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S01.E04: Sometimes it's a Zebra

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A new surgical attending Cole Guthrie joins Angels Memorial with the help of his estranged father and clashes with Leanne over their contrasting approaches to medicine. Also, Christa has a crisis of confidence in the middle of a procedure on her first infant since the loss of her son.

 

 

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One of my favorite episodes since the beginning. Everything was flowing well, imo.

 

Reggie from ER was an ass but I kind of like him anyway.

 

My ship is at "invitation for breakfast" stage. I'm so glad, though, that when she managed the procedure on the kid, Christa shared a look with Leanne and not with Larson. I like their budding friendship, and it made more sense in the context of the episode.

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This was my favorite episode so far because I thought the pacing was better and less frenetic.  I was able to focus more on the characters and their stories.  They do final scenes well, like the mother and son from last week and the mother and child this week.

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Anyone know who was playing Chef, I'm watching now and it's really bugging me.

Was it Tony Shalhoub?  It looked like him.

 

I haven't posted yet, I've just been lurking.  I'm actually enjoying this show.  Maybe because my family is watching so many supernatural type of shows right now (Shield, Sleepy Hollow, Arrow, Gotham, Grimm, etc) that this is a nice change.  I haven't watched a show set in a hospital since ER, so I guess it was time for me and I'm finding this one satisfying enough.  I hope it's given a chance to develop a bit more before it goes on the chopping block.

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I love Marcia Gay Harden and Luis Guzmán, think they are wonderful actors who can develop characters with souls that will anchor the show if it is given time to develop. And I've had a crazy crush on Raza Jaffrey ever since he was on MI5, a crush reignited with his turn as the hot Pakistani intelligence officer with a conscience on Homeland. Drs. Dunn & Guthrie are terrifically conceived characters and the actors do a lot with the little they are given just because the cast and scripts are so crowded.

The residents are OK, nothing super special so far, though I do feel a personal sympathy and connection with the Krista character as the mom of a special needs child from birth, and while thank god my son is physically healthy, I relate very strongly to the wholly transformative effect that she experienced in being the mother to a special needs child. Motherhood is fundamentally different when your child is different, and it can make you stronger, or it can break you, or it can do a little of both. I think the show and the actress are showing this very well, and I don't think I've seen this on TV or film before.

This is the kind of show I would like to settle in with and spend several seasons with, so I am pretty forgiving of the uneven initial episodes and the shifting character beats while the show finds its footing (did her personal tragedy turn Dr. Rorish turn into a hardass cowboy doctor ready to take wild risks for her patients, make tough decisions in triage for the greatest good, and cut residents at the first sign of weakness — the person we saw in the pilot? or is she an empathetic teacher ready to make allowances when a resident is unable to perform due to unresolved personal issues, and a highly trained trauma expert who spends waaaay too much time with patients who have sentimental resonance for her (the person she's been increasingly in every episode since)?

Anyway, it doesn't feel like it's going to be groundbreaking, Emmy-sweeping TV to me, but These are characters and stories I'd like to spend a lot more time with, and I hope that TPTB will invest whatever time and other resources are needed for it to find its audience... Probably there are a lot of halfway intelligent folks like me who enjoy soapy medical drama and hung in with ER, Chicago Hope, House, and the like until all of their bitter ends, and would do the same here.

Please, no snow globe ending though! The cross-section population of St. Elsewhere fans who are also family members/parents of people with autism have such tortured feelings about that!

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I am starting to warm to this show, this was an interesting episode. The underlying lesson seemed to be things are not always what they seem.

1) The girl who tested positive for being pregnant, not.

2) The burned Mom they thought might have been trying to harm her baby when in fact she was doing the oppisite.

3) The loving Father was actually a psycho kidnapper.

4) The seemingly run of the mill drunk, was a drunk but grieving the loss of his daughter.

5) Didn't the young guy they thought was just a druggie actually had a reaction to something else, was it an underlying medical issue?

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I am starting to warm to this show, this was an interesting episode. The underlying lesson seemed to be things are not always what they seem.

I thought it was a nicely done, not overly obvious collection of the "Zebras" of the title — all the cases they showed us in this episode were zebras of one stripe or another, not the horses that doctors in training are told to assume (at least, in the world of TV & movies).

Didn't the young guy they thought was just a druggie actually had a reaction to something else, was it an underlying medical issue?

He OD'd on anti-depressants, which caused some kind of double life threatening set of symptoms involving his heart and something else, couldn't quite follow, and also was just giving it a hand wave because Dr. Rorish saying Eureka! anti-depressants! is pretty ridiculous when there are so many different kinds these days.

I guess that patient earned his zebra stripes because the lone-wolf-jerk-chip-on-his-shoulder resident who was supposed to be treating him (can't remember their names yet) just assumed he was a no-good partier, treated him with contempt (the way he had that mask/bag thing put on him! that was horrifying — what *was* that?) and it turned out he was an attempted suicide... Just a guess

edited to add... I just had to go find what that hood thing was that the nurses and orderlies forced over the kid's head, and here it is, called a SpitSock (unsurprisingly marketed for prison use also :p

https://www.boundtree.com/spit-sock-hood-1033-15311-product-2645-273.aspx?search=1033-15311

Edited by Margherita Erdman
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I just had to go find what that hood thing was that the nurses and orderlies forced over the kid's head, and here it is, called a SpitSock (unsurprisingly marketed for prison use also :p

 

I think the kid should consider himself lucky that he wasn't wearing the spitsock over a busted nose.  But I guess the doc had pretty good control of his temper.

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better.  characters starting to develop, flow was improved, stories NOT run of the mill (kidnapped!  who saw THAT coming!).  Can't ever judge a show by it's first episode.  

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Did not see the twist coming with the Grandad/mom/son.

 

Me either.  I thought that gramps was cooking meth (or coke?) and the place exploded, and that the preexisting problem with the baby was meth contamination or something (I seem to remember a plot on another medical show--Grey's Anatomy, maybe?--where an apartment house exploded and it turned out to be drug cooking, but I also seem to remember that the person doing it wasn't who they first thought--if i'm remembering correctly).  I never figured on the kidnapping twist--I just thought that the guy was her dad and felt guilty about drugs, or something.

 

What was the story with the alcoholic's daughter?  She died there in the ER on her wedding day?  (My cable connection decided to do the pixelating thing just as she was explaining and I missed those few seconds.)

Edited by BooksRule

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My favorite actor on Hart of Dixie is now a new doc on this show? Just keeps getting better for me. Great episode. Good cases, and I like that there is minimal relationship drama but I can't help shipping Christa and Neal. They have great chemistry and I want to see Raza shirtless already!

I kept screaming HCG secreting tumor at Malaya. I like how they didn't go the cliche route with the smart student getting pregnant. And that TCA overdose kid was a punk. If he told people what he ODed on he would have gotten treated and not had an arrhythmia. Sucks what the ED staff go through every day, dealing with guys like that. The ending made me cry again, and good twist with the kidnapping. The drunk grieving his dead daughter was sad as well.

Edited by twoods
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My favorite actor on Hart of Dixie is now a new doc on this show?

 

Wait, I didn't realize Cress Williams would be on here.

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They have special staff for that?

Yeah, it's full of ER nurses, doctors, physician assistants, etc who just work the Emergency Room. It's different training for each different place you work at. Most people like it because it's super busy and unpredictable- I hated it, and went into something more low key (Pediatrics) because stressful situations made my brain turn into mush.

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Yeah, it's full of ER nurses, doctors, physician assistants, etc who just work the Emergency Room.

 

Not ER staff, ED staff!  Never mind...

Edited by Netfoot
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ED is same thing- emergency department. Sorry for the confusion.

 

I have the feeling the original poster is referring to erectile dysfunction.

Edited by Fable
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I have the feeling the original poster is referring to erectile dysfunction.

Ha! With what that lady was going through, makes a lot of sense. I wondered with her psych condition, how she is when she has those "episodes" continuously in front of the kids. Yikes!

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Please, no snow globe ending though! The cross-section population of St. Elsewhere fans who are also family members/parents of people with autism have such tortured feelings about that!

In all seriousness, and no offense intended to anyone, how widely known was autism during St. Elsewhere's first run? I can't remember at this point. (I'm not a parent.)

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In all seriousness, and no offense intended to anyone, how widely known was autism during St. Elsewhere's first run? I can't remember at this point. (I'm not a parent.)

It was instrumental in the classic series finale move followed by Newhart's dream even if you never saw the series. Autism wasn't the point the snow globe was. But I guess people with loved ones on the spectrum are sensitive to the  autism angle.

Edited by Raja

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I was horrified when they put the Spitsock on the boy.  In all the psych wards I have worked on, I've never seen anyone treated like that.  It was like going back to the days of Bedlam.  I hope the boy sued his ass off when he recovered.  I'm always surprised at how much caring and kindness the ER staff at my local inner city hospital show caring because when someone is troubled,

 

Whatever the reason for her condition, the woman with the burning should have been treated for what was wrong, not treated like a joke.  On ER or House, we would have found out what the physical illness was.  One of the most frustrating things for psychologists is how hard it is to convince physicians that the cause is physical because their default for when they don't know what the problem is  is "It's all in their head".  I know one man whose psychologist tried futilely to convince his doctors that his problems were physical, not psychological but it wasn't until he had a TIA incident on live TV that they finally believed her.  The nightmare example is the 8 year old boy who kept vomiting.  His physicians at the Hospital for Sick Children decided it was psychological and made him clean it up every time he vomited but he got worse.  He died, untreated medically, and they they realized it was because of a twisted gut.

 

Leanne was wrong when she told Chef to he needs to get better for himself not for his daughter (people who lose a loved spouse who have to pull it together for the children often do better than childless bereaved) but I guess if his daughter was dead, I can understand why she said that. It's still wrong though.

Edited by statsgirl

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