June 15, 2021

ER 8.19, Brothers and Sisters: Helping or Hurting?

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 4:56 pm by Jenn

This is so dumb

Summary: After spending a few nights on Luka’s couch, Abby is moving back to her own apartment. She may not be ready to live in the place where she was assaulted. At County, Pratt tries to ask Chen out, but she’s not interested. He keeps pressing the topic, verging on sexual harassment. Pablo overhears the conversation, so Chen tries to set him up with Pratt. Luka puts a new lock on Abby’s door while she drinks a beer. Carter comes by and is stunned to see her drinking. He gets all judgy. This is the guy you want to date, Abby? Really?

The next day, Abby joins Pratt to tend to a patient who claims his brother is inside him. Lanny, is that you? Abby suggests a psych consult. Pratt is annoyed that she’s expressing an opinion, and he tells her he flies the plane while she serves the coffee. I can’t wait for him to use this attitude around Haleh. It’ll be fantastic.

Abby leaves Pratt to deal with the patient on his own as Carter joins them. The patient gets more and more agitated, finally saying he needs to get his brother out. He pulls out a switchblade and raises it to stab himself in the stomach. Carter quickly knocks it out of his hand. He calmly tells Haleh to restrain the patients and call for a psych consult.

Romano is bugging Weaver with some information on lesbians and health care. He thinks that this is a great opportunity to make some money – Weaver’s “sisters” are underserved, and County can help. She accuses him of trying to exploit her lifestyle. Romano thinks she should be their poster child for a Center for Lesbian Excellence. Romano, those women aren’t going to sleep with you.

In the lounge, Carter uses the patient’s switchblade to try to get his Pop Tart out of the toaster. He tries to make Susan think he’s shocking himself, because suddenly Carter has a sense of humor (don’t get used to it). She checks her messages as they chat about Mark’s sudden departure from the hospital. One of the messages is from Susie, who sounds frantic. She and Chloe are in a hotel, and Susie’s worried because she can’t wake Chloe. She hangs up without leaving any information about where they are.

Susan calls Chloe but only gets her answering machine. She’s worried enough to call the police, telling the officer she talks to that her brother-in-law, Joe, is a New Jersey cop. She couldn’t reach him, either – he took a few days off, and his precinct doesn’t know how to reach him. The cop says he’ll try to trace Susie’s call, but he doesn’t seem too concerned about the situation. Carter tries to reassure Susan; Susie probably overreacted to something and is fine.

Carter tells Luka he’s concerned that Abby’s drinking again. He asks if Luka even noticed. Weaver pulls Luka away to help her with a boy named Alan who fell out of a tree. Carter tries to join the trauma, but Weaver sends him away. Looks like Carter’s upset that someone else chose Luka over him. Chen teases Pratt about hanging out with Pablo, but it turns out they had dinner together and Pratt learned a lot about Pablo’s life. Chen is surprised.

Carter learns that Pratt sent one of Carter’s patients home without informing him. Pratt thinks the patient made up a complaint so she could get a free meal. Carter says he wants to sign off on every patient Pratt sees, even ones who just come by for directions to Wrigley Field. Susan hasn’t heard anything from Chloe or Susie, but the cop she spoke to was able to trace Chloe’s call to a cell phone in New York. He’s even let the NYPD precinct in that jurisdiction know that Susan will be calling. I’m surprised this cop, who looked so put out earlier, actually put forth this much effort.

Susan calls the precinct, where an officer named Bosco is about to come on shift. The person answering the phones – the Jerry and Frank of the precinct, if you will – assigns him to talk to Susan. They’re now calling this a missing-persons case. At County, Elizabeth comes to the ER to help Weaver and Luka with Alan. Weaver asks about Mark, and Elizabeth reports that he’s spending some time in Hawaii, where he grew up. Susan stops by the trauma room to tell Weaver she has to leave. She’s going to catch a flight to New York and find Susie and Chloe.

A frequent ER visitor named Reverend Ed has stopped by to talk about Jesus. Weaver isn’t a fan. She tells Gallant to kick him out, because in a little while, the rev will start trying to heal people, which is “bad for business.” Heh. Gallant approaches the rev respectfully as paramedics bring in a security guard named Stanley who was shot. Carter lets Pratt take the lead, so Pratt exerts some power by making Gallant give Stanley a rectal exam. Carter tells the “kids” to play nice. It’s only been one episode since Mark passed the torch to him and Carter’s already starting to sound like him.

In New York, Bosco and his partner, Faith Yokas, are surprised that Susan has flown in from Chicago. Bosco thinks she’s freaking out too much and too soon. His lieutenant tells him to deal with her. Susan tells them that she called Chloe’s school, and they said she hasn’t been there for days. Yokas seems to be the only one taking this seriously. Bosco thinks the family is just on a trip somewhere.

Since the family lives in New Jersey, Yokas suggests that they send someone from their local police department to check out the house. Susan plays them Susie’s message. Bosco still thinks this is a nothing case that’s beneath him, but Yokas says they can go around to hotels in their precinct and show pictures of Chloe and Susan to find out if anyone’s seen them. She agrees to let Susan tag along, though Bosco doesn’t want that.

Luka tells Alan’s parents that he tore a blood vessel in his head, and it’s likely that the damage that caused won’t be fixable. He’s only alive because he’s on life support. Bosco calls around to morgues and hospitals, but no one matching Chloe or Susie’s descriptions has been brought in. He tries to convince Susan that the family just left town without telling anyone.

Yokas asks if Chloe and Joe were having marital problems, or if Joe had any addictions. Susan says he was the one who helped Chloe put her life back together. Bosco wishes Susan had mentioned earlier that Chloe had a drug problem. Susan doesn’t think that’s relevant, since Chloe’s been sober for five years. She’s now a responsible wife and mother. Bosco asks why, then, Susan came to New York.

Pratt and Gallant butt heads because Pratt is an insensitive jerk and Gallant…well, isn’t. When Stanley starts declining, Gallant suggests that they get Carter. Pratt thinks they can handle the trauma themselves, though he has to look through his notes to remember how do to a thoracotomy. I don’t know much, but I know that that’s not something an intern and a med student should be doing on their own. Abby catches them and they send her to get more help. She lets Carter know that his intern and student are going rogue.

While Bosco asks an informant sitting in front of a building if Susie and Chloe have been around, Yokas tells Susan that Bosco isn’t as bad as he seems. Susan and I are both skeptical. In a display of horribly bad timing, Bosco kicks the chair out from under the informant and threatens to break his face. Yokas blasts him for being a jerk. A guy who considers himself a neighborhood watch person comes by and asks if the officers are finally going to shut down the business operating in the building; it’s a not-so-secret brothel. Bosco chases him off instead of asking him if he’s seen Chloe or Susan.

Yokas wonders if Chloe and Joe are fighting and Chloe took off with Susie because of a custody dispute. This would have been a good time for Susan to mention that Joe isn’t Susie’s father, because another angle to this case could be that her biological father kidnapped her, but that never comes up. Bosco wonders if they’re even missing – maybe Chloe’s hiding from her controlling sister. Yokas thinks it’s understandable that Susan would jump on a plane to come look for her sister. Bosco says they’re just dealing with yet another junkie who’s gone missing.

Romano meets Pratt for the first time when he sends Stanley upstairs for surgery. Romano also slams Carter for not monitoring his students better. Pratt tries to argue that he was justified in doing a procedure above his skill set, since Stanley would have died without it. Carter sends him and Gallant to the lounge, where they’ll hopefully keep their hands to themselves and not cut anyone else’s chest open. Pratt ignores his instructions and goes back to work.

Susan, Bosco, and Yokas have finally found a lead on Chloe and Susie – they’ve been staying in the basically-a-brothel building. There stuff is all there, as is some drug paraphernalia. Again, Bosco’s mad that Susan didn’t mention Chloe’s addiction issues earlier. Alan’s parents are starting to accept the fact that he’s not going to get better. Elizabeth tells them that he’s not suffering; he’s already gone. The parents are ready to let him go rather than keep his body alive without him in it. Luka starts to remove Alan from life support, and Elizabeth gets overwhelmed and leaves the room.

Carter goes to the lounge to yell at Pratt and Gallant, though only Gallant is there. Gallant says he wanted to go get Carter, but if he’d left Pratt, Stanley would have died. Carter assigns Gallant to scut duty for the rest of the day. He asks if Gallant has heard of Dave. Carter warns him not to be a hotshot like Dave, or he’ll end up fired, too. Gallant tells Carter he gets his anger, but Carter needs to not group Gallant and Pratt together.

Reverend Ed is still in the ER, so Weaver tells Pratt to get rid of him, since Gallant couldn’t. Elizabeth joins Romano in the OR, where he’s trying to save Stanley. Before she can actually help, Shirley tells her Rachel is on the phone from Hawaii – there’s an emergency. We don’t hear the call, but Elizabeth’s face says it’s about something really bad.

Bosco and Yokas track down another informant, but this one runs from them. Yokas chases him and tackles him. I hope Susan’s taking notes on how cops treat people in New York, because this doesn’t make them look very good. The cops force the informant to look at pictures of Chloe and Susie, and he says he may have seen Chloe in a shooting gallery behind an old factory. (I assume “shooting gallery” means a place where drug users shoot up, and not a place where people shoot guns.) He’s not sure if Susie was there. Susan quietly chastises Bosco for possibly breaking the informant’s nose.

Carter catches Pratt working with Chen and tells him to go home. Pratt objects, so Carter tells him to start listening to his superiors if he wants to keep his job. Pratt backs down. Carter tells Chen that they need to keep an eye on Pratt. She says he’s a good doctor, but Carter thinks he’s dangerous. Congratulations – you’re both right!

Carter spots Abby going out to the ambulance bay for a cigarette break and asks if she wants to talk about her relapse. He guesses she started drinking again after her assault. He wants to help her, but Abby says she doesn’t need help. Carter can’t believe she threw away six years of sobriety. Abby says she’s a different person now. She doesn’t think one beer is a big deal. Carter knows that’ll snowball. Abby says it’s not a reaction to something that happened to her – she made a decision to drink.

Elizabeth tells Romano that she needs some time off to be with Mark. He’s gotten worse, and she doesn’t think he’ll be able to fly home after his trip to Hawaii. Romano agrees that Elizabeth needs to go to him, no matter how long she’ll have to be gone. He asks if there’s anything he can do. Elizabeth just tells him to pray. I’d like to add that he shouldn’t pray for Mark to die so he can be with Elizabeth.

Carter, Luka, and Abby all work together on a drunk driver who crashed his car. Carter practically says, “See what happens when you drink, Abby? SEE?” Bosco, Yokas, and Susan search the shooting gallery for Susie and Chloe, ignoring the dozen other addicts who are nodding off there. Bosco finds Chloe, who’s clearly overdosed, but there’s no sign of Susie. They call paramedics, who have trouble stabilizing Chloe and won’t let Susan help, since she’s not licensed to practice medicine in New York.

The drunk driver doesn’t survive, so Carter’s rough day has gotten even worse. Luka tells him that Abby’s a big girl and doesn’t need him monitoring her activities. Carter thinks Luka should have stopped Abby when she started drinking while living with him. Luka denies that Abby’s a drunk, so either she never told him she was an alcoholic or he thinks she can have a couple drinks with no problems.

Carter taunts that maybe Luka likes women when they’re vulnerable. He’s itching for Luka to fight him, asking if Luka’s going to beat him up – maybe bash his head into the ground? Not cool, Carter. Luka tries to leave the room, but Carter stops him and says that if he’s not helping Abby, he’s hurting her. Abby returns and Carter leaves.

The paramedics tend to Chloe while Susan asks what she was using and where Susie is. She wants the paramedics to intubate Chloe, but they think they can treat her without doing that. Weaver’s mad that Reverend Ed is still hanging around the ER, since no one will tell him to leave. Pratt passed the buck to Jerry, but Jerry won’t get rid of the guy who cured his sciatica. Weaver finally bites the bullet and tells Reverend Ed to leave. He tries to heal her, which cracks Pratt up.

Carter tells Pratt that Stanley’s going to live, so now Pratt thinks he was justified in breaking the rules. A couple of women from the Illinois Women’s Health Coalition come by looking for Weaver (I assume Romano called them) just as she’s tossing Reverend Ed out of the hospital. Abby pulls Carter aside to apologize for being short with him earlier. She just doesn’t want him to worry about her. Things between them are too complicated even leaving aside their addictions.

Once Chloe’s stable and in the hospital, Susan presses her about Susie, but Chloe doesn’t know where she is. She cries over Joe breaking her heart and admits that she screwed up. Susan’s short on sympathy right now. Abby gets woken up by a crash outside her apartment door, so she checks her locks just to be safe. She considers drinking or calling someone (Carter? Luka? Her so-far-invisible sponsor? Who knows?), then turns on the TV.

The next day, Susan meets up with Yokas, but there’s still no news on Susie. Chloe doesn’t remember anything from her drug binge. Susan knows that if a missing child isn’t found within the first 12 hours, the odds of the child being located unharmed go way down. Yokas’ shift was supposed to be over a few hours ago, but she’s going to stay on the case.

Thoughts: Bosco is played by Jason Wiles, AKA Colin on Beverly Hills, 90210. One of the New York paramedics is played by Kim Raver.

This episode is a crossover with Third Watch. I hate crossovers.

Carter’s handling of Pratt’s psych patient would have been the perfect opportunity to address his stabbing and the aftermath, but…nothing.

Given the choice between watching a show starring Pratt and one starring Bosco, I would choose…to turn off the TV.

1 Comment »

  1. Nick Rivers said,

    Carter’s neverending judgmental attitude towards Abby’s drinking was really supremely obnoxious. If it bothers you that much, don’t fucking date her, dude! Let her fix her own problems. Ugh. That whole storyline was cringeworthy as hell because clearly He Knows Best and Must Fix All. Go work an ER shift if you’re jonesing to fix someone. I really liked that Luka didn’t seem to care and treated her like an adult who could handle her own problems. Carter never saw her that way, so we can clearly see now who she ought to be with in the end.

    Also, since when did Carter become the expert on addictions? He was addicted to opiods. He doesn’t have experience with alcohol addiction. And his addiction is not the same as anybody else’s addiction anyway; everybody’s experiences are different. There may be common threads, but acting like such a goddamn know-it-all with regards to sobriety is really infuriating. It took Benton laying hands on your ass and basically shoving you on a plane to get you to take yours seriously, you jerk. Don’t think that your little guilt trips are going to be effective, or are warranted in every case!

    This Little Susie storyline reminded me of networks’ propensity for crossover bullshit stories that only barely touched upon each other’s main narratives. It’s annoying in hindsight because am I supposed to find the Third Watch episode this crossed over with in order to get closure on that storyline or just trust that the next ER episode will deal with it with a throwaway line or two? (We know now that it was the latter, but damn.) From what I remembered of Third Watch, I knew as soon as I heard Bosco was going to be involved, it would be annoying. Yokas always seemed so put-upon to salvage whatever bullshit Bosco would get into, while dealing with her unsatisfying home life in the process. He seemed like a pretty shit partner though he would always be there for her when she needed him (I think). Though in his defense, he was right to be pissed that Susan didn’t mention Chloe’s past… though we know also that Bosco would have immediately dropped the case once he learned that tidbit. But you’d think that of all people Susan would be the first to mention Chloe’s drug past and not actually believe she stayed clean. I guess Susan really did go a bit soft in all those years between her first time on ER and now.

    I don’t know why but for whatever reason I had two separate dreams lately about Bosco and Romano. I woke up disturbed.


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