The final season ever of Royal Pains premieres on USA on May 18 (insert both happy and sad face emojis here). But this week, Netflix has added the seventh and most recent season to their library, which means you can catch up on -- or relive! -- all the HankMed action straight from Shadow Pond before season eight airs. But what if you have no idea what HankMed or Shadow Pond is and don’t have 80 hours to spare before May 18? How about eight? Could you do eight? Because right here, we have the eight essential episodes you need to see before the last season premieres.
Season 1, Episode 1: "Pilot"
Talk about making lemonade out of seriously sucky lemons. When Dr. Hank Lawson (Mark Feuerstein) makes a game-time call in the ER that costs him his job, his reputation, his earning potential, and his fiancé, he and his brother Evan (Paulo Costanzo) hightail it out of NYC and head east to the fabulosity of the Hamptons to start a concierge medical practice. Even from the beginning, it seems like these two-brothers-from-the-same-mother are on to something McMansion-sized big. Bonus points: learning how to pronounce Boris’ (Campbell Scott) full name.
Season 1, Episode 9: “It’s Like Jamais Vu All Over Again"
This episode’s got all of the quintessential Royal Pains elements: a horse show (so Hamptons); several good medical emergencies, including one that’s very personal to Divya (Reshma Shetty); “Evan R. Lawson, CFO of HankMed” in a straw hat and bowtie trying a little bit too hard but also starting to be a good friend to Divya, with whom he had been clashing since the day they met; and a romantic bombshell — one of many to come between Hank and Jill Casey (Jill Flint), quite possibly the one who got away.
Season 2, Episode 2: "Lovesick"
The One Where Hank Punches His Estranged Father in the Face and Then Stitches Up His Wound. Hank and Evan’s dad, Eddie (played by the Fonz!) reenters his sons’ lives and does what he does best: screw things up despite seeming to have the best intentions. This is where we start to see the roots of Hank’s past resentments and inability to commit to romantic relationships, as well as Evan’s insatiable need to please and be liked. Plus: the debut of the “HankMed Head” bobble-head doll.
Season 3, Episode 15: “Hank and the Deep Blue Sea"
Even though over the course of season three, professional golfer Jack O’Malley (Jack Cavanagh) is not only one of Hank’s most reluctant (and sickest) patients but also acts on his interest in Jill during a “Jank” Off-Again moment, he and Hank form a deep bromantic bond. So when a tragedy occurs, Hank is sent reeling, which has serious repercussions for everyone, including himself. A real heartstring-tugger of an episode.
Season 4, Episode 10: “Who’s Your Daddy?"
After long being made to suffer both emotionally and financially by her parents and her ex-fiancé’s parents for breaking off her arranged engagement, Divya finally gets to have some FUN — with a romance novel cover-worthy Argentinian professional polo player. On the less frothy side of this episode, Paige (Brooke D'Orsay), Evan’s adorable and upbeat fiancé, learns that her picture-perfect (though strict) parents have behaved imperfectly and in fact, dishonestly, which upends her whole world. Look out for: Hank's patient of the week, played by Gary Cole.
Season 5, Episode 3: "Lawson Translation"
Throughout the series, Hank and international man of mystery, Boris, would venture off to foreign lands, either to thwart some plot against Boris or to continue their search for a cure to Boris’ genetic disease. This time, thinking that Boris is dead, Hank sets out for Budapest to meet Boris’ cousin and quickly realizes (surprise! not) that the situation is far from what he expected. Bonus: While in Budapest, Mark Feuerstein shot parts of this recap rap to tee up season 5, “Go goulash!”
Season 6, Episode 3: "A Bridge Not Quite Far Enough"
Somehow, even when Eddie (Henry Winkler) isn’t anywhere near the Hamptons, he still manages to wreak havoc on his sons’ lives. This time, it’s a half-sister they never knew they had appearing out of nowhere. But it turns out that Eddie had no idea she existed either. Regardless, they welcome the teenaged Emma (Willa Fitzgerald) with open arms. The only problem with Emma’s ongoing presence is the fact that the biggest trait she has in common with her newfound father is her keen ability to “doctor” the truth. Cameo alert: Top Chef's Padma Lakshmi as herself.
Season 7, Episode 8: "Lending a Shoulder"
This list must end with the pivotal last episode of season seven. Just when it seems like Paige and Evan are finally going to get a baby, they wind up learning about themselves as potential parents in a heartbreakingly sweet turn of events. Divya suffers the loss of her beloved grandmother but that helps put her on the right personal path at last. And Hank re-encounters Nikki (Pascale Hutton), his ex-fiancé, which makes him see something important about his past clearly for the very first time.
Feeling primed for season eight? Check out Hank's latest recap rap here and get in on the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #RoyalFarewell!