July 17, 2018

ER 2.1, Welcome Back Carter!: Kerry Weaver Has Entered the Building

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:53 pm by Jenn

Look how normal and non-threatening she looks. Don’t be fooled

Summary: For once, no one’s asleep at the start of the episode, since it’s the middle of the day and everyone’s out and about in Chicago, going about their lives. Then a gang member opens fire. A woman is shot trying to shield her young son. Mark tries to save another shooting victim as a police officer attempts to get information on the shooter. Everyone wants to know where Susan is as they run around, tending to all the victims. Susan’s with a man who needs to have his heart monitored, and she has to leave him to help out with all the traumas.

The woman from the street comes in, worrying about her unborn baby. Her toddler seems fine, but he’s obviously upset about the whole thing. Benton asks where Carter is. Carter happens to be stuck in a big traffic jam, having just returned to Chicago from his summer vacation. He ditches the cab and makes a run for it, carrying all his luggage and souvenirs with him. He knows he’s in for some yelling for being late.

Jerry’s trying to hold down the fort at the front desk, taking calls while trying to ignore a woman with bipolar disorder who won’t stop talking to him. A woman named Harper Tracy introduces herself and her buddies as the new third-year med students, there to meet Mark. When he learns that the students know how to take medical histories, Jerry puts them to work. Meanwhile, Mark and Benton send the pregnant woman off to deliver her baby.

Carter finally makes it to the hospital, and Jerry sends him to the OR. Morgenstern is inexplicably back, telling Mark that, now that he’s an attending, he has more responsibilities. He needs to go to a staff meeting, meet with the med students, and handle more problems on his own. Mark is also in charge of the schedule, which will benefit Doug; Mark quickly offers him a graveyard attending shift and the extra money that comes with it. There currently aren’t any pediatric patients for Doug, but Jerry has reserved a Scandinavian flight attendant for him. Doug appreciates it.

Carter scrubs in to assist with Benton and Coburn’s emergency operation on the pregnant woman. Coburn quizzes Carter on anatomy and isn’t impressed with his lack of knowledge. She notes that that reflects poorly on Benton. Doug meets the flight attendant, Hulda, who hurt her ankle when she slipped on a little bottle of vodka. She also has an earache, possibly from all the “going up and coming down.” Doug thanks whatever forces are at work here that he’s single.

Mark doesn’t have much time to spend with the med students, so he sends them to an exam room to read medical texts. He asks Susan to find Harper and have her rejoin the group. The two discuss the new opening for chief resident; Susan doesn’t have time to step up. She suggests a doctor named Jane Pratt. Mark checks in on Susan’s heart patient, who has to stay in the ER for a little while longer, since there’s no bed open in cardiology. He’s not getting much rest, with all the yelling and chaos.

Benton and Coburn deliver the baby, who had the horrible luck of being shot while still in the womb, but who is otherwise fine. The nurses gather for a quick staff meeting, run by Carol. Though the nurses complain about some of the things they’re chastised for or qualifications they need to meet, they clearly respect Carol and understand that she’s just the messenger. They also can’t complain too much about having to complete hours doing ambulance ride-alongs when Carol has to participate as well.

To add to the chaos of the ER, some maintenance guys are there to fix the AC. Jane Pratt is interested in the chief position and lets Mark know. She’s heard that Kerry Weaver, a doctor at Mt. Sinai, also wants the position, but Jane thinks she’d be better at the job. Carter withstands his inevitable browbeating from Benton, who reminds him that anytime he looks bad, he makes Benton look bad. He beat out 15 others for this surgical sub-internship, so he’d better show that he earned it.

Mark meets Loretta Sweet, a patient with a rash on her thighs. It’s not serious, probably just a minor allergic reaction, and the treatment is pretty basic. (This scene is pointless and just establishes a character we’ll see a few more times.) Carol greets an ambulance and starts tending to a man who was found unconscious.) The paramedics who brought him in, Shep Shepard and Raul Melendez, stick around to help Carol and some other nurses until a doctor can be found. Carol determines that the man’s airway was obstructed and clears it.

Carter tries to study for an upcoming operation, but it’s difficult with nurses coming in and out, and a drunk patient yelling next door. Susan invites him to show Harper how to start an IV, thinking Carter will find her attractive. Harper’s still with the bipolar patient, Mrs. Constantine, finding it hard to take a history from a woman who’s manic and talks about anything and everything. Still, Harper is able to diagnosis her with cellulitis. Carter shows her how to start an IV, already a better teacher than Benton ever was (though Harper’s also a better student than Carter ever was).

Carol’s patient came in with his son, Noah, and Carol assures the boy that his father will be okay. He’ll have to stay in the hospital for a while, so Noah needs someone to look after him. Noah says his father never stays in the hospital, so it’s not a problem. Carol determines that Noah has had to call 911 for his alcoholic father a number of times in the past. She’s impressed that the kid, who’s only about nine, knows how to fix a broken VCR. (If anyone reading this asks me what a VCR is, I quit.)

Harper tracks down Mark and tags along while he and Susan check in on the heart patient. The AC still hasn’t been fixed, and now there’s dust falling from the ceiling over the front desk – hopefully not asbestos, as Susan fears. Carter hands out souvenirs from his trip to…wherever he went. He gives Jerry a voodoo doll, and when Benton comes by, cranky as usual, Jerry says that Carter should have saved a doll for himself. Carter did, and it might even work on Benton.

Jeanie is now working at County, but she and Benton are stiff around each other, barely speaking. Carter gives Doug a figure he calls the god of fertility. Carol teases him, not realizing that in three years, she’ll want it to work. Carter thinks he’s ready for his next surgery, but the procedure has been cancelled. Now he has to assist with something he hasn’t studied for. Carter takes out his frustration on his Benton doll.

Mark goes to a management staff meeting, nominating Jane as the next chief resident. Morgenstern notes that she and Mark are very similar; he should pick someone who would complement his weaknesses. Carol backs up Mark’s pick, but Morgenstern is leaning toward Weaver. Mark agrees to meet her, unaware of how much his life is about to change.

A doctor named Neil complains about Doug’s time in the ER; pediatrics shouldn’t have to pay his salary if he’s always in the ER. Morgenstern points out that the ER can’t afford to pay for Doug’s fellowship. Coburn says she likes Doug, but he’s “a bit of a cowboy.” Neil says he’s arrogant and undermines Neil’s authority. He threatens not to sign off on his fellowship renewal. Morgenstern will have to find the money to keep him on.

A man carries his unbreathing brother, Jimmy, into the ER. The only available treatment room is the one the AC guys are currently working in. Harper hasn’t joined her fellow med students, so Susan allows her to observe. Mark mentions to Carol that he didn’t realize how much management talks about the residents. Carol gleefully asks if he wants to know what they used to say about him. She adds that Morgenstern has a point about Jane.

Doug thanks Mark for his extra shifts, since he needs the money for car payments. Mark remembers that Doug knows Weaver from his residency and asks if she would make a good chief. Doug’s response isn’t promising: “You ever see Cuckoo’s Nest?” Carol’s patient wants to leave, as Noah predicted, and he’s not pleasant about it. She lets him throw a tantrum until he’s coughing so hard he can’t stand. He’s just made her point that he’s unable to leave the hospital. She suggests that he get sober so Noah will have a father he can be proud of.

Jimmy isn’t doing well, and the AC guys are causing more problems than they’re fixing. Lydia tells them to come out of the ceiling already. One of them falls on Jimmy’s gurney, apparently smacking him hard enough in the chest that his heart goes back into a stable rhythm. Carter has now embarrassed Benton in front of another surgeon, and Benton is only going to give him one more chance to show he’s not completely incompetent. Carol tells them that the gang shooter has now been shot and is being brought in.

The infamous Dr. Kerry Weaver comes to the hospital, confident that Mark is going to hire her as chief resident. The shooter arrives, and for the first time all day (well, second, if you count starting an IV with Harper), Carter proves useful. It only lasts for a minute, as he soon starts to feel sick. Once the patient is stable, Malik teases Carter about the smell in the room, causing him to pass out.

Jimmy’s stable and will be okay, though Susan decides not to give his brother details on how he was stabilize. The shooter doesn’t make it, and Benton tells Carter to sew him up. He needs to be there at 5 the next morning for surgery. Carol tells Shep and Raul that the shooter didn’t make it, then asks if she can do her ride-along with them next week. Both guys say yes, and Shep is especially looking forward to it. Doug teases Carol about that.

Susan complains to Mark that her cardiac patient still hasn’t gone to cardiology. She tells him he needs to do something about the length of time it takes to transfer patients. Benton has heard that Mark hired Weaver and thinks it’s a good idea. Susan’s surprised that Mark didn’t pick Jane, and then didn’t tell her he didn’t hire Jane. Mark snaps that it was his decision. He’s trying to leave for the night, but Jerry reminds him that the med students are still waiting for him.

Mrs. Constantine has stabilized, and she’s grateful to Harper for her kind treatment. Her son brought her cello to her, and she wants to thank Harper with a musical performance. Mrs. Constantine plays beautifully, bringing peace to the ER for the first time all day. Along with Chuny, who works in the ER now, Carter helps clean up the shooter’s body. Carol finds him later and acknowledges that he had a tough day. He tells her he did a pediatric rotation at another hospital over the summer, then spent a few weeks in St. Bart’s. MUST BE NICE.

Mark makes his train to Milwaukee with moments to spare, so that’s still going on. Chloe and Susie are still staying with Susan, but they have a good routine going – Susie goes to daycare while Chloe takes classes, and the three spend the evenings together. Chloe has gotten over her earlier hesitance with the baby and is doing well in the parenting department.

Benton and Jeanie’s awkwardness with each other at work is just a smoke screen – they’re sleeping together. She leaves just before midnight, trying to get home before her husband gets off work. Jeanie and Benton have progressed to the “I love you” stage of the relationship, or at least Jeanie has. Peter just goes back to sleep, which means the writers lulled me into a false sense of security – they fooled me by not starting the episode with someone sleeping, then ended it that way.

Thoughts: Harper is played by Christine Elise.

Laura Innes (Weaver) was originally only supposed to be in six episodes. She wound up appearing in almost 250.

Benton gets a turkey sandwich, but isn’t he a vegetarian? Oh, right, early-seasons continuity. Not important.

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