March 7, 2023

ER 12.21, The Gallant Hero and the Tragic Victor: Do No Harm

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 5:08 pm by Jenn

Don’t make me say goodbye to him!

Summary: 25 kilometers southwest of Mosul, Gallant is dozing in a convoy when his fellow soldiers start shooting. The convoy stops and everyone runs out to fire on the enemy. A soldier tells Gallant that a driver was hit, so Gallant goes to tend to him. He decides they can’t wait for a helicopter to come get the corporal; they need to put him in a truck and drive him to an aid station.

The corporal dies along the way, but one of the other soldiers thanks Gallant for trying to save him. Someone notes that the corporal just got engaged. The other soldier asks if Gallant has a “girl” back home. No, but he has a woman. As Gallant starts talking about his wife, something explodes and the truck goes up in flames.

Clemente is still struggling with sleeping at night and overcoming his paranoia that Bobby is going to come after him again. He grabs a baseball bat when he hears noises in the apartment above his, then peeks out his peephole. Elsewhere in Chicago, Morris wakes up in bed with Albright. He’s thrilled to have finally scored with her and snaps a picture of her asleep. Ugh.

At County, Jane is having a deep conversation with Abby about how animals in the wild often eat their young, but when human women kill their children, we call them crazy. Does that means lions are also crazy? Abby’s like, “I’ve never been so happy to have paramedics bring me an assault victim.” The victim is a man named Dennis, who was injured in a home invasion. His kids, who are coming in another ambulance, were also hurt.

Ray doesn’t believe Morris’ claim that he went to Albright’s place for a drink and she basically tore his clothes off. He shows Ray the photo he took, but it’s not very clear. As Abby, Neela, Ray, and Morris start tending to Dennis, that jerk cop Hollis tells them that they don’t have any leads on his attacker because there were no witnesses. Albright comes in and treats Morris like she always does, except for the fact that she calls him Mo. “That little vixen’s getting punished tonight,” he tells Abby and Ray. Excuse me while I throw up.

Pratt is back from Darfur and admits that his experiences there were overwhelming. He downplays his heroics, though. Dennis’ kids arrive, a three-year-old named Eddie and a ten-year-old named Sean. Sean has minor injuries but Eddie lost consciousness on the way to the hospital. Sean wants to stay with his brother, since Eddie will get scared without him.

Clemente joins Luka and Sam to take care of Eddie as they wonder what happened. Clemente guesses that the people who attacked the family were high on meth. As usual, he and Luka butt heads about treatment options. Clemente’s shaky and repeats himself, making it clear to Luka that something’s wrong with him. Clemente blames lack of sleep.

Luka pulls him out of the trauma room once Eddie’s stable and asks if he’s on drugs. Clemente swears he hasn’t taken anything and offers to take a drug test right there. Luka reminds him that he’s an attending and needs to be on top of things. Clemente gets defensive and goes back to Eddie. Luka tries to talk to him more, but Frank has something more important for him to deal with: Two soldiers are there looking for Neela. One of them is a military casualty officer.

Abby and Clemente move on to help Ray and Chuny with Dennis. Luka comes in looking for Neela, who’s in surgery. He tells the staff that officers are looking for Neela, and they immediately guess what’s going on. Clemente’s nose starts bleeding, and it’s a good thing Luka has already left the room because he would be even more convinced that Clemente’s on drugs.

After surgery, Neela gets a page to go to the ER, but Shirley (hi, Shirley!) tells her that Dubenko is eager to talk to her right now. Chuny tends to Clemente’s nose while he talks Abby through Dennis’ difficult intubation. Once they’re done, Ray double-checks that Abby’s okay staying with Clemente while he goes to find Neela. Clemente takes offense.

Dubenko tells Neela that the hospital is funding an additional slot for a surgical residency, and if she wants it, it’s hers. Her elective got her really interested in surgery, and she’s happy to make the switch. She gets another page from the ER, so Dubenko sends her down with plans to celebrate later. Albright informs Neela that she’ll be her attending. Neela pretends she’s looking forward to that.

In the ER, Sam and Chuny point Neela toward Luka, unable to hide that she’s in for bad news. Neela’s too excited about her residency to catch on. Ray finds her next, and she’s disappointed that he’s not as happy about her news as she is. He tries to prepare her for what she’s about to hear. She finally gets that something’s happening when she runs into Abby, who solemnly tells her that there are two men from the Army there to see her.

She approaches them in the waiting room and asks them to give her the news right there rather than wait until they go somewhere more private. The casualty officer breaks the news that Gallant was killed in action. Neela protests that Gallant is a medic, not a soldier. The officer tells her that he was killed by a roadside bomb. Neela fights back tears and says she can’t do this right now – she’s working. She grabs a chart from the admit desk and goes back to seeing patients.

The casualty officer asks Abby to tell Neela that he and his colleague, a chaplain, are there to help in any way they can. Abby asks if Gallant’s parents have been notified. They haven’t, but if Neela would like, the casualty officer and chaplain can take care of that. The officer gives Abby a packet of information on handling Gallant’s remains and other administrative responsibilities.

Clemente comes up to ask if Gallant was killed by friendly fire. He starts blathering about “right-wing cronyism” and the deficit and other stuff, until Sam pulls him away. He apologizes to her and Abby for his rant. Abby suggests that he go lie down for a little while, since his nose is still bleeding. He insists that he’s fine. I think any patient he tries to treat right now would disagree.

Abby checks on Pratt, who had hoped to ride the high of his happiness at being back in a first-world country all day. Hollis tells them that Sean won’t tell the police anything, so they still have no leads. Dennis is unconscious, Eddie’s in a coma, and the kids’ mother is in rehab. He asks Pratt to try talking to Sean. Pratt attempts to impress Sean with an x-ray, on which Jane sees old rib fractures.

Pratt gently gets Sean to open up to him. Sean admits that when he took a toy away from Eddie (not to be mean; sounds like it was something Eddie shouldn’t have been playing with), Eddie started crying, and Dennis shook him to make him stop. Then he punched Sean and threw him into a chair. Dennis went back to hurting Eddie, so Sean hit him with a baseball bat until he stopped.

Ray finds Neela on the roof and listens quietly as she talks about how quickly everything has changed. She still wants to keep working, but he tells her to go home and take care of herself. Neela cries and says that she doesn’t have a home. She also doesn’t have a husband anymore. All she has is the hospital.

Abby takes a moment to herself in the drug lock-up, trying to wrap her head around the fact that Gallant is dead. Luka says she can go home, but she doesn’t want to leave him and Clemente alone to handle traumas. Luka says that Weaver knew that Clemente had problems before she hired him, and now she’s paying for it. Abby points out that Luka’s in charge of the ER. She suggests that they take a quick vacation somewhere warm before the baby comes.

Just as they’re cheering up, Neela comes in to get something. They encourage her to go home, but she says she has things to do. She hasn’t even called Gallant’s parents yet. She insists on telling them instead of letting the casualty officer and chaplain do it. Luka tells her that they left a packet for her at the admit desk. Neela says that if everyone wants her to go home, she’ll go.

Dennis is declining, and Clemente tells Sam to give him chest compressions. He disapproves of her technique and takes over. He wants a medication they don’t have, something he read about in a journal. Sam glances at Abby, who gives her a look like, “This is all for nothing; let him do what he wants to do.” Clemente won’t declare Dennis dead when Abby says they should, but he eventually stops trying to revive Dennis. He complains that they should have used a different treatment.

Luka runs into Clemente as he’s babbling about coffee on his way outside. Frank offers to go after him, but Luka says to let him go and tell Luka when he comes back. He hears Pratt venting to Jane about what Dennis did to his sons. He’s upset that despite all their technology and first-world treatments, they couldn’t protect the kids. Sean had to kill his father because no one was there to help him. Meanwhile, the U.S. spends billions of dollars on a war that’s killing teenagers. Luka asks if Pratt called the police. Pratt spits out that arresting people is the only thing the U.S. is good at.

Clemente talks to himself as he brings coffee back to the hospital. A homeless man says he knows Clemente – he’s a killer. Clemente realizes that his bloody nose made a mess on his shirt. The homeless man starts yelling about doctors killing people. Clemente says he got bloody saving someone’s life. He walks into the street and almost gets hit by a cab.

He fights with the driver, breaking a headlight and jumping up on the hood of the cab. He takes off his shirt, egging the driver on to fight with him. The driver calls him a psycho, and Clemente says he’ll show the guy psychosis, then smashes the windshield. The driver asks if he’s on drugs. Again, Clemente’s ready for a drug test, only this time he just pees right there on the cab.

Abby leaves Neela a message offering to pick up anything she might want to eat before she comes to visit. Ray tells her that Neela seems to just want to be alone. Sam thinks it would be better for her to be around people right now. Police come in with Zadro as he wheels in Clemente, who tells Sam that he got jumped. He objects to Zadro saying that he’s altered. He’s in restraints because he was combative and handcuffs because he assaulted some people.

Clemente thinks he’s the victim of xenophobia. He tells Sam to let the police know that he’s an attending. Sam and Abby try to convince him to let them look at a cut on his leg, but he gets agitated about being restrained. He asks Abby not to give him Haldol, since he’s not crazy. She tells Ray to get Luka, and Clemente mocks Ray for running to “Daddy.” He tells Sam not to give him Haldol, but she ignores him. Clemente reminds Abby that he’s her attending, and her Hippocratic Oath says to “do no harm.” The Haldol starts working and he passes out.

Pratt goes to see Sean, who Jane let stay with Eddie. Pratt lets Sean know that he’ll have to live with a foster family until his mom gets back. Eddie will have to stay in the hospital for a while, but he’s showing signs of improvement, and Sean will be able to visit him. Pratt gently tells Sean that the doctors couldn’t save Dennis. The poor ten-year-old is distraught that he’s going to go to Hell for killing his father. Pratt thinks God will make an exception since Sean was trying to save Eddie.

Abby leaves Clemente with Nelson the psychiatrist so she can go see Neela. Clemente’s tox screens are clean, but Morris isn’t sure that’s a good thing, since it means there must be something psychological going on. Luka checks with Pratt to make sure he’s doing okay transitioning back from Darfur. Pratt says he was just rattled earlier because of Gallant. Luka tells him it’s good to have him back. Pratt thanks Luka for making him go, and Luka invites him to tell him about his experiences sometime.

Abby goes to Neela’s with dinner and groceries. Neela called Gallant’s parents, and it looks like the reality of the situation is catching up with her. Abby offers to spend the night, not just to be with Neela but because it would be a nice break from Luka’s snoring. Neela says that Gallant used to snore when he was drunk. She had to come home and find a photo of him because she couldn’t picture him. She thinks that one day she won’t remember what he looks like. Abby doubts that.

Nelson tells Luka that he’s putting Clemente on a 72-hour hold. With no drugs in his system and no history of major psychological disorders, he thinks Clemente’s claim of sleep deprivation is to blame, along with PTSD from what happened to him and Jodie. Clemente feels bad for the way he acted in front of “the kids” (the residents, I assume). He says he’s passionate and can’t keep his pace “without spinning off the road at some point.” He wishes it hadn’t happened on Luka’s watch. Luka assures him that it’s okay. Clemente expresses his appreciation for Luka’s kindness.

Neela opens the packet from the military, which contains a videotape with her name on it. Gallant made it for her in case something happened to him. She cries as he tells her that he loves her and their wedding day was the happiest of his life. She makes him strong. He knows she didn’t want him to go back to Iraq, but he did what he had to do. She’s the kindest and most beautiful person he knows, and he wants her to be happy. He’ll always be with her. She should find someone else (even though that person won’t be as fine as Gallant is) and start a family. He’ll love her forever.

Thoughts: Boooooo to Gallant dying. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

I can’t imagine being a military casualty officer for more than, like, a week. Having to deal with that much death would wreck me.

I’m impressed with Sam and Abby for maintaining their professionalism while treating their boss. That couldn’t have been easy.

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