October 25, 2022

ER 12.2, Nobody’s Baby: Last Resorts

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:56 pm by Jenn

I was wrong – Ray does have a heart after all

Summary: Despite all but breaking up after finding Alex, Sam and Luka are still together. Sort of. She’s clearly not into it anymore, but fully breaking up means moving out, so she needs to find a new apartment first. Luka hasn’t gotten the hint, as he thinks they just need some time apart, which he would use to visit his father back in Croatia. Sam tells him that she’s looking for a new place to live. She needs to think things over before they do anything else.

Abby races to catch an El train, annoyed when a couple of women she asked to hold the doors ignore her. She meets up with Neela and they notice the women talking about them. One of them comments snarkily that Neela’s shoes look comfortable and match her backpack. What is this, middle school? On the way off the train, one of the women hurts her ankle. Neela examines it for her, telling her she may have broken it. The woman says she wants a second opinion, so Neela tags in Abby, who says, “Your ankle may be broken and you’re a b%$@#.”

At County, Morris complains to Pratt that Abby, Ray, and Neela are all liabilities. They’re more competent than you are, pot boy. He says they have no brain, no courage, and no heart. I’m not sure which is which. Neela has no courage and Ray kind of has no heart, but Abby definitely has a brain. Also, when Morris says they need to go see the wizard, Pratt is skeptical that he would consider himself that.

Morris announces his presence to the residents, reminding everyone that he’s the chief. Abby calls him “Big Chief Pain in the A%$.” Morris gets all, “Don’t make fun of people with Native American heritage! I’m 1/16th Chocktaw!” Abby’s not on screen but I assume she’s rolling her eyes. Chuny says that Jake sent everyone a postcard from San Francisco. So if anyone was wondering how things worked out between him and Abby (and I doubt anyone was), there’s your answer.

Luka brings in three interns, including Jim, who worked with Ray in the previous episode. Chuny tells him that one of his patients may have died. As Morris heads off with the interns, Ray tells Abby and Neela to pick numbers between 1 and 10. The winner, Neela, gets to pick between Jim and another intern, Munson. Ray has apparently already called dibs on the third, Clemons.

Paramedics bring in a pregnant woman named Claire who was in a car accident and is now having contractions. Ray thinks she’ll be giving birth today, so she asks Sam to call her friend Toni so she can be there. Luka tries to pull Sam aside for a chat, but Sam says she’s too busy. She also won’t let Luka try to hand her work off to a new nurse named Inez.

Ray does a little teaching, telling Clemons that the #1 rule in the ER is if you don’t know something, just fake it. Remind me never to consent to getting medical care from Ray. He tells her to go get something, but she doesn’t know what it is, so she asks Abby. Abby tells her that the #1 rule in the ER is if you don’t know something, ask. That’s how you learn. Yes, that’s definitely a better rule than Ray’s. Abby heads off without telling Clemons how to use the thing Ray told her to get, so Clemons turns to Neela. Neela’s #1 rule in the ER is if you don’t know something, look it up. If someone gives you the answer, you’ll just forget it.

Abby checks in with Munson, who is a man of few words (and possibly also little knowledge, since he’s reading a scan backwards). She tells Pratt that she doesn’t think Munson likes her. Pratt scoffs at that, since everyone likes her. He also thinks she did a great job teaching Jake. He’s under the impression that Jake isn’t at County now because he didn’t match there.

Chuny asks Pratt to get on the radio and pronounce a death for some paramedics. Who knew that was allowed? Paramedics bring in a kid who passed out at a mall food court. Abby quizzes Munson on what to do, and he’s hesitant and leaves something out. She assures him he’ll get the hang of it. “I know,” he replies shortly. You know, buddy, you’re not making a great first impression here.

After Pratt’s done pronouncing the patient dead for the paramedics, Chuny tells him there’s someone in the waiting room who asked to see him. It’s Charlie. Pratt pretends not to know him and tells Chuny to make him wait. You would dare make the great Danny Glover wait?? Monster! Pratt goes to check in with Ray, who’s giving Claire an ultrasound. The baby’s breech and Claire’s already started delivering him without even realizing. Everyone stays calm, but the previously serene Claire is now getting anxious.

Toni arrives and Luka tells her that Claire wasn’t injured in the car accident. Toni explains that Claire is a surrogate, and her baby is actually Toni and her husband’s. Luka can’t tell Toni how the baby is without Claire’s consent. He still wants to talk to Sam, who’s still busy. Luka, get the hint. You look pathetic right now. Claire’s labor is progressing, but since she’s almost full-term, the only problem seems to be the baby being breech.

Pratt grabs Inez for a trauma involving a shooting. He asks if she’s worked one before and she shows him a scar on her arm from her own shooting experience. She simply explains that she grew up in the Bronx. Neela and Jim go see their next patient, Drew, who happens to be the woman who hurt her ankle at the El station. She wonders if her day could get any worse.

Pratt runs into Charlie when he walks through the waiting room to receive his next patient. Charlie guesses that Pratt knows who he is, and he asks why Pratt came to his house. Pratt says he wanted to see Charlie for himself, and now he’s done with him. Charlie follows him to the ambulance bay, saying he didn’t know Pratt was in Chicago (he was in Detroit before that). He understands Pratt’s anger toward him and wants to explain himself. Pratt replies that he doesn’t need anything from Charlie and never has. He doesn’t want to see Charlie anymore.

Charlie ignores him and tells him that he has a half brother and sister; they’re Pratt’s family, too. Jocelyn is in college and Chaz is a high school senior with a swim meet that night. Pratt scoffs that family is suddenly important to Charlie. Charlie keeps talking as Pratt and Inez start working on their patient. Charlie, go inside and ask for a guy named Luka. You two will probably get along really well. He tells Pratt he’s sorry he walked away and doesn’t want his son to make the same mistake.

Abby, Luka, Sam, and Malik work on the boy from the food court (I’ll call him Johnny Doe), and Abby catches a mistake Luka almost makes with a medication. She lets Munson take charge but he’s still tentative. Pratt brings in his patient and tells the other team to take Johnny somewhere else. Luka agrees but Abby thinks it’s too soon to move him.

She asks Luka if she did something wrong or isn’t handling the case correctly. He tells her that Sam’s moving out, which is all Abby needs to know about why he’s not himself today. She offers to listen if he wants to talk, but he notes that if he wanted to talk, Sam would probably be staying put. Abby’s like, “Now I know our breakup was your fault.” Heh.

Coburn comes to the ER to examine Claire. Oh, hey, Coburn! Where ya been? Whatcha been up to? Delivering babies, I bet. Claire objects to the recommendation of a C-section, but there’s a 25 percent chance that there will be complications if she delivers naturally. With a C-section, there’s only a 2 percent chance. Coburn agrees to wait to make a final decision.

Ray’s frustrated that Claire isn’t thinking about what’s best for the baby. Coburn reminds him that she can’t do anything without Claire’s consent. Ray notes that she’s the surrogate, not the baby’s actual mother. Coburn says it’s still her body at question here, and she has the right to refuse surgery.

Abby tries to sneak a peek at Jake’s postcard but gets called away. Chuny tells her that Johnny’s friends, who ditched him at the mall (little jerks), are there to find out what’s going on. When Abby asks if Johnny took something, they try to run off again. Chuny wrangles them and Abby interrogates them until they spill that Johnny, whose real name is Liam, is having problems because his parents are divorcing. The only thing they can offer up that’s medically relevant is that his family is vegetarian, but Liam ate two big cheeseburgers.

Liam’s unresponsive now, so Abby goes back to him. She quizzes Munson some more, but Malik knows the answers better than he does. Abby realizes that Liam could have a metabolic issue. She wants to draw his blood right in the ER lobby instead of waiting for him to go upstairs for more tests. The sample needs to be cold, so she tells Munson to get some ice. He grabs the first cold thing he sees, Morris’ Frappuccino. Abby puts a vial of blood in it and sends Munson to the lab.

Ray tries to get Claire to understand the risk she’s taking by not agreeing to the C-section. This runs up against Sam’s attempts to keep her calm. Claire keeps refusing the C-section, since she wants to have her own kids some day. I guess she doesn’t get that it’s possible to give birth naturally even after a C-section. She asks to consent as a last resort, only if the baby’s in danger. That’s good enough for Ray, and he downplays the risks Sam tries to go over with her. They bicker in the hallway and Sam reminds Ray that part of his job is informing the patient of possible outcomes.

Pratt’s gunshot victim isn’t doing well, and Neela tells him they need to pronounce her dead. He does, then chastises her and Ray for second-guessing him when they don’t know as much as he does. Well, if you think you can save her, then keep working! Don’t give in to them and then pretend they have the authority here! Can everyone just leave their personal problems outside the hospital, please?

Liam’s doing worse and Luka isn’t happy that Abby never passed him on to the ICU. But it turns out her guess about a metabolic problem was right, and she knows how to treat it. She tells Luka how she applied her knowledge of the patient’s emotional state (depression over the divorce) and physical state (normally a vegetarian) to determine what was wrong. (She thinks Liam’s family is vegetarian because his metabolic disorder makes him unable to handle the protein in meat.) Luka and Malik both praise her for the catch.

Luka goes out to meet an ambulance and finds Alex playing basketball on the hoop no one uses anymore. He clearly still wants Alex to be a part of his life, but it’s not clear if Alex feels the same way. Really, I think he doesn’t know how to feel because he’s not used to having a father figure who actually wants to spend time with him. Neela brings Abby with her to take care of Drew, who’s either been waiting for six hours or is someone who exaggerates. I’m guessing it’s the latter, since she threatens to call their supervisor if they don’t treat her well.

Toni’s husband, Rod, has arrived and is upset that Claire won’t consent to the C-section. They have a contract in which she says she’ll undergo any necessary medical procedures related to the pregnancy. If Claire doesn’t consent, Rod threatens not to pay her for her service. He’ll get a court order if he has to. Ray tries to defuse the situation, now taking Claire’s side because he can’t do anything to force her to consent.

Rod and Toni tell Ray that they spent a ton of time and money trying to conceive but kept having miscarriages. They gave Claire the last of their embryos. Hmmm, I wonder if there’s a way to parent a child that doesn’t involve a pregnancy or a surrogacy. Like, maybe there are kids out there who don’t have parents, and they can be matched up with people who want kids but can’t have them? Maybe there’s some procedure that could be ADOPTED to make that kind of arrangement easy to ADOPT?

Anyway, the baby’s heart rate is dropping, so Ray sends her to labor and delivery. Claire insists that Rod trust her – she knows her own body. She also doesn’t want him or Toni to be with her when she gives birth. I’m surprised there’s nothing in this supposedly iron-clad surrogacy contract demanding that they be present.

Pratt tells the daughter of his shooting victim that her mother was shot during a robbery attempt and they couldn’t save her. The daughter asks how the hospital found her, and whether her mother said anything. She has no interest in seeing her mother’s body – they were estranged, each waiting for the other to budge and admit she was wrong about some long-ago fight. “I guess I win,” the daughter says sadly. Hey, do you think Pratt will take anything from this experience and apply it to his own life?

Coburn delivers the baby naturally, but Ray thinks they need to switch to a C-section because his heart rate keeps dropping. He presses Claire to consent. Coburn basically ignores him and keeps delivering. The baby isn’t breathing and doesn’t have a pulse. Ray isn’t very gentle when he tells Claire, so Coburn kicks him out of the room. “I thought I could do it,” Claire says.

Pratt goes to the school Charlie told him Chaz attends so he can watch his brother’s swim meet. He doesn’t let Charlie know he’s there, but he smiles proudly when his brother does well. Ray tells Rod and Toni that the baby’s oxygen deprivation may have caused neurological damage. Rod wants to go home: “We didn’t pay to have a brain-dead baby.” He would be “normal” if they’d done the C-section. Hey, Rod? You’re a piece of crap. Toni tells Ray they were going to name the baby David, then leaves with her husband, though she’s at least sadder about that than Rod is.

Liam’s doing better, and he tells Abby that one of his friends thinks she’s a MILF. Amused, Abby says she’s not a mother, she’s a doctor. Okay, but you can be both! Also, this is foreshadowing! Abby finally gets to see Jake’s postcard, but instead of reading it, she tears it up. Neela catches her. Morris looks over Neela’s charts from the day and micromanages her. Abby claims not to have anything to run by him.

Clemons asks Abby to help her with something since Ray never came back from labor and delivery. Abby figures he stayed to hit on the nurses there. Instead, he’s sitting with David, whose chances of overcoming the neurological damage are slim. Also, his parents abandoned him and Claire doesn’t consider him hers. Coburn tells Ray that there’s nothing more he can do for David. Ray replies that the baby had a rough day and shouldn’t spend his first night alone.

Pratt waits around after the swim meet and congratulates Chaz on his performance. Chaz remembers meeting him but doesn’t know who he is. Pratt reveals that he’s Chaz’s half brother. Chaz says he heard rumors about Charlie having another child but never knew they were true. He’s stunned but handles the situation well, just saying he’s happy to meet Pratt.

Charlie finds them together and is also happy that his sons have met. He invites Pratt to come to dinner with the family, but Pratt isn’t ready for that. Jocelyn and her mother, Evelyn, come in, and Charlie tells them who Pratt is. I think Evelyn might know about him, but she’s surprised to hear Charlie be so open about him. She and Pratt are polite to each other while Jocelyn just stands there, a little confused. Charlie tells Pratt that this is hard for all of them but Pratt should get to know his family. Pratt replies that they’re just Charlie’s family.

Luka goes home and finds his place quiet for the first time in months. There’s nothing to do but drink a beer and mope alone. It’s okay, Luka – your life is about to get a lot better. And we’re going to enjoy it, too!

Thoughts: If my friend was carrying my baby and refused a less risky procedure in favor of a riskier delivery without any explanation other than. “I don’t want to,” I’d definitely be upset. But I also wouldn’t abandon my child just because he wasn’t born completely healthy, so that’s where my sympathy for Toni and Rod ends.

Ugh, Luka, don’t tell Alex that the breakup wasn’t your idea. Don’t make Sam the bad guy here.

Jokes aside, I’m very pro-adoption and wish people would consider it over the time, money, and physical and emotional toll of failed IVF and surrogacy.

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