Originally Posted by cc_in_oh
I think the point in question has more to do with his ability to handle the confrontations so coolly, given his emotional problems...
Originally Posted by Ph8te
That's the things in people that have mental illness, sometimes they can get "past it" other times it's debilitating.
Sent from nowhere
Originally Posted by gwsat
That's exactly right. Even the seriously deranged can occassionally pull it together and appear perfectly sane if the need arises.
Originally Posted by NetworkTV
I think he really wanted to rescue the dog, so he needed to step up for that...
The fact is, though, insane people often have this ability to compartmentalize their behavior, almost to the point of genuinely believing it isn't them. Ted Bundy moved about in plain site for years, even after already being convicted once. John Wayne Gacy actually got involved with election politics, including activities of Rosalynn Carter.
The thing about crazy is, it doesn't work predictably.
I don't think there has been anything presented about this character thus far that would indicate he is crazy or deranged in a sociopathic unpredicatable way (for example, he doesn't appear to be prone to sudden violent outbursts like the Bradley Cooper character, who was diagnosed as manic depressive, in Silverlinings Playbook).
As far as we know, Eliot has a very specific condition known as social phobia, which is linked to bouts of depression caused by the loneliness he feels from not being able to connect to others. I rewatched that opening scene with the Ron's coffee guy in which Eliot specifically talks about his mental condition, saying he doesn't know how to talk to people and that part of the reason he approached "Ron" in person was because we was working on confronting his social anxiety problem.
I also noticed, unlike what I said earlier about him appearing too cool and confident given his mental condition, he did appear somewhat agitated, but in a very subtle way. Without appearing obviously nervous or unconformable, his voice was a bit faltering and he did look around a few times. I definitely got a sense of the fear/anxiety underneath what he was saying. Good job on the actor's part.
Also thinking about it further (knowing a thing or two about social phobia), as difficult as it was for him to go out and confront the guy, as Eliot admitted to, his anxiety was undoubtedly lessened by a certain degree of feeling in control in the situation. Eliot did his homework, had the goods on the guy, had thought through the different scenarios and consequences, and had taken the necessary precautions. In contrast, had he gone to his friend's birthday celebration in the bar, we would have very little feeling of control, as people would possibly be asking questions or acting in ways that made him uncomfortable, a girl might flirt with him and he wouldn't know how to respond, or worse, no one would talk to him and he would be ignored the entire time.