November 22, 2022

ER 12.6, Dream House: Monkey Business

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

Whoever’s responsible for this storyline, show yourself

Summary: Gallant is coming to visit in a few days, and Neela would really like her and Ray’s apartment to be clean when he gets there. Not that Ray has time to clean, between shifts at the hospital, gigs with his band, and bringing home a new bed buddy every couple of nights. The most recent, Zoe, is still there, using Neela’s toothbrush. Ray trusts her not to take anything when they leave her behind to go to work.

Abby and Frank try to eavesdrop on Clemente as he talks quietly on the phone at the admit desk. He’s doing a favor for someone involving an infant warmer, and he recruits Abby to assist him. He tells her to keep things quiet. She asks if they’re going to be treating his illegitimate love child. Nope, it’s a baby chimp. Yeah, you read that right. They’re treating a chimp named Darwin. Kill me now.

Eve tells the nurses that some changes they were hoping for have been approved, but in exchange, they have to give up working overtime. Dubenko arrives in the form of a robot, more or less – he’s working remotely but still maintaining a presence via a screen on top of a mobile metal body. The future is here! Abby does a double take when she sees him.

Haleh sends Pratt to the waiting room, where Chaz has asked to see him. Eve reminds Haleh that no overtime means no overtime, including working shifts in other departments. Haleh isn’t happy to be busted, but she apologizes and says it won’t happen again. We all know that means she just won’t get caught again.

Clemente and Abby examine Darwin as Clemente tries to ease Abby’s discomfort with treating a chimp. It should be fine, since chimps and humans share 96 percent of their DNA. Abby asks if Clemente knows Darwin’s handler because they went to clown school together. Joke’s on her, since the handler actually worked at Ringling Brothers and Clemente had “kind of a circus thing.” He asks if there’s anyone else they can get to help, since he can’t spend all day with a chimp. Abby leaves to get some equipment and Morris offers to help, since he loves babies. She blows him off and enlists Neela instead.

Chaz is at County because he hurt his hand while fighting with Charlie (not a physical fight, though; Chaz got mad and punched something). He tells Pratt that he always felt like there was something going on that he didn’t know about. When he met Pratt, things clicked. Everything was great when he first showed up, but when he cut off Charlie, things went downhill. Chaz feels like Pratt cut him off, too, and he wants a relationship with his brother.

As someone bangs on the door of the suture room where they’re treating Darwin, Clemente tells Abby that baby chimps are susceptible to sepsis. Eve calls the room phone to tell Clemente that it would be really nice if he would do his job and treat some patients. Clemente leaves, telling Abby and Neela to keep the chimp healthy. And then for some reason, “Coconut” by Harry Nilsson comes on the soundtrack (you know, “put the lime in the coconut”), because this plot is wacky! Morris comes in, still wanting to help, and thinks they’re just treating a really ugly baby. Maura Tierney and Parminder Nagra deserve better.

Inez tells Pratt that Chaz is talking to a social worker. He yells at her for filling out a chart for Chaz. Since she has Eve looking over her shoulder and is a mandatory reporter when abuse is suspected, I’m on Inez’s side here. And not just because Pratt’s annoying. Pratt tells the social worker, Liz, that he’s familiar with Chaz’s family and knows they’re stable. Chaz confirms that there was no physical fight; he hit a chair. Liz doesn’t believe him so Pratt announces that Chaz is his brother. That’s enough for her to defer to him.

Sam gets sprayed with some sort of IV fluid by an agitated patient, and Eve finds her while she’s changing into a dry scrub top. She’s pleased with how Sam encouraged Inez recently and praises Sam’s interpersonal skills. She has the respect of younger nurses and the trust of older ones. Eve wants her to move into nursing administration so she can help with staff education and implementing policies. Sam isn’t interested until she learns that the promotion comes with a raise. Unfortunately, her first task is to fire Haleh.

Sam balks at having to do that, but Eve notes that Haleh has been warned three times about breaking the overtime rules. Sam suggests counseling her, but Eve isn’t interested in that. She asks Clemente about the patient being seen in the suture room. He says the patient is a VIP for privacy issues. Eve needs a name for the board, so Clemente says he’s Darwin Magilla. He’ll be transferred back to his referring facility, which is close to where he lives. His mom couldn’t come because she doesn’t drive.

As Clemente runs away before he can be asked anything more, Sam tells Eve that she’s not going to fire Haleh. Eve says she’ll be gone no matter who fires her. She realizes that Sam has never fired anyone before, so she just needs to learn how. Eve will teach her later. So now Sam has to work a shift with Haleh, knowing the whole time that Haleh’s going to be fired.

Clemente returns to the suture room, where Abby and Neela tell him that Darwin’s doing better. They think he should stay for observation, but Clemente wants him gone ASAP so they don’t get caught. He realizes the two residents have grown attached to the chimp and don’t want to see him go. He tells them to discharge Darwin so they can get back to work: “There’s a giraffe out there clogging up triage.” Heh.

Paramedics bring in a 12-year-old named Barry who was crushed by some scaffolding at a construction site. His father, Paul, had a heart attack while trying to dig him out. Pratt, Morris, and Inez tend to Barry until Pratt goes next door to help Ray and Haleh with Paul. Clemente wanders in to observe and Pratt goes back to Barry, figuring out that he has a problem Morris hasn’t discovered yet.

They talk to Barry about the construction site – his father is building his mother’s dream house. Robo-Dubenko checks in, and Barry’s like, “Is that a…?” Morris tells Barry that County is really advanced. Paul is still unconscious after being stabilized, and Clemente and Robo-Dubenko disagree over his best course of treatment. Clemente wants to try induced hypothermia.

Sam tries to make small talk with Haleh without letting on that anything’s wrong. Haleh thinks that even as tough as Eve is, the energy she’s bringing to the ER is going to be good for everyone in the long run. Neela overhears and asks Sam if Eve is really working out well. Sam says she’s a terrorist. Zoe shows up just then and asks Neela for help.

Clemente uses some equipment he apparently stole from his last hospital to induce Paul’s hypothermia. Robo-Dubenko is skeptical that it’s the right treatment. Clemente shoves the “little mechanical b%$@#” out of the trauma room and into the drug lockup. The thing Zoe needs Neela’s help with is pain when she pees. Neela thinks she just has a bladder infection brought on by too much sex. As she’s taking down Zoe’s information, she learns that Zoe is only 14.

Barry looks in on Paul from his trauma room, asking Pratt when he’ll wake up. He spills that Paul cheated on Barry’s mother and she kicked him out. He’s building the house to try to make it up to her. Barry’s mother arrives and Ray tells her that they’re working on waking Paul up. Neela comes to get Ray, informing him that Zoe’s there and, by the way, only 14. “In prison math, I believe 14 equals five to ten,” she says. P.S. Zoe has chlamydia. Ray defends himself, saying he didn’t know how old she was. Neela makes the outrageous suggestion that he talk to the people he sleeps with before they jump in bed.

Ray confronts Zoe, who says she never told him her age because he never asked. Turns out she’s still in the eighth grade – she’s not even in high school yet! She figured Ray wouldn’t like her if she knew she was only 14. He tells her he also doesn’t like courtrooms and prisons and guys named Hank who want to do…you know, the stuff prisoners named Hank might do to you. Neela gives Zoe a prescription and tells her she’ll need to undergo more tests. Zoe wonders who she caught chlamydia from. Ray asks how many possibilities there could be. “Wait, were we being monogamous?” she exclaims.

Eve comes to get Sam so she they can fire Haleh together. Sam begs Eve not to go through with this, but Eve wants to send a message to the other nurses that there are consequences to breaking the rules. They meet with Haleh and break the news that she’s being let go. Eve leaves Sam behind when they’re done, acting like this was just something to cross off her to-do list. And now poor Sam looks like the bad guy.

Chaz goes to say goodbye to Pratt before he leaves, and Pratt puts the blame for the family dynamics on Charlie. Chaz thinks he went through some things that he never talked about – maybe some things that Pratt’s mother never told him the truth about. Luka arrives just as Abby’s getting the results of her recent mammogram. They’re normal. Haleh asks Frank to forward anything for her to her house. Abby lets her know on behalf of everyone that they’re sorry to see her go. Haleh says she’ll come visit sometime. Now everyone’s unhappy with Sam for being the messenger.

Clemente gets a page and tells Abby they’re in a “code banana” situation – Darwin is being brought back. Sam follows Haleh out and tells her how horrible she feels about her firing. Halah covered for Sam tons of times, and she’s mad that Sam was willing to pull the trigger here in exchange for some extra money. But she didn’t know she would have to fire you! Haleh, don’t be mad at Sam! You both just need hugs!

Pratt finds Charlie on a basketball court and accuses him of calling Pratt’s mother a liar. He snaps at Charlie not to ever call him “son.” He’s not one of the Ceasefire kids who think Charlie’s a good mentor. He’s not a role model. Charlie tells him that he doesn’t know everything that happened when Pratt was a kid. Pratt doesn’t want to hear it. He warns that if Charlie isn’t careful, he’ll lose Chaz the way he lost Pratt. He shouldn’t talk to Chaz about Pratt.

Charlie thinks that since Chaz asked what happened, he deserves to know. Pratt’s mad that Charlie only told Chaz his side of the story. Pratt’s mother raised him without any help from Charlie, and he feels like she wasted her life. Charlie says that he tried to come back but she wouldn’t let him. He doesn’t want to have this discussion when they’ve both clearly had rough days, so he tells Pratt to come by his house sometime. He wants Pratt to have something that used to belong to him and Pratt’s mother anyway. Pratt demands that he hand it over right now.

Darwin’s having trouble breathing, so his handler, Alonzo, brought him back. (He also takes care of Darwin’s mother, Cookie, and their owner’s llama.) Apparently Darwin did develop sepsis after all, and Clemente doesn’t think they can save him, but Abby wants to keep working. Well, yeah – no one wants to be the one to tell someone that their baby monkey died.

Charlie takes Pratt to his place but Pratt won’t go inside. Charlie rings the bell instead of unlocking the door, then tells Chaz he has to get something for Pratt. (I thought this was building up to the news that Charlie’s wife kicked him out, but that doesn’t happen.) Chaz thinks Pratt went to talk to Charlie because of him. Chaz invites Pratt in for dinner, and Pratt finally gives in. Back at County, Neela feels bad that the girl Ray liked turned out to be jail bait. On the plus side, she didn’t give him chlamydia. He’ll have to get tested for other stuff, though.

Neela goes to the suture room, where Clemente and Abby are still trying to save Darwin. It’s been more than half an hour, and Clemente thinks they’ve put him through enough and need to let him go. Alonzo wants to get Cookie so she can be with him when he dies. She should know why her baby was taken away from her. Clemente doesn’t see the point but Abby and Neela think it’s a good idea. He tells them they’re taking this too far. “Oh, come on, you’re the one that started this whole monkey business,” Abby reminds him. She realizes what she said and whispers, “I didn’t mean to say that.”

Charlie’s family sits down for dinner without him. Pratt learns that his stepmother had surgery for a broken hip at County, and he had no idea. Charlie hasn’t found what he was trying to get for Pratt, so Pratt follows him to the basement while he keeps looking. He asks why Charlie didn’t tell him that Evelyn had surgery at County – Pratt could have helped. Charlie says he didn’t seem to be in the mood.

He gives Pratt a stack of letters his mother wrote Charlie while he was in prison. He also has a picture of Pratt with his mother when he was a kid. Charlie says he made mistakes and never denied them. He went to prison for “stupid, petty stuff” and has regretted his decisions, but life is more complicated than Pratt things.

Cookie is at the hospital, and she gives Abby a little kiss for helping to make Darwin comfortable. I again request that someone kill me now. Darwin dies. Cookie pets him and grooms Abby. Maura Tierney calls her agent. Clemente checks in with Morris, who tells him that Paul’s treatment worked. So that’s one patient Clemente saved today and one he didn’t.

Abby tells Clemente that they see a lot of patients and some days they don’t even register for her, so she’s not sure why it was so sad to see Darwin die. Clemente reveals he’s facing suspension – apparently Eve wasn’t pleased when she found out about his super-top-secret patient. He wanted a robot and a monkey as a kid, and now he’s over it. Throughout the episode, Clemente has been calling Abby “Lockhart,” and she’s corrected him with her first name every time. This time when she does it, he says he knows her name.

Something else that’s been happening all episode: Clemente’s phone keeps ringing. It happens again as he’s heading out, and he tells the woman on the other end, Jodie, to stop calling him. She yells something unintelligible. He won’t tell her where he is, only saying he’s not in New York. She yells so much that he can’t get a word out, so he throws the phone in a bin of infectious waste.

On his way home, Pratt starts reading his mother’s letters to his father. He ends up at an abandoned house and sits on a bench outside to keep reading. Charlie finds him there and Pratt tells him this is where he and his mother lived. He’s upset that his mother pushed Charlie away when he tried to come back into their lives. He asks what Charlie did to make her hate him.

Charlie says he got into trouble, so maybe Pratt’s mother was trying to protect him. When Charlie got out of prison, he wanted them to be a family. Pratt notes that he was still a kid when his mother died, but Charlie didn’t show up. Charlie says he tried, but Pratt had moved to Detroit by then. Charlie regrets giving up instead of looking for him. He had his second family by then and was trying to hold them together.

Charlie’s done his penance and continues to do it every day. He still needs forgiveness from Pratt, though. Pratt acknowledges that he’s heard everything Charlie’s said, and he gives him a hug, but the past is past. Even if the truth is more complicated than what Pratt knows about the past 20 years, Charlie wasn’t there. It doesn’t matter why – he was gone, and they can’t change that. Charlie insists that they can fix their relationship, but Pratt disagrees. Instead of pressing, Charlie just sighs and walks away. Pratt looks at the picture of himself and his mother as he goes.

Thoughts: Imagine being in the writers’ room of this show when someone pitched a plot about a chimp. How would that person not get laughed out of the room?

Neela’s “oh crap oh crap oh crap” fake smile when she realizes Zoe’s a teenager is Emmy-worthy.

I don’t think I could ever go back and visit a workplace I was fired from, especially not while the people who fired me were there. In fact, I’d probably refuse to go, and I’d tell my co-workers that if they ever wanted to see me again, they’d have to come to me.

Were they trying to make us think that Abby and Clemente were going to get together? Otherwise I don’t get the stuff with her name.

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