Night Shift Episode 6: Love's Labors
Previously on Night Shift: The show started off with a promising premiere but since then has plummeted downhill faster than Lindsay Lohan's sobriety. This week's episode wasn't as bad as last week's or the second one, but it still wasn't good. I still think the writers didn't sit down and map out a 13-episode arc, because the show doesn't hang together week to week, and there's no character development that you would expect from a weekly drama. The only real constant is Patrick and Robin's ridiculously redundant and increasingly nonsensical bickering. This week, there wasn't even any charming banter to help balance it out. Sigh.
We open with what initially looks like a grainy dream/nightmare
sequence (like last week) involving Robin and Patrick's patient dying.
But then Robin is sitting in Dr. Ford's office with Ford and a hospital
lawyer to say that what happened at the hospital that night is a major
catastrophe, so the grainy footage is apparently a flashback. Then we
cut to Robin carrying coffee to the nurses' station, and it's clear
we're going to be doing the whole "show the conclusion first and then
the many hours leading up to it" thing that every drama in the history
of the world, including GH itself during the last sweeps period, has
done. A total lack of originality by the GH team. Who could have seen
Also in the hospital, Patrick is flirting/talking with Leyla. Robin sees them, overreacts significantly, and gives his coffee away to Jolene before storming off. Who could have seen this coming?!
Spinelli is doing his usual thing, following Jason around like a (really weird) puppy. He shows the hitman/janitor the latest version of The Saga of Stone Cold, the video game that looks like you would play it on a Commodore 64. Jason is angry Spinelli didn't delete the game. Spinelli is stoked to have improved the game with a new "uber villain" named The Cackling Clown (based on that bizarre patient from last week), complete with an animated disembodied clown's head graphic. I will be seeking a new blog and column collaborator, because somewhere in New York, Mallory just had a stroke.
Jason and Spinelli enter the elevator, followed quickly by Stacey (on a gurney) and Leyla, who isn't keeping at all calm around her pregnant patient who appears to be in significant distress. I'm sure Robin will be here any second, because we can't have a Stacey scene without Robin in it. They both have HIV, you know. Therefore they must bond. The credits pick this moment to provide the words that strike fear into the hearts of GH watchers everywhere: "Written by Robert Guza Jr." (And Elizabeth Korte and Kate Hall, in case you want to spread the blame around.)
We already know that Leyla might not be the most scrupulous person, given her willingness to flirt with someone else's boyfriend, who is also one of her superiors. She's also apparently a terrible nurse. She runs out of the elevator (?), leaving Stacey screaming in pain. Jason and Spinelli then let the doors close them in the elevator with Stacey (?). Stacey continues to scream, and almost immediately the elevator jolts to a halt, clearly stuck. Who could have seen this coming?!
Ford's office: Robin recounts how Stacey came in earlier that night with sharp abdominal pains, but Robin somehow missed her. (This is one of those incredibly irksome continuity moments that Night Shift is quickly becoming known for. A patient comes into the ER, is examined and referred for surgery, gets stuck in an elevator for an obviously long period of time, her situation is somehow resolved, and her attending physicians are questioned by the chief of staff at the hospital attorney, all over the span of one night shift? What chief of staff and attorney work in the middle of a Saturday night? Or on a Sunday morning?)
Anyway, we're flashing to the time Robin is telling Dr. Ford about. Epiphany says there's been a school bus accident with patients en route. They're 15 minutes away, so Robin goes to find Patrick. As she leaves, Stacey comes to the nurses' station, where Regina is on duty. Stacey is clearly in pain, and asks to see Dr. Lee. Oh, Stacey. Have you not been paying attention? But wait, she has, because she changes her mind and asks for Dr. Scorpio. Cut to Dr. Lee attending to Stacey, who is more upset and is apparently bleeding. Which she helpfully explains she's nervous about "with the HIV." Dr. Lee explains there's an emergency and they have to do a c-section. Since this sounds like a serious and involved situation that requires actual medical talent, Stacey again asks for Robin. Kelly's like, hang on a second, I have to go have sex with a pharmaceutical rep and then the guy who launders the hospital linens. (I might be reading between the lines.) As Kelly leaves the exam area, she runs into Leyla and assigns her to Stacey's case. Poor Stacey. Dr. Lee and Leyla? What a one-two punch of medical ineptitude.
Robin's taking her pills in the locker room. Because she has HIV. In case you hadn't heard. Regina comes in to find Robin and send her to the OR to help Kelly with the emergency c-section.
Epiphany is ordering around an underling. Billy Dee mops the floor and gives her a look that is either creepy or dirty, or both. Stan is faking being an orderly again, and he and Epiphany have words about how he doesn't live up to her expectations. Anything new or interesting in those three sentences? Nope.
Leyla is speaking another language to a patient. (I think it's Farsi, both because I recall reading that the actress is Iranian, and because it sounds familiar from friends of mine growing up; I'm sure our sharp readers will correct me if I'm wrong.) Dr. Julian comes in and also speaks to the patient in his native language. (Dr. Julian's hair is mercifully pulled back from his face. I'll even ignore that it's in a slicked-back ponytail, a style that should exist only in those Night at the Roxbury skits on SNL, because anything is preferable to his usual look.) The patient, Mr. Nurani, has a head injury. Leyla leaves to follow Dr. Julian's treatment orders and runs into Robin, who wants to know why Leyla isn't with Stacey. Because Leyla is a terrible student nurse, Robin, which you would have realized if you hadn't been so worried about her getting into your hot boyfriend's pants.
Jason, Spinelli, and Stacey are still stuck in the elevator, which has no power or phone service. Stacey screams a lot.
Ford's office: Billy Dee explains that what happened earlier (his beloved elevator ceasing to perform the function of moving people from one floor to another) is not uncommon, but usually it only gets stuck for a few minutes, as opposed to tonight.
Back earlier in the evening, Leyla is righteously indignant with Robin about Stacey:
Leyla: I put her on the elevator and I sent her to 10.
Robin: You left her alone?!
Leyla: No, she's with Mr. Morgan and the Jackal.
Robin: They are not doctors. Stacey was your responsibility. How could you leave her unattended?
Leyla explains that she was the only one who could help the patient who needed a translator (um, no, didn't she just have a conversation with Dr. Julian in Farsi?), and seems to think that even if true, this obviously absolves her of leaving a pregnant woman in crisis alone. I know Robin is being extra bitchy to Leyla because Robin is overly attached to Stacey, and because Leyla's been flirting with Patrick, but regardless, I think Robin has the much better argument here. Since when can you just roll a patient into an elevator and cross your fingers she gets to her destination?
Billy Dee notices that the elevator Stacey is on is stuck.
Back in the elevator, Stacey says "I'm HIV positive and I'm abrupting, do you know what that means?," and Jason says he does but tries to calm her down. He does a good job of seeming like he knows what he's doing and starts to calm Stacey down. Spinelli says he's going to look for a way out of the elevator . . . using his laptop, and the internet. Okay. Is he hoping to buy a new elevator off eBay?
Jolene and Regina are in the break room. Stan comes in to mention the strike and Epiphany, then bicker with Regina about how he treats his mom. I care nothing about any of these people.
Back with Mr. Nurani, Patrick is hotly explaining to the family via Leyla that the patient needs to have brain surgery. The family is upset.
Robin finds Patrick and decides to take the opportunity to bitch about how incompetent Patrick's "favorite student nurse" Leyla is. I'm beginning to think the goal of Night Shift is to make me hate Patrick and Robin so that the mob crap on regular GH seems preferable by comparison. Evil geniuses.
Ford's office: Leyla explains that she had no choice but to put Stacey on the elevator alone (not true), and that there was no time to think (oddly enough, always making time to think is a quality I look for in my emergency health care providers, but maybe I'm picky like that).
Back to earlier, with Dr. Ford overacting to Epiphany about the hospital not being able to afford another preventable death. Not because nobody deserves to die because of his staff's incompetence, mind you, but because of the resulting bad PR. Billy Dee asks Dr. Ford for permission to take a look at the elevator. Dr. Ford is a condescending dick (who could have seen this coming?!), and basically doubts that a janitor could fix the problem. Epiphany stands up for Billy Dee's knowledge of the elevator. Stan interrupts to offer his help as well. Then father and son (I'm unspoiled, but come on, they so are) are down in the basement, trying to fix the elevator. Worst case scenario, Billy Dee says it could take three to four hours to fix.
Patrick and Robin are bickering. AGAIN. Robin wants to work on Stacey. Patrick wants Robin's help with his patient. They argue some more. Patrick storms off. Leyla comes up and sort of apologizes, but is pretty defensive, and Robin goes over-the-top and says she's going to get Leyla kicked out of the nursing program. Epiphany stands up for Leyla and says at least Leyla didn't bail on her patient (like Robin just did with Patrick's). Actually, I think Leyla did in fact bail on her patient when she left her in an elevator with a hired killer and Rain Man.
In the OR, Patrick is hotly about to operate, with Dr. Archer subbing in unexpectedly as his anesthesiologist. A nurse mentions that they really need another set of hands, at which point Robin materializes in the room. Who could have seen this coming?!
Back in the elevator, Spinelli is banging on the wall and moaning, which he says is some kind of SOS. Jason looks around for an actual solution, and also tells Stacey they successfully are keeping the baby's heart rate at the right pace. Stacey wants to know how Jason knows about abruptions, and Spinelli helpfully explains in that it's due to Jason's secret pain. Oh goody, more about Jason being Jake's daddy. Because they never talk about that on regular GH. Thank god for spin-offs. Anyway, Jason says he knows two women who have gone through an abruption (as if you needed more evidence that originality is not this writing team's strong point) and that Jake is fine but the girl (Sam's) was stillborn. Stacey understandably freaks the hell out. I thought the idea of secret pain was to keep it to yourself?
Ford's office: Epiphany explains that elevator repair guys don't work in the middle of the night. But hospital administrators and lawyers do, duh.
Patrick and Robin's surgery on Mr. Nurani seems to be going well. Meanwhile, Leyla and Dr. Julian have a conversation about the Nurani family. I found Dr. Julian a tiny bit appealing as a character in this scene, for the first time ever. Leyla cries unconvincingly over . . . something. I've stopped paying attention to her.
Stacey is begging Jason to cut her open and take the baby. Yikes. How far into medical school was Jason when he hit that tree? Stacey passes out and Jason instructs Spinelli to find a website with instructions on how to perform a c-section. OH FOR GOD'S SAKE. You have a spin-off set in a hospital, ostensibly focusing on two doctors, but your hero to the rescue in a medical crisis is once again Jason Morgan, hitman/janitor/amateur surgeon? Because the "mafia to the rescue" thing hasn't been done enough on GH? Ridiculous.
Patrick and Robin are still in surgery. A nurse comes in and whispers apparently distressing news in Robin's ear. I've lost track of the timeline -- what news is Robin finding out about? Never mind, I don't care.
Ford's office: Dr. Lee looks like she just got a facial peel. For real, what is going on with her face? It's all blotchy and tight and just generally weird, a bit like Samantha's in that Sex and the City episode with Carrie's book party. Anyway, Kelly explains what a placental abruption is. She says Stacey "never considered her baby would suffocate inside of her -- why would she?" Someday maybe someone can provide me with a good reason that every baby on GH has to be in some kind of mortal peril immediately before or after birth, but for now I'm going with the explanation that these writers are twisted mofos.
Jolene and Regina chat over coffee in a dark hallway. Regina is upset at how Stan treats Epiphany. Regina explains that she had an abortion a week into the nursing program so she didn't have to drop out of the program. Jolene pries and Regina explains the guy took off when she told him about the abortion. So Regina says she's pissed that Stan is oblivious to everything Epiphany sacrificed for him. Running tally of subjects related to Regina that are too nuanced for these writers to have been entrusted with: 1) racial tensions, 2) abortion, 3) parenting, 4) coffee.
In the elevator, Spinelli finds a DIY c-section site. I did not Google to see whether such a thing actually exists, since the combination of blood and childbirth would give me a heart attack. Spinelli freaks out (who could have seen this coming?!), and Jason tries to calm him down.
Stan and Billy Dee are trying to fix the elevator. Billy Dee creepily reveals that the elevator breaking down was not an accident.
Patrick hotly exits the OR to hotly provide Mrs. Nurani with news that her husband's surgery went well. Meanwhile, Robin is scrubbing up after the surgery and overhears Jolene exalting the miraculous heroism and cool-calm-collected-ness of Jason to Dr. Julian, who then makes an unfortunate comment about Stacey being a goner. ENOUGH WITH THE JASON PIMPING. WE GET IT. My god. They created a new show and new characters just to give more people the opportunity to bow down to the glorious hitman. Unbelievable.
Back in the elevator, Jason continues to try to calm Spinelli down when he freaks out over using the large knife Jason happened to have on him for the c-section.
A motorcycle accident victim comes in. Dr. Julian treats him and pages Patrick to help with the victim's head injury.
Back in the elevator, Jason puts on gloves and gets ready to perform an emergency c-section on an unconscious patient, with absolutely no medical assistance or expertise. As you do.
Back in the ER, Patrick wants to send the motorcycle patient to OR 1, but Jolene explains Robin has it on hold for Stacey. Patrick assholes that "No, we're using OR 1. Dr. Scorpio does not get to hold this hospital hostage because she's emotionally involved." WHO IS THIS PERSON? Why is he being such a dick? Why did they do a spin-off just to take away all the likable characteristics of the previously super-hot Dr. Drake? Also, it's the middle of the night and all the other ORs are booked up? How is that possible? And I get that Robin is a bit over-involved in Stacey's case, but is it really unreasonable to hold an OR for her under these circumstances? I'm not understanding all the outrage.
Back in the elevator, Spinelli whips out a lighter to sterilize the knife, explaining that he never leaves home without it and was about to say because he's a big stoner but instead says you never know "when you're gonna wanna make some delicious s'mores." All right, that was pretty funny. Jason glares at him. Also pretty funny. Jason sterilizes the knife. I may use it to cut my wrists, because this Jason/Spinelli scene was the most enjoyable part of the entire episode.
In the basement, Billy Dee almost got the elevator running, but no dice. Stan tries to too, but no luck.
In the elevator, Jason cuts Stacey open while Spinelli yammers instructions from the website.
Ford's office: Ford and the lawyer want to know why Robin was so involved in Stacey's case, given that she's not an ob-gyn. They haven't worried up until now that she was a research physician who suddenly was scrubbing in on brain surgeries. And perhaps they should ask similar questions about the anesthesiologist and cardiac surgeon who do regular ER shifts?
Back outside the elevator, Robin is keeping everyone on hold for Stacey -- Drs. Lee and Archer, Epiphany, and assorted randoms. It's a lot of people hanging out doing nothing, but in the Grey's Anatomy episode in which George got stuck in an elevator and had to perform a surgery he'd never done before on a patient he was stuck in there with (not that Night Shift is derivative!), there were even more doctors waiting around, so again, I don't know that this is so out of line. What's the alternative -- that the elevator starts working again and all the doctors are scatttered about the hospital, unable to immediately assist the patient (about to be patients) for whom every second counts? I think this episode was meant to make me think Robin is out of control with her over-identification with Stacey, but if so it wasn't successful.
Back inside the elevator, there's lots of blood. Ugh. Jason pulls the baby out. Jason and Spinelli are thrilled, until they realize the baby isn't breathing. And with that, a TO BE CONTINUED pops up. I thought the point of Night Shift was to have stand-alone episodes? But then I also thought the point was to expand characters who didn't get enough time on regular GH, and to highlight the popular relationship between Patrick and Robin. And I thought maybe this week we'd find out if Alternate Reality Maxie was alive or dead. So clearly I'm ill-informed on a number of levels.
Over the closing credits, the SoapNet announcer guy enthusiastically informs viewers that there will be a marathon of every Night Shift episode so far, this Sunday at 2pm. So if you're feeling the need to spiral into a depression over the quality of soaps today, you know where to go.