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TV Review: General Hospital: Night Shift – “Love’s Labor”

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We saw a brief break from the curse, or angel of death, that is stalking the halls of General Hospital's night shift last week, but she returned in grand form this week in an episode that focused on well known patient Stacy Sloan, the HIV positive woman who has had complications with her pregnancy and has bonded with Dr. Robin Scorpio.

The story was told in a series of flashbacks intertwined with members of the staff being questioned by acting chief of staff Dr. Ford and the hospital's attorney. But first, before the opening credits rolled we saw Robin directing Patrick to hit a patient with the defibrillator paddles over, and over, and over again. Though framed flashback isn't my favorite way to have a story delivered, I have to admit I was on the edge of my seat throughout. I knew the ending would be bad for the patient I've grown to know and care about, but still couldn't give up hope.

As we have often seen Stacy, she stumbled into the ER in great pain. When the nurse told her she would page Dr. Lee, she asks for Dr. Scorpio to be paged as well. After diagnosing a placental abruption, Dr. Lee asks student nurse Leyla to take Stacy up to the tenth floor and she will meet her up there to perform a cesarean section.

As Leyla wheeled her into the elevator, she noticed a panicked couple at the desk who appeared to only speak Farsi and told Jason and Spinelli, who were on the elevator, to take her to ten and rushed to help the other couple. Another contraction hit, Stacy cried out, and Spinelli pushed the button for the tenth floor hard and repeatedly. Of course, the elevator froze between floors, with no power to the car at all.

On ten, Robin questioned Layla as to where Stacy was, and learns she left her in the janitor and computer geek's care. After also discovering the broken elevator Robin laid into the student nurse for leaving her with non-medical personal and told her if anything happened to either Stacy or her baby she'll see her kicked out of the nursing program. Meanwhile, Patrick has determined the Iranian man that Layla chose to help needs surgery and asks Robin to scrub in. She refused, saying she wants to be there when they get Stacy out of the elevator, but after a lecture from Epiphany about doing her job, joins Patrick in the operating room.

Toussaint and Stan try to fix the elevator, which Toussaint determined was sabotaged. While in the elevator Jason kept a watchful eye on the baby's heartbeat via the monitor and tried to keep Stacy calm telling her how he knows a woman who went through the same thing and the baby is fine (Jake). As they continue talking, he also remembered outloud about Sam's baby who didn't survive the same condition. Stacy begs Jason to do a C-section on her and save her baby before she passes out from the pain (and I assume blood loss.)

Much to Spinelli's horror, Jason directed him to search the internet for directions on how to do a cesarean. He is undeterred when Spin pointed out that A) Jason is not a doctor and B) it's not your usual on-line sort of search. Much to his (and my) surprise, Spinelli was able to find a website with step by step directions and with his pocket knife and other supplies he had on his cleaning cart, he began to do what he could to save the woman's child. He was able to deliver her daughter, but then says, "She's not breathing" as the screen faded to black and the words "to be continued" appeared. So actually, I'm still sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to find out if either Stacy or the baby will make it through.

In one small break from this very singular storyline, we saw Regina and Jolene on a break. While discussing the tragedy of Stacy being trapped, Jolene asked Regina about why she lashed out at Stan early in the episode. Regina shared that when she first got into the student nursing program, she discovered she was pregnant and made the difficult choice to have an abortion because she knew she wasn't strong enough to handle both her studies and a baby. Knowing how hard her choices were, she said she has great respect for the ones Epiphany made, to be a single mother while becoming a nurse, and it angered her to see Stan disrespect and hurt her.

It's an on-going theme that's run through these first six episodes (of thirteen). The sacrifices a parent will make for a child, and the not always easy road one takes in the name of unconditional love. As we move into next week, I'm hoping against hope that Stacy, her baby, or both have survived, even though the tone of the scenes in which the staff is being questioned would indicate otherwise.

On Sunday, August 19, Soapnet will be running a marathon of the first six episodes of Night Shift, beginning at 1:00 pm. (Actually, "Love's Labor" airs at noon, and then it starts from the beginning with "Frayed Anatomy" running through to a repeat of "Love Labor" at 6:00 pm.) If you've missed any, this is your chance to catch up.

Preview of next week's Night Shift
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