Episode Air Date: September 11th, 18th 2014
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
Rush (Dirty Work, Bitter Sweet Symphony)
Starring: Tom Ellis, Larenz Tate, Sarah Habel, Rick Gonzalez, Erica Cerra, Harry Hamlin, Rachel Nichols, Odette Annable
So here we are. At the end of the freshman run of a show struggling for ratings, and a show that might not be renewed. USA Network’s Rush ended its first season today (although I was quite sure that there were 12 episodes this season, not ten), and it ends the season quite dramatically. Many of the things that were certain now aren’t, and I have to say, the show surprised me in the end in a very good way, so much so that I would be disappointed if the show was cancelled, though a few episodes ago I probably wouldn’t have cared.
The best episodes are the ones that integrate the A plots with the B and C plots (the episodes that bring Rush’s patients and ailments and makes them related to or teaching him something about his relationships with Sarah, Alex, Eve etc), and these last two episodes are no different. When we last met Rush (Tom Ellis), he was comforting Sarah (Odette Annable) after knowing of her ovarian cancer. Once he also learns about Sarah’s desire to have children through IVF, and also choosing an anonymous sperm donor based on baby pictures of the donors, Will unashamedly and unequivocally throws his name in the ring, declaring himself to be a competent father, even going so far to unofficially ask for a job at his old work in the hospital.
While the cases of the week in episode 9 are pretty standard but also help Rush understand the man he wants to and needs to be with Eve. As Rush helps to deliver a baby to a young teenager whose parents want her to give the baby up for adoption against her wishes, Rush finds himself speaking words of wisdom to the girl, saying that if she wants to raise a baby, she has to grow up and be the woman her parents are proud of. Essentially he is speaking encouraging words to himself. Since when did Rush become so wise? Later on, Rush treats a member of the hospital board who ends up in a car crash with a married woman (who is not his wife)- and then the hospital member bribes him with money, and some of that is to his father (Harry Hamlin) as he was the one who referred Rush to this person. While this angers Rush, it later on makes him face facts, and admit his faults to his father, and to ultimately forgive him for ruining his life all those years ago when Rush tested positive for drugs one night when he was on call at the hospital. While in previous week’s Rush’s cases and family/relationship drama were mostly separate, here they are interlinked.
Apart from Sarah taking Will to view her sperm donor profiles, other interesting things that occurred in this episode that have ramifications in the finale are Alex (Larenz Tate) trying the save his marriage, and paying $5,000 to the woman who performed oral sex on him a few episodes back, as payment for her silence; and Eve (Sarah Habel) overcoming her demons and shooting JP(Warren Christie) at point blank range as he is trying to rape her.
One thing I have to commend is Eve’s bravery and her inner strength in facing JP. I know not many people would handle facing such an imposing and psychotic person, but kudos to Sarah Habel for perfectly executing a broken yet determined woman who just wants to have her life back. By the same token, Alex as a character has become a bit of a douche of late, and the lengths he goes to hide his brief fling from his wife is ridiculous to me- shouldn’t a marriage be based on trust rather than lies. If he was upfront, maybe a different outcome than his wife kicking him out of home would have occurred?
In the finale, all sorts of crazy things go down (inclusive of Alex being kicked out of home by his wife- as said in the previous paragraph), and while Rush treats his actor friend Max (last seen in episode 3) for substance abuse with his girlfriend while getting into his mojo for a movie role; he frantically tries to get his affairs in order, including buying an engagement ring, as he plans to whisk Sarah away on his private jet to Bora Bora so that he can propose to her and start their new life together. Yet as is the case with finales, not everything goes as smooth as possible, and through a series of events, Rush breaks up with Sarah.
How does this happen you say? Well firstly, JP doesn’t die from Eve’s shots, then asks Rush to fix him up, and also telling him that he’s keeping the gun that Eve shot him with for insurance, so that Eve doesn’t talk to the cops. Mind you, this is Manny’s gun, which is actually stolen from someone else…confused yet? After Eve receives millions of texts from JP, Rush brings a gun and tries to talk to JP on his way to the airport, but as JP is unstable and tries to kill Rush, he kills him first, while Manny shows up, retrieves the gun, then runs out of there. Only to be caught by the cops. Though Rush has been passed over for the job he dearly wanted, as his father still voted against the stance, his life with Sarah is shaky, as Rush will no doubt be wanted for murder if the show is renewed for season 2, and that probably is partly the reason why Rush broke up with Sarah, as he didn’t want to endanger her life by making her an accessory to murder.
But there is one conversation that Rush has with Corrine (Rachel Nichols), his stepmother, than unnerves him and breaks him to the core, which is why he changes his attitude and lifestyle so rapidly. Seen throwing away his drug stash at the end of episode 9, Rush relapses after breaking up with Sarah at the end of this episode, and then the show ends with the cops showing up at his private airplane hangar. It’s a cliff-hanger ending that’s for sure, with many issues unresolved, however as to whether the show is renewed is a different story. But if it is, Rush’s life isn’t going to be pretty in the beginning parts of a potential season 2, and let’s just say that though his heart is in the right place, there is always something (except for in a probably series finale) that will drag him back down to the character we see in the pilot. Otherwise Rush wouldn’t be Rush.
As far as acting is concerned, everyone stepped it up a notch in the last two episodes. Tom Ellis’ American accent is flawless, and once again his portrayal of a man battling his own inner demons makes me root for Rush’s redemption more and more with each passing episode. Larenz Tate and Sarah Habel are superb in their roles as well, as always, though Larenz’s character continued to be unlikeable as the show progressed- maybe that was intentional? Rachel Nichols’s only scene of note, at the end of the episode talking to Will, was portrayed well too, with the timing of the surprise making me believe that her character planned the whole ordeal that way; while Harry Hamlin, with the short but impacting talk with Will in both episodes 9 and 10 reminding me that parents and their expectations can have immense ramifications on their children’s world view.
While the show still stood firm in its content (violence, sex, blood and gore), it’s clear that the content doesn’t deter from the message of redemption and second chances that the series on the whole presents. While rush isn’t perfect as a person, this series, if it is a one and done, showed me that a person is never too far gone from forgiveness, and if he can surround himself with people supporting him and believing in him, than anything is possible. So if the show is cancelled, then I would not regret watching it, and I would say that anyone unsure of watching the show or continuing, should stick it out and see Rush’s transformation!
Did the final 2 Season 1 episodes of Rush leave a lasting impression on you? Which themes in these episodes speak to you the most? Which supporting character do you identify with the most, and what is your opinion on Alex’s greying morals, or Rush’s improvement in behaviour in each episode? Do you think Corrine’s baby is Rush’s? Do you think Rush and Sarah will get back together? Do you think the show will be renewed for season 2? What elements of the show did you enjoy- the medical aspect, Rush’s romantic relationships, or the family drama parts? Do you give this show a hope for a Season 2? Let us know in the comments.
RIYL: Royal Pains, Rake, House, Psych, Ray Donovan
Rating: 4/5 (based on 10 episodes)
Rush aired on Thursdays at 9/8c on USA Network.