Lenox Hill episode 5 recap – what happened in “Undercurrents”?

June 10, 2020
Daniel Hart 0
Netflix, TV Recaps


Lenox Hill episode 5, “Undercurrents” suggests that this series is going to get more personal as it reaches the second half.

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Lenox Hill episode 5, “Undercurrents” suggests that this series is going to get more personal as it reaches the second half.

This recap of Netflix documentary series Lenox Hill episode 5, “Undercurrents” contains episode-specific information.

Access all the recaps of the series.

How does Lenox Hill episode 5, “Undercurrents” open?

Episode 5 begins with David talking about how he has a dream about his father and he finds out he can cure strokes; he wonders if he was close enough to his father. He states there is no question that he got into neurosurgery because he wanted to find a cure for strokes for his father. John explains that when his father got cancer he didn’t tell anyone; he died with a complication of a chemotherapy regimen — he believes that if his family knew, there might have been a different outcome. Lenox Hill episode 5, “Undercurrents” suggests that this series is going to get more personal as it reaches the second half.

Sensitive absence

David tells the team that he doesn’t think Mitchell will be back for two months and they need to support his practice. There’s a sense of togetherness in this scene as they come to terms that their colleague will be going through life-altering surgery.

The right balance

John gives patient Tim an update on how they will be tackling his surgery and that it will be a long procedure. The tumor is right on the motor strip so John thinks it’s better to perform while he is awake to test his motor function. Afterward, Tim cannot move his legs and John keeps telling him to practice. John talks about the extension of life balanced with the quality of life. Lenox Hill episode 5, “Undercurrents” demonstrates the life-changing decisions these people have to make under such high-pressure environments. John performs on Tim to get rid of the residual tumor.

Space for decision making

David tells Jill that Mitchell will be going to Houston for his surgery and that it makes sense that he does it elsewhere due to politics and emotions. David wants to make sure that Mitchell has the space to make his own decisions on what he wants to do. This was a nice touch, showing the leadership of David in pressing and emotional times.

Return to work 

Mirtha is at home with her newborn baby — she has struggled with the hormones but her partner John has been super supportive. She looks forward to returning to the ER. When she returns, everyone is happy to see her. Returning to work means getting to know new members of staff.

Mitzie’s big day

It’s Mitzie’s day to get her tumor out. David states that he hates that he knows the patient so well, especially when the surgery is dangerous. After the surgery is done, David calls his wife — it feels like a relief and you can feel it emanating off him. They got most of the tumor out and it will require an MR once a year. David visits Mitzie afterward and his voice breaks talking to her saying it’s harder to operate on someone you know. Afterward, David admits the first surgery set him back where there were complications. Lenox Hill episode 5, “Undercurrents” shows how a relationship between doctor and patient can have a lasting effect.

The worst news

The end of Lenox Hill episode 5, “Undercurrents” is difficult to watch as John delivers bad news to Chris and his family. John delivers an update to Chris’s family and states there is a nodular enhancement and that the tumor is growing back. He recommends that they take no more treatment because the side effects outweigh the benefits. John states that the disease does not result in a painful death and that he cannot give a prediction to when he needs to go into a hospice. This brought a sense of reality to the docuseries that life can be cut short at any time — it was even more difficult watching Chris seem calm about the news, whilst his partner struggles to consume the information.


Mirtha Macri, DO — Emergency Medicine

Amanda Little-Richardson, MD — Chief Resident, Obstetrics and Gynecology

David Langer, MD — Chair, Neurosurgery

John Boockvar, MD — Vice Chair, Neurosurgery

Rafael Ortiz, MD — Chief of Neuroendovascular Neurosurgery

Sherese Fralin, NP — Director of Advanced Practice Nursing

Eran Bornstein, MD — Vice Chair of Obstetrics

Mitchell Levine, MD — Director of Spine Surgery

Jill Kalman, MD — Executive Director, Lenox Hill Hospital

Nancy Lipsitz, MD — Anesthesiology

Amanda Amarin, Manager – External, Relations, Neurosciences

Kenneth Court, Director of IT – Neurosurgery

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