Previously on City of Angels: Front desk jockey Evyline Walker is chastised by Dr. Lilian "Vivica Fox" Price for being saucy to the waiting patients; Dr. Ben "Blair Underwood" Turner tells his girlfriend Anna that she's silly to be jealous of Dr. Price, the ex-fiancée he just finished kissing; the budding romance of Nurse Patterson and Dr. Weiss is nipped in the, well, bud when Patterson's black father tells Weiss he doesn't want a Jewish Beastie Boy-looking son-in-law; Turner confronts Price because she's abandoning her Angels of Mercy post to go run UCLA's hospital: "From now on you and me are business," he says, and because it's Blair Underwood, you really want to believe that.
This episode is called "Unhand Me." My dear friend Heather Cocks, who is watching along, has already surmised that there will be a disembodied hand in this episode. She's smart like that.
A Hammond organ and a gospel singer bring us through a smoggy L.A. skyline with "Heeeeyyyy, whoo hooooo" before dumping us at Angels of Mercy hospital, where Dr. Geoffrey Weiss is finishing attending to a patient in a leg cast. Weiss tells the patient he'll be up and around soon, and walks off. The patient, who looks pretty immobile to me, thinks, "Who is this gentle Jewish doctor who heals like the wind and whose Tibetan-inspired music makes me want to get my body movin'?" Just as Weiss leaves the curtained area, Nurse Patterson walks right by him, ignoring him the way you would somebody offering little tiny copies of the Bible on a street corner. "Grace?" Weiss asks. "Sorry, I can't stop right now," she says, clipboard in hand, neck craned back. There should be a rule about that in a hospital: No walking without looking forward.
Patterson joins a meeting already in progress between Dr. Price, Turner's squeeze Anna and the little-seen Dr. "Not Tito" Jackson. The four are arguing because a night nursing supervisor and the head of the ICU have different versions as to why there aren't any beds available for newborns. Dr. Price, wearing a pin-striped power suit, goes on a paperwork rant because nobody at this hospital has a passion for it the way she does. "Then we can't take care of sick babies or anybody else," she says, while a patient in the background does a spit take. She goes on to say that everybody is passing the buck and saying it's not their fault. She is interrupted mid-rant by the intercom calling for her. She rolls her eyes heavenward like, "Why must I be surround by frickin' idiots?" and finishes on a condescending tone: "Either people start taking some personal responsibility for their work and begin to think like a team, we're all going to be looking for a job." The implied threat is that if this doesn't start working and the show doesn't attracts better ratings, everybody's going to be sending résumés to the WB. This inspires looks of fear on the faces of Anna, Dr. Jackson, and Nurse Patterson. Dr. Weiss walks up nonchalantly and deadpans, "Did she just fire everybody?" Dr. Weiss's full name, we come to find out, is Dr. Weiss-Ass. Price hears the remark, and turns at the door. She chews him out about his paperwork and tells him that if he doesn't do it, he can work someplace else. Dr. Weiss looks scared because he doesn't even have the WB to fall back on. "I liked her better in Soul Food," he thinks, maliciously.