It’s a world without Dr. Novak, and we should be singing in the rain, but as Bash sat in his car during a rainstorm on Transplant Season 2 Episode 5, he was in no singing mood. Why? Because his undocumented friend is facing the music.
We haven’t seen Khaled Abdullah since Transplant Season 1, so let’s recap. He and Bash became friends as struggling immigrants before Bash got his big break at the hospital. Khaled could also rely on Bash for free healthcare, which he needed.
Bash discovered that Khaled didn’t need help simply because he had no money; Khaled had no papers. He was in Canada illegally.
Bashir, I don’t work unless it’s under the table. I am tired of living like a fugitive, always looking over my shoulder like my life is on hold. I am not a real person.
When we see Bash drop Khaled off to meet with the lawyer Bash is paying to help Khaled qualify for asylum, Bash is hopeful, and so are we. However, as the episode unfolds, it becomes clear that more happened that morning.
Flashbacks tell us that Khaled put in a rejected plea for asylum two years ago, and his failure to comply with what the court wanted now means the court will hold him in a detention center indefinitely.
Bash had a similar experience in Syria, so he feels Khaled’s pain and is fighting like hell to get him out. We want to believe that Canada would treat inmates better than Bash was treated during his time in lockup, but it’s hard to say.
So-called civilized countries can be more brutal than their people know. When Transplant premiered, part of the show’s appeal was the immigrant angle.
It’s incredibly topical. Immigration is an issue on the minds of many of us, and Bash getting his dream job as a doctor shouldn’t mean the spotlight veers too far from this issue which is relevant and relatable in this day and age.
Anju: It wasn’t his dream to come to Canada, it was mine. It’s always like that. I dream and he does. And Sameer worked so hard to make it happen. And we were both so excited. But the reality –
Bash: Was, uh, not what you expected.
Anju: I’m not saying it would be easy to go back but, we had a life in Deli. We have family we miss, and he could an engineer there. Will Sameer be okay, Dr. Hamed?
Bash: He’s still very weak, and he needs a lot of rest so his body can fight the infection.
Anju: We wanted this for so long. What if it happened at the wrong time?
His concern for Khaled and Khaled’s journey is one I’m looking forward to them exploring. Hopefully, it will have a happy ending, though the show may go a more realistic route. If they make it look too easy, the point is lost.
Bash’s patient was also an immigrant, albeit a different sort than Khaled or Bash.
Bash fled his home because his family was dead, his nation was at war, and he was an enemy of the state. His home was gone, and what was left was not safe for him and his young sister.
His patient Sameer came to Canada for a different reason: The Canadian Dream.
Sameer was married with what some would consider a relatively good life in India. His wife, Anju, dreamed of more. She thought their lives would improve in Canada, so they moved.
You know, in my faith, you tie a door when you ask for a blessing, and we asked for one before we came here, but I’d given up. And Sameer never gives up.
Now Sameer struggles because, as is the case with many immigrants, his international credentials do not transfer. He has to start from scratch doing a dangerous job just to get by, despite having a degree in something safer and more lucrative.
Anju’s desire to give up and return to Canada is understandable, as is Sameer’s desire to give his wife the life she told him she wanted.
Bash did his best to help the couple, and given everything he’s been through and everything Khaled was going through, one can understand him telling Sameer that he’s lucky to have the choice to return home safely.
Bash said this because it was what Sameer needed to hear to focus on his health and marriage. It was the right advice at that right moment. However, had Bash said his piece in anger and frustration, he would have been wrong.
Sameer thinks Bash is lucky because he can work in his chosen field as an immigrant, which is understandable. Bash feeling like Sameer is fortunate to have a home in India he can return to at any time is also understandable.
Sameer: I promised her a future here. If we go home now, I fail my wife and my child. Do you understand?
Bash: The life I built, and the home I knew, doesn’t exist anymore. I would give anything to get that back.
Both men come at it from a different angle, and neither is precisely wrong. They both have something that makes them lucky, and they both have their challenges and tragedies.
Nobody would want to go through what Bash has gone through, but just because somebody’s lot is objectively worse than yours doesn’t mean your lot isn’t tricky.
There are always those who have it better and always those who have it worse. Comparing does nothing. Sameer was only hurting himself by comparing, but he was hurting himself even more by going to work when he was injured.
His job, his livelihood, required him to work when it wasn’t safe, and he felt he had no choice. Many in recent years have felt similarly. It’s a real problem that people face, and it’s not one that Bash was in a position to help with.
Going to work injured isn’t something a good doctor like Bash could condone, but that doesn’t change the fact that if Sameer doesn’t go to work, he gets fired, and he won’t be able to provide for his family.
Bash: Heard you had a major liver laceration in trauma?
Mags: Apparently the universe put me there just to fix it.
Bash: You don’t believe in fate?
Mags: No, I mean, no bu5t, the universe doesn’t reward or punish us for who we are.
Bash: Right, that was Dr. Novak’s job and thankfully he’s gone now?
Going back to India may be the best option for the couple, but it won’t happen overnight with Sameer injured, Anju newly pregnant, and them barely scraping by before that happened.
While they wait to return home, how will they deal with the financial strains that crop up? We weren’t given a resolution to this problem, which is heartbreaking yet realistic. Hopefully, the couple will find a way to make it work, one way or another.
While Bash dealt with these problems that are an issue today, Theo helped a patient who had something that many might not take seriously. While I liked this storyline, I felt it might have hit harder in a different episode.
Some might dismiss eating disorders as first-world problems compared to immigrants in detention centers and having to work when injured for fear of being fired. Again, it looks a certain way on paper.
However, eating disorders are incredibly serious, and it wasn’t lost on me that this was another issue that didn’t get a resolution.
Woman: Which one of you is Dr. Hunter?
Theo: That’s me.
Woman: You’ve been served.
Theo: Guess that’s one way to announce that I’m, uh, getting a divorce.
Mags: Theo, I’m so sorry.
Theo: In other news, has everyone met Jake Cooper?
Dimitri was struggling and needed help. Parents can put undue pressure on kids, and they take it as a personal affront if the kid can’t talk to them.
It doesn’t have to be intentional for the parent to be the problem. Dimitri’s dad was the problem or at least a part of the problem. Theo caught it right away, and he could have helped if things hadn’t gone wrong.
Thanks to Jake and Dimitri didn’t get the help he needed. Nothing against Jake, he seems like a friendly new character, but this plot focused too much on what Jake did wrong, what Theo did wrong, and not enough on how to resolve the issue.
Getting a parent like Dimitri’s dad to hear what he was saying and make changes is such a struggle. It doesn’t happen overnight.
Theo is a trained professional, though, which could have been the first step. Things could have gotten better for Dimitri. Now, maybe they never will.
Dr. Bishop: Dr. Curtis, was it necessary to steamroll Claire like that?
June: I just, I wasn’t sure if she needed help, and I wasn’t sure if you –
Dr. Bishop: Then let me set the record straight. I am not hands-on, but if I need anyone stepping in on a patient I am overseeing, I will ask. Any questions?
June’s storyline actually tied in with the main cast! It seems the writers are learning. She wasn’t sidelined with Singh but out in the open with Claire and Bishop, treating the same patient and clashing over care.
It made sense for Bishop to see that Frank was covering with bravado, given he’s doing the same thing. At first, I thought he was being protective/paternalistic about Claire, but it was about his loss of motor skills. (side note, please don’t leave Claire!)
Still, the advice he gave June seemed to work. I’m not sure how to feel about a plot where an arrogant man tells a woman that she needs to be vulnerable to connect with another arrogant male. June made the same point.
Bishop’s point was that it wasn’t about man or woman; it was about being guarded versus being vulnerable. Easy for the man to say, lose the pissing contest, of course, but showing vulnerability is essential for connecting with patients.
We also got a hint at one of June’s vulnerabilities. Her hair is a wig. Why? Hopefully, they’ll go into that more later on.
It’s just, I’m always at work first thing, only today I was late. Trust me, I’m an accountant, I’m the last one to go down this road, but it’s like the universe put me there at that exact moment, and now I’ve held his liver in my hands, I need to see this through.
Finally, we checked in with Mags, who was still reeling from her assault on Transplant Season 2 Episode 4. This time, the person to make her uncomfortable wasn’t a man or a patient but a female good samaritan who was a lot like her.
The main takeaway from Mags’ plot was that if she met herself on the street, she wouldn’t like herself, which isn’t uncommon. She’s blaming herself for her assault, so it makes sense that she would see flaws in another version of her.
Alison wasn’t precisely like Mags, but Mags saw herself in Alison, which was the point. Seeing a woman relentless to help because she couldn’t walk away still be helpless and powerless to stop nature from taking its course hit home for Mags.
In her vulnerable state, Mags bonded with Bash. In fact, Mags has been bonding with Bash since Transplant Season 1 Episode 1. They see themselves in each other. They care for each other.
Mags: This was not your fault.
Alison: But I got involved. And now I’m grieving someone I don’t even know. If I was never going to be able to help him, then what was the point?
Mags knows Bash reconnected with his old fiance, but again, she’s very vulnerable right now, and after everything, she expressed to Bash that she feels for him, or at least implied it. The two shared a moment.
The question now is, what next?
Between the patient cases, #Mash, and the fate of Khaled, a lot was left unresolved. That only makes us want to watch more.
Over to you, TV Fanatics.
Bash: How’s your good samaritan?
Mags: Blaming herself. Asking why she ever got involved at all.
Bash: Because that’s who she is, and no one else would have.
Mags: It’s not fair. How you see me …
Will Bash be able to help Khaled? Can Bishop come to terms with his new reality? Will Mags and Bash hook up? What is up with June’s hair?
Let us know in the comments, and remember, you can watch Transplant online at TV Fanatic.
Transplant airs Sunday at 10/9c on NBC.
Leora W is a staff writer for TV Fanatic..