Five Days at Memorial – Season 1 Episode 3 Recap & Review

Day Three

Episode 3 of Five Days At Memorial starts with Dr King being interviewed following the incident in Memorial hospital. He tells the interviewer that circumstances show who you really are, and the focal point here comes from Anna and whatever happened to her in the hospital. So what did happen? Well, I’m sure we’ll find out!

It’s Day three inside the hospital and Susan contemplates whether they should leave completely. With the water pumps in the city broken and the water rising, she’s concerned that this could go all the way up to the second floor. The only solution here is to get out.

But then with the water continuing to raise and some of these patients needing to go, the helipad on the roof hasn’t been used in years and there may not be a way to get these patients out through ambulances. It’s definitely a precarious situation.

The thing is, there’s friction between Memorial and Lifecare, with the latter in a much more precarious situation when it comes to evacuating patients. Diane heads over and speaks to Susan, wanting to know exactly what’s going on. Given they’re a private hospital, most of their patients are in critical condition and moving them isn’t a possibility.

A bunch of businessmen in Dallas – including a guy called Michael Arvin – receive emails from Memorial asking to evacuate. While a couple of his coworkers shrug this off, Michael speaks to Steve, his boss, about whether it’s possible to get it done.

Michael senses that things could get really bad and sets to work trying to get medical services on hand for Memorial. Getting nowhere, he sends an email back deflecting it across to the National Guard. Still, that doesn’t stop Michael doing his best to try and get them help.

The thing is, New Orleans is a poor community and as we know, the rich only look out for themselves and as a result, services are thin on the ground moving into the city.

As for those at Memorial, the only solution here comes from moving patients up to the helipad but the climb is steep and wracked with tension, given how rusty and old this pad actually is.

From this height, the workers can see corrosion which could cause massive problems with landing helicopters. With evacuations getting underway though, the hospital needs to prioritize patients being taken out. National Guard have promised to move 35 by trucks so Susan believes those on life support should go first.

As for the helicopter, they promise to move one person out but unfortunately, that’s going to be the lot. Michael learns from his boss that using private helicopters and the state of Atlanta – who want to help – is out the question. They believe the military and National Guard should stick to this.

While the military bring a truck in, what should have been 35 patients is actually only 20. Anna decides to stay at the hospital rather than leaving, while the neo-natal care unit all start shuffling up to the helipad.

The thing is, there are no helicopters and even worse, the generators are about to go. Water is flooding in and with patients stranded, Sandra sends an urgent message to Michael telling him that they need help immediately.

And just like that, the power goes. The fans are down, the ventilators are down and even worse, the plan to evacuate the hospitals has been put on hold. There are rumours of snipers outside circulating on the news, with frustrations reaching boiling point for disgruntled residents that don’t have an easy way out. The situation rests on a knife edge.

Susan tells Anna the bad news, with corporate apparently doing everything they can to try and bring rescue in but with the water too high, there’s no way for them to brings trucks back. As for the fire department, they’ve had enough of twiddling their thumbs and decide to move out and start rescue operations.

One of the patients goes into cardiac arrest in the wake of all this drama, forcing Anna to rush through the hallways to try and bring them back. He’s been like this for 10 minutes and unfortunately, they lose him. With no power and the doctors stuck in a dark, it would seem that this is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better. Can these guys hold out?

The Episode Review

Wow, what a tense episode! There are so many moments in this chapter that stand out and you can really feel the frustrations and angst for all those stuck inside the hospital. Seeing the corporate side of things is a nice touch too, especially given how long it took to actually get people out and evacuated.

This series has done a fantastic job so far with humanizing this awful disaster and those unaware of Hurricane Katrina and its devastating impact will be in for quite an eye-opening shock with this show, which is both absorbing and incredibly moving.

This tension reaches fever pitch in this episode, with the situation seemingly hopeless and everyone inside the hospital forced to cling to those loose shreds of hope – something made all the worst by them losing patients. With no power inside the hospital, it’s clear that things are about to take a really bad turn.

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