Code Black Season 2 Episode 2 Review: Life and Limb

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Dead teenagers, terrible dads, and reuniting long lost siblings – Code Black Season 2 Episode 2 didn't pull any punches. The interns are still settling into the rhythm at Angels, but even veterans of the busiest ER can learn something new. 

With Mike still in a coma, Angus is seeing everything in a different light. Mario may end up having a similar experience now that his father is a patient – but maybe not. Mr. Savetti isn't exactly a warm fuzzy presence like Mike is after all. 

A Difficult Diagnosis - Code Black

The bus crash got things off to a strong start, and my only regret is that the energy faded out after the first round of patients. This case could easily dominated the hour, without any side cases. There probably still could have been a way to work in something about brothers to parallel Angus' situation instead of Noa's schizophrenic. 

Focusing more on the crash would also have given us more time with Camryn Manheim. I love her so much and only wish that either her role would have been bigger or that, better yet, she'd shown up in some kind of recurring role instead of as a one off. Leanne could use a friend outside of Mama, and Manheim would have been a good fit. 

Jonathan McClendon really impressed me as the team captain. There was more to explore with his father and their relationship, but what we did see was well done. The way that Ethan and Charlotte stepped in to help him beyond what was required of them as ER docs made me like both characters even more (which, admittedly, was part of the point of that).

Leanne: Let me tell you something about that girl. She finished top of her class. Her film career didn't do that for her. She did. She has a brilliant brain. She has a big heart.
Ethan: Maybe I'm just used to military protocol.
Leanne: She's not in the military. She's a first year resident, which means she's not ready for the consequences of a mistake like that.
Ethan: None of us are.

Charlotte is obviously the writing team's favorite new intern. I like her, too, but it feels like Elliot and Noa are being overshadowed. Also, the implied photographic memory thing? I guess it makes sense why she was a star actress, but eidetic memory/genius team member is the most overplayed trope out there.

I'd honestly rather find out that she was top in her class despite it being hard for her, that not only did she have to overcome assumptions about her famous childhood, but that she had to work twice as hard academically. Or at least 1.5 times as hard. 

Meanwhile, all we know about Noa is that she's got a little bit of a hard candy shell protecting her soft center and that she likes to skateboard. As for Elliot...I felt as awkward finding out that he's a virgin as Jesse and Mario did. What does that have to do with anything? Didn't he do an OB rotation? 

Elliot: I'm a virgin.
Mario: Are you kidding me?
Jesse: Oh, we -- we didn't need to know that.
Mario: God.

His awkward revelation aside, the case he was working on was interesting...just not from a medical perspective. The only takeaway on that front was that everyone should always be overly honest and upfront with their doctors, which has been expressed a million ways on TV over the years.

It's too bad that this case was relegated to a B plot, because some deeper exploration of trans issues would have helped. Instead, there was a general feeling of it being an after school special or quick Schoolhouse Rocks! explanation for those that have been living under a rock for the past few years.

Beth having to explain the difference between gender identity and sexuality was educational, but also seemed like the show may be underestimating their audience. At the very least, it's hard to believe that Mario, an urban millennial, honestly doesn't have an understanding of difference.

Jesse: Wake up and smell the estrogen.
Mario: She's trans? But you examined the pelvis, how did you not know she was a dude?
Elliot: Because she's not a dude. She's a woman, dude.
Jesse: You tell him, Sugarbear.

Maybe Mario was just really distracted by his asshole father and that's why he was asking questions he should know the answer to. I'm curious what the drama between he and Savetti Sr. is, because alcoholism doesn't seem like quite enough on it's own to ramp the animosity up that high. 

I mean, was anybody shocked by this revelation? 

My fingers are still crossed that we'll get to met Nana Savetti as this story unfolds. And maybe Mario confronting his father will help knock what remains of that chip on his shoulder away. He's matured a lot since the pilot, but there's always room more growth. 

Sometimes success is just a fresh set of eyes.

Ethan

Other Thoughts

  • The drop-in that Ethan was going to be around for at least two years was nice. Too bad that kind of expository line is verboten when it comes to Neal and Christa's whereabouts. 
  • I'm missing Malaya and Angus moments. When will they get to work/commiserate over life together?
  • "Millennial out" might be the best mic drop exit line ever.
  • Now that the interns are settling in, I like them more and more. The initial exposition for them (and Ethan) was a little shaky, but the rough waters are smoothing out.
  • The way that Leann and Ethan's working relationship is developing feels really organic. I look forward to both their collaborations and their squabbles equally.

Mario: So, explain it to me. You're a straight man, who became a woman, and now you're a lesbian. I mean, that's it, right?
Beth: I've always loved women. That didn't change when I became one. And you know, it's not that complicated. You make it sound like it's the Pythagorean theorem.

Angus will have to fight his father to keep Mike's power of attorney on Code Black Season 2 Episode 3 ("Corporeal Form," airing October 12th). While the Leighton's duke it out in a courtroom, Ethan is bucking under Campbell's reign. Is it possible that their disagreement will soften my our opinion of the surgeon? 

If you've missed anything, don't worry, you can watch Code Black online. You'll want to be up to date before jumping into the fray of the comments section after all!

Life and Limb Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (25 Votes)

Elizabeth Harlow is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Code Black Season 2 Episode 2 Quotes

Jesse: Wake up and smell the estrogen.
Mario: She's trans? But you examined the pelvis, how did you not know she was a dude?
Elliot: Because she's not a dude. She's a woman, dude.
Jesse: You tell him, Sugarbear.

Leanne: Let me tell you something about that girl. She finished top of her class. Her film career didn't do that for her. She did. She has a brilliant brain. She has a big heart.
Ethan: Maybe I'm just used to military protocol.
Leanne: She's not in the military. She's a first year resident, which means she's not ready for the consequences of a mistake like that.
Ethan: None of us are.