Bella Thorne stars on this heated episode of Red Band Society.
Credit: Guy D'Amica/Fox
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Red Band‘s Thanksgiving episode was more like a Valentine’s Day special: The show used a flash-forward technique to show the protagonists in “uncompromising” positions. Dr. McAndrew has a black eye, Kara is seemingly necking a comatose senior citizen, Jordi and Dash are fighting over a new hospital patient, and Leo is burning his prosthetic leg on the roof. Yes, this week’s title, “How Did I Get Here?” is perfect for this episode.

It began with Leo and Emma each having tests run to see whether they are well enough to return home. (Remember when Leo said he dreamed of leaving this place healthy with Emma? Today could be that day.) Leo has physical assessments, whereas Emma has psychological ones. They both ace their tests… except that Leo can’t fake his results, whereas Emma can. She knows exactly what the therapist needs to hear to give her the all clear.

This is where the show gets really complex: Emma sees the approval in the eyes of Leo, her parents, and the doctors, when she progresses. She sees how they feel proud of themselves for helping her. And being a good-natured person, she wants to give them that. She also aches for them to realize her struggle: that she isn’t ready to leave. But they are all too happy to believe Emma’s lie. Emma is also concerned that out in the real world, she and Leo won’t last.

Sometimes those we have strife with are the only ones who can tell us the truth to make us better. And that’s what happens when Kara asks Emma for a condom, and Emma slut shames Kara. Kara goes toe to toe and calls Emma out for hiding her “rexi-ness” when she’s out with Leo; she says Emma’s faking who she is and leaves her with the heavy thought: “How real can your relationship be if it’s based on a lie?”

Leo has made vast steps physically and emotionally this season, and rather than be petulant, he steps up. He sends her a beautifully written letter, sealed with wax, inviting her to a romantic dinner on the rooftop. There he proceeds to describe a fanciful reality where they met under normal circumstances, and they seal it with a kiss. Just before this moment delves into the cheesy, they add in the humor by having Leo’s prosthetic leg catch on fire.

The next day, Leo goes to Emma’s room to give her a present. At first she’s touched—until she opens it and learns it’s a box of chocolates. She flips out because it means he doesn’t understand her illness—which means he doesn’t understand her.

It turns out that Emma is being released, but Leo isn’t. Leo begs her not to leave, since she told him she’s still sick, but she isn’t listening. She leaves coldly, pulling off her red band, and Leo is all torn up inside.

While Leo and Emma have cooled off, Kara and Hunter are progressing hot and heavy. They’re trying to figure out a way to hit a “home run” (if you catch my drift, and I think you do). Between Kara’s heart monitor being a signal to Nurse Jackson every time she gets frisky and them being unable to find some privacy, hooking up is proving to be quite the challenge. But Nurse Jackson warns Kara not get too involved.

Kara finally figures out a way to rid herself of the heart monitor (by hooking it up to a comatose senior citizen), when she runs into another problem: Neither she nor Hunter have a condom. Luckily, these responsible teens don’t get caught up in the heat of the moment (last thing this hospital needs is pregnant Kara) and they go on the hunt for a condom. Kara approaches Emma, who, as previously said, slut shames her, but the conversation does make Kara ask herself why she’s rushing to sleep with Hunter.

So when Hunter succeeds in finding a condom, Kara isn’t so sure anymore. She tells Hunter she wants to wait, because she doesn’t want to lose interest in him. He tells her they may not have much time to lose interest, as neither of them are particularly healthy (don’t be fooled by their fit bodies and rosy cheeks). She points out that no one knows how much time they have in this world, and Hunter complies. It seems like he’s not too upset, until he passes out and gets taken into the ICU.

Kara is desperate as she waits outside Hunter’s hospital room. She fears the worst, and Nurse Jackson isn’t telling her otherwise. She tells Kara, “My job is to protect your heart, Kara, in every possible way.” Now we know why she was giving Kara the lecture, because Hunter’s future is a little grim.

NEXT: Jordi’s always in the way

On the lighter side of all this drama are Jordi and Dash. Before they were fighting over Leo’s friendship, now they are fighting over a girl. Teen pop star Delaney Shaw (Bella Thorne) is sent to Ocean Park hospital for “exhaustion” treatment. (I guess this hospital is a melting pot for a hodgepodge of ailments.) Dash wants to hook up with her, and as per usual, uses his “I’m dying” tactic. He makes sure to add that while his disease is deadly, he is not contagious. Well played, Dash. She seems game… until Jordi comes in.

Jordi, however, is not interested in sleeping with Delaney, but he does want to connect with her music manager. Like every other person in Ocean Park Hospital, Jordi is a musician. And he needs a job because he will soon be emancipated, but has to pay a hefty processing fee for it to come through. Delaney makes a deal with him: If he can snag her some painkillers, she’ll hook him up with her manager. Jordi has a crisis of heart… for a hot second… then succeeds in stealing the pills from an elderly patient. Jordi then performs for Delaney. She is blown away by his talent, but openly admits that she sees him as a threat, so she won’t introduce him to her manager. Instead, she gives him cash for the pills. He doesn’t want to accept… he briefly hesitates… then he remembers the amount of money needed to file the emancipation paperwork.

In the adult world, love is less mature than the teen world. At the beginning of the episode, Nurse Jackson asks Dr. McAndrew if stupidity runs in his family, and apparently, it does. Dr. Grace’s emotions for Dr. McAndrew are all over the place, while he is still completely smitten with her. Dr. Grace and Dr. McAndrew are flirting up a storm in the lunch buffet line, when Dr. Grace’s new man cuts in. Dr. McAndrew holds up the line to assess the situation. (We need to take a moment to discuss the hilarious extra in line behind Dr. McAndrew who looked SO annoyed at his holding up the line.) Dr. McStupid is none too happy and pouts like a kindergartener.

They reconvene in the kitchen, where Dr. McAndrew calls out Dr. Grace for giving him mixed signals, and she calls him out for being a child. That night, he goes to drink his woes away, when he runs into Nurse Brittany on the world’s worst date ever. After she signals S.O.S., he intervenes and saves her from the creep. They end up drinking together, and after throwing a few back, they end up sleeping together. When they wake up, Dr. McStupid tells Brittany it was just a one-night stand, and she gives him a shiner with her right fist.

Things are awkward at work the next day, when Dr. Grace fesses up to not being over Dr. McAndrew, but now he is confused about his feelings for Brittany. Come on, adults. If you can’t figure it out, what do you expect the kids to do?

Group Therapy:

– Who else enjoyed Dave Annable joking about going prematurely gray?

– Dash: “Dying without ever fully experiencing the rapture that comes from having sex with one of people’s most beautiful people.”

Delaney: “I am not about to waste my vagazzling on the Make-a-Wish foundation.”

– Kara: “A condom. A prophylactic. It’s a form of birth control. Kind of like that dress you’re holding up.”

– Kara: “Awesomeness is my cross to bear.”

Episode Recaps

Red Band Society
A group of teenagers band together in a pediatric ward—the result is full of humor and heart.
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