Going into The Night Shift season 4 episode 7, it was already clear that this episode would be more emotional than most. It was directed by a veteran, written by a veteran, and all of its guest stars were veterans. Everyone who was there specifically for this episode served in some capacity.
What the show brought in this hour was both a part of the Night Shift canon but also a powerful, emotional episode for the show. Through much of this, the show tackled issues that real veterans do face, including suffering from post-traumatic stress in the midst of intense situations. Paul and Shannon were forced to face this head on when their patient, a former prisoner of war, holed himself up and refused to let them in for treatment. Eventually, though, a little bit of Morse code training and some love and care was enough to calm him down.
As he recovered, we also learned a little bit more about him and his heroics. Because of the time that her served and the time that he suffered, he was able to help so many other people. Then, he disappeared at the end of the episode. There was something about this man and this case that felt special — it was inspirational, and even though we don’t know what happened to him, we’re okay to “Keep the Faith” (the episode’s title).
Elsewhere in the hospital, we saw the likes of TC, Jordan, and Scott at odds over one of the treatment of a Senator in Xavier Arnold, a powerful man who helped to enable the hospital to have so many veterans. However, it was very clear in the process that he was a very shady Senator. He pretended to be in worse shape than he was entering the hospital for the sake of his own personal gain (it made him look all the braver), and then over the course of the hour. we also learned that he was fabricating his record for the sake of further goodwill. This put the hospital in a moral dilemma, especially Drew — a guy who had a history with him already. That played out during some military flashbacks.
Drew also spent a good chunk of the hour treating a photographer who had went through hell and was losing her vision, and he decided to put his best foot forward with the Senator. He was able to ensure that she joined his communications team; as a result of that, they would keep his secret safe.
After this arrangement with the Senator was reached, TC had some other work to do smoothing things over with Jordan — after all, in the process of the episode he had disparaged her for not serving and not understanding the pain. He needs to be more empathetic. Heck, he still needs to be more empathetic. The problem is that TC’s got his own pain dealing with death, and not knowing for sure where he belongs. The fact that there were emotional ebbs and flows made this all the more realistic.
The Night Shift tonight was a story about faith, about overcoming obstacles, and showing true courage. It was nice to have an episode where an important character didn’t die in the closing minutes (a rarity this season), and it was also nice to dive into the history of Drew overseas (coupled with a sweet reference to Groundhog Day) and see the doctors all try to remember Mac in their own way. Grade: A.
Where does The Night Shift go from here?
If you head over to the link here, you can get a preview for the next new episode airing in one week’s time. (Photo: NBC.)