Patrick Wilson and Jennifer Ehle co-star in the new series, A Gifted Man. Wilson is a highly successful, rather stuffy neurosurgeon named Michael Holt. One night he bumps into his ex-wife, Anna (Ehle). Their chemistry and affection for each other is obvious, but there is a kicker.
The kicker, which is the impetus for the series, is that Anna is actually dead, and she has come to Michael to help her finish all of her unfinished business. This means that Michael ends up taking his uptown expertise to the free clinic that Anna ran, something that confuses just about everyone else who knows Michael.
In this opener, Wilson plays Michael a little too manic for my taste. I came close to being turned off by the character’s reaction to his gift of having his dead wife with him frequently. He did his best to deny it was happening. I did not mind that reaction or his MRI that he gave himself to make sure he didn’t have a brain tumor or something causing a hallucination. It was just the rest of what he did, running around acting anything but calm.
Still, I suppose that was part of the setup, and we probably need to see him working so hard to deny the truth in order to appreciate the change that is starting to come over him as Anna gets him to become a better person and end up helping others.
The moment I liked the most was actually the very last minute of the show. After working so hard to get rid of Anna, when the moment came, Michael did not really want it to happen. He grasps the door and asks simply, “Are you there?” Then we see Anna, and he smiles. It is the first indication that even if he cannot understand why it is happening, he is actually happy Anna is there.
There is promise in A Gifted Man. It will be interesting to see how long they can keep the series fresh as Michael struggles to give up being arrogant in favor of helping out his fellow man. For now, I plan on watching to find out.