Early season finales are stressful for everybody.
CBS' premiere medical drama wrapped up it's second (and possibly final) season with Code Black Season 2 Episode 16, managing to give its audience a satisfying conclusion while still leaving the door open for a return.
Now we sit and wait. Feel free to join me in playing Caitlin Canty's cover of Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" on endless repeat until we hear something.
Honestly, there are only a few criticisms I can make of "Fallen Angels," and most feel rather nitpicky:
There's debate about the legality of federal quarantines within US borders, and something as large scale as closing off an entire hospital seems unlikely.
One guy being able to supply enough blood/antibodies quickly enough seems a stretch.
The whole stolen CDC van being stolen was completely glossed over -- sure, it explained why Reddick was acting sketchy, but WHY THE HELL DID SOMEBODY STEAL A CDC VAN? (This actually would have been a great plot for a Chicago Med/Chicago PD crossover).
The one glaring mistake I caught was an error in editing. Ethan mentioned to Dr. Kerr she had said the vaccine was started with a patient who had natural antibodies -- something we never heard. I can only assume that scene ended up on the cutting room floor.
Reddick: Who do you think you are?
Ethan: Just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.
Ethan: Not a big movie fan?
I would rather have had it remain and seen the whole bride/father/fiancee story cut. I griped about that a little when we talked about Code Black Season 2 Episode 15, but it became even more outrageous with the father dying and the bride getting shot.
The only redeeming factor to the story was Rollie's great line as they tried to save her.
Of course, you could argue that there was at least some point to that case, as opposed to Noa's basketball player, who I can only assume managed to escape quarantine with his awesome baller skills.
Mama says you either come here to die or to get one last miracle. You want a miracle today? You be the miracle.Guthrie
Overall, "Fallen Angels" was just about everything you could hope for in a finale -- be it season or series. While I'm really hoping that CBS brings Code Black despite its less than stellar numbers, things were wrapped in a satisfying way if this turns out to be the end.
Leanne started the series as the main protagonist, and many have complained that she's faded to the background this year as Ethan became the main focus. Ariel's return not only called back to the pilot episode because of her father's death, but because she finally gave Leanne (and us) closure to the Rorish family tragedy.
Sure, it was obvious that Leanne was going to end up adopting the girl, but that doesn't make it less satisfying. Hell, I'm hoping for Season 3 in large part so we can see a non-tortured Leanne.
Leanne: You said Ariel doesn't belong to anyone. We seem to have that in common. There's no waiting at home for me, Jesse.
Jesse: Don't -- don't say that. That's not true.
Leanne: It is true. Maybe that's why I'm here -- to test this antidote, so that other people can live. People at the start of their lives.
Jesse: You think you don't belong to anyone? I mean, how can you say that to me? You belong to me, Leanne, just as much as I belong to you. Tu eres mi familia! Entiendes? Tu eres mi familia.
Leanne: Si, entiendo. Entiendo.
The only other major complaint I have is the lack of plot or resolution for Malaya. This really applies to all of Season 2. She was a major focus in Season 1 when her ex showed up dying of cancer, and when she had a stalker. But she's been pretty low key this year.
I'm disappointed that Mario and Angus both got to have these great scenes with their teachers where the futures were discussed, but Malaya didn't. She just got yelled at by Guthrie for doing her job, and suspended by Campbell for not doing it quickly enough.
If Code Black returns, I just hope that Malaya gets put on even footing with the boys again -- and maybe can join in the friendship and support they provide one another with.
Angus: Of all the doctors at Angels...you're the one I aspire to be. Watching you is...is a lesson in being the calm in the storm but not the storm.
Campbell: Until now.
Angus: No. Now you taught me it's okay to be human, too.
I'm glad that Seitzman and his writers left the door open for a return in the fall. Jesse touring the new interns around showed the passage of time and how the more things change the more they stay the same. But it also has me totally excited about these new docs.
If you want to help ensure renewal, one thing you can do is to watch Code Black online. Live ratings count, but so do delayed views in the three and seven day windows!
Let us know what you thought of the finale (and the season) in our comments section. Should CBS renew, and let it end on a high note? What would you like to see tackled in a new season? Should Ethan stay put or ship out? We want to hear ALL your thoughts, so don't hold back!
Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.