March 29, 2011 – Body of Proof Premieres on ABC
“The answers are all here. Because that’s what we do. I honor the body for what it tells me about Angela Swanson’s life, and how that life came to an end. The body is the proof, and will tell you everything you need to know, if you just have the patience to look.”
On March 29, 2011, the new medical series Body of Proof premiered on March 29, 2011, with its pilot episode. The series is about Dr. Megan Hunt, a talented medical examiner, who tries to juggle her personal life with her new job after a serious car accident forced her out of her old position as a neurosurgeon. The series currently is on its third season, and has been met with mixed reviews. It was created by Christopher Murphey, and stars Dana Delany as Megan Hunt, Jeri Ryan as Kate Murphy, John Carroll Lynch as Detective Bud Morris, Nicholas Bishop as Peter Dunlop, Sonja Sohn as Samantha Baker, Mark Valley as Tommy Sullivan, and Elyes Gabel as Adam Lucas.
The episode begins with Dr. Megan Hunt getting a CAT scan, who has been pressuring people for more medical tests for her condition, but the doctors inform her that they can’t find anything wrong with her. Megan had been in a horrible car accident four years prior, and her career as a neurosurgeon is over. She has a new career as a medical examiner, and is soon called to a crime scene, as a body of a female jogger is pulled out of a river. Her partner, medical investigator Peter Dunlop, helps her with the scene, and she meets Detectives Bud Morris (with whom Megan does not get along) and Samantha Baker, who seems impressed at Megan’s skill from the initial meeting.
Megan arrives back at the Philadelphia County Medical Center, where she is highly regarded by the staff for her expertise. She calls her daughter’s cell phone, and it is revealed that she is estranged from her daughter and ex-husband, and is not even invited to attend her daughter’s birthday party. She then heads to the autopsy on the runner, where she frustrates Detective Morris again. Detective Baker then questions Megan as to why, if she used to be a big-shot neurosurgeon, is she working as a medical examiner. Megan replies simply that you can’t kill someone if they’re already dead.
Megan and Peter head to see the study of the brain samples, and finds that Angela has been hit on the head before, which could lead to several conclusions. It turns out that Angela had been pushed down a flight of stairs by her ex-boyfriend and put her in a coma a couple of years ago. When questioning the ex-boyfriend, Megan determines that the ex-boyfriend didn’t do it, once again annoying Morris. Megan and Peter head to Angela’s parents house, and find that her personality did change after her coma. Hearing about how Angela became loving to her family as she had been when she was younger makes Megan miss her daughter all the more, and reveals to Peter that everything spiraled out of control after her accident. Peter advises her to try and have some fun with her daughter rather buy her love, but Megan gets angry and dismisses Peter’s advice. Megan continues to study the body, looking for clues, and finds finger impressions on Angela’s neck. The also find that Angela did have sex before she died, and that the man in question had to have been married.
Megan has lunch with a friend an colleague, asking for his help to find the identity of the mystery lover. He then asks her if this “New Megan” that cares for the dead is for real, or is she just trying to work off the guilt of accidentally killing someone on the operating table. Megan responds weakly that it’s both, and he agrees to help without breaking doctor-patient confidentiality. When they question the man Bradford Paige, Megan jumps into the question of if he slept with Angela. Paige is furious and Megan is thrown out of his office. The case takes a turn when it is revealed that Angela had recently made partner in the law firm after a high-profile case, and Angela had given her client privileged information, which ties in with the personality change from after the coma.
Back at the medical center, Megan is pulled into the chief’s office, where her methods of asking for expensive medical tests are called into question, but Megan once again proves her worth and that she was right. Late at night, Peter finds her still in the lab, and he once again tries to help her see how to reach her daughter. However, the conversation is cut short by a phone call informing the two that Angela’s ex-boyfriend has been taken into custody for Angela’s murder. While he admits that he was in the park at the same time Angela was there, he says he only wanted to confront her about the incident that landed him in jail. Detective Morris, however, thinks he’s guilty. When Megan tells Morris that he has the wrong guy, he angrily suggests that Megan return to her old profession, and the truth of why Megan quit neurosurgery is revealed. When Peter asks her about it, she tells him she learned more about the woman she’d killed on the autopsy table than she ever did while she was alive, and that means a lot to her.
Once more at the medical center, Megan works on a hunch and asks some tests be done on Angela’s stomach contents for prescription drugs, and then attends her daughter’s birthday party, invited or not. The present she gives her daughter was a key to Megan’s apartment, telling her daughter she’ll always be welcome there if she just wants to escape from the world. Without really waiting for a response, Megan walks away and heads back to work. The tox screen reveals that Angela has ingested amoxicillin, when she was supposed to be taking another drug. The detectives, Megan, and Peter head to Paige’s house to test Megan’s theory. While Paige finally admits that he did have an affair with Angela, Megan reveals that it was Paige’s wife that killed Angela, who found out about Paige’s affair thanks to Paige passing on strep throat to Angela after catching it from his son. She poisoned Angela’s sports drink with amoxicillin, which Angela was deathly allergic to, causing Angela to go into anaphylactic shock and drown in the river. Detective Morris begrudgingly acknowledges that she was right. Back at the morgue, she is met by Kate, Megan’s boss, who is impressed with Megan’s dedication, but warns her that if she lets every case get too personal, she’ll burn out quickly. Megan then heads home, and finds that her daughter left her some birthday cake on the kitchen counter. Megan samples the cake with a smile.