Nurses Season 1 Episode 8 Review: Achilles Heel

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Keon screws up royally on Nurses Season 1 Episode 8. His heart was in the right place, but he overestimated his own power in the situation.

Keon has been fighting the stereotype that comes with being a successful athlete since day one, but he played right into it when he tried to intimidate Dr. Hamillton.

He's used to people being scared and stepping down because he's strong and imposing. However, he's just a first-year nurse in this situation. He has no more power than Grace of Naz.  Dr. Hamitlon is the powerful big bad boogyman here.

Keon Challanges Dr. Hamilton - Nurses Season 1 Episode 8

Grace: Why did you have to tell him?
Keon: I just ... I just thought, if he knew someone was watching, he'd think twice about trying anything else.
Grace: Who exactly is watching? A couple of junior nurses?
Keon: I didn't mean to make things worse.

That doesn't mean Grace should take his behavior lying down or that Naz shouldn't find excuses to avoid being alone with him.

However, this did not happen to Keon and likely won't. It happened to Grace, and it is, therefore, her call whether or not to make this an issue, and if she does, it needs to be her choice and her way.

Keon: I totally blew it today with Grace. I never should have said anything to Dr. Hamilton.
Wolf: Look, I don't know what Grace is going through, but when I was a sick kid, friends would send my dad helpful suggestions.
Keon:: Like, tips on parenting?
Wolf: Nope. Like tips on Leukemia: diets, yoga, shark cartilage. What they didn't understand is that we were going through that every day, or that no outsider was gonna find a solution within five minutes of Googling cancer that we hadn't already tried.
Keon: Was there anything friends could have done to actually help?
Wolf: Honestly? Just hanging out with me while everything sucked would have made things a little less scary.

Right now, Grace doesn't want Dr. Hamitlon to know she's talking. It's a difficult situation, and knowing that is very dangerous. He has all the power, and he knows it.

Dr. Hamitlon leveraged a girl's life to get Grace to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The man is slime.

Dr. Hamilton: By the way, I could use your help with something.
Grace: What exactly?
Dr. Hamilton: I need your help to put an end to those rumors about me.
Grace: Rumours?
Dr. Hamilton: I know that last surgery really shook you up, and you're still making sense of it. But you know me, I'm not a bad guy. So if I do this for you and trigger this domino, whatever that story is will go away, right?
Grace: Yeah. Of course.

While it was somewhat reckless for Grace not even to have a lookout when she stole back the non-disclosure agreement; I'm so proud of her. She was a badass, and she took her power back.

Wolf Gives Keon Advice - Nurses Season 1 Episode 8

Grace: I just got my life back, but pretending like nothing happened is killing me.
Keon: I feel you because no matter what you do, you're screwed.
Grace: Yeah.
Keon: Then if you're screwed either way, Grace you can just do whatever you want.

It could still all blow up, of course, but I'm hopeful for a happier outcome. Grace deserves justice, as do all the other nurses Dr. Hamilton has assaulted.

At this point, with Dr. Hamilton knowing she's talking, she's on his radar as an enemy. He's going to come after her no matter what, so, as Keon pointed out, she might as well make a stink. Maybe the right people will smell it.

That scene was so empowering. It was one of the better parts of an episode, not without its flaws. The main weakness was handling the plot involving the orthodox Jewish patient, Ezriel, and his father.

I understand what they were going for. Ashley comes from a religious background. She has issues with her conservative Christian home and with her conservative Christian mother.

They were trying to draw a parallel and stir up some feeling for her with this push-button topic.

Ashley Helps Ezriel - Nurses Season 1 Episode 8

I'm here to convince the sick to let me heal them on the lord's behalf, and to check your vitals.


However, could they not have done their research?

Could they not have consulted a Rabbi? Couldn't they have called someone from the Halachic Organ Donor Society, or the Orthodox Jewish Nurses Association, or the local Chabad, or just any Orthodox Jew at all? 

Had they bothered to research it, they would have known that Orthodox Jews have no problem accepting tissue and/or organ donations.

Transplants fall under the jurisdiction of פקוח נפש, the preservation of a human life, which would take priority over honor shown to the dead. As for the concern about having a non-Jew's part in the Jew? That would be a non-issue.

Also, if, for some reason, there was a question about if the surgery was allowed, the first thing Ezriel and his father would and should have done is contact their Rabbi. Their Rabbi would have then told them to proceed, and they would have listened.

They don't contact their Rabbi. Instead, they argue with Ashley, who acts like an expert because she had a religious upbringing. Yes, Ashley was brought up religious, but she was also brought up Christian.

Ezriel and His Father - Nurses Season 1 Episode 8

In First Samuel, King David was starving. He went into the temple and ate the bread of Presence off of the altar. Now, that was the holiest of bread, it belonged to God, but He understood that David had a human need that superseded devotion. God will understand this too. He heals, but He also forgives.


That's an entirely different religion, with different rules and different interpretations of texts.

For example, in the story she references, David did not steal the holy bread. He asked for it from Ahimelech, the high priest, who had the authority to give it to him in those circumstances.

Since Ashley comes from a Christian background, perhaps this plot-line would have made more sense had the patient in question been from some sect of Christianity that forbids organ donation.

However, as far as I can tell, no sect of Christianity. Jehovah's Witnesses have an issue with transfusions but would permit an organ or tissue transplant, so long as all the blood has been removed.

Accepting organs is permitted by Christianity, Islam, and, yes, even Orthodox Judaism.

Ashley's Crisis Of Faith - Nurses Season 1 Episode 8

Ashley: Where's your father?
Ezriel: He wanted to see if there was anything kosher in the vending machine.
Ashley: There's barely anything edible in there.

Nurses presented a stereotype of an Orthodox Jew, meant to show how wrong and backward the thinking of religious Jews, and religious people in general, is.

These stereotypes lack accuracy and nuance. They are harmful and borderline antisemitic.

In the words of Orthodox Jew, Toby M,  "There's no value to publicizing this apparently erroneous sub-plot.

"The only purpose appears to be to highlight perceived 'backward' and 'ill-informed' religious practices. The result is really damaging for the targeted subgroup."

Orthodox Jew and professional patient Hanna A said, "A community is being seriously misrepresented. If this were a subplot about Mormons or Catholics, a fuss would be made."

Keon Delivers Bad News - Nurses Season 1 Episode 8

Wolf: Ash. I need some advice. I'm kind of like in this situation.
Ashley: Yeah. I don't know how much help I'm gonna be. I've already broken rule #1 this morning.
Wolf: Never mix coffee cups with urine cups.
Ashley: Never promise your patient anything, and definitely don't promise to save them from God's wrath.

Hanna A chimed in when I brought this issue to an Orthodox Jewish forum. A lot of people were upset, as they should be.

Ashley's religious experiences were bad, which is totally fair. She is entitled to her story and her journey. It stinks that her mom won't accept her and that she was raised to believe something was wrong with her. That's not okay.

However, putting aside that not all religious journeys are the same, not all religions are the same, and Ashley is from a completely different one.

Emphasizing a problem in Ashley's religious background by using a caricature of an Orthodox Jew is wrong. I'm very disappointed in Nurses. I expected better.

The rest of the episode was better. Aside from Grace's triumph, there was the tragic tale of Lexi and Maya. Both girls were incredibly strong, and they cared so much for each other. Am I the only one who was shipping them?

Maya and Lexi - Nurses Season 1 Episode 8

Grace: There are some long-term risks that we all need to consider. A procedure like this can cause complications.
Lexi: I don't care about the risks. Maya is my best friend. We met in first grade. I used to beat her up and take her lunch money. Yeah, no, really. It was not my best look. And then one day, maya cut me a deal. She said if I let her keep her money, that she would sit and eat lunch with me. Once a week. Which is all I really wanted anyway.
Grace: How did she figure that out?
Lexi: She gets me. Always has. I need her to be okay.

Of course, you can have a best friend who means everything to you. Not everything is romantic. However, between Lexi bullying Maya when they were kids because she wanted to eat lunch with her and how Lexi talks about Maya, I don't know. I wouldn't have been surprised if it went that way.

Sadly, not only did these two not end up together, Maya didn't even survive. It was tragic but well-executed because we cared so much about Maya and Lexi. We were devasted for both of them when it didn't work out.

Grace: You're doing all the right things.
Lexi: She's still gonna die. I can drive at 17; how many kids die in car accidents? And yet somehow, I'm not old enough to know that saving Maya's life is worth the risk.

Of course, Grace trading away her right to speak up so that Maya could get a kidney raised the stakes quite a bit.

Dr. Hamilton is a slime, but man, was he convincing when he pleads Lexi's case to the committee. His persuasive abilities and charm make him all the more dangerous.

Vanessa Reprimands Naz - Nurses Season 1 Episode 8

Dr. Banks: The reason we don't resort to medical intervention with 21-weekers is because the procedures are extremely painful, and most of the time, they still die.
Naz: So we just throw in the towel? Ebola has a %10 survival rate; should we just send the patients home?
Dr. Banks: A micro-preemie can't consent, and it can't say no. They cry for us to stop but don't know why we're hurting them. Some people think comfort care is the most compassionate medicine.
Naz: But what do you think?
Dr. Banks: There's no easy answer. But her lungs are two little rocks, and she's got a hole in her heart; you're walking mom through next steps. Naz, a mother's instincts? Nothing beats them.

Naz's plot with the preemie baby could have been tremendous in a different episode, but it was relatively minor compared to everything else going on. We're glad she saved the baby, although Dr. Banks made many good arguments for their policy.

I'm thankful I don't have to make that decision.

Things did heat up in Naz's personal life, though. She and Dev finally kissed!

I was a little worried they would write him off when he insulted her profession, but he recovered quickly. Isn't it what we all think, after all? That's why we need shows focused on nurses. Naz's speech was great.

I look forward to seeing more of her and Dev in the future.

Naz Worries About A Preemie - Nurses Season 1 Episode 8

Naz: There is one thing I've been thinking about. You asked me why I'm not a doctor.
Dev: Yeah. Yeah. You're smart enough.
Naz: So, nursing is for people who can't cut it in med school?
Dev: No. No. Hey, look, uh ... doctors are nothing without nurses, but nurses are support staff.
Naz: My job isn't to support you, Dev; it's to support my patients. What if it was the worst day of your life any no one cared? Like, people ignored you, walk on by, or they fire empty cliches like, "you'll get through it," as they back away. You need so much for someone to just look you in the eye and say, "You're right, this is shit, it hurts, but it's okay if you fall apart a little because I've got you."
Dev: The day Veer ODed, the doctors abandoned us because there was nothing they could do to fix it. Yeah, I was ... so scared. But then you were there.
Naz: Because I'm a nurse.

Wolf's plot also took a backseat. He's concerned about being a drug-dealer, and for a good reason. He's in a bind. He had no choice, and now he's stuck.

It's all very The Godfather, and I'm both excited and scared to see where that storyline will go.

Red: This is your advance on your next delivery, okay? A little something to inspire expediency.
Wolf: That was a one time thing.
Red: Haven't you seen any movie ever? Once you're in, you're in.

Finally, the episode ended with Sinead breaking her sobriety, which had me nearly screaming at the screen. We love Sinead! We don't want her to lose her kids! It definitely makes me want to watch the next episode.

So, what did you think, Fanatics?

Wolf Gives Keon Advice - Nurses Season 1 Episode 8

What do we do when we can't save someone? When faced with a battle that can't be won? How do we put one foot in front of the other, knowing it can't be fixed? Can we be brave enough to walk with someone wherever their journey leads? Can we be strong enough to hold them when their world is ending? Can we be soft enough to love the person left behind, even if that person is you? All we can do is our best.


Should they have scrapped the plot with Ezriel? Did you ship Maya and Lexi? Should Maya have lived?

Should preemies be saved if born before 21-weeks? Will Wolf make it out without them pulling him back in? What will the repercussions of Sinead's drinking be?

Most of all, how can Grace defeat Dr. Hamilton once and for all?

Click Show Comments below to let us know, and remember, you can watch Nurses online right here via TV Fanatic.

Nurses airs on Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC.

Achilles Heel Review

Editor Rating: 3.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (8 Votes)

Leora W is a staff writer for TV Fanatic..

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Nurses Season 1 Episode 8 Quotes

In medicine, we're trained to be fixers. You have a problem. we have a decision tree that leads straight to the solution.


Naz: Name the major parasympathetic neurotransmitter for postganglionic fibers.
Dev: Ah.
Naz: Acetylcholine.
Dev: Wait. You didn't even look at the card.
Naz: Cards are for people who don't know the answers.