Four stars for the “Wheels Within Wheels” episode of TNT’s Medical Drama “Monday Mornings.” It starts off with three back-to-back emergency patients being wheeled into the ER within the first minute of the show. The first two patients are a woman and her husband who rolled over in their vehicle.The third patient is a man who had a tonic clonic (grand mal) seizure in the street. Soon after, a prominent judge comes in presenting with some complaints and concerns. The episode whirls around these patients, and the medical calls that the cast of doctors make. And then there’s the Monday Morning dressing down by their head honcho – Dr. Hooten, played by Alfred Molina. Things were not always as they first appeared in this episode.
Quiet As It’s Been Kept
A brainchild of producer David E. Kelley, and neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta; the drama focuses on patient care and consults. Rushed patient care with split second decisions and compassionate consults. This is the medical part. And then there’s the final review of every contour of each and every act that the doctors took. They are put under microscopes like microbes. This is the drama part.
Division and strong personalities are a powerful and toxic mix. The doctors on this show have to possess confidence in order to make the medical calls that they make every day. This same quality causes them to come to cross-hairs a lot as they plant their feet into certain fixed spots. This means that they are somewhat stubborn, and encountering equally stubborn colleagues.
The judge is not sure she wants the exposure of an MRI, but she is told that she should have it. When she has the procedure, both a lesion and a dormant case of syphilis are discovered. She said she was monogomous in her marriage for 27 years, but owns that she had youthful dalliances. Through a breach, her syphilis diagnosis is made public, ruining her chances to ascend further in the judicial hierarchy.
Hooten wrangles an admission from Dr. Wilson that he told his girlfriend about the judge’s secret shame. Wilson is played by Jamie Bamber. While the argument that the digital world makes keeping secrets impossible sound plausible; it’s really just a case of plain old careless, unprofessional gossiping.
Hero or Not?
“You’re my guardian angel,” says the roll-over victim after Dr. Robidaux (played by Emily Swallow) performs a life-saving tracheotomy on her. At summary time, Dr. Hooten is able to trace the series of mis-steps that Robidaux made that necessitated the drastic procedure in the first place. She doesn’t agree with his position when he blasts her for her secret malpractice.
“For my money, you saved the day,” were the congratulatory words which Dr. Villanueva (played by muscle man Ving Rhames) spoke to her. When he privately chats with Dr. Hooten later, it’s not clear whether he was being two-faced or whether he believed she needed to be steeled for Hooten’s later classification of her work as shoddy.
Hooten told her that she may have saved the day, but only after losing it. This causes doubts as to whether the resurrection procedure was like more of a recovery than a heroic act.
Write or Right?
The interesting epileptic case had an interesting back-story. For starters, the young man presented to the ER with words written all over his body. When the doctors explored the mystery behind this behavior, they discovered that his mother had locked him in a room due to his obsessive writing – a term referred to as hypographia. Instead of curing him, she pushed his compulsion over the top.
The man was convinced that writing was his reason for being. When locked up without paper, he wrote on the walls, on rolls of toilet paper and then on himself. He had the seizure in the streets soon after. His mother thought him to be incompetent, and wanted his wish to not have surgery to be overridden.
“If I can not write, I am dead,” he said. Dr. Park, played by Keong Sim, visits his house. He looks at the room, and listens to the patient. He decides that the man is sane and is a writer at heart. The final analysis is that his temporal lobe epilepsy was treatable with meds. He was joyous that he didn’t have to risk a surgery which might destroy his beautiful writing mind.
Monday Morning Conclusion
Twists and turns, division and plenty of drama dominated this episode. Forced back-pedaling is a hallmark of “Monday Mornings.” In this episode, the after-the-fact analysis made in the medical suite seemed particularly brutal. It ends up that the doctors’ resolve and strong personalities were particularly necessary in this episode. The tense moments caused by being called to the carpet required that they have some really thick skin. Any doctor inclined to wear their heart on their sleeves would wilt under Hooten’s gaze, and melt at his heated words. They cranked up the drama on this one, and it couldn’t hurt if the medical case wore some heavy-duty deodorant for the whole episode.
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