As the hospital hosts therapy dogs to help care for their patients, Carol helps Lexie when the emotional burden of being a doctor becomes too “ruff”.
Episode title: “Therapy Dogs”
Release date: December 5, 2019 at 9:30pm
Cast: Patricia Heaton, Ito Aghayere, Lucas Neff, Jean-Luc Bilodeau, Sabrina Jalees, Ashley Tisdale, Kyle MacLachlan, Cedric Yarbrough
After raising her two children and retiring from teaching, Carol Kenney embarks on a unique second act: pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor by beginning an internship at the Loyola Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Jacobs arrives late for work after running a marathon and collapses. Dr. Frost assigns Carol to be her attending physician while the rest of the interns are working on other injured marathon runners; Carol decides to take it as an opportunity to prove to Dr. Jacobs that she is deserving of her respect. Daniel and Lexie discover that Caleb has an irrational fear of feet, preventing him from helping them deal with the massive backlog of patients. They put him through exposure therapy, which allows him to overcome his fear. Carol finds that Dr. Jacobs is stubborn and refuses to take her advice or let her help, which she takes as a sign that Jacobs is unwilling to acknowledge her as a doctor. However, Dr. Jacobs explains that, being a black female physician, she has to hold herself to higher standards in order to be taken seriously. She then tells Carol that she does, in fact, respect her.
Carol has her first “night float”, being the only physician on duty for the night. The position comes with enormous pressure, and having already been warned by Dr. Jacobs not to call her, she instead asks Dr. Frost to stay for a few extra hours to assist. Jenny takes the interns to a bar, and she and Daniel try to help Lexie and Caleb flirt with some single women; after they leave, Daniel admits to Jenny that he has a crush on her. Nurse Dennis informs Carol that she can’t expect other doctors to bail her out on the night float, so she sends Dr. Frost home and attempts to finish the night herself, finally calling Dr. Jacobs when she suspects a patient has a rare heart condition and needs a second opinion. The other interns taunt Carol for “caving”, but Dennis stands up for her, giving Carol a new-found level of respect from her peers.
Celebrity athlete Darrin Alexander is admitted to the hospital with a broken rib; tests reveal that he has a serious medical condition that could potentially cause his heart to give out at any second. As his doctor, Carol advises him to stop playing football, but Darrin, his coach, and even his mother support his decision to keep playing. Carol is furious that her advice has been disregarded, but Dr. Frost tells her that even if she can’t force her patients to live perfectly healthy lives, her concern for them is what makes her a great doctor. Daniel pretends to have erectile dysfunction to help Jenny meet her quota for selling a new drug. Even though she had previously told him she didn’t date doctors, she offers to take him out to dinner as a friend instead. When Carol asks why he lied, however, Daniel chooses not to tell her about their relationship.
Disgusted by the interns’ poor hygiene and living habits, Dr. Jacobs tells them to improve. Carol then takes it upon herself to teach them how to be time-efficient while also cleaning up the lounge. The interns quickly shape up, but Carol’s inability to stop mothering them prevents her from performing her duties, causing Jacobs to hand her latest patient off to Daniel. Frustrated, she winds up yelling at them and calling them “lazy filth people”. Jenny steps in and tells her to treat them as her peers and not her children or her students, which allows for reconciliation. Jenny has her own problem: Dr. Frost refuses to prescribe any of her drugs due to his distaste for pharmaceutical representatives. To get around that, Jenny has Nurse Dennis argue that the prescribed drugs would also be beneficial for the staff, winning Dr. Frost over.
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