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Spoilers ahead for the third episode of Transplant Season 1 on NBC, called "Your Secrets Can Kill You."
The first season of Transplant continued with an episode that put Dr. Bashir "Bash" Hamed (Hamza Haq) in arguably his most precarious position yet. Although his life wasn't in jeopardy like in the series premiere, his entire way of life and livelihood in Canada certainly were. Transplant delivered more than one twist could have ended with Bash making a terrible decision that would hang over his head for the rest of the season (or series), but Bash subverted my expectations every time, and I can't wait to see how Transplant surprises me next.
More than one potential disaster was set up early in the episode, when Khaled Abdullah (Faycal Azzouz) supplied Bash with forged versions of his transcripts from the university in Syria, which Bash needed to secure his place at York Memorial. Maybe I spent too much time watching Suits in my day, but I was already dreading Bash using the forged versions of his transcripts to keep his job, as the Mike to Dr. Jed Bishop (played by John Hannah)'s Harvey, and start years of exhausting lies and intrigue to keep the big secret.
To my pleasant surprise, Bash was tempted to use the documents, but ultimately decided not to. And honestly, after the backstory he provided for why he didn't have the documents the legal department wanted from him, I wouldn't have even begrudged Transplant taking a Suits-esque turn. Bash revealed that he is an enemy of the state in Syria because he smuggled vaccines into the country, so the odds of his transcripts being released by the state-controlled university aren't great. And still he didn't use the forged documents! Way to go, Bash.
Khaled brought more to Bash than just the faked papers, however. He lost his apartment, and his status as an illegal immigrant from Libya meant that he would be in trouble with the authorities with no chance for asylum if caught. Bash let him stay the night while young Amira (Sirena Gulamgaus) was going to be at a neighbor's, but firmly said that it would just be the one night. When Bash's landlord caught on, Bash went the extra mile to find Khaled a shelter that wouldn't ask inconvenient questions and gave him some money, since it wouldn't be wise to be seen together for a while.
And here I was already imagining a potentially tiresome plot of Bash trying to smuggle Khaled in and out, or Khaled overstepping bounds out of desperation, or Amira getting caught up in the mix. But nope! Bash did the responsible thing, but didn't neglect his friend.
That's not even all! Bash was still on a probation of sorts at York Memorial as the new doctor on staff, whose credentials weren't even verified. Despite his vast experience in Syria, he's still toward the bottom of the ladder in Canada, and he was instructed to tackle only the more basic cases, and run anything more complex by his superior or risk repercussions.
And... Bash did just that. Perhaps I've just watched Will Halstead over on Chicago Med go rogue too many times, or seen Meredith Grey on Grey's Anatomy follow her own set of rules, or John Carter overstep his bounds on ER back in the day, but seeing Bash do as he was instructed, rise to the occasion when needed, and open himself up to learning was very refreshing, and felt realistic for his position. I'm not sure if this is a sign that I watch too many shows with dysfunctional main characters, but my expectations have certainly been subverted with Bash, and that's a good thing.
Also good is the news that Transplant has already been renewed for a second season, although not by NBC. Transplant originally aired in Canada on CTV, and it was renewed for Season 2 back in June before it even debuted in the United States. Find out what happens next on NBC with new episodes of Transplant on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET. For some additional viewing options now that more shows (including at least one other medical drama) are on their way back to the small screen, check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule!