March 10, 2020

ER 5.19, Rites of Spring: There Are No Accidents

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 4:53 pm by Jenn

And so it begins

Summary: Carol is snacking on Saltines (because she’s pregnant) while doing some spring cleaning in a trauma room. Mark is happy about her sudden urge to spruce things up. He runs into Elizabeth and they chat about a seminar they’ll both be at that afternoon (he’s attending, she’s presenting). Things are slow in the ER, so Jerry and Carter are throwing around a Frisbee. Mark takes them outside to teach them proper throwing technique. Mobalage adds his own advice as he comes in for work. He tells Mark that he got amnesty because of his torture in Nigeria, and he’s going to go back to school to get his civil engineering license. Happy ending!

Coco is scheduled to come to the clinic with her baby. Social Services has agreed to let Carol be in charge of making sure she takes her medication and is caring for the baby properly. Lynette reminds Carol that she’s heading up the clinic now, so she should be informed of these kinds of developments. Carol apologizes for not telling Lynette that she’d made the arrangements. Lynette chastises that she should have asked for permission first.

Fun fact: The ER staff has a fantasy baseball league, but they call it rotisserie baseball because it’s only 1999. Romano tells Carter that some area hospitals are doing a mentorship program with students from a local magnet high school. He wants Carter to show County’s kid around. He gets a whole five minutes’ notice. Lucy is still on her psych rotation, and her current patient is Michael, a law student who smashed his car. His wife, Sally, says he doesn’t use drugs and has never shown any signs of psychological problems. She thinks he’s just been under a lot of stress.

Benton checks in on Jeanie, who’s responding well to her hepatitis medication. She brushes him off, not wanting to discuss her health with him. Lynette tells Carol that Coco’s late and hasn’t been seen at her halfway house all morning. Carol worries that Coco has backed out of her agreement to be monitored at County. Just as she’s getting disappointed that Coco isn’t going to keep her promises, Coco shows up. She thought the appointment was at noon, so she’s actually early. Lynette realizes she wrote the time down wrong in her own book.

Elizabeth has calmed down about Benton’s interest in the trauma fellowship she also wants, and she apologizes to him. He hasn’t made up his mind yet about whether he’s going to stick with cardiothoracics. She tells him he should go for the trauma fellowship if he does want it; they should have the advantage since it’s their hospital.

Lucy’s resident, Myers, is annoyed that she’s not done with Michael yet since he has a bunch of other stuff for her to do. Mark overhears and tells her that her job is to work with patients, not do her resident’s work. Lucy says that the students who act as their residents’ servants get better grades. Mark tells her that’s not the important part of her training; it’s about talking and listening to patients.

Jeanie does triage in the busy waiting room, apologizing to an older man named Reverend Lynn for his long wait. He understands that she has a lot of people to tend to and isn’t impatient. He has a blood blister in his fingernail and just needs it drained, but Jeanie notices that he also has swollen joints from rheumatoid arthritis. Rev. Lynn doesn’t feel like the fact that he has to take a bunch of medication is that big of a burden. He also thinks that accidentally hitting his thumb with a hammer was something like divine intervention. If he hadn’t, he wouldn’t have gotten to meet Jeanie.

Carter finds Antoine Bell, his magnet student, and takes him on a tour of the ER. Anspaugh and Elizabeth operate together, discussing the presentation she’ll be giving that afternoon. Anspaugh asks what she thought of the sternal-saw paper Benton and Weaver wrote. It was accepted by the Annals of Emergency Medicine and might bring in the grant money the hospital needs to fund the trauma fellowship. Elizabeth realizes that could be a huge advantage for Benton in getting the fellowship.

Lucy asks Michael some questions about the stress he’s been under and what put him over the edge to smash the car. It becomes clear during the conversation that this is an area Lucy could really excel in. She gets him to admit that he drinks not to cope with stress but because it quiets the voices in his head. They wanted him to hurt his wife, which Michael would never do. He hit the car instead of Sally.

Carol happily examines Coco’s baby as Coco reads the meticulous records she’s been keeping about her care for him. Everything is normal with him, and Coco’s been doing exactly what she should for him. She knows she needs to be as perfect as possible so she doesn’t lose him. Fortunately, she’s getting a lot of good support at the halfway house.

Mark treats a patient who put his foot through a picture frame while fighting with his wife. The patient thinks Mark’s smart for not being married, since women just drive you crazy your whole life. I guarantee that this man regularly refers to women as “broads.” Yosh (whose sexuality I don’t think is ever confirmed, but who I’m pretty sure is gay) pretends he understands. The patient is annoyed to have to stay off his feet for a couple of weeks since he loves ballroom dancing. He urges Mark to go dancing and attract a bunch of women.

Jerry asks Carter if he can take Antoine on a tour of the morgue. He thinks Antoine is from a Scared Straight program. Carter corrects him, and Jerry says he just assumed Antoine (who’s black) was there as a punishment. Psst, Jerry, you’re being racist. Carter grabs Antoine to observe a trauma as Carol starts to take her next patient, a preteen named Seth who put his hand through a window. Why are people putting their limbs through glass so often? The kid is angry and kicks Carol for asking to see his injury. His foster mother, Mrs. Morgan, says he’s been causing some trouble.

Carter’s patient, Mr. Cho, was stabbed in the neck during a robbery. Carter notices his hoarse voice and suspects a nerve injury. Antoine hangs back and watches, half intrigued and half overwhelmed. Benton takes the case over from Elizabeth, asking why she didn’t page him to the ER. A police officer asks Carter and Benton to hold off on intubating Mr. Cho until he’s been questioned. His wife was killed in the robbery, and the police want Mr. Cho’s testimony so they can find the killer. Mr. Cho asks the doctors to let him help the police. Carter realizes Antoine has left the trauma room.

Romano notices that Elizabeth looks glum and tells her that Anspaugh says she has a good chance of getting the trauma fellowship. Romano wasn’t aware that Benton had applied for it. Rev. Lynn has had to wait for someone to drain his blister since Jeanie doesn’t feel comfortable doing it. She admits that she has hepatitis and doesn’t want to risk infecting him. Rev. Lynn doesn’t see that as a big risk and trusts her to do it. He reminds her that he doesn’t believe in accidents.

Lily and Chuny wonder why Antoine left the ER – was he freaked out by the blood or the presence of the police officer? Carter tells them that Antoine isn’t a criminal; he’s doing an independent study project. Lucy comes to see Seth, who’s been moved around to different group and foster homes over the past few years because of his aggressive behavior. He’s on a bunch of medication, which Lucy thinks is part of the problem. She asks about some symptoms he might have, like clumsiness. Mrs. Morgan tells her that Seth hurt himself because he lost his balance, not because he was having an outburst.

Carter finds Antoine in the lounge and goes easy on him for leaving during the trauma, in case it was because of all the blood. But Antoine left because he wanted to learn more about Mr. Cho’s injury. He’s looked it up in a book and now understands the mechanics of what happened. Antoine clearly has the intelligence and drive to become a great doctor. Paramedics bring in a man named Frank who fell while jogging and impaled his chest on a sprinkler head. Carol feels some pain while moving him onto an exam table and limps out of the trauma room.

Benton and Elizabeth come in and disagree about Frank’s possible injuries. Frank looks back and forth between them like he’s watching a tennis match. Carol pulls Mark out of the room to tell him she was cramping earlier and is now spotting. She tells him for the first time that she’s pregnant. He gives her an ultrasound but can’t find a heartbeat. He thinks it’s just because she’s not far enough along; she should get a vaginal ultrasound instead. Carol tells him that she hasn’t given Doug the news yet. She wants to wait until the second trimester, in case she has a miscarriage.

Antoine observes as Carter examines a sick toddler named Lonnie. Carter thinks Lonnie has lead poisoning from the peeling paint in his apartment walls. While operating together, Romano hints to Benton that he knows he’s trying to go behind Romano’s back to get the trauma fellowship. Carter and Antoine look at Lonnie’s blood cells in a lab and determine that he has anemia. Antoine’s familiar with the condition, and when Carter tells him that poorer kids like Lonnie are more at risk, Antoine gets that it’s because they live in older buildings.

After surgery, Benton asks Romano straight out if he’s upset about something. Romano’s annoyed that he talked Benton up for the cardiothoracic fellowship, and now Benton wants the trauma fellowship. Benton promises that he wasn’t going to take the cardiothoracic fellowship for granted. It’s still his first choice. I don’t think Romano believes him. He says that if Benton needs help figuring out his future, Romano will take the cardiothoracic fellowship off the table.

Mark invites Carol to go do something to distract her before her ultrasound appointment. She wants some time alone, and besides, he has to go to the seminar. Coco returns with the baby, asking if Carol would have to tell someone if Coco didn’t do something right. Lucy talks to Seth about his birth mother, who was killed in a car accident caused by his father. Lucy can relate a little to Seth’s situation, since her father was never around when she was a kid. She doesn’t press Seth to talk about his family, but he opens up to her about his father’s alcoholism and absence in his life.

Elizabeth has trouble getting a cab to the seminar, and while trying not to throw a tantrum over losing one, she drops all her slides for her presentation. Mark runs into her and suggests that they take the El. Carol helps Coco give her baby a bath, which Coco was nervous about doing on her own. Carol praises her for asking for help. Also, the baby is cute and happy, and this is much more appealing than a lot of things Carol has to do at work, so she probably appreciates the break.

Carter catches Antoine chatting with some friends outside the hospital and takes him back inside. He tells him he doesn’t have to wear the tie his mom made him put on. Carter offers him some advice for this program or any other job Antoine might have in the future: Don’t goof off with your friends when you’re on the clock. Antoine starts to say he had a good reason, but Carter doesn’t need an excuse. He just wants Antoine to know what Carter expects of him.

Mark helps Elizabeth put her slides back in order on the El. She apologizes for fighting with Benton during Frank’s trauma. Mark thinks she and Benton are still together, and when Elizabeth says they’re not, Mark comments that he needs better sources of information at work. They have ten minutes before Elizabeth’s presentation…and they’ll be even later than that, because it’s the weekend, so the train they’re on doesn’t make all its regular stops.

Benton comes to take care of Rev. Lynn’s blister; the two of them know each other, since Mae was one of Rev. Lynn’s parishioners. Rev. Lynn puts together that Jeanie is the same woman Mae used to talk to him about. She called Jeanie her comforting angel. Rev. Lynn says again that he and Jeanie didn’t meet by accident. He wants to offer some healing prayers, and Jeanie agrees to take any help she can get. The three of them hold hands as Rev. Lynn silently prays, then touches Jeanie’s forehead as if he’s blessing her. She opens her eyes like something inside her has gotten lighter.

Mark and Elizabeth finally make it to the hotel where the seminar is being held, but they’re in the wrong place and accidentally crash a wedding reception. They run through the bar on their way to the right spot and Mark laughs over a pig ice sculpture. As they wait for an elevator, he asks an older man with a much younger woman (most likely being paid for her company) if they’re there for the conference. Elizabeth’s amused. They decide to take the stairs, which lead them to a storeroom. They realize they’re locked in.

Back at County, Antoine introduces Carter to a woman he knows and her toddler, Andre. He thinks Andre might have lead poisoning. That’s why his friends came by the hospital – Antoine asked them to get Andre and his mother because Andre has the same symptoms as Lonnie. Carter should be proud – it’s his mentee’s first day and he’s already made a diagnosis. Antoine’s time in the ER is supposed to be over by now, but he asks to stick around to see what happens.

Myers discusses Seth with Carl Deraad, the head of the psych department. He agrees with Lucy’s assessment that Seth is being overmedicated. Lucy says he also needs therapy; he’ll benefit a lot from just being listened to. Deraad is pleased with Lucy’s work and approves her request to continue to meet with Seth after her psych rotation ends and she goes back to the ER.

Jeanie gets some tests done and is shocked to see that her liver functions are almost normal. She thinks worrying over her hepatitis made her worse. Benton notes that praying with Rev. Lynn might have helped, too. Carol goes to her ultrasound as Mark and Elizabeth talk about her adjustment to living in the U.S. They both admit to being lonely sometimes. Someone finds them in the storeroom, but by the time they get to the conference room, the seminar is over. They decide to get a drink together.

Jeanie goes to Rev. Lynn’s church, despite not being religious or much of a churchgoer. He tells her it’s a start. The ultrasound tech also has trouble finding a heartbeat, but it’s there, so Carol can relax. Mark and Elizabeth get to know each other at the hotel bar, loosening up with the help of alcohol and some childhood story of Mark’s with the punchline, “Timmy fed the squirrels!” Tango music comes on at the wedding next door and Mark invites Elizabeth to crash it and dance with him. All of a sudden, County has a new couple.

Thoughts: Sally is played by Jessica Capshaw.

Mark is in a really good mood this whole episode, and it’s never explained, but my guess is that helping Mobalage made him overcome any lingering issues he had from his own trauma.

The risk if impaling myself on a sprinkler head is the reason I’m giving from now on for why I don’t jog.

1 Comment »

  1. Nick Rivers said,

    Sprinkler Head was pretty quick to blame his wife for his accident! Maybe if he was more careful and didn’t trip over the sprinkler it wouldn’t have happened. It’s not like she pushed him.

    I had a sinking feeling the Car Smasher was going to end up being the same guy that stabs Lucy later on, but no… just another schizophrenic. She does have a knack for this and it would have been a good idea to keep her on that rotation longer to showcase this skillset, but I know — or at least I think — Kellie Martin wanted out of the show.

    Mark and Elizabeth are cute together and it’s nice to see her relaxed around someone who isn’t so incredibly intense all the time. I don’t know that I ever saw them as a longterm couple, though I know they end up married.

    Lynette was right that Carol should have asked permission, but dang she’s prickly sometimes. Quick to judge the Coco situation without a lot of background, but got angry at Carol for judging the **unauthorized** and *unpermissioned** group therapy session she held awhile back.

    Antoine was great and I can’t remember if he comes back as an actual med student, but that would have been good casting. And Gloria Reuben’s Jeanie is so luminous onscreen, you can see why pretty much every dude who comes into contact with her crushes on her immediately.

    I take back what I said about Myers and Lucy hooking up or making a cute couple. He was kind of a prick and I’d forgotten.

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