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« Our Latest Soap Opera Digest Column | Main | At Least This Is More Interesting Than the Show...Though Not by Much »

July 24, 2008

Night Shift Episode 1: Crash

I'm not saying it was perfect, but this season premiere of Night Shift did nothing to diminish my optimism about the second go-around for this show that previously led me to question the continuing necessity for cable television.  There are obviously things that are skewing my viewpoint, including but not limited to the nearly naked appearance of national treasure Antonio Sabato Jr., and Patrick and Robin's banter making a welcome return.  So please know that I understand that the show is not, like, an actual high-quality primetime drama.  But compared to the boring crap we're subjected to every afternoon, it is far superior.  If the rest of the episodes are like this, I am going to find it very difficult to be entertaining and by the end may just resort to photo-essays of Jagger and Patrick, interspersed with love poems to the new head writer and executive producer including pleas that they stage a coup of OG GH.  And yes, I know most of you guys would probably prefer that.

On with the show.


Robin and Patrick are stretched out in post-HavingTheSex bliss (I've developed an aversion to the word "coital") on her couch, and he says he feels like he's in high school. 


Robin: Please don't tell me you were having sex with pregnant girls in high school.
Patrick:  No....Not pregnant girls as hot as you, of course.

Hee! One line in and I laughed.  I don't know how to react to that, unusual a situation as it is with soaps these days.  Patrick and Robin banter a bit more about high school, and then about couch shopping because Robin's is apparently not comfortable for nooners. 


I almost had a heart attack thinking we were going to have to relive that horrible ongoing argument Patrick and Robin had last year over the couch in his apartment, but it turns out Patrick is totally fine with buying a couch together -- just not shopping together.  I am so with him on that.  Shopping is my private time!  If you ever read me blogging about shopping with a guy, you will know I have truly fallen.

Anyway, they flirt adorably and make out some more.  Adorable adorableness.  I have missed this version of Patrick and Robin!

Side note:  Kimberly McCullough looks fantastic.  The OG GH hair and makeup crew seems to go out of their way to make her look tired and as if she has her hair cut in a garage somewhere for five dollars, whereas the Night Shift folks are clearly committed to making her look gorgeous:


Get it, girl.

At General Hospital -- on a new set that is pretty cool -- Epiphany is complaining about her job and the dude who plays Dr. Ford is overacting.  Wow, what progress from last season!  Epiphany is bitching about not wanting to do interviews for an orderly position.  Dr. Ford says whatever, hire someone, and walks away.  Epiphany talks to herself about how great she is and how she should just take off and leave these losers to fend for themselves, when who should show up and ask for the orderly job but....


Billy Dee! Lando, my man!

A new blond female intern (whom we will later learn is Claire) runs into the locker room wearing a wench's costume, causing a new blond male intern (whom we will later learn is Kyle) to ask, "Which way to the jousting ring?" 


Claire is a little snarky and replies "What?  Oh, right.  Um, I think it's somewhere between a human chess board and my dignity, far far away" while she gets undressed.  Ha.  They continue to banter back and forth, mostly with her bitching about how there are no good men out there and including the phrase "I mean, I'm a fricking doctor!".  (BTW, her date was apparently at a Renaissance Faire, and I don't have enough space to elaborate, but suffice it to say that I think if Renn Faire attendance replaced the death penalty, you would see far fewer murders in this country.)  If you didn't see the scene, watch a Grey's Anatomy re-run to catch up, because Claire=Izzy.  Carrie Southworth, who plays Claire, even looks like Katherine Heigl, to the point that I'm pretty sure they have identical bodies (yes, they are "rockin'" bods, for the one straight guy reading this recap).   

Their conversation ends when "Dr. Leo Julian" comes into the locker room to greet his interns.  The quotes are because 1) apparently Dominic Rains wanted to do a play instead of this season of NS (Who can blame him after last year, really?  It could be an elementary school play about dental hygiene and it would be preferable to another 10 or so episodes of that.) so they recast his role with his real-life brother, and 2) as you'll see, this version of Dr. Julian is a prick who doesn't resemble the character we've seen off and on for over a year. 

"Dr. Julian" hopes everyone is dressed and ready to go, because there's "nothing [he] hates more than ugly naked people."  He lost a bet while drinking and therefore has to supervise these interns, and he's not happy about it.  His three rules for the people he's supposed to be mentoring are super-snottily conveyed as: 


1) only speak to him when he addresses you directly
2) don't be stupid, and
3) don't be stupid. 

Hey, those are my rules for dating!  The interns follow "Leo" off on rounds, but not before Kyle ties in their earlier convo by telling Claire that she might recognize Dr. Julian as the one at the Renn Faire "with a jousting pole stuck up his ass."  Nicely done, new guy.

Patrick and Robin try to sneak into work late (they were slowed by the weight of their hotness), but Dr. Ford of course calls them out.  (BTW, why are these two even working the night shift?  Last year it was punishment, but I guess this year we're just supposed to believe that a pregnant research specialist and a brain surgeon prefer evening ER shifts to cushy day ones in their chosen specialties?  Huh.)  Patrick claims Robin needed him for a consult, and Robin says "Trust me, it didn't take him that long."  Sly one.  I like these writers.  They divvy up the cases on the board (Complete with banter.  Welcome back, banter!) and head off to their first patients.  But just as they separate and Patrick turns around, a car crashes through the windows near the nurses' station and sends people and stuff flying everywhere.



With that we cut to the theme song, which they have mercifully made shorter and far less cheesy this season.

The car and debris have knocked several people out, including Robin.  Patrick has rushed to her and starts barking orders for Kyle to help him take care of her. 


Elsewhere amidst the chaos, the woman driving the runaway car stumbles out of it and looks completely wasted, as does her passenger.  "Dr. Julian" is unsuccessfully giving a patient CPR when a pretty young doctor comes over and does the same move on the dude's chest that Fonzie used to do to the jukebox at Arnold's.  The patient, of course, wakes right up.  "Dr. Julian" assholes that her move "is not too bad for an intern," and Dr. Not an Intern says she's actually Dr. Saira Batra, a visiting fellow.

Robin wakes up on a gurney, saying Patrick's name.  Patrick lists the barrage of tests they need to do on her.  Dr. Ford weirdly enters the scene and overdramatically and awkwardly asks if anyone else needs medical attention.  I did not find this odd because I find all of Dr. Ford's scenes to be weird, overdramatic, and awkward, but Kyle says "Oh my god!," so apparently there is something wrong.


....Yeah, there is.  Dr. Ford has a big-ass piece of window sticking out of his jugular.  Patrick hotly tells him they're getting him a gurney and to just look at him


...but at that moment Dr. Ford -- the experienced doctor -- feels the glass and pulls it right on out.  Blood goes everywhere, and Dr. Ford cartoonishly goes down.  It is hard for me to explain, let alone capture with screencaps, how unconvincing this performance was.  It was irritatingly so, yet also therefore hilarious.






I have not been this simultaneously annoyed and amused at the same time since last weekend when a guy at a bar called me a cougar.  (He said it was a compliment!  And he's my age!  What the hell?!) 

Anyhoo, during the commercial break, Dr. Ford died.  It's the next morning, and Patrick is thanking everyone for their hard work, congratulating them on saving everyone the night before.  Everyone except poor, dead, overacting Dr. Ford.  They all vow to get back to work, just like Dr. Ford would have bellowed overdramatically at them to.

Patrick:  Oh, and real quickly, the board chose a temporary replacement for Chief. 
"Leo":  Who?
  Well it's...it's me. 

Everyone claps while I laugh.  Patrick is barely out of adolescence (and emotionally, well, that's questionable).  Even on a soap, his being Chief of Staff is ridiculous.  But whatever, it will give me probably my only opportunity in life to detail the various things a hospital's Chief of Staff does hotly, so I'll go with it.

Patrick goes in to Robin's hospital room. 


She says he's checked her vitals like 10 times already today, and wants to know how the meeting went.  He hotly says, promo-style, that "it's official, you're sleeping with the Chief of Staff."  Robin tells him "that's amazing."  Well, one girl's "amazing" is another's "patently absurd."  To each her own.

Dr. Lee has cleared Robin to go back to work, so she gets up starts to get dressed (Without getting a second opinion?  Kelly could have just been trying to clear that room so she could have sex with one of the new interns!  Use your head, Robin.).  She talks about going back to work, but Patrick says he thinks she should take some time off work.  Like until she has the baby.  Robin, understandably, thinks he must be joking, and asks if he wants her "home, barefoot and pregnant?"  He sheepishly (hotly, really, sexism aside) says no, she can wear shoes.  Hee.  He's clearly worried about her, which Robin appreciates, even though she says he's concerned in "[his] own, quintessentially sexist way," but she and the baby will be fine, thanks.  He then drops the bomb that he's "relieving [her] of [her] duties."  Robin and I share a reaction:


Damn, Patrick.  That is so not hot.

The gaggle of interns are on rounds with "Dr. Julian."  Claire is the only one who doesn't volunteer to present a patient's case, so of course "Leo" picks her, and of course she makes a mistake.  Kyle jumps in to help her so he and "Leo" get into a dick-measuring contest that you've seen surgeons get into on a thousand other medical shows, but this one is thankfully ended by Dr. Batra jumping in to say that actually, she's got everything handled, she's going to treat the patient with acupuncture.  "Dr. Julian" thinks this is "ridiculous," so she dresses him down a bit in front of his students.  It's kind of awesome, but there is something about the delivery of the actress playing Dr. Batra that I think is going to bug me over the run of this show.  She's very pretty, though, and I am shallow, so the annoyance will probably take a while to sink in.

Patrick and Robin continue their argument on foot in the halls of the hospital, with Patrick explaining he's not firing her, he's just putting her on maternity leave a few months early.  Yeah, that's an argument.  Robin is trying to put her cute red wedges on, but her pregnant feet are swollen.  Upset about this and the whole my-boyfriend-is-being-a-paternalistic-asshole thing, she threatens to sue.  But she interrupts to stick her leg out with a cute plea for help with her shoe.  It's adorable, and Patrick hotly helps her. 


The argument resumes and is capped off with this well-delivered dig by Kimberly McCullough:

Robin:  And I do have a priority of bringing this child safe and healthy into this world.  Which is why I'm leaving now. Because if I don't, this child will be born behind bars.
Patrick:  Because you're gonna...
Robin:  Murder its father, yes.
Patrick: O...Okay, well then yeah, you should go home, just relax and I'll see you there.

Ha!  Robin says no he won't, she's changing the locks.  Patrick looks appropriately, hotly chagrined. 


We will later learn that it's actually more like he was un-hotly frustrated, because he still doesn't see the error of his position, but "hotly chagrined" has a nice ring to it.

The woman who drove her car into the hospital (Alice) is now Patrick's patient. 


Alice is polite and contrite and doesn't understand why Patrick is asking her what drugs or amount of booze she was on.  Patrick unprofessionally (though understandably) rants at her about her irresponsibility, but Epiphany butts in -- for once usefully -- with a lab report showing the patient's blood tests came back clean.

It's now morning, and Patrick sheepishly comes into Robin's tres cute apartment, carrying coffee and breakfast.  He starts hotly setting the table, talking to Robin in the bedroom.


Patrick: Robin?  Thought you might have had the door booby-trapped.  But I'm sure you're feeling better, right?  After a good night sleep, I hope.  Trust me, you're not going to want to come back to work after this baby's born.  But that's all right, because it's up to you.  It's your body, it's your career.  You are woman, hear you roar.  So why don't you get that sexy body out here and let me hear you roar.

...at which point the bedroom door opens, and I literally squealed with glee at the obvious highlight of this episode.   You know you were waiting for this moment from the first time you saw the promo; don't lie.  Here you go:


Jagger: Thanks, but uh, aren't you going to buy me dinner first?

IT'S JAGGER!  IN A TOWEL!  Being funny!  Oh, Antonio Sabato Jr., it's your fault I sit through General Hospital every day, but believe me, all is forgiven.  And then some. 

Gratuitous additional Jagger screencap alert:


Patrick wants to know who the hell this guy is and what the hell he's doing coming out of Robin's shower.  At this point Robin arrives, happy that the two of them have met. 

Patrick: Robin, why the hell is there a half-naked man coming out of your bedroom?!

Ours is not to question why, Patrick. 

Robin introduces Jagger, prompting Patrick to hilarious and hotly question "what's a Jagger?"  Jagger says it's his name and starts to put on a shirt, which an increasingly agitated Patrick points out is actually his. 


I think my near-stalkerish dedication to Jason Thompson and his hotness needs no further documentation, so you know this comes from a place of love:  Come on.  There is no way that Patrick and Jagger wear even remotely the same size!  Antonio Sabato Jr. is freaking built!  Jason Thompson is hotly super-slim!  I have no idea why this is bothering me.  I need to get re-centered in order to continue the recap.


That's better.

Robin clears up the confusion, explaining that Jagger is Stone's older brother.  Patrick realizes he's been acting crazy and so goes the other direction by being OTT manly, saying he's glad Jagger wasn't a burglar, because he would have had to "mess [him] up."  Shyeah, right, Patty.  (Though kudos to Jason Thompson for his hilarious delivery.)

Jagger is in town after 13 (!) years because he had a meeting in Albany and thought he would stop by to say hello to old friends. He's a super-hot FBI agent now. 

Gratuitous Jagger screencap alert:


Robin thinks Jagger brought the great breakfast but Patrick pissily points out it was him.  Robin says it's not getting him out of the doghouse and she and Jagger sit down to eat.  Patrick says he has work to do in the bedroom (Um...I will let that joke opportunity pass, but believe me it was difficult to do so.) and leaves with a "dude, put some pants on."  Patrick is jealous, and it's hilarious.  Robin and Jagger think so too.

Kyle and Claire have a convo in the hallway at GH. 


Claire is upset she's off to a bad start with the higher-ups, and Kyle provides a shoulder to whine on.   Yawn.

"Leo" walks into the locker room as Dr. Batra is in her bra and boyshorts.  "Leo" is flustered by her; she is unimpressed by him. He formally introduces himself and she says her fellowship is in holistic medicine.  He refers to her chosen specialty as "potions and spells."  That's not going to get you into those boyshorts, dude.  They argue about the mind-body connection and how "Leo" was kind of a dick to his patient. 


Clearly these two are going to get together.  I don't think I care.

Jagger catches Robin up about San Francisco, Karen's death, what it's like to be so smokin' hot that you burn a hole in the couch, etc.  He remains insanely sexy while doing so:


Patrick interrupts to take off for the hospital; he has to go figure out what's up with the not-drunk driver.  He hotly kisses Robin goodbye.  She humors him by saying she's just going to hang out with Jagger a bit and then head to bed early.  Patrick's not really buying it.  Which he shouldn't, because as soon as he leaves, she's up and about, telling Jagger she's going to work, Patrick be damned.

Patrick is in Alice's hospital room, trying to diagnose her.  Nothing he can think of seems to be the problem.  Meanwhile, Robin sneaks into the hospital.  (In a trenchcoat.  In upstate New York.  In July.  Okay.)  Her key card isn't working, and she thinks Patrick locked her out, but it turns out she's just flustered.  Saira helps her out.  It turns out these two were friends in med school. 


Robin:  I mean, it's 2008.  We practically had a female president.  How does he not get that a woman has just as many rights as a man in the workplace?
Saira:  You have not changed at all.
Robin:  What?
Saira:  This is just like med school.  When you'd get all up in arms about abortion, or euthanasia, or...remember setting all the animals free from the research lab?
Robin:  Well, yes.  The mice deserved better.

Cute.  I'm glad that even though Kelly and Lainey aren't on this season, Robin will have at least one girlfriend.  Also, kudos to these writers for being able to have characters talk about "controversial" subjects without getting all soapboxy and annoying.

They have a couple more nice girl-bonding moments, in which Saira hints to Robin that maybe she likes to fight a little bit too much.  She must like it, she's been doing it for 98% of the last two years.  Effing OG GH writers.

Billy Dee and Epiphany catch up in the elevator, which this season is blessedly not some creepy metaphorical device.  (Epiphany hired Billy Dee for the orderly position.)  He was out on the road with The Saints but it was rough so he's back, hoping for a career in medicine.  Nothing about that scene was dirty or creepy, so already the writing for Toussaint is ten times better than last year.

Robin is outraged that her patients have been transferred to other doctors.  Patrick, who seems unsurprised but irritated to see her, explains that he reassigned them when she went on leave.  She correctly points out she did no such thing.  She sets off to find some patients.

She finds Alice, who is schmoopily reading out loud with her fiance (Gary).  Robin is about to go over Alice's MRI results, when Patrick comes in and explains the negative results to Alice.  Alice is upset that they can't find anything wrong with her and starts saying that maybe she's crazy, at which point she starts to have a stroke.

Gary is outside Alice's room, talking to Robin.  He's clearly distraught, but Robin says at least Alice had the stroke in the hospital.  Looking back, it turns out she had symptoms and had probably had several smaller strokes over the last couple of days.  Gary wants to know what this all means.  Robin says Alice has a long road to recovery ahead of her, starting with emergency brain surgery.

"Leo" wants to scrub in on Alice's brain surgery, but Patrick says the interns already have it covered.  This sends "Leo" into a rage (Seriously, when the fuck did Leo get a personality transplant?  All he needed was to cut the ponytail off, y'all!  It was his only major flaw!) in which he insults Claire ("You're wasting your time, sweetie, he's really not into you").  Claire heads into the OR, while "Leo" and Kyle argue.  It's evident from the verbal jabs that they know each other well. They then get into a fist fight.  Professional!

During Alice's surgery, Robin assists and Patrick hotly teaches/quizzes Claire.  Cut to after the surgery, when an exhausted Patrick comes into his Chief of Staff office to deal with "Leo" and Kyle.  They continue bickering like 8-year-olds, until Patrick shuts them up.  He's disappointed in his friend "Leo," and wants to know who this other kid making the bad first impression is.  So he looks at the guy's folder, and his name is...Kyle Julian!  Leo, the short Persian guy, says the tall blond Nordic guy next to him is his brother.  Patrick is as incredulous as I am, and just kicks them out, with a final word to knock the fighting shit off.  (He says "crap," not "shit," but he's prettier than I am, so I should be courser.)

Kyle runs into Claire at the vending machines.  She gives him a soda to cool down his black eye. 


Claire brings up the awkward "he's not into you" moment with Leo and says "You're gay, right?"  And yes, he is.  So this is slightly different from Grey's Anatomy, in that there are two interns who are unlikely to ever have sex with each other.  Congrats on that.

Robin sits beside a post-operative Alice, and discovers a note from Gary.  She catches him as he is leaving the hospital.  He says he can't do this, he's too young, this wasn't supposed to happen, etc.  (Dear last season's writers, this is a much subtler way to parallel Robin's fear of abandonment and HIV concerns than anything and everything you tried.)  Robin tells him to get over himself, because when you love someone you love everything, and he can't leave Alice.  Gary apologizes, but leaves.

The next morning, Robin comes home from work to find Patrick hotly napping on the couch. 


She wakes him and thanks him for "always sticking by [her], for never bailing, even when things get rough."  I don't know that that's an accurate play-by-play of their relationship, but whatever, it was a cute conversation.  They kiss.  The cuteness continues:

Robin:  Look, I admit that there is a part of what you're saying that's valid.
Patrick:  Uh-huh..
Robin:  A part.  But this is a big decision, and you can't make it for me.
Patrick: And you can't make it without me.  Robin, when I saw you, lying unconscious on the floor...
Robin: Hey, it's okay.  I'm okay.
Patrick: I know.  But I didn't know what was going to happen to you.  I didn't know what was going to happen to our baby.  And I thought, you know what, we're a family now, and it's about time we start making decisions like one.
Robin:  Okay.

That is the most mature conversation these two have had in a year. 

They kiss, and Patrick complains about the "crappy sofa."  Robin says their first decision is...and Patrick finishes her sentence to say that they'll go shopping for a new sofa together.  They make out but are interrupted by a knock at the door.

It's Jagger!  Lamentably fully clothed, but with someone he wants Robin to meet:  His son Stone!  Stone is absolutely adorable.


(He actually looks a lot like the woman who played Karen, though I'm not sure Karen is little Stone's mother?)  Robin is blown away and says it is so nice to meet him.  Stone doesn't respond.  Then we jump to next week's previews, in which it looks like Stone has some kind of condition -- maybe autism?  It will tickle me to no end if this new-to-daytime head writer comes in and does an autism storyline ten times more interesting than Dena Higley is doing on Days right now.  Not that that would be hard.

Oops, a little spite seeped in at the end there.  Get out, residual daytime soap bitterness!  You're spoiling my Night Shift buzz.   Hang on:


Phew.  I'm fine now. 


I love you. I've been watching GH since I was a little girl with my mom, but the first storylines I really fell in love with were back in the Jagger/Karen/Brenda/Jason/Stone/Robin etc. days. I FLOVED this episode and man I wish these writers could be on the OG GH.

However, your recap made me love the ep even more. I loved out loud at least ten times.

So happy to see Scrubs being awesome again. And like everyone else, I loved Patrick's reactions to Jagger. I've been watching KMac since we were both little girls and what OG GH does to the character of Robin now pisses me off so much, but this nearly made up for that.

I so agree with this recap! It had flaws, it wasn't the most amazing thing to grace my screen ever, but when compared to GH or NS1 is was GOLD! I loved it so, so, so much! These were the Robin and Patrick I'm proud to be a fan of! And the guy knows his GH history, I may not have watched back in the day to know Tania Jones but it was awesome on two fronts: 1) history nod and 2) its my name, with an 'i' not a 'y' so extra awesome! Plus seeing Jason Thompson is always awesome, so how much more so when its GOOD writing, much more so let me tell you, I don't cringe constantly while also oogling JT! You guys can have your ASJ, I'll keep JT thankyouverymuch!
And to conclude I'll follow the lead and say:
SUCK IT GUZA! *whispers, "Please don't let me regret that"*

you guys, i think they are trying to recreate patrick and robin with nuLeo and that holistic doctor. not that they should be. Dominic Rains would have been great in that shirtless "dr. leo" scene too.

don't know why they brought back the character of dr leo julian if they were going to give him a personality transplant..this is not the same dr julian who attempted to ease maxie's fears by giving her guitar lessons..where is the 'quirkiness'?? this guy just comes off a as a jerk, much like Podpatrick from ns1..we should have just gotten a whole new character instead..otherwise, loved ns2..

Did u hear Dena Higley quit?


Did anyone notice when Robin and Patrick were at the elevator she hit the button to go up and the bottom light came on? haha

Ok, I'll go there - hello Dr. Scorpio's ladies!!!! KMc has said on several occasions that she has "cutlets" in her bra to make her bigger, but my god - she's huge! JT must really be loving NS2 :-)

NS proved a few things to me.

a) Guza is a hack and I'll leave it at that.

b) Scrubs is my main motivation for watching the mess that is GH.

c) I always knew that Robin and Patrick had the potential to actually act like the adults that they are but seeing it was amazing.

After last year I never thought I'd say this but bring on Night Shift!

NS2 is 1000000000 times better than edition 1

I'm sorry girls. MAYBE NS2 was good after the Patrick diabtribe. I have no ideal though - it was so chauvenistic that I threw my TV out the window, went outside, stomped on it and then burned in in my fire pit.

I absolutely cannot believe that they intentionally write that shit. I do like someone's take about the "relationship" growing and exploring how they both perceive parenthood - but I would have slapped the stupid out of my boyfriend if he came to me with that crap.

Seriously - I love the Scrubs. JP and KMcM are amazing - but regardless of their on screen chemistry - I am so over the horrible writing for this couple. I could give a rats ass what Patrick "was" - if the writers would put the crack pipe down - they'd realize - over the years they have given him story line after story line to help him grow.

Honestly - it's not that drugs kill you - it's the fact that you may very well live and be a COMPLETE idiot the rest of your lives that people should worry about.

A gay doctor in Port Charles! Finally!
You nailed some of the show's flaws (new-Leo being totally different, Patrick as chief of staff) but I totally loved Dr. Ford's death. It was unpredictable and creepy. This show looks far more focused than NS1. And NO MOBSTERS! And a gay doctor! And hot, less naggy Robin! And Shirtless Jagger!
My only wish is to see some of the older docs (like Monica Q) on the show.
NS2 keeps it's spot on my Tivo season pass list.

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