SkyMed Season 2 Episode 7, “Old Wounds,” leans into some worrying trends in the series. This episode is yet another example of how this series continues to sacrifice compelling character development for the sake of theatrics. It remains unfortunate, as there is so much potential in this ensemble. There is so much talent to work with. Each character is more than capable of handling compelling stories.
It makes sense to begin with Hayley (Natasha Calis) and her continued struggle with substance use. Evidently, she is struggling now more than ever. Of course, stories need to be compressed for the sake of television. However, this timeline already makes no sense. If this story is to be told in an authentic way, time needs to be taken to develop this character. Unfortunately, her story continues to highlight tired stereotypes of addictions. Hopefully, it is not too late to course correct.
What also doesn’t make sense is Wheezer’s (Aaron Ashmore) continued enabling. Perhaps it’s because this is still a fairly new relationship, but it doesn’t seem realistic that he’d react in this way. There’s definitely a potential story here about how loved ones of those experiencing substance are often put in difficult situations. However, this episode doesn’t navigate this complexity with any nuance, which is a disservice to the story overall.
SkyMed Season 2 Episode 7, “Old Wounds,” also does Crystal (Morgan Holmstrom) a disservice as a character. This, again, is another example of how much potential there is contained in a single character. There is so much to explore how she relates to her identity and her journey to become a doctor. However, it defies belief that she would speak to her mentor, a Black woman, the way she does here. This character has been set up as compassionate but also fierce in her beliefs. Her protectiveness and advocacy are completely misguided here.
Relatedly, it is a shame that this episode misses the opportunity to do a character study on Crystal. In particular, it would have been good to see how she continues her journey to redefine and recontextualize herself, as well as how she relates to those she loves. The entire episode truly could have focused on her relationship with her grandmother. Additionally, her confrontation with Hayley feels rushed. Perhaps there is more time to revisit this dynamic in the final two episodes.
Finally, this episode also continues to fail at establishing the relationship between Tristan (Kheon Clarke) and Nowak (Thomas Elms) in a compelling way. There’s just too much happening for these two. This entire episode really just demonstrates yet again that Nowak is in no way ready to have a partner, particularly someone of Tristan’s calibre. There’s an opportunity to develop their story into one that’s worth investing in. Instead, it’s just baffling why these two are set up as a couple to root for when one partner is clearly superior to the other.
SkyMed continues to be frustrating on so many levels. There continue to be so many missed opportunities to develop these objectively compelling characters. It seems as if this series is having something of an identity crisis. On one hand, it wants to be a medical drama like so many others. On the other hand, it wants to be a drama centred around these characters without getting too into the details. It’s a frustrating balance. With two episodes left in the season, time is running out to change course.
SkyMed airs Sundays at 9/8c on CBC.