“Today all good citizens let go of past sadness & embrace new beginnings. So basically it’s a chance to put all the bad stuff behind us & start again.”
Episode 3 of The Good Karma Hospital begins with Dr Ruby Walker preparing to set off alone, ostensibly to run a mobile clinic at a local tea plantation, where the workers have been without any sort of medical care for over two years. Her plan is thwarted when Dr Fonseca decides that Dr Varma should be drafted in to accompany Ruby on the trip, much to the annoyance of the two young medics:
“Five hours in a car with you… yippee!”
On arrival it becomes clear that there’s more to this trip than Varma realised, as the owner of the plantation is actually Ruby’s uncle. While she learns a little about her father’s family history from her uncle and old photos, her attempts to find out more about her father’s current whereabouts don’t bear much fruit. On a tour of the factory she is introduced to her pregnant cousin who is unfriendly towards her. Her spirits subsequently lifted by a family get together, Ruby kisses Varma but she’s soon bought down to earth in a cliff-hanger ending when she learns that her uncle is not who he claims.
Back at the hospital a mother and son turn up, the former, Neelam, bearing all the hallmark telltale signs of being a victim of domestic abuse. Dr Fonseca’s anger at the situation, coupled with concern for her patient, is further exacerbated when Neelam’s abusive husband, a police officer, comes to take her home. When the officer is later found beaten and bloodied in the family home, the identity of the attacker leaves Lydia facing a moral dilemma, in which there is no happy ending for Neelam and her son.
Greg cajoles a still grieving Paul to go to the local kite festival, one of the things Paul’s late wife Maggie wanted to do, but can’t help noticing that Paul has a suitcase full of his late wife’s clothes. The festival does little to ease Paul’s sense of loss, and makes Greg question his own relationship with Lydia who does little to allay his doubts:
“I don’t need you. I don’t NEED anyone but I choose to be with you. Isn’t that enough?”
A rather predictable episode, the cliff-hanger ending is much less of a surprise than Ruby suddenly kissing Varma, but it’s a feel good Sunday night drama with likeable characters, so what more should we expect?