Code Black Season 1 Episode 18 Review: Blood Sport

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Th-th-th-th-that's all folks!

Code Black Season 1 Episode 18 wrapped up the freshman season of the medical drama by tying up most of the loose ends...and leaving just enough strings unraveled to set up a decent second season. 

The writers managed to skillfully use the down arcs to set up future stories – Angus' short lived drug addiction is the impetus for Heather's blackmailing Campbell, and Mario's intervention is going to lead to some therapy for Ang. 

The most interesting thing about the hook for "Blood Sport" was how having VIP patients (who Leanne has previously despaired of) leads to a serious compromising of medical ethics. I enjoyed how the way that each of the doctor's responded to the dilemma gave us insight to their moral character. 

It also was a nice (if not at all subtle) nod to Leanne's attempts to navigate this new position. She was smart to use all her resources and call Taylor in, although it leaves some questions about the future of the directorship.

I like Taylor, and would love to see him back, but Leanne, as the heart of the show, is more interesting in the role from a story teller's perspective. I actually like the idea of him coming back and wanting to get to practicing medicine. It would allow for more flexibility in scheduling Kevin Dunn, and Leanne would have more potential arcs. 

You really think you're gonna drag me off my boat to talk about the budget? I'd rather have root canal...on my nuts.


Angus now holds the record for quickest resolution to drug addiction on an hour long drama. Only Jessie Spano has recovered more quickly. 

As brief as his flirtation with Adderall was, it allowed for the more complete resolution of one plot issue and opened a whole can of crazy for the potential second season. The best part of this plot was that Mario finally managed to act like a decent human being and good friend when he ratted Angus out to Mike.

Mike's realization that he had basically pressured his little brother into this behavior was really well done. It wasn't nearly as melodramatic as it could have been; the two connected in what felt like a very real way. How refreshing to have friends and family successfully step in before a car wreck or other near death experience.

Angus: All I've wanted since I first walked into Trauma One was to feel like I belonged here.
Mike: You do belong here.
Angus: And just when I was starting to feel like I did...[sighs]. He took this from me. I took this from me. I killed someone, and now I can't walk in here without thinking about that. The pills let me not think about it.

But her role of "drug buddy" and her attitude about her role in Angus' problem only deepens the enigma that is Heather Pickney. On the one hand, she's totally callous about how easily he got hooked. But on the other, would she have gone to such lengths if it was just her ass on the line?

Okay, so, Angus probably didn't do much to influence the path she decided on.  Still, I can't quite decide if she's a ballsy woman using any means necessary to save herself or if she's just a sociopath.

It's almost shocking that Campbell didn't see something like this coming. He's no idiot, and this can't have been the first resident he's had a relationship with. I hate Heather's tactics, but I also kind of respect them. I am just so conflicted on her!

Heather: Now I'm a drug dealer.
Mario: No, you're a drug buddy, just as bad.
Heather: Yeah, I'm his drug buddy. We actually chop it up, and then he snorts it off my ass.

Other Thoughts

  • Taylor's return was way too short, but Kevin Dunn managed to pack quite a bit into his one scene. But his reappearance bodes well for a return if the show gets renewed.
  • Another appalling under use of Rollie. If you were William Allen Young, would you come back for a second season on these terms?
  • How were there only a handful of surgeons available when Angels was covering medical duty for an event of that caliber? That was a bit of a stretch if you ask me.
  • How long will Christa and Neal be able to stay apart? Is this "breakup" just a ploy, or are they done for good? And does anybody else think that she was foolish and a total "needy girlfriend" for ending things that way?
  • Campbell showed some real lack of medical ethics. And just when I was starting to maybe warm up to him.
  • If you could give notes to the writers and show runners like the network executives get to, what would they be? Personally, I'd be urging for more character background and development on Jesse, expanding Rollie's roll, and (like Jesse) more nurses. Also, cut the amount of dramatic montages that don't further the story. And maybe more emphasis on non-trauma cases that stress resources – not enough beds in ICU or psych for instance. 

Jesse: You hug me any tighter, your boobs are gonna crack my ribs.
Leanne: I hug you any tighter, you're gonna have cookie dough coming out your ass.

There's still no word on Code Black being renewed for Season 2, but that's no reason to start the mourning process. While overall number's haven't been as fantastic as CBS would have like, they've stayed fairly steady throughout.

When you take that in combination with the Eye's desire to have a competitive medical drama amidst a schedule full of crime procedural, things don't exactly look dire. 

You can watch Code Black online and catch up on the whole season...again. Share your thoughts on the finale (and renewal prospects) in the comments section!

Blood Sport Review

Editor Rating: 4.25 / 5.0
  • 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (24 Votes)

Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.

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Code Black Season 1 Episode 18 Quotes

Neal: Christa, you don't have to be insecure about this.
Christa: Don't. Please, don't -- don't do that. Do not cast me in the role of needy girlfriend. I am better than that and you know it.

Angus: Why don't you save your diagnosing for the hospital?
Mario: Fine. Plain English, you're being a dick.
Angus: Hmm.
Mario: And you have B.O. What are you popping?