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Rebel - Patient X - Review

 

In last week’s episode of Rebel we learned a very valuable life lesson: Do not piss off  Rebel (Katey Sagal) unless you want to end up having a shotgun pointed at yourself.

Rebel’s husband Grady (John Corbett), who secretly and unexpectedly had divorce papers drawn up, is trying to take over their jointly owned home and moves his soon-to-be ex-wife’s belongings into the guest house. Rebel is livid and in a kneejerk reaction gets her shotgun and shoots at one of Grady's precious cars he is working on for a client. I may or may not have been rooting for her to just shoot him in the foot. Ziggie (Ariela Barer), however, does not share my sentiment and demands her parents go to marriage counseling. I get it Ziggie, we all would want our parents not to give up on their marriage and try again and again but as a bystander who gets to watch it from a certain distance it is simply hard not to hope that Rebel will never ever take a chance on him again.

It is not only Rebel’s private life that is currently rather complicated, the obstacles she has to surmount to take on Stonemore Medical seem even more inexpugnable than expected. In order for Cruz (Andy Garcia) to file a lawsuit he not only requires a professional medical study that is way further along than the study Nate (Kevin Zegers) just started, he also needs a patient X which is a person who received the heart valve, developed an autoimmune disease, then got the valve removed again and consequently the disease reversed itself. There is no other way if they even want to have a chance of getting this case before a jury.

With the help from Helen (Mary McDonnell), the woman who has created the facebook group for fellow victims of Stonemore Medical’s negligence, Rebel and Lana (Tamala Jones) are able to track down Professor Jason Erickson (Dan Bucatinsky). He is the only known recipient of the Stonemore heart valve who had it removed again. It turns out his symptoms disappeared almost the moment the valve was gone from his body. However, he is reluctant to help as he has quite a bit drama going on in his own life right now. He is about to lose his job as one of his students (Frankie Zabilka) is accusing him of assault. Jason, though, claims the student is actually the perpetrator. The boy painted swastikas on his garage and wrote homophobic slurs on his car, desk and blackboard. Unfortunately, the board of the school does not quite believe a word the professor says and sides with the student. While Rebel tries to make the board realize that the student is playing them Lana pays a visit to his mother. It turns out the young man is a member of the “proud boys“, a white supremacist group, and has indeed been harassing his professor. Rebel and Lana just saved Jason’s job and in return he offers to help them with the Stonemore case.

Helen is beyond relieved when Rebel brings along Jason to their meeting with Cruz. Jason’s medical history proves that the heart valve was the reason for his auto immune symptoms. He is patient X! There is finally hope now! Unfortunately however, there is yet another hurdle in their way. Cruz. He might be an exceptional lawyer but Helen does not have the feeling that Cruz is all that interested in the case. She needs someone who is a 100% dedicated! Helen has no idea about the lawyer's personal connection to this case so she naturally mistook his reluctance to take on Stonemore Medical as lack of interest. In the last few hours Curz has realized that his beloved wife could very probably still be alive today if they had just removed her faulty heart valve and replaced it with a different one. This truth hit Cruz like a truck. In an emotional speech he promises Helen he will do anything in his power to hold Stonemore Medical accountable.

While their mother is fighting for justice, Cassidy (Lex Scott Davis) and Nate are doing everything in their power to make us dislike them. The young lawyer decided to quit her job at Cruz’ firm to work for her father who is a corporate attorney. Cassidy is sick and tired of always handling pro bono cases her mother forced onto her. She believes that as long as she works for Cruz she would ultimately be working for Rebel. She wants to break free, spread her wings and pay off her student loans. Sorry Cassidy, but quitting a job your mother got you to work in your father’s law firm is not "breaking free". Do you think your dad won’t tell you which cases to work? The only difference is that you will be getting some serious money at his firm. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that Cassidy was annoyed that her mom kept forcing cases onto her. I also get that money can be alluring but is it really worth it to sell your sole for some fake freedom and a few thousand dollars? She is a good attorney, she easily could have gotten a position at any other firm that is less profit-orientated. Instead she is now stuck at her father's firm who just took on Stonemore Medical as a client. Oh she is so going to regret this.

Cassidy’s brother Nate is trying to get the heart valve study underway but has difficulties as he is not specialized in cardiology. He asks his cardiologist colleague Misha (Abigail Spencer) for help but she has no interest in assisting him with the issue. Apparently he ghosted her after spending a night together and now she cannot bear to look at his face. I almost liked Nate up to that moment but after finding out how he treated several of his female co-workers I'm mainly angry at him. Apart from that, I’m really not interested in seeing a romance between him and Misha. We already have a ton of stories about young, pretty doctors who work together and end up falling in love. I’d rather see Rebel fall for someone. Or Cruz. Or Lana. Those are stories we do not see on every other TV show.

Concluding this review, I’d like to highlight two actors who stood out in this episode: Andy Garcia and Mary McDonnell. They both are able to convey entire stories with their facial expressions alone. Their ability to draw people in and to make them feel their pain is astonishing. While some scenes and dialogues in the series often seem somewhat exaggerated, Garcia and McDonnell always manage to bring the show back down to earth. Big fan of those two!

I am very much looking forward to see what Rebel has in store for us this week! Let us know what you think about last Thursday's episode in the comments below!