Remedy – Season 1

Remedy is a Canadian medical drama which airs on Global in Canada, set & shot in Toronto and focuses on one family who’s lives are entangled with the same hospital. Starring Enrico Colantoni, Dillon Casey, Sara Canning, Sarah Allen, Matt Ward, Genelle Williams and Martha Burns. Patrick McKenna, Catherine Disher & Diego Fuentes have major supporting roles.  The show starts off with a highly memorable debut episode – Griffin Connor, a medical college drop out is working behind the bar at a strip club when a drunk & pushy customer tries to hit on his, Griffin’s, dancer girlfriend. This leads to a fight and Griff (as he is called by his family) is forced to defend himself by using an axe against the charging drunk who is wielding a gun. Badly injured the man is taken by ambulance to the (fictional) Bethune General hospital – which is basically a second home to Griff. His father Dr. Allen Conner is acting chief of staff at Bethune, while older sisters Sandy & Melissa are a nurse & a surgeon respectively. Griff left medical school after he was busted for addiction to painkiller drugs and has been estranged from the family for over 2 years.

He initially tries to avoid running into any of his 3 family members who work in the hospital but is seen by Sandy and soon the others. Fearing legal charges to be set against him, they call Rebecca Baker, lawyer and ex-wife to Allen and mother to Sandy, Melissa & Griff and she manages to get him off on self defense but to show stability Griff needs a job that is not in a strip club. Allen pulls his strings but Griffin will only take a poter’s job, reporting to Frank Kanaskie. While this is happening, young porter and part time student Zoe Rivera is stuck by a used syringe as she was cleaning a room – dropped accidentally by nurse Sandy,  as she tried to stop an argument between another porter Lonnie and Melissa. Zoe could sue the hospital as there is a possibility that the patient the syringe was used on an HIV positive patient. While the hospital admin tries to convince Zoe to sign a waiver, she fights for better breaks for the entire porter staff. Sandy feels guilty and confesses to Zoe and breaks the rules to do a blood test on Zoe – she could have lost her job but finds out that Zoe was not infected.

The show, while featuring realistic medical cases and surgery scenes also does something unique – it focuses on exploring the back office, as it were, with major characters in the ensemble cast who wear not white coats but brown scrubs. These are the porters, the orderlies, the cleaners, the people who do all the other jobs at a hospital that don’t involve decisions about patient treatment. This is they manage with Griffin (who initially agrees to go back to medical school as he had great scores but changes his mind and decides to continue working as a porter) and Zoe, who also strike up a relationship. And also by featuring porter Bruno Dias; a native of Columbia who was a respected surgeon in Bogota but had to take up a porter’s job as he does not have the papers needed to work in North America as a surgeon but who shows that he knows as much if not more that the doctors there. There are moments when the orderlies are shown standing up against the somewhat snobbish attitude of the doctors & the administration staff especially when Griffin & Zoe reel in all the others for a well planned show of support to a fired porter and demand reinstatement. which the do.

Sandy is engaged to another doctor, the stiff and proper Dr. Brian Decker who struggles to such his emotions and even affection at times. Sandy finds out she is pregnant and as the months pass she plans a wedding with Brian but calls it off when she struggles with her emotions when a lonely woman who has no family in the country is dying and has no one to be with her. Sandy leaves a dinner party with her family & Brian’s family to be with the woman and things get said. Brian gets upset and both Allen & Griff tell him to give Sandy some space. Melissa, who is resentful of having grown up under the shadow of her popular younger brother and who she feels their father favours to great extent and even willing to see past his mistakes & disappointments with his decisions, is struggling with low esteem which she masks with bravado and a cool aloofness. But she breaks down when she is unable to continue working on a huge procedure with a highly respected veteran surgeon as she feels that her father has low expectations of her. She blows up at her father and gets drunk. She controls herself later and manages to continue doing good work and even starts a casual relationship with an anesthesiologist. She springs to Sandy’s help and helps her move in with her after Sandy breaks things off with Brian.

As the season ends, a much pregnant Sandy is moving in with Melissa and setting up a new crib while Griff & Allen, decide to put their disagreements aside and the 4 of them have dinner at Melissa’s apartment. What is in store for next season? Will Sandy get back with Brian? Will she raise the baby on her own? Will Griffin get back to medical school or continue working as a porter? And will Allen move on from Bethune for not getting the permanent role as chief of staff as the board feels that he is not practical when it involves his family?