Proof: Passive Regressive

Proof (Photo: TNT)
Proof (Photo: TNT)

This week’s episode of Proof, the third of the series, goes completely off topic. However, there is enough material to pick apart to make watching fun?

Patient of the Week

There are two Patients of the Week in this third episode of Proof. One is a person experiencing PTSD-like symptoms from some intense combat. The thing is, this 30-something patient named Liam is reliving experiences from the Korean war, not Iraq or Afghanistan. This gets explored by Dr. Daniel Powell, who happens to be a former med school cohort partner of Carolyn Tyler’s. After the presentation of Powell’s regression therapy research, they encounter a writer named Ryder1 who accuses Liam of plagiarizing his soon-to-be-published graphic novel.

It turns out the graphic novel matches Liam’s account almost image by image, so Powell convinces writerRyder to undergo regression therapy. Sure enough, the overall scene is exactly the same, though Ryder has one point of view while Liam has another. The two eventually go under Powell’s treatment simultaneously and we learn that past-Liam and past-Ryder were more than friends as past-Ryder succumbs to injuries sustained in an ambush. Past-Ryder says “I love you” and asks past-Liam to say it back, but he doesn’t. Past-Ryder dies.

So…that sucks. Back in the present, the guys do not make eye contact or make out. Other than raising the issue that collective consciousness is kinda weird, I’m not sure what we were supposed to get from this story.

Tyler’s Slow Descent into Hoarding

In case you forgot, Carolyn’s son Will died in a car accident about a year ago and she is not over it. Daughter Sophie suggests that the family get a foreign exchange student2 to occupy Will’s room. This prompts a discussion about cleaning out Will’s room, which Carolyn is not enthusiastic about or ready to address.

How many episodes of Hoarders featured this exact same story? When discussing the project with her ex Dr. Len, his priority was making sure he got a foul ball Will caught at a baseball game several years back. OBJECTS ARE NOT MEMORIES.

Meanwhile, Carolyn and Powell rekindle their flirty Gertie flames from med school and eventually get it on. The show presents this with a degree of sturm und drang suggesting that divorcees are not supposed to be getting their yayas. Shut up, show. After said yayas, Powell offers a freebie regression treatment, as if he’s Morpheus and Seattle is the Matrix. This takes Tyler back to the car accident where Will gets killed. It turns out it was also a near-death experience for Carolyn, which makes the whole thing about almost drowning seem…superfluous? In the regression Carolyn sees the woman in the green scarf again, so there is some connection to the main story thread.

Other Folks

  • Turing isn’t in this episode at all, which makes some sense since this episode isn’t dealing with death or the afterlife directly. I suppose reincarnation is a possible tangent, but the main story feels more like a Shirley McClain joint than a thesis on Buddhism. If anything, this demonstrates that perhaps Turing shouldn’t have been introduced so early in the series.
  • Zed gets a visit from Maya, a woman from his home village in Kenya. First, I’m 90% certain they said Zed was from West Africa in an earlier episode, but they seem to be playing fast and loose with the concept of Africa since Tunisia and Rwanda are practically the same thing, right? Case in point: Maya is just as much of a stereotype as Zed, greeting Janel with “YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN.” I’m not trying throwing shade, but Janel looks rather plain in this scene, so the reaction for the viewer is…huh. It turns out Zed’s med school tuition was part of a dowry for getting engaged to Maya. He tries to cut it off, but she says “I love you.” Unlike past-Liam, Zed reciprocates (even though he doesn’t really mean it). Grrrrrrrrrrrrl.

This episode of Proof was a weird one. The main story doesn’t connect with the overall thread of the show and doesn’t seem to have a grand point. We get a little bit more of Carolyn Tyler’s backstory, but it makes the information we already have about her redundant. The best way to describe this would be Dana Scully reluctantly touched by an angel and not appreciating it. I’m still waiting for the “so what” about this show.

  2. In much the same way one would suggest getting a parakeet or a replacement cat  

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About Mike McComb 1225 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: