My apologies, regular readers, for the slight delay in reviewing Friday’s Miami Medical episode, The Golden Hour. The shocking truth is that I have been Seeing Another Actor…I’ve been in London seeing Toby Stephens in Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing. It was wonderful and Mr Stephens charm and patience personified at the stage door.
But enough of that (and for the benefit of those who know Stoppard’s play), of course it is Jeremy Northam who is “my chap”, so how delighted was I to return from rainy, cold grimy old London (feeling like I “had been run over, very slowly”) and be transported, by the power of tv, to sunny Miami and an episode in which Jeremy was every bit as impressive as Mr Stephens. If you’re tempted to be as snobbish as Toby’s character Henry is accused of being about what could be perceived as “non-serious writing”, there’s no need because this week’s episode of Miami Medical contained the best writing of the season so far.
Miami Medical really seems to have found its stride now that we are at episode 5, and I am completely chuffed to see that the viewing audience for this episode was up by 30%. This is wonderful news! But don’t think I’m going to let you rest on your laurels…next week, let’s make sure even MORE people watch!
But let’s face it, it’s not going to be a hard sell because The Golden Hour was, by far, the best yet. It flowed well and the speech by Dr Proctor with his “tease” which leads us through the episode was a very successful twist on the format. To date, Jeremy’s Dr Proctor has had the most interesting strands of each episode with the stories of his patients being the most affecting. I’m not quite sure if this has been intentional or is merely a by-product of Jeremy’s charismatic on screen presence. This week, everything felt rather more in balance, though I do have a “favourite patient” (Jackson, the homeless man), and the sub plot of Dr Zambrano’s Bad, Bad Day was cute and nicely played. For me, the resolution was a little too like Fortunato’s luck re-played, but that’s me being picky (note, not snobby!). It was good to see more of Omar Gooding’s Nurse Brody, there’s something disarmingly sincere about him. I’m hoping Mike Vogel is given a little more to do next time out, his is really the only character I don’t yet feel I quite “know”.
And so to Dr Proctor’s speech. I loved it, didn’t you? Jeremy Northam lifted this episode up and carried us all through it, and I enjoyed his discomfort, the dominoes, his eccentricity (the dissection of the chicken and potato was inspired and bravo to the man playing the potential donor with glasses!), his passion, and the emotional kick that was sprung on us at the end when we finally find out which patient dies (and why) was very powerful. So good to see Jeremy being allowed to play to his skill set and raise the drama above the “mediocre”. Here was no Sir Robert, forceful and commanding (see my previous article), but the speech was as powerful and passionate nonetheless. There was something very endearing about Proctor this week (vulnerability will get a girl each and every time), more so than usual, and his scenes with Mike Farrell (who gets my prize for being the only actor I’ve yet seen who is taller than Jeremy!) a treat. Please can we have Mr Farrell back again, that chemistry worked really well. It was a nice touch by the writers (take a bow, Messrs Lieber and Shapiro, you wrote up a storm!) to shake us up, as well as the potential donors, and show us the reality of trauma hospitals and why they need to exist (it’s no secret that Mr Lieber’s wife knows this only too well from personal experience). The patients and their stories became all the more real for that perspective, and this extra layer to the episode raised the show’s game.
Jeffrey Lieber told The Jer Blog that the template for each episode would be varied from now on in, and if this week’s episode is anything to go by, I think we can afford to feel a little frisson of excitement ahead of next week’s episode, Calle Cubana. More on that soon!
It’s not just me who watched and liked, check out SueVo’s review over at The Exploding Egg as well.
with many thanks to Joan aka HazelP for the images