Walter: Week 4

Paul fields a call from his brother, who is upset about their father's recent turn for the worse; he promises to visit the nursing home on Saturday. During Walter's session, the former CEO sits on the couch for the first time. He's been forced out of his company; they even took his Blackberry. Looking exhausted, Walter tells Paul he's only there because Connie insisted. Walter says he did everything by the book — took responsibility for the tainted product at the first sign of trouble. The problem is, today's a different world of bloggers and class action lawyers, and as soon as word was out, their stock plummeted — and the people gunning for his job seized the opportunity. Walter blames himself for dropping his guard. Paul inquires about his sleep and Walter says the 3-4 Klonopin a day are helping. Alarmed, Paul urges him to discuss that dosage with his doctor. Walter brushes him off, saying he can't stand is the pity people are showing him. He tells of an old friend (who, like Walter, was fired from the company he built) who visited and gave him a photographic essay book he'd made since retiring. Walter threw it out: He hates people who fool themselves into leading "fake lives" and doesn't believe his friend really enjoys his new hobby. Walter demands to know what Paul thought of him when they first met, convinced Paul thought he was a insensitive baby killer. But Paul tells him that he's angry for how the Donaldsons have treated him. Walter vacillates between being certain he did everything he could and blaming himself for not doing more. Paul draws a parallel between Walter taking responsibility for his parents' lives after Tommy died, and for the Donaldson's company after their son James was killed in an accident. Walter insists he had no choice, that Tommy's death was his fault — Tommy had come to him the night before going swimming in the quarry and told him he was going to jump from the high cliff. Young Walter had told him, "You can do it." Paul points out that Tommy jumped; Walter didn't push him. But Walter doesn't buy it. He leaves without making another appointment, and refuses to let Paul call his doctor about the sleeping pills.