Original Air Date: Jan 6, 2010
Tom R. – Sr. Staff Writer
The beginning of the end for the most provocative show on television, and it literally opens with a bang. It’s always a god thing to put questions in the mind of your audience. The entire episode unfolds nicely, as the partnership of Sean and Christian may be unraveling.
Before we see anything, we hear a loud banging. The lights come up and Sean is trying to tear down some sort of marble wall, before turning his attention (and the hammer) to an etched glass award.
Flashing back, we learn that this was the prestigious Albert Poland Award, presented to physicians who have made a significant contribution to society.In order to collect the award, Sean and Christian have to return to their alma mater, the University of Miami. This gives Christian a chance to relive his college days, smoking pot and having threesomes with coeds, even though he is now married to Kimber and has impregnated the architect he hired to renovate the office.
Sean’s luck is not as good. As Christian recovers from his vasectomy, Sean meets an attractive chocolate salesman who wants to get him into the mile high club, the two are busted in the lavatory and held for questioning. Sean is also plagued by flashbacks to his college days, where we see Christian (#42 in his class) wheedle his way into the life of valedictorian Sean. We see him introduce Sean to Julia, and finally see Christian ruin Sean’s chances of transferring to Harvard. Yes, it’s a flashback within a flashback, but it’s done well. And the casting of the younger selves works perfectly.
Meanwhile, Dan Daly arrives at the office, with a genetic condition similar to Tourette’s Syndrome. Unfortunately, this variation makes the victim prone to self-mutilation. Dan has chewed off his lips and two fingertips. Christian sees this as a goldmine for repeat business. They reconstruct his lips, but when Sean is attacked in recovery, he realizes some people can’t change.
The external mutilation is a parallel for Christian’s internal strife, as Sean learns that the “significant contribution” was Christian’s donation of $ 200,000.00. Seeing a colleague with no money receive the same award for humanitarian work, Sean is devastated. A nice intercut between past and present characters punctuates Sean’s walk away from Christian and his return to the office, where he destroys the award and the wall that was meant to display it.
While there aren’t any jaw=dropping moments here, it’s a beautifully constructed episode that hits all of its targets. An impressive start in its sprint to the finish line.
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