Sports Night, Ep. 10

Shoe Money Tonight

In episode 10, Casey and Dan are forced to cancel a gambling trip to Atlantic City to work the west coast primetime show (2 AM on the east coast). With money in their pockets and 2 hours to burn before they are once again on the air, they convince the crew to partake in a friendly game of poker.

Dana is trying to win money for a new pair of shoes while Jeremy tries to convince Natalie that her previous experiences with men should be no indication of where her new relationship with him may lead.

She is playing a losing hand, and he knows it:

Dana: Thank you. How you doin’ Jeremy?
Jeremy: Can’t complain…
Dana: Shut up.
Natalie: Thank you.
Elliot: Jeremy, ace bets.
Jeremy: $50.
Isaac: (looks at cards) Fold.
Natalie: Raise $50.
Jeremy: Natalie…
Elliot: And then there were two.
Natalie: I’ve raised you 50.
Jeremy: Natalie, listen to me. You’ve lost a lot of money to me tonight. You’re basically going to be living the rest of your life on a charitable grant from the Jeremy Goodwin Foundation. Take the 100 bucks back and fold.
Natalie: Scared?
Jeremy: I’ve got a straight. You’ve got three 7s.
Natalie: You don’t have a straight.
Jeremy: Look at me. I’m not lying to you. I have a straight.
Natalie: How do you know I don’t have a big house?
Jeremy: A full house. Dan already folded the 6 you needed and I have the other one. You don’t have a house of any sort. You don’t have a pup tent. You’ve got trip 7s and I have a straight. I want you to trust me right now. I want you to say to yourself, “Yeah, I’ve dated a string of jerks in my life. They were stupid. They were mean to me. But maybe this one’s different. Maybe I should take a chance and not adopt the ‘break up with him before he breaks my heart’ strategy…I want you to trust me, just once, when I tell you that you have three 7s and I have a straight.
(long pause)
Natalie: You’re bluffing so hard it’s coming out your ears.
Jeremy: Call.
Natalie: Three 7s.
Jeremy: 6. 7. 8. 9. Oh and guess what? 5. (starts collecting his chips)

Not unlike dating, most often, I am not a patient’s “first”. Instead, they are seeing me after a series of unsuccessful relationships/break-ups with other therapists, doctors, and chiropractors. When I meet them for the first time, their guard is up, ready for the next pick up line from yet another clinician.

In this instance, the only way that I know how to create a healthy therapeutic relationship is to follow Jeremy’s example: armed with only the truth as I understand it, I lay all my cards on the table with surprising honesty. After that, the outcome rests in the patient’s choices and how they wish to play their own hand.

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