‘Code Black’ Recap: Pilot Episode

By Kitin Miranda | 2 years ago
‘Code Black’ Recap: Pilot Episode
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“Code Black” Season 1 Episode 1 “Pilot” aired last Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015 at 10:00 p.m. on CBS. In the pilot episode of the series, the new residents of the Angels Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles experienced their very first shift with Senior Nurse Jesse Sallander (Luis Guzman) and Resident Director Dr. Leanne Rorish (Marcia Gay Harden), a no nonsense doctor who isn’t afraid of bending the rules in order to save lives. Together, they experienced the ups and downs, and the stress of working in the emergency room where it turns to code black, a term used when there isn’t enough resources or doctors for the patients coming in, more times than any hospital in the country. Read on to learn more about this episode.

After explaining what the term code black meant, the show opened with the senior nurse in charge of Dr. Leanne Rorish’s (Marcia Gay Harden) residents, Jesse Sallander (Luis Guzman) ,giving them the grand tour of the emergency room where they would be spending their next three years.

Dr. Mario Savetti (Benjamin Hollingsworth), a resident from New York University still paying his student loans, introduced himself to Dr. Christa Lorenson (Bonnie Somerville), and was quick to point out that she was the oldest among them. Dr. Malaya Pineda (Melanie Chandra) realized that Dr. Angus Leighton (Harry Ford) was the younger brother of a doctor she knew while she was still in school.

They then had their first case with Leanne, in which Malaya and Christa proved their smarts. It was after explaining correctly that the patient couldn’t be transfused with blood as they would have to take an hour to replace the artery in order to safely transfuse the blood, and as Leanne froze the patient in order to buy time for the surgeons to do so.


Dr. Neal Hudson (Raza Jaffrey), Leanne’s co-worker and one of her former residents then complained to the director that Leanne, since the accident, had made her become harder on the residents, but the director told Neal that she created “good doctors.”

Mario, during their second case, was scolded for not being truthful with a little girl, whose father they also took in, especially as later, Christa discovered that he was brain dead. The girl, Ariel (Emily Alyn Lind), didn’t take this and the fact that he was an organ donor well.  Later, Neal told her that Ariel had “connected” with her, something that she denied.

Malaya then began to wonder why Leanne kept sidelining her, especially as Angus, despite her prompting him for the correct answer, ended up accompanying Dr. Rollie Guthrie (William Allen Young), to administer an experimental drug for a 75 year old man suffering of stroke, and  as she ended up putting a cast on a teenage boy who had gotten into an accident while skateboarding, who had been Angus’ patient.

Christa and Mario then fought over the diagnosis of a pregnant woman exhibiting signs of the flu, although she didn’t have the flu. Christa then disobeyed Leanne by ordering a toxicology screen for her, which caused her to get fired by Leanne. It was although she was trying to have initiative, something that earlier in the evening, Leanne said that they should have.

Leanne and Angus then tried to begin the process of inserting a tube into the chest of a Norewegian boy with a collapsed lung. It was when the teenager that Angus and Malaya treated collapsed near them. It turned out that he had an epidural hematoma, which meant that Leanne had to drill a hole in skull in order to get the blood in his brain out.


Malaya then helped Angus with the boy; who was then replaced by Neal’s patient, a man whose leg needed to be straightened out.

At this point, the hospital was at code black.

While Neal and Leanne saw to their patients, Christa realized that her pregnant patient who lived on top of a boiler room had carbon monoxide poisoning, and managed to get an ambulance for her, where, under the supervision of Neal and Leanne, she performed an emergency C-section.

Later, Leanne told her that she had her job back. She discovered that Christa had become a doctor after losing her child to a disease. Christa then discovered that Leanne, just like her, had lost everyone, after recognizing that Leanne was also like her.

The next morning, Malaya comforted Angus, and told him that he would be able to survive. It was even though his father was on the hospital’s board, as he just needed confidence. Angus, in turn, told her that Leanne sidelined her as she was trying to test the rest of them.

Meanwhile, Leanne  then met up with Ariel, and took her to the little girl who benefitted from Ariel’s father’s heart.

Later that night, everyone returned for another shift in the busiest emergency room in the country.

What did you think of “Code Black”? Do you think that this will be the new “E.R.”?  Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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About the author

Kitin Miranda enjoys writing, learning new things, telling stories, and doing theater. When she is not busy with her many projects, she can be found reading a good book, writing poetry or fiction, updating her blog, discovering new food places around her neighborhood, or watching American or Asian TV shows.