December 10, 2019

ER 5.6, Stuck on You: You Can’t Spell “Dr. John Carter” Without “Don’t Care”

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 5:04 pm by Jenn

Say goodbye to that thing on Carter’s face

Summary: Doug has been up all night doing paperwork like a responsible doctor. He tells Carol he now knows how she felt when she opened the clinic. He wonders if they’re both nuts for taking on ambitious projects, but Carol thinks it’s worth it. Lucy goes by Carter’s dorm room, which is about to be his ex-room – the events of the Halloween party have gotten him fired. Lucy’s worried about where he’ll live now. She accidentally wakes up Roxanne, who’s glad her boyfriend will soon be living someplace where Lucy can’t interrupt them.

Mark does a paramedic ride-along, acting as a go-between for them and County’s nurses. As they’re finishing up their shift, they hear gunshots. They pull over in the pouring rain, planning to wait for police backup in case there’s still a shooter around, but Mark wants to go check out the scene right away. As more shots are fired somewhere nearby, Mark finds a man lying in the street. He was beaten up, not shot, but he still needs immediate treatment. A paramedic helps Mark intubate the man, then take him to the ambulance. The paramedic decides not to be on shift the next time Mark wants to do a ride-along.

They deliver the patient to the hospital, where Morales calls Mark a cowboy and says he pulled a crazy stunt. Weaver tells Mark that Litvak turned down the job of chief – he used the offer to negotiate a bigger salary at his current hospital. Mark tells her that she’s the only other candidate on the search committee’s short list. Roxanne accompanies Carter to work, looking at apartment listings so he can find a new place to live.

Mark’s patient, Kevin, says that he was with a john when they were robbed. The john pulled a gun and tried to chase off the robbers, who I guess attacked Kevin. Since Mark saved his life, Kevin thinks he owes him a wish, like this is I Dream of Jeannie. Kevin is 16 and homeless, having been kicked out by his father after being caught having sex with his gymnastics coach. Kevin prostitutes to make money and isn’t sure if he has HIV.

Lynette has organized a BP screening at the clinic and expects a lot of senior citizens if the rain ever stops. She screens a grumpy man named Stan, who should be a little more grateful for the free healthcare. Carol gives Doug a lab coat to honor his new position, and he rewards her with a quickie in an exam room. I guess Doug’s new responsibilities haven’t matured him that much after all.

Benton comes to the ER to consult on one of Carter’s patients. Carter remarks that he must have driven Benton crazy when he was a student. He gets it now that he has his own annoying student. Benton says he never gave Carter a second thought. Med students don’t know anything; residents are supposed to teach them, not befriend them. So Carter goes to teach Lucy, being condescending like only Carter can.

Kevin is surprised to learn that he’s HIV-negative. Mark suggests that he start getting his life together so he stays negative. When Mark agrees to have someone take him to have a shower, Kevin invites him to join in. Mark politely but coolly declines. Elizabeth has managed to get Anspaugh to agree to let her work with Benton instead of Dale. Benton admits that he doesn’t feel comfortable being his girlfriend’s boss. Elizabeth thinks it’ll be fine, but when Benton hedges, she tells him she’ll stick with Dale.

Sometime later, Weaver runs into Benton and Reese at the coffee cart outside (AKA the roach coach). She notices Reese’s hearing aids, learning for the first time that he has a hearing problem. They talk about cochlear implants, which Weaver doesn’t seem to be a fan of. She suggests that Benton talk to a doctor named Lisa Parks who knows about all the latest technology for deaf patients.

Carol calls Doug from the clinic so they can flirt from across the ER while he’s at the admit desk. Can these two keep it in their pants for five minutes? Stan interrupts to complain that he was told to come back tomorrow to get his blood sugar checked. Carol checks with Lynette, who says he has lots of complaints. Carol agrees to take care of Stan, which Lynette warns will take all afternoon.

Jeanie’s tending to a preteen named Kate who hurt her arm, though her story of what happened doesn’t match up with her father’s. Jeanie asks Yosh to check Kate’s previous medical records. Kevin may have a blood clot in his leg, which he’s had before because of a protein deficiency. Mark is frustrated that Kevin didn’t disclose his full medical history and hasn’t been taking the blood thinner he needs to treat his disease. Kevin doesn’t see that as a possibility when he lives on the streets.

Lynette is amused that Carol is still dealing with Stan. His home health-care aide quit and he has no family in the area, so they consider finding him a temporary nursing-home placement until they can get him a new home aide. Stan refuses. He can’t be too sick, since he ordered Chinese food to be delivered to him in the clinic. For some reason, Carol agrees to pay for it.

Lucy, like Elizabeth, is looking for a change in supervisors, though she tells Carter it’s because she thinks she would learn better from a variety of teachers. I don’t think that’s going to happen. She takes Carter to a preteen named Brad who has cancer and doesn’t feel well. Carter tells her they need to treat him, not feel bad for him. Carter, your Benton is showing.

He sees that Brad is a candidate for an experimental therapy, but his mother says their insurance won’t cover the hospitalization it would require. Carter says they could admit him for antibiotics if he’s sick enough. Lucy says they could possibly slip him the experimental treatment while he’s already in the hospital. Inside voice, Lucy. Mark asks Carol for help finding a shelter for Kevin. She teases that everyone’s calling him for a hero for running into the street to save Kevin. Mark complains that he’s annoying.

Jeanie pulls Kate’s father, Mr. Preston, aside to ask about the previous injuries Kate has sustained. He admits that she didn’t injure her arm falling off her bike, like they claimed. She was riding a unicycle backwards while playing the violin. She was trying to break a Guinness World Record. Every time she’s injured herself in the past, she was trying to break a different record. After her mother died, she and Mr. Preston looked for something they could do together. They got hooked on breaking records.

Benton goes to meet Lisa, who has a family practice, though Weaver made Benton think she was a head and neck surgeon. It turns out Weaver recommended her because she’s deaf. Benton is thrown for a loop and does the classic I-must-speak-louder-when-talking-to-a-deaf-person thing. No, sweetie – she can read your lips, and she has an interpreter.

Benton, Lisa, and the interpreter go out for coffee to discuss Reese’s options for functioning in a hearing world. Lisa notes that she functions pretty well without a cochlear implant. Benton doesn’t want Reese to have to depend on other people, like Lisa depends on an interpreter.

Lisa guesses that Benton doesn’t know any other deaf people and hasn’t considered that being deaf might not be completely horrible. He can never know what it’s like to be deaf just like Lisa can never know what it’s like to be black. Benton says he doesn’t look at being black as a burden. Lisa’s like, “Exactly.” She thinks Benton will rob Reese of his identity if Benton tries to ignore his deafness. Benton says he’s just trying to fix a medical problem.

Mr. Preston passes the time waiting in the ER by juggling. Jeanie asks Kate about her injuries, which she says are just a side effect of trying to break records. She and her dad always take the proper precautions. She shows Jeanie a copy of a Guinness Book, which features a picture of her and her father breaking a record for a three-legged marathon.

Carol prescribes Accutane for a patient’s acne, but she’ll also have to take birth-control pills, since Accutane can cause birth defects. The patient says she promised her mom she’d stay abstinent, so it’s not an issue. Carol insists on the birth control anyway, but the patient doesn’t think her mom would be okay with that. In that case, she can’t have the Accutane. Lynette disapproves of Carol’s policy.

Mark gives Kevin some info on his protein deficiency and a list of homeless shelters he can check out. Kevin is cynical about his chances of having a meaningful life. Mark sharply asks if he’d rather die on the streets. Kevin flirts with him again, and Mark asks if Kevin can only relate to him by treating him like a customer.

Carol’s patient gave in, so she asks Lynette to write her a prescription for birth control. Lynette still disapproves of Carol’s policy; she should believe a patient who says she’s going to stay abstinent. Carol, a white nurse, undermined a choice made by her patient, a black teen. Carol gets defensive, but Lynette points out that she doesn’t know the patient or her mother.

Brad’s labwork shows he’s not sick enough to be admitted for antibiotics, but Carter thinks he can justify admitting him for dehydration after he vomits. Lucy volunteers to start his IV, but Carter doesn’t want her doing one on a sick kid. Carol asks Doug for a birth-control prescription, since Lynette wouldn’t give her one, and we learn that Carol has gone off her own contraceptives.

Mark tells Anspaugh that Weaver knows County’s ER better than any outside candidate they might bring in as chief. Anspaugh agrees, but the search committee wants someone with a great reputation who can bring in research grants. He cautions Mark not to tell Weaver that she was the committee’s second choice after Litvak, since it would just disappoint her more.

Paramedics bring in two brothers, Marcus and Eddie, who crashed their van and spilled carpet cement everywhere. They’re now stuck together in a semi-permanent hug. Mark and Weaver examine them and find blood – Eddie was impaled by some sort of sharp tool. Now the doctors have to deal with two patients who are attached to each other without letting either of them move too much.

Elizabeth, Carter, and Lucy come along to help, and Weaver permits Lucy to do an intubation, ignoring Carter’s reservations. He walks her through it and she performs it perfectly. Eddie starts declining and needs to be shocked, but he’s still attached to Marcus. Also attached: Carter’s beard, which has stuck to the cement. Mark helps pull the two brothers apart, and Weaver is able to shock Eddie without zapping anyone else. Mark gives Lucy a pair of scissors so she can cut Carter free of Marcus.

Jeanie and Yosh look up various records while keeping an eye on Mr. Preston. He’s been juggling for three hours, but he has a way to go before breaking the 11-hour record. Jerry ruins it by walking into Mr. Preston while carrying a bunch of boxes. Mark chats with a cop named Reggie Moore who has a warrant to arrest Kevin for violating his parole. Mark won’t turn him over before he’s medically cleared. He thinks Kevin deserves a second chance. Reggie won’t back down, saying that if he doesn’t arrest Kevin, someone else will.

Kate’s ready to be discharged, but she’s disappointed that her injured arm will prevent her from participating in any really physical record-breaking attempts for a few weeks. Mr. Preston suggests that they go to the waterfront to watch one happening tonight. Carter (now with a big hairless spot in his beard) gets Brad the experimental treatment, telling Lucy that he bent the truth a little to get around the insurance company’s restrictions. Brad’s mother overhears and worries that her insurance company will find out Carter lied to them and drop Brad.

Mark warns Kevin that Reggie wants to arrest him, then sneaks him out of the hospital so he can run away. Aww, Mark found a way to treat his patient and feel bad for him! Take that, Carter! Benton complains to Weaver that Lisa said Reese needs to spend time with other deaf kids instead of just his father. Weaver says she thought it would do Benton good to see how much Lisa has achieved. Benton says he doesn’t want his son to live with a defect that can be fixed. Weaver objects to the word “defect.”

Carol finally sees Stan out, having taken Lynette’s advice to understand their patients’ families and communities. She called a member of Stan’s temple who’s agreed to stay with Stan until he can find a new health aide. It’s a great idea, but the temple member is someone Stan hates. A for effort, Carol.

Lucy finds Carter shaving off the rest of his beard, hallelujah. He tells her that Brad’s mother took him home instead of risking the wrath of the insurance company. Carter clearly blames Lucy for the fact that Brad’s mother overheard them; she shouldn’t have been digging into something that was none of her business. Without the experimental treatment, Brad will die. And I guess it’s all Lucy’s fault, huh?

Mark breaks it to Weaver that the search committee is going to keep looking for a new chief. He doesn’t agree with their decision. Though Weaver is still in the running, it’s pretty clear they won’t pick her, so she doesn’t want to stay in the candidate pool. She’s also not interested in continuing to be the interim chief.

Benton lets Marcus know that Eddie’s going to be okay. Marcus credits Elizabeth with saving Eddie, since she separated the brothers just in time. Benton’s impressed with her work and tells her he’ll take her on as his intern after all. While she’ll have to do some of his scut work, he’ll let her have some of her own patients, which means much more independence than Dale gave her.

Doug is still doing a lot of administrative stuff. This is thrilling TV. Mark apologizes to the paramedics from his ride-along for breaking protocol earlier. They invite him to a poker game with some other paramedics. Jeanie takes Kate’s place with Mr. Preston in a trampoline-jumping record-breaking attempt.

A clean-shaven Carter goes to see a room he’d like to rent and is surprised to learn that it’s in Weaver’s brownstone. She was hesitant about renting to a colleague, but she’s tipsy enough to keep an open mind. She invites him in, asking if he did something to his hair. Doug calls Carol, who’s relaxing in a bubble bath, then surprises her by showing up at the house. He decided to take the night off from all his extra work so they can skip the phone sex and have the real thing.

Thoughts: Stan is played by the late Harvey Korman. Reggie is played by Cress Williams. Brad is played by Aldis Hodge.

The beard is dead, long live the beard! I hope Noah Wyle grew it for a role, because there’s no other excuse for it.

Please tell me a three-legged marathon isn’t a full marathon.

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