March 20, 2018

ER 1.9, ER Confidential: Thanksgiving Turkey With a Side of Trauma

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:51 pm by Jenn

Yeah, Carter, let’s make sure this is all about you

Summary: Oh, great, we’re back to starting out episodes with people sleeping. Susan wakes up in the middle of the night alone, since Div is in the living room, recording his thoughts on tape. He gets no more pleasure out of life and can’t concentrate or sleep. When Susan makes her presence known, Div says he was just working on a patient history. Susan seems uncertain and may not believe him.

Doug’s relationship is going much better – he and Linda are going on vacation together. He feels weird about letting her pay for everything, but she knows he doesn’t make that much money. It’s Thanksgiving, so Doug takes a pie with him to work. Bob has her American holidays confused and is putting up Halloween decorations. Jerry commandeers the pie while Carter practices stitches on a pig’s foot. Doug and Mark discuss their holiday plans; Jen and Rachel will be coming back to Chicago for Thanksgiving, along with Jen’s parents.

Susan’s first patient of the day, Edgar, doesn’t think he has much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. He’s so grumpy that he’s been banned from his dialysis clinic. He complains about the “information superhighway” while Carol and Susan get him ready for dialysis. “The more I see of people, the more I like pigs,” Edgar says. Let’s hope he doesn’t see what Carter’s been up to.

As Bob puts up a “Happy Easter” banner, Carter asks Benton if he should bring anything to dinner that night. Apparently he wasn’t listening when Benton uninvited him after Mae extended an invitation. Since Carter’s parents are out of the country, he has no other plans. As the two examine a patient named Ms. Carleton who crashed her car into a bridge, Carter makes a discovery that he and Benton don’t know how to process: Though she goes by Ms., her anatomy makes them think she’s a Mr.

Benton hops over to help out with two teenagers who came in after killing a woman in a car crash. One boy, Larry, has a bad head injury, but Langworthy wants to do everything she can to try to save him. The other boy, Andy, is distressed, so Carol explains what the doctors are doing as they try to find out if he has internal injuries. Langworthy realizes that her patient is gone, so she stops working on him. Andy has internal injuries and is sent straight to surgery. He quietly tells Carol that he was the one driving the car, even though it was Larry’s. He blames himself for his friend’s death.

Edgar’s still complaining to Susan while Carol, Doug, Mark, and Jerry talk about the reckless things they did as teenagers. Well, not Mark – he and his friends were dorks. Tag comes down for a consult with Doug but makes him wait while he chats with Carol. Carter has no idea how to deal with a transgender patient, so he just stops talking. Ms. Carleton notices and tells him about how hard it is to see how people view her. She wonders if they’re right to look at her with disgust.

Al brings in a man named Francis who’s bleeding from a fight with a turkey. Francis is an animal-rights activist and tried to steal/rescue a bird he thought was being abused. The turkey wasn’t very appreciative and started pecking him. Francis responded by breaking the bird’s neck. Al would like to donate it to the hospital’s Thanksgiving party. Tag volunteers to pluck and prepare it.

Susan tells Mark that all the things Div was saying into his recorder fit with a diagnosis of depression. She doesn’t know what to do. Mark says that Div obviously needs psychiatric help, but Susan doesn’t want to force him into anything. Mark insists that someone needs to say something to him. If he’s that depressed, he shouldn’t be treating patients. Susan gets annoyed with Mark’s lack of compassion.

Francis tells Doug about the turkey’s poor treatment while Doug takes care of his cuts. Francis thinks that since all humans and animals came from the same origins, we should be kinder to animals. Next door, Tag’s going to town on the turkey’s feathers, and Francis doesn’t want to watch. (Doug probably doesn’t either.) He admits that he secretly enjoyed killing the turkey.

Ms. Carleton tells Carter that her father called her up a few years ago after a long estrangement. When they came face to face again, Mr. Carleton didn’t recognize her because she was now living as a woman. He wanted to reconnect because he was dying, and he later told Ms. Carleton that even though she wears dresses now, she was still his son. Mark comes in to check Carter’s work, calling Ms. Carleton “ma’am.”

Edgar has dozed off, giving Susan some peace for the first time all day. Then he wakes up and the yelling starts again. She’s gotten him an appointment at his usual clinic, but now he doesn’t want to go. Susan tells him that neither of them wants him to come back to County Hospital. Edgar tells her to shove it, and she walks off, trying to calm herself.

Andy and Larry’s mothers arrive, and Carol tells them that Larry died. Susan gets a little revenge on Edgar by telling him she’s taking his temperature rectally, then leaving a fake flower where the thermometer should be. Carol takes Andy’s mother to see him and eavesdrops while Andy tells her what happened. At least, he tells her his version of the story: He claims Larry was driving and ran a red light.

Mark whines that Doug called him boring earlier when he criticized Mark’s idea of fun as a teenager. Then he admits that he’s never done anything irresponsible in his life. He’s never even spent money on something he doesn’t need. Talk turns to Doug and Linda’s relationship, which Doug says makes him feel like a kept man. “I’ve never been a kept man,” Mark laments.

A woman comes in with chest pain, and Mark tends to her. Carol tells Lydia about Andy’s confession to her, wondering what she should do. Is it her place to tell the police something a patient confided? There’s no cardiologist currently at the hospital, so Benton and Langworthy come to look at Mark’s patient. Langworthy decides that she needs a procedure, and since Benton’s never done it, he asks to take the lead.

Susan meets up with Div in his office, where he apologizes for his recent “difficult” behavior. He thinks he might have embarrassed her. He admits to struggling with depression, but he thinks things are starting to work themselves out. Susan hopes they can talk after dinner with Chloe and her new boyfriend.

Carol runs into Larry’s mother, who admits to being angry with her son for driving recklessly and killing someone. Carol tries to keep a poker face. While Carter goes looking for a missing Ms. Carleton, Langworthy guides Benton through the procedure while Mark and Haleh assist. Things go south and the patient’s heart starts to fail, so Benton needs to move faster. He’s hesitant, but Langworthy is confident in his skills. He’s successful and everyone’s relieved.

Carol goes back to Andy’s room and confronts him for lying to his mother. She understands why he did, but she doesn’t think it’s fair to let Larry’s mother believe he caused the accident. Carol knows from experience that keeping a secret makes it hard to live with yourself. Andy asks if she’s ever killed anyone. She says no, but she’s hurt people close to her. She admits that she still has some secrets.

Jerry runs down the hall, telling Carter that there’s a woman on the roof, about to jump. Carter quickly realizes that it must be Ms. Carleton. He runs up to try to convince Ms. Carleton that there are people there who want to help her. But Ms. Carleton feels like she can’t pass for a woman anymore, so there’s no reason to stay alive. Div joins Carter on the roof, and Carter starts to calmly ask Ms. Carleton to talk to him. Instead, Ms. Carleton lets herself fall. Carter cries out in horror.

In the ER, the staff tries to block out the trauma and enjoy dinner together. Carol pulls Tag aside for a talk while Doug and Linda get ready to go to the airport. Linda practically gasps in shock when she realizes she accidentally purchased seats in coach instead of first class. Doug thinks Mark is lucky to get to spend Thanksgiving with his family instead of a sugar mama. Nearby, Francis abandons his morals for one night and eats some turkey.

Carol and Tag go for a walk outside so she can admit that she slept with Doug last winter, while she and Tag were dating. This was before her suicide attempt, and they haven’t slept together since, but they did kiss. Tag is understandably upset, though telling Carol to go to Hell is a little too far. He yells that he’s been faithful and patient, especially after she tried to kill herself. Should he treat her badly, like Doug does? Tag’s mad that Carol felt the need to tell him. What’s he supposed to do with this info?

Benton tells Langworthy that their heart patient is doing fine. Langworthy is leaving the next day for her fellowship, so Benton wants to thank her for her support. She doesn’t feel like she did anything special, since County’s a teaching hospital, but she does acknowledge that he made a great save. She says she’ll see him when she comes back in the spring. (I guess she gets a job somewhere else, since we never see her again.)

Benton finds Carter trying to process what he just witnessed. Benton blames himself for Ms. Carleton’s death – he should have realized that she was trying to kill herself when she crashed her car. Next time, they’ll both be more attentive. Carter’s still down, so Benton tells him he can come have dinner with his family. When Carter tries to decline, Benton guilts him into pleasing Mae.

Susan, Chloe, and Chloe’s boyfriend, Ronnie, have gathered for dinner, but Div is MIA. He’s the lucky one, though, since Chloe didn’t cook the turkey long enough. She and Ronnie start fighting, and Susan tells them both to shut up and stop acting like toddlers. She tries calling Div again, but he doesn’t answer his phone. He’s currently standing in the middle of a busy street, in the rain, clearly not coming out of his depression like he’d claimed.

Thoughts: Ms. Carleton is played by Vondie Curtis-Hall, who later returns as Roger. Edgar is played by Garrett Morris. Larry’s mother is also David Silver’s mother.

Fun fact I just learned: Ellen Crawford (Lydia) and Mike Genovese (Al) are married in real life.

Continuity error: Carter says his parents are in Switzerland to visit his sister, but we know from later episodes that he doesn’t have a sister.

I wonder what the confidentiality rules are for nurses. Carol never says she can’t tell the police the truth about the crash, just that she doesn’t know if she should.

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