Red Band Society Season 1 Review “Know Thyself”

Red Band Society episode 7 Know Thyself (7)

We’ve been waiting for Charlie to wake up since Red Band Society begin, whether that’s because you like his character or you just want the inane voiceovers to stop, and now that time is finally here. As much as I hate the afterlife vignettes, that was a pretty cool way to reveal it too.

If there was ever an episode in which to solidify the frustratingly ill-defined ‘society’ of the title, then ‘Know Thyself’ was it but, as with every episode of the show, the message was bungled. Rallying together to get Nurse Jackson reinstated at the hospital suddenly became a lame sub-plot about her being a backup singer and the group (minus two pivotal members) following Hunter around as he spouted obnoxious metaphors at them.

Leo and Jordi are still at odds, which is a problem for the group dynamic, but a bigger problem is that Emma and Leo have entered a relationship without addressing any of their previous issues.

The way the show addressed Emma’s illness this week was so far off the mark that it became outright offensive. Leo was wrong to take her to such a triggering environment, his friend was wrong to confront her like she did, and choosing to eat because she’s frightened of losing Leo is not a constructive thing to do. Is that what Red Band Society wants us to believe, that the threat of a breakup is pushing Emma to get better?

Mental illness isn’t that clear-cut, and relationships that dependent can be destructive on their own. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, but am frightened that it won’t come.

There was hope in the Hunter storyline, as he tried to call out the group on their teenage nonsense by reminding them that being in a hospital isn’t like being in high school – there are bigger things to worry about than who’s dating who – but again, it didn’t quite come off. I like the idea of Kara having a love interest, and these people do need someone reminding them to pipe down from time to time, but Hunter’s a little obnoxious so far.

But the point of the episode was to get Nurse Jackson back, and sure enough her suspension was lifted by the end of the hour. Having her background pencilled in a little was nice, but she works best when she’s there with the kids.

What did you think of the episode? Was Emma’s gesture a sign of recovery or an alarm bell? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.