Three Rivers Recap Episode 9 “Win-Loss” #AlexOloughlin

So, when I first watched Three Rivers and I got to this episode, I thought that I had missed something. Something big, like… them moving into a new hospital and all of the Dr’s getting makeovers and using way too much pomade in their hair. I went backwards and watched the previous episode… no, they didn’t mention anything like that. Come to find out, this was first shot as the Pilot, and then pushed off to episode 9 when a new pilot was shot. Because putting this as episode 9 makes all sorts of sense. To… no one. Anyway, this week I present to you, Three Rivers Episode 9: “Win-Loss”

I'm going to call this "The episode of the 'Fro-mance "

I’m going to call this “The episode of the ‘Fro-mance “


Donor: New bride Kim Mullins, tragically shot at her own wedding.

Recipient: Anton Weathers, potential pro basketball player in need of a heart.

Potential recipient: Mr.Wilson, 52 years old, married, in need of a lung transplant

Medical dilemma: The role of family in the world of organ transplant. The hierarchy of relationships and how that might cause strife.



We see Kim and her fiancée Sam standing at the altar getting ready to be married. They are both very ready, but it appears that the Mother of the Bride is less enthusiastic. I notice that Sam is wearing a yarmulke, and I think that one of Mom’s problems is that her daughter is marrying someone of a  different faith. Right as they are pronounced man and wife, a stranger guns them down!

Dr. Miranda Foster is in her patient Mr. Wilson’s office and they are debating the “marvelous virtues of the Spartans”. Dr. Andy enters the room and Miranda tells him that Mr. Wilson is being a pain in the ass, to which Andy hilariously says “Mrs Wilson, tell me the truth, it’s Dr. Foster who is the pain in the ass! You can tell me!” Mr. Wilson needs new lungs, and he is deteriorating fast. He has recently refused a set of lungs due to concerns about the donor and his lifestyle. Dr. Andy reinforces that decision and says that Mr. Wilson needs to go on an ECMO machine. Mrs. Wilson is concerned because she believed it was only a tool of last resort. Mr. Wilson, understanding this already, informs her that they ARE at the last resort.  What a terrible feeling that must be, and how hard is it to finally admit that you are THERE.

Next we meet Anton Weathers, a promising young basketball player at Duquesne University. He is going to be scouted by professional teams, but he collapses on the court. He is rushed to Three Rivers and Dr.Andy. Andy is wearing very lovely (but blue, sorry Ess) clingy scrubs that look like soft comfy long underwear. Andy finds that he is in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (same thing that Quol is suffering from) but Anton needs a VAD stat. Andy heads off to get ready for surgery, but Anton starts to crash, so Andy calls for his team and they do it right there (his “team” … yeah I thought of H50). We find out that Anton’s heart is enlarged.

Mr. Wilson is now on the ECMO, so Miranda and Andy check in on him. Unfortunately it seems like he only has a few days to live without a transplant.  On the way out of the room, they look over to Dr. Lee, who is shamelessly flirting.

Lucy Welsh, a family care specialist, enters Kim’s hospital room to speak with Sam and Mom. She delivers the horrible news to them that Kim’s brain function has ceased, and only the machines are keeping her alive. I can’t imagine how hard of a job it is to give people this news, and then ask them to consider organ donation. I just can’t imagine.


Mom is not in favor of donation, but Sam is – and states that Kim would have wanted to help others. The mother makes some awful comment about how he “has a lot of different beliefs” and that she doesn’t want her daughter carved up.

Anton seems like a little punk, but he has a REALLY nice corner room with a view! Score! Dr. Andy starts to explain the VAD, and finds out that Anton is considering going pro. Andy tries to get him to reconsider – but not for the reason I thought – he is a Duquesne season ticket holder and the team is just starting to get good (Except for those free throws)!

Not a lot of privacy in this room....

Not a lot of privacy in this room….

Andy goes in front of the medical committee to talk about Anton and replacing his heart valve. We hear about his family history – Mother died as a result of drugs and alcohol, he ended up in foster care and got into drugs himself. Some are not willing to take the chance on Anton, fearing that he will revert back to his old habits. Andy advocates for Anton because of his bright future.

Mr. Wilson and Miranda come to middle ground over the Spartans, and Miranda asks him not to give up. In this episode, Miranda seems to have a much better bedside manner, is more of a softie than she has been in the other episodes. In the transplant committee, another Doctor states that he appears to be too weak to remain on the transplant list. Andy disagrees and says that he can still do the transplant. Miranda suggests that she talk to him to ask that he reduce the restrictions he has placed on the donor. Sue Wilson agrees to do anything to save her husband. Ryan runs up to Dr. Foster to tell her that there is a set of lungs, along with heart, liver and kidneys to other hospitals. Andy cautions (pleads to?) her not to get into a fight. In this episode we see a much closer relationship between Dr. Andy and Dr. Foster – it’s almost like THEY were supposed to be very good friends. It’s definitely a very different relationship than what we have seen between these two up to now.

Andy sits to discuss Anton and his heart. He has a genetic defect in one of his heart valves. Anton asks his lawyer what to do. They agree to do the surgery. The surgery doesn’t give the results that Andy is happy with. Uh Oh. Anton gets the bad news that he needs a heart transplant. He will no longer be able to play basketball, and he doesn’t take the news well. He still looks to his lawyer for guidance, and while the lawyer is concerned, we see a little bit of him distancing himself from the ex-player with potential.

Sam and Mom are still having a disagreement over Kim becoming a donor. She goes so far as to say that it “is all Sam’s fault” which is a pretty crappy thing to say. Sam knows that Kim would have wanted to help others live, and authorizes the donation.

Miranda and Co. arrive at the hospital and there are other surgeons there to collect other organs. Miranda is not thrilled with this development. Dr. Yorn is one of the doctors… this is not good news! Right as they are about to start the procedure on Kim, the family care specialist informs them that the mother has gotten a court order to prevent Sam’s decision from going forward. Miranda starts to lose it, but Dr. Lee stops her.

Pam finds Andy and says that Mr. Wilson is not doing well. She also lets him know about the delay in procuring the lungs. To make things worse, there is a Category 1 hurricane on the way to the hospital where Dr. Foster and Dr. Lee wait.

The Mom sees Dr. Lee at the vending machines and she makes a nasty comment to him, but he tells her that she is going to regret it and is making a mistake… for herself, not her daughter. Mom heads to the chapel and Sam finds her there. We find that Mom is carrying a lot of guilt due to her behavior towards Kim (watch your words everyone! PLEASE!) Sam shows a great deal of maturity and compassion and opens his heart to this deeply resentful person, and succeeds in breaking through.

The procurement is on, but the storm has gotten so bad that there might not be a way out. The other doctors are willing to forego the procurement and leave – one set of doctors leaves and Dr. Yorn stays.  Ryan has a plan, though, and since it is NOT his first day, it’s a good one! He is having the recipients sent to Three Rivers, and has gotten a volunteer pilot from Angel Flight to fly them out in the storm. GO RYAN!! Dr. Yorn nicked the aorta and it may now be too short to transplant the heart. On the phone, a confident Dr. Andy says to bring it anyway. THE GREAT Dr. YABLONSKI can do everything. Yorn and Foster make peace and they are on their way back to Pittsburgh with lungs for Mr. Wilson. It is not a smooth flight through the hurricane!

Dr. Andy’s ass is scrubbing for surgery when Pam comes to tell him that the woman who was supposed to be the recipient of Kim’s heart has backed out due to the nick in the aorta. Hmm… anyone else need a heart ? (not YOU, Tin Man, sit down) Andy wants to give it to Anton Weathers. Anton can’t see what his life would be like without playing basketball and wants to die. Dr. Andy hints at his own backstory, and how his life could have gone very very wrong. (FU CBS!)

Just before Miranda arrives with the lungs, Mr. Wilson throws a clot and passes away. Dr. Andy is wearing all sorts of headgear (I am transfixed and a tad giggly, which is completely inappropriate given what is happening onscreen. I feel ashamed. Please don’t judge me)


Andy seems a little harsh here, and Miranda seems a little over sensitive in very out-of-character ways. He asks her to help him transplant the heart because the lungs are done.

In the OR, there are a few tense moments where the heart doesn’t pink up… but Dr. Andy pulls it off again. As Miranda rushes off, still upset, Andy is stopped by Anton’s uncle. The Uncle was called to the hospital by the lawyer, who isn’t a cad like we thought he was. Andy asks if Anton will be going home with Uncle, but he’s not sure if that will work out. But, he does seem to care about Anton.

Andy finds Miranda on the roof (again, with the ROOF) and says “ we don’t control anything” which is not what her cheating dead father believed. Andy assures her that they are only one piece of the puzzle, and without the donor there would be no chance for life for others.

Anton is back in his room with a view, watching basketball. Sam and Mom are there to visit. Anton is flummoxed and touched. The actor here does a wonderful job with this. I am enthralled. The mom asks Anton to “live for two, live for her daughter” Andy leaves the room and is relieved at how it went. He is just a piece of the puzzle of life. He walks off and meets up with other pieces of the puzzle, Drs Lee and Foster, and together they head off to save the next patient.



Once I got past the odd-ities of this episode, I thought it was OK. I don’t think it would have made a good pilot for the series, but I did like how it delved into the deeper sadder parts of organ donation. The interaction between some of the characters was very OOC, I would be interesting to know why they changed that aspect.

Organ donation truly is a Win-Loss for those involved. It is obviously a loss for someone, and their families, but it can also be a win for them – as their loved one can give the gift of life and in a sense, continue living. As far as the recipient goes, there are some things that they will no longer be able to do, but at least they will be alive. And it is a win-loss for the medical staff to see the highs and the lows from there vantage point.


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

If you are not yet a registered organ donor, please consider doing so. You can register here for USA,Canada,Australia, the UK, France 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 episode 5, “Alone Together,” “if you save one life, you save the world.”

Now for PICSPAM!!


18 thoughts on “Three Rivers Recap Episode 9 “Win-Loss” #AlexOloughlin

  1. Fantastic recap and some great pics/gifs, Kim! Thanks! I remember that Alex mentionned in an interview that he didn’t like those tight scrubs in the pilot at all and I was now reminded that he actually meant this episode. I’ve never seen a real doctor wearing such tight scrubs – Thank God that Alex is the one wearing them because they would look quite inappropriate and much less attractive on ‘normal’ doctors 🙂
    About your comment about how hard it must be for the doctors to tell relatives not only that they are losing a loved one but to ask for their approval of organ donation – I think I probably couldn’t ask that question even though I’m a huge supporter of organ donation. It’s why I keep telling everyone that they should absolutely become organ donors in time (while they are alive) and should tell their families and friends – to spare their families from having to make that difficult decision when they are about to lose someone they love. After all, this situation is painful enough already for the families and they shouldn’t be put under additional pressure. So, all you fans out there – you better register as a donor or get your donor card 😉

    • ACA Angie!! Have the organ donation conversation NOW while you can discuss your beliefs and wishes. No time like the present!!

      The scrubs are fine except for the shirts. The bottom are standard scrubs but I have no idea where they got those tops.

  2. Thank you for another great re-cap.
    Yeah, i was a bit confused when i started watching this episode the first time.
    I must admit I quite like the blue scrubs but they are not very realistic.

  3. What exactly WOULD have made a good pilot for this series? 😆 I mean, they scrubbed this one and then made Ryan’s First Day and then aired that second and thus totes confused everybody’s first day! So why was it soooo hard for the Net and the producers to figure out a way to intro these lovely doctors? 🙄

    Anyway, since I watched TR in real time, we were just delighted to GET this episode and all that followed. Last week’s ep was the last ep to air in the original day and time slot. Shortly after it aired, they announced the show was canned. Which was frustrating, since I had loved the Uncle Mike plot they had intro’d. 😦 We were also hearing that CBS was in negotiations to get Alex to do 5-0. The timing of bagging TR and negotiating for a new McG is likely why so many rumors started that CBS killed this show in order to get Alex for 5-0. Is it true? Who knows…

    At any rate, today’s ep and all that followed were aired as “burn offs”, aired in the summer on (I think) Saturday nights. We were surprised and delighted to get them! More Alex, as we waited for September and the premiere of 5-0, and hope for some kinda resolution to at least some of the ongoing dramas in TR! The fact that they even reworked, and reshot some scenes, from this original but discarded pilot (as goofy as the sucker turned out to be with the oddball scrubs and the dark, windowless hospital), seemed to indicate CBS was supporting Alex and throwing a little something to his fan base. 😯 That had never happened before! Btw, CW, another network partially owned by CBS, also showed the entire run of Moonlight that same summer. Alex Festival!!! :mrgreen:

  4. Love the pic spam and great recap. Is it a win-loss situation? I don’t think so. The donor family gets a small piece of their deceased loved one alive again and the donee gets a second chance at life. It’s a very hard decision to make but a very worthwhile one.

  5. Despite the odd scenography because we feel that we are at a new hospital and the staff dressing differently, the episode’s title fits perfectly – Win/Loss.

    Thanks Kim for your beautiful recap. I underline your comment “Organ donation truly is a Win-Loss for those involved. It is obviously a loss for someone, and their families, but it can also be a win for them – as their loved one can give the gift of life and in a sense, continue living. As far as the recipient goes, there are some things that they will no longer be able to do, but at least they will be alive. And it is a win-loss for the medical staff to see the highs and the lows from there vantage point”. You put into words my thoughts.

    The picspam this week gave me very naughty thoughts. I blame the tight scrubs on Alex because you can study more closer his “anatomy”, his looks and smile. TY

  6. We talked about what motivates Dr Andy to do his job as a transplant surgeon and as promised I will share what I got out of this episode about it.
    It is all about second chances. People that receive organs, kind of get a second chance at life. Most of them have no other altenative than to receive a organ otherwise they die themselves
    Andy especially as a heart transplant surgeon give people a second lease on life, just as he got a second lease on live. His uncle helped him to get out of a world of crime and financed him to study. He grabbed that opportunity and with his knowledge and skills he is able to offer that “new” life to others! Although is patients get a physical do-over, he got one on a social and career level.
    For me that is a very strong motivation.
    Great recap Kim – thanks for all the hard work you all put into this.

  7. Great review, loved it. I didn’t mind the episode. I too was confused as the time why the set-up was different, but maybe they were just in the operating area the whole time, and not in the office area. That is what I thought!
    I like the facial reactions of Andy watching Miranda scrub up, why isn’t that Miranda’s tattoos are visible and Andy’s aren’t??
    Great pic span.. Love the belly peek 😀 😀
    Thanks 🙂

    • This ep was originally shot to be the pilot and premiere ep for TR. It was shot in Pittsburgh, at a real (old) hospital. After this, they moved production to LA and built the modern fancy hospital that would be the TR hospital in all the other eps. This ep is mostly what they shot in that pilot. But not all of the pilot is in here, and some stuff that wasn’t in the pilot has been added. That is because the critics and the Net Suits didn’t really love the pilot, so it was rewritten as “Ryan’s First Day”. The rooftop scene from that is nearly identical to the rooftop scene in this ep, with some stuff removed so it wouldn’t be totally the same, for example. Alot of what ended up in Ryan’s First Day was in the pilot, tho they changed the transplant case when they rewrote the pilot.

      Another one of the reworked pieces was the scene with Dr. Yorn as Miranda was recovering the organs in the Carolina hospital. That whole scene a few eps ago, with he and Miranda where she broke his nose in West VIrginia, was actually IN the original pilot and happened in this case in the Carolinas. So when they reworked this ep for air, they had to reshoot Miranda and Dr. Yorn’s scenes, make it so she already knew him instead of was just meeting him and fighting with him… cuz they’d already aired that.

      That is why this ep looks different, the hospital looks different, and they wore different scrubs. It was mostly shot at a different time and place and was never meant to make it to air once they reshot the ep as Ryan’s First Day. BUT once they cancelled the show, they decided to rework this pilot as an episode to air in the summer burn-off of the series. So while it’s kinda a mess, we were excited to get to see it. It was more TR than we thought we were ever gonna get after they had canned it the previous NOvember!! 🙂

      • Yes and we’re much happier to have 13 episodes to recap instead of 8!!

        I too noticed the differences in shooting times. In the scene where Andy convinces them to list Anton, his hair is completely different, you can tell it was shot at a different time.

        There were little pieces that matched the pilot they did air, the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patient, the frustration on the procurement team when there is a problem getting the organs (Dr. Lee almost got to say his line “it has to be a gift” and I bet he did but they took it out). There were also big differences I noted, Dr. Andy isn’t wearing a wedding ring…was he not married or were they separated and he wasn’t as torn about it as he is in the other episodes? No Dr. Jordan, in fact Andy seemed to be the department head. Andy and Miranda’s relationship was definitely a little different. Would they have hooked up and been the love angst on the show? Dr. Lee was barely around (boo) and they upped his womanizing in this episode. Andy also seemed a bit jealous of him HA!!!

    • ACA Ontlls! I think Andy having his tatts would have been a bigger indicator of his ‘old’ bad boy ways and his turn around as The Great Dr. Andy Yablonski (TGDAY).

      Good point they were mostly in the surgical area as opposed to the regular floor, except in Anton’s case. His room was very different from the room Kuol had. lol.

  8. This one was different enough to throw me off. I think this would not have been a good pilot, because it was just too sad-feeling. The real pilot put a much more positive spin on things without taking away the sadness of the loss involved.

    I have to agree that Andy looked nice in his tight scrubs! Something about his attitude in this episode was a little less off. Everyone has kind of covered that in their comments and explanations, though! Sorry I didn’t get to this yesterday!

    Thanks for the great recap and the very very nice picspam!

    • No worries, babe! You were probably putting together your epic Monday post for us. So much fun!!

      You’re right, this was a very sad episode and it really highlights how much this show needed Kuol. I think his character and his chemistry with every single cast member really made a huge difference in the overall feeling of the show.

      • So true about Kuol! He brought in the lightness right from the beginning. He didn’t detract from the sadness, he just balanced it. He was a great addition to the show.

  9. I’m glad they fixed Miranda’s hair & gave Andy surgical headgear that didn’t make him look like a character from Tron!!

    Other than that, ACA with comments above, this ep was too sad to go first, and I’m glad they made some character tweaks (probably also at the direction of the suits who ordered the pilot re-shot). With Anton & Kuol having the same condition, I can see how they used that idea in the creation of Kuol’s story line.

    Great recap Kim, on a tough episode. 🙂

  10. Eeek ashamed to be commenting so late! Great recap on this episode, it certainly is an episode that sticks out as not being quite right. Kind of like when your mom tries to make your grandmothers “special” dish, say apple pie. Its got apples, sugar, etc. but its in the wrong dish and being served in the wrong kitchen. Its not bad, just very off.

    Had no idea this was the “original” original pilot, but it does make sense knowing that now. I’m glad the show got slicked up, with a new set and hair and make up people. Very different dynamic with Andy and Miranda, and definitely missed the camaraderie with Ryan and Dr Lee.

    This is the other ep that makes me lose it at the end, when the mom asks to listen to her daughters heart. Every single time. Its all the sad buildup of the drama of getting the organs to Mr. Wilson dying right before the lungs arrive, just too much. Happy the other eps weren’t quite so sad, and that Kuol was added to brighten everyone’s day.

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