April 6, 2021

ER 8.9, Quo Vadis?: It’s a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World

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

I need you two to stop

Summary: Jackie has just dropped Reese off at County’s daycare after keeping him at her house for the night. Benton comes by to see his son, but he only gets to spend a minute with Reese before Shirley summons him to the ICU. Benton’s supposed to be off in five minutes, as if Romano cares. Then he gets paged to the ER. As they leave the daycare room, Jackie reminds Benton that Carla once said she wanted him to spend Father’s Day with Reese. He needs to tell the judge that at the custody hearing that morning.

Susan sent Millicent lilies, but she’s made a bad impression yet again, since Millicent is allergic to them. Carter notes that lilies are also for funerals, so that’s another mistake. Millicent is recovering from her broken hip and is more worried about Jill than herself (fortunately, Jill is also recovering, and Millicent gave her some money to head off a lawsuit). Benton comes to the ER, wondering why Elizabeth can’t do whatever it is he’s supposed to be there to do. Mark expositions that she’s been cleared to perform surgery again after all those patient deaths. Frank is skeptical that she didn’t do anything wrong.

Benton joins Luka and Gallant to try to save a woman who was shot. Elizabeth comes in to relieve Benton, who has to rush off to court. The patient is brain-dead, and Elizabeth tells her husband, Mr. Pruitt, that there’s nothing they can do for her. She mentions that Mrs. Pruitt has an organ-donor card. Mr. Pruitt says he guesses that’s what she wants.

Mark calls Elizabeth in to help him with a teenager named Rudy who was injured during a boxing match. They chat while working, and Mark asks Elizabeth to help Rachel with her math homework after work. (It’s that or the Revolutionary War, and it makes sense that Elizabeth, a Brit, would want to opt out of that subject.) Luka bugs Weaver about getting Nicole rehired, even though she was busted for stealing. Weaver reminds him that County has a zero-tolerance policy about theft. Plus, Luka didn’t screen her better before helping her get hired. Uh, I think that’s HR’s fault, but okay.

After spending a moment with Carter, doing their weird version of flirting, Susan joins Gallant to tend to a teen named Jorge. He’s Rudy’s brother, as well as Rudy’s boxing opponent. Their father, Mr. Escalona, lets Jorge know that Rudy will be okay. Jorge gets very stoic when his father comes in, sending up a red flag to Susan and Gallant that something strange is going on here.

Benton meets up with his lawyer, Ms. Prager, before the hearing, and she tells him to be as stoic as Jorge when people are testifying. Their judge, Alter, tends to favor the mother in custody cases, though that won’t be an issue here. Ms. Prager thinks Benton’s tie is showy, so her assistant gives Benton his own tie. Ms. Prager tells Benton not to get too emotional during his own testimony. Benton criticizes his new tie as the whitest one he’s ever seen. The assistant is like, “…It’s blue.” Ha, and also, that guy’s not white, but okay.

Carter and Abby tend to a woman who keeps having an allergic reaction for unknown reasons. (I don’t know her name, so I’ll call her Allegra.) She and her husband are in Chicago on their honeymoon. Abby and Chuny spot Nicole entering the ER, most likely to meet with HR and get officially fired. Abby suggests that Allegra has a latex allergy, but she hasn’t had any contact with latex recently. She and her new husband stopped using condoms when they got married. Meanwhile, Susan tells Jorge that Rudy’s unconscious but his vitals are good.

In court, Roger’s lawyer, Wharton, guides him through testimony about his closeness with Reese and his ability to maintain a flexible schedule. Unlike Peter, Roger has never needed or wanted to pass him off to someone else for childcare. Because…not having a flexible schedule makes you a bad parent who doesn’t want to spend time with his child? Having to rely on help makes Benton less of a father? Ugh. Roger also testifies that Reese has said Roger’s place is his home.

Elizabeth talks to Mr. Pruitt about donating Mrs. Pruitt’s organs, but he hasn’t quite accepted that they have to harvest the organs while her heart is still beating. He doesn’t get that brain death means death death, no matter which organs are still working. Elizabeth gives him some more time to sit with his wife and figure out what to do.

Abby mentions to Luka that she saw Nicole and is sure she’ll find another job. Luka says she might want to stop working now that she’s pregnant. Abby is surprised that Nicole wants to keep the baby. She’s even more surprised that Luka wants to help her raise the baby. She asks if Nicole actually took a pregnancy test, and if Luka saw the results. Luka gets defensive, which is fair, but also, Luka, you’re so dumb.

Mr. E. regrets letting Rudy get in the ring with Jorge, since some weak arteries in his head mean he could possibly hemorrhage. Mark tells Mr. E. that it’s actually a preexisting condition, and it’s fixable. Gallant thinks Jorge blames himself for his brother’s condition. Carter asks Susan and Abby if they’ve ever heard of someone being allergic to semen. He thinks that’s what’s going on with Allegra. A boy named Sean comes in with his foot stuck in a toilet. Well, that’s a new one. Sandy accompanies him in the ambulance and reunites with Weaver. Nicole’s back in the ER, and Abby manages to be nice to her for once, offering her some coffee.

Back in court, Cleo testifies that Benton is a wonderful father to Reese. Wharton asks about her relationship with Benton, which hasn’t been stable. In fact, they broke up a while ago and just got back together recently. What if Cleo and Benton break up again in the coming weeks, months, or years? I don’t know, Wharton – what if Benton dies, like Carla did? What if Roger dies? What if a giant asteroid hits Earth and we all die, except Reese? What then?? Have you thought about that??

Wharton asks about the incident where Reese got hurt while Cleo was watching him. He chastises Benton for letting Cleo take care of Reese when he was supposed to be in Benton’s care. Freaking A, are people not allowed to use babysitters in this guy’s world? Also, Benton’s lawyer sucks, because she’s not doing enough to object or mentioning that Wharton keeps interrupting Cleo when she tries to respond to his questions.

Abby gives Nicole regular coffee, probably trying to trick her into drinking caffeine to show she’s not really pregnant or doesn’t care about the baby. It doesn’t work. Abby offers to give Nicole an ultrasound, since she hasn’t had a prenatal exam yet or even confirmed that she’s really pregnant. She tells Nicole this isn’t the way to “get” Luka.

Abby has questions about Nicole’s father; at one point she said her father killed himself, but then she said he kicked her out when she was a teenager. Nicole clarifies that the father who kicked her out was really her stepfather. “I guess you have an answer for everything,” Abby remarks. “I guess everything is your business,” Nicole replies. Ooh, point to Nicole. Abby says she just doesn’t want Luka to get hurt. Nicole says she wants him to be happy. Abby tells her that a made-up life won’t accomplish that. If this is all real, great. If not, Luka’s smart enough to figure it out.

Weaver and Sandy chat a little about the night they met and how Sandy’s one of very few female firefighters in the city. Sandy says she’s like one of the guys. She hasn’t had her hand checked out, since she doesn’t like doctors. Oooh, Sandy, you’re about to like a doctor very soon. Rudy has stopped breathing, and Mark determines that the pressure in his brain has increased. As he’s trying to stabilize Rudy, Rachel calls to check in. Go away, Rachel. Mark and Gallant end up having to shock Rudy’s heart.

Luka thinks he has a solution to Elizabeth’s problem getting Mr. Pruitt to agree to donate his wife’s organs: Take her to the OR, turn off her ventilator, wait until her heart stops beating, and then get him to consent to the organ donation. After two minutes of cardiac arrest, they can remove her organs without any damage from lack of oxygen.

Elizabeth doesn’t see the point in rushing Mr. Pruitt. Luka tells her that this is the only circumstance under which Mr. Pruitt will agree to the organ harvesting. Elizabeth is annoyed that he gave Mr. Pruitt that option without consulting her. She’s the one who has to get consent, and she’s the one who has to do the actually harvesting.

Carter has a hypothesis he wants to test on Allegra and her husband. They just need an empty exam room (preferably one without a dead body in it). Mark and Gallant haven’t been able to revive Rudy, and Mark tells Mr. E. that they’re not going to be able to. He invites Mr. E. and Jorge to say goodbye before Rudy dies. Mr. E. praises his son for fighting hard and never giving up. Jorge gets distressed hearing Mr. E.’s goodbye message and yells at him to shut up.

Luka and Nicole take a walk by the water, and he tells her not to worry about working while she’s pregnant. Nicole doesn’t want to just lounge around and be a kept woman, even if it means Luka covers her rent. She has a friend who’s opening a café and needs help…but the café is in Montreal. She appreciates Luka’s generosity, but she’s ready to move on.

Luka asks to talk more after his shift, but Nicole says she’ll call him in a few days. He worries that she’s mad at him or thinks he’s mad at her. Nicole says that he talked himself into loving her, but this isn’t real. Luka tells her he made an OB appointment. Nicole says it’s not necessary – she’s not pregnant. She didn’t want to lose him, so she came up with a way to keep him around, but it was all a lie.

Susan and a patient hear some noises coming from an exam room, but Carter says they’re just from maintenance workers doing their job. Lies! The noises are Allegra and her husband banging. Carter tells Susan he’s “conducting a clinical trial.” She teases him for running a brothel. He argues that it’s not a brothel if they’re married. (Also, no money is changing hands. But still, I don’t think Weaver would care about the details if she found out what was going on.)

Mark gets Rudy’s labwork back and asks Mr. E. if he’s ever taken stimulants. Mr. E. says he’d never let Rudy take drugs. They found ephedra in his blood, and Jorge explains that it must have come from the power supplements Rudy was taking. Mark says the ephedra probably raised Rudy’s blood pressure and led to a blood vessel in his brain rupturing. Jorge tells Mr. E. that Rudy wanted to power up so he could make their father proud.

Mr. E. is upset that Jorge knew what Rudy was doing and didn’t stop him. Jorge notes that Mr. E. was always pushing Rudy, so he felt like he didn’t have a choice. Rudy was just a kid. Mr. E. says Rudy wanted to be a champ, but Jorge argues that that was what their father wanted. He’s done with boxing and letting Mr. E. press his children to excel. Mr. E. says Jorge was born with a gift, so Jorge ruins the gift by punching a wall and injuring his hand.

Jackie comes to the courthouse to give Benton some moral support. Benton tells her that Roger is making it sound like Benton calls him for help with Reese all the time, when he’s only asked for help a couple times. Jackie thinks they should bust Roger for perjury. She tells Roger to leave them alone and tell the truth. “Get your own family!” she yells.

Carter finds Susan in an exam room next to Allegra and her husband’s, and accuses her of listening to them have sex. Dude, if they’re loud enough to be heard in the ER, she didn’t need to get closer. Also, how long do they need to go at it for Carter’s hypothesis to be proven or disproven? I’m all for the scientific method, but this is overkill. Finally, the sex stops, and the two go check on the patient. Mark and Gallant walk by, and Mark asks what’s going on. Susan tells him to ask Carter. Gallant makes a face that says, “I know exactly what’s going on, and you two are very naughty.”

Mark and Gallant tell Jorge he’ll be in a cast for a few weeks. As Mark leaves to treat someone else, Gallant tries to assure Jorge that everyone has daddy issues. Jorge says it’s different for him, since Mr. E. is so old-school. He’s from Cuba and immigrated to the U.S. before his kids were born. He was a great boxer in Cuba, and when he tried to leave, his hands were broken. He pushed his kids to have what was taken from him. Gallant urges Jorge to talk to Mr. E. about his feelings on the situation.

Allegra and her husband weren’t able to…fully test Carter’s hypothesis. What, you mean they weren’t able to finish while in an exam room in a busy hospital where anyone could walk in at any time? Preposterous! Carter tells them to use condoms until they can test the hypothesis under medical supervision. Allegra wonders why she would suddenly develop an allergy to semen. Carter and Susan say it could be the result of having multiple sex partners. Allegra’s like, “Okay, yeah, that makes sense.” Her husband isn’t happy to hear that.

Paramedics bring in a 16-year-old who fell off a lamppost. A cop tells Mark and Carter that he and a girl were stealing street signs. Mark recognizes the patient as Andrew, then easily (and correctly) guesses that the girl is Rachel. The teens aren’t under arrest, but a cop wants to take Rachel to the police station to scare her a little. Mark approves. Meanwhile, Sandy returns to the hospital, having decided she wants a wound check after all.

Wharton questions Benton about his work hours and childcare arrangements. He notes that Jackie had trouble taking care of Reese right after Carla died, then brings up Jesse. Is Jackie stable enough to take care of a child when she’s still grieving the death of her own child? Is she taking psychiatric medication with side effects that could hamper her ability to take care of a child? Getting angry, Benton tells Wharton to start asking questions about his parenting abilities and how he’s taken care of Reese for years. There’s nothing more important to him than his son.

At the end of the day, Ms. Prager chastises Benton for blowing up on the stand. He doesn’t regret it, since he said what he had to say. The judge seems to be leaning toward Roger, so Ms. Prager tells Benton they need to do something to tip the scales toward him. Right now, his work hours are hurting him the most, so he needs to make some sacrifices to put Reese first.

The cop who busted Andrew and Rachel returns Rachel to the hospital after her little field trip of fear at the police station. Mark tells her that Andrew tested positive for marijuana, so he has some questions about whether Rachel has used pot, too. She’ll need to provide the answers in a cup. Rachel complains that Mark doesn’t trust her, as if she’s given him even one reason to trust her over the past five episodes.

Luka tells Abby that Nicole’s leaving town and there’s no baby. Abby very graciously doesn’t say, “I told you so.” Allegra’s back in the ER, having finished Carter’s research in a pickup truck. Looks like his hypothesis was right. Benton’s also back and being sent to the OR. Gallant talks to Mr. E. about arrangements for Rudy’s body, and Mr. E. expresses regret over his fight with Jorge. He doesn’t think Jorge understands his reasons for pushing his sons so much. Gallant says Jorge might surprise him. Mr. E. joins Jorge in the room where Rudy’s body is still lying, and the two hug each other and cry.

Elizabeth hands Mrs. Pruitt off to Benton; her husband finally consented to the organ harvest, but he still needs some hand-holding. Benton doesn’t want to hold anyone’s hand, and since Elizabeth has been dealing with Mr. Pruitt all day, he tells her to deal with it. Elizabeth says he just wants to talk to the surgeon who will be doing the harvesting. Benton sucks it up and acts human, learning that the Pruitts have a young daughter, and Mr. Pruitt will now be parenting her alone. Benton blankly tells him he’ll have to do the best he can. Wow, that was almost like compassion! Good job, Benton!

Weaver tends to Sandy’s hand and makes small talk about her co-workers. Then Weaver takes a huge leap and asks Sandy if she’d like to go out sometime. We don’t find out Sandy’s response, but she does confirms that Weaver has read her right as a fellow lady lover. Rachel tested negative for pot, and Mark tells her he had to test her because he has to make sure she’s safe – that’s more important than not making her angry. Rachel, a typical teen, doesn’t want to hear it.

Benton starts Mrs. Pruitt’s organ harvest, turning off her ventilator and waiting for her heart to stop. Carter and Susan chat about Allegra and her husband – apparently there’s a way for them to have a baby that involves washing the husband’s sperm and then doing artificial insemination. Susan thinks it’s weird that they had sex in a truck, but it’s not as weird as when she once had sex on a Ferris wheel. Carter asks for more tales of Susan’s strangest sexual encounters. Guys, just kiss already. Oh, hey, they listened to me! Ew, no, stop. It’s weird.

Mrs. Pruitt’s heart is still beating after almost an hour, and she’s breathing on her own, so Benton can’t harvest her organs yet. He tells Shirley they’ll have to keep waiting. I guess there’s a metaphor here for how Benton also has to be patient and can’t rush the custody fight. But also, he could be stuck there all night, which means he has to spend more time away from Reese. So much for making sacrifices.

Thoughts: Sean is played by future Two and a Half Men half man Angus T. Jones. IMDb says Keegan-Michael Key is also in this episode, but I didn’t see him. And chances are you’ve seen Tom Wright, who plays Wharton, in something, but Magicians fans will know him as Santa. (For those who aren’t familiar with The Magicians, yes, I mean Santa Claus.)

“Quo vadis?” means “where are you going?” Not sure why the show thought the Latin was necessary.

The Nicole plot is so pointless. The show was able to land Julie Delpy as a guest star and this is the crap they give her?

Ah, yes, teens stealing street signs. I live near an exit 69, and that sign had to be replaced quite a few times when I was younger because people kept taking it.

3 Comments »

  1. Patrick Sullivan said,

    I’m glad that you’re doing episodes past the 90’s too. Remember way back when Peter asked Carla if the baby was his and she goes, “You did not just ask me that!” It turns out it was a fair question.

    • Nick Rivers said,

      I know! I mean, who is Reese’s biological father after all? Do we ever find out? We know it isn’t Peter and it doesn’t seem to be Roger. Who else was Carla messing around with back then!

  2. Nick Rivers said,

    The caption with this review is spot-on. Susan and Carter is so ick. He looks at her with those puppydog eyes and she always looks at him with hesitation and slight regret. There is absolutely no sexual tension there at all. The semen allergy storyline was kind of dumb and definitely purely crafted to create some manufactured sexual tension between Carter and Susan, which UGH because UGH to the UGH UGH. NO.

    The Jorge/Rudy storyline was really well done. You can tell the family was super loving towards each other instead of just all machismo and posturing. And there wasn’t any violence between the family members beyond just the boxing, which was kind of unexpected but nice.

    Keegan Michael Key played Benton’s lawyer’s assistant who gave Benton the “whitest tie he’s ever seen”. I didn’t recognize him with hair at first. Roger’s lawyer Wharton also played Mr. Morgan on Seinfeld, the Yankees staffer that George was always getting into trouble somehow.

    The Mrs. Pruitt organ donation storyline was heartbreaking but we didn’t get to see too much of it to really get invested. I feel like an earlier season of ER would have focused more on this storyline than all the other ones, especially the pointless kid-with-the-toilet-foot one that served no purpose other than to bring Sandy to the ER.

    I don’t know why Abby can’t just tell Luka that she doesn’t want to see him get hurt and is worried there’s more to this Nicole storyline than he is aware of. At least she isn’t stringing Carter along right now. And I guess I should be grateful they’re not focusing on some jealousy storyline where she sees him with Susan and gets upset. If I didn’t know better I’d think they both moved on from their crush-whatever graciously and can still work together amicably with no hard feelings.

    If Roger’s lawyer was able to bring up the “instability” of Peter and Cleo’s relationship, WHY on earth didn’t Peter’s lawyer bring up the fact that fairly recently Carla and Roger themselves were splitting up or had split up?! That their relationship wasn’t nearly as stable as they’re trying to make it out to be? That Carla made a pass at Peter?

    Also, I do think Roger has a point with the argument that Peter’s not present enough in Reese’s life — by choice, because of his profession — and therefore a number of other ‘villagers’ are needed to raise him. It’s undeniable and everybody saw this happening when Carla got pregnant in the first place. *She* was annoyed with it too. And his career is the main reason why he let her have primary custody anyway. So it makes sense that Roger brings it up now — you never fought his mother for custody before when you claim nothing was more important in your life than your son, so why are you fighting for it now? I saw it as less about Peter needing so many people to help raise Reese and more about Peter never putting Reese before his career. We consistently saw how irritated he would get when Jackie or whoever else couldn’t watch Reese so he could go perform a surgery. He’d step up to the plate if nobody else could come through, but he never put his career on the line for Reese before. He has to now, because otherwise he’ll lose him.

    And Jackie getting oddly possessive over Reese… I mean, she has been instrumental in raising him throughout, but she has to acknowledge that Peter always puts his career before his family… as in ALL his family. She’s seen it firsthand with how he never showed up to help with their mother until it was too late, how he missed family meals, so on and so forth. I wish we could see more of Walt in all of this but I guess he and Jackie were divorcing anyway.

    I like the way Julie Delpy can switch gears from Wounded Bird Mode to Steely Eyed Glare mode with Abby.

    Rachel being a snot as usual. Wasn’t she just threatening another girl in her class with scissors for hanging out with Andrew? This kid isn’t worth the trouble, Rachel! I thought Mark handled it all pretty well, though sending her home to St. Louis seems to be looking better and better as an option the more time goes by. No wonder Jen was at the end of her tether, and we know Jen always got the short shrift from the show. Guess she wasn’t wrong after all.

    Weaver and Sandy were pretty cute in this episode. You can see why they liked each other. Weaver’s downright bashful in this and Sandy’s loving it!


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: