CBS’s latest drama Good Sam continued to deliver in its second episode. The characters and stories we’ve been introduced clearly have a lot of potential, and this show continues to prove why it might be one of the better medical shows currently on the air.
Sophia Bush continues to remind us all what an incredible talent she is. Dr. Sam is such a force of nature, and a brilliant leader of her team. The fact that she continues to push her way into rooms where she isn’t welcome is such an inspiration. She is more than a match for her father Griff (Jason Isaacs), who she never lets off the hook for a moment. A woman knowing her worth is exactly what we need to see more of, and her example is one we can all look up to.
Griff is such a fantastic anti-hero, with his House-esque ability to come up with the most random ways to diagnose medical problems. His continued attempts to undermine his daughter in her position of authority is infuriating to watch. It’s equally satisfying to see Sam set such impeccable boundaries that he’s never allowed to cross. It’s such a relatable villainy, a parent undercutting their child when the child themselves is grown. The conflict that’s set up is Griff competing with Sam to regain his position as Chief of Surgery at the end of his proctorship is an engaging one that’s sure to cause a lot of tension going forward.
As we saw in the premiere episode, Good Sam seems to focus more on the fantastical medical situations rather than being a commentary on real-life situations healthcare workers face on a regular basis. This week’s medical emergency focused on a baby with a genetic condition and a man whose health status keeps changing for seemingly unknown reasons. If there was anything disappointing about this episode, it was that there was an opportunity to at least comment on the social determinants of health, specifically why the patient, who was a Black man, wasn’t taking medications. The reasons could have been myriad, including the medication being too expensive, lack of understanding of risks/benefits, inaccessible dispensation just as examples.
This particular storyline was used to give us some backstory of Dr. Caleb Tucker (Michael Stahl-David), who apparently was able to recognize the signs of addiction in the team’s patient. His confiding in this patient that he too lives with addiction is sure to be a developing plot point in the series. His pining for Sam is understandable, although it’s still clear he didn’t appreciate her nearly enough when they were together since she became the one who got away.
The comedic timing of Good Sam is absolutely phenomenal. From the Hobbit references, men being generally clueless, and banter that can only be compared to the best of Marvel, this cast plays so well off of each other. The relationships we are seeing developed are so compelling. Dr. Lex Trulie (Skye P. Marshall) is still dealing with the fallout of the revelation that she was in a relationship with Griff while being Sam’s best friend. This leads to awkward encounters that are equally cringey and relatable, and honestly she’s such an easy character to root for. The developing romantic relationship between Sam and Byron Kingsley (Evan Parke) is so sweet, and we love a couple that appreciates empirical data. If their fathers could stop turning up every time they try to spend time together, they could be so happy together.
Good Sam explores workplace dynamics in an incredibly interesting way. The fact that Dr. Shah (Omar Maskati) was having a panic attack at the mere thought of Griff being his boss again simply proves what an effective leader Sam is. With her fostering of a non-toxic work environment and focus on teamwork, Sam presents a contrast to her father’s previous style of leadership. Hopefully as the season goes on, we will continue to explore this contrast between old and new medicine in greater depth. The show seems more than capable of handling the question.
Good Sam is only two episodes in, and has certainly laid the groundwork for what is sure to be compelling TV. The characterization of Griff as a T-rex and Sam as a meteor who’s coming for him was such a boss way to end the episode and we know there is plenty more conflict between these two. Medical dramas are many, and it takes something special to differentiate a series from the rest. Good Sam just might have what it takes.
Good Sam airs Wednesdays 10/9c on CBS.