September 28, 2021

ER 9.12, A Saint in the City: Men of the People

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

Thanks for stopping by and causing a fight, Millicent

Summary: Pratt is talking to the head of maintenance at County, trying to get Leon a new job. The boss is skeptical that Leon can work, since he has a cast on his hand from injuries sustained from his recent beating. Also, the boss hates doctors, since they’re so arrogant. Pratt pleads for Leon to get a chance, and the boss gives in.

In the ER, a woman named Jessie has just been brought in after a car accident. She’s asking for her husband, Tom, who’s having to be cut out of the car. There’s a problem with lighting in the ER, and just as Susan tells Jerry to call someone from engineering, they come back on. A woman also comes in, yelling that everything’s okay and no one should panic.

Weaver knows what she’s talking about – an alderman named John Bright is being brought in after falling off the stage where he was giving a speech. Weaver treats Bright like a VIP and tells him he doesn’t have to answer when Susan asks if he’s been drinking. He proudly says he’s in AA and just got his two-year chip. Weaver tells him he’s in the best hospital in Chicago. Of course, that’s when the lights go out again.

As Weaver rushes Carter and Pratt to get Jessie out of her trauma room so Bright can be brought in, Leon comes looking for Pratt. He happily tells Pratt he got the job in maintenance, which means the two of them will be working together. The lights go out again. What’s the point of this? Pratt tells Leon they’ll celebrate that night, but Leon has already been assigned to the late shift. He promises he can find the place where he’ll need to pick up his uniform by himself.

Bright’s assistant demands a fax number so her office can issue a press release. Bright knows the ER sees around 100,000 patients a year, so he appreciates all the attention Weaver and Susan are giving him. Susan determines that Bright has a ligament injury, and Weaver says she’ll call their top orthopedist. A guy in scrubs says they should get a tox screen first. He’s a journalist, and he wants to know if Bright is using drugs. Weaver kicks him out. “Have you ever heard of the First Amendment?” the journalist asks. “Have you ever heard of an awake colonoscopy?” she shoots back.

Luka arrives for a night shift as Carter’s leaving for something fancy, judging by the tux he’s wearing. Tom is coming in, and Carter asks Jerry to make sure he and Jessie get connected. He tells Susan he has to go to a fundraiser and present a check. He then tries to hand off a patient to her, a woman named Mrs. Hawkes who has a bad cough. Susan says she probably has the flu, and Carter should give her to Pratt just to bug him.

Abby’s going with Carter to the fundraiser, though fancy parties aren’t really her thing. She’s excited to get free food. She wonders what a canape is. Carter promises that next time, they’ll do something she wants to do. You know, something plebeian. Chuny gives him a wolf whistle as she passes by, and he jokingly threatens to circulate a petition about her harassment. I’m glad we’re all joking about this.

Sarah comes looking for Carter, knowing he wanted McNulty to come back in. He won’t take time off from his clinic to take care of his own health, even though he’s not managing his diabetes well. Tom comes in and Carter assures him that Jessie’s stable. Sarah wants Carter to talk to McNulty since he won’t listen to her about looking after his health. She’s afraid he’s eventually going to die. Carter has to rush off to take care of Jessie, who’s no longer stable, but he tells Sarah he’ll try to stop by and see McNulty at his clinic.

Pratt determines that Mrs. Hawkes has pneumonia and will need to be admitted to the ICU. He takes her kids, Martin and Rachel, to get a soda while Susan talks to her. Martin suggests that they call their brother, Doug, who’s 20. Mrs. Hawkes doesn’t want to stay in the hospital, but Susan insists that she’s too sick to leave. Mrs. Hawkes says they can call her aunt to come look after her kids. When Pratt mentions Doug, Mrs. Hawkes says she doesn’t want him around the kids.

Chuny grabs Pratt to help Carter with Jessie, who’s being brought back to the ER after crashing during a CT. Carter thinks Pratt missed something and thought she was stable when she wasn’t. Luka and Gallant are taking care of Tom, who needs surgery for internal bleeding. He asks to see Jessie first. Luka opens the door between their trauma rooms, but Carter tells him to close it. Jessie’s too far gone to save, and Luka volunteers to break the news to Tom so Carter can leave.

Weaver’s annoyed that the staff isn’t working faster to get Bright assessed and released. She tells Susan that he’s a good guy; he helped finance a domestic-abuse shelter. Susan informs her that Bright might not be so good after all – she found a sore on his penis that might be syphilis. Weaver says that if the test comes back positive, she’ll handle talking to him.

Luka tells Tom that Jessie’s brain was deprived of oxygen for too long, and she’s not going to wake up. He needs to go to surgery now. Tom doesn’t want to leave her in the ER to die alone, and Luka tells an impatient Romano that he’s not going to rush Tom. Romano says that if Luka doesn’t have Tom in the OR in the next ten minutes, he’ll take out Luka’s spleen instead.

Weaver and Bright talk about how hard it is for County to treat patients with such limited resources. Romano joins them and chastises Weaver for not getting Bright a private room. Bright says he wants to be with the people he serves so he can see what they experience. As Romano leaves, he quietly orders Weaver to get Bright a private room.

Weaver tells Bright about the sore Susan found. He already suspected he had syphilis. He’s only had one partner in the past year, so at least it’ll be easy to alert anyone who may also be infected. Unfortunately, Weaver has to report the case to the public health department, and it’ll go on Bright’s medical record. Since he has to release his records when he goes up for reelection, voters are going to find out. Bright promises that he and his partner will get treated, but he’d like privacy for both of them.

Someone called Doug after all, and though his siblings are big fans, he doesn’t come off as responsible or a good role model. His mother tells him to leave, suspecting he’s high. Doug says that Mrs. Hawkes gets drunk while the kids are around, so it wouldn’t be much worse for them to see him get high. Before Mrs. Hawkes can argue more, she starts coughing up blood. Pratt reveals to Susan that he called Doug. He was just trying to help. Susan says he can best help his patients by listening to them and honoring their wishes.

Weaver tries to intercept Bright’s lab work, which has already been sent for testing. She asks Jerry to cancel the order. Pratt apologizes to Susan for calling Doug; he thought he was doing the right thing. She chastises him for making a tough situation worse. But Mrs. Hawkes’ aunt is unable to take care of the kids, so Doug might be their only option. The doctors tell Doug that Mrs. Hawkes will be in the ICU for at least a week, and the kids need a place to stay. Doug is the only person who can step up, though he’s not exactly eager to do it.

Luka tries to convince Tom to go to the OR; he could die without surgery. Tom refuses to go until Jessie has died. Jessie’s heart monitor shows her flatlining, and Luka tells Tom that she’s gone. He finally agrees to go to surgery. But Luka has just removed one of the leads connecting her to the machine, and she’s still alive. Luka, no! That can’t be in the Hippocratic Oath!

Chuny brings Weaver Bright’s lab work, which confirms that he has syphilis. Weaver says she asked Jerry to cancel the order because the sample was mislabeled. Pratt is now tending to Jessie, which confuses Weaver, since Luka pronounced her dead an hour ago. She blasts Jerry for not canceling Bright’s lab order, like, don’t make him the fall guy in your crazy scheme.

Weaver asks Luka about Jessie, and he admits that he basically faked her death so Tom would go to surgery. Weaver is stunned and asks what will happen when Tom comes out of surgery and finds out his wife is still alive. Luka says he’ll call it a miracle. Weaver tells him he’s not acting in the best interest of his patient, but Luka argues that Tom is his patient, not Jessie. They get interrupted when paramedics bring in a nine-year-old boy named David who fell out of his bunk bed.

Abby’s enjoying herself at the fundraiser, which is for a $58 million music hall. She and Carter wonder what McNulty would be able to do for his clinic with $58 million. Millicent greets them, having forgotten that she’s met Abby before. Abby immediately sticks her foot in her mouth, asking what canapes are. Are they different from appetizers? Millicent is like, “John, please stop bringing dumb people into my orbit.” She wants Carter to take his father’s place on some board, as his father will be taking Millicent’s place. She thinks Carter needs to stop acting like a “disaffected youth” and start fulfilling his responsibilities to the family.

As Weaver and Luka examine David, who has some old bruises, Malik comes in looking for guidance on Jessie. Luka says she has a DNR and can’t be saved, so they shouldn’t bother to do anything for her. Weaver disagrees, wanting to keep treating her until Tom’s out of surgery and is able to make decisions for her care. Romano pulls her out of the trauma room to complain that Bright hasn’t been discharged after five hours in the ER. Weaver should be treating him as even more of a VIP than she already has been.

Back at the fundraiser, Abby tells Carter that his response to his grandmother was rude. Uh, I think it’s rude of her to dismiss his career as a hobby and expect him to drop it so their family can continue making a bunch of money. Carter tells her the family business is basically just showing up places and giving away money. If he worked for the family full-time, he’d be like “Prince Charles without the castle.” He warns Abby not to try to tell him what to do with his life.

Luka and Chuny tend to David, whose father is just now arriving. He tells Luka that David gets hurt all the time. It’s gotten worse since his mother left. Mr. Scott thinks his son just doesn’t pay attention. Luka, however, thinks Mr. Scott is abusing his son. Susan brings in Adele to help Doug figure out where Martin and Rachel should stay. Mrs. Hawkes’ chances aren’t good. Doug doesn’t think he can take them in, so the kids will probably end up in foster care. Pratt doesn’t like that sound of that, especially since the kids will most likely be split up.

Doug is overwhelmed and leaves. Pratt follows him and tries to convince him to take in his brother and sister. Doug knows his mother’s right about him not being responsible enough for that. Pratt thinks he’ll surprise himself with what he’ll be able to do for his siblings. Doug tells him that he never should have called. Everyone who’s judged him is right. “Make them wrong,” Pratt challenges, but Doug says he can’t.

As Weaver “fixes” the mislabeling problem with Bright’s sample, Carter and Abby leave the fundraiser, chatting awkwardly. He doesn’t appreciate her lecturing him about his family. He doesn’t want to be like his father, doing whatever Millicent wants so that rich people can get nice paintings and see pretty tile floors when they go to the symphony. Abby encourages him to change what the Carter Family Foundation does. He should find something he’s passionate about. Carter says he’s already passionate about his job.

Abby tells him that he shouldn’t be ashamed of being born into wealth. Carter claims he’s not, but since he drives a Jeep and has a two-bedroom apartment instead of a mansion, he’s not exactly embracing it. He wants everyone to think he’s just like them, a man of the people. Carter says he has a job that makes a difference. Abby thinks that’s great, but his money could make a big difference, too. Carter says the family’s money came from the coal market during the Great Depression. In the winter of 1933, when children froze to death, his family just got richer. Abby says there are still plenty of kids freezing to death.

Weaver discharges Bright, telling him that she’s taken care of keeping his diagnosis off of his medical record. She lies to Susan that he tested negative for syphilis. Luka has called security to keep Mr. Scott away from David; DCFS hasn’t come to assess the situation yet. Weaver doesn’t think Luka has done everything he should have to confirm his suspicions. She goes to see David, who says he and his father are actually really close. He admits that he didn’t fall out of bed – he jumped.

Carter goes by McNulty’s clinic, hoping to convince him to accept a more effective treatment for his diabetes. After all, he won’t be able to help others if he doesn’t take care of himself. McNulty doesn’t want judgment or help from a guy in a tux. Carter ignores him and writes him a check so he can get some newer and better equipment for the clinic. McNulty chalks up his interest to white liberal guilt and tears up the check. “I’m not here to make you feel better,” he says. Carter still wants to help, so McNulty tells him to sweep the floor.

Doug returns to the ER, having decided to take Pratt’s advice and try to disprove everyone’s judgment of him. He’s afraid he’ll let down his siblings, but Pratt encourages him to do his best. He apologizes to Susan for getting so involved in the case, but she’s not too upset about it. Pratt gets a call and leaves his shift early once again. Weaver complains, then tells Luka that David isn’t being abused. He hurts himself so Mr. Scott will stay home and spend time with him.

Elizabeth pops in with four minutes left in the episode to tell Luka that Tom is out of surgery. Okay, ‘bye, Elizabeth! Luka checks on Jessie and tells her that Tom will be okay, so she can let go now. In the lounge, Susan gives Weaver a baby gift, which is really sweet, except for the fact that Weaver lost the baby. The chances of miscarrying an embryo implanted through IVF are 30%, a fact Weaver is obviously keeping in mind so she won’t mourn too much.

Leon is at the police station, having been found in a possibly stolen car with a shotgun and some guys with criminal records. A cop assures Pratt that Leon didn’t commit any crimes, but since he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, he got busted. He lets Pratt go see Leon as a favor, since the doctors at County have always been so good to the cops.

Leon tearfully tells Pratt that he just wanted to tell his so-called friends about his new job. Pratt breaks it to him that since he missed his first shift, he probably doesn’t have that job anymore. Also, Leon can’t get bail until the morning, so he’ll have to spend the night in lockup. Leon cries and begs Pratt not to leave, but Pratt doesn’t have a choice.

Thoughts: Bright is played by Bruce Weitz. Doug is played by Aaron Paul.

I love Weaver treating Bright like he’s the president while I had to look up what an alderman is. (Apparently it’s a Chicago thing. They’re basically the same as a city councilman.)

Weaver’s actions were obviously bad, but at least she didn’t try to secure funding first.

Abby’s right. Carter can’t complain that his family’s foundation doesn’t help enough people, then do nothing to change that. Like, if you feel bad that your family has too much money and others don’t have enough, maybe…do something?

’00s music alert: Jason Mraz’s “The Remedy,” which fittingly plays when Carter goes over to McNulty’s clinic, because Carter thinks he’s McNulty’s remedy.

June 1, 2021

ER 8.17, Bygones: If Your Husband’s Dying, It’s Time to Stop Fighting

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

This is Mark’s “oh, crap, something’s wrong” face

Summary: Let’s check in on Elizabeth, shall we? Ever since Rachel accidentally almost killed Ella, Elizabeth and Ella have been staying in a hotel. It doesn’t look fun, and Elizabeth doesn’t look happy. While Mark shaves at home, cutting himself, Elizabeth does a puzzle with Ella until the nanny arrives. Elizabeth’s trying to get Ella to say “mama,” but Ella isn’t cooperating. Rachel is keeping up her new personality, doing her homework and getting ready for school on time. On the way to work, Elizabeth spots Mark leaving the El station and stays back so he won’t see her.

At County, Romano tells Elizabeth that since she hasn’t gone down to the ER all month, she’s on trauma call this week instead of catching up on elective surgeries. Mark examines a woman named Joanne who started feeling sick while bird-watching. Her husband, Paul, thinks she had a panic attack, but Joanne objects. She asks Mark to find a place to hold on to some eggs they found that may be about to hatch.

Jerry offers the staff some vegan brownies from his sister’s new baking business. You may be shocked to learn that they’re not very popular among this crowd. Gallant’s wearing his military uniform since he just attended a recruitment breakfast. He didn’t get any potential soldiers, but he did get a college student’s phone number. Mark’s like, “I have something else for you – these eggs.” Yes, I want to be treated by the intern who’s carrying around a nest of eggs all day like a crazy person!

Weaver issues some orders as everyone gets started with the day’s work. Susan offers Mark a vegan cookie, but he knows he’ll just throw it up later (and not because of the ingredients). Abby apologetically tells Jerry, “There’s something to be said for animal fat.” Elizabeth comes down as a man comes to the admit desk, looking very sad. He doesn’t talk, but Chen sees that his jacket is embroidered with his name, Martin.

She has Malik take him to an exam area so she can deal with a woman being brought in with burns from a school fire. A firefighter tells Weaver that the fire is massive enough that all engines in the area are dealing with it, so they should prepare for a bunch more patients. On top of that, Weaver has a patient with stab wounds.

Abby’s still working the night shift and is still staying at Luka’s. Carter offers her a room at his family’s mansion, in case she wants better accommodations. Susan overhears and asks Carter if he’s made any progress in getting together with Abby. (Clearly not.) She bumps into Elizabeth, who doesn’t appear to know that Susan has been hanging out with Mark so much.

While Gallant looks for a baby warmer for the eggs, Elizabeth joins Mark and Weaver to treat the stabbing victim, Diana. She’s a college student who was attacked in her bed. The friend who found her, Shelly, says she didn’t see anything and doesn’t know who would attack Diana. Susan comes in during the trauma to remind Mark that he’s supposed to be somewhere. Mark asks her to have his appointment changed. Shelly passes out, so Weaver goes to take care of her, leaving Mark and Elizabeth behind to treat Diana together. They stay polite and professional.

Carter tries to make conversation with Martin, who still isn’t talking. Carter doesn’t think this is an emergency that should be dealt with in the ER, but Chen can’t help feeling like there’s something off with him, so she wants to help. They determine that Martin isn’t deaf, so his inability to speak isn’t connected to his hearing. Chen asks him to write down what’s wrong with him.

Elizabeth and Romano operate on Diana as he berates Elizabeth for taking too long in the trauma room before bringing her to the OR. He asks if she and Mark are still fighting, and if their separation is temporary or permanent. He advises her to “stay away from love – it does things to the brain.” Diana starts declining, so maybe Romano should pay more attention to her than Elizabeth.

Mark tells Joanne that she has extensive liver damage. She realizes that some foraged mushrooms she recently ate must have poisoned her. If they can’t come up with a successful treatment option, she may need a liver transplant. A second stabbing victim comes in, making Chen worry that they’re looking at a killing spree. Lily comes in to tell Weaver that a wall collapsed at the school that’s on fire, injuring some firefighters. Chen spots Martin outside the trauma room and asks Lily to take him back to his exam area. Weaver’s patient, the second stabbing victim, is able to whisper to Weaver, “I loved her.”

Elizabeth runs into Stan on her way back to the ER, where Susan is giving Mark some eye drops. Elizabeth asks about charges on her and Mark’s credit card from New York. He lies that he ordered something over the phone. Joanne’s sister, Terry, arrives so they can find out if she’s a match to possibly donate part of her liver to Joanne. Terry’s a college basketball player whose team has made it to the playoffs, and that’s more important to her than saving her sister. Elizabeth is okay with putting the brakes on the discussion until they know more.

Weaver finds Shelly in the second stabbing victim’s trauma room, where the victim is hooked up to a ventilator. Shelly IDs her as Renee, Diana’s roommate. The two aren’t close; in fact, Diana’s moving out in a few weeks to live with Shelly. Weaver gives Shelly the sad news that Diana didn’t survive. Chen tells Martin that she called his house and heard his voice on his answering machine, so she knows he can talk. He gives her his hat, and she gets that he’s trying to tell her something, but she can’t figure it out.

Elizabeth tells Terry that they can try some treatments for Joanne, but a transplant would completely cure her, so that’s the best option. Terry guesses that she’s a match. She doesn’t want to take on the risk of undergoing surgery, and she doesn’t want to sit out the rest of the season (her last, since she’s a senior). She asks if Joanne can wait a month for surgery. Elizabeth says that’s not a good idea. Terry asks what they would do if Joanne didn’t have a family match. She’d have to go on a waiting list for an unrelated donor. Elizabeth thinks Joanne would donate if she were Terry, but Terry disagrees.

The conversation is interrupted when a car comes speeding into the ambulance bay and crashes into the roach coach. Charlie, the guy who runs the cart, takes a hit and suffers burns from some hot water. The people in the speeding car bring in a boy named Viktor who almost drowned in the bathtub. Mark wonders why Viktor’s parents, the Evanses, brought his doctor with them instead of just bringing him straight to the ER. They also didn’t try to resuscitate him.

Weaver and Elizabeth are tending to Charlie when Ella’s nanny shows up in the ER with her. Mark questions Viktor’s doctor, Felicia, who calls herself a “socialization therapist.” She takes a call from another patient, so Mark sends her into the hallway. As she leaves, he spots Elizabeth with Ella and the nanny. Fortunately, they’re there for a good reason, not an emergency: Ella said her first word, and the nanny wanted to bring her to her parents. Despite Elizabeth’s efforts to make “mama” Ella’s first word, she said “dada.”

Mr. Evans explains to Mark that they were playing a bonding game with Viktor. The bath was supposed to recreate the womb. Mark isn’t clear on how dunking a kid in water bonds him to his parents. Elizabeth sends him to the hallway to see Ella, then returns to Charlie, who good-naturedly complains about having Weaver as his doctor since she never buys from the roach coach. Haleh tells Weaver that Renee’s mother has arrived. Weaver asks if there’s any news on the firefighters at the school, which, of course, means she wants news on one specific firefighter.

She talks to Renee’s mother about her condition, which is stable but uncertain. Renee’s mother is sad to hear that Diana died. Weaver asks about Renee’s moods and behavior recently, but her mother doesn’t think that’s relevant, since Renee’s a victim here. Weaver reveals that Diana had defensive wounds on her arms from trying to fight her attacker, but Renee doesn’t. Her mother insists that Renee didn’t hurt Diana and definitely didn’t hurt herself. She thinks Diana and Renee were best friends.

Mark tells the Evanses that Viktor’s stable but on a ventilator. They’ll need to speak with a social worker. Mr. Evans tells Mark that they adopted Viktor from Prague last year, and he hasn’t connected with them yet, so they brought in Felicia. Mark coolly says that they put Viktor in danger; if they needed counseling, they should have gone to a real counselor.

Later, Elizabeth goes looking for Mark, but he’s not in the ER. She asks Susan where Mark is – she knows Susan is covering Mark’s patients, and it’s clear that something’s going on. Susan just tells Elizabeth to talk to Mark. Elizabeth presses her, so Susan tells her to think about what might be going on that Mark might want to protect her from. Elizabeth figures it out and confirms her hunch with a visit to the oncology department, where Mark is receiving chemo. He sees her and realizes his secret’s out.

Back in the ER, Weaver and Carter tend to a firefighter who made it out of the school fire. He tells Weaver that a few firefighters are still in the school, their whereabouts unknown – and Sandy’s one of them. Elizabeth tries to brainstorm treatment options for Mark, but he tells her that even with what he’s already doing, he has ten months left at most. She’s sad that he didn’t tell her the tumor was back, but he doesn’t think she could have helped him. He didn’t expect her to come back and be his wife just because he got sick. I guess he means he didn’t expect her to drop her anger at him and Rachel just because he’s dying.

Chen sent Martin to psych, but I’m not sure how anyone could have helped him there if he still won’t talk. He offers his hat to Chen again, still not getting his message through to her. He puts on a matching scarf, so Chen guesses that someone knit the accessories for him, and something happened to that person. Weaver goes to tend to an uninjured boy from the fire who tells her that the firefighter who saved him was a woman. Weaver asks Jerry to call and find out if all the firefighters have been found.

Carter shows Susan his “box of wonders,” a basin holding all the stuff he’s scoped out of patients’ stomachs. She recognizes one of her pens. Amazingly, it still works. She ditches it when she finds out it was scoped from a different part of the body, not a stomach. Ew, Carter, why would you keep that? Elizabeth tries to gather herself before returning to the surgical floor, where Terry tells her she won’t donate to Joanne. Joanne has always been selfish, so Terry wants to be selfish as well.

Furious, Elizabeth goes to Romano’s office, looking for someone to yell at, but he’s not there. She sits down and cries. When Romano enters, she tries to hide her emotions, then tells him that Mark’s tumor is back. Romano demonstrates sympathy, even trying to justify Mark’s decision not to tell Elizabeth anything; maybe Mark was protecting her. She laments that they haven’t worked out their problems. She says she doesn’t think she can be the strong one again. She doesn’t think Mark expects her to be by his side anyway. Is she supposed to move back home just to watch Mark die? “Yes,” Romano replies softly. After all, they’re married and she loves him.

Adele tells Chen that police found Martin’s mother’s body after an apparent heart attack. She thinks Martin’s inability to speak is a conversion disorder brought on by the trauma of finding her. He has a sister coming in from out of state, and psych has agreed to let Martin stay until she arrives. Adele moves on to the Evanses (busy day for her) while Mark blasts Felicia for her unorthodox methods. She thinks she’s already made progress with Viktor, so…I guess she should be allowed to do whatever she wants.

Viktor wakes up and reaches for his mother’s hand, so Felicia is even more convinced that her methods work. As Adele warns the Evanses that this is abusive behavior and they might not get to keep Viktor, Mark has trouble with his hearing; everything gets echo-y. Haleh notices that something’s wrong with him. Mark decides he needs to cut his shift short, and when Weaver chastises him, he announces that he just had a round of chemo and is going home early.

Luka comes home from a day out and finds Abby looking at apartment listings (and drinking a beer). Luka’s been dating, as we’re about to kick off that weird period in the series where he’s a womanizer. He doesn’t say anything about Abby’s drinking, just asking her if there are more beers in the fridge. Abby, just live there. You and Luka are fun together, even when you’re not dating.

Carter leaves for the night, running into Susan in the ambulance bay. She looks down, like she’s coming to terms with Mark’s impending death. Carter feels bad for accusing her of sleeping with Mark when she really was just trying to help him. Gallant leaves for the night, hiding something under his jacket. Carter and Susan bust him and see that some of the eggs hatched. Aw, ducklings! Susan accidentally breaks an unhatched egg. I hope the ducklings imprint on Gallant. That would be awesome.

Weaver tracks down Sandy, who made it out of the fire completely fine. Weaver wants to talk, but Sandy isn’t interested. Finally Weaver admits that she was worried when Sandy went missing. Sandy was right – kissing Weaver in front of her co-workers did her a favor. She kisses Sandy passionately and the two hug each other.

Elizabeth leaves the hotel and moves back into the house with Ella. As a peace offering, she asks Rachel to look after Ella while she checks on Mark. Rachel has figured out that Mark’s tumor is back but hasn’t said anything to him. Elizabeth prepares herself for another round of taking care of her sick husband, then gets to work. Instead of discussing their problems or Mark’s illness, they just talk about Ella’s first word.

Thought: Mr. Evans is played by Peter Scolari.

I don’t think the writers were implying anything when they made the stabbing storyline about same-sex attraction while also revisiting Weaver’s attraction to Sandy, but the optics certainly don’t look good.

Holidays with Joanne and Terry’s family are going to be REALLY awkward from here on.

I like how Susan handled things with Elizabeth. It was unfair of Mark to put her in a position of keeping secrets from his wife, but Susan found a way to fix that without actually betraying his trust. (Though at this point, Susan betraying his trust is the least of his problems.)

May 18, 2021

ER 8.15, It’s All in Your Head: Yay, It’s Time for Doom and Gloom!

Posted in TV tagged , , at 5:01 pm by Jenn

Admit it, you wouldn’t be able to resist this

Summary: Mark is in New York, in the waiting room of Dr. Burke’s office, where someone decided it was okay to play the song “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head.” Hey, person who chooses the music, don’t play that for patients with brain tumors! Burke looks at Mark’s brain scans and determines that his tumor has returned. This time, it’s inoperable.

The tumor will grow and affect Mark’s normal functions like speaking and talking. His only option is gamma knife radiation treatment, which he can have in Chicago, but it’ll only give him four or five months. Burke notes that the original tumor was expected to kill Mark, but instead, he lived long enough to get married and have another child. In other words, he’s dying and just needs to deal with it. Thanks for your help, Burke!

Back at home, Rachel is still on her best behavior, making breakfast for her father. Elizabeth left him a message asking him to bring some of Ella’s things to the hospital when he comes in for his shift. Rachel thinks that Mark went to New York for a conference. He’s set to work a double shift, which can’t be a good idea.

At County, Carter is getting off the night shift and passing patients off to Chen. Chen keeps getting messages from someone named Randall, so Frank offers to handle her possible stalker for her. Jerry and Frank are working together for the first time, and it doesn’t seem to be going well. Paramedics bring in a teenager named Theresa who’s been in a coma for a year and is taken care of at home. Her mother thinks she’s in discomfort, though Chen isn’t sure how she can tell.

Frank tells Abby that Luka called and wants her to meet him in the ambulance bay with a patient’s x-rays. Frank and Jerry bicker instead of helping her find what she needs. She takes the x-rays outside, where Luka pulls up, followed by a cop. He explains that he was about to get a speeding ticket, so he told the cop he had an emergency, then used Abby to make it look like he was telling the truth. It works.

Carter joins them outside, surprised that Abby volunteered to work an undesirable shift. She explains that it keeps her out of her building while Brian’s home – he’s out on bail until his trial. Abby doesn’t seem to have any lasting effects from her attack, or at least she doesn’t admit to Carter that she has any. He tries to make sure that she’s not suffering from depression or PTSD.

Susan catches up to Mark at the roach coach, where he tells her his tumor’s back and he’s going to start the gamma knife treatment today. He hasn’t told Elizabeth anything. Susan is just getting off a shift, and she offers to come back later to see if he’s okay after his treatment. She doesn’t want him to go through this alone.

Frank tells Mark that he’s firing “that new guy,” AKA Jerry. If Jerry doesn’t go, Frank will. I think we know who everyone would choose if forced to decide which one of them should keep his job. Mark jumps right into his shift while Malik and Chuny help Abby look for a new apartment. Luka offers to let her stay with him until she finds a place to live. Abby says she doesn’t think that’s a good idea. Luka asks why not. “Yeah, Abby, why not?” Chuny teases. Abby comments that Luka’s new sportscar seems flashy, but Luka’s like, “YOLO! Also, if you move in with me, you only have to sleep with me on the weekends. Haha, JK, LOL…unless…”

Elizabeth is called to the ER to consult on Mark’s patient, Mr. Nevinger, who has some serious burns and is having trouble breathing. It’s awkward for the estranged spouses to work together, but honestly, it’s about the same as if Benton were called in to consult for any other doctor. Mark goes to talk to Mr. Nevinger’s wife, who’s a nurse at Mercy and is familiar with possible treatments for her husband’s condition. She explains that he was painting furniture in their garage when he sustained the burns.

Mark and Elizabeth have a short, cold conversation about their shared patient before he asks her and Ella to come home. She tells him she’s not trying to punish him for anything; she just obviously doesn’t want Ella to be around Rachel. They’re staying in a hotel right now, and Elizabeth can’t say when she’ll feel comfortable coming back home.

Weaver joins Mark to treat a boy named Aaron who’s unable to feel his limbs after a sledding accident. A cop explains that Aaron’s father got drunk or stoned and pulled Aaron and a friend on a sled behind a snowmobile. Weaver notices that Mark keeps looking at the clock. He talks to Aaron’s father, Mr. James, who says he knew it was wrong to pull the boys in the snowmobile, but the kids talked him into it.

The father of Aaron’s friend tells Mark that Mr. James shouldn’t be allowed to operate any kind of motor vehicle, since he only has half a brain. He’s not just being mean – Mr. James tells Mark that a few years ago, he suffered a head injury in a construction accident, and now his mental capacity is lower. So really, I’d say whoever let Mr. James be in charge of kids is the person responsible for this accident.

Abby learns that she no longer has to appear in court to testify against Brian – the trial has been canceled. Now she really will need to move, since she can’t count on Brian going to jail. Mark tells Mr. Nevinger that his wife and kids are there to see him, and he’ll need to talk to them now, since he’ll have to be intubated. His lab work shows that he was taking amphetamines. Mr. Nevinger admits that he’s been working two jobs and needs help to keep going. Mark guesses that he lit up some meth while painting in the garage, and the ignited fumes caused his injuries.

Romano bugs Elizabeth about…eh, who cares? He wants her to do some paperwork Benton was supposed to come by and finish up. Chen gets flowers from Randall, so Frank offers to run a background check on him. Jerry thinks law enforcement should stop invading people’s privacy. The fight escalates until the two get physical and accidentally slam Chen into the desk. Boys, boys, you’re both idiots! There’s enough idiocy to go around!

Paramedics bring in a man named Dennis who has multiple gunshot wounds. His eight-year-old daughter Brianne is with him but doesn’t appear to be injured. Elizabeth joins Chen to work on Dennis while Weaver and Gallant check on Brianne. Gallant tells Weaver that cops found her hiding under a table; it looks like she saw her father’s shooting.

Weaver turns on the impressive child-whisperer skills we’ve seen her use before. She refuses to let the cops talk to Brianne until she’s talked to a psychiatrist. A detective points out that Brianne might be able to ID the person who shot her father. Dennis is a drug dealer and murder suspect, so if his shooter finds out there was a witness, he might come after her. Brianne’s mother is an addict and a possible suspect, so they can’t rely on her to offer support. Elizabeth tells Weaver that Dennis didn’t survive.

Mark goes in for treatment, trying to keep things light. When the tech tries to keep things light as well, Mark isn’t as amused. It’s hard to joke about brain matter. Elizabeth comes to the ER looking for Mark, since they have an appointment for Ella, but Mark didn’t tell anyone where he was going. The tech advises Mark to have someone responsible stay with him that night in case he suffers any side effects. Mark says Rachel will be there, though he mentioned earlier that she was spending the night at a friend’s house. Mark goes straight from treatment to Ella’s appointment, but it’s already over.

The assistant DA who was supposed to be prosecuting Brian tells Abby that he cut a deal for parole and 40 hours of community service. 40 hours?? Rory Gilmore got 100 hours for stealing a boat! The ADA says that since Brian has no prior arrests, he got off easy. He’ll have to go to therapy, but Abby knows that won’t do anything. The ADA says it doesn’t help that someone beat Brian up a few hours after he attacked Abby. Abby didn’t know about that, though the ADA doesn’t believe that.

Mark checks on Aaron, who’s recovering feeling in his limbs. He tells Aaron that his father should have known better than to pull kids on a sled behind his snowmobile. Aaron says he does know better, but the kids convinced him to do it. Mark leaves to talk to Elizabeth, who’s understandably upset that he missed Ella’s appointment. The good news is that Ella’s recovering well from the overdose, but she might show long-term effects in the future.

Weaver gently tells Brianne that her father died. She needs to talk to the police so they can find the person who killed Dennis. Brianne admits that she saw her father’s shooter and can ID him, but she doesn’t want to tell the police. Weaver thinks it was Brianne’s mother, but she’s wrong: It was Brianne herself. She just wanted to watch TV, but he told her he would shoot her if she turned it on while he was asleep. She decided to shoot him first.

Mr. Nevinger doesn’t want to see his wife and kids, but this is the last chance they’ll have to talk to him, since Mark needs to intubate him soon. Mrs. Nevinger insists that she can handle seeing her husband in his rough condition since she’s seen patients in worse shape. Mark lets her into her husband’s trauma room, but no one stops her from looking at his lab work. She’s furious that he broke his promise to quit using drugs. Abby spots Brian heading into the building as she gets home, and she realizes she can’t handle going inside.

Back at County, Adele tells Mark that they can’t reach Aaron’s mother, so they’re not sure what to do with the boy right now. Mr. James is facing consequences for his actions, despite his reduced mental capacity. Mark thinks the boys should be punished, but Adele couldn’t get them to admit that they pressured Mr. James to pull them. Mark confronts Aaron, who has no sympathy for his father. Aaron says Mr. James could have put his foot down with the boys, but he didn’t. Mark tells Aaron that Mr. James has lost everything – his wife, job, and family – but thinks he and Aaron are still buddies. Aaron needs to be a better buddy.

Mark is starting to feel the effects of his treatment, and Susan finds him taking a break in the ambulance bay. She bugs him to tell Elizabeth about his condition. It won’t take long for her or Rachel to figure it out. Mark knows they’ll start treating him differently as soon as they know, and he doesn’t want them foreseeing his death while he’s still alive. He gets lightheaded when he stands up, so Susan insists on taking him home.

Elizabeth is surprised to learn from Haleh that Mark went home a little early. She takes over Mr. Nevinger’s care, telling him to worry about getting better instead of the possible effects his condition might have on his marriage. She tells him to give his wife some time. Yeah, let her stay in a hotel with your kids until she comes around. It might help that you could be dying.

Once Mr. Nevinger is in the burn unit, Elizabeth talks to Mrs. Nevinger, who doesn’t want to have anything to do with her husband right now. Elizabeth tries to convince her that her husband needs her. Mrs. Nevinger says her sons need a father, but instead they have a drug addict with major burns. Elizabeth argues that Mr. Nevinger is still the same person they thought he was. Mrs. Nevinger remains unsympathetic to her husband’s pain, but Elizabeth thinks he’s suffered enough.

Weaver suspends Frank and Jerry for fighting, but they say nothing happened. Chen even backs them up. Carter shows up for another night shift, so Chen gets to pass patients off to him like he did to her that morning. Randall shows up, and Carter helps Chen come up with an excuse not to go out with him. He’s persistent, so she finally tells him that she doesn’t think things will work out between them. I’ll take him! He’s cute! Chen tells Carter that Randall is waaaaay too invested in a relationship with her after just one date, during which she gave him a hand job during a movie. Carter chokes on his dinner.

Abby goes to Luka’s to take him up on his offer to stay with him. She leaves when she realizes there’s already a woman there, but Luka changes her mind, clarifying that there are multiple people there hanging out. Elizabeth meets up with Benton (oh, hi, Benton!) to go over his paperwork, and she confesses that she thinks she may have left Mark. She asked him to put his family first, but he won’t do it. Well, at least not in the way she wants him to, which means putting her and Ella ahead of Rachel. She confides that she blames Mark for the overdose. Benton asks what would happen if Mark did send Rachel away.

Susan tends to Mark, who thinks he can take care of himself. He realizes he can’t close one of his eyes, so Susan tapes it shut for him so he can sleep. She puts a blanket over him and lets him sleep with his head in her lap. So, to sum up, the only person who knows Mark is dying is the woman he once had romantic feelings for. There’s no way this could go wrong!

Thoughts: Vondie Curtis-Hall (Roger) directed this episode. The tech who does Mark’s treatment is played by his wife, Kasi Lemmons, who’s known more for her directing than her acting.

I think Theresa’s plot was cut from the episode, or maybe just the broadcast I recapped from. Apparently she was pregnant. The plot is mentioned in the episode description, so it’s weird to cut it from the episode, but oh, well.

Luka’s complete personality shift starts here and carries over into season 9. I’ve never understood what kicked it off.

“You give a guy a hand release during Harry Potter and he wants to marry you” is not a sentence I ever expected or wanted to hear. Also, shame on you, Chen! That’s a children’s movie!

April 27, 2021

ER 8.12, A River in Egypt: Private Lives

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:58 pm by Jenn

Insert your own joke here about Christina Hendricks having experience with mad men

Summary: Abby’s asleep – drink! Once again, she’s woken up by Brian and Joyce’s fighting. This time it’s worse, as Brian hits Joyce and she screams for help. Over at the Greene/Corday house, Rachel’s up in the middle of the night, eating a snack and watching one of the Killer Tomatoes movies (maybe a jab at George Clooney, who was in one of them). Mark joins her, remembering how they used to watch The Smurfs together early in the morning when she was a toddler.

He sees that her boots are wet and busts her for going out. She tells him she went for a walk; the middle of the night is the only time she can go out, since she’s basically on house arrest. It’s like living in a prison. When Elizabeth calls down, wondering what’s going on, Rachel calls her the warden. She regrets coming to live in Chicago and announces that she’ll go back to St. Louis. Then she leaves, slamming the door, which wakes Ella.

Abby called the police on Brian, but Joyce won’t file a report, so they can’t do anything other than keep Abby’s complaint on record. Brian is acting like nothing happened. He comments that Abby must be a light sleeper. Eleanor is still at Millicent’s house, also acting like everything’s normal. She even offers to make breakfast for Carter. She asks about Jack, who’s back in the city but hasn’t been in touch with his estranged wife. Carter tells her to leave him alone for a while, but she wants Carter to act as a go-between for them. She thinks she can fix her broken marriage.

On her way out of the building, Abby runs into Joyce, who apologizes for being so loud. She downplays how serious the situation was – they just have a lot of history and passion. Abby notices that Joyce is limping and offers to take a look at her injured ankle. Joyce declines. At County, Carter and Susan talk about Eleanor’s weirdness and how hard the divorce must be on her.

Weaver’s impressed that Gallant was able to get a patient approved for surgery despite the surgeons’ reluctance to operate. Susan teases that he’s a teacher’s pet. Mark and Carter are both amused. Hey, it’s better than being on Weaver’s bad side. Paramedics bring in a rapper who calls himself Diamond Z, who was stabbed in a brawl at a club. He was also kicked in the junk. His girlfriend, Aisha, has some minor injuries, too.

Frank lets Weaver know that Sandy left a message for her. Chuny and Malik gossip about how Sandy’s gay; Chuny’s cousin used to flirt with her in high school but she never paid attention to him. Oh, yeah, then she must be a lesbian. Chuny asks Weaver if she and Sandy are friends, but Weaver says Sandy probably just wants to check in on a guy from her unit who Weaver treated.

Susan grabs Abby to help her with a patient, an inmate named Mike Kinney who was stabbed in prison. He declines pain meds, saying he wants to feel the pain because it reminds him he’s still alive. Next door, Mark, Carter, and Yosh tend to Diamond Z, who refuses to let Yosh put a catheter in his penis. No men get near Diamond Z’s penis! None! Chuny delivers a message to Carter from Jack, who’s already on his way out of town for another business trip.

Weaver calls Sandy to tell her not to stop by, since Weaver’s waaaaaay too busy to chat, and for absolutely no other reason. She spots Chen down the hall with Romano. Well, that can’t be good. Diamond Z has been joined by his “bro,” C.C., and is fine with him sticking around while Carter talks about his test results. Diamond Z has chlamydia, which he knows comes from “nasty booty.” He and Aisha aren’t using protection, but he’s sure Aisha didn’t give it to him. Carter wants him to be tested for HIV just in case.

He notices that Abby’s tired, and she tells him she was up all night, but not for fun. He teases that Frank looks tired, too. Abby then puts a horrible image in all of our heads by joking that she and Frank were up all night having sex. Not cool, Abby. Carter tells her to test Aisha for chlamydia. After learning that Romano has summoned her for a meeting, Weaver casually asks Carter if he knows why Chen is there. He doesn’t. C.C. asks Carter to give him a chlamydia test. Carter tells him he can only contract it through sex, which C.C. already knows.

Mark got in touch with Jen about Rachel, but Jen isn’t sure they should let Rachel move back to St. Louis just because she wants to. Elizabeth thinks Mark should consider sending her to boarding school. She’ll learn responsibility and form a sense of community. It worked for Elizabeth. Mark thinks it worked because she’s British. Elizabeth guesses that Mark is just waiting for this fight to blow over so he doesn’t have to make any tough decisions.

Paramedics bring in a man named Mr. Echevarria, who passed out while waiting for a cab outside a hotel. Meanwhile, Susan stitches up Kinney, whose stab wounds are all too shallow to be life-threatening. She wonders if he stabbed himself so he could get a day pass out of prison. Kinney says Susan is the first woman he’s talked to in 14 months. She replies that in high school, she was voted Most Likely to Marry a Convict.

She learns that Kinney is on death row, scheduled to be executed in June of 2002. He appreciates knowing exactly when he’ll die, unlike people who go about their lives with no idea of when they’ll breathe their last breath. Some of them will never have the chance to apologize for things they’ve done. Susan gets uncomfortable with the conversation. Kinney asks if she can find a reason to keep him in the hospital for a little longer, just so he doesn’t have to go back to his cell. She agrees to keep him for observation. A guard promises to straighten Kinney out.

Mr. E. shows signs of heart damage, and Mark thinks he started having a heart attack last night but ignored the symptoms. Mr. E. insists on getting to the church where his daughter’s getting married, but he also doesn’t want anyone to call and tell her he’ll miss the wedding. Elizabeth notes that she’ll wonder where he is when he doesn’t show up to walk her down the aisle. Mr. E. says she won’t.

C.C. has chlamydia, and apparently didn’t feel the need to tell Carter until now that he also has HIV. Carter asks if Aisha knows this. Carter is slower than the members of the audience who have already figured out what’s really going on here. He tells Diamond Z that he tested positive for HIV, though Diamond Z claims not to know how he contracted it, since he doesn’t use needles and he isn’t gay.

Carter says Aisha should be tested. Diamond Z doesn’t want to tell her she’s been exposed, and he definitely doesn’t want word getting out that he has HIV. He decides to just leave. Carter tries to get Aisha to stick around for more tests, but Diamond Z rushes her out. C.C. stops them, urging Diamond Z to come clean. Diamond Z punches him and leaves.

Weaver goes to Romano’s office, where he, Chen, and a lawyer have been waiting impatiently. Long story short, Chen wants her job back. She and Weaver bicker about whose fault it was that Paul died, and whether Weaver acted professionally when she put the burden on Chen. Romano tells them to end the catfight, so Weaver says that, while she respects Chen’s skills as a doctor, there’s no job opening.

Chen’s lawyer finally puts all the cards on the table: They’ll file suit unless Chen gets her job back, has her record expunged, and gets a statement of correction placed in her file to clear her reputation. Weaver tells Chen to grow up; she can’t screw up and then whine about being mistreated. I’m surprised Chen doesn’t bust out her knowledge of Weaver’s missing pager right here.

C.C. asks Carter and Abby if Diamond Z has HIV (which, of course, they can’t tell him). Carter has finally figured out that C.C. has been hooking up with Diamond Z, not Aisha. C.C.’s viral load has been undetectable, and Diamond Z only “gives,” so he figured they were safe. Besides, Diamond Z doesn’t consider what they do sex. He says he’s on the DL, the down low. Apparently a number of men who consider themselves straight do some sexual acts with men for reasons they claim have nothing to do with attraction to men. Diamond Z only does it with men because women stress him out.

Aisha doesn’t know anything about this, and C.C. says he was just waiting for the day when Diamond Z would be honest with her. He never thought about the possibility that he would pass something to Diamond Z that would then be passed to Aisha. Carter asks C.C. to try to get in touch with Aisha so they can bring her back to the hospital and give her an HIV test. Abby has questions about the DL, and whether it means Diamond Z is bisexual. Carter is fine with the DL designation, but Abby’s like, “A man who has sex with another man, no matter what kind of sex, is not a straight man.” DL just means denial.

Joyce has come to County to get her ankle examined; she tells Weaver that she fell while rolling around in Heelies. Abby keeps her mouth shut about the possible real cause of Joyce’s injury. When they’re alone, Joyce says that she’s as abusive to Brian as he is to her, which I guess makes it okay. Abby notes that Brian isn’t the one getting treated at the hospital. Joyce says he’s the only guy she’s ever loved. Abby asks her to talk to a social worker and at least get some suggestions of how to deal with things. She thinks Joyce came to County for a reason.

Romano comes to the ER to talk to Weaver, taunting that he would have had her paged but he couldn’t be sure she was wearing her pager. OOOH. That was a good one, actually. Weaver brushes off Chen’s accusations, but Romano tells her that a waitress at Doc Magoo’s went on record with a statement that she saw Weaver looking for her pager at the end of the night.

He’s willing to give in to Chen’s demands of being reinstated and getting an apology from Weaver. Weaver notes that she would no longer have any authority over Chen. Romano tells her that they settled with Paul’s family, and he’s not going to risk reopening the case because Weaver screwed up. Chen doesn’t really want to sue the hospital; she just wants her job back.

As Mr. E.’s daughter, Maria, arrives at County in her wedding dress, Weaver is called in to treat a declining Kinney. She notices bruising on his side, and she and Susan realize that he has a broken rib that collapsed his lung. Kinney tries to decline treatment, saying he’s ready to die. Weaver ignores him and works to save him. Kinney tells her that they’ll just keep beating him.

Carter goes to the airport to talk to Jack before he leaves town. This is boring! No one cares about this storyline! Jack tells Carter that Eleanor wants to negotiate with him instead of ending the marriage. Carter thinks that’s fair – Jack needs to take some time to decide if he really wants to end his marriage. Jack already has, thanks to Carter. He got lost in his marriage and can’t find his way back to his wife. He warns Carter that Eleanor is “an emotional vampire.”

Maria had no idea her father was coming to the wedding, since they’ve been out of contact for six years. He regrets not letting her come home. Mark eavesdrops on the conversation, so we can really grasp the parallel that sending Rachel back to St. Louis might ruin his relationship with her. Maria tells her father that she’s happy, and she doesn’t need Mr. E. anymore.

She leaves to return to her big, fancy wedding with all its nonrefundable deposits. Her father didn’t care when she called him from Kansas, begging to come home, so she doesn’t care now. Mark tries to play peacemaker, reminding Maria that Mr. E. wanted to be at her wedding. Maria calls him cold and heartless for turning his back on her. She won’t let Mark make her cry, since her makeup took so long to do. Ugh, Mr. E., you’re probably better off without her.

Susan asks Kinney’s guard how he managed to break ribs while lying on a gurney. The guard says he was flailing against the guardrails, so the guards had to restrain him. Apparently they needed a nightstick to do that. The guard asks why Susan cares, since Kinney is a murderer. She rushes back into the trauma room when she hears the clatter of Kinney’s gurney hitting the floor. Weaver says he flipped it. Now he has a head injury on top of everything else, and Susan doesn’t see the point in trying to save him, since he’s going to be executed anyway. Weaver says a suicidal death-row inmate can’t consent to a DNR, so they have to treat him.

Sandy arrives, and though she doesn’t really want to talk to Weaver, she allows Weaver to say what she wants to say. Weaver pretends she just wanted to see if Sandy was okay after a big fire. Abby interrupts to ask Weaver to approve a request for Joyce to speak to someone from Social Services. Weaver sends her away so she and Sandy can be alone (as alone as they can be in the busy hallway right outside the waiting area), but she doesn’t know what to say.

Sandy thinks Weaver’s playing games and avoiding her. Weaver’s fighting back tears by now. Chen interrupts next, demanding to talk to Weaver. Sandy decides to leave, but Weaver begs her to stick around. Sandy finally grabs her and kisses her in full view of the admit desk. Abby and Malik just stare, but Chen looks amused. Yeah, people being outed without their consent is hilarious, isn’t it, Chen?

Abby gives Joyce a bag that the staff calls an escape kit – money, phone numbers, and other resources that she could use to leave Brian. Joyce denies that she doesn’t feel safe with Brian. Abby brings Adele in to talk to her anyway, but Joyce knows that Brian will get upset if he finds Adele talking to her. I guess this has happened before. Mark pulls Abby into the hallway so she can hold up a phone for Mr. E. One of the choir boys at the church where Maria is getting married is going to hold up another phone so Mr. E. can listen to the wedding. Aww, that’s sweet.

Connie asks Abby if she saw “it” (obviously meaning Weaver and Sandy’s kiss). She heard it was steamy. Weaver has given in and agreed to reinstate Chen, though she’ll have to start back by working overnights. Chen doesn’t agree to that, and she also won’t report to Weaver while she’s working. Chen says they both know what Weaver did. Weaver replies that they also know what Chen did, and of the two of them, Weaver isn’t the one who killed a patient. If Chen were more thorough, she wouldn’t have needed Weaver there in the first place.

The nurses are gossiping about the Big Kiss, of course. Kinney is in a post-op coma, so he’ll either die like that or be executed. Weaver doesn’t care. Susan notes that his care will cost thousands of dollars a day, only for him to end up dead by execution. Weaver still doesn’t care. As Aisha returns, Weaver tells Malik to find something to do other than stand around awkwardly and think about how he saw her kissing Sandy.

Mark takes Rachel for a walk by the river and tells her that he and Jen agreed that she should stay in Chicago. He’s worried that their relationship will be harmed if she goes back to St. Louis. He’s already missed too much of her life and isn’t going to let her leave mad. They both need to try harder and listen to each other. Rachel says she doesn’t want to be treated like a kid. Mark says that’s fair, but he also doesn’t want to be treated like an old man.

Brian arrives at County and Abby tries to keep him out of Joyce’s room so he doesn’t see Adele. He acts like their domestic problems aren’t that big, just the sort of stuff every couple faces. Adele leaves just as they reach Joyce’s room, so Brian doesn’t realize that his wife was talking to a social worker. He and Joyce leave, acting like things are great. She doesn’t take the escape kit with her.

Weaver goes to the fire station to confront Sandy for outing her to her co-workers. Sandy shouldn’t be allowed to make choices for other people. Sandy notes that she didn’t choose to be lied to or spend time with someone who pretends she’s someone she isn’t. Weaver is understandably upset that she got outed in her workplace, where she chooses to keep her private life private. Sandy criticizes her for hiding who she is because she doesn’t want to face how other people will react. She thinks she did Weaver a favor.

Eleanor is still trying to do domestic stuff at Millicent’s house, and Carter finds her changing a lightbulb when he gets home. She’s drunk. She tells Carter she spent the afternoon at a children’s cancer center, the place she agreed to support charitably after Millicent blew them off. It seems like seeing children with cancer reminded her of the son she lost to the disease years ago. She’s also upset because Millicent wants her to leave.

Carter checks Eleanor’s pulse and asks if she’s on something. She admits that she’s been taking Xanax. That plus the alcohol makes her sick later, and Carter tends to her as she throws up. Eleanor asks him if he wants her to leave like Millicent does. He says no. Eleanor says he was right – she failed him. But she failed his brother first. She didn’t take him to a doctor when he started getting sick, which delayed his diagnosis. Carter says it only delayed it by a month or so, not enough to make a big difference, but Eleanor is mad at herself for not doing more for him.

Thoughts: Diamond Z, Aisha, and C.C.’s dialogue was clearly written by white people with no business pretending they know how Black people talk.

Telling a colleague to grow up isn’t quite the mature, professional behavior you think it is, Weaver.

Between the DL thing and Joyce’s Heelies, this is a very late ’90s/early ’00s episode.

I wonder why they had Carter involved in the DL storyline instead of Weaver, for that extra punch about hiding and being in denial.

February 9, 2021

ER 8.1, Four Corners: What You Think Is Right

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

You can play Where’s Waldo? with this picture, but instead of Waldo, look for someone who isn’t a WASP

Summary: A young woman named Alice gets out of an ER bed and starts wandering the halls. Abby and Carter are at the admit desk, talking about someone’s death. Mark and Elizabeth are bickering over a patient he doesn’t think is well enough for surgery. Randi tells Mark that Romano wants to talk to him about Derek. As he heads to that no-doubt pleasant meeting, Benton asks Mark if Cleo’s doing okay on the triple cocktail, the medicine she’s taking to try to prevent her from developing HIV.

Carter is annoyed with a doctor who won’t agree to admit one of Carter’s patients. He’s on his way out and tells Abby to call him if the patient, Holly, hasn’t been admitted in half an hour. As Weaver arrives for a shift, Luka tells Abby that he’s found an apartment with two bedrooms in an area she likes. Ooh, they’re ready to live together! (Don’t get too excited.) Abby is hesitant to take that next step. Their conversation in the ambulance bay is interrupted when there’s a crash on the overhang above them. Alice rolls off it and falls to the ground.

The episode is split into the overlapping perspectives of four characters. First is Weaver. She buys a Kenyan bracelet from a vendor on the street, then heads to County, listening to a talk-radio argument about gay people. Weaver is back at work after three weeks off, and no one knows how to talk to her, either because they now know she’s a lesbian or because she’s Weaver and they never know how to talk to her. While Carter, Abby, and Luka interact in the background, in the scenes we just saw, Randi admires Weaver’s bracelet. Weaver lies that she got it in Kenya, the place she spent the last three weeks.

From the lounge, she hears the crash of Alice falling on the ground and goes to a trauma room to wait for Luka and Abby to bring her in. Chuny fills in some details: Alice was waiting for a psych consult, and she’s also pregnant…with her brother’s baby. Yiiiiikes. Things in psych are slow now that Legaspi’s gone. Yeah, things in psych were slow before that. Just ask Lucy. Oh, wait, you can’t, because she’s dead. Anyway, Abby asks if Weaver has heard from Legaspi, but Weaver doesn’t respond. She inserts a chest tube into Alice and gets sprayed with blood.

Benton joins the group, so Luka tells Weaver to go get cleaned up. After she does, Chen thanks her for giving her a second chance at becoming chief resident – Chen got the position. As Luka gives some bad news to a woman named Mrs. Jenkins, the guy Chen is treating says they should sue some Scottish guy. Chen explains to Weaver that her patient, Carl, started a brawl on a talk show. Turns out his girlfriend is transgender and decided to tell him on TV. Weaver gets in the middle of the fight between the homophobic Carl and his now-ex-girlfriend, whom he calls a freak.

Luka settles Carl down, then asks Weaver if she’s going to the M&M for Derek. She asks if anyone talked about her while she was gone. Before he can answer, Anspaugh joins them. They all head to the M&M, where Mark is questioned about his treatment (or, more accurately, his lack of treatment) of Derek. Weaver spaces out, remembering her last conversations with Legaspi and Romano. She imagines that everyone in the room is staring at her. Then they really are staring at her, but it’s because Anspaugh wants her to weigh in on whether Derek’s treatment was compromised. She doesn’t think they were too busy to give him the appropriate treatment.

After the M&M, Romano makes small talk with Weaver, suspicious of how she disappeared for three weeks without any warning. She plays it cool, then scrambles to make sure he hasn’t spread her big news. Romano says that he backed off of Legaspi after Weaver threatened to take the situation to the press, the county, and the ACLU. Legaspi decided to leave on her own. When Weaver asks if Romano has told anyone about her, he pretends not to know what she’s talking about. She spells it out for him and he says he assumed that her sexuality is confidential and shouldn’t be discussed at work.

Benton: While at Walt’s garage to get something repaired on his car, Benton learns from his niece Joanie that Jackie was fired. She took too long of a leave of absence after Jesse’s death. Joanie invites Benton and Cleo over for dinner sometime, and he tells her they’re taking a break. Joanie perfectly channels her mother when she asks what he did wrong. Benton says Cleo is going through something difficult and just needs some space.

At County, Benton treats the Scottish talk-show host Carl mentioned he wanted to sue. The host says he’s been hosting the show for a while, and while brawls sometimes break out, no one has ever gotten hurt before. Benton gets distracted when he sees Cleo talking to Mark. He leaves the host to try to talk to Cleo about how she’s doing. She sends him to examine Alice, who sustained some injuries in the brawl. She’s also trying to deal with the news that her boyfriend is also her half brother.

This means we’re back in time, and Benton is examining Alice in the room where we first saw her. Mrs. Jenkins comes in, wanting to explain things to Alice, who turns out to be her daughter. Alice is understandably furious that Mrs. Jenkins took her on TV to tell her that she’s dating her brother. After Mrs. Jenkins is escorted out of the room, Alice admits to Benton that she thinks she’s pregnant. He confirms this, making Alice’s day even worse. Benton is gentle with her but clearly has no idea how to handle this situation.

He leaves Alice in Chuny’s care as Malik runs into the ER, warning everyone that Weaver’s there. Benton moves on to treating another participant in the talk-show brawl, but he ditches her to talk to Mark about Cleo. Next he goes up to the OR, where Joanie’s waiting for him. She’s upset because she thinks Jackie and Walt are going to break up. Benton tells her they’re acting like any parents who lost their son. Joanie thinks Jackie is getting too upset about things Walt is doing, and she shouldn’t still be grieving this much after almost a year.

Benton gets paged to the ER to tend to Alice after her jump. Someone asks what Benton said to her, and he has to admit that he didn’t say anything. He, Luka, and Abby work hard, but Luka determines that they won’t be able to save Alice. He goes to give Mrs. Jenkins the news before Benton declares Alice dead, knowing it’s only a matter of time.

After his shift, Benton goes to Jackie’s house to see how she’s doing after losing her job. She’s cleaning out the garage, trying to stay busy. She and Walt were making plans to change some things around the house, and when Jackie went to pick up some pictures of their backyard, she found some photos of Jesse on the roll. She realized she would never see any other pictures of Jesse. He’ll never grow older than 15. Every day, Jackie thinks things are getting better, but then something like this knocks her back to the beginning. Benton comforts his sister as she laments not being able to take care of her baby anymore.

Carter: The death Carter and Abby were discussing at County was Carter’s grandfather’s. He, Millicent, and Carter’s parents, Jack and Eleanor, attend the funeral together. Carter’s phone rings during the service and he quickly turns it off. (It’s kind of random, but my assumption is that that was Abby calling to talk about Holly.) Afterward, in a limo, Carter tries to make small talk with Eleanor, who’s, like, the dictionary definition of WASP. Abby calls to tell him that Holly still hasn’t been admitted. This is before the conversation we saw earlier, so Carter asks the limo driver to take him to County.

Holly’s upset that Carter left her in the ER without saying goodbye. He promises that he’ll get her moved to her own room and out of the noisy ER. He tells her to get Abby to call him if she wants to talk. Now Carter goes to the admit desk to light a fire under the doctor who was supposed to admit Holly, as we saw at the beginning of the episode. Abby compliments his suit and jokingly asks who died. Carter replies that his grandfather did. Oh, Abby. She offers to go to the reception with him in case he wants to talk.

Carter and Eleanor finally make it to Millicent’s house to do their WASP-y duty of pretending everything’s fine even though they just lost their family’s patriarch. Jack tells Carter to mingle and be a good host, like this is a garden party and not a funeral reception. Eleanor and Jack barely interact with each other, and no one seems particularly sad that their loved one has died.

Abby shows up and tells Carter that his harsh words on the phone worked, and Holly has been admitted. She notices that the birdbath in the backyard is broken and asks if John I drove his power lawn mower into it. Carter says he did, but not on purpose – he was having the heart attack that killed him. Abby’s embarrassed but Carter’s amused. She apologizes for crashing the funeral, but she felt bad that Carter didn’t feel like he could tell her his grandfather died.

Eleanor joins them and tells Carter to go find Millicent so she can “make an appearance.” Carter tells Abby that his parents don’t handle loss well. They haven’t had to deal with death in a long time, since Carter’s brother died as a child. He goes to look for Millicent but instead finds Jack listening to financial news. He just couldn’t wait until after the reception to check on his stocks.

Carter encourages him to spend the night at the house to be there for his mother. He tells Jack not to run away again. Jack snaps at Carter to drop the subject, but Carter doesn’t want to. He reminds Jack that his brother Bobby isn’t coming back. If Eleanor wants to spend the rest of her life in a bubble, she can, but Jack shouldn’t let her hold him inside it, too. Jack ignores him and goes back to the financial news.

Carter finally finds Millicent in the garage, trying to start some fancy old car. She wanted to drink a bottle of champagne she and John I were saving for their 60th anniversary next year. Carter urges her to save it, but she wants to toast her late husband. Carter opens the bottle, spraying the windshield in the process (I don’t think that was supposed to happen; Noah Wyle and Frances Sternhagen look genuinely amused). After they toast, they go for a drive.

Mark: After undergoing a routine scan to make sure his tumor is still gone, Mark goes to the ER, where the talk-show brawlers are just being brought in. Luka is a little nervous about speaking at the M&M, but Mark is totally calm, or at least pretending to be. Cleo is struggling with nausea from her medication, which is also affecting her liver. She only has a week left on it, and Mark thinks she should stop taking it; she should have had enough to prevent HIV.

Adele has recovered from her gunshot wound, but she’s still dealing with paralysis. She doesn’t think she’ll make a full recovery. Romano wants her to go to the M&M as a bit of show and tell. Mark joins Elizabeth in a trauma room; she’s back at work for the first time since her six-week-long maternity leave. They work on the patient they were bickering about at the beginning of the episode. They take the conversation from the trauma room to the admit desk, where Randi tells Mark to go see Romano.

Romano warns Mark that the legal department has flagged something in the nurses’ notes about Derek: 17 minutes passed between when Mark left the trauma room and when he delivered Derek to the surgical floor. Before Mark can explain that the elevator stopped, someone comes in to tell Romano that Alice jumped from the fourth floor into the ambulance bay. Mark quickly tells Romano his version of events: The elevator stopped, the battery in the defibrillator ran down after Mark used it a few times, and it took a long time to get help. Romano thinks that’s a reasonable story.

Mark presents the case at the M&M, where Elizabeth realizes that Derek was conscious in the elevator. The look she gives Mark says that she knows exactly what he did. Back in the ER, Abby tells Luka that she wants to go to John I’s funeral reception. Mark passes by them on his way to Alice’s trauma room, where Mrs. Jenkins is sitting with her daughter’s body. She tells Mark that the show set up the drama, and none of it was real. Alice and her boyfriend aren’t related. Mrs. Jenkins lied to get them on the show.

At home that night, Mark and Elizabeth discuss their shared patient, whom she operated on after all. He admits that it was a matter of a judgment call. “You do what you think is right,” she replies pointedly. He starts to tell her what really happened in the elevator, but Elizabeth thinks they’ve discussed Derek enough for one day. It’s clear that she knows what he did, but she also knows why, so she’s going to let it go.

Thoughts: Jack is played by Michael Gross. Eleanor is played by Mary McDonnell. Mrs. Jenkins is played by the late Conchata Ferrell.

I don’t usually like gimmicky episodes, and the gimmick here doesn’t do anything for me, but it could be worse. It could be a musical episode or a backwards episode (stay tuned for that in season 9).

Color me shocked that the one time someone wants Romano to be discreet, he actually is.

Of course Jack and Eleanor named their children Robert and John. They would love the Kennedys, wouldn’t they?

Carter’s section of this episode (and, by extension, the season) is SO BORING. I don’t know why the writers thought we would care about his family beyond Millicent. I would much rather learn about Weaver’s family and her upbringing.

February 2, 2021

ER 7.22, Rampage: Gunning for You

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 5:01 pm by Jenn

The scene of the crime

Summary: Elizabeth has fallen asleep on her couch while up with Ella in the middle of the night. She wants Mark to stick around, but he has to go to work. He dozes off on the train, waking up to find a homeless man staring at him through the window. He gets off the train and is buying a newspaper when some ambulances race by. He runs to County, knowing he’ll be greeted by a mass trauma.

What’s the trauma this time? Kids with gunshot wounds! Fun! Carter tells Mark that someone started shooting at a foster-care facility. Mark quickly wishes he’d listened to Elizabeth and called in sick. At least one patient is probably not going to survive, a little girl named Helen. A boy named Martin tells Chen that Helen was brought to the facility after her foster mother bailed on her. Enjoy Hell, Helen’s former foster mother. Martin also tells Weaver that the gunman was mad at a woman named Mrs. Buckley.

Chen asks Carter if he turned in her peer reference – she was able to convince Weaver to let her apply for chief resident after all. He promises to turn it in today. Weaver tells Benton to send some surgeons to the ER to help with all the shooting victims. A police officer named Napolitano finds Weaver and asks her to get him a bullet from one of the shooting victims so they can start collecting evidence.

One of the survivors of the shooting talks to Legaspi about what she experienced. Legaspi goes to talk to Weaver about her letter, but Frank interrupts to tell Legaspi that Romano wants to talk to her. Legaspi says she’ll call him back later, but Romano won’t take no for an answer. Weaver complains that Romano isn’t in the ER, helping with shooting victims, since they might have as many as eight people who need surgery. Chuny announces that there’s a ninth patient coming in with gunshot wounds, the victim of a carjacking. Legaspi tells Weaver she appreciates the letter, but they won’t be getting back together.

Mark and Cleo can’t save Helen, so Chuny pulls Cleo away to tend to the carjacking victim, Mr. Jeffries. He lets Cleo know that he has AIDS. He was getting out of the car to let the carjacker take it, but the man shot him anyway. Benton joins Cleo to tend to him, but he’s delayed when Roger suddenly arrives and punches Benton. He orders Benton to stay away from Carla. Benton’s very confused, but Roger’s convinced that something happened between him and Carla. Benton promises Cleo that he’s wrong.

Napolitano asks Mr. Jeffries if the carjacker was wearing a yellow windbreaker. The police are pretty sure he’s the same person who shot up the foster-care facility. As Luka and Abby treat the facility’s gardener (shot for no reason while the shooter was leaving), Luka tells Abby that he saw her med school reinstatement form on the counter and sent it in for her so she wouldn’t miss the deadline. Abby tells him she changed her mind about going back to school, so she wasn’t going to fill in the form. Now she’ll have to come up with the tuition money.

Two more gunshot victims are on their way in – the police tracked Mr. Jeffries’ car to a house and found a mother and son shot inside. The shooter still hasn’t been found. Weaver tells Romano to help out, but he’s busy yelling at Legaspi for not taking his phone call. Legaspi refuses to deal with post-op complications in the psychiatric ward (I guess because there’s no other place to put patients, with so many shooting victims coming in), so Romano tells her he’ll get someone else to finish her shift.

Abby recognizes one of the next shooting victims as Mrs. S., the woman who brought Ben into the ER the week before. Her son, Ted, seems to only have minor injuries, but Mrs. S. is hurt worse. She tells Mark that the shooter is Derek. He’s trying to find Ben, and he told Mrs. S. that since she took his son from him, he was going to take her son away from her.

Mark relays Mrs. S.’s information to Napolitano while he, Romano, and Abby try to save her. Next door, Benton determines that Mr. Jeffries needs surgery, but Mr. Jeffries doesn’t want it. He’s already dying of AIDS, so he doesn’t see the point in prolonging his life. He’d rather die from his injuries than the painful effects of his disease.

Romano doesn’t think they can save Mrs. S., and though Mark is willing to try harder, Romano tells him it’s a waste of time. Mark laments losing two patients before lunch. Carter tells Martin, who only has a gunshot wound to his arm, that they’ve found a mass inside him that might be cancer. Martin’s mother died of cancer, which is how he wound up in foster care. So Martin’s having a great day.

Carter tries to make small talk with Abby, who has discovered that he’s keeping a secret: He’s looking at a job opening at another hospital. He doesn’t think he can advance at County. Abby tells him to talk to Weaver about an eventual attending position. Carter thinks she would have brought it up if she thought it would be a good fit. Abby notes that she might not think he’s interested.

Luka interrupts, and after Carter leaves, Luka asks if Abby’s still mad at him for sending in her reinstatement form. She admits that she’s not sure she still wants to be a doctor. Med school is expensive and will take a long time to complete. Luka offers to help her with the money. He thinks she wouldn’t have started med school if she didn’t really want to be a doctor. Abby says nursing may be enough for her – is it not good enough for him?

Weaver treats Ted, who hasn’t been told that his mother died. Mark decides to put that off until they can reach Ted’s father. Napolitano confirms Derek’s identity with Mark; he has a record for domestic abuse. The police found Ben’s foster parents and are going to get him. Frank overhears and asks if Napolitano thinks Derek will come to County. After all, he’s going after the people who took his son from him, and that started with Mark. Mark doesn’t appreciate the idea. Weaver thinks Derek’s too smart to come to a hospital crawling with cops. Mark notes that he hasn’t been showing the best judgment, so they can’t know that.

Weaver asks about Derek’s weapon, a semiautomatic that Frank is sure he’s been reloading. He, Mark, and Weaver bicker over whether guns kill people or people kill people. Weaver remarks that you can’t commit mass murder with a Chinese throwing star, so obviously the gun plays a part. Haleh reports that a cop is being brought in after being dragged by a car. Frank guesses the driver was Derek, who has now committed assault with a deadly weapon. Weaver and Mark tell him in unison to shut up.

Benton and Cleo are in disagreement about whether to honor Mr. Jeffries’ wishes not to have surgery (Cleo is pro, Benton is con). Benton thinks they’re really at odds because Cleo still thinks something happened between him and Carla. He tells her that Carla was upset when he went by her apartment, but he didn’t do anything, and he didn’t want to do anything. Cleo asks why he didn’t tell her she made a pass at him. Benton knew they would just fight, but Cleo thinks he doesn’t trust her.

Mr. Jeffries is declining, so Benton tries to talk him into a blood transfusion, but he refuses. He doesn’t talk to his only remaining family, and he’s outlived the two people he loved, so he doesn’t see the point in staying alive. He’s ready to die, so Benton needs to let him. Mark chats with Ted, who just wants to see his mom. Mark lies that she’s in surgery. The injured cop is brought in, and he confirms that Derek was driving the car that dragged him. Another cop reports that the car Derek stole was found parked outside a house. A woman was found inside with gunshot wounds.

Weaver argues with Romano over his decision to end Legaspi’s shift early and fire her. She doesn’t think he has the authority to fire an employee, even though Romano says she has a history of violating hospital policies. Weaver accuses him of looking for a reason to get rid of her. Haleh interrupts the argument to reveal that the latest shooting victim has been brought in, and she’s someone they know: Adele.

They join Mark, who tells them that Adele appears to be paralyzed. She wonders how Derek was able to find out where she lives, since they only interacted at the hospital. Mark realizes that if Derek was able to get her address, he can get Mark’s, too, which means Elizabeth and Ella are in danger. He tells Napolitano to send cops to his house. As they arrive, Mark tries calling Elizabeth, but she doesn’t answer the phone.

Mark leaves a message, then goes back to helping Weaver and Romano with Adele. Napolitano tells Mark that no one came to the door when the police knocked, but Mark can authorize them to force entry. He does, and the police start searching the house. Weaver suggests that Elizabeth went out on an errand and isn’t home. Romano decides to have her paged.

Mr. Jeffries is now unconscious and unresponsive, so Benton wants to override his refusal of care. Cleo won’t sign the consent form to let him. Elizabeth left her pager at home, so only the cops hear it go off. Benton gets Romano to approve Mr. Jeffries’ surgery, then tries to convince Cleo that Mr. Jeffries is unable to make his own medical decisions because his AIDS has altered his brain function. As they’re bickering, Abby comes into the trauma room, accidentally slamming the door into Cleo. Cleo is holding one of Mr. Jeffries’ blood samples, and the vial breaks, cutting through her glove and into her hand. Benton immediately calls the pharmacy to get a rapid HIV test for her.

Adele is sent to surgery with the possibility that it will relieve her paralysis. Napolitano tells Mark that the cops didn’t find Elizabeth anywhere in the house or yard. Their van is still there. A call on the police scanner reports another shooting victim, a cab driver shot by his passenger. Meanwhile, Lydia thinks Ted is starting to catch on that his mother isn’t really in surgery.

Martin has a rare form of cancer, plus no parents, so…yeah, a really bad day for Martin. Mark decides it’s time to tell Ted that Mrs. S. was hurt too badly for the doctors to be able to save her. He promises that she wasn’t in any pain. Benton gives Cleo some preventive meds, trying to assure her that her chances of contracting HIV from Mr. Jeffries’ blood are low.

Weaver goes to the psychiatric ward to try to convince Legaspi that Romano can’t legally fire her. Legaspi is sure that Romano has been gunning for her (…maybe not the best choice of words for this episode, but I’ll ignore myself) for a long time and has just been building a case against her. She doesn’t see the point in fighting it. Weaver is willing to help her, which Legaspi finds ridiculous, since Weaver won’t even fight for their relationship.

Mark tries to call some neighbors to see if they’ve seen Elizabeth. Napolitano tells him they found Derek, who shot some people in Lincoln Park, then was taken down by a random citizen. Mark enlists Cleo to tend to the cab driver as Napolitano talks to another officer about the driver’s shooting. They’re pretty sure Derek was responsible, since the last address entered into the driver’s log was Mark’s. The police think the driver heard Derek’s description on the radio and realized who he was, so Derek shot him. Napolitano notes that that means Derek never got to Mark’s house.

As Haleh tells Mark that Derek is being brought in, Carter and Abby take a break outside and talk about Martin. They acknowledge that their own problems don’t really compare to his. Abby says that Luka offered to help her with tuition, and though she knows he means well, it frustrates her that she always has to explain her feelings for him. Carter tells her to stop – he’s not one of her female friends, and he doesn’t want her to talk to him about her relationship like he is. He doesn’t want to sit on the sidelines, waiting for Abby and Luka to break up. His friendship with Abby may be convenient for her, but it’s not enough for him. It’s not clear if Abby is being willfully ignorant or if she truly doesn’t get what he’s trying to say: He wants to date her.

Mark and Luka treat Derek, as if any hospital would let a man give medical attention to the guy who was on his way to murder him and his family. Carter tells Martin that, in a way, he was lucky that he was shot, because it led the doctors to find his cancer. Catching it this early gives him a better chance of survival. It’s still only 70%, so Martin isn’t that optimistic. Also, he has to deal with a gunshot wound and the related trauma, so…not the best attempt at cheering someone up, Carter.

Carter finds Chen, who’s treating the man who shot Derek. He started carrying a gun after he was mugged in the park last year. Carter and Chen are judgmental about that, but the man argues that he stopped a mass shooter, so they should be grateful. Before leaving to tend to another victim, Carter tells Chen that he turned in her peer review. He jokes that he had to make up stuff so it would be glowing.

Mark and Luka keep treating Derek, telling Napolitano that he’ll probably recover, even though he was shot five times. Napolitano is disgusted that he gets to live after shooting 19 people and killing eight or nine of them. Elizabeth finally calls Mark; she was at the farmers’ market and had no idea that anything was going on. Mark just says it’s a long story and everything’s fine.

Weaver catches Romano between operations and tries to talk him into rescinding Legaspi’s termination. She accuses him of trying to fire her because she’s a lesbian. Romano says she’s just a pain. Weaver asks if she’s the same kind of pain Maggie Doyle (also a lesbian) was. She warns that if he doesn’t rethink his decision, he’ll be the one who’s fired.

Romano won’t back down, so Weaver follows him into the men’s room and threatens to quit if he doesn’t let Legaspi stay. Romano warns her not to give him an ultimatum. She’s the chief of emergency medicine, not the hospital’s lesbian advocate. “I am both – I am the chief of emergency medicine and I am a lesbian,” she replies. If necessary, Weaver will go to the county, the press, and the ACLU. Romano just stares at her as she leaves. It takes her until she gets on an elevator to realize that she just came out.

Derek is stable enough to go to the OR, and Mark makes eye contact with Ted as he takes Derek to an elevator. Haleh is with him, but she forgot something, so she leaves Mark alone with Derek. Derek’s heart goes into arrhythmia, and Mark acts on instinct, grabbing paddles to shock him. Then he pauses, remembering what his patient has done. Mark stops the elevator, then shocks the air instead of Derek. He does it again, making eye contact with Derek to drive home that Mark won’t save him. He shocks the air again, watching as the life drains out of Derek.

Thoughts: For an episode full of shooting and mass trauma, it doesn’t really get tense until halfway through, when it looks like Elizabeth could be in danger. The episode would have been better if Derek had just gone to County and demanded Ben’s location/taken hostages/started shooting for the fun of it.

Cleo, if you don’t trust Benton, BREAK UP WITH HIM.

Lily calls Benton “Peter.” It sounds weird.

I doubt they would take Derek to the hospital where one of his targets worked, and they DEFINITELY wouldn’t let Mark be his doctor.

I really think any other show (*cough* Grey’s Anatomy *cough*) would have tried to put Carter and Chen together romantically, but ER never does. I like that they’re just friends. I also like that they’re competitive with each other but they never take it too seriously. You can tell that even though each wants to be chief resident, they would still be proud of the other for getting the position.

That’s a wrap on season 7! Up next: Susan returns, Rachel ruins everything, Mark says goodbye, and we’re left with freaking Pratt.

January 26, 2021

ER 7.21, Where the Heart Is: Go Forward, Not Back

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

Close the blinds! Don’t make this poor woman watch her brother die!

Summary: Cleo’s playing with Reese, who’s over at her house for the day. A sitter was supposed to come watch him, but since Cleo has the day off, she canceled the sitter. Benton is hesitant to let her watch his son, so he passive-aggressively notes that Reese needs a lot of attention. Yeah, most kids his age do. Let your girlfriend watch your kid instead of paying a stranger to do it. There’s a softball game that night (remember the County softball team from seasons ago?), which Cleo is playing in, and she wants Benton and Reese to come cheer her on. Benton hates fun, so he tries to use the excuse that Reese didn’t bring a jacket with him. Cleo notes that they can go to Carla’s and pick one up.

Maggie is still in Chicago, staying with Abby, and has been going to therapy. Abby’s been spending a lot of time with her, and they seem to be getting along well. Maggie thinks Abby should go spend time with Luka, though. She says Abby’s lucky to have two great men in love with her, Luka and Carter. Abby doesn’t want to approach that subject. Wait until next season, Maggie. She bugs Abby to have a real conversation with her and invites her to a therapy session. Abby refuses.

Weaver stops by Legaspi’s place and is surprised to see another woman there. Looks like Legaspi has rebounded from their relationship quickly. Mark is back at work but struggling with lack of sleep due to having a newborn. He and Abby team up to treat a seven-year-old named Ben who burned his hands. His neighbor, Mrs. Shayotovich, brought him in. Ben is very unhappy about being in the hospital, and if he were an adult, he would have been restrained by now.

Dave’s looking at new cars, trying to decide between a BMW or a Porsche. He asks Randi which she can see him in. “Most of the time, I see you walking,” she replies. Dave reveals that he’s been moonlighting at a clinic, so he’ll soon be able to afford a down payment on a luxury car. Once he can’t afford the rest of the payments, he’ll fake his own death. Heh. Weaver chastises Dave for browsing for a car instead of working. Carter quips that he still has to pass his driver’s license test.

Weaver pulls Carter into the lounge for a talk. He applied to be chief resident, but he’s still on probation, so he’s not eligible. Carter notes that his probation time will be up by the time the slot needs to be filled. Weaver asks why he wants the role anyway – what if taking on a demanding position jeopardizes his sobriety? Carter thinks he can handle it, but Weaver can’t forget about everything that’s happened. She’s surprised he thought he would even make the first cut.

Mark and Abby struggle to tend to Ben, who yells at both them and Mrs. S. She tells them that she thinks Ben was trying to put out a fire he set himself. He’s home by himself a lot. Luka wants Abby to fill in for a sick softball player, even if it means spending an evening away from Maggie. But she would rather keep an eye on her mother than have fun with her boyfriend and co-workers. Chen asks Carter what Weaver wanted to talk about. He tells her he was rejected from the race for chief resident, which means Chen will probably get it. He seems at least somewhat genuine when he says she deserves it, though not as much as he does.

Benton goes to Carla’s to get Reese’s jacket, and Carla tries to get him to stick around for a while. She reveals that Roger recently moved out. She wishes she and Benton had stayed together; it would have been better for Reese, at least. Roger told Carla he never loved her. Benton thinks he was just trying to be hurtful, but Carla wonders if they ever had a real connection. She gets flirty and tries to remind Benton of their relationship. He gets where she’s going with this and tells her to cut it out.

Cleo calls and suggests that Benton pick up something for dinner so they can have a picnic at the softball field. Reese starts to play Cleo’s piano, and she realizes he’s messing with the keyboard cover. She calls out to him to stop, but of course, he can’t hear her. The keyboard cover slams down on his hand and he cries out.

At County, Chen and Carter give Dave instructions for a patient, then laugh over what it was like being a junior resident. Weaver calls Chen in for her own meeting about the chief-resident position, and the news is the same as Carter’s: She’s not getting it. Thanks to maternity leave, Chen hasn’t done the amount of procedures and shifts needed to become a senior resident, so she’s not eligible.

Chen plans to work hard to make it up by the deadline, but Weaver tells her that hospital policy discourages that much extra work. Chen argues that the rules about eligibility are sexist and discriminatory. Weaver practically offered her the position before her pregnancy. Weaver knows, but Chen didn’t complete the program, so it’s out of her hands. Chen notes that giving the baby for adoption was a sacrifice she made for her career. She feels like she deserves further consideration. Weaver says she’ll think about it, but she obviously won’t.

Ben has finally calmed down, but he’s still a brat – he tries to grope Abby. Mark thinks he has an additional injury from a fall. He also finds a bruise behind Ben’s ear. Dave is still focused on getting a car, so Weaver sends him off to, you know, do his job. Legaspi comes to the ER and asks Weaver why she stopped by the house. Weaver wanted to give her a letter (I assume it’s the letter she was working on at the airport), but she changed her mind when she realized Legaspi has a new girlfriend.

Luka approaches as the two are finishing their conversation and asks Weaver if the two of them are okay. Abby finds Legaspi as she leaves and asks for details about the therapy session Maggie wants her to attend. Legaspi tells her it’s not an ambush and she’s free to skip it. Cleo has brought Reese to the ER, where she tells Benton and Carla that his hand is broken. He’ll have to wear a cast for a few weeks, which will hinder his signing. Carla blasts Cleo for not keeping a better eye on Reese, who needs more attention than hearing children. She yells that she doesn’t want Cleo anywhere near Reese.

While waiting for an ambulance to arrive, Luka tries to strike up some small talk with a distracted Weaver. She tells him that she and Legaspi were in a relationship, but it’s over. Luka asks if something changed, and Weaver says yes. Luka asks if she still loves Legaspi. When Weaver says yes again, Luka urges her to “go forward, not back.”

The ambulance they’re waiting for brings them Jim, a man who was hit by a car while changing a tire on the side of the road. His sister, Bonnie, is with him but doesn’t want to leave the ambulance. Bonnie, who’s developmentally disabled, enjoyed the ambulance ride so much that she wants to keep going. Weaver joins Luka in Jim’s trauma room and assures Jim that Bonnie’s not hurt.

Abby goes to the therapy session after all, arriving as Maggie and Legaspi are talking about ways Maggie can stay healthy. She wants to go back to Minnesota, where the kids grew up. She hasn’t lived there for years, but she grew up there and has family and friends there. One of her friends has already offered her a place to stay and might be able to get her a job. Once Maggie has saved enough money, she’ll get her own place.

Abby laughs at the idea of Maggie thinking she can live a normal life on her own. Maggie doesn’t want to stay in Chicago or go back to Florida, where Abby’s brother lives. She’s worried about being a drain on her children. Abby says Maggie’s plan sounds romantic, but not realistic – it’s not going to magically solve all her problems. However, Abby doesn’t have any solutions herself. She tells Maggie to go ahead and do what she wants, then leaves.

Ben’s father, Derek, comes to the ER and tells Mark that Ben is always getting into trouble. He blames the absence of Ben’s mother. Mark tells him Ben’s burns will heal, but he needs to speak to a psychiatrist before he can be released. He asks Derek if he’s noticed the bruises on Ben’s body. Derek says they must be from fights at school.

Chen chats with Bonnie as she stitches a cut on Bonnie’s forehead. Bonnie and Jim’s parents died in a car crash, but it sounds like he takes really good care of her. Weaver and Luka are having trouble stabilizing Jim, thanks to some internal bleeding, and he’s worried about his recovery, since he needs to take care of Bonnie.

Benton is on Cleo’s case about Reese’s accident, as if she doesn’t already feel bad enough about what happened. She’s annoyed that he’s acting like she deliberately let Reese get hurt. Weaver finds Bonnie wandering around, looking for Jim, who was supposed to be on his way to the OR. Instead, he’s brought back to the ER, since his blood pressure dropped. He’s barely conscious but is still more worried about Bonnie than about himself.

Legaspi has talked to Ben, who didn’t want to open up much. Mark notes that he got very quiet when Derek arrived – Ben seems terrified of him. Mark believes that Derek is abusing Ben. Weaver, Luka, and Chen work to save Jim, but he keeps declining. Poor Bonnie is in the suture room next door, watching through the window and probably not understanding what’s happening.

Abby goes for a walk with Carter and complains about Maggie and Legaspi ganging up on her in therapy. Just a week ago, Legaspi wanted to keep Maggie on the 90-day psych hold, but now she’s supporting Maggie’s plans to move away and live on her own. They turned on Abby for not agreeing to Maggie’s plans.

Carter thinks she should look at this differently than Maggie’s past crises. After all, this time she’s trying to stay well. Abby can choose to hope she’ll make it or give up, which Abby doesn’t seem to want to do. Carter went five minutes without talking about himself, so he brings up his rejection as chief resident. He acknowledges that part of facing addiction is accepting that some people won’t get over it.

Back in the ER, the doctors still haven’t been able to stabilize Jim. Bonnie comes in, objecting to Weaver shocking Jim, since she thinks it’s hurting Jim. Eventually the doctors realize they’re not going to be able to save him. Weaver and Chen take on the horrible responsibility of telling Bonnie that her brother died. She has trouble grasping the idea, and Weaver tells her she’s going to have to be brave.

Legaspi finds Abby in the lounge and asks her to give Maggie another chance. Legaspi thinks that Maggie has a good shot of turning things around this time. If Abby lets Maggie leave town without addressing their issues, neither of them will be happy. Abby doesn’t think happiness is a possibility anyway. Legaspi asks why, but Abby’s not the one in therapy, so she won’t elaborate. She will, however, consider Legaspi’s advice.

Weaver brings in Adele to deal with Bonnie’s situation; she has no other family, and she has the developmental level of a child, so she can’t live on her own. All the facilities that would be able to take her are full, so she’ll have to go to a group home. Weaver objects to that, since Bonnie won’t get the attention needs. Adele says there are no other options.

Mark needs Adele next, since Social Services wants to take Ben into emergency custody. They tell Derek that they have some suspicions about his previous injuries. Derek has excuses for everything, and Adele tells him that if they turn out to be the truth, Ben will get to go home in three days. Derek refuses to let Adele take Ben, so she yells for security to restrain him. Ben begs to stay with his father, but Adele picks him up and carries him away.

Maggie surprises Abby with dinner when she gets home from work. Abby tells her that she left the therapy session because it scares her to hope too much. Maggie understands. She knows she might not succeed, but after her suicide attempt, she realized she doesn’t want to die. Even more than that, she doesn’t want Abby to have to watch her die. Maggie is going to take control of her life, which will allow Abby to move on with hers.

Maggie thinks Abby’s putting her life on hold because of her mother. She won’t even take the night off to go to the softball game. Abby argues that she doesn’t sit things out. Maggie tells her to stop using her mother as an excuse not to do the things she wants to do in life. She should go to med school and get married. Abby notes that she did get married. Maggie tells her to get pregnant, then. Abby reveals that she did that, too. When she was with Richard, she had an abortion because she felt like she wasn’t meant to be a mother.

Realizing what Abby’s real concern is, Maggie says that her bipolar disorder first surfaced when she was a lot younger than Abby, so it’s unlikely that Abby also has it. Maggie has always kept an eye on that. Abby worries that any child she has might have bipolar, but Maggie notes that she would love that child anyway.

She guesses that Abby never told Richard about her pregnancy or abortion. Abby thinks that was the beginning of the end of the relationship; they never talked about anything. Abby was too scared to risk becoming her mother or having a child like her mother. Maggie hugs her as she cries, telling her that life is about taking risks. Otherwise, you miss out on good things, and Abby deserves those good things.

Weaver puts Bonnie in a cab to a group home, though Bonnie doesn’t completely understand why she can’t go back to her house. Somehow, Weaver is able to see Bonnie off without crying or offering to let Bonnie live with her, which I probably would have done. In happier news, softball! Luka looks goofy in a backwards baseball cap! Abby comes to the game and agrees to play. Maggie’s with her, ready to play cheerleader.

Scans show that Mark was right about an injury Derek didn’t know Ben had. Legaspi thinks he was also right about Derek being abusive. Weaver finally gives her the letter expressing her feelings. Even if Legaspi has moved on and doesn’t want to get back together, Weaver wants Legaspi to know how she feels. Mark asks Ben about his injuries, which Ben lies about. He finally says that he’s bad a lot, so he gets punished. He thinks he deserves it. Mark gently tells him he won’t be able to go home.

Malik (R.I.P. Deezer D) makes a great hit at the softball game, and Maggie cheers for Abby as she rounds the bases. Abby sits with Maggie to watch as Luka tries his hand at softball for the first time ever. Despite what Abby thought earlier in the day, the two of them are happy. Luka hits a foul ball but doesn’t know what that means, so he runs the bases anyway. Abby and Maggie let him have his moment.

Thoughts: I can’t believe I’m just now realizing this but Randi and Meghan from Felicity are basically the same person.

Way to not defend your girlfriend to your ex, Benton. Sometimes I wonder why Cleo continues to put up with him.

I’ve watched this episode multiple times over the years, and the Bonnie plot wrecks me every time.

Telling Derek they think he’s abusive right in front of Ben was a big misstep on Mark and Adele’s part. Though I guess, after the next episode, that’s going to be the least of Ben’s problems when he gets older.

November 17, 2020

ER 7.11, Rock, Paper Scissors: Absolution

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:59 pm by Jenn

Get ready for a lot of this

Summary: Benton and Cleo are just waking up in the morning when she gets a call from Kynesha. They finally sent her to a halfway house, but she got in a fight with someone and ran away. Benton decides to go pick her up, though Cleo thinks Kynesha is manipulating him. She doesn’t think they’ll ever get rid of her.

Mark and Elizabeth are back from New York, and she’s nervously awaiting the next big challenge in her life, a meeting about her malpractice lawsuit. All she knows is that Patterson’s lawyers want to talk. Benton goes to get Kynesha, who’s being chased by some guys. They break the back window of Benton’s car and yell that Kynesha owes them. She tells Benton they’re some former friends.

Luka/Abby update: They’re definitely dating, but she’s sick of staying in his hotel room. She asks Carter how it went telling Weaver about his relapse. Carter still hasn’t told her; he wants to wait until after his performance evaluation. Dude. Come on. Carter tells Abby she’s nagging him, but she thinks she’s doing her job as his sponsor. He tells her that should be different from acting like his mother. Meanwhile, Luka and Dave meet an ambulance bringing in a bishop named Stewart who may have broken his hip.

Back at Cleo’s, Benton tells Kynesha that she needs to learn how to respect people. According to the workers at the halfway house, Kynesha started the fight. Kynesha says she hates it there and would rather live with Benton. She touches his shoulder, ready to offer sex in exchange for a home. Benton is never going to play that game, especially with a minor, so that gets shut down really fast. Weaver chats with a patient named Pularski who stopped taking his medication. He’s depressed because he hasn’t had sex in 11 years. He also stabbed himself with a pair of medical scissors. Well, we know a certain teenage girl who’s looking to offer her services…

Elizabeth learns from Romano and her lawyer, Price, that Patterson has agreed to a settlement. A piece of equipment Elizabeth used during Patterson’s procedure was recalled, which means she can’t be blamed for any errors. Elizabeth denies that there was anything wrong with the equipment, even though this is her get-out-of-jail-free card.

Dave tries to flirt with Amira at the front desk. It goes poorly. A woman named Ann runs up, asks for a laxative, and throws up. Carter tends to her and learns that she started feeling sick on her flight to Chicago from Texas. She realizes she’s throwing up blood. Luka examines Stewart, who says he has osteoarthritis but isn’t on any medications. He asks about Luka’s accent, commenting that Croatia is a very Catholic country. Luka simply says that he’s not Catholic.

Benton fills Cleo in on the Kynesha situation, admitting that she’s at Cleo’s house. Cleo figures this is going to turn into another three-week stay. Carter and Haleh do a procedure on Ann to see if there are any foreign bodies in her stomach. Carter finds something and uses a grasper to pull it out. Haleh comments that it looks like a claw from an arcade game. Carter’s prize in this case is a condom full of drugs. He guesses that it leaked and caused Ann’s medical problems.

Legaspi comes to the ER to ask why Weaver sent Pularski home without a psych consult. (Apparently his stab wound was superficial.) Weaver didn’t see the point, since he comes in all the time and has never seriously tried to hurt himself. Plus, the psych department keeps refusing to admit him, so why bother consulting with them? Weaver knows he just wanted food and company. Legaspi tells Weaver that they need to keep things professional. Weaver says she has been, and also, she definitely hasn’t been avoiding Legaspi because they kissed, and how could Legaspi even think that?

Carter gets Ann to admit that she came to Chicago from Belize. She was robbed, so she felt her only option to get back to the States was to agree to be a drug mule. She cries and says she just wanted to go home. Luka determines that Stewart falls a lot, which Stewart blames on his arthritis. Luka agrees to give him steroids he’s taken in the past if he also uses a walker. Stewart negotiates down to a cane. He asks Luka what his confirmation name was. It was Mihael, who was, fittingly, the patron saint of the sick.

Weaver gives Carter his performance review, which is excellent. She’s proud of how well he’s done since returning from rehab. Carter starts to tell her what he’s been keeping from her, but they get called away to tend to a family of three who were hit by a car while crossing the street. The father died at the scene, but the mother and their seven-year-old daughter are now in the ER.

Elizabeth takes a moment to admire some flowers Mark sent her at County before she heads to the OR to help with the new patients. She runs into Patterson in an elevator and he asks to talk. She tells him that she feels horrible about how things turned out for him. Patterson knows the recalled equipment is technically to blame, but he can’t bring himself to forgive Elizabeth. He knows he’ll always remember her face, and he wonders if she’ll remember his.

Elizabeth joins Luka, Cleo, and Abby to take care of the daughter, Amy. Luka inserts a chest tube, which leads to some bleeding. Connie pulls Elizabeth next door to help Weaver with the mother, Julie. No one wants to tell Julie that her husband didn’t survive, but when they can’t tell her how he is, she figures it out herself. They need to take her to the OR, but Luka asks them to bring her to Amy’s room for a moment so mother and daughter can see each other. As Julie is finally taken for surgery, Amy starts to decline.

Babcock the anesthesiologist is annoyed that Elizabeth isn’t sure yet what procedure she’s going to perform on Julie. Elizabeth is nervous and wants to pass her off to another surgeon, but everyone else is busy. Back in the ER, Luka struggles to stabilize Amy while Carter asks Legaspi to give Ann a psych consult. Legaspi wants to admit her, but Weaver wants to turn her over to the police. Legaspi asks Weaver what her problem is. Weaver sends Carter away so she can tell Legaspi to never talk to her like that in front of a resident. Legaspi says she wouldn’t have to if Weaver wouldn’t interfere in her case.

Luka decides that Amy can’t be saved, so Cleo declares her dead. Luka doesn’t even get a minute to collect himself before he’s sent to help with another trauma. The patient is a guy named Kevin who’s drunk and combative. He was brought in after crashing his car during a police chase. His crime? Running down a family of three in a crosswalk. Luka has to go from failing to save Amy to trying to save the man who killed her. He gets his revenge by inserting a tube through Kevin’s nose and throat without numbing his pain.

Benton meets Kynesha at Doc Magoo’s with a surprise guest: Adele. She has a foster family ready to take in Kynesha, who’s disappointed that Benton won’t let her stay with him. She blames Cleo for turning her away. Adele tells Kynesha that her only choices right now are foster care or becoming a ward of the state. Kynesha storms out, complaining that Benton doesn’t want her.

Elizabeth struggles to fix Julie’s injuries as she loses more and more blood. Elizabeth orders Shirley to get another surgeon to take over. A police officer arrests Kevin, who shouldn’t have been driving since he lost his license thanks to multiple DUIs. Benton comes down to consult and decides to give Kevin a CT. Luka isn’t sure that’s necessary. Abby asks Carter how his performance review went (meaning “did you tell Weaver you relapsed?”). Luka’s curious about that whole situation, but Abby can’t tell him anything.

Romano joins Elizabeth in the OR, annoyed that she’s having so much trouble with what should be a simple procedure. He orders her to stay and assist him, but she runs off. Mark is at County for radiation and decides to wait for Elizabeth in the lounge when he’s done. Even though he can barely walk on his own, he’s supposed to start back at work next week. Luka tells him not to worry about how things are running in the ER. Mark says he gets now that life’s too short to think about that kind of stuff.

Luka goes to check on Stewart, who’s gone to Kevin’s trauma room to give him last rites. He absolves Kevin of his sins, which I’m sure Luka doesn’t think he deserves. Abby bugs Carter again about talking to Weaver, but Carter doesn’t want to rock the boat when everything is going so well. Abby makes the best decision possible here: She tells him to find another sponsor. She cares about Carter and his recovery, but she can’t help him if he won’t listen to her.

While Cleo tells a devastated Julie that Amy died, Luka finishes up with Stewart, who asks what happened to Kevin. He didn’t survive surgery, so Stewart is glad that he found absolution. Luka, of course, doesn’t think he should have peace when he killed two people. Stewart says that Kevin found God in his last moments and asked for forgiveness. Luka asks if that means anyone can get into Heaven just by saying they’re sorry before they die. Stewart tells him that everyone deserves comfort in their darkest hour. Luka notes that Amy could have used that comfort. Stewart says God was with her, but Luka doubts that.

Carter finally pulls Weaver aside to tell her that he took Vicodin a couple weeks ago. He doesn’t know why he did it. Weaver thanks him for telling her but doesn’t know what the consequences will be yet. Mark and Elizabeth head home without the malpractice lawsuit hanging over their heads. She doesn’t feel like celebrating since she knows the error was really her fault. Mark says all they can do is try to get things right as often as possible.

Cleo is also down after her bad day, telling Benton that she can’t stop thinking about Amy’s brand-new shoes. When she put them on that morning, she had no clue what would happen to her. They get home to find that Cleo’s house has been trashed. Cleo is definitely, 100 percent, completely done with Kynesha.

Weaver tracks down Legaspi at Doc Magoo’s, wanting to clear the air. She respects Legaspi as a colleague and misses her as a friend. Legaspi thinks that in a few weeks, they’ll just be back to being friendly co-workers, like they were before. Weaver confides that she’s not sure that’s what she wants. Legaspi starts to leave, but Weaver asks her to stay.

Benton and Cleo silently clean up her house and he thanks her for putting up with him and being there for him. He acknowledges that he hasn’t been there for her in the same way. He’s never worked at being with someone – he’s never wanted to – but he wants to with her because he loves her. “Love won’t clean up the destruction in my house,” she manages to not reply.

Thoughts: Stewart is played by James Cromwell, who was nominated for an Emmy for the role.

Is everyone ready for the part of the season where we revisit the worst thing that’s ever happened to Luka? IS EVERYONE PUMPED?

“Dr. Corday, you have to stop the bleeding.” Oh, she does? Is that her job, Dr. Babcock? Thanks for clearing that up. I’m sure Elizabeth was unclear about what she was supposed to be doing here.

June 16, 2020

ER 6.11, The Domino Heart: If the ER Is a Circus, Chen and Carter Are Both Clowns

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

Poor Valerie

Summary: David has moved in with Mark and is up early, watching the weather channel…loudly. He wakes both Mark and his neighbor. Also, he drank all the coffee. Mark’s like, “Well, I wanted this,” and just goes to work. Carol is already there, back for her first shift since having the twins. She’s barely there for 20 seconds when a patient is brought in. A trapeze artist named Vito fell while practicing his circus act and has a deep cut. Mark comes in to join the trauma and notices that the water in the trauma room isn’t working.

Vito starts declining, thanks to blood loss, and Carol struggles a little to get back into the rhythm of the ER. Luka tells her she can start off slow if she needs to; he seems amused when she insists that she’s okay. Romano joins the group, familiar with Vito and his brother Dominic’s trapeze act. He does something to Vito that agitates him, so Dominic and another guy drag him out of the trauma room.

Mark has bottled water brought into the hospital since there’s a water-main issue that won’t be fixed for a while. Lucy comes in hours ahead of her shift, having been summoned by Valerie – a heart has been found for her, and she’s coming in for a transplant. Lily discovers another downside to not having water: They can’t flush the toilets. Mark requests some Port-a-Potties for the ambulance bay, and maybe some air freshener.

Another circus performer is in the ER, a young acrobat named Peng who hurt her foot. Dominic explains to Luka that when Vito’s trapeze broke, the pieces fell on Peng. Luka’s confused, since her injury is to the bottom of her foot. Peng clears things up by doing a one-handed handstand. Luka’s impressed and decides to get himself some circus tickets. Romano ruins the vibe by having security remove Dominic from the hospital.

Chen’s patient is Mrs. Duffy, an elderly woman with Parkinson’s who may have had a stroke. Her daughter, Louise, takes care of her at home, and though Mrs. Duffy sees herself as a burden, Louise is fine tending to her. Chen notices that Louise seems tired, but she says she’s okay.

Mark bugs Carol about falling behind on patients, and she gets defensive about it. Weaver interrupts to ask Mark why she wasn’t told about the water issues. Mark says he handled everything, though he didn’t think of the fact that without water, surgeons can’t sterilize their equipment. Weaver has canceled all elective procedures and decided to use water from the physical-therapy pool to flush toilets.

Lucy welcomes Valerie back to the hospital, thrilled to be there for Valerie’s transplant. Carol is annoyed to have to fax stuff for Dave. Shouldn’t the file clerks do stuff like that? Cleo can’t get an x-ray back for her patient because the radiologists can’t process the films without water. Benton wonders if they might be able to leave work early, since they can’t do their full jobs. He hints that he’d like to get something to eat with Cleo, but she doesn’t take the bait.

Paramedics bring in a man named Michael who had a seizure while driving. His boyfriend, Curt, isn’t aware of Michael ever having seizures before. His only known medical problem is asthma. Mark notices bruises on Michael’s chest, which Curt says must be from playing hockey. Mark thinks Michael’s condition might be the result of taking too much asthma medication.

Mrs. Duffy’s tests come back normal, so her declining health is probably due to her Parkinson’s. Louise asks Chen to admit her anyway; she can’t care for Mrs. Duffy if she can’t walk. Chen recommends a home aide, which Louise can’t afford. She wants Mrs. Duffy to be admitted for a few days so her medications can be adjusted and she can regain her strength. Chen apologetically says they can’t do that. Louise begs Chen to do something so she can get some rest, but there’s nothing Chen can do.

Lucy buys Valerie some Tweety Bird slippers, since Valerie packed for the hospital so fast that she forgot her own slippers. Weaver pulls Lucy aside to tell her that Valerie has a fever of 100.9. She’ll need immunosuppressants after the transplant, which will weaken her immune system so much that even a small cold could be fatal. Weaver warns that they may have to decline the heart. The transplant committee will probably decide to give it to someone else.

Michael’s stable now and only has a minor hand injury, but Mark is concerned about his mental health. He thinks Michael might have intentionally overdosed on his medication. Michael says he took some extra pills because stress makes his asthma flare up, but he wasn’t trying to hurt himself. Curt checks in and Michael doesn’t mention anything about Mark’s suspicion that he’s depressed.

As soon as Romano and Benton hear that Valerie has a fever, they agree that she can’t have the transplant. Lucy argues that all her tests have come back normal, which means she must have an infection in her LVAD. All she needs is antibiotics. Once the LVAD is removed (which is necessary anyway to do the transplant), she can get the new heart. Romano seems annoyed by Lucy’s persistence, but he probably also admires it.

Carol gets defensive again about criticism that isn’t really criticism. Weaver wants to make sure she’s getting enough sleep. With two babies and no partner to help her? I’m sure she’s getting eight hours every night, Weaver. Dave brings her into a case involving a man who’s been taking some kind of medication that has led to him vomiting blood. Weaver isn’t familiar with the medication, which Dave says is a combination painkiller and steroid easily available in Mexico.

Benton decides to be more straightforward with Cleo and…kind of, sort of ask her out. She casually tells him she’s never sure when she gets off work, so if he wants to have dinner, he shouldn’t wait for her. Elizabeth finds Carol crying in the lounge and suggests that she go home. Carol admits that sometimes she just has a good cry at home, then feels better and goes back to whatever she was doing. She appreciates Elizabeth’s concern. Chuny comes in and Elizabeth tells her that Carol’s feeling overwhelmed. They talk about Carol’s struggles as if she’s not in the room.

Lucy tells Valerie that they think they can clear up her infection with antibiotics and still do the transplant. Valerie worries that the antibiotics won’t work, which could lead to a life-threatening infection. She asks what Lucy would do in her position. Lucy thinks the risks are small and Valerie should go ahead with the transplant.

Mark asks Michael about his relationship with Curt, suspecting that Curt is abusive. Instead of insisting that everything’s fine, which is usually what happens with abuse cases on this show, Michael admits that he and Curt had an argument that turned physical. Mark suggests that he talk to a social worker, but Michael isn’t sure if he wants to take that step.

Linsey Cordova comes to see Elizabeth and lets her know that they held Jenny’s funeral yesterday. She’s grateful that Elizabeth got Dean to tell her where Jenny’s body was. Linsey’s trying to forget him, but she hears his voice all the time – gentle, but telling her horrible things. Elizabeth tells her that Dean wanted her to suffer, but he can’t hurt her anymore, so she shouldn’t give him any more thought.

Valerie heads to surgery, asking if Lucy can observe. Lucy says med students can only watch if they’re on the transplant service, but she’s going to talk her way into having an exception made. If anyone can do it, it’s Lucy. Valerie realizes she forgot to feed her cat and asks Lucy to let her mom know.

Elizabeth goes to the prison ward to see Dean, whom she didn’t euthanize after all. He admits to being glad when he realized she didn’t follow through on her part of the bargain; he never thought she might turn out to be a coward. He thinks her conscience is bothering her. Elizabeth says it is, but not because she almost killed him. It’s because she enjoyed how much power she had over his life.

She could have easily killed him and repaid the pain he’s caused others, but she realized how pathetic he was and didn’t want that power. Elizabeth’s job is done – she made her sick patient better. Now he gets to suffer in prison. Elizabeth saunters out, ignoring Dean when he yells after her that he’s not finished with her yet. Fortunately, this is his last episode, so we’re finished with him. Yay!

Louise slipped on some ice in the parking lot while getting her mother into their car, so she’s back in the ER. In addition, Mrs. Duffy’s wheelchair fell over, so she might need medical attention again. Carter wants to do some tests on Louise, whose blood pressure is high. He’s judgmental about Chen’s decision to let Mrs. Duffy go instead of getting her further care.

Lucy observes Valerie’s transplant, much more in awe of the sight of the new heart than Benton is (though, to be fair, he probably sees this a lot. Also, he’s a robot). Michael agreed to talk to a social worker, but when Mark brought in Adele, he changed his mind. Adele tells Mark that this is common; Michael probably wants to protect his boyfriend. Mark thinks he can eventually get Michael to talk to someone.

Carter argues with Chen about admitting Mrs. Duffy so Louise can get some rest. Chen sticks to the rules, refusing to take Carter’s suggestion to lie that Mrs. Duffy had a stroke. She reminds him that she bent the rules with Alyssa, which got her into trouble, and she doesn’t want to take any more chances. Carter – who, remember, just lied on kid’s chart a couple weeks ago – thinks she should worry less about getting in trouble. Everyone admits people who don’t necessarily need to be admitted. Chen puts her foot down, saying that Mrs. Duffy is her patient, so it’s her call. Carter responds by having Louise admitted for high blood pressure.

Michael has changed his story, telling Mark that his bruises are from hockey. Mark worries about Michael’s safety in his relationship, noting that most people who are killed by their partners have experienced physical abuse. Curt comes in to get Michael, but Mark delays his discharge, saying he wants to run some more tests. Michael is about to give in when Curt tells him to shut up. Mark tells Michael he doesn’t have to go – it’s his choice. Michael chooses to leave with Curt.

Dave clears out the vending machine, knowing there won’t be any good food in the cafeteria since there’s no water to cook with. Cleo mentions that she’s treating a Spanish-speaking father and daughter who both have aplastic anemia. Dave realizes they must be tied to his earlier patient who took the Mexican meds. He knows enough Spanish to be able to communicate with Cleo’s patients, who tell him they got shots from a pharmacist who works out of a backroom clinic. Cleo wants to call to the police, but Dave would rather confront the pharmacist on his own.

Mark looks on silently as Michael leaves with Curt. The water has finally been fixed, but the pressure hasn’t been tested yet, so everyone still needs to use the Port-a-Potties. Chen asks Mark if it’s possible to page an individual beeper for someone working on the code team. The answer is yes. P.S. Carter’s on the code team today.

Valerie comes out of surgery fine, and Benton finally acknowledges Lucy’s awe over the idea of using someone else’s heart to keep a person alive. He wonders if she might want to go into surgery now. Lucy notices that Valerie’s eyes aren’t normal, and she doesn’t respond when Lucy says to squeeze her hand. Benton rushes her to CT.

Chen and some nurses watch gleefully as she pages Carter, who runs out of a Port-a-Potty to answer a code in the ER. He slips on a wet floor and falls, making Chen feel a little bad about her prank. He quickly realizes that she was messing with him, which she calls payback for what she considers blackmail. It worked, though, since she finally admitted Mrs. Duffy. She hopes Carter doesn’t see her as heartless.

They hear a crash outside and run to the ambulance bay, where Michael has crashed his car into the truck driven by the guy fixing the water main. Now Curt’s the one who needs medical attention – Michael thought he was in drive, not reverse, and ran him over. Mark, Carter, and Chen work on Curt in a trauma room but can’t use a piece of equipment for suction because it needs water they don’t have. Carter and Chen come up with a makeshift replacement involving a vacuum hose and sponges.

Romano checks in with Benton, who’s examining Valerie, then tells Lucy that she’s in a permanent vegetative state. Lucy blames the LVAD, but Romano says they can’t be sure what happened, so she shouldn’t feel guilty. After all, he approved the LVAD implantation. Surgeons know that nothing is risk-free. The positive news is that there’s a patient in Milwaukee who’s a match for Valerie’s new heart. Valerie’s not going to recover, so they can remove the heart and give it to someone else who can use it.

Once Curt has been stabilized, Michael tells Mark that the accident was just that, an accident. If I were Mark, I would be very skeptical. Carter is snarky with Chen over their different approaches to taking care of the Duffy women, like, let it go already. He’s disappointed that Chen can’t admit that she made a mistake. He tells her that things will go a lot easier for her if she can deal with them honestly. Chen agrees not to play any more practical jokes.

Lucy speaks with Valerie’s mother, who agrees to donate Valerie’s new heart. Chen examines an x-ray she’s been waiting on and sees a bunch of nails in her patient’s stomach. As she runs off to check on him, Carter stops Chuny from calling any surgeons. He lifts his shirt and shows her that he’s taped nails to himself so he could mess with Chen by giving her a fake x-ray. What a great use of expensive hospital equipment!

Carol’s made it through her first day back and heads home to her girls. Dave returns from the clinic with some bruises from his confrontation with the pharmacist. He tells Cleo he got a prescription by claiming he had a sore throat; the pharmacist didn’t even examine him. Dave grabbed a vial of some medication no one should take and just ran. Now he has evidence to get the clinic shut down.

Benton grows a very, very small spine and quietly asks Cleo if she wants to get dinner with him. It turns out she thought he was inviting her on a group outing, but he admits that it’s just going to be the two of them. She definitely seems interested. Mark speaks with a cop who talked to Michael about the crash, but doesn’t bring up Curt’s abuse. Michael notes that Mark is getting what he wants – Michael will be safe at home tonight. Mark offers to call Adele in again, but Michael still isn’t ready for that.

Luka finds Lucy sitting on a bench outside the ER and gives her his coat, since it’s started snowing. He offers her a ticket to the circus. Lucy says she’s on duty now, after having been at work all day but not technically working. They bond over feeling out of place at County, though Luka’s used to it, having moved around a lot. Lucy feels grateful every day to be able to walk in on her own rather than be brought in as a patient. At the end of every day, she hopes she’s helped even one person, but today that didn’t happen.

Luka reminds her that her day’s not over. Maybe the person just now being brought in by ambulance is the one person she’s going to help. Luka offers to stay behind and find out. He’ll skip the circus, since working in the ER is enough of a circus for him. They receive the patient and Luka offers to walk Lucy through a procedure she’s never done before.

Thoughts: Mark again demonstrates great leadership skills in handling the water problem. He stays calm and makes decisions quickly. Harriet the disaster coordinator would be proud.

Abuse storylines featuring same-sex couples are extremely rare, so good for this show for doing one.

Not one person suggests that Carol get screened for postpartum depression. Good job, medical professionals.

June 9, 2020

ER 6.10, Family Matters: Chen Is Back in Action (Act-Chen?)

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:01 pm by Jenn

I don’t think I could go back to the place where I almost killed someone, but I guess doctors do that all the time

Summary: Mark and Elizabeth are on their way to work, discussing the possibility of barbecuing, even though it’s January and snowing outside. Mark was able to do it in San Diego while he was visiting David, and now he wants to do it in Chicago. At County, they’re greeted by Andrew, then Romano, who tells Mark that a new resident is starting in the ER today. She’s not actually new, though – she’s Chen. Elizabeth is surprised that she’s starting in January. Romano says her program in New York fell through, and her rich father made a donation to County to get her a job there.

Andrew gives Mark a message letting him know that David has disappeared from his retirement home. It sounds like he ran away, which isn’t surprising, since we know he didn’t want to move there in the first place. Elizabeth and Romano meet with Detective Cruson, who has tied Dean to another missing woman, Jenny Cordova. Cruson wants Elizabeth to ask Dean where Jenny’s body is. Romano agrees that Elizabeth is the best person for the job, though she doesn’t think Dean will tell her anything. Cruson says this is the Cordova family’s best option.

In the ER, Carter and Yosh struggle to deal with a woman who’s manically scratching herself. They get security to restrain her, but only after Carter has wrestled with her and landed on the ground. He’s still there when Chen comes to greet him. She’s surprised he’s working in the ER, not the OR. Mark joins them, and Chen tells him she goes by Jing-Mei now, not Deb. She also insists that she always went by Jing-Mei, but I distinctly remember her introducing herself to Carter and Benton as Deb back in season 1, so nyah. Anyway, Mark has to go back to San Diego and get his father to behave.

Carter is surprised that Chen is still in medicine after almost killing someone as a med student. She tells him that incident made her realize how competitive she was, and that she was trying too hard to make herself look competent. Carter tells her about his patient, Cassandra, whom he and Yosh think has a psychiatric problem. Chen notices spots on Cassandra’s arms that indicate body lice. She probably applied a medication called lindane, scratched herself too hard, allowed the lindane to enter her bloodstream, and gave herself lindane toxicity.

Mark is angry at David for being childish and pulling him away from his job. Also, this means no barbecuing. Mark gives Andrew his stethoscope to give to Yosh, then tells Andrew he’s in charge until Weaver comes in. Andrew takes him seriously. Then he swings the stethoscope around and smacks himself in the face. Two women run in, ask for a doctor, and take Andrew’s picture, mistaking him for a doctor since he has a stethoscope. They explain that they’re in a scavenger hunt and have to take photos of, among other things, a doctor, a groom, and a polar bear.

Carter and Chen take on a patient together, a man named Mr. Sumpter who hurt his knee. Chen demonstrates that she’s become very confident in medicine and is good at communicating with patients. Carter draws some fluid from Mr. Sumpter’s knee and sees that he has an infection, probably staph. Dr. Myers comes down from psych and congratulates Chen on diagnosing Cassandra correctly. He thanks Carter for thinking of psych, even though it wasn’t necessary.

Benton and Cleo treat a high school student named Tamara who crashed her car on the way to school. She doesn’t have any serious injuries, just some wrist pain. Chen tells Carter that Mr. Sumpter’s staph infection is actually gonorrhea. Carter can only tell Mr. Sumpter the news and hope he tells his wife. Chen notes that they have to make a report to the Public Health Department, who may tell Mrs. Sumpter themselves. Carter isn’t concerned about the possibility of Mrs. Sumpter never finding out that her husband has an STD.

Elizabeth visits Dean on the jail ward, where he’s displeased with her treatment instructions. He wants a new doctor. Weaver meets Chen, who confesses up front that her father bought her way into her residency. Yes, she almost killed someone while she was a med student, but she knows she’s more competent now. Weaver believes her. She asks Andrew to get her a phone book so she can find a mechanic, since her car broke down. Dave announces that he can fix it. For some reason, Weaver agrees to let him try. Meanwhile, Chen asks Andrew to get her the number for the Public Health Department.

Carter gives Mr. Sumpter the news that he has gonorrhea. He asks if Mr. Sumpter has had sex with anyone other than his wife. Mr. Sumpter says he did, once, and Carter encourages him to come clean to his wife. Too late – she and Chen are behind the curtain around Mr. Sumpter’s bed, and his wife heard everything. She’s…not happy.

Luka’s patient is a young man named Dylan who burned his hands. He’s accompanied by his brother, Jake, who’s developmentally disabled. Carter complains to Weaver that Chen got Public Health to tell Mrs. Sumpter about her husband’s STD. Weaver says that no one did anything wrong. She takes Chen to talk to Officer Al, who’s brought in a teen panhandler who won’t provide her name. Al advises the Jane Doe to take advantage of the warmth in the ER and the free meal she’ll get.

Dylan tells Luka and Lydia that he burned himself making breakfast. Luka determines that Dylan is only 18 and isn’t in school. Jake gets distressed and apologizes over and over. Dylan yells at him to shut up, which just makes Jake more upset. He punches something and cuts his hand. Carter checks on Dave, who’s struggling to fix Weaver’s car. He asks Carter if he knew Chen when she was a med student (really he wants to know if they hooked up). Carter encourages him to ask Chen out, most likely looking forward to seeing Dave get rejected.

As Luka tends to Jake, Dylan explains that he had to take care of some things the night before (no details there), so he slept in this morning. Jake tried to make his own breakfast but accidentally started a fire. Their parents aren’t in their lives and the brothers move around a lot, so they’re not on Social Services’ radar. Dylan says they do fine on their own. Jake even makes a little money by cleaning up around their apartment complex and doing odd jobs for the residents.

Chen and Haleh get Jane Doe into a hospital gown so they can clean her clothes. Chen tries to chat with Jane, but she won’t give up any information about herself. Haleh pulls Chen out of the room with fake test results so she can tell her that she found the girl’s ID. Her real name is Alyssa, and they now have her address and phone number.

Cleo tries to get information out of Tamara, wondering if she was depressed from all the stress in her life and crashed her car on purpose. Tamara finds that crazy, especially since her basketball team is having a great season and has a big game coming up tonight. Tamara’s parents arrive, wondering if their daughter will be able to play in the big game. They’re also making arrangements for her to take chemistry in summer school, since her struggles in that class are part of all the stress she’s under.

Romano tells Elizabeth that she needs to try again to get Dean to tell him where Jenny’s body is. Elizabeth is more than happy to never have to speak to him again. Cruson has brought in Jenny’s mother and sister Linsey to try to guilt Elizabeth into changing her mind. Paramedics bring in a boy named Jason, and Dave takes a break from his mechanic duties to treat him.

Luka tells Weaver about Jake and Dylan, hesitant to call Social Services since he thinks getting Dylan a job will solve most of the brothers’ problems. Weaver wants them in school, since education will help them in the future. She gets Luka to agree to call Social Services. Chen calls Alyssa’s mother while a couple more scavenger hunters run in, looking for a doctor to photograph. Andrew puts on his most doctor-like face and happily poses for them.

Elizabeth asks Dean about Jenny, but he plays dumb. She notes that he’s already been charged with murder, so there’s no point in causing more grief. Dean asks if she’ll stay on as his doctor if he talks. Elizabeth agrees, but Dean says he’ll only talk to Linsey. Dave examines Jason, who’s been experiencing shortness of breath for a few days. Dave thinks he has pneumonia.

Weaver asks Adele if she was able to help Jake and Dylan, but Adele hasn’t spoken to Luka, so she doesn’t know anything about the brothers. Benton examines Tamara’s x-rays and doesn’t see any fractures, so Cleo can release her. Tamara starts crying when she hears what’s supposed to be good news. She confides that her life is super-busy, and though she insists she loves it, she’s tired. Cleo decides to get a second opinion on her x-rays, which will give Tamara some time to rest.

Alyssa is desperate to leave the hospital, thinking that Chen is trying to keep her there for no reason. Chen says she just wants to help. Alyssa explains that her parents tricked her into going to a treatment center, which she ran away from. The center wasn’t for drug or alcohol abuse, but it was supposed to straighten her out…literally, since Alyssa’s gay.

Mrs. Cordova objects to Dean’s request to talk to Linsey, but Linsey is willing to talk to him. Elizabeth and Cruson assure Mrs. Cordova that Dean isn’t a physical threat to Linsey. Elizabeth thinks Dean might actually tell Linsey where Jenny’s body is. If they don’t try this, the family might never get answers to their questions.

Lucy finds Dave in a trauma room, trying to clean something he took out of Weaver’s car. She has Jason’s scans, which show that instead of pneumonia, he has a mass around his heart – probably lymphoma. It’s spread through both lungs and is inoperable. Chen tells Carter that Alyssa’s parents sent her away for deprogramming to turn her straight. Carter urges her to get Alyssa out of the hospital before her parents arrive. Chen doesn’t want to tell her they’re coming, since she might run away.

Before Chen can get Social Services involved, she and Carter hear a commotion from Alyssa’s room. A Dr. Ramsey has arrived, having been called by Alyssa’s parents; he says he’s Alyssa’s legal guardian as the principal of her treatment center. Carter says she can’t be discharged since she needs more test. Chen blurts out that Alyssa’s pregnant, which makes her an emancipated minor. Dr. Ramsey scoffs that Alyssa can’t be pregnant, since she’s a lesbian, but there’s nothing he can do without a court order to take Alyssa back to the center.

Elizabeth takes Linsey to see Dean, who says he’s done horrible things and is paying for them now. Linsey says her family doesn’t want him to suffer; they just want Jenny’s body. Dean says Linsey’s a nice person, and he wishes he’d met her instead of Jenny…because he could have killed her instead. Jenny just screamed all the time. Elizabeth rushes Linsey out of the room, having accidentally traumatized her.

Dave brings Luka into Jason’s case, telling him that Jason’s mother didn’t bother to mention that he had lymphoma two years ago. Good job, Mom. She doesn’t want to give Jason the bad news, and Dave thinks an oncologist should do it, but Luka tells Dave it’s his job. He runs off to follow Dylan and Jake, who are leaving the hospital because Adele came to talk to them. Dylan thinks Luka handed them over to Social Services. Luka just wants to help them come up with better ways to take care of themselves.

Chen and Carter fill Weaver in on Alyssa’s situation, and Weaver helps them arrange to send her to an LGBT center. She cautions Chen not to lie about her patients’ conditions. A scavenger hunter tries to take Weaver’s picture, but Weaver ignores her and goes looking for Dave, who’s left her car parts lying around. The hunter turns to Benton, who dismisses her with an annoyed (but funny), “Go away.”

Tamara’s father pulls Benton back into her room, since Cleo is putting a cast on Tamara’s wrist. She says that Tamara might have a kind of fracture that’s hard to see on x-rays, so Cleo’s just being cautious. Tamara’s parents say it’s important for her to play in the game that night. Benton pulls Cleo out of the room and questions her choice to put a cast on Tamara. She’s allowed to make her own decisions; if she doesn’t want to play in the game, she needs to say so. Cleo thinks everyone around Tamara pressures her too much for her to be able to speak up for herself.

Dave gives Jason the news about his health, showing that when he really tries, he has good bedside manner. Weaver interrupts to blast Dave about taking apart her car, but when she realizes Dave’s in the middle of something important, she apologizes and dismisses herself. Mark surprises David at home in San Diego, where David’s trying to halt the sale of his house.

Luka’s annoyed that Weaver got Adele involved in Dylan and Jake’s case instead of trusting Luka to help them himself. Now that he’s convinced them to come back, he wants to handle things alone. Weaver agrees. Cleo tells Tamara that she can play in the game tonight if she feels up to it. She just put on the cast to help her slow down. Tamara doesn’t want to slow down, though – she’s sure things will get better soon. Cleo doesn’t want Tamara to start resenting her talent. I guess we’re supposed to think that Cleo went through the same sort of thing, but I just can’t bring myself to care.

Lucy talks to her landlord, who agrees to interview Dylan for a job as the building’s superintendent. That gives Dylan both a job and a place to live, which could lead to him being able to apply to be Jake’s legal guardian. Unfortunately, Adele has gotten involved again, and she and Reggie are taking Jake into custody. They think Dylan is neglecting him. Poor Jake is very upset, but Dylan promises to come find him as soon as he can. Luka tries to be reassuring, but Dylan’s done listening to him.

Dean summons Elizabeth to tell her he’s done playing games. He wishes she’d let him die when she found him after the car accident. Paramedics bring in a scavenger hunt participant who suffered numerous injuries while trying to take a picture of a polar bear at the zoo. She’s more interested in the $1,000 she won in the hunt. Then she learns that Andrew isn’t really a doctor, so her win isn’t valid. Weaver wants her to split her prize money with the ER.

She tries to smooth things over with Luka, since calling Social Services is how they handle situations like Dylan and Jake’s. Luka’s upset that her actions broke up a family. He confides that his wife and kids were taken in the war in Croatia, then killed. (This is different from the way he describes things in season 7, but whatever.) He repeats that they shouldn’t break up families.

Mark asks David about his plans. David says he’ll get by on his own. Mark suggests that David come live with him in Chicago for a while. David still refuses to sell the house in San Diego, but he’s open to Mark’s idea. Dave assures Weaver that he fixed her car, even if he couldn’t do anything to help Jason. He tries to make small talk with Chen, who’s nice to him but not interested.

Carter asks Chen why she came back to medicine. She tells him that she was on a subway when a man had a heart attack. No one could help him, but she realized that she knew what to do. She felt so good after saving him that she decided not to waste her skills. Carter tells her she hasn’t changed a bit. Well, except for going by Jing-Mei instead of Deb.

Elizabeth tells Dean that she’ll inject him with 100 milligrams of morphine and send him off into a peaceful death if he tells her where Jenny’s body is. Dean reminds her of the Hippocratic Oath, then guesses that she’ll stop the injection as soon as he tells her what she wants to know. She insists that she’ll keep her end of the bargain. If he doesn’t, she’ll save him and he’ll continue suffering from his chronic pain. Elizabeth asks where Jenny is, then injects Dean’s IV with morphine.

Thoughts: Tamara is played by Gabrielle Union.

The running “joke” of the episode is that no one can pronounce the second part of Chen’s name. Which is ridiculous, because IT’S JUST LIKE MAY. THE MONTH OF MAY. If they saw it written, yeah, I could get not knowing how to pronounce it, but there’s no way anyone would have a hard time saying it after hearing it. It makes them sound racist.

Chen is a little too much in this episode, and she gets really annoying later in the series, but I love how she handles Alyssa’s situation. I also like that Carter and Weaver both want to help. They could easily turn her over to the doctor and say it’s not their problem, but they truly want to help her. Carter even comments that trying to turn someone straight should be illegal.

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