Nora Dominick ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Red Band Society was back for another gut wrenching, uplifting, and character driven episode four entitled “There’s No Place Like Homecoming.”
This episode was filled to the brim with character driven plot lines that helped the audience get a better sense of everyone on the show. With such a large ensemble, Red Band Society has begun to weave together characters, which is something the pilot lacked. “There’s No Place Like Homecoming” followed Kara’s (Zoe Levin) attempts to return to her Queen Bee status at her homecoming dance while Jordi (Nolan Sotillo) began to really deal with his illness.
The main storyline of the evening centered around Kara going to her high school’s homecoming dance and, accompanied by Nurse Brittany (Rebecca Rittenhouse), Kara prepares to stroll into the dance as the Queen Bee she once was. When Brittany invited Emma (Ciara Bravo) along, much to Kara’s dismay, the night begins to take a dramatic turn. Emma, who at the beginning of the episode began to take strides towards beating her anorexia, fell into a mean-girl crowd that praised her for her slim figure. Meanwhile, Kara quickly realizes things will never be the same, when she becomes the martyr of the dance. When she is crowned homecoming queen and is wheeled onto the stage, Leo (Charlie Rowe) took matters into his own hands by storming the stage and proclaiming Kara is a jerk and that no one should feel sorry for her. Kara, overwhelmed, kissed Leo right on stage. This event, and hanging out with the wrong crowd, set up Emma’s latest spiral into her eating disorder at the end of the episode.
Meanwhile, Jordi began chemotherapy with his mother, Eva (Catalina Sandino Moreno) right by his side. Nurse Jackson (Octavia Spencer) and Doctor McAndrew (Dave Annable) began to make their own opinions on Jordi having his mother in his life. This was a great storyline that allowed Spencer and Annable to interact with each other as well as the patients. Of course, this wouldn’t be a drama without some issues. When Eva allowed Jordi and Dash (Astro) to go to the movies, Jordi collapsed due to the chemo. Just when Eva began to act like a mother again, she abandoned Jordi at the hospital and signed the papers to make him emancipated.
The highlight of the evening was Leo’s storyline. From the beginning, Leo was the character that helped point others in the correct direction. Although this is an ensemble show, Leo acts as the main character in a lot of ways. His storyline this week not only surprising Emma at homecoming, but also realizing that his dream of playing college soccer may be harder than he initially realized. By the episode’s end, Leo had offered up some harsh, but realistic, advice to a sad Emma and began to take steps towards becoming a regular, genuine guy instead of a cancer sob story. Rowe continues to shine as Leo and brings moments of empathy and realism to the rest of the characters; Leo’s character continues to be the highlight of this series.
One aspect the show needs to continue to work on is its ability to incorporate all of the characters together in some way. This episode mainly centered on Kara and Jordi thus leaving Dash and other secondary characters to fall by the wayside; they need to establish who the main and secondary characters are.
The entire episode helped push the character development further, especially for Kara and Emma. They began to grow and take steps in the right, or wrong, direction. If this is how the characters are growing in only the fourth episode, the rest of the freshman season should be interesting to watch unfold.
Red Band Society continues to be a stable drama for the FOX network on Wednesday nights. Let’s see how it does from here.
Overall Grade: B