Season 1 | Episode 8 | “Save Me” | Aired July 15, 2014
This is it, the finale of The Night Shift! We’re still smack-dab in the middle of the shift when Dwayne lost his life and Topher’s life was put into jeopardy. The real surprise here is that the series had no intention of going gently into the night, and we’re left with more than one cliffhanger as it goes dark until next summer. The good news is that we can look forward to a second season.
Despite what everyone went through just hours before (was it even hours?), they are all still on duty, whether they’re working on friends, criminals or victims from the explosion at the oil refinery.
Ragosa and Landry are tasked with not only calming friends and family of refinery explosion victims, but their own staff. Breaking the news of Topher’s shooting and Dwayne’s death is difficult business. The people who need to keep the hospital running are all feeling the pressure that comes when someone you care for is in danger.
A detective (David Barrera) is on scene to take custody of Milo, who is now a witness in a very important case. The detective likes being an authority figure just a little too much. He’s unwilling to understand what Milo put the hospital through that night. Of course, there’s little reason to believe that Milo would have a grave injury from the beating TC gave him.
Ragosa makes a decision that I don’t agree with: He asks Jordan to see to Milo’s injury. Jordan was just held at gunpoint and is, for lack of a better word, terrorized. While they may not have all of the staff necessary given the overwhelming number of patients flooding the ward, asking her to do that is a stretch. Understandably, Jordan doesn’t really care what happens to Milo. Nonetheless, she orders some tests and Paul discovers an aortic tear. Because everyone is busy elsewhere, Jordan decides to do a temporary lifesaving procedure until surgeons can do the rest.
Every time Milo complains, Jordan shuts him down. She wants him to suffer. We all do. Unfortunately, the injury claims his life and the hotshot detective wants Jordan’s blood. It didn’t help that before he knew more about the situation, Scott says somebody screwed up. The detective latches onto that and an investigation will be pending. Of course Ragosa will protect Jordan with the hospital’s attorneys, but it seems like he should claim a little more responsibility for requesting of Jordan something she should have never handled, under the circumstances.
The trio of Scott, TC and Jordan works together to save Topher’s life. After the initial surgery, he appears to be fine. Paul takes the brunt of Topher’s displeasure at being incapacitated when Scott orders a catheter, and Paul decides to handle it rather than sending a nurse. An otherwise nice gesture results in Topher informing Paul, “Tell Scott that if he wants a catheter so damn bad, he can stick it up his own penis.” Personally, I rewound that and watched it several times. I needed the laugh!
Paul’s insistence on getting the job done by promising that if Topher could pee he wouldn’t need a catheter saves Topher’s life. When Topher finally goes, it’s filled with blood. Needless to say, that’s not good news. Scott is repairing Topher’s spinal injury when TC lurches into the operating room, confusing Topher with his brother, Thad. Yes, TC has spiraled out of control since last we spoke.
TC zones out all night, continually finding himself back at the scene of his brother’s shooting. He can’t escape it, but he refuses to step back. When TC wants to go the scene of a second explosion at the refinery, Jordan asks Drew to go along to keep an eye on TC. When they return, Drew reports back to Jordan, “He’s jumpy, he’s sweaty, he said he heard a voice …” Something is horribly wrong with TC and after everything starts to wind down, we discover what it is.
At the time of Thad’s shooting, they had surrounded a house with a sniper inside. TC was the first one with eyes on the shooter, who turned out to be 12 years old, if even. One moment of hesitation gave the sniper enough time to take aim and fire when Thad burst through the door. TC’s memory serves him an image of his brother asking why he hesitated. I’m guessing TC is imagining that because he blames himself. He thinks he killed his brother. Having a big heart, even if it results in something tragic like the death of his brother, is never a bad thing. It’s just inconvenient. All the training in the world wouldn’t prepare you to shoot a child, even one with an automatic weapon at the ready.
I’m fairly certain we’ve seen the end of the relationship between Jordan and Scott. Earlier in the night, after TC lurched toward Topher in the operating room, Scott tells Jordan, “The guy’s a freakin’ nut job, and he’s gonna drag you and everyone else down with him if you’re not careful.” The look on Scott’s face as he peers onto the scene of TC with his head in Jordan’s lap is fairly telling. Even without context, it’s apparent they’re never going to be able to pull away from each other.
Drew, Krista and Kenny have their hands full all night with the burn victims. One man came in looking for his wife, and a coat carrying her ID was found on a woman burned beyond recognition. For hours the man sits with his wife’s body, talking to her in total despair. Later, when Jordan is working on another unknown patient, Ragosa notices an identifying tattoo on her wrist—this is the man’s wife.
Landry gets to tell the man that his wife is alive and relatively unharmed. As he falls, sobbing, into her arms, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where someone could possibly love someone more. To think you’re never going to hold them or love them, then discovering they’re alive, would cement your feelings for a lifetime.
Drew and Krista then track down the identity of the severely burned woman and for the second time in as many days, I watch while a phone is placed by a patient’s ear so a mother can say goodbye to her child. (The first was on Switched at Birth.) This time, however, Mary is lucid through the immense pain and knows she’s dying. She understands that her mother is saying goodbye and grateful for Krista and Drew staying by her side while she leaves the earth. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.
Ragosa spends the night doing his job, horrible as it is, with a newfound appreciation for everything around him. Scott recommended an ocular surgeon, and it seems he’ll be having surgery that will help him regain his sight.
It’s only when Landry notices Ragosa sitting alone on a couch and tries to deliver some news that she realizes he’s a bit unresponsive. It appears he won’t be getting the surgery after all, or at least, it will have to wait. He has a tumor behind his eye that needs to be addressed first.
What a wonderful, uplifting and enjoyable way to spend eight weeks this summer. The Night Shift introduced us to characters to love. Some people have tried to compare it to Grey’s Anatomy and other medical shows, but what’s different about The Night Shift is the lack of competition between the staff at San Antonio Memorial. Because so many of the staff come from a military background, they understand teamwork. It was one of the earliest themes of the series. Yes, they’re difficult to handle, but they work harder than most and have each other’s backs. It’s refreshing.
For season 2, there are a lot of stories waiting to be told. Ragosa mentions during the shift that he hired Jordan as the “interim chief of staff.” That makes me wonder if what she did with Milo might jeopardize that role. If Scott is sticking around without the romantic entanglement with Jordan, he could take over that spot. It seems a given that Jordan and TC will revisit their past, especially after she shared with Landry that if she feels like she does after 15 minutes of hell, she can only imagine how TC feels after 15 months. She can understand him on a completely different level now. Kenny gave Krista a little wink and some encouragement while they worked together on a patient, and that romance is ripe for the picking. Revisiting things with Rick would be a good route for Drew and it will be good to see more steadfast, confident behavior from young Paul. It also makes complete sense for Landry to help Ragosa through the scare of his tumor and what comes after.
There is so much left to tell, and I’m very excited we’ll have another year to discover even more about San Antonio Memorial on The Night Shift. Thanks so much for taking this journey through the first season with me!
The Night Shift at NBC