Night Shift Episode 7: Mother's Day
PREVIOUSLY on General Hospital: Night Shift: Maxie effing flatlined! And nobody mentioned it in the next episode! What the hell, show? I simply must know if she, you know, DIED while people blithely embarrassed themselves and their future progeny by making herky jerky movements set to a lame cover of "Dancing in the Streets" in a poor attempt to juxtapose "Life in crisis!" with "Life goes on! With music!" That really offended me far, far more than I can put into words. The dropping the ball on Maxie, I mean, not the bad dancing, although that was offensive in its own way.
On the last episode of Night Shift, the show followed the lead of one the shows it blatantly rips off by having someone perform surgery in an elevator; it followed the lead of another of the shows it blatantly rips off by titling an episode "Love's Labors" and featuring an emergency c-section performed by someone unqualified to do the operation (of course, NS differs from ER in that the hitman/janitor on Night Shift did a better C-section than the medical doctor on ER. And also, the "Love's Labor Lost" episode of ER was one of the most brilliant, heart wrenching episodes of television ever); Billy Dee Williams was cruelly betrayed by his elevator, which was broken no doubt by MYSTERIOUS FIGURE; Patrick was a dick; Robin was oversensitive, jealous and allegedly overinvolved in Stacy's case; much in the manner of only Patrick hearing "When The Saints Go Marching In", only Robin was able to see that Leyla pretty much sucks at her job.
In Dr. Ford's office, Kelly talks about how the labor was supposed to go [read: not like this]. The lawyer helpfully exposits that, since Stacy has HIV, precautions would need to be taken to protect the baby from HIV. Wow, this is the first time I had heard that Stacy is HIV positive! Kelly agrees with that assessment and says that, what with the whole "stuck in the elevator in grave danger" thing, all bets are off.
Like the end of last week's episode, in the doomed elevator, Spinelli is using the flashlight to help guide Jason through the delivery process. Pulling a number of hideous faces, Jason strives mightily to do it over the unconscious and deathly pale body of Stacy. Jason eventually gets the baby out and holds the bloody girl in his arms. Spinelli beams like a proud father and starts spinelliing about how she's sweet, if a little slimy. In unison, their faces fall as they both realize that the baby isn't breathing.
Downstairs, Stan and Billy Dee Williams are working on the elevator, when Epiphany visits to see if they'd like some water. Stan is dismissive and tells her that they're way too busy to be concerned with stuff like "hydration" and "their health" and Epiphany lectures that "you get a long way in this world with good old fashioned determination". A noble statement, sure, but it seems trite to say to someone trying to fix an elevator so that they can save a woman who just had an operation performed on her by a mafia hitman. There's a time and a place for everything, Pipster, and when someone's life is in mortal danger, it's not a good idea to start spouting off quotes you saw on a needlepoint somewhere.
Back in the elevator, the baby finally starts to cry. Jason and Spinelli relax for a nanosecond and smile, while Spinelli seems like he's three seconds away from bursting into tears. He starts to hyperventilate with glee, and his euphoria is interrupted by Jason pointing out that they'll need to figure out what to do with the afterbirth. He freaks at the very prospect. Jason has him hold the baby, and he introduces himself as, sigh, "The Jackal, apprentice to Stone Cold". Luckily, Jason shares my frustration and screams at Spinelli to get onto the computer and figure out what to do next because Stacy is bleeding a whole lot.
Outside of the elevator, Robin frets and asks Epiphany how long it will take. Um, earth to Dr. Scorpio: if you want your question answered with anything but derision and annoyances, you don't go to Epiphany. Duh. Epiphany says it will take as long as it takes. There's some business about a nurse asking Regina and Jolene to cover for her which seems like a great idea to make sure that someone gets operated on for the wrong reason, and Epiphany blusters in response that Regina and Jolene are not RNs in a tone of voice that makes it sound like she's saying Regina and Jolene are barely capable of doing simple math. Oblivious, the two of them wonder if Stacy and the baby survive.
In Patrick's OR, he and Dr. Julian are operating. They bicker, and Dr. Julian makes an offhand remark about "Dr. Scorpio's patient", to which Patrick snaps that Stacy Sloan is NOT Robin's patient. Drama drama drama!
Downstairs, Ms. Sneed stalks up and screams at the group assembled outside of the elevator to end it now. Robin, a full three feet shorter than Sneed, screams that they aren't ending anything.
Back in the elevator, Spinelli is freaking out and even Jason seems worried; he says that this is not normal and says he's going to put a towel inside her to stop the bleeding. I know he's doing what he has to do, but still, ew. Spinelli checks to see if she has a pulse, but he doesn't answer.
Dramatic cut to Stan and Billy Dee: Billy Dee is still working
Outside the elevator: Sneed sneers that the debacle WAS a well intentioned effort, but that it failed, and she brusquely tells Kelly and Andy to go elsewhere. Andy says that he won't go and Sneed has a total meltdown and screams, like a raving lunatic, that "that mother and child are already dead!" Robin looks horrified. Dr. Ford strides over and sarcastically asks Ms. Sneed if she got a medical degree while he wasn't looking. Epiphany smirks happily as she watches Dr. Ford dress Ms. Sneed down in his overacting way, much as she always does when she sees another human being embarrassed in public.
There are lots of quick dramatic cuts from the elevator (Spinelli stutters that he cant feel a pulse as Jason frantically [or, you know, as frantically as Jason does anything which is...pretty robotically] does CPR) to the basement (Billy Dee implores Stan to pick a...thing to fix the elevator, and tells Stan he thinks they'll get lucky) to outside the elevator (Robin thanks Dr. Ford for backing them on this) to the basement (Stan picks a thing) to inside the elevator (Spinelli says "Hold on Maternal One, your baby needs you". Oh, Spinelli. Much like MC Skat Kat, you continue to take two steps forward and then two steps back) to the basement (Stan clasps his hand, and Billy Dee stands stoically and suavely) to outside the elevator (Robin is freaking and repeating over and over that "they're going to make it". Ford wonders, in a very tasteful way, how long mother and baby have to survive; Robin doesn't answer because she gleefully notes that the elevator is working. Hurrah and hurray!)
In the future, in Dr. Ford's office: Epiphany notes that Dr. Ford okayed Robin's plan. The hospital attorney asks if that was standard procedure, to which Epiphany darkly replies "there was nothing standard about the procedure tonight".
In the past, downstars: a medical flurry! Spinelli hands the baby to a nurse, Kelly asks Jason what in the name of all that is good and holy happened, and he tells her that he performed the surgery. She tells him he did great. Of course he did, he's Jason! Robin wants to scrub in on Stacy's surgery, but Kelly tells her that she's too close to it and Kelly doesn't have time to argue with her. Obviously displeased, Robin turns to Jason and asks how he did it; Jason says he did it with a knife; Robin flips her shit and screams at him, wondering why he couldn't have waited. Oh, Robin. Watching you this episode is so uncomfortable.
Epiphany is at the nurse's station and Patrick is hanging around, rattling off medical terms that may or may not be real, before asking for Andy. Epiphany tells him that he's with Dr. Lee; they exchange a glance. She proudly says that her son got the elevator to work, and she fills Patrick in, saying that the baby and Stacy are both okay. He's silent and then asks for test results. As he stalks away, he looks inside the elevator and sees blood everywhere and very dramatically says "Oh my god."
Catfight in seriously ill woman's room! Kelly and Robin are snippy with each other. Robin obnoxiously questions Kelly's techniques and wonders if the baby is going to die. Patrick walks in and tells Robin that she's out of line, and Kelly agrees that the whole conversation is out of line. Robin thinks she should have been there to help Stacy.
Downstairs, a pregnant lady comes into the ER. Leyla rushes over to her aid and asks how far along she is. The patient says she's not in labor, but that something is wrong.
Upstairs, Kelly tells Patrick and Robin that the operation was textbook, as Leyla rushes up and tells Kelly about the new patient. Kelly asks Patrick to take care of Stacy, and Robin has another tantrum, yelling that Kelly is abandoning Stacy in her time of need. Patrick reads her the riot act and she screams right back at him about how she hates having her medical opinion discounted. She sighs heavily and looks into Stacy's room.
As uncomfortable as it is to watch Robin and Patrick fight so much, Kimberly McCullough and Jason Thompson really brought their A-games in this episode. It makes you wonder why they are so under utilized on the OG GH...
Elswhere, Stan is sitting with his laptop when Epiphany walks up to him. He's calculating the odds of doing the right thing at the right time leading to a perfect outcome. Or something--I think that's the gist of it, but I get so distracted by his hair that I often have a hard time getting anything out of Stan scenes. Epiphany says that he's always been curious, and she pats his shoulder before he leaves. I am completely shocked at this display of physical affection. Stan says, "That's it?" and I start to think he has a point--if I helped Billy Dee Williams fix an elevator that led to a woman and her baby being rescued after a C-section performed by a hitman and his geeky sidekick, I would hope that my mother would give me a hug. But hilariously, he follows up with "No lecture?" Yes, that does seem to be more her speed than a hug. She tells him to finish up his break and get back to work.
Jason and Spinelli rush to the nursery, and the baby is just being taken out to go to Stacy's room, so that she's there when Stacy regains consciousness. Spinelli says that the baby is protected by something supernatural and Jason says that she looks good and clean. Spinelli tells Jason that they need to work on expanding his vocabulary--at this, Jason starts to raise an eyebrow, confused at a life where there arw words with several syllables--and goes quickly down a shame spiral, saying that he has no room to criticize anything, ever, because Jason heroically saved Stacy and Daughter from the disaster Spinelli created. You see, Billy Dee told him that if you pound the elevator button, it will stall, and in his panic, Spinelli did just that, which he tells Jason is the hallmark of a coward. Jason says that Stacy and the baby would have died without Spinelli, and all they know for certain is that the baby was suffocating and Spinelli told Jason how to save her.
In Stacy's room, Robin is holding the baby and beams when Stacy starts to stir. Robin eagerly tells her to try and wake up which, geez, Robin, the woman just had surgery on an elevator (performed by a hitman, in case we've forgotten), I think she's owed some sleep. Stacy's eyes open and she cries and smiles at the same time, tenderly touching her baby. Patrick watches over this scene unhappily.
Somewhere else, Billy Dee asks if Jason is ready to go back to work. Jason thanks him for getting the elevator to work, and is disturbed by the elevator covered in blood. They dutifully go to clean it up, which Epiphany tells they they don't need to do. Billy Dee tells her that she's very considerate (really, Billy Dee?), but that he has a few hours left on his shift and he likes to stay busy. She proudly tells them both that they were courageous.
In Stacy's room, Robin says that she's doing perfect, and tells Stacy that Jason saved the baby's life. Outside of Stacy's room, Leyla watches as Regina approaches her. There are issues bubbling beneath the surface and the scene ends with Leyla stalking away. It would probably have been a better scene if I cared about either of them.
Somewhere else, Jolene approaches "Mr. Jackal", who is embarrassed to be wearing scrubs that don't fit his usual "style and panache". O...kay. She sweetly tells him that he and Jason were wonderful, and Spinelli immediately says that Jason was the true hero. Jolene gently points out that he couldn't have done it alone, but Spinelli says that all he did was read from a website and jam the elevator in the first place. Jolene says it's not his fault at all and the hospital is to blame for not having fixed the elevator earlier. She was very, very sweet throughout that entire scene and, sadly, not even compliments from his beloved crush could make him feel better, as he still looks like someone just kicked his puppy. Oh, Spinelli!
In the elevator, Billy Dee and Jason are cleaning up the blood. Billy Dee informs Jason that there was foul play, and it was as though a glass of water was thrown inside the circuit box. Someone wanted the elevator shut down. MYSTERIOUS FIGURE will just not stop with the mayhem!
In Stacy's room, she tells Robin that she wants to tell Jason she said thank you. Robin says she can thank Jason herself, but the words aren't even out before Stacy crashes. Patrick springs into action and orders a crash cart.
In Dr. Ford's office in the future, Patrick explains Stacy's medical condition and tells the lawyer what bleeding out is.
In the past in Stacy's room: the baby is wheeled out, and Spinelli and Jolene watch the team defibrilate and do other medical stuff to Stacy. Robin loks terrified. None of this is working, and Stacy starts to flatline. Robin becomes hysterical, telling Patrick to do defibrilate again, or she will. He calls time of death and Robin says no. He calls it again and she interrupts again, and he screams at her. She starts to attempt to do the defibrilation again, and they scream at each other, culminating in him physically dragging Robin out of the room and her calling him a son of a bitch. He angrily tells her that sometimes, no matter how much you do for a patient, they die, and if Robin doesn't understand that, she doesn't belong in medicine. Ouch.
In Dr. Ford's office in the future: Robin curls up in a chair and recaps for those with short attention spans that Stacy woke up long enough to hold her baby. The lawyer asks if Robin was present; she says she was and that Patrick was the attending. He did everything that he could to save Stacy, and sometimes patients just die. The hollow way she said that really got to me.
In the past, she walks to the nurse's station, in a daze. She thanks Epiphany for everything Pip did to help Stacy, before shyly apologizing for saying or doing anything unprofessional. Epiphany accepts the apology with uncharacteristic grace.
Somewhere, Leyla is stocking supplies and Regina walks in with a cute scarf in her hair that I jut noticed. Love it! She tells Leyla that Stacy died, and Leyla freaks the hell out, saying that Regina must be glad to come in here and tell her that, on top of accusing her of killing Mrs. Storch. Regina starts to say that she's a nurse and just doing her job, and an increasingly creepy Leyla snaps that she's not a nurse yet and that her grades are incredibly low. There's more bickering and the scene ends with Regina coldly and, dare I say it, awesomely, telling Leyla that she's happy to watch her "crash and burn, you stuck up bitch".
In a stairwell, Kelly sits, looking sad. Andy approaches her and very quietly listens as she says that, when the birthing process goes right that it's quite easy. The baby is born, the baby cries, the baby is given a hideous name by his/her parents and is tormented for years. I may have added that last part. Anyway, Kelly admits that she knew Stacy had an issue three weeks ago and the C-section could have been done then. Andy tries to make her feel better by saying that she gave Stacy her options and Stacy made her own choice, but Kelly isn't comforted. She's crying, but her face is freakishly immobile. Last week's chemical peel gone wrong, this week's Botox overdose...what is going on with Minaei Noji?!
Okay, I am just going to say: I really like Andy. I think he's an awkward dork, but he seems very nice and I am always fond of people with impeccable taste in breakfast foods. However, by putting that out there, I have basically just sealed the deal that he will be revealed to be MYSTERIOUS FIGURE. I am completely unspoiled, but I have a track record of liking tertiary characters only to have them turn evil at some point. Like Mercer on Veronica Mars? I loved him and then he turned out to be a serial rapist. Ilan on Top Chef season two? I thought he was great in the beginning and by the end, he was an evil douchebag. So, you know, fair warning and all that.
Back on the actual show, Leyla is still putting supplies away, but she is furious and is throwing them around, which seems dangerous. Patrick walks in and asks if she needs help, before telling her to call him by his first name. Inappropriate! He tells her that Stacy dying had nothing to do with Leyla abandoning her in the elevator with the hitman and the babbling geek, and that this won't go on her record. He then goes on to list all of the qualities that make Leyla awesome, like being the best in the class, intelligent, confident, not cracking under pressure. Holy hell, you guys, the actress playing Leyla is horrible. HORRIBLE. I could barely stand to watch this scene because she was so bad. Even her facial expressions were hackish. Patrick ends the pep talk by telling her to be all that she can be, or whatever, because that's how you help people. I thought you helped people by doing your job and not abandoning patients just because a better one came along, but what do I know?
Here is where the episode totally got to me. See, for all of my misanthropy and general bitchiness, I am actually a huge softy who cries very easily. As a child, I nearly had to be medicated after seeing All Dogs Go To Heaven because I was practically comatose with grief at the end of it, and I am ashamed to say I have not gotten thicker skinned with age. So from here on out, I was watching whilst sniffling.
Outside the nursery, Spinelli watches Stacy's baby and cries as he apologizes to her. He sees a nurse hand another baby to his/her father, and he starts to weep as he apologizes to the baby over and over again. Oh, Spinelli! Bradford Anderson was actually amazing this whole episode, but this scene in particular was pitch perfect.
Elsewhere, Jason and Robin bump into each other. She wonders if Jason had his HIV test (he had), she examines his hands for cuts and open wounds (none), asks if he's wearing gloves (he was), and tells him he has to monitor himself and get another test in 6 months. I hope Spinelli also got tested in between his crying sessions! Robin sits on a gurney and says that Stacy dying is all she can think of--Jason immediately looks like he had been punched and deflates. She feels horrible that he didn't know, and freaks out that he should be furious with her, because she's furious for being so mean to him earlier just because she was mad that Kelly wouldn't let her scrub in on the surgery. Jason, continuing to look like a wreck (major props to Steve Burton, guys), is afraid that she bled to death because of something he did (aww!) and Robin firmly tells him that's not at all what happened, he didn't do anything wrong. He sits on the gurney with her, and rubs her back and tells her she's not hateful. She says she is, and also irrational, unprofressional, and too emotionally involved. Kimberly looks so tiny and heartbroken in this scene! Robin continues that she was selfish and wanted Stacy to live for her, to prove that someone could have HIV and be a mother, because it would mean she could to, and she crumples in a heap on Jason's shoulder, and he holds her as she cries.
In the basement, Billy Dee stares at the circuit box and angrily slams the door shut, heartbroken that someone would tamper with his beloved elevator. He clasps his hand and gasps/cries.
At the nurse's station, Epiphany is telling the Pink Ladies to take Stacy's body down to the morgue, and to show the body respect by not discussing personal business or gossip over her. Stan wanders over, eating an apple, and says that Epiphany is being unnecessarily harsh. Uh, Regina George's thing was hoop earrings and your mother's is obviously being unnecessarily harsh, Stan. Epiphany says that you don't do anyone any favors by having lowered expecations of them. He says "Well, we can't all be as good as you...but we can try". How heartwarming and simultanously boring.
In Dr. Ford's office in the future, Jason is sitting, uncomfortably. The lawyer disbelievingly confirms that Jason is a janitor and asks if he got the community service for a DUI. Jason tells him he shot someone in the foot, which gets a chuckle out of Dr. Ford, that sadistic bastard. The lawyer asks what Jason's day job is and gets the standard "coffee importer" answer. The lawyer confirms that Jason had no medical training and wonders what on earth made him think he could perform a C-section? Well, Lawyer, back when he was Jason Quartermaine, he was going to be a doctor, and he retained his med school knowledge even after his brain was broken, most notably when Nikolas was shot outside of Luke's club ten years ago and Jason performed an emergency tracheotomy in the parking lot. Not that I'm suggesting that Bob Guza rips his own stories off, or anything...
Somewhere else, Dr. Julian, uh, banters with Kelly, which seems odd. He boasts that he had a busy night, with a GSW, 3 stab wounds and someone with a pipe stuck somewhere. Um, ew. He wonders if Patrick is going to operate on their patient, and Patrick responds that he's not stable yet. Kelly tells them to double check, because an extra five minutes could save someone's life. Thank you for that very special message, Blossom.
Spinelli, still clad in scrubs, walks by the elevator doing his very best Michael Cera doing Charlie Brown. Billy Dee tells him not to blame himself for what happened to Stacy; there was a malfunction that had nothing to do with Spinelli. Spinelli says it was all Jason, but Billy Dee asks if Jason could have gone online for instructions. Obviously not, what with his online phobia. Billy Dee suavely tells Spinelli that he, for one, would be proud to ride the elevator with you. What the hell is this elevator metaphor? It's quite disturbing.
Robin is in Stacy's room, crying over her body when the Pink Ladies come to bring Stacy to the morgue. Jolene quietly approaches and said that they need to move Stacy, on Epiphany's orders. Robin wipes her eyes and says to go ahead. She dejectedly walks out and pauses before apologizing to Leyla. Leyla hesitates and says she apologizes, too. Okay, now, correct me if I am wrong, but isn't what Leyla did a pretty big screw up? I mean, taking Robin's inappropriate involvement out of the equation, didn't Leyla do something wrong? Why is she apologizing for pointing out Leyla's mistake? Why did everybody line up this week and last week to praise Leyla and assure her that she's right? Am I taking crazy pills?
Poignant music starts up, which means...MONTAGE TIME!
- In Dr. Ford's office, Jason says he takes full responsibility for what happened. Dr. Ford tells him they aren't accusing him; after all, he did save the child's life, through his "extraordinary, exemplary" actions (vomit). Jason leaves, and looks dazed (I can't tell if that's an emotion or just his usual facial expression), and collapses on the door in angst.
- He immediately sprints (literally! Sprints!) to the roof to watch the awful CGI sunrise. He holds his head in his hand dramatically. The overstated angstiness in this scene would not be out of place in, like, a Celine Dion video.
- Robin sadly watches the Pink Ladies take Stacy's body, as Patrick watches her from afar. She leaves, and he follows her to...the nursery, where she goes to see Stacy's ENORMOUS baby. Honestly, that child's arm was huge. It may have been bigger than Maxie's.
- In Stacy's room, the Pink Ladies prep her for the morgue, and her cover falls off, exposing her body; they all stare at each other. That may have been poignant if any of them could act.
- Robin holds Stacy's baby, who cries. Robin lashed out at everybody who looked at her the wrong way all episode, so I was afraid that the baby crying would push her over the edge, but she took it remarkably well. Patrick watches her through the window.
- Jason is on the roof, shaking his head emotionally.
- Back in the nursery, Robin sees Patrick watching her. She smiles ruefully, and he exhales deeply and half smiles at her. She rocks the baby and closes her eyes.
Q: What has two thumbs and feels really stupid after watching this episode?
A: This girl!
I was really convinced that this would be yet another horrible episode of this show. In all fairness, all of the other episodes have been pretty dreadful, so it was a fair bet to make. But it was actually quite enjoyable.
There were some obvious flaws: I could not possibly be more sick of Jason saving the day than I already am. He always saves the day. Of course he performed the best C-section in the history of C-sections. Of course.
And the Leyla thing really bugs. If they really wanted to highight how irrational Robin was being, why don't you, I don't know, not have Leyla screw up in a major way? Perhaps I'd be more forgiving of this storyline if the actress who plays Leyla wasn't awful, but she is. I mean, when you're lumped in with Regina and Jolene and you are the least convincing actress among them, there's a problem.
And still no freaking Maxie! I know, I know, she's in the previews for next week, but WTF SHOW? SHE FLATLINED TWO WEEKS AGO!!
But overall, the things I like far outweighed the things I hated. The performances this week were absolutely stellar: Kimberly McCullough, Jason Thompson, Steve Burton, Billy Dee Williams and Bradford Anderson were all amazing. Even Dr. Ford stepped up his game and performed like someone in community theater, rather than a third grade class program. Well played, Dr. Ford, well played. The pacing of the episode was great and didn't drag at all; I didn't even look at a clock until it was half over. And I wasn't actually expecting Stacy to die, so that was a surprise to me.
Of course, it's completely possible that this episode was merely decent and only sticks out as good because the other episodes have been so wretched, but I'm feeling unusually charitable, so I'll give it two thumbs up and hope that the quality of the show continues to improve. I'm cautiously optimistic, but I reserve the right to go back to hating it immediately.