TV Recaps

‘Emily Owens, M.D.’ Review: ‘The Love of LARPing’ tackles sexy stumbles and getting emotionally laid


I feel like I should invest in a thesaurus because I am running out of ways to say that “Emily Owens, M.D.” is the best and I’m never going to get over the fact that it was canceled so early. Last night’s episode, “Emily and the Love of LARPing” shot to the top of my list of favorites nearly from the moment it started with Emily’s voiceover explaining that she was in a rut. The episode was filled with so much emotion on every end of the spectrum and it was just so good. It makes me want to cry that more people didn’t give this show a chance. They’re truly missing out.

The episode begins with Emily in her yoga class, thinking about how she’s in a rut similar to one she found herself in during high school: she has a nemesis, a crush, a mean teacher and she knows she needs a change so she’s thinking about cutting her hair short. Tyra bluntly tells her that what she needs is to get laid. Cassandra overhears and agrees. She also promises Emily that she’s going to fix the problem and then privately tells Will that she wants to set Emily up with a teacher they met, Scott. Will doesn’t think Emily will ever agree to a blind date and the two have a conversation about their relationship being exclusive. (Sorry, no, I’m not here for this relationship).

Dr. Bandari and the interns are treating a heart attack patient, who has zero interest in slowing down after her near death experience. She’s too busy taking calls on her cell phone to let the doctors do their thing and Dr. Bandari is not amused. Once they leave the room, she starts complaining about how insufferable the woman is, even as she behaves the same way. Emily struggles not to laugh because she knows Dr. Bandari will fire her if she laughs so she starts thinking about dead puppies and immediately decides that’s too sad. Will teases her once Dr. Bandari walks away.

Micah is treating a woman with ovarian cancer and Emily is concerned that it’s hitting too close to home for him as he interacts with the woman and her daughter. But Micah is still determined to keep things professional and sends Emily to the ER to help out when she tries being friendly. Then he and Kelly discuss taking a ski trip together. Again, I have to say how completely adorable these two are together, even if their relationship is doomed (in this episode, actually).

In the ER, Emily and Will are assigned to help a man who is dressed as an elf king as part of a role play game. He remains in character, which annoys Will (he will always be my favorite, obviously, but he was kind of a jackass here). The patient had a cut on his arm and as Will not so subtly judged him, the elf king cast a spell to take away his voice. Will was not impressed, but Emily was and when he mocked her last boyfriend, she reminded him that he didn’t have a voice. The patient cried out because he suddenly went blind and Will assumed he had conversion disorder, but Emily didn’t think he was crazy. Dr. Bandari agreed that more tests were needed.

Emily, Tyra and Cassandra discussed the heart attack patient and how much she was like Dr. Bandari and Emily mused that it seemed like women had to be hard and have no lives to get to the top. Tyra quipped that was why she was firmly shooting for the middle. Cassandra surprised Emily when she explained that she was making a responsible choice not to have kids because she had other priorities (this was refreshing to hear from a smart, capable female character. Well done, Show). Cassandra teased Emily about how she probably had her kids names picked out and then she suggested the blind date, but Emily said that wasn’t her thing.

While Will and Emily are running tests on the elf king, Will mentions that Cassandra wants to set her up and he already said she’d never go for it. Emily appreciates that he knows her so well and then Will tells her that’s because she’s predictable (Oh my God, Will, the things that are coming out of your mouth in this episode). He was smart enough to judge by the look on Emily’s face that he made a huge mistake and tried to backpedal, saying she was predictable in a good way, reliable, but Emily was not happy and agreed to go on the date.

The cancer patient suddenly died and it was so incredibly sad, especially since she’d just sent away her daughter to go home and fetch her lipstick. Micah was clearly shaken up (as was I). Emily had to tell the daughter that her mother died and Micah tried to ease the blow, but the daughter was devastated. Later, Micah was called into the hospital administrator’s office and he learned that the daughter was suing him for malpractice, saying he never should have operated if her mother was so unstable. The admin wasn’t worried, but Micah was upset.

Emily was not pleased to find the psych consult started on the elf king before she could notify him. He told her that he wasn’t crazy; his whole life was a rut and when he put on the costume, he felt different. He knows he’s not really an elf king, but he wishes that life was real. Emily feels for him and thanks to a tip from one of his LARP friends, Emily realizes that he has a clotting disorder and when one of the clots goes to his lungs, they need to operate immediately. Once again, Will mocks him for being crazy and Dr. Bandari mocks Emily for being sympathetic and suggests she should wear an elf costume for her rounds (I normally love both and neither of them won any points from me in this scene).

The heart attack patient collapses as she attempted to leave the hospital, despite medical advice to the contrary. She realizes that she needs to slow down and she tells her husband that she wants to travel and do all the things they talked about. Privately, he tells Dr. Bandari that he’s planning on leaving her as soon as she’s better because he’s tired of coming in second. This opens Dr. Bandari’s eyes a little and she goes home to her own husband, who also seems pretty bitter about how she’s never around and is constantly canceling plans with him. She suggests they go on vacation, but her husband clearly doesn’t believe she means it (ouch).

Will, Cassandra and Scott are waiting in the bar for Emily, but Will doesn’t think she’ll show. But she does, after a makeover session with Tyra where she decided she wanted to look slightly closer to ‘hoochie’ than debutant. As she crosses the bar, Emily gives herself a mental pep talk, only to trip on her heels. Will and Cassandra laugh, but Emily mentally insists it was a sexy stumble (this is me on a daily basis). Emily is a little uncomfortable, but she keeps reminding herself that she can do this.

Cassandra goes to get shots and Scott goes somewhere so Emily is alone with Will. He tells her that she looks nice and then asks if she only agreed to the date because he said she was predictable. Emily doesn’t appreciate his comments and decides to go all out with the shots. As she’s dancing with Scott, Will is watching and telling Cassandra that he doesn’t think this is a good idea. Cassandra points out (correctly) that he’s acting jealous, but Will insists that he’s just protective (he’s totally jealous). Emily and Scott start kissing, but then he has an allergic reaction to the peanuts she’d been eating earlier (so awkward).

At the hospital, Scott’s going to be okay and still wants to hook up, but Emily decides against it because the guy is pretty much a jerk. Emily is irritated when everyone keeps telling her how nice she looks, but then she runs into Micah and he tells her about the lawsuit and how he wanted to sue the hardwood floor company when his mother got sick. Emily tells him that she was annoyed by how much she missed him and Micah is clearly touched by that (this is what I mean about this triangle. I was totally hooked during this scene). The lawsuit against Micah was dropped and then he told Kelly that he needed to end things because they were not in the same place and it wasn’t fair of him to pretend otherwise (Was it just me or was this the most mature breakup ever on TV?).

As Emily is getting ready to leave the hospital, Will catches up with her and not so smoothly asks if she’s planning on seeing Scott again. Emily realizes that he’s jealous. She comments that Scott is a nice guy and Will disagrees. Inside, Emily is mentally cheering because she realizes that if Will is jealous, that means that he has feelings for her, even if he hasn’t figured that out. She’s pretty much ecstatic (and I may or may not have been cheering from my support for Team Will from my couch).

The final voiceover was so poignant and right on the mark that I’m just going to go ahead and quote it: “You can’t force your way out of a rut. Change comes when it comes; sometimes the result of careful planning, other times, when we least expect it. And you’re never prepared for the moment when everything changes. You can’t be.”

At the very end of the episode, Emily was letting Tyra help her clean out her closet and Tyra noticed Emily’s good mood. She asked her friend if she got laid and Emily said she didn’t, but then she changed her mind and said she kind of did because she got emotionally laid. Tyra just looked at her and told her that doesn’t count. But for Emily, it totally did and it was exactly what she needed.

Have I mentioned that this episode was the best? I loved it from beginning to end. The writing, the acting, the characters; everything about this show makes me feel so much and as someone pointed out to me, each episode always ends on a good, sweet note and we need more of that in our lives, real or fictional.


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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