Combat Hospital Review: Did I Miss Something?

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Combat Hospital really ticked me off this week.

"Triage" was painful for many reasons. Watching Col. Marks struggle to save his friend should have been the sole origin of my angst. Unfortunately, it ranked second to the frustration of feeling like I'd missed something.

Elias Koteas on Combat Hospital

Oh, yes. I had missed something. An entire episode, in fact. For whatever reason, ABC pulled an hour of Combat Hospital, deciding not to air "Brothers in Arms." I've heard rumors that some affiliates chose to show the missing episode in the earlier time slot, but here in the NYC area it wasn't shown and, boy, did that make this show difficult to review.

So I was left with several questions and no way of answering them. What happened with Simon's DVDs? Since when does Bobby Trang have anger management issues? Didn't Araf go to his uncle? What is he doing back at the hospital? And Rebecca and Simon had some sort of aborted date which she is really pissed off about. 

Did ABC have to pull such a pivotal episode leaving fans lost and confused?  Like I said, I have lots of questions and no answers.

But on with our show. Even having to watch it out of context, "Triage" was a great episode. Col. Marks stopped being the consummate soldier and reacted as a man doing everything to save his friend. In turn, Rebecca stepped up to make the tough decisions Marks had taught her to make, even when it meant standing up to the man himself. The question was how many lives were expendable to save one? The answer was that it depended upon what that one life meant to you.

Marks' anguish was heartbreaking. It would be one thing to watch your friend die knowing you'd done everything in your power to save him. It was quite another knowing that he died due to a lack of resources. Marks was in hell, both from his friend's death and from admitting his own weakness.

I appreciated that Simon backed Rebecca when she made the tough call and told Marks his friend had to wait. Then, his open-ended invitation to her at the end was almost sweet.

I find it hard to comment on Bobby's breakdown because I have no idea what triggered it. But I really felt for poor Araf. The ice cream cone scene was both adorable and sad all at the same time.

As a fan who invested an entire summer into this show, I'm ticked. Couldn't ABC have at least aired the missing episode "Brothers in Arms" in the dead zone of Saturday night so fans could watch the entire series? I feel cheated that I missed so much storyline. This is really how the network wanted the series to go out? Lame.


Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (41 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


was wondering are they bringing Combat Hospital back for another season its a great show?


I sincerely hope the Combat Hospital series will start a new season,it was, and is a very, very, special program to so many people for so many reasons.
Fortunately I taped the series so I would not miss an episode but thinking it was going to be a long term program I deleted all except the last show. I am extremely disappointed the series has been cancelled. Let's hope those who have the say so and know how will resume this show for all the reasons everyone has expressed.It was wonderfully filmed, and the cast outstanding!


I really enjoyed Combat Hospital and looked forward to watching it every week. Im dissapointed in ABCs decision to end it.I believe with a war going on this was a much needed show to remind millions out there that there are men and woman out the who are fighting for our freedom. Men and women who go unappreciated. One example of that is There pay being messed with while them people up in Washington live high on the hog. Im dissapointed in you ABC. I hope they get a second, third, fourth etc run just not on your network. Patriotic shows are what we need.


THEY AIRED "BROTHER'S IN ARMS" RIGHT BEFORE "TRIAGE"! They had a 2 hour special of Combat Hospital before the finale. I know b/c I was on live tweets with the cast for both those episodes. The only episode they removed was un-aired episode just before the finale episode to cut the season short.


It's crap like this that is making people really despise ABC! How dumb to remove an entire episode. What was the rush to end the season anyway? They ought to at least make it available online!


I have a one year old and this is one of the very few shows that I make sure that I can definitely watch every week. I cannot think of anything more annoying that devoting the tiny amount of free time that I have to myself to watch a TV series just to end up phenomenally confused for the last couple of episodes... Shame on you ABC! It would have been just as easy to skip the show for a week or two and them come back and show the series in its entirety.


Thanks, everyone for your explanations. I consider myself myself a network-based series viewer. Probably trained by series such as MASH. Unfortunately, as evidenced by ABC's treatment of Combat Hospital, it seems that the world is passing by viewers like me. Buildup and interweaving of characters, and plot continuity are usually important to sustain interest. Showing episodes in order and not leaving any out help even more. Announcing the season finale builds viewership. It seems that for ABC, calling something a series doesn't require connecting with your audience, letting them know that some episodes will be left out unannounced, that you can see all episodes on-line except for one that we won't tell you about, that the season is ending unexpectedly. In fact viewers do not seem to be important at all. In fact, putting on a series would be much easier if ABC didn't have to deal with the needs of viewer. ABC could do shows without scheduling, plots, sets, actors, production, locations and really get creative. 2-minute short story, no problem. 7-day novel, no problem. Now all ABC needs to get rid of are those pesky sponsors. Thank you ABC, you have gotten rid of the jungle show, this war show, and next season's river show; every thing boiling down to a 7 - 12 week/page short story each. Oh, and thanks too for finally pushing me away, an old fashioned serial TV viewer. Good luck with eliminating the other viewers through disrespect, half-hearted acknoledgement, insincere treatment, and poor product and management.


@Alice. You missed one episode, it's an hour a week, thats hardly wasting your whole summer. If you need t.v. soooooo much, just look it up online. It doesn't take a lot of searching to find it. I do wish there was some sort of warning that they weren't airing an episode. I don't watch anything on t.v. just online so if there were any commercials or whatever I missed them. Ep. 12 makes a lot more sense with Ep. 11


This is a load of crap. ABC just lost a devoted fan who was looking forward to a bunch of their new seasons. Now I'm not so sure I'm going to watch their entire channel anymore because I don't want to get my heart broken anymore. THANKS A LOT ABC FOR MAKING ME WASTE MY WHOLE SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!


@Eric Wait, what the hell? You've completely missed the point of the episode, haven't you? Fitz was as good as a delta, especially since the rules of triage required that Maj. Gordon prioritized a patient with a higher chance of survival if treated over one who would require the resources of the entire hospital thrown at him, and even then is unlikely to survive. Considering that Fitz had a no doubt rusty piece of metal impaled through him, causing severe trauma to multiple internal organs, as well as severe internal bleeding an almost guaranteed chance of infection, he was probably as good as dead even if the 9 liner didn't show up. Alphas through Deltas don't refer to the identity of the patient, they're triage codes. A ISAF soldier who's taken a nasty hit can be coded a Delta and likely given painkillers and allowed to die, if he's not DOA. An Afghani civilian whose taken a severe, but not assuredly fatal hit may be coded a Bravo and tapped for immediate surgical attention. Maj. Gordon isn't "being cold and conspiring to kill off officers", she's following the rules of medical triage, as the circumstances outlined in the episode dictate.

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Combat Hospital Season 1 Episode 11 Quotes

Marks: Cycling, you like cycling?
Fitz: Oh, I'd never get away with those skin tight shorts.

Just some good ole fashioned wrist action, big boy.