December 24, 2019

ER 5.8, The Good Fight: South Side With You

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

After all these years, I still can’t believe the writers didn’t put them together (and that’s not a complaint)

Summary: Carter is running a trauma involving a girl named Corinna who was in a car accident. He calmly tells Corinna’s father, Mr. Sawyer, that she has an injury to her spleen, then sends him off with Lucy to get stitches for a forehead wound. Lucy asks for his consent in case Corinna needs surgery or a blood transfusion. She also asks for his insurance information, and he says he left it in the car.

Carter brings Mark on to help as Benton assesses whether Corinna needs surgery. She’s stable but suddenly passes out, possibly because of a transfusion of the wrong type of blood. Lucy comes in to tell Carter that Sawyer wants her to call Corinna’s mother. Carter sends her back to ask Sawyer if Corinna has any history of blood disorders. When Lucy returns to the room where she was treating Sawyer, he’s gone.

Doug comes in (wearing golf shoes, for some reason) as Lucy relays to Carter the information she got from Corinna’s mother: Sawyer kidnapped their daughter two weeks ago from her mother’s home in Cleveland. Also, his name is Nelson, not Sawyer. Carter wonders why Nelson would ask Lucy to call his ex-wife.

Doug and Carol determine that Corinna has some sort of disorder that made her have a bad reaction to the correct blood type. Benton tells them, Mark, Carter, and Lucy that Corinna needs surgery. Mark tells Carter to find out Nelson’s blood type in case he can donate to her (though, of course, he’s not there anymore). He also sends Lucy to get in touch with Mrs. Nelson to have her blood type determined before she gets on a plane to Chicago.

Mark thinks they have some time before Corinna absolutely needs surgery. Benton agrees to stay close, since he’s sure she’ll need surgery and Mark will just page him again in a few minutes. Mark guesses that Carol called Doug in on his day off to help with a complicated case.

Carter’s supposed to leave to go sailing with Roxanne, but first he makes some calls looking for blood for Corinna. Lucy is able to reach Mrs. Nelson before she boards a plane and get her to send over medical records. Carter learns that Nelson has Corinna’s exact blood type and would be a perfect match for her. Roxanne ducks out to wait somewhere else while Carter finishes up his shift. Carter tells Lucy she can leave, too, so she tells him she’s going to go look for Nelson.

Benton thinks he’s given Doug and Mark enough time to treat Corinna medically and now she needs to go to the OR. Carter tells them that Corinna has two antibodies that are both rare, which means there was only a 1 in 50 million chance for her to have both (at least according to Lydia’s math). There’s no time to find an unrelated blood donor, but Mark and Doug will have to try to buy the time anyway.

Mark dismisses Carter, assuring him that Corinna will be taken care of. Carter says he’ll call in later to see how things are going. Doug and Benton consider a treatment they can do without blood. Carter goes to get Roxanne, who’s talking to a police officer, Middleton. He tracked Nelson’s license plate to a used car lot. Carter tells him how important it is to find Nelson, but the only information they have on him is an address that might not actually be his.

Corinna wakes up in the ER and asks for her father. Carol and Benton dodge the question. Weaver tells Mark she can call a friend who’s an expert in blood banking and might be able to help find blood for Corinna. Carol brings Mark back to the ER, where Corinna is having a seizure. The doctors are running out of options for treating her without blood.

Carter calls Jerry to check in, and Corinna’s case distracts him while he’s supposed to be hanging out with Roxanne. He thinks there’s something he can do to find Nelson. Roxanne wonders if he’s just interested in working with Lucy, but Carter’s sure she’s struck out and gone home by now. Roxanne tries to get him on board the boat, but Carter has decided there’s something more important to do.

He goes to the used car lot Nelson’s car came from, but the guy in charge there can’t help. As Carter’s about to leave, the guy changes his mind and admits that he knows Nelson. Nelson’s his bookie, and the guy loaned him the car because he couldn’t pay back a debt he owed. The guy has never contacted Nelson directly, though; he places his bets through a third party, a bellhop at a hotel called the Delaware.

Carter goes there next, but the bellhop won’t admit that there’s any gambling on the premises. Carter spots another bellhop and approaches him, then realizes he’s already talking to Lucy. That bellhop gets spooked by Carter’s eagerness to get answers, even though Lucy thinks he was about to spill something. As the two doctors leave, a third guy offers to hook them up with some gambling. He tells them the bellhop they want, Toby, quit his job at the hotel and may now be working at a meatpacking plant.

Weaver hasn’t had any luck contacting her friend, and patients are backing up in the ER, despite Doyle’s best efforts. Jerry gives Weaver a message that her buddy did call back; he couldn’t give her the message because she was on the phone trying to call him. Is that from an O. Henry story?

Carter and Lucy go to the meatpacking plant and search for the boning room. Lucy’s interested in what happens there. They bicker about who’s leading the way, and when she tries to lead, he goes in another direction. She says she started the search on her own and they’re not working together. Carter blames her for letting Nelson go, which necessitated the search in the first place. Lucy isn’t surprised that he’s putting this on her. “A little girl’s dying, Lucy. You can relax about you,” Carter tells her.

Lucy finds the boning room, then the guy who runs a jobs program for teens and may have helped Toby find a job. He doesn’t want to give them Toby’s information since Toby might stop trusting him. Carter notes that the guy wants to help kids, and they have one in need of help right now. Back at County, Corinna’s kidneys are failing, and Benton isn’t sure how much longer they can put off surgery. Anspaugh has now been brought onto the case. Mrs. Nelson arrives and Mark confirms that she doesn’t have Corinna’s type of blood. Weaver, however, has tracked down some that’s en route.

Carter and Lucy go to Toby’s apartment building, bickering (of course) over the odds of finding him and getting helpful information out of him about Nelson. While Lucy knocks and waits for Toby, Carter hears a little boy coughing next door and goes to check on him. An older girl tells Carter that the boy’s mother, Mrs. Price, is also sick. Carter decides to invite himself inside to see if she needs help. When he realizes she’s coughing up blood, he worries that she has TB. He goes off to call an ambulance but gets tackled by someone. Carter warns that if Mrs. Price and her son have TB, they’re contagious.

Benton and Anspaugh take Corinna to the OR, and Benton tries to reassure Mrs. Nelson that she’ll be okay. Meanwhile, Lucy tells Carter that Toby’s sister said Nelson often hangs out in a mini-mart and may be there right now. Carter wants to wait for the paramedics to come for the Prices, but Lucy doesn’t want to stay with him and possibly miss Nelson. Carter yells at her for not wanting to learn from him. She should respect all the experience he has.

Suddenly Lucy spots Nelson on an El platform nearby. Carter jumps the turnstile to race up to the platform, but he gets stopped by a security guard just before he can reach Nelson. “Congratulations – you just killed a little girl,” Carter says. At County, Elizabeth meets the helicopter delivering the blood, then starts to scrub in to help Benton and Anspaugh with Corinna’s operation.

Toby finally gets home, but he doesn’t know how to get in touch with Nelson. He mentions that sometimes he has people at ballparks take last-minute action for him. He also has an uncle who tends the grounds at Soldier Field. Elizabeth brings the blood into the OR, but there’s bad news: There are small holes in the bags, which means they’re not usable. Anspaugh thinks it’s time to resort to the desperate measures Benton has been considering.

On the way to Soldier Field, Carter tries to get in touch with Middleton, telling Lucy that she has to know when it’s time to ask for help. Thanks, Dr. Condescendo. They find Nelson’s uncle, Joey, who’s not actually Nelson’s uncle, but whatever. He knows Nelson sometimes goes to cockfights on Thursdays, though he doesn’t know where exactly on the south side they’re held. He offers to draw the doctors a map. Benton and Anspaugh try to operate on Corinna without a blood transfusion. This goes well for about ten seconds, until she starts hemorrhaging.

It’s dark now as Carter and Lucy follow Joey’s map to a building surrounded by multiple fences. They climb them and look around the building in the rain. Lucy wonders why Carter decided to go this extra mile for Corinna. He says he just wanted to help. He asks the same question, and Lucy says she feels responsible for Nelson leaving. Carter now says it’s not her fault, and he shouldn’t have said it was. She’s the only med student he’s ever had who’s shown promise.

Carter things he spots something through a gate, but it breaks and sends him tumbling into a garbage-filled stairwell. He diagnoses himself with a dislocated shoulder and tells Lucy she’ll have to fix it for him. It takes a couple of attempts, but at least Lucy gets to inflict pain on a guy who’s made her life difficult for the past few months. Back at County, Benton and Anspaugh run into more problems in the OR and have to shock Corinna’s heart.

Lucy, Carter, and Carter’s makeshift sling consider their options on their way back to his Jeep. She tells him she does respect him, and she knows he must be a good person because otherwise he wouldn’t have gone searching for Nelson. She might have given up if he hadn’t joined her, so she sees him as valiant. Carter says her stubbornness made him stick around. The two haven’t found Nelson (or anyone else), but someone found them – Carter’s Jeep has been set on fire.

The two make their way back to civilization and decide to get some food while they wait for a cab to come get them. Carter disagrees with Lucy’s plans for their next steps, telling her that they’re never going to find Nelson. The chef making their food thinks they’re dating, since they fight like they are. Lucy uses a pay phone to call Toby (against Carter’s wishes), who has an address they can check out. Corinna’s out of surgery but is going into kidney failure. Mark’s surprised Benton was able to get her through the surgery at all. Benton’s pretty sure she won’t make it, so he can’t really feel proud of his accomplishments.

Carter and Lucy go to the address Toby gave them, which is for a trailer in a train yard. No one’s there but the door’s unlocked, so they let themselves in. Carter thinks Nelson is trash for taking Corinna there, then abandoning her. Lucy says they can’t judge him when they don’t know the whole situation. She continues that she never met her father. He was 19 when she was born, and leaving might have been the best thing he could do for Lucy and her mother.

There’s a message on Nelson’s machine; he left it for someone named Inga, saying he’s not sure if she’s been to the hospital yet. He’ll try to reach her at work, and he’s “across the street.” Though Nelson doesn’t leave a number where Inga can reach him, the doctors are able to use clues in his message to figure out that Inga must have gone to the hospital to check on Corinna for Nelson. If they can find her, they can find Nelson.

The two take a cab to the hospital, though the fare is pretty high from the south side to County. Carter says they can stop at an ATM across the street from the hospital, at Doc Magoo’s. He and Lucy realize that that might be exactly where Nelson is. They’re right, and their long day of searching is finally over.

They take him straight to County to draw his blood as he laments making the wrong decision by leaving Corinna there before. Carter says he’s there now and can help her for real. It may be too late, though – Corinna’s having multi-system organ failure and is in a coma. All of Carter and Lucy’s work may have been for nothing.

Carter goes to get cleaned up and runs into Benton. He congratulates Benton for performing a bloodless surgery and keeping Corinna alive. Carter finds Lucy on the roof an hour before their next shift is supposed to start. Lucy’s disappointed that they did so much and Corinna might still die. Carter notes that some patients get to doctors more than others. Even when you do as much as you can, you have to walk away knowing you fought a good fight. They did that today, and they’ll do it again tomorrow.

Thoughts: The idea of Roxanne feeling threatened by Lucy is kind of hilarious. I mean, nothing against Lucy, but who would pick her over Roxanne?

Yes, Carter, the middle of a city-wide search for a dying girl’s father is definitely the right time to get mad at Lucy for not respecting your experience as a doctor.

Why didn’t they do that auto-transfusion thing Carter did on that guy that one time and give Corinna back her own blood?

1 Comment »

  1. Nick Rivers said,

    This whole arc with Carter being a condescending dick to his student is pretty obnoxious. Would he have been the same way with a male medical student? With as frustrating as Chad Lowe was, or the other guy who was always fainting in critical situations, I don’t remember him ever being so virulently dismissive and condescending with them. Gotta think that plays into it as well.

    I wish Lucy would have just straight-up told Carter that yes, she could learn a lot from him, that he was a very gifted doctor, but he was a terrible teacher for never being willing to indulge her desire to learn from him and instead was a total prick every time she tried… then asked Mark to switch her to another resident. Benton was a prick too but he was better about teaching Carter new things. Mark and Kerry are probably the best educators on staff though.

    I agree Roxanne shouldn’t be threatened by Lucy… except for one tidbit I remember from My So-Called Life when Hallie Lowenthal was driving Graham crazy — Patty was talking to Camille about the situation and Camille had the insight that for some reason I’ve never forgotten: “If you can get that angry with someone, there’s passion involved.” We know Carter and Lucy kiss at some point in the future so I guess that theory still holds true!


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