“Emily Owens, M.D.” recap (Ep. 4): The Battle for Bandari


While Emily Owens, M.D.’s quirky awkwardness has charmed me thus far in the series, I must say that this episode her storyline felt more annoying than relatable. Much of the episode was taken up with her literally running around Will and Cassandra, panting like a pathetic puppy dog as she tried to curtail their wooing. Meanwhile, her and Cassandra’s competitive battles continue to escalate, but their antagonism somehow lacks the sexual undercurrents that we all obviously want enemies to have. Emily clearly doesn’t have even an inkling of desire to make out with Cassandra; she just simply really, really doesn’t like her. Boring.

But on the other hand, all of the patient storylines continue to be really intriguing and well-written, and we do get the briefest glance of Kelly McCreary in a tank top. So, counting our blessings, let’s go through the highlights.

After we learn that Cassandra and Emily are going to be sharing a special case for Doctor Hotness, and Tyra attempts to tell Emily to stop being such a crazypants about Will a few times, we then get to know Dr. Hamata slightly better. This is the doctor who’s dating Micah, aka My Fave, so I inherently want to dislike her so he and Emily can make babies but, sadly, she seems pretty cool. Speaking of babies, she’s a doctor for them, and wants Emily to do an ultrasound on an effed up case.

As Emily first walks up to Dr. Hamata, she comments inside her head how pretty she is. She then subsequently berates herself for being demeaning; why are looks the first thing she judges? This is a nice flash of feminist thought, although I think there still needs to be more of it on the show. The potential is there; it’s just not brought out as often as I’d like. In addition, judging someone’s looks, while not great or anything, is also a natural thing we all do. For cripes sake, Emily, stop beating yourself up about everything. Anyway, Hamata then gives a great deadpan speech about how she thought going into Baby Medicine would be all about the miracle of life and crap but instead it’s just anxious women and jerk dads on Blackberries and you either yank the kid out or slice the mom open and that’s it and if she ever gets knocked up she’s having a home birth. I like her.

The effed up case that Emily is now part of involves a surrogate mom and a biological mom who also happen to be sisters. Surrogate sister is carrying twins and one of them has a serious defect; if it’s not fixed, the one will surely die soon after birth. However, the surgery to fix it is risky and could possibly kill both the babies. This is pretty much an awful situation, compounded by the fact that Biological Sister is a class A bitch.

Allow me to tell you how they are My Babies a million times. I hate that they are in your stupid stomach.

The one good thing about the difficulty of the case is that it brings together Dr. Hamata and Dr. Bandari, which is kind of like a surgical explosion of hotness in flowing dark hair.

The other Case of the Day is an Indian woman who only has one kidney, and that one kidney is failing. This is also pretty much an awful situation, this time compounded by the fact that she’s newly in an arranged marriage and clearly feels a little awkward about it. Her husband is a perfect donor for a kidney, which she desperately needs, but she eventually has to tell him that she doesn’t want it because that means she would be tied to him forever and she doesn’t know if she wants to be tied to him forever.

The woman, you see, is a romantic comedy buff, saying that her favorite movie is probably tied between Love Actually and When Harry Met Sally, and her ability to put her belief in romance over her very serious physical health is both amazing and probably irrational, just like romantic comedies themselves. After taking a break from dialysis which has made her dizzy and lightheaded, she asks Emily if she can ask her a question, which we assume will be about, you know, her dying kidney or something. Instead, she asks if Emily can procure a copy of Never Been Kissed or My Best Friend’s Wedding. “And failing that — The Wedding Singer?” Not only do I want to hug this woman, but I now also want to re-watch ALL. THESE. MOVIES.

The upside is that her husband seems to be a rather outstandingly good guy, and while clearly genuinely concerned about her, says that he understands after she finally announces her decision. Because he’s also not sure about their whole marriage thing. Also, they are both adorable.

As Emily asks someone on the phone if they have a copy of You’ve Got Mail, she also sees Cassandra giving Dr. Bandari all of the diagnosis thoughts for their Special Case Assignment, thoughts which had originally been Emily’s ideas. This is a theme that repeats itself throughout the whole episode, with Cassandra pulling some real jerk moves to steal things under Emily’s nose and get on Bandari’s good side.

Which makes Emily feel like this:

And I agree. I think the reason this storyline irks me on this episode is not because I mind their rivalry, but because I actually really like seeing Emily be smart and do well at her job. On top of her obvious compassion skill with patients, her intelligence and medical ability is the perfect offset to her personal floundering and awkwardness. It’s satisfying to see her kick ass, which makes it disappointing whenever those kick ass moments are taken away. This is, however, slightly made up for by the fact that she gets to make her first cut later in the episode with Micah at her side, and she, of course, does awesomely.

And while we’re talking about kick ass moments, here it is — the tank top!

So brief, but so lovely! Tyra continues to be great in this scene, as she actually has the balls that Emily lacks, and throws Cassandra’s stinky sneakers out of the locker room window. When Emily expresses her disbelief, Tyra’s all, “Whatever. Girl’s been a bitch to you since the fifth grade.” To which Emily is like, “Hey. You’re right.” When Emily says she wishes Will could just see Cassandra for who she really is, Tyra also responds with “Super hot?” Not the best answer as a BFF, but the perfect answer as a lesbian.

But so this whole Cassandra-Will situation. Will takes the higher ground and asks Emily if she’d be okay with him asking Cassandra out because he doesn’t want to make things weird between them. Emily says what you’re supposed to say here: “Of course, sure!” Even as her heart is cracking. But then later, in the blurting-out-the-truth way that Emily Owens clearly has a knack for, she expresses how deeply she actually doesn’t want him to date Cassandra–anyone, anyone other than her. Logically, Will is a little steamed that Emily is trying to dictate what he does with his life, but by the end of the episode, he makes the tough decision of valuing Emily’s friendship first, and blows off Cassandra.

This all makes me feel conflicted. I mean, Emily, don’t you know that you’re supposed to just say yes and then build a steel cage around your chest, whose walls grow thicker and lonelier each day you see them together until your misery feels like a close friend? Also, do you really have the right to deny a friend’s happiness? It seems selfish and weak to get in the way of it.

At the same time, putting myself in the situation, I know that I share the same unfortunate blurting-out-the-truth gene that Emily Owens possesses, and if a person I was in love with wanted to date my utmost enemy it would probably rip me apart. And if the person I was in love with actually was a good friend, I probably couldn’t keep myself from vomiting my true emotions, too. Because we are all a little selfish and weak. So. I feel you, Emily, at the same time that I’m annoyed by you? And I’m analyzing myself more than is necessary right now, so let’s move on to better news!

Such as Romantic Comedy Kidney woman! She goes into a coma as her kidney really starts to fail, which obviously isn’t better news. But then her husband says, screw it. Even if we’re not really that into each other, I still need to give her my kidney because I don’t want her to die, and I have power of attorney and can make that decision so let’s do it. When she wakes up and is told what happened, she looks over at him and says, “That’s — romantic.”

And I’m swooning.

Also, surgery was done on the babies and they both survive and Bitch Sister and Surrogate Sister have a tearful heart to heart. Turns out Baby Medicine CAN be about the miracle of life, sometimes! Happy endings all around! Well, except for Cassandra. And it’s hard to say if it’s all even a truly happy ending for Emily.

What were your thoughts? Do you agree with Emily’s actions? How do you think the show is progressing? I’m still finding the episodes enjoyable; I just need some stronger plotlines for Emily — and Tyra.

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