Steve Carell was 'shocked' by that 'Patient' finale: 'It's not the Hollywood ending'

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Spoiler alert! This post contains important details about the ending of FX/Hulu miniseries “The Patient.” 

Steve Carell’s latest show is bound to take your breath away. 

In the series finale of FX’s “The Patient” (all episodes now streaming on Hulu), “The Office” actor’s resilient Dr. Alan Strauss meets a merciless end at the hands of his patient, Sam (Domhnall Gleeson), a serial killer who kidnaps the therapist and chains him in his basement so Alan can cure him of his murderous impulses. 

At the start of the 10th and final episode of the slow-burning thriller, Sam confronts and chokes his abusive father (Lance Guest), whom he blames for his homicidal urges, but stops short of killing him. Alan applauds Sam for his restraint and vows to continue their sessions, promising that he won’t go to the police if Sam sets him free. But when Sam refuses, Alan puts Sam’s mother (Linda Emond) in a chokehold and threatens to slit her throat. 

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Steve Carell as doomed therapist Alan Strauss in the final episode of limited series "The Patient."

Just before he does, the show flashes to Alan peacefully back at home with his grandkids and estranged son, Ezra (Andrew Leeds). But we soon learn that it was all a fantasy sequence and that Alan never did escape Sam’s basement. Moments later, we see the two men thrashing on the basement floor as Sam strangles Alan to death. 

“I was shocked to read it,” Carell recalls. “Early on, nobody knew how it was going to end, so we all had guesses in our mind about what would happen. Would he escape? Would he end up killing Sam? Would the mother be involved somehow? There were all sorts of different ideas that people had.” 

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