A warning for all you lesbians: this episode included too little of Tyra, and she appeared just as sassy-and-great-friend-to-Emily instead of looking-for-some-ass lesbian Tyra, and there was also no Hot Molly, or anything else overtly gay. But wait, before you go! Another truth: I still really, really loved this episode. I love each episode of this show more and more, which results in me feeling angrier and angrier about the network’s decision.
And even though there weren’t overtly gay things, there was further character development of Bandari (rejoice!), and a wonderful, complex storyline around fandom. Count me all the way in.
We begin with Emily lamenting that her life has become stuck in a dull rut, all too akin (again) to her high school days: she has the crush, the nemesis, the mean teacher. Except in high school she probably wasn’t cracking open chests and putting people into badass pressure chambers and stuff, so, seriously Emily, give yourself some credit.
Tyra, of course, diagnoses this problem as having one solution: getting laid. Because this is what best friends on TV shows always diagnose. Cassandra agrees (duh), and as she really wants to continue putting distance between Emily and Will, and/or has just started to be a better person, she becomes determined to hook up Emily with a blind date. Because Emily is the type to get laid on a blind date, right? Right.
But on to the real best part of this episode, the patients. First, we meet Uptight Business Woman, whose heart is obviously failing because of her Uptight Business Woman-esque stress, who can’t make herself get off her cell phone to even hear her prognosis. She even holds up her finger and shushes Emily and Bandari, and the look on Bandari’s face is full of such smoldering rage of hotness. Is there a more beautiful clash than a clash between two powerful women? No! Obviously the answer is no!
We then meet the opposite of our first patient, a sweet middle-aged woman who has just been diagnosed with cancer and is about to undergo surgery. She’s super sweet and obsessed with her looks, in a cute way. But by the looks of her exhausted-seeming daughter, she’s clearly the type of mom who seems innocently enjoyable to the casual obviously, while remaining quietly infuriating when she’s actually your mom.
Will and Emily are then banished to the dungeons, AKA, that place in the hospital where everyone always dreads working, where they send all the crazy people or something? I guess it’s called the ER. Anyhoo, they’re sent to help a patient who’s dressed in medieval all-black garb, a white wig adorned by a crown, and head to toe gold body paint. He has a gouge on his right arm, and he also believes he’s a king. Someone called King Paravell, to be exact. He’s currently speaking on a tablet to another medieval agent, giving urgent and impassioned orders for battle.
Because Will is a very sensitive human being, he is all, “Hey, this guy is CUCKOO,” and makes several completely condescending remarks. Since Emily is a good person, she asks King Paravell to tell them more about this battle. While they go to get sutures for his cut, Emily is trying to tell Will to stop being a jerk, when the King falls off the bed and, clearly, has suddenly gone blind.
Meanwhile, Uptight Business Woman’s heart indeed has some issues, but she quickly dismisses Bandari and Emily’s concerns, as she wants to get any further work done in New York. Emily says “Oh, I wouldn’t fly,” and lady is like, pssssssh, whatever, blondie. “All the best doctors are in New York. Everybody knows that. No offense.” Ouch. Her husband is now with her, who happens to be played by Mathew St. Patrick, otherwise known as David’s beau Keith from Six Feet Under. I am thoroughly confused by him being straight here.
Sweet Cancer Mom has also come out of surgery well, but can’t take the time to fully enjoy this news without needing to “put her face on” first. She asks her daughter for her lipstick, who can’t find it. Mom needs her lipstick! Daughter gets flustered that her mom can’t go two seconds without thinking about her lipstick at a time like this, and has the mini-est of outbursts before saying she needs to go for a short walk. After she leaves, Mom turns to Micah and Emily to say, “She’ll get my lipstick. She always gets my lipstick.” There is something slightly-but-surely heartbreaking about this line.
Alas, this heartbreak continues, as during the daughter’s short walk, Mom of course goes into cardiac arrest, and doesn’t recover. Just as the daughter’s on her way back to the room, smiling and saying she feels better now, Emily intercepts her to tell her her mother’s dead. Curse you, TV shows, for always doing this! For making good people get in fights with people they love and then having one of them die! It is the worst! Just stop it!
In less crushing news, King Paravell is cleared by psych, during an evaluation that Emily never wanted in the first place but Will of course did. *shakes fist at Will* He sighs as soon as the evaluation begins, saying look, my name’s Tom, okay? I do data entry all day. I just like to live action role play, otherwise known as LARP. One of his fellow comrades has arrived at the hospital at his side, and she is quite the Larpville fox, in my opinion.
She also mentions that the reason King Paravell fell during battle was because he was limping. Emily investigates the injured leg and discovers blood clots, which are also the probable cause of his temporary blindness. Then comes the aforementioned pressure chamber, during which Tom/Paravell explains some stuff to Emily. That he’s fully aware that Tom is the real him, but when he’s King, he really does feel like a king. He keeps waiting for something to change in his real life, but everything’s always the same, and he continues to be simply an overlooked body among the ants. And even though he knows which world is real and which one isn’t, that doesn’t stop him from wishing it was the other way around.
I love Tom, and I love Emily’s warm treatment of him. He’s not described as a major geek or social outcast or anything, as most TV characters who like to role play are pigeonholed into. He just seems like a regular guy with a boring life who wants it to be not so boring. And while Will continues to be the jerky jerk he is, referring to him as a “freak” until the end, Emily gets it, and doesn’t really see him as that weird at all. Listen, let’s just admit it. Emily is the best. Her neurotic awkwardness threatened to tip over into the annoying hemisphere in the first few episodes, but she has grown into this character who is, in fact, just a really, really good person, who we only only root for but genuinely enjoy watching. Three cheers for Emily Owens.