August 28, 2018

ER 2.7, Hell and High Water: It’s a Bad Day to Be a Child in Chicago

Posted in TV tagged , , at 5:02 pm by Jenn

“Are you getting my good side? Make sure you get my good side. …Hahaha, like I have a bad side!”

Summary: Doug is in a waiting room, surrounded by children, circumstances that should make him feel more comfortable than he is. He’s there to interview for a job, and he doesn’t appreciate all the questions the kids around him are asking. At County, it’s business as usual – Mark is about to chat with a patient, Mrs. Riblet, who’s partaking in her glaucoma medication in the exam room. Connie confiscates it and says she misses the ’60s.

Jerry has discovered the magic of the Internet, and is using a CD-ROM (kids, ask your parents) and modem to connect with Mt. Sinai so the hospitals can pool their resources. Carter gives Jeanie some instructions on how best to deal with Benton, as if she doesn’t already know how impatient and prickly he can be. Harper and Carter greet each other politely but aren’t exactly warm with each other, thanks to their recent argument.

A girl named Molly Phillips is brought in after a hit-and-run, and since Doug is off at his interview, Benton runs the trauma. Carter’s able to answer Benton’s pop-quiz questions, but Harper struggles. When Carter takes a stab at a question and gets it wrong, he’s knocked down a peg. Then Harper makes a good call, and she’s back in Benton’s good graces. Carter is jealous. Meanwhile, the private-practice job Doug is interviewing for turns out to be exactly what he wants.

Back at County, Molly’s stable but has a bad leg fracture. Carter gets knocked down another peg when Jeanie reads the x-ray correctly and impresses Morgenstern. Doug arrives and tells Mark and Carol that he’s taking the private-practice job. Carol asks if it’s what he really wants. Doug notes that he doesn’t have a choice. Molly regains consciousness, and Harper tries to reassure her that everything will be okay. Benton leaves her and Carter in charge of the girl.

Mark examines Mrs. Riblet’s eyes, which appear to be free of the glaucoma she says she needs pot for. She complains of having a floating feeling, which coincidentally started the same time she started smoking. Hmmm, I wonder if there’s a connection? Linda tries to help Jerry with a computer problem as Mark hands over Mrs. Riblet’s pot. She tells Jerry he’s free to help himself. Linda’s there to drop off a costume for Doug, since they’re dressing up for a trip to the opera. Jerry passes along the pot to Doug, thinking he can use it more than Jerry can.

Benton gives Jeanie an assignment, leaving out the words “please,” “thank you,” and “I am going to treat you with respect as long as we’re working together.” Maybe he should smoke Mrs. Riblet’s pot. The connection between County and Mt. Sinai’s computers allows Carol to play Doom, a hobby I, for one, am surprised to learn she has.

Molly’s parents arrive and promise to stay with her while she’s in the hospital. She’d also like it if Mr. Phillips would move back home. He blames his wife for the accident, since she let Molly ride her bike in the rain. Mrs. Phillips shoots back that he could keep an eye on their daughter if he spent less time at the office with Sarah. Harper tries to place peacemaker, and Carter compliments her.

Doug is driving to meet Linda when he gets a flat tire. Since it’s a time before everyone had a cell phone, and he doesn’t want to walk for help in the rain, he decides to try to relax with Mrs. Riblet’s joint. Just as he’s lighting up, a boy runs up to his window, screaming for help. The boy, Joey, takes Doug to a storm drain as he explains that he and his brother were playing in the tunnels. His brother, Ben, injured his leg and is stuck by a grate. The water level is rising because of the pouring rain.

Ben starts crying over the possibility of a broken leg and the fact that he’s trapped. Doug tries to free him while talking about how he also played in the tunnels as a kid. He sends Joey to call 911, since the grate is locked and prevents Doug from getting close enough to Ben to rescue him. He tells Ben to curl up in a ball to stay warm while Doug goes to see if there’s another way into the drain.

Doug climbs up to the top of the tunnel but can’t make it in through the blocked grate up there. He goes back to Ben and makes sure he’s not too cold. The water is now up to Ben’s chin, and he’s having trouble staying conscious. Doug suggests that they sing to keep Ben awake. The two sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” and it’s clear that Clooney didn’t inherit his aunt’s singing talents.

Doug tells Ben to keep singing while he goes back out to get some supplies from his car. Joey returns, having been unable to find a phone. Doug smashes the window of a building and sends Joey inside to find a phone there. Then he returns to Ben, who’s still conscious. Doug thinks he can use a jack from his car to wedge the grate apart. As he works, the two talk about the Cubs. Doug doesn’t like the boy’s taste in players, so he suggests that they go to a game together next season.

The jack has done what Doug hoped it would, but Ben isn’t strong enough to move himself. Doug orders him to hold on. As Doug’s trying to force the grate apart, Ben slips away in the rushing water. Finally, Doug breaks down the gate and heads off after Ben. They end up in hip-deep water, which Doug carries Ben out of. A helicopter hovering overhead provides him with the light he needs to see what he’s doing to give Ben CPR.

Mark has taken over for Carol at the computer, so I guess it’s a slow night. Jeanie diagnoses one of Benton’s patients, not bothering to hide her pride at how good she is at her job. Molly gives Harper a beaded necklace she made in school as she’s taken to have some lacerations on her face repaired. Her parents fight about who her plastic surgeon should be, because that’s productive.

Doug is still doing CPR when Joey arrives with a police officer. An ambulance is coming, but Doug wants to move quickly. He thinks the helicopter above them, which is from a TV station, is a better idea. He promises Joey that he’s not going to let Ben die, even though that means using a pen to cut a hole in Ben’s airway so he can breathe.

The ambulance arrives, and Doug uses its supplies to keep helping Ben. The helicopter lands, and Joey tells the reporter and cameraman on board that Doug saved his brother. The closest hospital doesn’t have a level-one trauma center, and it would take 12 minutes to get there, so Doug again thinks of the helicopter. It would take 15 minutes to fly to County, and the helicopter isn’t equipped for medical transport, but Doug thinks it’s the better option. He takes more supplies from the ambulance, then gets Ben on the helicopter.

The reporter leaves his cameraman behind but takes the camera to film the flight himself. They’re on live TV when Doug asks the pilot to patch him through to County. This is how Carol and Mark learn of the rescue. Jerry notices the live news report and turns up the volume on the TV. The County staff get to watch in real time as Doug continues working on Ben. Mark sends everyone to prepare for his treatment when he arrives.

Ben’s heart rhythm is abnormal, and the defibrillator Doug took from the ambulance isn’t working (come on, EMTs!), so Doug has to ask the reporter for help. The reporter puts down the camera, cutting the live feed. Doug also loses the call to County, so he tells the pilot to get back on the line and let Mark know they’ll be landing on the roof. Without the live feed from the helicopter, reporters are now speculating that the rescue effort may have failed. Mark realizes that one medical reporter is right outside the hospital. “Ugh, TV doctors,” Carol metas.

Molly plays cards with Harper while she waits for surgery. She complains of stomach pain, but Benton thinks it’s just bruising. Reporters swarm the hospital, trying to get information out of Mark as he heads up to the roof. He ignores them until one asks if he questions Doug’s decision to fly Ben to the hospital instead of going in the ambulance. “Not for a second,” Mark says firmly in defense of his friend.

As soon as the helicopter lands, Mark and Carol join Doug to help him stabilize Ben. The reporter starts filming again, but he stays on the roof when the doctors take their patient inside. Meanwhile, Molly’s also doing poorly, so it looks like her “bruising” was more serious than Benton thought.

Mark sends Doug to change out of his wet clothes and warm up, but Doug wants to keep helping. Mark orders him away again, and Doug laments taking Ben on the helicopter. Harper tells Mrs. Phillips that Molly may have internal bleeding. Benton and Carter work together to help her. Now in dry scrubs, Doug heads back to Ben’s trauma room, greeting Joey and his parents on the way. Ben’s heart is beating again, but he’s not warming up quickly enough. Mark considers bypass, and when he asks Morgenstern’s opinion, Morgenstern says he’s senior enough to make the call on his own.

Next door, Benton and Carter have to perform an emergency procedure on Molly. Harper takes Mrs. Phillips away from the room so she doesn’t have to watch. Mark joins Benton and Carter, sending Benton over to help with Ben instead. Harper comes back and watches Molly’s treatment with worry. Doug tells Ben again to hold on as they try Mark’s suggestion. Unfortunately, Molly couldn’t hold on, and Mark declares her dead. Harper is crushed.

Ben wakes up, and Doug tells him he made it. Mark wants Doug to get a cut on his forehead checked out, but Doug would rather make sure Ben’s okay first. As the Phillipses leave the hospital in shock and grief, a reporter mistakes them for Ben’s parents and asks how they feel about Doug bringing their child to a hospital that wasn’t closest to the scene. Carter shuts down the interview and sees the Phillipses out.

Mark is fixing up Doug’s cuts and scrapes when Joey and his parents come in to see Ben. Joey’s pleased that Doug saved Ben just as he promised. Doug reminds Ben that they’ll be going to see the Cubs together. He thanks Mark, who says Doug did all the hard work. Doug thinks he got lucky, but Mark credits Doug’s familiarity with kids for his success. The two of them head out for the night, though Doug’s car is still in the park. He and Mark walk outside and are greeted by a crowd of reporters who want to talk to Chicago’s newest hero.

Thoughts: Ben is played by Erik von Detten.

Clooney spends most of the episode in formal wear. Thank you, wardrobe department.

Even after all these years, the shot of Doug finally finding Ben and lifting him out of the water is still really cool.

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