Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM May 26, 2009 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
151 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Dr. Jack Gallagher spends his first day as Director of Psychiatric Services at Los Angeles' Wharton Memorial Hospital trying to win over his colleagues and his boss Nora Skoff.

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  • Unorthodox Made Cheesy. Loads of wasted potential.

    People keep comparing this to 'House.' If this episode is anything to go on, then I'd definitely have to disagree. Yes, Jack Gallagher, the lead character, is unorthodox and British (for those of you who didn't know, Hugh Laurie is British. Surprise!). He even rides a bike everywhere (House's runs on gas but whatever). But the show is not at all a 'House' in a psych ward. So I'm just going to stop that comparison right there.

    I'll start with what I liked. Chris Vance pulled through as best he could, and the teary-eyed call at the end was lovely. The actor who played Vincient tugged heartstrings delightfully. The show has a good idea. The flashback was great, loved every bit of it. And I liked that redheaded woman's dress suit.

    On to what I didn't like.

    It was near impossible to get passed the filming. Intense moments lagged. Funny moments were dulled. Happy moments were stale. It took away from everything. I'm sorry, but it could have easily been so much better.

    I can't love the main character because his ideas are not unorthodox, they are bad. Patients cannot be let into staff meetings. And I really don't see how card tricks would sway anyone into believing that they should be. Kidnapping another doctors paients to go dancing? Not good. I was disappointed in this show. I was really looking forward to it. But it disappointed me. I realize that not many mentally unstable people are actually dangerous. But many ARE. And this show seems to be trying them all like sad misunderstood puppies who don't get enough hugs. It wasn't engaging, and the characters weren't memorable. I just felt like it could have been so much better. Hopefully, this show improves because it has a lot of potential. It really could be great, which is why I'll still keep an eye on it.moreless
  • Better than I expected

    In these days where every good show has a short life, it's hard for me to dare watch another tv show. I gave this show a chance and I liked it. I say if I get past the first 10 minutes it's good and it was. I've always been fascinated by the brain and the way you can help people deal with hard situations.

    Chris Vance does a good job playing the new doctor and he showed his acting skills, specially with the call in the end scene.

    The cases were interesting, heart-breaking and it'd be good to see the rest of the characters' backgrounds.

    Can't wait for next week.moreless
  • Pretty great!

    This first episode was actually pretty nice.

    There was some ackward moments, some weird and not necessary characters and some scenes that didnt needed to me on air.

    I think this show has a BIG difference when you compare it to House.

    In this show, the doctor actually care about the patient and how will his life be when he is mentally sane and how it affects the others and himself, while on House we have a doctor that only care about the disease and "solving the puzzle", so, im sorry for those who diss this show because it kinds reminds of House, it is completely different :) and great.moreless
  • Good performers, eco-friendly protagonist, inspiring alternative therapy and emotional story

    A video clip from this episode convinced me to give Mental a chance. Two actors from Prison Break were cast. One plays the doctor Jack Gallagher who uses unorthodox methods and the other a patient who has hallucinations. Their first scene was a great way to introduce them to us and it should both surprise you and make you laugh.

    Chris Vance's performance as Jack was quite convincing and I already like him because he looks like the guy next door. Moreover there's something genuine about his character and I would really like to learn more about his story. For instance a flashback revealed the event that convinced him to become a doctor. I also enjoyed the fact that he uses a bike to move around instead of a car, it's nice to see the producers care about the environment. It was also quite funny to see him hanging around with his wheel. Last but not least the tensions with other characters, specially female, should lead to quite twisted side stories. It leads us to Jacqueline McKenzie who plays a sexy and ambitious doctor. It was interesting to see them interact and I can't wait for their relationship to develop.

    The other arc I enjoyed was the doctor Carl Belle one because it intrigued me and I think the writers will use it to cover health care and big money issues. Are all these medecines really necessary ? At times shouldn't we use alternative and natural solutions instead ? I think it's what Jack tried to do in this episode. That simple acts like drawing can be used as a therapy to cure people. Give them a goal, something to rely on. Let the patients express themselves instead of drugging their creativity.

    About the patient I really enjoyed the actor's performance. In fact he already played a nutsy in Prison Break and greatly contributed to make its first season a success. But it seems we won't see anymore of him. In fact it's what worries me because I hope episodes won't be patient of the week ones. As Jack received a very weird phone call I suspect the writer will develop two arcs. One about the protagonists and an other for each episode, introducing new patients.

    So overall it was quite interesting and I'm looking forward to watching the upcoming episode. Moreover I got really emotional while watching it because the performances were quite good. However I hope it won't jump the shark as Life did because at first I really liked its zen spirit but it quickly turned into a mission of the week show. The main story has to be interesting in order to keep the viewers tuned. Also I was slightly disappointed by the production quality because it really looked cheap. I suppose it's due to budget cuts but it almost looks like a really bad sitcom. The lighting was so horrible that it felt like the scenes were filmed using a high-definition mobile phone. But it's not that important and somehow I found it made them more realistic. Anyway I'm not that picky when it comes to the form because I think the contents matter the most.moreless
  • I expected so much more of this.

    First off, I knew this had to be some lighthearted hospital drama with a spin (à là Private Practice) combined with a generic patient-of-the-week-plot. But I was hoping they would at least be able to pull off this concept off (because Summer network tv still lacks a decent amount of scripted fare). Instead we got a mishmash of simplistic subplots, an even more simplistic A-plot (wonderful acting on Silas Weir Mitchell's part, though) and mellow dialogue. The whole thing was just...there. Except for the zipper, which annoyed me every time. Lacking in everything but mediocrity, this new show certainly did not grab my attention. It might have been a good move by FOX to hold it back until the Summer, because Fall fare it ain't.moreless
Annabella Sciorra

Annabella Sciorra

Nora Skoff

Derek Webster

Derek Webster

Dr. Carl Belle

Jacqueline McKenzie

Jacqueline McKenzie

Dr. Veronica Hayden-Jones

Marisa Ramirez

Marisa Ramirez

Dr. Chloe Artis

Nicholas Gonzalez

Nicholas Gonzalez

Dr. Arturo Suarez

Edwin Hodge

Edwin Hodge

Malcolm Darius Washington

Silas Weir Mitchell

Silas Weir Mitchell

Vincent Martin

Guest Star

Rob Boltin

Rob Boltin

Denny Hayden-Jones

Guest Star

Katherine Kamhi

Katherine Kamhi

Elodie Martin

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Veronica: You just figured that you could waltz in here and, on a whim, tamper with my course of treatment.
      Jack: It's a break from routine.
      Veronica: Three months ago, most of those people could barely get out of bed and shower by themselves. With the help of my routine,
      they're beginning to lead productive lives.
      Jack: All right, you've created a safe, quiet, controlled environment. But reality is loud, messy and full of surprises.

    • Jack: Another roller-coaster day in the fun house.
      Veronica: And with you driving, I have a sinking feeling we're in for more of the same.

    • Arturo: Did you hear what happened? I can't believe we missed it.
      Chloe: Looks like we're about to become a clothing-optional facility.
      Arturo: You got a problem with that?

    • Jack: You have to admit it did the trick.
      Nora: You acted to gain a patient's trust. Fine. But what about the respect and trust of your staff? You think getting butt naked on your first day of work helps you to achieve that?
      Jack: Couldn't say. Never tried it before. Besides, it'll be forgotten by tomorrow.
      Nora: Really? Posted on the Hospital intranet. Want the advice of a Harvard Business School graduate? Seek royalties. It's been
      downloaded more than Paris Hilton's sex tape.

    • Carl: Any sign of the new head honcho?
      Male nurse: Nada.
      Veronica: I don't even know what I'm looking for.
      Carl: Country mouse adrif in the big city.
      Veronica: He ran a clinic in Vermont, Carl. He wasn't plowing the back forty. God, what was Nora thinking?
      Carl: I say give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe Dr. Gallagher has something to add.
      Veronica: Like zero experience running a high-volume psychiatric facility? You're taking this well. After I was screwed out of the job, I suppose it could have gone to you.
      Carl: Should've had.
      Veronica (laughs): Not while I have a pulse.

    • Veronica: So how did you wind up a shrink?
      Jack: I guess I always had brains on the brain.

    • Jack: Hey guys! Come on in. I have an assignment for you.
      Arturo: Sure.
      Jack: I need you to find Vincent's younger brother Leo and talk to him. He works for an non-profit organization called um, Earth Now, it's on the West Side.
      Arturo: Ok, I'll make some calls.
      Jack: No, no no. I need you to go down there and talk to him face to face.
      Chloe: You want us to leave the ward?
      Jack: Yeah. A problem?
      Chloe: We don't do that. We're residents.
      Jack: We treat the person, not just the disease. Vincent has friends, family, relationships that are outside this hospital. There are some things you can not pull off a chart.

    • Jack: Beck? I'm glad you called, I was thinking about you. (pauses) Becky, please say something. Let me know if you're there. (looks at a picture of both of them) I'm in L.A. too, can you believe it? Listen, Becky you don't have to but maybe you can give Mom and Dad a call, they uh, they'd love to talk to you. You don't have to say anything, but if you feel like it you can give them a ring. (voice breaks) I'm at Wharton Memorial, on 3rd Street. You can always get me there. Listen Becky, if you need anything, money or-- (Becky hangs up).

    • Chloe: (to Arturo) I'm a doctor, not a freakin' detective!

    • Veronica: (to Jack) You can't treat schizophrenia with aromatherapy.

    • Nora: What's next? Scaling the Hollywood sign? Uh, celebrity stalking?
      Gallagher: I made a house call.
      Nora: Without the owner's consent is called breaking and entering. You're a hospital department head, you don't make house calls!
      Gallagher: I played a hunch. It paid off.

    • Gallagher: Hang in there. It'll be fun.
      Veronica: Oh, I'm not going anywhere.

    • Elodie Martin: What does Vincent want?
      Gallagher: Vincent wants to go home. Be with his family.

    • Gallagher: By law, I have the power to observe him for 72 hours. He's only been here for 8 hours.
      Elodie Martin: Then I'll be back in 64.

    • Nora: Jack didn't care about anything
      but the patient, not propriety, not professionalism,
      not ridicule. That's why I hired him.

  • NOTES (4)