February 26, 2019

ER 3.11, Night Shift: He Gant Take It Anymore

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 5:03 pm by Jenn

‘Bye! See you on “House”!

Summary: Mark and Chuny are on their way to County to work a night shift. Things are quiet when they arrive, and they learn there are no patients in the ER. Mark mentions that he’s up for tenure, and his biggest competition is Weaver. She’s currently working on a research study about the effects of exercise on night-shift workers. She’s enlisted Wendy to help her get the staff to do things like jumping jacks. Lydia isn’t bored enough yet to participate.

Keaton is packing up her office and practicing her Urdu in preparation for her move to Pakistan. Carter stops by, then has to hide when Gant comes in looking for him. Carol learns that the ER budget is screwed up, so two nurses have to be fired. The three on the chopping block are Malik, Chuny, and Connie. Carol only has until 8 the next morning to decide who to get rid of.

Randy entertains herself by drawing on the empty patient board while the nurses discuss how they would want to die if they had the choice. Chuny picks OD while Malik thinks a stroke is the way to go. Connie points out that he wouldn’t necessarily die. Doug arrives and apologizes to Carol for surprising her with Charlie on Christmas Eve. Carol reports that the girl stole Helen’s silverware. Doug announces that his New Year’s resolution is to stop being so charitable.

Weaver tells Mark that they need to do a safety check, which involves running down a checklist and keeping the ER up to code. Doug volunteers himself and Carol to do it. She reminds him that he was going to stop being charitable. Wendy asks if anyone wants to participate in Weaver’s study, and everyone yells, “No!” Hey, don’t take it out on the messenger.

Gant finally finds Carter and complains that Benton hasn’t given him the time off he requested to go see his girlfriend. Carter points out that since Monique seems to have moved on to another guy, going to see her probably won’t do anything. Carter lies about being busy so he doesn’t have to go get dinner with Gant. He’s tired of listening to Gant complain about Monique.

A woman named Shelly comes in with symptoms of meningitis. She refuses any treatment, even a shot of antibiotics. Mark warns that she could die, but Shelly, who sounds mentally addled, doesn’t care. Mark doesn’t think she’s competent to refuse treatment and wants to work her up. Lydia and Chuny tell him that, thanks to new hospital regulations, he’ll have to go through the risk management department first.

Carol and Doug check out a trauma room and write down all the potential safety risks. Weaver attempts to get Jeanie to agree to her study, and Jeanie attempts to use her HIV as an excuse not to participate (she’s not sure she’s healthy enough not to skew the results). They head into the trauma room where Carol and Doug are working, and Carol accidentally drops a clock on Weaver’s head when Jeanie bumps into her ladder. She needs stitches, so Randi finally has a patient to put on the board.

Carter’s in the ER when a patient comes in via ambulance, so he tries to elbow his way into a case that should be overseen by Doyle. They disagree about which of the patient’s complaints needs attention first. The patient shuts down the discussion by revealing that he just wants a flu shot. Malik recognizes him as a frequent visitor who calls 911 and plays possum when he wants a ride to the hospital. Carter generously tells Doyle the patient is all hers.

Benton asks Anspaugh about continuing to work in pediatric surgery after Keaton works. Anspaugh tells him to talk to a doctor named Kenner. Shelly knows that Mark wants to give her a spinal tap without her consent, so she talks to the hospital’s lawyer, Guinet. He thinks Shelly is mentally competent to make her own decisions, which means a possible lawsuit if Mark proceeds. Guinet tells Mark, Lydia, and Chuny that their jobs could be at risk if they do anything without Shelly’s consent. They should put her on a psych hold and call for a consult first.

Weaver bugs Jeanie about her study while she gets her stitches. She and Wendy shut down all of Jeanie’s attempts to turn them down, and Weaver adds a drop of guilt to get Jeanie to change her mind. Since the only patient in the ER is Shelly, and no one’s allowed to even touch her, the staff is back to being bored. Lydia’s trying to find her family.

Doug and Carol are continuing their safety check when Charlie shows up asking for money. She needs to pay a pimp $100 so he’ll leave her alone. Doug thinks she’s lying, so he sends her away. Charlie yells that he’s a pervert, got her pregnant, and now won’t pay for her abortion. “Lovely girl,” Carol comments as she and Doug leave.

Benton tries to get a few moments with Kenner, who’s busy. He gives Gant some assignments on top of the assignments he’s already trying to complete. Apparently no one else Benton supervises ever has to do any work. Connie and Chuny read personal ads in the lounge while Mark does paperwork. Things get awkward when one of the men who wrote an ad sounds like Mark. He insists it’s not him.

Psych finally sends someone for a consult, but it’s an intern, since no one in psych actually takes anything seriously in the ER. Doug and Carol end up in a storage hallway where they used to make out when they were dating. Shelly’s temperature is up to 103.5, so Mark and Lydia think they need to get a move on her treatment. The psych intern ignores them and continues his assessment, which Shelly passes. (She even throws in an insult – when he tells her to spell “world backwards,” she replies, “U-O-Y-W-E-R-C-S,” which is “screw you” backwards.)

The intern tells Mark that Shelly’s status is fine, so she’s allowed to refuse treatment. Mark notes that the intern is making a life-or-death decision for Shelly. The intern says she has the right to make her own decision, even if it’s a bad one. Mark demands to see someone higher up.

One of Kenner’s patients declines while Kenner’s still in surgery, so Benton takes over his care. He’s annoyed that Gant isn’t around. Jeanie has to ride an exercise machine with dark glasses on, so her body thinks it’s night. Between scenes, Gloria Reuben fires her agent. Benton finds Gant hanging out with Carter in the cafeteria and yells at him in a room full of people for not doing his job properly. If he makes another lazy, stupid mistake, he’s gone. Carter tries to cheer his friend, but he’s called away for a code.

Carol admits that when she and Doug were together, she wasn’t happy with herself. Now, she feels more confident and in control. She even got a B+ on her chemistry midterm. Carol confides that she has to fire two nurses and has no idea who to choose. Doug tells her that he was happier when they were together.

Carter and Doyle meet up while running to another wing of the hospital for a code. All they find are a maintenance worker and an overflowing toilet. When they finally get to the patient, the maintenance worker is putting his CPR training into use and doing their job for them. Once the patient is stable, Doyle tells the maintenance worker that Carter can take him to the broken toilet.

Doug and Carol talk about Charlie and how many chances she should get. Carol thinks they have to cut her off at some point, which Doug finds familiar. Chuny reads Mark the personal ad she and Connie wrote for him. They call him handsome and say he likes motorcycles. Mark hasn’t ridden the bike in a while and doesn’t want to mention it, since he could attract “motorcycle chicks.” Chuny says she’s one of them.

Lydia realizes that Shelly’s gone and alerts Mark. He finds her on a bus bench, and when she won’t go back inside, he picks her up and carries her in. They’re giving her a spinal tap when Guinet arrives and notes that they haven’t gotten a psych hold. He takes down Mark, Lydia, Chuny, and Malik’s names in case of legal action.

Doug teases Carol for falling asleep while they were having a deep conversation. Now she only has five hours to decide who to fire. But there’s a bigger problem – Charlie’s returned to the hospital covered in blood, having been beaten. Gant tells Carter that he thought about telling Anspaugh about Benton’s treatment of him, but maybe Benton’s right and he’s not as on top of things as he could be.

Weaver makes Jeanie run around outside while Wendy drives her around in a golf cart. Where did they get a golf cart? Charlie has a broken jaw and wrist, plus some facial injuries. Carol thinks she may have been raped. Malik tells Chuny and Carol his million-dollar idea: flypaper in a can. You spray it on your car, then peel it and all the bugs sticking to it off in one sheet. He’ll call it Bug Off. His second idea: stethoscope condoms.

Benton returns to Kenner’s patient and tells Kenner the treatment he gave him. He’s doing better, and Kenner’s appreciative, but not appreciative enough to bring Benton onto his team just yet. Benton says that he and Keaton just didn’t mesh, so she won’t give him a recommendation. Kenner urges him to have another discussion with Keaton about that meshing, and get her to give the recommendation.

Doug wants to get Charlie to tell him what happened before he gives her a rape exam. Carol runs into her three nurses on the chopping block, seeing how much they’re enjoying each other. Carter and Keaton spend their last few minutes together in her office, unable to get to the unlocked door before Benton can open it and see them together. Carter tries to hide his identity by putting a book in front of his face. Nice try, Carter.

Chuny thinks Mark showed a lot of guts by standing up to Guinet. Guts, stupidity – it’s all the same, right? He tells her he’s going to take full responsibility, so she doesn’t need to worry. Shelly’s spinal fluid shows she does have meningitis, so I guess this was all worth it. Carol goes looking for the nursing budget, and Randi says she took a look and figured out how to solve everything. If ER nurses work eight-hour shifts instead of 12-hour shifts, the hospital can stop paying them overtime and will save more than enough money to keep everyone on staff.

Keaton asks Benton if he’s going to be discreet about her relationship with Carter, or if he’s going to use it to blackmail his way into another pediatric rotation. That thought hadn’t even crossed Benton’s mind. He doesn’t want Keaton’s recommendation if it isn’t based on his work as a doctor. Keaton tells him he’s going to be a great surgeon, but not one who operates on children.

Shelly’s brother George arrives, having finally been tracked down by the police. He heard from her a few days ago, when she called to say she was sick. She doesn’t have any psychiatric problems, so her mental state was the result of the meningitis. Carter tells Benton that he and Keaton never discussed Benton, and definitely never said anything negative about him. Again, the thought hadn’t crossed Benton’s mind.

Anspaugh calls Benton over to discuss a complaint Gant has made about yelling at him in the cafeteria. Benton argues that Gant neglected his duties, so Benton had every right to chastise him. Gant says that he should have addressed him privately. Since Carter was present, Anspaugh asks his opinion. Carter says he understands why Gant’s upset, but given the circumstances, Benton was justified in his actions. Anspaugh tells Gant to toughen up, and next time something like this happens, he should discuss it with Benton before tattling to Daddy.

Carol gathers the nurses to announce that she thinks she’s solved the budget problems without having to fire anyone. The nurses aren’t happy that they have to give up overtime and work more hours for less money. Lydia reminds everyone that there’s a contract negotiation coming up, so if management tries to float this plan, the nurses will walk.

Carter tries to smooth things over with Gant, but Gant doesn’t blame him for speaking his mind when he was put on the spot. Carter leaves him to go search for something to do. Doug takes Charlie for a CAT scan and gently asks if she was raped. She asks him not to tell the police or a social worker, then says she was. Chuny catches Mark as he’s leaving and he invites her to get breakfast with him. He needs to ride his bike around a little to charge up the battery, so she offers to ride with him.

Jeanie drops out of Weaver’s study when she learns she’ll have to get in some sort of glass box to have her lung function tested. Not wanting all of her research to be for nothing, Weaver puts Wendy in the box. Doug tells Carol that Charlie was raped, and he clearly has no intention of keeping his promise not to tell the police or a social worker. Mark and Chuny skip breakfast in favor of a romp in his bed. Oh, and he still has the dog.

After a long, quiet shift, the ER finally gets a trauma. A man was hit by an El train after either jumping or falling onto the tracks. His face is injured, so no one can tell who he is. Benton tells Lydia to page Gant, and as Carter and Doyle bicker once again, the patient’s pager goes off. Doyle realizes that Gant is the man they’re trying to save. The episode ends with them still working, but it’s time to say goodbye to Omar Epps: Gant is dead.

Thoughts: You have to love that every member of the main cast wound up working a night shift together. That’s not contrived at all.

If the budge issues hadn’t gotten sorted out, Carol’s probably could have still been solved easily. Chuny and Malik put the hospital at risk by following Mark’s orders, so Carol could have fired them without having to make her own decision.

Find me one person who thought Mark and Chuny made a good couple. Just one. And did that person also think Carter and Keaton made a good couple?

February 19, 2019

ER 3.10, Homeless for the Holidays: Employee X

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 4:54 pm by Jenn

It’s Doug’s best day ever!

Summary: Jeanie meets up with Weaver at Doc Magoo’s after a meeting with her doctor. Her viral load is now undetectable on her new medication, and she thinks County might now be okay with her continuing to work there. Weaver is less hopeful, but she’s also upset that Jeanie’s been sidelined with administrative tasks instead of seeing patients. Whatever happens, however, at least Jeanie’s health is good.

Randi criticizes Mark’s choice of Christmas presents for Rachel, a sled. Gant likes it, but his judgment might be compromised, since he’s been working for about 24 hours. Things get even worse for him when his girlfriend, Monique, calls to cancel their holiday plans.

Weaver meets with Mark and Anspaugh to discuss Jeanie. She can’t be fired because she’s HIV-positive, but it’s legal to make her life miserable, basically. Anspaugh tells Weaver and Mark to come up with a fair policy they can apply to any staff member with HIV. This means the two feuding doctors will have to work together.

Gant still has ten more hours to go before he gets a holiday break, part of which he’ll be spending with Carter’s family (but not Monique). Doug’s trying to buy his mom some last-minute flowers, but Carol hangs up the phone while he’s on hold to force him to see patients. She doesn’t want to hear his holiday complaints, since her mother started her prep for their traditional Ukrainian Christmas celebration at 5 a.m.

Doug asks Mark what his meeting with Anspaugh was about. Mark says they’re working on a departmental policy on HIV-positive workers, which makes Doug think there’s someone in the ER with HIV. Weaver and Carol treat a drag queen, Miss Understood, who had a fight with her boyfriend over who was cooking their Christmas goose and now has chest pains. She’s still clutching the goose and refuses to give it up, but Carol out-stubborns her.

Rumors are now circulating that someone in the hospital has HIV. Jeanie overhears Connie and Randi talking about it but keeps a poker face. Carol tries to get her to stitch up a patient, but Jeanie says she’s doing triage again. As Charlie arrives with Ahmed, the baby Doug has been trying to get into the hospital. Doyle tends to a woman named Beth who has some bad facial injuries and a possibly broken jaw. Doyle sees in her chart that she’s been there before multiple times and angrily guesses that Beth’s husband is abusive.

Mark and Weaver get to work on the policy, trying to balance federal law with state regulations. Mark argues that he’s concerned, not a bigot, and no one wants to fire Jeanie. They just need to remember their responsibility to their patients. Weaver notes that they also have a responsibility to Jeanie, who’s a good employee. If they reveal her personal information, they could get sued. Mark says this is bigger than Weaver’s loyalty to a friend.

Doug’s treating a baby who snacked on mistletoe when he notices Charlie and Ahmed. She’s worried that Ahmed’s mother, Gloria will realize that Charlie brought him there and will be upset. Doug doesn’t care, telling Charlie to get Gloria to the hospital. Paramedics bring in a homeless man, Collins, who has burns and a yappy dog named Nick. Collins makes Mark promise not to send the dog to a kennel.

Doug determines that Ahmed has a mass in his abdomen and will probably need surgery. Gloria hasn’t arrived yet and there are no other adult relatives, so there’s no one to give consent. Charlie wishes she’d brought him in sooner, since Ahmed’s tumor is affecting his kidney function, but Doug praises her for getting the child medical treatment.

Keaton, Benton, and Carter operate on Ahmed while Carol tries to get a history from a woman who was found dancing with elves at Marshall Fields. She’ll only speak through a reindeer hand puppet and will only give her name as Blitzen, “the most overlooked of all the reindeer.” Carol decides to write Blitzen down as the woman’s name.

Doyle’s telling Beth about a shelter she can go to when her husband, Mr. Lang, arrives. He pretends that she was hurt when she fell down some stairs. Doyle coolly sends him back to the waiting area, saying they still have some things to do. Mark tries to find Nick something he’ll eat, but the dog is picky. Also, Collins’ condition is declining. As Carol’s trying to get “Blitzen” a psych consult, a man arrives looking for her.

Nick finally gets some food, finding Miss Understood’s goose. Ahmed comes through surgery fine, but he’ll need to stay in the hospital for a while. Doug tells Charlie that he has to call Social Services, since Gloria didn’t do anything when Ahmed got sick. Charlie’s worried that Gloria will throw her out. Doug agrees to give Gloria a chance to explain herself.

Keaton wants to make last-minute Christmas Eve plans with Carter, so he says he’ll try to get out of things with Gant and his family. Doug treats Charlie to lunch and tries to get her to open up about her family life. She ran away from home in Cleveland because her mom had a string of bad boyfriends who often turned their attention to Charlie. She hasn’t talked to her mother since.

After 34 hours of work, Gant is ready to party with the rich people. Carter says he might not make it to his family’s party, because there’s a “girl” he wants to go see. Gant understands, but Carter feels bad. Not bad enough to give up Keaton, of course.

Weaver and Mark keep discussing their policy, overhearing Lily and Chuny as they gossip about the employee who might have HIV. Mark decides to address this head-on, but this leads to a debate among the nurses. Chuny doesn’t think a worker with HIV should be involved in a bloody trauma. Carol doesn’t see the problem as long as the person wears gloves.

Connie asks if the worker, whom Mark is calling Employee X, got HIV from a needle stick. Doyle doesn’t see why it matters. Haleh says that universal precautions are supposed to prevent transmission, and Lydia notes that they work on HIV-positive patients using those precautions. As Jeanie comes by, Mark says they’re trying to determine whether patients have the right to know that their doctor or nurse or whoever has HIV.

Chuny asks if there’s an actual Employee X, or if this is all hypothetical. Weaver says they’re just discussing policies for now. Employee X could be anyone. Tired of being talked about, Jeanie steps forward and says, “Would everyone stop calling me Employee X? I am HIV-positive.”

Weaver and Mark continue their discussion in the lounge, now with Jeanie present. Mark would be uncomfortable with letting Jeanie participate in a trauma involving deep, penetrating wounds, but Jeanie says she wouldn’t be comfortable with that either. She’s been more careful since she got her diagnosis, and she would never want to harm a patient. Mark knows this, but they need to reconcile state and federal policies.

Jeanie wants to continue helping people, which is why she hasn’t quit her job. She asks what else Mark is concerned about. He notes that dementia can be a sign of full-blown AIDS, and would obviously put patients at risk. Jeanie says that some hospitals have someone monitor employees with HIV to keep an eye on their health. Weaver volunteers to do that for Jeanie. Coming out of the meeting, Jeanie realizes that her co-workers are now looking at her differently. Carol says she wishes she’d known about Jeanie’s HIV, obviously implying that she would have been nicer if she had.

Doyle and Malik tell Mr. Lang that Beth will probably have to stay overnight for observation. They send him back to the waiting area as they wheel a covered gurney outside. Beth is on the gurney, sneaking out to go to the bus station. Doyle even gives her money for her bus ticket and food. Then she tells Malik the money was really his, as he won the employees’ bowl game pool.

Mark looks for an animal shelter that will take Nick, ignoring Chuny when she reminds him that he told the now-dead Collins he wouldn’t send the dog away. Mark’s mad that he had to pay Miss Understood $50 for the goose Nick ate. Chuny guilts him into changing his mind by telling him the shelter will kill the dog if they can’t find him a home. But hey, now Rachel might have a better Christmas present.

Gloria comes to the hospital, furious that no one will give her Ahmed. Doug can tell she’s high, which certainly isn’t going to make him hand over the kid. Charlie’s mad when Doug threatens again to call Social Services. She though he was different from every other adult she’s met with any kind of power.

Mark bathes Nick in the lounge sink and tells Doug he’s giving the dog to Rachel. Doug offers to help with the bath if Mark gives him $20 (he lost his wallet). It’s a good thing he doesn’t pay up front, because the dog escapes. Mark slips and hits his head, staying behind while Doug chases down the dog. Needing stitches, Mark turns to Jeanie for help, extending an olive branch.

Carter and Keaton are exchanging Christmas presents when Benton comes by Keaton’s office. Carter hides under her desk. Benton wants to do another pediatric rotation and hopes Keaton will give her replacement a recommendation (she’s going to Pakistan, remember). Keaton says Benton is a great surgeon, but it’s not enough for pediatrics. He only took the rotation to challenge himself; he doesn’t have a passion for pediatrics. Benton leaves without a recommendation for another specialty, saying he doesn’t want to waste any more of Keaton’s time.

While Jeanie stitches him up, Mark tells her she’s an asset to the ER. He wants her to stay. However, she’ll have to work within the limits they’re setting up, and Jeanie knows Mark wouldn’t be comfortable with her, say, giving Rachel stitches. Doug brings the dog back, then heads off to spend Christmas Eve alone.

Jeanie tells Mark she’s sorry she lied about her health. After he leaves, Carol comes into the lounge and tries to relate to what Jeanie’s going through now that the news about her health is out. When she came back to work after attempting suicide, she felt like everyone was staring at her. Carol hopes the two of them can become friends.

Charlie’s waiting for Doug at his place, having gotten his address from his wallet, which she stole. She has no place to go since, as suspected, Gloria kicked her out. Al visits Jeanie at the hospital and gives her some Christmas cards that were sent to them as a couple. He also has the star they used to put at the top of their Christmas tree. They reminisce about the early days of their marriage.

Carter goes looking for Gant, who fell asleep finishing his charts. Since Gant is doing his scut work, Benton has time to visit Carla and give her a gas station poinsettia. Apparently her standards are low because she lets him come in. At Carol’s, where she’s hosting Ukrainian Christmas, her mother chastises her for not having an extra chair for an unexpected visitor. It’s tradition, but also a necessity when Doug shows up with Charlie, wanting Carol to take her in for the night.

Mark takes both the dog and the sled to Jen’s house, but sees that Rachel has already gotten two puppies for Christmas. Jen’s new husband, Craig, spots him as he’s leaving and notes how coincidental it is that Mark brought a dog. Rachel doesn’t seem to care that Nick is scraggly and not as young or cute as her puppies. Mark pretends the dog is his and can barely hide his glee when Nick bites Craig. Charlie enjoys herself with Carol’s family, and Carol agrees to let her spend the night. Carter and Keaton spend the evening in bed, discussing her move to Pakistan. They recite “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Okay, leave already.

Mr. Lang falls asleep waiting for his wife at the hospital, and Doyle just lets him stay there. She tells Jeanie that the tree in the waiting area is missing something. She thinks Jeanie was gutsy for coming forward as Employee X. Jeanie realizes that she has the one thing that will make the tree look complete – the star Al brought her. Doyle says that since the star is from Jeanie’s first Christmas with Al, it’s an heirloom and should go on her family tree. But Jeanie says that’s exactly where it is.

Thoughts: Miss Understood’s drag cabaret act is the Mighty Morphin Gender Changers. That is BRILLIANT.

34 hours of work should be illegal.

I’ve always liked how much Weaver fights for Jeanie. I think it stems from having a disability – she’s most likely been mistreated at work, so she wants to stand up for someone else who’s being mistreated.

Apparently escaping from your abusive husband is just that easy.

When Benton comes by, Keaton tells him she was just “reviewing some anatomy.” Cough.

February 12, 2019

ER 3.9, Ask Me No Questions, I’ll Tell You No Lies: Starring Mark Greene as Judge, Jury, and Executioner

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

Okay, ladies, time to stop looking like you’re hiding something

Summary: Benton is using Keaton’s visualization techniques to prepare for an operation. Scrub nurse Shirley messes with him by going over the steps of a recipe. She offers to set things up for Keaton, since Carter hasn’t arrived to do it, but Benton doesn’t know what size gloves Keaton wears. When Carter finally shows up, he knows. At Doc Magoo’s, Carol is again struggling with physics, and she won’t have time to do more studying before her midterm. William doesn’t have much sympathy.

Haleh and Malik have much more sympathy for Gant, who’s again handling all of Benton’s scut work. Doug is surprised to hear that Mark called a staff meeting. Carter helps Benton continue prepping for surgery, but he doesn’t think his book knowledge will mean anything if Keaton doesn’t approve of his methods. Lydia’s hoping she’ll get time off for her honeymoon, but Carol can’t promise her anything. She’s just as surprised as Doug to learn about Mark’s called staff meeting.

Benton puts his studying to the test, and Keaton is pleased with his work. But then Morgenstern enlists Benton for another procedure, one he hasn’t prepared for. Mark has some new organizational ideas for the ER, and Weaver approves. No one else seems to be taking him too seriously. Doug especially thinks that Mark is putting too much into his work because he’s moping over Susan. Mark just says that he’s been distracted over the past few months, and now he’s focusing on his job again.

Carol tries to get in some studying at work, but when she asks Doug a physics-related question, he just feels incompetent. Jeanie treats a woman with sickle-cell anemia who says her regular pain medication isn’t working. Morgenstern tells Benton that he’s chosen a difficult specialty, and not everyone who tries pediatric surgery is successful. Benton wants to know if Keaton’s said anything about his performance. He wonders if she asked Morgenstern to take him out of their surgery because he wasn’t good enough for it.

Carter and Keaton discuss their plans for that evening while trying not to let the others in the OR know that they want to do something together. Carter is, unsurprisingly, very unsmooth. Al comes to the ER with some breathing trouble, so Mark learns for the first time that a) Jeanie’s divorced and b) her ex has HIV. Carol goes to meeting with the reengineering committee and tries to determine how long her nurses will be floated to other departments. She stands up for her colleagues, arguing that critical patients should have nurses who have experience treating them.

Mark tells Jeanie that he met Al, fishing around to find out if she got tested for HIV. She lies that she tested negative. The ER is busy, so Doug has to treat adult patients for once, including a woman who takes a cabinet full of medications. Mark tells Weaver that he knows Al has HIV, and Jeanie said she doesn’t. Weaver brushes him off, making Mark wonder why she isn’t more concerned.

As soon as he’s done with Morgenstern, Benton rushes off to try to get back into his original OR. As Mark has Al’s previous charts pulled, Keaton and Carter discuss the fact that she’s soon going to Pakistan to teach pediatric techniques to surgeons. She’ll be gone for at least four months, possibly six, and Carter worries that she’ll never come back. Keaton notes that they never said they had long-term plans with each other, so while she’s in the U.S., they’ll just keep having fun.

Mark tries to get Jeanie’s medical files pulled, lying to a file clerk that he thinks his patient didn’t tell his wife that he has HIV. Jeanie’s file confirms his suspicions that she has HIV. Carol wishes she’d skipped the committee meeting and studied, since she’s still stuck trying to remember some basics. Gant is busy and Mark can’t be bothered to do his job, so an impatient patient (…heh) will have to keep waiting to get her B12 shot.

Doug deals with a sassy girl named Natalie who wants her antibiotics right away so she can get to playdate. Since Natalie seems to know a lot, Doug challenges her to help Carol study. It turns out Carol remembers more than she thought. Jeanie’s sickle-cell patient is still in pain, so she turns to Mark to authorize more treatment. Mark sends her to the waiting room to do triage instead of seeing patients.

Carter tells Keaton that the two of them are going to be cutting down his family’s Christmas tree that night. Benton asks Keaton if he can assist with an operation that afternoon, but Keaton has already set up her crew. Benton tries to look like a responsible supervisor by questioning Carter’s assignments for the day, but Carter’s caught up on everything. Mark spots Jeanie and Weaver having a serious conversation that leaves Jeanie looking upset.

Carol tells Carter that he would be smart to help Gant out, since Gant has five times the number of patients Carter does. Jeanie accuses Al of telling Mark that she has HIV, then blasts him for coming to County, where people know her. She thinks he’s just being his usual selfish, irresponsible self. Al feels bad, not just because she’s in a tough spot, but because he’s the reason she’s sick. Jeanie wishes that hating him felt better. Haleh and Connie mess with Mark’s new organizational board, since they disagree with the colors he’s chosen for various personnel.

Weaver pulls Mark outside to slam him for the way he’s treating Jeanie. He’s mad that she didn’t tell him about Jeanie and Al’s diagnoses, which Weaver says are none of his business. Mark disagrees. Weaver says he doesn’t even know for sure that Jeanie’s HIV-positive, and he admits that he looked at her medical records. He blames Weaver for forcing his hand. She tells him he knows there’s no excuse for what he did. Carter offers to help Gant out, but Gant doesn’t want to make Benton think that he can’t handle being overloaded. Carter’s like, “Well, I tried,” and leaves.

Mark goes to Anspaugh to announce that one of the ER staff members may have HIV. Anspaugh warns him not to do anything, since they could face a discrimination lawsuit. Mark says that Weaver may have known for as long as six months without telling anyone. Anspaugh’s pleased, if that’s the case, and he wants Mark to be just as discreet. Mark argues that Weaver could have left them open to patient litigation, but Anspaugh points out that right now, they just have a suspicion that someone has HIV. If he’s wrong about that, Mark shouldn’t correct him.

A bunch of kids on a nature hike came in contact with a bat, so they may all need rabies shots. However, the bat isn’t available for testing because an adult chaperone got rid of it. Doug gets him to admit that he panicked. Carol’s stubbornness has paid off, and the nurses learn that they won’t be floated to other departments anymore. Weaver’s pleased that Carol has again demonstrated strong management skills.

Benton tries again to get in on one of Keaton’s operations, but it’s been canceled. She thinks he should be grateful for what he’s been able to observe so far, since he’s seen more at this stage than she did. His residency is five years long; it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Mark and Weaver work together tensely as Jeanie calls the records department to find out if anyone looked up her file.

Benton’s annoyed to see Carter helping out in the ER, since it’s supposed to be Gant’s area today. Carol says she asked Carter to help because Gant’s slammed. Benton denies that; Gant just needs to work faster. Weaver agrees with Carol’s decision, while Mark thinks Benton should be able to make his own decisions about what his interns do. Benton punishes Carter by leaving him in the ER while he takes a patient to the OR.

Doug administers rabies shots and bat-safety instructions to the kids, then tells their chaperone he’ll need the shots, too. One of the kids wants to watch his chaperone in pain. Carol tries to tell Mark that she won with the reengineering committee, but he thinks she just wants to complain to him about something, and he’s tired of hearing about other people’s problems. She’s like, “Sorry for giving you good news, then.”

Benton finally gets in on a surgery with Keaton, taking advantage of their time together to discuss Carter’s performance. At first it sounds like Benton’s going to express concern, but he’s actually impressed with his intern’s work. Keaton encourages him to tell Carter, because it’s always nice for a student to hear that his teacher is proud of him. Benton obviously wants the same treatment from Keaton and is too wimpy to ask for it.

Carol tells Doug that she’s not going to be able to take much more of Mark’s crankiness. Doug says he tried to talk to Mark already, but Mark doesn’t want to discuss his feelings over Susan leaving. They should just let him get it out of his system. Carol wonders if Mark will still have friends when he’s done tantruming.

Jeanie checks on her sickle-cell patient, who’s still in pain because Mark didn’t listen when Jeanie asked him to treat her. Mark catches Jeanie with the patient and pulls her aside to reprimand her for not listening when he told her to do triage. Jeanie wasn’t aware that he could give orders while breaking rules by going into her file. They accuse each other of unethical behavior. Mark claims that he would have dealt with things if Jeanie had been upfront with him from the beginning. Jeanie thinks it’s better this way – now she knows the kind of person Mark really is.

Carol heads off to take her midterm, having to skip happy hour with the other nurses. Gant chastises Carter for not getting him from radiology so he could be in the ER when Benton came to get Carter’s patient. Gant doesn’t appreciate Carter’s attempts to help. Jeanie apologizes to Al for accusing him of telling Mark about her HIV. She knows better than to blame him for her condition, since she sees every day that bad things happen for no reason. Al hasn’t told most of his friends he’s HIV-positive, knowing they would treat him differently. He and Jeanie each say the other doesn’t deserve their illness.

Mark apologizes to Doug for his crankiness, as if that was his worst sin today, and as if Doug is the person he needs to apologize to. Mark says he doesn’t enjoy his job anymore, and doesn’t see the staff as family like he used to. Doug wants him to talk about his feelings over Susan’s departure. His mom used to tell him not to confuse where he works with where he lives. But he still wants to be friends with his co-workers.

Carter waits impatiently for Keaton to finish talking to a colleague so they can leave. Benton passes by his car and tells him he’s doing a good job. Carter’s so worried that Keaton will interrupt and Benton will get suspicious that he can’t appreciate this human moment with his robot boss. Weaver tells Jeanie that she, Anspaugh, and Mark are going to meet to discuss hospital policy. She promises that her condition will remain confidential. She thinks her colleagues will be okay with her illness once they learn of it, though, since they at least understand how it’s transmitted.

Doug meets Carol outside her exam, which she thinks went pretty well. He wants to take her out for a drink to celebrate her hard work. William comes along and suggests ice cream, so they go off with him instead. Carter and Keaton get a tree, and she gets turned on, and it’s kind of weird. Is anyone rooting for this relationship? Anyone?

Thoughts: The boy who asks to watch is chaperone get a shot is played by a teeny-tiny Corbin Bleu.

Hey, Mark? You suck.

One of the patients in this episode is a ten-year-old who tried to emulate some circus sword-swallowers, only with a butcher knife instead of a sword. Kids are…just…so dumb.

Carter and Keaton, if you don’t want people to know you’re together, stop…being together so much.

February 5, 2019

ER 3.8, Union Station: Leaving on an El Train

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:05 pm by Jenn

Adios

Summary: Doug is taking another turn in the healthmobile, this time with Chuny as his nurse, and stationed in the room of some sort of community center. Charlie comes in with a baby she’s been watching who needs to get some vaccinations. She pretends to be the baby’s mother so she can give “parental” consent. Doug notes that Charlie should be in school, so she says they have the day off for Career Day.

At County, Carter greets Susan on her last day at work. He examines her patient, Mr. Reynolds, and declares that he needs surgery for an abdominal aneurysm. Susan gets Carter and Doyle to agree that he should be treated medically instead. Doyle says she still has a lot to learn, but Susan says she herself took a while to get the hang of things. Carol tells Doyle that Susan was always this good.

Mark goes by Susan’s apartment, which is now all packed up. He’s hoping to move in. The landlady is thrilled that he’s quiet, has no live-in girlfriend, and won’t be throwing any parties. When he gets to work, Weaver tells him about some budget issues and how Susan’s departure will negatively affect them. However, she’s okay with Mark going home if he needs to, since he’s having some neck pain. He says he’ll stick around, because of course he’s not going to miss these last few hours with Susan.

Susan’s worried about leaving County shorthanded, but Mark assures her that they’ll get through. He tells her he signed the lease on her old apartment. The two of them show Doyle how to fix a man’s dislocated hip, not realizing that Doyle knows how to do it and didn’t need any help. Megan is finally going home, and her parents want to take a picture with Benton. They think he did as much for the baby as Keaton did. Keaton thinks Benton should just be grateful for a good outcome.

Carter comes by to see Keaton, pretending he’s there for a literature review. She’ll go over his first draft that afternoon. This all goes over Benton’s head. Susan’s working until 2:00, then catching a train to Phoenix at 4:20. She thinks Mark is acting weird, even though he’s been supportive of her move. Carol asks if she’s having second thoughts. Susan says she’s never felt more sure of a decision, but yes, she’s having second thoughts. Carol says she’s never looked happier, so she must be doing the right thing.

Mark asks Susan for a second opinion on a patient who might be at risk for a pulmonary embolism. It doesn’t sound like he really needs a second opinion at all, just an excuse to talk to Susan. Doug and Chuny return from the healthmobile, and Chuny reveals that the immunization program they’ve started was Doug’s idea, so he volunteered to go out into the community. They’re ready for Susan’s party, which will include a cake shaped like a cactus. Carol thinks Susan will hate the party, but Doug says that’s why they’re doing it.

He notices Mark’s neck issues and asks if he ever declared his feelings for Susan. Well, of course not, Doug. Mark’s a wimp. Keaton prepares Benton for an operation, having him visualize the anatomy and the procedure. She sees the beauty in the human body, while Benton just sees the body parts he’s been studying for years. It turns out that the patient Mark asked Susan for a second opinion about was actually Weaver’s, which clues Susan in to Mark’s true intentions.

Haleh’s being summoned to neuro to fill in, like Lydia was previously. The nurses have caught on to the administration’s attempts to mess with nurses who are close to maxing out their pensions. Carol isn’t going to let it go on any longer. Lydia has brought in her wedding dress and says she’s going to return it. Al G. keeps putting off their wedding, and Lydia’s not sure why he proposed in the first place. The nurses complain about men being spineless. Mark, overhearing, says, “Whatever you’re talking about, I’m sure you’re right.”

Carol tells whoever ordered Haleh to neuro that she won’t be going up. Connie and Haleh are impressed with her, even though she doesn’t succeed. Carol promises that this will be the last time an ER nurse is sent to another department. Susan tells Mark that he can’t put her in the middle of his conflicts with Weaver anymore (especially after today, since she won’t be around). She knows they work well together, and she’s worried she won’t have as good a connection with anyone in Phoenix. But Mark needs to form that connection with the other doctors at County.

Al catches Jeanie on her way to the hospital and gives her divorce papers. He wants her to have their house and car. If he can get his assets down and prove that he doesn’t have insurance, he can get his medications through a state program. Al has recognized that everything Jeanie said about him on Halloween was true, and he needs to be a better person.

Paramedics bring in a drunk pregnant woman who’s very unhappy to be in the ER. She’s also not happy to be pregnant. Doyle sedates her, and moments later, her water breaks. Doyle is angry because the woman was clearly drinking in an attempt to kill her baby. Susan tells her to call Social Services, though Doyle isn’t sure they’ll be able to do anything. She asks a chaplain to come pray for the baby.

Jeanie gets Mark to talk to a diabetic patient named Siebert who would much rather see Susan. He comes in for help managing his diabetes, though his condition isn’t usually that bad. Really, he just wants to chat with Susan about his personal life. Mark grows more and more impatient, finally telling Siebert that Susan is leaving County. When Siebert gets agitated, Mark tells Malik to call psych.

Chuny shows Doug the bloodwork from the baby Charlie brought to the healthmobile, which shows that he needs further examination. Al G. brings in a sick homeless man, taking advantage of the location to try to talk to Lydia. He tells Mark and Carol that he hasn’t been putting off the wedding because he doesn’t want to get married. Carol tells him that if he wants to be with her, he should just go through with it. Al G. says he spent all morning trying to get a marriage license and a priest, but all the priests in the city are at a CPR class. Carol points out that the hospital has a chaplain.

Benton and Keaton operate together with assistance from Carter. The patient’s anatomy gets complicated, and Benton has to let Keaton take over. Doug tries to get in touch with the baby’s mother, but all he knows is that she’s a single mother living in a home for…well, only single mothers, so that’s not much help. Psych arrives for Siebert, but he’s taken off. Susan says all he ever needs is tea and someone to listen to him.

Lydia is talking to Al G. again, and Carol thinks he’ll be able to talk her into getting married. Mark is clearly jealous that they’ll get a happy ending while his crush is moving across the country. Benton feels bad for having to step out of the surgery, but Keaton appreciates that he recognized he wasn’t ready. He did 90 percent of the job by studying the anatomy, but he didn’t do the other 10 percent, which was just taking a few minutes to understand what he was looking at. Carter interrupts to tell Benton that they’re needed in the ER for a wedding.

Carol, Susan, Haleh, and Connie help Lydia get ready while Mark pins a boutonniere on Al G. Randi reports that there are no traumas coming in, so they should hurry up and do the wedding while they have a chance. Carol takes a Thanksgiving flower arrangement from the front desk so Lydia will have a bouquet. The staff gathers in the waiting room and sings the wedding march as Lydia joins Al G. and the chaplain at the end of the “aisle.”

Chuny accidentally interrupts by walking by and calling out for information on a stool sample. Lydia tells her where she can find the chart she needs. Oh, what lovely vows. Doug hits Connie with the turkey from the flower arrangement and Carol takes it away from him, because he’s a child. The chaplain works Lydia and Al G.’s jobs into his brief message, saying that they care for and protect others in the city, and now they’re going to care for and protect each other.

Carter arrives late and whispers that Benton sends his regrets, as he was pulled into an emergency surgery. He tells Jeanie it was for a patient with testicular torsion. Who among us hasn’t been to a wedding where those words were spoken? Mark and Susan are definitely thinking about each other as the chaplain talks about love and stuff. In fact, we have to watch them look at each other instead of Lydia and Al G. as they say their vows and are declared husband and wife.

Jeanie tells Weaver that Al gave her divorce papers, the most unselfish thing he’s ever done. Doug and Carol noticed Mark and Susan looking at each other during the wedding, and wish they could have been honest about their feelings for each other. Doug wonders why she’s even leaving. Carol says that Susan doesn’t have a life here. The single women of the ER gather for the bouquet toss, but Susan catches it without even trying. She and Mark promise each other they’ll always be friends.

Carter goes to Keaton’s office for his “literature review”…which actually does start with the review. She wants to make sure they’re not drawing any attention to their relationship; they need to keep it completely separate from their work. Keaton doesn’t think it’s a big deal anyway, since she’s not his boss. No, just his boss’ boss. Clearly, she’s so happy with Carter that she hasn’t thought through all the possible consequences.

Weaver tells Mark that the drunk mom is facing attempted-murder charges. They guess that Doyle bypassed Social Services and called the police. She says she wanted to make sure the case didn’t fall through the cracks. Mark tells her it’s not her job to scare moms with criminal charges when they’re supposed to be treating everyone, no matter their circumstances. Doyle yells that if she’s called to testify against the mom, she’ll do it on her own time.

Carol meets with Mary Cain, the admin she hopes will keep ER nurses from being sent to other departments. Mary notes that since ER nurses are so well-trained and versatile, it makes sense to place them in other departments when they’re needed. Plus, nurses are expensive, so the hospital needs to use them more effectively. Carol points out that the ICU is a better place for ER nurses. Mary likes her perspective and asks her to serve on a monthly reengineering committee.

Weaver stalls Susan from leaving by giving her a patient while they set up for her surprise goodbye party. But a big trauma comes in, so everyone has to abandon the cactus cake. Susan’s patient is a senior-citizen bodybuilder with a minor injury. He’ll be 74 when he has his next competition, and he’s loving his life.

Done with her final shift at County, Susan goes to the lounge to get her things and sees that her friends were going to throw her a party. She walks through the ER, looking in on everyone, and doesn’t say goodbye to Mark, who doesn’t even see her in his trauma room.

Later, Mark is upset that Susan didn’t even leave a goodbye note. Carter asks Benton if he can leave by 7:00, since he has a date. Benton warns him not to slack on his literature review, or he’ll tick off Keaton. He thinks Keaton is a little nuts, and he doesn’t like her psychobabble. She doesn’t act like a surgeon. Carter defends his secret girlfriend.

It turns out Benton also has a date, though he mixed up the night he was supposed to go out with Carla. Carter meets her and offers to give her a tour, since Benton’s busy. Benton doesn’t seem to want his two worlds to collide. Mark criticizes Jeanie for a medical decision she made, but Jeanie says he told her it was okay. He can’t yell at her when he was distracted over Susan. Doug pulls Mark aside to go for a walk.

Carol tells the nurses that they’ll no longer be sent to neuro or other wards, but they’ll still have to work in the ICU sometimes. Haleh and Chuny suggest getting new contracts. Connie refuses to go to the ICU, but Chuny says she won’t be sent there, since she’s nowhere close to maxing out her pension. Haleh warns Carol that all her defending of the decision makes her sound like management.

Doug tells Mark that he should go try to catch up with Susan before her train, so he can say a proper goodbye. Mark argues that Susan’s already made up her mind and is leaving. Doug says that’s not the point – he can either tell her how he really feels, or he can say nothing and regret it for the rest of his life. That means he’ll be miserable forever, and make everyone around him miserable, like he has been all day.

Carter is paged away, so Carla pulls Benton into the suture room so they can…do some literature review. Meanwhile, Mark waits impatiently at the El station, then takes a cab to his apartment. The landlady tells him that he just missed Susan, but she left him a note. As he rushes back to the El station, Doug looks for the baby’s mother at the facility where Charlie said they were living, but no one by that name has been there all month.

Mark returns to the El station, finally catching up to Susan as she’s about to get on the train. He tells her he wants her to stay, blurting out that he loves her. He feels stupid for not saying it before. Susan says she already knew. Mark asks her again to stay, saying they belong together. Does she really not feel the same? Susan just stammers that she’s sorry. Mark is her best friend, and she’s not sure how she’ll get by without him, but she doesn’t belong there anymore.

Mark emotionally says that he doesn’t want to lose her. She kisses him, then tells him she’ll never forget him. As the train pulls away, she yells to Mark that she loves him. But she’s going to Phoenix, and they’re never going to get together. Because by the time she comes back to Chicago, he’ll be with someone else, and then he’ll be dead. Uh, spoiler.

Thoughts: I’m using “literature review” as a euphemism for making out from now on.

Why didn’t Lydia and Al G. get married in the hospital’s chapel? Who wants to get married next to a busy hallway?

Carla’s so charming early on that it’s hard to believe she’s the same person who becomes such a mess later on.

Carla tells Carter she has a Caribbean restaurant, and he replies that he and his family used to vacation in the Caribbean. That’s such a WASP response. Nice touch, writers.

January 29, 2019

ER 3.7, No Brain, No Gain: Mark Shoots His Shot

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:04 pm by Jenn

Yeah, I can see why Mark thought they were dating

Summary: Carol runs into Mark as they’re on their way into work. He’s preoccupied and calls her Susan, prompting Carol to say they should just get married already. She reveals that everyone knows they almost went on vacation together. Mark says Susan didn’t really want him to go, but Carol says she did. She wants Mark to ask Susan out, if only to feed the gossip mill.

It’s been almost a week since Benton botched Megan’s surgery, and he’s been spending all his spare time keeping vigil at her side. Carter and Gant are pretty much on their own. Dale asks if they’ve seen his patient, a man who’s supposed to be having a tumor removed from his throat. Anspaugh brought in a hotshot surgeon from Japan just for the case, and everyone’s ready, but the patient is MIA. Dale offers to get Carter and Gant a surgery if they help him search for the patient. The guys pretend they’ll help, but they hate Dale, so they’re not going to follow through.

Megan’s hemorrhaging, but the only solution could kill her. Keaton tells Benton that they can’t do anything more for her without harming her further. Benton also needs to take a step back from all of his cases. He’s not being punished; he just needs to learn more patience so he can be a successful surgeon. And, I would argue, a better human being, because at this point, the only people who like Benton are related to him.

Dale’s patient, Mr. Percy, asks Jerry for change for the candy machine, but he doesn’t quite get that he’ll have to give Jerry a dollar bill to get his coins. Connie’s sick, so Carol needs to find a floater, and she wants to approve whoever’s sent to the ER. Too late – it’s Rhonda, and she’s just as pleasant as ever. Carter and Gant are able to have an uninterrupted breakfast, but they get paged just as they’re starting to enjoy their free time. Keaton and Carter chat a little, making Gant wonder if there’s something going on between them.

Carol listens in as Rhonda takes a very detailed history from a patient, then criticizes her methods. Carol thinks she’s taking too long, but the patient is fine with the conversation. As Carter and Wendy are starting to treat a homeless man’s squirrel bite, they hear a choking sound coming from a cabinet in the exam room. Percy has stolen some homemade taffy Wendy brought in, and he’s choking on it. Carter gives him the Heimlich, then has to use forceps to remove the rest of the taffy from his throat.

A 13-year-old is brought in with gunshot wounds, and Doug gets to work on him despite paramedic Dwight saying he has no signs of life. Doug quickly confirms this and pronounces the boy dead. Benton arrives seconds later for a surgical consult and won’t accept Doug’s pronouncement. When he won’t stop trying to revive the boy, Doug tells Lydia to get Mark to come and override him.

Carter and Wendy de-taffy Percy as Anspaugh, Dale, and the Japanese surgeon, Okida, come to get him for surgery. Carter tries to collect on Dale’s promise, but Dale says there enough people participating already. Anspaugh ignores him and invites Carter to join them. Mark tells Doug that Benton might as well keep working on their patient, I guess since he’s not hurting anything. Amazingly, Benton succeeds in restarting the boy’s heart, though Doug notes that he probably has brain damage.

E-Ray doesn’t feel well, so he comes to the ER for treatment. He tells Susan he had an MRI on his shoulder the day before and is worried that he has radiation sickness. Susan tries to assure him that that’s not possible. Her watch suddenly stops, and E-Ray tells her that his did, too, right after the MRI. Also, his ten-year-old toaster stopped working. Maybe the MRI rearranged his molecules, and now he’s causing electronic interferences. Susan says no, but her flashlight doesn’t work, so…

Keaton joins Benton and Gant for the boy’s surgery, which could take hours. Keaton’s willing to go back on her earlier orders and let Benton operate instead of just observing. Mark tends to a birdwatcher who fell from a tree in the park. He gets distracted by Susan and saunters over to ask her out that night. She says she’d love to, but she already has plans. He says they’ll just do it another time. Susan says they need to talk; she’ll call him later.

Carter’s supposed to prep Percy for surgery, but he’s hiding again. Carter thinks Percy’s just nervous about the surgery. However, Percy’s more interested in candy than his medical condition. Carter realizes that Percy doesn’t have the mental capacity to understand why he’s in the hospital. He sits down with the man so they can talk about candy bars. (They both love Zagnuts.) When Carter asks if Percy wants the operation, Percy just asks for change for the candy machine again.

Rhonda mixes up an enema for her patient, despite not having orders from a doctor. Carol takes over the patient and sends Rhonda to change bedding. The birdwatcher takes pictures of various people in the ER, then tells Mark she’s actually an anthropologist doing a comparative study on the mating rituals of humans and birds. For example, Chuny and the paramedic she’s flirting with are doing the same courtship dance some grouses do. She also thinks Jerry and Wendy are flirting, and that Wendy’s just seconds away from shaking her tailfeathers in Jerry’s face.

Keaton approves Benton’s plans for the boy’s surgery, then steps out to do something else, sending a doctor named Breedlove to continue with Benton. As E-Ray approaches Jerry to ask if his blood tests have come back, Jerry’s computer goes down. Carol discharges Rhonda’s patient, then spots Mark watching Susan and Morgenstern as if they’re birds. He thinks Susan’s flirting. Carol asks what Mark’s talking about. “You’d know if you were a nuthatch,” he says.

Carter tells Dale that Percy’s not capable of consenting to his surgery; he needs a psych consult. Dale asks if Carter really wants to delay a surgery headed by Anspaugh and Okida because he has questions about Percy’s mental status. Carter won’t back down, saying he’ll get the consult, and if the results are that Percy can’t consent, he’ll tell Anspaugh.

Doyle brings Mark in to mediate when the father of Doug’s young patient starts yelling. The boy was bitten (by a human), and his father won’t let Doug give him IV antibiotics for the subsequent infection. Mark looks at the boy’s x-ray, then pulls Doug and Doyle outside to tell them to just let the boy leave. He agrees that IV meds are the better choice, but if the situation is getting heated enough for police intervention, they should just give the boy oral medication and let him go. Doug says Mark can do whatever he wants; he’s out.

Dale decides that Carter’s wasted enough time waiting for Percy’s psych consult, and it’s time to get him into surgery. As Anspaugh and Okida come to get him, Carter tries to tell Anspaugh that Percy isn’t mentally competent to consent. Anspaugh doesn’t get what Carter means and just continues on the way to the OR. Rhonda’s patient is still in the waiting area, and has now soiled herself. Rhonda happily tells Carol that cleaning up is her problem now.

Breedlove joins Benton in surgery. The “joke” here is that Breedlove is really short. That’s it, that’s the joke. He’s also old and wishes surgeons still used catgut for stitches. Benton mostly ignores him and just does his thing. Keaton watches from outside the door as Benton tries to revive the boy when he starts bleeding and flatlines. She knows there’s no hope for the patient, but she doesn’t stop him.

Mark is convinced that Susan’s dating Morgenstern, and that’s what she’s going to tell him when she calls later. Carol says she remembers seeing the two of them having lunch together. Mark thinks he’s missed his chance to date Susan. Benton, Breedlove, and Gant finish the surgery, though it still remains to be seen if the boy will have any kind of life. Gant goes to talk to the boy’s mother, since Benton doesn’t want to see her until he knows the boy’s mental status.

A man who lost his foot during a street game of football refuses to let go of the ball as he’s brought into a trauma room. Rhonda gets brought into the trauma, so I guess Carol doesn’t have much pull in keeping her off of emergency cases. Dale outshines Carter in surgery, at least when it comes to answering tough questions, but Carter’s the one who notices bubbles in Percy’s lungs. That means Dale tore something he shouldn’t have. Carter jumps in to insert a chest tube and prove himself.

Carol gets the football guy to give up his ball as Morgenstern joins the trauma team. He and Susan joke around a little, and she scratches his mustache while his hands are busy doing life-saving things. Mark is dying inside. Rhonda gives Morgenstern the man’s foot, wrapped in plastic bags, as they take him for surgery to try to reattach it.

Benton tells his patient’s mother that they’re going to take him off his ventilator to see if he breathes on his own. If he doesn’t, his brain is too damaged for him to survive. Ten seconds pass as they wait to see what happens, and the boy doesn’t breathe, so Benton puts him back on the ventilator. He has few words of sympathy for the mother, since he’s a robot and doesn’t understand human emotion.

Doug tells Mark that he’s no longer going to work the same shifts as him. He thinks Mark has been acting morally superior ever since the Nadine situation. Mark shoots back that Doug drags his dirty laundry into the ER, so it’s impossible to keep their work and personal lives separate. Rhonda gives football guy’s ball to his wife as Carol tells her that they’re hopeful about his recovery. The wife is in for a horrible shock when she learns the hard way that Rhonda accidentally switched the bags – the surgeons have the football, and she has the foot.

Percy’s surgery is over, and everyone’s pleased. Well, everyone except Dale, who’s left behind to monitor the patient while Anspaugh, Okida, and Carter get something to eat. Rhonda begs Carol not to write her up for her huge mistake, but Carol’s not about to let her incompetence slide. Rhonda says that her pension is in jeopardy; she’s only nine months away from getting it, but someone higher up is messing with her to get her fired. They’re putting her in jobs she’s not qualified for so they have an excuse to fire her and hire less expensive nurses’ aides. Rather than risk humiliation, Rhonda quits.

Benton goes to check on Megan, whose parents tell him she doesn’t have much time yet. They either don’t know that Benton screwed up in surgery or they don’t care, because they’re grateful for everything he’s done for their daughter. Chuny tells Carol that she heard gossip that backs up Rhonda’s story – the hospital admin is trying to get rid of her before her pension maxes out. Carol still doesn’t believe it, but she changes her mind when Lydia, whose own pension is a year from maxing out, is going to be floated to neurology a few times a week.

Mark invites Doug to continue berating him, acknowledging that he’s a little sanctimonious. Doug says he doesn’t need Mark telling him where he’s screwed up in life; he can do that himself. He’s seeing a shrink, and though she’s a female, Doug doesn’t have plans to sleep with her, since she’s in her 60s. Carter, Anspaugh, and Okida’s meal date has turned into a karaoke date, and it’s…kind of surreal.

Benton tells Keaton that he made all the same mistakes with the boy that he usually makes. He worked harder than he’s ever worked, and he truly thought he would save the boy. Keaton suggests that he check on Megan again before he leaves for the night. E-Ray and Jerry want to continue testing E-Ray’s theory, but as they’re headed somewhere to do so, they get delayed by an elevator that stopped between floors.

Carter’s good mood after karaoke ends abruptly when he returns to the hospital and Dale tells him that Percy had a stroke while in recovery. It’s too bad Carter didn’t back off the psych consult; it could have saved his life. Dale taunts that Carter didn’t have the…uh, little Carters to stick to his guns. The two get into a fistfight, which ends with Carter being smacked into the hallway, right into Keaton’s path.

Mark complains to Carol that Susan didn’t tell him she’s dating Morgenstern. Carol says she wouldn’t tell anyone if she were dating him. She encourages him to just ask Susan straight out what’s going on. He says that’s not his style, so she advises him to get a new style. Jerry and Wendy run an MRI on E-Ray, hoping to reverse his polarity. But they don’t know how to turn off the machine, so now E-Ray probably does have radiation sickness.

Keaton fixes up Carter after his fight, saying that at least he cares about his patients, unlike a lot of surgeons. With the way she keeps telling him to call her by her first name, and the way they keep looking at each other, it’s not that big a surprise when she ultimately kisses him.

Mark goes to Susan’s place and blurts out that he knows about her and Morgenstern. When she says they’re not dating, he asks if she’s seeing anyone. Susan reveals that she’s been meeting with Morgenstern to get her transcripts together. She’s moving to Phoenix to be closer to Chloe and Susie. She feels like she’s finally moving on with her life. She’s happy, so Mark tries to be happy for her, but he can’t quite pull it off. Benton goes to check on Megan and discovers that her condition is finally improving, in some kind of miracle.

Thoughts: Percy is played by William Sanderson. Since that X-Files episode, I’ve watched True Blood, where Sanderson played Bud Dearborne, and if I hadn’t recognized him, I wouldn’t have guessed that the same actor played three characters who were so different.

So did no one notice Percy’s intellectual delays earlier, or did they just not care? I mean, I can see Dale not caring, but no one else said anything?

Dale is a horribly written character, by the way. He has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

January 22, 2019

ER 3.6, Fear of Flying: Malpractice Makes Perfect

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:54 pm by Jenn

How do these doctors not get sued more often?

Summary: Susan and Mark are about to fly out to a trauma scene on a helicopter, and Susan is less than enthusiastic. She doesn’t have a choice, though, since participating is a requirement for her residency. William tries to explain string theory to Carol at Doc Magoo’s, but she, like me, has no idea what he’s talking about. Mark enjoys the scenery during the helicopter flight, trying to convince Susan to open her eyes. They come to the trauma scene, a bad car crash, and see that they’re the first medical responders.

Things are chaotic at County, where Jeanie’s patient, Mr. Brazil, has some interesting plans for what happens to him after he dies: He wants to be cryogenically frozen. His wife already has been, so he’ll be able to join her. Mr. Brazil’s caretaker tells Jeanie that the couple wanted to be preserved together so they can eventually come back, “just like those dinosaurs in that movie.” Well, yeah. That worked out well for everyone.

The nurses are especially swamped, partly because Haleh’s on vacation. A floater is coming down to fill in, but Lydia doesn’t have high hopes about that; the last time they had a floater, she spent her shift hiding in the bathroom. When they learn that the floater is Rhonda Sterling, Lydia and Chuny refuse to babysit her, knowing that since she’s a floor nurse, she won’t know what she’s doing in the ER.

At the accident scene, Susan tries to tend to three patients, a woman named Gail and her two children. Her daughter, who’s only ten days old, seems mostly fine, but Gail and her son Zach have some injuries. Mark declares the other driver dead, then moves on to try to help Gail’s husband, David. As paramedics and firefighters arrive, Mark summons Susan over to help with David. She tells him the rest of the family is stable.

Jerry’s making sports bets, which would appear to be the dumb sub-sub-subplot of the week, but it’s actually not. Rhonda arrives in the midst of the ER chaos, almost as unenthusiastic about working there as Susan was about flying. Zach stops breathing, so Susan rushes back to him and intubates him. She and the other flight physician she’s working with don’t have the proper tools to do everything they need to do.

Rhonda can’t get an IV started, so she asks Doyle to do it. Carol tells her that nurses in the ER try a few times before turning to a doctor. She’s quickly growing annoyed with Rhonda’s methods and lack of knowledge about ER procedures. As Zach and David are about to be taken to County in the helicopter, Susan takes a moment to tell Gail that she’ll get word to her as soon as she knows their conditions.

The nurses at County prepare for David and Zach’s arrivals as Mr. Brazil’s caretaker says her final goodbye to his body. She asks Jeanie and Connie to keep his body cold until the cryogenic-storage people can come get it. Connie wonders if she should clear out the fridge. Mark and Susan deliver their patients to the ER, and Carol and Doug start taking care of Zach. Rhonda is way behind the curve, and I don’t get why they even brought her into the trauma room.

Susan asks Lydia to track down Gail at whatever hospital she’s being taken to, so Susan can keep in touch with her. A medication mix-up, thanks to Rhonda, leads Carol to accidentally inject Zach with a small amount of potassium. Doug decides that it’s not enough to cause damage, stopping the two women from panicking. Carter comes in for an assessment and gives Keaton all the proper information. He’s completely on top of things, impressing Doug. Next door, David wakes up but doesn’t remember being in the accident.

Carol chastises Rhonda for her mistake, saying she has no business working in the ER. This isn’t news to Rhonda. She’s assigned to restock supplies for the rest of her shift. Jeanie tells Mark about Mr. Brazil and how she’s supposed to figure out the logistics with the cryogenics company. I don’t think medical school prepared Mark for having to deal with this type of situation. Susan learns that Gail and the baby are still at the accident scene, so she may have to fly back out to get them.

Keaton and Benton operate on Zach, with an assist from Carter. Keaton’s pleased with all the steps Benton plans to take. As Susan is called back up on the helicopter, Jeanie starts covering Mr. Brazil’s body in ice. This is the dumb sub-sub-subplot of the week. Doyle doubts that the body will stay cold until a rep from the cryogenics company can arrive. Mark offers to take Susan’s place on the helicopter, but she says she’s okay to suck it up and fly again.

As soon as Zach is out of surgery, Keaton invites Benton to join her for another procedure. Carter thinks she’s awesome. Gail and the baby, Megan, finally arrive at County, and Megan would like to speak to someone in charge about her horrible day. Jeanie and Doyle go across the street to Doc Magoo’s in search of more ice. Meanwhile, actual living patients just sit around the waiting room, totally fine with their ailments taking backseat to a corpse.

Gail’s injuries aren’t too bad, but her extended separation from her husband and kids is taking a toll on her. Gant tries to determine whether Megan needs surgery, but he can’t be sure – her abdomen may be distended because of an injury, or just because she’s been crying so much that she’s swallowed a lot of air. Benton takes over, criticizing Gant for not doing a full surgical evaluation. He decides that Megan needs surgery and at least softens long enough to explain things to Gail.

Gail’s distraught and wants David (a pediatrician) to decide whether they should consent to the surgery. Susan assures her that she’ll make the right decision. After she gives consent, Doug tells Benton that Gant was doing fine with his assessment before Benton barged in. When Keaton joins the group, she tells Gant that missing Megan’s injury was an easy mistake to make. She invites him to scrub in on her surgery.

Jeanie and Doyle are finishing up with Mr. Brazil’s icing when a cryogenics rep arrives to transport his body. He tells the women to give Mr. Brazil heparin, but Jeanie isn’t sure she should obey, since the rep doesn’t appear to be a doctor. Doyle points out that the heparin won’t hurt Mr. Brazil, since he’s, you know, already dead. Keaton, Benton, and Gant operate on Megan, discovering that she has an additional injury they didn’t see earlier.

David appears to be doing better, but Mark and Susan quickly determine that he has a problem with his short-term memory. Carter summons Keaton to help with Zach, who’s getting worse in recovery, so Keaton leaves Benton to finish Megan’s operation on his own. He sees something on the surface of her liver and decides he can clear it out himself. This leads to some bleeding, so Benton has to change his plans. Gant is uncertain about helping out.

Keaton figures out what Zach’s problem is and fixes it without any further medical intervention. Carter’s so in love with her. Things are going downhill with Megan, but Benton won’t let anyone go get Keaton. Eventually things get bad enough that he gives in and lets Gant go. Mark and Susan tell Gail that while David’s tests are okay, he has some memory loss; it’s probably just temporary, and a normal complication with a concussion.

Keaton returns to Megan’s OR and finishes her surgery, annoyed with Benton for his screw-up. Mark and Susan take Gail to take David, who’s starting to recover his memories of the accident. Keaton yells at Benton as she rushes to save Megan. While Mark and Susan are weird and awkward around each other for no apparent reason, Carol tells Rhonda that she can’t work in the ER again. I don’t think Rhonda’s too upset about that. Susan takes Gail to see Zach, who hasn’t regained consciousness yet after surgery. Gail hasn’t heard anything about Megan, so Susan goes to gather information.

Megan’s out of surgery but isn’t doing well. Keaton blames herself for leaving Benton unsupervised, though the real problem is that Benton ignored her instructions. He denies that he did; he did the same thing he’s done with other patients. Keaton reminds him that infants are different from other patients. He’s new to pediatric surgery, so he doesn’t know what he’s doing yet. He should have called her as soon as there was a problem. If Megan dies, Keaton will be held responsible, but it’ll be Benton’s fault.

Megan starts crashing, and when Benton tries to help Keaton with her, Keaton says it’s no longer a teaching case. She doesn’t want to take the baby back to the OR, but she can bring the OR to Megan. Mark gives David an update on Zach, but he doesn’t know anything about Megan. As David is taken to the ICU, Carol tells Mark that Megan’s crashing. He joins Susan outside the makeshift OR as Keaton is able to stabilize Megan. She tells Benton to accompany her to give an update to David and Gail.

Gant tries to sympathize with Benton, who doesn’t want to hear his half-hearted “we’re all human; we all make mistakes.” Gant takes a different tack, telling Benton he’s a prick. Keaton tells Gail about Megan’s condition as Carter fails to hide a look of horror in the background. Keaton is honest with Gail, telling her it’s possible that Megan won’t survive. Benton says nothing, which is a good idea. He goes to the neonatal ICU and tries to say the Lord’s Prayer over Megan, but he can’t remember the words.

Thoughts: Rhonda is played by Jenny O’Hara.

I love this piece of trivia from IMDb: “The production team were worried that Standards and Practices wouldn’t allow Dr Dennis Gant to call Peter Benton a prick. However, this didn’t prove to be a problem because Standards and Practices clearly agreed with Gant.”

A round of applause to all the actors who had to do their scenes over the sound of Megan’s crying and screaming.

January 15, 2019

ER 3.5, Ghosts: Benton’s Bedside Manner Is Way Scarier Than Any Ghost

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 5:06 pm by Jenn

I love this

Summary: It’s Halloween, so when Jeanie stops by Al’s house, she’s joined by some trick-or-treaters. She’s there for tax documents, not candy. At County, Gant complains to Carter that Benton wrote him a bad evaluation. Carter got the exact same evaluation, so he can relate. Jerry’s dressed as a kangaroo, and I wonder if Carol ever told him that she saw it. He reminds her that she has a shift on the hospital’s healthmobile that night. The lights flicker, and Lydia suggests a ghost on the fifth floor is messing around.

Susan’s coming back from Hawaii in a few hours, and Mark plans to welcome her with orange carnations. Chuny asks if he and Doug are coming to a party that night, where Haleh will be singing jazz. She makes Mark think that carnations weren’t the best idea. A man dressed as Frankenstein’s monster is brought in with a gunshot wound, and Weaver works on him with Gant and Carter. She lets Gant run things, and she approves of all his moves. When Benton joins the group, he takes over and makes Gant feel less confident. Carter steps in, and whatever he does makes the patient rise off the table like the monster he’s dressed as.

Carol goes to Malcolm X Community College for her first pre-med physics class. She’s paired with a lab partner, a kid named William who might not even be a teenager yet. He thinks her nurse’s uniform is a costume. Doug is also working in the healthmobile that night, thanks to Anspaugh, and isn’t looking forward to dealing with Chicago’s local nutbar patients out in the field. Chuny says her recent turn in the healthmobile wasn’t that bad. They got shot at, but since the shooters missed, she calls it a success.

Keaton quizzes Benton on children’s developmental milestones, and he proves that he knows nothing about babies. (Just wait, Benton. Your time is coming.) Carter knows all the answers, though Keaton says it’s probably because he did his pediatrics rotation more recently than Benton. Turns out kids don’t like Benton any more than Benton likes kids, so their young patient cries when Benton holds him. Keaton suggests that he try some props to make himself more appealing to kids.

Jeanie and Doyle tend to a woman named Sophie Jennings who’s in the late stages of Lou Gehrig’s and was found unconscious by her husband. She has a DNR, but Jeanie wants to treat her with medication anyway. Doyle objects, but she has to defer to Jeanie, who, as a physician’s assistant, has seniority. Weaver and Anspaugh tell Mark that Weaver’s done some research that should bring in a track. Anspaugh’s pleased that Weaver works for him, and he thinks Mark needs to step up his own research. He suggests something about pus. Mark is understandably…uninspired.

William helps Carol with their labwork, recognizing that she hasn’t taken physics before. He offers to help her with her homework, since he helped his mom when she got her real estate license. Paramedics bring in a ten-year-old girl named Tina who was hit by a car while trick-or-treating with her father. Benton quizzes Gant as they work, then tells Carter to hold the girl’s hand and calm her down (probably so Benton himself doesn’t have to do it). Next door, Mark and Weaver work on Tina’s father, who was injured more severely.

Tests show that Sophie is unconscious because she overdosed on pills in a suicide attempt. Jeanie still wants to work on her, though Doyle still doesn’t see the point – Sophie wanted to die. Jeanie sticks to protocol. Carter continues chatting with Tina as Benton determines that she may need surgery. Weaver signals to Mark that her father didn’t make it, and Mark has Carter run through the process to confirm that he’s dead.

Carol meets the healthmobile driver, Gus, who warns her and Doug that the patients will be expecting cookies. He tells them to go out the back window if anyone shoots at them, and if they get robbed, let the robbers take whatever they want. Doug and Carol aren’t pleased when they learn that they’ll need to wear bulletproof vests.

Jeanie and Doyle tell Sophie’s husband, Mitchell, that she’s in serious condition. He laments how depressed she’s gotten in the past few months, as her Lou Gehrig’s has gotten worse. He’s not surprised that she attempted suicide; he knows she’s been praying to die. Susan comes in fresh from her vacation, feeling very relaxed and refreshed. We all know that won’t last.

Tina asks for her father as she’s taken to surgery. Carter keeps quiet about his death, which Benton thinks is a bad call. Keaton, however, doesn’t want to upset Tina before she goes in for an operation. She then asks Benton to take some of her young patients trick-or-treating around the hospital. Not mentioned: whether these kids’ parents know their children will be spending the evening with a man who has no idea how to take care of kids.

Susan admits to Mark that she never made it to Hawaii. When the plane landed in Phoenix for a layover, she realized she would never be able to get back on. She spent her vacation with Chloe and Susie instead, which to her is just as good as a week in Hawaii. Mark tells her that Anspaugh loves Weaver and is probably going to give her the only open slot for tenure. He asks Susan if she wants to go to the staff party with her that night, making it sound casual and friendly. When she notices the carnations and greets them with, “Yikes,” he says a drug rep brought them in.

Doug checks out the meager supplies on the healthmobile, some of which have been expired for years. He finds a physics book in Carol’s bag, and she lies that it belongs to a friend. The healthmobile arrives in the inner city, where people are lined up to get free healthcare. The first patient won’t even tell them what’s wrong with him until he gets a cookie.

Mitchell sits by Sophie’s bed, telling Jeanie that she fixed herself up that morning, then told her husband that she was ready. He admits that he helped her take the pills. He got scared and called the ambulance, and feels that he was too weak to help her when she needed him to. He’s not ready to lose her.

Benton goes to the hospital gift shop to get some props, like a little animal that sits in your pocket and somehow makes kids think you’re not scary. Anspaugh catches him there and says that Keaton sends all the residents who don’t like kids there to get their “props.” Benton says he likes kids, and somehow Anspaugh doesn’t laugh in his face.

Doug treats a stripper who teases that she recognizes him. He’s insistent that they’ve never met, but with him, you never know. Suddenly a preteen girl named Charlie runs onto the healthmobile, yelling that she was stabbed. As Doug and Carol start to treat her, she reveals that she was just playing a Halloween prank. She asks for a cookie, and when she’s denied, she asks for condoms. She says she’s 18, but she’s definitely lying. Doug and Carol realize she’s turning tricks, but there’s not much they can do for her other than give her condoms.

Back at the hospital, the lights are still flickering. Susan’s with Lydia about the ghost being responsible. She tells the story behind the ghost – on Halloween 60 or so years ago, a doctor fell in love with an intern, but the intern was torn between him and a wealthy patient. When the intern went to the doctor for his declaration of love, he couldn’t get the words out. Then somehow, he wound up falling through a window. Jerry, Lily, Chuny, and Lydia are captivated by the story, but Mark dismisses it.

Carter goes to check on Tina, who’s doing well after her surgery. He offers to sit with her until her mother arrives. Keaton asks him to call her when Tina wakes up so she can tell Tina her father died. Carter wants to do that himself. Doug and Carol get a stabbing victim – a real one this time – but no one in the vicinity will tell them what happened. They use their limited supplies to tend to him, even with the threat of gunfire nearby. An ambulance won’t make it there for a while, so they decide to take the healthmobile.

Sophie dies, and Jeanie tells Mitchell he can sit with her body for a while. He isn’t sure if he did the right thing by helping her die, since this isn’t the sort of people they are. Jeanie thinks he showed who he is by staying with Sophie and giving her what she needed. Doug and Carol work on the stabbing victim in their substitute ambulance, overcoming the obstacles their supplies throw their way.

Benton continues giving Gant his scut work, and Gant finally asks why Benton keeps treating him so badly. He works his hardest, but Benton only gave him a mediocre evaluation. Benton notes that most interns only do mediocre work. Gant thinks everyone in their group does the same level of work, but Benton singles him out.

Benton reminds him that, as a black doctor, he has to work harder than everyone else. He asks Gant if he checked the box on his med-school application identifying himself as black. If he did, people will assume that he did it to get preferential treatment. They’ll also assume that he’s there to fill a quota. He has to work harder and stay longer to prove himself. Gant knows all that, and he asks Benton if he checked the box. Benton says no, but Gant thinks he’s trying to prove himself as if he had.

When Tina wakes up, Carter starts to tell her that her father died, but she already knows that he’s dead. Doug and Carol get their patient to the hospital, advising Malik to bring cookies when he takes his turn on the healthmobile next week. Doug tells Carol that if she does want to go to med school, he’ll support her decision. If he can make it through, she can.

Doyle tells Jeanie that she wishes they could have saved Sophie so Mitchell won’t have to be alone. She’s at rest, but he’s in pain now. Mark has to go to the fifth floor to pronounce a patient’s death, so he takes Susan with him “for protection.” Benton takes some energetic patients trick-or-treating, his idea of a Halloween trick. Mark and Susan do their work behind a curtain, so we only see their shadows, like an old monster movie. She swears she feels a cold wind, and he teases her about it.

Carter tells Keaton that Tina knew about her father’s death before he could tell her. She felt him with her during surgery, and he told her goodbye. Keaton says that sometimes kids just know that sort of thing. Carter had a similar experience – when he was a kid, he sensed the moment his brother died. Benton loses his kids when he takes one to the bathroom, because he sucks at this.

Haleh sings “Love Potion Number 9” at the staff party, where everyone’s having a great time. Well, except Mark, who can’t stop complaining about how Weaver seems to be kissing up to Anspaugh. Susan tells him to do something other than work, since it’s become his whole life. Benton finds his missing kids, who want to know if he was ever a fun-loving kid before he became a grumpy adult. He tells them that when he was younger, they had to do tricks to get treats. The kids demand one, so he stands on his head. The kids aren’t impressed, but Keaton is.

Jeanie goes to Doc Magoo’s to meet up with Al and give him back the tax documents. She tells him that neither of them ever changed – he’s always been a lousy husband, and she just put up with it for years. Seeing Mitchell do anything Sophie needed, including helping her die, has made her realize how awful their marriage was: “And now you’ve killed me.” As Haleh sings “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered,” Susan and Mark contemplate going out to get food, then decide to dance instead.

Thoughts: Charlie is played by Kirsten Dunst.

Props to Laura Cerón for wearing big curlers in her hair for the whole episode, since Chuny’s costume is herself getting ready in the morning.

Benton has three nieces and nephews – how can he be so clueless about children’s milestones?

 

January 8, 2019

ER 3.4, Last Call: Who Thought All That Womanizing and Partying Would Have Negative Consequences?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:51 pm by Jenn

Oh, just get back together already

Summary: Doug’s asleep – drink! He brought a woman home last night, and she’s trying to leave at 6 a.m., but she’s not completely sober and has some trouble with the door. Doug wants to get her a cab, which the date thinks is chivalrous. Doyle is chipper when she arrives for work, where Carter and Gant are still down in the dumps. At least Carter’s white coat looks nice…though it’s because his family’s maid cleaned it, since he’s had to move back home after his apartment building burned down. Gant invites him to move in with him. Carter’s supposed to provide slides for a presentation Benton’s giving that day, but they burned up in the fire.

Doug drives his date home, declining to turn back when she realizes she left some of her things at his place. He would rather do anything in the world other than spent an extra second with her. Suddenly, the date starts foaming at the mouth. Doug rushes her to the hospital to get her treated for seizures. He has to admit to Carol that he doesn’t know her name.

Mark, Weaver, Carol, and Doyle tend to Doug’s date, who’s still seizing after half an hour. Weaver and Mark want to intubate her, though Doug thinks that might be premature. He heads to the car to see if he can find an ID. Carter’s late to the seminar Anspaugh is conducting, and doesn’t get a chance to tell Benton that he doesn’t have the slides for his presentation. He doesn’t get to come clean until after Benton has started. Anspaugh and Keaton are unimpressed.

Weaver tells Mark that they’re starting a pilot study where they’ll split up medical and surgical cases. She gives him medical cases, and Mark enlists Doyle to work with him. Jeanie hides out in a bathroom so she can take her HIV meds in secret. They’re taking a toll on her, but she tells Connie her fall allergies are acting up.

Carter tries to apologize to Benton for the slides, but he only has until the next morning to replace them. As he’s leaving, Keaton joins them and starts talking about Laura-Lee, one of Benton’s patients. She thinks Carter should be more involved in Laura-Lee’s case. Doug searches his car as Weaver admonishes Jerry and Lydia for gossiping about Doug and his date. He’s found an ID and now knows her name is Nadine, but it doesn’t really matter – while he was outside, Nadine died.

Instead of going home, Doug decides to stick around and work his scheduled shift. He tells Mark that he feels bad for what happened to Nadine, but he is in no way responsible. He thinks Mark is judging him for sleeping with a woman he barely knew – whose name he didn’t even know. Mark tells him that Nadine’s tox screen showed that she used cocaine. Doug swears that he had no idea she was doing drugs, and he definitely wasn’t partaking. Mark tells him to take a drug test anyway.

Carol thinks Mark should back off of Doug, since he’s going to do whatever he wants anyway. Benton tries to keep Carter at a distance, but Carter thinks Keaton wanted him to assist with Laura-Lee’s surgery that afternoon, so he’s not going anywhere. When they go in to see Laura-Lee, an angry teenager, it’s Carter who connects with her better than Benton (of course). She wants to leave without her surgery, but obviously Carter’s going to change her mind.

E-Ray invites Carol to come to a yoga class he teaches at Malcolm X Community College. Doyle reveals that she did her first year of med school there; their night program is prestigious. Doug puts his tox-screen results in Mark’s box, then asks Carol if anyone’s looking for Nadine’s medical records. The two of them then tend to a preteen victim of a gunshot wound.

Jeanie calls her doctor to ask for advice on dealing with the side effects of her medication. Weaver checks on her, but Jeanie doesn’t admit that she’s not feeling well. Weaver asks her to take a patient with a fractured ankle, noting that the nurses are deciding who will assist her. They draw tongue depressors to determine that Wendy gets the job, though Jeanie’s not sure why she’s so happy about it. It turns out that the patient, McKenna, was brought in by a handsome buddy named Mickey, the real draw for the job.

Weaver wants to discuss Doug with Mark, knowing that Nadine tested positive for cocaine. Doug’s tox screen was negative, so Mark has no problem with him working his shift. Weaver notes that he could have been drinking. Plus, he’s putting a chest tube in a 12-year-old, so maybe they should keep an eye on him. She observes while Doug does everything perfectly, then asks Carol what the hourly rate for babysitting is.

Keaton compliments Benton on calming Laura-Lee down and getting her to agree to her surgery. Benton gives the credit to Carter, so Keaton rewards Carter by letting him scrub in. As Doug and Carol finish up with the 12-year-old, two police officers approach to talk to Doug about Nadine. Mark accidentally interrupts, and the cops invite him to stick around, so he’s there when Doug says they left after last call at a bar. He swears again that he didn’t have anything to do with the drugs Nadine was using.

Benton does well in Laura-Lee’s surgery, but Keaton’s more interested in talking to Carter. He explains that he got Laura-Lee to agree to the operation by writing her a pass from gym class. He knew that she would be uncomfortable changing in the locker room while she has an ostomy bag, but he assured her that it would be gone by November, when she has to play in the marching band at a championship game.

Mickey’s hanging around, waiting for McKenna to be discharged, and being closely tended to by the nurses. He tells them he teaches country dancing, so Haleh and Lydia ask him to show them some moves. Carol tells a 15-year-old named Jung Koo that she’s not pregnant, but she needs to have a pelvic exam. Doug thinks he can handle things, but Carol wants to do it herself, since Jung Koo is hesitant to trust anyone else. Doug accuses Carol of second-guessing him. Mark pulls rank and sends Doyle to help Carol with the exam.

Doug confronts Mark for continuing to be cool toward him even after his tox screen came back clean. Mark points out that they didn’t test his blood alcohol. Doug notes that the two of them have stayed out late drinking plenty of times; does Mark check his blood alcohol every morning? Mark wants to tell Doug something as a friend, but since Mark has already acted like a boss, Doug doesn’t want that. His personal life is no one’s business but his own. Mark yells that Doug already brought his personal life to work, and if he doesn’t see a problem with that, he shouldn’t be there.

Anspaugh arrives at the tail end of the fight, asking for a status report on Mark and Weaver’s study. Weaver quickly whisks him away. When a surgical patient comes in, Mark says he’ll take him, even though that screws with the new system. He tells Doug they’re done with their conversation. Carol has to walk Doyle through Jung Koo’s exam, since she hasn’t done one in a long time. Jung Koo is clearly uncomfortable, but Carol makes it a lot less scary for her (and probably for Doyle, too).

Benton chats with Laura-Lee’s mother, who’s frustrated with her daughter’s emotional response to her medical problems. Benton, of course, has no idea how to help her. Keaton tells Mrs. Armitage to stop babying her daughter and set limits. She’s hopeful that this will be Laura-Lee’s last surgery anyway. Carter has gotten a postcard from Susan, but Mark hasn’t heard from her since she left for her Hawaiian vacation. Doyle’s grateful for Carol’s guidance with Jung Koo, which was the result of the many years Carol has put into her job.

As Carol’s mother, Helen, arrives to have dinner with her, they run into a woman who’s looking for Doug. She’s Nadine’s sister, Claire, and she’s not surprised that Nadine died after partying. Doug says a friend brought her to the hospital, but Claire doesn’t think someone she was with at 4 a.m. was much of a friend. Claire reveals that Nadine had epilepsy and knew she shouldn’t drink.

Doug takes her to see Nadine’s body, which turns Claire from bitter to sad. She says that Nadine lost her confidence when she started having seizures, and the guys she hooked up with always made her feel even worse about herself. She hopes Nadine found whatever she was looking for. The waiting room is now the site of a dance party as Mickey teaches the nurses and patients some moves. He gets Jeanie to loosen up a little and join in, which makes both her and Weaver happy.

Over at Doc Magoo’s, Helen lectures Carol on not being so free with her money, since she lives on a nurse’s salary. Carol complains about knowing more than interns but still not making more money. Helen gives her some money, but Carol would rather take out a loan and owe a stranger than family. Helen suggests that she see it as rent instead. Keaton compliments Benton on his work in surgery, then says he needs to work on his bedside manner with children and their families. He acted like his job was over once the operation was done. His hands are great; he needs to work on showing some heart.

Carter tries to get a photo place to remake his slides, but he’s not having any luck. Carol asks him how bad it is living back at home. Her mother wants to spend a night a week at Carol’s house when she comes to town to see friends. Carter points out that she can just sign up for shifts those nights. Carol agrees, then takes the info Doyle was discussing about med school.

Mickey takes McKenna to his car, then goes back into the hospital to ask Jeanie out. She says she can’t date patients, and he points out that he wasn’t her patient. He keeps pressing, but Jeanie won’t give in, so he gives up. Benton goes to Carla’s restaurant, which is bigger and more successful than the place she ran when they dated. She figures he came all the way out there because he has a “taste for something,” and it’s probably not food.

Carol runs into Doug on an El platform, and he tells her about Claire. He let her think he was just a doctor instead of the person Nadine was with when she started seizing. “I think I really did it this time,” he admits. Carol thinks he’s there to mope, and that she’s expected to just tell him he’s a good guy, so he can go back out and screw up again. She won’t play along, telling him he’s on his own this time. Doug says he didn’t know that Nadine was sick. Carol notes that he didn’t know her at all.

Doug heads home, where the margaritas he and Nadine drank the previous night are still on the counter. His answering machine is full of messages from women who want to see him again. In his bathroom he finds Nadine’s medic-alert bracelet, identifying her as epileptic. He deletes all his messages, ignoring his numerous fans.

Thoughts: Laura-Lee is played by Mena Suvari. McKenna is played by an unrecognizable Jim O’Heir.

Helen Hathaway: the only woman in Chicago immune to Doug’s charms.

Mickey wasn’t that hot. The nurses must have low standards.

January 1, 2019

ER 3.3, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Benton’s Never-Ending Power Trip Continues

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:06 pm by Jenn

The way this story goes is…so weird

Summary: Susan is in a great mood when she runs into Mark on the way to work. Tomorrow she’s going on her long-awaited Hawaiian vacation. Mark tells her that Anspaugh is planning some big changes for the hospital, and Mark is anticipating a lot of problems. He thinks the interns coming over from Southside will be incompetent. Carter’s neighbor Betty brings him borscht for breakfast and asks him to look at some buildup in her ears. He sends her to another doctor who lives in the building.

At County, Weaver introduces Mark and Susan to Maggie Doyle, an intern from Southside. They head to a staff meeting with Anspaugh, who warns that their patient load is about to increase. They’ll have to meet quotas, and those who see the most patients in a day will get a gumdrop. Those who see the least have to wax Anspaugh’s car. Mark asks if they get points for dead patients. Anspaugh says yes, but they should try not to kill anyone. He learns that Weaver has a lot of responsibilities and tells Mark to take over reviewing charts.

Lydia tends to a man named Dante who claims a kangaroo attacked him in a local park. She figures he’s just drunk. Mark’s workload has been slowed down by all the chart review, and Doug urges him to speed up or risk having to wax Anspaugh’s car. Doyle proves to be self-motivating and competent (apparently the interns at Southside were better than County’s), but Mark asks her to stay close to Doug so she can be supervised on her first day.

Carol comes in complaining that someone parked a BMW in her spot. It was Doyle, who says she’ll move, not realizing that Carol’s car was repossessed, so she doesn’t need the spot. Really, Carol’s just mad that Doyle, an intern, drives a BMW. Benton tries to stop Jeanie from giving a patient stitches, pulling her out of the room to ask if she told the patient’s mother that she’s HIV-positive. Jeanie tells him it’s none of his business.

By the time Mark is ready to see patients, everything’s under control. He complains that he hasn’t had a day off since Christmas, so Susan invites him along on her trip to Hawaii. He gets called away before either of them can take this ridiculous idea any further.

Carol examines a man named Mr. Sidowski who seems to have a kidney stone. She explains that his enjoyment of ice cream and iced tea cause the recurring problems. Mr. Sidowski recognizes the chemical compound involved, and Carol suddenly recognizes him – he was her chemistry teacher in high school. He remembers her as a good student and thinks she’s become a doctor. She reluctantly tells him she’s a nurse.

Mark tends to an 89-year-old man named Mr. Johnson who was brought in from his care facility. No one’s sure of his quality of life or if he has a DNR, and Lydia can’t get any info from the facility. Mark makes the decision to work on him as if he was any other patient. Carter and Gant complain about their lack of OR time, and how badly Benton treats them. Carter recognizes the name of a Southside pediatric surgeon from Southside, Abby Keaton, and guesses that Benton’s going to try to get in good with her. Gant can’t imagine Benton wanting to work with kids, but Carter thinks he’ll want the challenge.

A motorcyclist comes in with a chest impalement, thanks to a collision with a glass truck. Weaver tells Jeanie to hold the giant shard of glass, but Jeanie knows that’s too risky and runs off to get Malik to take her place. Mark goes through the motions with Johnson until he learns that he doesn’t have a DNR. But he’s been unresponsive for more than 12 minutes, so Mark declares him dead. As soon as Mark stops trying to resuscitate him, Johnson’s heart starts beating again.

Mark talks to Doug about possible going to Hawaii with Susan. He’s not sure if she invited him as a friend or if she has something else in mind. Jerry hears a news report about a kangaroo seen by the highway, which means Dante wasn’t having a drunk hallucination. Susan tells Carol that she invited Mark on her trip and quickly realized what a bad idea that was.

Carter brings Benton a surgical case and casually asks if he can scrub in. Benton distractedly says yes, thinking more about a conversation he’s about to have with Anspaugh. (Trivia: Anspaugh was Norman Schwarzkopf’s roommate at West Point.) He wants to drop his thoracic fellowship and try to get a slot with Keaton. Anspaugh gives him until 6 p.m. to seal the deal.

Doug and Doyle meet with a teenager named Jane who has what presents as a bladder infection. Doyle, however, thinks she’s pregnant and chose to come to County because no one she knows would see her there. Doug agrees with this assessment. Carter can’t get an OR for his patient, so he lies to the scheduling nurse about the patient’s condition to get to the front of the line. Just when you thought Carter had learned not to do dumb things…

Jeanie tells Weaver she’s sorry she ran out of the trauma room; she wasn’t feeling well but is okay now. Benton tries to invite himself into an OR where Keaton is about to perform surgery, but someone warns him to leave her alone. Johnson’s son arrives at the hospital, and Mark asks if Johnson has ever discussed a DNR. The son doesn’t know what his father would want, so he asks for Mark’s opinion. Mark suggests just making Johnson comfortable and letting nature take its course. The son doesn’t get it and asks Mark to help his father.

Anspaugh learns of Carter’s lie and comes to the OR to observe. The scheduling nurse busts Carter for lying that they’re removing a horrible tumor. Gant, meanwhile, is having a great day. Jane isn’t pregnant, but she does have gonorrhea, so…she’s not having such a great day. Doug recommends that she tell any guys she’s slept with, but Jane says the only boy she’s had sex with won’t talk to her anymore. Her first time wasn’t so special. Doug tells her that guys who want to sleep with her might not actually like her that much. If she wants sex to be special, she should wait for the right guy…and maybe be really patient.

Thanks to Johnson’s son’s failure to just let his father go, Mark is forced to try to revive him when his heart stops again. Benton still hasn’t been able to talk to Keaton, whose schedule is pretty full. He leaves her a note, but he’s the only one who gets how important this is. Benton finds Gant giving Carter a shot of compazine for his anxiety-related nausea, and instead of yelling at Carter for his lie, he gets mad at Gant for assisting another doctor with an operation without Benton’s permission. It looks like Benton won’t need to confront Carter – Anspaugh will take care of that for him.

Mark complains to Doug about having to take orders from Johnson’s son, who has no medical background. Anspaugh chastises Doug for not wearing his stethoscope, then brags about how great Doyle is, thanks to what he’s taught her. Susan and Mark run into each other for the first time since the Hawaii invitation was extended, and he asks how much a hotel room would cost. Susan says she’ll check. It’s super-awkward.

The kangaroo has been cornered in a building, and Jerry worries that the police or an Animal Control officer will shoot it. Carol hopes they do, since it looks like a giant rat. Jeanie asks Benton if he plans to tell anyone about her HIV status. He says he doesn’t agree with how she’s handling things, but it’s her business, so he’s not getting involved. However, he also doesn’t want to be in a trauma room with her.

Doyle compliments Doug on how good he was talking to Jane. He brushes her off to go flirt with another doctor. Carol can’t find a doctor for something, so she reluctantly asks Doyle to help her. Doyle tells her to wait a minute. At the interns’ rounds (where doctors get to go over patients and torture the interns with questions), Anspaugh puts a spotlight on Carter, who has a weird reaction to the compazine shot and can no longer turn his neck. Anspaugh doesn’t notice and just keeps asking him questions.

Doyle coolly gives Mr. Sadowski some medication, then tells Carol she hates him – he was also her chemistry teacher in high school, and he flunked her. Carol thinks she remembers Doyle from school, but it turns out she’s thinking of Doyle’s older sister. Doyle is actually three years younger than Carol. I guess this is a big deal? An Animal Control officer comes in, having been shot with a tranquilizer dart. The kangaroo remains at large.

Johnson’s care facility finds his living will, which says he had a DNR and shouldn’t be on a ventilator. All the work Mark did to save him was a waste. Also, Johnson signed the will as a witness and should have known all this. He gives Mark a ham from his job and asks Mark to call him when Johnson wakes up. Mark manages to refrain from shoving the ham down the guy’s throat.

Jane wants to say goodbye to Doug, so Doyle pulls him out of an exam room where he was hooking up with his new crush. Despite Benton’s wishes, he and Jeanie end up working on a trauma together. He can’t exactly kick her out, at least not without making Weaver suspicious, so they act professionally and save the patient. Jerry calls the Australian embassy to find out what kangaroos like to eat. If you think this show’s subplots couldn’t get any dumber than this…well, we’re only on season 3. Just wait.

Mark calls someone to get permission to take Johnson off his ventilator. Connie interrupts to tell him that Johnson is awake. Even after all the times Mark had to resuscitate him, his mental state appears to be fine. Gant asks Carter how long they’re going to put up with Benton treating them badly and not letting them assist in surgeries. He dreads having to put up with this for a year. Betty comes in with smoke inhalation and the news that there was a fire in the building. Carter appears to be homeless.

Benton races to talk to Keaton by his 6 p.m. deadline, but she’s left for the day. Johnson tells Mark what was pretty obvious from the start – that his son probably doesn’t have the mental capacity to be in charge of things like other people’s medical care. Johnson says he’s had a good life and is ready for it to end.

Benton goes to tell Anspaugh that he’s sticking with thoracic surgery after all, but Anspaugh’s gone for the day. He doesn’t realize that the woman sitting at Anspaugh’s desk is Keaton. She got his note and is willing to talk about his desire to switch to pediatric surgery. Weaver makes small talk with Jeanie about Al and how hard it must be for him to be sick on his own. She has a friend who tested positive and doesn’t want to tell anyone. Weaver knows it must be hard to carry that weight around. Jeanie says it is, finally realizing that Weaver knows she’s HIV-positive. Weaver’s glad Jeanie’s going to keep working.

Mark has decided to go to Hawaii, believing that Susan wants the trip to be romantic. Doug tells him that Doyle is a competent intern, so she should stick around. Haleh tells Mark that Johnson died on his way to the ICU. Carol tries being nice to Doyle, and is probably a little gleeful when Doyle admits she’s still living at home with her parents. The BMW was a gift from her father, a cop, who bought it at a police auction. He wanted Doyle to become a cop, too, but she decided to go to nursing school and follow in her mother’s footsteps. She dropped out because she was bad at taking orders.

It looks like Jerry also lives with his mother, since she’s in the house while he uses a flashlight to keep an eye out for the kangaroo. Anspaugh is disappointed that Mark only saw one patient during his shift (and the patient died anyway, so Mark didn’t accomplish a whole lot). Weaver and Susan tied for seeing the most patients, but Susan sneaks one more in before the end of her shift. As promised, she gets gumdrops (a whole bag instead of just one – Anspaugh is so generous!) and Mark gets turtle wax.

Before Mark can accept the Hawaii invitation, Susan rescinds it, saying she wasn’t really serious about it. Mark pretends he wasn’t, either. They’re both disappointed to have to spend the next ten days apart. While walking home from work, Carol hears a crash in an alley and spots the kangaroo having a snack from a trash can. She looks around as if she’s looking for someone else who sees it, then just shakes her head and walks away. I guess after all the crazy stuff she’s seen at work, a kangaroo on the loose is no big deal.

Thoughts: Doyle is played by Jorja Fox. Keaton is played by the late Glenne Headly. Jane is played by Sara Rue.

For all the talk about how tough Anspaugh is, he never does anything that bad.

Johnson’s son’s name appears to be John. So that’s unfortunate.