In Treatment – S04E02 – Colin – Week 1 [Transcript]

Colin, a self-proclaimed therapy enthusiast and proud child of hippies, arrives for the first of four court-mandated sessions, but his evasiveness makes a recommendation regarding his recent release from prison difficult for Brooke.
HBO revives 'In Treatment' with Uzo Aduba

Original air date: May 23, 2021

Colin, a self-proclaimed therapy enthusiast and proud child of hippies, arrives for the first of four court-mandated sessions, but his evasiveness makes a recommendation regarding his recent release from prison difficult for Brooke.

* * *



He doesn’t like to admit he’s hurting.

I want to see him succeed.

I want to see him pull through this, get back on his feet.

What are the obstacles to that happening?

Karla: He’s had emotional outbursts.

Impulse control problems, depression, threats of violence.


God, Karla, come on.

The facts are the facts.

There was one significant physical altercation.

Do you want to tell her about that?

That’s okay.

What we need to know is, what now?

Is he a danger to himself?

Can he be left to care for himself or…  does he need additional assistance?

And it’s four sessions.

Karla: Court-mandated four sessions.

One of several conditions of Colin’s release.

If he fails to meet any of the requirements of his probation, your sign-off included, it would be revoked.

But we’re not gonna let that happen, right?


Here is the proof of vaccination paperwork that you requested.

Brooke: Mm.

I’ll be checking in each week to see how everything’s going, but Colin is incentivized to apply himself, so… fingers crossed, yeah?

Every day, it’s stacks of cases.


Completely crazy. All these extra people, but they don’t hire any more of us.


That’s life, I guess.

Well, call me when you’re done.

We’ll see each other tomorrow morning.


(door opens)

(door shuts)

(Colin sighs)

(light theme playing)

I’m happy to be here.

Happy to be out.

Thank God for COVID, right? (chuckles)

Not really, of course.

And, you know, I didn’t kill anybody or anything.


Basically, I just wanna get back on the right track.

Figure my life out ’cause I, uh, if you’ll excuse my language…

No, go ahead.

I fucked it up.

(chuckles wryly)

So, I-I’m grateful for this opportunity.

And just so we’re clear, um, never violent. Never anything like that.

I’m not a danger to anyone.

I don’t know what Karla was talking about.

I mean, it’s heat of the moment.

“I’ll f-ing kill you,” but never…

You know, it’s one thing if you’re shouting that at a vulnerable person.

It’s another if you’re shouting it at a prison guard standing behind three inches of plexiglass, being a sadistic fuck. Sorry.


I’m like the most, you know, pacifist.

Not just in my personal life, but-but as applies to the world.

And the physical altercation?

Again, that makes it sound like I was scrappin’ in the yard.

No. No.

I got my fucking ass kicked by a psycho, for no other reason than I looked to him like a person whose ass it might be amusing to kick.

I’m Mr. Peace-On-Earth. I was raised by hippies, full stop.

A commune, the whole bit.

And that outlook, you know, th-that openness, trust, compassion?

That steered me throughout my life.

Bit of a wanderer.

Eventually, I found my way into the tech world.

The rest is history.


That’s a great place to start.

And how’s the probation process going so far?

Eh, it’s good. Yeah.

And therapy, uh, just so you know, I’m all about it.

I’ve done some form of therapy most of my life, seriously.

So there’s no resistance or apprehension on my part.

I find it bizarre that there’s any taboo around it.

It’s so not my upbringing. It’s fuc–

Can I just…

I wanna use some words in here, but I don’t want to offend you, but I also don’t wanna interrupt myself every time I’m compelled to say “fuck.”

No, please. Whatever language you feel comfortable with.

I am not easily offended.

That’s fuckin’ fantastic.

(both laugh)

(clears throat) So, uh, what was I saying?

Oh! Yeah. It-it’s fuckin’ crazy that people are still so averse to therapy, to self-exploration, to… you know, uncovering truth.

Well, I’m glad you like therapy.

It should make my job easier.

I love it.

I need it… after what I’ve been through.

So, you know, let’s, uh, roll up our sleeves.

Get into it.

Okay. Sounds fun.

Well, it should be fun. Why not, right?

Thing is, I’m not patting myself on the back when I say this.

It’s just a true thing about me.

I’m open. I always have been.

I imagine some patients, it probably takes them weeks to warm up.

Well, I don’t know.

I feel like most people walk in here ready to talk.

You know, come here for a reason.

Yeah, but ready to talk and able to talk, two different things.

Well, that’s true.

And you seem very comfortable communicating.

(laughs) Thank you.

Anything, I talk too much.

It’s probably got me into some of this trouble, frankly.

Is that how you see it?


The situation you found yourself in? Prison?

That it was related to your loose communication style?


Yeah, I don’t know. Sure, a little bit.

It’s an interesting question.

Certain ways, I guess.

Which ways?

I’m sorry. You know, I just…

I keep taking in your house.


This was built in the-the late ’60s, right?

Good eye.

Oh, kind of an architecture buff.



What does your husband do?

I’m not married.


Yeah, driving up here, there were a bunch of these great little houses.

This place is very nice.

(both chuckle)

So it’s not all pro bono then.

Oh no! You’re my first, actually.

No shit. Oh, that’s great.

‘Cause I’ve never gotten free therapy before.

We can figure this out together. (chuckles)

So, what, you’re like a shit-hot therapist then?

I do all right.

But you know what we’re not here to talk about?

Oh, I know.

Of course.

Oh, that’s the thing though.

See, I wanna I wanna talk about you.

And why do you think that is?

Not exclusively, but… you know, I do want us to get to know each other.

Really, beyond the quarter-inch file of glaring omissions and mischaracterization.

Then why don’t you start by filling in the gaps?



(clears throat) Uh, I was born in Santa Cruz.

Parents, like I said, they were hippies.

The real deal.

Weren’t playing dress-up. They were living the life.

Uh, moved to Santa Monica when I was 10 for my parents’ business.

Health food, where better, right?

Spent high school bumming around LA, Venice.

Skipping class, get high on the beach.

It was a different city back then.

There was a porn theater on 2nd Street. Did you know that?

Downtown Santa Monica. Now, it’s… an adorable something-or-other.

And how does that kind of change affect you?

Um, it doesn’t.

Not really. You know, things change.

As a guy who stepped out of the world for four years, I can say with some authority, “Things change.”

It’s all good. I’m just…

You know, painting a picture.

I wasn’t running around going to SUGARFISH or Pinkberry when I was in high school. It was down and dirty.

Syringes in the sand-type shit.

Picture painted.

This area? Fuck! I mean, it’s great that it’s finally turning around.

It was treacherous back in the ’90s.

This area’s always been nice. I grew up here.

I ju– No, I mean, you’re just surrounded.

You know, you got Inglewood just down the hill.

I guess Black people aren’t as scary when you are also a Black person.

Oh, no, no. I meant, Black, white–

I’m messing with you, Colin.



My dad designed some of the houses in the area.

Oh. Wild! Wow!

So your dad is an architect. Wow!


He was. He passed.


How nice that he left something behind though that, you know, made his mark. Especially as…

It’s nice.


And now, you know a little about me.

And I know a little about you.

Now you wanna talk about what?

My dramatic emotional breakdown.


Oh well, that makes sense. Juicy.

Something to sink your teeth into, psychologically speaking.

I’m just afraid you’re gonna be disappointed.

Why would I be disappointed?

Just isn’t that much there.

Sounds like a significant event.

It-it was a bad day.

My life ended. I lost everything.

And I couldn’t fucking take it.

I reached a breaking point.

Guess what? I broke.


I told you it’s not juicy. It’s dull, dry, and simple.

The file says you were put in segregation.

That’s pro forma prison shit.

Those people, they’re not the most astute observers of the human condition.

It’s the DMV with billy clubs.


I-I’m not a crazy person.

I’m happy. I’m sunny. I…

Forgive me, I light up a room.

I fucking do.

So if you wanna get into my-my-my grief, my pain, it’s just not there.

I have problems. Lord knows I… obliterated my entire existence.

No aspect of my life was left unfucked.

But depression?

Anything like that? It-it-it’s just a dead end.


“No aspect of my life was left unfucked”?

(chuckles) You have a way with words.


Yeah. (laughs)

Crochet that on a pillow. You’d make some good money.

Well, let’s talk about that then.

What? Our pillow business?

The way you upended your life.

Well, you read the file.

Oh, come on.

You said it was full of omissions.

Correct the record.


I overstated some things to secure investments.

Wire fraud, that was the headline.

Five years, told I’d serve one.

They kept tacking on time for behavior bullshit.

I ended up serving four. What can I say?

The whole justice system, it’s a– Well,

I don’t have to tell you it’s a joke.

No, worse. It’s a crime.

Look, so you know, George Floyd? Black Lives?

I would’ve been the first person out on those fucking streets. I… I get so enraged at the injustice.

It absolutely breaks my heart.


Sorry. Tangent. I’m… I just… I’m very passionate about it.

The justice system.

Oh, right. Yeah.

Yeah, particularly where it pertains to, you know, corporate crime or whatever?

You see, the business world, it plays by a different set of rules that these people don’t understand because if they did understand it, they’d be a part of it.

Instead of sweating through shitty suits and filthy fucking courtrooms all day long.

Jesus, I made a mistake.

A careless, clerical error.

You misplace a decimal point, suddenly, you’re a criminal mastermind.

So let’s put this guy with a name we’ve heard of in prison and trumpet our impressive track record of holding big business accountable.

Meanwhile, exactly zero people’s lives are improved by my arrest.

You know, I’m not Al Capone.

Every single one of these assholes, they all think they’re Eliot Ness.

Crime busters, only there’s barely a crime.

A-and no one’s hiding anything, but there’s all these fucking…

I swear to God, the names of the federal agents who were on my case, sounds like a list of south Boston dive bars.

Really! I mean, my life was great, and then here comes Mickey O’Shaughnessy.

“Mickey O’Shaughnessy.”

Stupid but driven to…

take a big steaming dump on my existence. It’s fuckin’ insane.

The point is they don’t understand the world, especially the tech world.

I guarantee you none of these assholes could fucking network a printer, much less wrap their heads around the shit I was working on.

-So, you were innocent?


No, I mean, no. Not of… not of what they were saying, but…

You know, what is a crime? And what isn’t?


Fraud is a crime.


Can we talk about that instinct of yours?

To minimize, downplay, diminish.

You did it with the prison time, the breakdown,

the crimes themselves.

You are trying to evade me.

I don’t know if you realize that.

Maybe it’s a behavior you learned

after being accused of a crime.

Maybe it’s been around longer than that.

Where’d you go?

Oh, sorry. No, you’re, you’re right.

I was just thinking, “You’re good!”

I hadn’t anticipated that.

Usually, court-appointed?

Not exactly the mark of high quality.

Is it deliberate? Your evasiveness.

No, I like to talk. I like to learn about people.

You mentioned earlier your communication style

might have contributed to some of your problems.

I like to give people good news.

Sometimes, what you think is going to happen doesn’t.

-Which is a crime, apparently.

And that sounds

-like another dismissal.

(laughs) Oh, Jesus.

It’s a defensive stance, I suppose. Maybe…

after getting thrown into a box for four years, uh…

having everyone in my life abandon me,

maybe I’ve developed some trust issues.

Or maybe you’re just not asking the right questions.

I don’t think there are right questions or wrong questions per se,

-or right answers for that matter.


so it’s just a random exchange of words

with little consequence?

It’s a process, not a puzzle. I’m not trying to pick a lock.

It’s difficult to quantify a process.

What’s a process worth?

-It’s free for you.

Oh, is it?

‘Cause the government seized all my assets.

This is all I got in return.

Four sessions with you.

So I’m giving you the only things of value I have left.

-My time, my energy.

And I would like

for this time not to be wasted.

Well then, by all means, ask away.

What did you have for lunch today?

Why the fuck do you wanna know what I had for lunch today?

I don’t think the questions are the problem.

Good one.

Why does it bother you to open up to me?

-I’m not bothered.

But you are reluctant to share.

‘Cause I’ve been fuckin’ pummeled every time

I’ve opened my mouth for the past four years,

today being no exception.

I mean, I say I’m a piece of shit, and I just hear back,

“No, no. You’re a colossal piece of shit.”

I try to defend myself, it’s even worse.

I tell you the truth, it’s not enough truth. I–

Or it’s not the truth you’re looking for.

See, I don’t know what you’re looking for. I’m not a mind reader.

I’m not looking for any one answer.

-I’m looking for honesty.

Unless it’s something you don’t wanna hear.

No, I want you to feel safe in this room.

I’m not judging you.

I am gonna be honest about what I’m seeing and hearing,

and what I am hearing right now

is a lot of avoidance of difficult subjects.

So you want me to feel safe, but…

I’m not safe.

I can’t be myself.

Because try as you might, despite your best,

very most, you know, professional of intentions,

you are judging me.

If I were to refer to a woman as a cunt,

that’d be alright?

-I’d prefer if you didn’t.

Ah-ha. See, when I’m with my buddies,

I say the word “cunt,” they know me.

They hear it as I intend it.

They know I’m not a misogynist.

The furthest thing from it.

Simply an economical way of expressing that the person

to whom I’m referring is not at all a good person.

They’re a vicious person. A cruel person.

(scoffs) They’re a cunt!

Prosecutor was a cunt. The judge was a cunt.

But see, I can’t say that in here

because you hear it in a different way.

So I have to police myself, yes or no?

There’s nothing wrong with being considerate of folks around you.

I’m just using a crude example to explain a broader point.

Would it be helpful if I explain to you why that particular word

-feels very violent to me?

No, God…

-I get it.

It sounds like you feel constrained,

not just by this arrangement.

Well, I am! The whole fucking world’s constrained!

Imprisonment is literal physical constraint!

That frustration doesn’t feel related?

-Yeah, sure, sure–

No, no, no! Really!

(screaming): Yes!

Alright? Yes!





What’s it been like for you?

-Since you’ve gotten out?



-Where are you staying?

Crashing at a buddy’s place.

Venice. He’s got a back house thing.

I’ve seen some people, most really aren’t…

receptive to reconnecting.

And how are things going with your friend?

Oh, good. Fine. He’s very laid-back.

He’s an actor. You’d know him.

He’s got this new wife who I’d never met.

They got together while I was still…

I’m not sure she likes me.

She’s cute though.

Good God, these women. This whole area.

After four years in prison, walking through Venice

is fucking torture.

-I feel like a pervert.

What do you mean?

Like I’m going to pull my cock out and start jerking off

-in the middle of brunch.

You wouldn’t do that.

No. No, I wouldn’t fuckin’ do that.

Those fancy brunch places frown upon that sort of thing.


How does it feel when some folks

aren’t receptive to reconnecting?


What about making new friends?

There’s support groups.

Online communities

for former prisoners.

Human connection is important.

What about getting back out there?

Meeting someone?

Yeah, I did pretty well in my younger days.

I got a lot of material stored up to…

keep me company on those lonely nights.

I fucked a lot of therapists, too. You know?

It’s a weird thing. My whole life.

I’d meet a girl, we hit it off.

“What do you do?” “I’m a therapist.”

Over and over and over.

They were always the wildest, too.

What about you? Have you ever fucked a patient?

-What are you doing?



I could try to navigate this exchange

in some professional way,

but I think it’s best we put our cards on the table.

Wait, you asking me out?

-I think you’re trying to push my buttons.

And did I?

Did I push your buttons? ‘Cause you know

-I’m told I have a certain knack.

This isn’t a game.

This is my job,

and I take it seriously, and I would like for you

-to take it seriously, too.

Oh, yes, that’s right.

The work.

It’s very important. You’re a doctor, after all.

If there was an insult in there, I think I missed it.

I once had a therapist. A licensed therapist,

same certificate you got around here somewhere.

She told me to whisper my resentments into

“the hollow of a tree.

And then fill the tree with mud.”

-Did it work?

(scoffs) These are your colleagues!

This is the work you need to safeguard

against the scourge of irreverence.

-Why can’t you bear to be sincere with me?

Oh, sincerely?

-Fuck you.

There we go!

Now that’s something!

It’s hostility, but at least it’s genuine.

-Oh, you did it, doc. You broke through.

No, you sat here

with a probation officer who said

you lacked impulse control,

you are emotionally unstable, self-destructive,

and you understand your literal freedom

is on the line. Still,

you couldn’t make it one hour without telling me

to go fuck myself, that my job was a joke,

intimating some sexual potential between us,

and you were worried that

I would be disappointed? Colin!

There is plenty for me to work with here!

The only question

is whether you are up to it.

The sooner we have that answer, the better.

The court…

is expecting a determination

after four sessions,

but if you are gonna fuck off all the time, I am…

happy to say, right now,

-that you are beyond help.

Well maybe I just don’t like you.

You know, what? You’re gonna send me back to prison because I don’t like you?

You’re not a judge. You’re not a warden.

Let me guess, I’m a cunt?

You’re a wounded bird in Baldwin Hills!

Sheltered in a house your father built!

I will not sign a paper that I do not believe.

I will not tell a court

that you are well when you are not, and…


I’m sorry. I’m sorry, that’s not what I…

I’m sorry I said those things. I am.

I didn’t mean…

I’ve been under a lot of stress.

It’s a very weird time, you know? I’m…

It’s nothing personal.

Suppose you’d say I’m…

I’m minimizing or dismissing,

and maybe I am. I don’t know. I just…

I really didn’t mean for it to go this way.



That’s our time.

See you next week, yeah?


(picks up sunglasses)

(light guitar playing)

(door opens, shuts)



♪ ♪

♪ ♪


COLIN: Wow, okay, here I am. How did I get here?

And where did those questions take you?

Thorough emotional disintegration.

Everything I built for 20 years was suddenly… Pfft.

When I went in I was a good guy. And now I’m…

Tell me.



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