Transplant 2×01 “Guardrail” forces everyone to teeter the edge. At the end of last season, Bishop had a stroke, Mags and Bash shared a moment, Theo was working through family issues, and June was thinking about Chief Resident. In the season premiere, not only are the doctors facing their issues but they are being forced to deal with a bus crash that tests everyone’s limits.
Transplant is known for its complicated characters and found family dynamic. We see the doctors relying on each other, building each other up, and supporting each other through tough times. In this episode, there is no shortage of love for each other, but as personal issues take hold, we see the characters sniping at each other in a way that makes our hearts ache.
Yet, even though we know that family can take a couple of rounds at each other, we also know that it’s usually not about the other person. In this episode, we see the doctors struggling to compartmentalize their tragedies to focus on their work. So let’s break down the battles of our York Memorial team in this review of Transplant 2×01 “Guardrail”:
BASH’S FORMER FLAME
Last season’s cliffhanger left us with Amira running enthusiastically towards a mysterious woman from Bash’s past. Meet Rania, Bash’s former fiancée, who he thought was dead — talk about seeing ghosts. When Bash initially sees Rania at the hospital, he is both delighted and baffled. As he gets called back into the ED, Rania promises to look after Amira and insists they talk after his shift.
Other than exchanging a few texts and an adorable Facetime call where she assures Bash that she “is real,” we don’t see Rania until the end of the episode. In the end, she explains to Bash that her father was smuggling regime documents to the Free Syrian Army, which put her family in danger. They were taken into hiding and are currently safe in Jordan, but no one is aware of their exact whereabouts. Bash understands the threat of reaching out, but he still can’t help but question why she never tried to in the 5 years she was gone.
She explains that she didn’t know where he was for a while, and when she had heard that he had made it and was safe, she didn’t want to jeopardize his safety because she knew he would try to come to get her. The emotions and delivery of this scene are masterfully done, as we feel Rania’s pain of having kept her secret, but we also feel Bash’s conflicting emotions of being hurt but also caring so much for her. In the end, we see something we have never seen of Bash; he rests. Bash rests his head on her shoulder and then pulls her in for a hug. The chemistry is palpable, and it’s clear that even though they have a lot of catching up to do, their hearts are still bound together.
the bus crash and the new chief
In this episode, a bus goes over a guardrail while going to a student’s camp, causing it to land in the underpass below. When Bash and Maggs arrive on the scene, Emily, one of the students and the owners’ daughter, has a piece of glass puncturing her airway and an artery in her neck. Bash performs a unique trauma procedure where he removes the glass from Emily’s neck and inserts a catheter balloon that he inflates to stem the bleeding. The procedure prevents Emily from bleeding out, but it turns out that the inflation of the balloon may have caused some airway damage.
As they repair Emily’s airway, Theo (Dr. Hunter) informs the mom- Sondra, that Emily may never be able to breathe on her own again. On the other hand, toxicology reports that Allie, the bus driver and close friend to Sondra and Emily, has a high blood alcohol level, even though she says she is allergic and doesn’t drink. Upon further testing, the doctors find out that Allie has auto-brewery syndrome, and Bashir promises to clarify this with Sondra. Despite Bash’s efforts and Emily recovering, Sondra no longer wants Allie to be part of the camp and dismisses her.
Elsewhere, June impresses Dr. Singh when she manages to keep another of the crash’s patients- Lucas- with an internal decapitation calm before surgery, and she even manages to get an observatory spot in the OR. Meanwhile, Maggs and Theo work on another crash patient, Lizzie, while also combatting her reduced ability to form blood clots. Unfortunately, at one point, Maggs has to administer a clot-buster, and while she tried to page Theo, he could not arrive in time and was left with the backlash of not asking Lizzie’s other doctors before administering. This leaves Theo tense with Mags as he explains to her that this is his patient, not hers, even though Lizzie turns out to be okay in the end.
You might ask where the interim chief was during all of this mess? As Dr. Bishop goes through surgery to repair the damages of his stroke, the hospital is elected an interim chief, Dr. Mark Novak. Novak did his residency under Dr. Bishop back in 2005, specializing in ED/ICU, and went overseas before returning to the hospital. Unfortunately, Novak tends to be nonchalant while passing underhanded comments at most doctors, which comes from having a chip on his shoulder regarding Bishop.
When Bash first meets Novak, Emily is initially brought in, making their encounter tense, but he is also unaware that Novak is the interim chief. Later on, Bash asks Novak if he made a wrong impression, to which Novak replies the impression you made is somewhere between “the choice you made and the outcome” in regards to Emily’s in-field procedure. Needless to say, Bash is unsure of what to think of Novak because while Novak seems to be on his side in the end, he manages to get under everyone’s skin on his first day. So much so that he calls out Maggs on her uncanny ability to help everyone as ‘believing that she is better/brighter than others.’ She refuses his statement, saying that she never said that, to which Novak responds, “but you think it.” He tells her that he doesn’t care what type of doctor she is; he needs her to do her job like everyone else.
Let’s say that the bus crash and the interim chief have one thing in common: they are both a mess that needs urgent attending to. Dr. Novak manages to take an already stress-inducing catastrophe and up the ante by leaving everyone on their toes with his commentary. It’s like if the word narcissist could be manifested into a person, you would have Dr. Novak. He tries to psychoanalyze everyone and include his philosophy in everyone’s work. Suppose anyone thinks there better than anyone else, it’s Novak. Yet, despite this, the doctors pull through, ignore him, and help each other handle any patients that come their way.
DOCTORS PERSONAL ANECDOTES
- Theo flies home, only to fly back three hours later… and then buys a flight pass to make his wife more relaxed that he’s coming home 4-5 times a week, to which she responded: unrealistic, to which I respond: OUCH
- Bash and Maggs have a little bit of awkwardness, which is later on unsurprisingly forgotten- I mean hears to friendship
- June believes that her fears regarding the Chief Resident position don’t matter, so she decides to throw her hat in the ring. LFG.
- In the end, we see adorable moments where Theo, Bash, June, and Maggs are all sitting in the doctor’s lounge and just being with each other.
- Maggs helps Theo find time for a three-day weekend.
- June asks if Maggs wants to grab breakfast.
- Everyone teases June about her potential new workload as Chief Resident, to which Maggs defends herself, saying she only told them cause she was excited.
- Head Nurse Claire is working towards becoming a Nurse Practitioner. Again. LFG.
- Dr. Bishop wakes up, cracks a joke, and grabs Claire’s hand: *screaming*
Found family is unique because we find a way to rely on them even in the most strenuous times and even when we push them away. Except for Dr. Novak.
What did you think of Transplant 2×01 ‘Guardrail’? Please share with us in the comments below!