“Never believe the brochure…”
The fourth episode of The Good Karma Hospital begins with the picture upside down but do not adjust the set, it’s simply Dr Walker watching a local soap opera, in an attempt to learn the language, while doing some early morning beach yoga before the start of another busy day at the hospital as she continues to try and turn her life around.
But it’s not long before Dr Walker is busy with two cases: A difficult, recuperating, female, English patient (Sarah-Jane Potts) who‘s surprised and relieved to meet a British doctor. “What on earth are you doing here?” “Let’s just say it seemed like a good idea at the time” and a poor street sweeper, the victim of a hit and run, who faces the prospect of having his leg amputated unless they can find a vascular surgeon: “If you’re going to cut his leg off, at least get his permission.”
This episode is equally busy with a number of other subplots. Dr Nair and AJ are taking the day off as they are cordially invited to a wedding – “I just assumed you’d just decided to smarten up” – the wedding of Nair’s closest and oldest friend Varum’s daughter, Varum (Deepak Verma) who, as luck would have it, just happens to be a successful vascular surgeon with a job offer for Nair and a guilty secret that Dr Walker instantly discovers and which Dr Fonseca turns to their advantage. “You’ve bought me gold, now I’ll show you how to spend it.”
Elsewhere in the episode a star-struck Nurse Rodriguez breaks the rules to try and help a fading star with addiction problems who is due to perform at the wedding, Paul goes for a walk to avoid getting Maggie’s feet and ends up drowning his sorrows about Maggie’s condition at Greg’s beach bar – “I’m a practical man…I can fix a boiler but I can’t fix this” – while AJ tries and fails to charm Varum’s other daughter Samira. The episode ends with Dr Walker taking a breath and putting her feet up after another busy day; a sentiment the viewers can probably identify with after this hectic hour.
Like one of Dr Walker’s patients, it’s hard to know what to make of this more Walker centred episode. It certainly crammed a lot into the hour, it had some nice moments and it’s good to see all the regular cast getting a turn in the spotlight, but it wasn’t the strongest episode of the run so far – overburdened by too many plots and coincidences. Like the hospital itself, it was maybe just a bit too busy…
Aired at 9pm on Sunday 26 February 2017 on ITV.
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