"Monday Mornings" Discussion: Chapters 25-32 - Jamie Bamber News
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"Monday Mornings" Discussion: Chapters 25-32
It's another Monday, which means another "Monday Mornings" discussion. (It's still morning in parts of the world, right?) Four weeks down and two to go. Is anyone else really looking forward to the end? ;)



Many of us discussed earlier the ramifications - not to mention WTFness - of Ty wanting to meet with Allison McDaniel. I appreciated, once inside Ty's head, we were able to see he was thinking what many of us were: talking to Allison was a very bad idea and for many, many reasons. And, yes, the hospital lawyer would be flipping out if he knew what was happening. (Though, as a Star Wars fan, I couldn't help but smile at the Obi Wan reference. :)

The meeting was awkward (as expected) and I actually felt worse for Allison. Even with as much pain as she was still in, she had already accepted that the surgery was risky, Ty had done everything possible to try and give her a few more months, but her son had been terminal. It's hard to imagine what it would be like to lose a child, but Allison seems like she's trying to move on as best she can and Ty is pulling her back. He's not setting out to be selfish. He's confused and adrift at the moment, at a crossroads in his life's work, and desperately hoping she might provide some clarity for him.

The reveal that Harding Hooten comes from money was no shock to me. Actually, I doubt it would be as much of a shock as Sanjay thinks it would be to the hospital staff. Harding's interest in and purchase of art for Chelsea General is, in part, bankrolled by him. His salary alone wouldn't allow him to purchase all the pieces he has. But I was glad to get a glimpse of his home life finally and see the VERY understanding relationship he has with his wife.

Michelle seems to have evolved into a character of convenience. By which I mean, she pops up only to move a plot point along and/or tell us something about the characters who are dealing with her at the moment. She's fired (when she thinks she's been brought in for a pat on the back) and then quickly disappears again. I'm expecting her next scene to involve crying and comforting by Tina, who will make the situation about her need to save Michelle's job. But I'm hoping I'm wrong.

I have to say I was disappointed with Villanueva's turn on the hot seat. I expected him to, eventually, admit he was wrong (he's not the kind of guy to makes excuses for his behavior or pass the buck), but I wanted to see more of the M&M meeting play out. Park's entrance abruptly cut the meeting short.

Interestingly, Park's entrance and subsequent applause struck me as a very 'Made for TV' moment. And I'm actually hoping Park does develop cancer on CG, though later in the season or, perhaps, in Season 2. (Yes, again, I am being optimistic!) As I suspected may be the case, Park being on the other side of things, being the patient, is starting to humanize him and make him more appreciative of his family and life outside the hospital.

Sadly, my dislike of Tina Ridgeway only grows. It's not helping that her scenes outside the hospital, unlike everyone elses, are so odd. Do she and her husband only fight when the children are trapped and can go nowhere? And I continue to feel sympathy for him, but not her. Maybe the house wouldn't be such a mess by Sunday if she were home at all during the week to help? Maybe he's exhausted taking care of three kids all week and deserves a morning alone with the Sunday paper? And WHY do you keep making your kids cry???

I know the point of the clinic scene was to show that while Tina sees her time helping the less fortunate as an escape from a life she's bored/disillusioned with, there are dangers being a woman working there. Unfortunately, the scene was so cliched and heavy-handed I simply wanted to skip ahead. And I fear we'll have to endure the jerk coming back as some sort of wake up call to her.

Sydney continues to kick all kinds of ass. I love that she, more than anyone else, feels comfortable in confronting Harding. And I like the relationship developing between she and Dr. McManus. She's not entirely sure why she's attracted to him, but she is, and what does this mean for her and her future plans?

Speaking of relationships, I feel I have a better understanding as to why Ty and Tina are having an affair. I'm still a bit perplexed as to Tina's reasons, although, at this point, I'm willing to simply go with she doesn't know what she wants and is looking for an escape from what her life is. But discovering Ty has never had a relationship that lasted more than a couple months explained A LOT to me. He likes Tina. He's attracted to Tina. They have a lot they can share. But Tina is married with kids, which means, to his mind, she is ultimately unavailable and the relationship will not last any longer than any previous relationship he's had.

I doubt Ty will be staying in Florida, but I very much appreciated Sanjay making me think of this shot:



So, what did everyone else think?


Discussion of Chapters 1-8
Discussion of Chapters 9-16
Discussion of Chapters 17-24

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Comments
spongetrisha From: spongetrisha Date: April 23rd, 2012 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
The whole Ty and Allison thing is really making me a bit uncomfortable. I get that Ty is trying to make sense of what happened to Quinn in the Operating Room but I agree WTF?? I really like Ty and I just know Jamie is going to nail this on screen.

Loved, loved, loved the whole cafeteria section lets hope they've filmed that.

I too am really disliking Tina - she seems to be all me me me.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 24th, 2012 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Loved, loved, loved the whole cafeteria section lets hope they've filmed that.

I had the same reaction. There are too few scenes of the leads as a group just playing off each other, rather than at MM where someone is always in the hotseat and thus the focus of the scene, I really hope the show managed to do that more often. Plus the Froot Loop gag is cute. ;)
onlyariana From: onlyariana Date: April 24th, 2012 12:20 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Sydney continues to be awesome. I loved how she thought that Dr. McManus makes her mad because he makes her feel things and distracts and tempts her.

I want to try a stir fry with blueberries and pineapple like Ty made. That sounded SO GOOD. I actually went searching for a recipe with the ingredients but couldn't find anything. I might just have to wing it. It hurt when he was with Quinn's mom. He didn't mean to be but he was asking more from this woman who already lost everything.

I liked that Villanueva answered the phone while on the can. Knowing people like him that's pretty in character.

One other thing I enjoyed in the book was how the doctors tend to think of the biological processes going on in their bodies. I can't think of exactly what the examples are right now and I'm too tired to go looking.

Pat Park's excitement at a date with her husband was the sweetest thing. <3
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 24th, 2012 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
So far the awkwardness of the entire situation with Allison isn't overwhelming me at all, and I think you hit on the reason why:

He's not setting out to be selfish. He's confused and adrift at the moment, at a crossroads in his life's work, and desperately hoping she might provide some clarity for him.

As you note in the cut text, this aspect of the book is more well defined than a lot of other plot strands, and it's not hard to accept the premise that he is compelled to do what he's doing because of this urgent need for clarity, to move on from a mistake that is so at odds with the very reason he became a doctor in the first place.

Both Harding and Michelle, I hope, will be given room to become richer, more multi-layered characters in the show, Michelle in particular. As far as Park goes, agree with you that delaying incorporating his cancer into the storyline seems like the smart bet; the show would have the opportunity to share its focus with the regular cast members and any guest cast they have in each week as patients or whomever, and with an ensemble type show there should be lots of ways to develop his character without giving him an illness, at least not right away. (Wouldn't drop it entirely, though. onlyariana is right, the scene with his wife and their date was quite touching.

The church scene with the Ridgeways drove me mental. Yes, Tina is deeply unpleasant in that scene, and the issue isn't so much how nasty she is as that I still don't feel any real context w/ her for why she is capable of that kind of unfeeling attitude toward her family. Like I said last week, I am willing to go to all sorts of places with a character if I feel like I understand what makes them tick, and I don't have that with Tina; I want to understand, but other than that little bit of backstory where we know that her father was a doctor and that she sort of unexpectedly stepped up to the plate to carry on the family tradition (so one has to assume that she may have felt pressured into it, though clearly she does like helping people or at least that's what the free clinic storyline tells us)... what else is there? Are we to assume that she also felt pressured into getting married and having kids?; if left to her own devices with no expectations of her from either her family or general societal pressures, would she be happier to have the kind of freedom Ty enjoys to just have short-term relationships from time to time that always take a back-seat to her job? (Lord knows it would be nice to actually see a female career woman on television who just doesn't care and who maintains the personal life they want no matter what anyone thinks. You know they exist.) You can see I'm spit-balling a LOT here; I do hope the writers and Jennifer Finnigan are given the chance to flesh Tina out a lot, and help me understand her better even if I don't always like her.

Meanwhile, oddly, SG does a great job at conveying Sydney's personality and motivations with about the same amount of background - I don't know why that is. (I do wonder if there is some correlation between how well he actually knew the doctors he's basing these characters on; maybe Sydney's inspiration is someone he knew better than Tina's?) Or perhaps because it's because she seems to have such a well-defined purpose rather than be clutching at straws left and right to fill some kind of a void in her life.

If the show ever does send Ty to Florida at some point, at least the location scouts will have a piss-easy job with what they've got to work with around here. ;) (Countdown to seeing Ocean Blvd. in Long Beach, Hollywood's preferred faux-Miami; see: CSI:M, see: Dexter...)



Physha1 From: Physha1 Date: April 28th, 2012 08:09 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
"Many of us discussed earlier the ramifications - not to mention WTFness - of Ty wanting to meet with Allison McDaniel"

I get that there are serious legal ramifications to this, and that it is unlikely that any doctor in his right might would pursue this type of relationship. Yet I was still rooting for it as a reader; it is after all fiction. How likely is it that a brain surgeon would get an extremely rare brain tumor? The odds are against it, yet this type of thing happens on just about every medical drama. Why? Because it's dramatic. I thought the same thing with the potential relationship with Ty and Allison. What's between them is already so loaded, it would be an against-all-odds romance. But there were a few things that made me ship for these two. First of all, Ty is a brain surgeon--a doctor. Being in a field where I sometimes work in doctor's offices and hospitals, I can attest to the fact that doctors--in general, of course--tend to be pricks. Especially surgeons. If he is surrounded by these egomaniacs, no wonder he sees something attractive about her. I think he was terribly moved by the fact that in her darkest moment, she showed concern for him. That would prove that she is a good person, and maybe that in itself would supersede his concerns about how appropriate the contact would be. Particularly if he were in a dark place of his own. Secondly, on a spiritual level, tragedies like that do bind people together in inexplicable ways. So even though we all bristle at the legal and emotional ramifications, I think it could be a solid romance if written right.
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