ROYAL PAINS “Medusa” Review

ROYAL PAINS

ROYAL PAINS‘ latest episode “Medusa” gets right to it. Dr. Hank Lawson is asked by wealthy Hampton’s benefactor Boris to get on a plane and meet him in New York, only the private aircraft is being non-hijacked to Cuba. Boris is there and takes Hank to the medical clinic that’s been researching his mysterious ailment, a disease he reveals will devastate his muscles and bones. Hank meets the quite-attractive doctor (Paola Turbay) he’s been trying to contact about Boris’ condition and she’s quite stand offish.

Meanwhile, Evan’s left to wander about meets bikini-wearing American Mindy on the beach, her two friends on the sand done with diving, so she asks him to be her dive buddy. Of course, he says yes. And he gets a whack to the head that knocks him off a boat. After his brother arrives to fix him up, Evan goes on to bond a bit with the vacationing girls.

Back home in the Hamptons the doctor we thought was replacing Hank, Emily Peck (Anastacia Griffith) is just filling in (according to Boris) and is driving Divya (Reshma Shetty) a bit nuts, from her somewhat flippant manner to her general ego-attitude.

In Cuba, Hank and Evan find out Boris’ relationship with Dr. Caseras is more than patient-physician, though we kind of figured that out based on past show hints. Hank later brings it up to Boris but is shut down. Evan gets in more trouble in the local streets trying to cut merchandise deals and trades. Tests show Boris is eligible for bone marrow trials and wants to jump right on, though Hank is wary and urges caution. Then, it’s Hank to the rescue of one of the other tourist girl trio with a pulmonary embolism caused by some local surgery too soon after diving. It’s hardly a surprise that Boris brushes off Hank’s advice invites him to stay in Cuba, but he declines and then speaks with Caseras, suggesting they can both help Boris, but she doesn’t want to hear any of it. Boris walks him down the runway to the plane as Hank vows to find a cure. He settles into his seat, wondering where Evan is and we see him kidnapped on a quiet city street, tossed into a old car.

Taking the show partially out of its element is good move. The Cuban setting drops characters into situations where they’re way out of their usual playground-of-the-rich element. There are also new bits of back story such as Hank complimented by a Cuban doctor on his Spanish and it turns out he once worked in a Brooklyn clinic where he spoke it all the time.

There’s a lot going on, even more than usual for Royal Pains, and it works as the various plot elements were easy to follow, linear yet also linked. Add the kidnapping cliffhanger and we have another winner from this smart program that cleverly walks the liner between humor and drama.

Darryl Morden – That Writer Guy