The strongest (and probably least dysfunctional) relationship in Mary Kills People has always been the humorous but loyal partnership between Mary and Des. That's why, after their blow-out at the end of Mary Kills People Season 1 Episode 3 there's such a sense of unease.
When you realize that that they spend the entirety of Mary Kills People Season 1 Episode 4 apart – never meeting up and never even speaking to each other – that unease starts to evolve into paranoia.
Individually, Mary and Des have already shown that they have vulnerabilities and strengths in multiple contexts. Mary, in particular, is quite capable of tapping into some dark emotions.
Mary: Grady, you really need to stop messing with me.
Mary: Cause it's making me want to kill you.
Des may be the happy-go-lucky half of this partnership but he seems to be emotionally insecure when he's on his own.
There's an anxiousness that peeks through his carefree facade and he is susceptible to the uncertainties that accompany the life he's forced to live without a medical license.
His fight with Mary has him unbalanced to begin with. When he leaves his consultation with Morgan and then calls in his long allegorical voicemail for Mary, the dying man's advice is still ringing in his ears.
Maybe you should apologize. Take it from a dying man, sometimes friends are the only things that keep you going.Morgan
Unfortunately, before he can get to the point of the deer metaphor, he's pulled over by Detective Frank and that means that Mary is left to interpret it however she can.
Their separation is insidious and, ultimately, dangerous for Des' mental well-being.
She, on the other hand, gets a whole heap of back story filled in with a visit to her sister and Ben's deep dive into her record
I gotta admit, it was refreshing to see her interacting with Nicole. It's probably the most relaxed and open that Mary ever gets to be.
Even if they are using their childhood home's lakefront dock as a makeshift shooting gallery when Ben first finds them.
Ben: Is that gun registered?
Nicole: What are you, a cop?
Mary: Ben, Nicole. Nicole, Ben. My sister. My... stalker. Yup, he's a cop
It's a funny, if awkward, introduction. And Nicole bohemian attitude is such a fantastic foil to Mary's guarded demeanor, despite the obvious effort made to have the actresses resemble each other physically.
It occurs to me that the professionals in this show all have ethical dilemmas of the highest order.
Mary, the doctor, is performing a criminal act to ease her clients' suffering and admits to Nicole that she isn't bothered by the death she helps people find... and that, itself, does bother her somewhat.
Mary: Y'know, I don't think I'm a very good person.
Nicole: Why? Because you provide a service and people pay for it?
Mary: Because I like it. It's hard to explain but there's something about it. Being with them in their last moments when everything matters and doesn't matter.
Ben, the police detective, is wrapped up with a dodgy partner and is blatantly flouting protocol in pretty much EVERY interaction with his prime suspect and target.
Ben: Mary called me last night
Frank: Tell me you did not have sex with this woman again.
Ben: I think I can get her to confess.
Frank: Yeah? It there truth serum in you d*ck?
Even Louise, who has only been a mild complication in Mary's personal life up until now, is, in her capacity as Des' legal counsel, about to become ethically entangled when it turns out her client's partner is her boyfriend's ex-wife.
Speaking of Louise, and with Mother's Day in mind, I have to wonder if she's really as clueless about her own daughter as she seems to be. I mean, there's willfully blind and then there's whatever she is.
Thank goodness Jess seems to have smartened up though.
The most satisfying scene in an episode rife with potential disasters has to be Jess realizing how ridiculous Naomi's behavior truly is, smashing the pento bottle, and storming off after telling her BFF that she's done.
Ultimately though, the episode is about peeling back the layers of Dr. Mary Harris (aka Mitchell) to uncover her motivation for her mercy mission.
Meeting her sister, learning details about her mother, watching her interact and (sort of) open up to Ben, it's a helluva understatement to call her complicated.
Whether it's the "crazy" she may have inherited from her mother or a special mix she's grown into herself, the truth is that she cannot stop herself.
She's still risking her safety and that of the people she values most in her life by continuing to assist people in their bid for a peaceful end to their suffering.
And even Grady, the worldly drug dealer, is unsure how to deal with her. That speaks volumes on its own.
I don't think I've met anyone like you in my life, Mary. I mean, you seem so straight. This perfect little doctor with a nice house and pretty little daughters. I see you and you are right there on the edge.Grady
Will Des really follow through on turning evidence on her?
What is Jess going to do with her suspicions about her mother's drug dealing?
How many more bad choices will Naomi make? And will Louise even notice?
Be sure to watch Mary Kills People online and see if you can spot that moment when Annie realizes she's not going to be fired or arrested. I thought she was going to pass out myself.
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.