November 15, 2022

ER 12.5, Wake Up: Learn Your Lessons Well

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

Hi, I work here now

Summary: Weaver has hired a new attending named Victor Clemente, but he hasn’t shown up for his first shift yet. Morris notes that he’s not making a great first impression, and if someone like Morris knows that, it’s really bad. Luka’s on his way out but offers to come back if Clemente never comes in. Weaver tells Morris to find a moonlighter instead. Luka runs into Abby as he’s on his way upstairs. She asks why, then decides she doesn’t want to know: “Last time I reached out to someone, Dubenko tried to make me his concubine.”

Pratt shows up just as Sam brings a man with chest pain in from the waiting room. Morris asks if Susan is on, and Weaver makes the official announcement that she’s no longer working at County. Weaver brought in Clemente to replace her, and they’re forming a search committee for the new department head. Ray pops in from his toxicology elective to remind everyone that he has a gig that night. Apparently it’s at a strip club. Well, a gig is a gig, right?

Morris hands out assignments to a couple of pre-med students, one of whom comments that they’re not really doctors. “That never stopped Morris,” Pratt quips. High five, Pratt. That might be the funniest thing you’ve ever said. They’re research assistants who are supposed to collect data for Weaver. She tells Pratt to step up his responsibilities as a senior resident, and also don’t bug her while she’s working in the lounge.

Sam comes to get Pratt to take care of her patient, who stops Pratt before he can administer some nitro for his chest pain. The patient did coke, drank tequila, and took three Viagra the night before. Sounds like a party! Pratt asks why he didn’t say something, and the patient notes that doctors are supposed to take a history. It turns out the patient is Clemente, and he’s just learned that at least one of the doctors at County isn’t as competent as he’d hoped.

Weaver tries to convince Clemente that Pratt is normally very thorough, as if it’s okay that he slipped up one time when he could have killed someone. She considers sticking around the ER, but Clemente says that he and “Dr. Kevorkian” will keep things moving smoothly. He excuses his stunt by saying he just wanted to get the lay of the land. At another hospital, he took things even farther and had to submit to a rectal exam. Here, it sounds like he just had to have his chest shaved. That said, it took 24 minutes for him to have his vitals taken, which is ridiculous.

Morris agrees and eagerly introduces himself to Clemente, who’s like, “Got it, you’re the kiss-up.” He acknowledges that his EKG was administered quickly, but Pratt was sloppy. Pratt defends himself, saying the ER is busy. Clemente replies that they’re always busy, and even though they don’t have a lot of time to spend with each patient, they need to be efficient, like marksmen. They need to hone in on the important symptoms, hit the target with a single shot, and move on. Abby whispers to Neela that he needs a psych consult.

Clemente asks who Abby is, and when she tells him, he says Weaver talked to him about her. It wasn’t all good. He shifts focus to clearing the board, though he doesn’t want to use the actual board. He’d rather do walking rounds. Neela tells Abby that she thinks Clemente is kind of hot. Abby reminds her that she’s dating Gallant. “He’s at war and so are my hormones,” Neela replies.

Luka’s upstairs to visit Blaire, whom he’s become friendly with since she came out of her coma. She’s having trouble with her muscles, but she’s improving. She’s also in a pretty good mood, considering her situation, though she’d be happier if someone would let her smoke pot. She asks Luka if her doctor has said anything about the accident that put her in a coma. All she remembers is going with her mom for her final fitting for her wedding dress. Now her mother is dead and her fiancé has ditched her. She hasn’t spoken to him yet.

Morris compliments Clemente’s shoes, to which Clemente replies, “Get laid, Morris.” He speaks English, Spanish, and Russian, which is three more languages than Morris can speak coherently. (I’m really enjoying having someone around who dislikes Morris as much as I do but isn’t too scared to say so out loud.) Pratt ducks out of rounds when he recognizes a former colleague named Dorsey, who’s there to visit a patient.

Luka cheers Blaire on as she calls her ex-fiancé, Jason. Her neurologist tells Luka that she’s making great progress. He’s been treating her for a few years, so he knows the details of her car accident, but he doesn’t think she should know yet. It turns out the car accident wasn’t actually a car accident: Blaire and her mother were carjacked, and Blaire’s mother was raped and shot. Blaire tried to fight off the carjackers and got pistol-whipped. She probably only survived because someone interrupted.

Luka thinks she should know everything, but her neurologist wants to hold off until she’s stronger. She should also hear the news from someone she’s close to. Luka notes that she doesn’t have any family. The neurologist tells Luka that Blaire will be filled in when the time is right. This guy obviously doesn’t know Luka or he’d have guessed that Luka’s probably going to tell Blaire himself.

The residents discuss a patient who has migraines that she used to have treated by the removal of spinal fluid. Clemente knows of a better treatment and even knows which issue of the Annals of Medicine it appeared in. “If you ever say he’s hot again, I’ll kneecap you,” Abby tells Neela. Haleh pulls Abby away to go see Stephanie, who’s up in oncology and is really upset.

A nurse up there tells Abby that Stephanie’s upset because she can’t have reconstructive surgery after having a breast removed, due to an enlarged lymph node. She threw a tantrum and broke a mirror. Stephanie doesn’t want to see Abby, whom she blames for her situation – Abby talked her into getting traditional medical treatment, and now she could have cancer.

Abby tries to reassure her that her feelings are normal and she needs to be patient. Stephanie’s still focused on finding a husband, and she doesn’t think anyone will want to marry a woman who could need chemo for the next ten years. Ma’am, I think your priorities are out of whack. Abby tells Stephanie that since her doctors are having trouble making a diagnosis, she might not have cancer. If she does, at least they caught it early. She did what she needed to do and it was brave. Stephanie doesn’t agree, but Abby acknowledges that she’s in a scary situation. Stephanie blows her off and starts to leave the hospital, but she ends up staying.

Abby takes care of some cuts Stephanie got from breaking the mirror while Stephanie talks about going on dating sites. She hasn’t heard from Lou since she had surgery. Abby’s glad that she found out early that he’s not a good catch. Stephanie doesn’t want to freeze her eggs or lose the chance to nurse any babies she might have. She asks if Abby’s scared that she’ll end up just being an aunt, or “forced to adopt some kid from Cambodia.” Because adoption is just a last resort when you can’t have biological children, and Cambodia is a cesspool where the only kids available for adoption are from the bottom of the barrel? Shut up, Stephanie.

She’s obviously jumping to her worst-case scenario, and Abby tells her that there’s a chance that she’ll have her reconstructive surgery and get to fulfill her dreams. Stephanie doesn’t think Abby understands where she’s coming from. But Abby’s grandmother and aunt both died of breast cancer, so she knows the possible outcomes. However, she herself has never even had a mammogram.

Paramedics bring in a stabbing victim named Tony, and the pre-med students hurry to take notes and ask him questions. Despite taking a knife to the neck, Tony is very calm, though he’s not happy with his attacker, who happens to be his wife. Clemente chases the pre-med students off, saying the patients aren’t here for their amusement.

In the cafeteria, which we haven’t seen in ages, Blaire tells Luka that Jason is married now. She’s struggling to grasp that things that feel recent to her happened years ago, and everyone around her has moved on. Also, Jason only came to see her twice when she was in the hospital. Ugh, you’re better off, Blaire. Luka asks if Blaire would have wanted Jason to wait around for her to wake up, which no one thought would happen. That’s fair, but…twice! He only saw her twice! He was going to marry her, and that’s all she meant to him! Blaire jokes that she could become his mistress. I kind of love Blaire.

Clemente quizzes the residents while they take care of Tony. Tony asks if they can hurry up treating him so he can go stop his wife before she sets fire to his truck. Apparently he cheated on her…with her mother. Your truck is the least of your worries, man. Clemente wants Tony to get a thorough exam, even though there are no indications that he needs one. Pratt gets fed up and leaves, since he doesn’t like being overruled by (checks notes) his boss.

Sam’s on the phone with Eve, who’s given her a bunch of tasks to do. One is emphasizing the importance of using hand sanitizer before touching patients. Sam gives Chuny a pin to remind everyone to “scrub or rub.” Chuny thinks that sounds kinky. Pratt calls Olivia to set up a date as he returns from a trip to the mini-mart. Charlie’s waiting outside the hospital when he gets back. He claims he’s there to see a sick friend. Pratt snarks that he might have another illegitimate kid inside. Charlie wants to hang out with his son, but Pratt has no interest in developing a relationship with him.

Charlie reminds Pratt that he has a younger brother. Chaz wants to get to know him. (I guess his sister doesn’t.) Pratt’s mad that Charlie would use Chaz like that. Plus, they only met once. Charlie doesn’t know what Pratt’s mother told him about his father, but he guesses it wasn’t the whole story. He wants to explain himself. Pratt snaps that he doesn’t have the time for that, and Charlie needs to drop it. Charlie says he will, but Pratt will have to live with that decision.

Blaire talks to Luka about her mother. They never really discussed marriage, but when she learned that Blaire and Jason were engaged, she jumped right in to help plan the wedding. Blaire asks Luka to stop at a window so she can look outside. She begs him to take her to the other side of the hospital so she can see Lake Michigan. Luka’s hesitant, since she shouldn’t even be out of her room, but she’s really charming and it’s Luka, so of course he’s going to take her.

Neela and Morris discuss Clemente, whom she doesn’t like. He needs to give it a rest with the non-stop teaching. Morris agrees, and Neela reminds him that he complimented Clemente’s shoes. Morris doesn’t think finding someone annoying means you can’t say nice things to them. Upstairs, Ray is super-bored in the poison-control center, and he calls Jerry to complain. Jerry tells him to picture all the women there naked. Ew, Jerry.

Paramedics bring in a girl named Lola who was crushed by a teen or 20-something named Tommy who fell off a ride at a fair. Hoping drugs are involved, Ray volunteers himself to help out. Dorsey ducks into Lola’s trauma room to say goodbye to Pratt, who’s working with Neela and Chuny. Dorsey notices a roach on the floor and stomps on it. Pratt jokes that he just killed their mascot. Dorsey invites him to hang out with some of their old colleagues that night.

Neela goes to Tommy’s trauma room to try to help Morris and Haleh, since Tommy’s really combative. Ray joins them, but Haleh thinks Pratt should be in there. He tells her to get Clemente instead. Neela votes no on that, saying they can handle Tommy themselves. Clemente comes in anyway, passive-aggressively wondering why no one summoned him. He sends Haleh to get his briefcase at the admit desk, then determines what Tommy took.

Haleh brings his briefcase and Clemente uses a piece of demo equipment inside to do some sort of scan. Neela’s impressed and not so annoyed by him anymore. Clemente’s not happy with Ray now, though, since he jumped to give Tommy a medication because he assumed Tommy was on drugs. Clemente tells the team that even if they don’t like him, the shouldn’t let their personal feelings affect patient care.

Dubenko comes to the ER to visit Abby before being released from the hospital after his cancer surgery. In case anyone was curious, everything is…functioning properly. Also, he had a “date” with Shauna and knows that Abby’s to thank. Lou finally turns up to see Stephanie, and it turns out that a) he didn’t know Stephanie was having a breast removed and b) the last time he tried to visit her, she didn’t want to see him. He’s called her a few times and she never told him why she was there. She just said she wasn’t in a good place to date. Lou’s still interested, though.

Neela interrupts Clemente while he’s playing with a GameBoy; he thinks she should get one for herself. She apologizes for not calling him in to help with Tommy’s trauma. He tells her that the treatment she wanted to give him – a surgical procedure – should only be a last resort. Neela thought he fit the criteria. Clemente gets what it’s like to be a resident who thinks they know everything, but there are always new things to learn. He’s there to teach her.

Neela notes that there are some things residents want to do on their own. Clemente knows, but it’s more important to give patients the proper care. He sees the residents as an investment in the future. When they save a life, he gets a return on his investment. P.S. He thinks Neela should consider a surgical elective, since she was so quick to want to do something surgical to Tommy.

Abby takes Lou to see Stephanie, who’s surprisingly pleased to see him and invites him to stay a while. As she’s leaving the floor, Abby convinces herself to schedule a mammogram. Back in the ER, Ray’s supervisor chastises him for missing morning rounds and ditching the poison-control center. Ray argues that he’s trying to identify a plant that a Buddhist monk ingested. The supervisor can’t ID it, either, but just a glance at it from outside the room gave Clemente the answer. He writes, “Tobaco gigante!” on a tablet and holds it up to the window. Ray runs with it and takes credit for the win. (Clemente’s okay with it.)

Weaver’s unhappy that Clemente sent her pre-med students away instead of letting them collect data like they’re supposed to. He tells her they were getting in the way and he didn’t want to overstep by telling them to back off. Instead, he told them the study was useless. Weaver quietly says that she knows what happened at Newark, where Clemente used to work, and no one wants a repeat. Nearby, Abby eavesdrops.

Clemente reminds Weaver that she hired him to make the ER more efficient. If they start to employ bedside registration, her study really will be irrelevant. Weaver tells him she has a $100,000 grant that says otherwise. He asks why they don’t go digital with that kind of money. She shuts him down, saying she runs the hospital, so every decision made there goes through her.

To no one’s surprise, Luka has taken Blaire to the roof so she can look out at the lake. She teases him for worrying so much, but to be fair, as he says, he’s always had things to worry about. After a pause, she asks if he thinks God or science is the reason she woke up. He tells her that he’s seen very religious people unhelped by prayer, and he’s seen skeptics have miraculous recoveries. Blaire wonders if it was fate instead. Luke just says he’s glad they’re both there and able to wonder about it. Good answer!

Pratt goes to the Ceasefire offices to meet Olivia and comes across a session Charlie’s leading with some teen boys. He tells them that if they get a girl pregnant, they’ll face “18 years of lockdown.” Half of their paycheck will go to the government and the other half to the baby’s mother. If they miss a child-support payment, the mother will come after them. Now Pratt knows – or thinks he knows – why Charlie didn’t want to be his father.

Blaire and Luka chat about Croatia and Chicago. She has a brief flash of a woman next to a car and tells him that she’s starting to recover her memories of her mother’s death. She’s started piecing together that there was no car accident, and she’s desperate to know what really happened. But as she gets more and more agitated, her speech slows and she can’t get out a full sentence.

He rushes her to the ER, where he tells Abby and Clemente that she’s stopped talking. Clemente tries to kick him out, thinking he’s just a friend, but Abby tells him who Luka is, and Clemente backs off. He tries to run their standard protocol for a patient in Blaire’s condition, since no one bothers to tell him what her situation is. Luka ignores him and sends Abby to the pharmacy to get what he knows Blaire needs.

Weaver joins the doctors as Luka tells Clemente that the medications Blaire’s neurologist was giving her woke her from her coma, so she just needs more of them. Clemente’s hesitant to go with that theory, but Weaver’s willing to let Luka do this. She does warn him that if he’s wrong, there could be an inquiry. Luka figures it’s worth a try. Weaver agrees to give him five minutes to try to help Blaire.

Clemente happily steps aside, making Luka the doctor on record in case Blaire’s family sues. Luka’s like, “Good thing she doesn’t have any family – gimme those drugs!” They wake Blaire up, but then she starts seizing. It’s not clear if it’s the result of withdrawal from the drugs she was given before or a reaction to the ones Luka just gave her.

Ray leaves his gig with a girl named Zoe who’s not coy at all about wanting to spend the night with him. Neela, Morris, and Jerry arrive late, since Clemente made them find journal articles to justify all their treatments today. Ray would much rather leave with Zoe than spend time with his co-workers, and though Morris is considered for a double date with one of Zoe’s friends, he’s definitely not cool enough to make the cut.

Blaire is unconscious again, which means Luka’s brooding again. Abby tries to reassure him that he might not be responsible for her decline. Weaver tells him that a state conservator agreed to let Blaire be admitted for two days. If she doesn’t start improving in that time, she’ll be sent back to her nursing facility.

Pratt and Olivia go to an open-mic night with Dorsey. Pratt’s giving Olivia the cold shoulder since she didn’t tell him that Charlie would be at Ceasefire when Pratt came by. Oh, boo-hoo. Be a grown-up. She notes that Charlie’s helping teens. Pratt tells her that he ends up sewing up those teens after they leave Ceasefire. Olivia argues that his father tries to help them before they get to Pratt. Pratt tells her that Charlie isn’t his father beyond getting his mother pregnant. He made the same mistake he’s telling the kids not to make.

Pratt leaves, and Olivia follows him out to tell him that as much as he might hate Charlie, Charlie’s a good guy. He spends 20 hours a week at Ceasefire, runs a basketball league, and rehabs houses for poor people. That’s what’s bugging Pratt – he’s waited his whole life to spit in Charlie’s face, and now he’s learned that Charlie isn’t a villain. Olivia refuses to let Pratt walk away angry, but instead of talking through his issues, they just go home and have sex.

Also having sex: Ray and Zoe. Not having sex, but getting naked: Abby, who has her mammogram after work. Neither having sex nor getting naked: Luka and Blaire, who are still in the ER. Even though she’s unconscious, he tells her the truth about what happened to her and her mother.

Thoughts: Clemente is played by John Leguizamo. Zoe is played by Kat Dennings.

Mekhi Pfifer (Pratt) and Jeffrey D. Sams (Dorsey) were also in Soul Food together, and Linda Cardellini (Sam) and John Leguizamo were in Bloodline together after this. (That reminds me: I never finished Bloodline.) Also, he’s not in this episode but I just found out and might as well put it here: Garret Dillahunt (Steve) is in season 3 of Dead to Me, which reunites him with Linda Cardellini.

Maura Tierney (Abby) actually did develop breast cancer in 2009, but her treatment was successful an as far as I know, she’s been in remission since then.

Blaire and Luka would have made a cute couple.

Imagine if Danny Glover invited you to have gumbo with him AND YOU SAID NO. Crazy.

’00s music alert: “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt

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