Code Black ep 14

*Spoilers*

As we head into the last few eps of the season (and probably the series), it looks like the show is trying to shake things up.

In a slightly odd turn of events, dedicated Dr Leanne “all about the work” Rorish is planning to give up the work to find her true self (or something), but has to go on one of those annoying field trips people on tv tend to take first; learn life lessons from quirky drifter, forgive someone something terrible so she can forgive herself, you know the type of thing.

Whatever. Leanne “leaving” – I’ll believe it when I see it – does, in theory, leave a vacancy for official tough love dispenser that you’d think Dr Hudson or Dr Guthrie would walk into but, no, we have to shoe-horn in some weird kind of story about Angus’s Dad trying to give Angus’s brother Mike the job which everyone protests loudly about despite everyone apparently wanting Mike to have the job anyway. So this strand of the story is a gigantic waste of time since all it does is remind us (again) that Angus has Daddy Issues (and really, show me the character on tv who doesn’t) and make Leanne look contrary.

Whatever, again. Forget the pointless hospital staffing sub-plot, time to look at characterisation instead. Since I’m always saying Code Black relies on medical drama cliches, it’s only fair to say that this week’s ep does try a couple of experiments with character development which I wasn’t expecting.

Firstly, the Mario/ Heather / Angus love triangle is turned into a Mario / Heather tiff, because Heather, apparently still living la vida loca, thinks they’re not “exclusive” while Mario’s taken aback that the girl he likes is as much of a player as he (usually) is. Unfortunately, both of these characters are way too unlikeable for me to side with either of them, but the show deserves a little credit for trying to do something slightly different with a workplace relationship and characterisation within it nonetheless.

Likeability isn’t a problem for Christa and Neal, of course, but it’s not an easy week for them either, despite the frankly blissful way they start it. Now properly loved-up – Aw! and Squee! – they end up strugglung with a difficult case involving a mentally ill, suicidal patient whose wife insists his wishes be respected and he be allowed to die. It’s counter-intuitive of course, for both of them, but particularly difficult for Christa whose instincts and feelings about patient care have, till now, always turned out, unequivocally, to be right. This week, however, those same instincts and feelings lead her down a more ambiguous path and, while it’s hard to disagree with how she feels, it isn’t as simple as rightness or wrongness, for a change.

There’s no such ambiguity, however, in the episode’s ending, which appears to get rid of one of my favourite characters in the most horrible way possible. I suppose it doesn’t matter all that much, since, alive or dead, it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing any of these characters for a second season, but still, I really liked REDACTED. Couldn’t they have killed Mario instead?

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