Walter: Week 3

Walter arrives late for his session, having already postponed it by two hours. Shouting into his cell phone as he enters, he drops his suitcase and hands Paul his garment bag. Noting that Walter seems to be in the midst of a crisis, Paul suggests they reschedule, but Walter insists there won't be a better time later. He finally turns off his cell phone and Blackberry and gives Paul his attention. Walter has just returned from a trip to Rwanda to see Natalie, and in his absence, all hell has broken loose at his company over his recall of a contaminated product. A young executive is gunning for his job, but Walter is convinced he won't succeed. He's distraught, claiming Natalie was furious to see him and doesn't need him anymore. Paul teases out the details of the trip and challenges Walter's perception about what happened, wondering if Walter may have triggered her anger by showing up with no warning and announcing he was there to take her home. Paul suggests that Walter is an excellent manager at work, but in situations where he's not in control (like being a therapy patient or trying to rein in Natalie), he becomes uncomfortable. Walter jumps up to take a Xanax as Paul lays out his theory. When Paul questions him about the pills, he admits he took them at his hotel after the fight with Natalie — he'd woken up in a cold sweat, thinking he was back in his brother Tommy's childhood room. Paul draws a connection between Natalie separating from Walter and Walter never being able to separate from his own parents, suggesting Walter experiences any separation as a death. They are interrupted by Paul's phone ringing — it's Walter's assistant, desperate to track him down — and Walter leaves to face the crisis at work.