An excerpt from my script review for The Good Nurse which will be available 12/12/22:
2.) Plot Stability
The overall question I had with the plot, initially, was how could this happen?
Death after death attributed to this guy, but hospitals just keep passing him off?
Then you read the story, and begin to understand why…there’s never enough proof to pin malpractice on Charlie…so rather than risk a lawsuit due to bloated budgets and razor thin margins, Charlie is allowed to just move on.
It was frustrating, because I believe the Boss listened to a similar story on a podcast called Dr. Death, where a doctor, known to have been killing people albeit not murdering them (I think), the notion that these “less than adequate” practitioners are allowed to keep administering medicine is rather alarming.
Sidenote – One of the arguments I have with family about the US healthcare system, having lived in Canada, it that…
- Neither system is perfect.
- Just because we pay more for it in the US, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better.
But back to the script…one of the things this story did well was present this odd “slow train wreck” to us, signaling that something with Charlie wasn’t right.
Page 4 – Charlie’s administering CPR to a patient who flat lined, and we get the feeling that he isn’t really there to “help”.
Page 24 – Charlie gives Amy a ride home, and there’s a child lock on the passenger door? This seemed super fishy. (And part of me wondered if it was even a real thing cars had.)
Page 45 – Amy, having just had a serious heart issue, gets “free meds” from Charlie who admits he has a system to get the drugs without it actually registering that he took them from the hospital.
As the famous Johnny Dollar would say, “There’s the means, now all we need is a motive!”
Page 50 – And this one was really good that when asked, especially by the detectives investigating Ana’s untimely demise, everyone completely clams up about Charlie.
And it’s multiple hospitals and multiple characters doing it.
There’s there there!
Page 64 – Amy has dinner with an old nursing friend, Lori, who also happened to work with Charlie a few years ago. When asked, she doesn’t completely clam up, but delivers this little nugget…
How did you know it was him?
We didn’t. I never really believed
it was Charlie until after he left.
We used to have codes every night.
Sometimes two or three. After he
left… we get one a month, if
From there on out, Amy knows who the “good nurse” is and it isn’t Charlie…so we get…
Page 68 – Charlie offers to take Amy home, and she’s freaked the fuck out…rightfully. But what’s eerie about the scene is, does Charlie know that she knows?
Page 75 – Just like all the other hospitals, Parkfield washes their hands of Charlie, and he goes through the steps like he’s signed these types of papers a time or two before.
Overall, this was an excellent “slow build” if you will of creating angst in your reader about the “villain”.
What also worked, and we’ll talk about it in the next section, is there was some good in Charlie, too.
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