May 5, 2020

ER 6.5, Truth and Consequences: Damage Control

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

Hi. I ate paint. Next I’m going to play the most annoying character on “Angel”

Summary: Mark is walking to work when Dave zooms up to him on a bike. Mark chastises him for not wearing a helmet. Dave ignores him and complains about Weaver. He’s curious about why she uses a crutch. Mark says he doesn’t know and has never asked. Jeanie and Reggie have settled into a family routine, working different shifts so someone’s always home with Carlos. She reminds him to wear gloves while changing the baby’s diaper, but Reggie knows all the precautions to take for Carlos’ HIV.

At County, Weaver deals with a cranky crossing guard, then tells Dave to stop storing his bike in the lounge. She sends him to tend to a patient named Jesse. Dave isn’t interested and tries to pass him off to Lucy, who notices that the crossing guard has stolen Dave’s bike, which he promptly crashes. While Jeanie shows the nurses new pictures of Carlos, Lawrence looks for a chart he misplaced, because, as we’ve already figured out, he has memory problems. Carter shows him a new glue that replaces sutures. Lawrence says the Army’s been using it for 30 years.

Weaver tells Lawrence his handwriting is illegible, which he thinks is how it’s supposed to be; no doctor has legible handwriting. She suggests that he use the computer instead. Carter offers to show him how, but Lawrence thinks he’s an old dog who can’t learn new tricks. Elaine comes in and asks to talk to Carter. Dave asks Lawrence if Weaver ever told him what happened to her leg. Randi overhears and tells Dave to ask Carter, since he used to live with Weaver.

Meg is back for another appointment and brings with her the news that she got a job at a pharmacy. She says she’s not taking anything stronger than prenatal vitamins, but Carol orders a tox screen anyway. As Jeanie worries about Carlos while trying to focus on her job, Mark and Benton tend to a teen named Ben who was in a car accident. Benton wants to have someone from genetics consult since Ben has cystic fibrosis. Carol has a contraction but thinks it’s just Braxton-Hicks.

Lucy has taken over Jesse’s case after all; he’s revealed that he ate half a tube of paint. He’s struggling with his art and had a bad day. Julian from genetics (the doctor Doug took advantage of while treating Ricky last season) comes to the ER to see how Ben is doing, so Mark goes to check on Carol. She insists that she’s fine and can keep working.

Benton tells Ben’s father and brother that he’ll need surgery but should be fine. Mr. Hearn offers to donate blood, not wanting Ben to have a transfusion from a stranger. At Doc Magoo’s, Elaine apologizes to Carter for avoiding him while trying to deal with her medical issues. She has an appointment with a plastic surgeon, and after that’s sorted out, she’s thinking about going to Europe for a couple of months. Carter realizes he’s getting dumped, though I don’t think they were officially in a relationship to begin with.

When Carter gets back to County, Dave asks him about Weaver’s leg. Dave, please do your job and mind your own business. Jeanie takes a radio call reporting that a mass trauma is coming in. Lucy tells Jesse how dangerous eating paint is, then busts him for using cocaine. He claims it’s just to expand his mind and help his creative process. She wants to put him in a rehab program, though he worries that will hurt his art. He promises to check it out.

The mass trauma cases start coming in, the victims of an explosion in a high school chemistry class. Weaver and Mark take the patient who’s the worst, the teacher, and Weaver tells Lawrence to manage the rest of the traumas. Lawrence does well with triage for a while, but keeping track of so many patients eventually confuses him. For some reason, this makes things go slow-motion. Is that a symptom of Alzheimer’s?

Lawrence joins Weaver to take care of the teacher, Mr. Sutherland, and snaps at Lucy when she questions some of his instructions. Lawrence wants to do a procedure that the ER has been doing with a kit for a while; he’s impatient and says the kit isn’t reliable. When Weaver tries to change his mind, he throws the kit across the room. He dismisses himself to go take care of someone else.

Once the traumas have all been handled, Lawrence apologizes to Weaver for his tantrum. He blames being overwhelmed by all the cases. In her third year of med school, they handled a mass trauma, and everyone lost it but Weaver. Lawrence admits that she drove him crazy sometimes because she asked so many questions. Obviously it’s paid off, though, since she’s the chief of emergency medicine.

Carol confronts Meg for her tox-screen results – she tested positive for opiates. Meg denies using drugs but Carol doesn’t believe her. She reminds Meg that using while pregnant puts the baby at risk. Meg says she only uses a little, so she doesn’t get sick. Carol offers to try to get her into a detox program. Lucy’s gotten Jesse into the same program, and he’s grateful for her help. Carol asks Dr. Myers for a space, asking him to at least consider squeezing Meg in.

Benton finds Ben’s brother Aaron and informs him that his blood screening showed he’s HIV-positive. Aaron admits that he suspected he was. Benton offers to help him get treatment, but Aaron worries about his parents finding out. Benton tells him family support is important when dealing with the illness. Aaron knows his family would disown him, since he couldn’t even get close to coming out to them. He doesn’t think keeping a secret like this from his family is that big of a deal.

Meg has taken Jesse’s spot in detox, bumping Jesse to outpatient treatment, and Lucy’s not happy. Carol thinks Meg deserved the spot because she’s pregnant. When Lucy tries to discount Carol’s opinion, since she’s a nurse, Carol yells that Lucy’s just a med student. Hey, where’s Mark to call Carol on her attitude the way she would call him on his if he were the one yelling? Carol says she didn’t know that Jesse was Lucy’s patient, as if that matters. She says Jesse will get the next bed available.

Mark asks Weaver if she discussed Lawrence’s meltdown with him. She downplays it, but Mark says he’s setting a bad example. Weaver calls Lawrence eccentric and one of the best doctors she knows. She thinks Mark is just mad because Weaver hired him. Benton tells Aaron and Mr. Hearn that Ben will be fine, then mentions that he couldn’t use Aaron’s blood in a transfusion. He pretends it’s because of antigens that made it incompatible with Ben’s blood.

Carter tends to the last victim of the explosion, Howie, who didn’t come in until after everyone else had been treated. Carter gets suspicious about how much Howie knows about the explosion. Howie asks for doctor/patient confidentiality first. Weaver and Jeanie tell a patient’s father that his son, Nathan, has a bad eye injury. Mr. Perez thinks it’s bad enough that it will end Nathan’s chances of getting an athletic scholarship. Jeanie reminds him that supporting his son is more important right now.

Reggie calls to tell Jeanie that Carlos is sick, so Weaver sends her home. Mr. Perez asks if Howie has come in – according to Nathan, Howie was responsible for the explosion. Howie is currently admitting this to Carter; the jocks in the class talked him into switching some chemicals to cause a small reaction. Mr. Sutherland changed the experiment and Howie didn’t get a chance to warn him. He insists that it was just a joke.

Mr. Perez overhears and confronts Howie for causing Nathan’s partial blindness. Howie tells him that Nathan and his friends came up with the idea. Carter tries to get Mr. Perez to leave the room, but Mr. Perez throws him into a window. Mark comes in to wrestle Mr. Perez to the ground, in the process accidentally breaking his larynx. Mark, Carter, and Chuny rush to get him breathing again. So Mark is probably facing another patient lawsuit.

Dave tries to cheer up a patient named Quinn who’s going to be left with scars after her burns heal. Dave’s bedside manner could use some work. Quinn cries over looking like a freak while Dave silently begs for another explosion to take him out. Carter tries to assure Mark that he did the right thing tackling Mr. Perez; if necessary, Carter will testify that Mark’s actions were justified. He checks on Howie, who’s sitting with Mr. Sutherland. He liked his teacher a lot and doesn’t want to accept that he might not recover.

Aaron tells Benton that he gave his father the news that he’s HIV-positive. He got kicked out and disowned, but at least there are no family secrets. Lucy tells Jesse that he can’t go into the inpatient program, but Jesse has a new view on his life now. He watched all the doctors, paramedics, and cops today, doing something meaningful, and he feels pathetic for eating paint. He knows he needs to get his life together.

Dave asks Lucy to talk to Quinn, since he hasn’t had luck helping her. Carter’s feeling down, and Lawrence guesses that it’s because of his love life. Carter asks for advice, but Lawrence doesn’t have any other than to not waste his time on regret. Meg has left the hospital instead of going to detox, so Lucy’s going to be thrilled. Benton asks Julian about DNA tests they can use in the ER. I’m sure he’s totally not thinking about using one on himself and Reese.

Lucy is much better with Quinn than Dave was (shocking!), so Quinn is more optimistic about her condition. Dave’s curiosity about Weaver’s leg has gotten back to her, as she tells him she heard he wanted to ask her about it. Dave pretends he had questions about a patient. Weaver says if he does ever want to know the truth, he should just ask. Dave says of course he doesn’t want to ask any questions – it’s not his business.

Romano tells Mark that he needs to issue a formal apology to the Perezes. Romano will try to do damage control, but Mark can’t hide from the consequences of his actions. Jeanie calls in and tells Mark that she might be late to work tomorrow. I’d be late, too, if my choices were working in a chaotic ER and hanging out with a cute baby. Carter goes to Elaine’s and kisses her, telling her he’ll leave if she wants him to. He starts to take off her robe, ignoring her when she says she doesn’t want his sympathy. The gap in the robe shows her mastectomy scars, which she tries to cover up, but Carter doesn’t mind them.

Weaver finds Lawrence wandering in the parking garage, looking for his car, which he thinks must have been stolen. He always parks in the same spot on the same level. She points out that they’re not on that level. Lawrence blames mild confusion, but Weaver’s now concerned that there’s something more serious going on.

Thoughts: Jesse is played by Vincent Kartheiser. Mr. Perez is played by Miguel Sandoval.

What was the point of the Carter/Elaine stuff? Could the writers not think of any other plotlines for Carter?

This episode shows again that Lucy should have focused on psychiatry instead of emergency medicine. Ironic, then, that a psych case is eventually her downfall.

One of the students loses a finger in the explosion, so he gives it to his friend to hold on to, but the friend misplaces it. How do you lose a finger?? You had one job, friend!


  1. Nick Rivers said,

    I wonder now, in hindsight, if the Carter/Elaine storyline was something they quickly cooked up after the Carter/Lucy romantic arc was kiboshed by Noah Wyle.

    Watching Lawrence struggle with the triage of the mass trauma was frustrating as Mark is typically so good at those and Weaver saddles the new guy with doing it all for some reason. He’s only been there like a week or whatever, why not send Mark out to handle triage and have Lawrence help you with the critical case? She knows how good he is at it too.

    Mark seemed justified in protecting his staffer especially since security wasn’t around fast enough. Who knows how much the guy could have hurt Carter, and I get that he’s really upset about his son, but what a dick move to attack a doctor over it. It was a literal “You’re killin’ me, Smalls!”

    Kudos to Dave for realizing he’s in out of his depth with the teenager with the burns, and for actually staying in the room while Lucy talked to her. Hopefully he learned something. I just don’t see why it’s so difficult to talk to a girl who’s clearly upset and tell her she’s a lovely girl and the scars won’t be very noticeable and etc etc etc platitudes.

    I do hope Elaine still jets off to Europe for a couple months and sends Carter a postcard. She deserves better than him!

    Benton’s interaction with the HIV+ brother was uncharacteristic but nice. He definitely learned something from his time with Jeanie.

  2. Lolabossanova said,

    Dr. Dave is so freakin’ annoying. As well as Romano. It’s like the writers wrote the characters in the extreme – just to be extra annoying. And I thought I recognized Connor from “Angel.” Agree that he was a totally annoying character on an otherwise excellent TV show.

  3. Patrick Sullivan said,

    I just viewed this episode and I wondered how Lucy or Carol had the authority to admit someone into rehab. Was there a doctor on either case? Romano has so many great lines throughout the series. “They want a sacrificial lamb and right now you’re looking a little woolly.” Ha.

    • Jenn said,

      I think they just had to bring the case to a psychiatrist and make an argument for rehab. If the psychiatrist agreed, they would approve the admission.

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