Friday, July 16, 2021

REVIEW: 'Dr. Death' - Henderson Imagines a Dramatic Confrontation with Duntsch in 'An Occurrence at Randall Kirby's Sink'

Peacock's Dr. Death - Episode 1.04 "An Occurrence at Randall Kirby's Sink"

Henderson and Kirby crash a function in Duntsch's honor. Duntsch sets up his practice in Texas.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Peacock's Dr. Death.

"An Occurrence at Randall Kirby's Sink" was written by Ahmadu Garba and directed by Jennifer Morrison

Duntsch knows that he is an incompetent surgeon. Him continuing to operate shows his intent to inflict harm on others. That's the case that Henderson lays out to the District Attorney in pursuit of murder charges. That's the action Henderson and Kirby are willing to take in order to prevent Duntsch from operating. It's a position they are forced into because no other avenue of justice seems to work. It may all be for nothing as well. The file just sits empty in the office. No one shows it any attention. That continues to give Duntsch the freedom to con as many people as he can in the pursuit of greatness. Of course, the show also argues against this fact as well. Duntsch views himself as a god. He is superior because of his intellect and willingness to change the world. He deems others as small and weak because they lack the vision and drive to understand what he is trying to do. He labels them as inferior if their ambitions for a happy life don't line up with the revolution he has established in his head. He's been forced out of his company though. The people there no longer want him. He moves to Texas just because it's convenient. It's where Wendy's family happens to be. He wants this relationship to work. The moment it gets real he rejects it entirely. He views Wendy's dream of being a mom as silly and laughable. It's not what someone he deems smart should be doing with their life. Moreover, he degrades her for thinking that a former stripper has any business caring for a child. He wants to control her absolutely. Her showing any independence cannot be allowed. Of course, Duntsch doesn't mind when that independence is displayed through confidence. He is attracted to Kim right away because she supports his ambitions at work. She sees his vision and also wants it to reach its potential. She also calls out all the bad decisions being made. Those will still inevitably happen though. It's central to Duntsch's toxic worldview. No one should buy into what he is selling. It's easy for the profession to be fooled though. Baylor is willing to throw all of their marketing expertise at him because they genuinely believe that he is the future of the business. His ambitions are lofty but obtainable. Plus, he is given the freedom to do whatever he wants and the system seems incapable of holding him accountable. No one reports him for the crimes he commits in these hospitals. That is done either because people want to cover up their own complicity or they don't believe the law requires them to do so. Because those reports aren't filed, Duntsch seems like an acceptable surgeon to hire. It's a vicious cycle. Henderson and Kirby know that Duntsch shouldn't be allowed to work anywhere. They have the evidence. It's pure conjuncture in an industry that doesn't want to deny what seems like an enviable hire. Henderson and Kirby are forced into that desperate position. Of course, the show also tricks the audience into believing that Henderson and Duntsch actually have a physical altercation. It serves as an escalation of the tension between them while featuring Henderson being pushed past his breaking point. It also has the benefit of not actually being real. It's an illusion meant to incite further drama to prove the larger point. It is deceitful. The show loves messing around with the timeline of this story. It shares important details. It reveals the key developments of how the players involved feel at any given moment. Henderson and Kirby have simply been blocked from making any significant progress. That is intentional while being a core failing of the system. It also comes across as the show stretching the story out to fill the requisite hours. That too is apparent. And so, more time is spent on Duntsch's background and how he has long been horrible. His actions are reprehensible. More people come across poorly as well. They should also be held accountable for their complicity through inaction. The stakes are escalating. The system may be too large for any meaningful change to come from all of this though. That only allows Duntsch to flourish more because the thought of targeting him is too daunting for too little reward. That shouldn't determine the merits of taking on the injustices of the system. It's the reality of the situation though. That is blatantly obvious. That aspect is searing in its observation. Meanwhile, Duntsch just flails around continually intriguing people before they immediately learn just how incompetent and destructive he truly is. That's repetitive to a dire extent.