June 12, 2018

ER 1.21, House of Cards: Handle With Care

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 5:04 pm by Jenn

“Google Earth. Always taking pics”

Summary: This show is seriously obsessed with people sleeping. Doug is in bed with Diane, and since he slept through his alarm, she wants him to get moving before Jake finds out he spent the night. But when Doug goes to use the bathroom, he runs into Jake, who knows he’s been there the past two nights. He also doesn’t care that his mother is in a relationship.

If you’ve missed seeing Benton be short with Carter and Chen, you’re in luck! Here he is, being short with Carter and Chen. The students are supposed to complete procedure books by the end of the day, and Chen’s isn’t done. She complains that Carter’s been there longer and has done more procedures, so he has an advantage. She’s especially mad that he’s already done a femoral cutdown.

Mark wants his patient to have an ultrasound in case he has appendicitis. Susan doesn’t think it’s necessary, since he could just have gas. Swift joins them and makes his own diagnosis: the flu. The stomach pain is from gas, and the ultrasound is unnecessary. Mark doesn’t appreciate being second-guessed.

Mae is ready to be released from the hospital, but Benton and Jackie haven’t told her they’re sending her to a care facility. Benton wants to be the one to break the news, but Jackie comes along so the siblings can provide a united front. Mae doesn’t take the news well, but she doesn’t protest like she’s done in the past.

Susan thinks Swift was out of line the way he jumped into her and Mark’s case, but Mark thinks he was right to stop them from running unnecessary tests. He knows Swift’s opinion of him isn’t going to change. The two are pulled in to tend to a new patient, and Susan allows Carter to insert a central line. Chen is again jealous. Doug examines a girl named Janette who probably has the flu, though her heart rate is a little fast. Her mother, Mrs. Ryan, worries about the cost of the tests Doug needs to run, since she doesn’t have insurance. Doug promises that they’ll work something out.

Mark and Carter examine a woman named Anita who has a bad cough. Mark suspects tuberculosis, but Anita isn’t forthcoming with details that might help him come to a conclusion. She finally admits that her daughter has also been sick. Mark wants to make her stay at the hospital, since she could be highly contagious, but he can’t force her. All he can do is give her medicine and advise her to take it. Anita seems nervous about her immigration status, but Mark promises they won’t ask any questions. She agrees to stay a little longer.

Susan and Carol try to keep straight faces while welcoming two patients, elderly sisters who were involved in a slow-motion car crash. The paramedic who brings them in, Zadro, says the only danger they present is to each other. Janette gets worse quickly, and Doug has to shock her heart back into rhythm. Carol examines one of the elderly sisters and realizes that one of them, Sari, has horrible vision, even with her huge glasses. She blames her sister, Shirley, thinking Shirley blinded her in the car accident. Then Carol realizes that Sari’s wearing the wrong glasses. Womp womp?

Haleh invites Carter to perform a pelvic exam that he can include in his procedures book. Carter’s already done plenty of those, but Haleh doesn’t care. Doug tells Mrs. Ryan that Janette has a heart condition and needs to be admitted. She’ll be fine, and someone from Social Services will help Mrs. Ryan apply for Medicaid. Susan encourages Mark to talk to Swift about his behavior earlier, but Mark still doesn’t see a point. When a pregnant patient comes in, Mark tells Susan to take her.

Carter’s patient, Mrs. Blum, has requested him personally, though he’s never met her. She explains that he treated her friend Barbara, who got pregnant a week after Carter examined her. Barbara thinks Carter was the key, so she told her friend to see him in hopes that she’ll get pregnant as well. Swift asks Mark why Susan’s examining the pregnant patient Mark was supposed to see. Swift knows about Jodi and wants Mark to present her case at a conference that afternoon.

Mrs. Salazar does indeed have TB, so Mark tells her to bring her family in to get tested. Mrs. Salazar says she’ll bring them tomorrow; she feels okay and wants to leave. Mark tries to tell her how serious her illness could be, and how worried he is about her kids. He tells her straight out that her immigration status doesn’t matter. Mrs. Salazar ignores him when he angrily tells her that she’ll infect anyone she comes into contact with if she leaves. Susan pulls him out of the room and points out that yelling isn’t going to make Mrs. Salazar want to stick around.

Doug has a patient who needs a procedure Carter hasn’t performed yet, so Carter gets to do something else to put in his book. He gets peed on by a baby for his troubles, but at least Carol, Doug, and the baby’s mother get a good laugh. Susan talks to a woman named Mrs. Gainsley whose husband made her come in because he thinks she has paranoid delusions. Her answers to Susan’s questions don’t indicate that she does, but that doesn’t keep Susan and Lydia from becoming concerned over the arsenal of weapons she’s brought with her.

Jeanie’s waiting with Mae for the ambulance that will take her to her new home. Benton promises his mother that she’ll like the facility, but she doesn’t want to talk to him. Doug thinks Mark will do fine at his conference, but Mark knows the doctors attending will be out for his blood. He gets even more worried when he learns that the conference room where the “interrogation” was going to take place was too small to hold all the attendees, so it’s been moved to the auditorium.

Chen’s day starts looking up when she hears Benton chastising Carter for giving a patient water when she wasn’t supposed to eat or drink anything. Carter’s mistake leads to Chen being rewarded with an invitation to scrub in with Benton. The auditorium is full, and it’s time for Mark’s interrogation. Despite the short amount of time he was given to prepare, Mark answers all the questions like a pro. Swift defends Mark’s skills, but Coburn won’t stop pressing him. Mark admits to his mistakes, saying he should have taken Jodi up to OB earlier.

After the interrogation, Swift tells Mark that eventually he’ll get over his feelings of guilt for what happened to Jodi. Mark wonders if he’s supposed to feel relieved once everything gets worked out. Then he tells Swift not to disagree with a diagnosis in front of a patient again. Doug gets Jake a bike, which seems inappropriate when Diane hasn’t even spoken to Jake about their relationship. But it’s Doug, so I probably shouldn’t expect better from him.

Mrs. Salazar has split, and though Lydia offers to reach her at home, Mark thinks she gave them a fake address. Susan enlists him to help take care of a patient named Mr. Smiley who crashed his car. Smiley is uncooperative and resists medical attention, but since he’s drunk, Mark gets to override him. Chen’s riding high on her great day and even offers to get Haleh coffee. In exchange, she asks Haleh to throw her some procedures.

Haleh sends Chen to insert an IV on a drug addict. Wendy determines that the patient needs a central line, a procedure Chen hasn’t performed yet. As Mark, Susan, Benton, and Carol finish up with Smiley, Wendy finds Chen finishing up her patient’s central line. She wasn’t supposed to do it, and definitely not on her own. Wendy’s worried that she’ll get fired (though she wasn’t in the room and didn’t know Chen was doing it, so she’ll probably be off the hook).

Chen thinks she’s done everything right, but she realizes that she left the guide wire in the patient’s chest. Swift and Benton have to get involved, and the patient will have to go to the cath lab. Carter finds out what happened and tries to talk to Chen, who runs off in distress. And that’s why you don’t compete with your colleagues in a profession where mistakes can lead to major complications and even death.

Carter later admits to Carol that he feels responsible, though she points out that he wasn’t the one who almost killed someone. Benton comes looking for Chen, telling Carter that Swift wants to talk to her. The patient is okay, but he could sue. Diane chastises Doug for getting Jake a bike when he already has one. He can’t just get Jake everything he wants. Diane thinks Doug is trying to go through Jake to win her over.

Mark and Susan go to Doc Magoo’s together, and he reveals for the first time that he and Jen are over. He’s worried about all the time he’ll lose with Rachel. Susan urges him to go to Milwaukee and try to smooth things over. Back in the ER, Doug, Carol, and Lydia work on a boy named Billy who was hit by a truck. It goes on forever, and I’m not sure of the point, other than to demonstrate that, while emotionally immature, Doug is a competent doctor. Afterward, Diane offers a peace offering in the form of pizza with Jake.

Mae is settling into her new home, looking at old pictures with Benton. She thinks he’s younger than he is and asks if he still wants to be a doctor. She tells him that his talent is God’s gift to him; what he does with it is his gift back to God. Mark calls Jen from the doctors’ lounge and tells her he wants to visit the next day. She puts him off until the weekend. Mark ends the call by telling Jen he loves her, but she doesn’t say it back. Susan goes home to a surprise outside her apartment: Chloe. She’s baaaaaaack.

Carter goes to see Chen at her house, which is actually her parents’ mansion. It’s full of people attending a catered party. She admits that she wanted the central-line procedure so badly that she didn’t care about the patient. She’s going to quit. Carter thinks she can get past this and become a great doctor. Chen doesn’t like being surrounded by sickness, though; she only likes the science part of medicine.

Carter tells her that when he was a kid, his brother was sick, and was in and out of the hospital. When Carter saw how the doctors treated him, he realized that’s what he wanted to be. Chen says that’s the difference between them – Carter cares about his patients, and takes the time to listen to them. She’s not looking forward to telling her parents what happened, and is wise enough to know she should wait until after the party, which is for their anniversary. She’s grateful that Carter came to see her.

Mark’s horrible day ends on a high note when Mrs. Salazar returns to the hospital with her children so they can be treated. At Susan’s, Chloe reveals that her boyfriend ditched her and sold her stuff. She still has Susan’s coat, though a kid in the car she hitched a ride in threw up on it. Susan wants her to see an OB (hopefully not Coburn), since she’s only seen a doctor once in her time away. Despite all the angst Chloe causes, Susan’s happy that her sister’s okay, and is ready to help her through whatever comes next.

Thoughts: ‘Bye, Chen! You served no purpose in these episodes, and you’re mostly just annoying when you come back in season 6. Congratulations on being a waste of Ming Na’s talents.

I thought the twist was going to be that Mrs. Gainsley’s husband was dead, so she really was delusional because she was talking to his ghost.

Coburn shouldn’t be asking any questions at Mark’s interrogation, since her department is to blame for not coming to the ER.

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