A Doctors Without Borders-esque mission to Guatemala for most of the main cast: Lim, Marcus, Claire, Morgan, Park, and Shaun. They’re joined by Lea, because… the hospital’s head of IT is… needed on a road trip to Guatemala, I guess…? Anyway, putting that aside it’s a busy and (mostly) enjoyable episode.
The project is overseen by hot local doctor Mateo (Mexican actor Osvaldo Benavides, apparently to become a regular cast member going forward), who gets tough early on, telling the soft Americans that they will be triaging lots of patients, but only operating on twelve maximum, and that they need to put tragic backstories out of their minds. As tragic backstories are the very lifeblood of medical procedurals, this requires a shift in mindset for the American medics. If not for the writers, who manage to assemble twelve locals to go under the knife, while not neglecting the human side: Morgan, for example, had to reject a young boy as a possible candidate, and was clearly devastated when the boy’s father sincerely thanked her for considering him anyway. Needless to say she then savaged Park for his attempt to console her. These two need their heads knocked together.
Happily, there was a little more fun this week on the personal affairs side than has been the case recently. After a hard day’s triaging, everyone hits a local bar, where Marcus unashamedly flirts with nurse Ana Morales (Esmeralda Pimentel). Lim arches a critical eyebrow in his direction, then – intending to go back to her living quarters – hops into a sketchy-looking taxi, where she’s joined by Mateo. The taxi then heads off in an entirely different direction. Mateo explains that they’re being kidnapped, although that turns out to be something of an overstatement: the driver takes them to his house, where there’s a woman – his wife, daughter? – in the middle of a tortuous labour. Lim and Mateo save the mother and baby. And after a life-and-death experience like that, what else can they do except bang it out?