Red Band Society recap: 'Sole Searching'
Leo deals with jealousy following Jordi's operation.
Tonight’s episode of Red Band opened with Queen’s “Hammer to Fall,” an appropriate choice for this show, as this song tells about the inevitability of death while still living life.
Like any good teen on TV, angsty and emotional Leo is full of inspiring speeches. The episode begins with Leo, Dash, Kara, and Emma playing golf on the grassy knoll (Leo uses his new prosthetic leg as a club). They’re waiting for Jordi, who is about to have his surgery, and Leo gives a speech loaded with gravitas and a sprinkle of cheesiness as to how important it is for him to be there for Leo when he wakes up. For some light humor, Kara has redesigned the hospital gown into an outfit that is so sexy it could sell on Victoria’s Secret. As they wait, a frat house (oddly located across the street from the hospital) is throwing a party, making Leo nostalgic for his past, and he reminisces, once again, of when he was a cool kid on a soccer team. Insert flashback of Leo with a mop head of hair playing soccer. As per usual, Charlie narrates this episode, discussing various philosophical points and taking numerous jabs at Kara.
Jordi goes in for his surgery, but when Dr. McAndrew cuts, he finds that Jordi’s problem is much worse than he had thought. (Maybe Dr. Mc should’ve done his own research rather than just having the teenage patient translate a doctor’s analysis from a different country?) He decides it’s not necessary to cut the leg at this moment, as it might not even be beneficial.
When Leo learns that Jordi got to keep his leg, he is wrought with jealousy. This reaction was an interesting turn of feeling for the idealistic orator, who, only moments before, was lecturing the others on how to behave and be supportive to Jordi. Instead of going to see Jordi as he had promised, he finally wears his prosthetic leg, and he and Dash escape to go to a frat party. Once at the party, Leo does an excellent job playing a typical frat boy. He is a jerk to Dash, dismissing him from the party. He shamelessly flirts with the ladies, and even succeeds in making out with and almost sleeping with a college girl. But when she brings him to the bedroom to do the deed, he tries to stop her. When she incessantly tries to remove his pants, he is too ashamed to tell her the truth about his leg, and calls her a “slut.” She appropriately bounces, returns to the party (though she forgets to put her shirt back on) and leaves him alone in the room. This moment hit hard. For many teenage boys, this situation is a dream come true. But Leo is too insecure about his condition, and fearing that this girl would reject him, he rejected her first—just like we know he did with Emma.
Back at the hospital, in girl world, Kara and Emma are both getting tested in the hospital recreation room. Kara’s heart is being tested on the treadmill, and once again, we have to hear the joke of, “assuming you have a heart.” Yes, Kara is a jerk. There is also such a thing as being a professional and an adult, as well as not repeating the same joke over and over… and over and over again. Emma, in the meantime, has her weekly weigh-in. She not so subtly wears a Yale sweatshirt as she announces that she wants to gain 10 pounds so she can go to the Yale summer physics program. To achieve her goal weight, she gulps down water and stuffs her bra with coins. While Nurse Brittany weighs Emma and proudly announces that she has gained one pound, Kara harasses Emma, saying that she knows she’s packing extra weight. Kara knows all the tricks. But she drops pestering Emma when she hears her “moms” have come to visit her.
NEXT: Mothers know bestDash returns to the hospital, only to learn that all the nurses are freaking out looking for Leo. Nurse Brittany and Dash show up to the frat to retrieve drunken and depressed Leo, and the partygoers mistake Nurse Brittany for a stripper. The show cuts to Leo back at the hospital, skipping out on a possibly interesting moment of showing the frat brothers’ reaction to their discovery as to how sick Leo is. Once he sobers up, he goes to visit Jordi in his hospital room.
Kara’s moms quickly demonstrate how the bad apple that is Kara does not fall far from the tree. They are the amalgamation of lesbian stereotypes and negligent parents. After announcing that they were voted the seventh most powerful lesbian couple in Out Magazine, Kara’s mother tries to get on a VIP list for Kara’s heart. She comes up with a marketing game plan that they will get on Ellen (they are close friends with Ellen and Portia, of course) and raise awareness for Kara’s condition. Feeling ignored, Kara turns to the person she has been annoying: Emma. Once Kara is done with her usual diatribe, they bond when Kara finally opens up, saying “Mom is only interested in me when it benefits her.” This confession buys her 20 minutes in Emma’s room, which she promptly ruins after complaining that the only two eligible bachelors are interested in a “bag of bones.” (Dash is pretty cute and she were flirting with him pretty hard at the end of the last episode. Does he not make the cut for “eligible bachelor”?)
Goody-two-shoes Emma wants to help Kara out with her mother and stepmother, so she tries to talk to them about how they should support Kara more. She even throws out a Teddy Roosevelt quote, saying, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” The plan backfires as the mother thinks Emma is awesome and that makes Kara jealous. Kara’s stepmom (who had been her nanny) sits down to talk to her. She seems to care more about Kara than her own mother. They connect, and she reminds Kara of a quote from Winnie the Pooh that she used to tell her when she was young: Braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. The range of quotes in this show goes from Shakespeare, to Roosevelt, to Winnie the Pooh. Somewhere floating around that hospital there must be a big book of inspirational quotes. Feeling more at ease with her mom and stepmom, Kara states, to her mother’s shock and horror, that she has never seen Ellen, and doesn’t want her help because she would feel like a hypocrite to go on her show.
A problem many viewers have with the show is its sugarcoating and improbability; some critics noted that it depicts terminally ill kids in order to gain instant sympathy, but then will likely end with “happily ever after” scenarios for all the principle characters. It will be interesting to see how this show deals with death—whether they go for it Game of Thrones style or just loom it over for effect like Izzie in Grey’s Anatomy. Considering this is Fox and a show about teens, it seems the latter is more likely, but only time will tell.
Red Band Society