Category Archives: The Mob Doctor

The Mob Doctor — Family Secrets (S1E02)

(My review of the last episode of The Mob Doctor, Pilot)

This episode was not quite as good as the first, but, for what it was, it wasn’t bad.

We are given another glimpse at Grace’s childhood and how her life has been connected to the mob for a very long time. At her sixth birthday party, Grace saw her dad stumbling home drunk and passing out in the front yard. Her birthday wish was that her father would never come home again. Her wish came true. He was taken from the yard by (what we assume to be) Constantine’s men and the next time he was seen, he was dead. The fact that she didn’t mind that her father was killed was already an indication that she was made of steel and it’s no surprise that she ended up working for the mob. When she approaches Constantine and asks him directly whether or not he killed her father (her interested is finally piqued), he swears that it wasn’t him.

Grace’s lack of love for her father doesn’t spread to the rest of her family. She has done so much to protect and help her little brother Nate. She continuously insists that she hasn’t heard from Moretti and has no idea what happened. And she pushes him to go back to school. After some resistance, he goes to register for courses, but quickly regrets his decision. He then shows up at the hospital to yell at her for treating him like a little kid. Which, to me, seems like the only way to treat him. When he is being so resistant and stubborn he very closely resembles a child.

Grace’s mom continues to poke her head into Grace’s business. She invited Grace’s boyfriend, Brett, over for dinner. And she made sure to call his supervisor to make sure that he could attend that night and called him directly to ask what he wanted to be served. When Grace doesn’t show up for the dinner, her mother asks Brett all sorts of personal questions that Grace surely wouldn’t allow if she were there. And when she finds out that Brett isn’t close with his family, she decides that she has to make him close with hers. Though Brett is pissed that she showed up late for dinner and doesn’t believe her terrible excuse, her mom takes it a very different way. She brings Grace breakfast in bed the following morning, because she wants to appreciate how close the two of them are.

The medical case wasn’t too intriguing and not too much time was spent elaborating what was going on. Really all you need to know is that it appeared as though a bride had a panic attack at her own wedding and ran off. But it turns out that she actually had a tumor that her corset applied pressure to that just made her act crazy. That’s a regular occurrence, right?

The mobster aspect was much more interesting this week. Grace is pulled away from her work to go treat a man named Dante, who Constantine wants to do business with. And of course, Dante is sick. So Grace takes him to the hospital to piggyback on another patient’s chart. When an elderly patient dies, she has her friend Ro prevent them from calling his death. That way, she can bring Dante in for the necessary tests. When Dr. Flanigan starts snooping around, Franco saves the day by pretending to be the patient’s grandson. Once Dante is back home, Grace gets the results of the test back, just as Dante stops breathing. It turns out that he was poisoned, and it looks like his wife was the culprit. However, she soon shows up at the hospital with the same poison and her ring finger cut off.

Now that they finished dealing with Dante’s illness, they get to business. Constantine wants a 5% bump in his cut than Moretti had. When this request is refused, Constantine has to prove that it’s a good idea. Franco takes over a protected truck and burn the contents. But before they have a chance to do that, they notice that there are double the number of items than there should be. And now that Constantine knows about Dante’s brother’s double-dipping, he negotiates a 25% cut, that’s 15% more than Moretti got.

When Grace ushered Dante into the hospital, Nate happened to notice. So the next time she left, he followed her. He saw her go to both Constantine and Dante’s houses. And now Grace is forced to tell him everything. Rather than have any sort of intellect, Nate tells Constantine what he knows. He wants to get into the business.

Many of the characters seem pretty one-dimensional and bland (This goes for Nate and doubly for Brett). If they are toned out in the next few episodes, it would greatly increase the quality of the show, and if not, it will be a bust. But for now, the only characters that appear to have any sort of substance are Grace and Constantine. The only thing that sparks any sort of interest about the other characters is why they are so trusting. Everybody beside Flanigan allows Grace to get away with anything. Why would Ro allow Grace to piggyback a patient’s medical information without any sort of knowledge of what’s going on?

If the hospital aspect of the show doesn’t get interesting soon, I think that the show will be better off if it drops the “doctor” bit and focuses on the mobsters. That half of the show is much more interesting than the hospital cases. If I want an interesting medical drama, I’ll go rewatch House.

The Mob Doctor — Pilot (S1E01)

When I first heard about this show, I was not expecting much. I mainly just wanted to watch because I’m sick of waiting for all of the other shows to start and Zach Gilford (Matt Saracen from Friday Night Lights) is in it. I was expecting an average hospital procedural with the occasional mobster needing treatment. I genuinely enjoyed watching the premiere and I can’t wait for next week.

Dr. Grace Devlin is first seen as an adult treating a patient with a screwdriver in his head. If she had her way, she would have jammed it further into his skull, but she owes Moretti, a mob boss, big time. It turns out that her brother got into some trouble, and to save his life, she offered her doctoral services to the mob. I think that this takes place inside a veterinary clinic, because she has dog toys and her assistant mentions that the drug that she administers would take down a Great Dane.

When she returns to work, she is operating on an 8-year-old boy with a gunshot wound. She manages to save his life through (what I believe was) a risky move. After the surgery, Grace visits the patient, Kevin, and brings him a superhero stuffed animal. You can tell that she truly cares for him and is thrilled to see that he is okay. Kevin is transferred to a different doctor for post-op, because Grace has too much on her plate. Kevin ends up dying due to a failure on her attending, Dr. Flanigan’s part. Grace decides to go over his head and complain to the head of surgery, Dr. White (played by the fantastic Zeljko Ivanek). Though there is no official report, but Dr. Flanigan is reprimanded; he blames Olivia (a different doctor), who takes her aggression out on Grace, calling her a rat.

The reason she has too much on her plate is because she offered to perform a very complicated surgery on a protected FBI witness. The patient had collapsed on the stand while giving testimony that would put Moretti away for a long time. Once she agreed to take him on as a patient, she receives a note that just says the words “kill him.” Clearly Moretti doesn’t want Severino to rat on him. Grace jets down to Moretti’s expensive car shop to tell Moretti that she never agreed to kill anyone. Moretti believes that when she saved her brother’s life, she signed up for just about anything.

When Grace’s mom shows up to tell her that Suzie, a girl that Grace used to babysit was in the hospital, Grace is incredibly short with her. This fuse is shortened further when she brings up the topic of her boyfriend, Dr. Brett Robinson. Brett was the one who did Suzie’s exam, and he found that she was pregnant. Grace was the one who had to break it to her, but she did it incredibly gently and held her hand through the realization. To protect her from her dad’s wrath and the loss of her scholarship, Grace pushes Brett to lie about the operation, saying that it was a ruptured ovarian cyst rather than an abortion. he goes along with her plan, but he is ticked off that she put him in that position. Which seems like something that she does often.

Grace constantly visits Constantine Alexander to give him his insulin shots (he doesn’t trust anyone else to do it). He was the old mob boss before Moretti, but was convicted. One of Moretti’s men photographs her visiting him, probably to use as leverage or blackmail material.

There is a drawn out, slowed down shot of Grace scrubbing in for the surgery, she is debating whether or not she should comply with Moretti’s request. As soon as she steps into the operating room, she picks up the syringe with the fluid that would kill him and injects it into him. If you were shocked that she did this, you’re not alone, she was definitely surprised when she woke up from her dream. When she was actually operating on him, she “accidentally” dropped the syringe. To show Grace that this was a mistake, Moretti kidnaps her mother. Why he went himself is beyond me, I thought that he would have sent one of his henchmen to do his dirty work.

Grace doesn’t take kindly to these threats, so she bashes his incredibly fancy car and drives off, hoping he would follow. Moretti chased him all the way to Constantine’s house, where he brought his gun. Constantine shoots him without a second thought. Apparently, Constantine was planning on getting rid of Moretti anyway, that’s why he was the one who turned Severino. He wanted his mob back, and to do so, he had to get rid of the current leader. He knows that many of the men are still loyal to him and he will be able to take back control. When Grace refuses to leave town, Constantine agrees to protect her as well as he can as long as the debt she owed to Moretti gets transferred to him. He then says, “And remember, you had a choice.” I think she knows that she might have to kill for him.

And to wrap up the episode, the story flashes back to her as a young girl (this is how the episode began as well), examining her first corpse. It turns out that it was her drunken father, and she was happy that he was dead. She sees a white Cadillac pull away from the scene of the murder. It snaps back to present time and she sees the same white Caddy. It looks like Constantine has been protecting her for a lot longer than she had realized.

It is very clear from this first episode that Grace cares very little of what her colleagues and superiors think of her. She has her own moral code and she expects everyone around her to follow it. This does not seem like a very ideal position for someone in her position to be in. It’s bad enough to disrespect authority in a hospital, but when it comes to the mafia, disrespect can lead to death. To contrast her bad people skills, she somehow has amazing bedside manner, and is surprisingly good with kids. When Grace is in the position of authority, she knows just how to deal with everything and everyone around her; just as Constantine said, she is a surgeon for the power (it may be a different type of power, but the idea still flows).

Her difficulty dealing with people her age and those around her makes it a bit difficult to believe that she has a good friend in Ro and a boyfriend in Brett. I’m not sure how long her relationship with him will last. But I think Ro might be willing to suffer through some of Grace’s annoyances. It might be worth it just for her sick sense of humor: when she was late to surgery because she was dealing with a man with the screwdriver in his head, her excuse was, “I had a patient with a killer headache”.

Now that I’ve seen how the writers plan to mash up the medical procedural with a mobster movie, I think that it shows real promise. I’ll be tuning in again next week. How about you guys?

(My review of the next episode of The Mob Doctor, Family Secrets)

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