Walter: Week 6

Walter is humiliated to have his daughter Natalie accompany him to his session with Paul—they won't let him out of the "looney bin" without an escort. Looking more rested, Walter complains about the staff at the hospital, insisting they aren't as skilled and attentive as Paul. After several minutes of this, Paul demands to know why Walter is sucking up to him. In response, Walter shows him a pot holder he made in occupational therapy and rails against group therapy; he wants out and knows Paul is the one who can recommend his early release. Paul suggests Walter is angry that Paul didn't save him from the depression or suicide attempt. He urges Walter to drop the façade and tell him what it's really been like for him at the hospital. "Hell," says Walter. Time goes too slowly, and he's left with his thoughts about what happened to the children who drank the formula and their surviving families. He also realizes everyone is going to worry from now on whether he'll try to take his life again. Walter asks Paul what he would have done in his situation, and Paul says he's thought about it. The therapist understands that Walter must have thought he'd found a way out of the pain, but also says he thinks Walter has now survived the worst night of his life: There is hope for renewal. Walter feels there are two Walters now: The one who could stand up to pressure and handle pain, and the one who couldn't, and crumbled. Paul probes him about the Walter who crumbled, suggesting he might now be able to take time to enjoy a hobby or leisure time, to discover what life is like without facing a constant crisis. He mentions Connie's rehab crises, and Walter reacts—he never told Paul that Connie was in rehab, and his wife doesn't have a problem. She just suffered moods or maybe hypoglycemia triggered by stress; it was his fault for traveling so much and letting her down. Paul notes Walter needs to be Superman and maybe it's time to he remember how to play—like the little boy he never got to be. Angered, Walter demands to know why Paul would want him to connect more to the Walter who fell apart, but Paul gently suggests that the Walter who fell apart was the Superman, and it's the other Walter who wants to live. Stunned, Walter collapses, wracked with sobs.