Tag Archives: Remedy

Review: Cutler grabs the spotlight on Remedy

The first time I saw Niall Matter on the small screen, it was chasing—and being chased by—dinosaurs on Primeval: New World. Next up was flyboy Tag Cummins (still the best-ever name in primetime TV) on Arctic Air and murderous Damian Cutter on Motive. They’ve all been memorable roles, but nothing has compared to his gig as Dr. Peter Cutler on Remedy.

Up until Monday’s new episode, “Secrets and Lies,” Cutler has been the hottie (and sometime hot-head) mixing it up with Allen in the ER and Mel in the bedroom. But last night’s storylines not only fleshed out the character but showed Matter’s acting chops as well. Kudos to writer David Barlow, who successfully balanced humour (snake on the loose!) with the drama and family angst we’ve come to expect every Monday.

(And congratulations to Enrico Colantoni for his directing. I count the fact I didn’t see a boom mike in any shots as a job well done.)

The first word in Monday’s episode, “secrets,” certainly pertained to Cutler in two instances. He’d been keeping it under wraps that he applied to a hospital in Dallas … until they called Bethune for a reference and were passed along to Allen. That forced Cutler to admit it to Mel, who took it with her usual level-headedness. In other words, she immediately began to shut him out in order to hide her own feelings at the thought of him leaving.

(Mel is a complex character who is fascinating to watch. When she’s happy, she’s positively giddy. But upset her or betray her? You’re pretty much dead to Mel, something driven home once again to Griff when she assumed he was lying regarding being clean for five days. Now Mel’s cut ties with Griff and doesn’t want to hear from him until he’s hit rock bottom? Not cool.)

But back to Cutler, whose latest patient in peril, Jennifer, was in the ER and suffering from an acute infection. Turns out she’d been keeping a secret from hubby Nick: she’d had an abortion because having a baby would have screwed up their career plan and residual tissue infected her uterus and threatened her life. I’m always fascinated by couples who put having kids on hold “until the right time.” You can’t plan a good time to have kids, something Jennifer and Nick found out. The tortured look on Cutler’s face was killing me—he was caught between patient confidentiality and telling Nick what was really going on—and led to great emotional moments.

When will TV characters learn that telling someone “not to freak out” will ALWAYS cause them to freak out? Griff learned that the hard way when he informed Zoe of his drug situation. It didn’t matter to her that he was clean now, he had been using drugs and lying to her about it. Zoe is leaving me a little cold this season. I understand she’s won’t suffer fools anymore—look at the way she dismissed her mom—but she and Griff became a couple and moved in together so they could support each other. Griff is asking Zoe for help and she’s not listening. Of course, that conflict opens the door for a possible romance with the researcher…

And finally, I’m hoping the whole feud between Sandy and Jason is over. He punched out a prisoner to save her from being a hostage for crying out loud; time for her to listen and heed his warnings. It meant Sandy broke up with Gord (tear), but she needs to get her head in the game and concentrate more on work and less on butting heads with her boss.

Notes and quotes

  • I love over-the-top funny moments like the snake in the ER. There’s often so much drama we need levity to break things up.
  • “You have a sex date!” — Mel
  • Where’s Bruno? He had some meaty storylines in Season 1 but has been missing for most of this season. What gives?
  • It was great to see Noam Jenkins guest as Dennis, the new chief of staff. His plans to turn Bethune into a largely out-patient facility didn’t win him any friends with Zoe and Allen.

Remedy airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.


Review: Mothers and children on Remedy

After a couple of weeks where Allen was a big part of its episodes, Remedy really opened up the floor for the rest of the cast to shine.

“Life in Technicolour” jumped ahead three weeks in time from last Monday. Mel and Cutler are a major thing—she’s addicted to sexy times with him and ignoring her co-parenting responsibilities with Sandy—and Griff has advanced from pills to cocaine. Monday’s storyline also featured the return of Rebecca, who played a key part for all the wrong reasons.

I’ve been a fan of Martha Burns since Slings & Arrows, so I was giddy to see her get some major screen time, even if things didn’t turn out so well for her. Who else felt badly for Rebecca when Maya tumbled off the change table and onto the bathroom floor? As Sandy said at the end of the episode, it could have happened to anyone. But not everyone has the track record Rebecca does; her history of alcoholism had everyone on the attack. Dudes, she felt badly enough. Cut her some slack. Luckily, Maya turned out to be OK, but I’m not sure Mel is ready to give Rebecca another chance at babysitting.

If anything, the incident has re-focused Mel. Sure, rolling around with Dr. Stubble is fun (just how does he get that stubble so perfectly trimmed?), but her job is to save lives, not let her hair down (literally) in a storage room whenever she feels the need for some wiener. As an aside, I really did enjoy “rocker” Mel in the O.R. Listening to alternative rock and cutting without a guide was cool to see, but it’s clearly not who she really is. She could have killed the guy after going ahead and trying to remove that tumour without help or a consult.

Of course, the complications meant Sandy was able to seize the day and smooch with Gord, Mr. Spleen’s friend. I noticed Gord (Falcon Beach‘s Steve Byers) is around next week too, so expect a little more between he and Sandy. She needs that kind of attention after devoting the last eight months to taking care of Maya. No dates does not a pretty young lady make. (The writers may throw us a curveball with Gord. He kissed Sandy, but why is he listed as Mr. Spleen’s sole emergency contact?)

Finally, we have Griff. Yes, he redeemed himself by the end of the night by dumping his coke and pills down the toilet, but if it wasn’t for Leona and Zoe, I wonder how far he would have gone? His attempt to have the estranged women reconnect was thwarted by Zoe, but he learned a valuable lesson about love and loss from Leona. That knowledge cut through Griff’s high and he realized he needed to stop what he was doing before it led to a lifetime of regrets.

Notes and quotes

  • “You are a bad influence. You are one of the bad kids.” Of course Mel likes a bad boy. Who doesn’t?
  • “Put some makeup on. You’re starting to look splotchy.” Rebecca, always with the great lines.
  • “Anal singeing” is a term? Cool.
  • “Why is your hair down like that? You look like you’re in a shampoo commercial.” — Sandy
  • “This is what it’s like dating me. It’s not all incredible sex. I hope you’re up for it.” — Mel, to Cutler

Remedy airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.


Review: Allen saves the day on Remedy

I’ve been a fan of Enrico Colantoni’s for a long time. I had the incredible luck of interviewing him when Veronica Mars first hit the small screen (I nervously called it “Victoria Mars” during our interview), then a couple of times during Flashpoint‘s run. He plays characters you can’t help but cheer for, get behind and support. I think that’s why it’s been so fun to watch him portray Allen on Remedy, especially this season.

I’m not sure if it was Remedy‘s showrunner, Greg Spottiswood, who deserves the credit, but demoting Allen to the emergency room was a masterstroke in storytelling. I referenced the long-running NBC medical drama ER in last week’s review and I’ll revisit it again by saying my favourite part of that show during the first season was seeing the ER through Dr. John Carter’s eyes. Now we’re getting that on Remedy with Allen.

“Blood and Guts,” written by Ellen Vanstone, spent a lot of Monday’s episode tracking Allen as he went through stages I’m sure all doctors do. He was viewed as a hero by the staff when he massaged the heart of a gunshot victim, got a kick to the ego when he accidentally put his finger (gulp!) through the guy’s heart, then was bucked back up again and feeling pretty good about life when the man made it through surgery. Because I care so much about Allen, I’m right there with him, laughing when his shoes get sprayed with puke, or worrying when he’s stressed over a mistake.

Weirdly, I just didn’t connect with Zoe’s storyline this week. It’s not that I don’t care about Zoe—I think she’s great for Griff and her back story makes my heart ache—but I wasn’t emotionally invested in her struggle over whether to help Leona or not. Maybe it’s just me, and I’d love it if readers let me know how they feel.

As for Griff, I couldn’t be any more pissed off at him right now. Back on drugs, he just couldn’t help but meddle in the life of Tommy because of his own issues with Allen. The fact he got in the father’s face was so over-the-top I wonder if that will come back to haunt him. I get that Griff is taking pills to numb the pain he’s feeling from Jayne’s death but come on man, get it together!

Finally, we all knew this was coming, didn’t we?


Yep, we did.

Notes and quotes

  • Enrico Colantoni is known most recently for his dramatic television work, but he’s got comic chops too. That short scene of him carrying the plant had me giggling like a fool.
  • “You gonna eat that or put it under your pillow?” Nice zinger from Sandy.
  • Kudos to the effects folks who made that human chest look so realistic, complete with spraying blood.
  • Those numbered coffee room mugs are cool. Anyone know where I can get some?

Remedy airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.


Review: Relapses and regret on Remedy

Back in 2000, an episode of ER shook me so much that I think about it every once in awhile. “Be Still My Heart” guest-starred David Krumholtz as a man who everyone brushed off in the ER. I felt dread during the first storyline, as Paul Sobriki (Krumholtz) showed signs of paranoia and instability and only Lucy Knight (Kellie Martin) knew something was amiss. By the end of that first episode, Paul had killed Lucy and John Carter (Noah Wyle) was stabbed in the back and clinging to life.

I drew an immediate parallel between “Be Still My Heart” and “Playing Doctor Conner,” Monday’s latest episode of Remedy, not because of the violence but because of the growing dread and ultimate shock I felt by the end. Having Griffin re-trace the steps he took with Jayne Baugher (Christine Horne) mounted up the tension. Slow to build the relationship between them—both were once in med school and in both cases “complicated” situations surrounded their departures—by the time Griff presented her file, and the diagnosis she had sarcoidosis on the road to progressive fibrosis, they had established trust.

I knew things would end badly for Jayne, but I didn’t expect what came next. After leaving Jayne alone for minutes—I’ll get to that in a second—Griff returned to find her missing. Deciding she didn’t want to burden her family with a long, drawn-out descent into death and her own awful experience of drowning in her own lungs, Jayne cut her wrists and faded away as Griffin watched. It was a tragic scene both because of what Jayne had done and—ultimately—what it forced Griff to do. Rather than tell Zoe the pain he was feeling and hand over the painkillers Linda had surrendered, he popped two.

Speaking of Linda, “Playing Doctor Conner” marked the evolution of her character. She may be a cold-hearted bitch, but she’s deeply troubled as well. The fact Griffin kept her secret—he was meeting with her when Jayne made her fatal decision—will build their relationship and for that I’m glad. It’s always nice to have a one-dimensional character to hate, but I prefer them with some substance too. (Let us also acknowledge the performance by Raoul Bhaneja as Eric, Bethune’s lawyer. I’ve never wanted to punch a TV lawyer harder in the mouth, so kudos to Bhaneja for that.)

Almost lost in the shuffle were the other storylines of the night. Allen once again proved older is wiser when he was able to diagnose a man suffering from chronic neck pain, giving Cutler a much-needed comeuppance and education in listening to patients rather than rushing them out the door. And who else cheered Sandy when she told Mel to back off regarding hiring a nanny? Mel needs to focus on something else. Like maybe Dr. Stubble?

Notes and quotes

  • “I’m starving. We should order Chinese. You’re not veggie, are you?” Eric was trying to come off like a nice guy …
  • “I’ve always been an early riser.” TMI, Griff.
  • “This is Butch. Boot to the groin. You’re welcome.” Cutler is fitting in just fine.

Remedy airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.


Review: Proposals and PTSD on Remedy

“You come to a hospital to get better, not worse.” Firefighter Renee Hudson certainly had grounds to say that to Mel. She had been carted in with severe abdominal pain and would be leaving needing therapy after Jerry mixed up her medication and Renee was partially awake during her surgery. I didn’t even know that was a thing; now it has vaulted to the top of my “Things I Hope Never, Ever Happen to Me” list.

That it could happen was shocking enough—I can only imagine how traumatic that must have been—but it left Jerry’s career up in the air and his relationship with Mel in shambles. She had, after all, admitted she may not have forced him to admit to the mistake if he was a family member. That was grounds for a break-up just hours after Jerry confided in Sandy he was going to propose to Mel over dinner that night. That clearly ain’t happening, and it opens the door for Mel to find solace in Peter Cutler.

Peter has definitely made an impact on Beth-H, first with his breezy confidence and then with his memorable back-and-forths with Allen during “When You Awake.” The former hospital head-turned-ER doc had plenty of advice for the young whippersnapper and without that I fear pro wrestler “Pitbull” Danko would have gone down for a permanent three-count. It’s early days, but I already like the fact that Allen is in the ER in those blue scrubs and shaking things up. There were, of course, the early stumbles of not wearing the correct shoes and messing up the intubation, but overall I think he’s going to be just fine, and the perfect salve to Peter’s spiciness.

Meanwhile, bedbugs—they’re on my list too, but lower down—served as the unlikely formula for Griff and Zoe to finally decide to move in together. Personally, I think it’s a little too soon after Lonnie’s death for this to happen but I totally get their thinking that he’ll support her through that and she’ll be there when if/when he considers relapsing back into drug use.

Notes and quotes

  • How does Niall Matter get that perfectly-sculpted stubble?
  • Welcome back to the ER, Allen! Here’s an elbow in the gut courtesy of a pro wrestler.
  • Shirtless Griff count: 1

Remedy airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.