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TV Review: General Hospital: The Night Shift – “Keep The Change”

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It's a week later, and we're back in General Hospital's emergency room for the Night Shift — Midnight to 6:00 am. This week the doctors and nurses are still reeling from the loss of their favorite habitual patient Mrs. Storch and shocked to discover it was caused by an injection to her IV. The paper is calling it a mercy killing and coupled with the brewing strike talks amongst the nurses and staff, as well as the continuing mix-ups with patient's charts, Dr. Ford and Miss Sneed are both worried a take over from Medcam is eminent.

Spinelli showed up to fill in for Jason, only telling Toussaint the other man was working his day job. It quickly becomes apparent he is there to further his attempts to get closer to nurse Jolene, who is distraught and weepy for most of the episode. Many assume it's over the loss of the patient, but late in the episode she confides to Spin it is the seventh anniversary of her father's death. He died during surgery, she says, and while her mother blamed the health care system it drew her to it – she wanted to effect change. A noble cause and honorable tribute to his memory comforted Spinelli.

As during the day, Spinelli brings lighthearted fun to even the most dramatic of situations with his quirky and awkward movements as well as his way of paralleling every situation to a video game, but even more so on Night Shift we are seeing a depth and growth to the character, which is just as entertaining to watch. Hopefully we'll see this friendship between him and Jolene escalate and carry over to the daytime hours.

Stacy Sloan was back at the hospital, actually passing out in front amidst the striking employees. Thankfully Patrick noticed her and got her inside where Robin pressed to keep him involved in her case. With neither pregnancy nor HIV being his area of expertise, Patrick found himself feeling trapped and accused Robin of forcing the idea of having a baby on him.

Two patients were refused treatment in the emergency room this week. One was a nameless young woman, obviously very ill, but without health insurance. The other was Lainy Winter's father, who was transferred from Rose Lawn where he's being treated for his advanced Alzheimer's on the fear he has suffered a stroke. The Alzheimer's storyline was visited briefly awhile back on the parent show, but was dropped suddenly and I was happy to see it revisited on Night Shift.

Patrick is able to diagnose a TIA or precursor stroke and advises that Lainey allow him to perform surgery soon to prevent a more serious one. Enter Dr. Ford who ruled out surgery as Lainey's father's health insurance would not cover it due to his pre-existing condition (the Alzheimer's). Lainey insisted she would pay out of pocket and Patrick offered to donate his services but Ford held firm, stating it was a waste of hospital resources to treat someone who in essence was untreatable. The scenes were quite disturbing yet unfortunately very realistic, reinforcing the need for a complete overhaul of the medical system as we know it.

As Lainey tried to help her father dress for his return to Rose Lawn, he became confused and combative. Cody, the Iraq war veteran she's been treating, came to the rescue, handling her father calmly and respectfully yet authoritatively. In the hall, Lainey thanked him, but added she hoped it was genuine kindness and not a grandiose attempt to get more pills out of her. Cody made an observation of his own: that she doesn't like to accept help from anyone. Is this a change in Cody? Is he finding his heart, hardened by his time in Iraq? Is Lainey getting through to him? I'm anxious to see how this develops both here and on General Hospital where Cody is still seeking his vengeance against Logan.

As Patrick ran off in a huff, frustrated by Dr. Ford's persist attention to the bottom line instead of heath care, he found himself trapped in the temperamental elevators with Toussaint. When the janitor began to sing "When The Saints Go Marching In" to pass the time, Patrick found the mysterious voice that had been haunting him these last four weeks he has worked the Night Shift. Further conversation revealed Toussaint was once a member of the group The Saints, a name Patrick recognized from discussions of music with his father. Later, Patrick confides Toussaint's previous life to Epiphany who is quite unnerved by it, and later quite tongue-tied when she runs him to him.

Between the medical cases Regina confronted a very offended Layla, telling her she had seen her enter Mrs Storch's room just minutes before she had passed. She can act offended all she wants, right now Layla is my top suspect too.

Kelly also found the time to roll another man, this time Pablo in the showers. When Robin tired to discuss her distant behavior with her, Kelly blew her off. Even later, last week's victim confronted her, trying to break through this wall she's building around her and the self destructive behavior she been demonstrating on GH too. I'm quite interested to see what's got Dr. Lee acting so out of character in the weeks to come.

When Epiphany confronted Stan about the labor strike he had organized and vocalized how disappointed she was in the man he'd becomes. He voiced just as much disapproval in her showing her the woman who had early been removed from the ER for not having insurance. He suspected she had pneumonia and her apartment building had been 'red tagged'. She had turned to the hospital for compassion and was given none. Epiphany insisted she had rules to follow, but Stanford countered rules could be bent and broken, but medical staff should care.

As the dust settled the striking workers returning to their jobs and the sun rose, Toussaint's words to Stanford that change can happen one degree at a time was realized as Epiphany came out and escorted the ill woman back into the emergency room, holding off her supervisor with a reminder that he was truly afraid of her. On the rooftop, Patrick and Robin met up for their usual reflection and we learned Stacy had decided against inducing her labor and was going to try to go full term. When Patrick voiced his fear, that by Robin living vicariously through her patient they would never again be the way they once were, Robin countered with 'why is that bad.'

This world is ever turning, nothing remains static and change is inevitable. How people and relationships deal with it becomes the question, and I will continue to turn in to the Night Shift hoping Dr. Drake and Dr. Scorpio come through just fine.

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