October 15, 2021

Netflix’s BSC 2.7, Claudia and the Sad Goodbye: Tea and Sympathy

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 5:26 pm by Jenn

😦

Summary: Claudia has been learning how to make tea the traditional Japanese way. Mimi’s instructions are very specific, and she insists that Claudia get them right every time to honor the person the tea is for. Yes, even when that person is Janine. One night, Mimi comes by Claudia’s room while she’s painting, but she doesn’t want to interrupt Claudia’s time with her muse, so she only stays long enough to say goodbye. The next morning, Claudia is stunned to learn that Mimi died in her sleep.

Mr. and Mrs. Kishi try to be reassuring – Mimi had health issues, but her death was peaceful; she was old, and this was just her time; all that stuff people say when someone dies. Mimi had already made plans for her funeral, since she wanted things done traditionally. Part of that tradition is that no visitors are allowed in the house until the funeral. Claudia feels trapped, like she’ll spend the rest of her life in a house without Mimi.

Claudia decides to spend a few days at Stacey’s house so her life will feel normal. She’ll grieve later. Since the Kishis can’t have guests, Kristy hosts a BSC meeting (complete with candy), and Claudia even attends that. Mary Anne is grieving more than Claudia, who thinks Mimi would want them to carry on like usual. But people keep talking about Mimi, which makes Claudia feel like the center of attention, which she doesn’t want.

Claudia knows she’ll have to go home after the funeral, but she wants just one more night before she has to face reality. She only spends a few minutes at home before announcing that she wants to go back to Stacey’s. However, things aren’t great there, so Claudia heads back home…only to realize that while Mimi was clearly ready to die, since she knew when she said goodbye to Claud that it would be the last time, Claudia isn’t ready to go on without her.

She goes over to Mary Anne’s, where Mary Anne confronts her about not feeling her grief. Claudia sadly says that she can’t stop feeling it. It’s like she can’t breathe and everything’s over and no one understands. Mary Anne does – not because she lost her mother, but because she felt the effects of her father’s grief for years. When he finally let it out, he was able to move on. Grief hurts, but it has to. Then you can heal and become stronger.

Claudia makes herself go home, but her grief turns into anger when she catches Janine and Ashley going through Mimi’s jewelry. Claud accuses Janine of stealing from their grandmother and Ashley of acting like she’s at a garage sale. Janine gets upset that Claudia left her alone to try to comfort their parents, who are really struggling. Ashley’s been a great support, and not just as a friend – Janine and Ashley are dating. Mimi figured it out a few weeks ago and was happy when Janine confirmed it. She wanted to give Ashley one of her bracelets, but Janine says she won’t give it to her unless Claudia approves. Claudia does, since it’s a gift of love.

Claudia notes that Mimi always brought the family together, so with her gone, they’ll have to belong to each other instead of just Mimi. Claudia invites her family, the BSC girls, and Ashley to her room and serves them all tea. They reminisce about Mimi together, and it helps Claudia handle her grief. She knows she’ll always miss Mimi, but that means Mimi will always be with her.

The details:

  • All the younger girls’ acting has improved since season 1 (not that they were ever bad), but Momona Tamada, who plays Claudia, is exceptional in the scene where she talks to Mary Anne about her grief.
  • I really love how the episode includes little bits about Japanese traditions.
  • Karen’s allowed to sit in on the BSC meeting at Kristy’s house. Intruder! Intruder!
  • Also, she says Mimi visited her in a dream, wearing a white gown like she was getting married. She’s now in love with Ben Brewer, the ghost that haunts the Thomas/Brewers’ attic. When Mrs. Kishi hears about this later, she approves, since Mimi was a widow for a long time. However, they might be in a love triangle with Mimi’s late husband.
  • Looks like I was wrong – Stacey’s parents have been fighting and her dad has been working a lot. If there’s a third season, I’m sure we’ll see them split up.

The differences/changes:

  • I’m glad they don’t drag out Mimi’s death like they do in the book. That would have been traumatic.
  • Janine says she hasn’t told her parents about Ashley yet, but it’s not clear if she means she hasn’t told them they’re dating or that she likes girls. I don’t think we’d get a storyline about homophobia, though.

September 21, 2021

ER 9.11, A Little Help from My Friends: Working in the ER Is a Team Sport

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:56 pm by Jenn

Who acts like this??

Summary: Luka is brooding. I know this isn’t big news, but the music wants us to think it is. He, Abby, and Susan head to an M&M to discuss their treatment of Rick. Anspaugh kicks things off, but instead of sticking with them, we go to Weaver and Sandy’s place, where they’re turning an office into a nursery. They’re very cute and happy together.

Back at the M&M, Abby and Luka tell the audience that they thought Rick had the flu. Susan starts to talk about how the intubation went wrong, but all the questions are really for Luka. He admits his mistakes, though Anspaugh says they aren’t there to assign blame. The point of an M&M is to discuss what went wrong and hopefully learn from it.

Luka points out that he was hungover and knew he shouldn’t be working. He also didn’t listen when Abby recommended more tests. He’s ready to face the consequences for his actions. For the record, Rick is still alive, but Luka figures he’s all but dead, so he freely admits to “killing” Rick. As he leaves, Romano asks if anyone verified that there are real medical schools in Croatia. Shut up, Romano.

In the lounge, Susan tells Luka not to let Romano get to him. He appreciates her attempts to defend him and says the hearing committee was more than fair. Susan knows any one of them could have been in this position. Luka isn’t sure he still has a job, but Susan says Weaver was just asking for him.

A guy named Chip has come in to get some help with his insomnia and obsessive thoughts. He stopped sleeping three days ago, so Susan wonders what happened to kickstart the insomnia. Chip says he’s having relationship issues. Pratt arrives for a shift and sets off a metal detector (which means those things are actually being used – good to know). He says it’s his pager and he always sets off the detector. A security guard won’t buy that as an excuse, and he insists on searching Pratt’s bag. Carter steps in to make peace as the guard finds a gun in the bag.

Pratt says he found the gun behind a Dumpster outside and was going to give it to a real police officer. He guesses that someone left it there while receiving treatment and will pick it up when they leave. The guard doesn’t believe Pratt’s story and says he’ll have to call the police. Pratt runs off to help a patient, and when the guard starts to follow him, Carter steps in again. He points out that Pratt will be around for a while, so the guard can talk to him later.

Outside, a woman has just brought in a man she’d hired to cut down a dead tree in her yard. The man, Jose, fell about 20 feet from the tree to the roof. Meanwhile, paramedics bring in a 93-year-old man named Mr. Gilman who started having chest pain while having sex with his wife. While assisting Weaver and Luka, Gallant gets a note from Harkins, who will be leaving the hospital today. So Luka didn’t kill her, either.

In the next trauma room, another security guard decides this is a good time to confront Pratt about blowing off the first security guard. Sure, sure, Jose and his unstable pelvic injuries can wait. Carter kicks them out. Pratt promises that this situation isn’t what he thinks. Susan returns to Chip, who’s reached that point in his sleepless desperation where he’s crying. She tells him she’ll reach out to psych again to get someone to come talk to him. Susan then runs into a teenager named Anastasia who took some sort of drug before a math tournament.

Luka’s sent to the ICU to review something for a patient, and while he’s there, he asks about Rick. A nurse tells him Rick may need dialysis. Luka introduces himself to Rick’s mother, who knows Luka treated him in the ER but may not know about everything that went wrong. She asks if Rick was afraid. Luka doesn’t think so, since he was joking around with Laura.

Romano spots them talking and pulls Luka out of the room to chastise him. He knows Luka wants to be honest with Rick’s mother, but he can’t just come right out and say he screwed up and now her son is going to die. Luka’s free to take the blame when he’s around his colleagues, but he can’t admit any guilt to Rick’s family. If he doesn’t control his emotions, more patients will be harmed. Romano goes a step further, telling Luka to take the rest of the day off and warning that if he’s seen with Rick’s family again, he’s fired.

Would you be surprised to learn that psych is backed up and can’t send someone to talk to Chip? No, I didn’t think so. Susan promises that they’ll give him something to help him sleep as soon as psych determines that it won’t interfere with what he’s already taken. Chip worries that people will hate him. Susan asks if he did something. He tells her that his girlfriend caught him with someone else. No, not another woman. No, not another man. Her ten-year-old son. Chip claims he didn’t do anything, but he was about to. He doesn’t want to be like this.

Mr. Gilman has declined, but Gallant is able to stabilize his heart. Weaver stops by to check on the case, and Haleh notices blood on her coat. She guesses that Weaver brushed up against a bleeding patient. Pratt and Chuny tend to a man who came in with Jose and provided information on the situation (basically, they recently came to Chicago from Nicaragua and joined Jose’s uncle’s business). The man is hesitant to admit that they’re undocumented, but Pratt assures him that it’s not a problem and they’ll receive any medical treatment they need.

Susan calls psych again, insisting that Deraad come down to see Chip immediately. She spots Anastasia erasing a patient board so she can write an equation up there. Chen discovers that she took Ritalin, which has given her both enough intelligence to write a theorem proving the existence of God and a photographic memory to write all the patients’ names back on the board.

The security guards take Pratt off for a chat as Susan tries to get approval to take Chip up to psych. She gets rejected, but Chip has wandered off anyway. Weaver goes to an exam room and gives herself an ultrasound. She’s not comforted by the results. Abby walks in, unaware that anyone was in there, and Weaver numbly says that she can’t find the baby’s heartbeat. Abby continues searching with her, but there’s nothing there. She encourages Weaver to go home, but Weaver wants to stay.

Mr. Gilman’s wife, Coco, arrives, and let’s just say she’s not 93. (Going by ages in IMDb, she’s 37.) Abby calls Jerry and Pratt out for ogling her. Kayson consults on Mr. Gilman’s case, informing the couple that his prognosis isn’t good. He could have a fatal heart attack at any time. Mr. Gilman weakly whispers to Gallant, “When can I bang her?” Gallant can’t figure out how to react to that. Coco says they’re trying to have a baby. Gallant can’t figure out how to react to that, either. Kayson says that when Mr. Gilman can walk up two flights of stairs without getting winded, he’ll be free to do whatever he wants.

Weaver changes into scrubs so she can continue her shift as if she hasn’t just suffered a major loss. In the lounge, Anastasia has made a dome out of coffee cups. Carter thinks it’s impressive, but he ruins it by touching a cup and making the whole thing collapse. Weaver comes in just then, and if you look closely, you can see Laura Innes start to laugh, then turn around so she doesn’t ruin the take. She asks about Pratt and the gun, which should lead to an automatic suspension. Also, Carter bought the metal detectors, so he should be monitoring what goes on there.

Outside, the woman who brought in Jose is trying to leave, and Pratt is standing in front of her car to stop her. Car vs. man is no contest, so she gets away. Carter comes out and points out to Pratt that the men she brought in know her address, so they can report her to the police. Pratt doesn’t think the police will do anything. (Also, they’ll probably deport the men for being undocumented, but Pratt and Carter don’t bring that up.)

Carter wants to know what’s going on with Pratt: He comes in late, leaves during his shift, and brought a gun to work. Carter says he’s seen Pratt’s “type” before. Careful, Carter. Pratt argues that Carter doesn’t know anything about him. Carter warns him that if he continues this behavior, he’ll throw away his career.

Paramedics bring in a 20-something-year-old named Rosemary who briefly lost consciousness after hitting her head. They restrained her because she’s flailing around. Weaver realizes that Rosemary’s flailing is actually her attempts to communicate – she uses sign language. Weaver signs “hi” to her to let her know she’s figured out that Rosemary is deaf. She knows enough sign language to ask Rosemary what’s wrong and determine that she’s septic.

Chen starts to examine an elderly man named McNulty, but he would prefer a male doctor, so she hands him off to Carter. McNulty quickly gets annoyed because he’ll have to wait for treatment. The medical system is all screwed up and just makes patients mad. Having heard the man’s assistant, Sarah, call him Dr. McNulty, Carter suddenly makes the patient a priority. Sarah explains that some kids broke into their clinic looking for drugs, and McNulty got hurt trying to fight them off.

He insists that he’s fine, but Sarah tells Carter that the kids hit him over the head with a bat. He was unconscious for a few minutes and has some cuts from broken glass. Carter tries to convince McNulty to stay for tests, even though McNulty has determined he’s fine. He bets Carter $10 that his CT will be negative. Carter hands him off to Abby, telling her to run some tests McNulty didn’t say he would do. He’ll also need a tetanus shot, since his last one was in 1949. First Abby takes a boy to the bathroom, clueless about the danger lurking when Chip follows him in.

Carter confronts Pratt for discharging the second guy from the tree accident without consulting him. He asks some questions about the stitches Pratt is giving a patient, because all of a sudden Carter wants to do his job and teach his students. Pratt knows what this is really about and says again that the gun wasn’t his. He was going to throw it in the river after work. Carter asks why he didn’t do it before work. Pratt just says he was late.

Susan asks Abby if she’s seen Chip, and is relieved to learn that he’s still in the hospital. As soon as Abby tells her he’s in the bathroom with a kid, Susan panics. Fortunately, the kid is fine and didn’t even see Chip. Chip, however, isn’t fine – he’s hiding in a stall and has carved the word “evil” into his forehead.

Weaver tells Rosemary that she has a bladder infection that spread to her kidneys. She determines that Rosemary didn’t tell her parents she wasn’t feeling well because she doesn’t want them to know that she’s sexually active. While discussing treatment, Weaver pauses and excuses herself, since she’s cramping. Gallant asks for her help with something, but she tells him to go to someone else.

On his way to do that, Gallant catches Coco straddling Mr. Gilman and has to separate them. Poor Gallant has to explain to her that, no, she can’t have sex with him in his trauma room, and not just because he could have a heart attack. Adding another complication to the mix, Mr. Gilman’s children, Bob and Mattie, arrive to check on their father. Mattie clearly hates Coco (who’s young enough to be Mattie’s daughter), but Bob seems to like her.

Deraad finally comes to the ER, but since Chip hasn’t hurt anyone or himself, he can’t be admitted to psych. Abby notes that he has to be kept away from children, and Susan tells Deraad that Chip needs to be in some sort of program and on medication. Deraad tells her he can’t admit a patient just for his thoughts. Susan says this is their chance to intervene before Chip acts on those thoughts. Deraad agrees to put him on a psych hold if he articulates a plan for harming a child.

Anastasia and her fellow mathletes are sent away, which means Chen needs something to do. I mean besides flirt with Pratt. Gallant asks Jerry to call the legal department for Mr. Gilman and his family. Pratt gets a call from Leon and announces that he has to leave. Weaver tries to gather herself in the med lock-up, where Abby finds her and tries to convince her to go up to the OB floor. Her miscarriage hasn’t finished, and though Weaver wants to let it happen naturally, Abby at least wants her to be monitored.

McNulty’s too impatient to wait for Carter to give him stitches, so he’s fixing himself up on his own. Since no one can find Weaver, Gallant asks Carter to get involved in Gilman’s case. Coco wants to collect her husband’s semen so she can inseminate herself. Mattie argues that Mr. Gilman is senile, but Bob says he’s just horny. Gallant tries to tactfully explain to Carter that Mr. Gilman has agreed to undergo electroejaculation. “Come again?” Carter says with a barely straight face. Basically, some guy – who has made a career out of this – ejaculates Mr. Gilman.

Mattie says that Coco is only doing this because there’s money involved. If she doesn’t get pregnant before Mr. Gilman dies, she doesn’t get any of his money. And $7 million is a whole lot of money to miss out on. Coco knows her rights, and those rights include her husband’s semen, so Carter and Gallant probably can’t stop this. Paramedics bring in a trauma patient, and Carter makes his escape, leaving Gallant to wait for a hospital lawyer.

Carter and Chen treat the new patient, though they decide they need more help. Weaver’s MIA, and Luka and Pratt both left, so they’re out of luck. Pratt’s now at home, where Leon is crying and bleeding. It turns out the gun was his, and Pratt took it so Leon’s supposed friends couldn’t get it. Those friends are more like enemies, though, since they stabbed Leon and beat him up.

Chen and Carter’s patient doesn’t make it, and I’m sure three doctors being gone didn’t help. McNulty’s labs have come back, and Carter wants to discuss them with him, but he left and Chuny can’t reach him on the phone. An OB examines Weaver and encourages her to take some time off from work. Abby’s very kind to her boss, who can’t bring herself to say how grateful she is. Abby offers to give her a ride home later. As she leaves, Rosemary walks by and sees Weaver in a hospital bed.

Coco got her semen, and she’s no longer interested in her husband’s condition. Chen and Jerry laugh with/at Gallant over the case and the word “electroejaculator.” Carter comes to the admit desk looking for Pratt, who just happens to be on the phone, wanting help from Gallant. Carter goes to Pratt’s place instead of Gallant, both to yell at Pratt and to help Leon, who doesn’t want to go to the hospital. Carter tells Pratt this isn’t smart. “Everything in my life is not smart,” Pratt replies. Carter guesses that Leon doesn’t want to go to the hospital because the police will probably get involved.

Susan gets Chip to tell Deraad that if he doesn’t get admitted, he’ll hurt his girlfriend’s son. Deraad finally agrees to admit him. Weaver checks on Rosemary, who still hasn’t called her parents. She doesn’t want them to know that she has a boyfriend – she thinks they’ll be disappointed, and they’re already disappointed because she’s deaf. Rosemary asks Weaver why she was in a hospital bed. Though she’s been speaking in all her conversations with Rosemary, who can read lips, Weaver sticks with sign language to communicate that she had a miscarriage. Rosemary puts a comforting hand on hers, and Weaver breaks down.

Pratt tells Carter that Leon, whom he calls his brother, isn’t technically family. He came to live with Pratt and his mother when Pratt was six and Leon was nine. When Pratt’s mother died nine years later, Leon became like a father to him. Leon got into a bar fight and was shot in the head, which left him with mental disabilities. Now Pratt takes care of him on his own.

Carter reminds Pratt that in the ER, the staff works as a team. That means covering for each other and leaning on each other. If Pratt doesn’t get that, he should find a job that doesn’t require trusting people. Pratt admits that he’s never been big on trust. Carter points out that that leads to a lack of trust from other people. Self-sufficiency is great, but asking for help is better, and it doesn’t make you weak. Pratt’s like, “Yeah, I hear you, but I’m not really listening to you.”

Thoughts: McNulty is played by the recently deceased Ed Asner. Bob is played by Michael Durrell, AKA Dr. Martin from Beverly Hills, 90210. Gilmore Girls fans would recognize Sarah as Liz Torres, AKA Miss Patty.

McNulty has the same name as the main character on The Wire, whose boss, Rawls, was played by John Doman. Doman also plays Deraad on ER. I’m guessing that’s not a coincidence.

I would need drugs to get through a math tournament, too.

June 29, 2021

ER 8.21, On the Beach: I Will Try to Fix You

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

If you need to grab some tissues, I won’t make fun of you

Summary: We last saw Mark passing the torch to Carter, and we know he died sometime after that, but what happened in the time between? Let’s find out! We go with Mark as he leaves County for the last time and endures a crowded El ride home. He watches a father with his young daughter in his lap. At home, he checks in on Rachel, who’s already asleep.

He himself can’t sleep, and Elizabeth finds him in the kitchen in the middle of the night. He’s making a list of things he always wanted to do (sail around the world, play third base for the Cubs and win the World Series, start a rock band). The only thing on the list he could reasonably do right now is have noisy sex in a public place. (Elizabeth is willing to participate.)

Mark gets a little down as the list runs to things he’d like to do with his daughters as they grow up. He says he hasn’t been a very good father. When Rachel needed him growing up, he was hundreds of miles away. The last item on his bucket list is “fix Rachel.” Well, she’s probably halfway to fixed after what happened with Ella, but I don’t think he can finish the job now.

The next day, Mark picks Rachel up after school, offering her a mint since she was totally smoking a cigarette and NOT holding it for a friend. Rachel, no one in the history of parents has ever believed that lie. He tells her they’re going somewhere, but he doesn’t know where. They end up in Hawaii, where Mark sky-dives while Rachel watches from the ground. A local guy asks her if her father’s having a midlife crisis. “Something like that,” she replies.

Mark is up early the next morning for a swim. Then he wakes Rachel up for what he calls a history lesson – a lesson about his history. In their rental Jeep, she complains about the music he’s playing, and he seems surprised that she doesn’t like Todd Rundgren. She’s probably never even heard of him, Mark. He points out places he used to see all the time growing up, like the Arizona memorial. He loved living in Hawaii.

They visit the Naval base where Mark lived as he talks about what he and his friends did. The Greenes lived there for three years, the longest time they ever stayed in one place. His first job was at the pool, as a junior janitor. He only made $1.25 an hour, but it was enough to buy records and weed. Rachel’s surprised that her father smoked pot as a teenager.

Next they go see the Missouri and Mark talks about being allowed to visit his father’s warship sometimes. David would introduce Mark to all the other sailors and show him the helm. He was about Rachel’s age. She wonders why Mark didn’t join the Navy. Mark admits that he was mad at David for never being around. They fought a lot, about everything – Mark’s clothes and friends and haircut (yes, he had hair). David resented Mark’s politics, and Mark hated David’s, so he would provoke him. Mark didn’t like the idea of devoting his life to patriotism and honor, like David did. He wishes he could take it all back.

Mark thinks David was hard on him because he was worried. He thought Mark was making bad choices. Mark was more into girls and Bruce Lee movies and surfing than the things David thought were important. Rachel’s surprised again by one of her father’s childhood interests. They go to the beach so he can give her a surfing lesson. She does pretty well for a first-timer.

That night, the reality of the situation hits Rachel and she gets emotional. She goes to talk to Mark, who’s asleep outside their hotel room. (Is that a lanai? I think it’s called a lanai.) She sneaks a pill from one of his prescriptions and a mini-bottle of booze. Oh, Rachel. She doesn’t realize that Mark has woken up and sees her take a drink.

The next day, the two head to a rental house. Rachel’s annoyed with her father and refuses to listen to his music choice, “Imagine.” She’s also annoyed with the new accommodations, specifically the lack of TV in her room or a swimming pool. He tells her they had to move to a new place because the hotel was getting too expensive – especially the mini-bar charges. Busted! Rachel asks what they’re supposed to do in this new place without all the fancy hotel amenities. I don’t know, Rachel – what is there to do in Hawaii, a place many people would love to visit? Forget what I said about her being halfway fixed.

Rachel gives Mark the silent treatment at dinner that night, but the next day, she’s a little more reasonable. Mark had teaching her to drive on his bucket list, even though she’s too young, so he takes her out in the Jeep. She struggles with the stick shift and wants to try an automatic instead, but Mark thinks it’s better to start with the harder method. He won’t let her quit just because it’s hard.

That afternoon, Rachel invites Mark to go to the beach with her, but he’s taking a nap. When he wakes up, he keeps his face turned from her so she doesn’t see the patch he has to wear over one eye, since it won’t stay closed. It looks like one of his arms isn’t working as well as the other, too. He meets her on the beach and asks what kind of music she’s listening to through her headphones. She says he wouldn’t like it.

Mark turns off her music and asks her when she started getting high. Rachel lies that she doesn’t use drugs, but Mark, who was stoned for most of the eighth grade, knows the signs. He asks if she knows what happened to three of his Vicodin. She suggests that he forgot he took them. GIRL. NO. Mark asks what else she’s using. Rachel gets huffy because her father doesn’t believe that she doesn’t use drugs, even though she once brought ecstasy into his house. Take her home, Mark. She doesn’t deserve a Hawaiian vacation.

Rachel runs away, but Mark chases after her and admits that he doesn’t know what to do with her. He doesn’t have time to work out everything that’s gone wrong with them. He feels horrible that Rachel had to grow up without her father, who then got remarried and had a new baby. She was also stuck with Jen as a mom, which…enough said. It makes sense that Rachel would want to get high. But when Mark’s gone, what will she do? Who will keep her from killing herself? Mark admits that he’s scared about what will happen to Rachel after he dies. He gets that it sucks for her – it sucks for him, too. Rachel still won’t talk to him.

Walking home after some more surfing, Mark suddenly collapses and starts seizing. This is what sparks Rachel to call Elizabeth, as we saw in “Brothers and Sisters.” Elizabeth brings Ella to Hawaii, where Mark and Rachel have moved into a big rental house with a beautiful view of the beach. He spotted a rental sign while driving around and decided to shell out the money for it, since…you know, he’s going to die anyway. Might as well live it up first.

Elizabeth tells Mark that Rachel was terrified when she witnessed his seizure. He hasn’t seen a doctor; he just started taking more of his anti-seizure medication. Elizabeth thinks he should have a CAT scan and a full workup. Mark doesn’t see the point. She tries to talk him into going back to Chicago, but Mark says he doesn’t want to go home. He knows his time is limited, and he wants to die somewhere beautiful.

Mark agrees to buy Rachel a surfboard she’s never going to use since there’s no ocean in Missouri. Elizabeth asks if Rachel, who has her headphones on and is ignoring them, has been distant the whole trip. Yes, Elizabeth, she’s been her normal self. When they go into a surf shop to get a board, it becomes clear that that’s not really the purpose of the visit. Rachel has a crush on a guy who works there, Kai, and just wanted an excuse to see him.

Back at home, Rachel listens in as Mark sings Ella to sleep with “Over the Rainbow.” He needs Rachel’s help to get up from his rocking chair. He tells Rachel she made him sing that song to her for years when she was obsessed with The Wizard of Oz and The Little Mermaid. Rachel doesn’t remember that, or at least pretends not to. She doesn’t think it’s important anyway. Things from her childhood and Mark’s family are just boring and useless. She doesn’t care about them and doesn’t want to hear about them.

Rachel’s tantrum and slamming of the door on her way out of the house wake Ella, so Mark volunteers to put her back down for her nap. Meanwhile, Elizabeth follows Rachel to the beach and asks her how long she plans on acting like a brat. Mark isn’t perfect, but he’s trying to make things up to her. Rachel will have to grow up fast; she can’t act like a child anymore. If she keeps being a brat, she’ll miss the last little bit of time she has with her father. This is her last chance. If she blows it, she’ll hate herself for the rest of her life.

Mark takes a nap, and when he wakes up, he finds that the weakness in his limbs is getting worse. He’s barely able to stand up, and when he tries to take a step, he falls on the floor. He slams the ground and says a word that starts with S that isn’t usually allowed on network TV, which means the show either paid off Standards and Practices or paid a big FCC fine to let that get through. (It must be a lifetime allowance, because I watched this on Pop and they allow the word, too.)

Elizabeth helps Mark down to the beach, still bugging him about seeing a doctor. He still doesn’t see the point. Rachel’s off somewhere with Kai, and Mark is okay with it, since Kai’s a nice kid. Elizabeth is surprised he’s not worried about what the two might be doing together. Mark tells her he wants to write letters to Rachel and Ella. He tried to do it himself, but his handwriting has gotten bad because of his limb problems, so he needs Elizabeth’s help.

He’ll write letters the girls can open on special occasions, like graduations and wedding days. He wonders if it’ll be cruel to remind them of his death on what should be happy days, but Elizabeth is sure they’ll love the messages. She’s fighting back tears, but she wants to help him with the letters, no matter how hard they might be to write.

Rachel gets home after Mark’s asleep and addresses her father’s decline in health for the first time. Elizabeth tells her he doesn’t have much time left. Rachel goes up to Mark’s room, and he wakes up and tells her he was just dreaming about her. He remembers how she used to love balloons. When he bought them for her, she would let them go. He asks her to sit with him.

Mark says he was trying to figure out the things he should have told Rachel already – the things fathers should say to their daughters. He finally decided to tell her to be generous in everything. Her time, her love, her life. He asks her not to cry for him after he dies. Rachel says she won’t. Mark says again that she should always be generous. As he falls asleep, she tells him she remembers him singing “Over the Rainbow” to her. She puts her headphones on him and plays him Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s beautiful version of the song.

The next morning, Elizabeth is up early, playing on the beach with Ella. Mark is still listening to the song, imagining himself in the empty ER. Elizabeth watches Rachel and Kai in the water together. Mark imagines approaching them under a tree, then sees Elizabeth and Ella smiling together. When Elizabeth goes to check on him, he’s dead.

Mark’s family and friends hold his funeral back in Chicago. All his ER co-workers are in attendance, as well as some former colleagues like Benton, Cleo, and Swift. Jen’s there, too, but who cares about Jen? After the service, riding off in a limo, Rachel asks Elizabeth if she can visit Ella at Christmas and on summer break. Elizabeth tells her that of course she can. Rachel asks the driver to pull over at a house with balloons tied to a for-sale sign. She gets out of the limo, unties one of the balloons, and lets it go.

Thoughts: Ella is played (I think just in this episode) by Alex Kingston’s (Elizabeth) real daughter, Salome.

George Clooney declined to appear at the funeral because he didn’t want to distract from the point of the episode, which was Anthony Edwards’ farewell (the same reason he didn’t want his return in “Such Sweet Sorrow” to distract from Julianna Margulies’ goodbye episode). We’ll pretend Doug and Carol were there and we just didn’t see them.

Confession time: When I first watched this episode during the original run, I teared up a little at the end, when Rachel releases the balloon. When I’ve watched it since then, I’ve been fine. This time, for some reason, I started crying around when Mark asked Elizabeth to help him with the letters, and I didn’t stop until the end. So if you cried watching this episode, you’re not alone.

’00s music alert: “Crawling in the Dark” by Hoobastank

Goodbye, Anthony Edwards. You must have left a loooooot of money on the table by leaving.

June 22, 2021

ER 8.20, The Letter: Filling the Void

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:53 pm by Jenn

Yep, there it is

Summary: Susan is back from her trek to New York, and she offers up a brief recap of what happened on Third Watch: Chloe took off with Susie after Susan and the cops found her, and she’s now hanging out in a hotel upstate. Susan’s worried about Chloe’s sobriety and ability to care for Susie, who should be in school. Carter notes that she could get Chloe declared an unfit mother, which means Joe would get custody of Susie, if he wants it. They should have just had Susan take Susie back. Also, where was Susie during the last episode? Eh, who cares?

An angry patient named Toby comes looking for his prosthetic leg, which he accuses Susan of stealing. Susan’s like, “Why would I want your leg? I don’t need three legs.” Apparently this happens to Toby a lot. Carter tries to check some test results on the computer, but the server’s down because they’re loading new software. Frank tells him to check the fax machine instead. Pratt is waiting for his match letter, which will tell him which hospital he’ll be working in for his residency. He forgot to pick his up from the dean’s office (how do you forget something so important??), so he asked to have it sent there.

Carter notices that there’s a letter from Mark on the fax machine. He’s written to the “ER gang.” Carter reads it to the staff members at the admit desk. It’s about Rachel and Ella playing together on the beach, and how relaxing it is for Mark to just hang out in the sand without having to work. More staff members gather, half-listening to the letter while they do their jobs.

Mark says (via Carter’s reading) that he sometimes wished he’d chosen a different career, but being gone has made him realize that working at County was the best choice he ever made. He knows that his co-workers are fantastic doctors and nurses, and their skills will make up for his absence. Haleh doubts that.

Mark says he had to leave the way he did, without saying goodbye to anyone, but he wants them to know how much he values his co-workers and their time together. He wanted to say more personal things to some of them (hint: Susan), but he thinks they know how he felt about them. The letter ends with a note that Rachel and Ella are happy because they finally found the perfect seashell. The staff thinks there was more to the letter but the fax machine jammed.

Carter turns the page and his face falls. Susan notices and urges him to continue. Carter says that the next page is from Elizabeth. She reports that Mark died at sunrise that morning, his favorite time of day. Elizabeth sent his letter so the staff would know that he was thinking of them. He liked knowing they would have good memories of him. Fighting back tears, Carter tells Frank to post the letter on a bulletin board so everyone can read it. Then everyone goes back to work.

Al is back, and Pratt has learned his lesson about paying attention to his blood sugar. Al wants Mark, and since Mark isn’t there, he says he’ll come back tomorrow. Carter keeps treating him anyway. He notices that Weaver has arrived at work and is reading Mark and Elizabeth’s letter, since she wasn’t at the admit desk earlier. Pratt wants to bet Carter $20 that Al’s glucose is over 400. Shut up, Pratt.

Abby also notices Weaver reading the letter and tries to gently interrupt her. Weaver’s annoyed that the letter was posted on the bulletin board, but Abby notes that it was for the whole staff. Yeah, but it would have been nice to tell everyone first, instead of letting them learn the news about the death of a colleague from a letter. Anyway, they have work to do.

Paramedics bring in a girl named Melissa who was injured in a car accident with her father, Dan. Melissa’s calm until the door between her and Dan’s trauma rooms opens and she sees her father being treated. Carter and Abby work on Dan together, struggling to get him a clear airway. Romano joins them and tries to take over, since Carter isn’t moving fast enough with his scope. Romano gets scalpel-happy and cuts an airway for Dan. It’s not pretty, but it’s successful. Romano tells Carter to move faster next time.

Chloe calls looking for Susan, so we get some more closure on that storyline. She and Joe split up, but he’s taking her back. That means he’ll be looking after Susie while Chloe goes to rehab. Right now, Susan has another kid to worry about – Melissa has a mass in her lung. The poor girl came in after a car accident and now has to be told that she has cancer.

Weaver stitches up a man named George who accidentally cut himself. This has happened before, and last time he promised Weaver he wouldn’t use a knife again, but here we are. (George has Down syndrome, and though he appears to be independent in most ways, he still needs a little looking after.) Weaver sees Romano reading Mark and Elizabeth’s letter, which distracts her from George, who’s picking at his stitches. She snaps at him and complains that he doesn’t listen to her. Luka tells her to take a break. Weaver apologizes to George and goes to an exam room to cry.

Haleh lets Susan know that Romano overrode a canceled surgical consult for Melissa and is inserting a chest tube. While Susan tries to keep Melissa calm, Romano throws his weight around in the ER, earning himself a spot on Haleh’s hate list. Well, let’s be honest – he was probably already on it. Romano unceremoniously tells Melissa that she needs surgery and rushes her to the OR.

Weaver and Sandy were supposed to go on a date (yay!), but Sandy thinks Weaver should hang out with her staff so they can mourn Mark together. Weaver says they’re not her friends, so they’re not about to hang out together after hours. Sandy and her firefighter co-workers stick with each other after they lose someone, and she thinks the ER staff should do the same. Weaver says that she and Mark were always at odds, and she always treated their working relationship like a competition. She knew Mark was going to die, but she never thought she’d feel so sad about it. Maybe they were friends after all.

Pratt tells Carter that after Al was told he needed dialysis, which he really doesn’t want, he passed out. Pratt calls him a MIMP, as in someone who has multiple medical problems. Carter would like Pratt to stop making up acronyms and medical terms. He’s willing to give Al dialysis in the ER, but Pratt thinks they should pass him on to another department and let them figure out what’s wrong with him.

Frank gives Pratt his match letter as Gallant invites Carter to get drinks with him and some other staff members. It’s sad that no one else mentioned that to Carter. Pratt’s annoyed that his match letter has placed him at County, his last choice. I don’t think Carter’s any happier about it. Chen arrives and reads the letter.

Susan and Abby get giant drinks at a place called the Lava Lounge, where Mark once had a birthday party. For the record, Gallant has a Coke instead of alcohol, which I think is adorable. They want to toast Mark, and they choose Susan to do the honors, but she’s not sure what to say. Luka does the toast in Croatian but doesn’t translate for anyone. Weaver arrives with Sandy, and Haleh murmurs, “Looks like we’re going public.” Everyone keeps it professional and friendly, not saying anything about how Weaver is dating a woman.

Romano and Shirley operate on Melissa while discussing Mark’s death. Romano makes a mistake that will extend the surgery through the night. He notes that our bodies are supposed to keep us alive, but they can turn on themselves. No one is safe from injury or illness, even young girls like Melissa, or fathers of young girls, like Mark.

The Lava Lounge bartender is flirting with Susan when Carter shows up. She sends him out back to see Abby, who’s smoking and tipsy. She tries to keep things light, but he’s not amused. Abby asks how many lives Carter thinks Mark saved during his years as a doctor. If he saved one person every shift and worked five shifts a week for ten years, he probably saved thousands of people. Abby thinks Mark was a better superhero than Superman. Carter quips that if he knew Abby went for that kind of guy, he would have shaved his head a long time ago.

Abby notices that Carter’s sadder than expected and asks if he’s okay. They look at each other for a long, long time, as if they’re about to kiss. Carter suggests that they go somewhere else. She thinks he wants to take her to a topless bar or a tattoo parlor, but he wants to go to “Bill’s place” – an AA meeting.

Abby heads back to the bar, refusing to go with Carter, but he keeps stepping into her path. Abby notes that she can’t go to a meeting drunk. Plus, it’s voluntary, so he can’t force her. Carter ignores her, saying she’s going to a meeting no matter what. When she keeps protesting, he picks her up and throws her over his shoulder. She calls out for help, then bites him, which makes him drop her. The bartender checks on them and they tell him everything’s okay. Then they head off to get some food.

At Doc Magoo’s, Carter tells Abby about a patient who sends Mark a crate of lobsters every Memorial Day as thanks for a procedure. Once the staff ate surf ‘n’ turf on the roof. Abby thinks they should pretend Mark’s still alive so the lobsters keep coming. She tells Carter that she didn’t start drinking after Brian’s attack – she started on her birthday. If she hadn’t been drinking again, she probably wouldn’t have opened the door for Brian. She’s sobered up, so Carter wants to take her to a meeting before she has to work. Abby says no, since she needs to sleep, but if Carter will back off, she’ll go to a meeting later in the day.

Chen finds the two of them and reveals that Carter, who’s been up all night, has a 7 a.m. shift. Al is declining, and Carter isn’t sure what his wishes are, since Mark took care of him most of the time. After they stabilize him, Al says he doesn’t want any more efforts to keep him alive. Susan is also back at County, waiting for news on Melissa. Romano had to work all night, but he successfully removed her tumor. In other good news, Dan is also going to be okay. Romano notes that Melissa’s tumor has a 50% mortality rate, so it was actually good that she was in the accident – otherwise, they wouldn’t have found the tumor.

Chen isn’t sure she and Carter should respect Al’s request, since there’s no note in his chart. Carter thinks Mark expected to be there at the end of Al’s life, so he didn’t think notes were necessary. Chen tells Carter that Al is his patient, so he can have the final call. Meanwhile, someone’s yelling at Pratt in Italian. Carter and Chen do rock paper scissors to decide who will step in to help. Carter loses, so Chen dismisses him with an “arrivederci.”

Pratt asks Carter to make a call and help him get matched at another hospital. He obviously thinks he’s too good to work at County. Carter says they’re there to serve an underserviced community, and Pratt was chosen to help, so he needs to accept it. Carter then finds Susan crying in the lounge, finally expressing her feelings about Mark’s death. She wishes she could just pretend he moved away. She’s reeling over the fact that they caught Melissa’s tumor before she had any symptoms, while Mark’s tumor didn’t get detected until it was too late.

Carter gently says that they only save who they can. Susan wishes life made more sense than that. They both say they miss Mark already. While Susan was away from Chicago, she thought about him sometimes, but she always thought he would be around. Carter says it’s good to miss him, since that keeps him close to them.

Weaver accidentally interrupts as they’re hugging and starts to clear out Mark’s locker. She wants to save Elizabeth the trouble; plus, Pratt needs a locker. She heard about Carter’s power struggle with Romano, but Carter admits that Romano was right – Carter took too long with Dan. Weaver announces that with Mark gone, Carter’s the doctor with the longest tenure at County. People will see him as the person they want to fill Mark’s void. Carter notes that it’s a big void.

Weaver gets overwhelmed looking at Mark’s things and asks Carter to finish clearing out the locker. Carter does, finding Mark’s stethoscope and taking it for himself. Then he waits for an ambulance with Abby, who confirms she went to an AA meeting. He asks if she went for herself or because she told Carter she would. She says she went for him. Great, now he’s going to be smug.

The two take their patient, who was shot in the face, to a trauma room. Gallant struggles to take care of a patient who looks so bad. He barely manages to keep working while Carter still needs his help. Afterward, Carter finds Gallant in the ambulance bay and tells him to take his time recovering. Gallant admits that sometimes he’s not sure he can be an ER doctor.

Echoing a conversation Mark and Carter had in the first episode of the series, Carter tells Gallant there are two kinds of doctors. They either get rid of their feelings or hold on to them. If Gallant holds on to his feelings, he’ll get sick sometimes. People come into County in distress or sick, sometimes dying, and looking for help. Helping them is more important than how the doctors feel. After eight years, Carter still gets sick sometimes. He tells Gallant to take another minute if he needs it.

Carter goes back inside as Susan leaves for the night. She straightens Mark and Elizabeth’s letter and puts extra tacks in the pages to hold them down. Carter checks on Al, who thinks he’s Mark. He’s grateful that Mark always treated him like a human being. Carter sits with him and tries to comfort him about his impending death. Al wishes he’d been a better person and done more with his life. Carter says he did enough. He promises to stay with Al as he dies.

Time passes. Patients come in, doctors treat them, and Mark and Elizabeth’s letter remains on the bulletin board. A gust from a fan in the doorway makes the first page fly away. No one notices because their jobs – and their lives – go on.

Thoughts: George is played by Chris Burke, the third major cast member from Life Goes On to appear on ER, after Kellie Martin and Chad Lowe.

I wonder why they chose to show everyone’s reactions to Mark’s death before we see his actual death. And then there’s another episode after that, which moves on to completely different stuff. Seems like an odd way to write out your star.

Is Carter’s behavior with Abby supposed to be appealing here? He’s the star of the show now, with Anthony Edwards leaving – are we expected to enjoy watching our new protagonist basically kidnap his love interest to force her to do something she doesn’t want to do? He literally throws her over his shoulder like he’s a caveman. And how are we supposed to feel about Abby, who then willingly goes with Carter, as if she’s forgiving him for his actions?

The Carter/Gallant scene should have meant that Gallant would become the new Carter. I wish that had happened instead of the coming amplification of Pratt.

February 16, 2021

ER 8.2, The Longer You Stay: The ER Vortex

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 4:57 pm by Jenn

Pictured: Weaver not admitting she screwed up

Summary: Carter is wrapping up a busy shift where he saw 140 patients, possibly a shift record. Haleh is wrestling beer away from Pablo and asks Abby for help, but Abby clocks out before she can be forced to stick around. Elizabeth arrives with Ella, looking for Mark, and Abby says that she thinks he quit. Chen asks Weaver for help with a patient, but Weaver reminds her that she’s chief resident now, so she needs to make decisions on her own.

Elizabeth finally finds Mark, who was supposed to meet her in the parking lot to take Ella so Elizabeth could start her shift. She thinks they need a weekend nanny so they don’t have to do childcare hand-offs like this. Mark already objected to a weekday nanny, so he won’t go for that. Elizabeth tells him they’re not bad parents for hiring nannies. If Mark wants them to raise Ella on their own, he needs to be done with work when he said he would be.

Abby leaves at the same time as Carter, telling him he’s stubborn for not asking Weaver about an attending position. Instead, he’s still looking around for other jobs. Chuny tries to get Abby to come back in and find a vein in a patient they’re having trouble sticking. Abby refuses, telling Carter she has to be back at work at 7 a.m., so she needs to go home. She repeats that he needs to talk to Weaver.

Instead of going home himself, Carter goes back to the ER and asks Weaver how her search for a new attending. When he mentions that he’s thinking about applying, she seems surprised but not opposed to the idea. Chen asks Carter to finish up with a patient, since everyone’s swamped, but Carter has dinner plans with his parents. She manages to wear him down. As a reward, Pablo pees on him. Womp womp.

Carter’s patient is a heavy-metal roadie who had a mishap with a special effect. Carter realizes this will take longer than expected. The roadie’s buddy passes out when Carter injects the roadie with a big needle, and Chuny realizes he’s not breathing. Now Carter has two patients. Elizabeth is also struggling, since she has to talk to a patient’s mother while dealing with a crying Ella. Mark finally relieves her, and Elizabeth declares that they’re not taking weekend shifts anymore.

Carter blames drugs for the roadie’s buddy’s condition, and the roadie confesses that they took GHB. Carter tries to hand them off to Cleo, but she tells him there’s a mass trauma coming in – a stampede. The roadie realizes it happened at the concert where the band he roadies for was opening for Metallica. Chuny warns Weaver that the roadies may have mixed alcohol with GHB, so they’ll need to keep an eye out for that in other patients.

One of the stampede victims is a seven-year-old named Kevin, because seven-year-olds just love Metallica. As Benton is helping Cleo with him, a police officer tells him that Reese may have been brought into another hospital in the city. Benton wonders where Carla is, since Reese was supposed to be with her.

Abby goes to Luka’s new place, where he’s playing a video game on his new Playstation. He got that and a huge aquarium, but hasn’t bought furniture yet. Abby was hoping to go out to dinner instead of spending the night alone while her boyfriend kills zombies in a game. When did Luka turn into such an American?

Carter keeps trying to hand off his patients, but no one will let him go. Kevin’s babysitter finally finds him, and Elizabeth chastises her for taking a seven-year-old to a heavy-metal concert. She says her boyfriend brought the tickets over, and they were going to be home before Kevin’s parents returned. Somewhere, Kristy Thomas is seething.

Remember Sam, the PI Weaver hired to find her birth mother? He claims he’s found her. If Weaver wants more info, she can call him later. Luka and Abby go to a bar he goes to a lot – so much that a waitress named Nicole knows his name and his regular order. Abby was hoping for food, but the bar stopped serving two minutes earlier. Luka talks Nicole into getting her something anyway.

Harmony, the girlfriend of one of the concert victims (the guitarist, I believe), comes in, anxious about how he is. Her friend, Dianna, thinks a big reddish stain on the ceiling is blood. Harmony starts wheezing from her asthma, and when Carter listens to her chest, he detects a possible heart problem. He asks Haleh to find someone to give her a workup, and Haleh’s like, “Hey, you just volunteered yourself! Congratulations!”

Benton finds Reese at the other hospital; he was in a car accident but only has minor injuries. A nurse insists that Benton talk to a doctor to get more details. A doctor named Skoft confirms that Carla was driving the car Reese was in, but she won’t tell Benton where or how Carla is, since he’s not related to her.

Harmony tells Carter she’s been having some trouble with a new piercing. Carter guesses that’s what’s causing the problem with her heart. The piercing happens to be…down south, so Carter and Yosh get a nice sight. When Carter says they’ll have to drain the infection, Dianna takes offense, for some reason, and jumps on his back. Carter throws her off and she slams into a window. Yosh says he’ll make up a new chart for Carter’s newest patient.

While Luka plays pool at the bar, Abby chats with another patron, who would love to get a medical professional to look at whatever he has that’s making pus. Carter cancels his dinner plans while his original patient yells for treatment. Chen has disappeared, and Carter demands that someone find her and make her do some work. Malik has a question about one of Abby’s patients, and since Carter doesn’t know the treatment details, he tells Malik to call her. Then he decides to do it himself so he can yell at Abby.

Abby’s smoking outside the bar when Carter calls to ask if she’s having a good time. No, Carter, she’s not. He blames Abby for talking him into going back in to talk to Weaver, which got him “sucked back into the ER vortex.” Luka comes outside and chastises Abby for smoking after she said she was going to quit. Weaver tells Carter she’s going to Doc Magoo’s for a little while, since things are dying down. He says they’re definitely not, and he’s juggling five patients when he’s not even supposed to be working. She tells him he can leave. Meanwhile, Luka’s annoyed that Abby isn’t enjoying herself, or something.

Benton finally learns why no one would tell him how Carla is: She’s dead. Roger arrives and Benton gives him some details about her condition before the doctors realized they couldn’t save her. For someone who supposedly told Carla he never loved her, Roger is pretty shaken up. While he’s saying goodbye to his wife, Benton goes back to Reese and tries to explain to him that Carla’s gone. Reese is too young to understand and keeps asking for his mom. I’m not crying, you’re crying!

A man named Paul is brought into County after having chest pain all day. His brother (he never gets a name, but my closed captioning calls him Glenn, so we’ll go with that) says he thought it was from something he ate. Dave takes the lead on the case, asking Glenn if Paul does drugs. Glenn doesn’t think so, but they haven’t seen each other in a while, and Paul was pushing himself to put together an art show, so it’s possible. Dave determines that Paul is having a heart attack, even though he’s only 27. He needs Chen or Weaver to approve of the treatment he recommends.

Romano checks in on Elizabeth as she operates on Kevin. She starts leaking breast milk during the procedure, and since that’s not sterile, Romano kicks her out of the OR. A bunch of groupies have swarmed the ER, because security just lets anyone in the building. Carter finally gets back to his first patient, who complains that there aren’t enough doctors on staff. Yeah, no kidding. Carter takes a break to tell another patient’s mother that he’s on a ventilator after he stopped breathing. The mother’s nose starts bleeding. Another patient for Carter!

Chen finally reappears and joins Dave to treat Paul. His tox screen hasn’t come back yet, but Dave is pretty sure he OD’d on cocaine, and they can’t wait too long to start treating him. Chen asks for Weaver, but she’s not responding to pages, so Chen approves of Dave’s ideas for Paul’s treatment. As they’re about to start, Paul’s tox screen comes back negative for drugs. Moments later, his heart starts failing.

Luka is still socializing at the bar, so Abby announces that she’s taking a cab home. He thought she was coming back in and didn’t realize that she hadn’t. Luka follows her out to the street, and Nicole comes out a little later to give Luka back his credit card. She tells him his drinks were on the house, since they want to make sure he comes back in the future. Abby rolls her eyes. She decides to walk home, and Luka follows, annoyed with her for being rude. She tells him to go back inside and keep having fun with his new friends.

Carter pops into the trauma room where Dave and Chen are trying to revive Paul and immediately offers a diagnosis neither of them considered: Marfan syndrome. It affects connective tissue, including around the heart. Paul’s supposed drug overdose was actually an aortic dissection, and the medications Dave and Chen gave him made it worse.

Luka and Abby keep bickering as they taken an El home. He tells her she has a bug up her anus (ooh, so close), and she tells him he’s immature. He points out that she doesn’t even know what she wants. She plays games like she’s a teenager who can have any boy she wants, but she treats them all badly. Abby challenges him to just call her a whore straight out. “You’re not that pretty! You’re not that special!” he says. Abby spits out that she’s pretty enough for him in the dark.

Luka continues that she’s never happy and doesn’t seem capable of it (the same conversation Abby had with Maggie). Abby says that didn’t matter to him six months ago. He says that if she’s not depressed or ashamed, she’s just angry. “And you’re married to a ghost,” she fires back. Luka says that at least he treats her with respect. Yeah, telling her she’s not pretty or special is really respectful.

Carter, Dave, and Chen struggle to save Paul, but he’s losing too much blood. The nurses have been paging Weaver for 15 minutes, but she’s still not responding. Carter remembers that she said she was going across the street. Abby and Luka are still fighting about all her issues and everything he’s had to put up with to be with her. He doesn’t know how to help her or be with her. Abby says she doesn’t want help. Luka eventually announces that he’s done, and Carter can have Abby.

Dave thinks the only way to save Paul is to cut open his chest. Chen refuses to do so without Weaver, so she sends Carter to Doc Magoo’s to get her. He runs across the street, slipping on a puddle and landing on his back. After he collects himself, he finds Weaver at Doc Magoo’s with Sam. By the time they get back to the trauma room, it’s clear that Paul can’t be saved. “You killed him,” Weaver tells the doctors.

Roger asks Benton to take Reese for the night, since he needs to make arrangements for Carla’s body. Benton’s like, “Take my son? To my house? You’re asking me to take my son to my house? Was this not the obvious thing that was going to happen now that his mother is dead?” Roger promises he’ll see Reese sometime in the next couple of days.

Weaver questions Dave and Chen’s treatment decisions, surprised that they didn’t diagnose Marfan’s. Chen also didn’t look at the x-rays before approving of Dave’s suggested treatment. Dave says they had to make a quick decision since Weaver wasn’t available. Weaver yells that that’s part of their job, but they didn’t look at the information the right way. Dave doesn’t think she should get a say here since she didn’t answer her pages. Weaver tells him that in a perfect world, he wouldn’t get to see patients. If Dave knew how do be a doctor and cared about his patients, Paul would still be alive.

Carter speaks up that Paul’s condition was so bad when he came in that he probably wouldn’t have survived surgery even if they’d diagnosed him in time. Weaver says they’ll never know, since Dave screwed up so badly. Dave notes that Paul’s family should be screened for Marfan’s, since it’s genetic. Weaver says she’ll handle that and orders the other three not to talk to anyone about the case.

Abby gets ready for bed alone in her own apartment while Elizabeth has to wake Mark up to clean up Ella after a diaper blow-out. Is he deaf? How could he not hear her crying right next to him? Anyway, Elizabeth is a jerk now, and it’s hard to feel sorry for her for all the stuff she’s been going through related to having a newborn and being a working mother. Carter finally finishes up with that one quick patient who was only supposed to take a few minutes to treat. Weaver returns to Doc Magoo’s, looking for her pager, which she’s lost. She finds it in a bathroom stall.

Edson (ugh, Edson) tells Carter that his nosebleed patient needs surgery thanks to a defect caused by excessive cocaine use. Carter has a shift at noon, so he’s going to catch a nap somewhere in the hospital instead of going home. Edson tells him that’s a bad idea, since the longer he stays there, the harder it will be for him to leave. Carter spots Chen in Paul’s trauma room, rethinking everything they did. Reese wakes up in the middle of the night after having a bad dream, and Benton lets him into his bed.

Thoughts: Roger has been recast with Vondie Curtis-Hall. Nicole is played by Julie Delpy. One of the doctors who tends to Reese is played by Kal Penn.

The reason for Carla’s death is that the show was sick of Lisa Nicole Carson (who was rumored to be having psychological issues), so they just got rid of Carla. The resulting plot was kind of ridiculous, when you think about it. But maybe it’s better than having to watch Benton and Carla keep fighting.

Pretty bold of Sam to charge Weaver for a search she didn’t authorize, after he screwed up so badly last time.

October 13, 2020

ER 7.6, The Visit: Mommy Drearest

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

She’s heeeeeeere…

Summary: Things in the ER are moving in slow motion, for no apparent reason. I think it has something to do with Luka’s whole deal. Anyway, things get back to normal in time for Luka, Benton, and Dave to start helping a patient who’s lost his hand. He’s a drug dealer, and Dave doesn’t have much sympathy for him. Fortunately, Benton has no patience for his lack of sympathy.

Carter’s at an AA meeting but is doing a crossword puzzle instead of giving the current speaker his full attention. Abby’s also in the room and notices. Back at County, Dave jokes about shooting Romano and using the patient’s hand to frame him for the murder. Benton still has no patience for him. He tells Dave to be respectful of both Benton and the patient when they’re working together. Dave also needs to call him Dr. Benton – definitely not Pete.

At the end of the meeting, Carter asks someone to sign his card indicating that he was there. Abby chastises him for not listening. Carter says he was, and besides, he’s been to plenty of meetings, so it’s not like this is a new experience. Abby urges him to share something in a meeting. She also thinks he might get more out of a group for drug addicts instead of alcoholics. Carter makes it clear that he’s just fulfilling his obligations and isn’t there to, like, better himself or anything.

Abby heads to work as Chen gets ready to go home. Chen asks if Abby and Luka are still dating, then wonders if he’s okay. Abby says he’s fine. Things are calm in the ER, which Mark says is a sign that things will get crazy at the end of the shift. Weaver tells Frank to call security to kick a homeless frequent flier out of a storage room where he’s fallen asleep. Frank volunteers to do the kicking-out himself, but Weaver stops him when he picks up a stick to help him.

Mark needs to leave at 6:00 for something personal, as he reminds Weaver. We will hear about this a lot in this episode. Abby asks Luka if they can have lunch together, and he agrees, if he has time. A woman named Maggie comes to the ambulance bay with a bag of food, telling Chuny she’s looking for her daughter, who works there. Chuny hands her off to someone else while she helps Luka with a patient, a seventh-grader named Theresa who had a bad fall. Luka sends her father, Mr. Ruiz, out of the room, then tells Theresa she needs x-rays, so she needs to let him know if there’s any chance she’s pregnant.

Chen meets with an adoption caseworker to discuss possibilities for her baby. The caseworker says that many women of Asian descent change their minds about placing their children for adoption. They’re at a playground, and Chen thinks the caseworker has brought her there to try to convince her that children are awesome. The caseworker asks Chen if the baby’s father has given up his parental rights. Chen says she doesn’t want him to have the baby, but the caseworker says he has rights.

Weaver finds Maggie in the lounge, making coffee to go with the bagels she’s brought in for the staff. Malik manages to grab a bagel before Weaver shuts down the breakfast buffet. Maggie tells her she’s there to see her daughter, Abby. Abby’s currently with Elizabeth, who’s examining a man named Patterson who hurt his back while surfing. Frank comes in to tell Abby that her mother’s there. Abby denies that she could be there, since her mother’s in Florida. She humors Frank by following him to the admit desk, but when she sees Maggie, she tells Frank she has no idea who Maggie is.

Luka wants to perform a neurological exam on Theresa, so her father goes to call his work and let them know he’ll be late. Theresa insists she’s fine, but Luka finds bruises on her back that definitely don’t look fine. Frank keeps putting Maggie off, telling her that her daughter will be out to see her as soon as possible. He’s just delaying her until someone from the psych department can come speak to her. In a second delay tactic, Luka and Weaver conspire to keep Theresa in the hospital longer than necessary until police can get there. Luka thinks Theresa’s father is abusing her.

Maggie is done serving breakfast and is now cleaning up in the lounge. Weaver wants to talk to her about her claim that her daughter works there, but Maggie, who’s talking a mile a minute, has trouble focusing on a single topic. Weaver tells her that Abby says Maggie isn’t her mother. Maggie goes looking for Abby, yelling her name through the halls. Weaver tells Frank to call security and contact psych again. Meanwhile, Abby calls her brother Eric to ask why Maggie’s in Chicago. Abby can’t deal with her right now.

Elizabeth tells Patterson that he needs surgery and shouldn’t wait until he gets home to have it (he’s in Chicago on business). Patterson doesn’t want surgery, so Elizabeth suggests an outpatient procedure she can perform that afternoon. Weaver follows a still-yelling Maggie through the halls until a security guard finds them and tries to calm her down. Finally, Abby comes clean and confirms that Maggie’s her mother.

Elizabeth, Mark, and Dave treat a teen with a gunshot wound. Eagle-eyed viewers will recognize him as Benton’s recently aged nephew, Jesse. Abby asks Maggie if Eric knows she’s in Chicago. Apparently she just left home, probably not even telling her boss she wouldn’t be coming to work. While Maggie goes to get her things from the lounge, Weaver confirms with Abby that Maggie has bipolar disorder and is clearly not taking her medication.

Mark’s evening plans come up again, and Elizabeth promises that nothing will delay her from being off work by 6:00. They’re heading to Wisconsin for a little getaway. Jesse starts declining, but Dave is thrilled because he’s learning so much from treating him. Well, I’m glad you’re enjoying Jesse’s poor health.

Cleo is the first to realize that Jesse is the patient when she runs into Jackie in a waiting area. She races to the OR where Benton is operating and brings him to Jesse’s trauma room. Dave is cavalier about his “gang-banger” patient, so Benton elbows him out of the way to take over tending to Jesse. Cleo informs the doctors that their patient is Benton’s nephew.

Abby asks Luka for a chat, but she’ll have to wait until he doesn’t have a patient demanding his attention. Carter has just arrived at work and is happy to talk. Romano pulls Elizabeth from Jesse’s trauma to ask why she’s doing endoscopic surgery on Patterson instead of the procedure he really needs. Romano thinks she’s cutting corners so she can leave work by 6:00. Elizabeth glares at him, then returns to Jesse, who’s not doing well. Benton wants to pack Jesse’s head in ice to preserve his brain function. Dave is highly skeptical, but Mark is willing to give it a try.

By the waterfront, Abby tells Carter all about her mother. Her father left when she was a kid, and Maggie would do fun, exciting things with the kids that they didn’t realize at the time were just her being manic. Then, of course, she would get depressed, leaving Abby to take care of herself and Eric. Maggie won’t take medication because she enjoys her mania so much. Abby knows she’s not strong enough to deal with Maggie again right now.

Cleo tells Jackie that Benton is working with a trauma team to take care of Jesse, but he’s in bad shape. A girl named Kynesha arrives and tearfully asks Jackie if Jesse’s okay. Jackie kicks her out, ordering the girl to stay away from Jesse. Back in the trauma room, Elizabeth keeps an eye on Benton’s mental state as he tries desperately to save his nephew. It’s clear to everyone else in the room that they won’t be able to, but they don’t tell Benton to give up.

Mr. Ruiz is angry that Luka has kept him and Theresa in the hospital for so long. Finally, a detective arrives to talk to Mr. Ruiz about Theresa’s bruises. Mr. Ruiz is understandably offended that the detective and Luka would accuse him of beating his daughter. Benton has convinced himself that he can stop Jesse’s bleeding, but eventually he realizes there’s nothing he can do. Elizabeth gently indicates that he needs to stop. Benton fights back tears, then goes to see Jackie, who can tell just from looking at him that he doesn’t have good news. She screams in devastation.

It’s time for Chen to tell the baby’s father that…well, he’s the baby’s father. She’s never mentioned his name, but as many viewers had already guessed, it’s Frank. (Not Frank the desk clerk. That would be too weird.) She apologizes for not telling him about her pregnancy sooner, then announces him she wants to place the baby for adoption. He seems surprisingly unconcerned about all of this.

Mark has a headache, which he thinks is from taking a hit while playing hockey. Spoiler: Nope! He reminds Elizabeth that they’re leaving at 6:00. WE KNOW. Dave worries that Benton heard him trash-talking Jesse before he knew Jesse was Benton’s nephew. Mark’s like, “That’s really not my problem.” A boy named Vinnie comes in looking for Theresa but doesn’t go to see her.

Elizabeth does Patterson’s procedure, keeping one eye on the clock since it’s almost 6:00. Babcock the anesthesiologist says there’s some fluid leaking from the site of the procedure, but Elizabeth says it’s just from the irrigation fluid. Legaspi comes to the ER to talk to Maggie about not taking her medication. Maggie says she doesn’t like how she feels on lithium, so she’s taking Prozac, an antidepressant. That could trigger a manic episode, so Legaspi offers to write her a prescription for something else.

Abby wonders if she’ll actually take it. She gives Maggie some money so she can take a bus back to Florida. Maggie cries about being sent away, since she wants to be there to support Abby through her divorce (which happened a year ago). Abby chastises her for acting crazy and embarrassing Abby at work. Next Maggie will get depressed and Abby will have to worry about her hurting herself. Maggie stomps out crying.

Dave finds Benton alone with Jesse’s body and apologizes for not being more respectful of Jesse. Benton warns Dave to get away from him. Instead, Dave says that he just thought Jesse was some gang-banger. Benton hits him, and they end up in a brawl that has to be broken up by other staff members. Dave says he was just trying to apologize. Well, you suck at it.

The detective tells Luka that Theresa swears her father hasn’t hurt her. That means she can’t be taken out of her home. Luka gives it another try, asking Theresa what really happened that morning. She sticks to her story that she fell. Luka tells her that sometimes people who love us hurt us. It’s a sickness they need to get help with. He informs Theresa that she’s pregnant, and she says she knew this could happen. The baby’s father refuses to use a condom, which leads to fights, which lead to the abuse. Don’t worry, the baby’s father isn’t Theresa’s father – it’s Vinnie.

It’s after 6:00, so Elizabeth is gone for the night when Patterson starts experiencing severe back pain and numbness in his legs. Romano examines him and realizes he’s leaking spinal fluid. That’s probably not good. Elizabeth and Mark have just checked into their hotel room when she gets a call about Patterson’s complications. So much for a quiet weekend away.

Back at County, Benton cleans up Jesse’s body instead of letting a nurse do it. Cleo joins him silently. Abby’s heading home for the night when she finds Maggie crying on an El platform in just a summer dress, no coat. Maggie apologizes for ruining everything in her kids’ lives. Abby gives Maggie her coat and promises she doesn’t hate her. Looks like it’s back to the mom-drama cycle for Abby.

Thoughts: Maggie is, of course, played by Sally Field. Patterson is played by Alan Dale.

Dave’s lucky he keeps his job as long as he does, after his behavior in this episode. Remember how Romano joked that he had his fingers crossed when he took the Hippocratic Oath? Dave probably just mumbled it. Stop judging your patients and just make them better, dude.

Shouldn’t Frank be more shocked to realize he got his one-night stand pregnant? He acts almost like he was expecting this. The Frank we saw in “Under Control” would, at the very least, ask Chen how she was feeling.

Once again, Cleo demonstrates her willingness to help out wherever she’s needed, and without being asked. I like that she goes to talk to Jackie while Benton’s working on Jesse, since Benton can’t be the one to comfort her. And this is while Cleo and Benton are barely on speaking terms. She could have just let someone else deal with Jackie. Instead, she sucked it up and showed Jackie some genuine compassion.

August 18, 2020

ER 6.20, Loose Ends: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Parent/Child Relationships

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

Can’t snark on this

Summary: Mark is getting ready to face another day of tending to David, whose health has declined a lot. He’s still stubborn, though, and thinks Mark should go back to work. David has a craving for a Bloody Mary, and though Mark says it’s not a good idea, David points out that he’s dying already, so what could it hurt? While David’s getting worse, Carter’s getting better, at least physically, and is up early to work out. Millicent is pleased that he’s getting back to his old self.

At County, Luka asks Carol if things are okay at home, since she hasn’t answered his calls recently. He gives her some flowers from his neighbor’s garden and wishes her a happy birthday. She’s surprised that he knew it was her birthday. He moves in for another kiss, but she’s not that interested, so when Connie comes to get Luka, Carol’s kind of relieved.

Carter comes in after checking out a condo in Lincoln Park, which Dave says is too yuppie-ish an area for him. Carter points out that Dave is a yuppie. Dave objects, but Chuny says Carter’s right. Dave asks Weaver if he’s a yuppie. “No, but you will be when you grow up,” Weaver replies. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! She asks for a sub for Mark’s shift that night, and Carter volunteers, since he’s the senior resident.

Weaver has a meeting about paramedic services and asks Carol for some data she was supposed to compile. Carol realizes she forgot to do it. Mark makes David breakfast, and though David isn’t hungry, he’d rather feed himself than be fed like a child. Abby and Dave treat an elderly patient, and Dave allows Abby to do her first intubation. Carter brings in some new technology that will show him and Dave exactly what Abby sees during the procedure.

Elizabeth examines a woman named Claire who vomited blood and passed out at work. Claire wants to leave, since her condition isn’t serious, but she can’t even sit up without getting dizzy. Elizabeth tells her she can leave after her IV is empty and she’s rehydrated. Outside the room, she tells Lydia that Claire has severe eating disorders and needs a psych hold.

Weaver goes looking for Carol, who’s disappeared while supposedly working on Weaver’s data. Luka figures some nurses took her to Doc Magoo’s for a birthday breakfast. Carter and Dave guide Abby through her first intubation while Dave brainstorms other uses for the camera. Abby does the procedure perfectly, and Dave says it’s easy when you have a good teacher. Abby agrees, turning to Carter, the real leader in the room.

At home, Mark accidentally breaks a container of David’s medication, then cuts his hand on the glass. David gives him medical instructions, as if Mark didn’t learn all that in medical school. He needs stitches, but he doesn’t want to leave David at home while he goes to the hospital. Benton examines a man named Mr. Fulton who needs surgery for complications following treatment he received previously. Benton learns that Luka was his previous doctor.

Elizabeth leaves County to take a suture kit to Mark’s so he doesn’t have to leave David. Lydia assures her that Claire will have to stick around for a while, since her IV is on a slow drip and won’t be empty for a couple of hours. Carol dropped the ball on the data, so Weaver had to postpone her meeting. She confronts Carol for being too busy to handle one of her responsibilities and not saying anything. Carol promises that she can handle it.

Amira delivers a birthday present to Carol – a package full of boxes of animal crackers. They’re from Doug. She explains to Amira and Chuny that Doug would always bring her animal crackers when he went to the store, and Carol would always put a box in his Christmas stocking.

Dave goes to get a new case from the front desk and learns that Carter has already taken care of some of them. Dave is about to start with a guy named Mr. Barclay, but one of his patients stops breathing, so Dave hands him off to Chen. Then Chen has to ditch Barclay for a four-year-old named Kenny who’s having seizures. Barclay thinks he’s a higher priority, because of course he does. Chen isn’t sure what’s wrong with Kenny and asks someone to get Weaver to help her.

Benton asks Luka about his treatment of Mr. Fulton and his failure to follow up to make sure Fulton was seen in a vascular clinic. Luka says he made the referral, but Benton knows that a high-risk patient who lives alone, like Fulton, might not make the appointment. Luka says he made the appointment himself.

Benton thinks Luka should have asked a nurse to call Fulton, or called himself to make sure Fulton was completing his treatment. Luka asks if Benton does that for all his patients. Benton says he does, when the patients are high-risk. Older Black men are especially high-risk, and Luka should know that. He needs to remember that there’s more to emergency medicine than “treating and streeting.” Luka tells Benton that’s not something he needs to learn.

Weaver joins Chen with Kenny, who’s been seizing for 30 minutes. It seems to be due to low blood sugar, but treatment isn’t improving it. The seizures finally stop, and Weaver tells Chen she’s not sure what’s wrong. She notices that one of Carol’s patients’ IV bags is empty and sends her to change it. Carol grumbles about it, and Weaver asks if something’s bothering her. Carol tells Weaver to come right out and say something if she has a problem. Carol complains that she has a heavy patient load and two children in daycare – she doesn’t need Weaver bugging her on top of that. Weaver tells her to just do her job.

Paramedics bring in a man who fell while crossing some El tracks. Barclay still wants his simple wound check, which he’s been waiting hours for. Dude, you’re going to have to almost get hit by a train like this guy to be a priority. Sit down. Carter and Dave work together again, Dave moving quickly while Carter is calm and methodical. Doris the paramedic announces that Barclay stole her ambulance.

Elizabeth stitches up Mark, who compliments her work. (Well, she’s a surgeon. She’d better be good at this.) David invites her to stay a little while and have tea with him. Luka joins Carter and Dave, who think their patient has internal bleeding and can’t agree on which part of his body they should be more worried about. Luka sides with Carter, who manages to stabilize the patient.

Chen tells Weaver that her research has helped her diagnose Kenny with a rare metabolic disorder called MCAD. Weaver apologizes to Carol for being so hard on her, but Carol agrees that she needs to be more on top of things. Weaver offers her any help she might need, saying she knows Carol pretty well after working with her for five years. Carol admits that she hates her life. She loves her job and the girls, but she hates that she ended up a single mother. Weaver offers to let her take some extra personal days whenever she needs them.

Chen tells Kenny’s parents about his genetic disorder, which Chicago hospitals don’t test for when babies are born. If they’d known that Kenny had MCAD when he was born, they would have known to give him sugar water when he got sick, which would have prevented his seizures. Carter accepts a call from an ambulance stating that the driver is bringing in some patients. The driver is Barclay, who was flagged down by some people with food poisoning while he was on his way to Mercy for treatment. Doris tells him not to let the patients throw up on the floor, since she just cleaned it.

Before Elizabeth goes back to County, David wants to give her a string of pearls he once gave Ruth. Elizabeth doesn’t feel right accepting the necklace, but David insists. He tells Mark to help her put them on. Back at County, Chen tells Romano that they need to screen babies for rare metabolic disorders. Romano notes that that would mean spending millions of dollars on tests that only diagnose a few kids. Chen tells him to go ahead and explain to Kenny’s parents why they can’t allocate resources for tests that could have saved their child.

Barclay arrives with the sick patients, and Doris takes him away to treat him/beat him up. In another ambulance, a man and his six-year-old daughter come in after a car accident. Dave takes the daughter, Shelly, while Carter and Abby take the father. Elizabeth returns and learns that Deraad won’t put Claire on a psych hold. She may have eating disorders, but she’s capable of making her own decisions, which basically means she has the right to continue harming herself. She’ll only get psych treatment if she requests it.

David seems a little confused while Mark is bathing him, asking where Elizabeth is and whether Mark has to go to work. He likes the smell of the soap Mark is using, the same Ivory that Ruth used to use. Mark remembers smelling it on her when she kissed him goodnight. David says he was the one who bathed Mark when he was a baby. He tells Mark he’s a good doctor. The day he became one was the proudest day of David’s life. He gets emotional and tells Mark he loves him. Mark says it back to him.

Shelly isn’t badly injured, but Cleo joins Dave to finish her examination. Shelly objects to having her pants removed, and Dave sees blood in them. He thinks she has an injury from the accident, but Cleo doesn’t find anything. Dave realizes what’s going on and gently asks Shelly some age-appropriate questions about whether anyone has touched her inappropriately. Guess what? Shelly’s dad is a child molester! Congratulations on scarring your child for live, Shelly’s dad!

Dave goes straight to the trauma room next door and attacks Shelly’s father, accusing him of molesting Shelly. Carter kicks him out and tells him to follow the proper procedures for an investigation. Dave insists on assisting Cleo in continuing Shelly’s examination.

Carol helps Luka with a patient as he asks if she has plans for her birthday. She doesn’t, so he offers to cook her dinner. Kenny’s mother tells Chen that he may have permanent brain damage. She’s brought in her daughter, Emma, and wants Chen to give her the test Kenny should have been given as a baby.

Elizabeth thinks Claire’s mother can talk her into staying in the hospital for treatment, so she’s broken confidentiality to get her to the hospital. Claire’s mother is shocked to see how unhealthy her daughter has gotten. Meanwhile, Dave reads Green Eggs and Ham with Shelly to distract her while Cleo does her examination.

Mark wakes up from a nap on his couch to discover that David has passed away. He straightens his father’s nightshirt a little, then kisses him goodbye. Luka and Carter take care of a patient who’s having a heart attack, and Carter determines that he needs a procedure they don’t usually do in the ER. Luka has already left to tend to someone else, and Haleh won’t assist Carter, so he says he’ll do it himself. Haleh tells him she’s getting Luka.

Weaver tells Elizabeth that David died, and Mark will call her when the people from the funeral home leave. Elizabeth doesn’t have much time to react before she has to go to Claire’s room to try to convince her to stay in the hospital. Claire refuses, so Elizabeth lets her go. She realizes she went too far in trying to help Claire and needs to back off. If Claire doesn’t care enough to try to stay alive, Elizabeth won’t care, either.

Carter finishes the procedure he wasn’t supposed to do, telling Luka that the patient would have died if they’d sent him up to cardiology, as Luka had ordered. Luka reminds Carter that they’re supposed to work together, so he should have told Luka what he was doing. Weaver finds Dave stitching up Shelly’s father without enough painkillers and orders him to do it properly. Dave tells her to go ahead and take over.

Chen pages Romano to consult on Kenny’s case (and also meet his mother and sister in hopes of guilting him into changing his mind about offering genetic tests at birth). Chen is starting a petition about getting the tests instated at County. Romano can’t refuse while Kenny’s mother is right there, so he signs the petition. Nice work, Chen. Weaver reminds Carter that he’s still a resident and isn’t allowed to do procedures like the one he did in the ER without an attending present. Carter offers Dave a big trauma coming in, but Dave has seen enough for the day.

Luka finds Carol moping on the roof and tries to start a conversation about where things might be going with them. She tells him it’s not going to work out, literally saying, “It’s not you, it’s me.” Elizabeth goes to Mark’s place, where he’s trying to hold it together to finish some paperwork and call people to tell them David died. When David moved to Chicago, Mark promised not to sell his house in San Diego, but now there’s no point in keeping it. He breaks down in tears and Elizabeth holds him.

Thoughts: At this point in the original run, it was common knowledge that Julianna Margulies was leaving the show, and it was pretty obvious that Carol would go off to be with Doug. It was hard not to feel sorry for Luka, but then again, I always liked Doug and Carol together, so it was exciting to think they might get a happy ending.

Speaking of Carol and Doug, their traditions with the animal crackers are really cute. He’s more romantic than we’ve gotten to see.

Dave should have had Randi beat up Shelly’s father. Maybe Doris, too – she could have used an outlet for her anger at Barclay.

July 7, 2020

ER 6.14, All in the Family: This Place Is Killing Me

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

Pour one out

Summary: Weaver arrives at County for a night shift in the middle of a slow spell. The Valentine’s Day party is still going on, and the music is still loud, though at least it’s more Valentine-y now (“More Today Than Yesterday”). Luka and some nurses are discussing Malik’s no-polish manicure, which he says women love. Weaver asks them to turn down the music, then tells the staff they can party for five more minutes before getting back to work.

In the lounge, Abby’s on the phone with someone, trying to work out some kind of payment. (Come back for the exciting explanation in a future episode.) Carol gets ready to go home, still feeling stung by the loss of Robbie and Julia’s parents. Weaver comments that it must be nice that she has her girls to go home to. Randi needs a doctor for a patient who’s supposed to be Carter’s, so Weaver tells her to find him. Pablo comes in with a foot injury, and Weaver’s pleased to see that he’s alive, since he hasn’t been around for more than a year. Haleh thinks he was deported, then snuck back into the country.

Dr. Deraad has finally managed to get himself to the ER, though it’s way too late for him to be able to help anyone and also people have been horribly injured because of his negligence and I can’t look at him anymore. Weaver’s unfamiliar with the whole Paul situation and can’t tell Deraad where to find him. She goes to treat an injured man dressed as Cupid, then runs into Chen, who needs help dealing with the toxicology department. Weaver stops outside Paul’s exam room and sees blood on the floor. When she opens the door, she’s horrified by what she sees inside.

Mark, Elizabeth, and their parents are still at the restaurant; Mark and Elizabeth have loosened up enough to sing “Piano Man” together. Alex Kingston is a talented woman but…not musically. Elizabeth’s pager goes off in the middle of the song, so she mercifully stops singing. Mark keeps going alone, getting as far as “Bill, this place is killing me” before his pager goes off as well.

Back at County, things have gone from slow to chaotic as the staff starts tending to Carter and Lucy. They’ve put together that Paul must have attacked them, but they have no idea where is or if he’s still in the hospital. Lucy has multiple stab wounds and has lost a lot of blood; Weaver’s shaky when she tries to take care of her. She’s upset that Carter and Lucy were bleeding to death while the staff was having a party, completely oblivious.

Luka heads up tending to Carter, who’s not doing as badly as Lucy. Abby notes that she was just talking to him. Connie shows a couple of cops the scene of the crime, and Deraad tells them the attacker was Paul, though he doesn’t know anything helpful about the patient. Benton races to the ER at an Olympic-qualifying speed, having heard that Carter was injured, and takes over his care. Weaver and Dave determine that Lucy needs surgical attention, so Haleh brings Benton over to her trauma room.

Abby goes to a supply cart in the hallway, looking for an infuser kit for Carter. Instead, she finds the knife Paul stashed there after the attacks. Connie recognizes it as the cake knife that disappeared from the lounge. Abby tries to gather herself so she can keep looking for the kit. A cop asks her if Carter’s awake and if he’s going to survive. Abby doesn’t have any answers for him.

She goes back to Carter’s trauma room, where he wakes up confused. Chen tries to reassure him, getting protective when a cop tries to question him. Carter sees Lucy in the next room, but Abby can only tell him she’s alive, not how badly she’s hurt. Chen pulls Benton back to Carter’s room, telling him that Carter has an injury to his kidney.

Mark and Elizabeth arrive at County, leaving their parents in the car. Benton stays with Carter as he’s taken up to surgery. Weaver asks Luka questions about Paul, but Luka isn’t sure what happened. Mark and Elizabeth join them with Lucy, who’s still unstable, and Elizabeth determines that they need to open her chest. When Weaver advocated for a sternal saw in the ER, she never could have expected she’d be using one on Lucy. Everyone’s uneasy watching someone they know get sawed open. Together, Weaver, Elizabeth, Mark, Luka, and Dave manage to get Lucy’s heart rate stabilized.

As soon as Lucy’s in the elevator on her way to the OR, the ER is quiet again. Luka and Mark think they were able to help Lucy enough to keep her alive. Weaver leaves the hospital, brushing off people who need to talk to her, and goes outside for some fresh air. She throws up in a garbage can, then goes back inside to her responsibilities.

Anspaugh gets word of the attacks and tells Benton he’s scrubbing in on Carter’s surgery. Carter knows his injuries are bad, but Benton stays calm and promises to take good care of him. “I’m glad it’s you,” Carter says. Benton heads for the scrub room as Lucy is brought up to be operated on by Romano and Elizabeth. Anspaugh, Benton, and Elizabeth scrub in together, all silent as they think about the stakes of what they’re about to do.

Down in the OR, Luka asks Amira why the nurses thought they needed a six-inch butcher knife to cut a cake. Amira argues that she’s not the one who brought it; she couldn’t even find it. She doesn’t know how Paul was able to get his hands on it. Weaver tells her to get Carter and Lucy’s emergency-contact info but not make any calls herself. She asks Mark what he knew about Paul, which isn’t much. Mark says Carter was supervising Lucy, and Weaver wonders who was supervising Carter. She’s upset that Mark left early and didn’t pass the case off to Luka.

Mark says he reviewed the patient board with Luka before he left, but Luka says he didn’t know that Paul was psychotic. Mark replies he didn’t know, either – no one presented the case to him. Luka says he was managing the whole board and didn’t know that Paul had gone from stable to possible dangerous. Weaver points out that he was having a party, not doing his job. Mark tells her that they both thought Carter and Lucy had everything covered.

Chuny interrupts to announce that Paul’s pregnant wife, Samantha, has arrived. Lucy left her a message letting her know that Paul was in the hospital. Luka takes her off to tell her what’s going on. As Cleo returns from an errand, having missed the entire chaotic situation, Mark enlists her to help him with a patient being brought in by helicopter.

Samantha doesn’t believe Luka’s claims that Paul stabbed two people and ran away. She denies that he could ever hurt anyone. Luka tells her that Paul may have schizophrenia. Benton and Anspaugh operate on Carter, and Benton’s usual calm, methodical demeanor is out the window. Anspaugh keeps his cool, stopping Benton from doing anything drastic like removing Carter’s injured kidney. Next door, Elizabeth and Romano are tense as they operate on Lucy, who’s still losing blood.

The patient brought in by helicopter is a man who was injured when a heavy stream of oil hit him while he was fixing a pipe. (Apparently that’s a bad thing to have happen.) David comes looking for Mark, wanting to know how long he and Isabelle will have to wait before Mark and Elizabeth can take them home. Of course, Mark doesn’t know.

Luka and Samantha talk to a detective who asks Samantha where Paul might have gone. She’s still in denial that he’s dangerous – if he was, why didn’t the doctors take more precautions? Luka tells her they don’t have any answers, but no matter what’s going on, Paul needs help. Samantha suggests that he might have gone to the roof of their apartment building, since he likes to go there to be alone.

Lucy’s operation is calmer now, and her surgeons are lamenting how horrible it is that Paul attacked her. Carter’s condition is much better, and Benton and Anspaugh have managed to save his kidney. Anspaugh notes that he could live with just one, but Anspaugh didn’t want to remove an organ. Alarms start going off and they realize there’s a problem with Carter’s lumbar artery. He’s suddenly at risk for paralysis.

David and Isabelle sit in the waiting area, wondering if this is a normal day at work for their kids. Abby and Chen receive a patient brought in by paramedics after being hit by a car. Chen recognizes him as Paul and tells Abby to get Weaver. Paul’s altered again, making paranoid rants and complaining that “they” wouldn’t stop sticking him. Weaver tries to head up his care, but she gets overwhelmed and asks Mark to switch patients with her. He sends Cleo up to the OR with their oil guy (I don’t know his name; I’ll call him Exxon) to wait for a surgeon to become available.

Elizabeth and Romano are done operating on Lucy and somewhat pleased with her condition, figuring it’s the best they could hope for. Romano’s called away for a phone call, so Elizabeth goes in alone when she learns that Lucy’s waking up. Thanks to a stab wound to her neck and a subsequent thoracotomy, Lucy can’t speak, but she’s able to whisper a thank you to Elizabeth for saving her.

Benton and Anspaugh are finishing up with Carter, so Shirley asks Anspaugh to operate on Exxon. Benton tells her to get Elizabeth instead, ordering Shirley to have Cleo stay with Exxon until Elizabeth can get to him. Just as Elizabeth is about to go to the OR with Exxon, Lucy suffers what she’s able to self-diagnose as a pulmonary embolism. Elizabeth and Romano debate whether or not to thin her blood, since that could cause post-surgical complications.

Mark tells Samantha that Paul is doing okay and is now talking to a psychiatrist. Mark wants her to wait before she sees her husband. Lucy’s incision is bleeding a little, but Elizabeth tells her that’s normal because of the medication she was given. She does have a pulmonary embolism, but they’ll be able to fix it. Elizabeth can tell that Lucy’s scared, and she promises to get her through this.

Chen and Dave go over to Doc Magoo’s, done with their shifts but not wanting to go home before they know if Carter and Lucy will be okay. Abby and Luka are already there for the same reason. Back at County, Lucy wants to stay awake while Elizabeth takes care of her embolism. Romano assures her that they’ll save her – after all, they put a lot of time and money into her training, so her death would be a big waste. He offers to talk her through the procedure so she knows what’s going on.

Lucy’s alarms go off again, so Romano opens her up in a procedure room, knowing she doesn’t have time to get to the OR. This delays Elizabeth from operating on Exxon, so Anspaugh tells Benton to go take care of him. Benton quickly determines that Exxon’s stable enough to wait a little longer, so he tells Cleo to stay with Exxon while he goes back to Carter.

As Elizabeth and Romano take care of the clots Lucy’s forming, Exxon starts to go downhill. Cleo can’t keep waiting for a surgeon; she thinks Exxon tore an artery, and the only way she knows how to fix it is by opening his chest. Lucy’s also doing worse, and Elizabeth and Romano have to shock her heart. Benton finally returns to Cleo and Exxon, blasting her for opening the patient instead of continuing to wait for a surgeon.

Romano and Elizabeth continue trying to stabilize Lucy, but Romano determines that they can’t do any more for her. He has Elizabeth stop shocking her, and they wait quietly while Lucy’s heart stops. Upset, Romano throws the equipment tray across the room, then decides they need to try to save Lucy again. This time it’s Elizabeth who says they can’t do it. R.I.P Lucy Knight.

Paul is calmer now, so Deraad lets Samantha come see him. Paul remembers bits of the events of the day, like the blue cake. He says he had to do what he did because the doctors were trying to take his internal organs. Samantha finally accepts that something’s not right with her husband. Paul begs to go home, only concerned with feeding his dog.

Mark leaves Paul’s room and goes to the front desk, where Weaver’s face tells him all he needs to know about Lucy’s fate. Benton finishes up with Exxon, then asks Cleo about Carter, who’s now in recovery. He tells her she was right to make the decisions she did about Exxon; he regrets putting her in such a tough position. She tells him that there was a complication with Lucy.

Haleh and Lydia have joined the group at Doc Magoo’s, and they’re reminiscing about a prank Carter pulled on Lucy. He told her to do a pelvic exam on a well-known patient named Vanessa, leaving out the part where Vanessa’s a drag queen. Chuny interrupts the fun by coming over with news about Lucy. Back at County, Benton examines Carter to make sure he has full function in his legs. Carter thanks him, then asks how Lucy is. Benton ignores him to continue the examination, which is all Carter needs to know.

Elizabeth finally makes it home early in the morning, looking like she’ll never stop picturing the things she saw today. Paul’s room is still blocked off as a crime scene, marked with both police tape and Valentine’s Day decorations. Carol is back on shift, and she points out to Mark that they’re down a resident and a med student. They ask Abby to work another shift. Mark takes a moment to himself, then goes off to take care of a patient. Weaver finds Romano stitching Lucy’s chest closed on the surgical floor and helps him finish up with her body.

Thoughts: Samantha is played by Liza Weil.

I absolutely hate TV and movie scenes where people throw up, but I give a pass to the scene where Weaver does because I think her reaction to the trauma is realistic. She’s portrayed as cold and uncaring a lot of the time, but here we get to see that even she can’t turn off all her emotions when a colleague is involved. The same goes for Romano when he gets angry after Lucy flatlines. He hates almost everyone, but he was proud of the way she fought for Valerie, and he’s genuinely sad that he couldn’t save her.

Imagine being Carol and leaving work for the night thinking everything’s normal, then coming in the next morning and being told that one of your co-workers was murdered. How does everyone on this show not have some form of PTSD?

December 12, 2015

BH90210 10.17, Doc Martin: You Killed My Father. Prepare to Cry

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 1:34 pm by Jenn

One big happy...something

One big happy…something

Summary: Paramedics have been called to the Martins’ house, but there’s nothing they can do – Dr. Martin is dead. The medics think he had a stroke. When Felice comes home, she’s distressed that no one’s helping her husband. Over at the After Dark, Dylan and Noah get the news from Steve as Noah’s damaged car is towed. Noah asks Dylan not to tell Donna what happened to them, so she doesn’t worry.

Everyone gathers at the beach apartment to comfort Donna. Kelly can’t bother to keep her mouth shut, asking if Dr. Martin was supposed to be exercising. In other words, she’s trying to imply that Gina may have accidentally killed him. David follows Gina outside and basically says that it’s reasonable for people to wonder what happened. He points out that no one blamed her right out, as if that makes a difference.

Kelly later asks Matt if you need a license to be a personal trainer. Matt tells her to shut up already (okay, he’s nicer than that, but still). They change the subject to a potential job Pia the PR person has for Kelly. As they approach the street where Matt parked, they discover that it’s missing. A valet tells him that it seems to have been repossessed. Kelly wishes Matt had talked to her about his continuing money problems.

Dylan tries to comfort Gina, who now feels guilty that she couldn’t do more for Dr. Martin. She wishes she hadn’t pushed him to work out. Dylan wants her to think about how much it must have meant to him that she wanted him in her life. Felice and Donna discuss arrangements for Dr. Martin, but Felice gets frustrated because she’s going to have to deal with things that her husband usually took care of. David and Camille show up with flowers, and David pledges his support for his ex. Donna’s not sure how her family can still be a family without her father.

Matt confides in Kelly that after his suspension, he’s struggling to find clients. She offers to help him out with money, but he doesn’t like the idea of his fiancée bailing him out. He’s willing to go back to working for a big firm (which he previously hated) so they can be financially secure. Matt also doesn’t want Kelly to take the job with Pia just so they can have money. Kelly assures him that she’s actually interested in the job. She thinks things will turn out fine.

Gina goes to the Martins’ to check on Felice, who tells her that Dr. Martin used to work at a movie theater. She only found out when she read his obituary. Gina mentions that the obituary only said Dr. Martin had a wife and one daughter. Felice thinks she should shut up about it – outing herself as Dr. Martin’s daughter could ruin his reputation. “Don’t you see how one careless moment could destroy everything?” Felice yells, asking if Gina bothered to check her father’s blood pressure.

At the After Dark, Steve and Janet invite Noah over for dinner, but he doesn’t want anyone to babysit him. He realizes that Shane could have killed him, which would have been a crazy way to go out. Kelly asks Dylan about the kidnapping, wondering if he got a rush out of being in danger. He tells her that he risked his life to save Noah, and no, he didn’t enjoy it. He spits out that when his life flashed before his eyes, he didn’t give her a lot of thought.

David’s back at the Martins’ with Donna, who can’t sleep. She tells him that when she was a kid, she would fall asleep in her parents’ bed while her father read her Charlotte’s Web. She remembers her mother stroking her hair until she fell asleep, like David’s doing to her now. At the Beverly Royale, Dylan catches up with Gina, telling her not to let Felice bother her. They’re both sick of Beverly Hills, and he thinks they should move somewhere else together. Gina likes that idea.

Kelly accepts the job with Pia, who already has an assignment for her. She’ll be consulting on a campaign, and working to pass an initiative regarding gay student rights. Kelly’s excited to work for a cause she believes in. Dylan arrives and Kelly apologizes for calling him reckless when she didn’t know what really happened with Shane. He announces that he’s leaving town after Dr. Martin’s funeral. He doesn’t think there’s anything left for him in Beverly Hills.

David helps Donna out with some funeral-related tasks, and she tells him she really appreciates all his support. Gina comes over to tell them she’s leaving town after the funeral. She thanks Donna for being so great to her since their discovery that they’re sister. David thinks Gina should stick around; Dr. Martin’s death wasn’t her fault. Donna disagrees – she thinks he would still be alive if Gina hadn’t found out he was her father.

Kelly follows Dylan to his office to tell him she doesn’t want him to leave because of their fighting. She’ll miss him if he does go. She’s no longer supportive when she finds out he’s heading off with Gina. “By the way, how is Matt?” Dylan replies. Noah’s drunk at David’s house (does he live there, too? I seriously can’t remember), clearly traumatized by his abduction. He admits to David that he’s been thinking about suicide. David can relate, and he tells Noah that if he wants to kill himself, the responsibility’s all his own.

Dylan goes to see Donna before the funeral, but she’s not exactly in the mood to deal with more upheaval in her life. He tells her that sometimes leaving and coming back helps you see things differently. When he left, Donna was shy and sweet; now she’s confident and capable. He knows she can handle the responsibilities she’ll have to face with her father gone. She’s definitely more prepared than he was when his father died. Donna doesn’t get why he always runs away, or why he takes what he has for granted. More responsibilities mean she’ll need more help.

Kelly tells Matt that she took the PR job, and he admits he’s grateful to have her help. Kelly realizes that her assignment isn’t to support a ballot initiative for gay students’ rights – she’s been hired to prevent students from forming gay-related clubs. At the funeral, Felice tells David to seat Gina with the family. All Gina can focus on is her desire to get out of Beverly Hills.

Donna gives a nice eulogy, saying that her father was always the most important man in her life, and always will be. She reads a letter he wrote her while he was recovering from her stroke. It talks about having a second chance and getting to see what really matters in life – faith, love, and family. Donna gets too emotional to finish, so Gina takes over. Everyone cries. Felice personally asks Gina to sit with her and Donna, even giving her a hug.

After the service, Noah splits, asking Dylan to tell Donna he’ll catch up with her later. Dylan wonders if Gina’s changed her mind about running away – she’s in the front row now. Gina says that she got closure, but she doesn’t think Dylan did. Dylan has decided to stay in Beverly Hills to find the love, faith, and family Dr. Martin cherished.

David takes Camille back to his place, because I guess now that he’s done taking care of Donna, they can make out? Noah interrupts, and David looks through his groceries to make sure he didn’t buy any more alcohol. Noah was smart enough to put a bottle in his jacket pocket. At the Martins’, Gina says a final goodbye to Donna, who thinks she’s brave to head out on her own. They reminisce about playing together as kids, and how Donna always wished Gina could stay with her. She still does.

Everyone else gathers at the beach apartment, where Kelly and Dylan agree that they want to smooth things over. He tells her that’s one of the reasons he’s staying in town. David checks on Donna, promising that he and the rest of the gang are there for her like she was for him when his grandfather died. And then they make out. Okay, not really, but they should.

Thoughts: I wonder if the show decided to get rid of Gina or if Vanessa Marcil realized she was wasting her time and should get out.

Tori Spelling does a good job in this episode. She’s goot at portraying low-key sadness.

David, please never work for a suicide hotline.

December 23, 2014

SVU #29, One Last Kiss: That’s One Less Love Triangle to Deal With

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:28 pm by Jenn

I still don't believe that's Todd. He doesn't look the way I've always pictured him

I still don’t believe that’s Todd. He doesn’t look the way I’ve always pictured him

Summary: Things n Sweet Valley have been too happy for too long, so it’s time for someone to die. As Todd and Elizabeth learned in the previous book, Gin-Yung has an inoperable brain tumor and not much time to live. She’s now in the hospital, dying a particularly unpretty death. I’m actually surprised the series doesn’t soften things a bit. But no, Gin-Yung must suffer. And Elizabeth must suffer, too, because somehow, this poor girl’s death is about her.

So anyway, Todd wants to be with Gin-Yung during her final days, since she wants him there. This means he and Elizabeth have to spend time apart. Poor, poor Liz. It’s so hard being beautiful and healthy and having so many guys want you. Like, Gin-Yung will be dead in a matter of days, and then Todd is all yours. Chill. Gin-Yung’s sister Kim gets Todd to promise that he’ll hang around so Gin-Yung can get what she wants. Kim is kind of annoying, but then again, at one point Todd thinks about how he doesn’t have time to sit at his ex’s deathbed, so maybe they’re both jerks.

There are a bunch of scenes of Todd and Gin-Yung spending time together as her health declines. He starts regretting that they can’t still be together. But there will be no miraculous recovery for Gin-Yung. After sharing a final kiss with Todd, who promises he’ll always love her, she dies. ‘Bye, Gin-Yung! I thought you were cool!

Elizabeth has been avoiding the SVU TV studio so she doesn’t have to deal with Tom, but she realizes that she shouldn’t have to give up something she likes because of a stupid boy. As soon as she returns to the studio, she meets another stupid boy. Scott Sinclair is interning for the station, since he wants to switch from print to TV journalism. I’m not completely sure he actually goes to SVU, though. Or maybe he’s going back to school? I don’t know. Anyway, he and Liz immediately hit it off, and he encourages her to give up TV journalism and go back to print. I guarantee that not one reader cares about this.

While all this is going on, Jessica is being a flipping idiot. She thinks her relationship with Nick is boring and that they need to do something exciting. By the way, her ideas of exciting activities aren’t actually exciting. Girl just wants to go to the beach. Jess seems to think that dating a cop should be a lot more interesting than it is. When Nick has to leave an evening with her to go on a stakeout, Jessica tries to invite herself along. Nick manages to leave without her, but then she takes a message from one of his fellow cops asking him to bring a hub cap to the stakeout. Jessica thinks it has to do with their investigation, so she takes the hub cap to Nick, all, “Yay, I’m going to be a hero!”

At the stakeout, which is at a chop shop, Nick and the other cops face off with the criminals. One of the criminals is about to shoot Nick without Nick realizing it. Jessica tries to Frisbee the hub cap at the guy, and though she fails, she at least distracts him enough for Nick to overtake him. Then there’s a shootout, and Nick is cornered again, this time with Jessica beaning the criminal with a wrench to save her boyfriend.

Now Jessica thinks she’d be an awesome cop. Never mind that the hub cap had nothing to do with the case and was just something Nick had picked up as a favor for a co-worker. Jessica wants to team up with Nick and become an awesome crime-fighting duo. Nick realizes that he’s never going to be able to work as a cop and date Jessica at the same time. Because she’s bananas. But you knew that.

Having learned in the last book that Elizabeth was telling the truth about Tom’s father hitting on her, Tom goes to confront the creepster. His father is pretty much unapologetic about the whole thing, so Tom decides to cut him off. He also realizes that he’s still madly in love with Elizabeth, even though he’s been dating Dana.

After a talk with Danny, Tom decides to write Elizabeth a letter telling her he knows that she was right about his father the whole time, and how sorry he is that he screwed things up. Elizabeth goes off with Scott, so she doesn’t see the letter at the station before Dana does. She’s realized that Tom still loves Elizabeth, and she’s determined to keep her man. (I don’t know what the appeal is.) Later, Tom returns to the station, and since the letter’s gone, he thinks Elizabeth read it. He’s all hopeful until he sees Liz comforting Todd over Gin-Yung’s death and realizes she doesn’t want him back. Yeah, move on, Tom. I hate this love triangle.

Thoughts: Todd hits the denial stage of grief early: “Maybe she’s just exhausted from her trip – a bad case of jet lag or something.” Yes, Todd. Neurologists often confuse fatigue and brain tumors. I’ve heard that jet lag often manifests itself on MRIs, too.

“I don’t want Gin-Yung to die. But if Gin-Yung lives, I can never be with Elizabeth again.” Todd sure has his priorities in order.

I thought Dana was okay before – now suddenly she’s a jerk? Where did that come from?

Jessica should have been arrested for interfering with police business and endangering people’s lives. I wish people could also be arrested for being complete morons.

Apparently Alice likes to say, re: traveling, “If you accidentally leave something behind, it means that you never wanted to go.” That’s stupid. What if you just have a bad memory? Shut up, Alice.

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