March 3, 2020

ER 5.18, Point of Origin: Weaver Is the Ultimate April Fool

Posted in TV tagged , , at 5:06 pm by Jenn

Don’t worry, Mobalage, Mark will make it all better

Summary: Carol’s asleep – drink! She’s dozing on her couch when her mom comes by, surprised that she’s not at work. There are two more things that would surprise Helen if Carol told her about them: 1) Doug left town, and 2) Carol’s pregnant. Benton is annoyed to learn that Romano rescheduled one of his procedures, which means he’ll have to miss an appointment at a school he wants Reese to attend. Benton has to drop the phone when Reese takes a knife out of the dishwasher. Unimpressed with the potholder Benton gives him instead, Reese makes his own fun, dropping his hearing aids in the toilet.

Weaver’s at a nursing home, worried about the health of one of the residents, Kathy. She demands that the nurse on duty call an ambulance. The nurse says that Kathy has a DNR, and besides, Weaver isn’t her doctor. Weaver says she’s Kathy’s daughter. At County, Carter’s impressed that Lucy’s going to be running a group counseling session just a couple of weeks into her psychiatric rotation. Lucy says she’s actually good in this area.

Carol’s late to work but Haleh doesn’t care. Mark comes in and asks Carter what he should do. He explains to Haleh and Lucy that Carter is running the ER for the day. There are no pens at the desk, which Jerry says is someone’s idea of an April Fool’s joke. That someone is him; he took all the pens so everyone would ask to borrow his, then get a shock from the pen. Mark warns him to watch his back.

Mobalage’s lawyer finds Mark and tells him she can’t get him a disability continuance for his immigration case unless he remains in the hospital. Mark thinks he can arrange that, but the lawyer heard that Elizabeth is discharging Mobalage. Benton has to keep Reese in daycare for another month because he missed the school meeting, and now he has to call whoever’s examining Reese’s hearing aids to make sure they weren’t damaged. Romano hangs up the phone for him because he’s a jerk. Benton urges Elizabeth to get away from him while she can. She tells him she’s looking at a trauma fellowship, which would do the trick.

Mark asks Elizabeth about Mobalage’s discharge, which she says she couldn’t really stop, since she didn’t feel comfortable lying to INS about him (makes sense, since her own immigration status could be endangered). Mobalage’s lawyer tells her that now he has nothing keeping him from going to court. Elizabeth thinks that if he shows the judge his scars, the judge will immediately allow him to stay in the U.S. The lawyer says Mobalage will have to testify about the torture he underwent in Nigeria, something he’s never spoken about before.

Weaver accompanies Kathy to the hospital and gives Carter instructions for her treatment. Carter offers to take over her care, reminding Weaver that he’s in charge for the day. Weaver won’t acknowledge his authority. Mark wants Mobalage to meet with a psychiatrist who can help him tell his story to the judge. To give Mobalage some time to consider it, Mark gives him a wheelchair and tells him to pretend he’s in pain.

Romano and Benton are operating with a hotshot doctor named Weinstein. He inseminates horses in his spare time, so…that’s fun. I’m not sure Benton has ever related to anyone less. Weinstein gets a call from a drug rep and asks to push the procedure to that afternoon. After all his scrambling that morning to get to work and rearrange his schedule, Benton now has nothing to do.

At the Roach Coach, Carol and Elizabeth chat about Carol’s pregnancy. She wanted a baby just a few months ago, but now she’s alone and isn’t sure she can handle single motherhood. When she counsels pregnant women who aren’t sure what to do, she tells them to go with their gut. Carol’s not sure what her gut is telling her to do.

Mark asks Elizabeth to “treat” Mobalage for any kind of issue she can think of. They just need to buy time while his lawyer tells the judge he’s been readmitted to the hospital. Elizabeth reluctantly agrees. Carter can’t find his stethoscope and thinks Jerry took it as a prank. Jerry finds that kind of prank unoriginal. Weaver tells her PI, Sam, that she’d like more information on Kathy and her biological father. She goes to see Kathy, who’s altered and thinks Weaver is someone named Claire. Weaver promises they’re taking good care of her.

Carter and Lydia treat a boy who seems to have an illness like meningitis, but not exactly. Carter questions the boy’s father about anything the boy could have ingested at home. The father admits that he had a little bit of cocaine. Big day for Dad – a trip to the ER and inevitable questioning from the police and CPS. Benton checks on Reese in daycare and finds him sitting by himself while the other kids have music time.

Weaver tries to get Kathy admitted while Mark congratulates Carter for his treatment of the boy. Weaver shocks herself on Jerry’s pen, so he’ll probably turn up dead tomorrow. Kobe asks Mark to sit with Mobalage while he meets with the psychiatrist, since Mobalage trusts him. Mobalage talks a little about the torture he experienced in Nigeria, but he says he doesn’t remember everything that happened.

Paramedics bring in Coco, who they found on the street after giving birth. She’s frantic and probably isn’t on her medication. The baby’s doing okay under Carol and Carter’s care, but when Coco sees Carol tending to the boy, she accuses Carol of stealing him. Weaver calmly tries to take her back to her trauma room. Coco starts to go with her, then shoves Weaver to the ground and tries to grab the baby from Carol. Carol protects him while trying to keep him from Coco.

Benton asks Weaver what they’re going to do with the data they collected in that long-ago sternal-saw study they were doing together. He wants them to write a paper together, since it was a joint study. He then mentions the ER surgical fellowship he heard about from Elizabeth. He might be interested in it. Mobalage’s lawyer tells Mark that the judge has caught on to the doctors’ stall tactics, so Mobalage has to give a deposition tomorrow. Mark and the psychiatrist tell her that Mobalage doesn’t remember being tortured. Unfortunately, that might not help his case.

Weaver checks on Kathy as Carol tends to her. Carol says a case like Kathy’s is less complicated when there’s no family; they just have to follow the DNR orders. Chuny can’t punch in because of a broken time block, so she asks Carter what she should do. They go back and forth for a while, but Chuny breaks, making Carter realize she’s pulling an April Fool’s joke on him. She says Malik put her up to it. Not your best work, Malik. Carter gets revenge by giving her Jerry’s pen.

A tech tells Carter that a scanner will be down for another four hours. Carter decides to close the ER to neurological traumas. Coco is now stable and apologizes for attacking Carol. Carol has no hard feelings and assures her that the baby’s okay. Coco went off her medications while she was pregnant, not wanting them to harm the baby. She knew there was a risk of getting out of control, but she got through the nine months. Now she can go back on her meds and stay stable. She already loves her son and wants to do what’s best for him, but she’s worried he’ll be taken away from her.

Carter and Lydia take care of a sick baby whose preschool-age brother is banging on stuff in the room with an arm in a cast. The tech Carter spoke to earlier shows him the baby’s scans – she has multiple rib fractures. Carter asks Chuny to call CPS and security, thinking the baby’s short-tempered mother, Mrs. Gleason, is abusing her kids. He finds a reason to have the baby taken somewhere else, then tells Mrs. Gleason that they need more information. Her son already has a broken arm; how did her daughter get so many broken ribs? Mrs. Gleason is understandably furious and denies being abusive.

Mark tries to get information about Mobalage’s torture out of Kobe. She explains that he wrote a story that angered people in a position of power. In Nigeria, he was an engineer and a very warm person. She says she can’t give Mark any details about the torture. It sounds like she’s resigned to going back to Nigeria if that’s the way the immigration case turns out.

Carol asks Weaver about some medication she gave Kathy despite her DNR status. Weaver says she’ll make the judgment call on her patient’s treatment. Carol points out that Doug made judgment calls, and Weaver got mad at him for them. Weaver says he made his own trouble. Carol replies that Weaver certainly didn’t help him at all. Weaver asks if Carol thinks she drove Doug out of County. They bicker some more about double standards until Weaver announces that Kathy is her mother.

She continues that she was adopted and hired a PI to find her birth mother. She never imagined that she’d find an old woman; she always thought her birth mother was a teenager who couldn’t keep her. She wanted more time so they could have a meaningful conversation. Instead, she found a dying woman. Carol offers to call for a consult and try to get Kathy treatment that will buy her more time.

Benton and Romano’s big operation is over, so Romano tells Benton he can go home and see his “munchkin.” Annoyed, Benton says his name is Reese. As if Romano cares. Also annoyed: Elizabeth, who has heard that someone else is interested in the trauma fellowship and has guessed it’s Benton. She’s upset that he’s trying to steal a position that was her idea.

Benton tells her he didn’t know that, and he didn’t even say he wanted the fellowship, just that he wanted more information. He doesn’t like cardiothoracics, so he’s looking for something else, especially if it means more time with Reese. Elizabeth accuses him of using his son to try to screw her over. Benton tells her to just take the job; he doesn’t want it. Elizabeth tells him she doesn’t want it by forfeit. If he wants the job, he should go after it: “I’ll still get it.”

Carter meets with the tech again, finally finding his stethoscope. What was the point of that? Anyway, the Gleason baby has had 28 different fractures in her few months of life. Carter suspects abuse even worse than he first thought, but then finds something suspicious: The baby had four fractures when they first x-rayed her, but now there’s a fifth. They realize that the baby may have osteogenesis imperfecta, AKA brittle-bone disorder, and Carter accidentally hurt her when he held her down to do a lumbar puncture. He kicks himself for jumping to conclusions about abuse.

Weaver meets up with Sam, who tells her about Kathy’s life. Claire was her daughter, who died in her mid-20s. Weaver says that Kathy’s blood type is O-positive, but Weaver is AB. Kathy can’t be her mother. Weaver tells Sam he should be more careful. He pleads with her not to fire him, since his mistake shouldn’t affect her desire to search for her family. She fires him anyway. Carol tells Lucy to call her resident about Coco and her baby. Coco thinks Lucy is too unqualified to evaluate her and determine something as important as whether she’ll be a fit mother.

In the men’s room with Mark, Jerry asks what it means when your urine is blue. Mark laughs and tells him someone pranked him, probably by putting methylene blue in his brownies. Jerry vows revenge, and Mark reminds him that he warned Jerry to watch his back. After Jerry leaves, Mark pauses and looks at himself in the mirror, getting an idea. Weaver visits Kathy one last time, pretending to be Claire when Kathy calls her that. Kathy declares her love for her daughter and Weaver says it back.

Mark takes Mobalage into the men’s room and tells him about his own traumatic experience. He used to have dreams about his attack, and he relived everything over and over. He can still feel exactly what he felt at the time. Mark’s memories make him wonder why he didn’t fight back. This sparks something in Mobalage’s brain, and he starts remembering his own traumas. He can picture everything as if it’s in the room with them, happening all over again. He remembers wishing for death but not wanting to leave his family.

Instead of ending the episode on the mixed blessing of Mobalage remembering trauma (though that might give the judge a reason to keep him from going back to Nigeria), we end on a happy note. Carol goes to see a doctor for a prenatal appointment – she’s going to keep the baby. Of course, we know that she’s in for much more than she expects.

Thoughts: Mobalage’s lawyer is played by Anna Gunn.

See? Mark is a white savior.

Surgeons can just postpone an operation right before it’s about to start, for a reason that’s not medical? Ugh.

It’s interesting that Elizabeth is the only person Carol has told about her pregnancy. They’re not particularly close. We’ve only seen them hang out together outside of work once. Why her and not, say, Haleh?

1 Comment »

  1. Nick Rivers said,

    I thought Carol confiding in Elizabeth was a little unusual, but the nurses are definitely not known for discretion or keeping secrets and confidences. Chuny is one of the worst, and Lydia and Haleh are probably not that much better. (I think Yosh would be the best nurse to confide in but he’s not that close with anyone.) I am more surprised she hasn’t told Mark yet.

    Speaking of Mark and the White Savior thing, I was glad he used his PTSD experience to try to help Mobalage, but yes, it’s a little tired, the trope. This storyline reminds me of the early extremely brief snippet of Kerry Weaver with her… “friend” Mlungisi and how she’d apparently spent some time in Africa. Maybe she could have had some insight into African politics and what Mobalage potentially went through. Not like all African countries are the same in the least, but if she had any experience at all in Africa, it’s more than Mark had. Though he did have the shared PTSD history, so I guess it makes sense to have him be the Savior.

    I like that they brought Coco back and showed she was able to get through the entire pregnancy, somewhat. I guess Mark’s accidental Haldol during her early pregnancy didn’t affect the baby negatively, so that’s something.

    Elizabeth was rightfully pissed and awesomely feisty about the ER fellowship idea, but Benton should have used his head and asked her — or figured out on his own — whether it was an open application process for it or if she was kind of grandfathered into it. She was right to be angry because she was telling a friend about her Romano Escape Plan and that friend turned around and tried to poach her job without thinking about anything but himself and his own needs (and his son’s needs, granted, but still). She has been a really good friend to him in ways he doesn’t even realize — the Romano case that was thrown out because she backed down to protect Peter’s job — and he treats her like this? The Benton from LaVerne was a one-off, it seems. It makes that episode stand out more like a sore thumb and uncharacteristic of him when he goes on to pull crap like this with his actual friends.

    I guess Carter got over the whole Lars sacrifice thing pretty quickly. You’d think there would be some more fallout for him, legally and professionally, from the whole event, even though he didn’t intend to hit anyone.

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