We’re only into the fourth episode of the first season and already we’re having a major case of identity crises of sorts in what could be described as a rather quiet and intense hour.
The patient of the week is Sophia Lopez, a trans-gendered woman who seeks pro-bono work on her neck, which Sean is reluctant to administer at first. Always the more conscientious surgeon, Sean’s slight prejudice towards Sophia took me off guard, especially given his recurring berating of ethics. Thankfully his spell of stupidity was only brief after learning more about Sophia’s family background.
Wonderfully played by Jonathan Del Arco, Sophia was instantaneously a sympathetic character and her monologue in regards to being judged on so many scales really hit home as many of the characters had found their reputation getting in the way of how they would like to be perceived by others.
To some people even those close to him, Sean has been perceived as dull and he decided to take action by trying unsuccessfully to woo Julia (shower sex, romantic dinner) and boy, can’t Dylan Walsh play bumbling in such a cute and funny manner? He also confronted his disgraced former mentor responsible for botching up operations on a lot of Sophia’s friends and even though we got a painfully obvious exchange about the perils of turning 40, I have a feeling there's something in that exchange that may be pivotal in later installments to come. Julia, on the other-hand
By comparison almost had a lighter affair with only having to face the humiliation of mistaking her former friend Iris as a student when in fact Iris is her teacher and of course there’s Jude, who could barely contain his enthusiasm when it came to meeting his new friend.
Matt, meanwhile in an attempt to bounce from Vanessa had sex with a fluffer girl, then found out she an STD but this thread was too easily skimmed over to really register but it did as part of a catalyst for …
Christian, the only person in which his reputation really did precede him and not in a good way. His hedonistic, playboy nature got him a nice car, a free porn-star party and clientele as well as a job offer from rival firm owned by Merrill Bobolit, who despite his great banter came too much across as sleazy to be even remotely half-likeable. The consequences for Christian in this episode though ranged from Julia giving Christian a massively brutal if not totally inaccurate character analysis as well as a further “lack of ethics” chants from both Sean and Grace but Christian actually surprised me in the end when he decided to terminate one of the firm’s most profitable contracts but there is still the slight threat of him possibly leaving McNamara/Troy and actually being tempted to work for Merrill. That’s two threats of dissolution we’ve had in the space of four episodes. Here’s really hoping it doesn’t amount to anything.
Also in “Sophia Lopez”
Other patient of the week: Cheyenne, a porn star who got a work-related injury. Her firm played something of a role with the men in this episode.
Did anyone else Bobolit’s slogan “Let Me Bring Out The Real You” tacky? It’s appropriate for a plastic surgery company but even still.
Sean (to Christian): “Erotic films are when you use a feather. Porn films are when you use the whole chicken. This girl’s been through a lot of chickens”.
Sean: “We do that type of work on people who have suffered accidents and birth defects”
Sophia: “Being one gender on the inside and one on the outside is a birth defect”.
It was interesting how everyone at the porn party was dressed in white and silver and Christian having to stand out donned all black.
Merrill: “I’m pleased to announce I walk through the front door these days”
Christian: “I guess the bouncers around town take pity on those hair plates”.
I’m not completely sure of the chronology in this episode but there was a one week later scenario in the second half.
No Liz in this episode and Grace is kind of getting on my nerves a bit.
Julia (to Christian): “Real fathers wouldn’t turn someone they love into a filth-loving, moraless, bottom-feeder. Real fathers want their sons to be more than they are, not carbon copies”.
That girl at Bobolit’s place looked and sounded like Meadow Soprano. Was it just me?
Standout music in this episode was Steely Dan’s “Peg” and “In Your World” by Red Cola. The songs at the porn party basically.
This was impressive. Despite not much continuity (bar mentions of Vanessa’s sexuality and Julia’s return to school), “Sophia Lopez” was a sensitive, intimate look of how people are often perceived by others and themselves and it’s this kind of subtle storytelling that really heightens a series like this.