‘Good Sam’ 1×03 Review: “Butt of the Joke”

Sophia Bush continues to remind fans why we love her so much in the latest episode of Good Sam. This show is fast becoming one of the most compelling medical dramas to watch in an admittedly crowded field. We saw existing relationships explored in more depth, and the introduction of new, stellar characters we can root for.

The episode opened with Sam (Sophia Bush) at her first big schmooze, a fundraising event for Lakeshore Sentinel Hospital. Complete with gorgeous outfits and serenading music, this is no doubt one of the perks of being Chief of a medical department in an American hospital. Even though the opulence was on full display, Sam expressed her preference for being dressed in scrubs, a testament to her dedication to her work.

This episode revolved around another House-esque medical mystery that ended up being a rare autoimmune condition. This time however, the patient in question was a fascinating character who was a commentary about the reality women face every day of our lives to live up to the expectations of others. The point made about women and those society perceives as women having to yield to overwhelming pressure to look and behave a certain way is one well taken. Good Sam is just the show to shed a spotlight on this reality.

Pictured (L-R) Skye P. Marshall as Dr. Lex Trulie and Jason Isaacs as Dr. Rob “Griff” Griffith Photo: Ramona Diaconescu/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Although Good Sam’s medical focus continues to be on fantastical mysteries, this week’s episode included the very real experience of the team losing a patient during a routine surgical procedure, an appendectomy. Shah (Omar Maskati) took it particularly hard, and spent most of the episode making it his mission to discover the patient’s true cause of death. It is a testament to the healthy work environment Sam has helped create that Shah’s colleagues continue to check in on him through the episode. Caleb (Michael Stahl-David) in particular came alongside Shah, and used the principles of addiction recovery to both support Shah in his time of need, and open up about his own journey to sobriety that included taking a fearless moral inventory. 

Griff (Jason Isaacs) turned up the psychological warfare in this episode by ordering two million dollars worth of prosthetic butts for medical students to practice prostate exams. There are just so many butts, and the butt related puns and problems throughout the episode add to the beautifully chaotic nature that this show has already mastered so well. The episode brought the running jokes around, though, to make a serious and poignant point about how the default human body being a thin white male has wrought incredible destruction to anyone not fitting this arbitrary mold.

Isaacs plays Griff’s arrogance to perfection, and his contrast against Bush’s Sam is among the strongest points of the show. The fact that he intended to claim golf claims as a business expense really summed up the heights to which he holds himself, and the entitlement he has towards everything and everyone. The fact that Sam was out for blood while playing Candy Land as a child proves that she continues to be more than a match for her father, even as he continues to scheme against her. 

Pictured Asher Pyne as Sendhil Ramamurthy Photo: Ramona Diaconescu/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The relationship between Sam and Lex (Skye P. Marshall) is one of the most compelling on the show. The rebuilding of their friendship has been handled in such a tender and heartfelt way. They are both willing to put in the work to repair their friendship, and even though it may never be the same, they both count each other worthy of continued support. It’s aspirational in every sense, and the setting of healthy boundaries is such a great example to set.

Good Sam is such a great example too of a show with a female character with two potential love interests. Caleb is clearly holding a candle for Sam, and is realizing the full brilliance of the woman that got away. Malcolm (Edwin Hodge) is a perfect match for Sam in every way. The way he believes in her, including her ability to come back from a mistake, is love in its purest form. Sam truly deserves nothing less.

Pictured (L-R) Sophia Bush as Dr. Sam Griffith and Jason Isaacs as Dr. Rob “Griff” Griffith Photo: Ramona Diaconescu/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

We were introduced to two new characters that honestly need way more screen time as the season goes on. Vivian (Wendy Crewson) is stellar all on her own, but this week we met her husband, Asher (Sendhil Ramamurthy), a hospital therapist. Ramamurthy’s medical drama resume includes roles on New Amsterdam and Grey’s Anatomy, so he’s a natural fit for Good Sam. We were also introduced to the total boss that is Chief of Plastics Dr. Rhonda Glass (Yanna McIntosh). She seems like she will be an integral ally to Sam, and has all the dirt on Griff that we need to see.

Lakeshore Sentinel Hospital is yet another dream hospital in which surgeons are available to lift patients off the ground after a fall, and honestly I think that’s beautiful. This women-led, women-focused drama is getting better every week. Good Sam will hopefully continue to inspire and bring even more people into this fandom that deserves a lot of love.

Good Sam airs Wednesdays 10/9c on CBS.

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