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.

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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.