May 19, 2020

ER 6.7, Humpty Dumpty: Things Went a Lot Better the Last Time Carter Was in Charge

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:03 pm by Jenn

Oh, ELIZABETH

Summary: Mark is playing Tetris at 5:30 in the morning, unable to sleep because he’s feeling stressed about his father coming to visit. He’s arriving that afternoon and staying through Thanksgiving. At County, Haleh wakes Benton up in the on-call room so he can help with a trauma. A church choir in town for a gospel festival was in a bus accident. Carter informs Benton that he’s the triage officer today, having requested more responsibility as a senior resident. In other words, he’s pretty much running the ER, which means he can tell Benton what to do. Benton checks to make sure he’s actually awake and not having a nightmare.

Carter goes to another trauma room to check on Cleo, who calls him John, which just…sounds weird. He bugs Lucy about arriving late in between second-guessing his colleagues’ decisions. He gets knocked off his high horse by a little boy who needs someone to take him to the bathroom. With no one else around to do the job, Carter escorts the boy himself.

Carol has reached the stage of her pregnancy where she can’t really do anything, so she’s been assigned to help out at the front desk. She’s a little bit of a diva about it, asking people to do stuff for her. Luka was sent away when Lawrence was hired, but now that Lawrence has been let go, Luka’s back. Yay! Elizabeth checks in on Benton while he’s operating, and he asks her for some time off to attend his custody trial. He agrees to work other shifts to make up the time. There’s a big car accident somewhere, and Benton is asked to go to the scene to take care of people. Elizabeth says she’ll go instead.

Romano holds a staff meeting, which Carter tags along to with Mark. Weaver told him he couldn’t come, but Mark didn’t know that, so, as Weaver notes, Carter played Mommy against Daddy. Romano wants Carter out, so Mark asks if he wants the staff to think they’re just there to serve him without knowing what goes on behind the scenes. Romano has no problem with that. But he admires Carter’s little trick to get admitted to the meeting, so he can stay.

A teen named Chad Kottmeier is brought in by his mom, who’s sure his behavior has changed because he’s using drugs. Lucy doesn’t want to give him a drug test when he denies using, so Mrs. Kottmeier asks for someone with more seniority. Cleo steps in and asks Chad directly if he objects to being tested. Chad gives in, mostly just wanting his mom to shut up. Outside the room, Lucy calls Cleo on questioning her decision. Cleo advises her to take the path of least resistance more often. Lucy tells her to take the case herself.

A woman comes in with a gunshot wound, having been accidentally shot by her husband when he tried to scare her to stop her hiccups. Carter wants the case, but Weaver tells him to do something administrative instead. He has to review charts from the past 72 hours and call anyone who wasn’t given the appropriate antibiotics. Then he can check the hospital’s compliance on TB mask fitting. Carter now resents asking for more administrative experience.

Elizabeth arrives at the scene of the huge accident and starts triaging patients. One guy, Dean, is stuck in his car. Dave asks Carol to order a test for him, but she says she’s just answering phones. Cleo tells Lucy she understands how hard it is to be a fourth-year med student; she feels comfortable enough to fly solo, but she’s not allowed to yet. She sends Lucy to check out the rest of the choir members who haven’t been seen yet. Dave calls Carol from a phone booth to ask her to order his test. Heh.

A detective named Cruson asks Elizabeth if there was a passenger in Dean’s car, which he’s finally been removed from. In truth, it’s not Dean’s car – he carjacked the real owner. Dean won’t answer the detective’s questions, and he’s bleeding from his carotid artery, so Elizabeth is more concerned with saving him than helping the police. Cruson is desperate for information, so Elizabeth tells Dean she’ll let him bleed to death if he doesn’t tell her where the carjacking victim is. Dean says she’s in Lincoln Park. Pam the paramedic, who’s listening in, is like, “I do NOT get paid enough to deal with this kind of thing.”

Elizabeth delivers Dean to County in handcuffs, which aren’t really necessary, since his massive carotid bleeding is going to keep him from doing anything threatening. A nurse from the jail ward comes to the ER to ask Carol to visit Meg; she had her baby and wants to see Carol. Carter tries to invite himself to join Elizabeth and Benton in treating Dean, but Haleh sends him to do the TB-mask testing instead.

Benton tells the officer with Dean to take off his handcuffs so they can roll him over and check him for more injuries. The cop refuses so Benton tells Lily to get some bolt-cutters. His bluff successfully called, the cop removes the cuffs. Lucy stitches up the choir director, Mr. Owens, noticing that he’s having some breathing issues. He admits that he has congestive heart failure, but he’s more focused on the gospel festival and making sure his choir is ready than he is in taking care of his health.

Dean’s carjacking victim is brought to the hospital with multiple stab wounds. Chuny notices abrasions that indicate that she was raped. Cruson asks the woman, Sandra, for a description of her attacker, but she’s pretty out of it and just asks for her husband. Luka sends Cruson out of the trauma room so he and Weaver can take care of Sandra.

Cruson goes to Dean’s trauma room, where Elizabeth notices that he’s showing weakness on one side of his body. Benton thinks it’s just because she tied off his carotid, but Elizabeth guesses that he’s having a stroke. Cruson objects when Malik throws out some of Dean’s clothes, since they’re covered in blood. Elizabeth agrees to keep the rest of his belongings in case they have Sandra’s blood on them. Cruson leaves to get an arrest warrant.

Next door, Sandra is bleeding a lot, and the blood bank doesn’t have any O-negative readily available. Chuny runs around the ER, asking if any staff members are O-negative. Carter is, so he comes to the trauma room, still wearing a TB mask, to donate. Elizabeth and Benton install a shunt in Dean’s neck, hoping they can save him so he can go on trial for his crimes. As soon as he’s donated blood, Carter wants to join a trauma, but he’s not steady enough to help.

Sandra’s husband, Ron, arrives as Weaver and Luka are about to cut her chest open. They hear music and send Haleh to find out where it’s coming from. She finds the gospel choir practicing in an exam room, Lucy’s compromise to get Mr. Owens to stick around while they wait for some test results. Haleh reluctantly tells them they have to leave, so Mr. Owens decides they’ll go outside to sing.

Cleo gets Chad’s drug-test results, which are negative, though his liver is functioning abnormally. Carol gets dizzy getting off her stool at the counter, so Cleo wants her monitored. Sandra is getting worse, while Dean has stabilized enough for surgery. Elizabeth stays behind to answer Ron’s questions about how Weaver and Luka are treating Sandra. Sadly, they’re unable to save her.

An OB determines that Carol’s babies are fine, but she needs to be resting instead of working. Mark comes to check on her and agrees with the OB. He tells Carol that David didn’t get on his flight to come to Chicago, and his neighbor went to check on him but couldn’t find him. Mark is a lot more calm than I would be about not knowing where my elderly father was.

Cleo busts Chad for being drunk and tells him she’ll need to tell his mother. Chad doesn’t care, since Mrs. K. also has a drinking problem. Luka and Weaver have the unfortunate job of having to tell Ron that they need to perform a rape exam on his dead wife. To add insult to injury, they need to make sure he didn’t rape her.

Dean has a lot of injuries and may not be able to be put back together (like Humpty Dumpty. Like the episode title. Get it?). Cruson has his warrant and is ready to do his job to get Dean charged with murder one. Outside the hospital, Lucy continues treating Mr. Owens while he conducts his choir. He’s insistent that they leave for the festival, promising that he’ll come back as soon as they’ve performed. Lucy has to get a doctor’s approval to let him leave against medical advice.

Cleo brings Adele to the ER to try to get Chad some treatment. Lucy asks Cleo to talk to Mr. Owens about his treatment, but she’s too late – the choir’s bus is already pulling away. Lucy laments that she didn’t get Cleo sooner; she thought she could handle the situation. Mark gets a message that David went to the airport this morning, so his failure to arrive in Chicago doesn’t make sense. He gets a call to go up to the sixth floor to see Lawrence, who’s undergoing a neurological exam where he has to identify pictures of things like funnels and volcanoes. He’s not enjoying it.

Weaver and Luka examine Sandra’s body and confirm that she was raped. Mark invites Lawrence to get coffee while he waits for some test results. Mark has called Lawrence’s son, since he needs a caregiver to participate in a clinical trial. Lawrence didn’t want his son involved and doesn’t think he’ll babysit his father anyway. Mark notes that Lawrence took care of his son as a child; now his son can return the favor. Lawrence admits that he was always too busy to be much of a father. He doesn’t want to be a burden.

Mark is optimistic that the trial will give Lawrence more time, though Lawrence doesn’t see the point. Mark ask if he’s going to give up because he’s too proud to ask for help. Lawrence doesn’t think it matters – the end result is the same. He thinks it’s too late for any trials or treatments to make a difference in his condition.

Romano tells Elizabeth that Dean raped Sandra. Someone at the public defender’s office has heard that Elizabeth coerced Dean into telling her where Sandra was, and Romano would like to hear from her whether that’s true. Elizabeth admits that it is, which means the confession, having been coerced, could be thrown out in court. Not to mention how unethical it is to threaten to withhold treatment like Elizabeth did.

Carol finally goes to visit Meg, who’s spending her last few minutes with her baby before he’s taken away by Social Services. Meg asks Carol to talk to someone about letting her take him to jail with her. Carol owes her, since she’s the reason Meg got arrested. Carol says she did what she thought was best for Meg and the baby. Meg asks if being away from her new son for ten months is what’s best for him. Carol thinks she can get him back if she proves she’s turned her life around. Meg calls her self-righteous and begs Carol to do something. Carol says she can’t, and leaves while Meg screams at her.

Lawrence waits for his son in the ER while Cleo tells Mrs. K. that Chad needs treatment for his drinking. Mrs. K. says she didn’t give Cleo permission to do anything except test Chad for drug use. Cleo asks if Mrs. K. is avoiding the truth because she has her own drinking problem. Mrs. K. storms off.

Carter gets in over his head with a patient, unsure of why he’s having seizures. Lawrence is sitting right outside the trauma room, so Carter asks for his help. Lawrence says he doesn’t work at County anymore, but Carter’s desperate, so Lawrence comes in to help. He quickly diagnoses the patient, having had a similar case 20 years ago, and gives him the proper treatment. “Score one for the absent-minded professor,” he quips to Weaver and Carter.

Weaver acknowledges that the patient would have died if Lawrence hadn’t been there. She, too, wouldn’t be where she is without Lawrence’s guidance. She asks what he’s going to do. Lawrence tells her that he and his son talked, and they’ve made arrangements to live together.

Mr. Owens returns to the ER, upset that he missed the festival. It’s not clear, but it sounds like Lucy sent paramedics to the festival to bring him back, claiming that he needed treatment for carbon-monoxide poisoning. David shows up next, having taken a later flight because his first one was overbooked and he wanted the $200 passengers were offered to get off the plane. Mark gives him a tour of the hospital.

Weaver thanks Luka for his good work on a difficult case. She calls him by his first name, the sign of trust he previously mentioned to Carol he was hoping for, and tells him she wants him to take Lawrence’s slot as a permanent doctor. He doesn’t ask about his salary, sure that Weaver will be fair. Benton and Elizabeth operate on Dean, her lamenting that Sandra died and him pointing out that at least she didn’t die alone. Dean starts crashing and Elizabeth hesitates before shocking him back to stability.

Thoughts: Chad is played by Emile Hirsch.

I didn’t realize until he showed up that this episode kicks off the horrible Dean Rollins story arc. Kill me now.

I’m imagining myself telling my boss to do my job herself, like Lucy does with Cleo. Hold on. Imagining it…imagining it…and…it doesn’t end well. Watch your attitude, Knight.

3 Comments »

  1. Nick Rivers said,

    Uh oh. I don’t remember the Dean Rollins story arc, but it doesn’t sound good. How could Elizabeth think that withholding treatment was going to end well for anybody? Should’ve let Benton go. He would have ignored the cop, though Sandra would have died under that bridge alone. Do we think Pam tipped off the public defender’s office, or just told somebody else with loose lips? I didn’t take much criminal law in school, but admitting where your carjacking victim was dumped doesn’t sound to me like a confession that he raped and stabbed her. If the rape kit shows he was the perpetrator, shouldn’t that be sufficient to charge him? I’m unclear as to how Elizabeth’s intervention would be enough to throw out the case completely. She should probably be disciplined for it, if not outright fired, but if the physical evidence points to Dean as the rapist and potentially the murderer, you’d think that would be enough. I did like how Romano and even Benton were completely baffled by her decisionmaking and again during the time when Dean was crashing upstairs and she hesitates. He gives her a look like Maybe you’re better off doing administrative management stuff at this point instead of patient care.

    Cleo was unusually patient with Lucy in this ep and I agree that Lucy telling Cleo to take the case herself was inadvisable. Maybe if she’d phrased it more like “I don’t feel comfortable handling this case any further because the family has lost respect for me after your intervention” it wouldn’t have come off so snottily as she did here.

    Did I miss where Carter was named senior resident? I knew he wanted it but I didn’t know it was made official yet. All of a sudden he’s being called senior resident by Weaver and Mark, unless this is more prep work for him in advance of being named senior resident. As a general rule I’ve observed, even asking for more administrative work is a masochistic tendency all in itself, no matter the motivation.

    Again with Carol meddling in other people’s lives. It was sort of gratifying to see her bothered by the result, though. Maybe you keep your savior tendencies for the workplace instead. Though I would have reminded Meg that if she hadn’t been taking drugs in the first place she wouldn’t have put herself in a position to get arrested at all.

    I really liked how David Greene’s unexplained absence was perfectly in line with his character and not actually due to some sort of undiagnosed dementia himself or something. Just David being frugal and practical. And of course Mark couldn’t just say “I was worried about you and wish you would have called; I would rather you miss out on the $200 savings and taken the earlier flight so I knew where you were!” Oh well.

    • Jenn said,

      With the disclaimer that my legal knowledge comes from a) four years of proofreading legal transcripts and b) books and TV, a coerced confession isn’t admissible in court. A defense attorney might be able to get any evidence connected to that confession thrown out. But since Dean turns out to be a serial rapist/murderer, that’s just one confession to one crime that gets dismissed, and they could still prosecute him on all the others.

  2. Patrick Sullivan said,

    The case that Lawerence diagnoses at the end was strychnine poisoning. They don’t really indicate if it was foul play or anything. I agree with you about Mr. Owens blaming Lucy for missing the performance seemed odd like something was omitted. All we saw was he went to the performance AMA.


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: