The Patient Episode 6 Recap: Charlie

Image Credit: Suzanne Tenner/FX

The sixth episode of FX on Hulu’s thriller series ‘The Patient,’ titled ‘Charlie,’ follows serial killer Sam Fortner’s attempts to bury the dead body of Elias Petraki, whom he kills despite the opposition of his therapist Alan Strauss and mother Candace Fortner. Alan thinks about his dead therapist Charlie Addison to garner the strength and wisdom to deal with Sam and his uncontrollable homicidal urges. Alan tries to change Sam by putting forth a proposal that gets accepted by the serial killer. The enthralling episode ends by leaving behind significant questions concerning Alan’s life and let us share our thoughts regarding the same! SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Patient Episode 6 Recap

‘Charlie’ begins with Sam trying to dig up a grave in the basement of his house to bury Elias. Alan thinks about his dead therapist Charlie and formulates a session inside his head for guidance. Alan tells Charlie, in his thoughts, that there is a bit of conscience in Sam somewhere, which may help the therapist to change the serial killer. Charlie asks Alan why he hasn’t tried to kill Sam already with the ceramic jug in the room. Alan adds to him that his medicines are ending, which further poses a threat to his survival. To leave for work, Sam asks Alan to take over the digging and the therapist does the same unwillingly.

The Patient Episode 6: Why Doesn’t Alan Kill Sam? Why Doesn’t Sam Bury Elias?

Ever since getting locked up in Sam’s basement, Alan thinks about killing the serial killer with the ceramic jug and escaping. He has visualized the scenario in his mind several times to even do it in real life. Since Sam doesn’t guarantee to free him, Alan must have even realized that the only way he can leave the serial killer’s house is by killing him. Still, he doesn’t set out to kill Sam. First of all, Alan isn’t a murderer like Sam. Even though the predicament he is in may require Alan to step up to do the murder, the therapist cannot pull himself to do the deed.

Image Credit: Suzanne Tenner/FX

As far as Alan is concerned, he is not healthy and strong enough to commit such a murder, especially when he is chained up and his enemy is a very strong individual. Alan also knows that a failed attempt will infuriate Sam, who most likely will kill Alan sooner since he is a threat to the serial killer’s life. However, these obvious reasons aren’t the only factors that stop Alan from killing Sam. The therapist believes that there is a bit of empathy in Sam that can be relied upon to change him. Alan, as a therapist, doesn’t want to deny Sam the chance to get better.

For Alan, the serial killer’s homicidal urges aren’t under the latter’s control and he has an obligation to treat his client rather than kill him. The therapist doesn’t want to stoop into being a murderer, scarring his life when there’s a chance of reforming Sam. To change Sam, Alan realizes that he should “rehumanize” the serial killer from his barbarous existence. Alan wants his client to be considerate and compassionate, which can ultimately change the latter. To achieve the same, the therapist asks the serial killer to see Elias as a human being with a family, rather than just another victim.

Sam has been killing his victims under the impression that they are condemnable people who don’t deserve to live. Alan wants to change this impression, which makes him stop Sam from burying Elias. He asks Sam to look at Elias as a fellow human being, who deserves a proper burial rather than one in his killer’s basement. Sam realizes that Elias’ family, which includes a mother like his own mother, who loves his son, deserves to see Elias one last time and properly bury him. Sam’s decision to not bury Elias indicates his potential to change into a better man.

Will Alan Escape from Sam?

Although Alan stops Sam from burying Elias to change him, he also has another motive behind the same. He writes a note that states Sam’s name and profession, in addition to expressing his love for his son and daughter, and puts the same inside Elias’ mouth so that the authorities will find the note when the dead body gets discovered. Since Alan decides against murdering Sam, the only ray of hope in front of him is to wait for the police to lay their hands on the note. However, the therapist’s plan may not necessarily work that easily.

In Elias’ case, Sam has been extremely careful since he is the first victim of the serial killer who can be traced back to the latter’s house. Sam also worries about carpet prints and his DNA getting found on the body when he leaves the same for the relatives to discover. The risks involved may lead Sam to thoroughly check the body before abandoning it. If he notices something protruding from Elias’ mouth, he may find the note, which will close Alan’s doors to escape from the serial killer. However, the improbability of the same happening favors Alan for now, who may get rescued upon the potential discovery of the note.

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