Life Sentence (S01E03) “Clinical Trial and Error”

There were several bright spots in this episode!  We learn more about Sadie, we finally get to meet Dr. Will Grant and get to see more bonding between Aiden and Peter.

Stella (played by Lucy Hale) is volunteering at the hospital as a patient advocate for Sadie (played by Nadej Baiey), a young patient suffering from the same type of cancer that Stella had.  A wonderful friendship is being formed between these two.  When Stella learns that Sadie has no one that is fighting for he she decides to try and get Sadie into the same clinical trial that cured her cancer.  After learning that the trial has ended because the donor pulled their funding, Stella enlists the help of Dr. Grant (played by Riley Smith) to introduce her to the donor so she can convince him to continue with the funding.  The introduction of Dr. Grant at the beginning of the episode started with all the nurses rushing past the nurses’ station.  When Stella asks if there is an emergency the head nurse replies with something like, “No, but there is a new hot doctor in oncology”.  Then Sadie is talking with Stella and she asks if Stella has seen her new doctor and comments that he “lights up a room.”  Dr. Grant is then shown in the hallway with a spotlight behind him!

Dr. Grant knows who the donor is and agrees to introduce Stella to him that evening at an event that the donor is hosting.  Throughout the evening Dr. Grant’s phone keeps ringing and he uses “doctor speak” to talk about the patients.  Stella sees this as being very callous and thinks he is uncaring.

At the event, Stella and Dr. Grant run into Aiden, played by Jayson Blair, and Peter, played by Dylan Walsh, Stella’s brother and father.  They have been living together in the guesthouse and Peter has been having a hard time moving on from his wife and the house being sold.  Upon hearing this, Stella suggested that Aiden take their father out for a guy’s night out.  Aiden sees that his dad is struggling with picking up women and shares his secrets on how to hit on women and what to say.  The awkwardness of Peter and the lines that he tries to use are quite funny and provide some levity during the episode.  There is another great father / son moment where Peter thinks back to the last time they spent any time together, it was at a baseball when Aiden was about 15.  Peter tells Aiden it was a fun night even if he didn’t pick up someone because he got to spend time with his son.  As he is leaving, Peter starts talking with a woman outside and they start talking about their recent divorces trying to one up each other for who has the worst ex.  They have a connection and Peter ends up taking her home.  Later the woman runs into Aiden who was just getting home and they recognize each other. Uh oh!

Dr. Grant had to leave the event to take care of his patient and Stella is left to find the donor herself.  She first needs some liquid courage and talks to the bartender.  He asks why she is there and she explains she is there to give an inspirational speech to try and convince someone to give her money.  It turns out the bartender is actually the donor and he was just making himself a drink.  Stella has to quickly backpedal and come up with her inspirational speech when he explains he pulled the funding because the clinical trial didn’t work.  All Stella had to say was “…it saved me…” and this got him to listen to her.  He agrees that if the results can be duplicated he would consider donating again to the trial but that could take one to two years.
Aiden finds Stella on the rooftop and after she tells him that she feels she failed and then asks “How was it so easy for Mom and Dad to get me into the trial?” Through a flashback sequence Aiden tells her it wasn’t so easy.  They begged and pleaded and finally cried before Stella was let in.  Yet another secret that was kept from Stella.   I see Aiden as the comic relief at times and he is often the voice of reason.

Wes, played by Elliot Knight, was taking care of Stella’s niece and nephew and was struggling when one of them becomes sick.  Ida, played by Gillian Vigman, comes to help and overreacts.  We learn that she still feels guilty over not taking Stella to the doctor when she was 15 and “didn’t feel right”.  She waited and now overreacts anytime someone is sick.   There was a nice bonding moment between Wes and Ida when he calls her “Mum”.

Stella goes to the hospital and when she finds Dr. Grant crying, she learns that his patient didn’t make it and then realizes that she was wrong with her first impression of him.  Dr. Grant shares why he became a doctor in the first place (it wasn’t because his garage band didn’t get a record deal) his older brother passed away from cancer and he loses him again every time he loses a patient.  Stella visits Sadie and lets her know about the original clinical trial and presents her with brochures from other trials that she and Dr. Grant will try and get Sadie into.  The episode ends with Dr. Grant learning that Stella is married and when she tells him she has been married for 6 months, he responds with “It’s a shame I didn’t meet you 7 months ago.” Uh oh!

Next Episode:  “How Stella Got Her Groove On” airs Wednesday March 28th at 9/8c on The CW.