine yourself back in an aeroplane flying a mission after what happened? Are you talking about the madrasah? The madrasah is the crisis that brought you here in the first place.
Are you sure that you're ready to put yourself in that kind of a situation again? No, listen.
Terrorists hide among civilians.
It's a common tactic.
It's their fault if there's collateral damage, not ours.
They're putting their women and children at risk.
Let's put aside the question of who's at fault or or who isn't.
Could you live with yourself if you were responsible for more civilian casualties? That's bullshit.
Alex, you gave yourself a heart attack a few months ago.
Can you honestly tell me that you're not scared that your guilt will lead to Guilt is not an issue for a pilot in a time of war.
- We're not trained to think that way.
- I'm not asking what you think.
I'm asking you to tell me what you feel.
And I'm telling you it doesn't matter.
Let me just see who this is.
It went fine.
Yeah, they did ask me.
No, I can't talk about that right now.
Can I call you back? Michaela, let me go, all right? I'm with somebody right now.
Yeah, I will.
Yeah, bye.
She wanted to know how the meeting with the brass went.
You know, she's totally obsessed with me flying again.
You know that.
Why do you think she's so anxious for you to fly again? Well, my little sabbatical upset her sense of order.
If it was a couple of weeks, it would be all right.
I was taking a break, whatever.
I told you we were having dinner to discuss me coming back home? Well, the heat is on.
I don't think I can fight it any longer.
Plus, it's what everybody wants.
Everyone? Everybody.
My father.
He and Michaela, they're united in everything.
Why is your father so anxious for you to fly again? Well, there's nothing deep behind it, Paul.
He thinks I need to get back to my job.
It's what a man does.
- Mm-hm.
- And he's right.
Can you tell me how you got to that conclusion? - Are you sure you have time for that? - We've got plenty of time.
This is something we need to talk about, especially if you're trying to push me for an assessment.
It's hot as hell in here.
Um We had a party for my son, a birthday party.
And everything became clear.
I told you my son Roy is a special kid.
Have I told you that? He doesn't seem to need friends.
So, when we asked him what kind of party he wanted, he said only family.
I supported that.
I didn't want to force him to be anything he isn't.
So all the uncles and aunts came and cousins and everybody was in a good mood.
My dad, he got there early.
He's setting up everything and acting like he owns the place, ordering my wife around.
I could tell he had been there a lot since I left.
And the bitch he married was there too, in the kitchen cooking as if my mother never existed.
It made me feel like shit, like a a stranger in my own home.
My father sees me and he gives me one of those cold smiles.
"Alex, nice of you to make it.
" I could tell he had a wild hare up his ass about something.
But I didn't ask, cos when he wants to share, he shares, and then he's all over me.
And I'm in no rush to get there.
But he is great with Roy, though.
They they connect.
It's easy for them.
Did you feel like you weren't connecting with Roy? There were a lot of people there.
We didn't have much time alone.
Have you seen a lot of him since you left home? Once, twice.
I don't know what you consider a lot.
Did he ever ask why you weren't living at home any more? Yeah.
I told him that his dad was on a special mission.
I mean, I'm gone half the time.
He's used to it.
To tell you the truth, I think it's been a relief for him.
Why would it be a relief for his dad to be away? He was loose as hell at the party.
He's running around, playing with his cousins, talking to everybody.
You should have seen him.
A different person.
He was open, he was outgoing.
It's like he bloomed in my absence.
Well, not bloomed.
Jeez, he's not a fucking flower.
It's like he spread his wings.
Yeah, that's what it was like.
Maybe he was happy because you were there, maybe because he was just glad to see you.
It's interesting when you talk about flying because you make no bones whatsoever about the fact that the navy really needs you, that they can't do it without you.
Yet when it comes to talking about your son Paul, slow the fuck down.
The boy was having a great day before I ever got there.
Is it possible that you're projecting your own feelings about your father onto your son? - How do you mean? - That you might be doing better yourself, spreading your wings too if he wasn't there, if he wasn't in your way, so to speak.
No, Doc, my being there didn't make the kid happy that day.
Just the opposite in fact.
How? What happened? I told you Roy was obsessed with chess, right? I got him this magnificent set.
It was all ivory, imported from Nairobi, just a real work of art.
He just looked at the pieces, mesmerised.
But that was only half of the gift.
The other half was that I had been working on my own chess game and I was gonna play my boy.
So we sat down at the chessboard.
Everybody's watching.
I thought I'd open with something simple.
The King's Indian, which is where you establish your pawns in the centre.
Then he moved, and I countered.
And he moved again.
I countered again.
And we're moving along at this real nice clip and I think I'm holding my own.
And then I'll never forget it.
He looked up suddenly and it was like a shadow fell over his face.
And he stood up from the table and he said, "I'm not feeling well.
I don't want to play.
" He goes up to his bedroom.
I follow him up the stairs.
I knock on the door.
He doesn't answer.
I crack the door open and I see him.
He's sitting at his desk.
He's got his back to me.
I don't know if he heard me.
I was about to say something, but I didn't.
I just stood there and I stared at the back of his head.
Something about him, I don't know what it was.
It broke my heart.
Then I heard these footsteps and I turn around and it's my father.
And he says, "You know why he quit, don't you?" I shook my head.
And he gives me that look, that look that sees right through you.
He says, "He knew in three moves, Alex, you were gonna lose.
"He didn't want to beat his father in front of the whole family.
"He felt sorry for you.
" Do you think he was right? I know he was right.
That's my son to a T.
And then my father, he pulls me into a room and he just ripped into me.
He says, "You are pathetic.
"One thing goes wrong in your little cushy life and you turn soft as butter.
" He didn't understand why I wasn't eager to fly again or why I was away from home doing God knows what with God knows who like a fucking teenager.
He says, "You disappoint me, boy.
"I raised you to be stronger than that, to be a man.
" And he wanted to know who put all these ideas in my head.
Who turned me into a What did Who turned me into a "selfish, whining little bitch.
" Was it the fags I was hanging around with? Or was it, and this one he really seized on, was it the shrink? How would he know you were seeing a shrink? - Michaela told him.
- You told her? Yeah, I had to.
I've been paying you cash to avoid a paper trail.
But that means I've been withdrawing from ATMs all the time.
Michaela looks at the bank statements and wanted to know where the money was going.
Anyway, I told her I've been consulting with someone about my thoughts, and that was the word, "thoughts".
My thoughts about me and her.
And did you get into that, your thoughts about, uh, the two of you? No, she shut down.
So anyway, listen.
My father Yeah, he gives me this whole earful.
He goes downstairs and, oh, man I felt like I had been hit by a freight train.
I locked myself in the bathroom and I sat there so I could just just catch my breath.
And when I finally got my shit together I went back downstairs, and And everybody was around the chessboard again watching another match, including Michaela and And you know what it was? It was my father and my son locked in this epic battle, matching each other move for move.
Totally out of my league.
And everyone's oohing and ahhing and they they didn't even notice that I was there.
What was it about Roy that broke your heart when you were watching him in his room? Uhh He seemed so vulnerable, somehow.
Vulnerable to what? I don't know, really, um Everything Forces, expectations, stuff coming at him that he can't control, I can't control.
So I slipped out of the house without anyone knowing.
- It was for the better.
- For whom? For my boy.
Do you really think that your son is better off without his father on his birthday? Yeah, I do.
After that I got in my car and I drove drove and drove, fast.
And when I finally ran out of gas it was after dark.
I wound up at this bar that Sean and Daniel had taken me to.
And I started to drink hard, looking at all the faggots prancing around.
I felt like knocking somebody's teeth down their fucking throat.
But nobody came near me.
They didn't even look at me.
It was kind of like they knew, like I had this invisible force field around me.
You said before that, um, when you started telling me about the party, that everything became clear that day.
What was it that became clear? That I needed to go.
I needed to get back to the navy.
Discipline, order, "Yes, sir.
No, sir.
" Knowing when to sleep, when to wake up, what to wear, what to eat, what to do.
To get out of my own head.
This is not for everyone, self-examination.
Some of us, we just need to live our lives, man.
Why do you think you went to that particular bar? I don't know.
I wanted anyone to so much as breathe so I could beat the living hell out of them, that's why.
But nobody did.
Could it be, Alex, that you were there for exactly the opposite reason? Cos no one would question you or ask you to be anything other than yourself? These issues with your father, with your own identity, with what you really want for yourself, these things, they have to be looked at.
Don't you think it would be better to deal with them here on the ground than have them follow you Wait, are you actually expressing an opinion here? Are you telling me not to fly? I can't answer that.
It makes me feel like you're asking me to share responsibility for another major decision in your life.
You know, go back to Baghdad, leave Michaela.
I think we're way past that.
I'm not asking you to decide, Paul.
I can decide.
I have decided.
No, I'm asking you man to man Tell me, what would you do if you were me? Alex, if I was you, I would stay in therapy.
I would continue to deal with the complex issues that we've been talking about, not sweep them under the carpet like you've been doing in your life.
I can tell you one thing they will creep up on you again.
But you won't tell me not to fly.
You know, you're wrong.
I don't make mistakes.
When I'm up in the sky, that's when I'm in control.
You don't get it yet.
I am the best.
Now, Paul, listen to me.
Don't fuck me up with this navy shrink.
Don't take my world away from me.
Well I think we're done.
What is it, Doc? Here's my, uh my cellphone.
I want you to call me any time, day or night, if you need to talk about anything, OK? I just had a thought.
Soon I'm going to be flying over the armpit of the fucking world and I'll be thinking about you and your and your chair.
You know, Alex, I just wanted to say that I think you've done great work here.
I want us to continue that.
OK? - Goodbye, Doc.
- Take care, Alex.
English SDH