May 10, 2022

ER 10.22, Drive: Role Models

Posted in TV tagged , , at 5:03 pm by Jenn

Chen is having a bad day and it’s only going to get worse

Summary: Abby is trying to draw blood from a very sensitive patient while Sam asks to switch shifts with her. Weaver tells her to find someone else, since Abby is now an intern. Abby’s still waiting to get her board results, though, so she’s still taking nursing shifts. Weaver doesn’t get what’s taking so long with her test results. Abby finishes with her patient, who’s repeated, “Ow” over and over for a whole minute, but who immediately tells Abby she’s “God’s gift to nursing.”

Neela comes to finish wrapping up everything she needs to at County before starting her internship elsewhere. Abby thinks she should spend her last day of freedom doing something fun instead. A man comes to the admit desk looking for a doctor and asks Neela if she’s one. She says no, and Elizabeth tells her to start referring to herself as one or her patients won’t have any confidence in her. Neela admits that she doesn’t feel like she’s earned the title yet. Elizabeth advises her to fake it until she does.

Neela is going to the University of Michigan, so this will be her last day in Chicago. Pratt teases that Abby’s decided to stay at County and do “God’s work.” He boasts that he just leased a new Chrysler. He takes Abby and Neela to the ambulance bay to see it, though they’re not impressed. (Malik is.) Chen passes by on her way in but doesn’t stop to ooh and ahh over the car. Pratt needs to move it anyway, since, you know, ambulances are supposed to go there.

There’s one arriving now carrying a man named Mr. Gould who has end-stage cancer. He stopped receiving chemo a few weeks ago, since it wasn’t working, and doesn’t have a doctor anymore. He wanted to die at home, so Morales the paramedic wonders why he called 911. Probably because he has some liver problem that made him turn yellow, and he freaked out!

Luka’s driving somewhere when he comes across a woman named Linda whose car broke down. He pulls over to help her. They’re right by a construction zone, which means one lane on the three-lane road is already blocked, and Linda’s car is holding up a second. Needless to say, people are mad. Linda’s son, Michael, is in the backseat and complains that he needs to go to the bathroom.

Linda thinks her battery’s dead, so Luka goes back to his car to get jumper cables. As he does, a car swerves out of Linda’s lane and into the one blocked by construction. It plows through some cones, then comes back into Linda’s lane, hitting the pickup truck behind her. That sends the pickup truck into Linda’s car, which she’s standing behind. She ends up pinned between the two vehicles, her legs dangling off the ground.

Carter is back at work for his first shift after the baby’s death. Chuny and Frank both express their condolences, but Carter clearly just wants to focus on his job. Weaver asks how he’s doing and he asks her how Henry is. She hasn’t see him all week, but she’s going to court today. She notes that it helps to keep busy, acknowledging that they’re both handling their grief the same way.

Luka calls 911 for Linda, who can’t feel her legs. Another driver checks on Michael and finds that his door is jammed. Luka puts people to work and gets Michael’s door open, but the boy is unconscious. The driver who caused the crash takes off running. A bold choice, since there are a ton of witnesses.

Chen, sporting a black eye, joins Abby to take care of Mr. Gould. Abby and Chuny choose not to comment on it. Mr. Gould has a DNR but says he’s not ready to die. Abby lists the tests Chen will want to run, and Chen comments that she thought Abby was a nurse today. “Abby’s a nurse every day,” Chuny says. “That’s why she’s gonna kick a%$ as a doctor.”

Chen asks how Abby did on her boards. She knows it’s getting close to the time when she would need to start an internship. Abby asks Chen if she’s okay but Chen ignores her question. Ahh, so the theme of this episode is doctors avoiding having to deal with their feelings. Pratt notices Chen’s eye and tries to get answers out of her, not buying her story that she ran into a door because she didn’t turn on the light.

Neela asks Pratt if he’s going to visit Elgin, who’s being released from the hospital today. She thinks Pratt could be a good role model for him. Paramedics have arrived to tend to Linda, and Luka insists on helping them. Once she’s no longer pinned between the vehicles, he rushes to stop her bleeding. The paramedics don’t want to let Luka ride in the ambulance, but when Linda begs him not to leave her, he declares that he’s going.

Pratt goes to see Elgin so he can pretend to be a good role model or whatever. Elgin wants Pratt to be his family’s regular doctor from now on. Pratt says he works in the ER and usually just sees patients once or twice. The family should go to a clinic instead. Down in the ER, Carter and Sam treat a teen who got hurt in a horseback-riding accident. She wants to keep riding, and Carter isn’t sure if she’s fearless or reckless.

Frank tells Sam that Alex’s school called and reported him absent. Sam calls her apartment to try to get in touch with Steve, guessing that he let Alex play hooky. Abby asks Carter how he and Kem are doing. He doesn’t respond, probably because he’s trying not to cry. She assures him that he’ll get through this. Frank tells them there are a bunch of accident victims coming in, including Linda.

Chen joins Luka to work on Linda while Abby and Carter start examining Michael. The next patient is Antwan, the driver who caused the crash. Pratt tells a paramedic to give him Narcan because he’s showing signs of drug use. Antwan asks Pratt to have his back, since they’re both Black, but Pratt won’t go to bat for a guy who’s under suspicion of DUI.

Linda’s distressed because she still can’t feel her legs. Luka tries to assure her that it might be for a reason other than paralysis. Elizabeth comes to get her for surgery, and Luka tells Linda that Michael is in good hands. He’s also giving Abby and Carter quite a challenge, since he’s not happy to be in the hospital and keeps fighting them. Carter has to pause for a moment when Michael calls out for his father.

Antwan is stable but may have hit his head on something when he tried to run. He tested positive for opiates, so he’s in a lot of trouble. Michael is still in bad shape and Carter is starting to get impatient, so Weaver steps in to help. Frank warns that she’ll be late for court, so Weaver asks Chen to help Carter instead. She admits that he might be too “emotionally vulnerable” to take care of a child right now. Elizabeth is eager to get Linda to the OR, since she has internal bleeding along with damage to her legs. Luka tries to keep her calm.

Neela drives to Michigan as Chen, Carter, and Abby try to stabilize Michael. Carter can’t figure out why his condition hasn’t improved. Chuny comes to get Abby, since Mr. Gould was asking for her, and Carter snaps at them to decide who’s working on Michael. Abby goes to Mr. Gould, who just has complaints about being in the hospital and doesn’t actually need a nurse.

Weaver calls from her car to ask if Abby has gotten her test results yet. She wants Abby to call and bug someone about them. This is definitely a good use of Abby’s time. While she’s looking up the number, Linda’s husband Martin arrives. She takes him to Michael’s trauma room, where he’s still not stable. I’m sure Carter appreciates the pressure of his patient’s father looking over his shoulder.

Sam goes home to confront Steve for letting Alex skip school. Steve also has a friend over, but he leaves as soon as Sam arrives. Sam guesses that that guy brought Steve some drugs, because she’s pretty sure he’s high now. Alex announces that Steve is about to get a job at an apartment building, which will provide him with an apartment with plenty of room for Alex. He’s excited to get to split his time between his parents.

Weaver talks with Brooks before going into a hearing about who can provide Henry with better care. Even though Weaver works during the day, she argues that Sandy’s parents are older, so they can’t rely on them to live long enough to see Henry through his childhood. Brooks tells her that they have a larger support system. The judge is conservative, so Weaver’s at a huge disadvantage here as a single parent (and probably also as a lesbian). Weaver rants that there’s no perfect family arrangement for everyone. The Lopezes arrive with Henry, but Brooks won’t let Weaver go to him.

Sam asks Steve who the guy he had over was. Steve says he was someone with a “business proposition.” I’m going to guess that proposition was dealing drugs. Steve says things seem to be coming together to keep him in Chicago. Alex said he loved him, which makes Steve even more interested in sticking around. He has to go to Dallas to get some of his stuff, but when he comes back in a few days, he’d like to spend time together as a family. Sam pretends to approve of that plan while not actually saying it’ll happen.

Mr. Gould refuses to let Abby bring him a bedpan, since it’s undignified. He thinks he has a week left, at most. She chats with him about his career as an algebra teacher. He wonders what all that teaching was for, since he’s just ended up alone. Luka stops by Linda’s OR, where Elizabeth tells him there’s not much she can do. The orthopedic surgeon wants to try to save Linda’s legs, but Elizabeth notes that they won’t do her much good if her organs are too damaged for her to survive.

Carter, Chen, and Chuny are still working on Michael, and Chen thinks his injuries are too severe for him to recover. Carter finally figures out what the problem is and comes up with a solution. Chen notes that Michael may have been deprived of oxygen for too long to recover, but Carter convinces her to give him a shot. His solution works, and he tells Martin that while Michael has a serious injury, they hope to be able to fix it.

Pratt asks Carter if Chen seems okay. They debate whether she’s dating someone who hit her, or whether her father is responsible for her black eye. Pratt doesn’t want to be the one to ask her what really happened, since their relationship is complicated, so Carter says he’ll do it. Pratt then goes back to Antwan, who’s drunk as well as high. Also, this is his third strike, so he’s going to prison for at least 25 years and possibly the rest of his life. He’s only 20.

Pratt has no sympathy for him since he injured a mother and child. Antwan says he doesn’t have anything anyway, so what does it matter? It’s not like he could get a meaningful job after getting out of prison. He thinks Pratt’s judging him because he grew up somewhere posh, but Pratt is from a rough area and had to build a life for himself from nothing. Antwan says he must be lucky, but Pratt says it’s not about luck. “I guess it’s about not looking back once you’re gone,” Antwan says angrily.

Neela stops to smoke on her way to Michigan. Someone picked up a bad habit from Abby! Sam rushes to pack her and Alex’s things, telling him they’re moving. He refuses to go, as if he has a choice. He calls her a word that should get his mouth washed out with soap and says he’s sick of Sam moving all the time because she’s screwed up. Sam replies that she’s sick of pretending that Steve is a good person. Every time he loses his job, he tracks them down and buys Alex’s affection. He’s a loser, and Sam isn’t going to let him turn Alex into one.

Linda’s surgery is over, so Luka offers to talk to Martin. Though the surgeons were able to stabilize Linda’s internal injuries and are sure she’ll recover, they had to amputate both of her legs. Abby finally gets someone on the phone to ask about her board results, and she’s told that they were sent to County instead of her home. Frank filed the letter and never mentioned it to her.

A man named Ed shows up looking for Mr. Gould – he’s a former student. Mr. Gould remembers flunking him for not following directions on the final. Ed retook the course and now teaches math. He says someone called their old school and told them about Mr. Gould’s situation. Mr. Gould guesses it was Abby, who casually looks away, trying to play innocent.

The judge in Weaver’s case is about to dismiss everyone for the day when Weaver starts advocating for herself. She announces that she loves Henry and loved Sandy. They decided to have a baby together, and she’s grateful they did. Weaver has been there at every moment of his life. The three of them were a family, even if the city or state or country won’t acknowledge that. They still are a family. The judge doesn’t show any sign that she’s moved by this.

Sam and Alex are starting to pack up their car, but Alex sneaks a phone call to County so he can ask Luka to come over. Sam catches him and hangs up. Neela arrives at the University of Michigan as Carter goes to the ICU, where Martin is waiting for Linda and Michael to wake up. He asks if Carter has kids, and Carter says no. Linda wakes up and Martin gently tells her that her legs were amputated, but she’ll be okay.

Abby finds her letter but doesn’t open it right away. Neela goes to an orientation session, then asks to speak to the doctor running it. Trivia: Neela eventually wants to be a dermatologist. Exciting. Abby opens her letter outside the hospital and is thrilled to see that she passed. She tells Carter, though she seems a little uncomfortable having such good news when he’s struggling. He tells her he never doubted that she would pass.

Neela tells her new boss that she never actually chose to become a doctor. She announced that that’s what she wanted when she was a kid, and ever since then, that’s what her family assumed she would be. Now that she’s finished med school, she doesn’t think she can do it. Instead of trying to change her mind or ask why she’s making this decision, the doctor just confirms that she wants to leave the residency program she hasn’t even started yet. Then he complains that she’s leaving them with an empty spot. Oh, boo-hoo. Neela gets that she can’t become a licensed doctor without an internship. Clearly she doesn’t want that anyway.

Ed has been joined by another former student, and they’re having a nice conversation with Mr. Gould. Abby passes him off to Dori, since her shift is over, and Mr. Gould asks if Abby will be his nurse tomorrow. She says no, but she’ll be at County. He can just ask for Dr. Lockhart.

Luka arrives at Sam’s apartment as she and Alex are getting in the car to leave. She tells him they have to go and it’s complicated. She can’t let Steve keep messing with their lives. Luka tries to keep her there to talk, but she drives off. Alex helplessly looks back at Luka as his mom drives him away from the life he’s grown to like.

Pratt finally gets another chance to chat with Chen, who admits without being pressed that her father lashed out and hit her. He doesn’t know what he’s doing anymore. Pratt urges her to talk to someone about her situation, but Chen says she’ll be okay. He tries to convince her to get her father’s nurse to stay with him for a few extra hours so Pratt can take her to dinner. He promises that he’s still her friend.

Antwan is discharged and taken away by the police. Elgin has also been discharged, but he doesn’t have a ride home, so Pratt offers to take him. (Mostly he wants to show off his new car.) The two of them head out with Chen, enjoying the sound system. Well, the guys enjoy it. Chen, not so much. The driver behind them gets mad because Pratt doesn’t take off from a stop fast enough, so he drives up next to them and yells. Elgin flips him off and laughs.

Pratt speeds off, which makes Chen nervous. The other driver catches up to them and Chen is horrified to see that he has a gun. He fires it into their car but doesn’t hit anyone. The two cars start a high-speed chase, but they’re on a bridge, so Pratt can’t get away from the other driver. He takes aim and fires again, and Chen screams.

Thoughts: I like that not only does Luka stop to help Linda but after the crash, other people come over to help, too. They could have said, “Not my problem,” but they tried to be good Samaritans. Humanity isn’t completely horrible after all!

I also like how Abby and Carter have finally gotten past their drama and are able to offer support to each other in difficult times and genuine happiness in good ones.

Pratt doesn’t seem like a Chrysler guy. I would expect him to get something flashy that he could use to impress women. Maybe he just wants to look more professional.

Done with season 10, which means we’re 2/3rds of the way through the series. Next: Lots of guest stars, and then Carter leaves.

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