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TV Review: General Hospital: The Night Shift – “Bed, Bath, and Beyond”

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Three new patients, and one a familiar face, found their way into the Emergency Room lat Thursday and we checked in with one from two weeks ago. We were also treated to plenty of drama between the doctors, nurses, and staff of Port Charles' favorite hospital.

Having been seduced by Dr. Kelly Lee last week, Pablo tried once again for a repeat with the gynecologist, but she had just awakened from a rather disturbing dream involving a sketchy mixture of passion and violence with a masked partner or assailant. Just as she finishes rebuffing Pablo, another of her past conquests, Dr. Andy Archer, rounds the corner to also be met with her anger.

Later Dr. Ford called Pablo into his office with the news that he was being fired because of numerous complaints from the hospital staff. Angry, he asserted it must be Dr. Lee retaliating because he refused to sleep with her and threatened a sexual harassment suite. Dr. Ford informed Dr. Lee this could be the final straw that delivers GH to the HMO.

In the early episodes, I wasn't quite sure what to make of Kelly's habitual bed jumping, or shower jumping as the case may be. I couldn't decipher if she was trying to combat an emotional isolation with physical companionship or if she was battling some type of addiction to either the sex or the thrill of possibly being caught. With this new turn of events, the dream, I wonder if we aren't going to discover Dr. Lee is trying to cope with an abusive past. However it turns out, we should be seeing some real progression with this soon now that Robin is suspicious and Dr. Ford and Miss Sneed are in the know.

Dr. Archer had a patient who insisted he had REM sleep disorder – he looked it up on the Internet. His wife's complaint was he would walk in his sleep and crawl in bed with beautiful women. Believing the patient was just scamming his wife, Dr. Archer suggested hooking him up to monitors and observing him. Twice, the patient 'sleepwalked,' once crawling in a bed with a horrified Layla and later with Epiphany who took matters into her own hands, blackening his eye. Convinced his patient had a real sleep disorder, he referred him to a clinic specializing in such things. By the way the man's eyes followed Regina as he and his wife were leaving the hospital, I suspect Dr. Archer's first diagnosis was the right one.

A clown also came into the ER, laughing hysterically and flailing his arms around. Might not seem like unusual behavior, but we learned he had 20 to 30 such uncontrollable episodes daily. While Patrick ran tests, Spinelli tried to face his life-long fear of clowns and forge a friendship with the man who obviously needed a friend. Yes, a fear of clowns might almost seem as unlikely as a clown whose uncontrolled episodes scare the daylights out of his young audience, but it's actually not as uncommon as you might think. Of course, Spinelli, even when he's weirded out and battling his own demons, has a way of doing so with such joyous humor. The clown, like most people, wasn't quite sure what to make of him.

Patrick's test confirmed a brain tumor, one nicknamed the joker face because of the symptoms. He suggests immediate brain surgery with a hopeful diagnosis for the future, while I’m left simply amazed at how many brain tumors and head injuries come into the ER on a regular basis. Spinelli accompanies him to the operating room, doing his best to cheer up the clown along the way.

Patrick's patient from two weeks ago, Jared, was still in a coma and his parents were beginning to lose hope, though his father admitted to Jason that the way the two battled since Jared had reached puberty, it might be a blessing in disguise. Robin offered his mother hope, remembering Jason's similar accident and injury from long ago and detailing the circumstances.

Jared did regain consciousness, and much like with Jason, had a completely different personality. The difference in Jared's case was that instead of being combative he was now loving, caring, and apologetic to his parents for his past actions. When Patrick suggested they could try some different drug therapies to restore his original personality, his father was animatedly against it saying as long as Jared was not in danger he wanted to leave well enough alone.

Robin was just as disturbed as I was by the father's selfishness surrounding his son's recovery, and found herself talking about that and her own fears about becoming a parent with Jason while Patrick quietly observed and overheard. It wasn't quite clear if was more upset about her rekindling her friendship with Jason, or the topic of parenthood she seems to continually revisit, but he was bothered by something; almost as much as Robin was upset by finding Patrick on the roof with Layla – twice. The second time was completely innocent as it was the now traditional roof scene at the end of the episode and many of the doctors and nurses were greeting the new day and the end of their shift while dancing to the song on the radio. The first time, in contrast, Robin found Patrick comforting Layla who had once again been accused of killing Mrs. Storch.

With her staph infection not getting any better, Maxie returned to the hospital as a patient this week. Dr. Julian informed her she had become septic, the infection was now in her bloodstream and her transplanted heart was in real danger. They would continue treating with IV drugs until they found one the infection was not resistant to. True to form she tried to slip out of the hospital and collapsed near the elevator bays. (Didn't the very same thing happen on the parent show during the monkey virus epidemic?) Though Dr. Julian continued to insist they would find a medication that worked, at the end of the episode, with Mac and Georgie by her side, she crashed.

In a recent interview on Soapnet, head writer Bob Guza said Maxie's staph infection and the complications are one of the few storylines that we will see cross back over to the parent show, so I'm pretty confident Dr. Julian will be able to turn her around. Just what those after-effects are for Maxie and the rest of General Hospital's staff on the Night Shift remain to be seen.

If you've missed an episode of the Night Shift, here's your chance to get caught up. Soapnet is running a marathon of all previous episodes Sunday August 19 beginning at 1:00 pm. All episodes can also be purchased at iTunes for $1.99 per episode or $22.99 for the season pass.

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