‘Good Sam’ Review 1×09: “A Light In The Storm”

Good Sam is back with what might be its strongest episode yet. Supporting characters finally got a bit of the spotlight. This was arguably the moment where the show came into its own. After introducing us to fascinating characters and intriguing storylines, this episode brought so many together in an exceptionally satisfying way. 

For all of the great things about this episode, it began with uncharacteristically clunky dialogue and exposition. We know that Sam (Sophia Bush) and Caleb (Michael Stahl-David) have re-kindling their relationship. We know Griff (Jason Isaacs) continues to lie to Trulie (Skye P. Marshall) about his physical health. We know all of this has taken place over two weeks, and that doesn’t really move the story along. 

More than previous episodes, this episode felt the most like a medical show. Obviously, Good Sam technically is a medical show, but the focus thus far has been on the political intrigue of Lakeshore Sentinel Hospital. This episodes, the doctors were allowed to be doctors. The focus was all on the trauma following a massive snowstorm with emergency department being overrun. The ER feel was made complete by the sound of actual hospital patient alarms beeping. As a side note, the winter aesthetic was amazing.

Pictured (L-R) Jason Isaacs as Dr. Rob ‘Griff’ Griffith and Sophia Bush as Dr. Sam Griffith Photo: Ramona Diaconescu/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The supporting cast also got a chance at the spotlight that they deserve. It’s been mentioned in passing, but Trulie’s experience as a US Air Force veteran was finally acknowledged. She was able to use this experience to help another veteran who came into the hospital with mysterious symptoms. Even though the focus was technically on the emergency department, there was still room for the fantastical medical mysteries this show loves exploring. 

Joey Costa (Davi Santos) and Tim (Stephen Tracey) also got a chance to shine. This relationship has not really had a chance to be explored beyond the surface level. Throwing in an extra layer of drama and uncertainty was also just what the doctor ordered. It was clear when Joey saw Tim in danger that there is such a depth to this couple. Hopefully we get a chance to see them on screen more, since theirs is clearly a love worth fighting for. 

Unfortunately, not all supporting characters were given an equal chance to take centre-stage. Nurse Donna (Marium Carvell), who deserves far more screen-time, was in her element bossing Malcolm (Edwin Hodge) around running a blood drive. The focus went to Malcom and Caleb being forced to work together, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s too bad this story came at the expense of seeing a boss nurse in action. 

Photo: Ramona Diaconescu/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The focus on the secondary characters didn’t take away from the leads, however. Griff’s chemistry with his precocious young patient was adorable to watch. The dad clearly leapt out of him. Rather than being an arrogant surgeon or a man trying to come to terms with his own major mistake, he was just able to be a person. Sam also had to struggle with the ethical issues that so many physicians have to wrestle with every day. If anything, this episode was proof that focusing on supporting characters only enhances the leads. 

The massive cliffhanger at the end of the episode was devastating as Vivian’s (Wendy Crewson) fate hangs in the balance. This will no doubt provide more than enough drama to take the show forward, since the focus was previously on who Sam would end up with, Caleb or Malcolm. Good Sam has so much to offer, and hopefully can find the right balance as the season continues.

Good Sam airs Wednesdays 10/9c on CBS.

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