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(via NBC)

It’s episode 5 of NBC’s The Night Shift! 

That means it’s time for the passion that’s been building up between the two lead ED doctors for … the past few weeks … to explode! 

It’s time for the show to introduce a new, somewhat famous cast member! 

It’s time for the Storm EpisodeTM! Directed by none other than ‘ER’ alum Eriq La Salle! 

Maybe you’re asking, is this the season finale? Why are they pulling out all the stops so soon?

I don’t know! All I can say is that everything about this show is over-the-top intense! It’s almost impossible to write about this show without exclamation points! I didn’t even mention the precipitous twin delivery! And one of the twins was a breech presentation! And the night shift psychiatrist’s father showed up in the ED! With a stab wound! 

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And then the power went out! 

At this rate, the writers are going to run out of tropes well before the show’s first sweeps period. 

If you’re keeping track of the medicine, there was some well-depicted ferrning, secondary to a lightning strike. A child had significant internal bleeding, manifest only by shoulder pain. And there was a tornado-related trauma that went right to the OR - I wasn’t sure what was wrong with the patient because I just kept waiting for the ED physician, TC Callahan, to leave the patient’s side - but he wouldn’t, not in the wrecked trailer, not in the ambulance, and not even in the OR

Despite the protestations of the trauma surgeon, and the ED chief, TC just kept right on operating. I was transfixed by the spectacle. The only thing that was able to pull him from the theater was the news that his fellow ED attending, Topher, had raced out into the storm to help his wife deliver twins. Naturally, TC wanted to go out there, with him. I don’t think he saw a single patient physically within the ED this whole episode. I found myself wondering what his performance metrics looked like. Does scrubbing in to major surgery (against everyone’s protestations) contribute to one’s RVUs? This is a show that asks the tough questions. 

My favorite character has been the overnight in-house hospital administrator, because he’s the only one that seems mindful of consequences, or at all constrained by reality (ironic, since his role doesn’t exist, in the real world). He was nervous about the back-up generators - and they failed, despite his efforts, thanks to NYU-style basement flooding. So there, in the dark, with half the ED faculty running around in the storm or dealing with family members, he rolled up his sleeves and helped manage patients. I couldn’t decide if this was the most unbelievable moment in an already unrealistic series, or the show’s most natural, human act. All I know is I’m rooting for this guy, in no small part because he’s surrounded by the most impulsive and self-absorbed characters. 

Speaking of impulsivity, if you’ve been following the love triangle between TC (defiant genius), Jordan (TC’s ex and new boss) and Landry (psychiatrist, no apparent relation to famed Cowboys coach) this week it expanded to a quadrangle, with the addition of Party of Five’s Scott Wolf to the cast. See, he’s been in a long-distance relationship with Jordan, and is making a big step by joining her hospital. Since TC’s been fooling around with Landry, will Jordan do the mature thing and say goodbye for good to the reckless basket case that is TC? 

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(via fyeahnbcnightshift.tumblr.com)

Of course not. Jordan and TC share a passionate kiss, in the co-ed locker room. None of the ED physicians on this show are capable of rising above their impulses or thinking more than few moves ahead. The preview for next week’s episode showed punching between the male parts of the quadrangle. Greg Henry was right; this show is bad for our specialty. I’m just impressed they’ve somehow managed to make the hospital administrator the most sympathetic character of the bunch. 

Fast Track items: 

• While live-tweeting @EPMonthly, I mentioned that director Eriq La Salle should’ve brought ER’s old medical advisors with him to the set. He retweeted it! I was star struck, and spent the commercial break trying to imagine if he was more like Dr. Benton in real life, or more like the “Soul Glow” guy from Coming to America. Either way, I thought his direction was very capable and we’re sure to become good friends. 

• Some of our colleagues seem incredulous that this show is still on. People, accept it: this show is winning its time slot, it’s a top 15 show overall, and the praise on Twitter is mind-boggling. Just search for #NightShift and read what people are saying. NBC ought to consider this a hit; seems like a show that’s going to be around for a while. Three episodes left in this summer run. 

 

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