January 14, 2020

ER 5.11, Nobody Doesn’t Like Amanda Lee: Forget NASA and Medicine – Mark Should Be a Detective

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:58 pm by Jenn

How can you not love this?

Summary: In case anyone was wondering, Carter and Roxanne are still together. She wants him to meet her friends, but he doesn’t want to feel like he’s on display. Plus, he wanted to help Lucy prepare to present grand rounds for the first time the next morning. Roxanne notices something on his arm and asks what it is.

Chicago has just had a big snowstorm, so Mark is digging out the ambulance bay. Amanda starts a snowball fight with him, and they end up on the ground together. In a romantic movie, this would be when they kiss. Instead, Amanda has to go in because her pager is buzzing. In the cafeteria, Carol and Doug discuss their potential plans with Mark and Amanda that night (Mark might cancel to be with Amanda alone). Carol hopes they’re moving toward a relationship. A woman named Joi Abbott passes out and Doug and Carol rush to help her.

In the ER, Doug meets Tony, a transport dispatcher who’s been assigned to work at the front desk while Jerry and Randi are both out sick. He gives Mark a message from someone at NASA. Just ignore the NASA stuff in this episode; it never goes anywhere. Lydia thinks the person who called was just Jerry playing a prank. Jeanie meets her future husband when Reggie brings in a kid who got hurt while bumper-skiing on Reggie’s patrol car. He asks Jeanie to look at a splinter he got in his hand. Jeanie says she’s working in pediatrics today, so Reggie says he’s a kid at heart.

Amanda and Carol tend to Joi, determining that she’s malnourished. Her son is having an MRI upstairs, and all she’s focused on is getting back to him. Her son, Ricky, has ALD, the degenerative condition featured in Lorenzo’s Oil. Unfortunately, Ricky’s ALD has progressed too far for the oil to be helpful. Joi leaves without being treated, saying she might come back to the ER after Ricky’s MRI is done.

Amanda tells Carol that she’s looking forward to their double date that night, then asks if Mark and Carol have ever hooked up. She’s just curious as to whether Mark pursues a lot of co-workers; he’s been aggressive with her. That sounds odd to Carol. Amanda continues that he’s pretty “inventive,” which makes her think he’s been with a lot of women. Carol clarifies that they’re talking about the same Mark. Amanda alludes to a romantic encounter on a fire escape.

Carter shows Lucy what Roxanne noticed on his arm, the aftermath of a test for TB, which came up positive. He thinks it’s from his encounter with Mrs. Price. A positive test just means he was exposed, not that he necessarily has it, but he’ll still have to take medication for a few months. Carter’s unconcerned and says he knew what he was getting into when he became a doctor. He tells Lucy he has to cancel their plans to prepare for her grand rounds together.

Elizabeth wrote a research paper and isn’t sure it’s good enough to get published. Benton has read it and warns that it’s controversial, which isn’t something she needs right now. Chuny sends Benton in to treat a patient whose grandmother requested him personally. The grandmother is Lisa Parks, and she thinks her granddaughter, Gwen, has appendicitis. Gwen, who’s hearing but speaks sign language, translates Benton’s diagnosis of the flu. Lisa is sure it’s more serious than that and insists on an ultrasound.

Jeanie takes care of Reggie’s hand as he flirts with her, then asks her out. She turns him down, noting that she doesn’t know him. He replies that she’ll get to know him if they go out. Reggie knows she’s HIV-positive and is “cool” with it. “Lucky me,” Jeanie quips. He promises that he’s not just talking about sex. Jeanie still doesn’t want to go out with him.

Carter tells Weaver that her mother called their shared home. Weaver is surprised by this and asks if she was requested by name. The ER gets a dispatch warning of a plane crash, and the whole staff quickly but calmly gets ready for a mass casualty. Anspaugh confirms Elizabeth’s fears by telling her that her paper isn’t ready for publication. He promises it’s not because it mentions her big mistake and makes the hospital look bad – it’s because it makes her personally look bad. He thinks she needs to figure out why she wants to make her errors public.

Dale comes to the ER to help get ready for the mass casualty and introduces himself to Lucy. She learns from him that Carter was once a surgical intern. Dale invites Lucy to go to a riverboat casino with him that night. Carter reminds her that she has to prepare for grand rounds, effectively shutting down a potential Dale/Lucy love match before it can get anywhere. Lucy, you’ll thank him for that later. Dale offers to help Lucy prep for rounds, but Carter pulls her away.

Amanda tells Doug that someone named Richmond in Portland called looking for someone to help set up pediatric ERs on the West Coast. She gave Doug a good recommendation, though he doesn’t plan to go anywhere. Carol and Mark talk about the NASA thing; he applied years ago, then tried to defer. No one cares. He tells Carol that, despite what Amanda told her earlier, she’s playing hard to get with him.

Amanda hands out assignments as everyone continues getting ready for the mass casualty. It all ends up being moot, since another dispatch comes in telling them to stop prepping. The crash had no survivors. Things get quiet, so Weaver has time to check with Tony about any messages she’s gotten (just one from her dentist), and Mark has time to receive an overnight delivery from NASA.

Paramedics bring in a woman named Edie who might have a head injury after being hit by a collapsing chimney. Yes, you read that right. A psychologist named Blum is right behind her, hurt in the same freak accident. Edie is hugely panicked, and Blum tells Mark and Weaver that she has agoraphobia. He had just gotten her to leave her house for the first time in five years. Then, bam – chimney. It’s like a verse out of an Alanis Morissette song. Mark tries to calm Edie, sending Haleh to find a Yanni tape so she can listen to relaxing music.

Gwen’s mother arrives and signs with Lisa while Benton tries to figure out what they’re talking about. Gwen explains that Lisa has told her daughter about Benton and Reese. Benton confirms that Gwen does have appendicitis, then lets her grandmother give her the news that she needs surgery. Gwen’s mother asks for an interpreter; Lisa isn’t a surgeon, and Gwen’s mother has questions that Lisa can’t answer. Benton agrees that the hospital should provide someone to communicate with them.

The CT scanner is down, so Edie will have to wait for a scan. Mark doesn’t want to have to sedate her, so Amanda steps in, makes the room a little more pleasant, and gets Edie to imagine herself somewhere more comfortable. Edie easily calms down, and Mark is now even more smitten with Amanda.

Reggie apologizes to Jeanie, telling her he’s trying to come up with something he can tell her that will make things less awkward. He knows there’s nothing going on in his life that compares to her having HIV. Jeanie tells him she’s doing great. Mark compliments Amanda’s calming technique, and she tells him she studied phobias and even published an article about them in Cornell’s medical journal. He asks to read it, but Amanda says it’s boring and poorly written.

Carol tells Doug that Joi has anemia. Carol looked into the Abbott family – Ricky’s older brother died of ALD, and Ricky, who’s eight, probably won’t live to be much older than ten. (Medical info from Doug: ALD is inherited from one’s mother and only affects boys.) Benton goes to the hospital daycare to deal with some behaviors Reese has been showing. He bit a kid today, and yesterday he threw a fit during music time. The teacher’s trying to spend extra time with him, but there are too many kids to look after. She suggests that Benton find a more specialized caregiver.

Elizabeth comes to the ER to help Weaver with a pregnant patient named Robin, who was in a car accident. Weaver sends Elizabeth to the next trauma room to tend to another accident victim, Aaron. Mark asks Tony to help him “navigate the Internet” (aww, 1999) so he can find Amanda’s journal article. Tony teaches him about backslashes, then looks up the article, which is attributed to an A.W. Lee. Mark asks Tony to get the medical library to send him other articles by the same author.

While Elizabeth and Lucy struggle to save Aaron, Weaver tends to Robin, whose water broke but who isn’t injured from the car crash. Carol finds Joi reading a book to Ricky in a waiting area and lets her know she’s anemic. She gives Joi some iron pills and asks her to come back in a few weeks for a blood test. Joi doesn’t have help with Ricky, so that might be difficult. Carol offers to arrange for respite care, but Joi says her son is her responsibility. Carol tells her she needs to take care of herself, too.

Mark tells Amanda he found her journal article, but the author photo published with it is of someone else. She says they went to Cornell together and people mixed them up all the time. The journal printed a correction in the next issue. Mark thinks they should call up the journal’s editor and make sure Amanda gets credit for her work.

Reggie tells Weaver that witnesses said Mike was driving erratically, so he’s wondering if anyone tested him for alcohol. They didn’t, and Weaver doesn’t think it’s necessary. Reggie says it’s standard procedure, so Weaver promises to do it. Carter and Lucy treat a man named Wong who moves while Lucy’s trying to take his blood, causing her to accidentally inject herself.

Doug, Mark, Carol, blah, blah, NASA. No one is going to space. Tony tells Mark that all the articles by A.W. Lee were checked out of the library. Hmm, suspicious. Mark then asks Anspaugh if he knows anyone at Cornell, or if he talked to anyone there about Amanda. Anspaugh says it wasn’t necessary, since her letters of recommendation were all so complimentary. Yeah, it’s not like those could be faked for anything. Although I guess reference-check phone calls could be, too. Anyway, Anspaugh has a friend who worked with Amanda and said she was an excellent resident.

Carter apologizes to Lucy for not warning Wong about a needle stick. Lucy reminds him that risk comes with the job, like his exposure to TB. They’ll test Wong for HIV, and if he’s positive, Lucy will have to take preventive medication. Carter is reassuring with her, trying to downplay the possible seriousness of the situation.

The interpreter doesn’t arrive before Gwen has to go to surgery, but Lisa is okay with Benton proceeding. She also asks to watch the operation. Mark and Tony clear an unstressful, non-emergency-passing path to the elevator so they can transport Edie for her CT. A trauma comes in and ruins this, so they take her back to her room.

Aaron’s parents arrive, and Jeanie’s present when Reggie gently tells them that their son died. Carol finds Amanda cutting some articles out of a bunch of medical journals she claims were extras. She says she has a migraine and will have to skip the double date that night. Mike’s blood-alcohol level is .086, just over the legal limit for driving. Mark and Tony’s second try getting Edie to the elevator is also a failure, as when the doors open, the elevator is stuck between floors. Edie has her eyes closed and doesn’t see, but it still makes her panic again.

Benton operates on Gwen as Anspaugh expresses amazement over Lisa’s ability to get through medical school and residency without being able to hear. For example, they’re all wearing masks; how can she read lips? Benton gives Anspaugh a look that says he’s being impolite, and Anspaugh notes that she can’t hear them or read their lips. Benton says it’s rude to talk about her while she’s in the room. To his credit, Anspaugh agrees and sincerely apologizes.

With Edie safely in the CT scanner, Tony returns to the desk and gets a message for Mark from Cornell. Amanda says she’s heading in his direction and will deliver it. Instead, she throws it away. Weaver tries to appeal to Reggie on Mike’s behalf, saying he only had a couple of beers and rushed home because his wife was in labor. Reggie notes that he killed someone, which is involuntary manslaughter. Weaver says Mike will take full responsibility for his actions, but he should be there for his baby’s birth. Reggie agrees to wait until the baby’s born to arrest Mike.

Wong is negative for HIV, so Lucy’s free and clear. She’s grateful to Carter for helping her through the trauma. Edie’s time in the CT scanner is uneventful, and she has no serious injuries. Wen Mark goes in to get her out, Amanda locks them in and talks to him on the intercom. She’s upset that he doubted her when she loved him “more than any man deserves to be loved.” Mark is very confused. Amanda says it’s too painful to be near him, so she won’t unlock the door. Mark tries to calm Edie while Amanda says they’re done, but she’ll never forget him. She leaves while Edie has a panic attack.

Thanks to a lazy tech who took a long lunch, Mark and Edie are stuck in the scanner room for an hour, allowing Amanda to take off. Mark has now looked into her past and found two of her previous aliases. Also, Amanda never got her M.D. or even went to med school. She stole A.W. Lee’s transcripts and used them to jump into a residency program. “Why didn’t I think of that?” Doug quips. Amanda has also posed as a lawyer and an architect. Carol wonders how many patients she treated. Doug wonders if she made up the job offer from Portland.

Edie, now totally calm, thanks Mark for his help. She’s decided that if she can survive “this hellhole,” she can survive anything. She even plans to walk home. Aaron’s father bursts into Robin’s room and accuses Mike of killing Aaron. Reggie promises to stay with him while he waits for the baby to be born. Aaron’s father wishes he’d had a few more hours with his child. Weaver suggests that Mike go with Reggie and post bail; he should be back at the hospital before the baby is born.

Gwen’s surgery is successful, and her mother and Lisa tell Benton he did a great job. Benton praises Lisa for diagnosing Gwen’s appendicitis in the first place. Jeanie and Carter discuss Amanda, wondering how she’s gotten away with her fraud for so long. He spots Lucy talking to Dale and calls Dale over to tell him to be on his best behavior with her. Dale confirms that Lucy didn’t get exposed to HIV, so there’s nothing stopping him from trying to score with her tonight. Lucy, run away! Run now!

Elizabeth tells Anspaugh that Amanda was one of the people tending to Aaron when he died, which opens up the hospital to all sorts of liability. However, Elizabeth doesn’t think they made any errors. (I also don’t think Amanda did anything hands-on, so they can just say she was observing.) Elizabeth has decided to have her paper published, even though it means admitting a huge mistake. Clearly, they’ve all made missteps. You know, like hiring someone who wasn’t really a doctor. Anspaugh offers to help her find the right journal to publish her paper.

Weaver helps Robin through labor (Mike isn’t back yet) as Doug and Carol tease Mark about his budding relationship with Amanda. He finds a letter in his locker and reads its contents, a love poem, out loud. Yosh recognizes it as a poem by Octavio Paz. So we can add plagiarism to Amanda’s list of evil deeds. As Carol and Doug are about to leave, Joi catches up to them and says she’d like to look into respite care after all.

Reggie comes back to the hospital to check on Robin and runs into Jeanie. He feels bad for having to arrest Mike, who’s a good guy who just made one dumb mistake. Jeanie tells him she has plans tonight, but she’d like to go out with him tomorrow. Reggie’s obviously on board with that.

At home, Carter tells Weaver that her mother didn’t call back. She tells him that her mother’s dead, but she was adopted, so the call could have been from her birth mother. She put her name and info on the Internet a few weeks ago, saying she was open to contact. Benton goes to get Reese from daycare and teaches him the sign for “father,” having learned it from Gwen and Lisa. He’s thrilled when Reese signs it back.

Thoughts: Jerry gets vindication for not trusting Amanda and he’s not even there to find out!

A chimney can just…fall off? And hit someone who’s not standing right underneath it? What are the odds?

I bet Blum calls Edie a success story in exposure therapy. Just one day outside her house and she’s cured!

I’m a little surprised Anspaugh didn’t get fired for hiring a non-doctor to run the ER. That seems like a fireable offense.

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