Emily Owens M.D. 1.05 “Emily and…the Tell-Tale Heart” Recap

emily owens m.d.Mother May I
After a couple of episodes away from Emily Owens M.D., Micah’s mother Joyce is back at the hospital to see what impact the chemotherapy has had on her tumor. After palling around with Emily ahead of her appointment, the two having become friendly in the second episode of the season, she gets told by Micah that everything’s fine; however, that’s not the case. The cancer hasn’t spread beyond her pancreas at this point, but it’s not responded to any of the medication that she’s on and hasn’t shrunk by so much as a millimeter. Micah goes out of his way to convince her that this is normal, that she doesn’t need to worry, and that there are plenty of other medications to try, but all Joyce wants is to know the truth about her condition.

To find out the real results of her tests (and thanks to the oncologist being off), she pages Emily and asks if the tumor had shrunk, Emily quietly tells her that it hadn’t. Once Micah gets wind of what happened, he confronts Emily and tells her that he didn’t want his mother to know so that she’d keep fighting; he has seen a lot of patients lose the will to go on when things aren’t improving and he wants his mother to want to get better, even if treatment is slow-going. Mostly, he’s scared that she’s going to die and he doesn’t want to have to confront that possibility, not yet. The relentless optimism and unwillingness to face reality are as much for Micah as they are Joyce, but finally, he atones to his mother in her room. After reminding him that she needs him to be honest with her, she invites her “Micah Mouse” to lay down in bed with her and comforts him as he lets go.

Guilt-Ridden Girl
Cassandra Kopelson is a lot of things. Beautiful, intelligent, manipulative – but nice? There has to be a catch to any of her pleasantness and that became even more apparent in “Tell-Tale Heart”, as Emily’s nemesis is sniffing around for information about Will. The two had been slowly engaging in a flirty pre-relationship mating ritual, but with Will promising Emily that he wouldn’t go after Cassandra, he’s been outright ignoring her in order to not send the wrong message. Emily initially doesn’t want to get involved, though she can’t resist telling Will that he’s being rude to Cassandra before he reminds her that this entire thing was her idea.

During their shift, Will, Tyra, and Emily play a round of bananagrams on the roof that gets interrupted by Cassandra and sends Will flying back into the hospital. This is the thing that snaps Emily back into reality; she may not like Cassandra, but the more she sees Will blow her off, the more she feels guilty for making the call for him to end things. Before surgery the next day, she tells him that she doesn’t mind if he asks her out and he seems happy for the reversal of the previous decision.

Liver Let Die
One of Emily’s patients in “Tell-Tale Heart” is Sam, a 12-year-old boy with hepatitis in his liver, which will require a partial transplant. His parents Karen and Luke, as well as his sister Tracy, all agree to be tested for potential match, only the test reveals a key piece of information about their family. While Tracy is a match and wants to get into surgery soon, Luke is not the biological father of Sam and Karen has yet to tell him; the biological father is a former co-worker of Karen’s named Matt and the pregnancy was the result of a one-time fling, which makes any chance that he would donate part of his liver to the boy slim to none. Once contacted after Karen tells Luke, Matt denies the request to donate, leaving Tracy to be the one to help her brother. Luckily, the surgery goes well despite minor complications and the two will be alright.

For her part, Karen is a little relieved for the secret that she had been holding onto for more than a decade is out in the open, as the guilt that she had been carrying was weighing her down.

Tyra Has a Boyfriend…?
About six months ago, Tyra ran into an old friend from high school named Ricky, telling her father that the two were dating after he tried to fix her up yet again. And he’s at the hospital, meaning that she has to avoid him as best she can while keeping him away from her father; when she tries to corner him by the vending machine and get him out of there, Dr. Dupre shows up and Ricky covers for Tyra by going along with the lie that she had concocted about him. In turn, he wants a favor – a date with Emily. The two had only met earlier in the day when he brought in a patient, but they got along very quickly. Emily’s not at all enthused about going out and talks it down to a lunchtime coffee; you’d think that she’d want to try to get over Will in any way that she could, though the awkward conversation and eventual unloading of personal baggage (Ricky was dumped by his fiance six months ago and is looking to replace her, more or less) proved her to be right.

Addicted to You
The patient that Ricky brought in is an opiate addict named Cody who overdosed before going to his probation officer. When Emily administers naloxone, an opiod inverse drug, his body twists and jerks to the point of needing half a dozen men to hold him down, although he does knock her into the supply table nearby first. Cody is also a diabetic hypokalemic who doesn’t take his insulin, as well as a pretty sympathetic figure to Emily due to a supposedly strained relationship with his brother. Dr. Bandari reminds her that she’s only there to treat his medical condition and to not get invested with his personal life/addiction, but she ultimately can’t help herself.

That night, after getting him another blanket, trying to make him comfortable during the withdrawal phase, and experiencing another near-code, she tries to talk to him about going to rehab. He tells her that he doesn’t know how to stop and she relates to him due to having an alcoholic aunt; Cody agrees to go to rehab, only the state rehab won’t have a bed for four days, even with the 21-70 (involuntary commitment due to fear of harm to others or self) that Cassandra suggests. However, before Emily can fill out the paperwork and get him off to rehab, he checks himself out right after a shift change to go use.

Additional thoughts and observations:
-As a Treme fan, I was happy to see Chris Coy, who played Cody in the episode.
-Even though I didn’t like the “dopplewanger” sideplot, the payoff of Cassandra A) looking gorgeous in street clothes and B) helping Emily by pranking one of the doctors was worth it.
-Luke asking his daughter why she wasn’t flirting with Will was cute.
-I think this was the best episode of Emily Owens M.D. yet. Everything feels a little more toned down and smoothed over than before while retaining the show’s personality.
Next week on Emily Owens M.D., Emily deals with an infant with a life-threatening condition and a deeply religious patient contemplating his faith after a risky surgery. Meanwhile, Will breaks protocol in the ER and upsets Micah and Tyra mentally prepares herself to come out to her father.

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