"In Treatment" recap: Jesse turns 17

It's hard to tell what's real with Jesse. He meets one of Paul's patients in the waiting room and lies to her, telling her that he's from Milwaukee, and that he's here to celebrate his birthday with his uncle Paul. In Paul's office, he sings happy birthday to himself. It's his 17th. The age of consent. He's wearing a crown and thinks it should be declared a national gay holiday.

As a commenter pointed out yesterday, it's weird that a birth mother would contact a 16-year-old adoptee on a cell phone. I've been resisting the possibility that Jesse is making this whole birth parent story up. But she's right. It is weird. How would his birth mother get that number?  It's also weird that married birth parents would go to the trouble of contacting their son only to later dump him by e-mail. Jesse has become cynical about therapy. He doesn't see the point of it. He doesn't understand what it's supposed to do for him. If it turns out he's lying, then yeah, he's in a rut, because the point of therapy is, if nothing else, is to become more honest with yourself.

What is real today, however, is Jesse's sadness. This disappointment with his birth parents, assuming they have actually contacted him, seems to have muted his usual anger and forced him to confront his feelings of abandonment. He sounds a little more mature. He asks Paul how Max is (when he left, the kitchen was on fire, which Jesse assumes Max set on purpose). He also recognizes that he shouldn't have shown up at their house.

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