Royal Pains is back, and is yet another show employing the one year flash-forward narrative technique. Given that the show is set in the Hamptons, which is mainly populated during the summer, this makes sense. It also moves us past the never-ending summer that was seasons 1 and 2.
When last we saw them, Divya had broken off the wedding with Raj and ended up in quarantine; Jill had gone off the Uruguay to set up a clinic; Evan and Paige took off for Europe; Boris kicked Hank out of the guest house; and Eddie went to jail. It’s the beginning of a new summer for the rich and fabulous, and the gang is reconvening in the Hamptons.
The show smartly throws us right back into the action, no big flashbacks or exposition, just Hank getting his
hiatus winter beard shaved and Evan getting a hair cut. The first jitney of the season pulls into town, heralding the return of the New Yorkers. Divya shows up for a lunch meeting, banter ensues, and then, BAM! jitney plus car and a whole bus full of patients. Welcome back, HankMed.
The case of the week is rather moving. A newly divorced woman, played by the always delightful Natalie Zea, gets the beach house for her first summer since splitting with her husband and is riddled with anxiety about being on her own. An allergic reaction – to the new missus’ decorating taste – leads Hank to discover deep vein thrombosis caused by sitting in traffic too long. That’s right, traffic jams kill. Hank manages to treat both the clot and the low self-esteem, and of course it works out for her in the end. I hope that’s not the last we see of her, though. She’s such a sweetheart.
Aside from the injured woman, the gang has their own drama going on. Evan is eagerly awaiting Paige’s return, planning a surprise party for her that ends up being for Jill. Evan hasn’t talked to Paige since they got back from Europe, and his paranoia is setting in. She keeps delaying her return, so naturally Evan is sure she wants to break up with him. Eventually she does show up, cutely helping carry boxes back to the guest house that Boris is leasing to HankMed again. There’s something vaguely unsettling about her return, though. She tells Evan she was delayed because she was dealing with “a family emergency”, but he doesn’t ask for details and she looks she’s hiding something. Is it wrong that with Divya available now, I’m kind of hoping Evan and Paige break up?
Speaking of Divya, she hasn’t spoken to Raj since the previous summer. He even refused to speak to her during their week in quarantine. He seemed cooler than that. Divya’s parents have also been giving her the silent treatment all winter while she stayed in the Hamptons to help Hank treat patients. They return and give her a call to stop by. Nervous, Divya shows up to face the music and apologize. It goes well. Really well. I’m suspicious. They invite her to dinner at the club the next night, and red flags are going up. Sure enough, they’re meeting another Indian family with a conveniently eligible son. Divya sizes up the situation, and leaves. An apology the next day isn’t enough, especially when she reiterates that she refuses an arranged marriage; her father cuts her off. Can self-assured, supremely capable Divya handle being cut off from her family? I don’t doubt that she’ll land on her feet financially, and it looks like she may be rooming with the Lawson boys now (which ought to be loads of fun). It’s the emotional impact I’m concerned about with her.
The other woman in the Lawsons’ life, Jill, is back from Uruguay with big news: she’s found her calling and she’s going back. Somehow this translates into her and Hank having hot monkey sex instead of breaking up, so…yay? I’m not a fan of Jill, or the Hank/Jill pairing, so while I don’t think the character will truly leave, it wouldn’t bother me if she did.
And finally, the housing situation is resolved when Boris’ pregnant (ex?) girlfriend, Dr. Marissa (Paola Turbay who also has a significant role on True Blood this season), insists that she won’t move back to Boris’ mansion unless Hank is on site as well. A convenient way for Boris to invite Hank back after dissing him last summer.
We end with Evan, Hank and Divya living together in Boris’ guest house, Paige harboring secrets, and Jill possibly leaving for South America again. Just another summer in the Hamptons!