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'Black Box' recap: Hearing colors and bombs in brains

Season 1 | Episode 7 | “Kodachrome” | Aired June 19, 2014

After a two-week hiatus, Catherine & Co. are back (at a new time, mind you)!

The show opens on our future patient, Frankie (Kevin Cahoon), a well-known makeup artist gleefully working on a lively fashion shoot. He’s happy, applying bright colors to the models. All is well — until it isn’t. Something is triggered and, through Frankie’s perspective, we see his vision go blurry and black-and-white. He collapses on the floor.

There’s a little gathering going on between Will, Esme, Reagan and Catherine, at her apartment. Basketball is playing on TV in the background. The conversation turns to the big wedding. Catherine sits at the window, a little subdued, while Will and Esme goof off. Wedding bits revealed: It’s going to be a simple ceremony, Catherine’s dad is not invited and, in related news, Catherine is about to meet Will’s parents for the first time. In what seems to be a side note (that will inevitably mean something more), Esme begins watching the news, revealing that an American photographer, Miranda Archer, has been taken hostage somewhere in the world. Catherine perks up as she recognizes the name.

Over at The Cube, doctors Morely and Bickman and a couple of nurses watch the news. Two of the lovely models from the opening’s fashion shoot walk off the elevator. Morely and Bickman immediately take notice (as does the male nurse) and hurry to assist the ladies. Men! They’re looking for Catherine. Frankie, who appears behind them, has an appointment with our leading-lady doctor.

Patient Frankie

Patient Frankie

Catherine examines Frankie. Turns out he was already treated for a stroke, but he came to Catherine because “nothing is right.” Something is off with him and no one can figure out what’s wrong. He tells her that all the joy and color has disappeared from his life.

Will arrives at his restaurant.  And look who’s there: Delilah, the feisty hostess who wants more of what Will has to offer. While talking to another chef, Carlos, Will talks about life being engaged to a neurologist. Meaning, all his quirks have diagnoses. Delilah overhears this and tells him it sounds boring. She leans over him — reaching for something or another — showing off some decent cleavage. He tells her to back off.

Imaging results for Frankie are in and Dr. Lark and Catherine discuss these. Nothing crazy is found. Morely and Bickman walk in with faux-eager curiosity.  Really, they just want to be the ones to tell Frankie’s model friends. Again — men!

Catherine meets with Frankie and performs several colors tests on him. End result? He can’t see colors because of damage in the brain. There’s no treatment, only coping methods. Frankie – being a vibrant makeup artist – is devastated.

Bickman, Morely and Catherine sit around discussing Frankie’s case. In typical fashion, Bickman doesn’t really care. He said it’s not life-threatening, and therefore, Frankie should just move on. In the meantime, Morely gets a phone call. Remember that side note from earlier? Well, here’s the payoff: The American hostage, Miranda Archer, is being rushed to The Cube because she has shrapnel lodged in her brain. Cue Bickman’s brilliant medical abilities. (Cue Catherine’s hotness for Bickman’s brilliant medical abilities.)

During therapy with Dr. Hartramph (it’s always good to see Vanessa Redgrave), Catherine casually (and half-jokingly) says she should go off her meds because then maybe she’d have a great idea about Frankie’s case. In the end, she says she won’t actually do that. She admits to feeling anxious for her patients. She doesn’t like that she can’t “fix” Frankie. She can’t just let it go.

Catherine and Esme take a walk on the NYC streets and (randomly) run into Bickman leaving a hotel. Catherine asks if he was having an afternoon meeting with a colleague. “Something like that,” he replies before hurrying to catch a taxi. Yeah, okay. Catherine gets a call from Dr. Hartramph — who actually offers an idea to help Frankie’s case. Clearly, she can’t just let things go either, and this tickles Catherine.

Frankie meets with Catherine and Dr. Lark

Frankie meets with Catherine and Dr. Lark.

So, Dr. Hartramph’s nifty idea involves the use of synesthesia (fact-checked), where some people’s senses can trigger other senses. And in Frankie’s case, he could be taught to transfer color into sound. Dr. Lark and Catherine start with some exercises. Though it appears to be working, Frankie seems unenthused by the notion. At this time, over the hospital speaker system, we hear “Dr. Bickman to the helipad — stat.”

Our emergency patient, Archer, arrives at the hospital. Bickman begins operating and orders Dr. Lark to get a head scan.

Catherine is back with Frankie, but she is paged to head to radiology. She leaves and meets up with Dr. Lark to view Archer’s scan. Catherine notices that the shrapnel in Archer’s head is actually live ammunition. She rushes out and stops Bickman’s surgery.

The hospital is evacuated. Morely orders that all electricity and mobile devices need to be turned off. These could all trigger the explosive. What’s more, Bickman is to operate in the dark, without monitors, head scans and any of his usual fancy equipment.

In the operating room, Catherine urges Morely to let her stay because she saw the scan and can help guide the procedure. Morely is adamant that she leaves, but apparently he doesn’t really have any control, because in the end she’s allowed to stay.  In short, there’s a lot of intensity as Catherine walks Bickman through the process. The bomb bits are removed successfully and Catherine is clearly high on the rush of it all. She leaves the room and quickly sheds her scrubs and bomb gear. She literally does a happy dance and runs off.

It’s time to meet the parents. Upon first glance, Will’s mother, Ruby, seems perfectly nice. His dad’s a bit of a grump, however. Catherine excuses herself as she gets a call from Morely. He relays an update on Archer and lets Catherine know that Bickman is still operating. She quickly offers to return to the hospital, but Morely says there’s no need. We then see Catherine dial Bickman, who doesn’t answer — because he’s still operating. You knew this, Catherine.

It’s dinnertime — and there’s a bit of awkwardness. After letting Catherine know that she can call her “Mom,” Ruby gives Catherine a binder of recipes. Ruby then urges Catherine to cook more once she and Will are married. Oh, and then Ruby suggests that Catherine work less once married, especially when they have kids. Future Monster-in-Law? Thankfully, Catherine gets a work call and leaves the room. It’s Bickman calling for surgery advice.

After happily assisting Bickman, Catherine returns to the table for more unwanted tips from Ruby. This time she tells Catherine that she’ll regret having a small ceremony and that she should just go for a big wedding from the get-go. Um, okay. Meanwhile, Will gets a text — from Delilah. And there’s a picture — OF HER PANTIES ON A PLATTER! At this time, Ruby says great things about her son; Catherine agrees that he’s “quite a catch.”

Later, Catherine joins Will’s father in watching TV. What’s playing? A 1950s sitcom. Catherine suddenly imagines herself in the black-and-white show, playing a very Stepford wife.

After they leave, Catherine and Will uncomfortably chitchat in the car. For various (and believable) reasons, they decide to sleep at their own apartments that night. Will also tells Catherine that he got a text from Delilah. And at this moment, he gets another text — this time from fellow chef, Carlos — about a work emergency (something about a broken window).

Catherine heads to The Cube. She and Morely talk about the emergency case. Bickman is praised a few times for his brilliance, as is Catherine (by Morely). She asks Morely if Bickman is still around. Yes, on the roof, apparently. A few moments later, we see Catherine in her office taking her meds.

Meanwhile, Will arrives at the restaurant for this broken-window emergency. All is quiet — nothing appears to be amiss. And then he turns on the light and finds a half-naked Delilah waiting for him. It turns out she stole Carlos’ phone to text Will. Crazy girl. He tells her to get out. She asks for his coat — which he gives her — and leaves. Dumb move, Will.

On her way up to the roof, Catherine gets a video message from Frankie. It’s an arty little film showing him painted up in different colors of makeup. Clearly, he is feeling good about his synesthesia progress, and expresses his affection for Catherine and her determination to help him.

It’s the last scene and we’re up on the roof. Catherine professes her amazement for Bickman’s medical skills. As always, he brushes it off as no big deal. The talk leads to a little character reveal for him. Remember that hotel Bickman was leaving in an earlier scene? Well, that’s not just a hotel; it’s where he lives. He tells Catherine that the only thing that interests him is “this.” Meaning the work, the cases. When he’s not there, he “drinks, screws and sleeps.” He has no other obligations or strings and seems perfectly content. The scene closes when he asks Catherine to join him for a drink.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I think Catherine and Bickman are more interesting as a (potential) pair than current pair Catherine and Will. It’s obvious the doctors are more compatible. With that said, at this point, I don’t think Bickman would be ideal for a relationship-relationship. He’s admitted to liking the whole unattachment thing. But maybe Catherine is a bit over it too?

After the brief hiatus, Black Box returned with a few more viewers, but a flat demo rating. We’ve got about six more episodes this season. Do you hope this one sticks around?

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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