March 26, 2019

ER 3.15, The Long Way Around: It’s the Ewan McGregor Episode!

Posted in TV tagged , at 4:58 pm by Jenn

Someone actually put Ewan McGregor on TV looking like this. And he became famous anyway!

Summary: Carol’s asleep – drink! She wakes up early to a call from her mother, who doesn’t know that Carol’s been suspended from work. She leaves her house, saying hi to her mailman and to a neighborhood kid, Robert. The mailman reminds her that it’s Valentine’s Day. Carol goes to a convenience store run by a Mr. and Mrs. Novotny. As she goes to the back of the store, she hears Mrs. Novotny loudly asking someone to leave. Two men (one of them a pre-fame Ewan McGregor) are robbing her.

A deliveryman named Dave gets too close, so Ewan (whose character’s name is Duncan) points a gun at him. Now everyone in the store knows that there’s an armed robbery in progress. The other robber, James, tells Duncan to make everyone get on the ground while he empties the cash register. Everyone cooperates, and it looks like the robbery will be over shortly, since Duncan and James are happy with what they’re able to steal. But then Mr. Novotny emerges from the back of the store with a gun of his own, and the situation takes a turn for the worst.

Another customer tries to enter the store, and Mr. Novotny yells for him to leave. James fires at the customer, so Mr. Novotny shoots James. Duncan shoots Mr. Novotny a few times, then a coffee pot, for some reason. Duncan looks outside and sees a police car down the street. He and James try to leave through the store’s back door, but Mrs. Novotny is too distraught over her husband’s injuries to give them the key.

Carol notices Robert hiding under a pinball machine as Duncan tells everyone to keep quiet and stay where they are. The customer James shot at must have alerted the police, because they swarm the store. A simple robbery has turned into a hostage situation. Duncan knows he’s in over his head, but James is focused on keeping control of the hostages.

Carol quietly tries to get Robert to move behind some crates before the robbers can see him. She’s too late, and Duncan busts her for talking. He tells Robert to come closer, and when Robert tries to resist, Carol gently tells him it’s okay. The police start trying to communicate outside as James and Duncan tell Mrs. Novotny to stop yelling about her husband’s injuries. Carol offers up her nursing skills, so Duncan sends her to tend to James’ gunshot wound instead.

Duncan turns on another customer, Angie, who’s gone from being scared to being ticked off that her day is starting out like this. Duncan looks around the store, making James worry that he’s going to take off alone. The phone rings, and James decides that they shouldn’t answer it. Duncan checks on Dave and an older man named Mr. Duzak, who thinks Duncan should answer the phone. James asks for a minute to think.

Carol tells him that Mr. Novotny’s bullet may have hit James’ kidney, and he needs more medical care than she can give him. He tells her to use whatever she can find in the store to fix him up. He keeps Robert with him while Carol tells Duncan that James (who happens to be Duncan’s American cousin) will bleed to death if he doesn’t go to a hospital.

The phone finally stops ringing as Carol gathers some supplies and goes back to James at the front of the store. James tells Duncan to barricade the door, as more police are arriving. Duncan makes Dave help him move a shelf, crowing about how America is great because everyone has a job. He asks Angie if she does, and she says she’s a first-grade teacher. He says it’s nice that she can teach kids the right things to do from a young age. Angie sasses that no one got to Duncan early enough to make him a good person.

Carol does what she can for James, then goes to take care of Mr. Novotny. He needs CPR, and Carol asks Mrs. Novotny to help her. James notices that the police are moving their cars around outside, and he wonders why. Carol asks for more help with Mr. Novotny, but James still wants everyone to stay where they are. Carol turns to Duncan instead, telling him that he doesn’t want a death on his hands. Duncan allows Angie to help give Mr. Novotny CPR while Carol and Robert get more supplies.

The phone starts ringing again, and the police use a megaphone to ask for information on what’s going on inside. She uses alcohol and straws to create an airway in Mr. Novotny’s throat. Duncan and James turn on each other, angry that things have gone in this direction. Duncan blames James for the mess, since the robbery was his idea in the first place.

Carol gets Mr. Novotny breathing again, determined to save him no matter how bad things look. Carol asks for an icepick, which Duncan brings over, wanting to do anything he can to keep from being arrested for murder. Carol needs a different kind of straw, and Angie suggests one from a juice box. Carol wants to insert a chest tube, but as a nurse, it’s not something she’s that familiar with. She begs the robbers to let a doctor come in, but James won’t allow it.

Carol and her makeshift staff use tampons, duct tape, and a plastic bag to create a chest tube, but then Mr. Novotny’s pulse stops. Carol tries CPR, still desperate to save him, but Duncan knows it’s too late. Mrs. Novotny puts her hands on top of Carol’s and makes her stop giving chest compressions.

As Dave takes Mr. Novotny’s body to the back of the store, Robert begs to be allowed to use the bathroom before he throws up. Duncan’s sure there’s no way out the back of the store, so he lets Robert go. In the back office, Carol tells Duncan again that they need to take James to the hospital. Duncan knows he’ll end up in jail, but Carol thinks he’ll get a light sentence since he’s never killed anyone before. Duncan asks how she can be so sure of that.

Duncan and Dave leave, and as Carol’s following them out of the office, a guy hiding behind some shelves makes himself known. His name is Javier, and he’s found the back door out of the store, but it’s locked. He also has a bat, which Carol sharply tells him not to use, since it’s no match for James and Duncan’s guns. She tells him to stay put.

James has decided to answer the phone and ask the police for a getaway vehicle. Duncan tells him to ask for medical supplies instead, but James knows a cop would bring them in. He tells Duncan to tie up Dave and to stop letting Carol walk around the store whenever she wants. Duncan says she’s just trying to help people. Carol gives Angie an ice pack, which she needs for the burn she sustained when Duncan shot the coffee pot. She sasses him for it, and James jokes that he should shoot some milk next time.

Duncan says there won’t be a next time – he’s not listening to James anymore. This was supposed to be a simple robbery, and now look where they are. While the cousins fight, Carol quietly asks Mrs. Novotny where the key to the back door is, so she can get it to Javier. It’s under the front counter, and Mrs. Novotny offers to try to get it.

As James notices that Robert is still in the bathroom, a police officer outside asks to speak to one of the hostages. Carol examines Mr. Duzak, who has a wrist injury, and suggests that he drink some alcohol to help with the pain before she fixes it. He declines, as he’s a recovering alcoholic. Mrs. Novotny says she has aspirin behind the front counter, but Duncan sends her to get some from the aisle where it’s sold.

Angie makes another comment about Duncan’s trigger finger, and James starts making jokes about what else Duncan can shoot. Mrs. Novotny shuts him down by reminding him that her husband is now dead because of the cousins. Duncan is clearly affected by this, but he turns on James, pointing out that James is alive because Duncan killed the man who shot him.

Duncan decides to go check on Robert, but Robert won’t respond when Duncan knocks on the bathroom door. Carol gets through to him and promises that the police will eventually get inside and help them. Robert’s worried that Duncan will shoot someone else, but Carol points out that he can’t shoot all the hostages.

On his way back to the others, Duncan goes by Mr. Novotny’s body, taking in what he’s done. He guesses that as a nurse, Carol is used to seeing dead bodies. She says she’s never gotten used to it. Robert comes out of the bathroom, but instead of joining the others, he hides in a freezer case. Duncan pulls him out and makes him play pinball so Duncan can always hear where he is. If he doesn’t hear the machine, he’ll shoot.

The phone is ringing again, and Duncan finally answers it. He requests a getaway vehicle and says that they don’t need medical help, since Carol’s doing fine on her own. Suddenly, he sees that Robert has climbed up on the pinball machine and is trying to escape through the ceiling. Duncan tries to follow but falls on the pinball machine and cuts up his face. Now Carol has another patient to tend to.

Duncan knows Robert is going to go tell the police everything that’s happening inside. Carol tells him that James is the bigger problem right now; she’s not sure how much time he has left before he really needs to go to the hospital. Duncan tells her to shut up, but she tells him not to talk to her like that, since she’s trying to help him. She asks for glue to close his wounds, and Mrs. Novotny says there’s some behind the front counter.

While the rest of the group discusses the possibility of using a boat as a getaway vehicle, Carol is able to get the key to the back door without anyone noticing. She tells Duncan it’s time for him and James to give up. The cousins talk about an island in Scotland where Duncan wants to go, a place where Duncan could have gone instead of America, to get a new start. Carol can relate to his feeling of wanting to do something more with his life.

James says that they just came in for money so they could have a better life. Duncan doesn’t care about their intentions – he’s a killer now, and James can’t understand what that feels like. Carol can, though. Duncan doesn’t think the cops will be as forgiving of his actions as Carol thinks, no matter how accidental Mr. Novotny’s death was.

Javier sneaks out of the back room, ready to attack, but James spots him and warns Duncan. Duncan pulls his gun, but Carol jumps in front of Javier. She tells Duncan that if he shoots someone else, this time it won’t be accidental. When Javier admits that there’s a back door, Carol gives Duncan the keys and tells him to make his escape.

Duncan asks Mrs. Novotny where the door leads. There’s a building behind the store, and the door will take him to a fire escape. He tells Carol she’s coming along. Duncan says goodbye to James, promising that he’ll get medical attention soon. Duncan and Carol climb the fire escape and go through someone’s apartment, which Duncan calls “taking the long way around.”

They make it to an alley behind the buildings, and Duncan’s pleased that they’ve gotten away. Carol tells him that when they get to the end of the alley, he needs to let her go. He decides he’d be better off running on his own anyway. A police officer stops them, and Duncan takes off as Carol yells at him not to run. The cop threatens to shoot, and when Duncan doesn’t stop, he gets shot in the back. Carol rushes to try to help him.

She rides with him to the hospital, still trying to give him CPR as he’s taken to the ER. Doug takes over, and Carol tells Duncan to hold on and keeping thinking about all the places he’s been wanting to see. In the next trauma room, Weaver runs James’ trauma, declining to help when Carol asks her to give Duncan a chest tube.

Carol goes back to Duncan for more CPR, continuing to help out with the trauma even after Weaver tries to dismiss her. Things don’t look good, and Carol can tell this is another man she was unable to save. As James goes to surgery, probably on his way to recovery, Duncan’s trauma team reaches 25 minutes since they started working on him. Carol puts her hand on Doug’s like Mrs. Novotny did to her and declares time of death.

Jerry lets her know that most of the other hostages were taken to another hospital, but Angie’s in the ER. She starts crying when she sees Carol, who tries to comfort her. Angie reports that Robert came back down from the ceiling, totally fine. She’s more shaken up than she thought she would be, but she’s happy everyone’s safe. She’s glad Carol was in the store, because no one else there could have done what she did.

Doug checks on Carol, not wanting her to just dismiss his concern and say she’s okay. He tells her everyone was worried when they found out she was in the store. She apologizes for being so assertive during Duncan’s trauma, but Doug only cares that she’s okay. She goes back to Duncan’s trauma room and spends a few moments looking at his body, then gets her things and starts to leave. Weaver goes after her and asks if she needs anything. Carol says she’s fine, and she’s missed being at work because she loves her job. Then she heads home like she’s leaving any other shift she’s ever worked.

Thoughts: Angie is played by Marisol Nichols.

This episode was a big gamble, with Carol being the only known character for so much of it. But it works.

How do all these people know each other’s names? How does Carol know the names of her mailman and the people who run her neighborhood convenience store?

Let’s talk about Ewan McGregor’s hair in this episode. It’s very…not good.

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