When I reviewed the pilot episode of Monday Mornings, I wrote that the show was too much about death and not enough about life. I wasn't sure I would keep watching the series.
Nevertheless, since there aren't really that many good shows on air nowadays, I decided to give it another chance. This was a David Kelley show after all.
Thankfully, the second episode was much better. Instead of being depressing, I felt it was life-affirming - unlike the pilot. I found myself really liking the storyline about the girl who wanted to die with dignity instead of going through a high-risk surgery.
'Deux Ex Machina" was a really good episode but at the same time I kinda thought we had seen the best already. The actress who played the girl was so phenomenal. The scenes with her and Alfred Molina were that captivating. I didn't think we would be able to see stuff as good again.
Fortunately two episodes later it turned out that I was wrong. Because a week ago aired 'The Legend and The Fall" with Hal Holbrook - as the veteran surgeon who was getting too old. This episode was even better than the second one.
In many ways it was incredible to see an 87 year old 'own' like Holbrook did here. The minute you recognized him as the actor behind the surgeon's mask, you had the feeling that this was likely going to be something special.
Just like on the second episode with the young girl, the scenes with Molina and Holbrook were spellbinding. It was so fascinating to watch and try to guess if there was something wrong with the old guy and whether he was still in shape to perform operations.
In the end, not only was this episode dramatic - the final scene was chilling to say the least - but it was also very funny. Ving Rhames gave me the biggest laughs in months and the cold open also had a Kelleyish twist that probably made you laugh too.
So, anyway, based on the first five episodes, if you appreciate quality writing and acting, I think Monday Mornings is a clear winner. Whether the show gets renewed, well, that's of course another story.