Good Sam’s penultimate episode, “The Griffith Technique”, took many of the characters back to where they originally started. This show has introduced some compelling characters with interesting storylines. Unfortunately, in so much of the first season, these stories and characters haven’t always been fully realized. This episode was a continuation of this disappointing trend.
For starters, Sam’s (Sophia Bush) parents, Griff (Jason Isaacs) and Vivian (Wendy Crewson) are surprisingly funny. It’s a shame we haven’t seen this dynamic before now. Until this episode, they’ve been antagonizing each other, reconciling, or focusing on their daughter…sort of. It seems that the show never quite figured out what to do with these two characters together. This episode was the closest to figuring it out.
While the plot twist with Vivian being removed from her role, at least temporarily, was an interesting one, it exposed some flaws in the story. Rhonda (Yanna McIntosh) as a character has so much potential, she hasn’t been able to live up to it. It’s a shame this character has only been seen occasionally. There was a lot there that could have been explored. With one episode left, it seems there isn’t enough time to give this character the screen time she deserves to explore her motivations.
Griff really got right back into his role as head of the department in the worst possible way. He brought back all of the toxic leadership that apparently characterized his original tenure. If anything, this storyline provided the venue to prove that Sam was always the better leader. Griff truly proved this episode that his leadership is style is from a different age. The fact that Sam was ultimately able to achieve success at a procedure never was is a testament to the fact that her vision is more effective. Food for thought.
The drama got even messier this week, and it didn’t always work in the context of the larger story. Motivations definitely weren’t clear, and the whole situation was just getting out of hand. However, it gave Trulie (Skye P. Marshall) another chance to shine. She deserves so much more than what her relationship with Griff brought her. In a way, as heartbroken as she was, it’s probably a good thing that things between them came to an end. She’s clearly capable of doing far better.
Finally, Malcolm (Edwin Hodge) was the voice of reason this episode, making some excellent points about the fact that Sam is always dealing with everyone else’s problems. His commitment to getting out of his own way was inspiring. The ripple effects were obvious, and others seem like they’re starting to take his advice. Malcolm has always been one of this show’s strongest characters. It was great he got a moment in this episode.
Good Sam has always had so much potential that hasn’t always been realized in its first season. In many ways, this episode was emblematic of all the show can be, and of the opportunities being missed out on. Hopefully the finale can bring these characters and stories together in a compelling way, even if everyone is essentially back exactly where they started.
Good Sam airs Wednesdays 10/9c on CBS.