November 24, 2020

ER 7.12, Surrender: How Elizabeth Got Her Groove Back

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

Weaver, you’re a lesbian. Just lean into it

Summary: Weaver is taking a shower and thinking deep thoughts. That’s probably because the shower she’s in is Legaspi’s. Looks like someone got some action! After her shower, Weaver borrows one of Legaspi’s shirts to wear to work. Legaspi is totally casual about the whole situation, but Weaver is still trying to wrap her head around the fact that she spent the night with a woman. She tells Legaspi that the situation is “different, but good.” She’s still not ready for a kiss goodbye, though. Before heading to work, Weaver asks Legaspi to keep their personal life private.

At County, Romano checks in with Benton on how his per diem position is going. Benton complains about being underpaid, so Romano casually offers him an additional $10,000 a year, then $20,000. He’ll just need to take on some administrative tasks. Benton is surprised/suspicious. Romano won’t give him any details, so Benton takes a risk and accepts the money without knowing what it’s for.

Romano immediately pulls him into a press conference. He announces that the medical school is committed to addressing diversity, which has become a popular topic of conversation in the city. Romano has appointed Benton the director of diversity for the school. The reporters have questions, and Benton has to quickly put together some answers. Romano is amused by his lack of stage presence.

Carter goes to see Chase, who’s stopped eating and drinking. Carter clearly hasn’t visited his cousin for a while, since he doesn’t know that Chase’s doctor has left the facility. A nurse thinks that Chase is acting out because he’s lonely. It turns out Carter hasn’t been to the facility in a year, and Chase isn’t happy about it. He wants Carter to go away.

Mark and Abby treat two men, Walter and Earl, who got into a fistfight. Walter explains that it had something to do with defending a woman’s honor. This is Mark’s first shift back, and he’s only working four hours. He tells Weaver that Benton is the surgeon on call for the ER, but “she” is in a press conference. Weaver takes note of his pronoun mistake, but Mark doesn’t catch on.

Luka is treating a man for a hand injury but doesn’t know how he was hurt. The man only speaks Spanish, and Chuny couldn’t get him to open up. Weaver gives it a shot, but the man only says that he got hurt at work. He refuses to say where he works. Weaver tells Luka to call OSHA; the man is probably undocumented and is afraid of losing his job. Luka thinks he has the right to stay quiet. Weaver points out that someone else at the workplace could get seriously hurt.

Benton complains that Romano shoved him into the spotlight without telling him what his new administrative tasks would be. He feels used. Romano says everyone gets used. Benton knows he only got the role because he’s Black. He doesn’t want it. Romano tells him the role won’t require any real work, and it’ll help Benton eventually get a full-time faculty position, so he needs to get over himself.

Benton repeats that he’s not doing the job. Romano admits that he has no one else for the job because everyone else on staff is white – hence why they need a diversity initiative. Benton says Romano doesn’t believe that, though Romano claims he does. Either way, it’s Benton’s responsibility now. Romano moves right on to chastising Elizabeth for canceling a few recent procedures. She blames all the time she’s had to spend on a review of the OR’s procedures. Romano tells her she’s on call in the ER today.

Earl flirts with Abby, who determines that he doesn’t have any serious injuries from his fight. He admits that he has some other issues but doesn’t want to discuss them with a woman. She guesses that he’s having prostate problems, but Earl thinks it’s an STD. Abby gets pulled into the ER to help with a teenage boy who shot himself in the head. His friend reported that they were playing Russian roulette. Elizabeth comes to the ER to try to save the teen while Mark yells at the friend. He uses the wrong pronoun again, and again doesn’t catch on.

Elizabeth is unable to save the teen, even though she worked on him a lot longer than she knows Mark would have. She runs into Weaver and Legaspi, who are being a little flirty while talking about a patient. Weaver asks Elizabeth how Mark is doing, mentioning that he’s screwed up pronouns a couple times. Elizabeth says that Weaver may have misheard him.

Carter arrives for his shift, ready to accept the consequences of his relapse, which Weaver still hasn’t doled out. She appreciates that he was honest about it, so she’s not going to fire him. She asks for his AA chip and tells him he’s starting over. He has to do another 90 meetings in 90 days, and he can’t do major procedures or administer narcotics. One strike and he’s out. Unlike the first time Carter got these restrictions, he’s understanding and doesn’t complain about them.

Abby checks in on Walter, who’s just as flirty as Earl. She shuts him down by trying to pass him off to Malik. Walter calls her feisty and says it’s fine that she’s not married; feisty gals take longer to settle down. Abby reminds him that he was the one brought in after fighting over a woman. Walter says Earl started it by flirting with Walter’s “lady friend.” Abby gets a hunch and asks Walter if he has the same symptoms as Earl.

Weaver tends to a man named Gary who’s having some trouble getting rid of his erection, probably thanks to the cocaine he took. She suggests masturbation, but he scoffs at that, since he’s a Christian. That means Weaver will have to use a needle to resolve the problem. Gary opts for a trip to the bathroom to take care of it himself.

Weaver passes by the admit desk, where Haleh is asking someone, “How do you know she’s gay?” The rest of the conversation is hard to hear, since Dave and Luka are also chatting, and Frank needs to talk to Weaver. The call to OSHA led to a call to INS; they’ve been looking into sweatshops. Luka’s annoyed that it went that far, but Weaver reminds him that they have a responsibility to report unsafe working conditions. Luka notes that they don’t know that’s what’s going on. She promises that no one will get deported. Frank: (comment about undocumented immigrants). Weaver: “Shut up, you one-dimensional racist. We already have Romano; we don’t need you, too.” Or maybe I’m editorializing.

Carter has heard about Abby’s patients, and she tells him that both Walter and Earl have chlamydia. Apparently it’s going around their nursing home. “Nice to know there’s more than shuffleboard in our future,” Carter quips. He tells her he’s been pushed back to his restrictions from right after he got back from rehab. Abby’s proud of him for telling Weaver about his relapse.

Mark is treating a man who’s having heart problems. His wife wants Mark to perform the tests recommended by a cardiologist, but Mark thinks he can have the tests as an outpatient. The wife fights Mark on the decision, eventually asking for a second opinion. Mark – the guy who usually has perfect bedside manner – snaps and tells her that her husband needs to stop smoking and drinking, eat healthy, and exercise so he doesn’t die in the next two years.

Carter starts organizing nurses as the ER prepares to receive patients who were caught in a basement fire. Doris the paramedic reports that there was a raid on a business and a bunch of workers were trapped. Mark was supposed to be done with his shift, but he wants to stick around and help. On top of the workers, the patients include a little girl and an INS agent. He tells Weaver that they went to get the workers out, but a bunch of the windows were barred. INS was there on a tip about an illegal sweatshop.

Luka’s patient from earlier recognizes one of the patients as his co-worker. Yeah, yeah, we already figured out that connection. Weaver joins Dave to treat a woman who appears to have electrical burns from touching a power line while pulling rubble off of her daughter. The daughter, Araceli, is MIA. Weaver tells Dave to call the incident commander and find out the voltage on the power line.

Carter and Benton are working together on another worker while Luka tends to a man named Ernesto who probably isn’t going to live. Mark tells Elizabeth that the theory is that the fire started when someone accidentally knocked over a can of paint thinner while trying to escape the INS. The INS agent may need surgery, but Elizabeth is still gun-shy about doing any procedures.

Abby finds Araceli, so Dave is able to tell her mother she’s okay before the mother has to be intubated. Carter and Benton can’t get their patient to lie still so they can treat him, so Benton tells Carter to give him a drug that will sedate him. Carter isn’t allowed, so he goes to Dave’s trauma room and tries to swap patients with him. Dave complains, but Weaver sends him to Benton.

The INS agent needs surgery, and Babcock is a jerk about Elizabeth’s hesitance to do anything. Go away, Babcock. Dave returns to Araceli’s mother and sends Carter back to Benton, who doesn’t care that Carter isn’t allowed to administer certain medications right now. If he’s not able to treat some of their patients, he shouldn’t be in the room while they’re being treated. He needs to use his own judgment sometimes. Benton doesn’t know that Carter relapsed; he thinks Weaver still has him on probation after eight months back at work. Carter begs him not to talk to her about it.

There’s nothing Luka can do for Ernesto, so Chuny has to tell him that he only has a few days left before he dies of an infection. He asks them to get in touch with his wife, who’s in Guatemala and doesn’t have a phone. Ernesto tells Luka and Chuny where they can find the money he’s saved up so they can send it to his wife. He asks them to let his wife know what happened to him and tell her how much he loves her.

Araceli’s mother can’t be saved, so Weaver declares her dead. Dave, compassionate for once, tries to ease the pain by telling her that the patient had too much internal damage to live. Weaver takes in the chaos in the ER, looking at all the patients who are there because of a phone call she made. Luka watches her watching them. In the OR, Elizabeth is losing her cool worrying that she’ll accidentally paralyze her patient. Mark is finally ready to end his shift, and when he screws up pronouns AGAIN, he blames it on being tired.

Benton tries to talk to Weaver about Carter, but she tells him the situation is none of his business. Benton thinks it is, since the restrictions hurt patient care. Weaver snaps at him to stick to his job as a resident instead of trying to dictate ER policy. Benton complains that Carter shouldn’t have these restrictions since he’s been clean for eight months. “Has he?” Weaver replies.

Elizabeth finds more damage in the INS agent and continues to lose her cool because Romano can’t be located. She asks a nurse to get the resident on call. She spirals further as Babcock tells her they’re low on blood. Romano watches the scene from the next room, purposely staying out of it to see what Elizabeth does. Elizabeth pauses to take a few breaths and collect herself, then gets back to work, now confident that she can save the agent.

Carter finds Benton looking through med-school applications in the lounge to determine which applicants qualify for interviews. He bases it all on GPAs, MCAT scores, and the applicant’s competitive factor. He doesn’t read their letters of recommendation until after the interview. Carter thinks that if he’d had to do an interview with Benton, he wouldn’t have made it into med school. Benton is short with Carter, who guesses that he talked to Weaver. He downplays his relapse, saying it was barely a slip.

The agent is doing well, and Elizabeth didn’t paralyze him. Hooray, he lives to bust undocumented immigrants another day, while a bunch of those immigrants died in a fire in a basement that obviously wasn’t up to OSHA standards! God bless America! Romano finally shows his face, pretending he didn’t know why Elizabeth needed him. She says she just needed a second pair of hands, but everything turned out fine.

Carter goes back to see Chase, admitting that he stayed away for so long because he didn’t want to confront his own addiction. He tells Chase about his stabbing, Lucy’s death, and how his addiction started. He thought he was different from everyone else in rehab because his addiction stemmed from an injury requiring painkillers – an injury he sustained during a near-death experience.

In rehab, Carter pretended to buy into the 12-step program and did what he was supposed to, but he never accepted responsibility. He didn’t come to see Chase because he didn’t want to admit that they’re the same. After eight months, Carter still thinks about getting high all day every day. “I’m a drug addict,” Carter admits. Chase isn’t impressed; he just asks if Carter bought him fries.

County can’t locate Araceli’s family, so she’ll be sent to a group home. A social worker tells Weaver that she’ll only be deported if they know she’s going to family. If she stays in Chicago, she’ll probably become a ward of the state, and they’ll try to find a Spanish-speaking family for her to live with. Weaver’s like, “Cool, I ruined a five-year-old’s life! Today was awesome!” She goes home but can’t bring herself to go inside. Instead, she goes to Legaspi’s place, where she’s welcomed inside.

Thoughts: Walter is played by Tom Bosley. Earl is played by Tom Poston.

I love that Gary thinks cocaine and premarital sex are okay, but masturbation is a sin for a Christian. This isn’t even a caricature – people like this really exist.

Is “illegal sweatshop” redundant? Are there legal sweatshops? These are the things I think about. This is my curse as an English major.


  1. Nick Rivers said,

    Hah, I’m starting to like that anesthesiologist Babcock more and more even though you are getting profoundly irritated with him! None of the OR folks seem to know why Elizabeth is spiraling but at least she pulled her head out. Romano watching from behind the glass was a nice touch. It had a whole “Maverick’s disengaging, Sir!” Top Gun-esque feel to it and the only thing missing was the music swell when she stepped back up to the table and proceeded as the surgeon we all know she is.

    I thought it was great they brought Chase back for Carter’s rehabilitation arc. He seemed surprised by Carter’s revelation and the fries comment felt to me like a friendly way for him to acknowledge the confessional and lighten the mood. Carter felt it was intended in amusement so I kind of hope they continue to bring Chase back once in awhile even though I don’t think it actually happens. He was a great window into Carter’s world.

    The music over the ending was a little disjointed and the blur-vision as Weaver takes in the scene felt a little weird. Kind of wish they’d make her have a straight-up breakdown in the middle of the mess but that’s not really her style. Did she cause all this or was it inevitable? Hard to say either way. She definitely sparked it but it would be hard to say she was responsible for any of it. It feels a lot like what Carter went through a few episodes back with the HIV+ teenager and the girlfriend he infected. Carter did the right thing, but look what happened as a result of it. I do hope Weaver has some guilt to carry as a result of “doing things by the book” cos I don’t think Luka would let her forget this.

    Bosley and Poston were a great duo to bring into it with a great storyline. Loved the sponge bath request, quickly rescinded.

  2. Nick Rivers said,

    (To follow up on my Babcock appreciation, I like that they don’t seem to know why she’s spiraling — and further that they don’t care. They shouldn’t care. She’s there to operate on the patient and the techs/nurses/etc shouldn’t care what’s happening in her personal life that may be causing her stress. Keep it professional!)

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