March 29, 2022

ER 10.16, Forgive and Forget: Tanks for Nothing

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 5:02 pm by Jenn

What are the odds that this episode would come up just TWO DAYS after a guest star won an Oscar?

Summary: Elizabeth’s having a home-cooked dinner with Dave while their kids play together. He asks about Mark’s death, then confides that he and his daughter Sydney’s mother were never married. The mother was only 20 when she had Sydney, and she left three weeks later. (For the record, Steven Culp was 49 here, and if Sydney is three like Ella, he was 46 when she was born, which means there was a 26-year age difference between him and her mother. EW.) Elizabeth isn’t impressed with the meal, but she likes Dave enough to kiss him. Both their daughters see but don’t seem to care.

Sam goes to Luka’s after having not seen him for a few days. His body language says he’s not up for a visitor right now. It could have something to do with the fact that there’s someone in his shower. Sam gets the hint and leaves without seeing that Luka already has a visitor: Gillian. At County, Abby tries to help Morris with a patient named Welling who’s demanding pain medication for a back problem. He claims he doesn’t have medical records because the VA burned them. Abby wants him to have a psych consult, but Morris says psych has seen him multiple times and won’t admit him.

Welling tells Abby he’s not suicidal, but he’s homicidal toward Morris. Abby asks Morris to have him admitted for high blood pressure, which I’m guessing is just the result of his anger. He threatens to get a tank and frag Morris, then leaves the hospital. Sam arrives for a shift and makes awkward small talk with Luka. Chen is back at work, and Neela brings her a patient who needs stitches after a fight with her girlfriend. Frank: inappropriate homophobic comment. Neela tells him he’s a horrible man and people hate his discriminatory remarks. She only wants silence from him from now on. Frank: comment about how she’s PMS-ing. Shut up, Frank.

Carter tells Luka that Gillian left him a message about having dinner. When Sam joins them, Carter tells Luka they’ll talk more later. She takes Luka to see a new patient, a 13-year-old named Brian who’s having testicular pain with no known cause. Brian silently indicates to Luka that he doesn’t want Sam there for his examination. Though he’s really polite, he comments that Sam is hot when she leaves.

Paramedics bring in a man named Charlie who’s septic. He’s been under his daughter Dahlia’s care after a brain injury left him unable to walk or talk. Carter warns Dahlia that Charlie might not survive the infection, but he doesn’t appear to have a DNR or any kind of record of what he would want in this kind of situation. Dahlia insists that the doctors help him.

Sam comes in while Luka is examining Brian, who quickly covers himself up. Luka thinks Brian has an infection, but Sam worries it’s something more serious and if they wait for his labwork to come back, he could have complications that lead to him losing a testicle. Luka snaps at her and Sam asks if he’s mad at her for stopping by his place.

She wants to clarify that when she said they should slow things down, she didn’t mean stop seeing each other altogether. Luka reminds her that she wants a casual relationship. Sam says if it’s a choice between something serious and nothing, she’d prefer something serious. Luka softens and tells her to follow up on her suspicions about Brian’s condition, just in case.

As paramedics bring in a new patient, Morales tells Pratt, Abby, and Sam that a guy stole a tank from the National Armory. Abby immediately goes to Morris and drags him to the admit desk, where a bunch of people are gathered to watch what’s basically a police chase on the news, only with a tank instead of a car. The driver is, of course, Welling. Supposedly he doesn’t have ammo, but if he wanted to hurt Morris, well, this would probably do the trick.

Sam and Elizabeth discuss the tank as Elizabeth does a procedure on Charlie. Lawson comes in, having planned to do his own procedure, and Elizabeth tells him it’s not necessary. He complains about her poaching his patient, which is hilarious because when they first met, he was stealing Elizabeth’s cases. They bicker a little, then confirm that they’re on for dinner that night. Elizabeth asks Sam how men are able to argue with you one minute, then turn around and ask about your plans.

Sam tells Chen that she doesn’t think Dahlia understands how serious her father’s condition is. Chen says he has a good chance, but Sam notes that even if he recovers, he’ll still need care 24/7. Chen reminds her that Dahlia’s responsible for her father’s medical decisions, despite only being 19. She knows her father better than the staff does.

Pratt and Carter check on the tank situation, wondering if Welling is just driving around for fun or if he has a destination in mind. Frank tells them all the equipment the tank has on board (he looked it up on Weaver arrives and tells everyone at the TV to go back to work because “it’s not the moon landing.” Carter notes that Welling is six miles away, but a detective with Weaver says they’ve put up roadblocks and are going to make him detour until he runs out of gas. Morris doesn’t think that’s enough. “They’re also getting a helicopter with a gigantic magnet,” Abby says. Heh.

Abby and Morris bicker about Welling’s psychiatric state as the staff learns that roadblocks mean nothing to a tank. Welling’s fine with just driving over anything in his path. The detective runs off to figure out a plan B. Or maybe he’s running off to hide so he doesn’t have to deal with this situation anymore. Abby pretty much has no sympathy for Morris, who is probably regretting not listening to her, just as everyone who doesn’t listen to Abby ultimately does.

Sam and Brian chat about the tank until Luka arrives to announce that Brian has chlamydia. He admits to having some hookups with classmates. He just needs antibiotics, and he’s pretty casual about the whole thing. Sam is upset, as well as a little worried that one day Alex will be in this situation. Lester gets a few seconds of screentime as Frank carries some boxes around. Gillian comes by to solidify plans with Luka for that night, and Sam sees her kissing him goodbye.

Paramedics bring in some car accident victims, including a man named Hector and his seven-year-old son Oscar. And when I say “car accident,” I don’t mean they crashed their car. I mean Welling’s tank crashed into them. Hector is very anxious about Oscar, and he asks the staff to get in touch with his wife. Neela goes to ask Frank to handle that. Frank: racist comment. He ducks into the drug lockup to make the call, then sinks to the floor in pain.

Oscar is even more anxious than Hector, which just makes things more tense in his trauma room. That’s on top of the tension already between Luka and Sam. She even throws a suture kit at him when he requests one. Luka just calmly asks for another one. Pratt asks if they need Dr. Phil. Ugh, no. The staff tries to treat the scared seven-year-old, whose understanding of English isn’t clear (and Chuny isn’t available). Sam finally comes up with a simple solution: She opens the door between Oscar and Hector’s trauma rooms so they can see and hear each other. They both calm down right away.

Neela goes to call a surgeon and finds Frank unconscious. Pratt comes to help her as Neela determines that Frank is having a massive heart attack. Carter tells Pratt to stay with him while he goes to get assessed. Pratt praises Neela for saving Frank. The detective has decided that they should evacuate the ER, which Weaver isn’t happy about. Morris volunteers to leave, since he’s the target. She tells him to stand in the street and “play Tiananmen Square.”

Luka tries to convince Sam that he and Gillian didn’t do anything – she has a boyfriend. Yeah, and she had a boyfriend the last time you hooked up. What else you got? He adds that Sam said she didn’t want to be exclusive. Sam thinks he moved on pretty quickly, since they had that conversation just a few days ago. Luka says he forget Gillian was coming to visit. Sam pretends she doesn’t care, since Luka’s already slept with every nurse in the ER.

Brian has called some girls he slept with so they can get tested for chlamydia. Luka gives them a little speech about how they might regret casual sex later. Buddy, they’re not listening, and if they knew about your sexual history, they would just laugh in your face. Sam checks on Charlie and tries to determine whether he wants to keep receiving treatment.

Kayson climbs out of whatever hole he lives in to do a procedure that might keep Frank from needing surgery. Frank wakes up during it and Pratt tells him what’s going on. Kayson thinks Pratt is causing Frank distress, so he tells Pratt to leave, but Frank asks him to stay. Pratt doesn’t like Frank or Kayson, but he’d rather make Frank feel better than do anything Kayson wants, so he stays.

Abby and Carter go outside, where the police are setting up roadblocks outside the hospital (they’ve also closed the ER, so it’s calm now). Abby looked at Welling’s old charts and thinks that his history of drug abuse indicates that he’s experiencing drug-induced psychosis. Carter notes that psych never admitted him, so Abby shouldn’t feel bad that she didn’t catch his problem. She regrets not being able to help someone who needed it.

As Neela comes to get Carter, Frank’s wife and daughter arrive. That’s right – Frank’s married! And he has a daughter! She has Down syndrome! That’s probably supposed to make us feel sympathy for Frank but he’s still a bigot so it doesn’t work! I also can’t believe someone married that guy! Charlie’s not responsive anymore, and Sam tells Chen that he doesn’t want any more treatment. Carter lends a hand as he starts declining.

Frank tells Pratt about his time in Vietnam as he undergoes Kayson’s procedure. He was in danger plenty of times but never really thought about it. Half of his unit was Black, and they were all cocky guys just like Pratt. He remembers their names and laments their deaths. “You are what those boys could have been,” he tells Pratt just before he declines.

Carter and Chen try to stabilize Charlie as Sam says they’re just torturing him. Dahlia tells them intensely not to stop helping him. Neela goes to get an update on Frank, who needs a stent. Pratt wants to help, and though Kayson doesn’t want his assistance, he does need a second pair of hands. Pratt does a great job, but Kayson won’t give him any credit. At least Neela’s there to witness it.

Abby, Morris, Lester, Chuny, and some others watch from a window as Welling arrives on the corner of their street. The police are completely useless against a tank, but Welling gets trapped when he comes up against a couple of snowplows he can’t get past, and a truck pulls up behind him to block him in. Morris is eager to see him arrested, while Abby wants him to get a psych evaluation. Police surround the tank, open the lid (is that what it’s called?), and throw in a stun grenade, then shoot down at Welling. Abby’s horrified.

She runs to the scene to help the paramedics as they rush Welling to the ER. He’s alive and basically says, “I told you I would be back.” Abby orders Morris to help her, Carter, and Chuny tend to him. Morris takes a little while to get himself going, but he eventually jumps in to do his part. He even asks to scrub in when Welling goes up for surgery. He tells Abby they saved him. She just looks at him and walks away silently.

One of Brian’s hookups has an abscess that could require surgery and might cost her a fallopian tube. Sheesh. Use condoms, kids! Luka asks Sam to get coffee, but she spots Gillian returning to the ER and says no. Neela chats with Frank’s wife, Connie, who mentions how she always dreaded a call about him being hospitalized while he was a cop, not a desk clerk. He took the clerk job because he wanted to put money away for their daughter, Janie. Neela lies that, yes, Frank talks about her all the time. Connie says he loves his job and always has stories to tell. He’s even mentioned Neela and how bright she is.

Sam tells Dahlia that Charlie may have suffered more mental damage from being deprived of oxygen. She should consider putting him in a facility. Dahlia asks if Sam thinks people get what they deserve. When she was in school, her father called every day to see if she would be home when he got there. He wanted to make sure they’d be alone. Dahlia would shower and wait for him in her room. She doesn’t give any details, but I think we all know what she’s implying and how gross it is, and I’m sure we’re all wondering why she doesn’t dump him in a long-term-care facility and never talk to him again. Maybe she wants to watch him suffer.

Gillian and Luka kiss outside the hospital, so…sorry, Gillian’s boyfriend. She realizes that Luka doesn’t want things to go farther with her because he’s interested in Sam. After his surgery, Pratt tells Frank he’ll have to start eating better. “I’m in Hell, right?” Frank replies. Neela brings in Connie and Janie, and Frank’s demeanor changes from jerk to warm. Elizabeth tells Pratt that Kayson has banned from the lab, then praises him and Neela for saving Frank.

Sam heads home with Alex, who’s going to have a great night eating McDonald’s and watching horror movies totally inappropriate for his age. Luka’s outside their door, but Sam doesn’t want to talk, since she’s figured out that Gillian was at Luka’s when she went over, and she feels stupid for thinking he wanted to be with her. Luka apologizes, but Sam brushes him off. She goes inside, then comes back out to invite him to join her and Alex. And then hopefully she apologizes off-screen for being childish and throwing the suture kit at him, because…come on.

Thoughts: Dahlia is played by Jessica Chastain.

The tank stuff feels like it would be better suited to Grey’s Anatomy.

Shout-out to Neela for confronting Frank for his bigotry instead of just being like, “Oh, that’s Frank for you” like everyone else. is available if anyone wants a memorable URL.


  1. Dani said,

    Love your recaps! I’ll be back for 10.17 and the rest! Thank you!

  2. Rachelle said,

    The episode shows Morris watching the patient in the tank on the news, he quotes the patient as saying he was going to get a tank and blow his ass up, however there must have been an editing mistake, as the patient never actually said anything about a tank, he said “I’m going to kill him, I’m gonna frag his red headed ass and I’m gonna piss all over his corpse”. I actually thought I’d missed something so went back to double check. Patient never mentions a tank, which was a bit of a whoopsie and Abby only realises it’s the patient when the word tank is used. I think it’s the only continuity error script wise that they had

    • Mike said,

      Wow! You genuinely need an IV of maturity!

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