January 31, 2023

ER 12.16, Out on a Limb: Who Will You Be Now?

Posted in TV tagged , at 5:07 pm by Jenn

No disrespect to Gallant but this pairing makes much more sense than him and Neela

Summary: Weaver is on her way to County to help out on her day off, since Clemente is on leave and Neela is still doing her surgical elective. Luka tells her to go home and spend the day with Henry instead. Henry’s schedule is full, though, as he’s going to a museum with Mrs. Lopez. Weaver figures she might as well help out since she’s already there.

Chuny read some article about potty training babies at six months, which Abby finds ridiculous. (So does everyone else who’s ever been around a six-month-old baby.) Morris announces that there’s a statewide blood shortage, so they need to be conservative with transfusions. Then there’s something dumb about oysters being an aphrodisiac and Morris claiming it’s true. I don’t care.

Weaver isn’t just at County to work – she’s there to cancel her hip surgery, which she was supposed to have that afternoon. But her excuse is that the ER is busy and they begged her to come in. Her surgeon, Kline, doesn’t buy it, since she’s already rescheduled twice. She needs to just have the operation. Kline thinks it’s simple: She’s in pain, so she needs to fix it. Weaver sticks to her story about the ER.

Ray treats a man named Lemoyne whose rings and bracelets are so tight that they’re cutting off his circulation. Also, his neck hurts because of all his chains. A small price to pay for glamor, right? Ray sees that his chains have eroded into his skin (!!!) and he has an infection. He’ll have to remove his chains. Lemoyne refuses, since he never takes them off, even in bed (“the ladies love the bling”).

Weaver finds kielbasa in a fridge that’s supposed to hold medications. Abby points the finger at Frank, so Weaver says, “Tell him to keep his sausage to himself.” I’m not touching that one. Not touching it at all. Abby shows her a 3D sonogram, which Weaver coos over. She runs into a supply cart and is almost overcome with pain. She tries to brush it off and keep chatting with Abby, who says that Luka wants to find out the baby’s sex while she wants to be surprised. Abby’s feeling great in her second trimester, and Weaver says Sandy felt the same. When she rounds a corner and is alone, she starts crying from the pain.

Neela arrives with a big container of cookies for an Army Spouse Club meeting that night. She tells Ray and Morris that the staff can have one cookie each. Yeah, I’m sure someone will enforce that rule. Paramedics bring in a teenager named Donna who hit a jogger with her car. Abby bonds with Donna’s passenger, Katie, since they both have uncommon, tough-to-pronounce last names. Donna’s in bad shape, and Ray and Weaver disagree over how to treat her.

Katie’s not as bad off, and she tells Abby and Chuny that she and Donna skipped school to go to the mall. They left because Donna had a headache. She fainted in the car and Katie was unable to pull it over. The jogger they hit, Highsmith, is also conscious and in pretty good spirits, all, “This is what I get for trying to get in shape.” Luka sees Weaver taking pills in Donna’s trauma room and asks Neela to see if she needs any help. She definitely does, since she drops a syringe and can’t bend over to pick it up. Sam does it for her.

Pratt shows Neela an x-ray of a guy who’s a “professional regurgitator.” A what now? He swallowed a lightbulb and needs surgery. Neela doesn’t find this nearly as fascinating as I do. Pratt tells her that Jose is being released today. Neela replies that he has an infection and has to stay another week. She assumes that things went well when Pratt told Luka how he covered for Darnell. They certainly went well in Pratt’s head, clearly the only place he’s said anything to Luka so far.

Katie has bruises on her arms that Abby originally thought were from the accident, but they’ve spread. They’re also on her legs. Abby and Chuny quickly jump into action to get Katie tested and isolated. Abby runs to Donna’s trauma room, where she’s being declared dead, to announce that the girls have meningococcemia. Weaver calls for everyone who’s come in contact with the teens to start prophylactic treatment.

Katie’s parents arrive but can’t see her while she’s in isolation. The staff is working on contacting kids from the girls’ school to let them know they’ve been exposed. They’re getting a medication called Cipro from other hospitals, since they don’t have enough on hand. Abby can’t take it because she’s pregnant, so she looks into alternative treatments. Luka doesn’t think Cipro would hurt the baby, but Abby doesn’t want to rely on the assurance that it’s “probably safe.”

Pratt goes to visit Jose for what doesn’t seem like the first time. A man named Richard Elliot is brought in by his driver after he lost consciousness in the car. He doesn’t want to undergo tests, since he knows what’s wrong – he has myelodysplastic syndrome, a problem with his bone marrow. It’s treated with chelation and transfusions.

Frank makes an announcement over the intercom telling the owner of the huge SUV in the ambulance bay to move it. Elliot’s like, “That’s me, gotta go,” but Morris and Sam don’t want to release him. He can barely stand without falling over, so he gives in and consents to a transfusion. He tells Sam that he usually gets them at home. He keeps his own personal blood supply that he buys on eBay. (He’s kidding.)

Luka made Abby get the shot of Cipro, and he advises her not to stress too much about the possibility that she caught meningococcemia from Katie. She doesn’t want reassurance or hot chocolate. Luka says they’re in this together, but she wants him to let her worry when she needs to. He offers to worry along with her. She says okay, so he asks how long they should worry. She says 10 or 20 minutes.

Luka bought pizza for the staff in what Frank thinks is an effort to make up for their exposure to a potentially deadly disease. Neela reports that all the surgeons are mad at her because they have to take Cipro. Frank left out her cookies, and Neela’s surprised to see that there are still plenty left. She asks for opinions and Chuny says, “Reviews are still coming in” in a way that really means, “Your average rating is zero stars.” She and Frank gesture to Morris behind Neela’s back that he shouldn’t eat one. After Neela leaves, Frank puts a “biohazard” sticker on the container.

Ray wants to bring a date to his and Neela’s apartment that night, and he begs Neela to…give him permission? To bring over a date? When he’s always been allowed to before? I don’t know. Abby invites Neela to have dinner with her, since she’d like to dine with someone who doesn’t nitpick everything she eats. Neela wants to throw Abby a baby shower, but Abby thinks it’s too early to think about that. She seems to be putting off coming to terms with how completely her life is going to change when she becomes a parent.

Abby spots Weaver practicing bending over, which she’s still unable to do. Weaver admits to canceling her surgery. She says it’s not a good time for it; Henry and the ER need her too much. Abby notes that Henry will just get more active as he gets older. She guesses that Weaver is scared. Weaver won’t confirm or deny that, but she turns away, obviously trying to hide tears, which is all the answer Abby needs.

Paramedics bring in a drunk guy named James who was beaten up in a bar brawl over a March Madness game. His equally drunk buddies are being loud and obnoxious, and they don’t think the fight or James’ injuries are a big deal. Sam checks in on Elliot, who seems to have been observing her while she was tending to another patient and showcasing her excellent bedside manner. He complains that he pays $20,000 for a boutique doctor and can’t get in touch with him when he needs to. Sam jokes that if boutique nurses exist, she wants in.

Elliot thinks nurses and teachers should be paid as much as pro basketball players and movie stars. Sam definitely doesn’t disagree. She asks what Elliot does for a living. He does something with hedge funds, which explains how he can afford to spend $20,000 on a doctor. Sam gives him a blanket without him even asking, since she noticed that he was cold.

James’ heart rhythm is unstable, and Luka tells his friends to call his parents. Luka kicks them out of the trauma room, and Pratt slams them for acting like idiots while their friend is in such bad shape. One of the guys, Phil, says they’re not always like this. They’ve been friends since they were kids. Pratt advises him to find some new friends. Phil confesses that he’s the one who hit James. Pratt knows that friends can take things too far sometimes, and he softens toward Phil. He assures him that everyone’s done something they wish the could take back.

During a coffee break, Weaver asks how Abby would describe her. Abby goes with words like “doctor” and “mother,” while Weaver’s fishing for the label of “disabled person.” It’s how she’s always been and how she sees herself. She’s never thought of herself as broken or handicapped, so she doesn’t feel like she needs to be fixed. Without her pain and sudden limitations, she’d never even think about surgery. The operation will allow Weaver to get around without her crutch, but Weaver wonders what else she’ll be giving up. Who will she be afterward?

Elliot is done with his treatment and very grateful for the care Morris and Sam provided him. He tells Sam that he fired his personal doctor, who never got back to him. Alex comes in with some cuts and bruises on his face from some older kids at his school. They stole his cell phone, too, those jerks. Elliot gets to see Sam’s maternal side as she comforts her son. He’s supposed to be discharged in a wheelchair, but he charms Sam into letting him walk out. He chats with her about his own grown kids, one of whom has been trying to convince him to move to Florida.

Pratt finally approaches Luka to tell him about how he covered for Darnell. Meanwhile, a couple of Donna and Katie’s classmates come in because one of them, Michelle, wants to see if a bruise on her neck is from meningococcemia. Abby diagnoses her with a hickey, and the other girl says she told her so. Morris asks Abby what she thinks Pratt and Luka are talking about. Abby suggests that they’re talking about him.

Neela goes to get her cookies, but instead she gets an intervention from Frank, Morris, and Ray. They try to delicately tell her that the cookies are horrible. She storms out. Ray talks Weaver out of treating a dislocated shoulder, knowing she’s not in the shape to do it right now. She decides to talk to Kline again about her surgery.

Luka’s unhappy with Pratt and warns that he’ll have to report this to the state medical board. They’ll likely suspend his license, which means his whole career will be in jeopardy because of one bad decision. He asks if Pratt would risk his career for someone who did what Pratt did. He suspends Pratt for five days and advises him to use the time to think about what it means to be a doctor. Pratt thanks him but Luka says not to, since this isn’t a reward.

Ray is done for the day, and he hands off a patient named Mr. Gauthier to Abby. He hit his head “trying to stop an epidemic.” That epidemic? Children being horrible in public. He told a kid at a coffee shop to use his inside voice, and the kid’s mom threatened to call the police. Mr. Gauthier left but tripped over a stroller on his way out. Abby gasps, not because of his injury but because she just felt the baby move for the first time. “Great. It’s all about you, isn’t it?” Mr. Gauthier asks sarcastically.

I guess Weaver didn’t eat anything all day and no one took her surgery slot because Kline is going to operate on her as scheduled. She looks like she regrets changing her mind again when she goes over the list of possible complications. Neela’s late to the Army Spouse Club meeting, but fortunately, she shows up with store-bought cookies instead of her own. The hostess doesn’t know how army wives like her are able to handle being married to both the military and their careers.

Sam and Alex run into Elliot as they’re leaving the hospital. Alex admires his SUV and Elliot offers to give him a ride any time he wants. Sam sends him to the mini-mart to get a soda, and Elliot tells his driver to tag along. He gives Sam his card and tells her that on top of firing his doctor, he fired his home-care nurse. He’d like Sam to take her place.

Sam is flattered but doesn’t want to quit her job. Elliot says this would be part-time and the hours would be flexible. She’d have to work overnight, so he would be happy to have her and Alex move in with him. Sam thinks that’s nuts. Elliot tells her that his house is so big that she and Alex could have their own space. His housekeeper has lived there for 15 years and he barely sees her. She could watch Alex after school. Sam is resistant to what she thinks is a pity offer. Elliot wants her to see this as opportunity rather than charity. She admits that it just seems weird to her. He tells her to think about it and get back to him.

Neela chats with the other Army spouses, one of whom is pregnant and will give birth before her husband gets home from deployment. She’s okay with it since she knew what she was getting into when she married a soldier. She appreciates the support she gets from the group. Another woman says it’s a small price to pay while their spouses serve their country.

Neela brings up the management of the war and weapons of mass destruction, which causes tension. The sole male group member asks how she can support what Gallant is doing if she doesn’t support the war. Uh, because there’s a huge difference between “I’m proud of my husband for the sacrifices he’s making for our country” and “I don’t think our government is handling this war well, and my husband shouldn’t have to be fighting in it in the first place.”

One wife says that their duty is to support their spouses’ duty. Neela replies that her duty is to be a good wife and doctor, not to let herself be brainwashed by “some pseudo-patriotic delusion.” Everyone in the room falls silent. I bet Neela wishes she’d brought those horrible cookies so she could have the pleasure of watching some of these people get sick.

Weaver summons Abby to her bed before she’s taken in for surgery. She wants Abby to be Henry’s legal guardian if something happens to her in surgery. (The Lopezes are great and all but they’re getting older.) Abby notes that Luka’s part of her life, but Weaver doesn’t have a problem with him taking in Henry. Weaver admits that it’s hard being alone, and she’s always felt like she could depend on Abby. Abby says she can and accepts the paperwork that would make the arrangement official.

Neela heads home, surprised to hear “Unchained Melody” through her apartment door. When she enters the apartment, Ray is alone, watching a basketball game. He’s also a little teary and trying to cover it. She accuses him of secretly watching Ghost after his date stood him up. He won’t admit to the movie, but he does admit to the failed date.

Neela asks if it’s possible to kick yourself out of a club. She tells him she’s proud of Gallant, but she feels like she can’t share her feelings with the other Army spouses. She feels pathetic for living like a college student with a roommate. Ray tries to cheer her up by pulling up a World Poker Tour game he recorded for her on the DVR. As they settle in to watch together, Weaver receives anesthesia for the operation that will change her life.

Thoughts: Julia Ling, who plays Michelle, returns for a few episodes in season 14 as Mae Lee Park.

Why is Morris the person calling Katie and Donna’s classmates about possible exposure? That seems like something he would make an intern do. Actually, it seems like something you would call the school administration about and let them handle.

There’s a nice throwaway moment where Luka thanks Lily for her work on James and says she did well. It must be so nice for an overworked, underappreciated nurse to get that kind of recognition from anyone, especially someone who’s senior staff.

Leaving aside the fact that they just met and she doesn’t know anything about him, Sam’s job offer from Elliot sounds like hitting the nursing lottery. Money for something she knows how to do easily AND free housing AND someone to watch Alex after school? There almost has to be a catch.

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