December 4, 2021

Buffy 2.4, Inca Mummy Girl: Who’s That Girl?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:11 pm by Jenn

Bro, I don’t know what the rules were 500 years ago, but nowadays, this is considered creepy

Summary: Buffy, Willow, and Xander are on a field trip to a museum, and Buffy’s complaining about how Joyce signed them up to host an exchange student for a couple of weeks. Sunnydale High is doing a whole exchange extravaganza, including a dance. Xander’s looking forward to the events, since they get to learn about other cultures. Buffy asks if he’s ever participated in an exchange program before. “My dad tried to sell me to some Armenians once. Does that count?” he asks.

The museum exhibit they’re there to see is about South America, but Cordelia’s mind is currently on Sweden, since that’s where her family’s exchange student is from. She expects Sven to be hot. Xander gets worried when he learns that Buffy’s student is a guy. Cordelia says she’s living on the edge by not checking out what he looks like ahead of time. Buffy and Willow smirk over Xander suddenly being less excited about the exchange program.

They spot a guy named Rodney (“God’s gift to the bell curve” – Xander) doing something he probably shouldn’t be doing to an artifact. He growls at someone who approaches him. “What he lacks in smarts he makes up in lack of smarts,” Xander continues. Willow knows Xander’s just resentful because Rodney beat him up for five years. Buffy offers to stop him, but Willow thinks this is a situation better left to someone who won’t use violence. She goes to talk to Rodney, whom she’s been tutoring in chemistry. He seems to respect her, or at least he talks to her like a human instead of growling at her.

A tour guide takes the students into an exhibit about an Incan princess. “The human sacrifice is about to begin,” he says. Anything to make a field trip more exciting, right? The guide tells everyone that 500 years ago, the Incas chose a teenage girl to be their princess, then sacrificed her to a mountain god by burying her alive. Willow feels really bad for her. The princess is protected by a cursed seal that warns away anyone who might want to wake her.

Xander isn’t that interested in looking at a 500-year-old dead body, so he brings up Buffy’s exchange student again. His name is Ampata and he’ll be arriving tomorrow night. They leave the mummy behind, and later, Rodney sneaks back into the exhibit. He tries to remove the seal the mummy’s holding, but he breaks it. She wakes up and strangles him.

At school the next day, Buffy asks Giles if she can go to the dance. He says no, since she’s the Chosen One. Buffy says that this one time, she’d like to be the Overlooked One. She mocks his usual speech about her responsibilities and the sacrifices she has to make, ending it with, “I’m so stuffy; give me a scone.” “It’s as if you know me,” he replies.

They’re training while they’re talking, so Buffy takes out her anger on the punching bag Giles is holding. He thinks that Buffy’s going to have a hard enough time keeping her Slayer identity secret from her temporary house guest; she doesn’t need another challenge on top of that. Xander objects to the idea of Ampata living with Buffy, like, he’s not staying in her room, buddy. You need to chill. Buffy thinks going to the dance would help her maintain the illusion that she’s a normal student. Giles is in danger of being kicked again, so he gives in.

Xander offers to drive the Scoobies to the dance, since he’d like a third person present with him and Willow. He’s afraid she’ll get the wrong idea and think they’re on a date. As Willow enters the library, unseen, Buffy asks if Xander has really never thought about kissing Willow in all the years they’ve known each other. He certainly did the day before school started. Xander says he loves Willow and she’s his best friend, but he doesn’t think of her romantically. Willow finds it hard to hide her disappointment.

She tells the others that Rodney’s missing, and his parents say he didn’t come home last night. Buffy realizes he wasn’t on the bus back from the field trip. The Scoobies joke that he might have awakened the mummy and been attacked. Then they realize they shouldn’t joke about that because this is Sunnydale and it’s extremely likely that happened.

They take their own field trip back to the museum, where they find the broken seal. The mummy’s still in the tomb, though, so everything seems okay. Suddenly, a guy runs at them with a knife, yelling. Xander jumps on him, and when the guy sees the mummy, he runs off. Giles decides they should leave before the guy comes back. Willow asks if the Incas were advanced. Yes, but probably not so advanced that their sacrificed princess had braces. Looks like Rodney is the new princess.

The Scoobies return to the library to try to figure out what’s going on. They guess that the pictograms on the broken seal can provide some answers, but it’ll take a while for Giles to translate them. Buffy suddenly remembers that she has to go pick up Ampata from the bus station. Since he’s from South America, she wonders if he could help them translate the seal.

Ampata has already arrived, and while he’s waiting for Buffy to show up, he hears a girl whispering his name. He follows the sound to the mummy, who grabs him and kisses him. Sometime later, the Scoobies arrive and search for Ampata. Instead of a boy, they get a girl. Since she’s pretty, Xander’s back on board with the whole exchange program.

They take Ampata to Buffy’s house and chat with her about things like whether she’s been to America before (she’s toured but hasn’t seen much) and how she speaks English really well (she’s a good listener). Xander is totally in love. At bedtime, Ampata appreciates her soft bed. She tells Buffy that back home, things are “cramped and very dead.” Compared to her, Buffy has a lot. Ampata wants to learn all about what it’s like to be a normal teenager. Buffy’s like, “Yes, I’m exactly the person to teach that.” Outside, the man from the museum is lurking in the bushes.

The next day, Cordelia tells a guy named Devon that she’ll be at the dance that night but she’s not going to be one of his groupies, so she won’t be worshiping him from the edge of the stage. She’ll meet him there after the dance, though. Unfortunately, they’ll have a third party in the form of Sven, who’s not as hot as Cordelia had hoped. She tells Devon the whole exchange thing has been horrible: “They don’t even speak American.”

After she leaves, Devon asks his bandmate Oz what he thinks of Cordelia. Not much, is the answer. Devon asks what a girl has to do to impress Oz. “Well, it involves a feather boa and the theme to A Summer Place,” Oz replies. “I can’t discuss it here.” Devon says he’s too picky for a guy who plays lead guitar, something all girls love. Oz says he’s not picky; Devon’s just impressed by any pretty girl who can walk and talk. “She doesn’t have to talk,” Devon says.

Willow has made her costume for the dance, but Xander hasn’t figured his out yet. He wants to look impressive for his new crush. Buffy’s just arriving with Ampata, and the two go see Giles. He shows Ampata the seal, which she of course recognizes. The Scoobies lie that they have an archaeology club. Ampata asks where the other pieces are, since the Scoobies only have one, then tells them to hide it. Giles asks about a picture of a man with a knife. Ampata says he’s like a bodyguard for the mummy.

Since Buffy now has “archaeology club” responsibilities to handle, she starts to ask Willow to spend the day with Ampata. Xander volunteers instead, because of course he does. Poor Willow can’t ignore how much Ampata and Xander like each other. Later, Xander introduces Ampata to the American wonder that is the Twinkie. She says he’s strange, but in a good way.

Buffy researches the seal while Willow tries to focus on Scooby stuff instead of thinking about Xander and Ampata. Buffy reminds her that Ampata’s only staying for two weeks. Willow’s bummed mostly because Xander actually has a shot with Ampata, which he never did with Buffy. She decides she can either wait for Xander to notice her or she can live her life. Buffy’s proud of her, but Willow says she hasn’t chosen which path to take yet.

Buffy’s research helps Giles figure out that Rodney may have been killed by the mummy. She’s capable of feeding on a person’s life force and basically mummifying them. Now they just need to figure out how to find and stop the mummy. Meanwhile, the guy with the knife (who we now know is a bodyguard) is back, and he demands the seal from Xander. When he sees Ampata, he recognizes her. Xander fights him off and runs away with Ampata.

They go to the library, where Ampata tells Giles that he needs to destroy the seal before anyone gets killed. She’s distressed to learn that Rodney has already died. Xander decides to tell Ampata who the Scoobies really are, but Giles and Buffy object, so Xander says their archaeology club is really a crime club. It’s “kind of like the chess club, only with crime and, um…no chess.” Ampata repeats that the seal has to be destroyed.

She leaves and Xander follows her, promising that he won’t let anyone hurt her. Ampata says the investigation is dangerous, and she just wants a normal life. Willow comes out to check on them, and she suggests that Xander take Ampata to the dance so she can have a normal teenage experience. Willow will go by herself. Xander thanks her by calling her his best friend.

Buffy can’t figure out why the bodyguard wants the seal. Giles guesses he needs to put it back together. The other pieces must still be at the museum. If the Scoobies go back there, the bodyguard will probably show up, too. Buffy’s pleased that she and Giles have come up with a plan. Unfortunately, they need to go tonight, which means Buffy will have to skip the dance.

Xander tells Ampata he likes her and wants to take her to the dance. She admires his courage in telling her how he feels. She says she likes him, too. “You’re not a praying mantis, are you?” he asks. Ampata heads to the bathroom to reapply her lipstick, but the bodyguard is waiting for her there. She begs him not to kill her. He reminds her that she’s already dead. Ampata argues that she was innocent and her death wasn’t fair. The bodyguard points out that the people she’s killing to stay alive were also innocent.

Ampata says she’s in love, but that doesn’t matter to the bodyguard: She’s the Chosen One, so she has to die again. She doesn’t get a choice here. He tries to stab her, but she grabs him and gives him a soul-stealing kiss. When she leaves the bathroom, all smiles, she tells Xander she’ll go to the dance with him. Sorry to whoever finds the mummified bodyguard on the bathroom floor.

While getting ready for the dance that night, Ampata tells Buffy she doesn’t have any lipstick. (Since we just saw her with a tube, I’ll give the writers the benefit of the doubt and pretend she means she doesn’t have lipstick that matches her outfit for the dance.) Buffy says she can borrow one, then tells her that the bus station finally delivered the rest of her things. She offers to unpack for Ampata while she’s at the dance, which Buffy laments she has to miss. Ampata admires that Buffy always puts others before herself. She’s like the Inca princess that way.

As Buffy starts looking through Ampata’s things, finding boy’s clothes, Ampata says that the princess was told that she was the Chosen One of all the girls in her generation. She absently opens one of Buffy’s desk drawers, which Buffy rushes to close before Ampata can notice her cross and holy water. She can obviously relate to the princess and her sacrifices, like not getting a chance to fall in love. Buffy starts to open Ampata’s chest, but the doorbell rings, distracting her before she can see the mummy inside.

Xander arrives dressed like a character from a spaghetti western. Ampata appears to be dressed as…herself, I guess, since she looks like an Inca princess. Joyce thinks Buffy’s voluntarily skipping the dance. Xander tells Buffy to be careful as they head out. Joyce comments that after just two days in America, Ampata already seems like she belongs.

Devon and Oz’s band, Dingoes Ate My Baby, provide music for the dance at the Bronze. Cordelia’s dressed like a luau dancer, and Willow’s dressed like…well, this. Cordelia’s trying hard to ditch Sven, who’s dressed like a viking. One of her friends thinks he’s cute, and that Cordelia should appreciate a guy who doesn’t put her through the horrors of small talk. Cordelia’s mostly annoyed that he doesn’t take orders in her broken English. Xander and Ampata arrive, and Willow feels less than beautiful compared to the princess.

Giles goes to the Summers’ house to tell Buffy that someone found the bodyguard’s body. Buffy doesn’t get why the mummy would kill him. Giles tells her that the bodyguard’s job wasn’t really to protect the princess – it was to make sure she didn’t awaken and escape. Buffy thinks Ampata translated the seal incorrectly, but then she remembers that Ampata’s been uneasy about the seal. They look through Ampata’s things and find the mummy.

Back at the Bronze, Xander and Ampata dance. Oz looks out at the crowd and asks Devon about a girl he sees. Devon thinks he’s talking about Ampata, but he’s talking about Willow. He’s immediately smitten. Giles and Buffy rush to the dance, or try to, since his car doesn’t drive very fast. Ampata’s getting closer and closer to kissing Xander, which could spell his doom. Just as they’re about to smooch, Ampata notices her hand mummifying and runs off.

Still in the car, Buffy and Giles discuss the seal. They realize that Ampata wanted them to destroy the seal because if they put it back together, she’ll be trapped as a mummy again. They need the other pieces. Giles decides to drop Buffy off at the dance and go to the museum himself to put the seal back together. Buffy hopes to arrive in time to stop Xander from getting “smoochy with mummy dearest.”

Xander asks if Willow’s seen Ampata. She shrugs, but her heavy coat makes it hard to notice. Xander tells her to actually say, “Shrug” next time. He leaves, and she says, “Sigh.” Nearby, Sven complains to Cordelia’s friend – in fluent English – about how annoying it is living with Cordelia. Because of her broken English, he wonders if she’s really from America.

Ampata needs to kiss someone to get a life-force boost, and she’s chosen Jonathan, a nerd who has most definitely never kissed a girl before. He’s surprised she’s showing interest, since he saw her with Xander. Xander comes looking for her before the kiss, and Jonathan realizes he needs to leave before Xander catches them together. Xander asks Ampata why she ran away. She says she doesn’t deserve him, which he thinks is funny, since he felt the same way about her.

She’s upset that her dream of falling in love seems to be out of her reach. Xander jokes that she can’t tell him what’s going on with her because then she’d have to kill him. He moves to kiss her, and she can’t resist, even knowing what could happen. After a few moments of kissing, Ampata resists her urge to feed on his life force, even as she starts mummifying.

Somehow, Ampata can sense Giles piecing the seal back together, so now she has something else to worry about. Buffy arrives at the Bronze and tells Willow that Ampata is the mummy. At first Willow’s happy, since they’ll have to get rid of her, but then she realizes that Xander’s in danger. Oz approaches just as they run off, so he doesn’t get a chance to strike up a conversation with his new crush. “Who is that girl?” he asks himself, intrigued.

The girls find Xander, who just remembers having a great kiss. They head off to the museum, where Ampata has already snuck in to stop Giles. He’s one piece away from putting her back in her tomb. She grabs the seal and breaks it again, then strangles Giles. Buffy arrives just then, making a “kiss and tell” joke that isn’t one of her best. Ampata notes that Buffy’s been keeping secrets just like Ampata has. Neither is a normal girl.

They fight, and Ampata wins, trapping Buffy in her tomb. Willow arrives and Ampata strangles her, but Xander offers up himself to save his best friend. He’s accepted that he and Ampata can’t be together. Ampata says she has to kill someone to stay alive, and she has to do it now. Xander again offers himself, challenging her to kill him if she wants to live. She decides she can handle that, and she starts to kiss him as her mummification continues.

Buffy gets out of the tomb and pulls Ampata off of Xander, but Ampata’s body is starting to fall apart, and her arms stay clutched onto his. If that doesn’t traumatize Xander, nothing will. Buffy drops Ampata, who shatters. Xander is single again, but he has his best buddy Willow and his other good friend Buffy to comfort him. Also, Giles. They all leave the museum, like, you’re not going to at least put Ampata back in her tomb?

The next day, Xander’s down because he’s 0 for 2 on choosing a love interest who’s secretly evil. Buffy thinks Ampata really did care about Xander, and she at least didn’t start out evil. Yeah, but she still tried to kill him, so…that’s not a lot of consolation. Buffy is sympathetic toward Ampata since she was sacrificed without having any say in the matter. Buffy went through something similar with the prophecy about her death. Xander notes that Buffy chose to sacrifice herself then because she knew it was the right thing to do. She reminds him that she had him to bring her back.

Thoughts: Oz! Oz! Oz! Who doesn’t like Oz? (The facial hair can go, though.)

This isn’t a great episode, but I like that for once, the audience knows what’s going on before the Scoobies do. Gotta keep things interesting.

I’m sorry, Cordelia would never go for Devon. He’s not high-class enough for her.

November 30, 2021

ER 9.21, When Night Meets Day: Total Eclipse of the Carter

Posted in TV tagged , , at 5:01 pm by Jenn

It’s the 200th episode, so they set something on fire, just for fun

Summary: Carter opens the heavy blinds in his bedroom to a bright, sunny day. He heads to County for a shift, taking over for Pratt, who worked overnight. He’s getting through his punishment from Romano, a month’s worth of night shifts. Pratt has no sympathy for Susan, who’s only had to work three nights in a row. Susan tells Carter that there’s a group of patients who want to be released by 2:16 p.m. so they can see an eclipse. “The moon blocks out the sun – big deal. I’ve got a billboard outside my apartment that does the same thing,” she says. Pratt has just one more night at County before he moves on to Northwestern.

This episode goes back and forth between the night and day shifts, so we skip ahead to the start of Pratt’s last County shift that night. He slept through the eclipse and doesn’t care that he missed it. He repeats what Susan said almost verbatim. Carter’s still there, talking to a woman with two young kids about something that doesn’t seem happy.

Pratt notes that there are a bunch of Buddhists in the ER. Carter explains that a nun died. He’s also treated a six-year-old girl with cyanide poisoning and dealt with a man who died of a heart attack. He passes a patient back to Pratt because the poor guy has been there for 20 hours. Carter heads out without really saying goodbye to Pratt, who reminds him that this is his last shift at County. Carter wishes him luck in the future.

Day: Weaver tells a guy with a dump truck not to park in the ambulance bay while some workers are remodeling the triage area. Chen chats with Carter, who’s leaving for a vacation in Rio the next day. Paramedics bring in a woman who tells them she was forced to do something because “it’s all ending today.” 2:16 p.m. will mark the end of the world. Carter laments that he’ll miss it because he has to work.

Next, he and Elizabeth tend to a gang member who was shot. Gallant asks him to examine the Buddhist nun. The ER is busy, so when Weaver comes down, Carter hopes she’s going to help out. She’s not. She also hasn’t fired Romano, as Carter hopes – he’s on medical leave. The woman who was talking about the end of the world is now unconscious, and Carter thinks she’s on drugs. Peña thinks that since she’s out, he doesn’t have to follow up on her claim that someone tried to kill her. Yeah, that’s how it works. Once someone falls asleep, there’s no more crime to investigate.

Carter blows off a guy he thinks is a drug-seeker so he can check in on the nun, Zuin-an. She has cancer and ended her chemo treatments a few months earlier because they weren’t doing anything. A fellow nun, Kito, brought her to the ER because she’s in pain and hasn’t been drinking anything. Zuin-an touches Carter’s face and says in Japanese, as translated by Kito, “So much sadness.”

Night: Doc Magoo’s is on fire. It sounds like it never reopened after the murders there, so no one was inside. Pratt tries to use this as an excuse to end his shift early. Susan doesn’t fall for it. Abby tries to wrangle her patient, who stepped outside to smoke even though he’s there being treated for a bleeding ulcer. Priorities, you know? There’s an explosion at Doc Magoo’s, which Pratt thinks should justify leaving early.

Day: Romano’s about to go in for surgery to have his arm amputated. He asks Elizabeth to write, “Not this one, idiot” on his good arm. He passive-aggressively invites her to observe his surgery, you know, if she feels like it. She already has an operation on her schedule, but she says she’ll scrub in if she can. Just in case she can’t make it, he insists that she add “idiot” to “not this one.” He asks if she thinks he’s doing the right thing. Elizabeth says yes, but Romano still doesn’t like it.

Night: A firefighter comes in with an eye injury, I think from the blast at Doc Magoo’s. The woman and kids Carter was dealing with are still hanging around the trauma room that once held the man who died of a heart attack. He’s been taken to the morgue, but his wife hasn’t been able to bring herself to leave yet. Pratt starts to find another trauma room for the firefighter so the family can take their time, but the woman says they’ll leave. One of the kids gives Pratt a long look before he leaves.

Day: Carter and Gallant treat a teen named Turner, who has a scar on his belly from a recent splenectomy. Carter’s surprised that he’s already out and about doing gang stuff. Turner indicates that he didn’t have a choice, since a gang killed his brother and hurt his sister. Carter realizes that this is Curtis’ brother. So now we know what happened when Curtis and his friends went out for revenge. Carter moves on to help Chen treat a 12-year-old girl named Heather who fell off a tour boat and has been unresponsive for 45 minutes. Her father’s watching through a window, so Carter doesn’t want to give up just yet.

We go back and forth between day, where Carter’s trying to keep Heather alive, and night, where she regains consciousness. In the daytime, Carter tells Heather’s father that her lungs may have sustained damage and her brain may have been deprived of oxygen for a long time. In the nighttime, Pratt gives Heather’s father the good news that she’s going to be fine.

Day: Elizabeth checks on Turner, commenting to Carter that gang members seem to keep getting younger. Carter’s alleged drug-seeker is still asking for medication. He checks on Zuin-an, who knows she doesn’t have much time left. Kito tells him that Zuin-an has the gift of seeing inside people. The women met while serving prison sentences (Zuin-an for demonstrating for human rights in North Korea), and Kito says Zuin-an saved her. She’s touched to see Zuin-an embrace “her death and rebirth.” That’s how you realize your purpose. Carter seems touched, too.

More back-and-forth: Pratt treats a boy with impetigo, NOT scabies like his mother suspects. She insists that he didn’t get the infection at her house. Ma’am, Pratt fully doesn’t care. Carter treats a woman who claims she hurt her wrist in a fall, but was probably beaten. Pratt tries to get a woman to accept that she has gall stones because she has unhealthy eating habits. Carter treats a man named Mr. Dressler who though he was having a heart attack but seems to just have indigestion.

Pratt puts a cast on a college cheerleader (oh, poor Pratt, such a tough job chatting with attractive patients). Carter finally lets his drug-seeker have Demerol…but he comes back that night, giving Pratt a different name so he can get more Demerol. Both doctors say they’re putting a note in his chart to alert other staff to his behavior, but if he’s using different names when he comes in, that won’t do anything.

Night: Pratt looks forward to moving on to Northwestern, where he doubts he has to clean up after people who soil themselves on their gurneys. Susan chats with two firefighters until Abby sends them away to do things like roll up their hoses (dirty!), polish their poles (also dirty!), and feed their little spotted dog (…not sure). Susan asks if she’s cranky or flirting. Outside, Turner is brought back in.

Day: Carter wants to call Turner’s mother, but Turner doesn’t think she’d understand why he feels the need to get revenge for Curtis’ death. What he really means is that she’d kill him if she knew what he was doing. Carter wants him to see that there’s more available to him in life. Turner says that where he lives, there isn’t. Carter points out that if Turner dies, no one will be left to take care of his mother and sister.

Chen announces that there’s a mass trauma coming in – a bunch of people tried to commit suicide. One man says that he jumped out a window so he couldn’t be forced to drink something that would kill him. Peña clarifies that a cult thought the eclipse was signaling the end of the world. Carter realizes that the cult members all drank cyanide.

There’s back-and-forth with Turner, who’s fine during the day shift and critical during the night shift. Pratt tries to stabilize him while giving orders for other patients. In the day shift, Malik tells Carter that Mr. Dressler does have a heart issue after all. Now, though, Carter’s too busy to do anything for him.

We get a split screen as Carter tends to a mother and daughter from the mass suicide, and Pratt and Abby try to save a woman who was stabbed and had her baby ripped out of her womb. Carter struggles with his patients, but Pratt and Abby stabilize theirs. As the daughter wakes up, Carter catches Turner stabbing a rival gang member in his bed. He rushes to save the patient, and Turner’s able to run away. That night, Pratt and Susan go back to working on Turner, but they can’t do anything for him.

Romano has a lot of complaints as he heads into surgery. Is anyone surprised? Elizabeth is in the ER, so she’s not there to give him support or make sure the surgical team doesn’t screw up. Pratt treats the firefighter with the eye injury, then checks on Mia, the mother whose baby was stolen. He notices a man he blew off earlier clutching his heart.

Carter finally gets back to Mr. Dressler, who’s now having a heart attack. Carter offers to call his wife, but Mr. Dressler says she took their kids to the park to watch the eclipse. He already left her a message. So now we know who the woman and kids from earlier belong to, which means we also know Mr. Dressler’s fate. Carter takes a call from his father, who has to miss their trip to Rio. Weaver interrupts to bug him about stuff, and he roars at her that he’s on the phone. When he hangs up, Weaver tells him she’ll help out for the rest of the shift. Oh, and he has the gang member’s blood on him.

Carter goes to see Mr. Dressler, who’s waiting to be taken for treatment. Mr. Dressler has a bad feeling about his condition and wants to write his family a letter in case he doesn’t make it. Carter assures him that his chances are really good. Also, he doesn’t have a pen, and he has other stuff to deal with right now, so someone else will have to help Mr. Dressler with his letter.

Elizabeth makes it to Romano’s OR as Weaver and Carter climb into the dump truck outside to help a crew guy who fell from some scaffolding. He’s in the perfect spot to see the eclipse, which is probably a nice distraction for him. Pratt checks on the man with chest pain, Ray, who doesn’t have a regular doctor because his Medicare doesn’t start until next year. Every time he has an EKG or goes to a clinic, his heart is stable, so he can’t convince anyone that he needs treatment. Pratt declares that he’s Ray’s doctor now.

Jerry summons Pratt to the phone for a call about Mia’s attack. Chen brings Carter and Weaver some supplies, then takes over for Carter so he can treat Zuin-an. Pratt tells Abby that the call was to report that someone left Mia’s baby in an alley. The caller’s wife brought the baby home and said it was hers. The husband had seen a news report about Mia’s attack and put everything together. I guess he left the baby in the alley so he wouldn’t get ID’d and get his wife in trouble.

A bunch of stuff happens at once: Some monks gather in Zuin-an’s room and begin a ritual as she dies. Pratt and Abby get to the alley. Chen and Weaver treat the worker in the truck. Romano’s surgery continues. Pratt tries to listen for the baby. The eclipse happens over Weaver and Chen’s shoulders. Susan turns up her headlights so Pratt and Abby can see better in the alley. The eclipse takes away Weaver and Chen’s light, but firefighters free the patient from whatever he was impaled on, so they’re able to move him. Romano is officially a one-armed man. Zuin-an dies. The baby cries and Pratt finds him.

Luka calls the ER from the Congo and tells Carter that the clinic where he’s working is down a doctor. He’d like Carter to call his contact at the State Department and help move along another doctor’s visa. Carter doesn’t really have a contact, just a family friend who was an ambassador. Luka pauses for a second to listen to a nurse named Gillian who’s talking to him in French. He tells Carter that there’s a cholera epidemic in the refugee population and the clinic is swamped.

Carter has already gotten his shots and visa for the Alliance de Medicine Whatever stint he wound up not doing, so he volunteers to go to the Congo and help out for a couple of weeks. Luka would appreciate it. Carter has to end the call, since Mr. Dressler is declining. Pratt, Abby, and Susan get the baby to the hospital and determine that he’s healthy. Even though he had a traumatic start to life, Pratt is sure things will get better for him.

Mr. Dressler’s wife and kids arrive, and Carter asks Gallant and Malik about the man’s letter. Carter didn’t tell them that Mr. Dressler wanted to write it, so no one gave him a pen or paper. Elizabeth tends to some post-op bleeding Romano’s having as he comes out of the anesthesia. He loopily tells her he loves her. Yeah, buddy, she totally knows. Everyone knows.

Pratt gets to be the one to reunite Mia with her baby. Carter tries hard to save Mr. Dressler, but Gallant gets him to accept that they can’t do it. Carter goes to talk to Mr. Dressler’s wife and children, which is what he was doing when Pratt arrived for the night shift. Since Mr. Dressler didn’t get to write his letter, Carter tells his family that he loved them.

While wrapping up his shift, Pratt assures Ray that he’s stable and will be able to stay that way with medication. Ray praises him for being good at his job. Pratt says goodbye to Chen, who congratulates him for surviving his time at County. Carter leaves as well, running into Abby and making awkward conversation with her. He feels bad for failing Mr. Dressler. “Nothing’s right here,” he says. The two of them haven’t talked in a week, and it doesn’t look like Carter wants to address that now.

Abby says that Luka called her, so she knows that he convinced Carter to go to the Congo. Carter laments that he won’t be going on vacation in Rio, but at least he won’t be at County. Doc Magoo’s is still on fire, another emergency Carter can’t do anything about. Pratt goes into the wreckage the next morning and finds a first-aid kit, the only thing still intact. Weaver tells him he’s welcome back at County if he ever wants to pick up a shift.

Haleh has some follow-up questions about Ray, and though Pratt could just walk away and let Chen handle everything, he goes back to the ER to wrap everything up. He doesn’t want to let Ray slip through the cracks. Apparently Pratt thinks he can change where he’s matched, because now he wants to stay at County. I’m sure he would have been disciplined for something within two days of starting at Northwestern, so maybe this is for the best.

Thoughts: The back-and-forth stuff gets a little tedious here, but I like that, for once, we get to see some follow-up with patients.

Pratt may be annoying and arrogant and a bunch of other things, but he also knows his stuff and really cares about people. He was willing to let Mr. Dressler’s family stay in the trauma room as long as they needed. He’s really happy to be able to give Heather’s father good news. And the whole thing with Ray shows that he gets how important County is to many of the patients, and how crucial it is for the doctors to pay attention to what they need.

Wish I could yell at my boss like Carter does and face zero consequences. Must be nice. (If my boss is reading this: I would never yell at you.)

November 27, 2021

Buffy 2.3, School Hard: Maybe Nothing Bad Will Happen

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:19 pm by Jenn

Yep, they’re here

Summary: Snyder has Buffy and a student named Sheila in his office for a little intimidation session. He knows some principals want their students to see them as pals. In Snyder’s case, he wants his students to see him as their judge, jury, and executioner. He asks who they think is the school’s most troublesome student. Sheila looks at Buffy, but Snyder says it’s probably a tie. After all, Sheila stabbed a teacher with pruning shears (and she’s proud of it), but Buffy burned down her last school. She blames mice. Snyder doesn’t buy that, of course. “Mice that were smoking?” Buffy offers.

Both girls have gotten in fights and cut a bunch of classes, so it’s a close race. The winner gets expelled. As punishment for their misdeeds, both girls will have to plan the upcoming parent-teacher night. If they do a good job, Snyder may have nice things to say about them to their parents. Buffy immediately agrees, even before Snyder warns that if the girls don’t succeed, the next time their parents come to the school will be to clean out their lockers.

Sheila jets off as soon as they’re done, and Buffy wonders if her mom sees her the same way everyone sees Sheila, as a bad seed. Xander thinks Sheila’s much worse. Willow says she started smoking in fifth grade, and Willow even served as her lookout once. Buffy thinks she should be allowed to fight and cut classes since she’s the Slayer. Is she the only Chosen One who had to go to high school?

Xander tells her that as long as nothing bad happens in the next three days, before parent-teacher night, everything will be great. Buffy and Willow slam him for jinxing things. Xander defends himself, saying maybe this time things will be different and nothing bad will happen. That night, a car drives right through the Welcome to Sunnydale sign, and out steps the one and only Spike. “Home sweet home,” he says.

The Master and Anointed One’s remaining faithful have gathered to discuss their #1 problem, Buffy. One guy thinks he can take her out. When he does, “it’ll be the greatest event since the crucifixion.” He would know, since he was there. Spike arrives in the lair and challenges that claim. If every vampire who says they were at the crucifixion was actually there, “it would have been like Woodstock.” Spike was at the actual Woodstock and spent six hours staring at his hand because of the drugs he ingested when he fed off someone.

Spike asks who the vampires kill for fun in Sunnydale, then introduces himself. He’s familiar with Collin and his problem with Buffy. Spike agrees that killing her is the best option. He’s killed a couple Slayers himself, not that he wants to brag. “Who am I kidding? I love to brag!” he says. As he starts telling his story, his girlfriend, Drusilla, comes in. She’s not at her full strength, and she’s not all there mentally, but she can sense Collin’s power. She tells him she likes planting daisies, but everything she puts in the ground dies. Drusilla tells Spike she’s cold, so he gives her his coat. She says she’s a princess, then cuts his cheek and licks the blood.

Spike announces that the two of them are moving in, and they’re ready to see who thinks they’re stronger than Spike. He’ll kill the Slayer as long as Collin keeps the other vampires from messing with him. Drusilla frets that she can’t see Buffy because it’s dark wherever she is. She urges Spike to kill Buffy for her. Spike would do anything for Drusilla, so he’s already on board. He asks the other vampires if Buffy is tough.

Currently, she’s not – she’s trying to deal with a new cream rinse she’s been using on her hair that has disappointingly turned out to be “neither creamy nor rinse-y.” Joyce tells her she’s gotten a notice about parent-teacher night, which Buffy never mentioned to her. Joyce wonders what Buffy’s teachers will say about her. Buffy thinks they’ll all agree that she’s always ready to take notes. Her test scores might not say much about her, though Joyce warns that they’ll say whether Buffy can still have a social life.

She tells Buffy that life is more than school, but she’d prefer not to have to move again. She’d also like to not be disappointed in her daughter again. Buffy doesn’t want that, either. She tells Joyce that she has a lot of pressure on her right now. Joyce thinks she should wait until she gets a job to complain about pressure. Of course, Buffy already has a job, albeit an unconventional, non-paying one.

At school the next day, Buffy enlists Willow to help her paint a banner for parent-teacher night, since Sheila didn’t show up to do her share of the work. Buffy asks Willow to help her study that night, but when she realizes that that means skipping an evening at the Bronze, where Angel might meet some other girl, she changes her mind. She’s sure she can juggle school, partying, and parent-teacher night. She just can’t throw slaying into the mix.

Too bad! Giles and Jenny tell the other Scoobies that that Saturday is the Night of St. Vigeous. Basically, the vampires are going to cause trouble. Giles doesn’t want Buffy to put the rest of her life before slaying right now, but Buffy doesn’t really have a choice. Xander and Willow promise to help Buffy prepare for the big battle, though of course, she’ll have to fight on her own.

Snyder catches the group and calls Willow and Xander out for helping Buffy in Sheila’s place. He threatens to expel Sheila, but Buffy covers for her, saying she’s been helping for hours and just left to get more paint. Sheila shows up just then, looking hungover. Buffy continues the charade, and Snyder either buys it or just lets it go. Sheila asks if Buffy really burned down a school. She thinks it’s cool.

That night, Buffy tries to combine studying and partying by doing her French homework at the Bronze. She’s distracted since Angel hasn’t shown up yet. Xander convinces her and Willow to take a break and dance with him. Spike shows up and gets his first look at the Slayer he’s sure he can defeat. She doesn’t look so intimidating on the dance floor.

Spike sends a lackey outside to find a snack, then announces within Buffy’s earshot that there’s someone outside trying to bite someone. Buffy immediately runs out to the alley to do her thing. Xander and Willow save the would-be snack, and Xander runs into the club to get a stake from Buffy’s bag (no, Xander, a tampon won’t help in this situation). The lackey gets Buffy on the ground and tells her he’s not going to wait until the Night of St. Vigeous to kill her. She gets back up, so he asks Spike for help. Too late – Buffy’s already taken out the lackey.

Spike steps out of the shadows and gives Buffy a slow clap. He tells her he’s going to kill her on Saturday. Okay, but don’t get any blood on her cool purple jacket. Elsewhere in town, Sheila leaves a bar with a couple of guys who suddenly disappear. Spike takes their place, then gets Sheila to come with him.

The Scoobies (plus Jenny) meet up in the library to discuss their new threat, Spike. Giles isn’t familiar with his name. Xander suggests that they all just run away if Buffy’s going to be facing a big group of vampires on Saturday. Willow says they can’t run. Maybe they can hide, though. Giles doesn’t think Spike can be any worse than any other enemy Buffy’s taken on. “He’s worse,” Angel announces as he comes in. He knows that Spike will keep killing until he’s gotten rid of anything in his path.

Buffy and Angel have a brief conversation about how she wanted him to come to the Bronze, and how she never said definitively that she would be there, and how he should know after 200 years of dating what it means when a girl says she might be somewhere. Willow remarks that 200 years of dating is a lot, and even if Angel only had two dates a year, that would be 400 dates with 400 different… She catches herself and changes the subject to a nearby weapon: “Why do they call it a mace?” Giles gets everyone back on track, asking about Spike’s other names, but Angel’s already left. Xander suggests that they put a collar and bell on him.

The vampires are preparing for Saturday like they’re a religious order preparing for some holiday. Drusilla is sitting this one out, instead spending time with her doll collection. Spike wants her to eat something, but she’s not hungry. She misses Prague, even though she almost died there, thanks to a mob. Spike thinks this new home will help her get healthy again, with the added bonus of providing them a bunch of people to eat and a whole town to burn. Drusilla tells Spike to go join the others so they’ll start to trust him. Spike agrees, as long as Drusilla eats something. Well, someone – Sheila.

The day of parent-teacher night, Cordelia joins the Scoobies for weapons prep, though Buffy’s using her weapon to cut up vegetables. Giles tells them that the vampires will spend three nights in a scourge, then commit a huge, bloody attack. Buffy’s more concerned with making sure everything’s ready for parent-teacher night. Cordelia thinks her three minutes of carving stakes is enough, since Buffy isn’t going to live that long anyway. Not that Cordelia isn’t rooting for her on Saturday. Too bad she scheduled a leg waxing that day, so she can’t come and cheer her on.

Buffy leaves to make punch, briefly turning back to tell the Scoobies not to eat any of the snacks that are supposed to be for the parents. Willow checks on her later and lies that her sugarless lemonade is good. Buffy’s next goal is keeping Joyce and Snyder apart. Willow lends a hand, rushing Joyce to a classroom before Snyder can approach her. Buffy tells Snyder that her mom doesn’t speak English anyway.

The hours pass and everything seems to be going well. Cordelia might disagree, since she thinks Buffy looks tired. Buffy reminds her that she has a lot of things going on right now, and none of them mesh: “It’s kind of like oil and water and a…third unmeshable thing.” Cordelia comments that she can see the oil. She spots Joyce and praises her moisturizing routine.

Joyce comments that, strangely, every time she gets to a classroom, Buffy’s teacher has just stepped out. Snyder approaches, and this time Buffy can’t keep them apart. It’s time for Joyce to hear exactly what Snyder thinks of her daughter. Cordelia predicts that Buffy will still be grounded at their tenth high school reunion. Willow tells her to try the lemonade.

In the library, Giles finally finds something about Spike in a book. His nickname is William the Bloody, but everyone calls him Spike because he likes torturing people with railroad spikes. He’s not as old as Angel – he’s barely 200 – which Giles thinks is good, but when he reads on, he discovers that it doesn’t matter. Spike has already killed two Slayers.

Joyce returns from her meeting with Snyder unhappy and tells Buffy they’re leaving. The night is over, and as Snyder starts turning off lights, a group of vampires jumps through the windows. Spike tells Buffy he couldn’t wait until Saturday. So really, the night isn’t over after all.

Buffy throws a chair at Spike to try to hold him off for a little while, then leads Joyce, Snyder, and another guy through the hallways to find someplace safe to hide. Spike tells his minions not to let anyone escape. Willow gets a moment of awesomeness when she hits a vampire with a big bust. Buffy gets her group into a classroom as Giles, Xander, and Jenny barricade themselves in the library.

The vampires cut the power, and one tells Spike that Buffy’s still in the school, though he doesn’t know where she is. Spike kills a human just to make himself feel better. Giles realizes the phone lines are out, so he can’t call Angel. He remembers that there’s a boarded-up cellar behind the stacks, and he sends Xander to get Angel. Xander doesn’t want to leave until he’s sure Buffy and Willow are okay. Giles says no one will be okay without Angel’s help.

The people in Buffy’s group aren’t sure what’s going on. Snyder says they’re under attack by a gang on PCP. He wants to go out through a window, but Buffy tells him that everyone in the room will die if they don’t listen to her. No one can leave until she says it’s okay. Snyder hates being challenged, especially by a child, but Buffy says she knows how to stop their attackers. She tells Joyce she’s going up through the ceiling.

Spike calls for Buffy in an empty hallway like she’s a missing cat. He warns that if he finds one of her friends, he’ll kill them. He’s approaching the utility closet Willow and Cordelia are hiding in, and he’s about to kick in the door when a lackey hears Buffy in the ceiling. Giles wants to go check on her, so he prepares to leave Jenny alone in the library. Before he can leave, Buffy drops down from the ceiling. She grabs some weapons, planning to take out the vampires in the hallway while Giles gets Joyce and any other civilians out of the school.

As Buffy goes back up into the ceiling, Snyder tries to deny that anything bad is happening, as if that will end it all. Joyce wants to follow Buffy’s orders, and she tells Snyder and Other Guy to stay put. Snyder notes that she and her daughter are a lot alike. A vampire tries to break open the door to their classroom, but it’s too strong for him. Spike tells him to use his head. Specifically, he should use his head to break the glass over a nearby fire axe, then use the axe on the door.

The vampire gets through the door as Snyder and Other Guy break through the slats covering the window leading outside. Another vampire is already out there, though, and he grabs Other Guy and drags him out. R.I.P., Other Guy. Joyce should get a medal for not telling Snyder why he should have listened to her and Buffy. Spike hears Buffy in the ceiling again and follows her along to her destination.

Xander and Angel arrive outside, and when Xander asks what the plan is, Angel grabs him around the throat and drags him inside. Willow and Cordelia decide to stay put in their closet, even though they don’t think there are any vampires waiting for them in the hallway. Spike and another vampire use long poles to poke through the ceiling, trying to get to Buffy. The vampire with the axe is close to getting into Joyce and Snyder’s hideout, but Buffy gets to him before he finishes. Joyce is peeking through the hole the axe made in the door, but she doesn’t see Buffy staking the vampire.

Buffy tells her mother she needs a minute, then goes to ambush another vampire. That’s when Sheila arrives, having missed all the festivities. She grabs the abandoned axe and joins Buffy for a fight. Meanwhile, Angel encounters Spike, who calls him Angelus. They’re old buddies. Angel acts like he’s still his old, evil stuff, even saying he’s fooled Buffy into thinking he’s a good guy. Xander, whom he’s still holding around the neck, calls him “undead liar guy.” Angel exposes Xander’s neck and offers Spike a snack before they go after Buffy.

Buffy continues sneaking up on a vampire, thinking Sheila’s her backup. If she looked behind her, she would see that Sheila’s now a vampire. Fortunately, Giles can see through a library window that Sheila has raised her axe to hit Buffy, and he calls out a warning. Buffy takes out the vampire she’s been stalking, and Sheila realizes this isn’t someone she should mess with, so she runs off. With the hallway clear, Buffy gets Joyce and Snyder out of their classroom so Giles can take them to safety.

Spike wonders why Angel hasn’t killed Buffy yet. Is his tortured-vampire thing an act? Is he “house-broken”? Angel says that Buffy killed the Master, so he doesn’t think he can take her on by himself. Spike agrees to have a snack with Angel, but as they lean in to bite Xander, Spike punches Angel. He knows Angel isn’t his old self. He’s upset, since Angel was his sire (sort of; more on that later) and his Yoda. They’re demons; they shouldn’t change. Angel’s an Uncle Tom.

Spike urges his minions to join him in finding Buffy, but she’s already found them and is ready to fight. Spike agrees to go hand-to-hand, no weapons. He tells her that the last Slayer he killed begged for her life. He doesn’t think Buffy will do the same. She tells him he shouldn’t have come, and she’s going to make sure she gets in a good beating before finishing him off.

As they fight, Giles takes Joyce to the library to escape. Xander takes on a vampire himself, though Angel helps him out in the end. Spike’s surprised that Buffy is such a good fighter, and he’s even more surprised when, just as he’s about to shove a wooden beam into her, he gets hit in the head with an axe handle. Joyce has come to find her daughter, and she’s not going to let some supposed stoned gangster hurt Buffy. “Women!” Spike huffs before running off.

Once the siege is over, Snyder meets up with the police chief outside to discuss the two dead bodies they’re left with. Giles tells Jenny that he’ll understand if she doesn’t want to spend any more time with him. She makes it clear that she doesn’t feel that way. Xander chastises Angel for using him to try to convince Spike they were on the same side. He’d also like to know what Spike meant when he said Angel was his sire. Snyder and the police chief agree that they’ll tell the press the same thing they always do: This was a gang-related, PCP-fueled situation. It’s not like they can tell the truth.

Buffy finally gets to ask Joyce what she and Snyder talked about. Joyce says Snyder called her a troublemaker, but after tonight, Joyce doesn’t care. Buffy is brave and resourceful, and she looked out for others in the middle of a crisis. Joyce will sleep well knowing that (at least until Buffy gets in trouble again and that good will disappears). Willow and Cordelia are still in the closet, by the way, and Cordelia’s praying. She promises God that she’ll be a good person from now on, as long as no one earns her wrath. Bored, Willow tells her to ask for some aspirin.

Spike goes home to Drusilla, whining that he didn’t sign up to fight a Slayer who has a family and friends. He calls Collin the “Annoying One,” then approaches him to grovel. A lackey thinks Spike should die because he ruined the Night of St. Vigeous and got a bunch of vampires killed. Spike admits that he was rash, but if he had a second chance…well, he’d do the same thing over again. First, though, he’d do what he’s doing now – locking Collin in a cage and raising it up to a window so he’ll burn in the sunlight. From now on, Spike declares, the vampires in Sunnydale are going to do fewer rituals and have more fun.

Thoughts: James Marsters’ (Spike) British accent is so good that when I learned a few seasons into the show that he’s actually American, I thought it was a joke.

This rewatch is reminding me of all my favorite random moments and lines from the series, like, “Why do they call it a mace?”

So somewhere in here, Cordelia has decided to become a Scooby. I wish we’d gotten details on that. Did they invite her or did she just start showing up to their meet-ups?

Also, please join me in imagining Cordelia literally cheering Buffy on as she slays, pompoms and all.

November 23, 2021

ER 9.20, Foreign Affairs: Luka Antes Up

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 5:03 pm by Jenn

No Chase? Sad

Summary: Gordana comes to the ER looking for Luka so she can report that her patient, Ante, is on his way to Chicago, arriving that night. They’ve arranged for him to have surgery at another hospital, but not for two more weeks. His mother sent him early because he’s getting worse. Without the surgery, he won’t survive.

Jack Carter is back in town for Millicent’s funeral, to which he’ll be wearing a red tie, since that’s what his mother liked. Millicent’s lawyer is there to tell Carter that the family foundation’s board has called an emergency meeting. Millicent’s will states that Carter is to become president of the board. Jack is clearly unhappy to be passed over, but he says that’s a good fit. Carter knows he’s lying, and that Millicent gave him the position because she was disappointed in Jack as a son. Hey, Carter, maybe don’t insult your father on the day of his mother’s funeral. He doesn’t want the job, but he also knows he can’t walk away.

Abby gets ready at her apartment, worried that she’s wearing too much lipstick for her boyfriend’s grandmother’s funeral. Eric breaks in, having left his treatment center after getting into a fight with someone over Jell-o. Abby guesses he isn’t taking his medication. He says he is, but not his full dosage. He wants to try a different facility. Abby asks why he didn’t call her and tell her there was a problem. He says he doesn’t know, but I’m guessing it’s because he hates being a grown man who keeps having to turn to his sister for help.

At County, Romano has lowered himself to treat a boy with stomach pain. His mother doesn’t like Romano, and though she speaks Spanish and needs Chuny to translate, I don’t think Romano has any problem catching on. Paramedics bring in a minor league baseball player who passed out during a game. Romano treats him with Luka, who then goes to Weaver to tell her they need to try again to get the powers that be at County to approve Ante’s surgery. He says he’ll arrange everything, including a pro-bono crew. Weaver tells him not to get his hopes up too much, but she’ll work on it.

Luka gets straight to work, asking Jerry to track Ante’s flight while he puts together a surgical team. Romano thinks his baseball player has long QT syndrome, a heart problem. He’s supposed to be done for the day, but he decides to stick around and follow up instead of passing the patient along to Susan.

At the cemetery, Carter introduces one of Millicent’s friends to Jack. She has no idea who Jack is. Ouch. Abby hasn’t arrived yet, even though Carter sent a car for her, so he doesn’t want to start the service yet. Back at County, Romano tells the ball player that treating his condition will require surgery and months of rest before he can go back to playing baseball. The player’s wife objects, knowing no team will want him after that. He’s supposed to get his big break soon. Amazingly, Romano backs down and agrees to treat the player with medication for now. In exchange, he wants box seats if the player makes it to the majors.

Chuck finds a yawning Susan and sings “Wake Up, Little Susie” to her. They’re signing their annulment papers that afternoon. Luka asks him what he’s doing that night. Abby finally makes it to the cemetery, so the service can begin. She’s brought Eric with her and has left him in their limo to watch cartoons and drink. He gets out during the service to pee. As Carter silently begs to wake up from this nightmare, Abby slips away to keep Eric from joining the service. They start bickering, and their voices carry and interrupt the minister. Jack joins the group as Eric knocks over some flowers, then falls into the open grave. Womp womp.

Bact at County, Luka tries to talk Dorset into serving as a support surgeon during Ante’s operation. Dorset has a date with a brunette from radiology, but Luka knows who he’s talking about and warns that he’ll be disappointed. Dorset asks if Elizabeth will also be at the surgery. At the roach coach, Chuck and Susan try to pick a reason for their annulment. He volunteers to take all the blame for their drunken decision to get married. They sign the papers, and after they say a cheerful goodbye, Susan goes back to work.

Luka approaches Elizabeth about Ante’s surgery, offering her anything she wants in return, like babysitting or lawn mowing. She admires him for trying to help Ante, but she thinks he’s acting rashly. Luka says this is Ante’s only chance. Elizabeth asks if Dorset’s participating, and though she claims it’s a problem that he is, she agrees to help.

Back at the cemetery, Abby has drugged Eric to keep him from causing more trouble. She apologizes to Carter for the disruption. She knew she couldn’t leave Eric home alone, and she thought he would stay in the limo. She’ll drop him off at County and then go to the Carters’ house for the reception. Carter doesn’t think she should attend. Abby knows he’s still mad that she prioritized Eric over him, but Eric needs her help. Carter tells her to go help him, then.

Paramedics bring in three members of the Mitchell family – a mom and her kids, Turner and Noelle – who were shot in a drive-by at their house. As Luka’s working on Turner, he gets a call that Ante is doing poorly on his flight. Turner’s stabilizing, so Susan lets Luka go deal with Ante’s case instead. Elizabeth takes over tending to Turner, so Susan goes to help Pratt with Noelle. It turns out she wasn’t shot; Mrs. Mitchell pulled a bookcase down on top of her to protect her when the shooting started, and Noelle now has a spinal injury.

Romano’s at home in his giant, gorgeous kitchen, boiling water. He accidentally catches his reattached arm on fire, but since he has no feeling in that arm, he doesn’t notice until he sees the flames. Weaver attends a committee meeting about Ante’s surgery, but she can’t convince the other doctors present that they should help him. Luka interrupts to complain that they never seem to debate when a rich person needs an artificial heart. They have the ability to save people who don’t have money, but they don’t want to.

Jack finds Carter hiding in an office during the reception, and Carter apologizes for what he said about Millicent being disappointed in Jack as a son. He ducked out of the reception because he didn’t feel like mingling with people he doesn’t know. He’s also embarrassed about what happened with Abby and Eric. Jack assures him that he and Abby shouldn’t feel responsible.

Pratt chats with Noelle as she’s sent up for surgery. Romano arrives and tells “Denzel” (AKA Gallant) to bring him some antibiotics. Gordana returns, and Luka promises her that no matter what, Ante will be brought to County. Gallant thinks Romano is going to try to humiliate him again, but Romano wants treatment from someone who won’t go blabbing to everyone that he burned himself. The injuries are bad, and Gallant isn’t sure he has the training and skills to treat them. Romano tells him to get Susan instead, since she’s the least annoying of all the ER doctors. Gallant says he needs a surgeon. “I am a surgeon,” Romano reminds him.

Carter shows up looking for Abby, but she hasn’t come in with Eric. Mrs. Mitchell’s oldest child, Curtis, shows up and Susan tells him that his mother and brother are doing okay. Noelle is getting scans to determine whether her paralysis is permanent. Curtis asks his mother if she saw who the shooters were. Mrs. Mitchell realizes he wants their names so he can go after them. She begs him not to do anything.

Romano checks on the ball player, telling his wife that she doesn’t have to explain why they’ve decided not to go for the aggressive treatment. Gallant told Weaver about Romano’s injury, so she examines his arm and tries to encourage him to have a procedure he needs. Romano knows that’ll end with him losing parts of his arm, and he doesn’t want that. She urges him to at least have a consult with plastic surgery.

Abby arrives as Curtis blows up at Susan over his family’s situation. Carter calms him and starts to tend to a cut he got when he took out his anger on an IV stand. He has a gang tattoo, though his mom convinced him to leave the gang. He suspects that they were behind the drive-by because they saw him as an easy target.

Weaver tells Luka that the board won’t approve Ante’s surgery, but they said that if, hypothetically, a hypothetical boy with Ante’s condition showed up hypothetically needing the surgery Ante needs, he would be treated off the record. Pleased, Luka goes to the airport himself to pick up Ante.

Carter tells Curtis that Noelle’s chances of walking again are unknown. Curtis tells his sister that he’s going to sort everything out at home. A couple of his friends arrive to take him off to get revenge. Carter tries to talk them out of it, but Curtis sees himself as a warrior who needs to fight for his family.

Luka and Chuck fly Ante from the airport to County as the boy declines. The rest of Luka’s recruits gather, having been promised various things for donating their time (one guy is getting Cubs tickets). Elizabeth and Dorset are all, “Oh, you’re here? I hadn’t thought about that possibility!” Gordana meets the helicopter on the roof, and Chuck helps her and Luka keep Ante stable on the way to the OR. Elizabeth assures Luka that the surgical team will take it from here.

Chuck and Susan meet up for an official-ish goodbye, though Susan notes that they don’t have to stop seeing each other just because they’re no longer married. Weaver finds Luka watching Ante’s surgery from a gallery and tells him some high-level board members aren’t pleased with what Luka pulled, but they’ll deal with that later. Luka admits that he wanted to be a hero and feel like a doctor again.

Gallant asks Romano how he is as Romano leaves the ER. Romano pretends he doesn’t know what Gallant is talking about. Carter checks on Mrs. Mitchell, keeping quiet about the fact that Curtis left to go kill some people. Elizabeth and Dorset take a walk downtown together, and she reveals that she agreed to do Ante’s surgery without getting anything in return from Luka. Dorset wants to go out with Elizabeth, who’s hesitant to agree to a date. She’s about to accept a ride home when she spots Romano moping by the water.

She asks Dorset for a rain check, then joins Romano, who laments that he was simply making tea when he burned himself. He doesn’t think he’s ever going to regain feeling in his arm. Elizabeth urges him not to do anything that will cause another delay in his recovery. But Romano has decided that his best option is to amputate his arm. Elizabeth reminds him that there’s a possibility for recovery down the line, but Romano doesn’t want to wait. He asks Elizabeth to set up his surgery.

Abby runs into Luka while looking for Carter and congratulates him for his success with Ante’s surgery. He tells her he’s going to the Congo in a couple of days for his work with the Alliance de Medicine Whatever. She hugs him goodbye and tells him to take care of himself. Carter joins Pratt to help him with his new patient, once of Curtis’ friends. Chen offers to take over so Carter and Abby can leave, but Carter has a hard time letting go of this case. He eventually storms out, and Abby follows to try to talk to him. He angrily tells her that he needs some time alone. After she leaves, he cries, and she doesn’t come back to comfort him. BREAK UP ALREADY!

Thoughts: I want a guy who will sing to me when he see me in the hallway. Where’s my Chuck??

Like in the previous episode, it’s hard to pick a side between Abby and Carter. She was right not to leave Eric home alone, but bringing him to the cemetery wasn’t a good idea. She should have take him to County.

It says a lot that Romano asks Gallant to help him, even after Romano’s insulted him in the past. I think it’s partly because he thinks Gallant is good at what he does and partly because he thought Gallant would do whatever Romano wanted.

November 20, 2021

Buffy 2.2, Some Assembly Required: Matchmakers, Matchmakers, Make Me a Match

Posted in TV tagged , at 1:09 pm by Jenn

“I’m a football player! Why’d you make me look like a baseball??”

Summary: Buffy is hanging out at the grave of someone named Stephen, waiting for him to rise as a vampire so she can slay him and go do her homework. Angel sneaks up on her and she blasts him for not making noise to warn that he was there. He should have stomped or yodeled or something. He tells her that it’s disorienting when you first come back as a vampire, so Stephen might take a while to arrive. Buffy says it’s weird to think of Angel going through that.

Angel’s surprised that Buffy’s patrolling alone. He expected her to have Xander with her. Buffy asks if he’s jealous. Angel thinks that idea’s ridiculous – he would never be jealous of someone like Xander. Buffy presses the topic, guessing that Angel didn’t like the way she danced with Xander. He says it was less like dancing and more like mating. Oh, yeah, he’s jealous. Buffy admits that that’s what she was aiming for.

As they bicker, Stephen rises and catches Buffy off-guard. She’s lost her stake, so she has to take him on hand-to-hand. She uses the handle of the shovel to stake him, then goes right back to her argument with Angel. She thinks he just sees her as a kid. Well, there is a 200+-year age difference. Angel starts to leave, and when Buffy follows, she falls in an open grave. Angel guesses that means another vampire rose tonight, but Buffy sees tracks indicating that the person buried in the grave was dragged from it.

The next day, Buffy and Xander catch Giles practicing asking someone on a date. He doesn’t like his stammering, flustered attempt and calls himself an idiot. Buffy advises him to leave that part out, since being called an idiot usually drives people away. Xander says it kind of turns him on. “I fear you,” Buffy says. She tells Giles to avoid big words. He should speak English, not whatever they speak in…well, England. He should just say, “Hey, I got a thing. You maybe have a thing. Maybe we could have a thing.” Somehow, that’s English.

Buffy adds that he should ask his date how she feels about Mexican food, then take her out for dinner (and pay). Xander guesses that the object of Giles’ affection is Jenny. Somehow, Giles didn’t think the Scoobies knew she was the person he likes, even though she’s the only woman they’ve ever seen talk to him. He tells the Scoobies this isn’t any of their business.

They change the subject to Buffy’s patrol the previous evening and the open grave. Giles finds the idea of a grave-robber kind of exciting. Buffy IDs the grave’s former resident as Meredith Todd, a girl the Scoobies’ age who died recently. They decide to have Willow use the computer to look Meredith up. When Google becomes popular, the Scoobies won’t be able to make Willow do this stuff all the time.

Willow is currently signing up for the science fair and being annoyed by a guy named Eric who’s taking lots of pictures. She chats with another guy, Chris, who always edges her out for first place in the fair. Cordelia signs up, since it’s mandatory, and complains that they shouldn’t have to do anything educational at school if they don’t want to. Her project is Tomato: Fruit or vegetable? Hmm, thought-provoking. She snaps at Eric for taking her picture since the lighting is bad.

Buffy comes to get Willow, delivering an in-person Bat Signal. Eric tells Chris that Cordelia would be perfect for whatever they’re working on. “Don’t be an idiot,” Chris says. “She’s alive.” Cordelia follows Willow and Buffy to the library so she can ask Willow to help her with her project. “It’s a fruit,” Willow says blankly. Cordelia continues that she would have asked Chris for help, but that would have brought back memories of Daryl. Everyone ignores her.

Willow finds news about Meredith, who died in a car accident. Cordelia asks for some attention since she’s going through some pain. “There, there,” Giles says unemotionally, patting her shoulder. Willow continues that Meredith and two other girls were killed instantly, which means they couldn’t have been turned into vampires. Now the Scoobies need to figure out why someone wanted Meredith’s corpse (and Cordelia needs to figure out how to get away from people talking about a corpse).

Giles suggests that a demon wanted Meredith’s body so it could eat her and absorb her soul. Or maybe this is about zombies. They’ll need to dig up the other two girls’ graves and see if their bodies are there or if the grave-robber is starting a collection. Field trip! Willow thinks Buffy should bring Angel, but Buffy doesn’t want him involved. Cordelia gets an invite and turns it down.

That night, Giles and Xander dig up a grave while Buffy and Willow talk about Angel. The guys would like the girls to participate, but that would go against Buffy’s traditional upbringing, where “men dig up the corpses and women have the babies.” She asks Willow about Daryl, the guy Cordelia mentioned. Willow explains that Daryl was Chris’ brother and a star football player. He died in some sort of fall. Chris keeps to himself now, and his mother supposedly doesn’t leave the house anymore.

The guys report that they’ve almost reached the coffin they’re digging to. Willow wonders if they’re hoping to find a body or not. Xander would like to find gold doubloons instead. The guys are too nervous to open the coffin, so Buffy does the honors. Meanwhile, Cordelia gets spooked leaving cheerleading practice at school and thinks someone’s following her to her car. She ends up hiding in a Dumpster. Fortunately, it’s just Angel, who’s there looking for Buffy. She told Angel she’d be home, not digging up a corpse in the cemetery. That’s the least of Angel’s problems, though, since Cordelia finds a human hand in the Dumpster.

The Scoobies return to the library, discussing how the two girls’ graves are both empty, which means someone is creating an army of zombies. Willow isn’t sure three counts as an army. Angel and Cordelia are waiting for them, and Angel is TOTALLY jealous that Buffy was spending time with Xander. (Never mind that Willow and Giles were with them.) Buffy fills him in, and Angel reports that he and Cordelia found body parts. “It was horrible. Angel saved me from an arm,” Cordelia says. She wonders why terrible things keep happening to her. “Karma,” Xander coughs.

It looks like the zombie theory is wrong, but there’s still the question of why someone stole three bodies from their graves and cut them into pieces. Angel says their parts weren’t all in the Dumpster; the grave-robber must have kept some. Willow wonders if that was for a meal. Giles notes that the body parts were disposed of miles away from the cemetery. Buffy guesses that that means the grave-robber goes to Sunnydale High. Angel says the robber knew what they were doing, so they must be looking at a science expert.

Cordelia wants to go home instead of participating in the Scoobies’ next task, looking into the best scientists at school. She’s too fragile to go alone, so she asks Angel to escort her. Buffy clearly doesn’t like that. Ooh, now who’s jealous? Xander jokes that he always thought Angel was “a one-woman vampire.” Elsewhere in town, Chris tells his mom he’s going out somewhere. She ignores him and keeps watching a tape of one of Daryl’s football games.

The Scoobies break into the lockers of the best science students at Sunnydale High. Buffy gets Eric’s while Xander searches Chris’. He has books about anatomy and medicine, as well as a newspaper with an article about Meredith’s car accident. Ding ding! We have a suspect! Thanks to Eric’s locker, which contains a collage made up of different girls’ body parts, Buffy has a guess about what Chris and Eric are up to. Indeed, the two are using body parts from different girls to create a new girl. They need more parts, and the girls Eric has taken photos of could serve their purposes. Those girls include Buffy, Willow, and Cordelia.

At school the next day, Buffy wonders why someone would want to make a girl when there are plenty already available. Xander says people want what they can’t have instead of what’s right in front of them. You know, like how Buffy wants Angel instead of Xander. Okay, that’s unspoken. Willow thinks Eric feels like he has to create a dream girl because existing girls won’t give him the time of day. Buffy doesn’t get why Chris would work with him, though, since he seems normal. Willow guesses that losing Daryl made Chris want to find a way to one-up death.

The Scoobies spot Giles waiting to encounter Jenny. They give him some encouragement and wish him luck. Giles tries to remember Buffy’s advice (no big words, don’t use the word “idiot”) while he asks Jenny out, but he’s not very smooth and he runs out of time before the bell rings. Jenny suggests that they talk at that night’s football game. Which, of course, Giles was already going to attend. She also wants to get Mexican food and then go to the game together. Well, that wasn’t how Giles planned it, but he got the outcome he wanted, so…congrats!

Willow looks into the scientific process of reanimating dead flesh but can’t figure out how Chris and Eric would be able to accomplish it. Buffy worries that they’ve already done it and there’s some poor girl (well, girls) walking around, confused about what happened. Giles joins the other Scoobies and tells them that the three girls’ heads were found, which means Chris and Eric’s body isn’t complete yet. But they only have one piece left to get, so they’re getting close.

Back in their lab, Eric tells Chris that if they don’t attach a head soon, the rest of the body will be unusable. Chris thinks they still have time. Eric says the girls’ car accident was luck, and they can’t wait around for more luck. They’ll need to kill someone. Chris can’t bring himself to do that, and he begs someone else not to make him. That someone else is Daryl. More specifically, it’s Daryl’s stitched-up, reanimated corpse. The guys already brought him back, and they’re now they’re building him a girlfriend.

Chris doesn’t agree with Eric’s justification that killing someone to create a new person means it all evens out. Chris thinks Daryl should reveal to people that he’s alive, but Daryl doesn’t want anyone to see him. He begs his brother to help him. Chris can’t let down his big brother, so he agrees. Daryl picks Cordelia as the head of his girlfriend, which Eric thinks is a good choice.

Willow searches obituaries to try to figure out who the guys might go after next. She thinks they’ll need someone “fresh,” since they can’t store dead body parts for long. Buffy guesses that that means they’re going to kill someone for the freshest head possible. Giles’ date somehow takes priority over this, so the Scoobies agree to meet up at the football game after they talk to Chris and Eric. Willow wants Buffy to go easy on Chris, since he’s not a vampire. “No, he’s just a ghoul,” Buffy replies.

She goes to his house, and though Chris’ mother lets her in, she doesn’t say whether he’s there. She’s wrapped up in watching another tape of a football game. Obviously her grief keeps her from noticing anything that Chris does. Buffy sneaks into the basement, where she finds a picture of Cordelia’s head on an anatomy diagram. Just as Daryl comes out of the shadows, Buffy hears a noise upstairs and flees through a window.

At school, the cheerleaders are getting ready for the football game. Chris and Eric approach Cordelia while she’s alone and kidnap her. Buffy intimidates another cheerleader into telling her where Cordelia is, and she’s able to rescue Cordelia from the guys. She quickly gets over her near-abduction so she can fulfill her role in the human pyramid.

Buffy tries to convince Chris that he hasn’t hurt anyone yet, so he can stop now. She knows he’s grieving, but that doesn’t justify what he’s planning. He says “he” always stood up for Chris, and now he needs Chris’ help. Buffy puts together that he’s talking about Daryl. Back in the basement, Daryl rages at Eric for not following through on his plan. Eric promises that he can finish up Daryl’s girlfriend without Chris’ help.

Buffy and Chris race to the basement, but Daryl and Eric are gone. Chris doesn’t know where his brother would go, since he never leaves the house. Buffy guesses that he’s planning to finish what Chris and Eric started. That means going to the football game, since Cordelia’s there. Jenny and Giles are there, too, and only one of them is happy about it. Still, Giles can’t complain about finally going on a date with his crush. Willow and Xander tell them that they didn’t find anything at Eric’s house, then join them for the game, effectively crashing the date.

Daryl creeps under the bleachers and watches the action on the field – action he used to be part of. It’s hard not to feel sorry for him, at least until he sets his sights on Cordelia. When she’s alone, away from the crowd, he grabs her. She screams, but the fans are cheering so no one hears her. Buffy and Chris arrive and realize they’re too late to save her.

Eric and Daryl take Cordelia to the lab, which happens to be in an abandoned building, where no one can hear her screaming over how hideous Daryl looks. He feels bad for ignoring her when she was always so good to him. Now he gets a second chance with someone who wants to be with him. Eric tells her they’re going to start working on her, and when she wakes up, she’ll have the body of a 17-year-old. Several of them, actually.

Back at the game, Chris hesitates to tell Buffy where Daryl and Eric would have taken Cordelia. Buffy tells him he doesn’t get to decide who lives and dies. She sends him to fill in the other Scoobies what’s happening while she goes to the lab. Cordelia tries to talk her way out of death, promising that she’ll stay with Daryl. Daryl knows she won’t want to be with someone who looks like him. But once she’s the head of the body of his new girlfriend, they can hide from society together.

Buffy arrives in time to stop the guys from cutting off Cordelia’s head. Daryl’s strong, though, and Buffy has a hard time fighting him. He shoves Cordelia’s gurney aside, knocking over a can of gas. When Buffy pushes him, he overturns a Bunsen burner and ignites the gas. Xander arrives shortly after and saves Cordelia as Willow and Giles drag Eric out of the lab. Daryl is about to finish Buffy off when Chris arrives and tries to stop him. Daryl realizes the unfinished body is in on fire and runs to be with it. He’d rather die with it than live alone.

Once the fire department has arrived and taken control of the scene, Chris tells Buffy that he was just trying to look out for his brother like Daryl would have done for him. Angel arrives, having seen all the firetrucks and guessed somehow that Buffy was involved. Jenny’s not thrilled that her and Giles’ date was interrupted, but hey, at least they did something interesting. And there’s always the possibility of a second date.

Xander complains that everyone’s paired off except him and Willow. Cordelia approaches and thanks him for saving her life. She’d love to repay his bravery and heroism sometime. Xander blows her off so he can keep talking to Willow. Buffy and Angel go patrolling together, talking about how love can make you do crazy things. Angel admits that he’s jealous of Xander, not because Buffy likes him but because he gets to be in Buffy’s life during the day. For now, though, Buffy would like to spend time with Angel until the sun comes up.

Thoughts: Imagine showing up to Sunnydale High’s science fair all proud of your volcano or whatever and two guys come in with the reanimated corpse of one guy’s brother and his brand-new, refurbished girlfriend. I think we know who’s getting the blue ribbon there, right?

I don’t know why but “it’s a fruit” is hilarious to me.

Angel wears a light-colored trench coat in this episode. It’s weird. Black or nothing, Angel.

November 16, 2021

ER 9.19, Things Change: Abby to the Rescue (Again)

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 4:54 pm by Jenn

Don’t get attached to the new med students. They won’t be staying

Summary: A man on a Chicago street is having a really bad night. He’s shaking, and when he tries to take some pills, he drops them. Plus, he’s hallucinating snakes and people with needles, and his senses seem amplified. He ends up in the ER, where Susan and Abby tend to him. Weaver is also in the ER for the day, doing damage control for the mess Romano made in just one day running the place.

Carter has received a package from the Alliance de French Whatever, even though he keeps claiming he’s not going overseas. Luka’s going to the Congo, though. Carter thinks Weaver’s just working a couple of shifts in the ER to keep up appearances. Romano brings him a group of med students, since Carter’s still chief resident and is supposed to teach them stuff. When paramedics bring in a patient who had a heart attack, Carter uses him as a teaching case.

Abby tells Susan that a medevac helicopter is bringing in a patient. Susan asks if it’s Chuck’s unit. She’s smitten by him, even though they’re supposed to be getting their marriage annulled. Abby finds medication in their patient’s jacket (the guy who was hallucinating before), which provides his name, James. He’s taking an anti-psychotic, and may have taken too many, which caused his heart to stop. He tells Susan that the pills keep “them” from finding him.

Jerry sticks his head into the exam room to tell Abby that Eric’s on the phone. She’s shocked by the news, since she hasn’t heard from him in two months. James is worried that “they” can scan him in the ER, but Abby assures him that, because radiology is above them, the floors and walls are lined with lead. This calms his down. Abby rushes to take Eric’s call, but he got impatient waiting and hung up. He told Jerry he’d call back in an hour. Abby asks if he sounded okay, but Jerry wasn’t paying attention. She calls Maggie to let her know that Eric contacted her.

Abby then goes to help Pratt with a patient named Andrew, whom Romano is annoyed hasn’t been seen and moved along yet, since he just has a sore throat. Abby says he has a fever, too, and Romano replies that he’s never asked for a nurse’s opinion. Okay, but he did ask Abby for information last week. I guess that’s okay with him since it didn’t involve her take on something. Anyway, Romano examines Andrew himself and tells Pratt to get rid of him.

Romano has more important things to do, like talk to a woman. That woman happens to be Gordana, Luka’s med-school friend who contacted him about a pro-bono operation. Everything has been approved, and Gordana has come to observe the procedure. Her presence in the ER makes Luka happier than he’s been all season. He invites her to shadow him as he helps Susan take care of the patient brought in by helicopter (and yes, it was Chuck’s unit – hi, Chuck!).

Abby and Weaver chat about a patient whose mother may be making him sick because of Munchausen by proxy. Romano and Weaver bicker a little before he goes to work with Luka and Susan. Susan checks the intubation Chuck performed, promising that it’s not personal; she always checks paramedics and flight nurses’ intubations.

Romano goes to get Elizabeth, who’s consulting on Chen and Gallant’s patient, Mona, who has stomach pain. Elizabeth says it’s gas, but Gallant thinks she has a mass. Romano suggests that they admit her and give her a full work-up. Elizabeth ignores him and leaves, not wanting to admit a patient she doesn’t think needs to be admitted. This isn’t the way to clear up beds in the ER.

Abby calls her in to examine Luka and Susan’s patient, and Romano and Elizabeth bicker through the process. Luka thinks the complication the patient is experiencing is from Chuck’s intubation. Susan defends him, since she checked his work and it was fine. Plus, if he did screw up, it was because it’s hard to hear in a helicopter, and he might not have realized he’d done something wrong.

Susan drops something and chastises Abby, who points out that Susan made the mistake. Susan lashes out by kicking Gordana out of the trauma room because there are too many people there. The patient’s lung isn’t inflating, so Luka brings up the intubation again. Elizabeth sarcastically says that Romano’s leadership skills sure are helping raise morale in the ER. Abby’s like, “The patient’s getting worse, in case anyone wants to focus on him.”

Carter finds a new teaching case for the med students, who all seem to know their stuff, though they ask a lot of questions. He sends them off to see other patients/stop bugging him. He delivers match letters to Gallant and Pratt, who are both happy with their results. Gallant will be staying at County for his residency, and Pratt will be transferring to Northwestern.

The med students try to ask Abby questions, but she’s focused on finding out if Eric has called back yet. Gordana asks her to tell Luka that she has to leave. They chat about Luka, whom Gordana says was the class clown back in Croatia. He was always happy and had a contagious laugh. Abby’s not familiar with that side of him. Gordana acknowledges that he’s changed. Yeah, maybe it was the whole thing where his wife and kids died. Gordana expected to find him married with a family by now. It’s what his late wife would have wanted.

Susan apologizes to Abby for being short with her in the trauma room, while Abby acknowledges that she wasn’t as focused as she should have been. Susan asks Frank if Chuck’s unit has left yet. He tells her to find out by going up to the roof. If there’s no helicopter there, they left. Susan asks Frank if he’s taking anything for his high cholesterol. When he says no, she replies, “Good.”

Abby has finally learned how to deal with the psych department: Tell them you’re bringing up a patient unless they come to the ER to do an assessment. She goes back to James, who’s anxious again. He fights her as she tries to help him, so she firmly but kindly reminds him that she’s trying to help him. Of course, this is when Eric calls back.

James seems to calm down, so Abby picks up the phone in the exam room. But James’ hallucinations are back, and this time he’s hearing things as well as seeing them. He thinks he’s in some lab, having been captured by people who want to hurt him. He attacks Abby, who manages to pull the fire alarm. She curls up on the floor until James lets her go and runs out of the room. In the hallway, he hallucinates people being experimented on. Abby runs after him, but he makes it outside and takes off.

The rest of the ER has to keep running while the fire alarm is blaring. It’s just another thing that makes Pratt happy he’ll soon be working at Northwestern. He suggests that Chen get a job there, too, but she keeps being drawn back to County. Pratt invites her to celebrate his match with him, but before they can make plans, Gallant interrupts to take Chen back to Mona. She’s septic now, and Romano blames Elizabeth, since she didn’t take Mona’s complaints seriously. Yet it’s Romano who gets punished by having Mona throw up on him. Ew, and it’s right over the ulcer he has on his reattached arm.

Carter consults with the med students, who are a big help in moving patients along. Jerry tells Carter he has a phone call, but Carter has to run to take care of a patient. Jerry passes the call on to Weaver, since the caller says it’s urgent. Moments later, she goes to Carter’s trauma room and tells him to let her take over his patient while he goes to the phone. The call is about Millicent. Carter isn’t really paying attention to Weaver, but he realizes from her face and tone of voice that Millicent has died.

Carter keeps working on his patient, even though it seems pointless. He’s able to stabilize the patient’s heart, but he was without oxygen for so long that he might never wake up. Carter leaves the trauma room and tries to collect himself. Meanwhile, Gordana is still at the hospital, and she’s learned that there’s a problem with her patient’s visa. No one will tell her the specifics because they’re not family.

Weaver chastises Abby for calling a social worker for their possible Munchausen case, since Adele called DCFS. Okay, then go yell at Adele. Leave Abby alone. She’s trying to find out where Eric is while dealing with the fact that she was attacked not that long ago. This patient isn’t even a real storyline! It’s filler! Susan finds Chuck, who’s upset that she questioned whether he intubated his patient correctly. She tells him that the patient’s lung wasn’t inflating. Chuck says the same thing she did earlier about how it’s hard to hear breath sounds on a helicopter.

She pulls him into a room to tell him he should have caught the problem before the patient got to the ER. She stood up for him, which offends him. He thinks she did it because she’s a doctor and he’s a nurse. Susan admits that might have been part of it. Doctors complain about EMTs all the time. Chuck starts laughing, since he and his fellow flight nurses complain about doctors all the time. He tries to kiss her, ignoring the fact that there’s a dead body in the room. Luka and Gordana find them before they can start making out. Luka tries very hard to hide a smile.

Romano asks Gordana to help him do a procedure on Mona that he doesn’t think she would survive in the ER. Carter tries to call his mother while keeping up with his patients. He finds Romano and Gordana doing Mona’s procedure together, which is probably not allowed because I doubt Gordana is licensed to practice in the U.S., but oh, well. She’s so good at what she’s doing that Romano is nice enough to let Carter leave his shift early.

Luka asks Carter if he knows anyone at the State Department. They need help getting Gordana’s patient into the U.S. Luka, my man, this is the worst possible time to ask Carter for a favor, and he already doesn’t like you. Carter asks Jerry to find Abby, then calls his father, who’s trying to make a flight to Chicago. Carter’s grief is starting to catch up to him, and he’s fighting to keep the emotion out of his voice.

Abby finds him, but before they can talk, Pratt needs Carter’s help with Andrew. He’s sicker than Romano thought, and he needs some sort of procedure. While they work, Carter asks Abby if she’s ready to leave when they’re done. She is, but there’s some confusion about where they’re going next. Abby thinks Carter is going with her to Des Moines to get Eric. Carter had no idea he’d gotten in touch, and that Abby is planning to go pick him up. In turn, Abby had no idea that Millicent died.

Once they’re done with Andrew, Carter tells Abby that his grandmother called just a few days ago about some charitable thing. He didn’t pick up the phone because it was something he wasn’t interested in. She called last night and he ignored the call again. Abby tries to reassure him that Millicent had a great life, and Carter was a big part of it. She died in her sleep, so she was peaceful and didn’t feel any pain.

Abby still plans to go to Des Moines, even though Carter wants her to stay and support him as he makes funeral arrangements. He doesn’t think it would do much harm for Eric to stay off his meds another day, since he’s been off them for weeks. Abby’s worried that Eric will disappear again if she doesn’t go to him immediately. She’ll be back in just a few hours. Annoyed, Carter tells her to go ahead; Millicent will still be dead when she gets back.

Romano has saved Mona, and now he’s left dealing with Carter’s med students. He hands them off to Pratt, who tells them that Romano’s failure to give Andrew thorough care led to a major complication. Pratt must feel emboldened by all these witnesses, because there’s no way he would call Romano out like this if it were just the two of them. Romano sends the students away, then tells Pratt he gets to work night shifts for the next month. That’s not the punishment he thinks it is, since Pratt doesn’t mind working nights.

Susan tries to convince Luka that she and Chuck were definitely not going to get naked in that exam room right before he and Gordana found them. Luka’s still amused. Susan argues that having sex with her husband (technically) in the hospital would have been better than Luka having sex with a patient’s mother. Luka notes that at least they did it in an empty room.

Carter’s still at the hospital, planning to pick up his father at the airport on the way home, so Weaver asks him a medical question. She then addresses the patient he worked so hard to save. She thinks Carter should take a few days off of work. Romano has the med students doing a procedure on Carter’s patient, since Romano doesn’t think the man will recover. Carter kicks all the students out and blasts Romano for using a man who’s still alive as a practice cadaver. He cleans up after them.

Abby meets up with Eric in a diner in Des Moines. He’s happy to see her, and though he looks pretty rough, he seems stable. She can’t help noting that he called her instead of Maggie. Okay, maybe Eric isn’t so stable after all, since he thinks people keep looking at him. But of the two mentally unstable people Abby has dealt with today, Eric’s the easy one.

Elizabeth finds Romano cleaning his ulcer and tells him that, while he saved Mona, she still needs surgery since Romano wasn’t able to do everything himself. She takes over treating the ulcer for him and says she would have diagnosed Mona properly if Romano hadn’t butted his way into the case. He caused more problems by trying to help. Romano admits that the ulcer doesn’t hurt, which is a bad sign. He’s running out of possibilities for regaining full use of his arm. Elizabeth hesitates to say that he might be better off having it amputated.

Luka and Gordana hang out at his place, still unable to get information on her patient. Luka thinks Anspaugh might be able to help. Gordana notes how far Luka’s come from when he was in med school, living in a tiny apartment with two roommates. Now he has a busy life, since everyone in America seems busy.

Abby and Eric missed their flight back to Chicago, so she calls Carter to let him know they’re spending the night in Des Moines. She gives Eric his medication, and he resigns himself to taking it for the rest of his life. She tells him they all thought he was dead, except Maggie. Eric wonders what happens next. He can’t keep disappearing like their mother, then waiting for Abby to save him. She suggests that he get into a treatment program, and he asks if she’ll help him.

Carter finally makes it to Millicent’s house, though without his father, who’s going to take a later flight. The funeral home hasn’t come yet to get Millicent’s body. One of her employees tells Carter that Millicent was a wonderful woman. He goes upstairs to his grandmother’s bedroom, where Frances Sternhagen has probably been paid more than I make in a year to lie very still and look dead. Carter pulls a chair up to her bed and finally lets himself cry.

Thoughts: Gordana should stay on the show if only because we might get to see Happy Luka all the time. I’m desperate for Happy Luka.

Abby handles her attack incredibly well. She immediately tells Frank to call security and cancel the fire alarm. Then she tries to catch James, when she would be justified in letting someone else deal with him. Abby’s awesome.

I’m not sure where I stand on Carter and Abby’s dueling emergencies. On one hand, Eric couldn’t wait, and Abby planned to be back to support Carter later. On the other hand, if your partner loses a loved one, you should be there for them. If the tables were turned and, say, Maggie died, Carter would be by Abby’s side the whole time. Then again, he was childish about her choosing Eric over him. Like, you can be upset, but…say that. Say, “I’m frustrated and disappointed that you’re prioritizing your family over mine.” This is why their relationship is bad. They’re horrible at communicating with each other.

November 13, 2021

Buffy 2.1, When She Was Bad: What’s Next?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:16 pm by Jenn

Guys, you’re supposed to leave room for the Holy Spirit

Summary: Willow and Xander are walking home from somewhere, quizzing each other with movie quotes. They’ve had a very boring summer, which at least means they haven’t had to fight any vampires or monsters. Xander’s almost looking forward to school starting up. Part of that is because Buffy’s been in L.A. with her father all summer, so he hasn’t seen her. They go back to the movie game, but things turn a little intimate, and they almost kiss. As they pull apart, a vampire appears next to them. Xander fights him off, then gets an assist from the Slayer herself. She’s back!

The Scoobies happily reunite, and Buffy chastises Xander and Willow for not carrying weapons with them. They tell her that was the first vampire they’ve seen since the Master died. Buffy also spent the summer without vampires. Xander and Willow tell her that they buried the Master in the cemetery, doing a whole ritual with robes and holy water. Buffy hasn’t seen Giles yet and doesn’t see the need to visit him before school the next day.

Back at home, Hank and Joyce unpack Buffy’s stuff from her summer in L.A. They bicker about how much shopping Hank let Buffy do. Joyce is just glad that their daughter stayed out of trouble, though Hank says she seemed kind of distant. “At least when she was burning stuff down, I knew what to say,” he laments. Joyce hopes Buffy makes it through the school year.

At school the next day, Cordelia complains to a couple of her friends that her summer was terrible. Instead of going to St. Croix, her parents took her to Tuscany. The horror! “No one has suffered like I have suffered,” she says. She acknowledges that adversity builds character, but she already has a lot of character, so now she wonders if it’s possible to have too much character. Never change, Cordy.

Snyder chats with Giles about how teens are like locusts – they just want to feed and mate, and they destroy everything. “I do enjoy these pep talks,” Giles says. You should never change, either, Rupert. He suggests that Snyder find a new line of work. Snyder continues that teen boys are just walking hormones; every time they see a pretty girl, they lost the ability to speak coherently. Just then, Jenny comes over, and Giles…well, loses the ability to speak coherently. Snyder keeps grumbling to himself as Giles and Jenny walk off to flirt.

The other Scoobies arrive, and while Xander and Willow are excited to see Giles, Buffy is pretty subdued. Willow needs to calm down, since she says loudly that Buffy killed a vampire the night before. Jenny’s surprised, since the Hellmouth is closed. There’s still mystical energy in the area, though, so demons and vampires are going to continue to be drawn to Sunnydale. Giles says he’ll consult his books. Xander tells Willow to pay up, as he bet her that Giles would say that within the first ten minutes of the day.

As the kids head off to class, Giles tells Buffy they can wait a few days to start her training back up. She tells him she’s ready now. After school, she gets right back to it, full of energy and focus. She tells Giles that whatever is coming next, she’s ready for it. Looks like someone hasn’t dealt with the trauma of fighting the Master. As for whatever’s coming next, a vampire named Absalom has gathered a bunch of vampires to discuss it with him and Collin. Within three days, someone will arise and they’ll follow him.

The next morning, Xander and Willow find Buffy lost in thought in a school lounge area. She tells them she had weird dreams the night before. Xander comments that dreams can be meaningful. Willow agrees – once she dreamed that Xander…no, wait, nothing happened. And it wasn’t her; it was a friend’s dream, and she doesn’t remember it.

Giles joins them and tells Buffy that what’s coming next is more complicated than they thought. Buffy confidently says she’ll handle it. “I’ve killed you once. It shouldn’t be too difficult to do it again,” he replies. He hits her, then tries to strangle her. Xander and Willow act like nothing’s going on as Buffy pulls off Giles’ face, revealing that he’s really the Master.

It’s just one of those weird dreams Buffy mentioned, and when she wakes up in her room, Angel’s there. She’s not interested in chatting, and she’s also not pleased to learn that this is a business visit, not a social one. Angel tells her that Collin has been gathering forces for some reason. Buffy figures she’ll find out why soon enough. She can handle it, and she’s actually looking forward to some action.

Angel warns that while Collin looks like a child, he has power, and his followers will do anything for him. Buffy cuts the visit short, saying Angel woke her up from a nice dream. As he leaves through the window, he admits that he missed her. She says it back, but he’s already gone.

The next morning (for real this time), Joyce drives Buffy to school, inviting her to open up about what’s obviously not right with her. Buffy stays quiet. At school, Buffy tells Xander and Willow that Angel came by to warn her about vampire activity. Xander says that the band Cibo Matto is playing at the Bronze that night, so they should go.

Cordelia approaches, calling the Scoobies the Three Musketeers, which they don’t find insulting. She asks if they fought any demons over the summer. “Yes, our own personal demons,” Willow replies loudly. Cordelia reminds them of everything that happened on prom night. “Cordelia, your mouth is open. Sound is coming from it. This is never good,” Buffy replies.

Xander and Willow tell Cordelia that they have to keep this kind of stuff quiet. Don’t worry, Cordelia hasn’t told anyone. For one thing, it was super-creepy. For another, she would have to admit that she spent the evening with the Scoobies. Buffy says that’s great – Cordelia won’t tell anyone that Buffy’s the Slayer, and Buffy won’t tell anyone that Cordelia’s a moron. As she leaves, the other three sense that something’s off with her.

At the Bronze that night, Willow brings up her concerns to Xander. Xander doesn’t think there’s anything to worry about, but Willow doesn’t like that Buffy’s mean now. Xander’s distracted by Buffy’s absence, so Willow tries to recreate the previous evening’s circumstances so they’ll kiss (or almost kiss) again. It doesn’t work.

Collin’s followers dig up the Master’s grave, some using their hands even though the ground is consecrated and burns their hands. Meanwhile, Buffy arrives at the Bronze, immediately catching Angel’s attention. She’s sarcastic with him, which makes him think he’s done something to scare or anger her. Is she afraid of the possibility of them being together? Buffy tells him to get over himself since that’s not going to happen. She didn’t spend the summer pining for him. She moved on to the living.

She joins Xander and Willow, inviting Xander to dance with her to a slow song. Buffy gets sexy, and though you’d think Xander would like that, he looks uncomfortable. So do Angel and Willow. After a while, Buffy asks Xander if she ever thanked him for saving her life. When he says no, she asks, “Don’t you wish I would?”

She leaves, and Cordelia follows her outside to call her out for her behavior and give her some advice: “Get over it.” She needs to deal with whatever’s making her act like this before she loses her friends. Buffy tells her to mind her own business, then storms off. Cordelia says she’ll just entertain Angel instead. But before she can go back inside, she’s grabbed by a vampire. She ends up locked up somewhere with an unconscious Jenny.

On her way home, Buffy cuts through a cemetery and sees that the Master’s grave has been dug up. She thinks she sees him next to her. The next day, Willow tells Xander and Giles that Buffy must be possessed. Maybe when the Master died, his evilness infected her. “Why else would she be acting like such a B-I-T-C-H?” Willow asks. Giles tells her they’re all too old to be spelling out curse words. “A bitca?” says a confused Xander.

Anyway, Giles thinks Buffy just has “issues.” She fought the Master and technically died for a few minutes. She just hasn’t dealt with it. Xander spots Buffy approaching them and pretends they were talking about trout. Buffy announces that the Master’s grave is empty – she thinks Collin and his followers are going to use his bones to resurrect him. Giles didn’t warn her that that could happen because no one has ever successfully revived a vampire.

Willow defends Giles, and Buffy snaps at her that she doesn’t need any comments from “civilians” on Slayer business. Xander in turn snaps at her for speaking to Willow like that. Snyder interrupts to send the kids to class, so they’ll have to finish the discussion later. After they leave, Snyder tells Giles that there are some things he can smell. “It’s like a sixth sense,” he says. “Actually, that would be one of the five,” Giles notes. Snyder means that Buffy is trouble. Eventually, she’ll be expelled and possibly sent to jail. Giles thinks she’ll surprise him. Snyder thinks he’s weird for having faith in teenagers.

Later, in the library, Giles tells the Scoobies that to revive the Master, Collin and his followers will need his bones and the blood of someone closest to him. Buffy thinks that’s her. Suddenly someone throws a big rock through the window. A note is wrapped around it, fastened with a bracelet Buffy recognizes as Cordelia’s. The note summons Buffy to the Bronze before the vampires make Cordelia a meal. “They’re going to cook her dinner?” Xander says. Yes, honey. That’s what that means.

Buffy announces that she’s going to the Bronze…alone. She can’t keep an eye on the Scoobies while she’s fighting vampires. Willow and Giles think she’s walking into a trap. Buffy says she can handle it, but Willow’s tired of her saying that. Buffy tells the Scoobies that this is her fight, not theirs.

Angel doesn’t get that memo, so he follows Buffy to the Bronze and insists on backing her up. She tells him she doesn’t trust him, since he’s a vampire. Angel says she has to trust someone, and she can’t do this alone. Buffy says she’s strong enough to do it, and definitely stronger than he is. She knows he’s thought about what would happen if the two of them ever had to fight. Why don’t they find out? Angel says no, but Buffy tries to entice him: “Come on. Kick my a%$.” Angel tells her to go off and fight Collin’s followers already. He’ll stay out of her way.

Inside the Bronze, Buffy finds someone crying, and she quickly determines it’s someone she’s supposed to think is Cordelia. It’s really a vampire, but Angel isn’t sure why she’s serving as bait. Buffy agrees – why would Collin’s followers only send one vampire? In the library, Giles answers that question. The blood in the resurrection ritual needs to come from the person or people physically closest to the Master when he died. That means Willow, Giles, Jenny, and Cordelia. The vampires lured Buffy away so they could invade the library and capture the Scoobies.

Buffy tells Angel to keep an eye on the bait vampire, then rushes back to the library, which is now trashed. Xander has been left behind, and he’s upset that Buffy’s lone-wolf attitude has led to Giles and Willow being kidnapped. If the vampires hurt Willow, Xander will kill Buffy. He explains why the vampires wanted Giles and Willow (as well as Cordelia and Jenny). Now they just need to find out where they all are.

Buffy and Xander go to the Bronze so Buffy can interrogate the bait vampire. She puts her cross necklace down the vampire’s throat to burn her in hopes of getting her to spill. Elsewhere, Absalom orders Collin’s followers to begin the ritual, which involves hanging Willow, Giles, Cordelia, and Jenny upside-down over the Master’s bones so they can bleed down onto him.

As Buffy, Angel, and Xander arrive, she tells the guys to help the Scoobies while she distracts the vampires. Well, I guess “distract” isn’t the right word. She’s just going to kill them. Everything goes according to plan, and once the humans are safe, Angel joins Buffy in fighting the vampires. Xander tells Giles that Buffy is “working out her issues.”

Absalom calls an end to the battle, announcing that he’s going to smash Buffy up. She asks if they’re going to make small talk or get to the fighting. Well, there isn’t any fighting, since she just lights him on fire and kills him. He leaves behind a big mallet, which she uses to smash the Master’s bones. The Scoobies look on as she finally deals with her feelings about what the Master did to her.

At school the next day, Cordelia tells Jenny that what happened will stay with her forever. Well, at least on her clothes. Buffy admits to Giles that she doesn’t think she can face Willow and Xander. He tells her it’s pointless to punish herself, but Buffy knows her behavior put her friends in danger. Giles says this isn’t the worse mistake she’ll ever make. (That’s supposed to be a good thing.)

Buffy gathers her courage and goes to class, where Xander and Willow have saved her a seat. They start talking about their teacher, then their plans for the evening. Willow doesn’t think the Bronze will be that much fun, since it’s the middle of the week. “Well, we could grind our enemies into talcum powder with a sledgehammer, but gosh, we did that last night,” Xander says. And just like that, everything’s okay.

I guess Collin missed all the action, because he comes to his followers’ lair to find smashed bones and no more vampires. “I hate that girl,” he complains.

Thoughts: Absalom is also Nat from ER, which might be the biggest difference I’ve seen in two characters I’ve recapped who were played by the same actor.

Jenny went to Burning Man and tells Giles he should have been there. Please enjoy that visual.

I don’t think I use any word or phrase from this show more often than I use “bitca.”

November 9, 2021

ER 9.18, Finders Keepers: Boss Baby

Posted in TV tagged , at 4:57 pm by Jenn

I couldn’t find a good picture from the episode, but this is good enough

Summary: Having just been given Romano’s job as chief of staff, Weaver is now moving into his office. Romano hasn’t even moved his stuff out yet. She tells him this wasn’t her idea, but Romano doesn’t believe her. Weaver thinks he should be grateful that she and Anspaugh are handling things the way they are. After all, Romano is a surgeon who can no longer operate, a “human resources nightmare,” and horrible at administrative tasks. He should be glad he still has a job at all, even if that job is overseeing the ER.

Romano takes the elevator down from the quiet surgical floor to the chaotic ER, where he immediately starts bossing people around. Like a child testing his boundaries, he also immediately starts offending people. He fires Haleh for a stupid reason, then announces that he’s getting rid of the coffee machine in the lounge. Doctors and nurses will now have to pay for their own coffee.

Out by the roach coach, Chuny, who’s holding a cake, teases Chen about how many candles they should put on it. Pratt pretends he already knew it was his sort-of-girlfriend’s birthday and got her a gift. She buys it when he entices her with a fancy dinner. A street vendor approaches, trying to get Pratt to buy something for Chen. They ignore him, so he moves on to Elizabeth, who’s gotten a ride to work from Ella’s nanny. Since he’s kind of harassing them, Elizabeth tells the nanny to leave quickly, but she accidentally drives over the vendor’s foot.

Back in the ER, Romano is continuing to alienate his new employees by taking over an exam room so he can turn it into his office. Susan complains that someone stole her brand-new leather gloves from her locker. Jerry doesn’t have much sympathy for her, since an animal died to make those gloves. Pratt and Chen bring in the street vendor, since Elizabeth didn’t want to bother with him. But…but…it would have given you screentime, Elizabeth! You need as much as you can get!

Romano announces to the staff that there will be some changes to how things work now that he’s in charge. For starters, no more kindness. I doubt they were getting much of that from Weaver, but okay. He tells Luka and Carter to start discharging patients while Pratt, Chen, and Susan try to clear the board. He then orders Jerry to get him a breakfast burrito. “Please?” Jerry prompts. “Get your love at home,” Romano replies.

Luka, Carter, and Abby go to the roof to receive a patient brought in by helicopter. The man, Josh, was found unconscious and may have been the victim of a hit and run. After providing all the patient’s info, the flight nurse, Chuck Martin, asks if Susan’s working today. Before he can talk to her, though, he’s sent off to pick up another patient.

The others take Josh to a trauma room, where Romano starts to assess him before letting Luka or Carter make any decisions. Jerry pops in to tell Luka that someone named Gordana is calling him from Croatia. Romano takes the phone from him, tells Gordana not to call the number again, and hangs up. As they leave, Jerry tells Romano that he’s not allowed to fire nurses because of union rules. Since Haleh went home, Romano tells Jerry to get her back to County but deduct the time she was away from her paycheck. He also wants to know who he can fire and why.

Romano moves on to Susan, who’s treating a man whose young son accidentally shot him with a nail gun. Elizabeth arrives for a surgical consult, so Romano leaves. Susan tells Elizabeth that the son apparently didn’t know the gun was loaded. The son clarifies that he did. Okay, watch out for that kid. He could be a future serial killer. Elizabeth asks Susan how things are going under the new regime. Susan admits to missing Weaver. Elizabeth encounters Romano in the lounge and tells him she thinks his reassignment is a horrible idea. She hopes it’ll just be temporary.

Carter and Abby wonder why Josh was in the middle of nowhere with no car. She notices that he’s wearing a wedding ring. Weaver finishes a phone call at the front desk (in which she tells someone to tell Bright she’s out of the office – interesting), then asks Carter to pick up some of the responsibilities that have fallen to her. He asks how much longer Romano will be running the ER department. Weaver lets on like this is a permanent thing. After he leaves, she realizes her crutch is missing.

Abby and Susan meet up with Luka, who’s finally connected with Gordana on his cell phone. They went to med school together, and she has a patient in Croatia who needs a specialized surgery that can’t be done there. The three of them start treating a guy named Nicky, who’s complaining of shoulder pain from a fall. He’s a recovering addict, and his girlfriend tells the doctors he needs to stay sober.

Pratt finds the street vendor on the ER’s pay phone and throws some Tylenol at him. He then asks Chuny for advice on what to get Chen for her birthday. Not that he can go buy anything, since Romano isn’t about to give him the time to leave. Speaking of Romano, he’s taunting Gallant’s patient for coming to the ER with high blood pressure. When Gallant protests, Romano taunts him next. He criticizes Carter’s inability to move patients through the ER in a timely matter.

Chuck returns, still wanting to see Susan. She’s dealing with Nicky, who’s yelling in pain over his shoulder injury. Carter tells Susan there’s a guy there to see her…and he says he’s Susan’s husband. Susan bashfully confirms this. Apparently this show is a sitcom now, because, as Susan explains to Abby in the bathroom, she and Chuck met on the plane to Vegas, hung out for a while, and then impulsively decided to get married. Susan left the next morning and hasn’t seen Chuck since. She’s planning to have the marriage annulled.

As the newlyweds reunite, Gallant complains to Carter about the orders Romano gave for his patient. Carter dismissively tells Gallant to talk to Romano, which is a horrible idea. Abby tells Carter that a lot of people are freaking out about the changes in the ER. She, however, will put up with Romano as long as she continues to get a paycheck.

Susan and Chuck go for a walk and chat about their annulment. In case anyone was wondering, they consummated the marriage. A lot. They haven’t told their families about the wedding. Paramedics bring in a woman named Debra who passed out while shopping with her husband. She’s pregnant with their first child (his fourth; she’s a younger second wife). Carter, Pratt, and Romano quickly detect that something’s really wrong.

A surgical resident named Woo comes in for a surgical consult, and since she only started the day before, she has no idea who Romano is. He resents that, as well as the fact that he’s already determined that Debra needs surgery, so this consult is unnecessary. While they butt heads, Abby quickly calls Elizabeth to come to the ER and make peace.

On the way down from the surgical floor, Luka tells Elizabeth about Gordana’s patient, who could really benefit from being brought to the States for his operation. Elizabeth points out that the boy isn’t a U.S. citizen. Luka reminds her that the two of them aren’t, either. Elizabeth doesn’t think Luka would get approval for a pro-bono operation, especially since Weaver would have to be one of the people giving approval, but she’s still willing to see if they can make it happen.

Romano has scared Woo off, so Elizabeth examines Debra. She agrees with Romano that Debra needs surgery for a mass in her abdomen. Romano’s annoyed that his consultation apparently didn’t count. Next, Gallant tries to talk to him about his patient, and Romano claims he didn’t give the medication order Gallant says he heard. When Gallant objects, Romano calls him Goofus and accuses him of being an affirmative-action hire.

Jerry tells Romano that he can’t fire Gallant, and it would be a mistake to fail him for this rotation, since he’d just have to repeat it. However, Romano can fire “care partners,” AKA non-union orderlies. There’s one nearby, so Romano fires him. Then he yells about Nicky moaning in pain, Susan taking a break, and no one clearing the board. He pitches in himself, examining an orphan named Eddie who’s having breathing problems. Not that Romano cares that the kid is an orphan.

Carter asks Jerry to make sure Carter sees all of Romano’s patients before they’re discharged. Oh, yeah, no way that could come back to haunt him. Susan returns from her break late, and Carter hands off a patient named Sandra who fell and hurt her wrist. He also congratulates Susan on her wedding. Eddie tries to make small talk with Romano, asking about his arm. Romano, of course, doesn’t like small talk. He asks Abby what the ER’s standard treatment is for Eddie’s problem. Abby’s surprised that he’s asking a nurse.

Luka and Abby go check on Josh, who’s waking up. He tells them he was in a car accident and asks about his kids. He left them in the car while he walked to get help. Considering Josh was brought in close to hypothermic, his kids could be in really bad shape. Carter takes Debra for a CT scan, which shows that she has multiple masses and will need to have a kidney removed.

A police officer comes to question Josh, who doesn’t know if his kids were hurt but remembers them being scared. He doesn’t know where he left his car. Romano complains that Luka and Abby haven’t moved him along fast enough to get him out of the ER. Luka says he wanted to let Josh stay there while they wait for news on his kids. Romano ignores him, then tells him to stop seeing his shrink because if he’s “screwed up” enough to need one, he shouldn’t be working at County.

Haleh returns to a not-so-warm welcome from Romano, who’s annoyed that it took her so long to come back. She starts tending to Sandra, who asks Susan if Chuck has a single brother she can date. Pratt goes to a gift shop to find a present for Chen, but it’s closed. Running out of options close to the hospital, Pratt turns to the street vendor from earlier. The vendor, who happens to have stolen Weaver’s crutch, offers him a new item that just came in.

Romano swipes some icing from Chen’s cake and declares that there will be no more birthday parties. Susan stands up to him, which is impressive. He tells her to discharge Sandra already, even though Susan thinks she has a head injury. Paramedics bring in an eight-year-old girl named Pilar who sustained eye injuries when her grandmother crashed her car and the airbag deployed.

Elizabeth tells Debra that her kidney and the tumor they’ve found need to be removed ASAP. She and Carter can’t say yet if the tumor is cancerous, but it’s likely. That means Debra would need chemo and radiation, which aren’t recommended for people who are pregnant. Debra is scared of dying of cancer like her mother did, so she tells the doctors to do the surgery, even though that means terminating her pregnancy. She’s not willing to have surgery and wait until after the baby’s born to continue her treatment.

Susan and Abby tend to Pilar, who’s completely blind. Her grandmother says she let her ride in the front seat because Pilar begged her. Susan realizes the ER is quiet – Nicky has stopped howling. His girlfriend went out and bought him drugs to ease his pain. “At least someone’s happy,” Susan remarks.

Elizabeth asks Weaver about Luka’s pro-bono patient, but as she expected, Weaver won’t approve the surgery. Before leaving, Elizabeth asks if Weaver has noticed anything off about Romano’s mental health. He seems “broken.” Weaver calls him a cockroach, meaning he’ll survive everyone else there while refusing to evolve.

Jerry feeds Romano some info on punishing employees without firing them. Jerry, are you sure this is the side you want to take? Romano notices that Eddie hasn’t been discharged, and Carter steps in to say that Romano didn’t give him the right amount of medication he needs. He’s not stable enough to leave. Eddie taunts Romano for screwing up. Kid, don’t poke the bear. Carter and Romano start fighting, but Romano seemingly wins because he can yell louder. He tells Carter the ER is Romano’s now, and ER stands for “everyone’s replaceable.”

The police have done an intensive search for Josh’s car but haven’t found it. Luka (who, as we know, can empathize with a man whose kids are in peril) insists that they do more. Weaver comes to the ER looking for Romano but instead finds a bunch of annoyed people. Carter tells her straight out that Romano is a horrible fit for the job of running the ER, and everyone’s upset. Weaver asks him to make things work since the ER is all Romano has.

Josh’s wife arrives and throws a curveball into his plotline: They don’t have kids. Susan checks on Sandra, who’s unresponsive. Elizabeth operates on Debra while awaiting news from pathology on whether her tumor is cancerous. It is, and it’s bad. Carter, Susan, and Abby try to revive Sandra, guessing that her fall dislodged an aneurysm she didn’t know she had. They couldn’t have known about it. Susan reluctantly declares her time of death.

Luka consults with a psychiatrist, who thinks a combination of depression and delusion made Josh think he had kids. Luka’s surprised, since the way Josh talked about the children, they seemed real. The doctor says that once Josh is on medication, his memories of his fake kids will fade away. Luka looks pained at that thought.

Susan and Abby examine a teenager named Mindy who’s experiencing some bleeding after having unprotected sex. Mindy has Down’s syndrome and has never heard of condoms. Oh, and her “boyfriend” is a maintenance worker at the facility where she lives, and he’s totally taking advantage of her. Susan declares this one of the worst days of her life.

Wait, it’s about to get a tiny bit better! Susan’s missing gloves have turned up. Unfortunately, they’ve turned up on Chen’s hands. Yep, that was her birthday present from Pratt. He has to admit to buying them from the street vendor. In a fun callback, Abby jokes that Susan should examine the gloves for semen. Chuck returns and asks Susan to have dinner with him, since he’s had a horrible day. In fact, it was even worse than hers.

Romano criticizes Gallant again as he’s suturing up a patient’s wound. Romano says he loves watching med students suture because it reminds him how fast he is. “Was,” Gallant says under his breath, but not quiet enough for Romano not to hear. Ohhhh, not a good look for you, Gallant. Romano manages to restrain himself from throwing a tantrum.

Elizabeth tells Debra’s husband that her tumor is inoperable and her chances of survival are very low. If he overrides Debra’s decision to terminate her pregnancy, they can keep her alive long enough to deliver the baby. All Mr. Strickland can think about is that he wants his wife to live. He thinks she can still fight her cancer. Elizabeth tells him the baby has a chance, but Mr. Strickland won’t go against Debra’s wishes. Elizabeth sadly lets the OB/GYN team take over.

Romano goes to a bar after work so he can be a jerk to a new group of people. He picks a fight with another patron, who punches him. Another guy joins in and Romano ends up on the floor. “Highway to Hell” is playing, and the episode ends with a very fitting lyric: “And I’m going down…”

Thoughts: Chuck is played by Donal Logue.

This marks the end of Romano as a guy who kind of love to hate and the beginning of a Romano with no redeeming qualities who just bugs the crap out of you.

When Jerry comes in to tell Luka he has a phone call, Carter says he can’t take it during a trauma. Hey, Carter, Luka outranks you. Stuff it.

Elizabeth kind of sucks for not warning Dr. Woo about Romano. Then again, Woo sucks for questioning Romano’s authority when he already said he’s a surgeon and he’s clearly her superior.

Susan noticed her gloves were missing before the vendor came into the hospital, so…what’s up with that?

November 6, 2021

Buffy 1.12, Prophecy Girl: As It Is Written

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:04 pm by Jenn

It’s time

Summary: The Scoobies are at the Bronze, and Xander is finally declaring his feelings for Buffy. No, wait, he’s declaring them for Willow. No, wait, he’s just practicing on Willow. He wants to take Buffy to the Spring Fling, AKA the prom. He’s not very good at the asking-out part. He decides to just go for it, but Buffy isn’t there.

That’s because she’s slaying. Cordelia happens to be nearby, making out with a guy named Kevin in a car. She hears the sounds of Buffy’s fight with a vampire, which turn into the sounds of the vampire dying. Buffy notes that she’s killed three vampires in one night. At the library, Giles is reading the Codex Angel brought him, which contains a prophecy he’s been looking for: “The Master shall rise, and the Slayer…” He doesn’t finish the sentence, but it’s something bad. Just then, there’s an earthquake felt all over Sunnydale. The Master is the only one happy about it – this means he’s nearing his time to rise.

The next day, the Scoobies leave a science class that was so boring, even Willow the science nerd hated it. Xander gets her to leave so he can ask Buffy to the dance. (He also makes some random guy sitting on a bench leave. Don’t be a bully, Xander.) He starts to launch into his awkward speech, then cuts to the chase and asks Buffy to the dance. He tells her he wants more than just a friendship with her.

Buffy gently says she doesn’t want to spoil that friendship. Xander thinks that you either feel something more or you don’t. Buffy says straight out that she doesn’t. She doesn’t think of him as a romantic prospect. Xander’s hurt, and he guesses that she would rather be with Angel. Buffy feels bad for turning him down, but he doesn’t want to hear her expressing any sympathy.

Jenny catches Giles making a call to someone he insists on seeing that night. She notes that he’s wearing the same clothes he had on the previous day. Something big must be happening. She did some sleuthing and found stories about weird things that have happened recently, like a cat giving birth to snakes and a boiling lake. She thinks the apocalypse is nearing.

Giles isn’t sure he can trust Jenny, but it turns out she has information that’s useful to him. A monk emailed her from Cortona about the Anointed One. Giles is surprised to hear anything about him, since the Anointed One is supposed to be dead. He tells Jenny to email the monk. Even though he’s impatient and short with her, she agrees to help.

Cordelia and Kevin flirt while discussing plans for the Spring Fling, which will be at the Bronze. She asks Willow to help them set up the sound system. She’ll even be nice to Willow and talk to her at the dance. Willow agrees, though she’s distracted by the sight of Xander moping over being rejected by Buffy. “On a scale from 1 to 10? It sucked,” he tells her. Willow says at least now he knows how Buffy feels. Xander suggests that the two of them go to the dance together instead. Willow says no, since he’ll spend the whole night pining for Buffy. Xander decides to spend the evening listening to country music, “the music of pain.”

That night, Buffy hangs around school before going out to patrol. She’s shocked to see the water in the bathroom sink turning to blood. She heads to the library, where she’s shocked again – Angel is there conferring with Giles. She eavesdrops as they talk about the prophecy from the Codex. Giles says everything prophesied in the book comes true, and no matter how much Angel insists he read this one wrong, it’ll happen: Tomorrow night, Buffy will fight the Master…and die.

The guys are alerted to Buffy’s presence when she starts laughing. She wonders who will take her place as the Slayer, since a new one gets called when the current one dies. Will Giles be her Watcher, too? She asks if the Codex says how she’ll die. Scared, she asks if it’ll hurt. Angel moves to comfort her, but she doesn’t want that from him since he and Giles kept this from her.

Giles says he was hoping he would never have to tell Buffy, that he would have found a way around it. Buffy has a solution: She’ll quit. Someone else can fight the Master. Giles starts to tell her that’s not possible, because of the signs. She throws books at him, yelling, “Read me the signs! Tell me my fortune!” He and his books aren’t as helpful as he’d always seemed to be.

Angel tries to express his sympathy, but Buffy notes that he’s never going to die, so there’s no way he could understand what she’s dealing with. Angel says he doesn’t want her to die – he wouldn’t be able to stand it. They need to find a way to get out of this. Buffy repeats that she’s quitting, and she doesn’t care what happens if the Master rises. “Giles, I’m 16 years old. I don’t wanna die,” she says sadly. She tears off the cross necklace Angel gave her and throws it on the ground.

Willow calls Xander, who hangs up the phone without answering it. He’s listening to Patsy Cline. Joyce finds Buffy looking through a photo album in her bedroom and asks what’s going on with her. Buffy tries to talk her into going on a trip, immediately. Forget about school and Joyce’s job. They’ll just get out of Sunnydale.

Joyce thinks she’s brooding because no one asked her to the Spring Fling. She bought Buffy a dress she liked and encourages her to go to the dance. Buffy says she can’t go alone. “Says who? Is it written somewhere?” Joyce asks. She went to Homecoming alone her freshman year of college, and that’s where she met Buffy’s father. It was a great night. Buffy notes that Joyce had her whole life ahead of her. “Must be nice,” she says softly.

Cordelia and Willow meet up at school the next morning to get the stuff Kevin was supposed to take to the Bronze for dance set-up. Cordelia’s surprised to find herself not being upset with him for not doing what he was supposed to do. She even thinks it’s cute. Also cute: Kevin and his friends are hanging out in a lounge, watching cartoons. Well, not really – they’re all dead. It’s not cute anymore.

Buffy’s getting ready for the dance when Willow calls, then comes over to tell her what happened. She’s really shaken by the sight of all those dead classmates. She can’t find the words to express how hard it was to see the bodies of people she knows. “It wasn’t our world anymore,” she says. “They made it theirs. And they had fun.” Buffy tells her they’ll do what they have to. As she heads off to take back her job as Slayer, Willow compliments her dress.

Underground, the Master tells Collin that it’s almost time. In the library, Giles has filled Jenny in on everything she needs to know about the Slayer and the Master. She’s surprised someone as little as Buffy has such an important role. Jenny hasn’t been able to get in touch with the monk who emailed her, but he sent out an email to his followers mentioning Isaiah 11:6. Giles knows it by heart – it’s about how normally combative animals will live in harmony, “and a little child shall lead them.” Add that to another prophecy Giles has read and it probably means the Anointed One is a child who will lead Buffy into Hell.

Giles has decided that he’ll face the Master in Buffy’s place. But Buffy’s there, wearing her nice dress and Angel’s jacket, and ready to fulfill her destiny. He tries to talk her out of it, since he’s the adult here and she’s supposed to follow his orders, but she refuses to listen. Knowing she can’t change his mind, she punches him unconscious. Buffy puts her cross necklace back on and says to Jenny, “When he wakes up, tell him…I don’t know. Think of something cool; tell him I said it.” Jenny reminds her that she’ll die if she fights the Master. Buffy replies that she might take him with her.

It doesn’t take Buffy long to come across Collin. He lets him take her hand and lead her away. The other Scoobies gather in the library, trying to figure out how to help Buffy. Jenny points out that they also have a pending apocalypse, but Xander doesn’t care about that. He thinks he can find out where Buffy is.

Collin takes Buffy to the Master’s lair as Xander shows up at Angel’s…well, lair. He tells Angel that Buffy went to kill the Master, and the two of them are going to save her. Angel refuses to take Xander to the Master, knowing there’s no way Xander would survive that confrontation. Xander holds up a cross and says he hates Angel, but Buffy doesn’t, so he needs to prove that she’s right to like him. “You’re in love with her,” Angel realizes. “Aren’t you?” Xander replies.

Back at the library, Jenny asks where the Hellmouth will open. She and Willow start researching. Underground, Buffy finally comes face to face with the Master. He welcomes her and she thanks him for having her over, then tells him to have a contractor look at the water damage in the lair. “Oh, good, the feeble banter portion of the fight,” he says. Buffy moves things along by firing a crossbow at him, but he’s fast enough to catch the bolt.

Xander and Angel are now underground as well, looking for the Master’s lair. Xander accuses Angel of eyeing his neck. “I told you to eat before we left,” Xander says. Buffy reloads as the Master vanishes from her sight. He tells her she doesn’t get that she’s not the hunter here – she’s the lamb. In the library, Giles, Jenny, and Willow figure out that Master has probably sent an army of vampires to the Bronze, where the prom is currently taking place.

As Willow and Jenny leave to go to the Bronze, Buffy goes looking for the Master, who wants to drag out their fight. Buffy would rather get it over with. He sneaks up behind her and grabs her neck. Willow and Jenny realize too late that the vampire army isn’t at the Bronze – they’re at the school, slowly approaching the two of them.

Back underground, the Master is able to mesmerize Buffy in some way, so there isn’t much of a fight. He praises her for trying to fight him – and the prophecy – but she’s there to fulfill her destiny. If she hadn’t come there, the Master wouldn’t be able to rise. He bites her, thrilled with the power it gives him. He drops Buffy face-down in a pool of water and compliments her dress.

The prophecy has been fulfilled, and the Master begins to ascend. Xander and Angel make it to his lair and realize they’re too late to stop him. They’re also too late to save Buffy…almost. Xander points out that if she drowned, they might be able to revive her with CPR. Xander administers it, since Angel, as a vampire, can’t do the rescue breathing part of it.

Willow and Jenny are seemingly hopeless until Cordelia drives up to rescue them. Back underground, Xander’s successful with CPR and Buffy wakes up. Willow and Jenny tell Cordelia to get them to the library, so she drives her car right into the school. “What’s happening?” Giles asks when they run in and start barricading the doors. “Guess!” Jenny yells. As they try to protect themselves from the vampire army, another threat lurks in the stacks: snakes.

The Master takes in the view of Sunnydale from the roof of the school as Xander and Angel tell Buffy he rose. They think she’s too weak to fight him, but Buffy says she feels different – stronger. Vampires start coming in through the library windows as Buffy, Angel, and Xander head toward the Master (Buffy somehow knows where he is). She easily takes out a vampire, then goes up to the roof by herself. She tells the guys that no matter what happens next, it won’t take long.

Giles realizes that Hellmouth creatures are starting to invade the library. The Master watches through a skylight, thrilled. He’s shocked to see Buffy behind him – her death was written in a prophecy. “What can I say? I flunked the written,” she replies. Giles hits some big, ugly thing with an axe while Buffy tries not to be killed by another ugly thing. The Master is no longer able to mesmerize her, which means this is more of a fair fight.

Angel and Xander join the fight in the library as the Master taunts Buffy for not making quips anymore. He says she’s been laughing while Hell has been unleashed on Earth. Through the skylight she spots a big, broken piece of wood in the library – basically a huge stake. She tells the Master that if he loves Hell so much, he can go there. Then she tosses him through the skylight and down onto the wood, killing him.

The Hellmouth creatures leave and the Scoobies gather at the Master’s bones in the library (since, for some reason, he didn’t turn to dust like vampires usually do). Giles is pleased that even death didn’t stop Buffy from defeating the Master. Everyone wants to do something fun to take their minds off of what just happened, so they decide to go to the prom. As they all head off together, Angel starts to tell Buffy he likes her dress. She says it was a hit with everyone. I guess they figure all the debris and the skeleton in the library are tomorrow’s problem. I hope no one from the janitorial staff comes in overnight.

Thoughts: Sarah Michelle Gellar is so good in the scene where she addresses the prophecy. It’s that scene that takes the show from “this is just a dumb teen show” to “this is actually a serious drama.”

I like how Xander asks Angel if he can come in, then just walks inside, with an unspoken, “Ha ha, I don’t have to be invited because I’m not a vampire.”

I also like how Cordelia has no questions about what’s going on. “Oh, we’re fighting snakes and vampires? Cool, no problem.”

Season 1 is short, so we’re already done with it. Next up: Spike, Drusilla, Oz…and Angelus.

November 2, 2021

ER 9.17, The Advocate: How I Killed Your Lover

Posted in TV tagged , , at 5:02 pm by Jenn

Haaaaaaaave you met Keith?

Summary: Weaver is at a City Council meeting, arguing against the closing of a clinic that helps a huge amount of underserved people. Thanks in part to Alderman Bright, the vote goes in her favor. He’s proud of her tenacity and thinks she could become surgeon general someday. As the two of them go to his office to chat, he dodges a call from someone about an amendment allowing gay marriage. Bright says he’s sympathetic to the cause but it will never pass, and he won’t allow the amendment to tank his bill.

Alone in his office, Bright tells Weaver that he needs a favor. Remember how he has syphilis? His partner is showing symptoms as well. Make that his top-secret partner who happens to work for him. It’s all consensual and legal, and the two are in love, so this isn’t an issue of Bright wanting Weaver to break any laws. He just needs her to treat his partner and not tell anyone. Weaver says no, since she could lose her license, and she’s already risked it once to treat Bright himself. He tells her he understands…but they’re voting that afternoon to possibly eliminate emergency services at County, so…you know…she might want to change her mind.

Carter’s Jeep is in the shop, so Millicent has him dropped off at County before she goes to do whatever it is she does all day. He gives her back the engagement ring he’d planned to give Abby, since he never offered it to her. He doesn’t think Abby knows he was planning to propose. Carter suspects that Millicent is relieved, since she’s never exactly sung Abby’s praises. Millicent gives the ring back to him and tells him she trusts his choices. He can marry whomever he wants.

It’s that time of year when med students put in their bids for where they want to serve their residency. Gallant is considering specializing in emergency medicine and staying at County. He still has a few years left in his military obligations, but he can roll them into his residency. As a guy shows up looking for Weaver, Susan complains about all the drinking that lands people in the ER around St. Patrick’s Day. On a positive note, she’s looking forward to a quick trip to Las Vegas with Chen and some other co-workers. Susan tries to sneak a peek at Abby’s hand, but she’s not wearing a ring, so Susan just looks weird.

Luka, Elizabeth, and Abby start to tend to an unidentified teenager who was found unconscious at Union Station. Myers wants to talk to Luka, who was supposed to continue having sessions with him but keeps blowing them off. He doesn’t see the point in therapy. As Myers leaves, Luka voices over that it’s hard to connect with the patients he treats. They come in at their most vulnerable, and the staff gets to know a little more about them, but it’s all temporary. There’s no real connection. The voiceover is coming from a conversation Luka’s having at another time with someone we can’t see.

Elizabeth asks her patient, now ID’d as Molly, if she remembers what happened to her. She’s been participating in a boot camp-type program for troubled teens, and she says one of the counselors beat her. Elizabeth wants to call Molly’s mother, but Molly says her mother was the one who sent her to the boot camp.

The guy looking for Weaver finally finds her and reveals that he’s the secret partner Bright wanted her to treat. Weaver tries to keep a poker face over the fact that he’s, well, a he, since she assumed Bright was seeing a woman. Keith is also a lot younger than Bright; he’s in grad school. As Weaver gives him a shot of penicillin, Keith says that he hopes he didn’t give Bright syphilis. OH, HONEY.

Carter treats a woman named Mrs. Sanberry, who’s showing signs of arsenic poisoning from the wood-processing plant where she worked for many years. Away from the patient, he and Abby commiserate over how Mrs. Sanberry and her husband keep sniping at each other. Molly’s mother, Mrs. Banks, arrives, having been called by the boot camp. She claims that Molly ran away the second day of camp, so no one there could have assaulted her. Mrs. Banks sent her there because she’s been acting out for three years. Elizabeth silently thinks about how lucky she is that Rachel no longer lives in her home.

Anspaugh tells Weaver that County’s budget has passed without any cuts. He appreciates whatever she’s been doing to maintain a good relationship with Bright. Just then, Frank tells Weaver that Keith has been brought back in after passing out across the street. When Susan wonders if he has any allergies, Weaver realizes he must be having a reaction to the penicillin she gave him. She lies that she doesn’t know why he was looking for her earlier.

Once Keith is stable, Weaver leaves a message for Bright to call her back ASAP. She casually tells Susan that Keith works at City Hall, but Susan has already connected the dots, since Keith and Bright both have syphilis. (She thinks Bright left without having it treated, though, since Weaver covered up his treatment.) Weaver plays innocent, saying they don’t know for sure that Keith’s allergic reaction was to penicillin.

As Keith regains consciousness, Weaver finds an excuse to send Abby out of his trauma room so she can talk to him alone. She tells him that the doctors will figure out what happened, but he needs to keep quiet about his connection to Bright. “We have to protect him,” she insists. She suggests a cover story: Keith took a friend’s penicillin so he wouldn’t have to see a doctor.

Frank thinks he got rabies from a fish that bit him while he was reeling it in. Carter says it’s just an infection. Thanks for your contribution to this episode, Frank. Abby confirms for Carter that Mrs. Sanberry has high levels of arsenic in her blood; maybe she’s depressed and tried to kill herself. He notices a patch on the back of Abby’s neck, and she tells him she’s trying to quit smoking. In fact, she stopped smoking a few days ago, but Carter didn’t notice.

Molly isn’t happy about her mother being at the hospital, since Mrs. Banks lied about where they were going when she took her to the boot camp. Elizabeth angrily tells Molly to stop yelling and struggling. Instead, Molly kicks an equipment tray into her mother’s face. As Elizabeth has Molly restrained, Mrs. Banks tells Weaver that her daughter has been acting out like this since she was two.

Luka has a new patient who doesn’t even make it to a trauma room before Weaver tells him to declare time of death. The man is Sikh and was shot by someone who tried to order him to leave a bus. Cool, another reason to feel depressed about racism in America, and for Luka to feel depressed about everything in general. Weaver notices Susan and Abby extubating Keith and goes in to make sure he doesn’t say anything he shouldn’t. Keith tells Susan and Abby exactly what Weaver suggested he say – he took a friend’s penicillin when his ex-girlfriend told him she had syphilis.

Gallant is struggling to examine a very unhappy baby who might have an ear infection. He blows up a glove like a balloon, which makes the baby happy. Gallant asks Luka to write him a recommendation for his dean’s file, but Luka declines without giving a reason. Weaver tries to reach Bright again, then confronts Luka for blowing off therapy with Myers. He insists again that he doesn’t need it.

Keith is declining again, this time because of a perforation in his stomach. Weaver blames Abby for bagging him too hard. Susan defends her, but Weaver ignores her. Abby checks in next door, where Molly is experiencing a complication from her assault. She has a hematoma near her eye, and the collection of blood is affecting her vision. Elizabeth has to make a small incision next to her eye to drain the blood. Molly gets scared and asks for her mother to stay with her.

Luka voices over that when a patient is scared, you say everything will be okay, no matter how bad things are. Secretly, he’s always disgusted with himself, with his co-workers, and with the system. Elizabeth makes the incision. It’s gross. Ugh. I have a thing about eye trauma. Elizabeth leaves Luka to stitch Molly up so she can go help Weaver and Susan with Keith, who needs surgery.

Now that she’s not scared anymore, Molly no longer has any desire to see her mother. Luka points out that she was just there holding Molly’s hand, so she must care. Molly argues that that doesn’t make up for all the years they’ve spent fighting. She thinks her mother hates her. She doesn’t care, since Molly hates her, too. Luka thinks she’s still the scared girl she was just a few minutes ago. It’s better for Molly to be at home with someone she constantly fights with than on the street, being assaulted. Molly asks him to talk to Mrs. Banks about letting her come home.

Weaver watches Keith’s surgery through a gallery window, unable to do anything when the surgeons lose his pulse. Luka and Gallant fix up the guy who shot the Sikh man, which you know Luka is thrilled about. Romano comes by for a consult and accidentally gets his reattached arm stuck under the head of the patient’s bed. Obviously he doesn’t have enough feeling in the arm to notice.

Carter and Abby send Mrs. Sanberry off for treatment, now a little amused about how much she and her husband fight. Hey, Pablo’s back! Hi, Pablo! Carter invites Abby to get dinner, but she has plans…with her AA sponsor. She’s back on the wagon. Gallant tells Luka he’s thinking of applying to County for his residency match; he wanted a letter of recommendation for his application. Luka still doesn’t want to write it.

The two hear yelling from the ER and rush in to find the baby choking on the glove balloon Gallant blew up for him. Luka fishes around the baby’s throat for it, trying to go by feel instead of sight. He voices over that he has a lot of skills as a doctor – maybe not the same skills as his colleagues, but enough to help him save lives. Just today, he helped save Molly’s sight, and he saved the baby. But he didn’t feel anything.

Anspaugh wants to meet with Weaver and Romano, but Bright is just now arriving at the hospital, so Weaver wants to deal with him first. She’s quietly furious with him for not taking her calls earlier, and for forcing her to treat Keith off the record. He didn’t survive surgery. Before Bright can react to the news, Romano approaches, and Bright puts on his politician face to pretend he’s just there to check on a staff member.

He takes Weaver to a quiet spot where they have enough privacy for her to rant about everything that went wrong. Bright argues that he told Keith he was going to receive penicillin, and Keith clearly didn’t know he was allergic to it, so this would have happened whether he was treated off the record or in the manner he should have been.

Weaver wants to come clean, but Bright thinks all their tracks have been covered, so there’s no reason. Weaver is upset that a man died and Bright doesn’t seem to care. He says he does, but for someone who claims to have been in love with Keith, he sure doesn’t seem upset that Keith is dead. He tells Weaver that if she confesses to something that wasn’t her fault, people will treat her like it was.

Bright asks if Keith said anything about him, and Weaver assures him that he didn’t. “He loved you, and I killed him trying to hide that for you,” she tells him. He wants her to make an appearance at a press conference addressing Keith’s death, but Weaver would clearly rather be anywhere else. As she walks away, Bright congratulates her for her successes of the day.

Weaver goes to the meeting with Anspaugh and Romano, which is already tense. Anspaugh has decided to remove Romano as chief of staff and give Weaver the position. After storming out because he’s a child, Romano goes to Elizabeth for treatment for some scrapes he got when his arm was stuck in the bed. He’s running out of patience for making a full recovery, and he knows no one else thinks he’ll regain full use of his arm. He wonders if they all think this is karma. Yeah, he’s brutally honest, but isn’t that better than lying? He doesn’t think he deserves this.

As they leave work together, Carter gets Abby to confirm that she knew he was going to propose the other night. He says the moment didn’t feel right, but he’s not sure why. Maybe that means something in their relationship isn’t working. Abby basically gives him permission to break up with her. Carter says he’s confused because she’s suddenly a completely new person, with her nicotine patch and her return to AA. It’s great if it’s real, meaning she wants to be different, but not if she’s only doing this to prove something to him.

Abby angrily says it’s not about him. She woke up sick of herself, and she wouldn’t blame Carter if he’s sick of her, too. She feels like she’s always disappointing him and that will never change. Carter yells at her to stop with her “fatalistic, black-cloud, nothing-good-is-ever-going-to-happen routine.” Abby says it’s not a routine – that’s who she is. Carter asks what he has to do to get through to her. Well, nothing, right now, because he just gets in his now-fixed Jeep to leave. As Abby heads off on foot, Carter follows her and they silently make up. This relationship is ridiculous.

Luka tries to convince Mrs. Banks to let Molly come home, but Mrs. Banks refuses. Elizabeth, holding Ella, intervenes and tries to reason with Mrs. Banks in a much calmer way. Mrs. Banks thinks Molly will just go back to her old ways. She can’t keep dealing with a daughter who doesn’t want to change. She tells Elizabeth to enjoy Ella while she’s still too young to hate her mother.

In the lounge, Gallant admits to Luka that he feels horrible that the baby choked on the glove. Luka tells him not to worry about it, since they saved the baby. He adds that Gallant is one of the best medical students to come through County in a long time, and the hospital would be lucky to have him if he matched there.

As Luka leaves, he voices over that a recommendation letter from him wouldn’t mean much. He just goes through the motions at work, day after day. It looks like he’s talking to someone in an office, but it’s not Myers – it’s a woman. He tells her about a cartoon he once saw of a man stuck in a room with two doors. One door says, “Do not enter,” and the other says, “Do not exit.” All the man can do is sit there. The camera pulls back to show that Luka’s not in an office after all, and he’s definitely not talking to a therapist. His conversation partner is a prostitute, and she’s ready to get down to business.

Susan happily finishes up her shift as Chen arrives, already dressed for a night in Vegas before they even get on the plane. The news is showing Bright’s earlier press conference about Keith’s death. Weaver is standing behind him, looking shell-shocked. Bright only says generic things about Keith, as if he was just a normal member of Bright’s staff. In the present, Susan and Weaver exchange a glance, Susan looking like she’s horrified and disappointed by Weaver’s actions.

Thoughts: Keith is played by Josh Radnor (hence my recap title).

This episode is pretty timely, since boot camps for troubled teens have been in the news recently.

I really like Susan standing up to Weaver for Abby. As I’ve said before I love how Susan doesn’t look down on Abby for being a nurse – she treats her as an equal. I think it’s because Susan’s spent so many years in the ER and gets how hard all the nurses work.

I don’t think anything ever comes from Weaver’s actions in this episode – not in terms of consequences, but in how what she did affects her. I hate when something big happens and the writers never follow up.

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