Gideon's Crossing
The Gift

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The Gift

Some middle-aged man is talking to Dr. Ben Gideon (and it's going to be really hard for me not to call him Frank Pembleton, but I'm working on it) in his office. Middle-Aged Man (whose name is Kirk, and who is played by total Hey, It's That Guy Bruce McGill) says that he was out golfing and he thought he had a charley horse. We learn that Middle-Aged Man is a venture capitalist. Dr. Gideon reveals that his own wife invested in a tech fund years ago, and Kirk says she's a smart wife. Ben just smiles and asks about Kirk's wife, whom Kirk calls "a certified idiot. If there was any rationality in the world, she'd be spayed." Okay, then! Clearly, Kirk is not a sympathetic character. Ben doesn't comment on Kirk's assessment of his wife, instead talking about how ill Kirk is, and how treatment might just make him worse. Okay, I confess, my VCR cut off the first few seconds of the episode, so I don't know what's wrong with Kirk. But let's just pretend it's a plot development, shall we? Cool. It might be. You don't know. Unless you watched the episode.

Anyway, Kirk is all, "Save it!" and saying that he's "the world's leading expert on who's got who by the balls" and he "knows [he's] a bad investment." Ben tells him that "knowing it and accepting it are two different things." Kirk's cousin says that Ben is a wizard, and Kirk needs a wizard. Ben says that it's nearly impossible to treat "carcinoma." Ah, the diagnosis mystery is resolved. Kirk offers to make a donation since Ben is "the head of experimental medicine," but Ben is insulted by that, and says that Kirk doesn't "fit the guidelines for any established medical protocol." Kirk stands up and yells, "I won't take no for an answer." Ben looks at him like, "That might work in the negotiating room, buddy, but it ain't gonna work here." Ben sits back down and says that he's fifty years old, and he's "not ready to pack it in and die." Ben stares at him for a while, and then picks up his folders and other assorted paperwork and dumps it. He gets out a fresh legal pad and pen, and says that doctors sometimes hide behind "the new technology." File folders are technology? Ben wants to hear Kirk's story, from the beginning. Kirk starts talking about Ben -- that his kids go to a school where they know "about Harriet Tubman, but not Harry S Truman," and the Ben gives a dollar to bums on the street blah blah blah lazy character development-cakes. Show, don't tell, people! It's like the first rule of writing. Unless you're writing recaps. Then, it's tell, tell, tell, joke, tell, tell, tell, tangent. Kirk gives a long monologue about how Ben doesn't have to love him, or even like him -- he just has to want to win against the cancer. Ben smiles and says this was supposed to be Kirk's story. Kirk says Ben is the end of his story -- his "last hope." And...credits.

Overhead shot of a huge foyer with many people crossing it. Ben and some other doctor walk through, as Ben discusses Kirk's cancer which is in multiple sites. Other Doctor asks about the primary tumor, and Ben says that it's twelve centimeters in diameter and located in the right kidney. As Ben and Other Doctor continue walking through the hospital, many younger doctors try to catch up with them, so they must be leading rounds or something. See, I have learned something from ER. Ben shows Other Doctor an X-ray and says the main tumor has been removed, but "they had to leave the mets." No, not the baseball team. The smaller tumors. Other Doctor (who we see, for the first time, and who looks a little like a nutty professor type) makes a big analogy about how some cancer is like "the Avon lady" but kidney cancer is like "the Iliad." He's saying that kidney cancer is bad news, because I'm sure that you all thought it was a walk in the park. Ben and Other Doctor banter about how cancer is a predator, and what type of predator. It's interesting to watch, but would be dull as hell to read. So, they banter. Other Doctor suggests treating Kirk with morphine and holy water. Ben says he's thinking about treating this person, because he has a hunch. Other Doctor doesn't believe in hunches. Ben finally addresses one of the students, Sid, asking what he would do. Oh, God! I am totally suffering from the Party of Five curse. Standing next to Sid is Holly! And Daphne is going to be on Freakylinks next week. What next, is Jeremy London going to show up on Smackdown? Actually, considering his career trajectory, I wouldn't be surprised. Anyway, Sid freezes, and is unable to answer.

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Gideon's Crossing

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