Trapeze 08: Raccoon
I did not know that raccoons were associated with obsessive compulsive disorders, but as soon as I typed “compulsive raccoon” on the search engine I got lots of hits… I guess they do keep cleaning their little paws!
Things I liked about this episode:
1) Yoshi Iwamura’s RL facial gestures were just hilarious. The actor really did a good job, and the couple of brief scenes with him and nurse Mayumi were priceless.
2) Mayumi’s intervention was very subtle and very thought-provoking. Her reaction when Irabu counselled Iwamura to get a wife, for example. Very nice.
Now, what does seem very strange is how this episode, along with 07, didn’t really show the patient being cured at all. The treatment was a cop-out, work around the problem rather than solving it. Heck, for all I know, this might be the way to go [in the sense that one should learn to live with oneself instead of denying onself], but I’m sure it’ll raise some eyebrows.
In fact, Iwamura’s disaster fantasies got worse as the show went on. His last one in particular, where the rays of the sun hit a lighter on the grass and set the whole thing to flames, burning the hospital nearby. Whoa.
Reflecting further, I think the key to the whole episode was at the very beginning, when Iwamura first consults Dr. Irabu. Irabu asks his patient whether he is expecting him (as a doctor) to ask him all sorts of questions about his background and personality. When Iwamura replies in the affirmative, Irabu counters with “what’s the point of me asking you about these things if you can’t change them!!”
This fatalistic streak runs through Irabu’s methodology and philosophy. We are who we are, and the doctor’s job is to help us deal with these facts rather than aid us in pretending to become somebody else. Maybe it’s precisely this pretending and make-believe that should be termed “working around the problem” instead of “solving it”. That is, the problem is the personality, and the solution is…accepting one’s personality. Or as the oracle of Delphi had it: “Know yourself.”