July 9, 2019

ER 4.8, Freak Show: Reversal of Fortune

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

Cher’s dad got bitten by a snake

Summary: Mark and Carol are back from California and ready to go back to work. He’s feeling refreshed, which Carol is pleased about, because maybe he’ll stop being a jerk at County. Doug is still away, but he sent a note back with Mark for Carol. At the hospital, Carter and Anna work on a patient together, making polite conversation while he tries to figure out if she’s still mad that he never told her his family is super-rich. (The answer is yup!)

Benton and Romano also make awkward small talk about Romano’s reservations about accepting Benton onto his team. Can he play nice with Elizabeth? And more importantly, can he keep up with her? Benton says yes, so Romano suggests a trial run. The waiting area is packed when Carol and Mark get to County. Cynthia tells Carol that people are there for her new free clinic. It’s not supposed to open until next week, but Cynthia put out an announcement with the wrong date. The not-yet-existent clinic will just have to find a way to accommodate them early.

Carol is so busy that she doesn’t have time to open Doug’s note. She was also supposed to work in the ER, but will have to skip her shift to run the clinic. Weaver agrees to sub in a transferring nurse, Yosh Takada, who makes a poor first impression by tripping over a cart. Jeanie’s finishing up her time at County in the wake of her firing, though Doyle thinks she should try to fight the termination. Jeanie says she’ll just move to Atlanta with Al. Doyle thinks she was fired because of her HIV status, though Jeanie accepts the explanation that it was for budget purposes.

Mark meets up with Cynthia, who he didn’t talk to the whole time he was in California. He gives her the necklace he got at the pawn shop, which she loves. He compliments her coffee after Connie and Lydia say it’s awful. A 12-year-old boy named Rodney who was hit by a car is brought in with internal injuries. Benton and Weaver study his X-rays, which Benton thinks were mislabeled, since they’re backwards. He quickly realizes that, in fact, Rodney’s internal organs are reversed.

Yosh is coming to the clinic from chart review, so he doesn’t work with patients much. Carol tells him to get patients started and check their vitals, then send them to triage if they seem to need emergency care. She laments that she didn’t have an extra week to get more organized. Mark is busy with Doug out of town, but he agrees to help out however he can. Cynthia gives him some papers sent by a lawyer, but Mark wants to put ignore them for as long as possible.

Elizabeth has looked up Rodney’s condition and hasn’t found any published cases, which means Benton could be the first to write about it. Romano invites her to join them as they operate. Benton pretends he’s not territorial. Carter wants a truce with Anna, though she’s trying to play things off like his lies aren’t a big deal. Henry comes by to thank Carter for giving him time to work on his research when he was supposed to be in the ER. But since Carter wasn’t able to evaluate his work, Henry has to repeat his clerkship. Carter and Henry ride again!

Weaver tells Jeanie that she’s given her a recommendation at a hospital in Atlanta. Jeanie is understandably cold to her. A man brings in a bunch of people from a shelter to be seen in the clinic, thanks to encouragement from Cynthia. Carol snaps at her, so Mark pulls her aside and tells her to keep her criticisms out of earshot of the rest of the staff. Carol, of course, doesn’t appreciate getting her own dressing down.

A nurse snaps pictures as Benton, Romano, and Elizabeth operate on Rodney. Benton jokes about putting a mirror on the ceiling to reverse the organs to their proper locations. Romano, of course, cracks a joke about having one in his bedroom. He hopes they can find Rodney’s family soon, since he wants permission to collect some blood and samples. Benton and Elizabeth agree to work on publishing the case together.

Carter uses a mnemonic device to teach Henry the bones of the wrist. Anna has a different mnemonic because she learned different terms for the bones. Both are sex-related. Guys, just take your clothes off already and save the rest of us from having to watch this. Cynthia finds Doug’s note and thinks it’s for her, since it’s only labeled with her initials, “C.H.”

A man named Herb Spivak comes in with a snake bite sustained while feeding a python at a reptile farm. Ellis West lures Weaver out to the parking garage to tell her that Synergix has approved extra attending coverage. He wants to thank her for her cooperation with flowers. Rodney’s surgery is successful, and his father, Isaac, has arrived at the hospital. He recognizes Benton as a high school classmate. Benton promises that they’ll do what they can to help Rodney make a full recovery.

Carol discovers that Doug’s note is missing, and no, she doesn’t want Cynthia’s help finding it, thank you. Mark treats Herb, whose snake bite isn’t venomous, though he’ll have to have the python’s teeth removed from his chest. The reptile guy, a knockoff Steve Irwin, has brought the python, Flora, with him in case she needs to be swabbed for bacteria. Malik will opt out of that task.

Anspaugh brings some students to Rodney’s bed to use him as a teaching case. He’s eager to eventually see photos from the surgery. He’s also pleased with Benton’s work. Romano hopes that Benton’s past with Isaac will be an advantage when they ask Isaac to let them do tests on Rodney to learn more about his condition. Elizabeth offers to talk to Isaac instead, since Benton might be uncomfortable talking to someone he has a personal connection with. Benton insists that they don’t have a connection, but his worry is that Isaac will think they’re using Rodney for personal gain.

Jeanie meets Yosh and is upset to learn that he was transferred to the ER during what was supposedly a hiring freeze. Herb tells Mark about other injuries he’s sustained, like during a scuba diving mishap. He’s a lawyer defending Knockoff Steve Irwin, AKA Gary, in a wrongful-death suit (someone claims Flora ate their dog). In exchange for Herb’s legal counsel, he gets to hang out with snakes.

Al didn’t get the job he was interviewing for in Atlanta, but Jeanie is sure he’ll find something else. Carol chats with her about how much work is going into running the clinic – she doesn’t even have a doctor available to write prescriptions. Jeanie points out that, as a PA, she can do that. And it’s not like she can get in trouble for working in the clinic instead of the ER. After all, she’s already been fired.

Cynthia has read Doug ‘s note and thinks Mark wrote it for her. He plays along, and she says her answer is yes, she will. Benton tells Isaac that Rodney’s blood may not be clotting properly, so he could require a transfusion. Isaac isn’t aware of Rodney’s reversed organs, which are one of the reasons he’s in critical condition. If his organs were in the right places, his liver wouldn’t have been injured. Benton gently asks if they can draw some of Isaac and his ex-wife’s blood to do some genetic tests. Isaac easily agrees, willing to do anything to help his son.

Carter oversees Henry’s examination of a patient, something Carter could have done on his own in one-fifth the time. Jeanie proves extremely helpful at the clinic, and she tells Carol she wishes she had her guts to fight for something she wants. Carol encourages her to look for ammo she can use. While Benton’s drawing blood for testing, Rodney has complications relating to his inability to clot. Isaac panics helplessly while Benton and Elizabeth work on the boy.

Connie tells Mark that Cynthia really, really likes him. Mark says they’re just having fun, but since the necklace he gave her contains a diamond, Connie says it’s “serious fun.” He tries to dig in Cynthia’s purse to read Doug’s note, but Weaver catches him. Mark questions some parts of the budget (like the part where Weaver’s making more money than he is), though he approved them months ago.

Henry’s looking sick as Carter finally calls time of death on his never-ending patient history. He thinks it’s from allergies, but Carter has no sympathy. Anna comes in immediately afterward to tend to the patient she thinks is hers. Carol gives a little boy named Hector a shot, then examines his chin, since his mom says he keeps complaining about it. When she touches it, Hector says he doesn’t feel anything. After a lot of blood loss and 20 minutes without a pulse, Benton and Elizabeth are still working on Rodney. Elizabeth finally decides that they need to let him go.

Jeanie asks Weaver if she can look at the ER budget. Weaver says her termination isn’t personal, but Jeanie wants to look at the facts and make sure they support Weaver’s claims. After all, there was supposedly a hiring freeze, but Yosh has been hired. Weaver says he’s replacing two nurses who left. Jeanie questions Weaver’s recent raise, but Weaver won’t address that with her.

Carol asks Carter if he’s ever had a patient with a numb chin. Anna finds them with her patient; Henry didn’t sign him out on the board, so she didn’t know that Henry had already done his history and physical. “Actually, I’m quite fond of all of you,” the patient says. Carter thinks he needs surgery, but Anna wants to treat him medically first. Carter agrees, making Anna think he’s giving in to appease her. He lies that he was already considering alternatives to surgery.

Weaver slams Mark for telling Jeanie their salaries, which he denies doing. The patients in the waiting area have disappeared, thanks to some quick thinking by Carol, who gave them Doyle’s unused meal tickets and sent them to the cafeteria. She’s looking up Hector’s numb chin in the hospital’s medical database, but the medical terminology isn’t giving her anything. Mark tells her to just look up “numb chin.” Success!

Benton asks Isaac if they can autopsy Rodney’s body. Isaac doesn’t get why it’s necessary, since his cause of death is apparent. Benton says it would be important for research into his condition. Isaac thinks Benton’s shown so much interest in Rodney not because of his injuries but because of his condition. Now Isaac doesn’t want him to be studied. He’s already been through enough. Benton realizes that Isaac is right and leaves him alone with Rodney’s body.

Henry, still not feeling well, struggles to help Carter with a trauma patient. Carter thinks it’s from seeing blood, but when he passes out and Lydia checks on him, she realizes it’s more serious. She pulls Mark, Anna, and Malik into the trauma room to help both Henry and Carter’s patient. Carter still thinks Henry was just lightheaded; he complained all day about feeling sick, but he’s a hypochondriac. Soon, he realizes that Henry has had a bad reaction to his latex gloves. It’s bad enough to cause respiratory arrest, though Anna and Carter are able to help him. Herb, also in the room, assures Mark that everything’s under control.

Benton tells Romano that he’s rethinking his decision to join Romano’s team. He didn’t press Isaac about letting them study Rodney, and he doesn’t feel comfortable bringing it up again. Romano thinks they have a responsibility to study that “freak of nature” because that’s how medical breakthroughs are made. Benton argues that Rodney was a little boy, and Isaac has made his wishes known. Romano warns him against sentimentality and orders him to get Isaac’s consent. Benton tells him to get someone else to do it.

Carol tells Weaver that her research about Hector has led to a diagnosis of leukemia. Carol asks Weaver to talk to Hector’s mother, who might feel more comfortable talking with a doctor about his diagnosis, but Weaver thinks Carol should do it, since the mom already knows her.

Herb is now in the doctors’ lounge, hanging out with Mark’s lawyer, Alan, whom he knows from some committee. Alan thinks Herb is now representing Mark, and he’s thrilled about that. He reveals that Mark came close to losing his job over the Kenny Law case. After Alan leaves, Herb tells Mark that Alan is a horrible lawyer and just jumped to the conclusion that Herb was defending Mark. He’d be happy to take the case, though. Mark can’t afford him, but Herb is willing to make a trade. He’ll make the civil suit go away for free if Mark lets him shadow him in the ER.

Thanks to Elizabeth, Isaac has agreed to let the doctors do a case study on Hector. And despite Benton’s refusal to obey his commands, Romano still wants Benton on his team. Elizabeth thinks Romano likes him because of his backbone. Henry’s recovering from anaphylactic shock and kind of remembers Carter and Anna helping him. He also saw a bright light and had an out-of-body experience. Henry praises how well Carter and Anna worked together to save him. They’re his angels.

Carol finally gets Doug’s note back and confides to Elizabeth that it’s a love letter. Elizabeth wishes she hadn’t broken up with her boyfriend back home, which leaves her without someone to write a love letter to. She invites Carol to get a drink with her. Weaver joins a meeting between Jeanie and Anspaugh, whom Jeanie approached to discuss the budget. She thinks her termination and Weaver’s subsequent raise point to something other than just budget cuts. Was she fired because of her HIV status? Anspaugh asks for some time to go over the figures again.

Weaver asks Jeanie if she’s really going to use her health like this. Weaver fought to keep Jeanie on staff at County, then worked to get her a job in Atlanta. She’s never discriminated against Jeanie because of her status. Jeanie throws Weaver’s “it’s nothing personal” claim back in her face. Mark and Cynthia get drunk in his bed and he gives her some lingerie. She quotes part of Doug’s note, which, of course, Mark doesn’t recognize, though he’s still going to pretend he does. Whatever she agreed to from the note, she wants him to do it first. And fortunately, we don’t have to find out what that was.

Thoughts: Herb is played by Dan Hedaya. Isaac is played by Harold Perrineau.

For some reason, I’ve remembered the “numb chin” thing for years.

The only problem with Henry’s plot is that he’s not wearing gloves when he first starts feeling sick. Shouldn’t that make him feel better? Also…he’s never come into contact with latex before? Ever?

1 Comment »

  1. Nick Rivers said,

    I don’t think Carol ever did get Doug’s letter — she was writing one of her own when Elizabeth came up to her. Mark had asked her about the letter and she said she’d lost it, and it never came up again (Weaver interrupting Mark when he was trying to find it). At least that’s how I think it played out.

    The Cynthia thing… ugh. I’m glad Mark’s not such a dick anymore but that relationship was cringeworthy.

    I love Harold Perrineau for some reason. He’s always so memorable in everything I see him in.

    I hated how the Jeanie storyline was playing out here. She knew damn well Kerry didn’t fire her because of her status. The $25k+ increase was really kind of distasteful of Kerry even if it was warranted for the extra work she was putting in; she had to know that would somehow flare up, and how do you justify that when you’re cutting staff left and right? I doubt Morgenstern was being docked pay during this timeframe.

    I’d sort of glossed over some of these early Rocket Romano episodes but he’s not as obnoxious as I remember. I mean, he’s a total prick, but he always was, and they made him consistent about it. Someone had to out-prick Benton, after all.


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: