June 28, 2022

ER 11.7, White Guy, Dark Hair: This Is Not a Drill

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

“I’m not sure how to ask this delicately so I’ll just say it: Did you have sex with your brother?”

Summary: On her way to a meeting with Weaver, Susan takes a call from Chuck, who wants to report that Cosmo ate yams for the first time. I think Chuck might be bored staying home with a baby all day. Weaver tells Susan that her first 30 days as chief of emergency medicine went pretty well. However, she still needs to work on decreasing wait times and the number of people who leave without being treated. Also, too many people are coming back within 48 hours, either because of misdiagnoses or improper treatment. Weaver’s only real advice is the word “leadership.” Thanks for your help, Kerry!

Carter looks through pictures of Kem, which she just emailed him. Jerry notes that she looks happy. Ray and Morris say she’s hot. Shut up, both of you. Paramedics bring in a woman who was found in an alley with numerous injuries. They’re not sure of her name, since she doesn’t have an ID and is unable to speak clearly, but they think it’s Louise. Carter, Ray, and Sam start treating her, telling a cop named Wilson that he can’t question her yet. Luka takes over for Carter, who has to go back to another patient, and Louise manages to tell him and Sam that she was raped.

Sometime later, Sam gives Wilson the results of Louise’s rape exam, which was performed while she was unconscious to spare her more trauma. Wilson confirms that her name is Louise and that she lives right near the alley where she was found. It’s possible that she fell off a fire escape while trying to get away from her attacker. Wilson is passing the case off to detectives, and he lets Sam know that she’ll be questioned.

Susan tells the staff that they need to see their patients within 15 minutes of them being brought to an exam room. Everyone agrees, but they’re not listening that closely. They even start leaving in the middle of the chat. To be fair, they can’t treat patients while they’re standing around being told how to treat patients. Abby goes to see a teenager named Mi-Cha who has stomach pain. She thinks she has a kidney stone, since her father had one, and she tries to downplay her condition.

Sam and Alex moved in with Luka the night before and word is already out. Fun fact: Malik has been living with his girlfriend for six years. A detective named Patrie arrives to start investigating Louise’s attack. Sam tells him that she has a tube in her throat now, so she can’t really talk. Plus, both of her arms are injured, so she can’t write out answers to his questions. Patrie treats Louise gently and manages to learn that her attacker was a stranger but she could identify him if she saw him again. Sam puts a stop to the questions there.

While examining Mi-Cha, Abby determines that she’s in labor. In fact, she’s already ten centimeters dilated. Despite this, she denies being pregnant. Luka and Sam tell Patrie about Louise’s condition, which is critical and could get worse. Patrie insists on asking her more questions, since he thinks Louise is the victim of a serial rapist and is the first person to get a good look at him. Sam wants to find a way to help Louise answer questions, but Luka’s priority is her care.

Carter joins Abby, Haleh, and Chuny as they’re taking Mi-Cha up to have the baby. She still insists she’s not pregnant. Abby realizes they won’t make it upstairs before the baby comes, so Carter and Abby deliver him right by the elevators. Even then, Mi-Cha won’t accept that the baby is hers.

Later, Haleh tells Carter that Abby hasn’t made any progress getting Mi-Cha to admit that she was pregnant. She wants Carter’s help, but he thinks this is a problem for the psych department to handle. Haleh’s basically like, “If you don’t want to give Abby what she needs, you can tell her yourself.” Frank makes a comment to Luka about Sam and Alex moving in with him, then says it’s none of his business. Then don’t say anything in the first place!

Luka notices that Patrie is still around and tells Sam. She says Luka shouldn’t have been so dismissive. He’s not happy that Sam discussed so many details of Louise’s condition with the detective; she deserves privacy. Sam says she also deserves a chance to help the police find her attacker. Luka won’t even consider their options. Sam wants to deflate the balloon in the crich tube in Louise’s throat for a few minutes so she can talk. She’s sure Louise will be fine without oxygen for a brief time.

Luka doesn’t like the idea, and he thinks Sam is taking this personally. She always wants to stand up for women who have been assaulted. Wow, what a monster! Luka thinks this stems from Sam’s relationship with Steve. She says firmly that he never raped her, though let’s not forget that when they met, she was 15 and he was 23, so yeah, actually, he committed statutory rape. Also, there was some amount of abuse. But Sam wants to focus on Louise, as well as on what could happen if they don’t help the police find her attacker.

Abby tells Carter that Mi-Cha is totally stable psychologically except when it comes to the baby. She’s worried about getting home by 4:00 so her parents don’t worry. Carter and Abby try to get her to talk about babies in general, but she doesn’t get why, or why there’s a baby in her room. Abby can’t figure out if she’s pretending she didn’t give birth or if she’s actually disassociating. To make things more difficult, Mi-Cha’s mother has arrived, but Abby can’t break confidentiality and tell her what’s going on.

Paramedics bring in some preteen girls in scouting uniforms, but the information they give Neela and Ray doesn’t match the patients. For example, they say one girl is a 43-year-old man; another supposedly has a blood pressure of 73 but she’s awake and talking on a cell phone. A woman named Ms. Scurry brings in 35 more girls and announces that they’re conducting a trauma drill. Apparently no one gave the staff a heads up.

Patrie tells Sam that Louise is a widow who lives alone, and they haven’t been able to find any family members. The rapist has attacked four other women in the past five weeks. He pretends to have gotten lost while delivering pizza. He beats his victims, one of whom died. But each has provided a clue that gets the police closer to the attacker. If Louise dies, they’ll lose a lot of clues.

The staff try to triage the drill participants, which takes them away from helping actual people. Wendall chats with Mi-Cha, who’s still focused on getting home by 4:00. She helps take care of her brother, who’s 23. She objects to having to answer more questions. Wendall tells Abby and Carter that she’ll talk to Mi-Cha’s mother and try to find out more about her brother without violating Mi-Cha’s confidentiality. They debate whether the baby is considered abandoned and should be turned over to Social Services. Carter decides to just tell Mi-Cha’s mother what’s going on. She says Mi-Cha’s father won’t let her come home when he finds out.

Sam checks on Louise and tells her there might be a way for her to talk to Patrie. It requires deflating the crich balloon and blocking the tube in her throat so she can whisper, but it’s risky because she would have to have her oxygen supply cut off. Sam promises that she would stop if there was a complication. Louise agrees to do this if Luka approves of it.

Patrie tells Sam he’s leaving for a few hours but will come back later to check in with Louise. Sam says there’s something else they can try with her. Susan deals with a super-eager scout named Trina, who is going to make a fantastic helicopter mom in about ten years. Weaver chastises Susan for not warning the staff about the drill (even though it was supposed to be a surprise). Susan would like some help figuring out which of the rules she’s supposed to follow and which she can sidestep.

Things are getting more chaotic with scouts running around and Morris turning up soaked because of a mistake with a fake decontamination shower that contained actual water. Susan enlists Weaver to help out, and she at least gets some of them to be quiet. Sam helps Louise talk to Patrie, though Luka doesn’t appear to know what she’s doing and he goes to see another patient without checking in. Louise is able to tell Patrie that her attacker was white and medium height.

Abby reports to Carter that Mi-Cha has started opening up about her family, and her brother is on his way in. Abby says the family is pretty conservative and traditional, so it’s likely that Mi-Cha hid her pregnancy from them. Carter finds Kem’s pictures in a drawer and asks who printed them out. Frank points the finger at Morris. Carter chases him down but Morris is getting on an elevator and can’t talk right now. Also, this never comes back up, so who cares?

Carter goes back to Mi-Cha’s room and tries to get her to take a look at the baby. He tells her how lucky she is to have him. He’s getting really intense and Wendall calls him off as he’s trying to get Mi-Cha to hold her son. Louise continues describing her attacker to Patrie, but she ends up vomiting and then aspirating it into her lungs. Later, Luka quietly chastises Sam for taking such a big risk. Again, he thinks she took the situation personally. He confirms that no one else knows that she did the procedure with the balloon on her own.

Mi-Cha’s brother, Yong-Jo, arrives and Abby tells Carter that he’s developmentally delayed. Carter thinks she and Wendall should handle things from here on out. Wendall asks Yong-Jo about his time with Mi-Cha, and he says she never goes out; she always stays home with him. It’s obvious that he’s been told to say this. Mi-Cha isn’t sure why he’s there, so he tells her he came to see her and the baby. Mi-Cha finally goes over to see the baby as Yong-Jo promises that he didn’t do anything wrong – he didn’t tell anyone.

Trina starts reviewing all the remaining drill participants, really wanting to be helpful. Susan tells Malik to discharge all the fake patients. Trina chatters about her badges and wanting to help and blah blah blah, and eventually Susan decides it’s time to call an end to the whole thing. It’s the most assertive she’s been all day, and the staff is finally listening. She tells Ms. Scurry that they don’t need a drill – they dealt with a helicopter crash and handled all those real patients just fine. Everyone can go.

Pratt catches Chen as she’s leaving with her father. (Pratt didn’t hear about the end of the drill, so he sends a scout up to the OR floor, telling her to hang out for half an hour or so, then come back down.) Susan passes by and tells him the drill’s over and they’re back to seeing patients within 15 minutes of their admission. Chen, who missed Susan’s management weakness earlier, comments that she’s taken to her new role pretty well.

After spending the episode thinking that Yong-Jo was the father of Mi-Cha’s baby, Abby tells Carter the real story: Mi-Cha is secretly dating a guy across the street and has been having Yong-Jo cover for her while they’re together. Whew! Mi-Cha now seems to be accepting that the baby’s hers. Abby tells Wendall that this case seems to have been tough on Carter, since he and Kem lost their baby. Wendall didn’t know about that.

Pratt walks Chen and her father out, seeing how difficult it’s become for her to take care of him. He gets agitated and tears out his G-tube, which was placed to help him eat. Chen tells Pratt and Dori the nurse that she’ll replace her father’s G-tube and then take him home. Dori looks to Pratt for approval, though, as Chen notes, she outranks him. Pratt says that her father should be in a nursing home; at the very least, Chen shouldn’t be giving him so much medical care on her own.

Susan comes to check on Luka and Sam, who haven’t been able to revive Louise. Luka lies that the crich balloon must have burst, something that’s known to happen at times. After almost 40 minutes, he decides they’re not going to be able to save her. When he and Sam are the only two people left in the room, she notes that an autopsy will show that the balloon didn’t burst. Luka bursts it himself to cover up what really happened.

Carter looks in on Mi-Cha, who’s now holding her baby. He apologizes to Wendall for overstepping with Mi-Cha and starts to explain that he and Kem lost their baby. Wendall says she heard and asks if he’s getting help. Sam is still with Louise’s body, wanting to finish up with her before she’s taken to the morgue instead of letting another nurse do it. She admits to Luka that she shouldn’t have done what she did. Luka tries to reassure her, noting that Louise could have died from her injuries anyway. Sam did what she could to help.

Sam is sad that Louise was so traumatized. All she could remember about her attacker was that he was a white guy with dark hair. Sam risked Louise’s life for information that isn’t going to help the cops at all. Luka doesn’t know what to say, so he just holds her.

Thoughts: Yong-Jo is played by Randall Park.

The average wait time to be seen in the ER is ten hours. What is the staff doing all day, then??

Why would you run a drill with fake patients during the staff’s work hours when you can just observe them with real patients? If you’re going to do an activity that takes up so much of the staff’s time, do it outside of work hours. Don’t punish people who need actual medical care by tying up the doctors and nurses with fake emergencies. Also, using kids as the patients seems like a good way to expose them to traumatic situations (and diseases, from hanging around the hospital all day).

1 Comment »

  1. Silver said,

    I’m going through the show for the first time and appreciate these recaps soooooooo much. I am going to be lost without the rest to make it through the end hahaha but for real, thanks for this! I’ll prob always have this pulled up on rewatches.

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