Marlee Matlin gave a stellar performance (as always) on Code Black Season 2 Episode 10, and the care that the writers and production gave to her story honored that. The parallels between Kathy and her interpreter, Daniel, and Leanne and Jesse had some weak points, but overall delivered in a satisfying way.
In a departure from the usual disparate cases at Angels' ER, (almost) all the cases intersected even if they weren't directly related. The glaring exception was Ethan's general, but if you consider the general (*hehe*) theme of departure, even that counted.
There was so much to love about Marlee Matalin's guest appearance. Admittedly, I'm biased towards approval of just about anything she does, but I truly appreciate that she was given real prominence, unlike some of Code Black's guest stars(*cough* Camryn Mannheim *cough*).
I'm always intrigued on how a show chooses to use Matalin's voice -- some only have her vocalize for emotional emphasis, some use vocalization to denote intimacy and trust. But her silence on Code Black accomplished that and more.
In addition to the silence that the audience experienced as part of her point of view when Daniel was in distress, I appreciated that she wasn't set up as some kind of saint.
As frustrating as her Deafness was to her when she wanted information, she also used it as a weapon with Daniel. The bits about turning her back or closing curtains exhibited a bit of pettiness. Even with that, the way she cared for her interpreter as a friend came through, even if he couldn't see it.
Jesse's identification with Daniel really said more about him than it did about Kathy or Leanne. While I thought the comparisons of the two work couples was done well -- not to subtle, but not too glaringly obvious, a tough needle to thread -- there was one aspect that didn't jive.
Jesse's attitude about Leanne treating him like the help came out of nowhere for me. Maybe it was redirected frustration from the situation with Rollie, but it just really didn't make any sense.
I can only hope that they have a heart to heart about it soon. Because how could he think that they're not friends? Granted, we basically don't see anything of them outside of the hospital, but it's been heavily implied that they're close enough to spend time at each other's homes and know one another's families.
I have my own hands. I'm not a doctor's assistant, I'm a *nurse.*Jesse
That being said, I was concerned when Leanne didn't fight for Jesse. From a certain perspective, it was noble to want and protect Mario and Angus, but one thing that may have changed Campbell's mind would have been to be faced with the prospect of having to suspend the entire ER staff.
Speaking of Mario and Angus, I really would have like to see more of how Angus talked Mario into doing the right thing. I don't think his diagnosis of the general and subsequent butting of heads with Ethan is what got him on board with doing the right thing.
It's a good thing that Ethan decided to stay, because with Jesse and Rollie gone, there's going to be a severe deficit of wise advice.
- I really hope that the discussion of the ethics of Rollie's illness isn't over. I love the doc, but the real outrage is that he put Malaya, Jesse, and the rest in that position in the first place.
- Anybody else feel bad for expecting Campbell to be an absentee father? He was absolutely killing the single dad thing!
So....what happened to
Ever Carradine Linda? Carradine is too good of an actress to be wasted on two eps where she gently nudges Mario into being a decent, functional human being.
- Are Heather and Campbell going to start up again? Somehow I don't see her as great stepmom material...
Loyalty to your friends cannot come before loyalty to your patients.Jesse
We can only hope that Code Black Season 2 Episode 11 ("Exodus") sheds some light on Jesse, Rollie, and Malaya's futures. While we (and they) wait with bated breath to find out their fates, the rest of Angels' is in the dark -- literally.
A blackout leads to the unlikely duo of intern Elliot and surgeon Heather having to deliver a baby in an elevator (two tropes for the price of one!), while Ethan and Amanda treat a dementia patient stuck in 1942 (a seasonal favorite for medical shows).
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Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.