Aptly named, Good Sam season 1 episode 8, “Keep Talking”, saw a lot of necessary conversations had — though not all of them were pleasant. Despite this, this episode we did get a treat; Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton Morgan, and Bethany Joy Lenz reunited on screen for the first time since working together on One Tree Hill in this episode! Before reading on to see what happened in this episode of Good Sam, make sure you’re caught up with the rest of our episode recaps, which can be found here.
Let’s talk about Griff
Griff’s scans from radiology are clear. Sam has the team tackle Griff’s case like it’s any other case study: through differential diagnosis (without saying it’s him). Lex tells Sam about Griff’s nightmares. Sam wants griff to see a mental health professional to rule out PTSD, but Griff is afraid Tina Kingsley will find out. The solution? They go to Sam’s stepdad, Pyne — someone they can trust (though they’ve shown in the past they don’t necessarily really like him). Griff doesn’t want to talk about his feelings about the shooting, but Pyne keeps digging. Pyne asks about how Sam felt after Griff’s shooting, and she talks about knowing what it’s like to feel helpless, comparing it to Griff’s situation in her childhood accident.
Little by little, we finally get a little more information on Sam’s childhood accident in a flashback. After the accident, Griff never made it through the door of her surgery, and he felt helpless and carried lots of guilt. Griff is still blaming himself for Sam’s accident. Pyne doesn’t think the shooting is causing Griff’s symptoms, but he can’t rule out that Sam’s accident didn’t. He wants to talk to him more, but Griff doesn’t want to. Pyne threatens that he’ll have to submit a referral for a mental health evaluation if he’s seeming unfit to perform duties, trying to get him to continue to unpack his trauma.
Vivian finds out Tina is raising questions about griffs competency and gets upset with him, imploring him to go to therapy and figure out what’s going on. She tries to convince him to go to therapy and tell Sam what REALLY happened concerning the accident — whatever that means. He refuses and storms out.
Convinced by Sam eventually, they go to therapy. What really happened and is messing Griff up inside is revealed. In a flashback, we see Vivian kept Griff from going into the hospital after the accident… because Griff was drunk. Sam, visibly upset that Vivian knew and that neither of them ever told her anything, abruptly leaves.
In another therapy session with Pyne (this time solo), Griff reveals that’s why he’s been sabotaging his and Sam’s relationship, the guilt he was feeling due to keeping that secret from her, and due to his actions. He was self-sabotaging their relationship as a form of penance.
Malcolm plays dirty
Tina Kingsley is breathing down the Griffith’s necks. She’s scouting new candidates for the chief job and poking around to see what’s up with Griff, as she doesn’t believe he’s ready to return as chief after watching him drop that scalpel last episode. Cue Malcolm.
Vivian apologizes to Malcolm for using him to pitch the clinic proposal to his dad. Malcolm is still invested in the idea though, so he wants to go around his dad and pitch it to his mom. Vivian is wary, knowing it’ll stir up drama, but Malcolm is adamant. He goes to Tina, who knows she’s only being asked because his dad said no. She agrees to help him if he finds out what Griff is hiding since he and Sam are officially over. It doesn’t go over very well when he inquires; Sam sees right through him, citing he’s never asked about Griff before.
In exchange for completing this favor, Tina digs into why Lakeshore doesn’t want to approve the proposal: the land Malcolm and Vivan want to build on would be expensive. She offers to help him out by giving him some land she owns downtown and tells him to work on a new proposal.
Malcolm and Sam confront each other in the elevator. Malcolm says he’s not doing Tina’s dirty work; he’s the one wondering if Griff is truly okay and fit to work. He tells Sam that if Tina’s worried, she won’t be the only one asking questions about Griff’s competency.
Byron is upset when he learns of Malcolm going behind his back. He can’t believe Malcolm is acting like he forgot everything Tina put them through. Malcolm states he wouldn’t have had to go around him if he had heard him out and should be proud of him for getting the land and moving towards closing the deal. Byron says it won’t come without a price and angrily storms out (a lot of that happening this episode).
Will they? Won’t they?
Donna has a raffle of goodies from a gift basket that was sent to the surgical team as a thank you. The contest? Guess how many tongue depressors are in a jar (cue all kinds of shenanigans by the residents to guess). Donna suggests Sam bid in order to win a couples massage that was in the basket, but Sam informs her she’d need to be a part of a couple to do that. Caleb and Sam have a short and earnest but stilted conversation about her and Malcolm breaking up, Sam teasing that Caleb’s not actually sorry about it though he says he is. She says she’s not ready to confront Caleb’s feelings just yet.
After the events of the revelatory family therapy session with Pyne, Sam seeks out Caleb to tell him his method of helping others didn’t take her out of her head like she thought it would. She said she needs something… stronger (and she isn’t talking about the alcohol in the gift basket Caleb won — don’t worry, he isn’t planning on drinking it). Caleb catches her drift and tells her to lock the door even though Sam tells him she can’t get emotionally involved. The two begin to kiss passionately before the screen cuts out.
Case of the week
Amy (Bethany Joy Lenz), a patient who’s three years sober, comes in talking about feeling ill and claims a previous doctor told her she needed a bypass. She randomly feels ill and starts throwing up blood. During a procedure to fix her gastrointestinal issues, they see that her liver is failing. They assume that this is due to alcohol use. Caleb wants to be there to help Amy, saying helping others is a way for him to focus on staying sober. Her sister Gretchen (Hilarie Burton Morgan) denies that Amy’s been drinking, but Amy seems inebriated as everyone is discussing what could be wrong. Gretchen pulls a breathalyzer out her purse which reads as .09 after Amy blows into it. She storms out, saying that with all she supported Amy through, she could deal with a relapse, but not any more lies. Still seeming rather inebriated, Amy insists she hasn’t been drinking and tries to go after her, but Caleb and Sam stop her. She’s obviously in physical and emotional in pain as she’s lowered back into the bed).
A stray comment Caleb makes about winning a bottle of Cristal in the raffle (for appreciation, not drinking) and how they still ferment it the same way as they did when the brand was founded leads Sam to realize any probably has auto-brewery syndrome; Amy’s stomach could be turning sugary and starchy foods into alcohol. Amy is getting progressively drunker (BAC up to .11) despite being on watch and not drinking. The team orders an endoscopy. Before the procedure, Amy gets rowdy and triggers Griff’s symptoms of tinnitus and light sensitivity. Sam tells him again he needs to go to therapy, comparing Griff to a patient not taking their medicine. Amy’s sister comes back.
The results reveal the culprit isn’t endogenous fermentation. Caleb wants to start her on antifungals to rule out some other possibilities. It works and it’s confirmed that Amy was infected with candida, a fungal yeast that was causing the fermentation inside her body. Caleb goes to tell Sam and discovers her angrily playing piano after finding out about Griff and Vivian’s secret in therapy. He wants her to go with him to deliver the good news to Amy and refuses to leave until she agrees.
The doctor gets his groove back
Dr. Shah still isn’t confident since his patient’s death earlier in the season and it’s showing during rounds. He’s answering questions slowly or not at all even though he’s studied, succumbing to self-doubt. On a neuro rotation, an Indian patient requests Isan, who believes it’s because the patient thinks he speaks Hindi. In the surgery, in which the patient is still awake — the doctors are mapping the brain, testing boundaries of speech areas on the brain for a later excision procedure –, the patient tells Isan he requested him because Isan reassured him and was kind when he was nervous. That’s the kind of doctor he wanted in his surgery. Isan catches the patient’s lip twitching and tells the neurosurgeon she’s reached the patient’s boundary of speech on the brain, a critical discovery so that his functioning won’t be impaired later on. The patient offers to teach him Hindi phrases as he keeps talking so they can continue to map the brain. Dr. Shah’s confidence seems restored.
The tumor is successfully removed. The patient thanks Isan for helping him. In turn, Dr. Shah thanks him for helping restore his confidence through a rough patch.
Good Sam airs Wednesdays on CBS at 10 p.m. ET/ 9 p.m. CT. Check out all of our other content on the show here and stay tuned for more updates.