Monday, September 13, 2004


I do not know what possessed me to watch the second episode of “Medical Investigation.” Oh wait, I do… my wife made me do it! I’m innocent, I tell ya! This episode somehow wasn’t as bad as the pilot, but this may have simply been mathematics – there was really only an A plot (with maybe an associated C- plot) but no B plot like the pilot’s stellar example. The recurring theme between the episodes is large numbers of people reacting outrageously to limited exposure to agents that wouldn’t quite do what the show says they would. Most of my specific problems in this episode came from the diagnostic phase, however.

The final agent (again, ****Spoilers****) causing the problem was a pesticide, the treatment (or should I say miracle cure) for which was atropine. This pegs the substance as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, the treatment for which is either an acetylcholinesterase reactivator (such as 2-PAM) or atropine. The symptoms of this type of poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, tearing, myosis (constriction of the pupil), trouble breathing, slowing of the heart rate, muscle tremors, paralysis, and depressive mental effects, which could lead to coma or sudden death. Note how many of these symptoms should ring bells on a physical exam, plus the fact that encephalitis is not really present. In their work-up, they jumped strait from coma to “must be encephalitis” to brain biopsy, and told the parents “the risk of not doing a brain biopsy is worse than the risk of doing it.” Wrong. The risk of having shitty doctors is worse than either. This case would have never been misdiagnosed by some of the tards’ I went to medical school with, much less the NIH’s favorite weird looking doctor. We also never found out about why the kids all had herpes, either (brain biopsy my ass). The parasitic worm (the C- plot) was fun, though, even if the ultrasound was bullshit.

One interesting facet of this show appears to be that unlike normal shows with a detective component (and somewhat honed scripts), there is a lack of clearly delineated clues and red herrings. This show violates the Chekov rule (or whatever it’s called) all the time by bringing up issues that are never quite explained or dealt with fully. You know, like the unexplained herpes, or the way everything in the first 20 minutes of the show screamed “check the coffee shop” as a common point of exposure, but no one ever did – but that’s OK cause’ it wasn’t the coffee shop anyway. No. Plot. Function.

That’s it. I’m watching the third episode now to pick it apart more. Medical shows nowadays tend to use medical conditions by understanding the illness first, then writing a show around it. This show seems to come up with a situation, and try to come up with a condition to explain it. They just must not have a medical consultant (or they just won’t listen to the consultant, or the consultant is one of those tards’ I went to med school with).


At 11:32 AM, Blogger Dave said...

Even I, with no medical background at all, could tell that the medical science in this show is complete BS. Worse, it doesn't even function as good drama; there's no peril for the doctors, and we're not given a reason to give a damn about the infected kids either.

I've sat through 2 episodes of this and don't think I can stomach a third--I don't care how smitten I am with Anna Belknap. The best thing for all involved would be to cancel this immediately, so that the actors can hopefully go on to other shows more worthy of their talents.


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