In this season’s finale, Dr. Roberts takes on his most dangerous case yet.
Overview (Spoilers Below)
A US Marshall shows up to deliver Patient 101, a criminal by the name of “Leslie Crux” to his court-ordered dream therapy. Patient 101, or “The Krux” as he goes by, scares the bejeezus out of the Dream Corp employees with his calm demeanor and cryptic actions. The team immediately thinks he’s up to something, alienated by his enigmatic personality and constant riddling.
Right before Patient 101 goes under, he somehow sleight-of-hands a pair of handcuffs onto Patient 88, who is now stuck attached to the serial killer patient. Uninterested in helping 88, Dr. Roberts goes into 101’s dream, where Patient 101 sees himself as a demonic TV show host presenting Dr. Roberts as his guest.
The good doctor is more or less at the mercy of Patient 101 in his dream, so the team tries to interpret the dream to the best of their ability, even having T.E.R.R.Y. Patient 101’s “Wingding” riddle. Meanwhile. Dr. Roberts, being held up in a knife-throwing game, escapes to 101’s inner mind by following the small child version of the patient.
Dr. Roberts tries to explore Patient 101’s childhood and the emotional damage he endured as an unwanted child, but the patient’s adult form tries to interfere. Still, he’s able to figure out that 101’s mother abandoned him, which is why he convinced himself that he murdered his own mother, one of his most famous crimes.
Patient 101, upset at Dr. Roberts’ interference, almost kills the doctor before Randy pulls him out of the dream. At the same time, Patient 101 wakes up and holds Randy hostage with a shank. Thankfully, it would appear that 101 somehow ends up between dream states. Dr. Roberts then walks 101 through his abandonment issues, using 88 as a way to communicate with Patient 101 as his mother.
Patient 101 cries into 88’s arms, but just as it seems the serial killer is about to have a breakthrough, the US Marshall returns to take Patient 101 away. Dr. Roberts leaves the therapy appointment dejected and alone, unable to help a patient who needed him the most.
Well, this is an episode that came completely out of left field but is all the better for it. Expecting the typical dark surrealist humor that Dream Corp usually provides, I was unprepared to see a tragic and heartfelt story unfold in the doctor’s office. While the episode is still funny when it wants to be, this is an episode that eschews the typical jokes and laughs to deliver something a little more profound; a heart-wrenching look at the mind of what drives a serial killer and the empathy one can have for a sadistic mind.
Patient 101 proves to be more of a challenge for Dr. Roberts than any patient that has come before, not just because of his deep-seated issues, but because of how aggressive he is in his dream state. 101 has more control over his dream than any other patient we’ve seen so far (Save for maybe Randy) and immediately puts the screws to the good doctor during therapy. This adds an element of danger previously unseen from the show, something exciting and provocative, and in this show, that’s saying a lot. The dream imagery tells the story of someone putting on a show for the world by pretending to be worse than they are, which thematically goes great with the perceptions that the team has of Patient 101, who are disturbed and frightened by his middling ways.
The resolution is where this season finale shows its true strength. Its one of the saddest things to see a victory snatched away by the jaws of defeat and the ending of this episode falls deep into that tragic category. The show plays it completely straight here, not pausing for a joke or a quip to make the ending more palatable, just a straight-forward failure of Dr. Roberts to cure his patient before he is taken away by the US Marshall. Its rare for Dr. Roberts not to be able to help his clientele, and rarer still for Dream Corp to take itself so seriously, so that is an amazing thing to see in this episode.
You might be disappointed if you wanted a great big laugh-fest from this Dream Corp season finale because you’re not going to chuckle a whole lot in this episode. What you will do, however, is find yourself drawn into the twisted, broken world of a serial killer, only to have a happy ending stolen away from you at the final moment by the unfair rules of the arbitrary “system.” It’s a great episode and a great finale, but be prepared to have a little bit of darkness in your gut after watching it.