Code Black (2015–2018)
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The doctors find their own lives in danger when they arrive at the scene of a massive multi-vehicle accident on a highway covered in thick fog. Also, Jesse's confidence is shaken following ... See full summary »


Omar Madha


Michael Seitzman (created by), Molly Newman | 2 more credits »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Marcia Gay Harden ... Dr. Leanne Rorish
Raza Jaffrey ... Dr. Neal Hudson
Bonnie Somerville ... Christa Lorenson
Melanie Chandra ... Malaya Pineda
William Allen Young ... Dr. Rollie Guthrie
Harry Ford ... Angus Leighton
Benjamin Hollingsworth ... Mario Savetti
Luis Guzmán ... Jesse Sallander
Christina Vidal ... Gina Perello
Jillian Murray ... Heather Pinkney
Bruce Nozick ... Jack Irons
Amy Stewart ... Katherine
Bodhi Elfman ... Kenny
Gabriel Bateman ... Jason Riner
Neil Hopkins ... Gary


The doctors find their own lives in danger when they arrive at the scene of a massive multi-vehicle accident on a highway covered in thick fog. Also, Jesse's confidence is shaken following his heart attack, while Carla's (Shiri Appleby) condition becomes critical.

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Release Date:

9 December 2015 (USA) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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User Reviews

Cliffhanger is over-the-top in taking show's premise past the limit
10 December 2015 | by lor_See all my reviews

I like "Code Black", and I've been watching TV medical dramas since Richard Boone, Richard Chamberlain and Vince Edwards ruled the roost (all 3 of whom subsequently became among my favorite actors). I like the intensity and single-mindedness of the new show, but last night's episode offered way too much.

First defect came early, as a straw-man villain was established via the lack of nuance in the characterization of the head doctor on the scene at a freeway disaster, laying down the law so that Harden and company immediately balk at this fascist approach to leadership and efficiency. Of course the show is about life & death decision making, but his cut & dried concept equivalent to barbaric "shoot the wounded and infirm and leave them behind" mentality of earlier centuries was so extreme that interesting issues got lost. This was sheer sensationalism, a lit of which goes a long way in a hothouse show like "Black".

Piling up the crises is nothing new for the show, nor for medical dramas in general, since a more linear approach to focus on a single case and single victim/hero/heroine went out with "Marcus Welby, M.D.". For me, the exaggeration and piling on from the scriptwriters and director Omar Madha approached campy territory - too intense for Charles Busch or Charles Ludlam even. I'm not advocating for calm in such a show, but any serious analysis of the episode's power would have to address the fact that relatively poignant and subtle moments involving the character Mother were far more effective than all the "don't let her die!" b.s. that dominated the 40 minutes.

A serious TV drama, say harking back to Abby Mann or the Golden Era of "Playhouse 90" and "Alcoa Theater", would have made the centerpiece stand of Harden to defy the martinet and face prison for her decision an important milestone in the week's drama, but as usual the show sidesteps such fallout and papered over the consequences of her (and fellow doctor's) act of conscience. In civil disobedience cases the activist is willing to go to jail and pay the price for the cause, yet on "Code Black" such moral profiles in courage end up being mere plot devices, with the audience reassured not only that our heroines and heroes have acted nobly but that such acts will be tolerated. In the real world, Harden & company would end up in hot water.

Slam-bang entertainment, sort of bringing silly theatrical excitement like that hit movie "Speed" to the small screen, is the impetus for outrageous episodes like this one. My dissatisfaction peaked long before the inevitable (and horrible) "To be continued" legend was flashed on screen at the end, promising more of the same next time.

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