Fangirl Sunday – Three Rivers EP 7 “The Luckiest Man” #AlexOLoughlin #DanielHenney #MandyPatinkin

Donor: Victor Stone.  Auto accident victim, father, ALS diagnosed

Recipient: Michael, oldest brother and legal guardian of 3 siblings.

Medical Dilemma: The right to end life support or to refuse treatment and the effects on the donor, the recipient and the physician

Recap:

Michael is trying his best McG impersonation as he plays with his younger siblings. (I totally think this would have been Steve if his entire world hadn’t been thrown into oblivion) While playing in the dusty, dirty leaf pile Michael starts gasping for breath (I am too…I got all itchy and SOB just watching it..such an adventurer I am! Lol)

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Kuol puts his VAD to the limit as he starts scooting all over the hospital in what looks like a few job duties they’ve given him. Hey, healthcare isn’t free, y’all! Andy warns him that he may be feeling better but the VAD isn’t a miracle device. Kuol scoffs and heads off to flirt with the nurses.

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Spongebob is setting up a banquet for Recipents to meet their Donor families. He meets Barbara Harris, a heart recipient from Texas and she wants to get her BBQ on!

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Victor is in his car and has run his scooter batter down (No, an ACTUAL scooter this time) and phones his daughter to tell her she was right. (can he be my dad??) A spool of wire falls off a construction truck in front of him because apparently you don’t have to have those things tied down in Pittsburgh. It causes Victor to crash and in the hospital we learn he has ALS and his rib injuries are bad news for someone with his disease. Dr. Jordan and Reed ask Andy to come in and assess the situation.

Back at the banquet set up Barbara is trying to make nice with Dr. Foster telling her that her father, old Dr. Foster, personally gave her attention before her transplant and how that made her feel very special. Miranda understandably, not only doesn’t give a rat’s ass, I think she’d like to punch Barbara if only that was acceptable. Maybe she does it with her mind because soon Barbara collapses during the set up.

Dr. Lee goes in to visit Michael and questions him on the 50-60 visits he’s had to the ER in the past year. We find out that Michael is the legal guardian of his 3 younger siblings. His parents are deceased and he didn’t have insurance so his lungs have deteriorated. When he finally got disability, it was basically too late. (don’t even get me started…..) He signs out AMA (against medical advice) so that his siblings aren’t sent to separate foster homes.

Victor’s daughter arrives at the hospital and Victor proclaims the ALS is winning, she’ll have none of it!

Barbara and Dr. Foster are trying to figure out why she collapsed. She only has one thing on her mind and that’s to get better to see her donor’s family tomorrow.

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Victor and Kuol. *sigh*
During his rounds, Kuol wanders into Victor’s room to offer him something to read. With near child like innocence, he asks Victor “what happened to you?” He starts to tell him about his ALS but it doesn’t click with Kuol until he calls it Lou Gehrig’s Disease…OH! “The greatest Yankee!” then they do a lot of baseball talk which is all blah blah to me as I hate baseball. Lol. But Kuol’s impression of Lou’s final speech where he proclaims himself “The Luckiest Man”. When Victor asks why Kuol is here, he tells him of his need for a heart transplant from the Great Dr. Yablonski and Victor proclaims how sad it is because Kuol is so young. Andy you better get back in here quick because these two are about to steal the “ESS’s favorite bromance” award away from you and Kuol.

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Dr. Lee gets test results back on Micheal and they’re not good. He needs a lung transplant…yesterday. However Michael still isn’t ok with staying because of his responsibilities. They can’t even list him with UNOS until he gets admitted, which Micheal won’t do. Against his better judgement, Dr. Lee agrees to write him a few prescriptions and let him leave with the promise to return as he gets better. Dr. Lee tells Micheal the final truth. “You’ll be no good to them if you die.”

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In Victor’s room Andy is explaining to him and his daughter that they’ve discovered there is tear in the pericardium and the heart muscle is wedged into it. It won’t heal on it’s own, but with surgery and a little time, he can get Victor back to where he was prior to the accident. Any day, every day isn’t easy when you have ALS, having major surgery is a huge decision with far greater implications than for a normal healthy person. Victor says he’s not sure he wants to do it. He has 2 choices, “Fight this or die.” At the request of his daughter, Victor agrees to the surgery though you can tell he doesn’t really want to.

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After surgery Andy informs him that his heart is fine but they found a more serious injury. His diaphragm has a tear which is bad news for his ALS. It means he will eventually go into respiratory failure if he doesn’t go on a ventilator. Possibly permanently. Victor is distressed because it basically means the loss of his freedom. They will get him a chair for a little mobility but really, he will be dependent on someone else from now on. Ugh. This scene.

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Dr. Lee gets a phone call that Michael has gone into respiratory failure. Rescue goes to pick him up but there are no kids to be found. We find that Micheal has to have the transplant, he’s no longer responding to treatment and the kids are in hiding because they’re afraid of being separated…when he dies. Dr. Lee gets a 2 wk med stay pass for the kids, if he can get them to come in.

Dr. Foster and Dr Jordan are trying to figure out why Barbara is still so sick. Poor thing, she is getting the work up!!

Kuol goes to visit Victor and check on him after his surgery (ILU Kuol) and Victor says the fat lady is about to sing. “What fat lady??” asks Kuol and seriously, I want to hug him. Victor goes on, “..the one who sings…when it’s over!” Kuol tells him it’s not over. They’re both fighters and have much left to fight for. When Victor asks him if he’s afraid of dying, Kuol tells him he was before but now he feels like if he got his new heart or if he died today, he would have lived a beautiful life. You have Kuol, yes you have. ❤

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When Andy comes in to check on Victor, Victor asks if Andy believed in fate. Andy says no… “it all seems pretty random” to him. Victor says he didn’t either but now he believes that he survived his accident to be taken to Three Rivers to meet Kuol. Instead of the two choices he thought he had before, he now believes he has a third. He wishes to terminate life support and donate his heart to Kuol.

In this episode, every new scene is more powerful than the one before it…

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Kuol is apparently told the news about Victor’s dying wish. He tells Andy,  “in order for me to get a heart I knew someone had to die. I never expected someone would choose to on my behalf. I’m not even sure whether to be happy or sad. ”   They’re not even sure it can be done, it has to go before the transplant board to be voted on.  Kuol asks Andy how he feels about it.  He wants Kuol to get a heart “more than you know” but he’s not sure this the way to do it. <- that’s the nice way to put it.

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Once in the transplant committee meeting Andy is a lot more sure, proclaiming, “I AM 100% OPPOSED to letting someone commit suicide by doctor.”  The argument goes like this:

  • A  patient has a right to refuse medical care
  • Not if it means they will die (actually this is an incorrect statement)
  • He has to be depressed to make this decision, he just fought through surgery
  • The psych doctor says he completely understands his decision
  • Dr. Andy believes they should revisit once he’s stabilized
  • He may not survive to be stabilized
  • UNOS says it’s the hospital decision
  • Is this fair to other patients waiting on the list?
  • UNOS says to treat it as a direct donation
  • Kuol can be listed provisionally (for the direct donation)
  • The Ethics Committee was torn but they voted to approve it
  • Dr. Andy says they should be helping Victor fight death not vote it in

Dr. Jordan says opinions have already been formed and they will never all agree so she calls for a vote.  Dr. Andy, Miranda and a few others are the only opposers.  Victor will get her wish.

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Pam talks to Victor and we find out he traveled a lot as his daughter was growing up and wasn’t a very good father but since his ALS diagnosis they’ve become closer.  A young girl and her mother enter the room and ask about his liver. Miranda and Dr. Lee  have a heated discussion about what is right and wrong ethically.  Miranda sees it in black and white (shock) and Dr. Lee sees it as uncharted water..something to learn from. He wants to ask for his lungs for his 22 year old patient, Michael and he does.

Victor’s daughter returns and he informs her of his decision to terminate life support. He tells her he’s taking control back while he can and is donating his heart to a wonderful young man.  She says she’s not going to let him commit suicide. Victor says something profound, “There’s a difference between committing suicide and choosing to die.”   He tells he he wants to die with what dignity he has left. “Cookie….I’m ready.”  But his daughter isn’t…

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Andy and Dr. Jordan are discussing Victor. Andy reiterates he’s against it saying that they can only refuse care when there is “no hope for a reasonable life”, Dr. Jordan counters, “as judged by who? You? Are you playing God now?”  Dr. Andy says he’s opened up a lot of chests and he’s never seen god, never seen the after life and until someone can convince him things are better on the other side, he’s not sending someone through the door and he refuses to do Kuol’s surgery if Victor is the donor. Dr.Jordan urges him to speak to Victor and then make his decision.

As Dr. Jordan goes to get Victor to sign his Procurement Authorization, his daughter comes rushing in and tears up the paper. She has an irrevocable medical proxy for end of life care. She won’t allow it.

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Andy goes to speak with Victor and what follows is I think, one of the best emo scenes in the history of television. It’s so great I can barely even talk about it without just quoting it. Really, you should just go rewatch it. Victor is mad. He can’t drive, soon he won’t be able to talk or swallow. “But you can FEEL” says Dr. Andy. Oh Victor can feel alright, he feels MAD! He’s mad he has to die without dignity instead of having what he calls “the best possible death” which is to donate to others.  This reaches Dr. Andy’s heart. How do we know? Alex brilliantly portrays it. with. his. face. and the moment he grabs Victor’s hand and sits on the bed and they just sit there, in quiet understanding. No words are needed, and just like every time I’ve watched this, I feel like I just got punched in the heart. I want to simultaneously cry and clap all at the same time. Brava boys. Brava.

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Now Andy just has to convince Victor’s daughter and he does so by taking her into the Gala the hospital is putting on for the recipients to meet some of their donor’s families.  Andy tells her that he’s transplanted a lot of these people, that people come to him begging to stay alive, no one ever comes to him asking to die.  “But your father is at peace with it and I realized I was making it more about me than about him.”  How tough it must be to let go of someone you love like that, especially a parent. This scene is just as heartbreaking but so important.

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Dr. Lee tells Michael’s family that he has some lungs for their brother and the youngest excitedly proclaims, “that’s awesome!”  only to be reminded of the cold hard fact by an older sibling, “someone has to die first” and Dr. Lee assures them that “it’s ok…he’s ready.” I’m sure they don’t fully understand but it looks good on TV.

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Pam is prepping Kuol for his transplant and Dr. Andy walks in to proclaim that the Great Dr. Yablonski is available for the transplant if he wanted him as his surgeon again and I love Pam’s level of sarcasm. hehe. Her face turns to sadness quickly though as she takes Kuol’s temperature, shows it to Andy and then leaves. Oh crap, what now?  Kuol is running a fever which means they can’t do the transplant because he will reject the heart. The worst news is that Kuol was only listed provisionally for this direct donation, without it he goes back to the beginning pretty much. I almost can’t even watch Kuol put on his happy face and proclaim his “day will come”. FML.

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As Andy tells Victor that Kuol won’t receive his heart, they decide to list it with UNOS as there are plenty of people waiting for a heart.  Victor tells Andy he’d be honored if he’d do his surgery and Andy does “that face” and does the comforting hand grabby thing and ESS breaks into tears for the 5,000th time.  My one and only complaint with this episode is that the ending is a bit overly glossy, with them wheeling him down the hallway and everyone coming out to meet them and give their respects but at the same time it’s very powerful. How many recipients get to thank the actual donor and how many donors get to have a moment, albeit very brief to see the thankful faces of all the people he will save?  He is indeed the luckiest man.

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This episode is very personal to me.  You see, Victor reminds me very much of my grandfather who after serving in the Army for 50+ yrs became a paraplegic and bed bound after a stroke. His mannerisms and even his voice was similar to Mandy’s portrayal of Victor. That airy sound your voice has when you struggle to breathe because your own muscles, even the ones that support your internal life support systems like your lungs are betraying you. I was very close with my grandfather, he was my hero. Watching him die was brutal. Knowing what I know now, could I have supported him ending his life support sooner? Damn. That’s still a hard one. I’m sure many of you have similar stories, unfortunately this isn’t a story that’s unique and rare. That’s why it was so important this story be told and shared.  I wish everyone knew about this episode and everyone could watch it with an open mind and heart.

General information on Organ Donation: Becoming a Donor (Organ Donor.gov), Understanding Donation .

If you are not yet a registered organ donor, please consider doing so. You can register here for USA,Canada,Australiathe UKFrance and Germany .

Blood donation One alternative to help those with blood loss is blood donation. One pint of blood, which takes about fifteen minutes to donate, can save three lives. And then you get a cookie! Visit America’s Blood Centers to find a donation center near you.

Bone Marrow From the website for the National Bone Marrow Donor Program. “For people with life-threatening blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma or other diseases, a cure exists. Be The Matchconnects patients with their donor match for a life-saving marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant.” Imagine if your bone marrow could cure a child with leukemia! I encourage you to visit this website and register as a donor. This is a donation you make while still living and in the words of Rebecca from this episode, “if you save one life, you save the world.”

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67 thoughts on “Fangirl Sunday – Three Rivers EP 7 “The Luckiest Man” #AlexOLoughlin #DanielHenney #MandyPatinkin

  1. Great episode!! Love your review *wipes tears* That scene, oh my, that scene between Andy and Victor, most powerful I have ever scene. Mandy Patinkin is great in it. Loved watching him in “Chicago Hope”

    I too have a personal attachment to this episode. I am a nursing aide, I worked in a hospital, mostly for seniors, but in one case we had a young gentleman, he was 27 – diagnosed with ALS when he was 25, he had broken him arm, and thru some blood testing, was told he had ALS. When he moved into the hospital in the ward I was working he was bed ridden, just able to move his upper body, and speak, but with difficulty, his wife, was pregnant with their first child. He told me he was trying to stay alive to see his new son.
    We were also a teaching hospital for first year Registered Nurses, but the girls that I had assigned to me just stood there while I cared for this gentleman, they giggled in the corner, He gave me a look and I asked them to leave. They had no respect for this man. Later I told these three girls what was going on. They were in shock.
    Long story short, he was able to see his newborn son. He died three days after. I hate that disease, I truly do.
    Thanks for reading. *wipes off keyboard again*
    Thank you again for this great review, hope I made some sense. T

    • OMG. I am in tears w/ your story as much as w/ Show’s story. What a brave man. And I just couldn’t do what you do. Such respect and awe for what you do. Thank you for sharing.

    • I have so much repect for your profession AND that you are training the next generations. Compassion must come first above childish behavior and I love that you are impressing that upon the students.

  2. This episode breaks my heart,The first boy I ever truly loved died 6 years ago of ALS; HE WAS THE HANDSOMEST, MOST CHARMING AND TALENTED MAN I was deeply in love with him and he will always hold a special place in my heart, He fought ALS gallantly and with grace!! My husband {My 2nd Great Love] kmew how much it meant for me to honour him so we attended his Memorial Service together. So much Love and beauty to end up in a little Silver box, I thought of Shakespeare and the plays we had done together and said “GOODNIGHT SWEET PRINCE AND FLIGHTS OF ANGELS SEND THEE TO THY REST” It seemed appropriate
    ESS you have no idea how your beautiful and thoughtful reviiew moved me. i was very touched by the way you described your Grandfather and your closeness to him. To love is too hurt sometimes but it is always worth it. it is so ironis that Leo was half irish anfd half Jewish as are Alex and Mandy respectively and they brought this story so incerdibly to life
    Thank you for this with much love and respect

    • Oh sweetie. Such a touching story! I knew there would sadly be many others who had a story to share and I was hoping you all would, even if only to honor a few memories. Sounds like your 2nd great love is a wonderful man too.

      “To love is too hurt sometimes but it is always worth it.” <<– profound and true.

      I got interrupted when I was writing the piece about my grandfather and forgot to go back. It's probably a good thing otherwise I would have gone on and on. lol. He was an amazing man. I had to "care" for him in ways a grand daughter should never have to. I look back on it with sadness, tears and yet I'm happy I had that time. It seems so long ago yet like yesterday…

  3. Thank you, ESS, this was totally worth the wait and you indeed did justice to this powerful episode! The character of Victor was great of course and greatly played, but I keep on being very much impressed by Kuol – I wish I could imitate his overwhelmingly positive attitude to life…

    A fact on organ donation in other countries: in the Czech Republic and probably also elsewhere, there’s a Transplant Law that presumes your consent with organ donation after death. Once you’re brain dead, your organs can be used, unless you stated otherwise for the record while alive. So when I after consideration decided to become an organ donor, I found out I already am…

    • Sounds like a smart plan in Czech Republic, quite honestly. If there were more people in this world like Kuol it would be a much, much better place…

  4. First my LadyEss, thank you for the wonderful recap & review of this Episode. Also *hugs* on the personal reminder you had about your grandpa while watching this ep.

    This ep is my all time favorite of 3R.

    I’m pretty sure most of us know that Mandy doesn’t have the best reputation at times (i.e. not showing up for work on General Hospital and Criminal Minds anymore), but while usually I prefer my actors to be better behaved on that one, I’ve to say if an actor is as gifted as Mandy I couldn’t care less. Because here we were able to once again enjoy a character brilliantly played by him.

    Mandy’s protrayal of Victor ripped my heart to shreds & he didn’t even have the dignity to put it back together. No he proceeded to stomp onto what little was left of it. Every wheezing breath, every try to speak through said wheezing breath, made me hold my own breath. All the more when he became really mad at now being ‘allowed’ to end his own life by finding & chosing HIS right way of leaving earth.

    Mandy, in my eyes, completey owned this ep from the start of his appearance to finish. The topic of ‘medical suicide’ (as I happen to call it) is heatbreaking just reading about it. If you then have an actor who shows all ranges of feelings that come with it, who has to go up against his own blood, her feelings, her pain and who doesn’t make it about the character he plays but about saving another (beloved) character, well I lost count of times as to how often my eyes filled with tears, never mind how often said tears rolled down my face.

    Add to that an Alex O’Loughlin who commited himself to the character of Dr. Andy Yablonski, who has his reservations & thus calls even more on Victors convictions and rights, as well as his own convictions & conflicted feelings. You’ve a desaster waiting to happen for your tear ducts. To this day I still remember how blotched I looked when standing in front of a mirror after this episode. Alex’s chemistry with Mandy was another part that just added to the whole ‘rip my heart to shreds’. Touches, looks, unspoken as well as spoken words…they didn’t just make it ‘work’ they made the emotions run flawlessly into you and make you feel every single one possible. Sympathy, pain, confusion, fear, relief and so much more. The one feeling I never had was pity. Victor was not to be pitied, Victor was to be admired. His fight, his pride, his strength.

    3R as a whole, but especially Mandy and Alex outdid themselves in this episode.

    The only problem I’ve with this ep is, that I actually can’t recall the other medical case beside the (possible & at last minute snatched away) heart of Kuol. Owiso beautifully portrayed the ‘happy about the possibility, but sad another has to die for me & one I got to know and feel for’.
    For me it means another one could’ve just as well been missing & I wouldn’t have minded. Is that bad of me? I don’t know. What I do know is that Mandy, Alex & Owiso had my full attention in this ep and that I can’t regret (although my heart is still trying to recover).

    • Jess, as much as I love Alex and think he’s the cats ass (thank you, Kim), I agree that this was Mandy’s episode and he owned it top to bottom. I’ve seen him in many TV shows and movies and he has never been as effecting as he was in this episode. You’re right, he doesn’t have a great reputation (though I have a cousin who has met him on several occasions and she says he’s the most delightful, giving, personal man ever). When I first saw he was going to be in this episode I had a bit of an attitude about it but he won me over. At least for this episode.

      Alex and Mandy are so much alike on screen. Looking at Mandy I imagine that is how Alex will command the screen with a little more experience under his belt. I can’t wait.

      You’re right, Victor was not to be pitied. I did notice the arc though from when he first went in he was defeated. He was ready to give up….then Kuol happened. My god, I love Kuol. Victor remembered to fight and fight he did. He was so brilliant. As his condition got worse, i also held my breath. Wonderful, just wonderful.

  5. This episode breaks my heart (no pun intended) every time. Just so well acted, you feel all the pain, anger and desperation. Thank you for this- gorgeous work as always….

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  7. First of all, ESS, this was the best picture spam ever! Thank you. You outdid yourself.

    Now, about the episode and your recap. YES, you did it justice; you did a great job on it.

    This episode is SO good, it was so powerful, so well-acted. Just perfect. A masterpiece of Television. It is such a shame that this show and their actors (one in particular) were so underrated. But, I guess that is the old story about pretty faces and all. So stupid.

    And you are right, most of us have a similar story to tell, and I think that is why this episode hit so close to home for most of us.

    Thank you for yet again another great post. You are amazing, ESS.

    • Best pic spam ever? wow thanks! it’s all downhill from here! j/k haha. it wasn’t particularly funny but it was gorgeous, wasn’t it?

      yes, it’s too bad pretty faces have to work that much harder to be taken seriously. It’s a strange world, this hollywood.

  8. Dearest ESS – so sorry you had a tough week and hope this one is much better. As usual you didn’t let the McPervs down.

    How much praise can I give this series and Alex??? The Great Dr. Yablonski never disappoints. The rich Dr. Lee flirting with Pam (and everything in a skirt it seems) never disappoints.

    This episode truly honors organ donation more than a lot of the others. Of course, mostly due to the talent of Mandy and what he brought to Victor. He touched everyone in that hospital and the audience. How many times will I watch and will I ever not cry at the end???

    The writing…this show seemed to truly spend time on the story set-up with all of the pieces coming together so well. The ongoing Kuol story keeps the show cohesive while running through all of the different scenarios.

    Blah blah blah I go. The best thing about this episode is my favorite all time Alex photo. He’s in the chair, throws his head back with that smile that in the story is disbelief that others don’t see it his way but to me it’s ecstasy. I’m not sure how to add the photo here but you may know the one.

    Thanks as always for the opportunity to comment.

  9. Excellent job! So wonderful that you do this every week, even when your RL is taking time and energy. We ALL love it and get so much from your blog!!

    This episode….wow! It was so amazing to watch Dr Andy’s feeling change as the episode progressed. The real introspection that he displayed. How can Alex do that so perfectly???

    Sometimes I wish they would dress Steve like they dressed Dr Andy, even though it doesn’t fit his character. The clothes fit his body!!!! 😉

    All of my family has passed on, so I sometimes have a hard time understanding why people hang on. If her father was going to be unhappy and miserable and wants to do something good instead, why hang on so tightly? But then again, I personally never had that close relationship to hang onto. Families fascinate me and yet puzzle me.

    Such a powerful episode, and you did the episode justice with this recap! Thanks!

    • Thank you babe! ❤ doing a serious recap is a lot harder than doing pic spam. 🙂 So I'm very very thankful of Kim and Steph who are helping out this summer. It's really the only way this got done and personally i'm THRILLED that you all have stayed with us and helped keep it lively and interesting. I love this show so much and to have you all look at it and focus on the value of this show instead of nit picking the little things.

      OMG if they dressed Steve like Dr. Andy i really wouldn't be able to watch for plot. Yes, I am that shallow. LOL!!

      "How can Alex do that so perfectly?" – I've asked this repeatedly. what has he been through in his life that he can just tap right into that emotion? He's a man, a manly man….but he can tap right into that deep well of emotion. Never just scrunching up his face and acting emotion, but real tears, real gut wrenching emotions. I dunno but he's amazing at it. It's how I've always graded male actors, on how well they can emote and well, I guess now we know why Alex is at the top of my list.

      I guess in this instance she was thinking more of herself than of her father. I don't know your situation other than the little things you've shared with us and with me offline, but what I do know is that regardless of your family situation, you are one incredibly loving, kind and thoughtful human being. My world is infinitely better that I got to know you….and yet I've never met you face to face. Another puzzling but fascinating thing to ponder. 🙂

  10. All I can say is Bless you Ess for this wonderful review and Bless Alex and Mandy they both deserved an Emmy for such great work. This was a tear jerker from the sad tears at the beginning, the tenderness tears in the middle and the tears of joy and loss at the heart wrenching ending. 3 things I love about Alex the Actor, 1) His tears can tear at your heart 2) His smile can brighten the darkest room 3) the menacing look can scare the crap out of you.

  11. Awesome recap, as always, but particularly appreciated this week, with this ep. I have often joked that Alex would have chemistry with a sea sponge, and really only half joking. 😉 … but Mandy P is kinda the same way, so put the two of them together and you truly do end up with magic. Magic that makes you bawl your eyes out. I mean that in a good way.

    These two men both have a real journey to travel here, and a big hard decision to make. They start out so different, from such different perspectives and on such different paths, but in the end, they take that same damn walk together to that operating room. Sigh. 😦 And took my heart in there w/ them. Kudos, btw, to the actress who played the daughter. Her last scene, saying goodbye to her daddy and trying to smile for him… Ohhh Myyyy Goddddddd! 😥

    Btw, this was the one ep in the US where the critics were kind to TR. Of course, if you cannot review this favorably, then you must just really hate tv. 🙄

    • “Her last scene, saying goodbye to her daddy and trying to smile for him… Ohhh Myyyy Goddddddd!” – I thought the same thing. She was so believable of course i’ve watched it sobbing through tears every time so I may be a bit biased. lol.

      I’ve only seen Alex not have chemistry with one person and other than that he has the most incredible chemistry with women, men and most inanimate objects. 🙂

      • Now you really got me. Who do you think Alex didn’t have chemistry with?

        ‘Most inanimate objects’ – LOL love that.

  12. The best things are worth the wait. This was a great recap – of a wonderful yet tough episode. You did a phenomenal job with it!

    I will forever be annoyed at the writers strike for screwing this up – particularly the Emmy-worthiness of this episode. For SOMETHING – this deserved an Emmy – be it Mandy Patinkin’s or Alex’s performance, or the writing, directing, SOMETHING should have been done to give credence to the powerful result.

    Watching the series the first time, over a weekend span, THIS is where the show hit me – that this wasn’t just some ER-like send-up with a “special message” this is where I realized that this show had a chance to have impact. It was heart-wrenching to watch. Even the “C” storyline (Victor being the “A” and Kuol being the long-running “B” storyline) of Michael was a perfect way to show the flip-side of organ donation – one family being devestated and another being happy. Everything comes with a price. How wonderful to show that the recipient family respects that sacrifice.

    We all have our own stories to equate to this episode, I’m sure. Mine was my father – he battled cancer like a trouper for 10 years, having the BEST attitude I’ve ever seen – and being other patient’s cheerleader the whole time. When another tumor would pop up, he would say “Let’s get it done” and take on the treatments with a strength I hope I inherit from him. When the last tumor showed up in an inoperable place and he was given a terminal diagnosis, he immediated set upon getting his affairs in order and …. waited. And deteriorated. He lost sight in one eye and his hearing and the ability to taste or eventually chew. The most hearbreaking moments in my life came in those last 4 months of his life. He said to me one day “Why is it taking so long”. I’m tearing up even thinking about it now. He had fought the battle, and once he knew he was going to lose, he needed it to be over. That is the moment that I became a proponent of euthanasia. Hospice and medical care made sure that he wasn’t in pain those last months, but there is nothing that they could do for his mind or his spirit.

    This damn show. It had serious potential.

    • I may be wrong but I think CBS was just using this as a temporary stopping off point for Alex while the negotiations were going on for Hawaii Five-0 and as soon as they were given the green light for the pilot it was a done deal. If this show had stayed on the air in a good time period it would have raked up as many Emmy’s as the Good Wife but that is just my opinion. As were some of the patients on this show it was gone too soon but then we wouldn’t have Alex as McGarrett.

      • I completely agree with you on this. I think it was a ‘done’ deal before they even aired the first episode. Alex auditioned for Peter Lenkov for another role he was developing back then, and PL said that guy needs to be an action hero. I think right there and then Steve McGarrett was born. TR never had a chance.

        And you are right, with the proper time and PR that show would have mopped the floor with the other shows at the Emmys.

      • That could very well be the case – and further evidenced by the fact that Carol Barbee was a consulting producer for the 1st year of H50 (maybe as a consolation prize?). I’m not complaining *too* much since its demise gave us McG.

        I mostly meant that the writer’s strike and early scuttling of 3R prevented them from submitting it for Emmy nominations. This would have been a contender.

        • Correct me if I’m wrong but the writers strike happened during Moonlight not Three Rivers. This show was simply yanked off the air after 8 episodes.

          Way too soon.

        • I don’t think there was a writers strike during TR. There was during Moonlight, but they ditched TR, supposedly, for low ratings (after putting it on Sundays after football overruns… :roll:) . But I kinda heard the same thing about 5-0. CBS wanted Alex to star in a show, they gave him TR but weren’t in love w/ it, so scuttled it early, so he’be be free to make the 5-0 pilot in April.

          • If 3R had been a huge hit, I’m sure Alex would still be Dr. Andy today, and we’d have a different McGarrett. I don’t think CBS would have allowed Dr. Andy to be written out of 3R just so Alex could be on 5-0, if 3R was a money maker for them. Thoughts? I know plenkov wanted Alex to be his action hero, but that’s just one guy’s opinion and CBS didn’t have to care, if they already had their star in a successful show.

            • I agree, if 3R had been a hit, they would have needed him to stay and as much as Alex loved Dr.Yablonski, I’m sure he would have wanted to stay and there would be a different McG.

            • Absolutely agree. It was TR’s disappointing ratings that ended it. The rumor I heard wasn’t that 5-0 Influenced the fact of TR’s cancellation, but played a role in the swiftness. They decided to cut their losses early and then didn’t wait around to announce it; they also pulled remaining eps, tho they allowed the eps in planning to be filmed, and they did air them later that year. CBS does not generally give a low rated show a second chance, tho i would have loved if they did for TR. i truly adored Andy. The good news was, they wanted Alex and knew that, once again, the ratings problem was not his bad.

              Btw, is wordpress failing to keep y’all logged in? Lately I am having to log in for every comment. 😦

          • If they really short changed 3R because they wanted Alex to do H50 well, #1 that makes me happy that they saw him that valuable but #2 that pisses me off that they had so little faith in 3R and the other amazing actors on that show not to mention the message behind the stories. What a waste.

      • I’m probably in the minority but I’d happily give up McG for more Dr Andy. He’s a much better written character and Alex shined so much more than he gets to as McG.

        I’ve heard this theory before but I don’t buy into it. If CBS wasn’t committed to 3R then why recast it? Just stick with the orig cast if they’re going to be dispensible anyway. They did a lot of advertising and promo for this show. Even getting Alex on The Doctors days time TV talk show. Doesn’t make sense to me if it was only a transitional show. I think it just wasn’t a huge hit right out the gate so CBS couldn’t be bothered. They have so many hit shows and so much success that there isn’t time or money to waste on cultivating a “worthy” show and that’s really just too bad. Alex believed in this char so much and that’s really different than simply liking a char like he does with McGarrett.

        • I agree, I don’t think CBS had yet committed to H50, at least not for Alex (maybe they were in talks with @Plenkov by then). Plus I thought Alex said on his MySpace page how totally disappointed he was again at losing a show.

  13. This was definitely the most powerful episode of Three Rivers.
    Victor’s story and decision never fails to touch people’s heart.
    Mandy and Alex acted their parts perfectly, I can’t even count how many times i have been crying during this episode.
    It might not be related to the topic of the episode but it makes me think about when my grandad died. He had been battling lung cancer for about a year but just a few days before dying he told my dad to call me back home (I was away studying at Uni at the time) because he had something to tell me.
    He was in and out of consciousness when i arrived but he managed to tell me ” I have to go now”. He wanted to say goodbye properly, his way, face to face and since I was very closed to him even though the memory always makes me cry I am also very grateful to him for giving me this opportunity.

    ESS you are not the only one, I also think that Alex gave his best acting as Dr. Andy. I adore McG but the character’s development doesn’t allow Alex to express as much with his eyes and face as he could as Andy.

    Thank you for a great recap and for making me think about my beloved grandad.

  14. I loved this ep the first time I saw it. It highlighted the organ donor decision process much better than the others, IMHO. It really reminds us to think about organ donation while we have the chance!! Don’t let the opportunity to save a life pass you by. And make sure you let your family and friends know!
    I cried through this ep when I watched it and cried through your review. It still touches my heart.
    Please sign up to be an organ donor!!!

    • I agree with you about the message of this episode — after watching it, I don’t want to be in a position where I’m making these decisions on my deathbed, I want to have had them on paper well before hand, when I’m in sound mind & body… so that my loved ones understand my wishes & don’t try to do something different because of their heightened emotions. 😦 Sad to think about that possibility, but we all may face it.

  15. I watched this episode once and probably will never again because I can’t bring myself to go through all that emotion again, so kudos to ESS for being brave enough to watch and recap. Mandy was superb, and the episode itself was so well done.

    Malia Jones’ mom died of ALS in April 2011. Imagine that poor girl having to go though this with her mom. I wonder if Malia ever saw this episode (maybe she has by now, but hopefully not, hopefully Alex just told her about it). What a terrible disease.

    • It is a lot of emotion. I”ve watched this series about 4 times and after that first time I’ve only reached this episode. This episode is so powerful I’ve yet to make it past it again. lol. So starting next week will be almost like watching for the first time again. I’m excited! This was the crown jewel as SJ2 says, but there really is some good stuff left to come.

      Yes, when I read that Malia’s mom had ALS I thought of this episode and I felt very sad for Malia and her family, especially her Mom. 😦

  16. blaaaaaaaaargh my emotions!! This episode really is the jewel in the crown of 3R. It was just so well done. Carol B wrote this ep so if she is the brains behind this show as the creator, to me this is how these characters are “supposed” to be.

    Also, Kuol in that sweatshirt makes me giggle, I don’t know why.

  17. A special recap for a special episode! You did a brilliant job with the most powerful, tough but wonderful episode.

    It was so well-acted by all, but Alex, Mandy and Owiso were remarkable, by giving us a class of how to act by showing us all the thoughts, opinions and emotions during the Victor’s choice/wish to refuse medical care and donate his healthy organs to others people in need, like Kuol.

    This episode is very close to several H50Bamf girls because at some moments in our lifes we lived, witnessed and shared those emotions with our love ones. It is very hard to say goodbye to them, we are never prepared to letting them go. So, i understand Victor’s daughter very well and his decision too.

    Michael’s story is good too. As the eldest sister, I identify with his determination in to keep the family together and happy, over his health.

    In short, it was a well written story and brilliantly represented that left us with all the feelings running in our heads, eyes and skin.

    The picspam is exceptional this week – the pics, comments and gifs are incredible. Thank you so much.

  18. Excellent recap for a great ep! Don’t think I can add anything that your recap, and commenters before me did. And all of your personal stories are so incredibly touching. I don’t have distance or perspective to share mine, but suffice to say this ep hit on quite a few ongoing buttons, and am a right mess by the end.

    I can say this, have loved Mandy Patinkin since the Princess Bride, and have heard he can be difficult. I tend to ignore the personal lives of actors, unless the off screen behavior over rides their talent. Right or wrong, they get paid to entertain me, not live life according to my code of ethics.

    Also, if H50 hadn’t happened with Alex, I would never have discovered him, Moonlight or Three Rivers etc., so as sad as I was to see this show cut short, I would never have watched it if it had remained on tv. So kind of chicken/egg, without one I wouldn’t know about the other, I do agree, this role is a better showcase for his acting talents, and much better written. But I still love me some McG!

    • ACA Duff!! I wouldn’t have discovered Three Rivers if it hadn’t been for H50 and for Alex bringing me to it. Sadly, I had a brother who kept telling me to watch this show when it was on but I didn’t. I was boycotting all new shows because I was so mad at getting into a show just to have it cancelled after 1 season. H50 was the first “new” show I had watched in years. Thank goodness I love Hawaii. 🙂

  19. Ess — are we the same person?? I hadn’t picked up a new show in years either before H50! I was (am!) so sick of the shows I identify with getting dumped, and never getting closure… I’m kind of at that point again, H50 is the only show on my OMG MUST WATCH list. I am a total sucker for action/adventure, the trailer sucked me in. I just wish CBS had given Three Rivers the same treatment…

    • The only other new show I’ve watched is The Bates Motel and I almost didn’t because I didn’t think it could live up to the story but DAMN it is an awesome TV Show! If you want a great story that will pull you in and blow you away week after week? check it out! I honestly didn’t expect much out of it but if it weren’t for Alex, it would be my fave show on TV. Already renewed for S2, hopefully it will live up to S1! The cast is PHE-NOMENAL!

  20. LOL aren’t we all a bit of everything!? I’m a Libra if that helps…

    I have heard great things about Bates Motel, and plan on watching it, hopefully when the dvd comes out, but I’m keeping an eye out for reruns too.

  21. Thank you ESS for a great job on what must be my most favourite episode of any medical drama ever. I wish I can descibe on what a emotional tour this episode takes me every time I watch it. Every time going through all the doubts of what is right or wrong. For me a person with a sharpe mind, no matter his physical restrictions, should not let go of life, because they can still offer so much to the human race!
    I myself (maybe because already old) could not live with myself knowing that somebody else “took” their life to give me life, much less stand watching while they take him down the passage to his death! (although I know he did not really take it, but just ended his life support)
    But most of the times I understand Victor’s choices and the despiration of the recipients. And in the end each situation should be dealt with on its own merit and there are no clear guidelines to some of the “problems” and decisions the advancement of medical care create.
    All I can say – These actors did a outstanding job on a powerful script!!

    • Thanks FOYeur.

      Ah yes the mid vs body debate. It’s a tough one. I see what you’re saying but I would counter that its inhumane to keep a bright mind alive to feel nothing but pain. Maybe I’m a little biased because of my own pain issues and the experience with my grandfather. His mind was still brilliant but if you have no way to express it, what is the point except to be mentally alert enough to feel frustration every waking moment on top of the physical pain? That was my grandfathers “life”. Victor would have been there very soon.

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