‘Good Sam’ Review 1×13: “To Whom It May Concern”

The finale of Good Sam is in the books with ‘To Whom it May Concern’, and the case has been made for a return for season 2. After sometimes struggling to bring all of the characters and stories together, the season 1 finale made a valiant attempt to both wrap up arcs, and introduce enough new material to carry to show forward. Sophia Bush has been such a stand-out in this series, and her vision has been what has made this series endearing.

Griff (Jason Isaacs) is back to his old tricks, including swindling himself into a position at the heights of hospital leadership. Sam (Sophia Bush) is having absolutely none of it, and does such a spectacular job of bringing the focus back to what’s important…providing actual medical care to patients. It’s a testament to their contrasting priorities, and it’s been a while since this dynamic has been played on-screen. 

The selling of the Griffith Technique brought up some interesting political implications for the hospital. This has always been the type of story this show has gravitated towards. The whole situation brought up some interesting ethical implications. Unfortunately, this was never fully explored, although it makes for a good thought experiment. 

Pictured (L-R): Edwin Hodge as Malcolm A. Kingsley and Michael Stahl-David as Dr. Caleb Tucker. Photo: Ramona Diaconescu/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Sam and Lex (Skye P. Marshall) have always been the heart and soul of this season, and the finale was no different. Having their friendship constantly returned to the spotlight just shows how wholesome it’s always been. As much as these two have had to navigate in Good Sam’s inaugural season, they’re stronger for it. This is clearly a true friendship, and their support for one another is so incredibly endearing. 

The and Sam and Caleb (Michael Stahl-David) storyline was perhaps the most tragic in the finale. It’s such a common, heartbreaking story of two people who love each other but just can’t come together at the right time. On their own, they’re so sweet, lovable, and relatable that it’s just so sad to see them not able to get the timing right. Clearly though, these two can’t be counted out, nor can Malcolm (Edwin Hodge) who also clearly has chemistry with Sam. 

(L-R): Marium Carvell as Nurse Donna Williams. Photo: Ramona Diaconescu/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The tease of the Joey (Davi Santos) backstory ultimately fell flat. While it was certainly enjoyable seeing this character taken down several pegs after acting very entitled, I’m ultimately left asking if this is important. The challenge with a show like Good Sam that has so many compelling background characters is giving them each all enough development to move the overall story forward. This is an example of a story that would normally be interesting, if the character had had more development. 

Good Sam’s first season was far from perfect, but it was endearing enough to desperately want to see more of these stories and characters. If the show does go forward, hopefully it can better find its focus. Is it a medical drama? A political one? A romantic romp? There are so many options, and yet the show can’t possibly be all things at once. A narrower focus would help this show tremendously. The case has been made for a second season. Only time will tell if the Good Sam Fam gets one. 

Good Sam Season 1 is available to stream on Paramount+. 

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