Some challenging morality problems this week. Todd and Dawn, a married couple, have been in a car crash; he’s not too badly injured, but she needs surgery. It’s successful, but Shaun and Claire subsequently need to tell Todd that they couldn’t save Dawn’s pregnancy; a pregnancy, of course, he didn’t know about. And couldn’t have caused, as he’d had a vasectomy ten years ago. Maybe, he wonders, the vasectomy could have failed? “It’s more likely she got pregnant from someone who is not you!”, Shaun replies helpfully. Dawn denies having an affair, although Todd’s sperm count is tested and found to be zero.
But then when Shaun is leaning across Dawn, she kisses him full on his startled lips, ostensibly to thank him for saving her life. “I helped save her life too. Where’s my kiss?” Dr Lim demands, before being reminded by Claire that, had the genders been reversed, everyone would be treating it much more seriously. Shaun, though, realises that Dawn’s behaviour is likely to have a physical cause and, sure enough, a tumour is found which would have had the effect of suppressing her inhibitions. (This is discovered when she’s asked to draw a clock face and can’t do it properly. I’ve seen this before. House, maybe?) The problem, though, is that while she was uninhibited she had four affairs. Four! Can Todd forgive four affairs?
In a sharp contrast to that one – decent people struggling with an unenviable situation – Case of the Week #2 features Finn, a tween boy whose idiot parents don’t believe in vaccination. “We did a lot of research!” bleats First Idiot Parent, whose medical qualifications and research expertise remain unrevealed throughout. “We reduce his exposure to infectious disease by putting him in a public school, where he’s surrounded by vaccinated kids!” The jaw-dropping selfishness and stupidity of this don’t go unremarked. Poor Finn, as well as having to cope with this weapons-grade fuckwittery at home, has two spinal cords, which sounds kinda cool except it isn’t: as he grows, it will lead to paralysis. Surgery is successful, but Finn’s mother – proving herself, at least, to be not quite as stupid as her husband, asks Park to vaccinate Finn. The problem this time is that Finn’s father didn’t know about that, and throws a major marriage-endangering sulk. Dear God.
And two substantive private-lives stories as well. Andrews is warned that Claire is soliciting interest from other hospitals, and that losing two residents from diverse backgrounds in less than a year wouldn’t look good for the show. Uh, I mean the hospital. Thus he engages on shuttle diplomacy between Melendez and Claire to get them to make up. Claire, adroitly, apologises to Melendez but makes it clear to him that she doesn’t mean it, allowing him to take her back into the team without losing face. And Glassman, as hinted last week, is indeed having significant memory lapses. OK. Can we now get Lisa Edelstein out from that office and into the field? She’s being wasted at the moment. Otherwise, an excellent episode.