‘The Patient’ Co-Creator Says the Show’s Tragic Ending Was the ‘Right Way to Go’

The Hulu series The Patient had a tragic ending for everyone involved. While things undoubtedly took a horrible turn for Dr. Alan Strauss, Sam also came to some tough realizations about himself. While the series’ co-creators didn’t always know precisely how the finale would play out, they felt what happened to Alan was the only logical conclusion.

[SPOILER ALERT: Spoilers ahead regarding The Patient finale episode 10, “The Cantor’s Husband.”]

Steve Carell as Dr. Alan Strauss in ‘The Patient’ | Frank Ockenfells/FX

Sam killed Alan in the final episode of ‘The Patient’

The Patient revealed its heartbreaking ending in the series’ final episode. Sam hoped to keep Dr. Alan Strauss a prisoner in his basement even longer, but Alan knew he couldn’t live like that. He gave Sam the option of turning himself in or killing him. Sam didn’t want to do either.

Eventually, Alan took his first offensive action. When Sam’s mother, Candace, came close to him, he grabbed her and pressed the sharpened tube of foot cream to her neck. Alan then told Sam to call the police, or he would kill her. Sam, however, managed to get the upper hand. He strangled Alan before he could kill Candace.

‘The Patient’ co-creators knew they couldn’t let Alan escape his tragic ending

The Patient reached a shocking and tragic ending, but co-creators Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg felt that it was the only conclusion that made sense. “This was our first instinct. Not with this exact order or detail of scenes, but the general ending,” Fields said while speaking with The AV Club.

“It was in the summary of the show as we first laid it out. And from there, over the course of writing it, we considered, talked about, experimented with, and wrote every iteration we could conceive of. That was a lot of versions. But ultimately, we found ourselves returning to the first one,” he continued.

Weisberg added that killing off Alan seemed like the most realistic conclusion to The Patient. “It comes down to the fact that it felt true. We just believed it. Any ending where Alan escaped felt not true,” he told The AV Club.

“Television sometimes tries to pull a happy ending out of something that wouldn’t happen in the real world. In general, even with The Americans, we try to get as close to real as we can. I don’t want to say this ending was a no-brainer, but it was the right way to go.”

Alan sees a final vision before his death

Before The Patient reached its tragic ending, however, the series gave fans a glimmer of false hope. It shows Alan at a family dinner with his children and their families. One of Alan’s grandchildren asks if he was dreaming about when he was “away,” implying that this is taking place after Alan was freed from Sam.

The rift between Alan and his son Ezra is also repaired, and the family seems to have come to some sort of compromise. They sit around the dinner table singing in Hebrew, and while Ezra’s Orthodox wife and mother-in-law don’t join in song (as their religion forbids it), they smile good-naturedly at the rest of their family.

The scene then flashes back to Sam strangling Alan on his basement floor. “We asked ourselves what his mind would conjure in his dying moments,” Weisberg told The AV Club. “I think we don’t want to answer too much about what it is. Is it a conscious daydream or something else? Under duress in that basement, his mind is producing images of Auschwitz. It seemed true to who he is.”

All episodes of The Patient are currently streaming on Hulu.

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Source: https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/the-patient-co-creator-says-shows-tragic-ending-right-way-go.html/