October 15, 2019

ER 4.20, Of Past Regret and Future Fear: The Sins of the Father (and Mother)

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 5:06 pm by Jenn

Summary: I think it’s safe to say that Benton and Elizabeth are officially dating. He spent the night at her place, and she even felt comfortable leaving him in bed while she went to work out. Now she’s on her way to work, and he’s on his way to Reese’s baptism. Elizabeth doesn’t feel left out since he didn’t invite her; she gets that it’s just for family. As he leaves, she tells him last night was “really lovely.”

Things are much more tense at Carol’s, where she and Doug are getting ready to have brunch with her mother. Helen shows up in a better mood than expected, and with a surprise guest, a man named Javier. Even more surprising, Helen is ready to toast the two happy couples with champagne. This is the first Carol has heard about her mother having a boyfriend.

Doug and Carol take the brunch leftovers with them to work, talking over Helen and Javier’s relationship. Carol doesn’t approve, and notes that her mother normally hates men. Doug teases that Helen’s having sex, so she’s happy now. Carol tries to ignore him. She tells Mark that the victim of a chemical accident is on his way to the ER.

Elizabeth runs into Romano, who notes that she’s picked up a lot of extra shifts in the ER. He’d like to chat about her job and her future. Mark, Carol, and Elizabeth go to the roof to meet the helicopter bringing in the victim from the chemical accident, Paul, who’s in pain but awake and alert.

Carter meets up with Millicent at Chase’s long-term care facility. A doctor tells them Chase is getting worse, but Carter disagrees. He knows the progress Chase has made and insists that he’s capable of more than Millicent and the doctor think. He urges Chase to draw something, but Chase has a hard time holding a drawing utensil. Mark tells Paul that his condition will depend on how much hydrofluoric acid has been absorbed into his skin. Paul feels like Mark isn’t telling him something. Mark just says that hydrofluoric burns can be serious.

Benton meets up with Jackie and his niece and nephew, Patrice and Steven, at the church where the baptism will take place. Steven wants to know where his uncle’s new boyfriend is. Patrice reports that Walt (who I guess wasn’t invited) said Mae must be rolling over in her grave, I guess because Elizabeth is white. Nobody asked you, Patrice. Carla has brought Roger with her to the baptism, and the minister thinks he’s Reese’s father until Benton corrects him.

Carol tends to Paul’s burns as he tries not to writhe in pain. Mark tells Weaver that his prognosis is bad; burns of this magnitude are always fatal. Now they need to find out if he has any family out of town who need to be contacted and told to come to Chicago. Mark is now fully honest with Paul, telling him that while they’re doing all they can for him, he’s going to die. At most, he probably has about 12 hours left.

Sometime later, when Paul feels a little better from the pain medication, he wonders if Mark was wrong, since he doesn’t feel like he’s dying anymore. Carol just says they’ll keep doing all they can for him. She asks if there’s anyone they can call for him, but Paul says it’s too late. The only person he wants to see is his daughter, and he’s been away from her for too long.

Jeanie and Doyle tend to a teen who fell from a bridge into a river. Doyle asks for a psych consult, but he insists he didn’t jump. He was just having some drunken fun with friends. Doyle can’t believe he’s going to come out this with just a couple of broken ankles. Carol tells Mark that Paul wants to see his daughter, whom he hasn’t seen in six years…since she was six months old. Mark is supposed to be done with his shift, but he’s willing to stick around. Carol says she can do everything Paul needs now.

Weaver examines an older woman named Ms. Weinbach who may have pneumonia. That could throw a wrench into her plans to marry her boyfriend next month. Carol calls Paul’s ex-wife, who seems less than sympathetic about his impending death. Paramedics bring in an unidentified man, nonverbal man who was hit by a car while using his wheelchair. Carter and Anna guess that he has cerebral palsy.

Benton comes in to do some notes, glossing over the details of the baptism when Elizabeth asks how it went. Weaver takes over Paul’s care for Mark as Carol tells Paul that his ex won’t be bringing their daughter, Molly, to see him. Paul decides it’s for the best. He always intended to make things up to Molly, but he ran out of time. Carter pulls Weaver aside to help him and Anna with their patient. He steals a piece of machinery from Doyle, because I guess that rivalry is still in play.

A father brings in his young son, whom he accidentally hit with his car. It’s Doug’s time to shine! Paul takes an interest in the case and tells Carol she can go help out if she needs to. She assures him that the others have it. He asks her to make sure the few thousand dollars he has in his bank account get to Molly, but without letting her know where the money came from. Doug’s patient is bleeding internally, so Benton pulls the father aside to let him know that his son needs surgery. Carol tells Connie she needs to go somewhere and asks Connie to look after Paul for her.

Elizabeth and Romano go to Doc Magoo’s for a super-awkward lunch, and that’s even before he tells her that their relationship hasn’t moved in the direction he’d like. He basically says the same things she said to Benton to convince him to try dating her. Once Elizabeth gets over her shock, she tells Romano that, since she works for him, dating would be a bad idea. He takes this to mean that she never dates co-workers. Romano says that for a little while, he thought he was competing with Benton for Elizabeth’s affections. She says nothing.

Carter has trouble communicating with his unidentified patient, who seems to be trying to tell him something. Anna realizes that he has a bad cut on his hand and may need to see a hand surgeon. The patient objects to this and bangs his leg on the bed to communicate this. Weaver diagnoses Ms. Weinbach with pneumonia somehow transmitted by her boyfriend Daniel’s falcon. Elizabeth finds Benton in an OR, ready to operate on the boy, and comments that he’s not working on his notes as he’d planned. He thinks she’s trying to start a fight. She asks if something happened between when they last saw each other, since he was in a good mood earlier.

Carol finds Paul’s ex, Sandy, at work and tries to change her mind about bringing Molly to the hospital. Sandy says she feels bad for him, but he walked out on his daughter, so why does Sandy owe him anything? Carol says that she was young when her father died, and she wishes she’d had a chance to say goodbye. If Molly doesn’t get that chance with Paul, she’ll regret it for the rest of her life. Sandy says that Molly has no memories of Paul, so it’s different. He made bad decisions, and now he gets to suffer the consequences.

Doyle delivers some lab results to Weaver, telling her that Ms. Weinbach tested positive for HIV. Weaver didn’t even realize she’d requested a test for HIV, but it makes total sense with Ms Weinbach’s symptoms. However, she’s in a bind since she didn’t have Ms. Weinbach’s consent to do the test.

Doug examines a baby named Josh who’s been on methadone since his birth, thanks to his mother’s drug use. Doug says he’s in withdrawal, possibly because the mother, Vicki, is taking the methadone herself; she can’t get her own while she’s still using. Vicki wants to leave, but Doug tells her that since she put her son in this situation, she needs to help him get better.

Carter and Anna are finally able to understand that their patient wants them to call someone. Benton tells his patient’s father that because of the damage to his spleen, they had to remove it. Benton’s bedside manner is still poor, so the father doesn’t get at first that, other than that, the boy will be okay. Maybe lead with that next time, Benton.

Weaver tells Ms. Weinbach that they need to run more tests, but she may have the kind of pneumonia that’s a defining illness of AIDS. She admits that they tested her accidentally. Daniel pulls Weaver aside to ask her to treat Ms. Weinbach for pneumonia and let her go. Weaver can’t just let her leave untreated, but Daniel doesn’t want her to be burdened. He’d like Weaver to tell her she has something else. Weaver declines to engage in medical malpractice, so nice try, Daniel.

Carol returns and tells Paul that Molly isn’t coming. She offers to write a note, but Paul says it’s too late. He repeats that he was eventually going to make things up to her. He tried to call her, but Sandy wasn’t happy about it. Paul thought she just needed time to come around. Carter and Anna’s patient is no longer a John Doe – his personal assistant identifies him as a Mr. Lorenzo, a multilingual hieroglyphics expert. Maybe Carter and Anna should have had him draw them pictures.

Carter spots Millicent in the hallway and goes out to talk to her. She wanted to move Chase to another facility, but now she’s decided that Carter’s opinion is important, and if he thinks Chase should stay, she’ll support that. They’re both determined to do whatever they can for him. Millicent wants Carter to remember that even if she and John Sr. aren’t giving him money, they’re still his family. He can finish his residency, but then he needs to leave medicine and run the family business. Carter tells him he’s only ever wanted to be a doctor, and he’s not giving it up.

Anna and Connie find Josh alone in an exam room, apparently having been ditched by Vicki. Doug notes that she misinterpreted what he meant when he told her to do the right thing. Carol sits with Paul, telling him he probably doesn’t have much time yet. She promises to stay with him, since he’s scared. He asks if she wishes she’d done anything different in her life. She reads him back the letter he dictated to her for Molly. It says that she’s the best thing he ever did; leaving her was the worst. If he gets to go to Heaven, he’ll look down on her. Carol cries over his apology for never getting to know his daughter.

Elizabeth finds Benton on the roof, brooding instead of celebrating Reese’s baptism with his family and Carla. He laments that Roger gets to spend more time with Reese than Benton does. Then he wanted to have lunch with Elizabeth, but she had plans with Romano. She tells him that he asked her out, so she lied and said she doesn’t date colleagues. They laugh over their intentions to have a relationship without complications. Benton decides he wants to go to the family celebration after all, and he wants to take Elizabeth. She thinks he should go alone and make it all about Reese. They’ll just meet up later at her place.

Carter runs into Anna on the street while he’s on a break. She spots a guy named Max getting out of a cab and has a near-intimate reunion with him before she realizes Carter’s watching. Doyle accidentally wakes Doug, who was taking a nap while waiting for Carol to get off work. She’s wrapping up things for Paul, who passed away not long ago. Carol wonders if her father asked for her on his deathbed like Paul asked for Molly. All she remembers is what her mother has told her. What if that’s not the truth?

Doug suggests that Carol ask Helen about her father’s death. Carol says that, after it happened, her mother spent years saying that you can’t rely on men. Now Helen’s in a happy relationship and Carol is holding back. She admits that she said she wants to move slowly because she’s afraid of losing Doug. He tells her she has nothing to apologize for.

Thoughts: Paul is played by Michael Rapaport. Patrice is played by Taraji P. Henson.

I think Mae would be less upset about Benton dating someone white and more surprised that he’s dating anyone at all (and that he has a child).

How about we close the blinds in the trauma room before little kids catch a glimpse of the man dying of chemical burns?

October 12, 2019

My So-Called Life 7, Why Jordan Can’t Read: Red Alert

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 1:10 pm by Jenn

Angela needs someone to vet her outfits before she’s allowed out of the house

Summary: Lying in bed, Angela voices over that love is looking into someone’s eyes and seeing through to their soul. She thought she would fall in love in an extreme situation, like war or a blizzard, and definitely by the age of 15. Not only does she not have a love life, she doesn’t have any kind of life. Elsewhere in the house, Patty worries about gaining weight and looking older. She asks Graham if she looks fat. “…Um,” he replies. Ooh, bad answer. When Patty learns it’s the 12th, she gets concerned.

Angela and her classmates take a field trip to an art museum, where a chaperone is very insistent that everyone stay with the group. Angela wonders what the big deal is. What if Amelia Earhart had stayed with the group? “Or Diana Ross,” Rickie adds. Angela gives Rayanne some thoughts about Jordan, which she wrote when she couldn’t sleep. She thinks she’s finally gotten over him. She admits that she was a little obsessed with him, but that’s all in the past. Rayanne promises not to show her writing to anyone.

Sharon and Kyle make out while Brian pays more attention to Angela than the sculptures they’re looking at. Jordan is also in the room, and Angela follows him as he wanders off. Brian tries to stop her from leaving the group. Rickie tries to actually appreciate the art, while Rayanne sips from a flask and flirts with a security guard. Sharon and Kyle are still making out. Sheesh, guys, how do you breathe?

Angela and Jordan end up at an art piece together, and he tells her he’s had a song stuck in his head all day. It’s one he’s been working on for his band, Frozen Embryos. He invites her to come see them sometime. Before they can solidify any plans, Rayanne interrupts and confesses that she lost the page Angela gave her. But she met a cute guard, so really, this wasn’t a bad day. Angela worries that Jordan was being nice to her out of nowhere because he found the letter.

At school the next day, Angela approaches Jordan, who offers her the letter she wrote. She pretends she wrote it about someone else and just used Jordan’s name to disguise the other guy. Who died. He’s dead. Jordan tells her he didn’t read the letter, which Angela doesn’t believe. He admits he read parts of it, but it didn’t hold his interest.

Angela asks why – was it too emotional or personal? Or were there too many big words? Jordan yells at her to shut up. She suddenly realizes that he didn’t read the letter because he couldn’t. Jordan says he’s never told anyone that he has trouble reading. They’re interrupted by one of Jordan’s bandmates, who reports that they’ve found a loft (well, Tino found it) where they can rehearse. Angela invites herself to attend. In the bathroom, Angela tells Rayanne that she now understands Jordan in a new way. It’s changed everything.

At a deli, Patty tells Camille that her period is eight days late. Camille notes that she could be premenopausal. Patty asks if that’s like “pre-death.” Camille points out that their eggs will run out sooner or later. Patty thinks it’s depressing – guys get to have midlife crises and buy sports cars while women have to suffer. Camille hopes to look like Tina Turner when she’s 50. She reminds Patty that they’re only 40, too young for menopause. Her late period probably means something much different.

Rayanne gleefully tells Rickie that Angela’s going to the Frozen Embryos’ rehearsal. She thinks Jordan found the letter, and it made him want her. Angela and Jordan are about to get together. Since Rayanne lost the letter in the first place, she should get credit for this. She heads off to beep George, the security guard. Rickie congratulates Angela on her good news, then demonstrates that he knows more about Jordan’s class schedule than Angela does.

Patty has shared her possible pregnancy with Graham, and they’re trying to figure out when it happened. She notes that they could have their first boy. Brian has let himself into the house to get a book Angela borrowed, and everyone pretends he didn’t hear anything. Danielle shows up to earn a paycheck. She tells Brian that, wherever Angela went, she must be expecting to see someone she likes, because she tried on a bunch of outfits. P.S. Danielle totally has a crush on Brian.

Angela, Rayanne, and Rickie all go to the rehearsal, where the band ignores them. Angela voices over that there are huge events on the planet every day, like hurricanes and earthquakes. Why can’t Jordan just do one small thing – look at her? He offers to play the song he’s been working on, which is about being lost until he found “her.” The “her” in question is called Red, so Rickie figures the song is about Angela.

Rayanne and Rickie leave Angela behind at the loft, and since Tino doesn’t appear to be coming, Jordan decides to leave, too. He offers Angela a ride home. Outside her house, she wonders if he might have dyslexia. She knows a lot about it because her uncle has it. Jordan doesn’t want to talk about it, but Angela assures him that dyslexia doesn’t mean a lack of intelligence. Jordan insists that he can read, just not well.

He starts talking about getting a job making snow, and his face moves closer to Angela’s. They kiss, and it’s much better than their first attempt. Afterward, she can’t stop smiling. She twirls in circles on her way to the front door.

The next day, Patty tells Graham she’ll take the pregnancy test tomorrow. Danielle reports that Angela’s in love. She’s in the kitchen, drinking coffee (like Jordan does) and humming to herself. She asks her parents if she’s allowed to go on dates. Patty says yes, but there are some ground rules. Graham is unfamiliar with those rules. Patty lists off a curfew, info about who Angela’s with, and absolutely no drinking. Plus, they need to meet the guy first.

That last one dampens Angela’s mood. Why can’t her parents just trust that she has a guy who means something to her? Why does she have to parade him around? Patty sarcastically asks if Angela thinks he would be dragged down to their level. Danielle asks if she would have to introduce her parents to a guy she wanted to date if he was someone they already knew. Graham’s like, “Yes, please, let’s have another child.” Patty says it’s not about whether she wants to or not – if she’s pregnant, she’s pregnant. Graham worries that they’re too old for this.

Rayanne stares at Sharon and Kyle as they make out in a school hallway. Kyle says he heard that Rayanne had sex with George. Sharon notes that if one of Kyle’s friends hooked up on a field trip, the other guys would give him a medal. Kyle doesn’t know why Sharon’s defending Rayanne, since they don’t even like each other. Sharon says they can hate her without bringing up Rayanne’s sex life.

Angela tells Rickie that she’s been playing the kiss over and over in her head, like a movie. “That’s just what I would do,” Rickie says, somewhat sadly. He tells her to be near the gym after fifth period if she wants to run into Jordan. She practices some casual greetings before they cross paths. Angela tells Jordan she’s been thinking about his song, which reminds her of a movie. She kind of wants to see that movie again. Jordan takes a while to get the hint that she wants to go with him. She tells him her parents will want to meet him first, and he agrees to stop by that night.

Graham is nervous when he gets the news – he thought he’d have more time before Angela wanted to bring a guy home. Patty warns that Jordan is probably good-looking, so Graham will need to prepare himself. He slams her for setting ground rules. He wishes they could just lock Angela in her room. Patty wishes this weren’t happening while she’s bloated and “very, very interested in chocolate.”

The doorbell rings, and the Chases tense, but “it’s only Brian.” Aww. Angela comes downstairs all glammed up and gives him the book she borrowed. Danielle thinks he’s there for a music lesson he kind of, sort of agreed to give her. Angela tries to rush Brian out, telling him that Jordan’s coming over and they’re probably going to see The Bicycle Thief together. Brian taunts that Jordan won’t understand it. Angela only does because Brian explained it to her. He calls Jordan an idiot, and Angela tells him to never say that again. Brian analyzes everything but doesn’t actually understand.

The Chases sit around for a while, waiting for Jordan, who’s with his band. He tells them there’s something he said he would do. But after they leave, he stays behind at the loft. Angela tells her parents that the plan to have Jordan come by wasn’t set in stone. She tells them she’s going to bed. She cries in her room as we hear Jordan’s new song.

In bed the next morning, Angela voices over that this life has just been a test. Otherwise, she would have gotten instructions on where to go and what to do. At school, Rayanne and Sharon run into each other in the bathroom. Rayanne asks if Sharon and Kyle have had sex yet. Sharon says that’s none of Rayanne’s business. Rayanne knows that, and she knows they’re not friends, but she doesn’t care. Sharon can ask her anything she wants.

Sharon says she promised herself she wouldn’t have sex until she’s ready, and she’s sticking to that. Rayanne says she was just “vaguely curious.” Sharon seems to really enjoy her marathon makeout sessions with Kyle. Rayanne admits that she doesn’t always feel that much when she makes out with a guy. Sometimes she’s actually numb. Sharon says she might not have found the right person yet. Rayanne says it’s not a big deal.

Angela tells Rayanne that she wishes she could have real relationships like Rayanne, even if they’re short. Rickie notes that Angela hasn’t heard Jordan’s side of things yet. Angela claims she doesn’t care and doesn’t even want to see Jordan again, but when he comes down the hall, she can’t take her eyes off of him.

The girls walk off, and Rickie tells Jordan that Angela’s a little upset with him. Jordan says he wasn’t in the mood to meet Angela’s parents. Maybe she knows too much about him and makes too big a deal out of things. It makes them complicated. Rickie says that Jordan’s new song added to her feelings, especially since it’s obvious who Red is. “Yeah,” says Jordan. “My car.” D’oh!

Patty is in the bathroom at home, and Graham is waiting nervously for the results of the pregnancy test. Patty happily says it’s a miracle and exits the bathroom with a big smile on her face. Graham thinks they’re happy about the same thing, but they’re not. She’s relieved because she finally got her period. Graham hides his disappointment as she says she’s grateful not to have their lives change. She doesn’t want to go back to what they went through in their younger years. Patty finally realizes that Graham doesn’t feel the same way; he would have liked to have a son.

Patty takes Angela some ice cream and says she knows how Angela’s feeling. She had a pregnancy scare and spent the week preoccupied with the possibility. Angela thinks this is hilarious. Brian comes by the house and offers to give Danielle a sax lesson, but she’s over it. Brian starts playing catch with Graham, who gives Angela his glove and tells her to play instead. Brian brings up Jordan, and Angela tells him they’re never discussing him again. Brian will never understand her situation until it happens to him. She can’t wait, because she’ll laugh and say she told him so.

Thoughts: One of Jordan’s bandmates is played by Jared Leto’s brother Shannon, who’s also in 30 Seconds to Mars with him.

If I didn’t already love Rickie, his Diana Ross comment would have sealed it for me.

Angela wears pink plaid shorts over black tights, and a gray sweater vest over another sweater. All at the same time. Sweetie, no.

October 5, 2019

No posts this week

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:46 am by Jenn

Please check back next Saturday.

October 1, 2019

ER 4.19, Shades of Gray: Poor Carter Is Basically the Same as Rich Carter

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:55 pm by Jenn

“Ma’am, we don’t accept pro-life literature as a valid form of payment”

Summary: Now that Carter has told Millicent he’s done taking the family’s money, he needs a loan. He only has one tax return to work with, since being a doctor is his very first job. Plus, he agreed to return to interning without pay. The loan application gets rejected pretty quickly, and the man reviewing it advises Carter to make up with his grandparents.

Morgenstern and Benton have to attend an M&M on Swanson’s death, though Morgenstern doesn’t seem concerned that Benton will pin things on him. The surgeons are somber, as their boss is mourning – Scott passed away. Jeanie sings “Simple Gifts” in the shower, sadly getting ready for his funeral.

Carter tells Anna that the loan officer she recommended turned him down. He owes Mark money for a baseball bet, but he doesn’t have it. Anna teases that he can make some extra money selling Tupperware or Amway. She’s amused that he’s about to see how the other half lives. Al G. (who I’m just going to call Al now, since the other Al left) brings in a drunk man named Mike and hands him off to Carter for treatment.

Anspaugh and Jeanie talk about his marriage to his late wife in Scott’s room. Scott boxed up some of his things for Jeanie to have, including his beloved Green Day CD and some copies of Soap Opera Digest. Morgenstern kicks off the M&M, then invites Benton to tell the attendees what happened. In the ER, Mike hovers over a kid who’s having breathing problems. Carter tries to take Mike away, but Mike fights him and shoves him to the floor. Doug complains that Carter put an unstable man in the same room as his young patient; no one cares about kids.

The M&M attendees, including Weaver and Kayson, ask Benton and Morgenstern questions about what happened during Swanson’s operation. Benton admits that he pushed Morgenstern aside and took over. He defends himself, saying Morgenstern was just standing there while Swanson was dying. He thinks the procedure he tried was their only option. Morgenstern disagrees.

Carol arrives at work just as a pregnant woman is brought in. A clinic was bombed because it performs abortions, though it also provides family planning and prenatal care. Doug tends to a pregnant teen named Zoe while Weaver and Jerry deal with the press over the phone. Some injured protesters are then brought in.

Carol helps Doug with Zoe while Anna treats a woman named Brianna, who was at the clinic for an abortion. She starts hemorrhaging, so Weaver announces that they need to finish the procedure. Anna freezes up and says she can’t help. Afterward, Anna says she’s not sure why she couldn’t assist. Brianna was 18 or 19 weeks along, which meant the baby could have had a chance. Weaver tells her she needs to leave her personal feelings and moral leanings at the door when she comes to work.

Carter tends to an elderly man named Mr. Newton whose son, Burke, doesn’t think he needs all the expensive tests Carter’s going to run. He also hasn’t been providing his father with much care at home. The M&M committee comes to a decision: Benton is suspended, effective immediately, until Anspaugh comes back and they can do a more extensive investigation.

Zoe starts having breathing problems, worrying her devoted boyfriend, Donny. Carter calls a social worker about Mr. Newton, and she agrees that he needs to be removed from his son’s home. She’s disgusted that someone could treat his own parent like this. Carter tells Burke that Mr. Newton was horribly neglected and will be sent to a care facility. The hospital now has temporary guardianship, removing Mr. Newton’s power of attorney.

Anna examines a woman named Mrs. Martinez who has glass in her eye from the bombing. She’s horrified by how far the protesters went. She marched with civil rights protesters in the ’60s and wishes people had remained peaceful. However, she also sees abortion as murder, and thinks Anna should be upset that the clinic takes away a life for every life Anna saves as a doctor. She practically calls abortion doctors Nazis and wonders who they’ll kill next.

Anna declines to take her offered materials about her protest group. Mrs. Martinez leaves it behind anyway, then heads off with a graphic sandwich-board sign slung over her shoulder. Anna follows her, telling her that the radical protesters were probably encouraged by the sign to do something drastic. Mrs. Martinez says that if the sign upsets Anna, then it’s done its job. Anna says the only thing the sign has done is incite violence, which is really what makes her upset.

Zoe is now unconscious because of a clot, and Doug doesn’t think she’ll recover. The baby, however, appears to be fine. Benton tells Elizabeth about his suspension as he leaves his shift early. Paramedics bring in a final bombing victim, Allison Beaumont. Mark ignores Benton’s suspension to enlist him for help with a trauma. He even dismisses Kayson when he tries to object. Kayson decides the trauma is bad enough that Benton should keep up what he’s doing.

As Elizabeth and Romano work on Allison, Anna checks on Brianna. She’s already ready to go home after her abortion. Carter tells Mr. Newton that Burke won’t be his guardian anymore because of elder abuse. Mr. Newton is distraught to be removed from his home, where he’d planned to die in his own bed. Mark and Benton’s patient is taken straight to the OR, where Benton starts in on a procedure without scrubbing or putting on a sterile gown. Morgenstern jumps right in to help, sending Benton away as soon as he has control of the situation.

Zoe’s parents arrive, and her father is upset to see Donny there. Donny says Zoe’s parents treat her horribly, and if he hadn’t come into her life, she probably would have killed herself. Allison goes downhill fast, but Elizabeth refuses to stop working on her. Brianna thanks Weaver for her care, saying this will have to be the most memorable abortion she’s had. She’s had a few before, and thought her boyfriend would want this baby. Weaver advises her to start birth control, but Brianna isn’t interested. She thinks Weaver’s lecturing her on sex because she doesn’t get any herself.

Zoe’s parents and Donny have two choices if they want the baby: Have it delivered now, which would give them a premature baby needing lots of care, or wait until Zoe’s farther along, which means keeping her alive even though she’ll never wake up. Doug recommends that option, which Zoe’s father notes will mean using her as a human incubator. Donny wants to give the baby a good chance, since Zoe wanted her so badly, but Zoe’s parents get to make the final decision, since Zoe and Donny are minors.

Carol treats a bombing victim’s minor arm injury, then notes that she left her insurance information off of her paperwork. The woman says she’ll pay cash; she doesn’t want her husband to know she was at the clinic. She thought she was past the baby-making stage of her life, and she wanted to quietly get an abortion and never tell her husband. Thanks to the bombing, she didn’t get the procedure. Carol tells her that she can pass the cut on her arm off as a dog bite.

Elizabeth managed to save Allison, but she admits to Benton that the case scared her. He tries not to be a robot as he comforts her. Jeanie planned to sing a hymn at Scott’s funeral, but she sings his favorite Green Day song instead. Allison’s paramedic buddies have stuck around to make sure she’s okay, and Zadro thanks Elizabeth for her care. Romano apologizes for trying to get her to stop saving Allison. He invites her to get a drink, but Elizabeth is never going to want to spend any more time with him than necessary.

Morgenstern tells Weaver that he let things get out of hand. He’s reviewed the tape of Swanson’s surgery, which he took right afterward, before Benton could get it. He wanted to avoid confrontation, and he knows Benton could handle a black mark in his file, but he wants to be honest about what happened. Morgenstern puts in the tape to show Weaver the truth about his screwup.

Jeanie stays behind at the church after the funeral, and Anspaugh approaches her to talk about her special connection with Scott. He wrote in his journal that Jeanie got what he was going through better than anyone else. She reveals that Scott wanted to join the Army when he grew up, just like his father. Zoe’s parents change their minds and decide to have Zoe carry the baby to term. They don’t want Donny involved at all. Doug thinks they’re just being vengeful, but Zoe’s parents feel that Donny took their daughter away from them, and they’re not about to let him take their granddaughter, too.

Carter also changes his mind, deciding that having Mr. Newton removed from Burke’s care isn’t what’s best for him after all. Mr. Newton wants to go home, so he should be allowed to. The social worker notes that people in abusive situations don’t always make the best decisions. She doesn’t want him to be harmed any more than he already has been. Carter reluctantly lets her take Mr. Newton to a care facility.

Anna tells Weaver that she’s been thinking about her freeze-up in the trauma room all day. Weaver says that she did some work overseas in countries where abortion is illegal. She saw patients who couldn’t be helped because they’d taken matters into their own hands and accidentally harmed themselves too much. Anna thought she was pro-choice, but Brianna was so far along that it made her second-guess herself. She doesn’t know if she’ll be able to get past that.

Morgenstern stops Benton on his way out of the hospital and tells him he’s going to have Benton’s suspension rescinded. He gives Benton the tape of Swanson’s surgery, confirming that Morgenstern screwed up. He’s resigned as chief of surgery. Benton has passion for his job that Morgenstern has lost. He feels like he doesn’t belong there anymore. Benton says that Morgenstern taught him everything he knows. Morgenstern says he may be a great surgeon, but after what he let happen, he’s realized he’s not a great man. He smells spring, “all green and full of possibility.”

Carter resorts to ramen for dinner as he tells Doug that he overstepped with Mr. Newton. Doug invites him to get a real meal. Benton goes to Elizabeth’s to lament that his mentor has just left the hospital. He was close to Morgenstern but never told him how much Morgenstern means to him. Clearly, Benton doesn’t want that to happen with Elizabeth, so even though he doesn’t say verbally that he has feelings for her, he shows her by kissing her.

Thoughts: Carol’s secretive patient is played by Cristine Rose.

Benton staying to help Mark after his suspension is ridiculous, because Mark wouldn’t have done anything if Benton had left, but the people who suspended him are scary and shouldn’t be ticked off for any reason.

Show, leave Allison alone. Hasn’t enough bad stuff happened to her? I don’t think we ever see her again after this, so I’ll tell myself she lived happily ever after.

September 28, 2019

My So-Called Life 6, The Substitute: Waking Up

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

Uh, okay

Summary: Angela voices over that teachers may or may not have a hidden life where they’re human beings. Her English class is teacherless again, so the students (except Brian) are partying. A man comes in and offers toothpicks to the teens. He confirms that he’s the new substitute and is only there for the money. He invites them to continue wasting their lives.

Sharon asks if that means they can leave. The sub, Mr. Racine, says he’ll be there for the next 47 minutes, and they can stay or go. Jordan decides to go, but the sub says they’ll talk about him after he goes. Angela notices that Racine is wearing mismatched socks. She asks what they’re supposed to do. “Follow your hearts and veer away from heroin,” he replies. Brian says they were supposed to put together a literary magazine, so maybe Racine could read their work and give them credit for it.

Graham and Patty come home from grocery shopping, discussing work stuff and Danielle’s turn in the Girl Scout cookie booth. Graham will have to cancel plans with Neil to chaperone. Patty tells him they need to call Ms. Mayhew (Angela’s now-former English teacher) to ask if she wants their company to print the literary magazine again this year. The couple forgot to buy kitty litter, and Patty says they need a wife to help them out.

Racine is very unimpressed with the students’ writing. He uses a bunch of SAT words to describe it, then asks Jordan what the words have in common. Jordan says he doesn’t know, but Racine objects. When Jordan finally says the words are all adjectives, Racine tells him not to play dumb again. He tosses all the students’ papers out the window.

Brian goes to the Chases’ house that night and, after declining to buy any cookies from Danielle, tries to return a poem of Angela’s that Racine threw out the window. Patty’s upset that Angela put a lot of work into the poem, and Racine said it was bad. Graham reminds her that they’ve always taught her to stand up for her rights. Angela sarcastically thanks Brian for kicking off this conversation.

At school the next day, Racine urges Jordan to talk more in class. He gives him a Steinbeck book he says the class will be discussing tomorrow. Angela cautiously tells Racine that she doesn’t like what he did the day before. She put a lot of thought into her poem and doesn’t appreciate his rejection. Racine says he wanted to clear the slate and wake everyone up. Now Angela’s awake. What will she write today?

Rayanne goes to class with Angela the next day, wanting to see the teacher everyone’s been talking about. Racine announces that everyone will be starting over from the beginning on their literary-magazine pieces. He wants anger and honesty on the page, not cutesy stuff about animals. They should write down anything they feel like saying – things they’ve never told anyone, including themselves. It’ll all be anonymous. Rayanne, despite not being in the class, will also have to participate.

After class, Rayanne tells Angela to tell Rickie about Racine’s socks and toothpicks. Now Rickie wants to go to class with them. Racine sees some potential in the new pieces, but he wants to take the students further. As the class grows with spectators, Racine starts actually teaching and engaging with the students. They even want to talk to him between classes. In one period, they light candles and write in dimness. Brian declines to join in.

Once everyone’s written something, Racine passes around their work so everyone can read someone else’s piece. Rayanne tries to get Angela’s attention to tell her that Racine changed his socks. Rickie winds up with a fable about a girl who slept in a gingerbread house and one day saw that it wasn’t as perfect as she’d thought. It must be Angela’s, because she’s uncomfortable. A girl says the piece doesn’t make sense, but Racine says it’s better than that – it makes you feel and wonder. It wakes you up.

Racine has to push Brian to read the piece he’s wound up with, a haiku (though the writer clearly doesn’t know what a haiku is): “He peels off my clothes / Like a starving man would peel an orange / His lips taste my juicy…” That’s as far as Brian gets before refusing to continue. Racine takes over: “His lips taste my juicy sweetness / My legs tangle with his / We become one being / A burning furnace in the cold cement basement of love.” Rayanne’s turned on. Keep it in your pants, Rayanne.

Racine asks Jordan if the poem is really a haiku. Jordan doesn’t know, so Racine sternly tells him to look it up and find out. Rayanne asks if the poem will be left out of the literary magazine just because it’s not really a haiku. It’s true to life, which makes it real. Brian has a problem with it being printed. After class, Angela tells Racine that the fable was hers. He already knew.

Racine keeps Jordan after class to discuss some readings and poems. Graham comes by in time to hear Racine harshly telling Jordan to do all his work. Graham’s there for the literary-magazine submissions, but Racine’s mind is still on Jordan. He can tell Jordan’s smart, but it’s clear that he never completely learned how to read. Racine’s mad that no one ever noticed.

At home, Graham and Patty discuss Racine, whom Graham thinks is pretty cool. Patty doesn’t think that’s possible. She wants to figure out which piece is Angela’s, but she doesn’t know her daughter’s handwriting. She just hopes Angela didn’t write the piece about killing a dog. Graham finds the sexy “haiku,” which Patty says she won’t print. Graham reminds her about freedom of expression. Both parents wonder if Angela could have written the poem. Patty doubts it – they don’t have a basement.

Patty goes to the school to talk to Racine about the poem. He thinks she doesn’t want to print it because she thinks Angela wrote it. Patty says that’s not the issue, so Racine accuses her of censorship. He’ll just type up all the pieces himself. Patty says this is about “guiding adolescents who need… guidance.”

Racine doesn’t buy this as an excuse. The magazine should be about giving the students a voice, not editing their thoughts. If they were brave enough to put their thoughts on the page, the adults should be brave enough to print them. Patty tells him he should teach full-time. Racine says that Patty shouldn’t get to make the decision about printing the poem just because she has a printing press and he doesn’t. Patty admits that she agrees. Then she asks if Angela wrote the poem. He doesn’t answer.

Once the magazines have been printed and delivered to the school, no one can wait to read them – including the staff. Mr. Foster steals a copy from an admin, then immediately asks to see Racine after school. Two girls discuss the sexy poem, slamming the writer for having no self-esteem and staying anonymous. Sharon manically tells them they were told to keep everything anonymous.

Rayanne overhears and realizes that Sharon wrote the poem. Sharon is desperate to keep people from finding out its hers. Rayanne is desperate to keep people from finding out it’s not hers. Sharon points out that they can just let people keep thinking what they’re thinking. Rayanne asks how Sharon was able to produce something so good. Sharon says it just came to her.

Angela interrupts to tell the girls that Foster has confiscated all the copies of the magazine because of the poem (which she thinks is Rayanne’s). At home that night, she tells her parents that the students are considering their options. They can sue for a denial of their constitutional rights, or they can stage a walkout. Danielle just wants to talk about Girl Scout cookies. Thanks for dropping by again this week, Danielle. Racine has suggested that the students stage a fake book-burning, since the Nazis burned books. Or they can get news stations to broadcast someone reading the poem.

Patty and Danielle both note that Angela calls Racine by his first name, Vic. Of course she does! All the cool teachers go by their first names! Watch TV! Angela just likes having an adult she can look up to. Ouch. Patty tells her not to get carried away. Danielle leaves to count her money again. Don’t come back, Danielle. Patty says she and Graham are concerned about Angela’s future – what if she gets in trouble? Angela reminds them that they protested in the ’60s and believed in stuff. Now she wants to do the same, and they don’t see what it means to her.

In class, a girl says they should just go to Foster and demand their work back. It’s their property, after all. Racine isn’t in class, and Rickie says there are rumors about him being fired, possibly for sleeping with a student. Foster addresses the class, asking for any copies of the magazine that are still circulating. Angela objects to him calling the magazine “unacceptable” if no one’s allowed to see it. Foster says it doesn’t meet certain standards of decency. Anyone caught distributing copies will be suspended.

Jordan spots Racine out the window, and everyone rushes over to call out to him. He won’t tell them where he’s going. Foster gets control of the class again as Brian complains that Racine never even taught them anything. Jordan says Racine was the best teacher he ever had. Angela leads a small walkout, and she, Rickie, Rayanne, and Sharon catch up to Racine. He tells them injustices like his firing happen every day, and they need to wake up.

Graham comes to see Foster as Jordan is leaving his office. Graham is there to discuss Racine and how he got Angela thinking about things. That’s the point of high school, isn’t it? Foster says that he didn’t fire Racine; Racine quit when Foster presented him with a subpoena he’d received. Racine is being called to court to pay child support for a family he deserted.

At home, Graham tells Patty that he wishes Foster hadn’t told him about Racine’s personal life. Patty thinks they should tell Angela the truth about her hero. Speaking of heroes, Graham is Patty’s, since he remembered to buy kitty litter. Where’s their cat, by the way?

Angela looks Racine up in the phone book (kids, ask your parents) and goes to see him to talk about how he abandoned his family. He says there are a couple of truths at play. One is that he left his family. The other is that his wife is better off without him. He sees it as an escape from a prison he made for himself. Now people want to punish him. Angela says she doesn’t.

Racine says that his struggle for freedom is his own, and Angela needs to find her own. She has to get out before it’s too late. She’s stuck in a “mind-control factory” where no one has any idea what to do with her. If she leaves high school, she’ll save her life. The walls of her gingerbread will fall down. Angela says that leaving high school isn’t the answer – leaving anything isn’t the answer. She admired Racine, but that’s clearly over now.

He drives her home, where she runs into Brian, who asks, “Is there, like, anyone’s car you won’t get into?” He thinks she might have done something inappropriate with Racine. Brian says he has a right not to like Racine, which Angela accepts. In the house, Graham and Patty tell her that not every fight is worth fighting. Sometimes people have to compromise. Patty says they don’t have to compromise their principles, but life is about picking battles.

Whoever takes over the English class likes Angela’s poem, which has never been rewritten since its trip out the window. Angela’s not in class to hear her praise – she’s making copies of the literary magazine. Brian offers to help her hand them out. He still doesn’t like Racine, but he also thinks Angela is right about the students deserving to use their freedom of speech.

Angela gets summoned to the front office, where she’s joined by her parents. Patty points out that this discipline will go on Angela’s permanent record. Angela’s fine with that; school should be a place where you can say what you’re thinking. She’s picked this as a battle to fight. It may not be as important as the protests Graham and Patty participated in as teens, but it’s what she has. She’s willing to face suspension over her fight against censorship. As Foster calls the Chases in for a chat, Graham assures Angela that what happened to Racine’s family will never happen to theirs.

Foster reminds Angela that he warned that anyone caught distributing the magazine would be suspended. Angela tells him she also cut bio the day before, if he wants to punish her for that, too. Foster decides not to suspend her, blaming Racine for giving his students “distorted” ideas about right and wrong. He’ll let this one isolated incident go. As she’s dismissed to go back to class, Angela voices over her fable about living in a gingerbread house and always being asleep until, one morning, she woke up.

Thoughts: Racine is played by the late Roger Rees.

Parents at my high school would have flipped out about the poem before it even got to the principal. We weren’t even allowed to do Grease because of the teen-pregnancy stuff. We were, however, allowed to do Man of La Mancha, because teen sex is bad but rape is acceptable.

This show makes me miss scrunchies a little. I think they’re coming back, though.

September 24, 2019

ER 4.18, Gut Reaction: I Don’t Know What Varices Are, But Rupturing One Can’t Be Good

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

Goodbye, doomed preteen

Summary: Carol has gone on a shopping spree for the clinic, thanks to a new donation from Millicent. She checks in with Mark, who’s volunteered to organize this year’s ER banquet, to be held that night. Unfortunately, things haven’t gone as planned. The caterer couldn’t work with their budget, so Jerry made other plans with a Swedish caterer. Mark is skeptical.

Weaver asks Mark about a memo from the dean concerning a pediatric attending. She’s upset to learn that Doug took the idea to the dean; she doesn’t think the position is necessary. Mark thinks that once the dean allows some further investigation, he’ll agree and the whole thing will be dismissed.

Doug tries to convince a mother to let him examine her toddler, but she insists on leaving, since she had to wait three hours and now has to go to work. Doug decides this is serious enough to stop the mother from leaving, and he threatens to call the police and have her arrested for child endangerment if she doesn’t stay. Weaver tries to play peacemaker, then points out to Mark that this might not be the kind of person they want as an attending.

The mom gives in and stays, and though she’s calm by the time she’s allowed to leave with her daughter, she’s not happy. Lydia hopes it doesn’t rain that night so everyone dressing up for the banquet can keep their clothes dry. Jerry says it won’t rain, but Carol says the news reports otherwise. She asks Carter if she can ride to the banquet with him and Anna. Carter says he’s not going with Anna. Carol asks if they broke up; she thought they were dating because she picked up some chemistry. Carter pleads platonic friendship, but Carol urges him to ask Anna out.

Elizabeth complains to Benton that Romano keeps tabs on her too closely; she wishes she could change that, but she might lose her work visa. Benton thinks Morgenstern would sponsor her instead. Elizabeth wasn’t impressed when she met him and doesn’t think that arrangement would be any better. She’s been offered a job back in England but would like to stay in the States, where men actually listen to women.

In a trauma room, Elizabeth gets a big surprise: Allison Beaumont, the young woman whose leg and voice she helped save, is now a paramedic. She’s brought in a patient who has diagnosed himself with something the other doctors haven’t picked up yet. Dr. Swanson is a pathologist, and Benton thinks he’s right about his diagnosis.

Carter urges Anna to go to the banquet, even though she thinks it sounds cheesy. She decides to go since he’s going, and he offers to drive her. Mark hasn’t paid the deposit on the banquet space, and the florist was unable to deliver the flowers there. He decides to have them sent to the hospital instead. Jerry offers to line up music, since the band fell through, but Mark is done with his unimpressive assistance. He books an act called the Machine.

Doug tells Mark that the girl he treated earlier is sick enough to justify the lengths he went to in order to have her treated. He wants Mark to make sure Weaver knows he was right. Mark offers to call the mother, Mrs. Bevins, to have her bring the girl back for IV antibiotics. Doug claims he can be diplomatic and handle it himself. Uh, maybe get Carol to handle that, Doug.

Swanson needs surgery, so Morgenstern comes to the ER to see what’s going on. He recognizes Swanson’s name, as Swanson was one of his med-school professors. Swanson even inspired Morgenstern to become a surgeon. Benton tells Swanson he needs surgery, which Swanson would like to have done laparoscopically. Elizabeth doesn’t think that’s a good idea, but Morgenstern disagrees. Benton sides with him. Morgenstern invites Elizabeth to assist so she can see for herself that Morgenstern has the better idea.

Mark becomes even more skeptical about Jerry’s food plans when he learns that Jerry’s mother is making borscht. At least it’ll be free! Romano comes down for a consult, second-guessing Mark’s diagnosis. The bone-marrow drive for Scott hasn’t yielded a match for him, but Anna did match with a patient in another state. Romano offers to do the extraction as soon as he’s done with his next patient. He makes it out to be a minor thing, though it involves drilling holes in Anna’s pelvis.

Doug asks Carol if she thinks he has what it takes to be an attending. Carol admits that “diplomatic” doesn’t exactly describe him; a better word would be “insouciant,” which Doug isn’t familiar with. Scott’s still in the hospital, listening to Green Day and trying to avoid eating hospital food. His pain is worse, even with Doug’s PCA. Anspaugh comes by, and Scott’s nickname for him, Dr. Bad News, proves fitting, as Anspaugh announces that they haven’t found a bone-marrow match. They can try experimental chemo, but it sounds like a long shot. Jeanie promises to stay with Scott if he wants to try it.

Elizabeth isn’t looking forward to surgery with Morgenstern, but she can’t put her finger on why she doesn’t really like him. She admits that she doesn’t have much experience with laparoscopic procedures. Benton teases that she always goes after attendings when she’s nervous. She offers to swap procedures with him and observe the laparoscopic surgery when she’s done with hers.

Morgenstern reviews one of his old teaching tapes before he does the procedure. Weaver tells him that Swanson said very nice things about him. Morgenstern likes that Swanson cares about science and people’s souls. She invites him to the banquet that night. Doug offers Scott more pain medication, then says that Anspaugh is worried that he doesn’t completely understand what he’s in for with the experimental chemo. Since Jeanie’s going to stay by his side, Scott wants to go for it.

Carol tries to call Millicent – the check she wrote didn’t clear, and all the supplies Carol bought for the clinic are getting repossessed. Carter realizes that she put a stop payment on the check and asks what Carol did. Carol isn’t sure; the only possibility is bad press from giving out birth control to teens. Carter isn’t sure how Carol can fix this. He hopes it’s just a misunderstanding.

Morgenstern is fine with the Benton/Elizabeth switch in surgery, and has Shirley put on some Peruvian pan-flute music. Anna tells Carter that she matched for a bone-marrow transplant, which means she won’t make it to the banquet that night. She wasn’t aware that the donation will leave her sore for a few days. Carter has performed a bunch of them, so she asks him to do hers, thinking he’ll help her stay calm. He’s surprised that she’s a little bit of a chicken about the procedure and agrees to do it.

Weaver tells Mark that she enjoyed last year’s banquet and wishes he’d been able to book the same space this year. Mark says it was available, but he wanted to hold it in a place called the Shangri-Lodge. It’s less pretentious. Mark questions Romano’s orders for their shared patient, and when Romano ignores him, Mark says loudly that he’ll manage his patients in his ER his way. Romano backs down, glad to see that Mark has a spine.

Morgenstern and Benton’s procedure seems to be going fine, though Morgenstern feels hot. Benton notices that Morgenstern is in the wrong anatomy, but Morgenstern doesn’t want to be questioned. Benton just wants to make sure Morgenstern doesn’t nick one of Swanson’s varices. Morgenstern accuses Benton of screwing something up, then blames him when something goes wrong and Swanson starts bleeding.

Doug tells Jeanie that he’s not sure Scott really wants to do the experimental treatment. He thinks Scott has a crush on Jeanie and wants to please her. Jeanie denies this, saying she wants Scott to make his own decisions. Doug gets that, but he’s not sure Scott can actually decide for himself. Things with Swanson get worse, and as Elizabeth comes in to observe, Benton decides they need to open him surgically. Morgenstern won’t help, so Benton shoves him out of the way and takes over. Morgenstern just watches silently.

Carter gets ready for Anna’s procedure as she talks about having a bad experience with tonsil surgery as a kid. She thought she was going to die, and she promised God that she would always be a good person if He let her live. The drape on Anna’s back falls off and Carter gets to admire her butt for a few moments. This is, sadly, the closest they will ever get to being naked with each other.

Swanson doesn’t survive his surgery, and Benton asks the pathologist, Upton, if he can sit in on the autopsy the next afternoon. Anspaugh has been made aware of the situation, and he talked to the anesthesiologist about Benton and Morgenstern’s disagreement in the OR. He asks Benton to gather all the charts for the case, as well as the tape from the OR – they usually record laparoscopic procedures.

Carter tells Carol that Millicent’s stunt with the clinic money might not be about her. He’s disappointed that Anna went home and will probably skip the banquet. Scott offers to give Jeanie a ride in the Viper he’ll definitely be able to buy one day, because he’s totally going to beat this cancer. She notes that he doesn’t talk about his friends much. He says he’d rather be with her.

Carol is contemplating taking out a home loan so she can keep the clinic open. Before Doug can give his opinion, Mark pulls him away to treat baby twins in respiratory distress. Benton goes look for the Swanson tape, but there’s nothing in the machine. Mark, Doug, and Carol work on the babies together; one is stable but the other stops breathing. Doug calmly walks Mark through a procedure to help her.

Morgenstern tells Benton that today’s disaster was a one-time thing, as far as he’s concerned, and he’ll support Benton in whatever comes next. He plans to say that Swanson’s cause of death was ruptured varices. Benton says Morgenstern accidentally cut his gastric artery. Morgenstern denies ever cutting the wrong thing in his 20-year career. Benton screwed something up with his clamp.

Benton denies this and says the tape will show what really happened. Morgenstern says there’s no tape. He notes that Benton’s actions in the OR could be considered insubordination, and could even be grounds for dismissal. Benton says he wouldn’t have acted so forcefully if Swanson’s life weren’t at stake. Morgenstern advises him to focus on the medicine when they present the case at a morbidity and mortality seminar. Hypotheticals and accusations should be set aside.

Carter appeals to Millicent to give Carol back her donation. He knows Millicent is upset with him; she shouldn’t take it out on the clinic. Millicent says that’s not the case, but come on. She complains that her grandsons don’t want the family involved in their lives, but they’re happy to live off the family trust. Carter says that, in that case, Millicent can keep her money.

Weaver catches Morgenstern on his way out of the hospital and again invites him to the banquet, hoping it’ll cheer him up. He blows her off. Weaver then tries to talk to Mark again about the pediatric-attending position, which Mark is now leaning toward being a good idea. Weaver warns that it’s a policy change that could undermine their authority. Mark says that attendings run the best emergency department. Weaver says she agrees, seeming to think that Mark is on her side.

Mark pulls Doug away from the Bevins girl, whom Doug is amusing with bubbles, because the writers wanted to come up with yet another way to make people swoon over Clooney. Mark tells Doug that if he really wants to be an attending, he should go for it. Outside – where (sorry, Jerry) it’s raining – Romano warns Benton that he’s in for a fight over what happened in the OR. Benton’s a resident and Morgenstern’s the chief, so one of their statements is going to carry a lot more weight than the other’s.

The Shangri-Lodge is…well, there are taxidermy animal heads on the walls. That’s all you need to know. There’s no band, no food, and only one drink ticket for each guest. Doug and Carol can’t hide their laughter when they lie to Mark that it’s nice. The Machine arrives, but it’s just one guy who plays a keyboard and cymbals at the same time. Carter tells Carol that he couldn’t get Millicent to listen, but apparently he did, because she sent another check over to the clinic after he left.

Anna made it to the banquet after all, high on painkillers. Carter addresses their obvious chemistry and says he didn’t want to make a move because he didn’t want to harm their friendship. Anna feels the same, but there’s another guy – she’s not completely done with her ex. Carter resigns himself to just being friends with her. Scott goes into arrest, and Jeanie rushes to help save him. The rest of the team wishes that Scott’s family had agreed to sign a DNR instead of keeping him alive for a short, miserable time period.

The banquet food is bad and the music isn’t much better, but the ER staff is trying to enjoy themselves anyway. Mark thanks his co-workers, who are like his family, for sticking by him through the past year. They always give their best, and they make the ER a place they can all be proud to work. Doug gets everyone to serenade him.

At Doc Magoo’s, Benton tells Elizabeth about Swanson’s surgery, insisting that all the mistakes were Morgenstern’s. It’s the two surgeons’ words against each other, and Elizabeth didn’t see enough to know what happened. She thinks he should stick to his convictions if he’s positive he knows what happened.

At the banquet, everyone forms a conga line, and Mark dances with Weaver. She tells him that the separate pieces of the party were awful, but it’s still been a great experience. Jeanie tells Scott that he needs to make the decision about his medical care by himself and for himself. He tearfully tells her he doesn’t want any more chemo. They fantasize about driving off in his viper, going to the beach, and watching the sunset together.

Thoughts: Things I get strangely proud of while recapping medicalese: I spelled “laparoscopically” right on the first try. (I did not, however, spell “insouciant” right.” I thought the A was an E.)

As a doctor, Anna should probably know more about what bone-marrow donations involve.

Mark, about tiny stethoscope decorations: “Dumb idea?” Chuny: “No, just tacky.” Thanks, Chuny.

Imagine being so mad at your grandson for keeping a secret that you defund a free clinic.

September 21, 2019

My So-Called Life 5, The Zit: Metamorphoses

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:06 pm by Jenn

Sigh. High-school boys

Summary: Angela is surprised to see that Sharon now has a boyfriend, Kyle Vinnovich. Angela voices over that, while Sharon’s life is developing normally, her own life feels clogged. Rayanne has already heard about Kyle and Sharon; it’s apparently big news around school. Angela studies a zit on her chin, then Sharon’s chest, as her English class discusses Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Brian defines the title, then “Kafka-esque,” which he says is when something seems like a total nightmare but is actually happening. Angela thinks being single while Sharon has a boyfriend falls under that category.

In the bathroom, Rickie and Rayanne discuss how people see his habit of hanging out there. He’s decided it’s time to stop. As Angela enters, someone slips a piece of paper under the door. It’s rankings of the top 40 sophomore girls. Sharon’s breasts are mentioned, which annoys Angela. Rayanne’s thrilled to be listed as having the “most slut potential.” Angela pretends she doesn’t care that she’s not on the list. Rickie thinks it’s good; it means she blends in.

As they leave school, Angela says she’s offended on Rayanne’s behalf. Rayanne thinks Angela just doesn’t want to be associated with someone who’s been branded a slut. Brian and Sharon go to band class, and the guys in her row watch her chest as she plays her clarinet. After class, Sharon asks Brian what’s going on. He tells her about the rankings, saying he doesn’t condemn or condone them.

Angela studies her zit at home, trying to convince herself that it’s not the end of the world. Patty tells the family that the annual mother/daughter fashion show is coming up. It’ll benefit a battered-women’s shelter, and Patty promises it’ll be better than last year. Angela doesn’t want to participate, and though Danielle does, she’s too young. The girls tease their mother about how many compliments she always gets. Patty plans to sew matching outfits again. Angela says it’s “sick.” Graham will only go so far as “corny.”

Patty says she doesn’t ask much of Angela, so she wants some cooperation just this once. Angela reluctantly agrees. Later, Patty tells Graham that she has to find opportunities to spend time with Angela now because in a few years, she’ll be out of the house. Plus, it’s a chance to give back to the community. Angela might even end up feeling better about herself. Graham assures Patty that she’ll be the prettiest mom there. Patty has a hard time taking the compliment. She says her face is changing; for example, she’s getting more lines. Graham pretends he hadn’t noticed.

In the school bathroom, Angela’s putting some concealer on her zit when Sharon enters. Angela almost ignores her, then asks if Sharon’s doing the fashion show. Sharon doesn’t answer her. They bicker about how Angela has suddenly decided that Sharon is worth talking to. Sharon mentions Angela’s zit, so Angela tosses back congratulations about her ranking in the poll. Sharon still hasn’t been completely clued in, but she’s getting a better idea of what’s going on.

Patty and Camille look at possible outfits for the fashion show, which Camille can’t believe Angela agreed to do. She had a hard time getting Sharon to agree even before the poll. Patty hasn’t heard anything about that. Camille is upset that Sharon’s “global endowments” are now making her self-conscious. She herself was self-conscious in high school even after she lost a lot of weight. However, it worked out well, because she had nowhere to go but up. Now she likes the way she looks.

Sharon gets ready for gym class while two classmates talk about the model on the front of the same magazine Patty and Camille were looking at. Sharon wants to wear a sweatshirt to class, even if she’ll be hot. Her classmates are looking forward to a party that night. Angela feels like she doesn’t measure up to her more developed classmates.

Rickie runs into Brian in the boys’ bathroom and wonders if he’s not welcome in there, either. At lunch, Brian complains to Rickie that Sharon and Kyle are always holding hands. Not that Brian has a problem with it or anything. He just doesn’t remember when everyone started pairing off. Rickie can relate.

Kyle tries to kiss Sharon before he goes off to some sports practice, but she’s not in the mood. She asks what he and his friends like to talk about. She’s pretty sure he and his friends started the poll. Kyle says he knows who started it, but he wasn’t there. Sharon says that eight guys have asked her out since the poll came out. Before the rankings, she wasn’t completely sure that Kyle actually likes her. Now she thinks he’s just been dating her because of her breasts. They’re done.

Angela and Patty go to the mall, where Angela can’t believe a guy at a skin-care counter thinks she has nice skin. He suggests that they get makeovers for the fashion show. He offers Patty a product for the lines around her eyes. She tries it out at home that night while Angela studies her own skin.

Patty tries to get Angela interested in the fabric for their outfits (while ignoring a much more interested Danielle), but Angela doesn’t want to be scrutinized right now. She doesn’t appreciate Patty’s recommendations for getting rid of her zit. Angela says she “may not” want to do the fashion show. Yeah, hon, that’s pretty obvious. Patty says she’s already put a lot of time and effort into it. Angela falls for the guilt trip. Danielle remains ignored.

Angela’s history class watches a speech by Malcolm X asking his audience who taught them to hate how they look. They’re the way God made them. In English, they’re still discussing The Metamorphosis. Angela passes Jordan in the hallway and feels self-conscious about her zit. She sees Rayanne surrounded by admirers, completely unconcerned about how she looks. Sharon holds something in front of her chest as she walks.

Kyle finds Sharon practicing her clarinet and takes off one of her shoes. Brian comes in, decides he’s interrupted something weird, and leaves. Rickie asks if he caught them kissing, or something more. Kyle promises to give Sharon her shoe back if she’ll listen to him. He promises he’s not interested in her just because of how she looks.

She asks why else he wanted to date her. Kyle says he likes her smile and her cheerfulness, and he thought she liked him. It’s not just those aspects, though; he likes everything about her. But he has to admit that he also likes her breasts. He wonders why she doesn’t. Sharon says she’s working on it.

Rickie tells Brian that he wears eyeliner because Egyptians thought it warded off evil spirits. He’s Catholic, though, and just likes how it looks. Angela obsesses over her zit, voicing over that it feels like it’s become the truth about her. She imagines the model from the magazine in the bathroom with her, criticizing her own appearance and complimenting Angela’s.

At the Chases’ house, Rayanne tells Angela to just pop the zit already and move on with her life. Angela worries that it’ll leave a scar. Rayanne tells her everything leaves a scar, including living. Rickie advises against concealer, which will just make Angela’s pores worse. He compliments Patty’s sewing skills, getting exactly the style she was going for.

Angela, however, hates the dress, and especially doesn’t like dressing the same as her mother. Patty doesn’t know why Angela’s uncomfortable with an activity she always enjoyed in the past. Why wouldn’t she want to dress up and look her best? Angela asks who she’d be dressing up for. Patty says it would just be for herself.

Angela blurts out that she’s ugly, and Patty needs to just face it. She thinks Patty looks at her like she agrees. Angela hates how Patty tells her to wash her face so she won’t get zits, as if Patty needs to fix her. She thinks Patty expects her to be beautiful because she herself is beautiful.

Patty tells Graham that she screwed the whole thing up. She took all the fun out of it and put too much pressure on Angela. Graham says she lost perspective because she got caught up in something. It’s as if she needed approval from people other than Graham. Patty hates the timing of making Angela feel worse about herself while she’s dealing with a zit and Sharon’s ranking. Graham blames himself for the acne, since Patty never had it in high school.

Patty says that, like all women, she’s becoming less attractive and more expendable as she ages. Graham and other men become more attractive and desirable. The trade-off is that men die sooner than women. Patty doesn’t think Graham knows how attractive he is. She wonders if anyone in the world really believes they’re beautiful. Graham picks RuPaul. Patty laughs because she didn’t think Graham even knew who RuPaul was.

Jordan asks Brian about the paragraph they’re supposed to write about “that bug guy.” He got an extension, and if he doesn’t turn it in, he’ll be sent back to remedial English. He asks how the book ends. Brian says Gregor’s family kills him. (Uh, spoiler.) Rickie’s present and gets interested in the conversation.

Brian explains that Gregor’s family is repulsed by him, so they turn on him. But really, he seems to die of loneliness. Rickie asks why Gregor doesn’t just leave. Sharon speaks up that Gregor is the same person inside, no matter what he looks like. Rickie says that he’d still leave if he were Gregor. Rayanne enters, seemingly drunk, and flirts with Brian. Jordan asks if The Metamorphosis was a true story.

Angela runs into Sharon in the bathroom again and they make awkward small talk about the fashion show. Sharon also wants to drop out but says Camille’s in denial about her participation. “Why do girls have to tear each other down?” she wonders. Angela thinks part of it is jealous. She admits that she’s a little jealous of Sharon’s chest. Sharon in turn is jealous of Angela for being flat.

She thinks it all goes back to what they once learned in Girl Scouts: What you have is God’s gift to you, and what you do with it is your gift to God. They reminisce about their time together in Girl Scouts until Rayanne enters. After Sharon leaves, Rayanne says that Angela can be friends with Sharon again if she wants. Angela denies it. Rayanne thinks Angela would prefer to hang out with the girl who hasn’t been branded a slut, at least not yet. Angela says that who Rayanne sleeps with is none of her business and has nothing to do with their friendship.

At home, Angela looks at the magazine model again, then tries to read The Metamorphosis, but Danielle keeps yelling a loud cheer about girls winning because they have sexy legs. Danielle knows Angela’s annoyed because of her disagreement with Patty. Angela says she doesn’t measure up to Patty. Danielle thinks she measures up even less, since she wasn’t even considered for the show.

Angela apologizes to Patty for wasting her time, but Patty says she may have needed Angela with her in the show too much. Angela looks at a picture of her mother when she was younger and asks if she loved being pretty. Patty says she didn’t really let herself know she was. She didn’t want to seem vain or stuck up. She wishes she’d been able to enjoy her beauty, and that’s all she wants for Angela. They hug, and Angela decides to try Patty’s zit treatment.

Patty says that Camille is going to find another mother/daughter team to model the dresses she made. Angela has a suggestion: Patty and Danielle. They have a great time, and Angela (now zitless) gets choked up watching them. She voices over that sometimes it feels like we’re all in prison, and the crime is hating ourselves. It’s nice to get dressed up and show the truth. People are complicated, but they’re beautiful, possibly even Angela.

Thoughts: I cringe every time Angela touches her zit. Stop doing that! You’re making it worse!

I like that Rickie and Brian are become friends. Brian really needs some.

Oh, hey, corduroy overalls. Haven’t seen you in a while. Can’t say your appearance was welcome.

September 14, 2019

No recaps this week

Posted in Misc. at 11:42 am by Jenn

I need to take a little break. Please check back next Saturday.

September 10, 2019

ER 4.17, A Bloody Mess: Ahh, There’s the Romano We Know and…Well, Despise

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:08 pm by Jenn

Look at this cutie

Summary: Jeanie’s surprising Scott with a trip to a rock-climbing gym so he can get in shape for a trip to Yosemite over the summer. Mark and Doug are in the hospital cafeteria, where Benton’s having breakfast with Reese while Carter naps at the table. Reese is doing very well after his premature birth, and Benton has fully adjusted to being a parent. Well, except for the part where sometimes your baby dumps his breakfast on you for no reason. Mark and Doug are amused, both at the mess and at Benton being a father.

Carter’s so out of it that he doesn’t wake up when his pager goes off. Mark wakes him just as Doug’s goes off. Mark invites Doug to watch a basketball game with him, telling him he can check with Carol. Doug says he doesn’t have to ask her permission. Mark is also paged to the ER, where a bunch of people covered in blood are being brought in from a car accident. Elizabeth asks a patient if she can use synthetic blood to treat her, but the patient objects since it was tested on animals.

The patient isn’t actually injured, so the ER staff is confused about all the blood. Carol gets the explanation from two of the patient’s friends: It’s cow blood. The friends were going to use buckets of it during a protest of a college’s use of animals in their research labs. After all the supposed traumas, which brought all available emergency staff to the ER, the only victim of the car accident was a squirrel. Jerry pronounces it DOA.

While everyone’s cleaning up the mess, Doug tells Carol that he wants to watch a basketball game with Mark that night. She thought they were supposed to see a movie, but she’ll let Doug choose who he wants to spend the evening with. Weaver tells Doug that Neil (the doctor who hates him…wait, that doesn’t narrow it down) told her Doug hasn’t turned in his paperwork to renew his fellowship. Doug says he may not want to continue it.

Morgenstern was supposed to wait another month before coming back to work after his heart attack, but he’s back early. He’s in an excellent mood and offers baked goods and hugs. He believes that his heart attack was the best thing that ever happened to him. Now he wants to work “in the trenches.” Thanks to his time as a patient, he now knows that all the patients they treat have their own stories.

Benton washes off Reese’s breakfast while going over the steps of a surgical procedure. There’s no door to his shower stall, so he gets a little jumpy when Elizabeth starts talking to him around the corner. She’s just solidifying study/dinner plans for that evening, but he thinks she’s trying to see him naked, since she hasn’t yet.

A man named Dave brings his pregnant wife, Karen, into the ER to be treated for dehydration and nausea. Scott coaches Jeanie through some climbing, impressed with her skills even though she’s only taken a couple of lessons. Scott himself is nervous to climb, but Jeanie won’t let him put it off. Partway up the wall, he asks to come down, and Jeanie realizes he pushed himself too far.

Mark reads Elizabeth’s synthetic-blood study and sees that she’s listed him as an advisor, since he helped her get it used in the ER. He’s surprised that Romano let her proceed on her own. Elizabeth admits that he doesn’t know yet how far she’s gone with the study. Mark doesn’t mind being the only advisor and isn’t going to interfere in whatever Elizabeth wants to do with it.

Dave is unhappy with Karen’s OB’s treatment of her during her pregnancy, her fourth after three miscarriages. She briefly passes out, and Anna tells Dave that she may suffer from morning sickness through her whole pregnancy. Jeanie brings Scott in to get checked over, thinking it’s not serious enough for Anspaugh to put off the operation he’s about to do.

Romano operates with Benton, who’s fully prepared for the procedure. The daycare center sends down a message asking him to come up, and Romano tells him to go ahead and leave. Morgenstern and Weaver work on a store owner named Wan Sak Jang who was shot at work. Elizabeth declares him a perfect candidate for her blood study. Morgenstern laments that someone who worked hard his whole life could now die. He gets shaky during a procedure and says he has something in his eye, then leaves. Unfortunately for him, this is Elizabeth’s first impression of him.

Romano comes to the ER and discovers that Elizabeth is using synthetic blood there without his authorization. She tells him Mark approved an ER study. Romano’s not pleased. Karen’s feeling better after being rehydrated, and she insists that she can handle the extreme morning sickness through the rest of the pregnancy. Anna says her lab results disagree. Karen refuses to give up the baby, but Anna has no plans to make her do that. There are drugs she can take, even though they could endanger the baby. Basically, Karen will need to choose between risking her own life or her baby’s.

Doug tells Mark that they’ll have to postpone game night until another time. Mark says Carol can come along, because everyone loves being a fifth wheel. Romano introduces Elizabeth to Mr. Jang’s son, Lindsey, as Mr. Jang is taken to surgery. Lindsey has heard about the synthetic blood and is mad that it was used without anyone’s consent (even though it worked well). Romano ditches Elizabeth to try to soothe Lindsey on her own. It doesn’t work, as Lindsey vows to hold Elizabeth responsible if his father dies.

Doug starts to pull Jeanie out of Scott’s room to talk to her privately, but Scott wants to hear everything himself. His blood cell counts are low, which means his bone marrow may not be working properly. Jeanie decides Scott shouldn’t hear this after all. She leaves the room with Doug, who tells her he needs a biopsy; Anspaugh has already given consent. Carol sees a teen named Natalie while Weaver tells Mark that they need to discuss Doug, as it looks like he doesn’t want to come back to County next year. Natalie’s there for Carol to administer her normal birth control and remind her to use condoms.

Dave is mad at Anna, thinking that she talked Karen into keeping her pregnancy even though it’s putting her at risk. He figures that since her last name is Del Amico, she’s Catholic and is pushing her beliefs on Karen. Carter tries to intervene, which Anna definitely doesn’t need. Anna tells Dave that she’s done everything she can to help both Karen and the baby. She needs to make the decision on her own.

Mark asks Doug about the rumor that he’s not coming back next year. Doug confirms that he’s not renewing his fellowship, but not because he wants to leave – he wants to become an attending. This would be a brand-new position, and Doug thinks it’s necessary. A third of their patients are children, and a pediatric attending would provide better care for them. Doug asks Mark to back him up on the idea.

Elizabeth complains to Mark that Romano torpedoed her plans to use Mr. Jang in her study. He promises to provide backup if she needs it. Reese has a fever, so Benton has to take him out of daycare and get him to Carla’s before a procedure he has to perform. His car won’t start, so Elizabeth offers to take Reese to Carla’s. Benton says it would be awkward, but he agrees when Elizabeth suggests that he drive her car while she plays with Reese.

Weaver finds Morgenstern in a student lab, practicing a procedure on a cadaver. He says he wanted to brush up on his anatomy after months away. He asks if Weaver ever thinks about her patients’ lives while she works on them. Does she think about their hopes or dreams? Weaver surprises no one by saying she doesn’t. Morgenstern didn’t, either, but today, all he could think about was Mr. Jang’s life, and how he was relying on Morgenstern. Weaver tells him that she had a seizure during the benzene incident, so she can relate a little to the experience of being a patient instead of a doctor. Morgenstern thinks that means she’s also looking at the big picture now.

She tells him the big picture can be humbling, but also destructive. It can shake your focus and your confidence. Morgenstern tells her a little about the life lived by the person whose cadaver he’s now working on. Then he admits he made it up. But if he did know the truth, it wouldn’t make him less focused – just a better doctor. Speaking of distractions, Jeanie provides one for Scott while Doug does a bone-marrow biopsy. They pretend Scott’s rock-climbing and looking for handholds.

Benton fills up Elizabeth’s car (though she thinks you can coast for a while after the light comes on indicating the tank is empty – hey, there’s a perfect metaphor for Mark and Cynthia’s relationship!), and Elizabeth tells Reese she hopes he doesn’t inherit his father’s stubbornness. She asks Benton if he’s worried about Carla seeing them together. Is it because he still has feelings for Carla? Is it because Elizabeth’s white? Benton says he doesn’t know how to respond to that. He backs up the car, promptly hitting something. Make that someone – he injured a woman.

The woman, Ms. Ingram, is taken to County’s ER, though she’s not injured too badly (or at least not badly enough to make her forgot that she needs to call her boss, since she’s on her lunch break). Benton brings in Reese, worrying that he’s hurt since he cried right after the accident but is sleepy now. He asks Anna to examine the baby, reluctantly leaving them alone when Mark pulls him away to get a cut on his head taken care of. Instead, Benton tries to help Carter with Ms. Ingram, and Mark has to drag him away.

Anna assures Benton that Reese is fine. Benton quickly starts worrying about something else, the surgery he’s supposed to be performing. Romano’s in the ER to do a surgical consult on Ms. Ingram. Benton asks what Elizabeth told her, since she accused him of worrying too much about Reese to look where he was going. Ms. Ingram works for a lawyer, so Elizabeth shouldn’t have told her anything. Benton definitely won’t be making it to surgery any time soon, since the police want to question him.

Carol tells Jeanie that she’s opened up the clinic so the staff can get tested in case Scott needs a bone-marrow transplant. Jeanie’s grateful but doesn’t think they should jump to that yet. Mark pulls Doug away from Scott to tell him that Anspaugh’s worried about Scott’s pain management. Doug’s using his patient-controlled pain-medication system (PCA) on Scott without having asked Mark if he could. This is exactly why Doug wants to be an attending – so he doesn’t have to answer to Mark anymore.

Carter tells Benton that Ms. Ingram doesn’t seem to have serious injuries. He notes how scary it can be realizing that one small mistake can have such big consequences. Benton hears familiar voices down the hall and heads over to find Carla and Elizabeth chatting. Their first meeting has gone much better than Benton has clearly been fearing. Elizabeth tells him he needs to relax. She thinks he believes that her involvement in the situation led to disaster.

Morgenstern treats a boy with stomach pain, then tells Yosh to get him the number of a Cub Scout pack so he’ll have something to do. Weaver’s happy that Morgenstern came back to the ER. The two of them handle an emergency together, and this time Morgenstern has a steady hand, though he doesn’t look confident afterward.

Carol tells Mark that she’s happy he and Doug are spending the evening together. Mark tells her that Doug canceled their plans. Natalie’s back, this time with her mother, who found Natalie’s medical paperwork and condoms. Carol can’t violate confidentiality, but she offers to talk to Natalie in private and try to get her to open up to her mother.

Romano accuses Elizabeth of trying to go behind his back and get her name on a study. He wishes she were doing something more respectable and less morally ambiguous. However, he also wants to give her a role as a coordinator for the synthetic-blood study in the whole Chicago area. Elizabeth realizes that this is a bribe to get her to drop her ER study.

Carol tries to spin Natalie’s situation by noting that if she tells her parents she’s using birth control and condoms, it’s because she’s trying to be responsible. It could be worse for her if she keeps shutting out the people who care about her. Her mother is obviously concerned, and since her father brought her to the clinic that morning, he clearly loves her.

Natalie corrects Carol – that older man with her this morning was her teacher, not her father. Well, more specifically, he’s her sexual partner. Natalie insists that they love each other; they just have to keep things quiet because the teacher has an unstable wife. Carol tells her the relationship is illegal, but Natalie won’t listen. She really believes they love each other.

Doug tells Jeanie that Scott’s biopsy results show that his cancer is back. Jeanie laments all the times she told him it was behind him. He’ll need a bone-marrow transplant, but he hasn’t been told yet. Jeanie decides not to be present when he is. Elizabeth checks on Mr. Jang after his surgery, and he thanks her for saving him. Lindsey told him about the blood study, and Mr. Jang is interested in learning more. Lindsey still has some reservations but is now open to it.

Ms. Ingram’s labs indicate that she has a pancreatic injury, but Carter points out the Benton what the real culprit is: She was drinking during her lunch break. Mr. Jang wants to participate in Elizabeth’s study, so she’s going to keep conducting it in the ER. She knows it might not be smart politically, but to her it’s the right thing to do. Anspaugh tells Jeanie that Scott handled news of his cancer returning well, and is ready to fight it. Even without knowing about Jeanie’s own health problems, Scott sees her as a kindred spirit.

Anna draws Carter’s blood for the bone-marrow drive, asking about Chase. He discourages her from visiting by saying the facility where Chase is being treated is strict about them. Carol tells Doug about Natalie, who came to the clinic for birth control and wound up having her secret outed. She just hopes it doesn’t scare off other teens from coming to the clinic for methods to practice safe sex.

Thanks to Ms. Ingram’s drinking, Benton is off the hook for the accident. A conversation between Haleh and Malik reveals that Ms. Ingram is embarrassed by the whole thing and won’t be getting any lawyers involved. Benton would like to put the whole thing behind him, too. He tells Elizabeth he wants to cancel their plans for that evening, which doesn’t surprise her. Things have definitely chilled between them.

Weaver tells Morgenstern that she enjoyed working with him again. He’s pleased with how well she’s taken over his role, especially the administrative stuff he never cared about. Now, though, everything interests him. Elizabeth asks Carol and Anna if they have plans for the evening. “I did, and then I didn’t, and now I don’t know anymore,” Carol says. The three women agree to regroup at Elizabeth’s place for drinks. Carol tells Mark and Doug that she doesn’t know what they’re doing, but now she has her own plans, so they can do whatever they want.

Jeanie checks in on Scott, trying to hide her tears over his illness. He tells her Anspaugh said she can come to Yosemite with the family. The bone-marrow registry has already found some possible matches. Carol, Anna, and Elizabeth bond over cosmos, and Carol discovers that she’s the object of envy from the other two because she has a sex life. They ask her for details, but before she can provide any, Benton stops by. He tells Elizabeth she’s right about him feeling uncomfortable dating a white woman. Anna and Carol come to the door and learn of their relationship for the first time. He’s spooked and runs off.

Carter visits Chase, who’s conscious and alert but has physical limitations. Carter gives him a book on Walker Evans, a photographer Chase likes. Chase accidentally spills water on it, and a nurse has to help him take off his wet pajama top. Carter has clearly been visiting a lot, as he knows the nurse by name and is familiar with the progress Chase has made – or not made, since he’s unable to button his shirt on his own. Like Carter said to Benton, one mistake has led to major consequences and changed Chase’s entire life.

Thoughts: One of the students Carol questions is played by Nicole Bilderback.

Fun things that happen when I’m doing these recaps: I find myself deciding that “cadaver” is more accurate than “corpse.”

Why didn’t anyone ever tell Eriq LaSalle that he was mispronouncing Anna’s name as Ana?

Hey, Natalie’s teacher, way to keep your relationship secret by taking her to a busy ER for birth control. I’m sure no one would find that strange or inappropriate.

September 7, 2019

My So-Called Life 4, Father Figures: Grateful Dead, Ungrateful Daughter

Posted in TV tagged at 1:26 pm by Jenn

He’s very trusting to think she won’t push him off

Summary: A young Angela runs down the stairs to greet her father when he gets home from work. Present-day Angela just peeks in at him with Rayanne and Rickie, then otherwise ignores him. As Rickie heads out, he and Graham awkwardly greet each other. Rayanne jokes that they’re exchanging fashion tips. She’s next to meet Graham, and the two of them cook something together. Graham calls Neil and reports that he got two tickets to a Grateful Dead concert. Rayanne thinks it explains a lot that Graham likes the Dead. Her mom does, too, and made Rayanne a fan.

Patty comes home and, of course, ruins all the fun. Angela voices over that she doesn’t trust her father anymore and sort of wishes he would do something wrong so she could be right about him. Patty pulls Graham out of the kitchen to tell him that their business is being audited. She told her father, since the year the IRS wants to focus on is the year he was out sick and Patty took over. She takes full responsibility, but Graham thinks her father should take some blame, since he was too cheap to hire an accountant to do their taxes that year.

Angela learns of the audit and asks if Graham lied about something. Patty says it was just a random thing. Graham comments that Patty’s father may have lied. Angela confirms that Rayanne can stay for dinner, getting short with Graham when he says he already approved it. Graham complains to Patty that Angela takes a tone with him now. Patty says she didn’t notice, probably because that’s just how Angela always talks now. She promises that Angela adores him, and all her contempt is reserved for her mother.

After dinner, Graham reads with Danielle, who likes his new scruffy face, which Angela hates. Patty’s father, Chuck, arrives and announces that a rain gutter on the house is about to fall. He also complains about the number of lights on in the house, like a typical dad. Patty turns a lamp off, but Graham turns it back on. Chuck says he was never audited in the 30 years he ran the business; he shouldn’t have sent a girl to do a man’s job. Patty and Graham both call him out for the sexist remark.

Patty draws her father’s attention to a large deduction made for a car, which is probably what piqued the IRS’s interest. Chuck ignores her to greet Angela. He’s much warmer with her than with Danielle, and she gives him more attention than she does her parents. Graham is clearly jealous.

At school, a guidance counselor tries to confiscate Jordan’s Walkman, which he denies having. Rayanne walks by and yells for him to just hand it over. She complains to Angela and Rickie that people are rude. Then she says that Graham is attractive and nice. Angela voices over that there’s nothing to say when someone compliments your parents. Rickie says his stubble is the perfect length. Angela says he just ran out of razors and couldn’t shave. Rayanne teases her for having a father who’s in touch with his emotions and a two-parent household.

At home, Danielle tells a friend on the phone that they’re being audited. Go away, Danielle. Graham warns Patty that they may have to pay up for her father’s mistakes. He complains that Angela has barely talked to him all week, something Patty’s used to. She tells him they’re meeting with someone from the IRS on Thursday, which he says is the same day as the Dead concert. Patty begs him not to go.

Amber arrives to pick up Rayanne, so Graham lets Rayanne know it’s time to go. He asks her and Angela if they’d like to take his tickets and go to the concert with Amber, who already has tickets. Angela politely accepts while Rayanne, who’s thrilled, thanks Graham with a hug. After Rayanne leaves, Graham can’t get a conversation going with Angela, so he leaves as well.

Patty’s happy to learn that Graham is skipping the concert. She thinks he’s joking when he says he gave the tickets to the girls. When he says he’s serious, she points out that the concert is on a school night, and all sorts of unsavory people will probably be there. “Could you have had a more completely terrible idea?” she asks.

They both have trouble falling asleep, him thinking about the tickets and her worrying about the audit, which makes her feel like she’s being punished. Graham tries to assure her that she’s a good businesswoman. He turns on the TV, but Patty wants it off, since she doesn’t want to watch a Johnny Carson-less Tonight Show. She decides to take her father to lunch to discuss the audit on her own turf and terms.

Chuck takes over the lunch plans, taking Patty to a diner full of unhealthy food he shouldn’t be eating. He gives her his driving log and says he talked to the IRS agent, who doesn’t mind them doing this without an accountant. Patty says that’s in her best interest. Chuck thinks he can handle the IRS. What he can’t handle is Patty being bossy.

Ms. Mayhew has fled the school, so her class is goofing off without supervision (except Brian, who’s reading a book). Ms. Krzyzanowski, the guidance counselor who tried to take Jordan’s Walkman, tries to get control. Angela explains that a Spanish teacher has been teaching the class, which is English. The last time he was there, he showed them the movie Alive. And I assume he’s not in class today because he was fired for showing the class that movie.

As Jordan shows up late, Ms. K. tells the students to write three sentences about the movie, then trade papers and diagram the sentences. She’ll observe because her life is empty. Angela and Jordan get paired up, and when she’s done with his sentences, she starts flashing around her concert tickets. She remembers that she owes him $30 for the fake ID, but she doesn’t have the money. He advises her to scalp the tickets. She doesn’t know who would want them, but it looks like he would.

Rayanne is upset when she hears the news. Rickie offers to talk to Jordan and get them back. Angela thinks the money is more important than the tickets, but Rayanne knows the importance of the band. Plus, one of those tickets was hers, and it was a gift from Graham. As she storms out of the bathroom, Angela realizes she’s really screwed up. Rickie asks why she sold the tickets. Angela isn’t sure.

Patty fights with Chuck on the phone over his decision to go meet with the IRS agent on his own. She admits her fears to Graham, who tries to lighten the mood by saying prison isn’t that bad and he’ll wait for her. Patty laments that she can’t get her father to listen to her. Graham reminds her that other people listen to her, since she has to order them around all day. He tries to make things romantic, which…really, Graham? Patty’s upset that she always feels like a child around her dad. Graham is still trying to get romantic, saying he likes it when Patty needs him.

The mood has already been ruined, so Patty ruins it further, asking Graham if he talked to Angela about the concert. He hasn’t but promises he will. Danielle catches Angela looking in Patty’s stuff downstairs, looking for something that will make it reasonable for her to hate Graham. He catches her next and she lies that she lost part of her homework.

The IRS agent, Ms. Mandeville, comes to the Chases’ house for a tense meeting with Patty, Graham, and Chuck. Chuck brings up that he’s a veteran, then talks about his heart attack and diabetes during the year of the audit. Ms. M. casually asks why he’s bringing up these things. At the end of the meeting, Graham realizes that he forgot to talk to Angela about the concert, which will be starting soon.

Ms. M. cautions Chuck not to take any lavish vacations, and he denies that he ever does. She notes that he says he takes a lot of time off. Chuck says those are all car trips…with the car he tried to deduct as a business vehicle. Patty announces that they’ll be paying all the taxes they owe. Chuck objects that he doesn’t need her help. Ms. M. accepts Patty’s offer, but Chuck doesn’t think Patty has the authority to take the lead like this. He tells her to do whatever she wants because he doesn’t care.

As Patty and Graham are seeing Ms. M. out, Angela runs into the house and up the stairs. Graham runs after her to talk about the concert. Patty apologizes to Ms. M. for her argument with Chuck, but Ms. M. has seen a lot worse. Graham tells Angela that she can’t go to the concert, throwing Patty under the bus by saying she’s not comfortable with it. He asks for the tickets back, but Angela says Rayanne has them. She refuses to break her plans, not wanting to be punished for a mistake Graham made.

Angela spots a car out the window and runs out to supposedly go to the concert with Rayanne. Patty chastises Graham for not working this out earlier. She accuses him of wanting Angela to go. Graham admits that he does – he saw the Dead when he was her age, and it was one of the eight best nights of his life. He wanted to give that to Angela. Patty starts to leave the room, and Graham says she’s acting like her father. She murmurs something and won’t repeat it when he asks her to.

While taking out the trash, Brian spots Angela hiding in his parents’ car. He invites her to hang out in his room, saying his parents won’t notice since they’re balancing their checking account. Angela doesn’t want Graham to know she’s not at the concert, since he would be upset. Brian comments that their fathers are very different. He asks if this has anything to do with Jordan. Angela gets out without answering.

Brian stops her, saying it must not have occurred to her that he could be doing something that doesn’t involve her. He doesn’t just sit around and wait for her to need something from him. When she asks what he was doing, he says it was nothing. It’s cold, so he gives her his sweater. His mother yells outside for him to take out more trash. Angela voices over that it’s awful to be present when someone else’s parents are ordering him or her around.

Brian tries to continue the conversation, saying that Angela shouldn’t treat him one way when she needs something, then ignore him when she doesn’t. Graham comes outside to finally check out the rain gutter and sees the two of them talking. Instead of confronting Angela for lying, he just goes back inside.

The next morning, Graham ignores Angela as everyone gets ready for the day. She complains to Patty, not seeing a problem – Graham didn’t want her to go to the concert, so she didn’t go. Patty points out that she lied, and she sold tickets she had no business selling. Angela wishes Graham would say all that to her instead of acting like she doesn’t exist. I’m sure he would also like to be treated like he doesn’t exist, which is what she does to him all the time.

At school, Rayanne also avoids Angela, and Rickie is stuck in the middle. He can see both sides of the girls’ fight. He asks why Angela did what she did. Was it because she was mad at Graham? If Rickie’s uncle, who’s the only father figure he has, gives him something when Rickie’s mad at him, Rickie can’t bring himself to accept it. But he’s also kind of scared of his uncle, who in the past has broken down Rickie’s door. He’s not surprised when Angela says her dad always knocks.

Angela tracks Rayanne down in a bathroom and tries to apologize. Rayanne got to go to the concert after all, since her mom’s boyfriend’s friend had an extra ticket. She knows that Angela’s father probably gives her stuff all the time, so this wasn’t a big deal to her, but it was to Rayanne. She’s jealous of their relationship.

Angela says Rayanne doesn’t know everything about Graham, like how he was talking to a woman on the street that night he said he was going to hang out with Neil. Rayanne’s used to her father dating a lot, so she can’t relate. But no matter what Graham does, whether or not he’s doing anything he shouldn’t, he’s still the type of father to give his daughter a special gift out of the blue.

Patty is closing up the office for the night when she finds Chuck still there. He’s found something she’s been working on, a plan to move to high-speed copiers. He says it would be expensive, but Patty has done the math and figured out how to make it work. Chuck passive-aggressively says she has all the answers. Patty comments that even if she worked 16 hours a day, it wouldn’t be enough for her father.

Chuck says he’s waiting for an apology. Patty tells him he’ll be waiting a while. She has opinions and has to make decisions as the person running the company. Sometimes she misses not questioning him, but since he put her in charge, she’s turned a corner and can’t go back. Chuck says that’s her own business.

Patty fights back tears as she asks why there has to be distance between them. He says it’s not his doing. He weakly comforts her but won’t hug her since he didn’t shave. When Patty was little, she wouldn’t kiss him goodnight if he hadn’t shaved. He was too rough. Chuck says that raising a girl means walking on eggshells. He invites her to get pie with him, though she didn’t enjoy it at the diner.

Graham goes downstairs late at night for some milk and finds Patty reading in the kitchen. She says the Beatles didn’t break up just because of Yoko; Paul wanted to be the band’s business manager. She wonders why everyone gives Yoko a hard time. Patty’s worked hard to please Chuck, and he doesn’t get what it costs her: “He’s never really known what I’m worth.”

Patty continues that sometimes she thinks part of the reason she married Graham was that she knew he’d be a good father. Graham says he doesn’t want to lose Angela. She tells him he has to keep his distance for a while. Angela has the right to push him off his pedestal. If she doesn’t do it now, she’ll do it when she’s Patty’s age. Graham needs to stand his ground and make sure Angela knows that he’ll still be there after she’s done pushing him away.

The next day, I guess, Graham fixes the gutter while listening to the Dead song “Althea.” He invites Brian to help him, but Brian ignores him. Graham figures he’s too busy picturing Angela naked. Patty asks Angela to take her father a drink, so when she comes out, Graham asks her for help. He suggests that she work out some of her pent-up anger with a hammer. Angela says he’s the one who’s angry.

He asks what she got for the tickets. Jordan gave her $90, keeping back $30 for the ID. Graham advises her to declare that as income. Angela tells him that Rayanne went to the concert and had a great time. She asks to turn off the song. Graham asks what kind of music she’s listening to nowadays. She names the Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against the Machine, Porno for Pyros, and Stone Temple Pilots. Graham is surprised to hear that she likes Billie Holiday. Maybe they have something in common after all.

Thoughts: Chuck is played by Paul Dooley. Young Angela is played by Kaley Cuoco. Ms. K. is played by Winnie Holzman, the show’s creator (and Paul Dooley’s wife).

I wonder how Neil reacted when he found out Graham gave away the ticket Neil thought he was getting.

Who decided Danielle should be a character? Why does she exist?

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