September 27, 2022

ER 11.20, You Are Here: Drink Every Time Someone Says “Tenure”

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 5:01 pm by Jenn

Unfortunately, this is Chuck’s last episode. Thanks for not dying, Chuck!

Summary: Ray’s alarm clock goes off and he wakes up…on the floor, for some reason. There’s a woman in his bed, so it’s not clear why he didn’t stay up there with her. She offers him some cocaine, but he has to go to work. Pratt plays basketball with a friend, who asks who he’s taking to a party that night. Pratt forgot that their friend Darnell was having a birthday party. This friend guesses that Pratt’s too busy to come. He hasn’t been to their old neighborhood for a while.

Luka’s trying to shave at his and Sam’s place but he’s run out of shaving cream. She tells him from outside the bathroom that there’s more in a drawer. He has cream all over his hands, so he grabs a towel to wipe it off. This dislodges something hidden in the stack of towels: a box from a pregnancy test. Luka puts it back before Sam sees that he found it, and he doesn’t say anything about it.

Carter goes to Weaver’s office, where she tells him that he’s been awarded tenure. He didn’t expect it for another year or so, but she says he earned it. His job is pretty much set for the next 30 years. In traffic on the way to work, Luka first tries to get Sam to open up by being passive-aggressive. Then he asks straight out if the pregnancy test was positive or negative. It was negative, which explains why she didn’t tell him about it. He wishes she hadn’t kept it a secret. Sam finds that funny, since Luka never talks about himself, which means she can never tell when he’s being honest.

A teen named Eugene is in the ER, and Morris and Neela guess that he’s going to give one of the same stories he always does, either that his pills aren’t working or that he lost them. Neela feels bad for him, since his sickle cell anemia has made him dependent on narcotic painkillers, but Morris just sees him as an addict. Pratt reminds him that they take all complaints seriously and sends him to take care of Eugene. Instead, Morris hands him off to Ray, who doesn’t realize Eugene is being dumped on him.

Even though Weaver wanted it kept quiet until she’d talked to a few people, Jerry has heard about Carter getting tenure from someone on his “IM buddy list.” Awww, I miss IMing with my buddies. Ray examines Eugene, who’s complaining of foot pain, but can’t treat him without his mother’s consent. Eugene’s annoyed that he’ll have to come back after she’s off work and spend more time in the waiting area.

Carter tracks down Susan to let her know that he got tenure. She’s surprised, since she didn’t know he’d even applied. He says he was encouraged to apply early. He figures that she’ll get it, too. Susan has her own news to give, though she doesn’t want to: Morris has been named chief resident. He can’t wait to rub it in his father’s face that he accomplished his goal.

Eugene hasn’t left, even though Ray sent him home. Pratt and Neela tell Ray that he’s a frequent flier and knows how to work the system. Morris announces to his co-workers that he’s chief resident. Absolutely no one responds. Pratt’s annoyed, but Susan notes that he turned down the role, so what could they do? Chuny reports that a bunch of patients are coming in after an explosion in an apartment building. Morris gives people instructions to get set up, as if they wouldn’t already know what to do during a mass trauma. Neela wonders how Abby will respond when she hears that Morris is chief resident.

“Jesus Christ,” Abby says. But it’s in an appropriate setting, since she’s in a church, attending the baptism of Jake’s niece. Har har. Back at County, Ray has to duck out of helping with the mass trauma to deal with Eugene, who now says he can’t walk. Ray jumps back in as Carter and Susan start taking care of a woman named Marilyn. She’s having heart problems but it isn’t clear why. When Susan takes a step back to think things over from the basics, she realizes Marilyn has cyanide toxicity. It’s usually fatal, but since Susan caught it early, Marilyn has a good chance.

Ray ducks out again, busting Eugene for walking around when he said he couldn’t. Eugene credits the IV morphine he was given. Ray removes the IV and tells him that now that he’s gotten his “fix,” he can leave. Eugene insists that he needs to stay. He begs to be admitted just for the night. Ray refuses, earning praise from Haleh.

Pratt, Morris, and Neela take care of a guy named Anthony who jumped out of the apartment building to escape the fire. Pratt and Neela disagree with Morris about…something medical. You know. Sam tries to reassure Anthony that even though his roommates haven’t been brought to County, they aren’t necessarily dead; they could be at another hospital. Anthony says he told them to follow him, then jumped. Morris continues focusing on whether he or Pratt is right, instead of trying to comfort his patient.

Paramedics bring in a 12-year-old named Megan who burned both of her hands. Luka thinks she was too young to be left home alone. Hey, just because Alex needs to be supervised 24/7 doesn’t mean every preteen does. Marilyn is doing better but insists that she needs to go home. Carter tells her that her building was damaged in the fire. She says that’s not where she lives. Sam and Luka treat Megan, who tells them her parents went to the mall with her brother. Luka’s short with Sam, which means they’ve traded roles this week, since usually that’s what she does.

After the baptism, Jake and Abby go to a reception at some relative’s house. It seems like everyone already knows who she is, despite not having met her before. They also really want her to have kids. Abby, this would be a good time to fake a page and say you have to run off for a medical emergency. They know you’re a doctor; they won’t question you.

As Susan and Carter keep tending to Marilyn, she tells them that she went to the apartment building to meet someone she’s been talking to online. She got lost and wound up studying a map that told her, “You are here.” It made her realize she’d made a mistake. Jerry tells Susan that Weaver’s looking for her. She wants to meet that evening, so Susan will have to wait all day to learn whether or not she got tenure. To add insult to injury (or, more appropriately, injury to insult), Susan sticks her finger in one of Marilyn’s wounds and gets cut by something sharp.

Sam tells Megan that her parents are on their way to the hospital. Megan wants Sam to play up her injuries so her parents think she almost died. She clearly resents that her mother got remarried and had another child. Jerry comes by to let Sam know that Anthony’s roommates didn’t survive. She suggests to Luka that they call a social worker for Megan. Something’s off with her family. Luka thinks Sam should give Megan a chance to deal with the trauma of the fire before making her talk to a social worker.

Marilyn’s deep wound came from glass, and her rapid HIV test came back negative, so other than needing a tetanus shot, Susan should come out of this fine. She asks Dubenko if Weaver has already announced which surgeons got tenure. She has, so Susan wonders when she’ll hear about hers. Dubenko says only one surgeon got it.

Sam goes behind Luka’s back and asks Susan to okay a call to a social worker for Megan. Ooooh, Sam. Instead, Susan pulls Luka into the conversation. He and Sam both get upset, so Susan tells them to leave their relationship issues at the door when they get to work. If things are bad, they should see a therapist. If they can’t work together peacefully, they shouldn’t work the same shifts. P.S. Megan gets a social worker.

Neela and Ray complain to Pratt that after just a few hours under Morris’ supervision, they’re fed up with him. Also fed up: Jerry, who keeps having to take messages from Pratt’s friends bugging him to go to the party. Pratt tells Carter that non-medical people don’t get what it’s like to work a 12-hour shift. When Morris tries to rally everyone for a trip to Ike’s after work, Carter comments that medical people don’t always get it, either. Everyone tells Morris that they have plans already.

Jerry and some nurses have gotten Carter a cake to celebrate his tenure. Morris is jealous and Susan is just frustrated that she hasn’t gotten news of her own yet. The celebration gets cut short when Marilyn’s husband arrives. He’s confused about why she was in an apartment building when she said she was going to a dance class. Carter plays innocent. Mr. Marilyn asks him to just tell Marilyn that he’s there.

Susan goes to Weaver’s office early, having already guessed that she didn’t get tenure. Weaver blames budget cuts, lack of publications, and other strict criteria Susan didn’t meet. Susan notes that she’s been an attending two years longer than Carter and has excelled in every role she’s been given. She thinks Weaver denied her tenure to keep her running the ER instead of doing research. This way, Weaver doesn’t have to think about the ER or care about what happens there.

Weaver tells Susan that no one fell for her recent push to get grants after seven years of not writing anything. She should be up to a million dollars by now, instead of just the $75,000 she’s brought in. Grants pay Susan’s salary, and she should be embarrassed by her failure in that area. Susan says she probably would have gotten tenure if she’d written a big check for a new wing, like Carter did with his clinic.

Ray’s trying to wrap up for the night so he can go to a gig. Neela’s annoyed with him for once again acting like medicine isn’t his full-time job. As Ray tries to hail a cab on the street, he runs into Eugene outside. He offers Eugene money for the El, then tells him that the hospital isn’t going to admit him or give him any more medication, so he should go home. Eugene says he can’t – his mother’s boyfriend is there, and he “does stuff.” Ray slowly realizes that Eugene isn’t safe at home.

Sam wants Luka to say straight out that he’s mad at her for going behind his back. He won’t, which just proves what she said earlier – he doesn’t talk about things with her. He buries his feelings and pretends he doesn’t have them. He tells her he just doesn’t have a need to share his feelings all the time, especially at work. Poor Haleh has to interrupt.

Carter runs into Susan, who tells him she didn’t get tenure, and that it seems like he got her slot. She’s obviously frustrated about it but doesn’t want to admit it. He guesses that she feels like he bought the slot, even though he’s fulfilled all the other criteria as well. Susan blurts out that he never wanted tenure. This is her home – it’s where she started and where she wants to stay. As for Carter, it seems like half the time, he’d rather be anywhere else.

Pratt’s basketball buddy comes by to pick him up and make sure he goes to Darnell’s party. Ray brings Eugene back in and has him admitted. He tells Pratt that Eugene was raped. Megan recognizes another patient as someone from her building. She tells Sam that the neighbor used to bring food to someone else. She guesses that guy didn’t make it. Megan says that she was the one who called 911, but they didn’t respond as quickly as she thought they would. She called them before she did it. She tried to put out the fire, but it got out of control. Just then, her parents arrive, so Sam doesn’t get to follow up.

The reception is still going on at Jake’s relative’s house, and I really can’t believe Abby’s stayed so long. He tells her his family loves her. Well, except one aunt who didn’t appreciate when Abby says she’s not sure Heaven and Hell exist. Jake says he’s a “pick-and-choose Catholic”; he obeys some commandments and rules, but not all of them. He guesses that Abby finds his large family overwhelming. She does, but she says it’s in a good way. She tells him she never thought families like this actually existed. Jake’s very lucky. That said, she wants to get out of there.

Pratt goes to Darnell’s party, catching up with a bunch of people he hasn’t seen in a while. He seems genuinely happy to have given up a quiet night at home. Susan is annoyed that Ray admitted Eugene; she thinks he’s dumping Eugene on the next shift so he can go to a gig. If he wants to be a rock star, he needs to keep it to the weekends. Medicine is a career, not a plan B. It’s either what he wants to do or it isn’t. Ray’s like, “I can’t believe I’m getting yelled at for doing a nice thing.”

On the drive home, Sam tells Luka that Megan started the fire for attention. Sadly, now she has to live with three deaths and a bunch of injuries on her conscience, plus spend time in juvie. Sam wonders why she and Luka can talk about anything other than their relationship. Maybe Susan was right and they should see a therapist.

Pratt and some of his friends go out to a baseball field after the party and drink on the bleachers. One of the guys recently got laid off, and the others tease that he should become a doctor. It can’t be that hard if Pratt does it. One of the guys has a gun, and he wants to liven up the after-party how they used to, by shooting out lights. He fires at a light on the field, getting the attention of the cops. The guys all run off, laughing.

Ray checks on Eugene, lamenting that he didn’t ask more about his personal life to find out what Eugene’s been going through. Ray offers to stay until Eugene’s mom arrives, even though that means missing his gig. Eugene sees his guitar case and asks if he’s a musician. “Not tonight,” Ray replies.

Susan ends her day moping at home. Chuck tries to cheer her up over not getting tenure. She wishes she hadn’t gotten her hopes up or thought about what they could have used the money for. She really wanted the honor. Still at County, Carter calls Kem and tells her he got tenure. Yes, he got what Susan wanted, and yes, he’s happy, but at least Susan has the person she loves right by her side.

Thoughts: Pratt would have made a great chief resident. If Morris was the second best option, County has a major staffing issue.

Practically the first thing one of Jake’s uncles says to Abby is, “So you divorced or never married?” Dude! Manners!

We all know I don’t get the appeal, but it’s nice that Pratt has a bunch of friends and that they’re so eager to hang out with him.

I’m not sure what the scene at the baseball field was trying to say. That Pratt can never truly escape his past? That he has at least one friend who makes bad decisions? That if Pratt had made different decisions, he might also be the sort of person who carries around a gun and shoots it off for no reason?

1 Comment »

  1. Patrick Sullivan said,

    In the scene where Susan approaches Kerry’s office to discuss her frustration she outlines how many years she’s been at County as compared to Carter but there is no mention of how she left to go to Arizona for 5 years because she wanted to keep an eye on here sister.

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