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‘Emily Owens, M.D.’ Review: Ethics, morality and a side of birthday cake


Emily Owens, M.D.” has become the highlight of my TV viewing schedule because it gets better and better each week and it was fantastic to begin with so that’s a huge accomplishment. Unfortunately, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the show will only be around for six more episodes so there’s also this tragic, bittersweet feeling that hangs over me each time I finish watching an episode. But I’m not going to focus on that. Instead, I’m going to gush about the amazing episode, “Emily and the Good and the Bad.”

The episode began with Emily’s voiceover talking about how there are two kinds of people: people who love birthdays and people who are not birthday people. Emily falls into the second category (as do I) and Cassandra falls into the first (she was wearing a pink crown at work). Coincidentally, Emily and Cassandra share a birthday, something Emily did not want to draw attention to, but Will found out when Cassandra gave Emily a half-hearted, “you too” after Emily wished her a happy birthday. Will mentioned that Emily had never told anyone when her birthday was and he wanted to buy her a birthday shot after work, but she reiterated that she was not a birthday person and then went off to talk to Joyce.

Micah’s mom was looking to score some medical marijuana, but she was hesitant to ask her son so Emily agreed to talk to him. Will came over to let Emily know the chief had called a meeting and all the doctors rushed to see what was going on. There was a prisoner being brought into the hospital with a heart problem and the staff had to take precautions: they had to enter the room in pairs; they couldn’t let him know their names, etc. Dr. Bandari reminded them to treat him like any other patient and not to ask what he did. Will and Emily were the first ones asked to get his history and he was perfectly polite to them, even though both doctors were a little standoffish. He was the “bad” patient.

The good patient was Manuel, the hospital’s flower delivery man. He’d been there delivering flowers to Cassandra from Will and then he collapsed in front of his son. The doctors found a mass on his lung that looked malignant and they needed to do surgery, but he didn’t have insurance. He wanted to find a different hospital but Emily asked the chief to use his pro bono fund and he agreed. However, there was a problem when Emily filled out the paperwork. It turned out that Manuel’s driver’s license and social security number belonged to someone else. He was an illegal immigrant. Emily had an obligation to report it, but she told Manuel that she wasn’t going to say anything until after the surgery.

Meanwhile, Will’s curiosity got the best of him and he asked the guard what the prisoner had done. It turned out that he had raped five women and killed his last victim. Needless to say that shook him and Emily up. Emily hesitated as she was getting ready to do the ultrasound and Will immediately stepped in and did it himself (yes, this is the part where I swooned) and the prisoner realized that they knew about him. Will coolly told him not to talk while they were working. Later, Emily was passing his room and heard him calling out so she went in there alone, forgetting that she was wearing a ‘Happy Birthday, Emily’ badge. The prisoner got super creepy and rapist-y with her and once again, Will came to her rescue. Poor Emily was freaked out and went straight to the ladies’ room to catch her breath. Will followed, but she didn’t want to talk about it.

The episode title came into play while both patients were having surgery. Micah was operating on Manuel and Emily was assisting while Dr. Bandari operated on the prisoner and Will assisted. In the middle of surgery, Micah needed Dr. Bandari’s help and sent the nurse to get her. Gina explained that she couldn’t leave and Micah would have to do it and Will questioned her decision, pointing out that Micah was operating on Manuel and the guy on their table was a rapist and didn’t deserve her skill. Dr. Bandari promptly threw him out of her OR and later let him have it. Will apologized for losing his objectivity, but that wasn’t why she was mad. She was mad because he’d made her question hers in the middle of surgery and that could have been costly.

Back to the lighter side of the episode, Will had decided to bring the party to Emily since she didn’t want to come out with them and had tweeted everyone that there was a party at her house. Micah mentioned to a (hilariously) high Joyce that he was looking for a birthday present for someone and then when Emily came in and mentioned it was her birthday, Joyce assumed Emily was the girl Micah had been dating. Unfortunately, Kelly witnessed their close moment and realized that Micah has feelings for Emily. Micah set his mother straight and attempted to tell Kelly that he didn’t have feelings for Emily, but she told him to think about his answer. Even though I understand the importance of the central triangle, I feel bad for Kelly. She and Micah are cute together.

Dr. Bandari got to show that she’s not always the “bad” guy when Emily brought her the information about Manuel. She promptly threw it in the trash, pointed out that it was a big hospital and paperwork got lost all the time. She reminded Emily that they were doctors, not policemen. Chief Dupre got to be awesome too. Aside from immediately approving the surgery, he had a great heart-to-heart with Tyra about how she always has his approval. It was a truly touching moment.

Now let’s get to the party! Emily was feeling a little lost in her own house and went to hide in her room where she found two people making out on her bed (so much ew). Will came in to see what was wrong and he gave a very sweet speech about how he wishes she could see herself the way he did, but he balked a little when Emily pressed him for examples (he’s so got it bad for her). Will did convince her to play the cello for everyone, which was a bit of an odd choice, but it made Emily the center of attention and both Micah and Will were captivated by her. Cassandra and Micah were not happy to see the way Will was looking at Emily. Micah made an excuse to leave and Cassandra proved that she’s still a brat by blowing out the candles on Emily’s cake.

This episode hit every emotion in the spectrum, just like they all do. I cannot praise the writing and the cast enough. The show will be taking a mini-holiday hiatus, returning on New Year’s Day with a new episode. In the meantime, check back here next week for my mid-series (cries) review where I want to talk about why the Will/Emily/Micah triangle is one of the best written triangles ever. Are you Team Micah or Team Will? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see you next week.

Mandy Treccia
Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that.

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