‘Royal Pains’ season 8, episode 1 review: Inevitabilities

Tonight, “Royal Pains” returned to USA for the beginning of the end! There are seven episodes to go following the one that we had tonight, and we like to think that it set the tone, at least somewhat, for the series’ endgame.

For Hank, for example, it was about working through some of his own issues, and his fears that his actions could in turn lead to him becoming the mirror image of his father. If you recall the nurse from the end of last season, he had another chance tonight; however, he worried about “inevitabilities,” that her child would become collateral damage in the event something went wrong. He didn’t want to abandon him, but lucky there is a way out: With the kid heading away for the summer, Hank may have a chance to test the relationship waters and see where he is.

While Hank is far from the flashiest TV character out there, what we like about him is that he is so perfectly human. He’s flawed, and is just trying to figure himself out when you would think someone with his level of success would already know what he wants and doesn’t want.

As for Evan, he seems mostly just intent on trying to find distractions to his current crisis: He and Paige are struggling to have a child biologically. We probably did have our fill of this storyline last year, but there are two wrinkles to spice things up for him: Having a Senate candidate, and a competitor to Paige’s father, in the hospital is one of them. The other is a hack of the hospital’s infrastructure that could lead to her name getting out there as a patient, jeopardizing her campaign and putting the hospital through hell and back.

It was nice to get more of Henry Winkler tonight, even if it was to watch Eddie seemingly walk away from getting married at the last minute. Also, Divya’s pregnant once more! We’ve been a long-professed Divya / Jeremiah ‘shipper, but she seems happy with Raj and we won’t begrudge her that. Speaking of Jeremiah, tonight we learned that he A) is still working to adapt back to being a concierge doctor and B) he really hates lizards.

There was nothing altogether revolutionary at all on the “Royal Pains” premiere; it is basically the same you’ve watched for many years now. We did wish for a little bit of a faster pace through some of the hour given that we are close to the end, but it remains the same breezy, somewhat-nostalgic show-that-doesn’t-exit-on-USA-anymore that we’re going to miss when it’s gone. Grade: B-.

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