Forget the whole bit in the title about families and secrets, the moral of the sophomore episode of The Mob Doctor is you can’t fix stupid. Exhibit A is Dante Amato (Terry Kinney), a wanted man living with his wife in a rundown house in the middle of a cornfield while his brother Titus (Kevin Corrigan) enjoys the finer things a life of crime has to offer.
Dante is this week’s mob patient, but because he’s a fugitive Grace (Jordana Spiro) can’t simply check him into the hospital. With a little help from her best friend Ro (Floriana Lima), Grace smuggles Dante in and runs tests on him under a dead man’s name.
Living at the hospital with a dead man stowed in the closet and the constant threat of being discovered however, is too much for the mob man so he goes back to the house in the cornfield. This may have kept him from being discovered by Grace’s snoopy supervisor Flanigan (David Pasquesi) but it does nothing for his health. On a house call that makes her late for dinner, Grace discovers Dante’s sanctuary isn’t so safe after all. After spending the entire episode extolling her virtues it turns out his not-so-loving wife has been poisoning him with cyanide.
In the midst of covering her tracks concerning Dante, Grace also has her hands full at home and at work. Exhibit B in the “you can’t fix stupid” motif is Dr. Brett (Zach Guilford). It’s not clear how long he and Grace have been going out but thus far she hasn’t been the model girlfriend. In the pilot she makes him withhold the truth from a patient’s father and here she has the chance to make that up to him with a nice dinner with her family but fails.
Once again her mob ties are to blame but she’s not letting him in on the secret. Instead, Dr. Brett finds himself alone with Grace’s mother for the entire evening. Daniella (Wendy Makkena) prods him with questions about his family, making excuses for her own absent children. Brett takes it all in stride, complimenting the dinner and swallowing Grace’s excuses. Later he has the chance to confront her but it falls flat. It seems safe to guess that if he’s waiting for her to reveal the whole truth he’s going to be waiting a long time.
Then again, he might follow in the footsteps of Exhibit C: little brother Nate (Jesse Lee Soffer). Tired of watching his life go nowhere fast since his brush with the mob, Grace suggests he may want to enroll in the local community college and find some direction.
The direction it points him in however, is a spiraling path of defeatism because clearly at 26 he’s got no time to make up for his past mistakes. While wallowing in his misery down in the hospital parking garage, he spies Grace loading Dante into a wheelchair. Nick quickly takes a crash course in what his sister’s been up to for the past several months. Angry, he confronts her only to be slapped with the truth: she’s paying off his debt.
One would think this revelation would be enough to set him on the straight and narrow but instead it sends him in the opposite direction. The episode ends with Nick confronting Constantine (William Forsythe) to not only get him to release Grace from her deal, but to get himself a job.
At the end of the day it’s still unclear what course The Mob Doctor is charting. Is Grace a strong woman doing the best she can or is she ultimately weak and pliable to whichever way the mob wind blows? Does her brother’s new deal distance her from the mob or draw her further in? What journey is she on and is it worth sticking around to find out?
The Mob Doctor airs Mondays at 9pm on Fox.