The 'Getting On' Season 2 Premiere Turns Everyone Against Each Other & Drops Major Bombshells
HBO's Getting On, a remake of the BBC show of the same name, has never exactly been known for its shocking plot twists like some of its network siblings (cough*Game Of Thrones*cough). It's more of a painfully awkward character study into the medical professionals and patients that inhabit a continuing care facility for seniors than a typical story-driven series. The short, six-episode first season introduced us to the four main players at the Billy Barnes Extended Care Unit: Dr. Jenna James, Supervising Nurse Patsy De La Serda, and nurses Dawn Forchette and Denise "Didi" Ortley. They clashed, they bonded, they were grossly incompetent... and, most importantly, they made us laugh. So imagine my surprise when the Season 2 premiere of Getting On was actually chock-full of major bombshells.
Not that there wasn't great character work done here, but the half-hour was plot-focused in a way that the show has rarely been before. Whether this signals a shift for the second season or is simply symptomatic of a premiere episode is not clear yet. But while we wait for more Getting On, here are the four major plot points from the first episode, hilariously titled "No Such Thing As Idealized Genitalia."
Dr. Stickley turned against Dr. James
Throughout Season 1, it often felt that Paul Stickley was the only person in Jenna's corner. She was shunted to Billy Barnes from the main hospital because nobody wanted to work with her, but Dr. Stickley indulged her requests for more and more research resources, and he begged her to stay when she was considering a job offer in Cleveland. And yet, that all came to an end in the Season 2 premiere.
It turns out that Paul wasn't supporting Dr. James because he thought she was a talented physician. Rather, she had been blackmailing him because he had once threatened to fire her if she didn't take the Billy Barnes position. But Paul just got promoted, which means there's no longer anyone above him to complain to, which means his "special understanding" with Jenna has officially come to an end.
Nurse De La Serda denied Nurse Ortley a raise
Didi often feels like the only competent employee inside Billy Barnes (apart from the gorgeous-but-efficient Antoine, of course). So when she approached her supervising nurse for a small raise, it didn't seem like a ridiculous request. And yet Patsy, citing budget cuts, seemed hesitant to even consider it.
When Nurse Ortley tried to broach the issue again in an all-staff meeting, the conversation was quickly derailed by an explosion between two of her colleagues. (More on that in a bit.) The question remains: Why is nobody taking Didi seriously? She's the most undervalued person on staff and she's raising six children at home (two of her own and four of her sister's). If the people of Billy Barnes don't start respecting Didi soon, they might lose their best nurse.
Dr. James finally pushed Nurse Forchette too far
When Season 1 began, Dawn was eager to please Billy Barnes's new head doctor. She was awed by the formidable Dr. James and would always go out of her way to please her boss, including basically acting as an unpaid research assistant. But Jenna's increasingly humiliating demands started wearing on Nurse Forchette, until her assignment to photograph old men's perineums finally proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back.
At the aforementioned staff meeting, Dawn's true feelings for Jenna finally come to the surface. She tries to leave an anonymous comment card accusing Dr. James of abusing her position, but Jenna knows exactly who "anonymous" is and they get into a shouting match, ending with Nurse Forchette begging her boss to leave her alone so she can just do her job.
Someone's got a baby on board!
Part of the reason Dawn was so upset was because she had been feeling physically ill. She assumed it was because of the stress Dr. James put her under — as she put it, she was "allergic" to her boss — but after a physical, she found out the truth: she's pregnant! This baby bombshell means one of two things. Either her and Patsy's strange relationship has progressed from drunken anal sex, or she's been getting a little something extra on the side. Dawn tells Didi she's not sure who the father is, but whether or not that's true remains to be seen.
There you have it — plenty of juicy developments in 30 very short minutes! We've only got five more episodes to go in this all-too-brief season, and there are lots of questions that need answering: Will Dr. James's reign of terror finally come to an end? Will Nurse De La Serda ever come to grips with his own identity? Will Nurse Ortley finally get the respect she deserves? And how will Nurse Forchette deal with her unexpected life change? I don't know the answers to any of these mysteries yet, but I know for a fact that finding out is going to be uncomfortably entertaining.
(By the way: want to watch Season 1 of Getting On but don't have HBO? You're in luck! The Complete First Season was just made available this Tuesday, Nov. 11, on Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital HD, featuring an exclusive gag reel and deleted scenes. Don't miss it!)
Images: Lacey Terrell/HBO (3); Giphy(2)