In ‘Forks Over Knives’, Monday Mornings tackled God, obsessive compulsive disorder (and the ethical dilemmas these entail), love and marriage. As usual, it did none of this well.
The God part of this episode looked to be quite interesting: a fifteen-year-old girl was injured when her horse kicked her and while the treatment she needed was simple enough — blood needed to be drained out of her chest cavity — her Christian Scientist religion forbade any medical intervention. How would they convince the parents to let them do the procedure? Would the girl have to overrule the parents, or the parents overrule the girl? Nope, Gato does the procedure without telling them, leaving the family to think it was divine intervention. The girl comes back at the end to tell him that she knows and to lament about her lost religion, and Gato makes it all better by saying he and God ‘tag teamed’ her this time. (I’m hoping the writers of this episode didn’t realise alternate meanings of ‘to tag team’ someone because ick.)
How about Ridgeway’s marriage or lack thereof? After Harding Hooten takes it upon himself to ask about the state of her marriage during a meeting with all of the surgeons and doctors, Ridgeway’s marriage really does fall apart. Why? Because one of the few compelling plots points on this show, the one where we wondered how long it would take her and Wilson to get together, was completely negated by the revelation that they are already having an affair. I guess the folks behind this show thought a passionate affair or a tender affair or an affair where they even make mention of spending time together outside of the operating room were too obvious — they opted to go for the version where Ridgeway makes eyes at Wilson, he doesn’t respond, and we’re supposed to root for them and their lack of chemistry nonetheless.
This disaster of a plot was almost brought back from the brink when Sydney did her part as the best friend and told Ridgeway to come and stay at her house for a while. Everyone needs a good friend at times of emotional upheaval, right? Naturally, Gato takes it upon himself to intervene, since he is the equivalent of Mister Miyagi on this show. But unlike tedious tasks that reveal hidden depths, Gato’s advice isn’t particularly helpful: pull some night shifts, do surgery during the day, and figure out where to fit sleep in your own damn self.
(I’m pointedly ignoring the part where all women of a certain age inevitably start wondering whether they should be mothers and/or wives, as well as the bit where Ridgeway should obviously date a surgeon because like needs like. I couldn’t dislike Gato more if I actually tried.)
Meanwhile, Park was sued by the woman with the hand tremors that he treated in a previous episode. Her hands were steady but her libido had skyrocketed. While the point being made about the US being a lawsuit nation is an interesting one, watching characters get sued every week is dull. The least the show could have done is made this a slightly comedic storyline to lighten the mood. (Admittedly, I did like Park telling everyone that they have no honour. I mean this is obviously the sort of thing a doctor from distant lands would say, isn’t it?) The woman may have dropped the lawsuit after she realised the error of her ways, but we’re still left to wonder what she’s going to do about her libido.
We’re left wondering about the fate of the boy Ridgeway and Hooten treated, too. They initially butted heads about whether to do what amounts to a lobotomy on a boy with severe obsessive compulsive disorder, but Hooten relented after he met the boy. His situation really was sad and it’s the sort of plot where you want to see it through to the end, to see the boy able to cope with the world despite his condition. Yeah, not so much. Hooten says that he’s hopeful the boy will recover, but judging by the four episodes aired so far, the only way Monday Mornings will revisit this patient is if he decides to sue them next week.
I’m trying my hardest to like this show, dear reader, I truly am. But Monday Mornings seems intent on leeching the interest out of its plots and turning its characters into cardboard cutouts. I must admit I initially started watching this show for the fantastic Jamie Bamber (who plays Wilson); I wonder if he’s missing his Battlestar Galactica days as much as I am?
What did you think about ‘Forks Over Knives’? What about Monday Mornings overall? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!