June 25, 2019

ER 4.6, Ground Zero: Guess Who’s Secretly Rich!

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:06 pm by Jenn

Ick

Summary: Despite still not having a job and just getting in a huge fight with his friend, Al’s in a good mood: He has a lead on a job in Atlanta. He thinks Jeanie would be willing to move there with him. Jeanie’s more realistic about their ability to just start their lives over. Al knows he has no options in Chicago, but in Atlanta, they could keep their HIV statuses quiet.

Carol’s finishing up her grant proposal in preparation for meeting with Carter’s grandmother that night. Mark comes in to work happy – the Kenny Law case has been settled, and he has just one more day of work before a short vacation. He and Carol discuss how many patients the ER sees in year, though she’s not sure they should include the turkeys who aren’t really in need of medical care. He suggests a bet about the ratio of turkeys to real patients over the next 12 hours. A real patient comes in right then, and Mark says Carol’s already winning.

Carter goes by Anna’s apartment, which is probably the smallest living space he’s ever been in. He spots a roach, which she squishes with her shoe. Carter encourages her to report her landlord to the Health Department. Anna comments that Carter seems so middle-class that she wouldn’t have expected him to know how to deal with slumlords. He says his family always had enough to get by and put food on the table. So he’s not lying lying to her about his family’s wealth, he’s just understating it.

Mark and Carol’s patient, Prole, explains that he injured his knee during a performance-art piece. He was doing a twist on William Tell, putting the apple between his legs instead of on his head. Doug notes that he’s lucky the person who shot him (with a bullet, not an arrow) didn’t aim higher. His assistant/photographer/toadie thinks the blood he left on the wall will make a great statement. Prole decides to turn himself into a piece of art and experience everything in his course of treatment without morphine. Mark thinks this makes him a turkey instead of a normal patient.

Benton arrives for an operation that was pushed up without his knowledge. Elizabeth tells him she thought she was doing him a favor by taking something off his plate. She offers to let him do one of her operations instead. Cynthia gives Jeanie a message from Al reminding her of the nice things they’ll get to experience in Atlanta. Anspaugh tells Weaver that an ER management group called Synergix is coming to help them with money issues. She complains to Mark that she’s expected to cut another $98,000 from the already bare-bones budget.

In the process of checking over an unconscious man injured at the gym, Jeanie sees that he has a KKK tattoo. A teen named Danny is brought in from juvenile detention after having a seizure in his cell. Doug pulls Carol out of the room and tells her he thinks Danny’s faking to get some time out of jail. Carol wonders if Doug isn’t just letting all Mark’s talk about turkeys get to him.

Jeanie tries to pass her patient off to Carter, but Mark intervenes and tells her to keep the guy, tattoo or no tattoo. If there’s a problem, Jeanie can call security, because we all know their history of prompt, appropriate responses to emergency. Danny keeps having seizures (allegedly), so Doug asks Carol to prepare an “H20 NA” treatment. Carol says it’s experimental and asks the guard who accompanied Danny if she knows his next of in. Doug says that Danny’s best chance is to stop seizing on his own. He immediately does, thanks to the “experimental” treatment of salt water.

Anna informs a patient named Vinnie that he has gonorrhea. Again. He’s in the “entertainment industry” and often gets tested for other STDs. Anna would rather be anywhere but there. Hey, maybe Jeanie will trade patients with her. Carol mentions to Carter that she’s meeting with his grandmother that night, which Carter forgot about. He cautions her not to mention politics, religion, or baseball.

Mark starts treating a man’s wrist injury, but it’s just a ruse for someone to serve him with papers. Mark thinks it’s for the Kenny Law case, which was settled, but it’s a new suit: Chris is bringing a civil suit against Mark, alleging that he violated Kenny’s civil rights. Weaver attends a Synergix seminar, led by Ellis West, who tries to avoid answering her questions about how, exactly, the company will help County cut costs. Romano enlists Elizabeth to operate on Prole, and it’s clear she doesn’t know him well, because she thinks he’s giving her the case out of the kindness of his heart.

Doug tells Mark that a golfing buddy who’s a judge has recommended a lawyer to help him with Chris’ lawsuit. Mark would rather Doug not talk about his legal issues with other people. Carol overhears and asks Doug what the statute of limitations is on PTSD. They’ve cut Mark plenty of slack – he needs help. Doug says he just needs supportive friends. Carol notes that, with his attitude, Mark soon won’t have anyone left he can call a friend.

Lydia tells Jeanie that her tattooed patient, Lindermulder, is awake and very polite. Yeah, well…Lydia’s white. Jeanie treats him politely but not warmly, and Lindermulder asks for someone else to treat him. No offense, of course. When Jeanie pulls down his gown to inject him in the shoulder, right where his tattoo is, he asks if she’s been saved. Jeanie asks what his tattoo has to do with God. Lindermulder is sorry she had to see it. He keeps it as a reminder of the intolerance he left behind when he was saved. He built a new life, whether or not Jeanie thinks that’s possible.

Weaver tries to talk to West more after the seminar, and he’d be more than happy to meet with her later to discuss whatever she wants. Clothing optional, I assume. Carol treats a patient for Mark’s turkey column, a woman wearing a gas mask and spraying aerosols around her to fight germs. She claims she’s allergic to her apartment building, but Mark thinks she has anxiety and just wants attention.

Benton and Anspaugh operate together, and Anspaugh notes that Benton and Elizabeth seem to be getting along well. Anspaugh has recommended Benton to join Romano’s team, but Benton isn’t interested in Romano’s procedures, which use more technology. Anspaugh points out that he needs to keep up with developments in his job. Out at a restaurant, Weaver tells West that she has to cut 10% of the budget by the next day. She’s reluctant to have to fire someone she considers a friend. West is like, “Yeah, that’s rough. Let’s get coffee and see what happens next.”

The gas mask lady left against medical advice, which Carol blames on Mark. He says it’s not his job to be the patients’ friend. Romano and Elizabeth earn a lot of attention by doing Prole’s surgery, the first of its kind at County. Anspaugh reminds Benton that this is the sort of thing he should be trying to get in on. Paramedics bring in an elderly man named Scarletti who fell in his bathtub. His wife is distressed, but Mark has no patience for her.

Benton and Elizabeth scrub in for more surgery at the same time, and he accuses her of giving him her operation with Anspaugh so she could take the better one with Romano. She tells him that Romano asked her to consult, but he doesn’t seem to believe her. She’s supposed to operate with Anspaugh, but he’s doing another procedure. Elizabeth doesn’t want her schedule to get backed up, so she wonders if Anspaugh would mind if she started without him. Benton basically says he hasn’t minded anything else Elizabeth has done so far.

Carter was supposed to go somewhere with Anna that night, but he tells her he remembered he had to have dinner with his grandmother. Of course, he doesn’t mention that this dinner is at the family’s mansion, where Carol will be asking for a lot of money for her clinic. Lydia calls them over to the ambulance bay, where the gas mask woman is saying she can’t breathe. She won’t let Anna take off her mask.

Mark and Carol discover that Scarletti has inoperable cancer; he found out previously but clearly hasn’t told his wife. A bunch of people try to ask Mark for things, but he brushes them all off to go to Mrs. Scarletti in the waiting area. He wants to take her somewhere quiet to tell her about her husband’s condition, but she’s so focused on going to see him that she doesn’t listen. She’s also hard of hearing, so when Mark says he has no chance of a meaningful recovery, she misunderstands and thinks he’ll be okay. Mark ends up yelling in the middle of the waiting area that Mrs. Scarletti’s husband is going to die.

Doug pulls Mark away for a chat, but Mark runs off with Cynthia on his tail. Anspaugh joins Elizabeth just as she’s finishing her appendectomy (she calls it an appendixectomy, which sounds really weird) and blasts her for operating without an attending. She says she thought there was leeway in a hospital like County. She adds that she was led to believe that it was okay to operate on her own, though she won’t say who led her to believe that.

Doug asks everyone to stop gossiping about Mark, since it’s not helpful. Carol says he’s rejected all the help they’ve tried to give him. She’s leaving but won’t have time to go home and change before her meeting with Carter’s grandmother, so Anna offers to loan her a jacket. She realizes that Carol’s meeting with Carter’s grandmother, and that they’re going to be discussing. Carol reveals that the family is super-rich. Anna asks to tag along for the meeting, since she has experience with grants.

Mark and Cynthia sit by the water, talking about his struggles after his attack. She’s sympathetic, noting that his attacker could have killed him. She thinks that he has trouble asking for help because he’s used to helping others. He agrees and thanks her with a kiss. Back at County, Weaver tells Jeanie that the budget deficit is going to require some aggressive changes. Two PAs need to be let go, and since Jeanie was the last one hired, she’s out. Weaver thinks she can get a job in another department, and the arrangement would only be temporary, but that doesn’t make Jeanie feel any better.

Carol and Anna go to the Carter mansion, which is overwhelmingly fancy. How fancy? The butler lets them into the music room, where there’s a harp. I guess I could have stopped at “butler,” huh? The women quickly get material to tease Carter with when they spot a portrait of him as a teen, riding a horse named Marigold. Carter is…not so happy to realize Anna’s there.

With Cynthia out of the ER and no other clerk around, Lydia’s left answering phones. She uses such gems as, “ER. What do you want?” Doug’s on his way out when she tells him he has a long-distance collect call. He has a short conversation with the caller, asks a couple of questions, and leaves. Carter tries to show his support for Carol, but his grandmother, Millicent, would rather just talk to her one-on-one. Carter and Anna go for a tour of the grounds instead.

Elizabeth confronts Benton for sending her into surgery alone, and he tells her it was payback for starting what was supposed to be his operation early, then sending him to another one so she could do the better procedure. Elizabeth is offended that he would accuse her of being manipulative. Besides, if that was what she wanted, he wouldn’t have been aware of it.

Benton tells her she’s not the only one who likes to operate. Elizabeth argues that she was there and he wasn’t, so she took her opportunity. He says he’ll just have to make sure that opportunity doesn’t come up again. He tells Romano he’ll join his team, and Elizabeth taunts lightly that he just wants to keep an eye on her. Benton smirks that someone needs to.

Carter tells Anna a totally relatable story from his childhood: He used to put the family’s Faberge eggs with his Weebles, “as pets.” He apologizes for not telling her he was rich, but he thought she would turn on him because she’s anti-rich people. Anna says she doesn’t like liars, either. Carter says he wanted her to get to know him apart from his money first. He insists that he doesn’t mind her lower-class life. Anna feels like he was patronizing and doesn’t get how important their wage gap is.

Doug goes to Mark’s place and is surprised to find Cynthia there, clearly having just gotten out of Mark’s bed to answer the door. Mark says he’s fine and doesn’t need a chat. Doug announces that he’s taking a few days off – his father died. He’s as fine about it as Mark is about all of his issues. Mark insists that he stay for some coffee.

Millicent and Carol are getting along well, and Millicent thinks the clinic could be successful. She gives Carol $75,000 without even reading her proposal. She just wants Carol to keep the amount from Carter so she can keep up her “stern” and “unapproachable” façade. Jeanie goes home to Al, who’s all but settled on moving to Atlanta. Jeanie still isn’t sure.

Weaver asks West to meet her at a bar, where she’s drinking to ease the pain of letting Jeanie go. West doesn’t think Jeanie will appreciate the hard work Weaver will have to put in to improve the budget and get Jeanie back to working at County. Doug packs to head off to get his father’s body, saying goodbye to Carol. He’s picking up Mark on his way to the airport so Mark can get out of town for a while. In what seems like it’s probably a rare instance, Doug tells Carol he loves her, without any lead-up or prompting, then drives off.

Thoughts: As if Mark hasn’t already treated Jeanie badly, with digging into her medical records and discovering her HIV status, now he’s made her treat a bigot.

Benton, you can’t refuse to try new things and then get mad when Elizabeth succeeds at them. What are you, seven?

Cynthia’s short-sleeved ribbed turtleneck and plaid skirt are deliciously ’90s.

2 Comments »

  1. Nick Rivers said,

    Ugh, this episode. I get why Anna was pretty pissed with Carter for being deceptive, but he has a really good point too — she would never have been able to see past the rich-boy thing about him and never would have been able to get to know him as plain ole John Carter if she’d known he was from a super wealthy family. That was abundantly clear and if she was comfortable with her own blue-collar upbringing and/or her own financial situation currently (I mean, you don’t hear Doug constantly bitching about his huge debt though it was mentioned recently when Carol talked about going to med school) it shouldn’t have been an issue. They were both assholes in this situation but at least Carter copped to being a jerk. Anna never acknowledged being a jerk.

    I actually thought Mark’s handling of the Jeanie/Lindermulder situation wasn’t abnormal. They’ve all had to deal with racists and bigots who come into the ER and they don’t get to pass them off because one has a tattoo they don’t like.

    Weaver should have been notified about Mark’s outburst at Mrs. Scarletti and he should have been put on immediate leave for that. They’ve let his terribly unprofessional manner go on long enough and that should have been the last straw. I guess it helped her out that he was going on vacation anyway, but damn, he should have gotten some sort of reprimand for that.

    The Kerry Weaver/Ellis West thing just gave me the heebie jeebies. I like the Mr. Krabs actor and all, but just… yeesh.

  2. Emmy said,

    Not having seen past this yet, I think Anna has every right to be mad at Carter. It’s not just that he didn’t TELL her, he deliberately lied to her and was constantly making up stupid stories and looking more helpless to try and get her attention.

    Not to mention that it was bound to crash down around him because other people in the ER knew his real background, which tends to make the patsy feel even more defensive and threatened because it makes it seem like everyone’s conspiring against you.

    She was not “getting to know the real him”, she was getting to know a guy being hapless on purpose. The laundromat was a manipulation from start to finish. There are options in between “admit that you’re a trust fund baby” and “pretend to be dirt poor in order to gain her sympathy”.

    If he respected her at all, he wouldn’t have felt the need to deliberately exaggerate his poverty. Lying that much makes it all feel like a sleazy attempt to get into her pants.

    As for the KKK tattoo guy, Mark was right for once. The guy hadn’t caused any problems and was unconscious, it was Jeannie’s duty to treat him. If he’d kicked up a fuss and refused her help then that might be a reason to call in someone else to handle it, but otherwise, care should proceed as standard as much as possible.


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