April 30, 2019

ER 3.20, Random Acts: Who Among Us Hasn’t Wanted to Punch Mark in the Face?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 4:51 pm by Jenn

Nice makeup job here

Summary: Doug and Mark are playing golf, though Mark isn’t very good at it. Doug thinks he needs to play more, to really lean into that “all doctors play golf” stereotype. At County, Hicks tells Benton that he’s been invited to help out with a transplant operation. Benton nicely asks if Carter can help out, too. Al wakes Jeanie up on his couch; she spent the night after having a little meltdown. He tells her his medication has changed because of some resistance. She suggests new medications, but he’ll have to enroll in a study to get them. Jeanie offers to help him with that, though it’ll require her to talk to Greg.

At County, Carol is reading aloud from some story Jerry found at the admit desk. It’s trashy romance, and the characters are all based on ER staff. A psych patient causes a ruckus, telling Mark that chaos is his destiny. Benton meets Carla for a doctor’s appointment, and she tells him she’s no longer going to Lamaze classes with him, since he acts like a drill sergeant. Coburn’s running really late, so Carla tells Benton to go back to work.

Randi denies authorship of the story, since she wouldn’t produce something with so many typos. Mark spots Doug discussing golf with Anspaugh and wonders if he’s trying to butter up Anspaugh for work. Chuny and Randi say he’s trying to get an invitation for a golf game at an exclusive country club. Mark is supposed to go to a meeting at Rachel’s school, but he gets sidetracked by a patient.

Jeanie asks Greg if there’s an opening in the study Al wants to be in. Greg invites her to dinner, but Jeanie declines, and not for the first time. She admits that she’s looking for a study slot for Al, not herself. Mark oversees as Doyle stitches up a girl named Alyssa whose father doesn’t want Mark to leave his daughter’s care to a student. Mark promises that Doyle is capable of the job and can consult with a senior doctor if necessary. Mark and the dad bicker a little, but Mark leaves anyway.

Carter prepares a young man named Carl for surgery to donate a kidney to his sister, Jean. Jean jokes that she offered to trade her stereo for the organ. The siblings have a great relationship and are concerned about each other’s treatment. Chris Law shows up looking for Mark, wanting to discuss some paperwork.

Doug practices his putting while Carol continues enjoying the romance story in the lounge. Doug’s character is immediately identifiable as him. Anspaugh asks Doug to take care of the son of a country club member, noting that good treatment might lead to an invitation to play at the club. Carol asks to tag along as his guest, then says she couldn’t go, since the club doesn’t allow women, black people, or Jews. In denial, Doug says they’ve changed those rules.

Returning from the meeting at Rachel’s school, Mark runs into Chris in the hospital parking lot. He’s upset that his mother received a hospital bill, since Kenny didn’t survive. He blames the hospital for killing Chris, and he’s also not happy that they lost the body, so his funeral had to be delayed two days. No one’s paying the bill until the hospital apologizes. If they send another bill, Chris will have to fight someone, maybe Mark.

Mark shares the encounter with Doug later, and Doug suggests alerting security, but Mark brushes it off. While Doug tends to Peter, Anspaugh’s VIP patient, Benton and Carter assist with Carl and Jean’s transplant operations. Carter gets to take Carl’s kidney to his sister, which makes Benton nervous. Carter takes the task very seriously, makes the other surgeon laugh, and is allowed to scrub in for the transplant.

While talking to Peter, Doug gets curious about how often the boy falls down. He does a quick test that tells him something about the boy’s eyesight. Carol catches Weaver taking a peek at the romance story, where her character isn’t written very nicely. Carol tells her it’s not supposed to be taken so seriously. Then she gets the idea that Weaver wrote the story. Weaver says she didn’t.

Paramedic Pam rushes in with her grandfather. She stopped by to see him on her day off, and her recent training on stroke protocol makes her think he had one. Jean’s surgery goes well, but Carl starts to decline while his surgeon is closing up. Carol thinks Doug ran more tests than necessary on Peter, but an ophthalmologist confirms Doug’s suspicion that the boy has a genetic disorder that could lead to blindness.

Mark and Weaver tend to Pam’s grandfather, Ralph, whom everyone calls Gramps. Pam asks if they’re going to give him TPA, the usual treatment for a stroke. After she leaves to make a call, Weaver tells Mark that she thought this would happen – people who learn about strokes now think TPA is a miracle cure when it can actually make things worse. Mark tells her they’ll follow protocol, but he’s on the stroke team and Weaver isn’t. He promises he won’t administer TPA if Gramps isn’t the right candidate for it.

Jeanie preps Al for his interview for the drug study, though he doesn’t think he deserves her help. She tells him they’re friends, and this is what friends do. Mark tells Weaver that Gramps is a candidate for TPA, but Weaver still won’t sign off. Mark asks her to tell Pam about the risks and prepare her for the possibility that her grandfather will die. She should hear it from someone who isn’t going to push her into a treatment.

Carl is stabilized, and Benton and Carter are invited to a post-op debrief with the other surgeons. Greg asks to interview Al personally, which is a really, really bad idea. He digs into how Al contracted HIV and whether he’s living with anyone. He’s not, which is a strike against him, since the study requires a strict regimen. Al says his ex-wife is around to provide backup if he needs it; in fact, she’s back in his life. Greg tries not to die inside.

Pam agrees to the TPA, so Mark administers it. In the surgeons’ debrief, they go over the two operations to determine how they can perform them better in the future. Carter excuses himself to go check on Jean. Weaver, Jerry, Doyle, and Randi have decided that Carol wrote the romance story. Carol thinks Weaver’s trying to throw suspicion off of herself. Doyle says it had to be written by “an incurable romantic who is very warped.” Carol says she’s not warped.

Doug sends Peter and his parents off to a specialist, advising them to make sure he knows his condition isn’t his fault. Carol and Anspaugh both look on, impressed. Carol apologizes for accusing Doug of ordering unnecessary tests, but nowadays, he’s so glib that she’s never sure what’s real with him. Lydia passes by and congratulates Carol for writing a great book. Doug jokes that she stole the idea from him.

Carter tells Jean that Carl had some complications but is going to be okay. Carter’s going to see if the two can be put in the same room. Weaver introduces Doug to Anna Del Amico, a new resident doing an emergency pediatric elective before she starts work in a few months. Greg tells Jeanie that Al has been accepted into the trial. Now he knows why Jeanie has been resistant to going out with him. He thinks Al manipulated Jeanie into helping him get new meds. Jeanie admits that she doesn’t know if she still loves him.

In the bathroom, Mark runs into Jerry, who asks if Carol has ever expressed any interest in him. Jerry’s character in the romance story is portrayed in a very flattering way, and since Jerry thinks Carol wrote the book, he believes she’s into him. Mark asks if Carol’s ever said anything about him.

Jerry leaves, and moments later, someone emerges from a stall and attacks Mark. He slams Mark’s head into a mirror and throws him in a stall. Mark gets up to leave, but the attacker pounces again, pounding on Mark some more and stomping on his hand. Mark loses consciousness and bleeds on the bathroom floor.

Right outside, Weaver, Doyle, and Chuny discuss the story. Chuny doesn’t like how she was portrayed. She walks right by the bathroom door just as she and Weaver are wondering where Mark is. Carl and Jean are reunited, but Benton chastises Carter for missing the debriefing. Once again, Carter has focused on his patients’ well-being instead of the medicine. Benton gets a message from Carla, who called from Coburn’s office.

Doug heads into the bathroom and is shocked to find Mark unconscious and covered in blood. Anna helps him check Mark over. The two of them, Weaver, Lydia, and Malik rush him to a trauma room, chasing Chuny out after she gets emotional at the sight of her ex. Coburn tells Benton that Carla started having contractions, so she’s being admitted in hopes of preventing early labor (she has eight weeks to go). Carla tells Benton that she thinks she knows when the baby was conceived. He’s already figured it out. They agree that it seems like a long time ago.

Jeanie and Al are back at his place, wishing they hadn’t taken their previous relationship for granted. They won’t be doing that anymore. She kisses him, so it looks like Greg is officially out of luck. Things start getting more physical, and Al rushes out to buy condoms. She laughs, something he’s missed while they were apart.

Mark’s mostly okay, other than a broken hand, but no one knows who attacked him. Randi brings up Chris, and Doyle says a psych patient kind of threatened Mark. Anna goes to take care of one of Doug’s patients so Doug can stay with Mark. Weaver tells Anna it’s not usually this crazy in the ER, which is a total lie. She sends everyone off to do their jobs instead of waiting for news on Mark.

Weaver heads next door, where Gramps is doing much better. Weaver admits that Mark made the right call. Carol tries to calm Doug, who’s anxious about his friend. When Mark regains consciousness, Mark and Carol are with him and assure him that he’ll be okay. Doug jokes that he signed Mark up for a double shift that weekend. Mark just wants to know what happened.

Thoughts: Alyssa is played by Heather Matarazzo.

I found Anna boring in the show’s original run, but after rewatching her episodes, I like her.

So of course, the two big questions are who attacked Mark, and who wrote the story? I think someone associated with the Laws had to be responsible for the attack. It’s too much of a coincidence of them not to have been. And I really don’t know who wrote the story, but I wish the show had revealed that.

1 Comment »

  1. AEY said,

    I always thought we were supposed to assume Weaver wrote the book, with her being the one who kept asking the others about their thoughts on it, and that shot of her slyly grinning over the end credits. But I also wish they’d really confirmed it on screen. Would’ve definitely been an interesting reveal if it was her.


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