Domhnall Gleeson Reveals How He Feels About the Ending of “The Patient”

Domhnall Gleeson, who portrayed Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter films, has continued to steal hearts since the franchise ended. One of the most recent projects he worked on, the TV miniseries The Patient, had fans on the edge of their seats until the very end.

For those who don’t know, Gleeson portrays the role of Sam Fortner in the series. Sam is a restaurant inspector with a secret: He’s a serial killer. His therapist, Alan Strauss (Steve Carell), falls prey to Sam, who kidnaps him and chains him up in his basement.

Recently, Gleeson sat down with Deadline to discuss his role in the series, as well as how he feels about the ending. Just a heads-up, if you haven’t finished watching the show yet, you might encounter some spoilers below.

This might come as a surprise to some but Gleeson isn’t a huge fan of happy endings, and while some fans were upset about how the show ended, Gleeson says he’s not.

I want happy endings when I want [sic] things, but if I knew I was always going to get a happy ending, then there would be no point of watching anything. And I think it’s important for a happy ending to be worth it and to make sense. You can’t just tag on a happy ending to something and say, oh look, we figured out this deus ex machina way that everything can be wonderful.

Gleeson, like the rest of us, also had no idea how the story was going to end from the get-go. He revealed that he was very much in the dark until halfway through the show when the writers finally revealed Sam and Alan’s fate to him.

The scripts were wonderful, and a lot of the conversations we had were about whether it was possible for Sam to get better, whether it was a futile wish on Sam’s part, or whether he wanted to control something in a different sort of way. Control is a big part of his life. So obviously, the ending has a lot to do with that.

In the end, Sam kills Alan. This ending reportedly shocked many fans, but Gleeson said that he honestly couldn’t see it ending any other way. While Sam doesn’t necessarily want his therapist to die, he doesn’t see another way out of his situation.

What else could he do? He was never gonna let him free; he wasn’t gonna hand himself in. There’s too much ego there as well. I don’t see any other way for it to last if Alan insists that he won’t stay on indefinitely.

Something Gleeson appreciates about the show is that it proves therapy can make a difference, no matter how small. In the end, Sam lets his mother chain him up in the basement to keep him from killing anyone else.

I thought it spoke so well of therapy and of what’s possible, despite the fact that it hadn’t worked in quite the way that Sam wanted. But weirdly, it had worked in the way that Alan had wanted. I mean, he hadn’t wanted to die, but he wanted Sam to get better and understand more about his own nature and about his own capabilities.

As for whether Gleeson will take offense when people tell him he makes a good serial killer, he said that it would actually be a compliment.

I got to have this guy in my world every day to show all different sides of him. He really made me laugh even though he was such an awful person, and he was trying. And so yeah, if people come up and say you’re a good serial killer, as long as they’re talking about the show, then I’m more than happy.

Have you watched the show? What are your thoughts on the ending? Let us know in the comments.


Did you know that MuggleNet is 99% volunteer-run? With your monthly pledge of $5, you can provide monetary support to our volunteers while becoming eligible for exclusive swag giveaways!

Support us on Patreon

Marica Laing

Growing up, I was a massive fan of Harry Potter and my love for the stories grew as I got older. It’s no surprise then that I love writing about all things Potter related. When I’m not writing about all the magic, you’ll find me reading (probably something Harry Potter related), listening to music, or writing some songs.