November 9, 2021

ER 9.18, Finders Keepers: Boss Baby

Posted in TV tagged , at 4:57 pm by Jenn

I couldn’t find a good picture from the episode, but this is good enough

Summary: Having just been given Romano’s job as chief of staff, Weaver is now moving into his office. Romano hasn’t even moved his stuff out yet. She tells him this wasn’t her idea, but Romano doesn’t believe her. Weaver thinks he should be grateful that she and Anspaugh are handling things the way they are. After all, Romano is a surgeon who can no longer operate, a “human resources nightmare,” and horrible at administrative tasks. He should be glad he still has a job at all, even if that job is overseeing the ER.

Romano takes the elevator down from the quiet surgical floor to the chaotic ER, where he immediately starts bossing people around. Like a child testing his boundaries, he also immediately starts offending people. He fires Haleh for a stupid reason, then announces that he’s getting rid of the coffee machine in the lounge. Doctors and nurses will now have to pay for their own coffee.

Out by the roach coach, Chuny, who’s holding a cake, teases Chen about how many candles they should put on it. Pratt pretends he already knew it was his sort-of-girlfriend’s birthday and got her a gift. She buys it when he entices her with a fancy dinner. A street vendor approaches, trying to get Pratt to buy something for Chen. They ignore him, so he moves on to Elizabeth, who’s gotten a ride to work from Ella’s nanny. Since he’s kind of harassing them, Elizabeth tells the nanny to leave quickly, but she accidentally drives over the vendor’s foot.

Back in the ER, Romano is continuing to alienate his new employees by taking over an exam room so he can turn it into his office. Susan complains that someone stole her brand-new leather gloves from her locker. Jerry doesn’t have much sympathy for her, since an animal died to make those gloves. Pratt and Chen bring in the street vendor, since Elizabeth didn’t want to bother with him. But…but…it would have given you screentime, Elizabeth! You need as much as you can get!

Romano announces to the staff that there will be some changes to how things work now that he’s in charge. For starters, no more kindness. I doubt they were getting much of that from Weaver, but okay. He tells Luka and Carter to start discharging patients while Pratt, Chen, and Susan try to clear the board. He then orders Jerry to get him a breakfast burrito. “Please?” Jerry prompts. “Get your love at home,” Romano replies.

Luka, Carter, and Abby go to the roof to receive a patient brought in by helicopter. The man, Josh, was found unconscious and may have been the victim of a hit and run. After providing all the patient’s info, the flight nurse, Chuck Martin, asks if Susan’s working today. Before he can talk to her, though, he’s sent off to pick up another patient.

The others take Josh to a trauma room, where Romano starts to assess him before letting Luka or Carter make any decisions. Jerry pops in to tell Luka that someone named Gordana is calling him from Croatia. Romano takes the phone from him, tells Gordana not to call the number again, and hangs up. As they leave, Jerry tells Romano that he’s not allowed to fire nurses because of union rules. Since Haleh went home, Romano tells Jerry to get her back to County but deduct the time she was away from her paycheck. He also wants to know who he can fire and why.

Romano moves on to Susan, who’s treating a man whose young son accidentally shot him with a nail gun. Elizabeth arrives for a surgical consult, so Romano leaves. Susan tells Elizabeth that the son apparently didn’t know the gun was loaded. The son clarifies that he did. Okay, watch out for that kid. He could be a future serial killer. Elizabeth asks Susan how things are going under the new regime. Susan admits to missing Weaver. Elizabeth encounters Romano in the lounge and tells him she thinks his reassignment is a horrible idea. She hopes it’ll just be temporary.

Carter and Abby wonder why Josh was in the middle of nowhere with no car. She notices that he’s wearing a wedding ring. Weaver finishes a phone call at the front desk (in which she tells someone to tell Bright she’s out of the office – interesting), then asks Carter to pick up some of the responsibilities that have fallen to her. He asks how much longer Romano will be running the ER department. Weaver lets on like this is a permanent thing. After he leaves, she realizes her crutch is missing.

Abby and Susan meet up with Luka, who’s finally connected with Gordana on his cell phone. They went to med school together, and she has a patient in Croatia who needs a specialized surgery that can’t be done there. The three of them start treating a guy named Nicky, who’s complaining of shoulder pain from a fall. He’s a recovering addict, and his girlfriend tells the doctors he needs to stay sober.

Pratt finds the street vendor on the ER’s pay phone and throws some Tylenol at him. He then asks Chuny for advice on what to get Chen for her birthday. Not that he can go buy anything, since Romano isn’t about to give him the time to leave. Speaking of Romano, he’s taunting Gallant’s patient for coming to the ER with high blood pressure. When Gallant protests, Romano taunts him next. He criticizes Carter’s inability to move patients through the ER in a timely matter.

Chuck returns, still wanting to see Susan. She’s dealing with Nicky, who’s yelling in pain over his shoulder injury. Carter tells Susan there’s a guy there to see her…and he says he’s Susan’s husband. Susan bashfully confirms this. Apparently this show is a sitcom now, because, as Susan explains to Abby in the bathroom, she and Chuck met on the plane to Vegas, hung out for a while, and then impulsively decided to get married. Susan left the next morning and hasn’t seen Chuck since. She’s planning to have the marriage annulled.

As the newlyweds reunite, Gallant complains to Carter about the orders Romano gave for his patient. Carter dismissively tells Gallant to talk to Romano, which is a horrible idea. Abby tells Carter that a lot of people are freaking out about the changes in the ER. She, however, will put up with Romano as long as she continues to get a paycheck.

Susan and Chuck go for a walk and chat about their annulment. In case anyone was wondering, they consummated the marriage. A lot. They haven’t told their families about the wedding. Paramedics bring in a woman named Debra who passed out while shopping with her husband. She’s pregnant with their first child (his fourth; she’s a younger second wife). Carter, Pratt, and Romano quickly detect that something’s really wrong.

A surgical resident named Woo comes in for a surgical consult, and since she only started the day before, she has no idea who Romano is. He resents that, as well as the fact that he’s already determined that Debra needs surgery, so this consult is unnecessary. While they butt heads, Abby quickly calls Elizabeth to come to the ER and make peace.

On the way down from the surgical floor, Luka tells Elizabeth about Gordana’s patient, who could really benefit from being brought to the States for his operation. Elizabeth points out that the boy isn’t a U.S. citizen. Luka reminds her that the two of them aren’t, either. Elizabeth doesn’t think Luka would get approval for a pro-bono operation, especially since Weaver would have to be one of the people giving approval, but she’s still willing to see if they can make it happen.

Romano has scared Woo off, so Elizabeth examines Debra. She agrees with Romano that Debra needs surgery for a mass in her abdomen. Romano’s annoyed that his consultation apparently didn’t count. Next, Gallant tries to talk to him about his patient, and Romano claims he didn’t give the medication order Gallant says he heard. When Gallant objects, Romano calls him Goofus and accuses him of being an affirmative-action hire.

Jerry tells Romano that he can’t fire Gallant, and it would be a mistake to fail him for this rotation, since he’d just have to repeat it. However, Romano can fire “care partners,” AKA non-union orderlies. There’s one nearby, so Romano fires him. Then he yells about Nicky moaning in pain, Susan taking a break, and no one clearing the board. He pitches in himself, examining an orphan named Eddie who’s having breathing problems. Not that Romano cares that the kid is an orphan.

Carter asks Jerry to make sure Carter sees all of Romano’s patients before they’re discharged. Oh, yeah, no way that could come back to haunt him. Susan returns from her break late, and Carter hands off a patient named Sandra who fell and hurt her wrist. He also congratulates Susan on her wedding. Eddie tries to make small talk with Romano, asking about his arm. Romano, of course, doesn’t like small talk. He asks Abby what the ER’s standard treatment is for Eddie’s problem. Abby’s surprised that he’s asking a nurse.

Luka and Abby go check on Josh, who’s waking up. He tells them he was in a car accident and asks about his kids. He left them in the car while he walked to get help. Considering Josh was brought in close to hypothermic, his kids could be in really bad shape. Carter takes Debra for a CT scan, which shows that she has multiple masses and will need to have a kidney removed.

A police officer comes to question Josh, who doesn’t know if his kids were hurt but remembers them being scared. He doesn’t know where he left his car. Romano complains that Luka and Abby haven’t moved him along fast enough to get him out of the ER. Luka says he wanted to let Josh stay there while they wait for news on his kids. Romano ignores him, then tells him to stop seeing his shrink because if he’s “screwed up” enough to need one, he shouldn’t be working at County.

Haleh returns to a not-so-warm welcome from Romano, who’s annoyed that it took her so long to come back. She starts tending to Sandra, who asks Susan if Chuck has a single brother she can date. Pratt goes to a gift shop to find a present for Chen, but it’s closed. Running out of options close to the hospital, Pratt turns to the street vendor from earlier. The vendor, who happens to have stolen Weaver’s crutch, offers him a new item that just came in.

Romano swipes some icing from Chen’s cake and declares that there will be no more birthday parties. Susan stands up to him, which is impressive. He tells her to discharge Sandra already, even though Susan thinks she has a head injury. Paramedics bring in an eight-year-old girl named Pilar who sustained eye injuries when her grandmother crashed her car and the airbag deployed.

Elizabeth tells Debra that her kidney and the tumor they’ve found need to be removed ASAP. She and Carter can’t say yet if the tumor is cancerous, but it’s likely. That means Debra would need chemo and radiation, which aren’t recommended for people who are pregnant. Debra is scared of dying of cancer like her mother did, so she tells the doctors to do the surgery, even though that means terminating her pregnancy. She’s not willing to have surgery and wait until after the baby’s born to continue her treatment.

Susan and Abby tend to Pilar, who’s completely blind. Her grandmother says she let her ride in the front seat because Pilar begged her. Susan realizes the ER is quiet – Nicky has stopped howling. His girlfriend went out and bought him drugs to ease his pain. “At least someone’s happy,” Susan remarks.

Elizabeth asks Weaver about Luka’s pro-bono patient, but as she expected, Weaver won’t approve the surgery. Before leaving, Elizabeth asks if Weaver has noticed anything off about Romano’s mental health. He seems “broken.” Weaver calls him a cockroach, meaning he’ll survive everyone else there while refusing to evolve.

Jerry feeds Romano some info on punishing employees without firing them. Jerry, are you sure this is the side you want to take? Romano notices that Eddie hasn’t been discharged, and Carter steps in to say that Romano didn’t give him the right amount of medication he needs. He’s not stable enough to leave. Eddie taunts Romano for screwing up. Kid, don’t poke the bear. Carter and Romano start fighting, but Romano seemingly wins because he can yell louder. He tells Carter the ER is Romano’s now, and ER stands for “everyone’s replaceable.”

The police have done an intensive search for Josh’s car but haven’t found it. Luka (who, as we know, can empathize with a man whose kids are in peril) insists that they do more. Weaver comes to the ER looking for Romano but instead finds a bunch of annoyed people. Carter tells her straight out that Romano is a horrible fit for the job of running the ER, and everyone’s upset. Weaver asks him to make things work since the ER is all Romano has.

Josh’s wife arrives and throws a curveball into his plotline: They don’t have kids. Susan checks on Sandra, who’s unresponsive. Elizabeth operates on Debra while awaiting news from pathology on whether her tumor is cancerous. It is, and it’s bad. Carter, Susan, and Abby try to revive Sandra, guessing that her fall dislodged an aneurysm she didn’t know she had. They couldn’t have known about it. Susan reluctantly declares her time of death.

Luka consults with a psychiatrist, who thinks a combination of depression and delusion made Josh think he had kids. Luka’s surprised, since the way Josh talked about the children, they seemed real. The doctor says that once Josh is on medication, his memories of his fake kids will fade away. Luka looks pained at that thought.

Susan and Abby examine a teenager named Mindy who’s experiencing some bleeding after having unprotected sex. Mindy has Down’s syndrome and has never heard of condoms. Oh, and her “boyfriend” is a maintenance worker at the facility where she lives, and he’s totally taking advantage of her. Susan declares this one of the worst days of her life.

Wait, it’s about to get a tiny bit better! Susan’s missing gloves have turned up. Unfortunately, they’ve turned up on Chen’s hands. Yep, that was her birthday present from Pratt. He has to admit to buying them from the street vendor. In a fun callback, Abby jokes that Susan should examine the gloves for semen. Chuck returns and asks Susan to have dinner with him, since he’s had a horrible day. In fact, it was even worse than hers.

Romano criticizes Gallant again as he’s suturing up a patient’s wound. Romano says he loves watching med students suture because it reminds him how fast he is. “Was,” Gallant says under his breath, but not quiet enough for Romano not to hear. Ohhhh, not a good look for you, Gallant. Romano manages to restrain himself from throwing a tantrum.

Elizabeth tells Debra’s husband that her tumor is inoperable and her chances of survival are very low. If he overrides Debra’s decision to terminate her pregnancy, they can keep her alive long enough to deliver the baby. All Mr. Strickland can think about is that he wants his wife to live. He thinks she can still fight her cancer. Elizabeth tells him the baby has a chance, but Mr. Strickland won’t go against Debra’s wishes. Elizabeth sadly lets the OB/GYN team take over.

Romano goes to a bar after work so he can be a jerk to a new group of people. He picks a fight with another patron, who punches him. Another guy joins in and Romano ends up on the floor. “Highway to Hell” is playing, and the episode ends with a very fitting lyric: “And I’m going down…”

Thoughts: Chuck is played by Donal Logue.

This marks the end of Romano as a guy who kind of love to hate and the beginning of a Romano with no redeeming qualities who just bugs the crap out of you.

When Jerry comes in to tell Luka he has a phone call, Carter says he can’t take it during a trauma. Hey, Carter, Luka outranks you. Stuff it.

Elizabeth kind of sucks for not warning Dr. Woo about Romano. Then again, Woo sucks for questioning Romano’s authority when he already said he’s a surgeon and he’s clearly her superior.

Susan noticed her gloves were missing before the vendor came into the hospital, so…what’s up with that?

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