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Royal Pains recap: Doubt of Africa

Hank gets back in the E.R. and grapples with a potential Ebola crisis

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Giovanny Rufino/USA Network

Royal Pains

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

It’s been way too long since we’ve gotten to witness Dr. Hank tamping the throttle in the emergency room, but when Hamptons Heritage is suddenly short-staffed while HankMed is conveniently running low on retainer-paying patients, Henry (as Evan calls him to bare a little authority muscle) is down to step in as a fill-in for the heck of it.

Which means not only is it one of the busiest doctoring days we’ve seen since HankMed broke proverbial ground — and brotherly workplace tensions are creating all new levels of dissonance between the Lawson men — but there are wacky procedures galore and Hank gets to play MacGyver, M.D. again, big time.

#1: How many doctors does it take to screw in an LVAD wire?

Not since Izzie Stevens took a pair of scissors to Denny Duquette’s cardiac device back in season 2 of Grey’s Anatomy has there been so much sweat broken over a cut LVAD wire situation on the small screen. Hank might get a few softballs to start the day as the ER sub — an ingrown toenail with paronychia and a minor forehead laceration, to be exact — but it doesn’t take long before he’s called upon to work some of his mental magic to beat the clock and save a man whose pulse has stopped and who is not responding to the EMT’s rampant chest compressions.

Well, duh, people, of course he’s not responding to them; he’s got a freaking LVAD system right there in his fanny pack. And what’s worse is those compressions could actually kill this man, so thanks a lot. You’ve done a great job, guys. (How could they actually miss that?! Nope, nope, nope. We’ll have to just suspend all disbelief on that note and just let this happen because otherwise, all faith in the ambulance support system is dunzo.)

After the two seconds it takes Hank to figure out what’s wrong with the guy — his left ventricular assistance device has been disabled thanks to the sliced wire — he alerts the cardio squad to book an operating room immediately and requests the following items for his slapshot savior operation: a scalpel, electrical tape, a bunch of hemostats, and cardboard.

It turns out, Hanks’ minor in college was electrical work (that or he’s a born Hank of all trades) because he’s able to strip the LVAD wires and attach them to a new power source to hold the guy over until he gets upstairs to the specialists, and it’s nothing short of an electromechanical engineering-meets-medicine miracle.

Anyone else suddenly have an impulse to switch to Hank’s usual “extra hot extra shot” coffee order? It’s obviously working wonders for him.

NEXT: Sound the alarms; we’ve got an actual Ebola scare…