Cornelius Smith Jr. thrives — the third chapter is one of the best episodes of any TV show in 2022.
This recap of the Apple TV+ series Five Days at Memorial season 1, episode 3, “Day Three,” contains spoilers.
We are coming off a big episode of last week’s Five Days at Memorial. Hurricane Katrina hit the hospital, but not as hard as everyone expected. However, as everyone got settled into the thought of everything being okay, the flooding is coming and came fast. How does the Hospital handle the flood? Let’s dive in.
Five Days at Memorial season 1, episode 3 recap
The episode opens with Dr. Bryant King sitting down present-day, talking about how everyone thought they were lucky until the water broke and the flooding took over the city. He was asked if he knew how bad things would get at Memorial and responded nobody knew. Next, they ask how Dr. Pou was during the five days; he says the circumstances reveal who you really are. Folks, this is the moment we see some incredible work from Cornelius Smith Jr.
The hospital is HOT, and everyone is sweating, and we see a doctor breaking glass windows to get some air coming in. Susan breaks the news about the water breaking through 17th street, and that water is coming to the point that the hospital will flood. She is bombarded by questions about everything ahead and doesn’t have many answers.
We find out there is no way to get the patients to the top floor where the helicopters will land. Susan tells them they must prepare the best they can to see if the landing pad is safe. Next, we see Dr. Pou calling her husband and still unable to get through to him. Finally, Pou informs them that they are evacuating the hospital, and nurses are SNAPPING because they don’t understand how they will get some of the patients out of the hospital.
Mark and Sandra are trying to figure out how to get to the hospital to get Mark’s mom. The entire plan is not great, but Mark is concerned that if they don’t get her out of that hospital, she may not live. Next, Diane confronts Susan about how they are evacuating their patients and wants to know the plan to get them out. Susan doesn’t have the best news but tells her to get a list of all the highest risked patients. Diane says all of them are high-risk, but Susan says she needs the ones that belong on the top.
Michael (insurance guy) throughout the last two episodes, sees there was an email from Memorial about them evacuating. He notices nobody has responded to the emails and heads to his boss’s office for a discussion. He tells him that Memorial sends emails asking about an emergency plan, and his boss blows him off. After a few seconds, his boss gives him a name to chase after and keep him in the loop. He calls the guy, but he is on vacation. Michael pushes a little and get’s through to him, but he is no help.
As Mark and Sandra drive through the neighborhoods to get close to the hospital, we see wreckage EVERYWHERE, even with signs that say “where’s FEMA.” Next, the team that is supposed to see if the landing pad is safe realizes there are many steps and wonders how they will get over 200 patients up these steps. As they are on the roof, a helicopter approaches, and lands. One of the men in the plane says they can evacuate ONE PERSON, YES, ONE person, and the nurse RUNS all the way downstairs to tell him what is happening.
As he runs, Susan breaks down to the other heads of the hospital the order in which they will start to evacuate the patients. The nurse makes it to Susan and says they can take one patient, to which she responds by saying they need to take one of the neonates. Next, Susan begins to page people over the walkie-talkie to prepare the patients. Dr. Wynn informs everyone on her floor what to do. Finally, the nurse heads to the neonate room, and they decide to take baby Edmonds.
Michael finally thinks he is on to something, but his boss informs him that they need to let the coast guard do their job and let it go. Unfortunately, the water rises as the hospital approaches five feet of water. Next, the team of doctors and nurses CARRY the baby up the flight steps to get her to the helicopter. This entire sequence was so well shot with a heart-pulsing score in the backdrop I was on the edge of my seat.
The three higher-ups in the hospital are having talks about who they will evacuate next. At this moment, one of the men says they should make the DNR crew wait until last, which ruffles some feathers. Things get a little heated discussing this, and it ends when one of the men mentions that Susan needs to be present for this conversation.
Dr. Bryant walks into one of his patient’s rooms and sees the patient’s heart monitor is disconnected. The nurse informs her that Dr. Cook said nonessential care was being suspended. He gets a little frustrated and re-attaches the heart monitor. Dr. Cook walks in and belittles Dr. Bryant and tells him to disconnect it right now. He storms out of the room.
We move back to Mark and Sandra, where they get to the fire station. As they arrive, they let them know they are willing to help out. The fireman lets them know they aren’t taking civilians, but Sandra tells them she is a paramedic. Mark asks what is taking them so long to move into the city, and the man says, “they are waiting for someone to figure out what to do with them.” Watching and rewatching this show, one of the more terrifying things is knowing that they had no sense of direction from anyone in real life.
Finally, the coast guard arrived, and they all began to load patients into the vehicles. Dr. Pou asked them where they were taking the patients and said to Texas. The coast guard announces they are full, and Dr. Pou retorts that they were supposed to take 35 and not 20. The coast guard said that’s all they got room for. At a decisive moment, one of the nurses looks at Dr. Pou and tells her she should go with them, but Dr. Pou tells her to go, that she has to stay.
The nurses carry the patients to the roof, and there are no helicopters. Next, the waters are rising, and they are trying to get things out when one of the men notices that the door is about to implode full of water. He pages Susan and tells her that they can’t hold the water and they will lose the generators. A nurse rushes in to tell Susan that there are no helicopters, and she pages Sandra to find out where the helicopters are at. She emails Michael to find out where they are and doesn’t know what to do.
The water has overtaken the hospital, and now the power is gone. Dr. Pou heads to Susan about what is ahead for their patients. She tells her that corporate is doing everything they can, which leaves Dr. Pou at a loss for words. We move back to the fire station, where everyone is listening to the radio and hearing what is happening in the city. As they all stand around, the man in charge decides to head into the city. We see a visibly distraught Mark hoping to find his mother.
As everyone sits around and waits, one of the patients is coding and needs help ASAP. Dr. Pou heads down to help the patient. However, upon her arrival, they do everything they can to help the patient, but he passes away. We transition to Dr. Bryant talking on the couch and saying that’s how it all began, us in the dark, cut off with no power. He followed with that you can’t understand what they went through, and even as doctors, they went from being able to save lives to realizing whatever happened next, they couldn’t stop.
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