‘The Patient’: Why Sam is a Member of No Shoes Nation

The Patient centers around a serial killer named Sam who kidnaps his therapist. Though Sam is clearly unwell, the Hulu series takes the time to explore other facets of his personality besides his urge to kill. Sam is a major Kenny Chesney fan and a member of No Shoes Nation. The Patient‘s co-creator breaks down why this group appeals to Sam.

[SPOILER ALERT: Spoilers ahead for episode 4 of The Patient, “Company.”]

Sam is a member of No Shoes Nation in The Patient. He sits in a chair next to Alan, holding a box. Alan is in the bed in Sam's basement.
Domhnall Gleeson as Sam and Steve Carell as Alan in ‘The Patient’ | Suzanne Tenner/FX

Sam is a huge Kenny Chesney fan in ‘The Patient’

Hulu’s The Patient offers fans a unique glimpse into the mind of a serial killer character by sitting him in front of a therapist every episode. Dr. Alan Strauss attempts to dig into Sam’s psyche and hopefully find a way to stop him from killing. In the most recent episode, “Company,” Alan probes Sam about the “good parts” of his past marriage.

Sam mentions that his wife used to go to country music singer Kenny Chesney’s concerts with him. “How was that?” Alan asks. “That’s not a question that you ever need to ask, ever, because they are always awesome,” Sam replies. He tells Alan about No Shoes Nation, Chesney’s community of fans, and shares that he has been to 27 of the musician’s concerts. “That’s not even a lot. My friend Shane, he’s gone to 78,” Sam adds.

Here’s why No Shoes Nation appeals to Sam in ‘The Patient’

Sam describes No Shoes Nation as a community and a lifestyle. “It’s peaceful. Everybody’s happy,” he tells Alan. “The central idea of No Shoes Nation is love.” At the 2022 Summer TCA panel, The Patient co-creator Joe Weisberg discussed why Kenny Chesney is Sam’s artist of choice.

“I think the great appeal of Kenny Chesney was, as you sort of see it come out in some of the later episodes, that he wasn’t just a great country artist, but he also had this No Shoes Nation,” Weisberg said, according to Decider.

“So you could sort of see how Sam might be sort of a fan and follower of that in a way that, as Alan says, sort of gives him an alternate social world. And Kenny Chesney’s world of that is just more real and built out than almost any other artist we could think of.”

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Episode 4 shows that Sam has a surprisingly real social life. He works as a restaurant inspector for the Department of Public Health and even mentions that his coworkers like him. Sam is known for being efficient and brings in donuts on certain days. Sam’s love of Kenny Chesney makes up one more part of his alternate world.

What is No Shoes Nation?

Kenny Chesney’s own definition of No Shoes Nation isn’t far off from what Sam says in The Patient. “No Shoes Nation is more than a state of mind,” Chesney explained in a press release, according to The Boot. “It’s the place we all come together for the music, the fun, and each other.”

Watch new episodes of The Patient every Tuesday exclusively on Hulu.