Emily Owens M.D. 1.02 “Emily and…The Alan Zolman Incident” Recap

emily owens m.d.Last week on Emily Owens M.D., Emily finally laid her cards out on the table regarding her feelings for Will; although she had wanted to come clean for quite a while, the sense of relief from having her secret out gave way to a lingering dread. Will rejecting her and only thinking of her as a friend is one thing, but the two work together and will have to see one another day after day, week after week for the foreseeable future. That type of awkwardness, particularly with the one person that you were comfortable with before heading into a new situation, could be the thing to take Emily’s job from promising to something that she doesn’t look forward to. At all.

Getting Over You
Emily is, without a doubt, a hot mess once she gets around Will again the next day at work. Even after getting a “pep talk” in the bathroom from Tyra (that mostly consisted of “what made you think that he’d ever be into you?” and talk of a saved drunk voicemail from college), she couldn’t quite get ahold of herself, to the chagrin of…well, everybody. Rather than trying to brush off what happened and act naturally around her friend of many years, Emily begins by calling him “Willie”, randomly begins cackling about a “horse thing” she saw on TV, and made one of the most cringe-y exits from a room that I’ve seen in quite some time. And this is right when she got to work.

Later, however, Emily works up enough nerve to try and talk to Will about what happened, following one of those awkward situations where two people coming from different directions try to walk the same way at the same time. Initially, shockingly, it goes really well; Emily’s much more composed and calm than she’s been around him during the series, telling him that he kept her sane during medical school and relaying her feelings in a nicely adult way. And he even seems to buy what she’s saying and relax a bit around her…until she kept talking and revealed that she had a crush on Micah in order to appear to him to be moving on when she’s still fixated on him. Right now, Emily doesn’t have actually have a crush on Micah, but the hospital sure thinks so once word gets around that she does, possibly due to Cassandra overhearing the conversation and spreading it around.

19 hours into Emily’s 24-hour shift, she crosses paths with Micah in the employee lounge, where he apologized for being cross with her yesterday and explained that the woman in 501, who he told her had pancreatic cancer during his lecture about perspective, was his mother. Her first chemo appointment was scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. the next morning and while he was nervous about the possibilities (less than 10% of pancreatic cancer patients live for five years post-diagnosis), “someone has to beat the odds, right?”. Following an interruption from Cassandra that included a few comments intimating about Emily’s “crush,” Emily comes clean about the real reason she mentioned that she had a crush on Micah, to his disappointment.

Emily goes into the room of beds for the doctors to be able to rest during their shift, where Will is asleep. After laying down, she gets a page that one of her patients is going into surgery, making her rush to the O.R., though she does get to talk to Will later on the rooftop. There, Emily tells him that she’s not over him yet and that she’s sad that she lost a patient that day; Will comforts her by telling her that it won’t get easier to lose somebody, something that Dr. Bandari had been pounding into their heads, and that if he were to get sick, he’d want a caring doctor like Emily rather than an emotionally distant doctor like Dr. Bandari. If he wanted her to get over him, maybe displaying that type of kindness wasn’t a great move. Considering the smile that he gave her after she laid down, I don’t know if he would want her to be over him.

He won’t have to worry about that, considering the fact that Emily kept the message he left on her phone that expressed faint (drunken) desires to date her. Even after deleting the message in a fit of faux independence, Emily called the phone company to try and get it recovered and put back in the phone’s memory.

Nurse Drama
The last thing that you want as a doctor is to have the nurses against you, but that’s what Emily has to deal with here, as they’re upset that Dr. Owens hit on Jessica; in fact, their disdain goes so far that they created a Facebook page and a Twitter account dedicated to talking about the incident and gossiping about Emily. The hospital was already a clique-y gossip mill and the target du jour is the awkward new first year that proclaimed her love of cheese, skiing, and hitting on straight women in the premiere. The loose lips of the  staff turn Emily from a weirdly predatory lesbian to a bisexual horndog thanks to the rumors of her crush on Micah, but the nurses still don’t know the whole truth about the situation. Emily’s not about to sell out the only person aside from Will and Micah that she has this early into her medical career, though, so for now, Emily will have to be content being a horndog that’ll chase anything with a pulse.

Micah’s Mom
Although Micah tried to convince his mother not to worry about her diagnosis last week, using a smokescreen of the “great new trials” in the field, she’s got herself worked up about going through chemotherapy. After reading on the internet about pancreatic cancer and possible treatments, much to her son’s chagrin, the low survival rates are making her nervous, though not nervous enough to keep Micah out of surgery. However, once Emily’s first 24-hour shift at Denver Memorial comes to a close, she heads to the cancer wing to hang out and collaborate on a crossword with Micah’s mom, which causes the latter to question her son about how pretty Emily is.

For what it’s worth, Micah claims not to notice, though the glances that he’s thrown at Dr. Owens once she looks away tell a different tale.

Kiss Me…Or Not
There was fallout from the kiss that Emily witnessed in the hallway between Tyra’s father and Jessica, Mr. Dupre cornering Emily and telling her (in some type of coded language) that what she saw wasn’t actually what was happening. Initially, Emily didn’t quite understand and wasn’t going to use that knowledge to her advantage, but she had to once she needed an MRI authorization at a time when Dr. Bandari was in surgery. If her patient had to wait until the next day, that time could do more damage to their condition, so there could be no waiting for protocol, hence Emily blackmailing the Denver Memorial Hospital Chief of Staff (in code). As expected, Dr. Bandari is furious about Emily going over her head and failing to follow hospital protocol, tearing into the first-year once again. There will be longer reaching effects of the kiss and Emily’s (unavoidable) disrespect of the rules, but for now, Emily’s simply burying herself with her attending before even getting to do a solo surgery. Or, for that matter, before getting out of the first week.

The Patients
The first patient that Emily gets in the episode is an older man named Max who recently had a heart attack. Considering the impact of the attack and the man’s age/physical condition, neither of the options to treat this were applicable, since they were too invasive. Emily tells him that he has around a year left, something that takes him aback a bit. He always figured that he had more time and that he’d be ready once it actually was his time. That leads him to talk to Emily about the less potentially problematic option for treatment, a cardiac catheterization, or the insertion of a catheter into a chamber or vessel of the heart. Although she might not have meant to, her positive bedside manner backfired and Max talks himself into getting the cath, if only to see his grandson graduate from grad school in three years.

During surgery, the stints didn’t hold, but the doctors found a way to get Max out of the woods and ensure that he’ll get the chance to do just that. The odds may have been against him, but the tough spirit that he exhibited helped to keep him alive for a little while longer, much to the delight of his grandson and the (mild) surprise of Emily.

Margo is a lawyer afflicted with severe OCD that the nurses give to Emily as “punishment” for her behavior with Jessica. The reason that she came to the hospital was chest pains and a racing heart, though their first meeting mostly consists of Margo making Emily put hand sanitizer on…several times. Margo is due to get on a treadmill in order to assess the strength and condition of her heart, making Emily sanitize the entire machine before she’ll get on. Unfortunately, things (hands, arms) keep hitting against the bar of the machine making her have to clean it all over again. Margo’s fiance Adam (who she’s worried about losing) tells Emily that she used to be on meds for her disorder and that all of her medical problems increased once she got off it, including the fact that she won’t let him touch her.

Emily has a moment of snapping at her, but Margo helps with Max’s insurance case, telling Emily about the Affordable Care Act, which states that coverage cannot be denied for a pre-existing condition. Once Emily gets Margo to write down (with the aid of an alcohol swab around her pen) the information, it’s off to the roof, where she uses that leverage against the insurance company and gets Max’s cath covered.

It turns out the Margo has a brain tumor that had been masked by the OCD medication that she had been taking. The mass, located in the frontal parietal lobe of the brain, couldn’t have been placed more perfectly for recovery and when it gets removed, Margo’s OCD will be gone for good. However, Margo doesn’t make it through surgery; the tumor proved to be more complicated than the scan they ran on her indicated and once she went under the knife, she had a hemorrhagic stroke before passing on the operating table.

Additional thoughts and observations:
-Would a medical school student/new doctor really not know about the Affordable Care Act? Specifically, that the pre-existing condition aspect doesn’t kick in until 2014?
-I’ve only been able to see the first two episodes of Emily Owens M.D. in advance. Next week, my recap will be up a little later, but be patient with me. It’ll come.
-For those wondering, The Alan Zolman Incident occurred in 9th grade when a boy named Alan Zolman tried to kiss Emily. He had braces at the time and with them, a mouthful of spit that landed on Emily; the rumor around school was that he deliberately spit on her.
Next week on Emily Owens M.D.: There’s an STD outbreak at a local high school, while Emily and Cassandra get a chance to assist in surgery.

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