August 13, 2019

ER 4.13, Carter’s Choice: There Will (Possibly) Be Blood

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:05 pm by Jenn

Not seen: Doug trying to back out of the lounge

Summary: Carter’s driving to work behind a snowplow, which doesn’t help when he has to walk through snow to the ER. He’s working a night shift, which is where Jerry’s been stuck since the grenade incident. Things in the ER are quiet, so Lydia’s amusing herself by looking at possible new haircuts. Jerry wants to talk to Weaver about being moved back to day shifts, but he’s not sure how to approach her. Carter thinks Weaver has a sense of fairness and will agree that Jerry’s excellent work history is in his favor. Malik disagrees – Jerry should beg.

Anna’s napping in an exam room, so Carter doesn’t wake her to give her a donut. She wakes up anyway, and Carter offers to buy her breakfast at Doc Magoo’s while she gets a little more sleep. She asks after Chase, who’s doing better. Carter thanks her for her help with him, and she says she was happy to give it. Before he can go across the street to get breakfast, a trauma comes in.

The patient is a gunshot victim, but because of a lack of recent donations and the snow outside, the hospital is running low on blood. A paramedic tells the doctors that the patient, who was shot multiple times, is a security guard who interrupted a rape – and yes, the would-be victim was an elderly woman. Fortunately, the patient stopped the assault. He also may have shot the rapist.

The doctors start to take the guard to the OR, but they lose his pulse and have to take him back to the trauma room. Mark has arrived and joins the group to help. He soon realizes that the guard’s too injured to save, and though Carter wants to keep working, since the man is a hero, there’s nothing he can do. Once time of death has been called, Carter storms out of the trauma room.

Weaver runs into Anspaugh in the parking garage and asks how the board voted on the Synergix agreement. They voted to let Synergix run the ER, which disappoints Weaver. Anspaugh says she put him in an awkward position – she pushed him for the deal, then changed her mind. The hospital can’t back out now without looking foolish. Anspaugh invites Weaver to tell the board she was mistaken about her support for Synergix, which might help smooth things over.

Cynthia tells Mark that she either has to sign a six-month lease on her apartment or move. Mark either senses where this is heading or doesn’t want to talk, because he lets himself get distracted by other people. Cynthia notes that she spends most nights at Mark’s; why should she pay rent on her own place? He offers to help her pay her own rent instead of letting her move in. Cynthia finds a reason to run away.

Jerry approaches Weaver to employ Carter’s method of reasoning with her to get back on day shifts. Weaver doesn’t care – if he can work Randi’s shift, since she’s snowed in, he can move back to days. Carter finally gets breakfast from Doc Magoo’s, but he slips on the wet floor right by the doors and drops everything. Anna’s like, “Are you okay? And more importantly, is my toast okay?”

Paramedics bring in the elderly would-be rape victim, who was strangled, then pushed down a flight of stairs. Mark, Anna, and Carter are solemn as they work on her. Carter finds “WHORE” on her stomach, this time carved with a knife instead of written with marker. Anna has trouble moving on with the case. Also trouble: Greg is one of the paramedics who brought in the woman, and Carol is now at work, which could get awkward.

Benton has a hangover from his night out with Elizabeth, and she offers him a handshake to make sure there are no hard feelings. It’s really just a ploy, since she’s wearing a joy buzzer. She’s excited by the joke shop down the street from her apartment. Benton tells her that Carla wants to put Reese in daycare, but Benton thinks he’s too young. Elizabeth can’t relate – her mother went on a three-week vacation after her birth, then let her be raised by nannies and go to boarding school. She invites Benton to have lunch with her.

Doug comes in, though there are no pediatric patients yet. Jerry tells him that the cops have cornered the suspected rapist in a warehouse. Doug finds Cynthia crying in the lounge, and as much as he doesn’t want to talk to her about her personal problems, he asks her if she’s okay. She opens up about Mark’s dimness about her hints at moving in together, even though their relationship seems to be going great. Does he not think Cynthia’s good enough for him? Or is he scared because he cares so much? Doug’s face: “Can Jerry fire another grenade in here and give me an excuse to leave?”

The rape victim is taken for tests, and Greg asks Carol how she’s doing. Benton asks Connie where her children go while she’s at work. Connie tried a babysitter, but the sitter was a disaster and cost $8 an hour. Finally, Connie sent the kids upstairs to the hospital’s daycare; they love it. The only drawback is that being around other kids gets everyone sick, but Lydia says it builds up their immune systems. Benton notes that his mother raised him and his sister at home. Doug says he needs to join the modern world.

On his way down the hall, Doug spots Carol and Greg chatting and freezes. He’s happy to get an excuse to go up to OB. Carol corners him there and tries to talk, but when Doug guesses that Greg is the guy she kissed, he’s not interested in a conversation. He accuses her of humiliating him in front of his friends. Carol lists all the women Doug slept with at the hospital, which humiliated her. She would have to sleep with the entire Bulls line-up to match his number of conquests.

Carol says that this is about Doug not being happy that things aren’t going exactly as he’d hoped. It’s always been that way – Carol has spent years working around his schedule and insecurities and inability to commit. (Hmmm, is that where Mark got it from?) She cries as she says this isn’t about Doug. A relationship is supposed to be about two people being equals. She needs something, and Doug can either grow up and accept it, or he can continue being as self-centered as always.

Weaver tells Mark that because of the blood shortage, she’s going to ask the staff to donate. She adds that the board wants to let Synergix come onboard. Mark dryly congratulates her, knowing that was her pet project. Weaver admits that she has reservations now, and it would be great if all the ER attendings opposed the decision. Then no one looks like the bad guy. Mark asks to see the statistics before he makes any moves.

Jeanie reports that the cops have caught the rapist and he’s being brought to County for treatment. Everyone objects, but Mark tells them to do their jobs like they normally do. Anna confirms that the would-be rape victim wasn’t raped, which is one small piece of good news. She and Carter are disgusted that someone would do this.

Doug tells Mark that Cynthia’s upset, and Mark proves to know exactly what’s going on. He asks about Carol, making Doug wonder if she talked to Mark about their problems. Cynthia pops in to tell Mark in a subdued manner that the rapist has arrived and there was a big accident on the parkway. Doug notes that he and Mark should talk later.

The rapist, Jack, has a gunshot wound, a broken leg, and bites from the cops’ K-9s. He’s only 19. No one particularly wants to save him, especially Carter, but Mark isn’t about to deny medical treatment to someone in need. Anna’s the only person helping out without being prompted. Mark goes next door to take care of a victim of the car accident, leaving Carter and Anna to tend to Jack.

Carol and Jeanie examine a pregnant woman named Mary who isn’t feeling well. She and the baby’s father, Robert, both have developmental disabilities. Mary hilariously objects when Robert reveals that she ate a whole pint of Cherry Garcia the night before. Carol and Jeanie quickly determine that Mary’s in labor; they’re excited to get to help her out.

As Yosh pulls the police officers in the room away to talk to the victim, Carter and Anna start to insert a central line in Jack. Carter accidentally cuts him badly enough that Lydia says Jack needs a blood transfusion. He doesn’t want to use the hospital’s dwindling supply on Jack, so he decides they should auto-transfuse him with his own blood. Anna’s not happy with this, but Carter figures he’s still giving Jack the blood he needs.

Mark comes back over after Jack has stabilized. Anna excuses herself from the case as he’s taken to surgery. West addresses Weaver’s sudden insurrection against Synergix, telling her she should have brought any concerns she had to him. She shoots back that he should have been more honest about the organization’s strategies. He notes that the company is public, so Weaver could have looked all the info up herself. She says it was buried behind all the happy, flowery stuff. She’s willing to make hard choices, but not endanger patients.

Carol tries to interrupt and talk to Weaver, but Weaver brushes her off to emotionally yell at West. She accuses him of using her to get the deal. He underestimated her once, and was right to, but he’d better not do it again. Weaver then turns her attention to Mary, who’s refusing to go to OB because she’s afraid her baby will be taken away. Carol’s been treating her at the clinic and thinks she’ll stick around if they keep her where she is.

Weaver gently tells Mary that if she leaves, it could be bad for the baby, and she knows Mary doesn’t want that. Mary agrees to stay. Weaver gets Mary and Robert to admit that Mary’s sister Judy warned them that the baby would be taken away from them. Weaver tells them that babies aren’t taken away from nice parents like them, so they shouldn’t worry.

Benton never agreed to have lunch with Elizabeth, but she buys them sandwiches from a vending machine and joins him in a lounge. She starts in with some double entendres, then manages to be seductive while peeling and eating a hard-boiled egg. She thinks they should date, since they have few other ties in town, enjoy each other’s company, and work so hard that they wouldn’t be able to find anyone else. She promises not to disappoint. Benton’s amused but says he wouldn’t be comfortable with that. Elizabeth isn’t too disappointed.

Judy arrives while Mary’s in active labor. Weaver, Carol, and Jeanie are doing the delivery, and everything is fairly calm. Anna comes in at the tail end, and everyone’s happy as Madison is born and Robert cuts the cord. Later, Carol tells Judy that it’s too soon to know if Madison has her parents’ disabilities, but there’s no reason to think she won’t be neurotypical. Judy asks when the social workers will come. Carol tells her there’s no need – the parents are loving and capable. They live on their own, and Robert works. Judy asks if Carol’s qualified to make that assessment.

She tells Carol that Robert does maintenance at his uncle’s shop. Neither adult can drive because they don’t read well enough to take the test, and Judy has to do their bills. They’re both sweet and loving, but that doesn’t mean they can take care of a child. Carol coolly hits her back with the question about whether she’s qualified to make that assessment. Judy wishes she weren’t.

Mark agrees with Weaver that Synergix shouldn’t take over, or at least he’s going to let her make the decision because he doesn’t care enough to get involved. The phones are going crazy because Cynthia left work hours ago and Jerry’s taking a nap. Chuny takes a call he should have and announces that the blood bank has finally been restocked.

Carla shows up and asks for the forms Benton was supposed to sign to put Reese in daycare. He’s annoyed that she left Carla in her car with a “friend.” She gets equally annoyed when he doesn’t back her up on the decision to put Reese in daycare. He reminds her that he gets a vote, too. He heads out to the car to see Reese, ignoring Carla when she tries to stop him. The “friend” in the car with Reese is Roger McGrath, Carla’s new boyfriend.

Chase comes to the ER, doing much better now that he’s done with detox. He wants to take Carter and Anna to dinner, but Anna doesn’t want to spend time with Carter. Chase tells Carter that if he doesn’t go after Anna, Chase will. Mark tells Doug that he’s going to find Cynthia and talk to her about their issues. He promises he knows what he’s doing. He adds that they saved the rapist.

Carter chases Anna to an El station, where they fight about his decision to auto-transfuse Jack. He was willing to use extra blood on the guard; why didn’t Jack get the same treatment? Carter says he felt that auto-transfusion was the best option. She knows that’s not true. Carter notes that Jack lived, so it doesn’t matter. Anna calls it dumb luck. Carter’s usually aggressive; why wasn’t he today? She knows he didn’t care if Jack lived or died.

Carter says that since he was in charge of the case, it was his call. Anna asks if he would have made a different call if Jack hadn’t been a rapist. Carter says that every case is different. Anna asks if he withheld treatment. He says no, but she asks again. He repeats his answer, but it looks like he’s thinking about whether or not he’s being honest.

Elizabeth finds Benton moping in a hallway, and he invites her to play darts again. Just darts. Elizabeth jokes that she’ll play as long as she’s not being unappreciated. West tells Weaver that he’s going to tell Anspaugh that Synergix no longer wants to work with County. He only wanted the contract so he could work with Weaver anyway. He doesn’t want her to feel like he used her or underestimated her. She underestimates herself.

Doug spies on Carol as she teaches Mary and Robert how to swaddle their daughter. He tells her he didn’t mean to push; she should take as much time as she needs to figure out if she wants to commit. He’ll wait for her. And thus ends the big Doug/Carol blow-up of 1998.

A drunk Carter surprises Anna at her apartment and admits that he wanted Jack to die. The blood should have been saved for another patient. What if another patient had died because they’d wasted blood on Jack? Carter takes full responsibility for his decision, but he doesn’t necessarily regret it, and he still might not regret it if Jack had died. Carter asks if Anna’s sure that he made the wrong choice. She takes his hand and says she’s not.

Thoughts: ’90s music alert: Smash Mouth’s “Walking on the Sun,” which is now stuck in my head for the rest of the month.

Who came up with, “And then Elizabeth flirts while peeling a hard-boiled egg”?

Sigh. Another “newborn” who’s clearly four months old. It’s especially funny when they say she’s only six pounds. She’s almost as big as Reese!

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