April 17, 2018

ER 1.13, Luck of the Draw: Susan vs. Kayson, Round 2

Posted in TV tagged , , at 5:07 pm by Jenn

Maybe med students shouldn’t be allowed to touch potentially dangerous equipment

Summary: Mark arrives at work at the same time as Susan, who’s nervous because Morgenstern wants to see her about Mr. Vennerbeck’s death. They run into Kayson, who greets Mark and completely ignores Susan. Benton, who’s looking for Carter, is being followed around by a new med student, Jing-Mei Chen (AKA Deb). Benton passes her off to him and runs off to perform surgery without his own clingy student.

Doug’s taking care of a girl named Lucy who was bitten by a hamster. Her aunt, Leslie, has brought her in, and, because she’s a woman with a pulse, she can’t help flirting with Doug. Mark is amazed when Doug doesn’t return her affections. Carol tells Lydia about her weekend ice-fishing (and doing other things) with Tag. Lydia asks if they’ve set a wedding date, which makes Carol tense. She feels like she’s just getting her life back together. She admits that she may have some hesitance about making a life-long commitment. Then she accidentally sticks herself with a needle.

Mark wants to know why Doug didn’t accept what was clearly an invitation to a date with Leslie. Doug says that if it’s only about guaranteed sex, he’d rather play tennis. Mark is very disappointed. Lydia and Wendy try to reassure Carol that her chances of catching HIV from the patient the needle came from are very small. However, she should avoid having unprotected sex for the next six months. Well, at least Carol has an excuse not to get married for the next six months.

A customs agent wants Mark to deal with a detainee named Jorge who swallowed condoms full of cocaine. Mark can’t give Jorge any medication without his consent, but he warns that he could get really sick if any of the condoms break. The customs agent isn’t impressed with Mark’s rudimentary Spanish, which he picked up working in the ER. Doug tends to a boy named Ben who’s in respiratory distress. Ben’s father, Mr. Gaither, says this happened before, when Ben had pneumonia.

Morgenstern tells Susan that he tried to talk Kayson down, but he’s bringing charges against her. She’ll have to appear before a committee next week and defend her actions. Susan argues that she tried to present Mr. Vennerbeck’s history to Kayson, but he wouldn’t listen to her. Morgenstern is concerned that Susan didn’t assert herself. She has a history of deferring to other doctors rather than advocating for her patients. She may not be a good match for the ER. Ben isn’t stabilizing, so Doug takes a chance with some medication. Mr. Gaither isn’t as happy as he should be to hear that his son is going to live.

Mark talks to Carol about her needle stick, joking that he should empty a container of used needles so he can catch up with her (she’s been stuck five times now). He asks if she and Tag have set a date; unlike with Lydia, Carol keeps calm and just says no. Susan, however, is agitated because of her meeting with Morgenstern. Carol talks to a patient named Alan who has organized his medical records so thoroughly that they’re all color-coded. He’s wearing all blue because it’s Monday, and he’d really prefer not to be put in a green exam room.

Ben needs to be admitted to the hospital, so Mr. Gaither sets up some of his things in his room. He’s annoyed that Doug doesn’t have a good idea of what treatments he’ll need. Mr. Gaither starts a metronome, telling Doug that Ben likes rhythm. He was in an accident that left him with a brain injury, and Mr. Gaither likes to surround him with familiar things. He asks if Doug has children, and Doug makes one of his rare references to his son. Mr. Gaither leaves for a job interview.

Mark has passed Jorge along to Carter and Chen, so Carter makes Chen perform the patient’s rectal exam. It’s unpleasant for both of them. As Susan and Carol examine Alan (in a yellow room), Morgenstern invites Benton to cover for a surgeon who will be going out of town. Benton happily accepts, knowing it’ll be good practice for when he’s chief resident. Morgenstern admires his “naked ambition tempered by arrogance.” Benton’s scrubbing in for an operation, but he gets a call from Walt about his mother being missing and has to step out.

Susan looks at one of her patients’ charts and sees that Mark signed it. She checks some others and sees the same thing on them. She goes to find Mark, who’s not seeing any progress with Jorge, probably because the 100+ condoms he swallowed have made his body unable to move anything anywhere. Susan confronts him for signing all her charts, and he reveals that Morgenstern told him to double-check all her work. She asks why he didn’t stand up for her. Mark reminds her that she lost a patient; as chief resident, it’s Mark’s problem, and he has to listen to his boss.

Susan realizes that Mark knew ahead of time what Morgenstern was going to say to her in their meeting. He told Morgenstern that Kayson is hard on her, and he’s not surprised that the result was a lack of communication that led to someone’s death. Mark also agreed with Morgenstern that Susan backs down when she goes up against hard-headed men like Benton and Kayson.

Ben wakes up, so Doug turns on the metronome for him. Wendy shows him that Mr. Gaither signed a do-not-resuscitate order for his son. Susan tells Wendy to give her patient some medication, but she says milligrams when she means micrograms. Wendy timidly corrects her as Mark looks on. A man named Mr. Desmond comes in after having been beaten up for saying derogatory things about people. He explains to Mark that he’s a sociologist studying violence. He says inappropriate things to antagonize his subjects and provoke violence. His insurance premiums are the same as those of NASCAR drivers.

Mr. Gaither returns to the hospital, and Doug tells him that Ben will die – possibly in the next few hours – if he’s not put on a ventilator. If Mr. Gaither allows Doug to treat Ben, he could live for a long time. By signing a DNR, he’s giving up. Mr. Gaither responds by walking out of the room without saying anything.

Benton’s mother has wandered off from her equally elderly caregiver, so he and Walt go looking for her around the city. Walt still thinks Mae should be put in a facility, and Benton still disagrees. They argue about how Walt takes care of all the bills at the house and tends to Mae, but Benton won’t let him make any decisions. Benton reminds Walt that he’s a high school dropout and runs a business the Bentons provided for him. Walt spits out that he takes care of his family and Mae, while Benton only has to take care of himself.

Mr. Desmond picks Carol as his next subject, asking her about her fiancé and wedding plans after noticing her engagement ring. He thinks she can’t commit, possibly because she believes she’s too good for him. Carol gets revenge by pouring peroxide on his cuts. Mr. Desmond tells her she’s high up on his index detailing the time between provocation and assault.

Jorge has popped a condom, so Mark, Carter, and Chen take a crash cart to his room in case he needs it. Chen accidentally shocks Carter with the paddles as she’s handing them over. Hilariously, Mark and Haleh aren’t concerned, since the amount of charge was so low, and they just keep doing their jobs while Carter lies on the floor. Once Jorge is taken care of, Haleh determines that Carter’s injuries are more from bumping his head when he fell than from being shocked.

Carol gets back Alan’s chest x-ray, which doesn’t look good. He has cancer, and he didn’t bother to tell Carol or Susan about it when he came in. He ignores their encouragement to get treatment and asks to be alone. Benton finds Mae at an outdoor ice rink and finally brings up the idea of putting her in a facility. She reminisces about the time they spent at the rink and nearby baseball field when her children were young. In a moment of clarity, she recalls that her husband is dead, then tells Benton she doesn’t want to move into a nursing home.

Susan, Haleh, and Malek tend to a little girl who was shot in a drive-by. Mark comes in to help but lets Susan take the lead. Kayson arrives and criticizes Susan’s technique in a procedure. Susan stands up for herself as Kayson says she can’t do it. She keeps trying but has to admit defeat and get Mark to finish.

Benton goes back to work and rushes to join the operation he was supposed to assist with. While moving Ben to the ICU, Wendy tries to make small talk with Doug, saying that she didn’t know he has a son. Doug admits that he’s never seen the boy and doesn’t even know his name. Carol hears Susan crying in the bathroom, but Susan just wipes her face and walks out like nothing happened. Benton’s too late for surgery with Morgenstern, who chats with his replacement about that piano showroom he mentioned before.

Mr. Gaither tells Doug that he just got offered a job in Detroit and will have to move. He admits that he started thinking about how much easier his life would be if Ben were dead. He wonders what kind of person he is for thinking like that. But for the past two years, Mr. Gaither has taken care of his son on his own, all day every day. He hasn’t been able to work or have a life outside of his son. He loves Ben, but he needs this to end. Doug doesn’t say anything, possibly because he has no place to, considering he doesn’t even know his own child’s name.

Carter’s just now regaining consciousness from his trauma during Jorge’s trauma. Chen and Haleh tell him that Chen used him as a practice patient so she could hone her skills at giving rectal exams. Haleh corrects her recordkeeping – she should write that Carter has normal male genitalia, not average male genitalia. Carter grabs the paperwork and realizes they’re just kidding.

Carol’s next patient is a boxer, and she sticks him in Mr. Desmond’s room for her own amusement. Mark apologizes to Susan for not giving her a heads-up about Morgenstern’s meeting or his orders to co-sign her charts. He thinks it’s understandable that she was unable to do the procedure on the girl with Kayson staring at her. Susan thinks he’s just apologizing to try to make himself feel better. He extends an olive branch by inviting her to Doc Magoo’s, the ER staff’s favorite hangout, after work.

Carol finds Alan in the dreaded green room, thinking about taking more chances. As Mark and Doug are getting ready to leave for the night, Carol’s boxer punches Mr. Desmond, making him fly into the hallway. A bunch of the staff goes to Doc Magoo’s, and Carol announces that she and Tag will be getting married on May 18th. She also won 10 bucks in the lottery, a 1 in 250 chance – the same chance she has of contracting HIV from her needle stick. Doug leads a toast to his ex, and the co-workers start goofing off together. Susan watches from her car, moping instead of joining in the fun.

Thoughts: Leslie is played by Kristin Davis.

Chen complains later in the series about being called Deb, so I want it on the record that that’s how she introduces herself to Carter and Benton.

Speaking of Chen, she’s like a completely different character between season 1 and season 6. Though, really, the same can be said for Carter.

Jorge swallowed 185 condoms full of cocaine. 185. How is he not throwing up everything he’s ever eaten?

I kind of love Morgenstern’s obsession with the piano showroom. I wonder if he’ll ever go in.

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