This week’s episode opens with Shahir (Huse Madhavji) and Alex trying to figure out what’s really going on inside Charlie’s head, in hopes that they will be able to figure out how to pull him out of the coma. Though they don’t really make any progress in that search, that doesn’t mean that Charlie doesn’t figure out some things on his own – with a little help from a therapist.
Dana and Joel have to work together when a truck pins a woman’s leg, making them have to do an emergency amputation in the middle of the street to save her life. Afterwards, thing between them get a little steamy – and Joel ends up cheating on Maggie. Meanwhile, Charlie receives a little advice from a recently deceased therapist that sets him on a path of discovery about the real reason why he’s still in a coma after all this time, and Alex diagnoses a man with breast cancer. Tom Reycraft has a few bumps in the road adjusting to his new position as Chief Resident, and Dana refuses to apply for the permanent position as Chief of Surgery because she already holds the interim position and doesn’t think it’s right that she would need to apply for a position she’s already doing.
Medical Problem #1
Dana and Joel head off to visit the hospital in Dana’s home town. While out there, they run into Stephanie (Jane Moffat), an old friend of Dana’s. When they’re called in to help with an emergency when a truck tips over onto a woman, Dana is shocked to learn it is Stephanie. In order to save her life, they end up having to perform an emergency amputation in the middle of the street so that she doesn’t bleed out before they can get the truck off her leg. Though Joel had been having a difficult time since losing one of his patients to suicide, thanks to some encouragement from Dana, he manages to pull through and help her get the job done.
Medical Problem #2
Doug (Jeff Roop) had a gastric bypass – and comes in for his regular check-up with Dr. Reid. His test results come back normal, for the most part, but at the encouragement of his boyfriend, tells Dr. Reid about some tenderness on his chest. She checks it out and – after a consult with Dr. Miller – discovers that he also has breast cancer. Doug doesn’t want Alex to tel his boyfriend out of fear that he will leave him, but in the end, realizes that his boyfriend is going to be supportive of him though his recovery.
The Hope-Zion Hospital Drama
The ER is backed up – so Dr. Miller (Benjamin Ayres) recruits Maggie Lin (Julia Taylor-Ross) to help sort through the patients. At that time, Kendra Watt (Kari Matchett) – a therapist with her own TV show – is brought into the ER suffering from liver failure resulting from her having taken ‘shrooms. When she flatlines – and finds herself hanging out with Charlie (Michael Shanks) – Charlie is tasked with letting her know she’s not “tripping” on ‘shrooms, but is actually dead. When she doesn’t immediately move on, they acknowledge that she must still has some things to figure out. She admits that it’s probably because she is upset that she’s a serious doctor who, because of her TV show, doesn’t really help anyone with real problems.
Fortunately, Kendra gets an opportunity to help one more patient before moving on: none other than our comatose Chief of Surgery Dr. Charlie Harris. She helps force him to realize that he is the one keeping himself in a coma – and helps him figure out the reason for it. As it turns out, Charlie is afraid of being left alone – so he isn’t waking up out of fear of Alex leaving him if he stays with her. It is definitely a sign of progress – and brings up the possibility of him working on his problems so he can wake up before the season’s end.
Meanwhile, Joel (Daniel Gillies) is also struggling – thanks to the patient suicide he witnessed just a short time ago. As a result, he finds himself unable to perform surgeries. He claims his previously broken hand hasn’t fully recovered – but Dana knows better. Dana decides to take him on a trip with her to her hometown. Once they get there, we get to watch Dana fight against the stereotype about female doctors – in her own town – as they continuously refer to Dr. Goran as Dr. Kinney.
Though Dana takes it in stride, it is something that does bother her, and it leads to a great moment between Joel and Dana as he tells her how great he thinks she is, regardless of the fact that she’s a woman. Of course, this leads us back to early-season territory as we get to see the “womanizing” side to Joel Goran that we’d been told about, though had yet to witness, when the two end up hooking up later that evening. The next day, both agree that it was a singular incident, and decide not to mention it again – though perhaps there is someone to whom Joel should be mentioning it….
Alex tries to talk with Tom Reycraft (K.C. Collins), to give him some advice now that he’s the new Chief Resident at Hope-Zion. At first, Tom shoots down her advice, and lets his ego get the best of him, by the end of the episode, he seems more open to the fact that he needs some help to lead the Hope-Z crew. Though she does give him good advice, she also makes it pretty clear that she hasn’t given up on getting the position back herself.
-Loved seeing Dana having to deal with problems with sexism. It was a pretty great issue, and one that I’m sure is very common in that line of work – among others. Though having her sleep with Joel in the end was probably not the best way to end that situation. However, I also do applaud her refusal to apply for the Chief of Surgery position. Hopefully she gets to retain the position – though I’m also hoping to see Charlie recover and take that position back at some point.
-Finally some real progress with Charlie! Putting a therapist in the between with him – especially with the lead-in of her appearing to be a bit of a hack – was a good plot device and great for his character development. Can’t wait to see where he’ll take that knowledge.
-It’s great to finally get to see the womanizing side to Joel that we’d been warned about in the beginning of the series. I think that we got such a lead-on getting introduced to that concept only to have him so quickly acquiesce to Maggie’s wishes. As much as I like Joel, I don’t think it’s realistic to have his character change so quickly, so it’s great to see that side of him still beneath the surface. Of course, if you’ve seen the trailer for next week’s episode, you’ll know that this is probably not the last we’ll be seeing of that side of him.
-Also: I’m thinking it’s probably safe to assume at this point that Maggie and Joel are not really together anymore, as they’ve both cheated on the other. (You can say what you want, but Maggie kissing Gavin is still cheating, and neither party looks to be willing to come clean on their transgressions.)
In the meantime, check out next week’s trailer and synopsis (looks to be a great one!), and don’t forget to tune in Thursday, August 30th, 2012:
1.11 “The Law of Contagion” Synopsis: A passenger’s illness forces a plane to land; when Alex performs emergency surgery on the patient, she realizes a deadly and contagious virus may have been brought into the hospital.