August 24, 2021

ER 9.7, Tell Me Where It Hurts: Going Too Far

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

This is the closest Chen gets to having a plotline

Summary: Weaver is attending an ultrasound, and…no, wait. Weaver is having an ultrasound. She’s pregnant! She and Sandy are going to be moms! In the ER, Chen is quizzing Gallant and Harkins, who are answering her questions like there’s a prize at stake. She tells them to calm down. Susan goes looking for a doctor to apply a cast to someone, but everyone’s either busy or away. Luka’s back at work after his suspension, but he’s sleeping. “With who?” Susan quips.

She takes Harkins to an exam room, but her patient isn’t breathing. She’s also a nun, which makes Susan feel even worse. Malik wakes Nathan, who was taking a nap during a long shift. Susan’s nun didn’t survive, and Frank is worried that God will strike her dead for killing the woman. Shut up, Frank. Paramedics bring in a John Doe who’s getting more and more agitated. Nathan winds up punching him in the face and knocking him out. He blames his dyskinesia.

Jody arrives, looking for Eric, who ditched her when they had a fight while they were coming back from visiting her parents. Abby thinks he just went back to his base, but Jody called there and learned that Eric has been on an unauthorized absence for two weeks. In other words, he’s AWOL.

Elizabeth comes to the OR to examine a man named Mr. Seaton who has pancreatic cancer and doesn’t seem to be responding well to treatment. One of his complications may need to be fixed surgically. Elizabeth doesn’t think that will help, which means Seaton is probably looking at hospice care as his only remaining option. He likes that idea more than being in the hospital, so he decides not to pursue further treatment.

Luka, Weaver, and Abby tend to a teen named Greg who was shot in the eye. It’s gross. The shooter was Greg’s ten-year-old brother, Tommy. He was playing with their father’s gun, and when Greg tried to take it from him, it accidentally went off. Nathan tells Susan that he disagrees with Elizabeth’s decision to let Seaton die without looking at other treatment options. Susan reminds him that he’s a med student, so he can’t get into this. They’re going to respect Seaton’s wishes.

As Luka finishes up with Greg, a guy named Mike arrives and introduces himself. Apparently Luka slept with Mike’s wife, Heather. Mike is pretty calm about the whole thing, basically just asking Luka to stop sleeping with his wife. Luka seems kind of embarrassed, knowing that his actions are affecting his fling’s husband and kids.

Abby tries to call Eric, who doesn’t answer the phone. Susan notes that at least she hasn’t killed anyone. She figures her next patient should be someone with a swollen scrotum, since it’s unlikely that he’ll die under Susan’s care. Carter tries to have a conversation with Abby about Eric, but Harkins needs him to do his job first. Abby goes to the lounge and calls the medical facility on Eric’s base. She pretends she’s treating him and needs to see his medical records. When asked who the treating doctor is, she names Carter. Abby, no!

Luka bumps into Chuny, and it’s awkward, but at least they’ve stopped fighting. He checks on Greg, who can’t see out of his injured eye. As Chuny leaves the exam room, Luka tells her he’s sorry “about everything.” She is, too. And apparently that’s all it takes. Good to know! Greg thinks his father will be mad, even though, as Luka points out, he probably saved his brother’s life.

Abby starts to tell Carter what she did, but they get interrupted by their jobs again. A neighbor heard a child crying and called an ambulance for his mom, Tong-Ye, who had passed out in the backyard. Luka makes an impatient call, trying to contact a surgeon for Greg, and is displeased to learn where the doctor is. While Carter, Abby, Gallant, and Harkins are tending to Tong-Ye, who may have overdosed on something, Eric calls Abby back. Abby fumbles the phone and loses the call.

Nathan has asked a psychiatrist to talk to Seaton, since he thinks Seaton is depressed and is making an impulsive decision not to seek treatment. Now, he’s open to discussing his options. One of them is a procedure called a whipple, a six-hour operation with a ton of recovery time. Elizabeth is unhappy that Nathan would offer that as a possibility when Seaton is in no way a good candidate. Nathan thinks they should give Seaton all his options and let him decide. Elizabeth tells him to stop trying to help.

Tong-Ye’s tox screen shows that she took barbiturates, which is bad enough on its own, but the doctors have also discovered that she’s pregnant. They’re not sure if she speaks English, so Carter wants to bring Chen in to translate. I don’t know, continuing to yell everything might start working if he gets his volume just right.

Now that things have calmed down, Abby confesses her actions to Carter. She thinks it was worth it, since Eric’s medical records show that he took a leave of absence for PTSD after an incident where a plane almost crashed. Carter reminds her that air-traffic controlling is a stressful job. Abby notes that Eric was never medicated for the PTSD; maybe he was depressed instead, which was a sign that he has bipolar disorder. All his symptoms fit both PTSD and bipolar disorder. Eric never told the doctors that he has a relative with bipolar disorder, so they weren’t looking for it.

Susan’s latest patient has died. She and Malik aren’t sympathetic, since he was obese. Nathan finds their comments offensive, and Susan apologizes, saying she’s just having a bad day. “Not as bad as him,” Nathan and I both say. Luka drives his car onto a golf course to corner a surgeon named Abrams and bring him back to County to operate on Greg before he loses his sight permanently. It’s…kind of awesome.

Weaver notes that Susan has seen a lot of patients today (not that it’s doing them any good). She announces that she’s going to be taking some time off for some personal reasons. With Romano out, Susan will probably have to fill in some gaps. Frank says that’s a bad idea. Susan slams him for making smart comments about people’s deaths. As Chuny calls her away to tend to another patient, Jerry bets Frank $20 that Susan will kill that guy, too.

Carter has asked Gallant about Eric’s leave (since Gallant is also in the military), and he tells Abby that if this is Eric’s first time going AWOL, and if he can prove extenuating circumstances, he might just get a minimal punishment. Jerry gives Gallant a note from Harkins, calling her Gallant’s girlfriend. Abby doesn’t want Carter talking to Gallant about Eric, like that’s Abby’s biggest problem right now.

A couple comes in looking for the child who was brought in with Tong-Ye. The staff assumed that she’s the boy’s mother, but she’s his nanny. Carter asks the father, Mr. Yeung, if Tong-Ye uses drugs or if she’s been depressed. Mr. Yeung says Tong-Ye isn’t the type to try to harm herself. Maybe she was struggling to sleep because she was up with the boy, Aidan, all week while he was sick. Carter then asks if Tong-Ye has a boyfriend and might be having problems in her personal life. Mr. Yeung says he would probably know if she did; she’s lived with the family for four years.

Seaton and his family have decided to try the whipple, and Elizabeth isn’t happy about it. She knows his chances of recovering and living another year are small. She takes a jab at Nathan for becoming “the patron saint of the terminally ill.” Since he got her here, he gets to assist.

Carter wants Tong-Ye to be admitted overnight for observation, so Mr. Yeung wants to move her to a private facility. He asks her in Mandarin why she overdosed, then tells Carter that she said it was an accident. In fact, she did exactly what Mr. Yeung guessed she did – she took a couple of sleeping pills with a glass of wine. Carter is skeptical that Mr. Yeung is telling him the truth.

Nathan is struggling in Seaton’s surgery, since he’s been up for more than 24 hours and his medication schedule is off. Just the person to participate in a tricky six-hour surgery! Nathan’s dyskinesia and inexperience lead to a mistake that could have been fatal if Elizabeth wasn’t paying such close attention. Down in the ambulance bay, Susan’s next patient is an 11-year-old victim of a motorcycle accident, and she immediately tries to pass him off to another doctor so her death curse doesn’t continue with a child.

Carter wisely has Chen talk to Tong-Ye alone in case there’s something Mr. Yeung is trying to hide. Chen tells Carter that she didn’t know she was pregnant. He asks her to ask Tong-Ye if she’s sleeping with her boss. Tong-Ye admits that she is. Susan tries to get Weaver to take over caring for the 11-year-old, Quinn, but Weaver is working on his father. She reassures Susan that she’ll be fine.

Mr. Yeung tells Carter that the family’s personal doctor is on his way to have Tong-Ye moved to another facility. Carter asks what his real relationship is with the nanny. He asks straight out if Mr. Yeung has been sleeping with her. Mr. Yeung starts to walk away, offended by the question, but he stops when Carter announces that Tong-Ye says he’s the father of her baby. Mr. Yeung says that’s not Carter’s business.

Eric shows up, and it looks like Abby’s suspicions that he has bipolar disorder are correct, because he’s kind of manic. Luka has successfully arranged surgery for Greg, though Abrams isn’t happy about being dragged away from his precious golf game to do his job. He tells Luka that ophthalmology isn’t an emergency specialty. Really? Even if a patient is at risk of losing his eyesight without emergency surgery?

Abby questions Eric about his leave, which he claims was authorized; someone must have messed up the paperwork. He suggests that the two of them and Carter take a trip to Vegas. Abby asks about Eric’s PTSD, but he says air-traffic controllers claim it all the time to get vacation. She admits that she got his medical records and knows that he never told the Air Force that his mother has bipolar disorder.

Eric’s annoyed about that, but not as annoyed as he’s about to be: MPs have arrived to arrest him for going AWOL. Eric says he had someone covering for him, but that person got into an accident. He was about to leave to go back to the base. He just stopped by the hospital to let Abby know that he’s okay. The MPs ignore him and arrest him. Abby asks if she can give Eric something to calm him down, but they won’t let her.

Luka joins Susan with Quinn, who isn’t doing well. When Chen comes by to ask if she can help, Luka says they’re fine, but Susan wants someone to take over. Like he did with Nathan, Luka calmly talks Susan through an intubation. As soon as she’s done, she asks Chen to take over, not wanting to stick around this case any longer than necessary. Weaver comes over as well, but she doesn’t think Quinn can be saved. Luka figures out what’s wrong and keeps working, never showing any stress. Thanks to him, the team is able to stabilize Quinn.

Once Chen is done there, she returns to Tong-Ye to help Carter explain to her that she can leave the Yeungs and stay in a shelter. Chen is familiar with Tong-Ye’s situation – young women are brought over from China with the promise of work, but they end up as indentured servants. Tong-Ye says, in flawless English, that she can’t leave her baby. Carter promises that no one will take her baby, but Tong-Ye doesn’t mean the one she’s carrying. Aidan is also her child.

Elizabeth checks on Seaton in the ICU, but he’s not breathing on his own. Looks like all of that trouble was for nothing. Abby is upset that she didn’t do more for Eric earlier, and now can’t do anything for him. Carter promises to get him a good lawyer and help him through this. Well, that’s what Carter always suggests – fixing things with money.

Outside, Weaver tells Susan that Quinn should be fine, and she thinks Susan would have figured out what was wrong with him if she’d stuck around. Susan believes that Quinn would have been her fourth victim of the day. Weaver corrects that she didn’t kill her other three patients; she was just unable to save them. She’s saved twice as many without any struggle. She just needs to go home, rest, and come back to fight again tomorrow. Then Weaver jokes that if Susan loses another patient, she’s fired.

Sandy joins the two of them, and as she and Weaver are leaving for the night, she asks if Weaver gave Susan their news. The two of them happily announce that they’re having a baby. Susan is surprised but happy. Back inside, Mr. Yeung tries to take Tong-Ye out of the hospital, but Carter won’t let him. Tong-Ye doesn’t want to lose her job; she has to send money to her family back in China. Plus, she doesn’t want to leave Aidan. She spends more time with him than the Yeungs do anyway, so the arrangement works. Carter and Chen realize that Aidan doesn’t know that Tong-Ye is his mother. That doesn’t matter to her, since she knows the truth.

Elizabeth tells Nathan that she knows he faces challenges because of his Parkinson’s, but if he were any other student, she’d fail him. And, as she reminds him, he wanted to be treated like any other student. Nathan says he just has to make adjustments to accommodate his Parkinson’s. Elizabeth says straight out that he’s disabled and can’t safely treat patients. She will only pass him on this rotation if he promises to go into a specialty that doesn’t require him to treat people physically. Nathan can’t promise that, so Elizabeth tells him she’s going to fail him.

Susan ends her day with a sad-looking meal, home alone. Luka ends his at a bar, chatting with a woman who wants to take him to bed. He takes a call from Heather and tells her to stop calling him. The woman at the bar suggests that they leave together and find some trouble to get into. He’ll have to pay her, though. At first Luka declines, but then he changes his mind.

Carter goes to Abby’s place, where she’s been trying to get information about Eric. There’s a bottle of wine on her counter, and she tells Carter she bought it on the way home but hasn’t had any. She just wants to be able to stop worrying. He hugs her and tells her he’s sorry that she turned out to be right about Eric. Abby thinks Carter would be smart to run away now and not get involved with her screwed-up family. He jokes that they should get their families together for the holidays and see what happens.

Abby admits that she’s scared for her brother. It’s unfair that such a good kid has grown up to have to deal with this illness. Carter promises again that they’ll get him through this. He tries to convince Abby that there’s nothing she could have done to prevent this from happening. She says that Eric was the only constant, reliable thing in her life when she was younger. Carter says that’s not true anymore – he’s there, and he’s not going anywhere.

Thoughts: If one of my brothers went behind my back to get my medical records, it would take me a LOOOOOONG time to forgive him.

Can’t Elizabeth turn down a patient’s request for surgery if she doesn’t think the benefits would outweigh the risks? Isn’t it in the hospital’s best interest to not subject someone to a procedure that only has a small chance of making him better?

I have to assume that the only reason Tong-Ye hid that she speaks English is so Mr. Young wouldn’t find out. Otherwise, that was a dumb plot development.

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