'Red Band Society' recap: 'The Guilting Age'
Hey there Red Banders, Red Band Society is back, full of tear-jerking moments, Dash’s wayward fashion advice, and Leo’s longwinded speeches. It’s been a while, and I’m sure we’re all glad that while the future of this show doesn’t bode well, we at least get to see what happened after “What I Did For Love” back in December. Red Band hit a stride tonight, and, in a classic case of too little, too late, delivered on all the drama and emotion the pilot had promised. Tonight’s episode, “The Guilting Age,” was so heart wrenching, I’m going to have to go to Cost Co for a deluxe box of tissues. Even the titles have improved.
Episode 10 left us off with quite a few cliffhangers, the “previously on” was jam-packed. Emma dumped Leo + Kara dumped Hunter = Leo and Kara hooking up. Emma passed out in the bathroom after dealing with her heinous mother. Hunter went in for life-threatening organ transplant and left Kara some sort of mysterious love note. Jordi is on his way to becoming America’s next top drug dealer, and the adult doctors are behaving like high school kids. Whew. Now that we’re all caught up, let’s move on to tonight’s super depressing recap.
“The Guilted Age” starts off with Charlie discussing the guilt Kara and Leo feel from hooking up. Gotta be honest, it was weird hearing a lecture about casual sex from a comatose preteen. But, hey, it’s television. Post-coital Kara and Leo return to the hospital feeling terrible for what they’ve done, only to pile more guilt on when bad-news-bears Kenji runs up and informs Leo that Emma is in the ER. Clairvoyant Dash figures out instantly that they hooked up, because he can “smell it on Leo,” to which audiences everywhere answered, “ew!” and “really?” Kara goes to her room to find Hunter’s love note. To her surprise and ours, it’s not a cheesy love note, but rather, he is making a direct donation of his heart to her in case he doesn’t make it through his very high-risk surgery. Puts a new spin on the expression, “I gave you my heart.” Kara now feels even worse about herself, and responds in true Kara form: getting sloppily drunk and making an embarrassing show of herself. But rather than being the comic relief, it’s heartbreaking to watch. Either way, she’s going to come out of this situation heartbroken. Still, the idea that if he dies his heart will live on in his beloved is pretty freaking romantic.
Now, it’s not only the teens that had a one-night stand they regret. Let’s see what the supposed “adults” are up to in a section called: “adults, they’re just like teens.” Dr. Grace is kinda being shitty, and arguing against Hunter leaving Kara his heart. Dr. McSexy flares up at this, saying it’s his heart to give. And Nurse Jackson reminds them that Hunter is still alive. But this strife serves to drop Dr. Grace a few notches in Dr. McSexy’s eyes, so the next time he sees Nurse Brittany, he gives her a googly-eyed apology for being a jerk.
In a different room, the doctors inform Emma (who looks really ill and skinny) that she passed out because she may have caused irreversible damage to her heart. Leo enters, and she is thrilled to see him. She wants to rewind to before they broke up. He wants to be there for her, but he learns he himself is being released. He doesn’t want to go, but clairvoyant Dash somehow decides that Leo is bad for Emma, and tells him to move on. Taking Dash’s advice, Leo tells Emma that he is leaving, which she handles pretty gracefully. She handles it less gracefully when he tells her he slept with Kara. Props for being honest, Leo, but maybe work on your timing. Not sure hearing a confession after learning you screwed up your heart is exactly ideal.
Today is a jam-packed day (isn’t every day at Ocean Park?) and Jordi has his emancipation hearing, but guiltily sells a few drugs beforehand. When he tells his client, “This is only a means to an end for me. I’m not actually a drug dealer,” she responds, “That’s what my other drug dealer says.” He dresses up for his hearing with a pretty swanky suit (every day he looks a little more like Pablo Escobar). Nurse Jackson comes with him to the emancipation hearing, and the jerk of a judge pulls a fast one on Jordi, asking him to give a speech as to why he should be an adult. How about because if you don’t let him emancipate himself so he can have a life-threatening surgery, he won’t be able to live to into his adulthood? But he panics on the stand, and jerk judge won’t approve his emancipation. But one good thing does come out of it: Jordi confesses his new drug dealing habit to Nurse Jackson. She’s broken some hospital rules herself (remember when she switched Charlie’s blood sample?) so she’s not one to judge. Luckily, when he goes back to the hospital, his abuela is there for him. She’s all like, “I took a bus for you!” and he’s thinking, “yeah, if you’d just sign a paper for me so I can get surgery to save my life, that’d be great.” Hopefully she’ll get over her “magic over medicine” perspective and throw her grandson a bone.
Kara is so desperate over her Hunter, she actually seeks out time with Emma. When Emma confronts her about sleeping with Leo, Kara plainly admits that she’s not a good person, and that Emma is. She heads out, but Emma stops her, saying she doesn’t want to be alone. It seems like all Kara’s emotional growth spurts are happening in one day. She then goes to tell unconscious Hunter she loves him. He opens his eyes, she smiles at him with such authentic hope. Just when it seems like he’s going to wake up and it’ll all be okay, machines start making lots of noise, indicating there’s an emergency. Doctor McSexy rushes in and tries to save him. But he can’t. Kara, Hunter’s family cries, I cried. Who didn’t cry?
And as if that weren’t depressing enough… Jordi’s brief moment of happiness ends when bad-news-bears Kenji pulls him aside. Seriously, if Kenji walks up to you, it is never good. Kenji informs him that Leo’s cancer has returned. Dash and Leo stick by their friend, who lies in his bed, lost to the world. Emma, hooked up to an IV, silently rolls into the room. Without saying a word, she sits next to Leo who cries painful tears as he squeezes Emma’s loving hand.