The Mob Doctor

Posted: February 28, 2013 by Arushi in TV Review
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The Mob Doctor - Poster

It took me around three days to finish the thirteen episodes of the first and only season of The Mob Doctor. It might  have something to do with the fact that I have not had much to do after work recently, or rather that I have not been reading as much as usual. Either way, here we are.

This show is a cross between a good medical show and a good mafia show and somehow it manages to be both. Not completely, or there would be more than one season, but it does do a decent job.

The pilot started with the protagonist telling us that the first time she ever saw a dead body, she was six. She was not scared. Fascinated, actually. That is Grace Devlin: someone who actually remembers the exact number of corpses she has seen till now, even though she happens to be a thoracic surgeon.

Slowly, bit by bit, the story unfolds. Grace is paying off her brother’s debt to Moretti by moonlighting as the organization’s doctor. She is happy to pull as many screw drivers out of skulls as she needs to, until she is asked to kill a key witness. There are some lines Grace refuses to cross. She is a healer, not a killer.

She places Moretti in the way of Constantine Alexander and he solves the problem for her. He is a man who has just stepped out of prison after 15 years. He is someone Grace knew as a child. He is a lot of things, but he is also an old school head of the organization. He offers Grace one out – leave Chicago or work for him. She stays.

Constantine is not Moretti. He has his own rules and he has a soft spot for Grace as well as the Devlin family. So the interconnected web of dependence, like, dislike, love and hate grows. Grace is good at what she does, and Constantine does give her a lot of leeway, but she still does not want to be a part of this world.

This show weaves together how hard juggling two separate worlds can be. Grace’s job demands all of her time, and yet she needs to be there every time Constantine calls. She has a boyfriend, a doctor like her but yet she also has to constantly deal with an ex, one she grew up with and one who is always looking out for her. Because someone has to.

There are so many contrasts here. Constantine is the father figure in the mafia, and he takes lives. Dr. White is the father figure in the hospital and he is the Chief of Surgery. Brett is the quiet, nice boyfriend who tries not to ask too many questions and Franco, while good, is not exactly the definition of quiet.

There is the dilemma of treating the victims of a car crash in the hospital and then treating the drunk driver who caused the crash in a bar. Grace cannot inform the police but she finds retribution in not fixing him up properly, because she does not think he deserves to live. At the same time, Constantine needs him alive and for a good reason, so she manages to eventually patch him up.

It was the contrasts, the contradictions and all the decisions that Grace has to make that kept me hooked. The politics of the mafia are nicely done and so are the politics of the hospital. Both are subtle and nuanced, until they’re not. And it is so much fun to watch it all unfold.

In a way the time management aspects, the juggling of different people in your life, the lies, the occasional truths: all of it, is not something particular to this show. A lot of this is universal for anyone trying to manage two full time jobs at the same time, or two separate relationships – not just romantic, but a sibling and spouse who do not get along. I am not quite sure I have ever suffered from being loyal to more than one person, but it was cool to see how human beings react to situations where they are being pulled in opposite directions.

I think what I found most attractive was how unassuming and quiet Grace is. She doesn’t do politics, anywhere. She is this quiet person who just gets the job done, no matter what that job may be. If it involves her holding a man’s chest open while riding a gurney with him, then so be it. It is that quiet confidence that makes her a good doctor. It would have had her succeed in the underworld too, except, she is not interested.

To say more would give away the plot. But the long and short of it is that this this a good show and definitely worth watching. Especially coz it all starts and ends in 13 packed episodes.

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