Royal Pains Reaction: Medusa

Did that just get real? I thought we watched these summer programs to escape the more serious dramas that dominate the fall and winter. Certainly USA's Royal Pains keeps things light most of the time. In fact, Paulo Costanzo (Evan R. Lawson, CFO) seems to be part of the series more for comic relief than anything else. This week, however, he's at the heart of the drama. Or more specifically, he will be next week.

Marking a departure from episodes past, the action shifted surprisingly to Cuba. It was a surprise for both the audience and the brothers Lawson. Hank was expecting to be flown to New York when Boris summoned him, which is why Evan even went along -- he had another mad merchandising scheme under way. You've got to give the little guy credit. No matter how many times Hank shuts down his outlandish marketing plans, he's always concocting another one.

It's kind of surprising, considering how much he must be spending on all these initiatives, that Hank keeps him on as CFO. I think Divya would handle that responsibility quite well. She had her hands full this week, though, with Boris' hired replacement for Hank.

Because Cuba isn't exactly a place you can just fly to publicly, Boris lied to everyone about where Hank was going and how long he'd be gone. That left Divya to deal with a real bitch of a replacement doctor in the Hamptons. Considering how the episode left things, it should be interesting to see what happens next, considering how Divya and Dr. Peck parted ways.

I'll give credit to the show for dramatically shaking up the status quo so early into the new season. Ratings picked right up where they left off last season, where it had quickly become one of the top-rated shows on cable, so there's a sense of comfort in doing this.

And there were plenty of pretty girls in bikinis and beaches to remind us that this is a summer series, after all. I'm not sure when that became a criteria, but there is more sunshine, bikinis and beaches on summer programming than there ever is in the fall and winter, both on and off of cable. You'd think we'd want more warm imagery during those cold winter months.

This time, the beauty came at a price, as Evan R. Lawson, CFO of HankMed got himself in over his head. I'm not sure what's going on yet, or how it came to pass, but after trading a phone for a box of cigars earlier in the episode, he returned for another later and wound up abducted by the goons of the man he'd gotten the box from. So why did the guy tell him to "Leave now" earlier? How did he know Evan would be back to set up an abduction, or did he?

I'll credit the writing of the show for keeping things interesting and concocting a clever little mystery for us to ponder until next week's episode. I'm sure everything will wrap up nicely, and the cast will have another drink and maybe kiss another pretty girl in the end, but I actually appreciate the injection of a little tense drama into the proceedings.

The other mystery, the underlying one for the whole series apparently, became a centerpiece for the episode. Boris' bullheaded approach to his own health has driven Hank mad for awhile, but as Boris is also his benefactor in the Hamptons he can't exactly throw up his hands and walk away. Instead, he stays and fights, which Boris appreciates. And then promptly ignores.

With Evan abducted, it looks like Hank will be around for a little while longer to see how this new clinical trial is affecting his patient, and I'd wager it won't be going very well. After all, Hank is always right. Poor Divya will likely be stuck working with Dr. Peck even after telling her off in the closing moments of this episode. As if that relationship wasn't tenuous enough.