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Saturday, October 22, 2011

"In Case of Loss of Control," consult A Gifted Man

NOTE: "In Case of Loss of Control" is listed as episode #1.07 on both imdb.com and wikipedia.com, but aired fifth in the series. Thus, as far as continuity goes, it might seem slightly out of place.

     Last night, CBS presented "In Case of Loss of Control," the newest episode of A Gifted Man. Michael (Patrick Wilson) courts Dr. E-Mo (Eriq La Salle, ER), a neuropsychiatrist, to join his practice. Together, they examine a young girl (Samantha Futerman) who keeps lying about her habits. Meanwhile, Michael also helps out at the clinic, as they take care of a young boy who needs a kidney, but who is an illegal alien. The boy's mother, his best chance at getting said kidney, is arrested, so Zeke (Rhys Coiro, Entourage) and Kate (Rachelle Lefevre) lie to Michael to get him to help.

     Michael is finally finding a rhythm between his practice and the clinic. Now that he has agreed to help Kate out several hours a week, he seems to be getting his life back on track. In fact, Anna (Jennifer Ehle) has little to do with the path Michael goes on "In Case of Loss of Control," mostly observing what is going on, without causing any trouble. Obviously, for A Gifted Man to stay interesting, and Anna's character to continue to be valued, this cannot be the norm. But after all of the craziness of the first few episodes, it must be nice for Michael to go through his business in a regular manner.

      The relationship between Michael and Rita (Margo Martindale) is calming down, too, now that she knows he has other priorities, and is able to schedule around them. What's more, with the addition of E-Mo to the staff at the main practice, Michael is under less pressure there. He has someone competent to help him out. The two worlds may be seperate, to some degree, but they are calming down into a nice balance, at least one the practice end.

     Too bad the same can't be said for Michael's interaction with the clinic docs. Zeke and Kate deciding to lie to Michael shows that his transformation, or at least how people see him, is not complete. They worry that Michael would hang the kids out to try if he learned of his less than legal status. Given the first few episodes, had Michael known the truth, he would have protested, but done the right thing in the end. Kate might still be suspicious, and that's understandable, but Zeke has been around a little longer, and should know better by now.

     Kate wastes no time in shaking up the clinic. Securing a grant, she is able to have Anton (Pablo Schreiber) continue construction, already expanding the space. Of course, even when she runs out of money, Anton keeps working, because he's such a good guy. But the point is, Kate is barely starting out and she is already taking on a lot. It is commendable that she wants to make the clinic a better place, but shouldn't she work on fixing what she has before adding to the load? The facilities need some updating, and certainly better equipment and supplies top the list. Expanding the floor space seems silly and stupid, given the circumstances. I guess it just looks more dramatic for a television program. It's a good thing the characters are interesting enough to overlook such foolishness.

     Watch A Gifted Man Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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