TB Or Not TB

Episode Report Card
admin: C+ | 3 USERS: B-
That Isn't The Question
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

After a month off for baseball, we're back to our regularly scheduled snarking. An ancient-looking airplane flies high above the African plains. Or the inland empire plains, since I'm guessing this show doesn't quite have the budget for a location shoot halfway around the world. Villagers cheer as the plane lands (because everyone assumed that piece of poorly welded scrap metal would explode upon impact), and one Ron Livingston hops out. He's greeted by a villager who tells "Dr. Sebastian" that the antibiotic-to-patient ratio is 1:3. Dr. Sebastian says he's heading back to America tomorrow to get some more drugs, and then a bunch of happy kids run up and gather around Dr. Sebastian, who hands out candy bars in lieu of lifesaving drugs. Some greedy adults grab for the candy bars as well. It seems kind of cruel to give sugary goodness out to people who don't have access to proper dental care.

Sebastian heads over to his office-shack-hut, where he is met by a guy who says his son fell on a rock and needs medical attention. Sebastian and a heretofore unseen nurse/helper woman run over to tend to the boy. Sebastian quickly determines that he has collapsed lung, and orders the nurse/helper to "give me that." We don't need to use technical terms here in Africa. ("That" is a syringe.) Sebastian jabs it into air pocket between the kid's ribs and lung and the air whooshes out, not unlike deflating a bicycle tire. Wow, medicine is easy! Sebastian says the kid will be fine, aside from the excruciating pain he must have endured.

Or not, as Sebastian explains to the pharmaceutical company back in America that the kid's lung collapse was caused by tuberculosis, and that he'll be lucky to survive the year. The next slide is a picture of a young girl with a back brace that Sebastian says he paid for himself, noting that the back brace actually cost more than the medicine to prevent it would have. Well, not for the pharmaceutical company, since they didn't have to pay for the back brace or the medicine. Sebastian tells the board that they have medicine in their warehouses that will save thousands of lives, but they won't give it away. One guy speaks up to say that they give ten thousand doses away every year as it is. Sebastian says that's not enough. The guy says they're giving as much as they can. Sebastian doesn't believe him: he noticed the guy just bought a fancy new car, and according to Sebastian we should all drive around in rustbuckets so that others may live. Which isn't wrong, exactly, but it's not exactly fair to expect people to give up everything they've worked so hard for until they have absolutely nothing left to give, either. Especially if said people are trying as hard as they can to get their company to give away as much free medicine as possible. Sebastian urges them to try harder, but then he passes out because all that self-righteousness coursing through his veins has blocked the oxygen to his brain. He manages to knock over the entire snack cart as he goes down. He could have fed thirty starving children with those snacks, but instead he just through them on the ground and rolled around in them like a greedy asshole.

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