As I’m writing up this review of The Mob Doctor episode “Sibling Rivalry,” it’s T-minus 2 hours until 2013. Writing about The Mob Doctor on such an occasion is interesting, since this show now feels like it’s in the past but still stubbornly clinging on to life in 2013.
Let’s run through this rather succinctly, starting with the first plot of this episode:
Assassination plot: Constantine was given a box of champagne. It turns out to be rigged. Constantine goes through his list of cohorts to figure out who might have wanted him dead. Constantine figures out one of the people he used to work with back in the day, Jimmy Needles, sent him the gift. But who does Jimmy work for? After being tortured, Jimmy leads Constantine to whom I believe is the mobster Constantine had cut a deal with about supplying gaming machines. Constantine makes a surprise visit to the mobster’s house, shooting who I’m assuming is a bodyguard-type person. Anyway, Constantine corners his gaming machine supplier to see if he was the one who wanted him dead. Turns out it was the dealer’s brother who wanted to get over on Constantine. After finding that out, Constantine quickly shoots him dead right in front of the dealer. However, the dealer doesn’t act like he just saw his own brother get killed; instead, he wants to stay in good with Constantine, agreeing to bury his own brother in the backyard.
Nate’s stupidity: Now, the horse. Nate and another lackey who works for another mobster are having trouble with a thoroughbred horse. Nate and the lackey stupidly gave the horse a bunch of Viagra pills in the hopes of making money by selling the horse’s sperm. However, they can’t get the horse to calm back down, as it were. So, Nate calls Grace, as if Grace is a vet.
She is rightly angry at this whole stupid situation since she’s not a vet and she’s trying to help Brett with his brother’s injuries (more on that later). Her first treatment–an apple laced with pills that humans use to counteract the negative Viagra side-effects–doesn’t work, so when Nate frantically calls her again for help, she decides the only thing she can do is drain the horse’s member of the blood. Nate is nervous about the drugs she’s going to have to use because the thoroughbred–who is supposed to race the next day–will be tested for drugs. So the next thing to do (and probably the first thing Grace should have done) is to use the dummy mare in the shed.
Nate has worked Grace’s last nerve with this idiotic plan. She stresses very seriously–probably the most serious she’s ever sounded with him–that he’s got to get his life together. What’s funny is that Nate’s mind seems to have adjusted to the murder he committed in the last episode. All of that character build-up is null and void, apparently. He’s back to just acting like an idiot. What’s also funny is that the lackey gets mad at Nate for taking a suggestive picture of him with the horse. The lackey pulls a gun on Nate and somehow Grace gets the lackey to back down. How did Grace get this much power to talk someone out of killing somebody?
Brett’s brother drama: Brett’s brother, Jack Hanson (Derrick Trumbly), is rushed to the hospital after what seems to be a cycling accident. As Jack’s condition deteriorates, Brett is feeling the pressure to find the solution. It’s revealed that Carol (Linda Powell), the woman who seemingly became Jack and Brett’s mother figure after the death of their mother, is actually having an affair with Jack. When she and Jack were on vacation in Barbados, Jack got a UV light tattoo and contracted botulism from the tattoo artist’s infected needle. Instead of revealing to his estranged father that Jack is having an affair with Carol, Brett lies, saying he received the infection from a “dented can of corn.” However, Brett and Jack’s father (John Benjamin Hickey) somehow already knew Jack was having an affair and seemed relatively unfazed (which doesn’t build any kind of character and diffuses all the tension built up from Brett’s revelation about his brother’s love life). He thanked Brett for his tactfulness, but Brett doesn’t accept the compliments.
Brett still hates his dad for making his mom postpone her doctor’s appointment about a suspicious lump. It turns out that Brett’s dad didn’t want to seem distracted during his political confirmation. When Brett’s mom finally did go to the doctor, her cancer had spread, and she died. Brett’s dad acted like the overly concerned and bereaved husband at her funeral, and landed on the cover of TIME Magazine.
Patient problems: Meanwhile, Grace neglects a patient, but for good reason–the patient is a repeat offender. The patient is a junkie who only comes to the hospital, complaining of lower stomach pains, in order to get drugs. There’s a new policy in effect stating that any doctor who gets written up three times will have to go to a bedside manner seminar and Grace has already been written up twice (two instances we’ve never seen or heard of before until now). Grace brushes off the repeat offender patient and gives her a number to a drug management specialist. Eventually the patient gets passed off to Olivia, who actually runs protocol and gives her a CT scan. Ironically, Olivia finds that there is actually something wrong with the patient and proceeds to recommend surgery. The woman agrees only to get the drugs.
Even though Olivia did save the woman’s life, the woman still writes up both Olivia and Grace for the same thing–their recommendation for her to get help with her drug abuse.
Phew. What an episode. As I’ve said before, there are no stakes, everything is resolved. Not only do we have that in spades in this episode, but we also have a crazy twist–Constantine’s son shows up out of nowhere. Now the thing the show’s been hinting at from the beginning–that Grace is Constantine’s daughter–is really coming to light. Will this raise the stakes or the drama? No.