As the weeks go by, Red Band Society is on the mend. The show feels tighter and more focused. The characters’ personalities, motivations, and backstories are slowly being fleshed out. The genre-bending is starting to make sense. Nurse Jackson brings the drama, Leo hones the romance, and Kara continues to enthrall as comic relief. The pacing of this episode, “So Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want,” was right on target (save that title). This week focused on Charlie, and after weeks of anticipation, this felt like the right moment to reveal what had happened to him.
The story flashes back to happy days for Charlie, when he and his dad, Nick, play with origami creatures as mom looks on, smiling. Later, at a party, Nick takes young Charlie home, and his mom, Mandy, stays to party on. It’s a rainy night, and the deck is stacked against them: Charlie gets sick in the car, and the moment Nick turns around to unlatch Charlie’s seat belt so he can lie down, BAM, they get into a car accident. When they arrive to the hospital, Charlie is still awake. There, Nurse Jackson cares for him as he goes into surgery. Unfortunately, Charlie goes into a coma, and mom blames dad for unlatching the belt. She gets his visitation rights taken away—the reason for him to sneak in as the “visiting guitarist.”
Back in present time, Mandy comes in to speak with what we’ll call the “Men-in-Black” and the hospital staff. These men have come to assess whether the hospital is still a productive setting for Charlie, or whether it’s just money down the drain. With a heavy heart, Dr. McAndrew admits he does not feel hope for Charlie, news that breaks Mandy’s heart. Nurse Jackson, of course, has her own opinion, and she will not be silenced. She promised Charlie she would be there when he woke up from surgery, and she intends to keep that promise. In Charlie’s room, Mandy finds Charlie’s origami creature and realizes that Charlie’s father has been visiting him. She is furious, particularly at Nurse Jackson. But she comes to terms with the much weightier news that her son will probably never wake up. She sits down with Nick, who crushingly tells her that she’ll never hate him as much as he hates himself.
While all this heavy drama is going on, there is Kara to lighten the mood. She and Dash are becoming a formidable duo. (Mostly because Dash is tough enough to deal with Kara’s sass.) In a lot of ways, Kara is like a mini Nurse Jackson. Obviously she doesn’t have the heart of Nurse Jackson, but I believe it’s in there somewhere, and could actually see her becoming more and more like Nurse Jackson as the episodes continue. Maybe that’s why Nurse Jackson can’t stand Kara.
After Kara attempts to get high on dry-erase markers, she and Dash bond over needing a transplant. Kara wants Dash to give her tips on getting onto the transplant list. He agrees to help her, but on one condition: She has to get him into a certain, fancy apartment building. No questions asked. Kara agrees, not just because she needs a heart transplant, but also because that poor girl is boarded up and bored at the hospital and needs to cook up some fun.
NEXT: Riding in Cars With Boys