December 18, 2018

ER 3.1, Dr. Carter, I Presume: Who Wouldn’t Want This Inexperienced Doof in Charge of Their Medical Care?

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

A nice, angst-free moment

Summary: Carter arrives for his first day as an intern at 5:45 a.m. on July 4th. Basically the only thing that’s changed is that now he has a locker and a white coat. He’s in for a ton of hard work, but Susan thinks he’s up for it. He meets his fellow interns, who include Dale and Dennis Gant. The group then meets their supervisor, Dr. Melvoin, who tells them all the places they have to be and when. They won’t be sleeping much this year, and they have no idea what they’re in for. Also, Benton is their boss, and they’ll never be able to please him. So…things are going to go great!

A little over an hour later, Benton arrives for work, running into Jeanie. She reveals that she tested positive for HIV. Benton hasn’t gotten his results back yet, but they’re due back today. Jeanie lets him know that she’s going to tell Mark her news. Benton doesn’t know what to say. Doug and Mark play handball in a park and talk about how Mark has been going on dates. So apparently things with Iris didn’t work out.

Benton quizzes his interns on some stuff, settling on Dale as the most competent of the group. He barely acknowledges Carter’s existence, only paying attention to him to assign him to the ER for the day. Chuny tells Lydia she heard a rumor that County is closing down because of budget cuts. Carol, who is inexplicably back after quitting in the last episode, is worried that she’ll lose her income.

Susan interprets Carter’s assignment to the ER as a sign that Benton trusts him. Lydia isn’t so sure that Carter should be responsible for surgical assessments. Mark and Weaver discuss administrative stuff, which she’s more than eager to revamp. She has a new method for keeping track of patients’ conditions while protecting their confidentiality. Carol hopes she’s kidding.

Carter’s first patient as a real doctor is an annoyed woman with abdominal pain. He doesn’t see the need to give her a close exam, since she’s had abdominal surgery before and most likely just has adhesions. Benton stops by and chastises Carter for taking so long and letting more patients pile up. Carter says that his patient needs surgery, so it’s not like he was slacking off. Behind his back, Lydia shakes her head. Benton makes him do the rectal exam he was trying to get out of doing.

Carter complains loudly about the new board, and of course Weaver overhears. He goes to a trauma room to do a procedure on a patient, getting eyerolls from Susan and Mark when he calls a nurse “nurse” instead of using her name. He has trouble with the procedure, accidentally nicking the patient’s lung. Benton takes over, so Carter sulks out of the room. 12 hours into Carter’s first shift, Susan looks over travel brochures for tropical, exotic locations. Everyone’s having trouble with Weaver’s new board procedures except Benton, who simply read and memorized Weaver’s notes.

As he gets a message that his test results are in, Jeanie goes to County’s HIV-AIDS clinic to get started on her treatment. She chats with a man in the crowded waiting room who advises her to get treatment someplace where no one knows her. He was a surgical tech at a different hospital, and when management found out he was sick, he was given awful assignments. It’s not legal for an HIV-positive worker to be fired for his or her status, but management can make their lives miserable however they want.

Benton’s test was negative, though it’s hard to tell because he doesn’t make any facial expressions when he gets the news. It’s only clear he’s okay when Carter asks if he is, and Benton says yes. Everyone’s excited for a staff July 4th party that afternoon; Mark tells Doug that they’re playing softball against some paramedics. A nurse calls out, and Carol begs for someone to fill in since she’s supposed to play in the game. Haleh teases that she can always quit again. Lily offers to stay a little late if Carol comes back early. Carter asks her to bring him back a bunch of food.

Melvoin warns Carter that he’s in for a lot of victims of violence tonight. Carter realizes that he’s covering both the surgical floor and the ER on his own. That seems like a great idea for a guy who became a doctor just weeks ago. Benton goes to a barbeque at Jackie and Walt’s house, happy to be healthy. Jackie thinks he’s less interested in spending time with family than he is in hanging out with an old friend of his, Carla Reese. And by “old friend” I mean “woman he used to hook up with.” She’s still interested in him.

Weaver asks Jeanie if she ever got tested for HIV after Al tested positive. Jeanie lies that she’s negative. Jerry pitches for County at the game, but no one’s happy with his performance. County’s losing 17 to 3. Carol spots Shep, who’s moved out in the wake of their breakup, and has seemingly already found a new girlfriend. The players pause for some fireworks, wondering who’s in charge at the hospital.

That would be Weaver, who’s overseeing a trauma with Carter. He finally gets some sleep, but Haleh wakes up at 3:05 a.m. to ask if she can give a patient some Tylenol. Moments later, she asks about feeding a patient. This appears to be a game the nurses play with doctors who need to be knocked down a few pegs. Connie continues the game by paging Carter to the ER, then having everyone pretend they weren’t responsible for the page. Weaver tells him to apologize immediately for whatever he might have done to earn the nurses’ wrath.

Carter’s brand-new coat gets bloody, so he ditches it to go help Weaver and Carol with a patient named Jim. He’s an alcoholic who makes frequent appearances in the ER. Malik tries to get Carter to go somewhere, and Carter gets annoyed with him and snaps at him. Jim gets revenge on Malik’s behalf by throwing up all over Carter.

Carter then has to run to the surgical floor and try to figure out how to treat a post-op patient who’s doing poorly. His two options for treatment are both risky if Carter’s wrong about the patient’s problem. Carter wakes up the attending, Dr. Karubian, who remains in shadows in a dark room as he gives Carter orders and tells him to go away and shut up.

Weaver pages Carter back to the ER, which is quickly filling up. Carol asks him if he wants dopamine for a patient. “I don’t know! Somebody call the doctor!” Carter yells. Carol reminds him that he’s the doctor. Just as things start calming down, Gant shows up, wanting to lend Carter a hand. They’re stitching up a patient when Carter hits the 24-hour mark on his shift. They head off for another breakfast and humiliation session with Benton.

Benton is just arriving, and tells Jeanie that he tested negative. She asks if he’s told anyone about her status. She’s decided not to tell anyone. Benton isn’t sure he can keep this a secret, even if it means that Jeanie’s personal life would be out there for everyone to know about. Weaver dumps more administrative stuff on Mark, who decides he’s done trying to deal with her nightmare board. He tells everyone they’re going back to the old way of doing things.

Randi gives Doug a bunch of messages from someone named Gretchen who keeps calling for him. Mark, Susan, and Carol tease him, asking what kind of bimbo he’s going to bed with now. He surprises them by saying that Gretchen is in mergers and acquisitions at a bank and is a Rhodes Scholar. Haleh and Connie tell Lydia that they’ve tamed Carter, who tries to make up with the nurses by bringing them donuts.

Gretchen comes to see Doug, and he tries to keep her away from his friends so they won’t find out that she’s not who he said she is. It’s too late, though; they already figured he wouldn’t date a Rhodes Scholar. Seconds after they make dinner plans, he calls and leaves her a message canceling.

At 7:55 p.m. on July 5th, Carter is probably starting to feel like he should just live at the hospital. He and Mark are enjoying some sparklers when Carter gets paged to the ER yet again. Mark offers to take the patient so Carter can take a little break. He has two hours left in his monster shift, and Mark knows he’ll survive it.

Thoughts: Gant is played by Omar Epps. Dr. Karubian (well, his voice) is played by David Schwimmer.

Welcome to the season of the Doug/Carol reunion slow burn. Be patient – it’s worth the wait.

It looks like County’s softball team is called the Scrubs. Heh.

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