‘Good Sam’ 1×05 Review: “Wake Up”

We would inevitably get a flashback episode of Good Sam to flesh out a bit more backstory and context for these characters. That said, flashback episodes are tricky and can be very hit-or-miss. However, Good Sam was the perfect show to insert this type of story into; since we’re just getting started and there’s so much background about these characters, we still don’t know.

Sophia Bush continues to be the absolute centre of this show, bringing us a character we get to love ever more deeply. Sam is so imperfectly perfect, and this episode gave us more of this. The depth of this character’s heart is so evident, particularly in this episode re-visiting the trauma that was her father getting shot. Having her remain at her father’s bedside is a testament to who this character is as a daughter, among so many other things.

On the flipside, giving us a deeper look at Griff (Jason Isaacs) is the right call for this show. Having him refuse to accept that his family did and does care for him adds a layer of detestability. That being said, having him tangibly sympathise with his patient in the same situation shows that he can display emotion and empathy. This episode showed more to this character than we’ve seen, and that’s what fans need.

Pictured (L-R) Skye P. Marshall as Dr. Lex Trulie, Davi Santos as Dr. Joey Costa, Jason Isaacs as Dr. Rob “Griff” Griffith, Sophia Bush as Dr. Sam Griffith, Omar Maskati as Dr. Isan M. Shah and Michael Stahl-Davidas Dr. Caleb Tucker Photo: Ramona Diaconescu/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This episode lets the characters explore the trauma that came with Griff being shot and in a coma. They each dealt with the situation very differently. This also added depth to each of them and allowed us as fans to see glimpses of even more character development that we will hopefully get to see more of. The ritual of gathering in the woods and just being with is a poignant one, and speaks to how strong and connected they are as a team.

Good Sam also shows how good its ensemble cast is—seeing more of Dr Joey Costa (Davi Santos) and Paramedic Tim (Stephen Tracey). Hopefully, we will see more of this relationship as the series progresses since there’s so much there. Additionally, Dr Caleb Tucker (Michael Stahl-David) being more open about his sobriety adds to this character and makes us love him even more. Finally, Sendhil Ramamurthy is always a pleasure to watch, bringing the almost unintentional comedic timing that works in the show’s context.

Picture Skye P. Marshall as Dr. Lex Trulie Photo: Ramona Diaconescu/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

I’m unsure of what to make of the choices made regarding Dr Lex Trullie (Skye P. Marshall) and Griff. Although Marshall showed incredible range and depth of emotion, we all felt for her. That being said, it’s possible that this story in particular is moving backwards since Trullie has been prioritising her friendship with Sam rather than rekindling her romance with Griff. However, this isn’t necessarily a wrong choice. Hopefully, Trullie and Sam will continue to repair their friendship regardless of either of their respective relationship statuses.

Ultimately, this may have been the strongest episode to date of Good Sam as it deepened the characters that have already been introduced. There is still so much we don’t know. Last week’s episode alluded to the fact that there is still a family secret being kept from Sam, and it’s curious to ponder what that might be. There was no fantastical medical mystery in this episode, just a focus on emotion, trauma, and how these impact ordinary people.  While the show heads for an Olympic hiatus, it’s clear that it has hit its stride and made fans want even more.

Good Sam airs Wednesdays 10/9c on CBS.

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