April 27, 2021

ER 8.12, A River in Egypt: Private Lives

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:58 pm by Jenn

Insert your own joke here about Christina Hendricks having experience with mad men

Summary: Abby’s asleep – drink! Once again, she’s woken up by Brian and Joyce’s fighting. This time it’s worse, as Brian hits Joyce and she screams for help. Over at the Greene/Corday house, Rachel’s up in the middle of the night, eating a snack and watching one of the Killer Tomatoes movies (maybe a jab at George Clooney, who was in one of them). Mark joins her, remembering how they used to watch The Smurfs together early in the morning when she was a toddler.

He sees that her boots are wet and busts her for going out. She tells him she went for a walk; the middle of the night is the only time she can go out, since she’s basically on house arrest. It’s like living in a prison. When Elizabeth calls down, wondering what’s going on, Rachel calls her the warden. She regrets coming to live in Chicago and announces that she’ll go back to St. Louis. Then she leaves, slamming the door, which wakes Ella.

Abby called the police on Brian, but Joyce won’t file a report, so they can’t do anything other than keep Abby’s complaint on record. Brian is acting like nothing happened. He comments that Abby must be a light sleeper. Eleanor is still at Millicent’s house, also acting like everything’s normal. She even offers to make breakfast for Carter. She asks about Jack, who’s back in the city but hasn’t been in touch with his estranged wife. Carter tells her to leave him alone for a while, but she wants Carter to act as a go-between for them. She thinks she can fix her broken marriage.

On her way out of the building, Abby runs into Joyce, who apologizes for being so loud. She downplays how serious the situation was – they just have a lot of history and passion. Abby notices that Joyce is limping and offers to take a look at her injured ankle. Joyce declines. At County, Carter and Susan talk about Eleanor’s weirdness and how hard the divorce must be on her.

Weaver’s impressed that Gallant was able to get a patient approved for surgery despite the surgeons’ reluctance to operate. Susan teases that he’s a teacher’s pet. Mark and Carter are both amused. Hey, it’s better than being on Weaver’s bad side. Paramedics bring in a rapper who calls himself Diamond Z, who was stabbed in a brawl at a club. He was also kicked in the junk. His girlfriend, Aisha, has some minor injuries, too.

Frank lets Weaver know that Sandy left a message for her. Chuny and Malik gossip about how Sandy’s gay; Chuny’s cousin used to flirt with her in high school but she never paid attention to him. Oh, yeah, then she must be a lesbian. Chuny asks Weaver if she and Sandy are friends, but Weaver says Sandy probably just wants to check in on a guy from her unit who Weaver treated.

Susan grabs Abby to help her with a patient, an inmate named Mike Kinney who was stabbed in prison. He declines pain meds, saying he wants to feel the pain because it reminds him he’s still alive. Next door, Mark, Carter, and Yosh tend to Diamond Z, who refuses to let Yosh put a catheter in his penis. No men get near Diamond Z’s penis! None! Chuny delivers a message to Carter from Jack, who’s already on his way out of town for another business trip.

Weaver calls Sandy to tell her not to stop by, since Weaver’s waaaaaay too busy to chat, and for absolutely no other reason. She spots Chen down the hall with Romano. Well, that can’t be good. Diamond Z has been joined by his “bro,” C.C., and is fine with him sticking around while Carter talks about his test results. Diamond Z has chlamydia, which he knows comes from “nasty booty.” He and Aisha aren’t using protection, but he’s sure Aisha didn’t give it to him. Carter wants him to be tested for HIV just in case.

He notices that Abby’s tired, and she tells him she was up all night, but not for fun. He teases that Frank looks tired, too. Abby then puts a horrible image in all of our heads by joking that she and Frank were up all night having sex. Not cool, Abby. Carter tells her to test Aisha for chlamydia. After learning that Romano has summoned her for a meeting, Weaver casually asks Carter if he knows why Chen is there. He doesn’t. C.C. asks Carter to give him a chlamydia test. Carter tells him he can only contract it through sex, which C.C. already knows.

Mark got in touch with Jen about Rachel, but Jen isn’t sure they should let Rachel move back to St. Louis just because she wants to. Elizabeth thinks Mark should consider sending her to boarding school. She’ll learn responsibility and form a sense of community. It worked for Elizabeth. Mark thinks it worked because she’s British. Elizabeth guesses that Mark is just waiting for this fight to blow over so he doesn’t have to make any tough decisions.

Paramedics bring in a man named Mr. Echevarria, who passed out while waiting for a cab outside a hotel. Meanwhile, Susan stitches up Kinney, whose stab wounds are all too shallow to be life-threatening. She wonders if he stabbed himself so he could get a day pass out of prison. Kinney says Susan is the first woman he’s talked to in 14 months. She replies that in high school, she was voted Most Likely to Marry a Convict.

She learns that Kinney is on death row, scheduled to be executed in June of 2002. He appreciates knowing exactly when he’ll die, unlike people who go about their lives with no idea of when they’ll breathe their last breath. Some of them will never have the chance to apologize for things they’ve done. Susan gets uncomfortable with the conversation. Kinney asks if she can find a reason to keep him in the hospital for a little longer, just so he doesn’t have to go back to his cell. She agrees to keep him for observation. A guard promises to straighten Kinney out.

Mr. E. shows signs of heart damage, and Mark thinks he started having a heart attack last night but ignored the symptoms. Mr. E. insists on getting to the church where his daughter’s getting married, but he also doesn’t want anyone to call and tell her he’ll miss the wedding. Elizabeth notes that she’ll wonder where he is when he doesn’t show up to walk her down the aisle. Mr. E. says she won’t.

C.C. has chlamydia, and apparently didn’t feel the need to tell Carter until now that he also has HIV. Carter asks if Aisha knows this. Carter is slower than the members of the audience who have already figured out what’s really going on here. He tells Diamond Z that he tested positive for HIV, though Diamond Z claims not to know how he contracted it, since he doesn’t use needles and he isn’t gay.

Carter says Aisha should be tested. Diamond Z doesn’t want to tell her she’s been exposed, and he definitely doesn’t want word getting out that he has HIV. He decides to just leave. Carter tries to get Aisha to stick around for more tests, but Diamond Z rushes her out. C.C. stops them, urging Diamond Z to come clean. Diamond Z punches him and leaves.

Weaver goes to Romano’s office, where he, Chen, and a lawyer have been waiting impatiently. Long story short, Chen wants her job back. She and Weaver bicker about whose fault it was that Paul died, and whether Weaver acted professionally when she put the burden on Chen. Romano tells them to end the catfight, so Weaver says that, while she respects Chen’s skills as a doctor, there’s no job opening.

Chen’s lawyer finally puts all the cards on the table: They’ll file suit unless Chen gets her job back, has her record expunged, and gets a statement of correction placed in her file to clear her reputation. Weaver tells Chen to grow up; she can’t screw up and then whine about being mistreated. I’m surprised Chen doesn’t bust out her knowledge of Weaver’s missing pager right here.

C.C. asks Carter and Abby if Diamond Z has HIV (which, of course, they can’t tell him). Carter has finally figured out that C.C. has been hooking up with Diamond Z, not Aisha. C.C.’s viral load has been undetectable, and Diamond Z only “gives,” so he figured they were safe. Besides, Diamond Z doesn’t consider what they do sex. He says he’s on the DL, the down low. Apparently a number of men who consider themselves straight do some sexual acts with men for reasons they claim have nothing to do with attraction to men. Diamond Z only does it with men because women stress him out.

Aisha doesn’t know anything about this, and C.C. says he was just waiting for the day when Diamond Z would be honest with her. He never thought about the possibility that he would pass something to Diamond Z that would then be passed to Aisha. Carter asks C.C. to try to get in touch with Aisha so they can bring her back to the hospital and give her an HIV test. Abby has questions about the DL, and whether it means Diamond Z is bisexual. Carter is fine with the DL designation, but Abby’s like, “A man who has sex with another man, no matter what kind of sex, is not a straight man.” DL just means denial.

Joyce has come to County to get her ankle examined; she tells Weaver that she fell while rolling around in Heelies. Abby keeps her mouth shut about the possible real cause of Joyce’s injury. When they’re alone, Joyce says that she’s as abusive to Brian as he is to her, which I guess makes it okay. Abby notes that Brian isn’t the one getting treated at the hospital. Joyce says he’s the only guy she’s ever loved. Abby asks her to talk to a social worker and at least get some suggestions of how to deal with things. She thinks Joyce came to County for a reason.

Romano comes to the ER to talk to Weaver, taunting that he would have had her paged but he couldn’t be sure she was wearing her pager. OOOH. That was a good one, actually. Weaver brushes off Chen’s accusations, but Romano tells her that a waitress at Doc Magoo’s went on record with a statement that she saw Weaver looking for her pager at the end of the night.

He’s willing to give in to Chen’s demands of being reinstated and getting an apology from Weaver. Weaver notes that she would no longer have any authority over Chen. Romano tells her that they settled with Paul’s family, and he’s not going to risk reopening the case because Weaver screwed up. Chen doesn’t really want to sue the hospital; she just wants her job back.

As Mr. E.’s daughter, Maria, arrives at County in her wedding dress, Weaver is called in to treat a declining Kinney. She notices bruising on his side, and she and Susan realize that he has a broken rib that collapsed his lung. Kinney tries to decline treatment, saying he’s ready to die. Weaver ignores him and works to save him. Kinney tells her that they’ll just keep beating him.

Carter goes to the airport to talk to Jack before he leaves town. This is boring! No one cares about this storyline! Jack tells Carter that Eleanor wants to negotiate with him instead of ending the marriage. Carter thinks that’s fair – Jack needs to take some time to decide if he really wants to end his marriage. Jack already has, thanks to Carter. He got lost in his marriage and can’t find his way back to his wife. He warns Carter that Eleanor is “an emotional vampire.”

Maria had no idea her father was coming to the wedding, since they’ve been out of contact for six years. He regrets not letting her come home. Mark eavesdrops on the conversation, so we can really grasp the parallel that sending Rachel back to St. Louis might ruin his relationship with her. Maria tells her father that she’s happy, and she doesn’t need Mr. E. anymore.

She leaves to return to her big, fancy wedding with all its nonrefundable deposits. Her father didn’t care when she called him from Kansas, begging to come home, so she doesn’t care now. Mark tries to play peacemaker, reminding Maria that Mr. E. wanted to be at her wedding. Maria calls him cold and heartless for turning his back on her. She won’t let Mark make her cry, since her makeup took so long to do. Ugh, Mr. E., you’re probably better off without her.

Susan asks Kinney’s guard how he managed to break ribs while lying on a gurney. The guard says he was flailing against the guardrails, so the guards had to restrain him. Apparently they needed a nightstick to do that. The guard asks why Susan cares, since Kinney is a murderer. She rushes back into the trauma room when she hears the clatter of Kinney’s gurney hitting the floor. Weaver says he flipped it. Now he has a head injury on top of everything else, and Susan doesn’t see the point in trying to save him, since he’s going to be executed anyway. Weaver says a suicidal death-row inmate can’t consent to a DNR, so they have to treat him.

Sandy arrives, and though she doesn’t really want to talk to Weaver, she allows Weaver to say what she wants to say. Weaver pretends she just wanted to see if Sandy was okay after a big fire. Abby interrupts to ask Weaver to approve a request for Joyce to speak to someone from Social Services. Weaver sends her away so she and Sandy can be alone (as alone as they can be in the busy hallway right outside the waiting area), but she doesn’t know what to say.

Sandy thinks Weaver’s playing games and avoiding her. Weaver’s fighting back tears by now. Chen interrupts next, demanding to talk to Weaver. Sandy decides to leave, but Weaver begs her to stick around. Sandy finally grabs her and kisses her in full view of the admit desk. Abby and Malik just stare, but Chen looks amused. Yeah, people being outed without their consent is hilarious, isn’t it, Chen?

Abby gives Joyce a bag that the staff calls an escape kit – money, phone numbers, and other resources that she could use to leave Brian. Joyce denies that she doesn’t feel safe with Brian. Abby brings Adele in to talk to her anyway, but Joyce knows that Brian will get upset if he finds Adele talking to her. I guess this has happened before. Mark pulls Abby into the hallway so she can hold up a phone for Mr. E. One of the choir boys at the church where Maria is getting married is going to hold up another phone so Mr. E. can listen to the wedding. Aww, that’s sweet.

Connie asks Abby if she saw “it” (obviously meaning Weaver and Sandy’s kiss). She heard it was steamy. Weaver has given in and agreed to reinstate Chen, though she’ll have to start back by working overnights. Chen doesn’t agree to that, and she also won’t report to Weaver while she’s working. Chen says they both know what Weaver did. Weaver replies that they also know what Chen did, and of the two of them, Weaver isn’t the one who killed a patient. If Chen were more thorough, she wouldn’t have needed Weaver there in the first place.

The nurses are gossiping about the Big Kiss, of course. Kinney is in a post-op coma, so he’ll either die like that or be executed. Weaver doesn’t care. Susan notes that his care will cost thousands of dollars a day, only for him to end up dead by execution. Weaver still doesn’t care. As Aisha returns, Weaver tells Malik to find something to do other than stand around awkwardly and think about how he saw her kissing Sandy.

Mark takes Rachel for a walk by the river and tells her that he and Jen agreed that she should stay in Chicago. He’s worried that their relationship will be harmed if she goes back to St. Louis. He’s already missed too much of her life and isn’t going to let her leave mad. They both need to try harder and listen to each other. Rachel says she doesn’t want to be treated like a kid. Mark says that’s fair, but he also doesn’t want to be treated like an old man.

Brian arrives at County and Abby tries to keep him out of Joyce’s room so he doesn’t see Adele. He acts like their domestic problems aren’t that big, just the sort of stuff every couple faces. Adele leaves just as they reach Joyce’s room, so Brian doesn’t realize that his wife was talking to a social worker. He and Joyce leave, acting like things are great. She doesn’t take the escape kit with her.

Weaver goes to the fire station to confront Sandy for outing her to her co-workers. Sandy shouldn’t be allowed to make choices for other people. Sandy notes that she didn’t choose to be lied to or spend time with someone who pretends she’s someone she isn’t. Weaver is understandably upset that she got outed in her workplace, where she chooses to keep her private life private. Sandy criticizes her for hiding who she is because she doesn’t want to face how other people will react. She thinks she did Weaver a favor.

Eleanor is still trying to do domestic stuff at Millicent’s house, and Carter finds her changing a lightbulb when he gets home. She’s drunk. She tells Carter she spent the afternoon at a children’s cancer center, the place she agreed to support charitably after Millicent blew them off. It seems like seeing children with cancer reminded her of the son she lost to the disease years ago. She’s also upset because Millicent wants her to leave.

Carter checks Eleanor’s pulse and asks if she’s on something. She admits that she’s been taking Xanax. That plus the alcohol makes her sick later, and Carter tends to her as she throws up. Eleanor asks him if he wants her to leave like Millicent does. He says no. Eleanor says he was right – she failed him. But she failed his brother first. She didn’t take him to a doctor when he started getting sick, which delayed his diagnosis. Carter says it only delayed it by a month or so, not enough to make a big difference, but Eleanor is mad at herself for not doing more for him.

Thoughts: Diamond Z, Aisha, and C.C.’s dialogue was clearly written by white people with no business pretending they know how Black people talk.

Telling a colleague to grow up isn’t quite the mature, professional behavior you think it is, Weaver.

Between the DL thing and Joyce’s Heelies, this is a very late ’90s/early ’00s episode.

I wonder why they had Carter involved in the DL storyline instead of Weaver, for that extra punch about hiding and being in denial.

2 Comments »

  1. Nick Rivers said,

    I kinda hate how Mark can’t have a nice moment with Rachel without it devolving into an argument because she’s fucking something up. Seriously don’t know what happened with this kid since he and Jen split and she went to St. Louis with her new husband. But Jen was right that she shouldn’t get to dictate where she lives all the time or they’d just be shuttling her back and forth whenever she felt like it. Writers, stop with the stupid subplots like Mr. Echevarria (poor bastard) in a lame attempt to draw parallels to Mark’s situation! It’s ridiculous at this point.

    The Eleanor thing is just kind of weird, especially that she’s essentially being foisted on Carter now. She’s trying real damn hard not to lose any of those sweet sweet Carter Family benjamins, but don’t you think she’d have an ironclad prenup guaranteeing her a chunk o change? Why is she surprised Gamma wants her to leave? It isn’t like they’re close at all, or ever were, from the looks of it. Gamma’s no dummy and she knows exactly why Eleanor’s trying to gain a foothold. As a sidenote, somehow I was surprised Jack caught a flight out of Midway which I always felt was the much more boring cousin to O’Hare. There’s no Carter Family Foundation private jet he could have used?

    Diamond Z’s storyline was pretty interesting and CC is so familiar but I can’t think of what I saw him in. Totally picked up on the Z/CC connection before Carter ever did, though to be fair I think even Frank would have picked up on it before Carter did. Having Weaver run that case would have made the parallels more interesting though it was somehow amusing that Carter was a bit star-struck by this up-and-coming rapper. He’s just so milquetoasty whitebread himself. At least we would have gotten some closure on the case, though, instead of them just dropping it.

    Man, they gossip a lot at that nurse’s station. That would get super annoying super fast. I understand they spend a lot of time together in a high-stress environment, but people are still allowed to have private lives.

    The death row inmate storyline was rather pointless. I agreed with Susan that it was kind of a waste of resources, if you look at the big picture, but from Weaver’s standpoint if they didn’t follow protocol they’d be in big trouble legally. Still doesn’t give the correctional officers the right to beat the shit out of the guy while he’s laying on a gurney.

    DEB got ballsy while she was away. I guess since they never rehired a pediatric attending after Cleo left, there’s still an opening?

    In hindsight, what Sandy did wasn’t cool at all, but from a selfish viewer’s standpoint, it’s a relief it’s finally out there (har har). The will-she-or-won’t-she-divulge back and forth — while completely realistic and well-done — was running out of steam. And if you’re not out, Kerry, maybe don’t go pursue a relationship with someone that will undoubtedly end up in your ER on the regular because of proximity and job type. Just a thought. I know you can’t help who you fall for, but she had to know that would be messy as hell. I’m all for keeping a firm line of privacy between your professional and personal lives no matter what, but as soon as she asked Sandy out, that was not going to end politely or quietly once Sandy found out Kerry wasn’t out. (I feel like I used the word ‘out’ way too many times up there.)

    • Jenn said,

      The actor who played CC also played Elena’s boyfriend on “Felicity,” the one who cheated on her. My brain is mush and I can’t remember his name. He also had a couple scenes in the first Tobey Maguire “Spider-Man” movie as the teacher who gives him a hard time at the museum.


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