Clinical Lycanthropy on FOX’s ‘Mental’

Mental, a show on FOX, outlines the various cases presented to the Director of Mental Health at Wharton Memorial Hospital; Dr. Jack Gallagher, a British man living in America, is both brilliant and conflicted. He delivers therapy to his patients with unorthodox methods, which pits him against the other doctors in the hospital. One of the cases he encounters, during the last episode of the season, is a man reporting hysterically that he was bitten by a werewolf, and will soon transform.

The man, Ellis Kahane, shows up, spazzing out, all sweaty, and grody; he claims that his breath has been terrible, he’s constantly scratching, and that he was bitten by a werewolf about a month ago, right before the full moon. Dr. Carl Belle, who probably hates Gallagher the most, quickly dismisses the patient because of his past anxiety issues, and because Clinical Lycanthropy is such a rare mental condition. Ellis Kahane, in a fit of anger, bursts into a meeting for the team of psychiatrists, and holds them at gunpoint.

Gallagher and the other doctors manage to get the story out of Kahane; he attacked a man the night after he left the hospital the night before, and claims to have blacked out, then went to his hotel. The show portrays how, in his mind, he appears as a werewolf. After a struggle for the weapon, one of the doctors, Arturo, is shot; the team tries caring for him while Gallagher tries to work with Kahane.

After muddling through some of the subplot, the interesting nugget of clinical lycanthropy facts are in there; one of them is that the condition is so rare, there’s really no ‘right’ way. In the end, in an attempt to remove the gun, Gallagher offers his arm to Kahane, who bites him. Now that Gallagher is also a werewolf in Kahane’s perspective, he hands over the weapon. It’s later revealed that the man Kahane attacked and killed was actually a violent mugger. After the police arrive, Kahane is left with Gallagher, both restrained, until the moon rises; neither of them turn into werewolves, obviously. The season ends on a depressing note for fans, but the rare and  interesting look at werewolf psychosis is invaluable to the werewolf fan!

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