February 22, 2022

ER 10.11, Touch and Go: Pratt’s Disregard for Authority Is a Pain in the Neck

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

Yeah, yeah, fairy-tale romance, whatever

Summary: Carter’s asleep – drink! He wakes up alone in a very nice bed in his family’s mansion. Kem got up early, since she’s still on Congo time. The housekeeper complains to Carter that she insisted on cooking eggs. Chill, housekeeper. Kem is adjusting to being a self-sufficient woman in a house of excess, where everything is taken care of for you and you have your choice of six sets of glasses in the morning. Carter thinks she’ll get used to it in no time.

He has to work, so he offers to have someone take her on a shopping spree. Because that’s what Kem wants to do – spend lots of money on stuff she doesn’t need, then go back to a third-world country where women are still getting their drinking water from a river. She steals his socks so she can slide on the polished floors. When did Kem turn into a Manic Pixie Dream Girl? Why isn’t she talking about how many AIDS patients they could house in just the foyer of the mansion?

At County, Abby’s shift is supposed to be over but she’s still finishing up. Weaver complains that Susan called in sick but didn’t sound that sick on the phone. Frank and I both guess that she’s love sick and spending time with Chuck. He offers to call in an attending to take Susan’s shift, but Weaver says Carter’s coming back. That seems like news to Abby.

Morris…whatever. Abby asks Weaver to sign off on a miscount of Valium so the night nurses can go home. Weaver won’t do it, even though they’re only missing 10 milligrams. Gallant’s allowed to leave, though, since it’s slow and he’s just an intern. I feel like saying someone can go home because it’s slow is just jinxing things. Paramedics bring in an elderly woman from a nursing home, and Sam looks down her nose at them for not being more respectful of a possibly dead woman.

Gallant goes home to see Valerie, who’s been in Chicago longer than I would think a teacher could stay during the school year. He’s surprised to find Pratt there. Looks like someone got over his hesitance to hook up with a woman with MS. Gallant asks how many times Valerie has had Pratt over to have sex in Gallant’s bed. Yikes. Pratt leaves, deciding at the last minute that kissing Valerie goodbye in front of her angry brother is probably a bad idea. Gallant just tells Valerie to wake him at noon so he can take her to the airport.

Back at County, Abby’s basically being held hostage until the night nurses can account for the missing Valium. Luka tells Weaver that his last day of work will be January 18th; he’ll be heading back out with the Alliance de Medicine Whatever. She tells him to submit his resignation and she’ll take it to whatever committee approves that sort of thing. She adds that County needs Luka just as much as the Congo does.

Pratt arrives late, and Luka guesses it’s because he was with Valerie. How does Luka know and Gallant doesn’t?? Luka’s patient, Mrs. Webster, is elderly and has dementia, so when she declares her love for Pratt, he just says thanks. He butts heads with Luka on some patient until a man and his family come to share good news with Luka: The kids finished therapy for an illness Luka diagnosed and now get to come home. The father says Luka will be their only doctor from now on. Luka declines to admit that he’s not going to be in the country much longer. Neela comments to Pratt that patients seem to really like Luka.

Pratt asks her, Lester, and some unnamed other med student a question that none of them knows the answer to. Abby doesn’t know it, either. Carter and Kem arrive, and Sam, who hasn’t met Carter yet, thinks they’re patients. Once she finds out who he is, she’s friendly. Chuny, Haleh, and Malik are even friendlier as they welcome Carter back and meet Kem. He announces the pregnant by telling the staff that Kem has an appointment with an OB upstairs.

Pratt also greets Carter and manages not to flirt with Kem in front of her boyfriend. Carter sends her up to his appointment, then takes the next patient brought in, a man named Larry who was in a car accident. His 19-year-old son, Martin, was driving and crashed because his father passed out. Martin wears a neck brace for ankylosing spondylitis, a disorder that causes spinal vertebrae to fuse.

Luka’s happy to see Carter back, and he joins him and Morris to work on Larry. Morris proves he knows at least one medical thing, which is enough to impress Carter. Luka mentions Kem, whom he never met while he was in the Congo. Carter’s happy to have access to technology he didn’t have in Africa. He goes next door to help Pratt, Sam, and the med students with Martin. He’s having trouble breathing and might need to be intubated. Carter tells Pratt to have an anesthesiologist come in to help. Pratt complains about how Carter and Luka have both changed their ways because of their time in Africa.

Frank comes in to tell Sam that the principal from Alex’s school called and wants her to come there. Did Alex blow something up? I bet he blew something up. It was only a matter of time. Pratt tells Sam to get a nurse to cover for her. Shut up, Pratt. You’re not her boss. When Neela goes to Larry’s trauma room to get something, Luka asks her to read his EKG output. Morris says he can do it, but Luka ignores him. Ha ha! Everyone knows you suck, Morris. Larry tells Luka that his son his fragile.

Carter has hooked Martin up to a ventilator, though Pratt thinks they need to secure an airway another way. He lets Carter go when it’s time for Kem’s appointment. Abby comes in to take Sam’s place until another nurse can get there. Pratt laughs at her, for some reason. Shut up some more, Pratt. Carter arrives at Kem’s appointment in time to see the ultrasound, which shows that they’re having a boy.

Abby has counted all the Valium again and gotten the same number as before. She tells Haleh, Malik, and another nurse that she’s going to call Weaver at home and hope she’ll let them go. As she sits on a desk to make the call, she finds a syringe. It contains the Valium Abby’s been looking for – and it was in Weaver’s coat pocket. Abby just tells Weaver that she found the Valium in someone’s pocket. Weaver replies that whoever left it there is an idiot.

Abby spots Carter and Kem showing off their ultrasound photo and starts to walk in the other direction. Then she decides to be mature and go talk to them. She and Carter have a polite conversation, which includes his almost complete lack of interest in her return to med school and her fake excitement over the baby. Luka defuses the tension by joining them. Kem’s happy to meet him since she credits him as the reason she and Carter met. After Kem and Carter leave, Luka asks if Abby’s okay. She wonders if Carter got Kem pregnant right after he got to the Congo.

Paramedics bring in a stabbing victim who really doesn’t want to be in the hospital. His leg is bleeding and he needs a tourniquet, so Luka tells Neela to take off his belt and use it. Neela sidesteps the opportunity to remove a hot guy’s belt and instead uses her own. Luka sits on the guy, a trick he says he learned from a nurse in the Congo. He even gives Pratt instructions while he’s riding the gurney down the hall with the patient.

Pratt finds Mrs. Webster wandering around and takes her back to her room so she doesn’t get caught up in all the traffic in the ER’s hallways. Carter has Morris and Lester present a patient named Mrs. Hulsey to him. She’s supposed to be going to a headache clinic for her migraines, but she hasn’t been able to recently because she doesn’t have childcare. Her kids are with her, and she asks if they can get something to eat. As she names foods, Morris, who’s been feeling sick all day, gets more and more nauseous. He eventually throws up, which makes Lester throw up. Carter tells Morris to go home.

Larry talks to Pratt about Martin, whom Pratt thinks should be allowed more freedom as a 19-year-old. As Larry goes in for a CT, his condition becomes unstable. Pratt runs in with an unnamed med student so they can help him as the scan continues, even if it means they get exposed to radiation.

Carter tells Luka that he realized Mrs. Hulsey’s migraines were from malnutrition because she can’t afford enough food for her family. He’s having her admitted and has gotten the kids some food. Luka tells Carter he’s going back to the Congo in two weeks. Carter says Kem is also going back soon, but she’ll come back to Chicago to have the baby. Carter kind of misses the Congo, but Luka thinks that’ll change after some more time taking hot showers and using all the medical supplies he wants.

Neela comes to get Carter as Martin’s breathing gets worse. No anesthesiologist ever came to tend to him. Carter calmly handles the problem, then goes to find an anesthesiologist himself. Meanwhile, Pratt has the radiologist continue Larry’s scan despite the safety risks. Elizabeth objects to Pratt’s methods, but he points out that he’s helping her see where Larry’s bleeding is coming from. She’s pleased when the risk pays off.

Neela goes looking for Carter but instead wakes up Abby, who’s a) trying to nap and b) tired of everyone talking about Carter. Pratt goes to help Neela with Martin instead, deciding that they can’t wait anymore and Martin needs to be intubated. Carter comes in as he’s working, having finally found an anesthesiologist, but Pratt moves his scope the wrong way, forcing Martin’s neck back too far and breaking his vertebrae. Martin ends up stable but possibly paralyzed.

Shellshocked, Pratt goes to get a drink of water. Mrs. Webster tries to give him some encouragement, but Pratt doesn’t want to hear it. He asks a nurse to restrain her so she’ll stay in bed. Sam returns with Alex, and Frank relays a message from the nursing director that if Sam takes one more emergency break, she’s on probation. She dodges Luka’s questions about Alex, then approaches Carter to ask a favor.

Paramedics bring in a woman named Ruthie who’s been in hospice care with AIDS-related lymphoma. Gallant is back to fill in for Morris, and he’s not happy about it. Pratt apologizes for the surprise he and Valerie gave Gallant that morning, but Gallant says he didn’t look too sorry. Luka keeps tending to Ruthie as the guys try not to throw things at each other.

Carter stitches up a wound Alex got from trying to give himself stitches. Sam tries to seek assurance that all kids do crazy things like this, but Carter can’t give that to her. Pratt and Gallant keep bickering until Luka finally tells them to take it outside. “Just when it was getting good,” Ruthie says. Heh. In the hallway, Pratt says Gallant doesn’t get to have an opinion on whether Pratt is good enough for Valerie. They’re right outside the door where Abby was trying to sleep, and she decides to give up on trying to nap.

Sam calls Pratt away so he can find out how bad Martin’s neck injury is. Meanwhile, Luka tells Ruthie that she has a tumor in her heart and needs surgery. She doesn’t see the point, since it’ll just mean spending more time in the hospital when her time is already almost up. Abby clocks in early for a med-student shift, wanting to be useful since she can’t sleep. Sam casually asks if their insurance covers therapy. Yes, yes, good idea! Alex badly needs to be under the supervision of a psychiatrist!

Valerie arrives, wanting to talk to Gallant before she heads home. He thinks she’s really there to see Pratt, but she insists that she wanted to make up with her brother. She promises to be more considerate next time. That kind of implies that she plans to sleep with another one of his colleagues in the future. I recommend Luka.

Larry’s out of surgery and will be fine, but Martin…not so much. Pratt tells Elizabeth that he’s a quadriplegic now, thanks to Pratt’s actions. He spots Valerie getting in a cab and rushes outside to talk to her. He’s happy about the time they’ve spent together, and he suggests coming to visit her the next time he has a couple days off. Valerie, however, sees this as a vacation fling and doesn’t want it to continue beyond that.

Luka’s hanging out with Alex in the lounge and is more amused about what he did than he should be. He promises Sam that he didn’t show Alex how to give himself stitches. Sam admits that she did. She had the ridiculous idea that he would never try it. Ma’am, have you met your son? She leaves, and Alex complains to Luka that she’s freaking out over nothing. Luka tells him to just do what his mom says.

He follows Sam out of the lounge and lets her vent about how hard it is to parent Alex on her own. He doesn’t think she should give any thought to what people say about him (namely, that he’s a freak). Luka says he stuck tweezers into an electrical socket when he was Alex’s age, despite knowing better. Kids do dumb things, and Alex will be fine.

Pratt is sad to learn that Mrs. Webster died. Well, that was out of the blue. Carter meets the paramedics as they bring in a 16-year-old shooting victim. He’s followed by a nine-year-old named David who was also shot. Pratt goes to see Martin and lets him know that Larry will be okay. He adds that there was a problem with Martin’s spinal cord during his intubation, and it looks like he’s now paralyzed. Way to gloss over the details there, Pratt.

Carter, Abby, and Gallant work on the first shooting victim, with Carter simultaneously teaching the med students. Sam and Neela work on David with Luka, who cautions that if they don’t stop the bleeding in David’s arm quickly, it will have to be amputated. Carter keeps calmly working on the other victim as Luka just as calmly makes a temporary repair to David’s injury that should hold him until he can get to surgery. Neela’s impressed.

Carter finally determines that his patient won’t make it, though he and his team have done everything they can to try to save him. Once the trauma’s over, Carter tells Abby he’s glad she went back to med school. She says she is, too. He tells her she never should have left, as if she had any choice in the matter, what with the lack of funds. He comments that she seems happy. She says he does, too. Sounds like Carter wants to ease his conscience about dumping her. He invites her to come hang out with him and Kem, but that’s too much for her.

Alex has fallen asleep in the lounge, so Luka offers to carry him to Sam’s car. Carter meets up with Kem, who’s enjoying the first snow she’s seen since she was a kid. He and Luka say good night to each other as Carter leaves with his new love interest and Luka helps his future love interest with her kid. Sam offers Luka a ride home, but he says he has something to take care of first. He goes to Weaver’s office, where she catches him changing something on his resignation letter. He wants to stay at County longer than he’d planned.

Pratt goes to a bar after work, and Gallant joins him, not to bug him about Valerie but to offer support since he had a rough day. Gallant says that Valerie is his only sister (I’m not sure that’s consistent with what we’ve heard before, but okay), so the family is overprotective of her. Pratt mentions that his mother died when he was 12. He got used to being by himself. People only have themselves. Gallant disagrees, but he comes from a big, close-knit family and Pratt doesn’t.

Pratt tells Gallant to say whatever he wants to say, then leave. Gallant starts to say something about Valerie, but Pratt interrupts that she played him. Gallant says he tried to warn Pratt. He’s sorry things ended like they did. He leaves, and Pratt drinks by himself at the bar, most likely worrying about the big lawsuit Martin’s family is going to hit him with.

Thoughts: I want some sort of prestige drama with Thandie Newton, Maura Tierney, and Linda Cardellini. Mostly because I don’t think I can watch any more of Westworld, I couldn’t get through The Affair or Bloodline, and I’m impatient for the next season of Dead to Me.

I assume Scott Grimes was questioning his career choices around this time, with his five minutes of screentime every other episode and thrilling plots such as Morris gets busted smoking pot and Morris throws up and goes home.

Shoutout to Abby for how maturely she handles seeing her ex, who dumped her in a letter, with his new pregnant girlfriend.

1 Comment »

  1. Wanda said,

    “Shoutout to Abby for how maturely she handles seeing her ex, who dumped her in a letter, with his new pregnant girlfriend.”

    Abby is my girl!

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