Well here we are. The end of Three Rivers. I want to thank you all who watched this summer and participated. We laughed together and we cried together. It was beautiful. 🙂 As I said in the very first recap, this TV show is very special to me and hits close to home. Thank you for spending an hour or so each week enjoying it with me. Last but not least, I can’t thank Kim and Steph enough for their contributions. I really couldn’t have done this all by myself. ❤
Donor: Roger Banks. Young daredevil extraordinaire
Recipient: Kuol Ketebo. Lost Boy. The Luckiest Man. Andy’s biggest cheerleader. My hero.
Medical Mystery: “Sarge” Harold Estes. The man who helps Dr. Jordan get her groove back.
Recap: Status 1A
We open on a battle scene, thick with anticipation and nervousness. A young recruit is trying to disassemble a bomb while gunfire starts going off around him. For a minute I forget I’m watching Three Rivers and expect McG to jump out and save the day!
The Sargent blows his top at trainee Parker and stumbles over, stubbornly getting back up and grabbing his chest.
At Three Rivers Dr. Luc has called Andy in to assist him with his bedside manner. That is, trying to GET one. Andy struts in with a little bit o swagger and introduces Dorothy to Dr. Luc. Dorothy seems less than excited to see Dr. Andy and I worry this woman is going to drop dead at any second. She has to be close to death, yes? Andy handles her expertly and tells Dorothy Dr. Luc will take care of her and she’s in expert hands.
Andy passes Kuol who is sitting in one of the waiting areas semi unresponsive. As Andy shouts for a gurney from the nurses, Kuol comes to and says he could hear him but couldn’t respond. Andy assures him that everything is going to be ok. Because he’s The Great Doctor Yablonski.
In some junkyard Bill and Ted Roger and Craig are setting up to film their Waterloo Crucible, their ultimate test. They are thrill junkies who film their exploits and broadcast on the internet. Even though Roger fell during his attempt to ride his dirt bike over 10 cars, now that his tailbone is all healed (hee) he’s trying his next feat of 13 cars….with the help of a rocket. This is not going to end well. Roger crashes and Craig is hit with the rocket. At the hospital, Roger is trying to record Craig’s “last moments” for posterity….the nurse hilariously says, “no one said these are his last moments” and as Craig regains consciousness Roger excitedly exclaims he has miraculously risen from death’s jaws. I love these guys.
The Army Sgt has arrived at Three Rivers and the ER team tries to assess him as he starts to arrest.
Andy has assembled the Transplant Committee to an emergency meeting on Kuol’s behalf. He’s experienced a transient neurological deficit (a blood clot in his brain caused a mini-stroke). He’s in a hypercoagulative state and Andy wants to up him to status 1A immediately. Another doctor (which I officially don’t like BTW) says that it could mean he has cancer and should be cleared first. Dr. Luc, to my surprise defends Andy’s decision and says the patient is in a dire sitch, if he has cancer they’ll deal with it after but the sooner he’s listed 1A the better. First unlovable doc 1 new unlovable doc 0. Kuol is out of options and they are all happy to up his status. When Dr. Jordan asks how Kuol is handling the news, Andy admits he hasn’t told him yet.
Sgt is now awake and Dr. Jordan goes in to meet him. They riff a little about the Army vs the Marines and you can see a light banter start to flow between the two. He’s not producing enough urine so he says he’ll just drink more since he has to get back into the habit as he’s getting ready to go back into the field. He’s not at all receptive to the idea of dialysis as his men deploy in two weeks and he WILL get them ready for battle. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?? I’m thinking that BP med isn’t doing him very good right now… O.o
As Roger is filming Craig’s words of wisdom, he has trouble breathing and the doc says he has an acute tension pneumothrax. There’s no time to get him to the OR so they start the procedure right there with the largest needle I’ve ever seen being delivered right to the chest. The room spins and Roger is down….
Andy is explaining to Kuol that he has Factor Five Leiden Syndrome where the blood clots too much which causes strokes like the one he experienced. “It sounds like something from Star Trek” <<– Star Trek reference FTW!! But I digress..this is serious y’all. They need to start him on some meds to thin his blood. Kuol can tell by Andy’s face that it isn’t “so simple”. There are many risks.
At Craig’s bedside we find out that Roger sustained a fatal head injury when he fell earlier. “Not from something this LAME!!” proclaims his stunned BFFITWWW. 😦
At Three Rivers Kuol proclaims to Andy, “I’ve decided I’ll have no more strokes.” I LOVE YOU KUOL!! Andy tells him that will make his job sooooo much easier! Have I mentioned how much I love these two?? On his way out Andy runs into a Detective from Pittsburgh who pulls him into a room where everyone can see Andy is getting questioned by a cop. Andy isn’t intimidated. “Do you know why I’m here?” the Detective asks? “Your parents engaged in an act of love and then 9 months later…” <<<—ANDY FTW!! That cracks me up because #1 it’s lame and #2 I bet there are 20 takes where Andy isn’t so PG. (Damn you CBS for no blooper reel!!) The Detective is there for Andy’s Uncle of course. He’s been stealing and laundering money. The A-hole detective threatens to seize the money donated for Kuol’s heart, he doesn’t care that Andy was married to Rena or that he patched up her partner…or THAT IT’s KUOL!!! Andy tells him that if he’s going to sell out his family, he’s going to need a little time.
Dr. Jordan goes in to visit Sarge who offers an apology to her for the way he spoke to her earlier. He admits that he’s had sudden bouts of anger for the past 6 months and bad headaches. She orders a CT to rule out any neurological issues. The dialysis is working but they still don’t know the cause of his kidney failure.
On her way out she runs into Andy (lucky doc) and he tells her that the money for Kuol is in danger of being seized by the police and asks her to move the money to another account. She doesn’t have the authority to do that on her own but she’ll make some phone calls. Dr. Andy is not amused and may need a hug. I volunteer.
At transplant central UNOS sends a message to spongebob that a heart has been offered. Andy asks if it’s for Kuol and he says that Kuol is backup….Dorothy is primary. Just as Dr. Luc is signing off on the heart for Dorothy, Andy reminds him that he can pass on that heart so that Kuol can receive it. Being the knight in shining armor that Dr. Luc is, he refuses. I’m assuming he wants the glory of saving his first real patient at Three Rivers. None of Andy’s arguments work and I’m afraid his neck vein is about to blow. It’s very emo and very hot. <g>
Then a very weird exchange happens between Dr. Lee and spongebob where Dr. Lee, in a completely out of character way jumps all over spongebob about his texting regarding Kuol’s situation. He tells him “We have to accept what’s coming.” The Three Rivers writers really let me down here because I don’t for once think he would act this way, not even if he really was trying “some zen BS to distance himself from Kuol”. Maybe he was just mad at Dr. Luc too and was projecting onto spongebob? Yes, I’m going to go with that. It’s the only way I can come to terms with this fubar of a scene. Anyone have any other ideas?
As the transplant procurement team arrives, Craig is filming his final tribute to his friend. He says he once asked him why would he would tempt fate and sign up as an organ donor? “That’s just me man, I’m all about the karma and the little guy and being awesome.” And he was…and I have to admit Craig’s final tribute gave me a lump in my throat and a few free flowing tears.
As the transplant team arrives back at Three Rivers we watch Dr. Andy seeing them arrive and handing the heart off to Dr. Luc. His pain and anguish are so raw and real. I want to lay on the floor and throw a tantrum which I know is exactly what he wants to do but is too professional.
After the break, we see Dorothy being wheeled into surgery and the tears form in Andy’s eyes (I can barely see through my own) as he tells Dr. Jordan that for the first time, he doesn’t think Kuol will make it. After all he’s been through. He asks Dr. Jordan how she deals with it. She says he needs balance, a life outside the hospital. Someone to love and to hold him when he cries (ME ME ME ME ME ME) and he asks who is that for her? *busted* She admits that’s what HE needs not what she HAS. He urges her to follow her own advice. Maybe I’m speaking with my heart here or the tears have clouded my eyes but isn’t this the most beautiful Alex has ever been? In this moment? It’s transcendent.
Dr. Jordan goes to see Sarge with good news. She has a diagnosis for him. Von hippel lindau syndrome (you bet I had to google that!) They do a lot of medical talk and i’m so far behind I just kind of gloss over this part. I like this guy and all but unfortunately, his story is second to Kuol… bottom line is they need to do a risky surgery on him and he braves on. “I’ve stared down a lot of bombs in my day and I bet you have too. Let’s do it.”
I think my entire procrastination on writing this recap is due to this next scene. I’ve always thought The Luckiest Man had the best scenes. I was wrong. Hands down, this is my favorite, most bittersweet scene of the entire series. Andy visits Kuol who proclaims that he has given up on his oath to not have any more strokes. He tells Andy the story of his friend Lam(sp??) who escaped with him from his village in the Sudan. They ran for weeks, starving, eating what they could find,hiding. Lam never walked quietly but on this day he did. Kuol asked him why and he said that he was going to die. Kuol explained why that probably wouldn’t happen but the next morning when he went to wake him, he was dead. He said he always thought maybe he was sick and didn’t tell him. Kuol says that now he understands how he knew. “Death is close, Andy. I can feel it hovering like a bird.”
“You’re a great friend, Andy….we’ve had a great adventure, you and I.” – ALL THE AWARDS!!!!
As Andy watches over Kuol, Pam tells him, “For what it’s worth, I’m praying for Kuol.” Andy says, “Would it make me a hypocrite if I did too?” and I note again how much I love these two together and how much their little emo faces kill this scene. Then I’m jarred back by the sound of a buzzer, there is a code blue and it’s not Kuol…it’s Dorothy! Spongebob gets angry (flashback to episode 1) and he says, “That heart could have saved Kuol!” Yes, very possibly or Kuol could have had post op complications as well. (He wouldn’t have. Because I just know it.)
Dr. Jordan goes in to see Sarge after his surgery and we find a different man. Calm and serene, thankful to be alive. After a little lite convo he eventually asks Dr. Jordan out for dinner. She says it’s improper because she’s his doctor. AH! Even I knew the answer to that one….she’s only going to be his doctor for a little longer. 😉
Wow, Dr. Luc Shows up and we see a bit of a real, honest to god human side to him. He tells Andy that Dorothy is brain dead and she was an organ donor. Something good may come out of this after all.
The scene between Andy and Kuol has no spoken words. None are needed. I however, need a new box of tissues. Anyone??
Kuol…..it’s your turn, my friend.
Dr. Jordan has a revelation while watching Kuol receive his heart. She marches right into Sarge’s room and tells him she would love to have dinner. Ah, love is in the air. I approve.
The A-hole detective shows up and tells Andy that he’s getting ready to seize the money….oh what’s this?? Kuol just got his heart and you’re a day late sucker! Now bugger off.
Miranda brings Craig in to visit with Kuol. Kuol is delighted to meet his donor’s BFFITWWW. He shows Kuol the video tribute of Roger and Kuol reminds him that Roger did something great with his life. He saved the lives of 6 people.
The team assembles in Kuol’s room to celebrate his “sort of” birthday. Andy asks how the meet and greet went with Craig and he says that Craig was a wonderful young man but he’s heard that sometimes recipients take on the traits of their donors.
Kuol: Is there any possibility that I might…
Andy: become a stoner idiot? ….I doubt it.
Kuol: if you EVER see me perched a top a tall building with a rocket strapped to my back
Andy: I will personally come and pull you from the edge. This heart needs to last you awhile my friend.
Kuol: And so it will.
Review: I thought this was a nearly perfect way to end Three Rivers and the ONE good thing I can say to CBS is thank you for wrapping up Kuol’s story. I can’t imagine going forever and not having some closure. Kuol is truly one of the most beautifully written characters ever, IMO. He has a selfless, giving and forgiving heart. Who wouldn’t want to be his best friend? My complaints are minor and few, I wish Lisa had been there and I don’t like the way they had Dr. Lee react all angry. I get it. This is what these doctors do. They see this every day and occasionally there is a case that reaches their heart…they probably hate themselves for it, for being human but they are and I’m betting every doctor has that ONE case that gets to them. I’m sure Kuol was this patient for this group of docs. I understand why he was upset but taking it out on spongebob wasn’t cool. The anguish Dr. Andy felt at having to watch that heart go to someone else when he so desperately needed it for Kuol was almost hard to watch. I can’t even imagine this in real life, I could never do that job. I’d get into a fist fight for my loved one, and really that’s what Kuol was to Dr. Andy…so much more than a patient he was. I’m happy they gave Dr. Jordan a little bit of a future but surprised they kind of dropped the ball with Miranda and spongebob. The story of Craig and Roger i felt was just the right touch and a great way to pull it all together in the end. I forgot how much I loved this episode.
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 wipe those tears and prepare for Pic Spam!!