Emily Owens, M.D. recap: Message Received
Emily becomes the enemy of the nurses but has decent luck with her patients.
I’m not gonna lie but on first meeting, I really thought I was gonna change doctors. I was not feeling a rapport with Emily Owens, M.D. Like I would have even considered—GASP!—going on over to NCIS: LA if stuff didn’t get better. But, after tonight’s episode, I’m feeling a teensy bit more comfortable with this gal who loves a chunky scarf.
Now granted I’m not full in love or ready to sign up with her as my primary care physician. I think I’m about the point where I would let her give me a flu shot…which are also administered by anonymous CVS employees so Emily and I are hardly through the rough patches. What I just mean is that tonight’s episode was an improvement over the pilot, at least in the storylines involving patients.
My main issue with the show at this point is that NO ONE in the supporting cast has remotely broken through, except for maybe Michael Rady’s Michah. Everyone else feels so lightly written. One of my co-workers came into my office and said he felt like “There are no stakes” and I said “Yes! Exactly!” (And I screamed it just like that! I scream all the time in the office! The Chrew is on!) Some of this just might come down to casting, like, for example, there doesn’t seem to be any discernible reason why Emily would be hung up on Will except audiences previous knowledge of how good Justin Hartley looks half-naked. Like the dude has zero personality and terrible taste in eyewear. It looks like he went all “glasses in about an hour” with that decision. And I don’t know why Emily and Tyra would befriend each other except for the fact that they’re not beasts like Cassandra. Like Emily seems to exist to help Tyra ask out non-lesbian nurses. Meanwhile, Dr. Bandari just barks orders because we all know from medical dramas that top female surgeons are all dead inside.
So hopefully by the mid point of the year, the writers will figure out they need to either change these characters or get them transferred the hell outta Denver Memorial. Maybe they can have a Shonda Rhimes moment and have them all crash land in the wilderness? Might be a good way to weed out some of the less important folk. Or they can all go away for a medical retreat and there can be some sort of Clue-like murder mystery plot line? I’m open to options. Thankfully, much of my pop culture anger/disappointment today has been taken up with the sad news of will.i.am announcing a reboot of the Entertainment Tonight theme song so my fangs may not likely be as sharp for the remainder of the recap.
NEXT: Emily gains two new patients and a new chunky scarf
Well, in any case, tonight’s episode started with a big reveal: Emily has a new chunky scarf! The lavender one is on a break (or likely missing since they probably shot the pilot like ages ago). And our girl is still reeling from Will not returning her affection, even going so far as to admit she has a saved years-old voicemail from him in which he drunkenly admitted to maybe wanting to date her. Oh lady. Oh sweet lady. Don’t mention things like that aloud to your coworkers. It’s just not gonna end up good.
In fact, her crush on Will spread through the hospital like wildfire because the nurses now all hate Emily after they think she tried to pick up non-lesbian Jessica. I’m also so over the angry nurses shtick that permeates through shows like this. Stop playing to clichés!!! Anyhoo, Emily then told Cassandra a lie that she was actually now crushing on Micah so that the hospital would get on a new topic. But it looks like maybe Micah is actually into Emily after he caught her reading a catalogue or something with his ill mother. Catch all that? Eh who cares.
The two major patient storylines were the things I found most compelling, best of which was Margot, a major OCD sufferer who reminded me of Rooney Mara without all the Lisbeth paraphernalia. She basically forced Emily to scrub her entire body down with anti-bacterial gel every time she entered the room. The actress who played her did a really nice job of making the character seem tragic and not annoying. She also had a fiancée who was distraught over not being able to touch her. There were some really nice moments, though, between Emily and Margot like when the patient was getting an MRI and asked Emily to talk and distract her. But then of course Emily went way overboard in the self-indulgent stuff and Margot asked her for silence. Sadly, her character ended up dying despite Emily discovering that she had a brain tumor.
The other major plot line was an elderly man who fought for dangerous surgery so that he could see his grandson get his grad school degree. It wasn’t a completely unique storyline but it felt sweet and delivered the message that life is worth fighting for, even ones that don’t seem so “big” at first. Clearly, me aka Frosty the Snowman, was melted by both these cornball subplots.
As I’m melting, Emily seems to be hardening. By the end of the episode, we see her delete the Will voicemail…then minutes later try and retrieve it. Oh well.
Follow Tim on Twitter: @EWTimStack