Royal Pains recap: Palpating the Orbital Rim
Hank's got his eyes peeled for new patients at all times
If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past seven years of watching our favorite Hamptons concierge doc working the beachy field (forget slick office window placement, Hank’s got the ultimate view at any given time), it’s that you don’t have to be in an ER to see crazy stuff go down with a human body. Life is odd, and the things that threaten to end it are even stranger, and they certainly aren’t choosy on victim locations when it’s time to strike.
As we count down the final few episodes of Royal Pains, we’re in it for the story closure, sure. (Will Hank ever find Mrs. Right? Are Evan and Paige going to finish that cursed house and fill it with the pitter-patter of little baby feet? Are Divya and Raj having a girl or a boy?! etc.) But with this show, the real drama has always been whatever wonderful weirdness the patients are presenting with, so each week ‘til the end we’ll be paying special tribute to the most bonkers body business that goes down, starting right here and now.
#1: Ow, my eyes!
This week is an eye episode, y’all, which means it’s NOT for the squeamish.
You’re reading this right now, so chances are you already know how crucial optical health is … but did you know that a pair of contacts could actually stop your heart? Well, kind of.
Hank, while out and about on a casual pie-buying stroll (as one does), happens across a low-budget film set which boasts one badass stunt girl who’s not afraid to pop her own dislocated finger back into place on the spot like that. Snap! That in and of itself is a real WTF moment — “happens all the time” — but in truth she’s in for much, much worse when it comes to the occupational hazards on-set The Curse of Shelter Island.
See, turns out she took a gnarly tumble a few days before, and she’s been having random fainting episodes ever since. Her EEG checks out just fine, but since she’s got zero history of seizures or other neurological hang-ups, something’s up … and Hank’s making it his personal (and possibly pro bono?) mission to find out exactly what it is, even if it does mean hanging back and watching her stubbornly carry on with her next dangerous stunt against the doc’s advice. And of course, disaster strikes.
See, our new friend Rachel has to wear a purposefully unsettling pair of black-out lenses for effect (she’s supposed to be some kind of molecule-manipulator, as explained in Act I of their film), but they’re actually causing her some major heart issues. Her fall from before, Hank explains, has trapped her trigeminal nerve (bad news), and now these contacts are causing an oculocardiac reflex that’s causing her heart rate to drop dramatically (hence all the fainting spells). As she passes out during a car stunt, she’s now brachycardic and requires atropine and, eventually, external pacing, which in layman’s terms means Hank has to hook up a painful device to jolt her heart back into full swing again and rip out those pesky contacts before things can get worse. Ouch … and also kinda yuck. Good thing HankMed’s always locked and loaded with all those portable devices!
NEXT: Birthing babies can be a real beach sometimes …
#2: Digital manipulation, what?
Humans aren’t the only species that receive some emergency treatment from the HankMed kids this week, either. Jeremiah (lovingly known as Jerry to his visiting parents) gets his hands, um, rather dirty when he has to pull a manual assist on his parent’s dog Rosie.
Though she was supposedly spayed at the shelter, she’s actually carrying a full litter of little lab babies, and when she stops being her usual happy-go-lucky self, Jeremiah and Divya (who’s also getting pretty close to laboring herself) fortunately have their trusty ultrasound on hand to flip the breach pup by hand and help our pooch pal deliver the little ones safely. Cue the happy family feels, which are made all that much more sappy by the presence of so many adorable puppies, one of which will be named Mandelbrot (a math moniker) and teach Jerry just how good cuddles can feel. Well worth the slimy handiwork, then, so win!
As for everything and everyone else …
Evan’s been through a lot lately, so when he receives 100 percent of the blame for the hospital’s breach and has Boris practically boring holes into his face with all the eye daggers, well, it’s rough. The whole incident becomes even more excruciating when we learn that VIP patient and senatorial candidate Diana Underhill has now had her personal medical information blasted to every 24-hour news cycle in America after she explicitly demanded that her very presence in the halls of Hamptons Heritage be kept under strictest confidences (as is any patient’s right, natch).
So, it’s a good thing that Evan’s able to narrow down the circumstantial evidence of the IT investigation to determine that Diana actually leaked her own deets for the sake of having a platform for cyber security and medical reform issues (‘cause even the most likable politicians can be so shady, guys), and voila! Evan’s now managed to avoid a complete public relations nightmare for the hospital, and now the only thing left to resolve on that front is the who’s, what’s, how’s, and why’s of the hack attack on Boris’ medical information (as he was apparently the only real target, not Diana).
Meanwhile, we’re kinda back to the drawing board on Hank’s romantic life. Was there ever a more awkward first date than the fumbly to-order-artichokes-or-not-to-order-artichokes mess that was the Hank-Jen dinner? It was so cringeworthy that if it were real-life, there’d be a viral Twitter tale about it exploding on your feeds right this second. Suffice it to say, we’re not hearing any wedding bells in their future, but then again, weirder things have happened on this show, so we’ll have to wait and see how this one plays out.