No NDE-- just a moment of distraction. (Cellphone, the moron.)
The tone for the episode was set when Matt made some critical remarks when Sean was “shopping” for a new car by checking the latest issue of Consumer Reports to see which new car had the highest safety rating. Sean says “There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make sure that you’re safe,” (approximately,) to which Matt’s response was “Yeah there is-- if that’s all you want.” Sean realizes (or thinks he realizes) that his son “thinks he’s a pussy.”
Sean then has a panic attack the next time he gets behind the wheel, which Christian attributes to post-traumatic stress – this wigs Sean out even more, since intellectually he knows that it was a low-speed, relatively safe crash. In spite of Christian’s assurance that “your body didn’t know it wasn’t a lethal situation,” Sean gets even more neurotic and confesses that what bothers him about the panic is that it’s so familiar. He decides that his normal state is terror.
Sean sends a glowing e-mail to the car company speaking glowingly of the engineering of the airbag and how it saved him from injury. The company notes that he’s a plastic surgeon and offers him a job reporting on injuries to cadavers in the crash-test wing. (They give an evasive answer about what happened to their regular guy.) Turns out the first cadaver he gets to work with is the last guy. His buddy explains that he fudged the paperwork as a favour – to give the guy a last ride, since his life was totally uneventful. Of course the corpse ends up with the same facial injuries that Sean has when the airbag deploys. (The guy who hired him indicated that they wanted to fine the design down a bit, because once in a very long while, the airbag decapitates the driver. :D)
Oh, and Sean and Christian work on a guy who took up mountain-climbing when he decided that doing the family thing was going to leave his kids with the impression that their old man never lived. He loses fingers, toes, and nose to frostbite, but gives a very Ernest Hemmingway soliloquy about how he can’t wait to get back on the mountain, to take the peak. When asked about the possibility that he might not make it, he replied “Better dead on a mountainside than dead inside.” This has a profound motivating effect on the actions of both partners.
Eh-- that’s probably the major points up until the half-hour mark or so. (I didn’t tape/download it, so apologies if I’ve gone over stuff you saw.)