May 17, 2022

ER 11.1, One for the Road: To Everything There Is a Season

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

Admittedly, I admire Pratt for trying to run someone else’s trauma while being treated himself

Summary: We rewind a little to just before the end of “Drive,” when an angry driver started shooting at Pratt, Chen, and Elgin. Pratt tries to escape him while Chen says helpful things like, “We’ve got to get away from him!” The guy keeps firing, eventually hitting Chen in the leg. He intentionally crashes into Pratt’s car (and another), and Pratt’s unable to keep control. He drives off the bridge and into the river.

Chen’s unable to move, and when Pratt tells Elgin to get out of the car, Elgin says he can’t feel his legs. Pratt decides to pull Elgin out, but Elgin can’t move his arms to take Pratt’s hand. Chen calls 911 while Pratt uses a flashlight to assess her and Elgin’s injuries. As the car sinks, Elgin says he doesn’t want to die. Pratt calmly frees Chen from her seatbelt, assuring Elgin that he’ll help him next. He thinks Elgin broke his neck. The front end of the car tips forward because of the engine’s weight.

At County, Morris is doing what he does best: eating and complaining. All the interns got to go on vacation, so he’s stuck working an overnight shift. Wah. You’re not drowning in a car. You can deal. Frank points out that he called in sick a bunch, so it’s only fair. Morris is disappointed to see that the attending on duty is Weaver, who most definitely won’t let him go early or, like, be nice or anything.

Pratt and Chen keep Elgin above water as the car continues sinking. Pratt plans to open a window so everyone can swim out, though Elgin isn’t going to be able to do that on his own. Unfortunately, Pratt’s spiffy new Chrysler has power windows, so they won’t open. Elsewhere, in some unspecified location, Sam and Alex stop at a motel for the night.

Pratt struggles to open a door but doesn’t have any luck. He’s starting to get more stressed, but he’s still pretty calm (much calmer than most people would be in this situation). Elgin remembers from his physics class that they need to wait for the water pressure to equalize. That means letting the water get even higher. The car fully submerges and hits the bottom of the river. The three wait until they can escape.

As Sam checks into the motel, Alex tells the clerk to call the police because she kidnapped him. Sam, leave him there and go somewhere tropical. You deserve a vacation. Pratt tells Chen to go underwater and open the passenger-side front door. She’s scared but she gets out and swims to the surface. As Pratt takes Elgin underwater, Chen gets help from a crew on a police boat. Pratt surfaces without Elgin, who got stuck on the door, and yells for help. The rescuers tell him to get on the boat while they send divers to get Elgin.

Carter wraps up a shift as Luka returns from trying to keep Sam and Alex from leaving town. Weaver’s annoyed that he left during his shift, even though he blames a family emergency. She tells him he can go home because she’s filling in for him. If he ever leaves in the middle of another shift, he shouldn’t bother to come back. Luka tells Frank to call someone in administration and tell them Sam no longer works at County.

Carter asks Weaver how court went. She just says it was okay. As he leaves, she joins Morris to deal with a new patient. A cop has dragged in a drug dealer he thinks tucked her stash inside herself when she was busted. And by “inside herself,” I mean exactly what you think I mean. Since the dealer (no name; I’ll call her Amanda after the actress playing her) doesn’t have any medical complaints, Weaver won’t agree to retrieve the drugs. She can’t do a pelvic exam without a patient’s consent.

Luka and Carter are heading out at the same time, and Carter asks what’s up with Sam. Luka says she left with Alex and he doesn’t think they’ll be coming back. Abby is finishing up her last nursing shift before starting her internship. Neela shows up, having driven back from Michigan after ditching her internship before it started. The cop (also without a name; I’ll call him DiMaggio after the actor playing him) bugs Weaver to help him with Amanda, but she continues to refuse.

Paramedics radio in about Pratt, Chen, and Elgin’s accident, which also injured people on the bridge. Weaver immediately regrets sending Luka home. She asks Abby to stay, though “asks” isn’t really accurate when Weaver wants you to do something. Abby will be staying. Pratt waits for news on Elgin at the river while Chen is taken off to the hospital. The rescuers have pulled Elgin onto the police boat but aren’t doing anything to save him. Pratt is upset to learn that he didn’t survive.

A woman brings in a preteen boy who stuffed LED lights up his nose. I guarantee this kid would be Alex’s best friend if they ever met. Abby can’t believe Neela left so soon after getting to Michigan. Neela offers to help when victims from the car crash start coming in, but Weaver tells her that since she’s not a student at County anymore, she’s not covered to work there. All she can do is observe.

Chen and Pratt are brought in next, and she IDs Morris’ patient as the shooter. Pratt insists on skipping a medical exam, but Abby won’t let him since he has a head injury. He’s stable while Chen is struggling to breathe. Pratt gives instructions for her care from his trauma room. Neela jumps in to tend to him, saying that since he’s a resident, no one will care if she kills him. Heh.

Morales the paramedic comes in snottily asking for a doctor. Um, they’re all busy, dude. Don’t act like they’re ignoring you because they’re slacking off. He reveals that Elgin isn’t dead after all – he still has a pulse. Neela’s sad to learn that Elgin was also involved in the crash. Weaver sends Abby to take care of him, giving her a 12-hour early start on her internship. Elizabeth joins her, proud that Abby gets to run the trauma.

Pratt gets cleared but needs a few stitches. Instead of letting Morris do them, Pratt wants to do them himself. Probably a good call. Chen isn’t doing well, and Pratt tries to join Weaver to take care of her. “Back off, Pratt, or I’ll check your rectal tone with my crutch,” Weaver says. Chen asks someone to call her father’s nurse and ask her to stay with him longer. As she continues declining, Chuny tells Weaver that Abby needs her. She leaves Elizabeth to take over Chen’s care.

Frank tells Weaver that Sandy’s brother, Eduardo, is on the phone and sounds upset. She thinks something’s wrong with Henry and orders Frank to find out if he’s okay. DiMaggio is in the process of getting a search warrant for Amanda, but Weaver isn’t intimidated. She blows off the mom of the kid with the LED nose and some other patient’s family member so she can take care of Elgin. Frank tells her that Henry’s fine but Eduardo wants to meet with her ASAP. Weaver has to blow him off, too. She and Abby disagree about some sort of treatment, which isn’t a great way for Abby to start her internship.

Pratt ends up letting Morris do his stitches after all. Weaver has gone back to Chen’s trauma room, but Chuny comes to tell her that Abby is giving Elgin a thoracotomy, a procedure that’s usually done by a surgeon and definitely NOT done by a baby intern. Weaver’s upset, but when Abby tells her that he had a bunch of blood in his chest, her actions are a little more understandable. Meanwhile, Neela leaves Elgin’s mom a message about the crash.

Morris finishes Pratt’s stitches, which he’s slept through. Morris thinks he was knocked out by the morphine he was given, but Pratt won’t wake up when Morris shakes him. He realizes Pratt’s head injury is worse than anyone thought. Amazingly, Morris proves that he knows how to do his job and he swings into action.

Abby’s attempt to save Elgin hasn’t worked, and there’s nothing Elizabeth can do. Lily comes to get someone to help Morris with Pratt, and all of Elgin’s doctors go with her. Neela stays behind and tells Chuny they should close Elgin’s chest so his mother doesn’t have to see him like this. Morris sends Pratt to surgery, and Weaver is surprisingly worried about his condition.

Carter goes home to get Kem so they can go out to dinner. She wants to stay in instead, and she appears to want to keep her distance from him. Back at County, Abby tells Neela that Pratt needs surgery and might have long-term complications. She starts to help Neela finish getting Elgin ready for his mom to see him, though Neela urges her to go home and get some sleep before she has to start her internship. Mostly, Neela doesn’t want her there asking questions about why she left Michigan.

Luka and Sam both have trouble sleeping, so he calls her, but she doesn’t answer the phone. Carter also has a sleepless night, his last with Kem before she goes back to the Congo. Elizabeth takes Pratt to the ICU after his operation and puts him next to Chen, who’s sad to see her ex in such bad shape. When Luka arrives for his shift in the morning, Weaver tells him that Pratt hasn’t woken up yet.

Frank tells Weaver that Eduardo has left two more messages. Dude, unless Henry is in actual danger, stop it. Two interns, Howard and Ray, arrive for their orientation. Only Ray will have a significant role on the show, so don’t get too attached to Howard. Abby’s a couple minutes late, but Weaver puts her to work instead of sending her to orientation (she already knows everything about the hospital anyway). She gives Abby a lab coat and says, “Welcome to County, Dr. Lockhart.” DiMaggio’s like, “Awesome, a new doctor to bug about Amanda.”

Luka tells a couple that their baby has botulism and will need a breathing machine for as long as a month. Her father sheepishly admits to giving her honey, which long-time viewers of the show will remember is a big no-no. As the couple fights, Abby asks Luka if he knows anything about a search warrant. He just tells her they’re not honoring it. When DiMaggio complains, Abby notes that there’s nothing in the warrant that says someone at County has to do Amanda’s exam. They can’t follow the police’s orders to do cavity searches; people will hear about it and stop coming to the ER.

LED kid is still waiting for treatment. Abby wonders when the batteries will die. She accepts the next patient the paramedics bring in, a man named George who has tonsil cancer. Who knew that was a thing? He’s bleeding and needs medical intervention to get it to stop. Haleh joins Abby, complimenting her new coat. Fortunately, George doesn’t get anything on it when he coughs up blood. Abby suggests a breathing tube and a transfusion, but George has a DNR. If he starts bleeding to death, it will just mean his time is up.

Alex tries to get attention by pretending he drowned in the motel pool. Sam, I’m telling you, ditch him. She suggests places they can go, but Alex only wants to go back to Chicago. When he refuses to get out of the pool, she jumps in fully clothed and pretends to agree that they’ll just stay there for the rest of their lives.

Abby wants to try to treat George with nebulized epinephrine, which could constrict his blood vessels enough to stop his bleeding. It would only be temporary, so George declines, though he’s shaken over having to make that decision. He’s getting tired from blood loss and worries that his death will be painful. Haleh promises that they’ll give him morphine if it is. George asks Abby to stay with him for a while, but as a doctor, she can’t do that anymore. Haleh says she’ll stay with him.

Pratt’s awake and not happy to have a tube down his throat. Chen gets a nurse to give him a pen and paper so he can communicate. The first thing he writes is, “I have a shift at 8 a.m.” Chen teases that he’s four hours late. (But the fact that he remembers his schedule and knows where he is and who she is are good signs.)

Luka tells Abby that her doctor’s coat suits her. He gets a collect call as Neela invites Abby to get breakfast with her. Neela gave up her apartment to move to Michigan so she spent the night in the on-call room. Abby asks for an update on Pratt and Chen; Neela says Chen’s okay but she thinks Pratt is still unconscious.

Weaver’s back at court, which is where Eduardo finally gets in touch with her. She doesn’t want to talk to him, and Brooks tells him it’s not appropriate anyway. Eduardo makes the argument that his parents are retired, so they’re home all the time and can take care of Henry. He asks for two minutes to talk. We fast-forward to the outcome of that conversation: Weaver gets custody of Henry, but the Lopezes will take care of him when she’s at work and get to see him on holidays. After all that drama, everyone’s happy.

Abby is handling her caseload like a pro. Luka has ducked out of another shift and left her instructions to look after Ray and Howard. Isn’t there a chief resident to do this stuff? Thanks to that collect call from Alex, Luka is at the motel to try again to get Sam not to leave Chicago. Luka, is she really worth all this? You still barely know each other. I’m just saying, if you let her go, you might wind up with someone better.

Carter and Kem to the river to scatter the baby’s ashes. They’re not sure what to say to make the ritual special. Carter tells the baby he’ll always be in their hearts. Kem recites Ecclesiastes 3 in French (“To everything there is a season…”) and cries as Carter releases the ashes. He asks her to stay in Chicago, but she says she can’t. He tells her he wants to marry her, but even that doesn’t change her mind.

Amanda’s annoyed that she’s been kept at County for 18 hours, but Abby’s even more annoyed that she’s taken up a bed and required two court orders to deal with. Now the head of the public health department is coming to do her exam. This guy hasn’t done a pelvic exam in ten years, by the way, so it might not be pleasant. Amanda starts to realize that she’s overplayed her hand. Abby gives her the option of letting her do the exam right now instead. Cut to Abby delivering the drugs to DiMaggio after Amanda retrieved them herself.

Haleh asks Abby to sign George’s death certificate. He bled out about an hour ago. Abby’s upset that Haleh didn’t come get her, but Haleh says she was busy. Abby confirms that Haleh stayed with George and made sure he was comfortable. Neela brings Abby coffee and finally tells her about how she left her internship in Michigan. Abby can’t believe that after eight years of school, Neela has just one year of internship standing in the way of her becoming a real doctor, and she won’t take it on. Neela admits that she’s not sure she wants to be a doctor.

Luka bugs Sam about running away, and she reminds him that she never stays in one place for a long time. He tells her she can’t keep running away forever. Sam thinks she can. She has to, for Alex. Luka asks if this is the life she wants for her son or herself. She admits that she doesn’t know what else to do. He promises that he’ll help her with whatever she needs back in Chicago. Sam struggles to let people help her, but Luka thinks trying would be a better option than always being on the run.

Carter and Kem sit by the water until she has to go to the airport. They’re going to try a long-distance relationship, but she wants some time to herself. He gently asks for an answer to his sort-of marriage proposal from earlier, but he understands that she’s not ready to make that commitment yet. She’s emotional that their whirlwind romance came to this point after everything felt so right. Carter is willing to give her the time she needs to figure things out, but unfortunately, they’ll be thousands of miles away from each other while she takes it.

Thoughts: Ray is played by Shane West.

This episode is not to be confused with the similarly titled “One More for the Road.”

I guess all the good Samaritans in the city were at the scene of Linda’s crash because no one helps Pratt, Chen, and Elgin.

Imagine getting a role on ER and having to tell your family and friends that you play a woman who stuffs a bag of drugs inside herself.

After years of med school, it must be really cool to have someone call you a doctor for the first time. Probably also a little terrifying.

The Weaver/Lopez thing is ridiculous. All they wanted was time with Henry, so they took Weaver to court?? Unbelievable.

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