Sunday , April 21 2024
The inaugural season of Night Shift comes to a satisfying, yet confusing, close.

TV Review: General Hospital: Night Shift – “Time Served”

First – I can't tell you what sheer joy I get in saying "I was wrong." At the conclusion of last week's "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted," I was certain that Toussaint had become one of the few patients that Drake Jr. has ever lost. When the show opened and he was recovering, I think I actually squealed I was so happy.

We also learned in the opening minutes of the episode it was graduation day for the student nurses who passed the program, and it was only Layla who was assured her blue scrubs, the others wouldn't know until closer to the end of their shift. It was also the last night of Patrick and Robin's punishment, and the last night of Jason's community service.

Patrick listened in on a conversation in which Robin confessed to Lainey and Kelly she felt guilty for blaming Layla for her breakup with Patrick. He confronted her and told her even though they had different goals in life, he still cared about her. Robin rightfully questioned that, saying for someone who was supposedly in love; he didn't support, nor try to understand her. (I've said before how much this NS incarnation of Patrick Drake irks me, haven't I? I keep hoping Drake Sr. will show up to give his son some insight on the opposite sex.)

With Toussaint still unconscious from his surgery the week before, Jason stood guard outside his room, continually mopping the floor as a cover. He became even more vigilant when Spinelli showed up with the proof that Jolene was, as he put it, more an angel of death than an angel of mercy. He had discovered a hidden bank account being regularly supplied with funds from a dummy corporation owned by MedCam.

It didn't take long for Jolene to show up outside of Toussaints' door, syringe in hand. And of course Jason nabbed her and dragged her down to the ER where he could inform Dr. Ford she was the cause of the string of accidents and accidental deaths at the hospital. It just wouldn't be a show written by Robert Guza Jr. if Jason Morgan didn't save the day. It also wouldn't be a show written by Guza if we didn't have a major gun-fight.

Unknown to everyone at the hospital, except the young woman who gave birth a few weeks ago, two rival gangs were preparing to do battle in the ER waiting room, and chose the moment of Jason's announcement as the distraction needed to open fire on each other. Ever sensitive to his surroundings, Jason realized what was going on just seconds before the room exploded in gunfire, and directed the doctors and nurses to take cover behind the desk.

Before Jason could get his hands on a gun of one of the fallen, Dr. Julian was shot in the chest trying to help another victim. When Spinelli found himself in the line of fire it was Jolene who jumped in front of him, pushing him down, and taking the bullet in the back. In a panic, the last standing gang member grabbed Robin and tried to leave the ER holding a gun to her head. Jason and Robin shared eye contact, and with a knowing nod, Robin pulled her head down and away at the same second Jason shot the hostage taker.

While Robin was being held hostage, and in the moments after the gunfire while she laid still on the ground, the look of sheer terror in Patrick's eyes gave me hope he was going to end the madness of the last few weeks. I wanted him to run to her side, admit he's been a total jerk and tell her he loves her. No such luck. Once he saw she was alright, he simply went about the business of helping those who were hurt. I certainly hope to see them working through these issues when the sun comes up.

Kelly Lee confirmed from her recent patient that her ex-boyfriend had set up the gang war and she had been sent ahead to let him know how many were lying in wait. When the teen was questioned by the police, however, Dr. Lee covered for her and said she had been there for a post natal check up.  She then went on to strike a deal with her new friend, confidant, the also addicted Dr. Archer.  We learned Kelly has been in a twelve-step program for sex addiction for two weeks, and she encouraged Andy to find one for his sleep-aid addiction, saying if they both stayed clean for the 72 remaining days of her vowed abstinence, maybe they could sleep together to celebrate.  Dr. Archer seemed intrigued, to say the least.

While unconscious, Toussaint had a conversation with his younger, egocentric self and learned that he had wasted his talents when he let his pride and ego get in the way. While the staff was coming down from the shoot out, he slowly came to. He seemed disoriented at first, rambling to his younger self and scaring Epiphany, but when she asked him to look at her and tell her his name, his reply let her and us know he was going to be fine: "I'm Toussaint Dubios… I'm a singer."

An examination from Patrick determined he was well on the road to recovery and we got to see both Spinelli and Jason connect with the man who had become their mentor. Jason then went to Dr. Ford to get his paperwork signed, and was told by the Staff Chief how lucky they had been that he covered for his friend who shot himself in the foot. He stopped to check on Robin, and she walked him out, after he got a glimpse of the mysterious Ms. Barrett – only from the back. It was rumored early in the season this woman was going to end up being a cousin to Cooper and one of the Barrett sisters that was tied to Jason before, but it looks as though they are only leaving that door open instead of taking us through it.  Meanwhile Spinelli struggled with the realization Jolene had killed so many, yet saved him.

As Robin and Jason ended up at the ER doors, a limo pulled up. It was Sonny, there to collect Jason and return him to his daytime life as a mob hitman coffee importer and away from the hospital. Robin turned back and learned Patrick and Leyla were treating a hit and run patient with a head injury. She went to offer help, and Patrick practically dragged her away saying she couldn't treat the patient, she was too emotionally involved. In what had to be the oddest 'season ending' to a show I've ever seen, she pulled away and looked down at the patient… who was her.

Up until those last thirty seconds, I was quite happy with the way the season wrapped up, especially since I had the knowledge the few unresolved issues were going to cross over to the daytime show. The last bit offered, with no opportunity on the horizon for explanation, left me with a bitter after-taste and just plain confused. The best I could hope to take away from it was the metaphor, a Robin who was a physical hurt as she was emotionally shattered.

All in all, this little Soapnet experiment turned out to be entertaining, not in the same vien as the medical dramas that are popular on all the networks, but as a sleeker, yet darker, version of the daytime drama, centered around the hospital and the people that work there. Now comes the hard part, waiting until next summer for season two.

About Connie Phillips

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