October 20, 2020

ER 7.7, Rescue Me: Mark and Elizabeth Both Have Unexpected Thanksgiving Guests

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:01 pm by Jenn

You’re not helping, Elvis singer

Summary: Benton and Reese are singing and signing “The Wheels on the Bus” together so we can start out the episode on a happy note. Then it gets sad really fast, because Jackie gets up and we’re reminded that her son just died. It’s Thanksgiving, and Benton was planning to spend it with Cleo (so that’s back on), but he’s willing to cancel if Jackie wants him around. She tells him she’s not cooking a big dinner, so he should go to Cleo’s.

Over at Mark and Elizabeth’s new house, his neck is still bothering him from the hockey game. Yes, that’s why. He’s made Green’s eggs and ham for breakfast (okay, that’s cute), but Elizabeth isn’t hungry. Mark is planning to make non-Thanksgiving food for Thanksgiving, though there will be pumpkin pie. A man comes to the door with a letter for Elizabeth and wishes her a happy Thanksgiving. That’s not going to happen – she’s being sued for malpractice.

Abby drives Maggie to the bus station as Maggie asks to stay through the holiday weekend. She admits that she lost her job and Eric isn’t talking to her, so she can’t go back to Florida. Abby is out of sympathy; she’s given Maggie money, and that’s as far as she’s going to help her right now. Maggie says she loves Abby as Abby drops her off, but Abby doesn’t say it back.

Benton takes Reese to County with him, and Cleo and Reese sign with each other cutely. She’s looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner with her family; Benton will meet her parents for the first time. He assures her that Jackie’s fine with him going since she doesn’t want him around. At the admit desk, Weaver complains that Carter and Chen are late; the rain is no excuse. Before Weaver leaves after a night shift, she checks in with Legaspi, who’s tending to an anxious man carrying a live turkey. Legaspi compliments Weaver’s new look (she got contacts).

Abby tells Weaver that Maggie is on her way home, then apologizes for the chaos Maggie caused in the ER. Weaver says there’s nothing to apologize for, since Maggie’s sick. Abby then catches up with Luka, and they both start to invite each other to dinner at the same time. They figure Doc Magoo’s will be the only place open on Thanksgiving, so Abby suggests that she cook.

Paramedics bring in a man who was hit by a car while riding his bike. As Abby and Luka are taking care of him, Maggie shows up in the ER. She says she can’t leave Abby. Even when she gets sprayed with the patient’s blood, she stays put. Carter stitches up a man named Mr. Florea who’s been in three times already this week, wanting pain medication. Carter offers to refer him to a pain clinic. Florea doesn’t like being pegged as an addict by someone who can’t know anything about his pain.

A woman comes in looking for Luka’s patient, Jim, and Maggie offers to show her where he is, since the staff is busy. If Jim’s neck wound is any indication, he’s not doing well. The wound is so bad that Luka is able to pull a piece of gauze right through it. When Abby leaves to get some supplies, Maggie tells her that the woman she’s brought over is Jim’s wife. The woman (she never gets a name; I’m calling her Dara because the actress playing her was Dara on General Hospital in the ’90s) says she’s not his wife – she’s the driver who hit him. Maggie tells Abby she’s not leaving until they talk.

Romano blasts Elizabeth for screwing up Patterson’s surgery, which has now put the hospital at risk. Patterson walked into the hospital with back pain and will now be leaving in a wheelchair. A jury isn’t going to like that. Elizabeth says she thought it went fine. She’ll talk to Risk Management and make sure Romano is protected. Romano tells her not to discuss the case with anyone, then heads off for a long weekend.

Jim is, indeed, in really bad shape, and Luka determines that they can’t save him. Happy Thanksgiving, Jim’s family, and also Dara. Luka gets the fun job of telling Dara that she accidentally killed someone. Maggie hands Dara’s baby to Luka while she comforts Dara. Yes, it’s horrible, but at least we get to see Luka holding a cute baby.

Abby’s started smoking again, thanks to her stress over Maggie, and Luka joins her on a smoke break. Abby asks if it’ll ever stop. She claims she means the rain, but she obviously means the chaos Maggie brings into her life. Luka says it has to stop eventually. Carter continues to refuse to give Florea anything stronger than over-the-counter meds for his pain, even though Florea says he’s suffering.

Chen’s mother shows up in the ER, and Randi sends her to the waiting room until Chen’s available. She joins Maggie there, and they chat about having daughters who work in the ER. Maggie realizes that the elder Chen’s daughter is “the cute one – pregnant!” This is the first Chen Sr. has heard that she’s going to be a grandmother. She invites her daughter to Thanksgiving dinner that night, but Chen can’t face her entire family. Carter overhears the conversation and gives her an excuse to leave.

Cleo pages Benton to the ER to tell him that Debbie, a patient he operated on last year, has come in. Her breast cancer has spread to her spine, and she’s in a lot of pain. Her pharmacy doesn’t carry narcotics anymore because of a bunch of robberies, so she wasn’t able to fill her morphine prescription. Debbie’s oncologist is away for the holiday, so she came to the hospital. Benton prescribes her some medication, but if she needs more, she’ll have to come back to the hospital tomorrow. Cleo suggests admitting her for pain control, which Benton agrees to.

Elizabeth tells Mark that Romano is going to handle everything related to the lawsuit. Mark notes that he’ll just protect himself, not Elizabeth. He has a friend in Risk Management who could give them some advice. Elizabeth feels bad for dragging Mark into this, but he notes that they’re getting married, so they share problems now.

Maggie’s still in the waiting room, sitting with a woman named Judy who’s serenading the ER with Elvis’ greatest hits. The current song is “It’s Now or Never.” Carter’s in a bad mood and thinks Randi should be working harder. Abby won’t talk to Maggie, and she’s sick of Maggie just sitting there, so she asks Randi to get security to kick her out. Carter thinks she’s going too far.

Judy moves on to “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” before Abby hushes her so she can finally talk to Maggie, though it’s only to tell Maggie to go back to Florida. She ditches Maggie again to help Elizabeth, Chuny, and Lydia with a hospital pharmacy tech who OD’d in a supply room. He’s combative, so Elizabeth decides he should be given medication to paralyze him so they can intubate him. When she tries the intubation, she starts feeling dizzy, then nauseous. Abby takes over the intubation as Maggie looks on proudly.

Florea’s scans show that his pain is real, thanks to a huge clot. Carter learns that he left the hospital and races to catch him before he can get on an El train. Florea has already collapsed by the time Carter finds him, so Carter calls Randi and tells her to have a gurney sent to the station. When they get Florea to the ER, Chuny refuses to agree to Carter’s course of treatment without running down a checklist. She thinks that Florea’s status indicates that he can’t safely have the treatment. Carter says he’ll do everything himself.

Randi tells Benton that the pharmacy tech who OD’d was secretly cooking meth in the basement pharmacy. Wow, hospital security is worse at their jobs than I thought. Cleo tells Benton that Debbie’s HMO won’t approve her admission to the hospital. Benton says that they’ll have to release her, but Cleo points out that she’s not well enough to take a bus home, then back to the hospital. Benton won’t fight the HMO, and Cleo says Debbie would be better off without insurance, if they’re just going to place restrictions on her care.

Mark asks Benton how Jackie’s doing (not great, Mark!), then asks Randi how long Maggie will be in the waiting room. Randi says they’ve started a pool; her guess is three days. Luka joins Carter to treat Florea, telling him to stop the treatment for his clot since he hasn’t gotten a head CT. Carter refuses, knowing that Florea won’t survive to have surgery if he stops the treatment. Luka pulls rank, but it doesn’t matter, since Carter has just stabilized Florea. Of course, that doesn’t mean his brain will function properly.

Mark stitches up a woman who cut herself while chopping celery for stuffing. As she blabbers about stuffing, Mark starts looking unwell. He leaves the room, ignoring everyone who talks to him, and goes to the bathroom to look at himself in the mirror. He makes a few faces and sticks out his tongue, then washes his face. It looks like he was temporarily unable to talk.

Lydia invites Abby to Thanksgiving at her place; she’s already hosting 30 people. Her secret to serving so many people is giving them takeout on fine china. Maggie tries again to get Abby to talk to her, following her out of the ER into the rain. Maggie says that she always worked hard to take care of Abby and Eric, but Abby says they took care of her. Plus, she only worked hard to provide for the family while she was taking her medication. Maggie says she can see a lot of herself in Abby.

Abby tells her that when she was a child, she prayed every night that Maggie would take her lithium. She and Eric never knew what to expect – would Maggie be manic or depressed? When Abby was ten, Maggie was so upset that she visited her father that Maggie chased her around the house with a knife. Maggie begs Abby to see her as a person instead of her disease. Abby can’t get past the fact that she was only ten and had to hide from her mother. Maggie reminds her that she didn’t choose to be sick. Abby replies that she never tried to get better.

Weaver’s the only person on the show who’s having a good day. She’s so happy, she’s singing in the shower. Back at the hospital, Mark talks to a doctor about his suddenly inability to talk and his head and neck pain. The doctor gives him an MRI. Meanwhile, Chen gives Elizabeth a pregnancy test and confirms the reason Elizabeth hasn’t been feeling well all day. Mark’s news is much worse than Elizabeth’s: He has a brain tumor. He’ll need to talk to a neurosurgeon as soon as possible.

Weaver’s happy because her Thanksgiving plans are dinner with Legaspi. Fun fact: At one point in time, Weaver was married. The women have a great time together, drinking wine and laughing. Not having a great time: Mark, who heads home for dinner with the knowledge that there’s something in his brain that shouldn’t be there.

Carter offers Abby help with Maggie, but Abby knows how to handle this. She knows that Maggie will just promise to go back on her medication, then not do it. She chastises a patient for smoking in his bed and tells him to go outside to smoke. He notes that it’s raining and he has pneumonia. Abby smells something in the room other than smoke. As Maggie is asking Carter to talk to Abby for her, something explodes in Abby’s patient’s room. Carter runs in to get her. Luka takes over care of the smoking patient as Carter examines Abby to see if she’s hurt.

Chen gathers her courage and goes to her parents’ house. Her mother thinks her father will be okay when he learns that Chen is pregnant. Chen has always underestimated them. Chen asks if her mother will still love the baby if the father is black. The elder Chen’s face says no. Chen says that’s why she didn’t tell her parents she was pregnant. She leaves.

Dave shows up in the episode with eight minutes to go, just so he can learn that ether from the meth lab caused the explosion. The pharmacy tech who OD’d is one of the meth cookers; they were transporting the ether in IV bags, and one got mixed in with the regular bags and sent to a patient’s room. Wow, imagine the lawsuit if someone had actually been hooked up to that. It would have made Elizabeth’s lawsuit look minuscule. Carter examines Abby, who has some chest pain but insists she’s fine. The smoking patient will also be okay. In addition, Florea’s CT was normal, so Carter’s risk paid off.

Weaver and Legaspi have started sharing meaningful stories from their pasts with each other. They’ve been at the restaurant for so long that it’s starting to close. Legaspi notes that this is their second meal together, which some might consider a date. She confirms that Weaver knows she’s gay. Weaver quickly says that she knows, and she has no problem with it. She has gay friends. Weaver has friends? Huh. Okay. Legaspi admits that she thought Weaver had a crush on her. After all, Weaver keeps paging her to the ER. Weaver says she’s straight and just likes spending time with Legaspi. Really, she’s straight. Super-straight. Nothing other than straight.

On the way to dinner, Cleo invites Benton to open up to her. Benton says he’s upset that Romano docked his pay for punching Dave after Jesse died. Cleo thinks he’s right to be mad, and that Dave deserved the punch. She also thinks Benton should be madder about the fact that Jesse got pegged as a gang-banger because he’s Black, which is probably also the reason Debbie isn’t getting the care she needs.

Benton says she needs to stop teaching people how to be Black. Huh? She’s complaining about racism. Is Benton projecting? Cleo tells Benton he needs to face reality. Debbie’s pharmacy is in a Black neighborhood, which is why it keeps getting robbed. Benton notes that Cleo grew up in the suburbs, so she can’t know about Debbie’s problems. Excuse me?

Benton continues that he knows who he is and doesn’t have anything to prove. Who said anything about having to prove something?? Cleo’s saying that their Black patients don’t get the level of treatment that their white patients do. It has nothing to do with Benton! Cleo asks if that means she does, since her mother is white. She calls off Thanksgiving dinner with Benton by getting off the train before their stop.

Abby has a cracked rib and a slight concussion but is otherwise fine. She walks right by Maggie, who’s still in the waiting room, then stops and lets Maggie catch up with her. The mom-drama cycle will continue. Elizabeth meets Mark at home and announces that she’s pregnant. Mark tells her that’s great news, then keeps his own news to himself.

Thoughts: Yet again, a medical professional on this show has an unplanned pregnancy. Do these people know anything about birth control?

Benton’s bedside manner in this episode is ten times better than Carter’s. That’s scary.

The woman who hurt herself cutting up celery has learned what I already know: Celery ruins everything.

1 Comment »

  1. Nick Rivers said,

    They were awfully cavalier about the tech cooking meth in the basement pharmacy. That room, and possibly many other places in the hospital, need to be seriously deep-cleaned as they’re chemical hazards now. I guess they didn’t really know about all that back then?

    The rivalry between Luka and Carter is nicely coming into play, first with the blood clot patient, then with rescuing Abby from the explosion. That foreshadows their rivalry over her a bit. Carter was sweet with Deb, though, and it was nice him to rescue her from her mother like that. It’s been nice to see their relationship warming since he got back from rehab when he could easily have turned salty at her like he did with pretty much everybody else.

    I am so, so glad they didn’t drag the brain tumor thing out with episodes and episodes of secrecy and whispers and sidestepping. Earlier seasons might have pulled that but they just addressed this pretty rapid-fire from what I remember.

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