'Red Band Society' Pilot Recap: Jordi And Kara Are Admitted To The Hospital
Red Band Society introduced viewers to a rag-tag team of ill children, goofing around and fighting for their lives in the children’s wing of a hospital.
'Red Band Society' Recap
The pilot served mainly to introduce viewers to the ‘red band society.’ Led by Leo Roth (Charlie Rowe), a cancer patient who has already lost one leg to the disease, the group forms when new kids Kara (Zoe Levin) and Jordi (Nolan Sotillo) check into the hospital.
When the episode begins, Leo, the resident cool kid, is getting high in the supply closet with his best friend Dash (Astro). Busted by the no-nonsense Nurse Jackson (Octavia Spencer), Leo and Dash are escorted to class, also held in the hospital ward.
In class, Charlie (Griffin Gluck), a boy in a coma who narrates the show, introduces us to Emma (Ciara Bravo), who suffers from an eating disorder and is ignored by her mother. Emma, an overachiever, used to hook up with Leo, but Leo is afraid of getting close to people because he’s worried he’s going to die, so he ruined it, and now the two enjoy exchanging snarky comments.
Leo is, for lack of a better term, the cool kid of the terminally ill, and when new kid Jordi shows up uninvited and ambushes Dr. McAndrew (Dave Annable) into performing his leg amputation, he gets an unwanted roommate.
Both Leo and Jordi suffer from the same cancer, but Leo isn’t too pleased at the idea of having a roommate. He doesn’t want to have to deal with a roommate’s potential family and friends and attention, but McAndrew assures Leo that Jordi doesn’t have any family. In fact, Jordi’s backstory is somewhat of a mystery. He tells McAndrew that he was sent to live with cousins in Mexico after his mother died – his dad isn’t in the picture – so Jordi is, essentially, an orphan, who traveled to the hospital all by himself.
Jordi And Leo Bond
Leo and Jordi become fast friends after Leo shows Jordi that he, too, had his leg amputated by McAndrew. Leo and Dash take Jordi to the adult wing to have lunch with a hippie hypochondriac, Ruben (Griffin Dunne). Ruben is rich and has bought himself a nice wing of the hospital, where he lives. Ruben tells Leo that Jordi needs to celebrate his last night with his leg, saying they should throw a party, but Leo isn’t too into the idea.
In the freight elevator, on their way back to the children’s wing, they meet Kara, a mean girl and cheerleader who fainted during practice, hurt her wrist, and is now stuck waiting for her parents to pick her up. She’s rooming with Charlie, the boy in the coma, and, so far, she hasn’t made any friends in the hospital. She talks down to Nurse Jackson, smokes in Charlie’s face and throws out a volunteer who was there to sing to Charlie. In the elevator, Kara tries not to engage with Leo and Jordi, but her nasty attitude grabs Leo’s attention, and he invites her to a party that night. It’s official: Jordi’s leg is getting a last hurrah.
Upstairs, Jordi meets Emma, and the two flirt a little as Leo awkwardly looks on. Jordi invites Emma to the party before leaving with Leo and Dash to go buy some beer. The hospital valet lets them take Dr. Dick’s car while the plastic surgeon is in surgery, and Dash drives the group to a local liquor store. They return, beer in hand, but are quickly busted by Dr. Dick and Nurse Jackson, and Dr. Dick drives off in his car before the boys can grab their beer from the trunk.
Kara Has A Vision Of Charlie
Meanwhile, Kara sneaks into Emma’s room and volunteers to “help” her: Kara’s starving, so she’ll eat some of Emma’s lunch, making it look like she’s eaten more than she really has. When she returns to her room, she finds a member of the cheer squad waiting with flowers. The girl, who is clearly infatuated with Kara, tries to be nice, but Kara dismisses her, and the girl finally tells Kara that she was the only one who was willing to come and visit her. She throws the flowers in Kara’s face and walks out.
Kara suddenly passes out, barely managing to hit her call button on her way to the floor. While unconscious, she has a vision of Charlie, who tells her she’s stuck in the in-between, just like him. Before she wakes up, Charlie asks her to do two things for him: order a pizza – he thinks the smell will help wake him up – and tell his dad the accident wasn’t his fault. When she is revived, Nurse Jackson and the doctors realize that there’s something more going on, and, after running some tests, find that she has an enlarged heart. She’ll need a transplant, but her drug use has put her on the bottom of the list, meaning she’ll be rooming with Charlie for the foreseeable future.
When the musician, Nick (Thomas Ian Nicholas), returns, Kara tricks him into revealing that Charlie’s dad was with him when he got into the accident that resulted in his coma, causing him to lose his visitation rights. Kara gets him to admit that he’s Charlie’s father, and tells him that Charlie told her to get a message to his father, but, if he wants to hear it, he has to do her a favor: buy her a few six packs of beer. Beer in hand, Kara walks into The Swamp – aka Leo and Jordi’s room – and declares she is getting wasted tonight. So, the party is on.
Leo Forms The Red Band Society
Ruben pays for a little set up of couches and lights on the roof, and McAndrew and Nurse Jackson decide to let the group have their fun. On the roof, Dash, Leo, Jordi, Kara and Emma say goodbye to Jordi’s leg. Emma draws Jordi a message on his calf and Kara borrows Leo’s phone to deliver Charlie’s message. To finish off the party, Leo stands on his crutches and gives away one of the red bands he wears around his wrist to each of his friends. Each band is for a different surgery, and Leo never takes them off. He gives his first band, the one given to him on his first night in the ER, to Dash to symbolize the first time they met; to Emma he gives the band from his first surgery, and to Kara he gives the band from his skin graft, because, like skin, he believes Kara has many layers. To Jordi, he gives the red band he wore for his “big surgery,” the one where they cut off his leg. Later, he sneaks into Charlie’s room when Kara isn’t there and gives him one of his red bands. He tells Charlie that he remembers what he said to him when Leo was under anesthesia for a surgery: luck isn’t getting what you want, it’s surviving what you don’t.
Before going to bed, Emma visits Jordi in his room while the rest of the group goes to get frozen yogurt. The red band Leo gave her slipped off her tiny wrist somewhere, and she asks Jordi not to tell Leo. Jordi asks Emma to dance with him – he’s not sure when he’ll be able to dance next – and, the next morning, as he’s being wheeled to surgery, Jordi hops out of the bed and runs to Emma’s room to give her his new red band.
Red Band Society pilot will re-air Friday, Sept. 19, at 8 p.m. on Fox, with new episodes airing Wednesdays at 9 p.m.