April 12, 2022

ER 10.18, Where There’s Smoke: I Wish I Hadn’t Already Used “Sandy, Can’t You See I’m in Misery?” as a Title

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:04 pm by Jenn

Sob!

Summary: Sandy and Weaver have gotten into the swing of this parenting thing and are preparing for their day. Both of them have to work, so Florina will be looking after Henry. Florina clearly loves her daughter and grandson but isn’t quite so affectionate with Weaver (I don’t think she’s a fan of Henry having two mommies). Weaver and Sandy are obviously very happy together. This means something bad is going to happen.

Luka shows up at Sam and Alex’s on his way home from a late shift. Alex jokes that he must have missed them. Sam sends him off to school, then suggests that she and Luka find a way to fill the couple of minutes before she has to leave for work. Luka’s tired but not too tired for sex. So to sum up, the two of them are together and Alex doesn’t seem to care.

At County, Abby and Neela are thinking about the results of their recent board exams, which they haven’t opened yet. Neela doesn’t think she has a future as a doctor, between her clashes with staff members and the fact that she accidentally killed someone. Chen tells her she’s not a good doctor until she’s killed someone. Neela thinks Chen isn’t in that club. If only she knew about Chen’s major screw-up when she was a med student.

Susan arrives in the ER in a wheelchair, accompanied by a guy named Levine (who made her use the wheelchair because she wasn’t walking fast enough for his liking). He’s from risk management and will be interviewing everyone involved in Luis’ case. Carter is the one being named in the family’s lawsuit because he was the attending in charge, but he’s conveniently in the Congo, visiting Kem. Neela gets to go first. Susan doesn’t think she has anything to worry about. Luis’ medical records slipped through the cracks; no one did anything wrong.

Pratt wants to fix Gallant up with a woman he knows, but Gallant isn’t interested. Elizabeth compliments Gallant on some procedure he did and suggests that he switch to surgery if he gets tired of emergency medicine. Chen tells Pratt to present a patient to her since Susan’s with risk management. She seems tired, but she says her father is doing better.

Pratt’s patient is a John Doe with hypothermia and high blood sugar. Pratt thinks he’s homeless, but Chen notes that his fingernails look well taken care of, so he might have wandered off from his home. Then he pees on her. Womp womp. Elizabeth complains to Weaver that the surgical department is in shambles and they need someone to represent them in bargaining for their salaries. Weaver informs Elizabeth that she was chosen as the new department head a couple months ago and no one bothered to tell her. So I guess Elizabeth gets to be that bargaining representative.

Abby examines a patient named Halpern who’s complaining of back pain and wants Vicodin. She and Gallant immediately clock him as a drug-seeker. Susan and Neela meet with Levine, and Neela sticks with Gallant’s story that he gave the order for Demerol. (She kind of has to, since telling the truth would put him on the hook for a crime.) Susan studies Neela really closely but doesn’t suspect that she’s lying. She tells Neela that a friend of hers is doing a study on stroke treatments and needs med students to help with research, if Neela’s interested.

Chen complains that Susan will be with Levine all day, leaving Chen as the only attending on the floor. Jerry tells Sam that Luka called and said something about coffee. Chen approves of the Sam/Luka pairing and confirms that she never hooked up with Luka. “I went in a completely different direction,” she says, waving to Pratt.

The John Doe is awake and identifies himself as Bob Jones. He says he’s homeless, but Chen is still skeptical. His diabetes was under control until recently. Bob won’t say what caused it to get out of control. Chen says she’ll called Social Services, an idea Bob approves of since he needs a place to live. She realizes that Pratt should be handling this and goes to question him. He’s been on the phone with her father’s nurse, who reported that her father set off a smoke alarm while trying to cook a steak. Pratt thinks he should be restrained when he’s in bed.

Sam announces that they’re about to receive a bunch of patients from a fire and building collapse. Chen will need Susan’s help now more than ever. She’s currently with Levine and Abby, the latter of whom thinks Neela made the right call with Luis. She doesn’t know if what Neela and Gallant say happened is really what happened, and she wonders if there’s a cover-up. Jerry comes to get the women to help with the new patients.

The rest of the staff jumps to action, helping two firefighters, Tommy and Andy. Susan tells Abby to take the lead tending to Andy. Susan immediately recognizes the next patient as Sandy. She’s awake and talking, and even remembers Neela from the NICU. But she breathed in some stuff she shouldn’t have, so Susan warns that they may need to intubate her. Sandy asks to talk to Weaver first, and though Susan doesn’t think they should wait, she agrees to hold off for a little bit.

Gallant joins Chen and Pratt to take care of Tommy, who looks really bad. Gallant catches a problem the other doctors didn’t. Chen sends Pratt to help Abby while letting Gallant stay with her, because why not bug your ex with a show of power in the middle of a mass trauma? Pratt fixes Andy’s dislocated knee, and it’s SUPER-GROSS. Thanks a lot, show.

Weaver finally gets to Sandy’s trauma room and learns that she needs surgery. She’s right on time because Sandy starts declining. Weaver takes over her partner’s care, and Susan, Neela, and Sam don’t have the heart to make her stop. Andy’s disappointed to learn that his knee injury might sideline him from the career he’s always wanted. Sorry, buddy, we don’t have time to care about you. Tommy’s doing poorly, so Pratt goes over to help. Chen still wants to let Gallant take the lead, and she’s in danger of driving a wedge between the guys.

As Weaver intubates Sandy, Andy suddenly has trouble breathing. Pratt’s still busy with Tommy, so Abby can’t get him to come back and help her and Malik. She keeps the door open between Andy’s exam room and Tommy’s trauma room, and Pratt and Chen yell instructions to her. Abby can’t intubate Andy because of swelling in his airway, so she decides to cut a hole in his throat. She also decides not to mention what she’s doing to Pratt and Chen. Oh, and she’s never done this before. When she’s done, she tells Pratt and Chen what she did. Chen’s pleased with her initiative.

Tommy’s dead, and Gallant feels especially bad about not being able to save him. Sandy’s about to go up to surgery, and Elizabeth doesn’t realize who she is until Susan tells her. She offers to let Weaver observe. Neela kindly tells Weaver she’ll say a prayer. Some of Sandy’s fellow firefighters walk alongside her gurney as she’s moved, soon joined by Sandy’s mother and brother, Eduardo. (The baby is with Eduardo’s wife.) Florina tells Weaver to take care of Sandy. Weaver spots a firefighter breaking down over the news of Tommy’s death.

Gallant has his turn with risk management. Levine asks why Carter didn’t write notes on the chart before he left the country. Did he need time to get his facts straight? Gallant just says they were busy that night. Levine asks if Gallant feels like Carter is a good attending. Gallant says yes, so Levine asks why he didn’t present to Carter. Susan has the same question, since Carter couldn’t have been far away.

Levine questions whether Carter knew the decisions Gallant was making. Gallant says no, and that he wanted to handle the case himself. Maybe he’s not as competent as he thought he was. Gallant agrees to include all this in his testimony if the case proceeds and he’s deposed, but he might not be able to be present. He’s being deployed to Iraq. STUPID SHOW!

Abby and Gallant return their attention to Halpern, whose records show that he’s asked for Vicodin at multiple hospitals but doesn’t currently have any in his system. Another of Sandy’s brothers, Carlos (a fellow firefighter), arrives and asks for an update on Sandy. She’s still in surgery, and Elizabeth chats with Weaver about her while she operates. Weaver notes that they met at County. Elizabeth says it’s the last place she expected to find a partner. Weaver replies that she misses Mark, too.

Abby asks Neela a question about medication and Neela answers like it’s something she’s known for decades. She finally opened her test results and found out she passed her boards, but she’s not as happy as she should be. She isn’t sure it means anything. She suggests that they go out and celebrate anyway, but Abby isn’t in the mood. She finds Susan giving herself some sort of exam because she’s having contractions.

Anspaugh joins Elizabeth in the OR as Sandy starts declining. He questions Weaver’s presence but Elizabeth says it’s fine. Sandy’s heart isn’t pumping blood, so Elizabeth tells Weaver they need to open her chest. Gallant asks Halpern about all the caffeine in his system. Halpern blames over-the-counter migraine medication, which doesn’t help his back pain. It turns out he’s a veteran and doesn’t have good enough insurance to cover what he needs. The VA won’t admit that his migraines are related to his service. Gallant guesses that he sells Vicodin to pay for his migraine medication.

Neela runs into Gallant and asks how his meeting with risk management went. He just says things will be fine. She apologizes for being distant, but she’s struggling to deal with all the lying and cover-ups. Gallant tells her about his deployment – he’s going to Texas tomorrow and will finish his residency there, then go to Iraq. Neela guesses that he’s lying about being deployed. He offered to go because he’s a coward. Now he’s going to leave Neela to deal with the fallout of their cover-up. “Go to bloody Iraq,” she says, “and tell yourself you’ve done something noble.”

Susan’s contractions have stopped, but she needs to go on bed rest for five weeks. She and Abby lament what a bad day they’ve had. On top of the risk management meetings and their patients, Abby failed her boards. Susan thinks it’s just because she has to work so much that she didn’t have time to study. Abby puts it in perspective, saying at least she didn’t have a burning building collapse on her. She can take them again.

Anspaugh and Elizabeth continue working on Sandy but don’t make any progress. Weaver realizes – has probably realized for a while – that they’re not going to save her. She sadly tells them they can stop trying. Sandy’s gone.

Weaver sits with Sandy’s body for a long time, then asks Elizabeth to remove her intubation, even though there’s a law that it has to stay in. She tells Elizabeth that even though she had to talk Sandy into getting pregnant, once Henry was born, Sandy wanted to have a bunch of kids. “What am I supposed to do now?” Weaver whispers. Elizabeth offers to tell Sandy’s family, but Weaver wants to do it.

Susan asks Gallant if people know he’s leaving. He says no, apparently not wanting anyone to make a big deal about it. She tells him that while he made a stupid mistake, there were a lot of factors that led to Luis’ death. Gallant says that if the case goes to court, the Army will let him come back and testify. Susan doesn’t think it’ll get that far. People don’t sue doctors they like, and Luis’ wife liked Gallant, so the case will probably go away. They wish each other well with his deployment and her baby.

Weaver goes to the waiting area to tell Sandy’s family and friends that she’s dead. Sam is leaving as Luka’s arriving early to spend time with her before his shift. She tells him that Sandy died, but he doesn’t recognize her name. Ouch. Gallant plays basketball with Pratt for the last time before leaving for his deployment, which will last at least a year. Pratt thinks he’s a little too casual about going into a war zone. He says he’ll miss Gallant, who’s honorable, a quality Pratt isn’t sure he’s ever encountered in someone before. He tells Gallant not to get himself killed.

Sam goes home, where Alex is listening to loud music and is in a good mood. It’s because his father, Steve, has come by. Sam’s bad day just got worse. Abby checks in on Weaver, who’s alone with just Sandy’s firefighter gear. She breaks down and Abby comforts her. I engrave Laura Innes’ name on an honorary Emmy.

The next day, Gallant is about to leave for the airport when Neela comes to see him. She gives him a rabbit’s foot for good luck and thanks him for putting himself on the line for her career. She kisses him and tells him he has to come back. He says he will, and she’d better be a great doctor when he returns. She sheds a couple of tears as he rides off on a cab.

Weaver goes to Eduardo’s house to pick up Henry, who spent the night. Eduardo tells her that Henry isn’t there. It’s nothing personal; he’s always liked Weaver. But the Lopezes are Henry’s blood relatives, and they’re keeping Sandy’s son. Weaver hears him crying and starts to fight her way past Eduardo into the house, but he pushes her away and slams the door on her. She bangs on the door, demanding her son back.

Thoughts: Levine is played by Armin Shimerman, AKA Snyder. Andy is played by Rob McElhenney.

All these years later, I’m still mad they killed off Sandy. I also resent having to watch this right after “Becoming, Part 2.”

I don’t get why the show suddenly backed off of Gallant and all but wrote him out after this, but made us put up with Morris for the rest of the series.

I’m not saying what Halpern’s been doing is right, but…I’m also not saying it’s a bad idea.

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