I was forwarded this incredible CNN video of a 911 dispatcher who answered a call about a choking infant, only to realize it was his own son. He calmly told his wife how to save the child’s life over the phone.
The clip immediately reminded me of two episodes of medical dramas I had seen.
In an episode of ER, the crew wondered aloud where one of their staffers was, while furiously trying to save a John Doe. When the patient’s beeper suddenly went off, they realized that this person was their missing coworker.
More recently, on an episode of House, the team couldn’t understand why a disfigured comatose victim wasn’t responding to their treatment. As the show ended, the team realized that the person in front of them was actually a girl they thought had died in the accident.
As an exercise:
Think about a scene in your script that isn’t popping the way you would like? Is there some sort of mistaken identity or sudden realization you can add? Is there a medical angle? How would your characters respond to a revelation like the ones above? Is it more dramatic if they are faced with something right in front of them or over the phone?