Code Black Season 3 Episode 3 Review: La Familia

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Does anybody have any spare tissues left?

Code Black Season 3 Episode 3 took us back into the emotional heart of Angel's with the death of Jesse's brother, Jose. How is that the death a character we've never even heard of before could leave us so shaken?

The answer's simple. Luis Guzman.

Opening Up - Code Black

Mama's always been a favorite of mine (and anyone with a pulse), but this case took the character to a whole new level. 

Outside of his heart attack, Jesse has always been placed in the role of supporter and confident. He's the one that holds up Leanne; hell, he's the one that holds up the whole ER. 

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And it makes a certain amount of sense for the character to be in that role; it reflects the head nurse position. It's a vital role, but not one at the center of the story. 

While Leanne has played our central hero, it's not as if we're unaware that the support that Jesse gives her is reciprocated. It's not usually explicitly depicted, but little moments have made it clear that these two are family. 

But it was nice to have Jesse step into the limelight and be the focus. One of the things I love about this show is how, despite the fact that there are definite leads, it's still an ensemble production. 

Jesse: You know, back then, Jose was the runt. But he had the courage of a giant. He fought for me that day, and every day since. Who's gonna fight for me now?
Leanne: I am. Idiota. I am.

I was a little disconcerted at how ready Jesse was to keep Nora from Jose. I'm just glad he came to his senses in the end. 

Jose and the girls and even Nora helped make Jesse feel like a more complete character. They give him a life outside of Angel's and Leanne, which he was previously lacking. 

I don't expect to see a ton of his nieces going forward (especially this season), but I do hope that we hear about them from time to time now that we know they exist. 

Jesse, just because you don't know me doesn't mean I don't know him.


I have to say that I was surprised by Avila managing to not be a complete horses ass there at the end! Especially as he'd been so insufferable up to that point. 

I keep trying to tell myself that the more annoying he is, the greater his redemption can be, but I also can't help but agree with Noa's assessment that he could very well be gone in two months. 

You know what's more annoying than anything else he does? The fact that he's aware that he's annoying and inappropriate, and that he's so unapologetic about it. 

Avila: Anything else you want me to do, Dr. Guthrie? Pick up your dry cleaning or wash your car?
Guthrie: Excuse me?
Avila: Uh, humans don't exercise impulse control until twenty-five. It's...late bloomer.

But shooting that footage for Jesse was a really sweet move. If we can see more of that type of behavior and less of him sassing Guthrie, maybe we can all agree to give him another chance, hmm?

Our other intern, Pepper was back and proving that she's got the chops for the ER. She may have started off nervous, but she stepped up to bat with the vaginismus case, even if she did have to fight her embarrassment. 

Too bad her classmate doesn't have that same inhibition. 

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I'm looking forward to seeing more of Pepper. She shows promise as a doctor, but her personality isn't as, ahem, distinct as Avila's. She's likable in comparison, but then it's hard not to be. 

I'm glad to be getting to more about Ariel too. This boy she met, in addition to being a dreamy high schooler, is a great way for us to know her outside of Leanne.

Knowing kids only through their parents isn't a complete way to understand their character. They have complex internal worlds unto themselves, and Max is our entry point into her's. 

Hey, hey, hey, hey. Look at me. Ariel. I made a mistake when earlier when I told you it was okay to refer to me as your friend. I don't want you to think -- It's been a long time since you've been shown what a family is, hasn't it? Well, a family is home. And I don't just mean a roof over your head. I mean it's that feeling you get when you know someone cares about you. Truly cares. It's knowing that you're safe, that no matter what you say, no matter what you do, you belong to someone and they belong to you. Ariel, you are home. Right here, right now, and for the rest of your life. You are home with me.


Or at least part of it. Because of her trauma, Ariel's relationship with Leanne is very important. While it was uncomfortable to watch Leanne make as big of a mistake as she did telling Ariel to call her friend, the apology was a critical moment. 

Leanne's explanation of family made me tear up just as much as Jesse's grief over his brother. Family and home are important themes this year. 

Avila: In two months, you will be in love with me. Fact.
Noa: In two months, you won't be here. Fact.

Max and Ariel are only going to grow closer. Leanne is going to have to navigate her foster daughter dating on Code Black Season 3 Episode 4 ("The Same As Air").

Okay, so it's grabbing ice cream together in the hospital cafeteria, but it will still manage to bring some drama. Somehow. 

Related: CBS Renewals: Which Major Show Is Missing?

Expect Rox and Ethan to continue to grow closer too. All that time spent together in the back of an ambulance is going to lead to some confessions. Responding to road rage cases only heightens emotions. 

More importantly than romance, Elliot gets served with a civil suit for his role in the detective's death. Poor kid already doubts himself; this is the last thing he needs.

Noa: Wait, you guys are married?
Tina: Yeah. For seven years.
Noa: But all you do is fight.
Brandt: We work together, we live together. You try it.

So what did you think of "La Familia?" We want you to share your thoughts and join the discussion in the comments section below!

Should Jesse have told his family the truth right away? On a scale of 1-10, how badly did you want to slap Avila? Is there any hope for the young documentarian? Do you think Angus can make it as a surgeon? Are there scenes you're missing this season?

You can watch Code Black online with us anywhere, any time!

La Familia Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (4 Votes)

Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.

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Code Black Season 3 Episode 3 Quotes

Ethan: And you, sir, are suffering what's known as "penis captivus."
Brandt: Yeah, sounds about right. So, how long am I going to be in vagina lock-down?

Avila: Anything else you want me to do, Dr. Guthrie? Pick up your dry cleaning or wash your car?
Guthrie: Excuse me?
Avila: Uh, humans don't exercise impulse control until twenty-five. It's...late bloomer.