Dr. Death – Season 2 Episode 1 “Like Magic” Recap & Review

Like Magic

Dr. Death Season 2 Episode 1 begins in London in 2011, and we meet Keziah Shorten, who is referred to as patient number 1. 

She is running through the streets, witnesses a crash, and gets on a bus, all the while coughing and spluttering and looking very ill. We then see her in surgery, about to go under the knife. 

New York 2013. Benita Alexander is out in a club dancing the night away and celebrating someone’s birthday. We then see her visiting in hospital with her ex-husband, John, who is dying from terminal cancer. They have a 9-year-old daughter together. John’s prognosis is 6 percent.

Benita is at work at NBC. It’s revealed she is a journalist, and she hears about a story involving a doctor in Europe who might be a good story. He is known as the medical miracle guy, Dr. Paolo Macchiarinni, who is about to save the life of a Korean girl called Hana. Benita begins work on a TV special about the world-renowned surgeon. Paolo is about to perform the innovative surgery on Hana, where he uses magic, stem cells, and plastic to operate on her. I turns out that the little girl was born without a trachea organ. 

Flashback to Stockholm in 2012 – Paolo is at a lecture doing a special presentation on breathing. He talks about Keziah who had a cystic carcinoma, and he claims she is healthy and happy now after a biosynthetic transplant in her trachea. 

Paolo’s promising research lands him a job at the prestigious Karolinska Institute. The institute’s director believes Paolo’s work will earn Karolinska its first Nobel prize. Doctors Ana Lasbrey and Anders Svensson are immediately impressed with Paolo and eager to join his team, but another doctor, Nate Gamelli is skeptical about the science behind Paolo’s claims of being able to create a fully working windpipe out of plastic. 

New York 2013 – Benita meets with Paolo Macchiarinni. He is late, but she is generally impressed by him. She asks him if he wants to be known for miracles. He talks about Hana, and how she is the youngest patient ever to receive the experimental procedure. Hana’s journey becomes the focus of Benita’s TV special, and she asks Paolo to get her in touch with the family of the girl. 

Benita talks about Paolo to her friend Kim Verdi and tells her he’s divorced and available, but Kim reminds Benita that you ”don’t f*ck your sources.”

Chicago 2013 – Benita meets Paolo again and confides in him about her ex-husband. He says it’s a gift to be able to say goodbye. Elsewhere, Benita talks to her daughter about her dad and his prognosis, and they go to visit him. 

Paolo is preparing for his operation and meets with Benita at a bar. He is anxious, but she reminds him that they trust him, so maybe he should trust himself. Hana has the surgery. It appears to go well with no complications. Paolo thanks Benita for what she said. They end up kissing and having sex, despite the romantic entanglement being as unprofessional as it gets. 

The episode ends with a flashback to Paolo’s first receiver of a donor windpipe, Leziah, struggling to breathe as she coughs up blood and gasps for air. 

The Episode Review

The first episode sets up the charming Paolo Macchiarini very well, with the foreshadowing of what’s to come very prevalent in the audience’s minds. There is a lot of back and forth between different timelines which can be rather annoying, but both stories are gripping enough to see past it.

Mandy Moore is engaging as the journalist who is drawn to the “miracle man” in more ways than one, and her backstory is set up nicely, making the audience genuinely care about her. The supporting cast is also very good, with the highlight being Luke Kirby as sceptical doctor Nathan Garnelli. A promising start! 


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