Code Black Season 3 Episode 1 Review: Third Year

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Things might be getting a little meta this season. 

One of the new residents introduced on Code Black Season 3 Episode 1 is filming a documentary ... something along the lines of what Ryan McGarry made about the Los Angeles County Hospital ER.

But he's not the only newbie, and boy did they have a hell of a first day.

Doctors Are Tested - Code Black

Pepper definitely had it the worst. Who gets accidentally dosed with fentanyl on their first day?! I hope her insurance and sick time kicks in right away. 

Despite her being, well, unconscious for most of the hour, we learned a surprising amount about the new female resident. In addition to being a little meek and self-doubting, her real name is Andrea and she had throat cancer as a kid. 

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It's a start in getting to know her, but I really hope that her childhood illness isn't going to be the reason she became a doctor. Maybe she just really liked science. Maybe she binged too much MASH well bedridden. Maybe it's the family trade.

Just ... enough with the "I/My sibling/My child had cancer/genetic disease/deadly infection and that's why I practice medicine." 

It's only plausible so many times. And her having throat cancer doesn't explain her interest in emergency medicine.

Ethan: What year is it?
Pepper: Two thousand eighteen.
Ethan: Who's the president
Pepper [shoots Ethan side-eye]: Hillary.
Ethan: It's going to be a long recovery.

I'm a little worried that portrayer Chaley Rose (of Nashville fame) is listed as a guest actor and not a recurring guest. It wouldn't bother me so much, but the other new resident's depicter, Tyler Perez, is listed as such.

And man, did his character annoy the crap out of me. The bright side to Diego Avila being the spoiled product of nepotism is that he has room to grow, and the Code Black writers have repeatedly proven that their up to that challenge.

But seriously, the guy needs to put the camera down. I understand the reference to the Code Black documentary but get a GoPro or something. 

Pepper: Look, I'm not part of this, I don't want any demerits or anything.
Jesse: We don't give demerits, we just kick you out.

Moon Bloodgood rounds out the newbies, joining as Rob Lowe's new (reluctant) EMT partner. It's hard to say at this point how much chemistry these two will have, but things got off to a good start.

Well, their screen partnership did anyway. Rox looks like she might help ground Ethan, who does have a teensy bit of a death wish despite his protests.

I mean, don't the LA EMT trucks have Kevlar vests or something?

Rox: What the hell's this?
Ethan: Top closure 3S. It's basically a zip tie for a gaping wound. Staple on each side, one for each...[sees Rox has already finished]
Rox: Oh, I'm sorry, did you need to mansplain it?

Our third-years weren't given a pass due to their seniority though. I'm actually hard-pressed to decide if I like Mario's or Angus's story better.

It goes without mention, of course, that the Mario/Angus scenes took the cake. 

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Mario's attempts to work out a balance between his professional and personal relationship with Noa weren't exactly riveting, but the story was notable simply because it took place.

Third Year - Code Black Season 3 Episode 1

It feels especially relevant in a post #MeToo world, although we didn't get into the power dynamics of their relationship. That's been tackled in the past with Will and Heather, but it could probably stand another look. 

But how many medical dramas pair up docs with no reference to the problems that dating can create in the workplace? Currently, I can't think of any others. 

Look, you two better separate your professional life from your personal one. Or you're going to lose them both.

Guthrie [to Noa and Mario]

Angus' post-recovery lateral promotion to surgical resident gave us some forward movement for my favorite character. I just hope he doesn't have to start his whole residency again (yeah, he probably would IRL ... which is why you need more than ten seconds to decide).

My one worry is that this could cut back on time for his interactions with Mario and Guthrie. Those are some of my favorite moments across the board, and I don't want to lose them.

The upside is that Angus can basically get anybody out of their curmudgeonly shell. Sending him up to the OR with Will Campbell will only help give that character more depth.

Will: You think you can control life and death.
Angus: You just did.
Will: No I didn't. I'm not God. And neither are you. The only thing we can control -- the *only* thing -- is our focus and our discipline. So control it.

Even as it feels like Code Black is still trying to find it's rhythm, bringing in an EMT and shifting the docs around the hospital, Jesse and Leanne are at the heart of everything.

I love that they found an organic way to bring Ariel into stories at Angels.

Okay, semi-organic. Do candy stripers even exist anymore? I'm pretty sure they're not forced to were those outdated costumes at the very least.

Related: The Resident: Why Should Medical Accuracy Be Prioritized Over Entertainment?!

I'm really glad about the decision to move Marcia Gay Harding's character on from "damaged" to "recovering." The damage may never heal completely, but at least the character isn't static in her grief.

That gets boring fast. 

Recovery is more nuanced, more dramatic, and more interesting for us to watch. Especially with Jesse there to help her along.

Leanne: I don't know what to do.
Jesse: You said the same thing to me in the maternity ward the day that your first was born. I'm gonna tell you know what I told you then -- your only job, and the most important job you're gonna have, is just to love her. Okay? And make sure she knows that.

Just a warning: Code Black Season 3 Episode 2 is going to be ... a bit of trip.

Like, there's going to be singing and dancing. But don't worry, it's all in the head of a patient who claims to be psychic. No special brownies in this ER!

I, for one, am looking forward to the cast being able to show off their talents, even if it is a sizable deviation from the norm. 

Leanne: Dr. Savetti, you're a third year standing next to two terrified first years. Say something encouraging.
Mario: If you're gonna puke, try and get it *in* the garbage can.

So what did you think of the Code Black Season 3 Premiere? Was your heart racing with the adrenaline of the ER? Will the new interns make it or wash out? How will Angus fare in the OR? Can Mario keep it professional with Noa at work?

We want to hear your opinions! The comments section is right below, so don't be shy!

You can watch Code Black online with us anytime.

Third Year Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (6 Votes)

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

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Code Black Season 3 Episode 1 Quotes

Ariel: So I have to be a candy striper?
Leanne [sweetly]: Yes.
Ariel: And you're going to be my boss?
Leanne: No, I'm not going to be your boss. He is.
Jesse: How do you feel about vomit?

Ariel: Admit it, my principal's an ass.
Leanne: I agree! But he's an ass we need on our side.