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How Transplant Will Handle Bash's Loyalty And Dr. Novak's 'Questionable' History In Season 2

Hamza Haq as Bash in Transplant Season 2
(Image credit: NBC)

Spoilers ahead for Episode 2 of Transplant’s second season, called “Jasmine.”

Transplant hit the ground running last week with its very long-awaited Season 2 premiere, picking up with the reveal of Bash’s mystery woman as well as the aftermath of Dr. Bishop’s collapse. In “Jasmine,” the emergency department was getting somewhat back to normal, although with newcomer Dr. Mark Novak (played by Gord Rand) seemingly gunning to become the official head of the emergency department, instead of remaining acting head while Bishop is recovering. Stars Hamza Haq and John Hannah opened up about Bash’s feelings of loyalty within the ED, and what’s on the way with Novak. 

The arrival of Dr. Novak has changed up pretty much everything for the returning characters, and "Jasmine" showed Mags continuing to struggle with him calling her out for overworking, June bristling when his “favor” resulted in ruffling the wrong kind of feathers in surgery, and Bash initially disagreeing with his diagnostic processes, while Bishop was recovering and unable to do much of anything. When I spoke with stars Hamza Haq and John Hannah about Season 2, they shared their thoughts on their characters’ dynamics with Novak, and how they compare to the Bash/Bishop dynamic. Hannah, who plays Jed Bishop, shared:

Well, there's history between myself and Novak, and we don't know what that is. It doesn't appear to be great, and when people are working on the front line like that, that doesn't necessarily help. I would say there was less jeopardy involved from my character with Novak than there would be for Hamza's character because Dr. Bashir has very much been my... not protégé, as such, but he's there because of me. I'm his shield, as it were, I'm his protector. And if I end up going, then it puts him in a very precarious situation.

Everybody has to adjust to working in an emergency department run by Novak compared to Bishop, but Bash is really the only one whose entire future is in very real jeopardy. He would have been kicked out of the hospital in Season 1 if not for Bishop's staunch support; to contrast, Novak has already dropped comments about Bash arguing with him over cases. 

Of course, Novak isn’t exactly a villain, but seems to just operate differently than anybody is used to, and he showed in “Jasmine” that he’s very skilled as a doctor. His history with Doctors Without Borders came in handy in a tricky diagnosis for a patient who managed to revive himself after being declared dead, although the patient ultimately died (and stayed dead) anyway.

Transplant Season 2 Novak and Bash

(Image credit: NBC)

Bash clearly admired Novak for connecting the dots to get to the diagnosis, but he also conferred with Bishop about working under the newcomer. Although Bishop certainly has the history with Novak, he didn’t try to undermine him even when Bash seemed pretty ready to complain about him. Hamza Haq shared his perspective on the situation with Novak:

Well, Dr. Novak comes in and he does have a questionable history with Bishop. He was one of his students and one of his residents way back when, and, he's also one of these like run-and-gun doctors. He did Doctors Without Borders, and he's very used to performing medicine in a way that's similar to the way Bash did things back in Syria, no protocol, nothing, we do what's required. And as a result of that, there's this sort of kinship that he feels with Dr. Novak with a sort of slight disregard for the rules and everything like that, but that's conflicted with his ever-present loyalty and commitment to Dr. Bishop.

There did seem to be at least a tentative sense of kinship between Bash and Novak after the tricky diagnosis by the end of “Jasmine,” and the episode made it clear that Bash’s ability to think and treat on his feet is a valuable skill. Like what he did in Season 1, he was helping a doctor friend in Syria via video chat in an emergency  (with June pitching in). Novak left Doctors Without Borders, but still has the experience to help in this hospital’s ED. Hamza Haq continued: 

So it is this push and pull about, like, 'Well, this guy approaches medicine the same way that I do, but also he's not Dr. Bishop, who I love and care for so much, and he's responsible for this opportunity that I have.' And because [Bishop and Novak] have a history, it's like he's cheating on him, and doesn't really know what to do. In that sense, it offers a great amount of tension. We filmed some lovely scenes and Bashir has to make some tough decisions and have some tough conversations with Bishop and phenomenal scenes between Bishop and Novak as well, and we see how that impacts Bash and Bishop's relationship too, because Bishop understands the game.

It sounds like Transplant could have a very unconventional kind of triangle in store in Season 2; instead of one involving relationship drama, there’s Bash caught between Novak and Bishop. Of course, we also can’t rule out a love triangle either, with Hamza Haq’s comments about Rania’s arrival coupled with how close Bash became with Mags in Season 1. All things considered, it certainly doesn’t seem like Bash’s life is going to get less complicated moving forward. 

See what happens next for Bash, Bishop, and Novak with new episodes of Transplant Season 2 on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC in the 2022 TV schedule. If you want to revisit the first season of the medical drama, you can find the full series so far streaming with a Hulu subscription!

Laura Hurley
Laura Hurley

Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.