October 1, 2019

ER 4.19, Shades of Gray: Poor Carter Is Basically the Same as Rich Carter

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:55 pm by Jenn

“Ma’am, we don’t accept pro-life literature as a valid form of payment”

Summary: Now that Carter has told Millicent he’s done taking the family’s money, he needs a loan. He only has one tax return to work with, since being a doctor is his very first job. Plus, he agreed to return to interning without pay. The loan application gets rejected pretty quickly, and the man reviewing it advises Carter to make up with his grandparents.

Morgenstern and Benton have to attend an M&M on Swanson’s death, though Morgenstern doesn’t seem concerned that Benton will pin things on him. The surgeons are somber, as their boss is mourning – Scott passed away. Jeanie sings “Simple Gifts” in the shower, sadly getting ready for his funeral.

Carter tells Anna that the loan officer she recommended turned him down. He owes Mark money for a baseball bet, but he doesn’t have it. Anna teases that he can make some extra money selling Tupperware or Amway. She’s amused that he’s about to see how the other half lives. Al G. (who I’m just going to call Al now, since the other Al left) brings in a drunk man named Mike and hands him off to Carter for treatment.

Anspaugh and Jeanie talk about his marriage to his late wife in Scott’s room. Scott boxed up some of his things for Jeanie to have, including his beloved Green Day CD and some copies of Soap Opera Digest. Morgenstern kicks off the M&M, then invites Benton to tell the attendees what happened. In the ER, Mike hovers over a kid who’s having breathing problems. Carter tries to take Mike away, but Mike fights him and shoves him to the floor. Doug complains that Carter put an unstable man in the same room as his young patient; no one cares about kids.

The M&M attendees, including Weaver and Kayson, ask Benton and Morgenstern questions about what happened during Swanson’s operation. Benton admits that he pushed Morgenstern aside and took over. He defends himself, saying Morgenstern was just standing there while Swanson was dying. He thinks the procedure he tried was their only option. Morgenstern disagrees.

Carol arrives at work just as a pregnant woman is brought in. A clinic was bombed because it performs abortions, though it also provides family planning and prenatal care. Doug tends to a pregnant teen named Zoe while Weaver and Jerry deal with the press over the phone. Some injured protesters are then brought in.

Carol helps Doug with Zoe while Anna treats a woman named Brianna, who was at the clinic for an abortion. She starts hemorrhaging, so Weaver announces that they need to finish the procedure. Anna freezes up and says she can’t help. Afterward, Anna says she’s not sure why she couldn’t assist. Brianna was 18 or 19 weeks along, which meant the baby could have had a chance. Weaver tells her she needs to leave her personal feelings and moral leanings at the door when she comes to work.

Carter tends to an elderly man named Mr. Newton whose son, Burke, doesn’t think he needs all the expensive tests Carter’s going to run. He also hasn’t been providing his father with much care at home. The M&M committee comes to a decision: Benton is suspended, effective immediately, until Anspaugh comes back and they can do a more extensive investigation.

Zoe starts having breathing problems, worrying her devoted boyfriend, Donny. Carter calls a social worker about Mr. Newton, and she agrees that he needs to be removed from his son’s home. She’s disgusted that someone could treat his own parent like this. Carter tells Burke that Mr. Newton was horribly neglected and will be sent to a care facility. The hospital now has temporary guardianship, removing Mr. Newton’s power of attorney.

Anna examines a woman named Mrs. Martinez who has glass in her eye from the bombing. She’s horrified by how far the protesters went. She marched with civil rights protesters in the ’60s and wishes people had remained peaceful. However, she also sees abortion as murder, and thinks Anna should be upset that the clinic takes away a life for every life Anna saves as a doctor. She practically calls abortion doctors Nazis and wonders who they’ll kill next.

Anna declines to take her offered materials about her protest group. Mrs. Martinez leaves it behind anyway, then heads off with a graphic sandwich-board sign slung over her shoulder. Anna follows her, telling her that the radical protesters were probably encouraged by the sign to do something drastic. Mrs. Martinez says that if the sign upsets Anna, then it’s done its job. Anna says the only thing the sign has done is incite violence, which is really what makes her upset.

Zoe is now unconscious because of a clot, and Doug doesn’t think she’ll recover. The baby, however, appears to be fine. Benton tells Elizabeth about his suspension as he leaves his shift early. Paramedics bring in a final bombing victim, Allison Beaumont. Mark ignores Benton’s suspension to enlist him for help with a trauma. He even dismisses Kayson when he tries to object. Kayson decides the trauma is bad enough that Benton should keep up what he’s doing.

As Elizabeth and Romano work on Allison, Anna checks on Brianna. She’s already ready to go home after her abortion. Carter tells Mr. Newton that Burke won’t be his guardian anymore because of elder abuse. Mr. Newton is distraught to be removed from his home, where he’d planned to die in his own bed. Mark and Benton’s patient is taken straight to the OR, where Benton starts in on a procedure without scrubbing or putting on a sterile gown. Morgenstern jumps right in to help, sending Benton away as soon as he has control of the situation.

Zoe’s parents arrive, and her father is upset to see Donny there. Donny says Zoe’s parents treat her horribly, and if he hadn’t come into her life, she probably would have killed herself. Allison goes downhill fast, but Elizabeth refuses to stop working on her. Brianna thanks Weaver for her care, saying this will have to be the most memorable abortion she’s had. She’s had a few before, and thought her boyfriend would want this baby. Weaver advises her to start birth control, but Brianna isn’t interested. She thinks Weaver’s lecturing her on sex because she doesn’t get any herself.

Zoe’s parents and Donny have two choices if they want the baby: Have it delivered now, which would give them a premature baby needing lots of care, or wait until Zoe’s farther along, which means keeping her alive even though she’ll never wake up. Doug recommends that option, which Zoe’s father notes will mean using her as a human incubator. Donny wants to give the baby a good chance, since Zoe wanted her so badly, but Zoe’s parents get to make the final decision, since Zoe and Donny are minors.

Carol treats a bombing victim’s minor arm injury, then notes that she left her insurance information off of her paperwork. The woman says she’ll pay cash; she doesn’t want her husband to know she was at the clinic. She thought she was past the baby-making stage of her life, and she wanted to quietly get an abortion and never tell her husband. Thanks to the bombing, she didn’t get the procedure. Carol tells her that she can pass the cut on her arm off as a dog bite.

Elizabeth managed to save Allison, but she admits to Benton that the case scared her. He tries not to be a robot as he comforts her. Jeanie planned to sing a hymn at Scott’s funeral, but she sings his favorite Green Day song instead. Allison’s paramedic buddies have stuck around to make sure she’s okay, and Zadro thanks Elizabeth for her care. Romano apologizes for trying to get her to stop saving Allison. He invites her to get a drink, but Elizabeth is never going to want to spend any more time with him than necessary.

Morgenstern tells Weaver that he let things get out of hand. He’s reviewed the tape of Swanson’s surgery, which he took right afterward, before Benton could get it. He wanted to avoid confrontation, and he knows Benton could handle a black mark in his file, but he wants to be honest about what happened. Morgenstern puts in the tape to show Weaver the truth about his screwup.

Jeanie stays behind at the church after the funeral, and Anspaugh approaches her to talk about her special connection with Scott. He wrote in his journal that Jeanie got what he was going through better than anyone else. She reveals that Scott wanted to join the Army when he grew up, just like his father. Zoe’s parents change their minds and decide to have Zoe carry the baby to term. They don’t want Donny involved at all. Doug thinks they’re just being vengeful, but Zoe’s parents feel that Donny took their daughter away from them, and they’re not about to let him take their granddaughter, too.

Carter also changes his mind, deciding that having Mr. Newton removed from Burke’s care isn’t what’s best for him after all. Mr. Newton wants to go home, so he should be allowed to. The social worker notes that people in abusive situations don’t always make the best decisions. She doesn’t want him to be harmed any more than he already has been. Carter reluctantly lets her take Mr. Newton to a care facility.

Anna tells Weaver that she’s been thinking about her freeze-up in the trauma room all day. Weaver says that she did some work overseas in countries where abortion is illegal. She saw patients who couldn’t be helped because they’d taken matters into their own hands and accidentally harmed themselves too much. Anna thought she was pro-choice, but Brianna was so far along that it made her second-guess herself. She doesn’t know if she’ll be able to get past that.

Morgenstern stops Benton on his way out of the hospital and tells him he’s going to have Benton’s suspension rescinded. He gives Benton the tape of Swanson’s surgery, confirming that Morgenstern screwed up. He’s resigned as chief of surgery. Benton has passion for his job that Morgenstern has lost. He feels like he doesn’t belong there anymore. Benton says that Morgenstern taught him everything he knows. Morgenstern says he may be a great surgeon, but after what he let happen, he’s realized he’s not a great man. He smells spring, “all green and full of possibility.”

Carter resorts to ramen for dinner as he tells Doug that he overstepped with Mr. Newton. Doug invites him to get a real meal. Benton goes to Elizabeth’s to lament that his mentor has just left the hospital. He was close to Morgenstern but never told him how much Morgenstern means to him. Clearly, Benton doesn’t want that to happen with Elizabeth, so even though he doesn’t say verbally that he has feelings for her, he shows her by kissing her.

Thoughts: Carol’s secretive patient is played by Cristine Rose.

Benton staying to help Mark after his suspension is ridiculous, because Mark wouldn’t have done anything if Benton had left, but the people who suspended him are scary and shouldn’t be ticked off for any reason.

Show, leave Allison alone. Hasn’t enough bad stuff happened to her? I don’t think we ever see her again after this, so I’ll tell myself she lived happily ever after.

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