The Mob Doctor, starring Jordana Spiro and William Forsythe, slowly began to find its stride in week two. The series sidestepped the Grey’s Anatomy tone to focus on Dr. Grace Devlin’s (Spiro) contractual obligation to Constantine (Forsythe).
Gone were the use of experimental surgeries to save the lives of mafia turncoats in witness protection. Instead, we got to see Forsythe call upon his talent for turning seemingly mundane lines into deadly, calculating threats. Hearing Constantine calling his time in prison “all gumdrops and teddy bears” was a treat, which showed us his inner grit and criminal fortitude.
As or Grace, we’re slowly starting to see how her new business arrangement with Constantine will ruin her relationship with Dr. Brett Robinson (Zach Gilford). Grace’s brother, Nate (Jesse Lee Soffer), also decided to get a job from Constantine, which (should the series continue) will probably lead to Grace owing Constantine an even bigger debt – if Nate doesn’t die first. Don’t expect him to die too soon, the tone of The Mob Doctor is too light to introduce such a harsh plot point this early in the game.
Sadly, I’m more interested in seeing how Constantine’s arc will develop than what happens to Grace at the hospital. The right balance between crime drama and hospital melodrama has yet to be reached. Although Spiro didn’t have to compete with Zeljko Ivanek this week, we need to see something more tangible with Grace’s character that puts her on equal footing with Constantine. In the series premiere, the writers tried to make her into the genius doctor – similar to House – performing an experimental treatment. However, the nature of the surgery and the circumstances just made it a little too fictitious. Multi-colored syringe labels that go unnoticed by a hospital staff, screams incompetence. It would also be refreshing to see the hospital take care of a few normal cases as well. Episode 2, “Family Secrets,” gave us a patient who walked into the hospital, wearing a wedding dress with blood coming out of her eyes. The scene felt a little too horror movie of the week.
As for Constantine, he will have to face something more deadly than mafia thugs. With poor week one ratings, 1.5 in the 18-49 demographic, Mob Doctor may soon sleep with the fishes. Once the Fall TV season rolls into October, the series will have to compete with major contenders on ABC and CBS.
Fox and NBC have always been quick to drop the cancellation axe on poor performers. Right now, Mob Doctor could be next on the chopping block.