This second season of Dr. Ken has managed to successfully mix tears and laughter on many of its episodes. None, however, more masterfully than “Allison Finds a Lump.” This one touches upon a personal note. Ken Jeong’s real-life wife fought and won against “the Big C” (as the late Duke Wayne referred to the disease) and at the end of the episode Ken and Tran talk about Stand Up To Cancer.
The episode starts with Dave taking on the role of Peter Pan and complaining about the nonsensical nature of the tale while learning his lines. Later, after a shower, Allison discovers a lump in her breast. Ken takes time away from watching a tic-tac-toe playing chicken to reassure her.
He calms Allison down after trying to rip a hand towel in half. The scene ends with the two watching the creature play the game as Ken tells a story about the bird.
The next day, Allison puts off ringing her doctor for an appointment and Ken rings for her. As she talks to the receptionist, Molly overhears her conversation. Learning that Allison has found a lump is clearly upsetting.
As Allison waits to learn when her doctor can see her, the receptionist puts her on hold. The music playing is a variation on the old Benny Hill Yakety Sax theme, every time Allison is put on hold, she is treated to this upbeat music.
She learns that her doctor cannot see her for two weeks. Ken vows to help Allison find another doctor to see her. She tells the rest of the Welltopia staff and she gets a group hug from everyone, including a passerby named Carl.
Allison and Ken go to see the most dour surgeon in all of Welltopia, Dr. O’Sullivan. Allison worries about everything that is going on and Ken reassures her that he will help out. After he then breaks a sculpture in the doctor’s office the surgeon reveals that Allison does have a lump.
He schedules a biopsy the next day during his lunch break. Allison jokingly asks if she can be in an induced coma while waiting for the results and O’Sullivan reacts poorly, the man really does have no sense of humor.
Molly speaks with Ken about her mother and expresses her fears and offers to support both her parents however she can. She agrees to drive Dave to his play incase Allison is not up to going to the show.
Pat, who has been going on phone dating sites since breaking up with Megan, talks with Clark and Damona about realizing how short life is. The realization that Allison could have cancer has touched them all. He vows to do more with his life and Damona talks about taking tennis lessons.
Allison and Ken have a moment where she talks about how waiting for the news is driving her crazy. They decide to attend Dave’s play and they arrive to find Pat, Clark and Damona already in attendance.
Dave’s harness malfunctions and the audience are in stitches. The next day Allison learns that the lump was not cancerous. Pat surprises Damona with a box of tennis gear and he further surprises her with a kiss. She asks him why he had to complicate things and then kisses him back.
At the Park home, Allison reveals to Molly that she got the all clear and the family indulge in a group hug after Dave announces that he is a star.
At the end of the episode Ken and his wife Tran talk about their story and Stand Up To Cancer.
This was another of those special moments on Dr. Ken where a personal note was introduced into the show. The series is already based, somewhat, on Ken Jeong’s real life and this episode broaches the fear of breast cancer and the effect it has on those around us.
Ken also, via the auspices of personal experience, manages to dispense some brilliant advice for those who might share Allison’s experience. Dr. Ken reminds his TV wife to be proactive in getting help. The message is clear, being diagnosed with a lump is the first step, not the final one.
It is done effectively. In ways that are touching and humorous, the story line shows how life goes on all around the cancer victim, or potential victim. Dave, who never learns about the lump, goes on to adapt Peter Pan. Molly steps up to help out and Ken proves that there are no limits on his love for Allison.
There are obviously no limits on the feelings that Pat and Damona have for one another either. While this passion has never cooled, it could be a bit awkward for Damona and Eric, since they are still, presumably, a couple. The re-ermegence of this love affair has been a long time coming.
“Allison Finds a Lump” was a splendid mix of comedy with tears. Suzy Nakamura and Ken Jeong were spot on with their reactions to one another with what could have been devastating news. Krista Marie Yu provided a powerhouse performance that was simple but oh so effective. Albert Tsai proved, that in the scheme of things, he really does not need a straight man, the kid has got comedy chops for days.
On top of the powerful and poignant message that Dr. Ken passed on this week, the culmination of the Pat and Damona relationship (with those two kissing with all that repressed passion) was a splendid moment. This couple needs to be together and this, along with Dave’s happy self inclusion in that familial group hug, made the comedic portion of the episode nigh on perfect.
Dr. Ken airs Fridays on ABC. Tune in and bliss out and embrace the love that this show shares.
(On a sidenote: Does Ken call Allison Molly as they leave O’Sullivan’s office? Answers on a postcard please or down in the comment section below. Please and thank you.)
- Ken Jeong – Ken
- Albert Tsai – Dave
- Suzy Nakamura – Allison Park
- Krista Marie Yu – Molly
- Tisha Campbell-Martin – Damona
- Jonathan Slavin – Clark
- Dave Foley – Pat
- Dana Lee as D.K.
- Jerry Minor – Eric
- Justin Chon – Jae
- Stephen Guarino – Connor
Guest starring Patrick O’Sullivan as Dr. O’Sullivan