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Royal Pains recap: Palpating the Orbital Rim

Hank’s got his eyes peeled for new patients at all times

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Giovanni Rufino/USA Network

Royal Pains

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
USA Network

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past seven years of watching our favorite Hamptons concierge doc working the beachy field (forget slick office window placement, Hank’s got the ultimate view at any given time), it’s that you don’t have to be in an ER to see crazy stuff go down with a human body. Life is odd, and the things that threaten to end it are even stranger, and they certainly aren’t choosy on victim locations when it’s time to strike.

As we count down the final few episodes of Royal Pains, we’re in it for the story closure, sure. (Will Hank ever find Mrs. Right? Are Evan and Paige going to finish that cursed house and fill it with the pitter-patter of little baby feet? Are Divya and Raj having a girl or a boy?! etc.) But with this show, the real drama has always been whatever wonderful weirdness the patients are presenting with, so each week ‘til the end we’ll be paying special tribute to the most bonkers body business that goes down, starting right here and now.

#1: Ow, my eyes!

This week is an eye episode, y’all, which means it’s NOT for the squeamish.

You’re reading this right now, so chances are you already know how crucial optical health is … but did you know that a pair of contacts could actually stop your heart? Well, kind of.

Hank, while out and about on a casual pie-buying stroll (as one does), happens across a low-budget film set which boasts one badass stunt girl who’s not afraid to pop her own dislocated finger back into place on the spot like that. Snap! That in and of itself is a real WTF moment — “happens all the time” — but in truth she’s in for much, much worse when it comes to the occupational hazards on-set The Curse of Shelter Island.

See, turns out she took a gnarly tumble a few days before, and she’s been having random fainting episodes ever since. Her EEG checks out just fine, but since she’s got zero history of seizures or other neurological hang-ups, something’s up … and Hank’s making it his personal (and possibly pro bono?) mission to find out exactly what it is, even if it does mean hanging back and watching her stubbornly carry on with her next dangerous stunt against the doc’s advice. And of course, disaster strikes.

See, our new friend Rachel has to wear a purposefully unsettling pair of black-out lenses for effect (she’s supposed to be some kind of molecule-manipulator, as explained in Act I of their film), but they’re actually causing her some major heart issues. Her fall from before, Hank explains, has trapped her trigeminal nerve (bad news), and now these contacts are causing an oculocardiac reflex that’s causing her heart rate to drop dramatically (hence all the fainting spells). As she passes out during a car stunt, she’s now brachycardic and requires atropine and, eventually, external pacing, which in layman’s terms means Hank has to hook up a painful device to jolt her heart back into full swing again and rip out those pesky contacts before things can get worse. Ouch … and also kinda yuck. Good thing HankMed’s always locked and loaded with all those portable devices!

NEXT: Birthing babies can be a real beach sometimes …