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'Mental' nostalgia recap: Doctor-patient's daughter confidentiality

Season 1 | Episode 3 | “Book of Judges” | Aired June 9, 2009

Dr. Jack Gallagher is a captivating guy—compassionate, witty, charming, and exceptionally good-looking. It’s no surprise that someone would fall for him. But in episode three of Mental, we learn that someone should never be his patient’s daughter, even if that patient’s daughter is played by onetime Victoria’s Secret model Estella Warren. Seriously, Jack, what were you thinking?

After Jack pushes a pharmaceutical rep into a stairwell, the Wharton Memorial team treats Gideon Graham (the late David Carradine, who passed away less than a week before this episode aired), a famous author who’s been struck by lightning and left catatonic. Nora restates the hospital policy on self-experimentation after finding out that Jack has tried out their suggested course of treatment on himself. Of course he has. Arturo’s interest is piqued by the fact that Graham’s daughter Niobe (Warren) wants to observe her father’s procedure, but Niobe’s interest is in Jack. She visits him in his office afterward, where Jack teaches us the difference between coma and catatonia.

Jack helps Gideon with his water therapy, then hangs out in his hospital room, but can’t get through to him again. He asks Veronica why Gideon responded to the procedure when nothing else is working, theorizing that might be because it was similar to the lightning strike that put him in the hospital to begin with. Looking for more background, he quizzes Niobe about the storm, which not only injured her father but killed her mother, and the manuscript that Gideon was working on before his condition. Is it possible that there’s some unfinished business in the other man’s mind?

Meanwhile, Arturo and Carl team up to handle a patient with a severe anger problem and some daddy issues. Carl nitpicks Arturo’s interaction with the patient, telling Arturo that if he knows what’s best for him, he’ll spy on Jack—or Carl will tell everyone that part of his transcripts were falsified. Basically, Arturo is this show’s Mike Ross, except he’s a bit of a jerk. Carl is entirely a jerk.

Much, much later in the evening, Veronica helps Jack swipe a piece of equipment (which he signed out under Carl’s name) so that they can observe Gideon’s sleep patterns. The long night proves to them that Gideon is still in there somewhere, and oddly, it’s Veronica convincing Jack not to throw in the towel. Instead, he reviews Gideon’s last manuscript and discovers that the it was dedicated to the woman Gideon had been having an affair with for years. The other woman is soon at the hospital, answering questions about their relationship and Gideon’s wife’s understandably livid reaction.

Now understanding what his patient has been hiding/avoiding, Jack gleefully interrupts Nora’s lunch. He suggests that Gideon wants to be in his catatonic state because he’s passing judgment (hey, the title makes sense now). To prod him off his high horse, Jack has his hospital room stripped of all his personal effects, bars anyone from visiting him, and then gets Niobe to consent to one last round of treatment.

What follows is a one-on-one, man-to-man battle, as Gideon is holed up in his mental universe and Jack is intent on giving him a rude awakening. “Who are you to judge?” he demands, taking Gideon to task for being a control freak who’s abandoned his daughter. As Jack keeps unloading, Gideon apparently has another seizure—no, wait, he’s just trying to choke Jack.

Our hero is near tears with the relief of having accomplished the apparently impossible, not knowing that Arturo is telling Carl the details on his sister Becky: that she’s a paranoid schizophrenic with a history of institutionalization. Carl adds this information to the list he’s keeping on his nemesis, while Niobe takes her father home and then shows up on Jack’s doorstep to make out with him. We’re just guessing that ranks higher on the policy violation chart than being a guinea pig for your own electro-stimulation machine.

Really, this episode is all about Jack, and not just because he gets some action. The best parts of it are him shoving a guy into a stairwell with his traditional awesomeness, and him getting his anger out by telling off Gideon. Both moments are perfectly played by Chris Vance on opposite ends of the spectrum. They’re our second reminder that there’s some serious stuff going on underneath Dr. Gallagher’s cheerful disposition. What makes him different from all the other heroes with tragedy in their closets is that while he might be covering up with positivity, it’s not an act. He really is that guy. He’s so enthusiastic even Oprah would tell him to relax.

We also learn that despite their differences, Jack and Veronica are this show’s Batman and Robin. When you can get them to agree, they actually work very well together. This gets funny when you think about the actors playing them—you’ve got Chris Vance (who’s British) playing off of Jacqueline McKenzie (the Australian) on a show filmed in Colombia that’s set in Los Angeles. Mental has a little bit of everything, and that’s another reason why we still love it. Like Niobe, we can’t help but be charmed by Jack Gallagher and his quirky little world. Even if he should know better.

Mental is available on DVD.

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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