And so another really great episode of Miami Medical airs (Diver Down) and you have to wonder what on earth CBS were thinking to pull the plug so soon.
RATINGS UPDATE: Miami Medical once again had the highest viewing figures for Friday night, and was up from 6.14 million viewers last week to 7.04 million this week.
Like last week, we’ve been treated to an excellent episode that should have fitted into early season 1 of the show. So we’re still character building and getting insights and teases about the team individually and the dynamics. What a shame this didn’t air in its intended position, there was so much to enjoy. Written by Christina Kim, it was a great showcase for all our characters, with Eva and Chris flirting, Serena having one of her best episodes, Tuck gently supporting and my wonderful Proctor keeping everyone guessing. A really strong episode.
I’m afraid I misled you slightly in my preview: Diver Down didn’t tie up the Drs Proctor and Sable storyline (that’s to come next week, I think), but there was a rather fun subplot involving Proctor and a very different blonde lady. Chris’s theories about her identity range from the sublime to the ridiculous as a mysterious man with an envelope packed with cash arrives at MT1, and the money gets handed to the beautiful blonde. Of course, we all have the benefit of the episodes that come after this one (or would have done, if you know what I mean) and we know our man Proctor well enough to be able to discount Chris’s wilder speculations. Had it aired in early season 1 it would have been a much more effective tease. As it was, it was fun!
So, back to the main arc of our story, involving some divers (great underwater shots at the beginning of the episode) who get into trouble. As a result of coming back to the surface too quickly, the casualties are at risk of the bends aka decompression sickness (see the Wiki page if you need to know more), and so two of them require the services of a piece of equipment that looks borrowed from the set of a sci-fi movie, and is known as a hyperbaric chamber. It’s not a big place, and once you’re inside it (as Serena Warren discovers) you’re locked in for a set time period until decompression is complete. Serena remembers too late that she has claustrophobia…
Lis Harnois as Serena Warren does a great job this week, and she’s given both the meatiest part of the story, and a fun subplot involving her texting only relationship. The idea of the lock in and countdown with Proctor and Serena working together, one on the inside and one on the outside, works really well, and when one of the patients inside the chamber turns out not to have the bends but something other and much more serious, things get very interesting. This intense and exciting situation is cut with lighter moments, and in one, Proctor conducts another outdoor bicycling consult, with Chris and Eva, to try to solve the mystery of the patient in the chamber.
The solution involves something that links in nicely with an admission by Eva earlier in the episode. Both Proctor, and particularly Chris, are deeply intrigued by this, and the gentle flirtiness between Eva and Chris throughout the episode fizzes beautifully. I have to say that the omission of some of the episodes from the originally planned season has been to the detriment of some of the characters, and in particular I would say that Mike Vogel’s Dr C (and it’s no reflection on Mike’s skills as an actor) took longer to make an impression as a result.
I have to mention the comic cameo from Jonathan Runyon as Paramedic Kleebus. Bravo, it was hilarious, though I’ll be happy if I never encounter him should I be seriously injured and minus a body part!
A very enjoyable episode. If I have any criticisms (and really, they’re tiny), I would say that there were so many intriguing subplots (missing fingers, mysterious blondes, tattoos, Serena’s text relationship) that possibly the patients and their stories (with the exception of the hyperbaric chamber) were not as hard hitting as they sometimes have been. Although Mike Vogel acted his socks off in the scenes with his patient (I loved his explanation of his charm technique) for me, he wasn’t getting a performance in kind from the actor playing the patient. And I’m afraid my schmaltz-cringe button was hit during the scene with Brandon and Tracy and their salvaged engagement ring. I can’t help it, I’m British, and we don’t do ‘being there for you’. That apart, the interplay between the characters was great, the dialogue some of the best I’ve heard, the episode was perfectly paced, and there were excellent performances from Lis Harnois and Mike Vogel, with Lana, Omar and of course the sublime Jeremy assisting beautifully. The episode was directed by Paul Crane, who has worked on ER. Great job, everyone.
My favourite moment from this week, vying for the top spot with Jonathan Runyon as Kleebus’s comedy departure from MT1, and hearing the fabulous Superstar by Law of Numbers, is Proctor’s reaction to Eva’s tattoo. Thank you, show makers, for these little moments that deliver such pleasure! And thank you to Jeremy. We’re going to really miss seeing you doing what you do so well every week (I’m afraid I’m finding it hard not to sound a bit elegaic whilst writing these reviews now…). It’s been such a treat. And now I’ve pushed your schmaltz-cringe button…
Here’s the official information from CBS about next week’s episode:
WHILE TREATING VICTIMS OF A BOATING ACCIDENT, SURPRISING REVELATIONS EMERGE FOR THE ALPHA TEAM,
ON “MIAMI MEDICAL,” FRIDAY, JUNE 18
“Time of Death” — The personal lives of a boating accident’s victims cause havoc at the hospital while Dr. Zambrano finds herself in a tight spot following the arrival of Dr. Deleo’s brother, on MIAMI MEDICAL Friday, June 18 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Bailey Chase (“Saving Grace”) guest stars as Rick Deleo, Dr. C’s brother. Michaela Watkins (“Saturday Night Live,” “The New Adventure of Old Christine”) guest stars as Carla, a trauma patient. Eric Lutes (“Caroline in the City”) guest stars as Greg, Carla’s ex-husband.