Friday, October 7, 2022

‘Good Sam’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 2 “Natural Order”

TELEVISIONCBS'Good Sam' Recap: Season 1, Episode 2 "Natural Order"

Last week, the pilot of Good Sam aired, introducing us to the cutthroat competition that’s brewing between Dr. Griffith and, well, Dr. Griffith. If you’re unfamiliar with the events of last week’s episode, check out our recap of the pilot here. Without further ado, lets get into what happened in episode 2 of Good Sam, “Natural Order.”

War… what is it good for?

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The tension between Dr. Griffith Jr. and Sr. continues. It starts at the very beginning of the episode with a car race that’s a thinly veiled power struggle. Throughout the episode, Griff tries to find ways to get around his proctorship and constantly undermines Sam’s authority while treating patients. Sam presents data to the board on the effectiveness of proctorships, but Griff continues to press for a shortened supervisory period and to try and reclaim his job.

The board ends up agreeing with Sam on her conclusion that the protectorship is necessary, but unfortunately, they’ve also agreed that Griff should take back his position once the proctorship ends. In the meantime, the board demotes Sam to “interim chief.” Sam seems despondent over her lack of ability to convene the board and plead her case. Luckily, due to her cooperation with the peds department head on a case (see in the last section), the other doctor calls an emergency meeting for her. Sam cites how she’s improved the hospital’s work environment and convinces the board to vote between the two Dr. Griffiths at the end of Griff’s proctorship instead of simply reinstating him. Once again, the competition is on. “May the best Dr. Griffith win.”

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Meanwhile, the conflict between Sam and Lex continues in the wake of Sam finding out about Lex’s affair with her dad. While Lex tries to mend her relationship with Sam, Griff continues to try and pursue Lex in the aftermath of their breakup (cornering her in the supply closet — so unprofessional). Tension continues to rise between them as Sam accidentally reveals to the rest of the residents of the two’s affair when they walk in on a screaming match between her and her father. By the end of the episode, after Lex continues to support Sam’s decisions in the face of Griff’s disrespect and helps her get in with the board, it seems that their friendship is on the mend.

Romance in the air

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Malcolm continues to woo Sam — even Sam’s mom is starting to notice the vibe between the two of them (Caleb is choosing to staunchly believe there’s nothing going on). The two go out to dinner, which gets off to a slightly awkward start. As the pair are led to their table and the conversation begins to smooth out, Sam spots Griff having dinner… with Malcolm’s father, Byron Kingsley — the Chairman of the Board. Griff is trying to go over Sam’s head and skip to the end of his proctorship. The next day, we learn that the date was cut short because of the incident, but things seem to still be good between the two as they flirtily banter over the data Sam is gathering to convince the board to keep up Griff’s proctorship. Eventually, the two move to go to dinner once more, but to make sure their date isn’t interrupted by their respective fathers or talk of them, Malcolm “skips to the end,” kissing Sam before they leave.

Cases of the Week

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Baby

One of the main cases from this episode was a 10-month-old baby presenting with a cough and a heart murmur. The pediatrics (peds) department wanted Sam and co. to consult considering the cardiac nature of the baby’s problems. Griff feels that this case isn’t under the Griffiths’ purview seeing as its a pediatric case, but Sam disagrees, saying that it’s part of a new and effective policy to integrate patient care. Noticing abnormalities with the baby’s heart muscle, she orders some additional tests.

Sam explains to the parents one section of the baby’s heart is enlarged and might explain his respiratory problems. As she’s explaining, the monitors go crazy as the baby has a spontaneous arrhythmia. The team continues to search for answers as to why he’s getting worse. They discover undeveloped cells that are weakening the baby’s heart. Griff wants to put him on the transplant list and prepare to hook him up to a Berlin Heart — a machine that keeps the heart working until the baby can get a transplant. Sam wants to try gene editing therapy since the condition is genetic. Griff goes over her head and gets consent from the parents for the Berlin Heart to the family.

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The baby’s heart begins to fail and Sam rushes to place him on the device, locking Griff out of the surgery since he’s trying to backseat drive (backseat operate?). Sam initially has difficulty but manages to hook the baby up to the device. In a show of authority, Sam kicks out one of the doctors who asked if they should call Dr. Griffith when there was initial difficulty (“Jody, I AM Dr. Griffith”). After making to leave, Sam and Griff separately realize that the baby’s sister, who’s been running around the entire episode without shoes, has the same condition (less severe). The sibling will give the team enough new data to help pilot gene therapy for both siblings. Griff apologizes for dismissing gene therapy, but simultaneously rubs in her face that he’ll be reinstated soon.

Ted

And then there’s Ted, who has a history of Carotid Artery Disease. Ted presents with a range of symptoms including heart palpitations, rapid heart rate, dizziness… and he hasn’t been taking his anticoagulant medications. When Sam tries to admit him, he tries to leave. As he’s walking out, Griff asks him some questions and they realize he’s been having mini-strokes. Griff’s spiel about how he’ll probably die manages to convince him to stay.

The team tries to “medically optimize” Ted, getting his body in good shape before surgery. Throughout the episode, he steadfastly resists these efforts, extending his stay. The charge nurse, Donna, even goes so far as to catch him eating an entire container of gummy bear edibles, sending him into a state of extreme paranoia and further delaying his surgery.

Ted has a stroke and is rushed to the OR. The residents are able to place a shunt in time and he’s saved. Caleb confronts Ted after his surgery, saying he wants to talk to him about his other disease. Caleb’s figured out from a bunch of different clues throughout the episode that Ted is an alcoholic. He wasn’t taking his medicine (that he couldn’t drink on), his liver enzymes were elevated, he was getting high before surgery, his decimated relationship with his ex-wife. Caleb recommends a rehab program, citing their effectiveness as a fellow alcoholic. He empathizes with Ted and tells him from experience that he knows what it’s like to lose people because of his disease (Sam?) and that it can get better.

Good Sam airs on CBS on Wednesday nights at 10/9c.

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