March 23, 2021

ER 8.7, If I Should Fall from Grace: Plenty of Goofuses, Just One Gallant

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

Never fear, Gallant is here!

Summary: Med student Michael Gallant is reporting to County for his first day of work, and we are all the better for it. He finds a child’s glove on the floor and tries to turn it in to a lost and found box, but the ER doesn’t have one, since, as Haleh explains, someone stole it. Gallant is supposed to meet Carter at 8:00 a.m., but he’s so excited for his first day that he’s early. (We’ll also find out later that he’s in the military, where, if you’re not early, you’re late.)

Susan speaks to a patient named Fred who says he hasn’t been feeling like himself lately. It all started when a woman bit him on the neck. Susan tells him it’s a hickey. Gallant meets Mark while Elizabeth yells at Luka about a patient she thinks will need surgery. Luka notes that she doesn’t usually come to the ER until a patient’s labs are back, so she doesn’t need to be bugging him right now. Elizabeth tells Mark that she thinks Luka is just pretending he doesn’t need a surgical consult because he doesn’t want Elizabeth to do it, thanks to all of her recent patient losses.

Frank is annoyed that there aren’t any donuts in the lounge. Abby tells him they’re out of petty cash, though he knows they had $50 yesterday. Susan mentions having a patient who thinks he’s a vampire, and Abby calls him Count Fred, then asks if he’s alone in his exam room. She tells Susan that Fred is a vampire, in that he drinks people’s blood. Indeed, the two of them and Gallant find Fred drinking from a blood bag. Welcome to the show, Gallant!

Carter isn’t in any rush to get to County to meet his new student, since he takes the time to intervene in an argument between Millicent and her driver, Alger. She thinks he’s lying about a car not working so she won’t try to drive. Carter points out that she has a driver, so she doesn’t need to drive. Millicent doesn’t want a chaperone. As she gets up to ask him a question, she suddenly passes out.

Without Carter to guide him, Gallant is bugging Abby about sneaking him a couple of cases so he can get started at his job. Nicole has moved on from transporting supplies to learning to become a nurse’s aide, which amuses Abby. Luka calls both of them over to help him with a patient named Jeremy who was in a skateboarding accident. Gallant comes in to watch as Luka makes Abby teach Nicole stuff. Nicole doesn’t know how to do anything (fair, since she’s just starting her training), but Gallant is able to make a correct diagnosis.

Carter brings Millicent in, which gives Susan a chance to make a better second impression than her first one (not like that’s hard). Millicent insists she’s fine, but she briefly passes out again. Susan tries to reassure Carter that it could be nothing serious. Gallant is so eager to do something helpful that he asks Cleo if he can intubate Jeremy. Yeah, no, definitely not. Benton joins them and sends Gallant away, annoyed that Gallant is asking so many questions. You’d think Benton would be thrilled to have someone like Gallant there, since he’s basically the opposite of William White.

Nicole praises Luka for saving Jeremy’s life, then goes back to…whatever she was doing. Abby confronts Luka for letting Nicole be in the trauma room and do things she’s not qualified to do. Luka thinks Abby’s just mad because he likes Nicole. That may be part of it, but Abby also doesn’t want Luka to break the rules for his new girlfriend. By making Abby teach Nicole, he prevented Abby from helping him save Jeremy.

As Benton is heading to the OR to operate on Jeremy, a process server gives him a subpoena: Roger is suing for custody of Reese. A mall security guard named Hilliker asks Luka how Jeremy is; he’s the person who called 911 after Jeremy’s accident. Gallant notices that Hilliker is limping, and Hilliker explains that he twisted his ankle chasing Jeremy and his friends through the mall, trying to get them to leave.

Abby tries to treat a nun who insists on letting Carter change her bandage. Looks like she and her fellow sister have crushes on him. “What is it with you and nuns, Carter?” Haleh asks. I’m going to need more details on that. Carter’s too busy worrying about Millicent, so Abby says she’ll take care of the nun. She also has to clean up a patient who puked, so she decides this is the perfect time to teach Nicole the ways of nursing.

Elizabeth was supposed to operate on a patient, but the case was given to Dale. (Ugh, that guy. Fortunately, we don’t have to actually see him.) Romano tells her she’s not back on service today – they have to wait for the CDC to wrap up their investigation. The good news is that, while there was a criminal investigation, there was no evidence that Elizabeth deliberately killed anyone. Romano doesn’t think the deaths have anything to do with Elizabeth, but he has to follow the CDC’s rules. He thinks Elizabeth should enjoy her downtime by spending time with Ella and catching up on dictation.

Instead, Elizabeth confronts Kit while she’s drawing blood from a patient in the ICU. She thinks Kit was actually injecting something into the patient’s IV. Kit explains that the IV was clogged, so she injected something to improve the flow. Elizabeth doesn’t believe her until she finds the vial Kit used. Poor Kit. So underappreciated.

Hilliker chats with Luka about the years he spent as a police officer before becoming a security guard. Luka then goes to talk to Jeremy’s mother, Mrs. Norris, while Jeremy’s in surgery. When Hilliker follows, Jeremy’s friend Russ calls him out for chasing them at the mall. He accuses Hilliker of throwing a stick at them, which caused Jeremy’s wipeout. Hilliker says he just asked the kids to leave.

Mrs. Norris believes Russ, and there’s some yelling until Luka sends Hilliker back to his exam room. Gallant comes running back a moment later to report that Hilliker seems to be having a heart attack. While Luka treats him, Hilliker tells him that the kids were taunting him. Jeremy stole his hat and threw it in a fountain. Oh, well, in that case, Hilliker was totally justified in throwing something at him and putting him in the hospital.

Elizabeth starts reviewing charts and questioning doctors she’s worked with on her now-dead patients. One of them tells her that Babcock, the anesthesiologist, is really the person she needs to talk to. Benton and Romano wrap up Jeremy’s operation, and Romano notes that Benton seems to be in a bad mood. Benton doesn’t open up to him, of course. He goes to tell Mrs. Norris that Jeremy came through surgery, but it’s not clear if he’ll ever wake up.

Gallant takes his eagerness to Mark, who’s normally happy to have a new shadow but finds Gallant a little too intense. He asks Susan to save him. Susan says that at least Gallant seems nice. Mark says they all start out that way; then they turn into residents like Carter. Susan comments that she wishes they were all like him. Mark thinks she means that in a way other than professionally.

Carter tells Susan that it looks like Millicent has something called Shy-Drager, which as far as I can tell from some brief Internet research is a degenerative neurological disorder that eventually makes your whole body shut down. Yikes. He finally meets Gallant, but he’s not really in the mood to be a teacher right now. Abby takes pity on Gallant (and probably Carter, a little) by offering to find him a case to work on.

Elizabeth goes back to the ICU, this time to apologize to Kit and ask her about some patients. Once again, Babcock’s name comes up. Kit tells Elizabeth that sometimes Babcock will insist on removing a patient’s central line instead of letting a nurse do it. That sets off alarm bells in Elizabeth’s head.

Back in the ER, Gallant questions a patient who took some of her husband’s old penicillin. He demonstrates both medical knowledge and good bedside manner. As he’s leaving, another patient, Grace, suggests an underlying condition the patient might have. She’s a second-year med student, but not at County, so Gallant doesn’t appreciate her input. Grace tells Carter that Gallant is bad at taking patient histories, so they should test the patient for something he missed. Carter agrees.

He starts examining Grace, who thinks she’s coming down with the flu and wants some medication to keep her going. Carter learns that she’s in both med school and law school at the same time. Gallant meets Nicole, who tells Luka that Abby showed her how to bathe a homeless man. Luka seems to guess that Abby is punishing Nicole, so he tells her to shadow Malik or Haleh instead. Trust me, Luka, they’ll do the same thing.

Hilliker only had an anxiety attack, not a heart attack, and Luka lets Gallant give him the good news. Nicole follows him to Hilliker’s exam room, where they find him hanging from the ceiling. Gallant sends Nicole to get help, then uses a scalpel to cut through the belt Hilliker hanged himself with.

Carter tells Millicent that she has Shy-Drager, which affects her blood pressure and could lead to a heart attack or stroke. Most people who have it die within ten years. Millicent says she’s not sure she wants to live that long anyway, so she’s not bothered. She just wants to go home.

Abby finds Nicole crying in the ambulance bay and makes herself extend some kindness. She reports that Hilliker will be okay, thanks to Gallant, and Nicole shouldn’t let it bother her too much. Apparently people try to commit suicide in the ER all the time. How lovely. Nicole tells her that her father hanged himself, and she was the one who found his body. Abby asks if Luka knows about this. Nicole has never told him. She admits that she’s not sure she can handle this job. Abby tells her it’s not always this bad, and it’s okay for her to cry.

Elizabeth tells Mark that she’s found one commonality in all her cases: Babcock. She’s upset that he didn’t step forward when he found out Elizabeth was being investigated. Uh, how did the investigators not notice that he was involved in so many of her cases? Frank gives Mark a message from Rachel’s school: She was suspended. Yep, sounds about right.

Luka checks on Hilliker, who’s told Gallant everything. Gallant relays that Hilliker doesn’t want them to call the police, since he still has friends on the force. Also, Hilliker lost his wife last year. Again, not an excuse for what he did. Gallant tells Luka that Hilliker took the job as a security guard so he could help people. Dude, it doesn’t matter! He made a kid wipe out on his skateboard, and now the kid might be in a coma forever!

Carter tells Grace she’s rundown and should probably pick which career path she wants to take instead of trying them both. She tells him her parents will only pay for her to go to med school if she also graduates law school. Carter wonders why she doesn’t have health insurance, since her parents are both lawyers. Grace says she has a complicated relationship with them. Hmm, sounds familiar. Carter tells her to eat better, reduce her stress, and make sure she’s sleeping well. That’s pretty much impossible for Grace, so she asks for some halcyon. Carter doesn’t think that’s a good idea, but Grace talks him into it.

He then updates Susan on Millicent, who went home with Alger. Susan notes that they need to call the DMV so Millicent’s license will be revoked. Carter hasn’t gotten that far – he didn’t want to make Millicent’s life worse by telling her she can’t drive anymore. Plus, he doesn’t feel like he can call the DMV to rat out his own grandmother. Susan offers to do it for him. Abby calls Carter back to Grace, who passed out. Susan comes along to help and notices cuts on Grace’s arm.

Elizabeth tries to talk to Romano as he scrubs in for surgery, but Babcock is in the room, so it’ll have to wait. Benton meets Jackie at Doc Magoo’s to get some advice on what to do about the subpoena. Her friends from the courthouse said he shouldn’t fight it, in case it makes him look like has something to hide. He should get a DNA test and prove that Reese is his biological son. Benton worries that he’ll prove the opposite instead.

Elizabeth looks through Babcock’s lab (I guess he’s doing some side experiments) but doesn’t find anything incriminating. Babcock catches her, but she covers by saying she just had some questions about some cases. Then she pretends she got paged so she can leave. Babcock asks her to return the keys she took to open some things she shouldn’t have been looking through.

Carter and Susan question Grace, who says she self-harmed and had an eating disorder as a kid because of a difficult home situation. Carter doesn’t believe her and asks to look at her other arm. He thinks she has an infection from recent cutting. Susan questions how well she has her eating disorder under control. Grace doesn’t want to listen to any more accusations, so she starts to leave. Carter wants to keep her on a psych hold, since she could be a danger to herself.

Gallant arrives as Grace gets agitated, insisting that the doctors are making too big a deal out of this. Carter just wants to help because he knows what it’s like to refuse it when you need it most. Grace sneers at Gallant for watching this unfold, since he wasn’t smart enough to make the diagnosis she did. Susan calls for a sedative, which just makes Grace more upset. Yeah, she’s totally stable. She begs the doctors to let her go, saying they’ll ruin everything. Instead, Carter lets Gallant sedate her.

Mark picks Rachel up from school, where she’s in trouble for threatening a girl she thinks is trying to steal Andrew from her. She says it’s not a big deal, though she’s been suspended with a threat of expulsion if there’s another offense. Mark tells her she can’t ride to school with Andrew anymore and she’s grounded for a month. Also, she has to do chores. She didn’t have to do chores already?? Come on.

Rachel complains that her father’s being too hard on her, when really, he’s basically doing the bare minimum of parenting. He tells her he sees all sorts of teenage girls at the hospital who wind up in horrible situations because no one cares about them. She’s just cursed with a father who actually cares.

Cleo finds Benton in the daycare room, playing with Reese. He tells her that Jackie suggested he take a DNA test. Cleo knows Carla claimed Reese isn’t Benton’s, and she tells him that, whatever biology says, Benton is Reese’s father. She invites them to have dinner at her house that night. Reese gets annoyed that they can’t go home, since Benton still has work to do. Reese asks for his other daddy instead.

Carter has apparently given Millicent the news that she’s not allowed to drive anymore, but she ignored him and has been driving around for a couple of hours just to stick it to him. Susan got Carter to call the DMV, but now he might have to report his own grandmother to the police. Susan offers to go to Millicent’s and wait with Carter to make sure she gets home safely.

Babcock has told Romano about Elizabeth’s snooping, so the three of them are now in Romano’s office to sort everything out. Elizabeth tries to play innocent, then decides to just put everything out there. Babcock is next to play innocent, telling Romano that Elizabeth’s dead patients shouldn’t have been considered eligible for surgery anyway.

Elizabeth points out that they all died from the same post-op infection. Babcock’s like, “If they hadn’t had surgery, there would be no post-op, and they wouldn’t have died.” Romano decides that until the health department wraps up their investigation, Elizabeth and Babcock will both be kept out of the OR. Both of them refuse to work with each other ever again. Romano kicks them both out of his office, hilariously sending them off with, “God is love.”

Gallant’s shift is over, but he decides to stick around and study. He goes to see Grace, offering her a book so she can study for an upcoming exam. She apologizes for taking out her problems on him. Since they’re both struggling with the same topic, they start studying together. Elsewhere, Benton gets swabbed for a DNA test.

While waiting for Millicent at her mansion, Carter tells Susan about his fentanyl addiction. He’s been sober for more than a year now. She asks to see the scar from his stabbing, which is such a bizarre way to respond to someone’s trauma. Carter recognizes that there’s some “adolescent sexual tension” between them and admits that he used to have a crush on her. She says she liked him, too, but he was a med student and he was a resident. Carter notes that he’s a resident now. He’s glad Susan came back to Chicago. Thank you, Millicent, for arriving just then, before anything can happen.

Thoughts: Grace is played by Bellamy Young. Russ is played by Dan Byrd.

My love of Gallant blinded me to the fact that his early eagerness could be kind of annoying. But Lucy was eager, too, and at least Gallant comes in with more skills than she did.

If you were hoping for a satisfying conclusion to Elizabeth’s plotline…sorry. We don’t get one.

Is it even possible to do med school and law school at the same time without only sleeping half an hour at night?

Carter and Susan never made sense to me as a couple, and I don’t know why they didn’t put him with Abby right away, since it was always obvious that things were heading in that direction.


  1. Nick Rivers said,

    I forgot how nice Michael Gallant was! Wow, what a great introduction he had on the show. I like seeing how everybody reacted to him at first.

    Elizabeth is downright insufferable at this point, and it’s really hard to feel any sympathy for what she’s dealing with. I honestly think it all started when she started dating Mark, for some reason. It’s like that relationship kicked her character into a different gear that was wholly different from what she had been. She was cocky, confident, passionate, zesty, ambitious… and now she’s being reduced to shrill, argumentative, defensive, frazzled, and bitchy. It aint good. I’m glad she was totally busted snooping on the Babcock thing, even if it’s a good hunch that he’s involved somehow. Romano looked rightfully annoyed at her.

    I do like how they sometimes introduce little tiny nuggets like the missing petty cash that will ostensibly come up later… though I’m not entirely confident they’ll remember that storyline as a thread to continue later.

    Fred the Vampire wasting a bag of blood made me more angry than grossed out. What a waste of blood.

    The Carter/Gamma storyline is actually surprisingly touching and makes Carter more appealing than normal, though I’m not sure why. You can tell he’s totally not ready to lose his Gamma yet, though.

    Luka forcing Abby to teach Nicole stuff is admittedly kind of shitty only because I think Abby’s right — a major trauma case is not the time for her to become acquainted with the rhythm of the ER, unless she just stands in the corner and observes. A nurse’s aide really shouldn’t be assisting in a trauma at all and I would think that’s actually a major liability. Abby should get Weaver on her side for this one. Gallant observing and participating makes sense because he’s literally studying to become a doctor, but a nurse’s aide isn’t necessarily a student nurse nor do they have any of the same skillsets. There are plenty of people to practice pulse ox’s on in the rest of the ER as opposed to the trauma room, Luka!

    Benton putting Gallant in his place was kind of funny and not at all unexpected. Totally a Benton thing to do. I like that Cleo was more welcoming, though. I am not surprised Benton would be hard on Gallant from the get-go as he was the same way with Dennis Gant. Granted, he was hard on Carter too, but I think he admitted back with Gant that he pushed him harder because more was expected of him. I might be remembering that wrong but there was a whole affirmative action argument there too if I’m not mistaken.

    The Shy-Drager diagnosis sounded dire until I read that it takes like 7-10 years to kill you… which is also why Gamma reacted the way she did: totally blase. I don’t think she has anywhere near that much time left anyway.

    I’m not exactly sure why Abby asked Nicole if she’d told Luka about her father’s suicide. Like… when would that come up in conversation anyway, and regardless, why would it matter if she’d told Luka? Nobody predicted this mall cop would try to hang himself in an exam room. But Abby’s callous remark about suicidal people in the ER reminded me of when Shep was joking with Raoul in the nurse’s bay about attemped suicides with Carol within earshot. I guess Abby may get a bit more of a pass because she’s witnessed her mother’s attempts several times before and is a little more hardened to it. That might have been a nice bonding moment for her and Nicole but I completely understand why Abby doesn’t want to be friends with this girl. Poor Julie Delpy again. She does the wounded bird thing so well.

    The Grace character was a great storyline and the actress was really good. Nice tag team action from Carter and Susan, too, with Gallant providing kind of unwanted but needed backup.

    Mark playing hardball with Rachel was long overdue. Man, this girl is spoiled as hell. What is she, 14? Ugh.

    That bit with Carter and Susan by the pool was so awkward. Carter looked cute in this episode but I just don’t see them together with any sort of romantic chemistry (my earlier biases have been noted ad nauseum!).

    • Marie M said,

      I know I’m a year and half late on this reply, but…I wonder if the missing petty cash was a subtle bit of foreshadowing considering what ends up happening with Nicole? I’m rewatching the show now and finding these recaps (and your comments) has been gold.

      (meant to post this as a reply, not a new comment)

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