December 29, 2020

ER 7.17, Survival of the Fittest: Dave Isn’t the Only Fool This April Fools’ Day

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:57 pm by Jenn

I would feel sorry for Dave, but he brought this on himself, really

Summary: Cleo is trying to treat an elderly woman named Mrs. Howard who is a little altered (she thinks she needs to get her children from the school bus, but it’s 10 a.m. and she’s too old to have school-age children). Benton comes by and Cleo asks him to examine Mrs. Howard, since he removed her gall bladder last month. She claims to remember Benton, but she might be pretending.

Carter chases a boy named Simon through the ER until he hides in a supply closet where Abby’s working. Simon is scared to have his blood drawn, and Carter doesn’t appear to have much sympathy for him. Abby tries to help Carter with the blood draw, but it still doesn’t go well. Carter, try working on your bedside manner.

Yosh pulls Abby away to help him and Malik subdue a patient who’s thrashing around on a gurney. The patient has a pillowcase over his head; Malik says he cut up his face. Luka enters, takes a syringe of Haldol from Yosh, and injects the patient…who’s actually Dave. He, Yosh, and Malik were trying to play an April Fools’ joke.

Weaver criticizes the jokesters for goofing off instead of doing work. Dave is struggling to stay awake with ten milligrams of Haldol in his system. Weaver tells him to go sleep it off, then heads off to do something productive. Someone has tied empty cans to the bottom of her cane, and she accuses Dave, who says it wasn’t him.

Rena has come to the ER to help keep Simon calm for his blood draw by blowing bubbles. This both distracts him and helps him blow through the pain. The blood draw goes perfectly, and now Rena looks more competent than Carter. The two of them chat, having not talked since he decided they shouldn’t date because of their age difference.

Paramedics bring in a man named Eddie who was shot by police. They think he held up a liquor store. One of the cops, Grant, has a minor arm injury, and his partner taunts that if he’s good while Benton examines him, he’ll get a lollipop. Mrs. Howard is still in a gurney in the hallway, yelling that she needs her wallet and purse so she can leave. Everyone’s just ignoring her. Abby notes that Carter is in a good mood now after being a jerk earlier. She figures that seeing Rena made him happy.

A school bus pulls up outside to deliver a middle-schooler named Stuart who’s having an asthma attack. A teacher tells Carter and Abby that there were fumes on the bus. Carter can’t let the other students on the bus come into the hospital in case it’s a Hazmat situation, so they’ll have to say outside in the cold. Elizabeth takes Eddie up to surgery, promising Mark that it shouldn’t be too much work or take too much time.

Carter and Abby help Stuart onto a gurney as some boys on the bus mock him. Guys, your teacher is RIGHT THERE. How dumb are you? Stuart tells Carter and Abby that they were on a field trip to see an art exhibit. (Carter, sophisticate that he is, knows it’s a Gaugin exhibit.) Romano asks Elizabeth if she can still reach the table in the OR, considering her pregnant belly keeps growing. She shoots back that at least she can see the table. A short joke! How mature! She asks him to order her pizza and ice cream so she can eat after surgery.

Weaver starts moving Mrs. Howard out of the hallway as Benton tends to Grant’s injury (also in the hallway). Carter asks Weaver to help him with Stuart, so she hands Mrs. Howard off to Chuny, but Chuny then gets called away to help with another patient. Mrs. Howard decides to just leave on her own. The hallway is busy, so no one notices at first when she approaches Grant and takes his gun.

Grant’s partner, Kimble, pulls her own gun and tells Mrs. Howard to drop hers. Benton calmly but authoritatively tries to deescalate the situation, and Grant tells Mrs. Howard to drop the gun so no one gets hurt. Kimble keeps her weapon pointed out Mrs. Howard, who’s now crying and doesn’t seem to get how dangerous the situation is. There’s a long moment where nothing happens, but then Mrs. Howard turns and points the gun at a child in the hallway. Kimble fires at her twice. (For the record, because this will come up: Kimble is white; Mrs. Howard and Grant are Black.)

Benton and Weaver rush Mrs. Howard to a trauma room to try to save her. Kimble and Grant go over what happened – they asked her three times to drop the gun, and she didn’t respond. They’re not sure what they’ll tell their superiors about how Mrs. Howard got her hands on Grant’s gun. Benton comments loudly that he guesses one shot wasn’t enough, because there’s a lot of damage. He murmurs to Weaver that he hopes the cops get their stories straight.

The fire captain who keeps turning up tells Mark that he hasn’t detected any serious substances on the bus. He thinks one person smelled something, maybe nail polish remover, and mass hysteria went through the crowd. Some of the kids actually got sick, though, so they need to be examined. Luka takes a girl named Emily while Dave talks with a couple of girls who seem to already have crushes on him. The three bullying boys are so dumb that they’re smoking nearby. Wow, I don’t miss middle school at all.

Benton and Weaver are still working on Mrs. Howard when detectives arrive to question Grant and Kimble. Grant seems much more worried about the possibility of Mrs. Howard dying than Kimble does, even though Kimble was the one who pulled the trigger. Luka examines Emily, who has questions about the chemical that may or may not have been on the bus. She reveals that she might be pregnant.

Since detectives are still working the crime scene, the doctors have to find new places to treat their patients. Cleo is surprised to hear that Mrs. Howard has died, thanks to Kimble. Stuart is shaken by the incident, since he was in the hallway, and he asks Carter if he was scared. Carter says he was, but he moved in front of Stuart on instinct to make sure he was safe. Stuart is still wheezing, and he claims not to know what might have triggered his asthma. Carter thinks he’s hiding something.

Up on the OR, Elizabeth asks Shirley to rub her back while she operates on Eddie. Of course, this is when Romano comes by to check on her. Eddie has more injuries than Elizabeth realized, so her short, simple surgery is going to take longer than she thought. Romano thinks it’s too much for Elizabeth to handle in her “delicate” condition. She tears up and he tells her there’s no crying in the OR; “that’s what the ladies’ room is for.” And the HR department is for you, Romano.

Carter tells Mark what Stuart admitted to him: Some of the kids on the bus were huffing solvent. They held a rag to Stuart’s face and forced him to breathe in some of it. MIDDLE-SCHOOLERS ARE THE WORST. Carter asks Mark to leave Stuart’s name out of whatever comes next. Two of the girls from the bus then tell Mark that Dave fell asleep while they were talking. Abby finds him and wakes him up, sending him back to work with the imprint of his stethoscope on his cheek. Yeah, he should definitely be treating patients right now.

Mark confronts the three bullies and asks what they were huffing. They won’t tell him what the solvent was, so Mark decides they’ll have to undergo tests to determine what it was. He takes the ringleader, Bo, to an exam room, where Mark and Malik use a big needle to scare him into blurting out that they huffed spot remover. Apparently that stuff is bad for your liver.

Carter goes to the hospital daycare looking for Rena. Another volunteer there appears to have heard of him. While waiting, Carter goes to check out a 3D model of the human body and accidentally knocks all the organs out of it. (Hilariously, a kid in the scene seems really amused by his fumbling.) Carter tries to put it back together, and the volunteer teases him, asking if he’s really a doctor. Heh. Anyway, Carter tells Rena that he’s changed his mind and wants to keep seeing her. She says she’ll think about it.

Cleo doesn’t get why Mrs. Howard became so agitated after Cleo left her to do rounds elsewhere in the hospital. She also doesn’t know why Mrs. Howard would want a gun. She joins Mark to treat a woman named Laura who was just in a car accident. She’s eager to get to her OBGYN to have her eggs harvested; there’s only a small window for that to happen. Mark tells her that she appears to have a small blood clot in her brain, which may have caused her to pass out while driving. She’ll need blood thinners, so she can’t have her eggs harvested today. Laura still wants to leave, so Cleo suggests that they get her doctor to come to County.

Luka confirms that Emily’s pregnant, which she’s excited to hear. She thinks that she’s capable of raising a child on her own. She tells Luka she’s wanted her baby her whole life. You know, all 13 years of it. Benton goes back to tending to Grant’s injury as Grant defends Kimble’s actions. She was forced to make a split-second decision, and she followed all the guidelines. Benton sarcastically asks if the guidelines cover shooting little old ladies.

Grant notes that Mrs. Howard could have hurt someone. Benton says that all he knows is that an elderly Black woman is dead. Grant denies that race had anything to do with Kimble’s decision to shoot. Okay, but she could have shot Mrs. Howard in the arm. Grant said he would have done exactly what Kimble did. He trusts her; she’s a good person. She’s a single mother and a widow, and an investigation could really harm her career. Kimble was trying to protect innocent people, and Benton should keep that in mind when the detectives interview him.

Bo’s tests come back and are bad enough that he needs to be admitted to the ICU. Luka asks Abby to talk to Emily about telling her mother she’s pregnant (even though she’s only 13, being pregnant gives her emancipation, which means Luka has to stick to doctor/patient confidentiality). Mark tells Bo that his liver is failing, thanks to the amount he’s been huffing. He’ll need a transplant.

Cleo lets Mark know that Laura is crashing. The blood clot has caused a stroke and done something to her spinal cord, leaving her with quadriplegia. Benton speaks with a detective about what happened to Mrs. Howard and expresses his displeasure over how Kimble handled things. Mrs. Howard was frail and scared; Kimble could have easily taken the gun from her. The detective notes that she could have hurt someone. Benton insists that Kimble didn’t need to shoot her.

Emily’s mother, Mrs. Perrault, arrives, believing Emily’s being treated because of the fumes on the bus. Luka clues her in by asking about Emily’s last period and whether she has a boyfriend. Mrs. P. blasts her daughter for getting knocked up and tells her she’ll be having an abortion. Emily vows to have the baby and be a better mother than her own. Looks like that wouldn’t take too much work.

Carter tells Stuart that they found out what caused his asthma attack, and no one knows that he ratted out the bullies. Even if they do know, Bo’s not going to be an issue. Stuart’s upset that he had to change into a hospital gown in front of everyone; he’s not the slimmest, most fit child. Carter tells him about another chunky, unpopular kid who spent his time studying instead of hanging out with classmates. He went to med school, and at his graduation, he cut out all his haters’ tongues with a scalpel. Carter…no.

Romano has joined Elizabeth in surgery and found more damage that needs fixing. The procedure the patient needs takes five hours, and Elizabeth refuses to let Benton take over. She just needs a bathroom break. Romano threatens to replace her, so Elizabeth calls his bluff and asks Shirley to insert a catheter so she can relieve herself in the OR. Both of them are being childish and ridiculous, and if I were Shirley, I would quit right now and get a job at a hospital that only employees professionals.

Stuart is suddenly popular with two of his classmates because he knows how to download musical ringtones to their phones. (To really date this episode, they want Papa Roach and Blink 182.) Rena appears to have arranged the new friendship. Carter asks her to dinner again, but she has to study for a midterm the next day. He offers to help her study, and just as she’s about to accept, Abby comes by. Carter suddenly acts like their plans are still uncertain. Rena thinks their age difference is still an issue, so Carter tells her that Abby used to have a thing for him. When Rena asks if they used to date, Carter doesn’t exactly deny it.

Chuny tells Benton that Mrs. Howard’s family wants to talk to him. Cleo lets him know that Mrs. Howard’s sodium level indicates that she was severely dehydrated, which led to her confusion. Neither of them paid enough attention to her lab work to notice this. If they had, they could have given her an IV and prevented her from becoming altered. Benton says that Kimble is to blame here, not the doctors.

Laura’s husband, Greg, arrives to sit with his comatose wife. Mark thinks the fertility drugs Laura was taking caused her stroke. Greg had no idea that Laura was planning to sell her eggs to a couple for $80,000. People pay that much for eggs?? Have these people heard of adoption? It costs half that! Anyway, Greg’s business is doing poorly and he’s about to file for bankruptcy, so Laura must have come up with a way to save them.

Rena introduces herself to Abby and says she hopes Abby doesn’t mind her and Carter spending time together. Abby’s confused about why she would mind, and especially confused when Rena tells her that Carter said they dated. Luka gives Emily an ultrasound as she reads her horoscope in a fashion magazine. He’s understandably skeptical that she’s up for this huge responsibility. Emily thinks she’s more mature than Mrs. P. was when she gave birth at 16. She’s eager to see a social worker, knowing that she’ll be able to sign up for welfare.

Mark finds Greg fighting with Laura’s doctor, Alexander, who’s come to harvest Laura’s eggs. Since Laura gave consent to have the harvest done that day, Alexander can do it without Greg’s permission. Plus, Greg doesn’t have the money to pay for Laura’s long-term care, so he should welcome the $80,000. Mark tells her that the fertility drugs could have caused Laura’s condition, but Alexander has used them for years and has never seen this happen. She guesses that Laura had an underlying medical condition that the drugs exacerbated.

Elizabeth and Romano are almost done in surgery, and Romano is too egotistical to praise her for toughing it out. She hides her exhaustion until she’s alone. Carter notices that Abby is being cold to him, so she tells him she knows he lied to Rena about them being exes. She didn’t correct Rena, so now Carter owes her one. Abby also told Rena that she dumped Carter, though Carter doesn’t think that would happen.

Alexander harvests Laura’s eggs while Mark assures Greg that she’s not in any pain. Meanwhile, Benton talks to Mrs. Howard’s children, who are surprised that their mother got so agitated. She’s had dementia for a long time, and Benton tells them that there are a lot of factors that could make it worse – in this case, dehydration. Mrs. Howard’s daughter had her doubts about her mother’s nursing home before and thinks the staff wasn’t taking good enough care of her. She knows Mrs. Howard appreciated Benton’s kindness.

Dave is finally taking a nap, but Luka wants him to wake up to a surprise: He’s using a skin-sealing substance to glue Dave’s hand to his face. What is this, a frat house? At least Luka’s in a good mood. Carter and Rena start to leave together, but Mark asks Carter to stay behind to do some chart reviews. Carter begs off, saying he was going to help Rena study. Is that what the kids are calling it these days? They can’t get their stories straight about the subject they’ll be studying, but Mark lets them go anyway.

Elizabeth comes down to the ER so she and Mark can finally go home. Instead, they stay put since Romano has sent her pizza and ice cream, just as she wanted. Elizabeth is proud of herself for getting through such a difficult case. Now, though, she doesn’t know why she felt the need to prove that she could be competent while pregnant. Why keep working so hard when she doesn’t have to? She’s decided to start her maternity leave now.

Thoughts: The IMDb says Mrs. Howard is played by the same actress who played the woman I called Dorothy in “Leave It to Weaver.” She has the distinction of getting to die twice on the same show.

I can’t figure out what Malik, Yosh, and Dave’s plan was for their joke. And two of those guys are smart – they had to know there was a huge chance something would go wrong. Why use real Haldol when there was such a big possibility that someone would get injected with it?

I assume Bo became a bully because he was upset that his name is Bo.

Rena, just FYI, saying things like “it’s a school night” doesn’t help downplay the age difference between you and Carter.

1 Comment »

  1. Nick Rivers said,

    I should rewatch to see, but is it possible Rena was being sarcastic or playful when she said that?

    Totally agree with you on the Haldol practical joke. YOSH, YOU DREW UP THE SYRINGE OF HALDOL — WHY DIDN’T YOU USE SALINE FOR GOD’S SAKE? Or any other innocuous substance?!

    Watching this episode after the Gorilla Glue Lady Drama of 2021 gives me confidence that Dave will be able to free his forehead of the bonding agent, but not without some pain. At least that would wake him up.

    Who do you think put the soda cans on Weaver’s cane? I say Malik. He could be sneaky.

    The quickness with which Laura stroked out was really disturbing because I think it’s pretty realistic. I wonder if pushing the Heparin quickly would have made much of a difference considering the clot was already traveling.

    The Elizabeth/Romano bickering was really kind of dumb but at least it brought Elizabeth to her dwindling senses. She could have passed out from exhaustion and really hurt herself or the baby. Pretty stupid to be so egotistical to think you can still carry yourself the same way with the same energy you did when you weren’t 9 months pregnant. It was sweet of Romano to send her the pizza and ice cream, though I could have done without the lovey-dovey Elizabeth/Mark scenes as he’s shoveling it in her maw.

    Is this what middle school kids in Chicago are really doing with their time? Getting pregnant, huffing solvents? Ugh. Maybe after Bo’s successful liver transplant he can spend some time in juvie for trying to poison his classmate, a factoid that just kind of got blissed over due to him facing negative physical ramifications for his huffing habit. And what about the conspirator kids? WHERE ARE THE COPS. I did want to slap that Emily girl, though. She was completely oblivious to the downfalls of being a teen mom because at least one of her other friends had already gone through it — but was her mother supportive? Her mother’s fury was completely understandable as she probably will end up raising this kid too. And with a negative attitude right off the bat. Then again your 13yo is having sex already without birth control, so something got screwed up along the way there.

    The Mrs. Howard situation was tragic, but there’s a part of me that thinks that since she had been suffering from dementia for so long, a quick death might have been a blessing. Not that anyone wants to get shot, but after having watched my grandmother fade away over 10+ years… dementia/Alzheimer’s is brutal in and of itself.


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