The Patient Episodes 1 & 2 Recap: The new psychological series starring Steve Carell made its much-awaited premiere today. FX on Hulu has had a stellar run since its operations in 2020. In 2022 itself, it has aired three tv shows until now besides The Patient, and all have successfully managed to woo critics and audiences alike. The taste of content is distinct, and from the first two episodes, it seems The Patient also carries the same DNA. This common thread in specific content production has become a fashionable thing of late with franchise success for players like A24 and Blumhouse. Domhall Gleeson is also seen in a pivotal role in the first two episodes alongside Carell. You can read our analysis and recap of episodes 1 & 2 of The Patient below. Be sure to tune in every week, as we will cover the entire first season.

The Patient Episodes 1 & 2 Recap: 

Episode 1 – Intake

Dr. Alan Strauss (Steve Carell) wakes up in a strange place. Although he doesn’t realize it immediately, one of his legs is chained to the wall behind the bed. He looks around the house – mostly open spaces with very little things – and finds things that indicate a kidnapping. In all probability, he is going to be here for a while. He screams, but no one can seemingly hear him. We cut to Alan in his house making breakfast. It seems like he lives alone, but we can’t say for sure yet. He listens to a call from Gene Bollinger, who requests him to take him in as a patient. Alan is a therapist. He also lets his daughter, Shoshana, know he has sessions from day to eight. A montage of the patients – including Gene (Domnhall Gleeson) – interacting with Alan. Gene is traumatized by an abusive childhood.

The Patient (Miniseries) Episode 1 & 2 Recap & Ending Explained
“THE PATIENT” — Pictured: Steve Carell as Alan Strauss. CR: Suzanne Tenner/FX

His father beat him all the time – and by that, he means all the time literally. Gene is dressed like he’s hiding something – a cap and glasses in broad daylight. When Alan tries to probe further, Gene is less than forthcoming, choosing to keep the details out. We go a little further into Alan’s life; he flosses his teeth as the montage plays in the back. His next patient – a woman – has recently suffered a loss, and it is suggested that Alan might have too, given how he reacts. A different young man subconsciously takes on too much and tries to tend to others’ needs more than his own. Alan has a nightmare wherein he sees his dead wife lying in bed next to him, naked, holding her guitar. Alan hears the wailing of a small child crying in his crib kept next to his bed.

When he gets closer, the baby’s face looks like Voldemort’s. The following day, Alan goes in to see his son Ezra. He works at a store nearby. Alan wants to give his wife’s guitar to him as he used to play it. But Ezra says he doesn’t play anymore and that he won’t take it. Alan’s interaction with Gene is given more attention. The troubled man seems anxious, and the therapist catches on to his evasive mood and style. Alan confronts him about it, but Gene twitches harder and says he is trying his best. On a regular night, Alan settles in with a warm cup of tea. While he is making it, he hears noises outside his house. It seems like a car crash, and he goes out to inspect. He sees an empty can being thrown in front of him, and he takes the bait. Someone is behind him.

This is how he was kidnapped. But who was the kidnapper? What are his intentions? We are about to find out. Alan finally hears someone else in the bathroom. It is Gene, his patient from before. He reveals that his actual name is Sam and that he needs help. He goes on a little bit further about what ails him. The big revelation is that he suffers from a compulsion to kill people. He has had this feeling inside of him forever and has acted on it multiple times, not just once or twice. Alan is shocked by this information, but Sam says he will be there for a while. He also explains to Alan that he was not forthcoming to him at his house as he wasn’t comfortable. But he will tell him the entire truth in his own home, where he feels comfortable. The cabin is in the woods and there are fewer chances someone will come to save Alan or hear him if he screams.


Alan is the third Jewish therapist Sam saw and chose him. There is someone else, Sam says, who is on his radar. He cannot control the urge just to kill him. Alan pleads with him to release him and will keep this conversation private to himself as part of doctor-patient confidentiality. But Sam says he will not listen to him. He is going to commit another crime. Sam also references Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs and how the portrayal of a serial killer is so wrong in movies. It isn’t easy to feel how he does, and he cannot explain it. Guess we will have to watch it for ourselves.

Episode 2 – “Alan Learns to Meditate”

Pork Buns from Qian’s – that is what Sam brings for Alan to eat. He surely cannot resist eating this! “I am not your therapist anymore; I’m your prisoner”, is what Alan quips when Sam remarks that the silent treatment isn’t too sophisticated for a therapist. Sam takes out a box from his cupboard, which thankfully does not have a severed head. But instead, it has another darker truth about his criminal flair. He identifies himself as what the media described as the “John Doe killer”. To avoid suspicion, he disguised the killings as robbing and took the valuables of his victims. The box has them – IDs, watches, and other personal belongings. Alan daydreams of the time his wife taught him meditation. The two shared a loving bond and a happy marriage.

Sam leaves food and some books for Alan before leaving. Alan finally caves and has breakfast, before noticing the plastic fork on his plate. He desperately – and unsuccessfully – tries to jimmy his foot lock open. He hears rumbling upstairs but it isn’t quite clear who it is. Sam is back with some more delicious sounding foods and notices the damaged fork while taking away morning’s plate. Alan has a quick flash forward where he successfully unchains himself and murders Sam. Alan’s hand is forced into helping Sam when he mentions how dead he feels when he murders someone. If the therapist isn’t going to be a part of the process, where does that leave him? Sam implicates he might have to kill Alan for not trying and Alan lets out a big sigh.

He gets up and Sam quickly follows to seat himself opposite him. Alan sounds out a caveat: a successful therapy session cannot be conducted under fearful circumstances. Till the time they are spending together, Sam is not to commit any acts of physical violence either against him or anyone else. “I’ll do my best”, Sam quops and Alan knows that is the best outcome he could have hoped for in dealing with a psychopathic killer. While meditating, Alan has a flashback to his life with his wife, Beth, when their son Ezra asked Chava’s hand in marriage. Both deemed her inappropriate and inadequate for him but Alan says it is Ezra’s way of rebelling. One of the running mysteries until now has been Sam’s amazing taste in food and how he knows which is the best dish in what restaurant.

The Patient Episode 2 Ending, Explained:

Alan Learns to Meditate

Turns out, he is a food inspector and was even married before all this took over. Sam narrates an incident from one of his previous inspections about how he felt insulted when his boss, Kyle, sent him back in two weeks to recheck regulations in a particular restaurant when the waiting time for a reinspection was seven months. The person who ran the store had earlier offered him a bribe but this time doesn’t even look at him. This is the “guy” Sam said he had been thinking about in episode 1 about killing. When Alan asked how he managed to restrain himself, Sam puts it down to the fear of getting caught. It is also explained here that this happened four months ago when Alan first met Sam as a patient.

Alan recognizes Sam’s attempts to heal himself are genuine and asks for pen and paper to take down notes for the sessions. Sam says the session isn’t helping him feel differently about the restaurant guy, whom he still wants to hurt. Alan calmly explains that he is becoming too impatient. The next morning, after Sam leaves, Alan tries again to contact the person upstairs. He even calls out to them, hoping for a reply. Suddenly, he hears footsteps descend the steps. A man walks down with an iron stick in his hand. Alan collects himself and quietly says, “hello”. Who could that possibly be? Is he another one of Sam’s secrets or is he someone from his family? Given he was able to walk down and hasn’t really confronted Sam about the entire ordeal, it might be the latter. We will have to wait for the next week to get more information on that.

The Patient Trailer

The Patient (Miniseries) Episodes 1 & 2 External Links: IMDb
The Patient Episodes 1 & 2 Cast: Steve Carell, Domhnall Gleeson, Laura Niemi, Linda Emond
Where to watch The Patient

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