Oliver: Week 5

Oliver shows up unexpectedly at Paul's office, interrupting one of his sessions: He's run away from school. Paul lets him stay but immediately calls Luke to let him know the boy is safe. He fixes a sandwich for Oliver, who says that Eric, the kid who's been bullying him at school, covered the inside of his locker with dog shit. Paul sympathizes, especially after Oliver explains that he's been fighting with his father. Luke and Nina have been arguing about him, he says, and his dad got drunk and passed out on the couch the previous week. Soon Luke arrives, in a panic and angry with Oliver for leaving school, but when Paul explains what happened, Luke calms down and sends Oliver outside so he and Paul can talk alone. He corroborates Oliver's story about their troubles at home, adding that the boy has been purposely difficult, refusing to do his homework or even bathe. Paul guesses that breaking the rules is Oliver's way of gaining some control. Regardless, Luke is too angry and frustrated to deal with his son, and he's not surprised that a fat kid with no friends gets bullied. Luke also worries, however, that he's becoming just like his own father - a detached school administrator who cheated on Luke's mother - and that Oliver won't love him. Paul assures Luke that it's easy to upset your children in much the same way your parents hurt you and then assume that you're doomed to become your father -- but you're not. Luke calls Oliver back into the room and suggests they grab pizza and a movie. "You deserve a break," he tells his son.