SkyMed Season 2 Episode 5, “Code Silver,” is a far more grounded story than perhaps any the series has given us so far. This episode leans into the realities of remote nursing and sets the stage for in-depth character studies. The stories here are character focused, and leave a lot of room for growth. While not everything about the story comes together, there are glimpses of everything that this series could be.
It makes sense to begin with what makes this episode easy to love. It feels very authentic to watch a remote hospital struggle for nursing staff. Additionally, putting these characters in a different context enables them to grow. This is a welcome change of pace from the drama of flight nursing. There’s plenty of chaos to be had within the hospital, albeit of a different variety that enables the characters to lean into a new dynamic.
This storyline also allows Crystal (Morgan Holmstrom) and Hayley (Natasha Calis) to explore their friendship further. Unfortunately, throughout this season in particular, this is not a dynamic that’s been given a chance at the spotlight. This season, they haven’t been seen together as much out of necessity with Crystal continuing her journey to become a doctor. This episode is bittersweet in that it reminds us all why these two are so sweet to watch together. It’s been too long since they’ve been able to develop their friendship on screen.
With all of this being said, SkyMed Season 2 Episode 5, “Code Silver,” could have done a lot more with the violent patient. Anyone who has ever worked in healthcare has no doubt encountered these scenarios in real life. This whole situation is more than a little dramatic. It defies belief that a veteran desperately looking for a liver for her mother would expect that she could simply turn a gun on hospital staff and demand surgery. Of course, time constraints make it necessary to speed up the story. Still, this feels far more rushed than it needs to be.
This story is a missed opportunity to explore the real-life plight of many Canadian veterans and service members who still struggle to access healthcare for themselves and their loved ones. Additionally, this story could have examined the other real-life stories of those waiting for life-saving organs, particularly in remote communities such as those featured here. Finally, there was also an opportunity to create a story involving addiction to contrast with Hayley’s journey.
Relatedly, when looking at Hayley‘s storyline and her continued trajectory into substance use, it remains to be seen whether this series is equipped to handle this. It still remains to be seen whether or not this series is capable of handling this story in an appropriate and authentic way. The building blocks are here, and it is true that many people become dependent on substances for which they initially had a prescription to manage pain. It remains to be seen whether this story can be told in an authentic way.
While this episode of SkyMed is a step in the right direction, there is still much work to be done. It’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating: this is an incredibly strong ensemble with a lot of potential to explore. There is much opportunity to tell really compelling stories that are either based on authentic experiences or that lean into campy silliness. If this series can find this balance, it will shine.
SkyMed airs Sundays at 9/8c on CBC.