Episode Air Date: August 14th, 21st, 28th, September 4th 2014
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
Rush (Where’s My Mind, You Spin Me Around, Because I Got High, Get Lucky)
Starring: Tom Ellis, Larenz Tate, Sarah Habel, Rick Gonzalez, Erica Cerra, Harry Hamlin, Rachel Nichols, Odette Annable
With ratings being ever so low (hovering at around 1.6 million viewers, as opposed to the usual 3-4 million for a USA show- and that would be for a show that is more than 1 season!), it seems like the experiment that is Rush on USA Network may be over after it’s freshman run of 12 episodes. But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up, and regardless if the show is cancelled after season 1 or not, I still commend and applaud the channel for taking some risks in trying to change up the genres of their shows, just to try to gain more viewers, and restore the network to the glory days in terms of cable ratings. So if you were a new viewer, would I encourage you to watch Rush, the show that deals with an egocentric concierge doctor for the rich and famous, who treats clients who are discreet? Or is this show a bypass? I would encourage you actually (the show takes a few episodes to find its feet), as Rush (Tom Ellis) is a very interesting person, it’s as simple as that.
Over the course of the latest 4 episodes, there have been countless things that have occurred that have made me root for the redemption of Rush (spoilers are coming!). The character of Rush has grown immensely form the pilot episode, and has shown that there is a human being underneath all of the main-childishness. And of course, as in previous episodes, it is the character growth that makes me want to watch more episodes, as the case of the week is nothing exceptional, and most of the time, separate from the relationships plot. Like the previous episodes, Rush has worked on countless patients, with some related to and others unrelated to the bigger story of the journey of tightening up his morals. But unlike the previous episodes, the storylines of Will’s chaotic social life and his work life collide, and that is the beauty of the latest 4 episodes that I loved. Though Will Rush still loves money and will accept a large wad of cash for his discretion, the lines between ethically and morally aware and careless are starting to blur.
“Where’s My Mind” has Rush treating an elderly woman with dementia, believing her veins are insects living inside her trying to kill her, as well as a man in a bar with a pool pole stuck in the middle of him (yep, that’s as nasty as it sounds, with blood and everything!), all the while feeling queasy and paranoid in the wake of his sexual tryst with his stepmother Corrine (Rachel Nichols), partly in rebellion to his father (Harry Hamlin). It turns out that all of his demons he was battling throughout this episode was because he wasn’t honest to himself, so Rush has a chat with Corrine at the end of the episode, just to let her know that their encounter would be forgotten, as it would devastate and wreck Rush’s father. Corrine agrees to keep quiet, yet the ending of that episode with regards to her demeanour suggest that this is something that she will have leverage over Rush, seeing that neither person is a minor. Drama near the end of the season is sure to bring up the ratings.
While Rush and Alex visit a medical convention on “You Spin Me Around”, where Rush treats an elderly man (I think he’s important) in an uncompromising sexual position with a prostitute, as well as a high profile senator with ALS- trying to mask his symptoms just before his important speech so that the voters won’t know about it and hence vote him in for another term, Rush helps (or at least tries to help) these people while his ex-girlfriend Sarah (Odette Annable) at the convention as well, and her new boyfriend Griffin, whom Rush has an intense disliking for and jealousy of. But it is episodes 7 and 8 which make use of Rush’s back-story and character development and integrates this in a fitting way that makes sense with the story line.
In episode 7, Rush treats an aging has-been rock star (famous a few decades back) who was unconscious at the beginning of the episode, who as return for his gratitude, promptly asks Rush to write a song with him, while under the influence of an unknown drug that has mega hallucinatory properties. This drug forces Rush to revisit the day that changed his life, the day that his dad found out about Rush’s drug addiction, so that Rush could admit his mistakes and turn a corner in his life. And in episode 8 that just aired today, Rush treats a off-the-book Chinese poker player (who insists that Rush is his lucky charm) and later on an underworld rapper with a craving for violence and guns; and bringing Alex (Larenz Tate) along for the ride as well, as he vents about his jealousy of Rush’s life.
As the storylines become more interconnected, the show focuses a bit more on Rush’s relationships with his family, friends and everyone else in his life, reminding us that just because his work life is hectic, and his personal life is a mess, doesn’t mean that Rush doesn’t feel like every other human being. Though not much is explored with his relationship with his father Warren and his stepmother Corrine beyond episode 5, I am assuming that volatile part of the story will blow up in Rush’s face as the finale approaches, but seeing that Rush has matured in some aspects, no doubt he will try to handle the possible aftermath and fallout with dignity and grace.
While trying to ensure that Alex isn’t tempted by his lavish lifestyle, Rush’s concern for his friend’s marriage is commendable, even though Alex does slip up a few times across the latest episodes- at the medical convention, a married woman with an open marriage attempts to sleep with him (which doesn’t eventuate to anything), and at the rapper’s party, a random girl performs oral sex on him in the bathroom. Though I hope that they’re not going to turn Alex into a morally grey character (in fact, USA Network may have just done that, with Alex accepting cash on the side for undertaking a job like Rush’s), it’s nice to see two friends like Alex and Rush looking out for each other, reminding me of Shawn and Gus’s friendship in Psych.
Rush, in this batch of episodes, treats Eve (Sarah Habel) the same, or at times worse, than in the past (and that’s a shame, she does a lot for him and Rush at times takes her for granted), although he does step up to the plate to try to rid Eve of her obsessive ex-boyfriend/stalker JP (Warren Christie), whom we now know impregnated Eve, probably via rape, and then pressured Eve into aborting the baby. Eve also has had a lot of change recently, with her insecurities involving her treatment when JP was around culminating in her breaking up with her boyfriend and her being given a gun from Rush’s drug dealer and Eve’s confidante turned friend Manny (Rick Gonzalez) for protection. Though it is not known what will happen to Eve later on, I hope she has the courage to face JP, and finally let go of the hurt and anger she has towards him. While that’s probably the reason why Eve perceives that she is stuck, and why she depends on Rush so much (because of her sour relationship with JP); the relationship between Eve and Rush is very interesting, and one that keeps me interested in the upcoming episodes.
Yet it is Rush’s relationship with Sarah though that is the most paramount and significant. She is the love of his life, and the person at this stage who would be the bets fit for Rush romantically. So when Rush knows at the end of the 8th episode that she is sick (I’m not saying what disease!), that is a game changer that is sure to cause Rush some major thought provoking life changes and decisions. It’s enough drama that will keep me interested for the final 4 episodes of the season, and something that is sure to give Rush character growth.
Acting-wise, once again everyone stepped up to the plate. Tom Ellis’ American accent is once again spot on, and his inner conflict when concerning Sarah is very believable. Larenz Tate and Sarah Habel are on song as always, and are once again two of the reasons why I keep watching, if we only talk about supporting characters. Rachel Nichols’s portrayal of Corrine is wonderfully portrayed as well (who knew she could play the part of a damsel in distress and predatory and cunning all in the same episode?) and Harry Hamlin, with the short but impacting flashback, was scarily fantastic as Rush’s overbearing and intense father, reminding me of Dan Scott from One Tree Hill.
Scenery-wise, it is mostly the same, as we are still shown inside shots, of Rush’s hotel, and the homes of the clients he visits, but we are also given a glimpse into Rush’s mind (in episode 7) and a late night party (episode 8) that is a change from the usual scenes. Content-wise, unfortunately for young children, there is still sex, blood and gore, as well as drug use, present; and little children should not be watching this kind of show, even if it is shown at 9pm, which I believe is an hour too early. As far as a sum up statement in terms of character development, Rush has a long way to go, however it seems like overall he is much more of a people person; no doubt Eve’s brutal and honest speech to him, explaining that no man is an island, had a profound effect on him, with his behaviour slightly changing for the better. As for the remaining 4 episodes, I am excited. The show has its flaws, but like the titular character, Rush is improving episode by episode, and hopefully will push for a late renewal for season 2!
Did Rush episodes 5-8 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? 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: 3.75/5 (based on 8 episodes)
Rush airs every Thursday at 9/8c on USA Network.