July 7, 2020

ER 6.14, All in the Family: This Place Is Killing Me

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

Pour one out

Summary: Weaver arrives at County for a night shift in the middle of a slow spell. The Valentine’s Day party is still going on, and the music is still loud, though at least it’s more Valentine-y now (“More Today Than Yesterday”). Luka and some nurses are discussing Malik’s no-polish manicure, which he says women love. Weaver asks them to turn down the music, then tells the staff they can party for five more minutes before getting back to work.

In the lounge, Abby’s on the phone with someone, trying to work out some kind of payment. (Come back for the exciting explanation in a future episode.) Carol gets ready to go home, still feeling stung by the loss of Robbie and Julia’s parents. Weaver comments that it must be nice that she has her girls to go home to. Randi needs a doctor for a patient who’s supposed to be Carter’s, so Weaver tells her to find him. Pablo comes in with a foot injury, and Weaver’s pleased to see that he’s alive, since he hasn’t been around for more than a year. Haleh thinks he was deported, then snuck back into the country.

Dr. Deraad has finally managed to get himself to the ER, though it’s way too late for him to be able to help anyone and also people have been horribly injured because of his negligence and I can’t look at him anymore. Weaver’s unfamiliar with the whole Paul situation and can’t tell Deraad where to find him. She goes to treat an injured man dressed as Cupid, then runs into Chen, who needs help dealing with the toxicology department. Weaver stops outside Paul’s exam room and sees blood on the floor. When she opens the door, she’s horrified by what she sees inside.

Mark, Elizabeth, and their parents are still at the restaurant; Mark and Elizabeth have loosened up enough to sing “Piano Man” together. Alex Kingston is a talented woman but…not musically. Elizabeth’s pager goes off in the middle of the song, so she mercifully stops singing. Mark keeps going alone, getting as far as “Bill, this place is killing me” before his pager goes off as well.

Back at County, things have gone from slow to chaotic as the staff starts tending to Carter and Lucy. They’ve put together that Paul must have attacked them, but they have no idea where is or if he’s still in the hospital. Lucy has multiple stab wounds and has lost a lot of blood; Weaver’s shaky when she tries to take care of her. She’s upset that Carter and Lucy were bleeding to death while the staff was having a party, completely oblivious.

Luka heads up tending to Carter, who’s not doing as badly as Lucy. Abby notes that she was just talking to him. Connie shows a couple of cops the scene of the crime, and Deraad tells them the attacker was Paul, though he doesn’t know anything helpful about the patient. Benton races to the ER at an Olympic-qualifying speed, having heard that Carter was injured, and takes over his care. Weaver and Dave determine that Lucy needs surgical attention, so Haleh brings Benton over to her trauma room.

Abby goes to a supply cart in the hallway, looking for an infuser kit for Carter. Instead, she finds the knife Paul stashed there after the attacks. Connie recognizes it as the cake knife that disappeared from the lounge. Abby tries to gather herself so she can keep looking for the kit. A cop asks her if Carter’s awake and if he’s going to survive. Abby doesn’t have any answers for him.

She goes back to Carter’s trauma room, where he wakes up confused. Chen tries to reassure him, getting protective when a cop tries to question him. Carter sees Lucy in the next room, but Abby can only tell him she’s alive, not how badly she’s hurt. Chen pulls Benton back to Carter’s room, telling him that Carter has an injury to his kidney.

Mark and Elizabeth arrive at County, leaving their parents in the car. Benton stays with Carter as he’s taken up to surgery. Weaver asks Luka questions about Paul, but Luka isn’t sure what happened. Mark and Elizabeth join them with Lucy, who’s still unstable, and Elizabeth determines that they need to open her chest. When Weaver advocated for a sternal saw in the ER, she never could have expected she’d be using one on Lucy. Everyone’s uneasy watching someone they know get sawed open. Together, Weaver, Elizabeth, Mark, Luka, and Dave manage to get Lucy’s heart rate stabilized.

As soon as Lucy’s in the elevator on her way to the OR, the ER is quiet again. Luka and Mark think they were able to help Lucy enough to keep her alive. Weaver leaves the hospital, brushing off people who need to talk to her, and goes outside for some fresh air. She throws up in a garbage can, then goes back inside to her responsibilities.

Anspaugh gets word of the attacks and tells Benton he’s scrubbing in on Carter’s surgery. Carter knows his injuries are bad, but Benton stays calm and promises to take good care of him. “I’m glad it’s you,” Carter says. Benton heads for the scrub room as Lucy is brought up to be operated on by Romano and Elizabeth. Anspaugh, Benton, and Elizabeth scrub in together, all silent as they think about the stakes of what they’re about to do.

Down in the OR, Luka asks Amira why the nurses thought they needed a six-inch butcher knife to cut a cake. Amira argues that she’s not the one who brought it; she couldn’t even find it. She doesn’t know how Paul was able to get his hands on it. Weaver tells her to get Carter and Lucy’s emergency-contact info but not make any calls herself. She asks Mark what he knew about Paul, which isn’t much. Mark says Carter was supervising Lucy, and Weaver wonders who was supervising Carter. She’s upset that Mark left early and didn’t pass the case off to Luka.

Mark says he reviewed the patient board with Luka before he left, but Luka says he didn’t know that Paul was psychotic. Mark replies he didn’t know, either – no one presented the case to him. Luka says he was managing the whole board and didn’t know that Paul had gone from stable to possible dangerous. Weaver points out that he was having a party, not doing his job. Mark tells her that they both thought Carter and Lucy had everything covered.

Chuny interrupts to announce that Paul’s pregnant wife, Samantha, has arrived. Lucy left her a message letting her know that Paul was in the hospital. Luka takes her off to tell her what’s going on. As Cleo returns from an errand, having missed the entire chaotic situation, Mark enlists her to help him with a patient being brought in by helicopter.

Samantha doesn’t believe Luka’s claims that Paul stabbed two people and ran away. She denies that he could ever hurt anyone. Luka tells her that Paul may have schizophrenia. Benton and Anspaugh operate on Carter, and Benton’s usual calm, methodical demeanor is out the window. Anspaugh keeps his cool, stopping Benton from doing anything drastic like removing Carter’s injured kidney. Next door, Elizabeth and Romano are tense as they operate on Lucy, who’s still losing blood.

The patient brought in by helicopter is a man who was injured when a heavy stream of oil hit him while he was fixing a pipe. (Apparently that’s a bad thing to have happen.) David comes looking for Mark, wanting to know how long he and Isabelle will have to wait before Mark and Elizabeth can take them home. Of course, Mark doesn’t know.

Luka and Samantha talk to a detective who asks Samantha where Paul might have gone. She’s still in denial that he’s dangerous – if he was, why didn’t the doctors take more precautions? Luka tells her they don’t have any answers, but no matter what’s going on, Paul needs help. Samantha suggests that he might have gone to the roof of their apartment building, since he likes to go there to be alone.

Lucy’s operation is calmer now, and her surgeons are lamenting how horrible it is that Paul attacked her. Carter’s condition is much better, and Benton and Anspaugh have managed to save his kidney. Anspaugh notes that he could live with just one, but Anspaugh didn’t want to remove an organ. Alarms start going off and they realize there’s a problem with Carter’s lumbar artery. He’s suddenly at risk for paralysis.

David and Isabelle sit in the waiting area, wondering if this is a normal day at work for their kids. Abby and Chen receive a patient brought in by paramedics after being hit by a car. Chen recognizes him as Paul and tells Abby to get Weaver. Paul’s altered again, making paranoid rants and complaining that “they” wouldn’t stop sticking him. Weaver tries to head up his care, but she gets overwhelmed and asks Mark to switch patients with her. He sends Cleo up to the OR with their oil guy (I don’t know his name; I’ll call him Exxon) to wait for a surgeon to become available.

Elizabeth and Romano are done operating on Lucy and somewhat pleased with her condition, figuring it’s the best they could hope for. Romano’s called away for a phone call, so Elizabeth goes in alone when she learns that Lucy’s waking up. Thanks to a stab wound to her neck and a subsequent thoracotomy, Lucy can’t speak, but she’s able to whisper a thank you to Elizabeth for saving her.

Benton and Anspaugh are finishing up with Carter, so Shirley asks Anspaugh to operate on Exxon. Benton tells her to get Elizabeth instead, ordering Shirley to have Cleo stay with Exxon until Elizabeth can get to him. Just as Elizabeth is about to go to the OR with Exxon, Lucy suffers what she’s able to self-diagnose as a pulmonary embolism. Elizabeth and Romano debate whether or not to thin her blood, since that could cause post-surgical complications.

Mark tells Samantha that Paul is doing okay and is now talking to a psychiatrist. Mark wants her to wait before she sees her husband. Lucy’s incision is bleeding a little, but Elizabeth tells her that’s normal because of the medication she was given. She does have a pulmonary embolism, but they’ll be able to fix it. Elizabeth can tell that Lucy’s scared, and she promises to get her through this.

Chen and Dave go over to Doc Magoo’s, done with their shifts but not wanting to go home before they know if Carter and Lucy will be okay. Abby and Luka are already there for the same reason. Back at County, Lucy wants to stay awake while Elizabeth takes care of her embolism. Romano assures her that they’ll save her – after all, they put a lot of time and money into her training, so her death would be a big waste. He offers to talk her through the procedure so she knows what’s going on.

Lucy’s alarms go off again, so Romano opens her up in a procedure room, knowing she doesn’t have time to get to the OR. This delays Elizabeth from operating on Exxon, so Anspaugh tells Benton to go take care of him. Benton quickly determines that Exxon’s stable enough to wait a little longer, so he tells Cleo to stay with Exxon while he goes back to Carter.

As Elizabeth and Romano take care of the clots Lucy’s forming, Exxon starts to go downhill. Cleo can’t keep waiting for a surgeon; she thinks Exxon tore an artery, and the only way she knows how to fix it is by opening his chest. Lucy’s also doing worse, and Elizabeth and Romano have to shock her heart. Benton finally returns to Cleo and Exxon, blasting her for opening the patient instead of continuing to wait for a surgeon.

Romano and Elizabeth continue trying to stabilize Lucy, but Romano determines that they can’t do any more for her. He has Elizabeth stop shocking her, and they wait quietly while Lucy’s heart stops. Upset, Romano throws the equipment tray across the room, then decides they need to try to save Lucy again. This time it’s Elizabeth who says they can’t do it. R.I.P Lucy Knight.

Paul is calmer now, so Deraad lets Samantha come see him. Paul remembers bits of the events of the day, like the blue cake. He says he had to do what he did because the doctors were trying to take his internal organs. Samantha finally accepts that something’s not right with her husband. Paul begs to go home, only concerned with feeding his dog.

Mark leaves Paul’s room and goes to the front desk, where Weaver’s face tells him all he needs to know about Lucy’s fate. Benton finishes up with Exxon, then asks Cleo about Carter, who’s now in recovery. He tells her she was right to make the decisions she did about Exxon; he regrets putting her in such a tough position. She tells him that there was a complication with Lucy.

Haleh and Lydia have joined the group at Doc Magoo’s, and they’re reminiscing about a prank Carter pulled on Lucy. He told her to do a pelvic exam on a well-known patient named Vanessa, leaving out the part where Vanessa’s a drag queen. Chuny interrupts the fun by coming over with news about Lucy. Back at County, Benton examines Carter to make sure he has full function in his legs. Carter thanks him, then asks how Lucy is. Benton ignores him to continue the examination, which is all Carter needs to know.

Elizabeth finally makes it home early in the morning, looking like she’ll never stop picturing the things she saw today. Paul’s room is still blocked off as a crime scene, marked with both police tape and Valentine’s Day decorations. Carol is back on shift, and she points out to Mark that they’re down a resident and a med student. They ask Abby to work another shift. Mark takes a moment to himself, then goes off to take care of a patient. Weaver finds Romano stitching Lucy’s chest closed on the surgical floor and helps him finish up with her body.

Thoughts: Samantha is played by Liza Weil.

I absolutely hate TV and movie scenes where people throw up, but I give a pass to the scene where Weaver does because I think her reaction to the trauma is realistic. She’s portrayed as cold and uncaring a lot of the time, but here we get to see that even she can’t turn off all her emotions when a colleague is involved. The same goes for Romano when he gets angry after Lucy flatlines. He hates almost everyone, but he was proud of the way she fought for Valerie, and he’s genuinely sad that he couldn’t save her.

Imagine being Carol and leaving work for the night thinking everything’s normal, then coming in the next morning and being told that one of your co-workers was murdered. How does everyone on this show not have some form of PTSD?

3 Comments »

  1. Nick Rivers said,

    I haven’t rewatched this episode in sequence yet but have seen it a number of times standalone. I remember thinking that Carol’s reaction to the events (“We’re down a resident and a med student”) was surprisingly unfeeling for her; I know she found med students annoying from time to time, but jesus, this was Lucy who she *knew*, and Carter, who she knew very well. I kind of feel in hindsight like this was the start of her fadeout to Seattle, though I don’t remember how many more episodes she was actually around. But her reaction was surprising based on how long she had worked with both of them.

    Weaver’s vomity reaction rang true to me and those sorts of reactions always seem really realistic to me for some reason. I remember a similar reaction in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (won’t spoil it if you’ve never seen it) and it was visceral and genuine in the moment. I haven’t had that reaction myself to emotional trauma yet, but it makes total sense to me that many would.

    Ugh, I’m a couple episodes away from this one but still not emotionally prepared!

    • Jenn said,

      Have I seen “Buffy”? I used to know how to do algebra, but the part of my brain responsible for doing math now holds “Buffy” quotes and trivia. I see a big rock, I say, “It’s a big rock. Can’t wait to tell my friends. They don’t have a rock this big.”

      (So yes, I know exactly what you were referencing.)

  2. Nick Rivers said,

    Gurl, I don’t know that quote, so yes, you are definitely oodles better at the Buffyverse than I! Just didn’t want to presume. I still have a hard time watching that episode but it was so, so, so well done.

    I stand by my assessment of Carol’s cold reaction. If I walked into my workplace and found out that two of my colleagues were stabbed and one had died, I’d be a blubbering mess or at least in shock and relatively unable to function for awhile. Carol’s lack of a reaction beyond “Dang, sounds like y’all had a rough night” kind of makes me do a doubletake in a way, because girl, a lot of these colleagues were there when your ass was brought in on a gurney near death too, and they were massively shook. I’m ready for her to leave!

    Laura Innes did a fantastic job in this episode. I’m only slightly surprised Mark didn’t tell her “You set the tone.” But the fact that she had a really hard time keeping it together was unusual for her, and made her more likable in my eyes. Malucci picked up on it as did Luka and Mark. Romano too, towards the end.

    Kellie Martin knocked it out of the park on this one, not like she had a whole lot being asked of her, but she conveyed a lot with very little physical movement. I’m glad she was able to leave the show on her own terms.


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