So far in this final season, Hank’s been striking out on all fronts, except perhaps the most important one: his supreme doctoring skills. While he’s yet to find the woman of his dreams, and his search for a home was DOA in the Hamptons, he’s still been an unstoppable force of modern medicine, and this week he’s taking a good hard look at how highly that little life factor stacks up against the rest.
Meanwhile, Eddie R. Lawson is finally ready to become the new Mr. Newberg, and Paige and Evan are anxiously awaiting the results of their first go at IVF, while the main patient of the day is seeing numbers — musical numbers, that is. Which means, Royal Pains is pulling a Grey’s Anatomy circa season 7 and going lyrical with the dialogue…all in service to the symptoms, of course. Sing along, everyone!
No. 1: All the world’s a stage…
Famed dame Annette Bellamy (portrayed by the uniquely great Cloris Leachman) is always the bridesmaid for Ms. Newberg. They know each other from way back in their earliest acting days (before she became a professional bride, “she had presence, she had poise, she had balls,” Annette says of her bestie). So, despite the fact she’s become a little hard of hearing, her memory’s pretty shot, and she’s feeling weak with headaches, Annette’s still making a grand entrance to Newberg’s Hamptons house so she can watch her old friend hit the aisle, again, with hopes that the sixth time’s a charm.
While Newberg’s showing off all those “sizzle” skills in her cape dress (which looks like a bridal hybrid of Gwyneth Paltrow’s 2015 Oscars dress and what Lupita Nyong’o rocked at the 2014 Golden Globes), everyone else is randomly bursting into song about their current dilemmas. “My eggs don’t seem to care that Evan’s hot for me; screw you low motility; eff you infertility,” croons Paige. “Four kids in med school, they thought I couldn’t do it; but I’m the queen of hey, there’s nothing to it,” Divya chimes in.
Even Hank and Evan trade a few barby lines on the beach — about their dear-old dad and Ev’s reluctance to speak at his rehearsal dinner (although he ultimately caves) — and the rehearsal dinner erupts into a full-on showcase of Hank’s diagnostic history as past characters come back to congratulate him on his good work with HankMed over the years.
The reason for all these flash-mob-style ditty bits? Annette’s mind is making it all happen — well, except the beginning number with Divya singing to a sleeping Sashi, of course, because she wasn’t there to see and imagine that one. Actually, there are a couple of those moments, but we’ll just go with it.
She’s afraid she might have Alzheimer’s disease, since she’s been slipping on her dialogue during performances and doesn’t sleep well, but Hank’s not ready to give her that grim assessment just yet. Other indicators of memory loss include encephalopathy and dehydration, so Hank does what Hank does and runs some tests. Unfortunately, he doesn’t yet know about all the musical hallucinations Annette’s experiencing yet, so when his tests come back with no alternatives, he’s a little less optimistic about the prognosis…until she seizes at the party and reveals her random audiovisual bursts, that is.
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Annette’s CT scan didn’t reveal what the MRI could about her brain — that she has a cavernous malformation, otherwise described as a cluster of abnormally formed blood vessels, bleeding into her brain and causing all this mind-trickery. All this cranial commotion has also triggered epilepsy. She’ll need surgery to stop the bleeding and remove the cause of it, but afterwards she’ll be good as new (or as new as someone in her 60s, wink-wink, can possibly be).
Also? Her little song-and-dance machinations conveniently give Hank a chance to realize that while not everything has gone exactly to plan for him, he’s “having a great life,” and maybe there isn’t anything wrong with him after all… But he’s still ready for a change. A big one. One that makes him, like everyone else chants in the final chorus, “No longer plus none/Happily plus one,” perhaps?
NEXT: “You’re on deck, Henry”…