Doctors with Borders is the fifth episode of the first season of Code Black.

Short SummaryEdit

Neal clashes with his father, Dr. Peter Hudson (Daniel Gerroll), who is a neurosurgeon, over how to treat his gravely ill mother, Asra Hudson (Roma Chugani), whose mysterious symptoms force Angels Memorial to quarantine Trauma One.

Full SummaryEdit

Neal asks Risa, Amy, and Malaya for restaurant recommendations for his parents. Malaya recommends some Indian places her parents love, but Neal says his parents don't like Indian food. His mother left India when she was two and became a proud subject of the British Crown. Her ringtone is "God Save the Queen." He says he's leaning toward Italian.

Lawrence Evans then enters the ER asking for help. He's holding up his wife, Susan, who is struggling to breathe. Neal lifts her onto a gurney. Lawrence says she didn't feel well all day. They thought it was a cold or the flu. Then they went to dinner and she started having trouble breathing.

Leanne calls for Angus, who rushes to finish his food and join her. Taylor says they have a construction worker k-bob coming in. Angus asks Jesse what a k-bob is. Jesse says shish and Angus apologizes, but Jesse says shish, not shush, like Shish kabob.

The medic gives report on Nick Gable, who has a pole sticking quite a distance out of his body. The bolt cutters weren't strong enough to clip is shorter and they needed to get to the hospital. Taylor tells them to tie a red flag on the end of it. Leanne asks Nick questions to orient him. He doesn't remember what happened. He woke up in the ambulance. The last thing he remembers is fighting with his daughter that morning. He asks if he's going to die. Leanne says she has to run tests, but she doubts it. She thinks he'll be just fine. Once he's out of hearing range, Leanne tells the residents that amnesia to that degree isn't typical of a fall like he had. She orders a CT, but he won't fit in the machine until they cut the bar. Jesse already called maintenance. His airway is intact.

Neal and Malaya are working on Susan. She incubates, but Susan flatlines. They do CPR. Malaya asks her husband questions about her health history. He says she's a doctor.

Leanne says that if maintenance doesn't come in 30 seconds, she's calling the hardware store. Jesse apologizes to Nick, but says they have to turn him over, to check is back. They do so and it's painful for him. Mario says Angus missed something, but Angus says he has his own order to things and the last time he listened to Mario, he got in trouble. Leanne declines use of a hacksaw. The sawing motion will do more damage. She needs bolt cutters. Nick wants them just to pull it out, but Leanne says he needs a CT first and then to go to surgery. He doesn't want to be awake when it happens.

They're still trying to resuscitate Susan.

Nick asks not to be put out until he talks to his daughter. She's all he has.

Susan has no cardiac activity. Neal asks if there are objections and then pronounces her dead at 5:42 PM. He then apologizes to Lawrence, saying they did everything they could. Malaya asks if there's anyone they can call to be with him. He says they're from out of town, staying at a hotel.

Medics bring in two more patients with respiratory distress. They're all from the same hotel. Neal says they need to be isolated until they know what they're dealing with. He sends all incoming to one side of the ER. Taylor tells them to give a five foot radius. They begin to set up isolation. Neal looks at a badge. His parents are at the same conference. He calls his mother. He asks for quiet and hears his mother's phone ringing in the ER. He sees his mother, Asra, in a hospital bed.

Taylor is giving instructions for isolation. Malaya asks if they should wear masks. Neal says they've already been exposed, so it's useless, but she can if it'll make her feel better. Leanne hands over RSI kits and airways and ventilators. Peter Hudson then asks someone to take his jacket and complains about the service they're receiving. Taylor asks about it and Neal says that's his dad.

Nick asks if he's going to catch something. Leanne says to take him up to radiology to wait there and ask what's delaying the bolt cutters. Jesse calls out to his nurses, asking what they need. Supplies are handed. Taylor says it's time to zip it up. Leanne hands one more thing through and the barriers are closed.

Neal orders medicine for his mother. She jokes that she warned him she wanted to spend more time together while they were in town. He says next time, just send passive-aggressive messages. She coughs and he says he'll get something to help her. Peter asks him how he's holding up. Neal says he's fine, but Peter doesn't know how he can practice medicine surrounded by such chaos. Neal says you have to learn to focus. Peter says he has a friend with a pulmonary practice in Beverly Hills he wants to call about their situation. Neal tells his mother he doesn't know how she puts up with his father. She coughs again and he gives her a nebulizer and tells her to rest.

Taylor says the health department has been sent to the hotel to test for Legionnaire's. There's talk of shutting Angels down. First time in the history of the place they've closed their doors and he doesn't want it to happen on his watch. Leanne says it's not Legionnaire's. She doesn't know what it is. Taylor says they better hope the first fatality was an anomaly. Neal comes up and Leanne asks about his mother and how he's doing. They're holding on. Neal says he just heard there's a group from South Korea at the conference. Now there's concern that it's MERS. His phone rings. He says prepare for a Code Brown, where the CDC climbs so far up his colon, he'll be crapping bureaucrats for a week.

Mario brings in bolt cutters and Angus asks what took so long. He had to go to the basement to get them. It's scary down there. Nick is asleep. Angus tries to cut the pole, but he can't. Mario teases him about it. Leanne comes up just as Nick wakes up. Leanne tells him it's time to cut the pole. They'll do it together while she holds the pole steady. They cut the pole. Nick is worried he's going to die, but Leanne reassures him.

Taylor asks for volunteers to help in the quarantine area. After a moment, Christa volunteers. Taylor thanks her and says he'd go himself, but he's uncomfortable around sick people.

Jesse waits to put a mask on Christa at the barrier. He says the sign at the entrance of the hospital says that no person who is suffering will be denied care there. She's the epitome of that and he salutes her for it. She asks if it still counts if she's scared out of her mind and he says it counts double. He sends her in.

Angus tells Nick it won't be much longer. He can take a nap if he wants. Nick tells about his daughter, an artist. She's having her first big gallery opening. He should be there, but her mother invited her new husband, the man who broke up their marriage. He said he won't go if the new husband is there. Angus doesn't blame him, but Nick says he and Theresa both said things they shouldn't have and somewhere in there, his daughter told him she hated him. He knows it's not true, but he needs to talk to her personally, unless he dies. In that case, Angus needs to do it.

Malaya asks Emma questions. She's part of the catering staff and didn't interact directly with guests, just the food. The food was set up in a tent outside by the pool. Emma says she can't breathe and she's scared. In the next bed, Christa struggles with a patient who pulls off her mask. Neal says he can send out for a clean mask right away, but Christa says she's okay. She offers to get an incubation tray and he thanks her.

Angus says they're up next, but sees Nick with vomit around his mouth in cardiac arrest. He starts compressions. They use an AED to chick him back into sinus. Angus then noticed a burn. Nick was electrocuted, which is why his heart stopped. That also explains the amnesia. They go to get the CT, but stop when they see the rod is pulsing with his heartbeat. Nick starts to wake up, but they tell him not to move.

Peter has been watching the doctors work. He says it's very hands on. ER work is very much like manual labor compared to what he's used to. Neal says he saves more lives there. Peter says he understands why Neal would need to do something completely different, but doesn't understand why Neal had to move around the world to do it. Neal says he needed to learn from the best, then it started to feel like home. Asra starts to have more trouble breathing, so Neal runs to her. He tells her to breathe slowly. Neal continues to teach, to his father's frustration. They need to reduce her heart rate. He wants to use ice because drugs, as Peter wants to use, could tank her blood pressure. He breaks an ice pack, puts it over her eyes, and has her bear down. It works and she's back in sinus rhythm. Neal tells his father never to do that to him again.

Christa comes up to Lawrence and asks if he's having chest pains. It started shortly after his wife died. But he didn't want to make a fuss because of all the other patients. She listens to his heart. She asks him about his wife. She was at the conference to accept an award. Christa knows who his wife is. She studied Susan's research. Christa tells him his wife was brilliant doctor, which he knows.

Taylor complains to Leanne that all they know is what the problem isn't. He answers his phone again. Leanne grabs a cracker off a lunch tray and eats it as she watches Neal and his father talk.

Peter says his friend has privileges at a hospital in Beverly Hills and wants to have Asra moved there. Neal says that's not going to happen. Neal says this is the best place for her. If Peter wants to help, he can sit by her and calm her. Neal is called and rushes to Emma's bedside. She's coughing up blood. It's difficult, but Malaya intubates with Neal's help. There's no pulse. She flatlines. They start CPR.

Leanne talks to Angus about Nick. He's stable and getting his CT. She tells him he did good. Then she asks if they hung blood with the femoral.

They're working on Emma. They can't ventilate. Breathe sounds are equal, but almost absent. She still has no pulse. Neal doesn't want to stop, but eventually relents and Emma is pronounced dead at 10:23 PM. Neal opens the curtain and is faced with his parents and the others.

Neal doesn't think it's contagious. The people who came in with it are getting worse, but no one else has symptoms. Taylor says he's hoarding ICU beds for them, but they have to get them out of the bubble. There are five on ventilators and a few more are close. He's hoping it won't come to that for his mother. Taylor says it hasn't escaped his notice that the woman in that bed gave birth to Neal. Whatever he needs, Taylor promises to him.

Neal ultrasounds Lawrence's heart. He's not having a heart attack. He has a temporary condition brought on by stress. He just needs to rest. Away from Lawrence, Neal explains the condition to Christa. There's really no treatment except supportive care, which they're too short-handed to offer.

Mario is trying to stop the bleeding in Nick's leg as Leanne and Angus. It went right through his femoral. They get him off the scanner. He thinks he's dying. Leanne tells him he has an hour and a half before his daughter's flight lands, so he needs to hang on to talk to her. They take him down to Center Stage. A vascular surgeon is on the way. They can pull the rod, which might do more damage, or work around it, but that limits what they can do. Leanne says they'll leave it in unless his BP crashes.

Neal says he has to intubate Asra. Peter says they're rushing it, but Neal doesn't agree. Neal warns his mother about what they're going to do, including that there's a chance the tube might not be able to be removed. If it gets worse, she might never wake up. She tells him she trusts him. He kisses her and tells her he loves her. Then he uses RSI to sedate her and intubates. Christa calls Neal's attention to his father, who is crying in a nearby chair. Neal sits next to his father an apologizes. Peter says he can't lose her and Neal says he can't either.

Christa introduces herself to Peter. She tells him she read all his papers and his work is brilliant. She asks if he's familiar with Susan Evans' work. He is. She introduces Peter to Lawrence. Peter tells Lawrence he once worked with Susan. Peter sits down to continue talking about Susan. A few feet away, Neal sees what she's done and thanks her quietly.

Nick's BP is down and vascular still hasn't arrived. They pull the rod. They use a tourniquet to slow the bleeding to give them time. They improvise to stop the bleeding. The vascular surgeon arrives and takes him to the OR. Leanne tells Mario and Angus they earned their Boy Scout badges.

Neal talks to Leanne about the respiratory patients. He's not sure why they can't get air in. Nothing is working. Leanne says when she was in medical school, the wisdom was that it's never a good idea to treat your family members. She says it's easier said than done and everyone does it eventually, especially for small stuff. In extreme situations, like the one he's in now, he's the only one who can help her. The tragedy is when you're the best and you have to turn your loved ones over to someone not as good. He's lucky and his mother is, too, because no one is better equipped to save her than he is. She says she has the chance to do what she couldn't with her own family. She envies him for that. She says not to waste it questioning himself. He knows what to do.

Neal asks for Malaya's notes on Emma. She has to be the key, because she was young and healthy, but it hit her hardest. Neal makes a connection and asks his father if his mother swam that day. She did. The caterer was in a tent by the pool. If there was a chlorine leak, that could cause the symptoms. He looks at his mother's throat and sees chlorine burns in her airway. It trapped the air in their lungs. He yells out that it's not contagious. They unzip the barriers and help rushes in to unwrap the air. Peter asks to do Asra's himself. Neal calls out directions. Taylor comes in and Leanne tells him what it is. They start taking patients up to the ICU.

Mario and Angus have a sword fight with the pieces of rebar. They compliment each other on their work. They enter the locker room, where Angus asks why Mario turned his back when the thoracotomy went wrong. Mario says he thought they'd throw both of them out of the program, so he left Angus to take the blame. Mario says Angus, Malaya, and Christa, if they weren't in this program, they could do other things, but this is the only place he can be a doctor. People don't believe him half the time when he says he's a doctor. He got scared. He apologizes. Angus says he's scared all the time, just so Mario knows. Malaya comes in and asks Angus if he's ready to go. He says he's going to take Mario out for a beer and let him tell Angus how great he is. It could take all night. Mario says he's paying.

Neal visits his mother, who is doing much better. Neal says he has to check on his other patients, but Peter stops him and says the only good part about the horrible night is that he got to watch Neal work. He doesn't get a lot of moments like that in his practice, where his hands are literally keeping a patient alive. It was exhilarating. Neal says that helps balance the exhaustion. Peter says Neal learned from the best then he became the best. He's sorry he couldn't see that before. Peter's very proud and Neal gave him back his wife. The English aren't demonstrative, so he offers his hand for Neal to shake. Neal says he guesses he's American now and hugs his dad.

Jesse's not sure how Nick is still alive. Leanne says he has unfinished business with his daughter and sometimes, that gets you through. Nick's phone ring and it's Nick's daughter. Jesse promised he'd wake Nick up when his daughter called. He wakes Nick and hands over the phone. Nick starts crying and apologizes to his daughter. Outside his room, Leanne asks if Jesse knows how many times she's dreamed of that call. Nick tells his daughter she's the most important thing in the world to him and he loves her.


  • Leanne Rorish
  • Neal Hudson
  • Christa Lorenson
  • Malaya Pineda
  • Angus Leighton
  • Mario Savetti
  • Jesse Sallander
  • Peter Hudson
  • Nick Gable
  • Asra Hudson
  • Lawrence Evans
  • Mark Taylor
  • Risa Park
  • Amy Wolowitz (right)
  • Emma
  • Vascular Doctor #1 (left)
  • Medic #1
  • Medic #2
  • Medic #3 (rear)

Main CastEdit

Guest StarringEdit


Medical NotesEdit

Susan EvansEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Chlorine gas airway burns
  • Treatment:

Susan came into the ER unable to breathe. They did RSI and intubated, but she lost pulse. They did CPR, but were unable to resuscitate and she was pronounced dead at 5:42 PM.

Nick GableEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Impalement
    • Electrocution
  • Treatment:
    • Extraction

Nick, 53, came into the ER impaled on a steel rebar through his right groin. He was unable to remember anything since that morning, not typical of his kind of injury, so they ordered a head CT, but he couldn't have that until after the bar was removed. They cut the bar down close to his skin, but he went into cardiac arrest and started vomiting abnormally. They were able to restore rhythm and Angus noticed a burn where the rebar was impaling him. He'd been electrocuted and the rebar disguised it. The change in position moved the bar so that it was next to his artery and was pulsing with his heartbeat. They took him for the CT, where he started bleeding profusely. They took him back to the ER, where they worked around the rebar until they couldn't put off removing it any longer. It was pulled out and they used a tourniquet to cut off the blood supply to stop the hemorrhage. The vascular surgeon then came to take over.

Conference PatientsEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Chlorine gas airway burns
  • Treatment:
    • Releasing trapped air

Several patients came into the ER from the same hotel, all in respiratory distress. One by one, they were intubated. Neal eventually figured out that what they had was air trapping. Each patient's chest was compressed to release the trapped air and then they were moved to intensive care.

Asra HudsonEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Hypoxia
    • Chlorine gas airway burns
  • Treatment:

Asia came into the ER with trouble breathing. They gave her albuterol. When she struggled even more to breathe, they used ice on her eyes to try to trigger her vagal nerve to slow her heart rate back to normal. Eventually, Asra had to be intubated. When Neal figured out they all had burns on their airways from chlorine gas, he showed the others how to release the trapped air and his father did it with Asra.

Lawrence EvansEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Apical ballooning
    • Takotsubo cardiomyopathy
  • Treatment:
    • Supportive care

Lawrence started having chest pain after his wife died. Christa examined him and Neal did an ultrasound, which determined he had a temporary condition caused by the stress. He advised rest. Christa then introduced Lawrence to Peter Hudson, who had worked with Lawrence's wife, in order to improve his spirits.

Notes and TriviaEdit

Code Black 1x05 "Doctors with Borders" Promo

Code Black 1x05 "Doctors with Borders" Promo

  • This episode scored 5.96 million viewers.


Episode StillsEdit


See AlsoEdit

A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.