Recap Three Rivers Episode 7 The Luckiest Man

Three Rivers Episode 7

This is a full recap and review so avert your eyes now to avoid spoilers.

This episode was one of the best ones IMO. I cried like a baby through much of it. It did make me mad on a few counts though so that is good too.. it really riled me up and that is the sign of a powerful show.

It started with a young man who jumps into a pile of leaves and has a respiratory attack. When he gets to the hospital Dr. Lee tells him that his lungs are in bad shape. After years of ER visits he had no money or healthcare coverage to be able to follow up with doctors and now his lungs are giving out. He refuses to be admitted to the hospital because he is the guardian of younger siblings who he fears will be taken by social services and split up if he is hospitalized or dies. He asks Dr. Lee to write him some prescriptions and let him go. Dr. Lee has no choice but to comply.

And ALS patient, Mr. Stone, gets in a car accident and needs surgery to repair a tear in the sac around his heart. While operating Dr. Andy discovers a tear in his diaphram as well and tells him that he will need to be intubated, possibly for the remainder of his life, in order to breath. The idea that he will be bedridden and lose the quality of life he had prior to the accident is hard for Mr. Stone to hear.

Mr. Stone meets Kuol, who visits him in his room, and they talk about baseball. Mr. Stone takes a liking to Kuol and is saddened to hear that the young man is waiting on a heart so he can live. Mr. Stone, whose blood type is universal, decides to have himself taken off of life support so that he can die and give his heart to Kuol. Dr. Andy and many of the other doctors think this is a very bad idea and would be a form of assisted suicide. He and the other doctors meet to discuss the issue but Andy is outvoted and Three Rivers decides to allow the donation to occur. I admit I was a little mad at Dr. Andy in this scene. I am a BIG proponent of euthanasia so his stubbornness about Mr. Stone choosing his own death kinda made me a little mad.

Meanwhile word has gotten around to other patients about Dr. Stone donating organs and they start seeking him out trying to get him to donate to their loved ones. I was PISSED when a mom brought her daughter into Mr. Stone’s room trying to get the man’s liver. I am a mom too but I would NEVER be a vulture lurking outside some man’s room trying to get one of his organs. It was GROSS. And what about HIPPA regulations?? How in the world can this hospital let word get around like that? It was very unprofessional and unethical. BUT it set the scene for the last scene in the show which was good.

Dr. Foster treats a woman who got a transplant the previous year and is at TR to attend a donor party. What looked like rejection ends up being far less serious and the woman gets to attend the party.

Dr. Lee’s lung patient comes back in and must be put on a respirator to live. A lung transplant is his only option now. Dr. Lee arranges to have the lung patients wards set up in a hotel so they won’t have to be in hiding then he approaches Mr. Stone to try and get him to donate his lungs to the young man. I agreed with Miranda that the whole premise was disgusting. BUT in all honesty it would be nice if you were going to die, to be able to get to choose your donor recipients and see the good you are doing BEFORE you die. I just wish he could have pursued them.. like he did with Kuol instead of them lurking around him, ya know?

In a nail biting twist Mr. Stone’s daughter pulls rank and tells the hospital she is using her power of attorney to override her father’s decision. I wanted to slap her silly when he ripped up the donation forms he just signed. I mean this was her FATHER and she knew what his dying wish was and she basically gave him a virtual “screw you” when she did that. It REALLY bothered me… if one of my parents was dying and wanted to have the plug pulled I would be the one yanking it out of the wall for them! It was so selfish of her.

But Mr. Stone finds and unlikely ally after he speaks with Dr. Andy and tells him that he will now die powerless and angry. Dr. Andy begins to see how important it is to this man to be able to choose how he dies and Dr. Andy takes Mr. Stone’s daughter to the donor party going on in the hospital so she can see what her father wants to do. She explains that he wants to hold on to her father for as long as possible but Dr. Andy tells her she is denying him the legacy he wants to leave behind by taking away his right to choose his own destiny. She consents to allow her father to be taken off life support per his wishes.

The last scene is of Mr. Stone be wheeled into the OR where they will terminate life support and then procure his organs once he is gone. All the families of the patients he is helping are standing in the hallway to thank him. It was VERY touching as Mr. Stone gets to see the lives he is saving and the families he is putting back together. It was an amazing moment as I think there could be nothing more awesome then getting to see all the good you did with your life BEFORE you die. But those patients that pursued the poor man made me want to slap them silly. It is a good sign when a show has me in tears or wanting to strangle my screen, LOL.

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  1. Fairlight – glad I could help!

  2. Merci beaucoup grace à toi
    j’ai pu comprendre l’épisode car mon anglais n’est pas au top.
    Et voir Alex est toujours un grand plaisir.

  3. Episodes of Three Rivers can also be found on Sling. It takes time to load.—The-Luckiest-Man

  4. Fairlight – type CBS Feedback in your search and it should take you right to the feedback line. Good luck!

    1. JoJo–thanks, that did it! I was trying to leave a Comment instead of Feedback, that was the problem. I have just left a glowing message in the Feedback section, and I’m going now to vote for TR in People’s Choice.

  5. To those of you who missed this incredible show:
    You can go to and watch the whole episode and you can purchase it at iTunes for $1.99 or $2.99 for HD, there is a direct connection on the CBS site to it on iTunes. This is a must see!!

  6. i missed this episode

  7. I have seen comments on other sites from hospital/organ donor workers who are highly critical because what was shown in this ep could never really happen. All I can say is, my husband has become an organ donor because of this episode. It connected with him in a way that nothing else ever had. I hope Mandy Patinkin gets an Emmy, he certainly deserves it. I think if more people could see the good that they could do with organ donation, more people would be willing to donate. This show is getting better with every episode and I hope CBS won’t give up on it (I tried to register on CBS’s comment line and it won’t let me–I’m not very technical I’ll try to go back and figure out what they want). I hope Alex and Mandy know the good they have done with this powerful, heartbreaking episode.

  8. i missed episode 6 soo i’m really pissed right know!

  9. of to say I have already posted on another post as to sunday’s episode… and to say it hit home 100% is for sure fact… and for me for sure… as i mentioned in that post as to my Dad and of who did not have ALS.. yet instead had cancer… anyways… as to someone mentioning as to they view point of “too much… to each their own.. and as to when it comes to er’s and that of when as to suddenly happens.. that this as of to show even just a small amount of what happens in er’s basicly that it does show it 100%. as it can for sure happen and then some… of as to when I say this.. that from my view point to which this comes from.. that of both as to when I’ve been in the er as with family &/or with that of a friend and their family member.. and as you are there suddenly out of nowhere that place is into over drive and yup then some too… and yes to even as to several years ago I had a car accident to which in short I had been rear ended by a massionary truck fully load(as to forms used to form the foundations for buildings,etc).. to which someone in 2 cars ahead of me had suddenly stop out of the blue to turn into a nearby side road w/out warning, the car ahead of me and that of well we all were not going that fast and so we were able to stop and then in my rear view mirror that of coming behind me as iwe were still stopped that of this hugh truck coming and not slow at all… that to say i did think gonner… well as to say it wasn’t just my time and that the driver of that massive truck at very last second tried to ditch his truck into the ditch on the side of the rooad. he did still hit me from behind and even that well.. to say that of all things word to the nearby er was to get a minster ready… no joke… and that of if u could of seen the back of my car which was that of a mini van… which looking like that of push in and opened up as like a large can opener had done it.. and as to impact that of driver’s seat… it had broken from the headrest down to just the tip of the seat part of the seat.. with iof pushed forward like someone had just moved the seat up just a bit so be better to drive it… and yet as to the er.. to say from as to what they had been told as the emt’s came onto the scene and in short that of minster standby. as to say that of expected b/c of way everything looked and as to just incase…and too i more than surprised thoses emt’s & er as to well looks of the seen that jaws of life… um, well to say 1 of the 3 emt’s came right over to where my mini van was and for me that of… I had as to braced myself for the inpact ,to which talk about slow motion as it happened .. and yet as to say I did smell gas, and of all things it took the traffic coming upon and by to slow down enough and that of as to emt’s(1st on the scene) of traffic to come to a full stop and distance away as to safety. well to say that I’ had somehow got that driver’s door open on my own and unhitch my seatbelt which did for sure did what it was made to do.. and well slowly i got out and went to the side of the road away from the area. the emt’s showed up w/ 1 quickly says.. when they well van.. wher’e’s the driver of the van… I answered,, and um, when they call then we were in route to the er.. and as wild as this may sound.. the words of .. whoose that talking? thats not her is it? that of it did for sure start to hit me that i was for sure of to be still alive and too.. of well it could of been… yet too as we came in and just kept going while I was there the er was already into over drive and stayed that way even after i was given the ok I could leave.

    um, as to when several days later when I did get to really see what of left of my mini van… to say that in short.. i could see of how much i am of to be live and to of walked away from it as i did. the er’s .. are 100% there for us and do their best that they humanly can… and yup Three Rivers shows it.

  10. This was one of the saddest shows I have seen in a long time. Mandy Patinkin deserves an emmy for his performance. It was one of the best performances of his career. It was so heartrending I cried at the end, but he made you feel happy at the same time that he was saving so many lives by sacrificing his own.

  11. This was a really good—emotionally charged— episode from start to finish. Loved the relationship between Mandy and Kuol and when Kuol did his Lou Gehrig impersonation…that was too funny. Loved the discussion of the ethical issues that the hospital faced accepting organs from a man whose life could be saved, though he would not live in the manner that he wanted and might have to remain on a ventilator. Andy was heroic in his discussion and I loved how Alex portrayed him during this episode. I thought the soliciting of the organs by individual patients and doctors is something that would never happen, or be allowed to happen. That was over the top and a bit too much of poetic license. A patient that is intubated would not be that accessible to others. Someone made the comment that he would be awake when they took out his organs. I did not get that. But it was a tad cheesey to parade him out in front of the families he was donating to… for the emotional impact…however, this had impact I imagine the show was going for. I cried like a baby… I think one of the problems with Three Rivers is it is a bit too much. Last episode when Lisa told the story of losing her sister as the reason she was washing the tennis shoes was unbelieveable. Couldn’t they just have left it as she adored this cute kid she was treating. It makes it a little too contrived. That said, I love Alex and think he is great in his role. I just miss his “action” roles. He is so physical and so good at stuntwork, I miss seeing him in roles that utilize that talent. I am not saying he isn’t good in cerebral roles…I just miss the action of The Shield, Moonlight, Mary Bryant, The Oyster Farmer…

  12. this episode tore me up!!…I cried buckets and buckets of tears…Mandy Patinkin soooo deserves an Emmy for his powerful gut wrenching performance…I have been telling my Mama about 3 rivers and this is the first episode she watched..said she cried like a baby….

    the episode brought soooo many questions to the surface about donors and life support…

    and as usual Alex was wonderful…

  13. Funny, CBS wants to change time slots and switch TR and Cold Case because they feel that TR is brining Cold Case down in ratings???? Just a thought here, look at the nominees for the “People’s Choice” Award, neither Cold Case, Brothers and Sisters, or Desparate Housewives is nominated – what does this say? And the rumors about ordering 2-5 additional episodes – this should be taken as a good sign, since some of the rumors had it off the air by Thanksgiving, only 2 weeks away. Until I hear something from our friend, Tiffany, it’s all just rumor. The additional episodes will be nice, no matter what time slot we get to see them in. All we can do is continue to contact CBS and let them know how we feel and hope for the best. We are all expressing very thought provoking comments here, let’s carry that over to the CBS feedback comment line. Anything is better than doing nothing.

  14. I thought that this was the best episode of Three Rivers, perhaps the best medical episode I’ve seen. I loved it in the way I loved “Steel Magnolias” and “Terms of Endearment”. I cried at the very end too. If they had showed Victor being taken off life support, I would have totally lost it. I’m glad that they choose to wheel him on a gurney instead. Mandy Patinkin was so great in this episode, he deserves an Emmy. Alex and Alfre’s scene discussing Victor’s decision was fantastic. So many issues were raised: spiritual, philosophical, and ethical. I don’t think I could take this type of episode every week, but I felt blessed to have watched this episode in particular. It moved me like no other episode has. It touched me. You would not get that in any other show today, a noble purpose with only good intentions. The show was well scripted, well directed, and extremely well acted. I hope that CBS does order up new episodes of this intelligent, thought-provoking show. Love Alex for choosing this project, he has made it his own with marvelous results. Kudos to everyone involved. It was awesome.

    1. The show was amazing for many reasons. What sent heat waves was when Alex was talking to Mandy in a very low deep voice (HOT) and the selfless act of helping someone else live. My daughter was like that all the way, she died of metastatic lung cancer. It pissed me off that people went into mandys room asking him for his organs that was appauling! Although you never know how you would react unless you were in that position. I know I would have done anything to see my daughter live.

  15. Yes, it is all over the internet tonight about 3Rs and CC swapping places next week only. There are also rumored reports that the network is contemplating a 2 script order, possibly 5 more for 3Rs. Personally I don’t think it’s the time slot it has, I’ve always thought it was the wrong night. And I agree Barbara, those people at E! are idiots! They usually are.

  16. Meant to say it wasn’t real life, it was a drama.

  17. I agree so heartily with most of you about how riveting this episode was. I wasn’t just crying, but often actually sobbing. Mandy’s protrayal really moved me. He absolutely should get an emmy for this. Did not see the ending as cheesy at all. After all, it was real life, it was a drama. Alex as usual his fantastic self. And yes we need more than 21 minutes of him. Tomorrow nite he’ll be on all niste on ML on the little known Chiller channel. I’m lucky enough to have it on my cable. There’s a Leonid meteor shower predicted for tomorrow nite that I will be watching but later on I’ll tune in to see Alex. BTW, E channel had 10 Vampires we love tonite and guess who was missing?? Yep, our beautiful Alex. Those idiots at E don’t know diddly squat

  18. I loved this ep, but I did get mad and cried at some parts. That was sad when Kuol couldn’t get a heart transplant after all. 🙁 And near the end when Andy took the guy back and he got to see the lives that he was saving made me cry. My mom used to work at University of Maryland by the transplant department, no she wasn’t a surgeon but she did some kind of accounting. She said it was wrong for the man to be wheeled into the OR alive. I mean it’s nice that he got to see the people he was saving, but worse that he’s alive when they remove the organs. To me, that’s just wrong. My mom said that too. But overall, it was a great ep. And I’m still voting TR to get a PCA.

  19. I don’t know where to start. This episode left me strangely unmoved and I am a very
    emotional person. Alex was his usual amazing and passionate self and Mandy Patinkin
    was riveting with his subtle performance. I can understand why Victor made the choice
    to die on his own terms rather than be bedridden and progressively more helpless
    for the remainder of his life. Victor was able to change Andy’s perspective of the situation.
    Those were the things I loved about The Luckiest Man, but I thought the writer wasted a
    perfect opportunity to create a truly memorable story. The scene with the mother asking
    Victor for his liver for her daughter was unbelievably crass and the one with the recipients
    and their families lining the hall as Victor was being pushed along was cringe-inducing. I almost expected him to make a queenly-wave in slow motion from his bed. Did no one
    realize how cheesey that was? Unbelievable !!!

    1. I also agree it was cheesey, made me go “oh no, they are NOT going to do this”, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought it worked. Sometimes life is cheesey, and people act in very hokey, yet understandable ways.

      I could see the people wanting to give thier respects. Could have done without the slow-mo thought…….

  20. I loved this ep, they are getting better every week, we need to keep this one alive not just for Alex but for his fans, remember to vote for the people choice award and keep our show alive (Another poll that would benefit from your attention is at E! Online: Fall TV SOS: Save One Endangered New Show)

    1. Go as directed by Terry to E! ONLINE … put in FALL TV SOS in the search field and it will take you to the voting page. It list TR as endangered with no additional episodes ordered. The voting for TR is currently 19.5% while Eastwich is 29.4%. GO NOW AND VOTE don’t forget to add comments as to why you like the show and why it should be saved. Remember to address the comments with centric towards the show not just Alex.

  21. This episode made me cry…I thought of my father…I had to signed him off life support when he didn’t recover from surgery. He passed away July 9th, 2007, nine months after my mom’s passing. We never had a chance to say good-bye to neither, like the daughter did in this episode……it just tore at my heart!…..3 Rivers is on its way to success!

  22. What a powerful eppy. I too cried and had a huge lump in my throat . I didn’t like the people lurking around Victor Stone like vultures but it did open the door for the ending which was very emotional. Let’s hope CBS will open their eyes and give TR a chance. Well done Tiffany.

  23. I think I would have enjoyed it more it Alex had been in it more than 21 minutes (I timed it).

    But who’s counting………

  24. I just read on another fan site that CBS is going to switch time slots next Sunday between Three Rivers and Cold Case. They think 3R is bringing down Cold Case so they want to switch for one week and see what happens. This is not good. They will be on at 10 PM and they will be up against Brothers & Sisters. I don’t like this at all. What do you all Think about this?

  25. I agree withall of you. This was one of the most powerful episodes yet. I also cried my eyes out at the end. My opinion is that we all have a right to decide on how we want to live our lives and also if possible how we would like to end our life. I can understand Mr. Stone ‘s reasoning completely. He deserves to die with a little bit of dignity and also knowing that he helped so many people at ther same time. Glad to see the numbers were up. My applause to the actors and the writers Great Job.

  26. There is no doubt that this was a VERY powerful episode, and I used many Kleenex at the end. There were several controversies in both the Mr. Stone portion and the young man needing the lung transplant. The young man deserved to have previous heath care and certainly not to have his siblings sent to foster care while he was being treated. As for Victor and his circumstances, everything about his situation was heart-wrenching! With all of these issues, the program showed as many sides as they could in a 1 hour program, it probably should have been longer to really delve into them. I think they did an OUTSTANDING job with it. This should spark many a discussion and probably many arguments, as everyone has their own opinion on the medical ethics involved. The ending was so emotionally draining, it took me a while to take it all in. I think this is what has been needed in this show that I do love. Bravo to the cast, crew and of course the writer of this episode. I admit I have never been a Many Patinkin fan, but he was incredible in this role, he should definitely get an Emmy nomination. His own experience with his corneal transplants made this especially personal to him (as he said in TV Guide). And as always, Good Job, Tiffany!!

  27. Hi Kathy W- I don’t know this for sure, just a guess on my part, but if a dying patient wants to donate organs, etc. to other people, and it is their final request, I can see how that could happen. Probably not a reality, but I guess it could happen that way. Anyone know the answer for sure? People who received donations have the right to know who the donor is so why not make it as personal as possible.

  28. Tiffany, loved your comments, especially regarding HIPPA – I work in a hospital in the records department where WE try with all our might to enforce the many HIPPA regulations. Unfortunately, in any hospital, real or fictious as “Three Rivers”, word does get out about things like this but people would not be allowed to approach the patient, under any type of
    circumstances. As far as “Dr. Andy” being against Mr.Stone wanting to die makes sense in a doctor’s mind, they are sworn to save a life so they become torn in a situation like the one presented by Mr. Stone – that is the purpose of a “Living Will or MPOA. Medical Power of Attorney”. Mr. Stone’s daughter was his MPOA and in the end, Mr. Stone was still of sound mind to revoke that and make the decision he did. Also, in the real world, those family memebers would not have been allowed to be that close the Mr. Stone or the OR but as you said, it was the set up for a very powerful, emotional ending. I agree with you, when a show has people talking about it, then it is a success and deserves the chance to be seen. I’ll be anxious to see how it did in the ratings. Keep us posted.

    1. JoJo so far it went up around 11% in ratings. It got around 8.7 million in the overnight ratings. It was a great night IMO and hopefully it will cause more people to come back next week.

  29. This episode was so sad and I cried and I loved it! Such a wonderful selfless act of kindness this man did for so many families. I had no idea that one could actually be a donor this way. Alex as usual was his sweet, compassionate self. He opposed what Mr. Stone was trying to do, until he sat and talked with him and saw that Mr. Stone truly wanted something good to come from his death. I think this is a wonderful show and really does convey organ donation to it’s best. This is not something most people think about or even consider, I know I didn’t until I watched this show and now, I too am on the national registry.
    The whole cast is really awesome in the parts they play. I hope CBS is hearing a lot of good things for this show and will continue to run it. It’s too good of a show to drop.

  30. This episode was so sad and I cried and I loved it! Such a wonderful selfless act of kindness this man did for so many families. I had no idea that one could actually be a donor this way. Alex as usual was his sweet, compassionate self. He opposed what Mr. Stone was trying to do, until he sat and talked with him and saw that Mr. Stone truly wanted something good to come from his death. I think this is a wonderful show and really does convey organ donation to it’s best. This is not something most people think about or even consider, I know I didn’t until I watched this show and now, I too am on the national registry.
    The whole cast is really awesome in the parts they play. I hope CBS is hearing a lot of good things for this show and will continue to run it. It’s too good of a show to drop.

  31. OMG x 1,000% – this episode was the most heart-wrenching program that I’ve seen on TV in a long while, on any network. I spent at least 45 of the 60 minutes in tears, and let’s not talk about the last 15 minutes!!!!!! THIS is the definition of what a quality “drama” is and if there is still any doubt by anyone, especially TPTB at CBS, this should erase that. This is by far the best episode yet! I have made sure to go to CBS Feedback line and let them know how much I loved this episode, and why TR should be given the chance. I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but to me, THIS is a “reality” show that I want to watch every week, not one where people running around half naked, in a jungle somewhere eating bugs, hoping to win some money. Give me more episodes of “Three Rivers” any day. Thanks, Tiffany for the recap.

  32. I watched this heart-wretching show. I had no idea that people on life support could make a decision like that. I am not that strong a person to make a decision to stop living regardless of the circumstances. It gave you something to think about and the value of life. Each epidsode I discover something new and different about transplants. I see it on the show then have to research it. This show needs to remain on the air for the benefit to all … you never know when that person could be a member of our family.

  33. thanks so much i did watch the show and it was so very sad that one really made me cry my heart went out to his daughter i do now why they are taking the show off the air they give alex a show then take it a way from him i hope this is not true if you find out let me now
    thanks charlene

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