I wrote a version of this comment to Paul Levinson, and then I realized it was the beginning of my own blog post on "In Treatment," which I love, but which chilled me tonight.
I'm sure everyone followed the comments on Kerry's blog about what an awful therapist Paul is, but I thought that was a) an exaggeration and b) if not, a given. Personally, I didn't think he was awful, just that he was flawed, perhaps more flawed than most, but I can't judge. Generally I found the stories compelling and not just nails-on-a-blackboard immoral/unethical.
I can imagine being a therapist and cringing at some of Paul's behavior, but I think that's the point. "In Treatment" is about a troubled therapist, who nonetheless manages to do some good even in Season One (Sophie? Maybe? Alex, temporarily? Maybe even Jake if not Amy?)
I think we all have a lot of transference going on in our most extreme reactions to the show, because Gabriel Byrne is, in fact, God (OK, a god to me!) and many of us just assume that he's being depicted as a hero, when I don't believe he is.
However, in the season premiere, I found the Mia plot to be exactly what some therapists found early Paul Weston behavior: nails-on-a-blackboard unethical, from a legal perspective, and I was glad Paul stood up for himself.
April, by contrast, is a really tough one, and I hope he helps April as much as he helped Sophie, if circuitously. It's not yet clear that he can. I truly hope the information that says Mia is going to return as his patient is wrong -- because that's where I join my beloved MTK and say, this is unethical. Mia can't be his patient, not even for a dramatic HBO series. Too, too many lines have been crossed.
But we'll see!