This week's ep was all about loss and communication.
Doctor George and Nurse Allison have been dealing with minor injuries, but they've realized that the first aid kit is getting very low and sooner or later, someone's going to need a hospital (some of them have already lost ten to twenty pounds), and so they build a nice clean little infirmary. To stock it, they go make a raid on an abandoned hospital not far from the Sanctuary. They find scads of useful things, scales and oil for the generator and bandages and basic medicines and things-- and George goes missing.
The search for him for hours, and can't find any sign of him, take all the stuff back, and then go looking again, and finally rule that he just isn't there, that he's been kidnapped or has gotten lost. There's all the stages of grief, and then they start doing something about it. Allison and Mike make a huge SOS sign and hang it like a billboard on the roof. Joey finishes the bed of the truck and they install the water tank that will allow them to bring water with them. Vlad builds fireworks to use like flares. And John C and Morgan start building a transmitter, a really old kind like they used to use on ships in the Atlantic in 1900, called a spark-gap transmitter. It shorts out the power, but they fix it and John C puts it on a battery so it won't do that again. Morgan rigs a reciever out of wire, a plastic jar, a phone reciever and an alligator clip, and that's one of the coolest things I've seen. Then she amplifies it with an old TV, and it gets cooler. And they work. The fireworks don't, but they've got the ability to transmit morse code in a way that people can pick up, and if George is out there, he can find his way home.
But over the credits, there was a voiceover where he basically said goodbye, so hopes are low now-- though he did say he's going to try everything in his power to get back. I wonder if something called him away from the show? I wonder if he knew ahead of time that he was leaving? He didn't have anything really dramatic to do, but he was a level head in a group of hotheads, and it was nice to have him around. It'll be scarier without him, though; how much can a trauma nurse do? Could she do surgery if she needed to? Maybe Amy, who was in Peace Corps will be able to do more; Allison is the Doctor now, and she'll need a Nurse if anything goes seriously wrong.
So now they're even more visible than they were, and they are getting low on resources and protein, and the stress is getting to them. The previews from next week don't tell us a great deal about anything other than that there'll be more yelling.
Here's what the offical site has to say about George:
"George grew up as an athletic, popular kid in Tampa, Florida to a family of doctors. After majoring in Marine Biology at University of Florida and considering a career as a marine mammal veterinarian, he decided to go to medical school because he liked to take care of people even more than animals. Medically trained in Tennessee and New Orleans, George is fond of traveling and has discovered a pleasant benefit to his job: he can do it anywhere. George is a thinker and doesn’t act before considering consequences of his actions because if he makes a mistake at work, someone could die. He is a strong fisherman, can start a fire and hunt. George returned to New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to provide care in makeshift medical units."