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TV Review: General Hospital: Night Shift – “Mother’s Day”

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After a quick recap of last week’s Night Shift, we were deep in the drama and action as the singular focus of the hospital seemed to be saving Stacy and her baby from the stalled elevator.

Last week, HIV positive expectant mother Stacy Sloan found herself trapped on a broken elevator with janitor Jason Morgan and his sidekick, lord of cyberspace, Spinelli. Dr. Robin Scorpio, who is also HIV positive and had formed a bond with Stacy, was letting her personal attachment to the woman cloud her judgment, snapping at all of her colleagues, her boyfriend, and baby-phobic Patrick Drake the most, though I could hardly blame her. Hiding behind professional detachment, Patrick worked hard to distance himself from the crisis completely, a particularly brutal slap to Robin who was so invested.

This episode opened with more of the framed flashback. We saw Dr Lee explaining to chief of staff Dr. Ford and the hospital attorney that Stacy had always planned to have a Caesarean section to minimize the risk of blood on blood contact with her child. We were then taken to the elevator car where Jason was giving the baby mouth-to-mouth, encouraging her to breathe. Soon, the infant’s cries filled the elevator and their attention was redirected back to Stacy, still unconscious and bleeding.

Jason handed the baby to a reluctant Spinelli and asked him to keep reading from the website; he needed to finish the procedure. Though he removed the placenta and pinched off his incision sites the bleeding wasn’t stopping, and the blood was everywhere.

Toussaint and Stan continued to work on fixing the electrical panel so they could get the elevator doors open, but both were buckling under the pressure. Toussaint, who was sure the mishap was not accidental, was especially upset.

Meanwhile, Miss Sneed tried to put a stop to the vigil in the hall, insisting Dr. Archer, the anesthesiologist, scrub in on an appendectomy and the remaining doctors and nurses return to the short-staffed and overcrowded ER. When Robin protested, the administrator lashed out, saying Stacy and her baby were certainly dead by now, and the hospital needed to get back to business. Dr. Ford stepped in and (for once) came down on the side of medicine, giving the doctors permission to wait for the elevator to be fixed.

After Miss Sneed made her exit, Dr. Ford asked how long it was expected Stacy and her child could last in the elevator. Robin hesitated, not wanting to admit the original prediction had been an hour – an hour that had long passed. Fortunately, she didn’t have to as the elevator lit up and the car could be heard rushing to the tenth floor.

The doors opened and Jason turned Stacy over to Dr. Lee, quickly answering her questions as to how long he had been doing chest compressions and how he had performed the Caesarean section, while Spinelli handed the baby over to one of the student nurses. Dr. Lee directed the others to get Stacy to the OR but when Robin asked to scrub in, she refused her permission. Angry, Robin turned her outrage on Jason screaming, “Why couldn’t you just wait?”

In surgery, Dr. Lee discovered Stacy had developed placental accreta and had to perform a hysterectomy. Afterward, her blood wasn’t clotting and they tried to remedy the situation with blood transfusions, something considered a last ditch attempt to save her and all but Robin seemed to accept the probability Stacy would bleed out. When Dr. Lee was called away for another delivery, she asked Patrick to take over as the attending, further infuriating Robin.

Things appeared to be turning toward a happy ending when Stacy woke up and held her baby for awhile. She asked Robin to make sure she thanked Jason for saving the child. Shortly after, her consciousness slipped from her and her heart went into defib. Patrick jumped in and tried several times to restart the woman’s heart, but eventually called the time of death. Inconsolable, Robin tried to keep the staff working on the woman, but Patrick dragged her from the room, insisting it was over.

Guilt is a powerful emotion, and it seemed there was plenty to go around. Robin blamed herself for not being in the ER when Stacy came in, Layla blamed herself for putting Stacy in the elevator with Jason and Spinelli and then going to help another patient, Spinelli blamed himself for pounding on the elevator buttons, and Jason blamed himself for not doing enough.

Much to my frustration, Patrick chose to console Layla instead of Robin, telling her to stay focused on being the best and to not let the incident keep her from becoming a nurse. Jason and Robin found comfort in each other, after she apologized to him for her horrible behavior. In Jason’s arms, Robin admitted her personal attachment and sobbed she had allowed herself to believe if Stacy could be a mother with her HIV status, then maybe she could as well. Does she truly believe because Stacy died, the choice to have a child of her own is now out of reach? I wonder.

Spinelli found comfort, first from the object of his Night Shift affection, student nurse Jolene, and later from Toussaint. When Spinelli hesitated to get on the elevator to leave the hospital, and unloaded on the other how his actions had caused the whole tragedy in the first place, Toussaint explained that the repeated pushing of the button had in fact caused the cars to stall, but it wouldn’t have caused the whole electrical panel to short circuit (he later told Jason he suspected someone had thrown a glass of water on the panel).

He went on to say Spinelli had been part of the solution, and when rebuffed asked if Jason would have known how to find the directions to do a C-section online. (Now, there’s an image – Jason in cyber space.)

Robin made the rounds of the hospital apologizing to all she had lashed out at, including student nurse Layla. She also told Dr. Ford in his inquisition that Patrick had done all he could to save Stacy. In the end, she found herself in the nursery, trying to comfort the crying orphaned infant, which is where Patrick found her, though he kept his distance, watching her through the window. He appeared to be searching his soul for where the two could possibly go from here; her desire to have kids is so strong and he is so deathly afraid of the prospect.

The last person to be questioned by Dr. Ford and the attorney was Jason, and when he tried to unload his guilt and apologize, he was stopped and praised for his actions. Unable to accept it in light of Stacy’s death, he fled to the roof where the sun was rising and the night shift was coming to an end.

A reoccurring theme with these episodes, and the roof scenes that close them, seems to be that how a person deals with tragedy and disappoint when the event passes and a new day dawns is what truly defines a person. Much to its credit, Night Shfit shows these events through each pair of eyes of its diverse cast. Everyone working the night shift the Saturday night Stacy Sloan was trapped in the elevator and lost her life, will deal with it differently and take something unique away from it. The only question remaining is just who is this angel of darkness wreaking havoc on General Hospital’s Night Shift.

Next week on the Night Shift:

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About Connie Phillips

  • http://bradfordanderson.net/ poll

    I really thought last night was a step up for the whole show with writing and even the acting.. Bradford did amazing pretty much everyone did.. Why couldn’t we have gotten a story like this on GH?

  • http://www.butterflyfiction.com/journal/ Connie Phillips

    I will admit the writing has been really good on Night Shift, honestly, better than I expected it to be.

    It definitely has a very sleek and faced paced feel that we are use to seeing in night time drama’s, but I also think it has to do with the fact these are medical stories inside the hospital, not mob stories in the office of Sonny’s coffee shop.

    Guza has said in interviews at the end of its 13 week run they are going to incorporate as much of this cast into the Daytime show as possible. I hope that means new medical based stories on GH.

    Bradford was pretty incredible. When Spinelli broke down into tears as he watched ‘the charmed one’ through the nursery window, I’ll admit my eyes were a bit misty as well.

    The final scenes with Jason running up the steps to the rooftop, seeing the breaking dawn, and breaking down were touching as well. Though I thought Robin was going to be there and they would fall into each other’s arms since Patrick was being so distant… Bigtime ‘scrubs’ fan that I am, I can’t believe I was hoping for a Robin/Jason moment, but the NS is an alternate universe, right.

  • KSC

    All the main players were identifying with Stacy for some reason or another. Robin obviously because of her HIV status. I believe Patrick was distancing himself because he was over-identifying with Stacy, too. Spin saw his back family situation we’ve only touched on (Did you notice he started crying harder when the other baby’s parents picked up their child?) Jason has had more than his fair share of baby tragedy, and this just brought it all to the forfront.

    Good episode, and extremely well acted by the four mentioned.

  • http://www.butterflyfiction.com/journal/ Connie Phillips

    Thanks for chiming in KSC. I totally agree Patrick was over-identifying with Stacy. I would love to see some background on why he’s so afraid of becoming a father. It’s been represented that he was college age when his mother died and Noah started drinking and distancing himself, so I think it has to go deeper than that one incident. (Though I guess it would make a huge impact at any age.) I just get the feeling there is so much more to this and I hope we get into the meat of that story soon.

    I’m also looking forward to getting into Spin’s past too as is being promised on the daytime show.