The Patient Episode 3 Recap and Ending, Explained

Image Credit: Suzanne Tenner/FX

The third episode of FX on Hulu’s thriller series ‘The Patient’ follows Alan Strauss’ attempts to deal with Sam Fortner’s impulses to kill others, possibly including him. Alan meets Candace Fortner, Sam’s mother, and requests her to unlock his chain to save Sam. Candace, who doesn’t want to turn her son into the police, decides against helping Alan fearing that he will contact the authorities if he gets saved from her son. Alan makes progress with the therapy sessions as he manages to dive deep into the childhood of his patient. The enthralling episode, titled ‘Issues,’ ends with an astounding development. If you are trying to know more about the same, let us be your ally! SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Patient Episode 3 Recap

‘Issues’ begins with Alan meeting Candace, who introduces herself as Sam’s mother and a big fan of the therapist’s books. Alan requests her to unlock him and call the police to “save” Sam but the woman cannot betray her own son. Candace also asks the therapist whether he knows all about Sam’s separation from his wife Mary. When Sam comes back home from work, Alan lets him know that he had met his mother and proposes to have a joint therapy session with him and Candace. Although Sam insists that his mother is not his problem, Alan insists and he manages to conduct the session.

Image Credit: Suzanne Tenner/FX

Alan explores Sam’s childhood with his abusive father in the session. He reminds the serial killer how much his mother means to him and how he should protect her by putting an end to his killing spree. Alan wants Sam to think about his mother and the pain he causes to her every time he takes another human being’s life. Alan constantly thinks about his dead wife Beth Strauss, particularly the song she sang on the occasion of their son Ezra Strauss’ marriage, despite the rabi’s reminder that women do not sing on such Jewish occasions. He also remembers the day she died in his and their daughter’s presence.

The Patient Episode 3 Ending: Whom Does Sam Bring to His House? Why Does Sam Abduct Him?

During a particular night, Alan wakes up hearing Sam, dragging a man all tied up to the basement to lock up in an adjoining room. The serial killer doesn’t offer any explanation to Alan, who watches the same. The man can be the son of the restaurant owner AKA the “restaurant guy” Sam badly wants to kill. Before abducting him, Sam has gone to the same restaurant to buy food. The serial killer’s “compulsion to kill” returns to him but he manages to resist the same by limiting the homicidal urges to mere thoughts of killing the man in his head.

Image Credit: Suzanne Tenner/FX

After explaining the same impulses to Alan over dinner, Sam tells the latter that he was able to stop himself from killing the man “because of” the therapist. Sam must have been thinking that Alan has a hold on his psyche to stop his homicidal impulses. He can be believing that as long as Alan is around to control his actions, he will not stoop to being a murderer again. Sam’s words indicate that the person he drags into his basement can be the restaurant guy and he must have abducted the man to not kill him.

Sam’s trust in Alan may have led him to abduct the restaurant guy to keep him in the presence of the therapist. He must be thinking that he will not be able to kill the individual while Alan can see and influence him or Alan will stop him from committing a murder that he will regret later. Since Sam’s murderous impulses haven’t subsided, the restaurant guy’s life will always be hanging by a thread if he is free. As far as the serial killer is concerned, the only way to stop himself from murdering the person is by locking up the latter in a place where his homicidal urges are very low, which is in the basement under Alan’s watch.

Sam’s return to his potential victim’s restaurant to buy food indicates how much he loves to test himself and his compulsion to kill. Abducting the same person can be another test to find out the magnitude of his ability to control his impulses and Alan’s influence on him. If Sam can mentally prepare himself to kill the restaurant guy despite Alan’s presence, influence, and words, he may even start to believe that the therapist has failed to help him. If that happens, Alan and the restaurant guy’s lives will be in danger.

Read More: Is The Patient Based on a True Story?

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