November 12, 2019

ER 5.2, Split Second: Waaaay Too Much Talk About People’s Lower Halves

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 5:09 pm by Jenn

Thanks for showing up and doing nothing, Rach

Summary: Two students (one of them is Bernard) wake Carter at 2:45 a.m. so he can let them into the dorm room they’re locked out of. Carter probably regrets taking a job as an RA. Benton is also up late/early, and eager to finish up a date with Elizabeth. There’s already another man in her apartment, but Benton quickly learns that he’s no competition – he’s Elizabeth’s father, Charles. Carter is woken again with a complaint about an overflowing toilet.

Lucy’s at work early, checking to make sure she didn’t lose track of anything the day before. Jerry teases that she’s the favorite of all the med students, since she was able to insert an IV on her first day. Doug pulls her away to help him examine a baby. He manages to keep the joy out of his voice when he informs Weaver that his probation is over, so she won’t have to look over his shoulder anymore.

Carter’s just going back to bed when his father calls. Millicent told him that Carter’s living in a slum, which Carter says is a huge exaggeration. He admits that County might not be able to pay him this year, but his RA role is “practically a faculty position.” He feels good about being able to pay his own way for the first time in his life.

Carol comes back from a meeting in a great mood – thanks to some support from Mark, she’s been approved to hire an RN to work at her clinic. Connie is teaching Mark to answer radio calls from paramedics; he’s considering taking the EMS liaison job he was told about. By the time he gets all the steps right, the paramedics have already arrived and can tell him everything in person.

Elizabeth, Benton, and Charles go to Doc Magoo’s for breakfast, discussing Charles’ offer to let Elizabeth join his practice in England. They spot Romano in the restaurant, which will make it hard for Elizabeth to keep trying to avoid him like she’s been trying to. Charles thinks she should join him for a high-tech operation and impress him. Maybe he’ll regret not renewing her fellowship. When Romano comes over, Charles is icy to him. Elizabeth says she’ll do the procedure – and instead of assisting Romano, he’ll be assisting her. Charles invites himself to observe.

Lucy thinks her and Doug’s patient needs to have metabolic tests done, but Doug thinks they can determine his condition better by just cooling down the room. He tells Lucy she had the right instincts, but he has a hunch that the boy has no sweat glands. Jerry tells Benton that Carla called to say she may not make it to an appointment for Reese to have his hearing checked.

Lucy brings Carter coffee and tells him she signed him up for a couple of possibly interesting cases. She’s already taken the patients’ histories and reviewed their previous charts. She wants to put herself in a good position for her eventual residency. She figures Carter’s been looking toward becoming chief resident since he was an intern. Carter pretends she’s right. Jerry tells Lucy not to call him Dr. Carter – he’s “just Carter.”

Carol thinks hiring a nurse for the clinic will be fun. She’s impressed that Mark has already mastered answering radio calls. Paramedic Doris has brought in a teen gangbanger who attacked her when he thought she was going to take his gun. Mark takes her away to examine the cut on her forehead. The teen, B.G., recognizes a patient in the next room as his friend Toine, who was also shot. Toine is somehow not completely embarrassed that his wound is in his butt.

Carter and Lucy go hunting for a case they can help with, but Carter thinks B.G. and Toine are stable enough not to need their help. Mark asks Doris some questions about paramedic procedures and mentions that he might become the liaison. She tells him she’s been a paramedic for seven years, and they’ve said the whole time that they need more EMTs. Instead, they get their budget cut.

Weaver tells Doug that his probation is, indeed, over, so he’s free. She says she was assigned to babysit him and didn’t actually enjoy it. Doug doubts that. She tells him people keep calling to ask for ultra-rapid detox since they know it worked for Josh. Mark talks to Weaver about the coordination position, which she thinks is a good idea. He heads off to attend a soccer game Rachel’s playing in.

Carter tells Weaver that he put in a salary request because his financial situation has changed. She’s already approved the request and is glad he’s trying to look professional. People who practice medicine just as a hobby look like dilettantes. Carter says that not worrying about money will help him achieve his goal of becoming chief resident. Weaver thinks he has a good chance since his med student is performing so well, which means he’s a good teacher.

While Jerry struggles to make the ER an acceptable temperature (the D-plot of the episode), Benton wraps up surgery with Anspaugh. He mentions taking Reese to an audiology exam to follow up on some hearing problems he had before. Benton thinks they were do to fluid in his ears after an infection. Anspaugh notes that a medicine sometimes given to preemies can cause damage to their hearing. Benton tries not to worry.

Elizabeth examines Toine, who needs surgery. B.G. and his girlfriend, Elan, make obnoxious comments, and when B.G. picks on Yosh, he’s dead to me. Weaver tells B.G. to be more supportive of Toine. That won’t happen after B.G. and Elan hear that Toine will need a colostomy bag after his operation. A girl named Moselle shows up to see Toine, and she and Elan get into a fight. B.G. taunts Toine for getting shot in the butt because he was running away from gunfire.

Weaver tells Elizabeth that she’s sorry Elizabeth will have to find work somewhere else. She’s heard about foreign doctors starting over as interns, an idea neither of them finds appealing. Weaver breaks up a fight between Elan and Moselle, kicking them out of the hospital. Carol and Elizabeth are both impressed. As Carol deals with a guy named Savage who thinks he can smoke in a hospital, Weaver tells Jerry to call someone who can send them some parkas.

Mark cheers Rachel on at her game, trying to out-yell the sexist father of another player. As Rachel blocks a goal, she falls and hits her head on the metal holding up the net. We get a dramatic zoom in on Mark’s face, but Rachel seems okay. The sexist dad’s son apologizes for kicking too hard, and the sexist dad is nice enough to offer up an (empty) first-aid kid and some ice.

Savage tries to light up again in his exam room, like this is the ’50s or something. Elan goes from visitor to patient when her fight with Moselle ends with Elan being stabbed. Benton checks Reese’s chart in the neonatal ICU, where he runs into Tabash, the doctor who took care of Reese. Tabash says his hearing was normal both before and after he was given the medication that could have affected it.

Carter takes charge tending to Elan and tells Lucy to draw her blood. Her hemoglobin comes back much lower than it was before, and Carol realizes that the machine wasn’t calibrated properly. As everyone else worries that Elan is less stable than they thought, Carol reruns the test and gives the new reading, which is fine.

After the trauma, Lucy beats herself up for not doing the procedure properly. Carol says she won’t cover for her again. If she doesn’t know something, she needs to ask. Everyone knows that she’s still learning. Lucy laments that med students get judged on everything from their first day. Carol notes that they have to be, since they’re doing life-saving procedures. Lucy needs to stop worrying about being perfect.

Carter interrupts to tell them that a guy just came in with an intestinal perforation from a carrot. Lucy naïvely asks how he swallowed a whole carrot. Carter and Carol have a good laugh at her expense when she figures out what really happened. After Lucy leaves, Carter tells Carol that he really lucked out getting her as a student. Carol says she’s good, but she’s still a beginner, so she needs more guidance. Carter thinks Lucy’s a natural and Carol’s just jealous.

Carol spots Savage smoking in his exam room and confiscates his cigarettes. He should probably be smarter about his behavior, since the exams he needs done are on his lower half, and the last person you want messing around down there is an angry nurse. Elizabeth does her operation with Romano and a voice-activated robot. Everyone’s impressed except, possibly, Romano.

Weaver pulls Doug out of an exam room to deal with someone who’s insistent on seeing him. Doug mentions to the patient’s mother that she may need an endoscopy, which Weaver thinks he only mentioned to get a reaction out of her, since it’s an invasive procedure. Carol asks Lucy to insert Savage’s IV, saying he’s the perfect patient for her since he doesn’t seem to feel anything.

The man insistent on seeing Doug is an addict who wants ultra-rapid detox. Weaver told him that Doug is the only one who could help him, though Doug says he doesn’t treat adults. He tells Weaver she’s made her point. She thinks he should write a journal article to spread the word further. They bicker for a while until a teenage karate student is brought in after being injured in class.

Jerry introduces Carol to Savage’s private-duty nurse, who reveals that he didn’t actually need treatment. He enjoys having certain procedures done, especially by nurses. Carol realizes she sent Lucy in to do his IV, so she rushes to get Lucy away from the weird man who should be in the turkey file. She calls for a psych consult, realizing that the private-duty nurse isn’t actually a nurse. Carol suggests that she undergo a psych consult, too.

Paramedic Dwight chats with Mark about how unprepared regular people are for medical emergencies. Mark mentions that there was no first aid available in the park during Rachel’s game. The injury the karate student suffered was one that could only cause damage during a specific split second. The fire truck Dwight was on didn’t have an automatic defibrillator, one thing that can easily be changed.

Reese undergoes his test, which shows that he has hearing loss. Romano praises Elizabeth for her work in the OR and says it made him rethink revoking her fellowship. Unfortunately, the money is no longer available for her position. Doug teases Lucy about the carrot thing, so word of her naïvety has spread. They discover that the patient he was examining when Weaver interrupted him caught an STD from her mother while in the birth canal.

As Elizabeth and Romano operate on Toine, Romano mentions the job offer Charles extended to her. He says he could never work with someone in his family. “Robert, you can’t work with anyone,” Elizabeth points out. Lucy goes with Doug to tell their patient’s mother about her condition. Doug questions the mother about STDs, then says she should have had a C-section so she wouldn’t infect her daughter. The mother puts an end to the lecture by announcing that her daughter is adopted.

The audiologist tells Benton that Reese’s hearing loss is considered severe. Benton thinks she’s jumping to conclusions after just one test. The audiologist says he’s in the range that can be aided with hearing aids. He could eventually learn to talk, too. Benton is annoyed because two weeks ago, a doctor said Reese was fine. He wants to talk to the doctor.

Weaver hears that Doug is talking to Babcock and wonders why. Carol coolly tells her to talk to Doug himself if she wants to know details. Jerry boasts that he’s finally gotten the temperature in the ER right. Weaver and Lucy disagree. Carter and Jerry continue teasing Lucy by presenting her with a carrot.

Carol meets Lynette Evans, a nurse Anspaugh thinks would be a good fit for the clinic. Carol was told she could have an RN, but Lynette would be a better choice, since, as a nurse practitioner, she can write prescriptions. She even used to run her own clinic. As B.G. gets ready to leave, rudely saying goodbye to the staff, Lynette stops him and makes him show some manners. Carol quickly offers her the job at the clinic.

Doug asks Babcock if he knows how Josh is doing after the ultra-rapid detox. His mom hasn’t brought him back for a follow-up, and though Doug thinks that’s a bad sign, Babcock says she might have just moved out of state to be closer to family. Doug worries that Josh’s mom will press charges. A teen Doug previously treated recognizes him, and Doug chats with Babcock about how his pain is being managed. Babcock says they have to figure out what kind of pain he’s having.

At Elizabeth’s apartment, she tells Charles that she’s turning down his job offer. Operating on Toine, as low-tech and un-fancy as it was, has made her decide she can handle going back to the basics and being an intern again. Charles guesses that she really just wants to stay in Chicago to be near Benton. Elizabeth would never make a decision based on a man, but…she can’t deny that that was a factor. After a year as an intern again, Elizabeth will have a license to practice in the U.S. Charles thinks that, instead of giving up, she’s fighting for what she wants.

Benton puts on some music at home, hoping Reese will be able to hear it. No matter how loud he turns up the volume, Reese doesn’t respond to it.

Thoughts: Lynette is played by Penny Johnson Jerald. Elan is played by Taraji P. Henson, just four episodes after she played a different character.

Doug vs. Weaver is so annoying. We get it, they don’t like each other! Let’s move on.

Here’s an idea so crazy is just might work: Don’t let your med student do a procedure until you’ve seen for yourself that she can do it successfully.


  1. Nick Rivers said,

    Knowing what’s to come for the Benton/Corday relationship makes me hate seeing her start all over again… but then again it brings her to Greene so that’s a positive, though honestly I don’t remember how their relationship started. I kind of faded out after this season or when they killed off Kellie Martin.

    I liked them giving Reese a hearing impairment and forcing Benton to accept that his child has special needs. I’m still dreading the episode where his nephew is brought into the ER; that was such a tough one to watch. Jackie was a great character and she didn’t deserve to lose her son that way. Ugh.

  2. Patrick Sullivan said,

    Can someone explain the carrot joke to me?

    • Patrick Sullivan said,

      Never mind. I got the answer from a fan page on Instagram. Lol.

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