ROYAL PAINS 2.9: Frenemies

If one is supposed to keep one’s friends close, and one’s enemies closer, then where does one keep one’s frenemies? The boys of HankMed got to ponder that question on this week’s ROYAL PAINS.

It definitely seemed like no news would be good news for Hank (Mark Feuerstein), who would have been better off not seeing the local paper – especially since it contained a full-page ad for Dr. Peck (Anastasia Griffith) and a story that quoted Dr. Elizabeth Blair (Marcia Gay Harden) bashing Jill’s (Jill Flint) free clinic. Of course Blair claimed she was misquoted, and what she was really trying to get across was that waiting a few years to open a bigger clinic would help more people. Whatever, Doc.

The big case of the week involved a kid named Jake Zimmerman, whose parents are divorcing and taking it out on the kid. Now, I like Hank as the central character on this show – and he was surprisingly good with the kid for a non-pediatrician – but jeez, anybody could tell from 500 yards that this kid was suffering mondo stress from the war between his parents. One did not have to see the father correcting his swim stroke or notice Jake’s downcast face to make that diagnosis. Hank can be so thick sometimes. But then again, if her were very perceptive, there would be no “A plot” this week. And thus the audience could not have been shocked that Jake’s mom, “Mrs. Zimmerman,” was actually… Dr. Blair! No, she doesn’t use her married name at work. She also doesn’t use her eyes at home, because she claims Jake is a happy, free-spirited kid, and thinks her husband is trying to poison the kid against her in order to get sole custody.

Meanwhile, heiress Paige (Brooke D’Orsay) is still hanging around, looking to preserve the lie that Evan (Paulo Costanzo) is her boyfriend, so she continues to pay him to be her “faux beau.” His task this week was to meet her father, Gen. William Collins (Bob Gunton), a gruff, rich dude and future presidential candidate. Evan is a bit intimidated, but rises to the task of telling a cute story about how he met your mother Paige. In the course of the tale, it became clear that Evan has actually come to care about Paige. Of course, he’s still Evan and never knows when to shut up, so he talked himself into a hunting trip with the general. From there it was just a lugubrious countdown to see who would shoot whom. If you had the general shooting Evan in your office pool, you won. Cue the Dick Cheney jokes…

Meanwhile, Hank’s personal life was going slightly better – and while there was considerably less flying buckshot, a Lawson brother was once again collateral damage. While Emily does not have a fear of intimacy, she just doesn’t like it. So even though she gave Hank a booty call at (literally) 3 in the morning, she didn’t want him, y’know, staying over, or anything messy and clingy like that. Hank has clearly been down this road before, and adjusts pretty happily. He even passes along a bit of Manly Advice to little Jake about dealing with his crush, Olivia, who apparently has anger issues of her own: He tells Jake not to try to fix Olivia’s problem; just listen to her. (Later, we learn that Olivia wrote POO on Jake’s chest to mark him as “Property of Olivia.” Hank called it, “cute; controlling, but cute.”)

General Collins had no intention of listening to his daughter, and after declaring Evan “weak, clumsy and unfocused,” in other words, “not Paige Collins material,” the general offered to pay Evan to stop seeing her. Of course, Evan has a lot more principle than that, and even though he loves money, he loves Paige his integrity more, and refused the check. (Evan also resisted the temptation to blast him for only moving the headstones in the movie Poltergeist, but he’s probably suffered enough for that by now…)

Luckily, Hank didn’t need to be shot in the butt or paid off in recognize the true source of Jake’s problems; he just needed the kid to puke on his shoes. Once he brought the parents together,Blair finally realized the stress they’re heaping on the tot is magnifying his woes. She declares herself either the world’s worst mother or worst doctor, and Hank declines to reassure her. He also didn’t point out that situations just like this are precisely the reason that doctors are not supposed to treat family members. One cannot see with emotional blinders on. Blair admitted that her personal life fell apart, so work is the only place she feels like she has some control. But she had no intention of turning over a completely new leaf; she still fully intends to take back control of the clinic.

Neithre did Emily have any intention of changing her spots. She’s the kind of woman who carries a huge cylinder of oxygen in her bag, so only Hank was surprised when Emily stole the Zimmermans as clients! (Really, Hank: blinders!) When Hank confronted her, she admitted she never fights fair – and amplified her point by taking off her blouse to distract Hank from arguing with her. Later, he discovered that she had stenciled POE – Property Of Emily – on his neck. Yes, Hank got owned.

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2 thoughts on “ROYAL PAINS 2.9: Frenemies

  1. Great review! I love the Poltergeist reference! I forgot about that. As for Dick Cheney jokes, at least Evan didn’t get shot in the face. Can you imagine what that would do to him?!? I think there are only a few episodes left of the summer season. Bummer. I hate the way cable shows split up their seasons. I know it’s cheaper for the networks, but it’s annoying! 🙂


    • Yeah, there are precious few episodes left. Once August is done, so is ROYAL PAINS. No definitive word yet on when the final six episodes of the 18-installment season will air.
      BTW, I pictured Paulo grabbing Bob between scenes and screaming, “You only moved the headstones! Why? WHY?”


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