Cells at Work! Code Black
Episode 5

by Lynzee Loveridge,

How would you rate episode 5 of
Cells at Work! Code Black ?

Our long-suffering human body is fighting an uphill battle after major causalities against the invading gonorrhea. Helper T Cell, one of the commanders of the immune system, activates the Killer T Cells to fill in the gaps, but like Mast Cell in last week's Cells at Work! episode, he goes overboard. This leads to an overactive immune response in the epidermis with immediately noticeable results: hair loss.

This episode is our first formal introduction to the Killer T cells in CODE BLACK, but there are barely a few differences from the original series' counterpart because the creator was a coward and didn't replace them with totally jacked women. Regardless, one thing I thought was interesting is that they start a Polynesian dance sequence during the Killer T cells' narrative introduction. It resembles dances I've seen by Maori people but I'm not confident enough to say that that's what it is exactly.

Besides the physical representation of an overactive immune response, this episode has a few decent gags as well. The rapidly copying hair matrix cells gave me a chuckle, and I also liked the physical representation of the elderly Pigment Cell painting the hair shaft – a sign that our human host will likely be going gray pretty soon. Of course, the cute little hair colony goes to hell in a handbasket when the Killer T Cells literally catch everything on fire (inflammation) and mischaracterize the Hair Matrix Cells as Cancer Cells. This "mistaken identity" goes all the way up to the overworked Helper T Cell, who can't be convinced he's made a mistake even with the Dendric Cell showing up. Instead he ups the ante by releasing Cryotines, pushing the Killer T Cells even harder.

RBC seems to have found his own sense of inner strength to combat the horrible conditions despite how often his efforts appear futile. The hair loss scenario could have very easily turned out the same way without the introduction of foreign substance: steroids.

Also when Red Blood cell blushed while watching White Blood Cell do one-handed push-ups, I felt that. Honestly, compared to its counterpart, CODE BLACK has done a decent job interweaving an ongoing plot in between its educationally-focused segments. RBC and WBC are continuing to build a working relationship and romantic-tinged friendship as episodes pass. It's also the vastly better looking show of the two. I've started looking forward to its episodes just a bit more.

Observations by Matt (RN): There are many reasons for hair loss. The kind presented in the episode is likely alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition, meaning your body's defenses attack itself. As with many autoimmune conditions, drugs such as corticosteroids can help reduce immune response, which calms the confused cells and allows hair to regrow.


Cells at Work! Code Black is currently streaming on Funimation.

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