Hey, if you haven’t heard The Billy Barnes Unit is closing down and so is GETTING ON. All of the staff is there and some of the regular patients too, I’m sure. Has Dr. Jenna (Laurie Metcalf) James learned from her latest shenanigans? Is Nurse Dawn (Alex Borstein) Forchette happy in marriage? Is Supervising Nurse Patsy (Mel Rodrigues) de la Serda happy Dawn is married? And how about, Nurse Denise “Didi” Ortley? Is she is still doing more than her share?
The following look at the season premiere will get us up to speed on what is happening with the characters and make sure we have a sense of the focus for the season. After all, it is only going to be a total of six quick episodes. But, before we jump into all that we can get everyone who chooses to follow along all up to speed with the following recap and our previous reviews.
Episode #13 – Season 3 Premiere “This Is About Vomit, People”
Well, a few months have passed since that hearing and the staff is all still employed, for now. Dr. James is clearly on reprimand as she is required to take “ethics training” via a webinar. We are also quick to learn that she just doesn’t have much time for research as she is out to save her job. Dr. James runs into a handsome new doctor, Ron Rudd (Grant Bowler). He reveals that he’s being brought in to replace the head of Billy Barnes, following their hospice ethics debacle a few months back. Dr. James makes up a fake name, so as not to reveal who she is, then runs away to call her lawyer. Jenna has a clandestine meeting with hospice representative Suzi Sasso in the ward’s ladies’ room. Now that they’re both going to be thrown under the bus, the two women have agreed to put their differences aside and work together to save their jobs. Good luck on that front ladies!
It seems like our characters are in a big fight this season; they are all in individual battles that cut to the quick. Each one may lose focus of the important task at hand because of the personal attacks upon them. We now know that Dr. J’s job is on the line, but what about the others? Well, for DiDi it all starts with a spew of vomit.
Patsy, as the wuss he is, is actually to blame for the mess, but not caught in the act of puking he quickly passes buck onto a Nurse Marguerite to clean it up to no avail and even the orderly, Antoine refuses. DiDi confronts Antoine about not cleaning up the vomit, and he explains that their union protects both of them from cleaning it up because they have a no-bodily-fluids clause in their contract. DiDi decides she’ll take care of it if no one else will, until Antoine asks her when the last time was that she got a raise or a better pension. So now she is in a battle for her rights. And before she knows it, during a discussion with the union she becomes union leader. She just took on her battle!
Then there is Patsy and Dawn. They are in a battle for their feelings as he still cares for her and she admits she is not happy in her marriage. Will they reconnect? Just where will that lead them? But, the biggest battle of all becomes Dawn’s health issue. It is a severe medical problem and no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the anal fissures from last season. It is a surprising development, but one that they will serve with some twist of humor as that is the nature of this show. Patients face medical issues on this show all the time some leading to death (in fact there is a death in this episode) but you just didn’t expect something serious happening to a main character.
And in the end we are reminded that with all the personal angst going on here that what matters is the other lives they are charged to care for. It is about the service they signed on to; it is about Birdie and the others patients and keeping the facility humming to provide that care. It is about the vomit, which was finally cleaned up by a service dog brought to the unit!
We will stick with it to see how it all plays out. We conclude with a preview of Episode # 14 “Don’t Let It Get In You or On You.”