February 12, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hey, Mark? You suck.

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

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

February 5, 2019

ER 3.8, Union Station: Leaving on an El Train

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

Adios

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 15, 2019

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

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

I love this

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts: Charlie is played by Kirsten Dunst.

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

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

 

December 25, 2018

ER 3.2, Let the Games Begin: Welcome, Overlord Anspaugh

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:07 pm by Jenn

These dorks are kind of cute

Summary: Jeanie has finally gotten an appointment with an HIV/AIDS doctor to go over her treatment. Jeanie plans to pay for the medication in cash instead of letting her insurance handle it, since that would alert County to her diagnosis. The doctor goes over the instructions, which will give Jeanie a lot to keep track of. However, if she uses the proper medical precautions, she has only a tiny chance of transmitting HIV to a patient. Jeanie is clearly overwhelmed, and her doctor tells her to try to keep the disease from taking over her life.

Carter has moved to a new apartment building, and his neighbor, Betty, would like some medical advice. She’s having breathing problems, but she doesn’t seem to think that smoking a cigarette will do her any harm. Carter tells her to try an inhaler, then runs off to try to get to work without getting on Benton’s bad side. Carol, Haleh, and Lydia try to get control of a patient who’s high on PCP; she’s not their only wild patient today, and they wonder if the hot weather is making things worse. They then start worrying that the hospital will close, as is the current rumor.

Benton’s trying to track down Carter when he meets a surgeon named Wayne Lentloff who’d like to recruit him for cardiothoracics. Benton isn’t interested, but Lentloff is eager to change his mind. Susan and Mark get to work at the same time and talk about horrible dates they’ve gone on recently. Obviously these two should just get together, but that’s never going to happen.

On a train after her appointment, Jeanie opens a bill and gets annoyed. Carter’s late for surgery with Benton and Morgenstern, who are discussing Lentloff and Benton’s options for fellowships. Gant is there observing, and Benton tells Carter that Gant stepped in for him because he was late. E-Ray helps Jerry dress up his résumé in case County closes, though Carol points out that there are a few other hospitals that could close instead. Jerry suggests that she get her work history in order, too, but Carol knows she can’t make nursing sound like anything other than nursing.

Carter heads to the ER to do what Gant can’t do while he’s covering for Carter. Weaver tells Mark and Susan that Donald Anspaugh, the chief from Southside, has outlined some good ideas for rearranging the layout of the ER. For example, security should be closer, as it took them four minutes to help Carol, Lydia, and Haleh with their high patient. I have news for you, Weaver: Security will never get better, no matter how close they are to the patients.

Jeanie finds Al on a job site to confront him for having his medical treatments billed to her insurance. His new boss doesn’t give benefits, and Al is trying to work things out with COBRA. Jeanie’s unwilling to keep him on her insurance while he gets his own, since she has her own bills to worry about. As Carter and Carol receive an elderly patient, Doug tells Carol that her car is being towed away. She runs to the tow truck and learns that the car is being repossessed since she missed three payments.

Doug tries to get out of meeting his latest girlfriend’s parents, though he tells Jerry and Randi that she’s a friend from college. Randi tells Carol that she knows some guys who can track down the repo man, if she wants. I feel like Randi knows a lot of guys who can do a lot of things. A couple of teenagers Mark was supposed to talk to complain to Carol about how long they’ve had to wait. Carol takes them to the trauma room where Mark is doing something important and whines at him, only to be told to take the kids back to the waiting room. Come on, Carol.

Carter’s elderly patient has abdominal pains but is also disoriented and keeps yelling for someone named Thomas. The man’s home health-care nurse dumps him on the hospital and leaves for the weekend. Benton doesn’t think the patient needs surgery, so he advises Carter to dump the patient as well and go do something surgical.

Carol apologizes for being a brat earlier, then asks Mark if she can borrow his motorcycle. She has to be home at 3 for some reason, and she has no car, obviously, and won’t be able to catch the El. She takes Susan to meet the waiting teens, who had a mishap during sex and have misplaced their condom. Well, it’s not really misplaced. The girl definitely knows exactly where it is. She just won’t be able to extract it on her own.

Morgenstern tells Mark and Weaver that he has no idea which hospital is going to be closed. There’s going to be an announcement that afternoon. Anspaugh called Morgenstern to discuss the situation, panicking that he’s going to lose his job. Weaver likes Anspaugh, but Morgenstern has only horror stories to tell about him. He apparently hates everyone and won’t hesitate to act on personal grievances.

Doug admits that he knew Carol’s car was being repo’d, not towed. She calls him a coward for not telling her. He offers her a loan, but Carol has a plan in the works already – she’s going to sell her money pit of a house. Mark passes word to Susan that there’s a meeting at 5 to announce which hospital is being shut down. Susan just doesn’t want the news to affect her vacation, as she’s decided to go to Hawaii.

Betty shows up in the ER just as Manny, who runs the “roach coach” coffee cart outside, throws up on the admit desk. Thanks, show. Jeanie’s next patient, a boy named Alex, needs stitches, but she’s a little hesitant now that her blood can be dangerous for others. Speaking of dangerous, Carter gives Betty an oxygen tank, which is going to be fun since she keeps smoking. Carter’s elderly patient, Heath, flatlines, but Carter is able to revive him. Carol and Malik are pleased with his quick work. Benton arrives after Carter’s shown his stuff and is just annoyed that Carter hasn’t dumped Heath on someone else yet.

Carol rides Mark’s motorcycle home to meet a real estate agent, Mrs. Puro. Carol’s mother Helen is also there, and has told Mrs. Puro that Carol’s not selling. Carol says she is, but Mrs. Puro gives it to her straight: “I couldn’t sell this house if the rest of Chicago burned down around it.” It needs too much work, and even if Carol were able to fix it all up, no one’s going to want to live next to the El tracks. Mrs. Puro can’t believe Carol herself ever did.

Carter preps a hernia patient named Hartley for surgery while the patient chatters nervously. Carter advises Hartley to have local anesthesia instead of general so he can stay awake and talk to the surgeon during the procedure, since that will help him stay calm. I’m sure this recommendation is only for the patient’s benefit and not at all because the surgeon is Benton, and Carter knows that having to talk to the patient the whole time will drive him crazy.

Doug teases Susan about her bad recent date, then mentions that she has another date tonight, so Mark can laugh about it with him. Helen thinks that Carol wants to sell her house because it makes her think of Shep. Carol says she hadn’t even though of that. She’s enjoying living on her own; she just can’t afford it. Helen suggests that she call her uncle, who’s made a lot of money in real estate. At the very least, he’ll enjoy Carol’s company. Also, he’s sick and old and rich, and he has to leave his money to someone…

Carter’s revenge on Benton works perfectly, and in no time at all, Benton is fed up. Gant tries to distract Hartley with conversation, but Hartley takes more of Carter’s advice, asking about anatomy. Weaver and Mark head to the meeting where the closing announcement will be made. They were supposed to keep it quiet, but Mark told Susan, and Weaver told a bunch of people. Heath now thinks Carter is Thomas, and whispers something that makes Carter laugh.

The big meeting starts, and the woman running it cuts right to the chase: Southside is closing. Some staff members are coming to County, including Anspaugh, who will be the new chief of staff (since County’s current chief is retiring). News spreads through the hospital, and the staff celebrates at the admit desk. Mark notes that everyone’s happier than they’ve looked in a long time. Jeanie points out that they’re especially happy for people who get thrown up on for a living.

Carol has returned for the party, and asks Carter who he thinks Thomas was – Heath’s son? Carter thinks Thomas was Heath’s dog. The thing he whispered to Carter was, “Kibble, kibble, kibble, kibble.” Weaver calls Jerry from the lounge to let him know that Morgenstern isn’t coming to the celebration. He’s moping because he has to work for Anspaugh and thinks things are going to change for the worse. He tries to cheer himself up by asking Weaver on a date. She accepts! This is so weird! Maybe she doesn’t know it’s a date.

Susan runs away as Anspaugh approaches so Mark will have to talk to him alone. Mark flees, too, because he’s a chicken. Anspaugh puts on some jazz. Malik has a special patient for Carter and Carol – Heath’s nurse, who dumped him at the hospital. They scare him with all the possible health problems he might have and all the things they’ll need to do, starting with a barium enema.

Doug tries to butter up a co-worker named Heather, who’s annoyed that he’s canceled on her in the past. She gives in, because…I mean, have you seen him? Carol tells Jeanie that she was glad to help Carter have some fun, since Benton’s been so hard on him lately. Well, not just lately, but yeah, he’s been worse since Carter graduated.

Mark and his date run into Susan and her date out on the waterfront. The dates quickly hit it off with each other. Weaver, Jeanie, Carol, and Connie take a patient who should have gone to Southside if they hadn’t already closed to traumas. When the patient starts bleeding as Benton arrives, he tells Jeanie to leave. Weaver nicely (especially for her) sends Jeanie on an errand to cover up the fact that Benton decided on his own that he doesn’t need her help.

Susan and Mark’s dates may have ditched them, which Susan says will at least be a good story for them to eventually tell their grandchildren. The two of them take some pictures in a photo booth. Jeanie comes back to the trauma room (after the patient dies) and tells Benton to never treat her like that again. Benton doesn’t want her to put patients at risk, even though the odds of transmitting HIV through their work is so small. Jeanie asks if he would have quit his job if he’d tested positive. Benton says yes, and Jeanie points out that it’s a moot point, since he’s not the one who has to live with the disease. He leaves her there alone.

Thoughts: Betty is played by the late Eileen Brennan.

What would be worse, the anxiety involved in being rendered unconscious for surgery, or staying awake and having to experience (and remember) everything involved? I think I would want to be knocked out.

Mark, maybe you’re not having any luck with dating because you’re wearing scrub pants on your dates.

December 11, 2018

ER 2.22, John Carter, M.D.: When Bad Things Happen

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

He’s officially responsible for stuff. I’m scared

Summary: The County staff is jamming to some music on a relatively quiet day in the ER. Mark and Weaver are still discussing whether Susan should be chief resident. Weaver yells at Jerry to turn down the music, but Malik wants to do a verse first. Weaver finally agrees with Mark about Susan, though Mark has had to make a deal for the arrangement.

Susan treats a patient who says her name is June Allyson, so she’s probably not mentally competent. Susan thinks she has Alzheimer’s and wandered away from whoever was supposed to be keeping an eye on her. Mark and Weaver attend a staff meeting with Morgenstern, saying goodbye to an attending who’s moving to Iowa. Weaver has been touted as his replacement, but Mark has hesitated to agree until now. This is the deal he’s made with her: He supports Weaver as attending in exchange for her support of Susan as chief resident.

Carol has asked Shep to see a psychiatrist, but he doesn’t think he needs one. Carol tells him that he’s become so erratic, she worries that he’ll exhibit road rage the next time someone cuts them off in traffic. He tells her she sounds like Riley. Carol says that Riley was right about the circumstances surrounding the investigation into Shep’s behavior, and admits that she lied for him. Shep insists he’s fine and refuses to see a psychiatrist. Carol predicts that something horrible will happen if he doesn’t.

Carter invites Benton to his graduation, which everyone in his family will be attending (including his mythical sister who doesn’t exist after this season). Benton says he didn’t even go to his own graduation, which…sounds exactly like him, and I bet his mom was ticked. Carter says he can come by a cocktail party his father’s throwing for him; the mayor is even supposed to come. Benton thinks Carter’s sucking up, because he doesn’t understand that some people are nice for no reason. He doesn’t see their relationship going beyond teacher and student.

Mark tells Weaver that he did his part and she’s going to be the new attending. She’s excited to have the chance to bring about change (and also get a raise). Mark tries to confirm that Weaver will hold up her end of the bargain and back Susan as chief resident. Weaver suggests someone else, then says she’s joking. Jerry, Chuny, Malik, and Lily aren’t happy with Weaver’s new position, but Mark says he’s happy with the decision.

Paramedics bring in a newborn who was sent home just 12 hours ago, only a day after he was born. Now he’s not breathing. Carol is angry that a hospital would send a mother and baby home so soon after delivery. Lily tells her that hospital is their hospital. Jeanie asks Chuny to draw some of her blood for a test she’s been putting off.

Carter checks on T.C., then asks her doctor, Davitch, about her worsening condition. She’s moved up to the highest priority on the transplant list. Davitch asks Carter to join him while he talks to T.C.’s parents, since Carter’s familiar with the case. Doug comes to examine the newborn, Joseph, and quickly diagnoses him with a heart condition. Carol’s mad that the condition wasn’t caught before Joseph was discharged.

Carter and Davitch tell T.C.’s parents that she’s been moved up the transplant list. Davitch keeps getting paged, so he asks Carter to stay with the parents and answer any questions they have. Davitch doesn’t seem to know Carter, so he doesn’t realize that this is exactly the job for him. Once Joseph is sent to surgery, Doug asks Mark if the rumor is true that Weaver’s going to be the new attending. Mark defends her again. He tells Doug he got a call from a pharmacy about Doug writing a prescription for 100 Percodans for Karen. Doug confirms that it’s a legit prescription; Karen hurt her knee and travels too much to get regular refills.

Al finds Jeanie after an appointment and thanks her for staying with him when he got home from the hospital. He asks her some medical questions, and she tries to give him encouragement, but it’s hard to find anything good in his new HIV diagnosis. Al thinks it’s a little funny that his doctor gave him condoms, since “the horse is kind of out of the barn on that one.” Jeanie doesn’t find the humor there. She tells him she’s getting tested but hasn’t gotten the results yet. Al may have been HIV positive for as long as ten years, so he needs to contact anyone he’s slept with in that time period. It’s a long list.

Carol complains to Weaver and Susan about Joseph not getting the proper care after his delivery. Susan notes that not all serious conditions are apparent right after birth. Carol says that patients trust them; they told Joseph’s mother that it was safe to take him home, and she believed them. Weaver says it’s about money – if they spend it on healthy postpartum mothers, they don’t have it for other patients. June cuts the tension by parading through the waiting area naked, singing “June Is Busting Out All Over.”

Vucelich and Benton wind up in an elevator together, apparently seeing each other for the first time since Benton accused Vucelich of fraud. They discuss Benton being named resident of the year, which he knows was due in part to Vucelich’s recommendation. Vucelich’s study has earned the hospital a ton of money, even though he included the negative outcomes. (They weren’t statistically significant.) Both men dance around the whole scandal without mentioning it outright.

Carter’s about to leave for a fancy lunch with his parents when Jerry tells him T.C.’s parents have left him messages. He puts them off so he doesn’t annoy his father by being late. Morgenstern tells Carter that there’s one spot left for him on a plastic-surgery residency team, which will put him ahead of his peers. This also means he won’t be working under Benton anymore.

Mark tells Susan that Weaver is going to back her as chief resident, which should secure the title for her. Susan and Carol examine a patient named Kenny who has a cough he hasn’t been able to shake. Susan wants to give him a TB test. Mark meets Jen at Doc Magoo’s, where she announces that she and Craig (the guy she cheated on Mark with, I think) are getting married. Hey, do you think Craig knows that Jen and Mark slept together again? I bet he doesn’t!

Doug goes looking for Karen so he can ask about her prescription. He wrote it for 10; she apparently added an extra 0. Karen denies this, but since prescription pads come in triplicate, Doug can easily check his copies and see if she’s lying. She sticks to her story, then gives him the pill bottle and tells him to count the Percodans.

Susan tells Kenny that there’s a density in his lung; it’s not TB, but they’ll need to run more tests. Kenny doesn’t have insurance, and he doesn’t have any extra money to spend, so he’d rather leave than learn more about his condition. Susan and Carol can’t change his mind. Loretta’s back in the ER, having had surgery a few days earlier, but Lydia thinks she’s just scared and needs to talk to Mark to ease her mind.

Susan and Carol had to let Kenny leave, which Carol’s mad about. She argues with Susan about not doing more in terms of billing so Kenny had more options than just walking out. Susan says she did her job, telling the patient his options and letting him made his own decision. Loretta asks Mark to be her kids’ guardian in case something happens to her. She’s not surprised when he declines, though he appreciates being asked. He tells her she’s going to be fine anyway, and Loretta agrees.

Carter goes to T.C.’s room to talk to her parents, but they’ve gone to get food. T.C.’s worried that she’s not going to make it. Carter tells her that her new status on the transplant list means that she gets the next one that’s available. T.C.’s saddened that in order to live, someone else has to die. He reminds her that she’s not responsible for any bad things that lead to a death that gives her a new liver.

T.C. worries that nothing bad will happen this week that leads to a transplant. Carter assures her that bad things always happen around there. (Not the best way to encourage a kid, but okay.) T.C. notes that bad things are already happening to her. Even though he’s already late to get to his graduation, Carter offers to hang around for a while and keep T.C. company.

The nurses are unhappy to learn that Susan hasn’t been named chief resident after all. Mark finds out and confronts Weaver, who says she offered Susan the job, but Susan turned it down. Jeanie corners Benton in the lounge and, before she can chicken out, blurts out that Al has AIDS. (I thought he had HIV? The show seems to go back and forth on that.) Since Jeanie and Benton “were careful but not that careful,” he needs to get tested.

Mark, Carol, and Wendy tend to a girl named Monique who was hit by a car while riding her bike. Morgenstern hands out diplomas at graduation, but Carter isn’t there to get his. He’s playing cards with T.C., pretending he didn’t have anywhere important to be. Monique needs ankle surgery, but her insurance wants her moved, which means she has to be sent across town in an ambulance while her injury is still unstable. Carol is furious, but Mark won’t challenge the insurance company’s decision, since doing so would cost them tens of thousands of dollars. Carol’s response: “I quit.”

She heads straight for the lounge and starts clearing out her locker, listing all the horrible things they’ve had to deal with today. Mark points out that they also treated a ton of people who have nowhere else to go. He warns that Carol will feel awful about this decision in the morning. Carol says she’ll feel great about it.

Carter finds Benton sitting on the floor of a trauma room (ooh, that can’t be clean) and admits that he missed his graduation and cocktail party. Hey, now he has something in common with Benton! Benton says he missed his graduation because he was assisting in surgery. Carter says he was keeping T.C. company while her parents talked to her doctor. Benton points out that now Carter’s the doctor. Carter doesn’t know any more than he did this morning, but now everything’s changed. He’s sad he missed the ceremony.

Mark tracks down Susan and tells her that Carol quit. Susan confirms that she turned down being chief resident, inadvertently screwing up Mark’s deal. She says that every few months she gets a case like Kenny’s that makes her think about how little time we all have, and how we need to figure out how to fill that time. Susan had Susie, but now all she has is work. It’s not enough for her.

Carol heads home and tells Shep she left County. She was getting her shifts cut back and had to work nights too often, so she was sick of the job anyway. She’ll make more money working per diem or in home health care. Shep senses that things are about to end, as he says he wishes that things could have kept going the way they were. Carol says that something bad happened, and he needs to deal with it. If he won’t, she’s done with him. It took her a long time to get her own life together, so if he doesn’t have his together, she can’t take care of him.

Mark tells Doug that Jen’s getting remarried; Mark feels pathetic for being left behind. Doug says he never liked her and only pretended to for Mark’s sake. Mark encourages him to list all of Jen’s horrible qualities. Doug tells Mark that Karen forged the prescription, and he knows he needs to get away from her, but…she’s hot! What can he do? He asks Mark to list her positive qualities.

Carter asks Morgenstern if it’s too late to change his mind about his job for next year. Now he wants to work on Benton’s team. Morgenstern thinks Benton will be pleased to have him on board. He’s even left Carter a present: a white coat with his name on it. Susan invites him to give it a test drive by helping out with a trauma. Carter puts it on, and Susan calls for him to join her, using his new title: Dr. Carter.

Thoughts: ‘Bye, Shep! I won’t miss you.

Trivia: Carter’s middle name is Truman. You know, in case it wasn’t clear that he came from a WASP family.

Carter, T.C. did you a favor. Graduations are BORING. (To be fair, though, I don’t actually remember much of my college graduation. The guy next to me was having an anxiety attack the entire time, and I spent the whole ceremony trying to calm him down.)

Done with season 2! Time for Carla, Anspaugh, and Benton driving an intern to suicide. Good times.

December 4, 2018

ER 2.21, Take These Broken Wings: The Kids Are All Right (But Their Parents Aren’t)

Posted in TV tagged , , at 5:11 pm by Jenn

Sherry Stringfield is really good in this story arc

Summary: Susan is talking to someone about Susie, and her struggles with being alone now. Susie’s birthday is coming up, and Susan won’t be with her for it. She’s trying to see the positive side of not having to take care of a baby, saying that her life is going back to the way it was before she was Susie’s mother. She follows a woman into a church to return her dropped scarf, and chats with the priest for a minute. The choir is practicing a song for a christening, and Susan is overwhelmed. The priest asks if he can help her.

At County, Mark is going over the patient load with Weaver and amusing himself by putting some of Rachel’s plastic spiders on the board. Weaver says Susan’s late, but Mark says she worked a few extra hours the night before, so she doesn’t have to come in yet. He thinks Weaver just wants her to be late so she can use it as an excuse not to nominate Susan for chief resident. Lydia interrupts to show off her engagement ring – she and Al (the police officer, not Jeanie’s ex) are engaged.

Doug and Karen go jogging, continuing to be an actual interesting couple while still being kind of gross because of her past with his father. Mark and Weaver keep discussing Susan as they start working on a patient who’s beyond saving. Well, Lydia and Haleh do all the work while Mark and Weaver talk. Lydia shows Haleh her ring over the patient’s body.

Susan goes to the hospital’s daycare to pay her bill, but Dottie, the woman who would deal with it, is on her way out the door for a field trip. Susan looks around the room where Susie spent her days but will never return. All that’s left of her is a pair of paint handprints. At some other point in time, Susan tells someone about Susie’s birth and how much she felt like a part of her niece’s life.

Mark tells Jerry to clear a curtain area since Loretta’s on her way in. Mark treats her as gently and kindly as he always does. Carol finds Susan taking a moment to herself and offers to listen if Susan ever wants to talk. Susan doesn’t. Carol then goes to talk to Riley, chastising him for filing a complaint against Shep. Riley says the job shouldn’t be done the way Shep does it. Carol asks who died and left him the voice of wisdom. “Raul, that’s who,” Riley shoots back. She tells him to get off his high horse and learn something from Shep. But an investigation into Shep’s behavior has already started.

Mark examines Loretta and tries to assure her that her kids are being looked after. Shep complains to Carol about the investigation and how Riley has no right to say anything about his behavior because he’s so new. Carol is siding with Shep and plans to tell the investigator that the kid he pushed just stumbled into the table. But she would appreciate if Shep would go away and leave her alone.

Lydia’s trying to wrangle Loretta’s kids as Carter and Doug take in a ten-year-old patient named T.C. She’s feeling sick and wants to be fixed ASAP so she’ll be ready for a basketball tournament that weekend. As a baby, she had an operation on her liver, and I’m no doctor but I’m pretty sure her yellow skin means something’s wrong with her liver again. Her coach tells Doug that her parents are on the way, but he has to leave her there to go look after the rest of the kids on his team.

Iris appears to still be involved with Mark, since he’s the one she comes to when she has an allergy attack thanks to a photo shoot with cats. Loretta’s kids, Annie and Jimmy, steal her camera while she’s with Mark. A woman brings in her six-month-old, Grace, who isn’t breathing after a seizure. Susan and Weaver try to stay calm while the mother, Mrs. Ramsey, panics. Susan has trouble intubating the baby, so Weaver takes over.

Annie and Jimmy use the camera lens as a telescope to spy on Iris. They also catch Lydia and Al making out. Carter busts them by yelling so loudly that he scares both them and the lovebirds. They flee to a trauma room and spy on Susan, who thinks they’re cute. Her monologue continues as she talks about her childhood. She wishes Chloe had stayed as competent as she was in her younger years, so she would have been a better mother.

Doug and Karen meet up for lunch, and if you’ve never seen a woman in designer clothes eat a hot dog from a street vendor, here’s your chance. She tells Doug that she heard from Ray, who’s living it up on her dime in Mexico. Doug’s surprised that he doesn’t want to see her. Karen wonders if he doesn’t want Ray to come back and find out that his son is sleeping with his girlfriend. Is this all just some bizarre revenge scheme?

Carter and T.C. talk about basketball while Benton examines her. Benton demonstrates that he does actually know how to talk to a young patient by contributing to the conversation. T.C. needs a new liver, and this illness moves her up the waiting list; she’ll also have to stay hospitalized until she gets a transplant. Al (Jeanie’s ex, not Lydia’s fiancé) shows up and asks Benton to examine him since he’s coming down with something.

Iris gets her camera back, and Mark is about to ask her out, I think, when they’re interrupted by a little girl named Lily. She has a hermit crab stuck on her hand, and she’s afraid he’ll die if they cut him off. Iris knows a trick to save the crab, thanks to a Jacques Cousteau ripoff documentary, and she uses some water to do the trick.

Weaver ends up examining Al, and learning that he and Jeanie are married but separated. He thinks he has the flu and just hasn’t been able to shake it for a few weeks. Everyone who’s seen any episode of this show after this one: “Oh, sweetie, no.” Al (okay, I’m calling him Al G. from now on because this freaking show won’t cut me a break) brings in a guy who roughed him up a little, leaving him bruised for his engagement celebration at the Ritz Carlton.

Jeanie learns that Al is at County and takes a look at his chart. She excuses herself as quickly as she can and calls to expedite his test results. Carol meets with the investigator, David Haskell, who presents Shep and Riley’s different narratives of the event in question. Shep says he gave the boy a light shove, while Riley says Shep “slammed” him. Carol lies that she was in the room the whole time, because otherwise she wouldn’t have been able to witness the shove.

Doug tells Mark about his fight with Karen and her accusations about his desire for revenge. Mark says that Ray stealing Karen’s money isn’t Doug’s fault. But Doug feels bad because he knows Ray doesn’t have the money – it’s the cash he gave Doug. Mark urges him to give it back, but Doug already spent half of it on Brett’s treatment. Mark decides he’s done trying to puzzle out this situation.

Susan confronts Weaver for not telling her everything she found on Grace’s examination – she’s being abused. Weaver calmly says she’s handling things, and Susan doesn’t need to get involved in dealing with Mrs. Ramsey. Susan’s distressed that they can’t do more to solve the situation. All they can do is help Grace. Susan monologues about Grace and how she’s never going to find out how things turned out. It’s part of her job, though; she treats a patient and then sends him or her on his way. She admits that Weaver impressed her in her attitude toward the case.

Carter tells T.C. that even though her illness is scary, she’ll be okay for a few months in case a transplant doesn’t come quickly. And once she gets a new liver, she’ll be fine. Carter offers to hang out with her while she’s in the hospital and watch the playoffs with her. T.C.’s sad that she won’t get to play in her own tournament. Mark meets Susan for a late lunch, and she complains that Weaver took over Grace’s intubation. She’s going to therapy, and she’s doing a little better, but she’s not happy. Mark wishes he could do more to help.

Susan monologues that it would be a lot easier if she were helping a patient through a difficult time, instead of going through it herself. In med school she learned how to deliver bad news, but as a doctor she learned that those simulations weren’t realistic. The first person she gave bad news to just walked away. Now that Susan’s had all sorts of experience delivering bad news, she knows how to move on. But now that she’s the one dealing with it, she can’t move on. She can still feel Susie with her, and she doesn’t want to move on.

Riley asks Carol about her interview, reporting that Haskell is dropping the investigation. He knows Carol sided with Shep, which isn’t going to help him. Riley doesn’t think Shep should be working right now – he’s dangerous. Mark gives Loretta some encouragement as she faces another operation. The hardest part for her is taking care of her kids, so Mark has agreed to let them stay with him tonight. Annie and Jimmy come by, having spent some time helping Lydia bandage up Al G.

Doug visits his mom, who guesses that he’s there to borrow money. She couldn’t help him when he was a kid desperate for his father’s attention, but she can help him now, and she’s happy to do so. Weaver brings Al’s chart to Jeanie, who’s already guessed what his diagnosis is: HIV. Weaver wanted to give her the heads up that she should get tested, since he could have been positive for years.

Doug goes to Karen’s and announces that he wants to be with her. But first he needs to come clean about the money. He gives her a check and says he wants her to have it back, not mentioning that he actually spent half of it and got a reimbursement from his mother. Karen appreciates the gesture, revealing that the $25,000 Ray gave Doug was only a drop in the bucket of what he stole from her: $250,000. Dang, Karen’s loaded! (Well, she was before Ray took some of it.)

Shep wants to celebrate the investigation being dropped, but Carol isn’t in the mood. Jeanie goes to Al’s room to give him the news that’s going to change his entire life. Susan monologues about a dream she keeps having where Chloe lets her take Susie for a while. She knew she would have to leave Susie someday, but she didn’t know how much she would love her. She returns to the church, this time with the stuffed dog she was going to give Susie for her birthday. She cries as she leaves it in a pew. She monologues that having Susie made her feel, for the first time in a long time, like she wasn’t alone.

Thoughts: Lily is played by Kyla Pratt. Dottie is played by Emily Kuroda.

Anthony Edwards directed this episode.

Between The X-Files using hard-to-spell names and this show using the same names for multiple characters, I’m faced with a recapping challenge I haven’t dealt with since that reason of The Amazing Race when everyone was named Steve or Jon.

The spiders Mark puts on the board keep sliding down and making me jump.

September 25, 2018

ER 2.11, Dead of Winter: Jeanie Deserves Better Than…Just…All of This

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

I’ll be your mommy, you cutie pie

Summary: It’s a snowy, windy night in Chicago, and the ER is relatively quiet. Jeanie learns that a baby in respiratory arrest is on the way in, and she goes to wake Susan. Susan promises she’s getting up, but Jeanie has to go back and make sure, like a mom waking her child for school. Elsewhere in the city, Mark is alone in his quiet apartment, living the bachelor life. At least he can drink juice straight out of the bottle without anyone getting on his case.

Shep and Raul respond to what they think is a call to tend to a drunk man who slipped on some stairs and hit his head. The police on the scene actually have something much more important for the paramedics to deal with: a dirty apartment full of kids in tattered clothes. There are no adults at home, and the oldest child isn’t even ten.

Susan fills Mark in at the hospital – in all, 22 kids were found in the apartment. They’re all malnourished, and the parents haven’t been identified or found. The police arrested a man who claimed to be an uncle. Some of the kids are now at County, with lots of medical problems because of their malnutrition and neglect. Doug takes charge while Mark talks to one of the older kids, Ty. Some of the kids are his siblings, and some of the others may be his cousins, but he’s not clear on everything. Shep tells Mark that only about half the kids had clothes.

Ruby listens nervously as Benton, Carter, and Vucelich discuss Helen’s condition nine days after her surgery. Though the surgery went fine, Helen is experiencing some complications, including paraplegia. Benton thinks she should go to a care facility. Vucelich disagrees and asks for Carter’s opinion. Carter thinks a few more days of treatment at County will do the trick. Vucelich allows him to take over the case.

Mark and Lydia examine Ty, who says he’s always made sure the kids have enough to eat. His mom gives him her food stamps when she doesn’t need them. He asks about Trey, who has cerebral palsy. Mark says he’ll check on him, asking Lydia to find a dental school that can send students to examine the kids’ teeth. (Smart thinking.) He learns from Susan and Jeanie that at least one of the kids has lice, so all the kids will need to be treated. He tells Susan she can leave, since her shift is over, but Susan wants to stick around and make sure all the kids are okay.

Doug and Malik are examining Trey, who has cigarette burns and welts. Someone better be going to jail after all this. Benton goes to the front desk to answer a page but instead runs into Al (Jeanie’s husband, not Lydia’s boyfriend). Even though Carter said that Jeanie told him she and Al are through, Al is there to pick Jeanie up for breakfast. In the midst of the crazy morning, Mark gets a summons from a process server. Jen is filing for divorce.

Pete Tuteur from the Department of Children and Family Services arrives as Jeanie, Malik, and Chuny give the kids lice treatments. Jeanie demonstrates that she’s great with kids, and one of the girls must agree with me, because she asks if Jeanie will be her mommy. Benton checks in with Carter, who hasn’t decided yet what to do for Helen. He give a nurse some instructions, ignoring her when she tells him the risks.

Pete tells Mark that a couple of the kids from the apartment are supposed to be living with their grandmother, but he hasn’t located her yet. The kids’ alleged uncle is living large on all the government payments he gets for taking in the kids. His other money comes from selling crack. Mark thinks this is an argument for welfare reform, because this situation must be the norm, and everyone must be taking advantage of the system. Shut up, Mark.

Susan needs a surgical consult for one of the kids, who has a mass. Mark tells her that Jen has served him with divorce papers, so he’ll have to get a lawyer. Susan invites him to hang out with her at home that evening, but he declines. Shep and Raul stop by again, and Randi admires how cute Raul is. Shep and Carol tell her Raul’s gay, so she’s not his type. Benton gets another page, and again doesn’t know who it’s from. Randi is no help.

Shep tells some of the staff about how horrible the conditions were in the apartment. He blames the kids’ mothers – why can’t “these people” just take care of their children? Benton and Malik take offense to the phrase, while Randi defends Shep, saying he didn’t mean anything racist. Shep says if he’d meant something discriminatory, he would have said “black people” instead of “these people.” Malik calls him David Duke anyway.

Carol jumps in as Shep goes off about personal responsibility. He points out that Benton’s a surgeon while Shep, a white guy, is a paramedic. Benton says it’s not that simple, and the system doesn’t work equally for everyone. Shep says it seems to be working pretty well for Benton. Jeanie pulls Benton away, but Malik makes sure Shep knows the argument is his fault.

Loretta comes in with her kids, Annie and Jimmy, and Mark determines that Jimmy has strep throat. The family has moved into a new house, and Loretta is still at her new job. Lydia takes the kids to the family room so Mark can talk to Loretta about some vaginal bleeding she’s been having. Jeanie brings Benton in to examine Susan’s patient, Michael, as Benton realizes that Jeanie’s the one who’s been paging him. He complains that she’s been wasting his time by not waiting around to tell him what she needs. Susan points out that things have been hectic in the ER all day.

Benton isn’t very gentle in his examination of Michael, and after he’s done and leaving in a huff, Jeanie follows. She tells him that if he’s mad, he should take it out on her, not a scared little boy. “Is that it?” Benton asks, saying possibly the worst thing he could say right now. Jeanie keeps standing up to him, finally telling him to either find a way to be compassionate or leave medicine.

Mark tends to a man named Mr. Mills who appears to have had a heart attack. Benton could learn a lot from Mark, who’s able to take charge of the patient and steer his son outside without being rude, short, or heartless. Jeanie goes to meet with her supervisor, Bobbi, who wants to go over Jeanie’s first student assessment. She’s skilled, but not assertive enough, and she may not be cut out for the ER. Jeanie thinks the assessment is from Benton, but it’s from Carol. Bobbi accepts that Carol might be annoyed that Jeanie’s encroaching on her turf, but Jeanie still needs to demonstrate that she can cut it in the ER. Jeanie promises she can.

Doug has learned that Jen has filed for divorce, and he’s surprised that Mark couldn’t make things work. What does that mean for Doug in the future? (Don’t worry, Doug. You’ll be just fine.) Susan’s still at work, and Mark tells her to leave by 5. A woman named Mrs. Proulx arrives, looking for the kids from the apartment. She’s their grandmother, and it seems like she has no idea what kind of conditions they were living in.

Carter butts heads with a nurse again, then shares a cup of coffee with Ruby. Ruby tells him about Helen’s past in musical theater. Carter admits he did Pippin and The Fantasticks in school. I can’t believe no one else is around to hear this and tease him about it later. Ruby emotionally tells Carter that he’s not ready to lose his wife.

Jeanie pulls Carol aside to talk about her assessment. Carol says Jeanie is “competent but timid.” She needs to become more aggressive to survive in the ER. Jeanie asks if she’s done something to offend Carol, but Carol promises that her critiques aren’t personal. Jeanie needs to stop waiting around to be told what to do. But Carol also doesn’t like that nurses with 20 years of experience have to answer to physician’s assistants with only a few months of training. Jeanie says that she took four years to complete two years of school because she had to work full-time. Carol doesn’t care – Jeanie has to stop looking for validation and just do her job.

Benton tells Vucelich that Helen’s paralysis isn’t getting better. Vucelich thinks it’s a small price to pay, considering how badly she needed the surgery they performed on her. Benton’s worried that he’s to blame for the complications, but Vucelich assures him that his technique was perfect. They’ll have to exclude Helen from Vucelich’s big study, though. He formally invites Benton to join the team. Mark tells Mr. Mills’ son, Howard, that his father’s prognosis isn’t good. Howard thinks he’s ready to die, especially in the wake of the death of his wife of 50 years. Benton gets some extra money and perks from joining Vucelich’s team, so his day is looking up.

Susan tells Mrs. Proulx that Trey is well enough to be taken into custody by DCFS, and he’ll be going to an emergency shelter. There will be a court hearing next week, when Mrs. Proulx can attempt to get custody. She tells Susan and Pete that the kids were living with her until a month ago, all with their own beds. Then their mother took them, insisting that she was doing better. Mrs. Proulx says their mom used to be a great parent, but drugs changed all that. She says goodbye to the kids, reminding Ty to take care of Trey. She leaves the hospital sad and alone.

Mark’s next patient is having stomach pains and thinks she just overate. He assigns Jeanie to give the patient a rectal exam and collect a stool sample. Chuny smiles to herself over Jeanie’s bad fortune until Mark tells her to help. Carter tells Vucelich that Helen’s condition still isn’t changing. Vucelich tells him that’s not important – they just need to get her “buffed up” so they can send her to a care facility. She’s not going to get better, so they just need to polish her up and send her off to be someone else’s problem. Carter worries that the things he’s tried have made Helen worse, but Vucelich reminds him that she’s dying no matter what.

In the cafeteria, Shep tries to make peace with Malik, who’s not interested in appeasing a white guy who wants to make sure the black guy likes him. Carol and Raul try to call Shep away, but he persists. Malik finally says he doesn’t think Shep is a bigot, though he clearly does. Shep loudly tells Carol and Shep how he can’t be racist because his EMT partner is Latino and they play basketball with a bunch of other non-white people. Malik manages to not laugh at him from the next table.

Benton examines Mark’s patient, Mrs. Saunders, and realizes that she didn’t overeat – she’s in labor. Her sister’s shocked since she didn’t know she was pregnant, and supposedly went through menopause. Jeanie joins Benton to deliver the baby, despite the fact that neither really knows how. Ruby thinks Helen’s doing better, and that Carter will be able to fix her up. Carter gently tells him that Helen may need long-term care. Ruby insists that Helen is strong and will eventually be able to go home with him. He appreciates that Carter, unlike his colleagues, actually cares about them.

Doug and Chuny tell Mark that Mrs. Saunders wound up having twins. In much more depressing news, Loretta has cancer. Her phone isn’t working, so Mark decides to go to her house and give her the news in person. Jeanie meets Al at Doc Magoo’s, unsure what he wants to talk about. He tells her that they should give their marriage another try. They can even have kids, like she’s wanted. Jeanie’s tired, both from her exhausting job and from how much work this relationship is. Al says he’s done playing around and is ready to get serious, but Jeanie just walks out.

As Mark looks for an address that doesn’t appear to exist, Benton tries to make up for his earlier treatment of Michael. He explains that the boy has a hernia and needs to have an operation to fix it. Michael’s scared, but Benton tells him he’ll be fine and it’s not a big deal. He even agrees to stay with Michael for a while. Mark decides to go to Susan’s after all, and the two settle in for the evening with pizza and beer. Carter is woken up by his pager, having given the number to Ruby. Ruby has some questions for his new favorite doctor, and Carter probably has some regrets about his kindness.

Thoughts: Carter looks like he’s playing dress-up in his white doctor’s coat.

Jeanie calling out Benton for acting like a child is sooooo satisfying.

Shep: “My sister dated a black guy for two years.” Ha! Shep doesn’t even have a black friend he can use for an “I have black friends” argument – he has to go with his sister’s ex!

July 24, 2018

ER 2.2, Summer Run: Welcome to Hell

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:11 pm by Jenn

Reason #483 not to tick off Benton

Summary: Carol’s doing her ambulance ride-along with Shep and Raul, and their first patient is a teenager with multiple gunshot wounds. There’s another teen victim, but Raul quickly determines that he’s beyond saving. They head off with the other boy, Payaso, whom the paramedics are familiar with. They leave the dead boy behind with his weeping mother. “Welcome to Hell,” Shep tells Carol.

Weaver has started her new job at County and has already ticked off Doug. She’s also told Bob not to fetch food for him anymore. Carol and the paramedics bring Payaso in for Susan to try to save, though he’s been unresponsive for 35 minutes. He starts bleeding a bunch, so it’s not looking good. Benton goes looking for Carter but instead finds Harper, who tells him they were up really late. She’s getting dressed, so Benton would be justified in thinking that they slept together.

Weaver meets Carol and thinks she’s a paramedic. She tells Susan it’s time to give up on Payaso and turn their attention to a patient who can be saved. Susan refuses, so Weaver calls Payaso’s time of death. As things get hectic in the trauma room, Carol welcomes Shep to her own Hell. Carter swears to Benton that he and Harper didn’t sleep together; they just shared adjoining beds in a quiet corner of the hospital. Benton doesn’t care, and just wants to make sure Carter’s ready for the operation they’ll be performing later. (He’s…probably not.)

Once things have calmed down, Weaver chats with Carol about implementing some new policies in the ER. They’re things that would make the nurses’ jobs easier, and Weaver’s willing to make sure they happen. Still, Carol thinks the change in personnel will be tough. Carter and Morgenstern scrub in together, and Morgenstern finally explains why he’s back: He went to Brigham to head up a new emergency department, but it was never approved, so he came back to County. He’d rather operate than work with all the researchers at the other hospital anyway.

Benton and Jeanie quietly try to make plans to get together while not letting anyone else in on their secret relationship. Chloe brings Susie by for daycare before heading to her business class. Susan forgot about a job fair Chloe’s going to that afternoon, which means that, for probably the first time, Chloe’s more on top of things than her sister is. Carter assists while Benton and Morgenstern operate on a man’s arm, and by “assists,” I mean that he holds the guy’s arm up when a pulley could be doing the job. Benton’s punishing him for oversleeping.

Mark comes in from Milwaukee and tells Susan a horror story about his awful commute. She and Doug tell him in vague terms that Weaver isn’t going to be fun to work with. Jeanie calls Al and lies that she has to attend a study group that night, so she probably won’t be home until midnight. (If you feel bad for him because she’s cheating on him, just know that she’s not the only one who’s broken their marriage vows.)

The paramedics bring in a woman covered in maple syrup, which at least means they don’t have to frantically try to save her. Loretta’s back, and Mark thinks she has pelvic inflammatory disease. Carol says it’s a job hazard, meaning Loretta’s a prostitute. Doug examines a boy named Byron who set a fire in the hotel room where he and his mother, Cindy, live. Well, where they used to live, since she figures they won’t be allowed back.

Mark questions Harper and another med student, Barinski, about Loretta’s possible diagnosis. Like Mark, she thinks she has PID. Harper knows her stuff, but Barinski doesn’t. In fact, Loretta knows more than he does. Susan is summoned to daycare since Susie has a fever, which means she has to be sent home. Susan rushes the baby downstairs for an exam. Doug tells Haleh to call a psychiatrist for Byron, then agrees to examine Susie. Susan’s overly concerned and tells Bob to call Chloe, but Doug doesn’t think the baby’s too sick.

Mark, Harper, and Barinski move on to another patient, and again, Barinski doesn’t know what’s going on. Carter makes a diagnosis, but Benton isn’t impressed. Carol and Shep nab some supplies from the hospital, which is apparently okay. Weaver asks them to tell Payaso’s mother that her son didn’t make it. Despite being familiar with Payaso, Shep doesn’t know his family, and he doesn’t think this should be part of his job. Carol goes with him to tell Payaso’s mother and sister what happened. Since Mrs. Rodriguez doesn’t speak English, Shep has to translate. It’s sad in both English and Spanish.

Carter takes Benton to a patient named Rawlings who has abdominal pain. Benton determines that he needs to go to the OR immediately, and he’s impressed that Carter diagnosed the patient on his own and has already made arrangements for his surgery. Weaver nitpicks Susan’s medication orders, telling her that since the nurses at County are so great, the doctors need to make things easier on them. Doug determines that Susie just has a cold and will be fine in a few days. The bad news is that Chloe isn’t at business school…and hasn’t gone to class in three weeks. She dropped out and didn’t tell Susan.

Mark tries to get Susan to help with a trauma case, since she’s been sitting by the front desk with Susie for about 20 minutes. “It’s all very exciting,” Mark promises. Carter tells Harper about a surgery he helped with, mansplaining something to her. He pretends that he didn’t have to participate much in the arm surgery because it’s so basic. Benton finds Harper practicing inserting IVs on Carter and is at a loss for words.

Doris brings in a man who robbed a bank and wasn’t so successful making his getaway. Susan’s in a bad mood and snaps at Connie, who just exchanges an eyeroll with Lydia. The nurses find money the robber stuffed in his clothes, then soon discover that the dye pack in with the money makes a big mess when deployed. Good thing Susan’s wearing a clear mask over her face. Carol and the paramedics are called to get a patient, but another
rig has already arrived. The paramedics decide to take a break and get some snow cones.

Benton praises Carter for his steady, calm work in the OR. He’s invited to scrub in the next morning, but not to sit with Benton and his buddies. Susan cleans up the dye while Weaver tries to make polite small talk. Susan doesn’t even soften when Weaver tells her how cute Susie is. Mark asks Susan what’s going on, and Susan complains about Weaver’s management style. Mark wonders if Weaver thinks Susan is as abrasive as Susan thinks she is.

Shep and Carol ride a Ferris wheel (even though he’s afraid of heights) and get to know each other. Raul has to stay on the ground, because I guess it’s harder for Shep to flirt when another guy is around. Cindy wants to leave Byron in the hospital so she can go to work. Doug reluctantly promises to keep Byron there until his mom comes back. He’s in with a psychiatrist, but it’s not the one Doug requested. This one is Paul Myers, a resident, and Weaver called him. While Doug and Myers are out of the room, Byron sets another fire. Freaking A, kid.

Benton spots Jeanie and her broken-down car on his way out of the hospital. He asks why she didn’t call him to give her a hand. He doesn’t see that Al (now played by the very handsome Michael Beach) is there. He’s completely oblivious that his wife is having an affair, or that her affair partner is standing right there. Cindy returns to County wanting to take Byron off to her cousin’s house without finishing up his much-needed psychiatric evaluation. She promises to follow up later, hopefully before Byron burns down the cousin’s house.

Doug confronts Weaver for calling Myers, since he’s a resident and doesn’t specialize in children. Weaver doesn’t care that the other doctor owes Doug a favor – Myers was available, and Byron needed immediate help. Plus, Myers has to follow the hospital’s protocols, which means they would know if he was following up appropriately. She blames the second fire on Doug, since he left Byron alone in the room. (I blame whoever left fire-starting materials in the room with a known pyromaniac.) She also blames Doug for Cindy’s decision to leave against medical advice.

Connie finds Susan in the lounge with Susie, who’s been having trouble staying asleep. Connie reveals that she’s pregnant with her third child. Susan apologizes for snapping at her earlier, but Connie considers them even, since Susan got hit with all the dye. Mark, Weaver, and Carter tend to a high school football player named Daniel who took a hit to the chest. Weaver thinks he has a complication that’s pretty rare in this case. She tells Daniel it’s weird, which makes him a weird guy, but they like that about him. Weaver keeps the patient calm while still managing to teach Carter. I think Mark’s impressed.

At home, Susan tells Chloe that she knows she dropped out of school. Chloe’s spent a few days waitressing, so at least she’s made some money. The classes made her feel dumb, and she never fit in with her classmates. She wanted to succeed, to show both her sister and daughter that she could. She kept quiet about dropping out because she didn’t want to disappoint Susan. But once again, she’s screwed up. Susan asks what happened to the waitressing job, and when Chloe doesn’t answer, Susan knows she’s screwed up yet again.

Mark misses his train to Milwaukee, which I’m sure Jen will respond to with understanding and polite good humor. Benton and Jeanie meet up, but he’s decided that they can’t keep sneaking around. He wants her to tell Al about their affair.

Thoughts: Barinski is played by Richard Speight, Jr.

Apparently a lot of people like Shep both before and after he becomes aggressive. I’m not one of them.

I also don’t see Benton’s appeal. Is he secretly a good conversationalist? Does he have a sense of humor we don’t know about? Or is he just really good in bed?

 

June 5, 2018

ER 1.20, Full Moon, Saturday Night: All Night Long

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

Yes, please take me to County for medical treatment. They really seem to know what they’re doing there

Summary: Mark is lost in thought in a trauma room, remembering how he was unable to save Jodi O’Brien. Susan convinces him to take the night off; she’ll page him if he’s needed. Benton’s mother is still in the hospital, and Jeanie offers to sit with her while Benton finishes up some work. They agree to get dinner afterward, and Carter tries to invite himself along. Susan warns Carter that since there’s a full moon, things are about to get crazy. Right on cue, a patient high on PCP and strapped to a gurney breaks a window and trashes a trauma room.

Carter catches Chen sneaking a peak at his paperwork to see how his procedures measure up against hers. With Mark gone, Susan needs another doctor on shift with her, but no one’s available. Carol suggests Doug, pretending not to be bothered when she learns that he has a date with Diane. Susan and Carter tend to a patient named David who was in a car accident. Susan lets Carter take charge, and he does everything right. Chen volunteers to help out, not wanting to let Carter take on any cases without her.

Mark has dinner across the street at Doc Magoo’s, annoyed when another patron tries to chat with him. Mr. Travis, the driver who hit David, is uninjured and wants to apologize for the accident. Carter and Chen are still working on him, deciding that whoever completes more of his stitches gets to claim him as their patient. In the hallway, Mr. Travis collapses with chest pain. Chen and Carter see the commotion as Susan and Carol tend to him, and Chen ditches Carter to jump on the new, more interesting case.

The man chatting with Mark at Doc Magoo’s arrives and reveals that he’s a doctor, Willy Swift. Carol thinks he’s the moonlighter Susan called in. Susan is pretty casual and condescending with him; she thinks he’ll have trouble keeping up with the chaos of a night in the ER. They disagree about Travis’ diagnosis, but Swift doesn’t make a big deal out of it. And he could, because he’s not a moonlighter – he’s Morgenstern’s replacement, the new ER chief.

Carol, Malik, and Haleh draw straws to determine who has to treat a patient with lice. Carol loses, and Haleh says she’ll soon be able to put away her nursing scrubs. She figures that Carol will quit her job after she and Tag get married. Tag arrives just then, and he and Carol discuss some wedding details they haven’t solidified yet. Benton joins them, complaining that Tag didn’t tell him that Mae is being discharged. Her Medicare won’t pay for any more time in the hospital, so the family needs to discuss options. Benton is determined to take her back home.

As midnight approaches, rooms are filling up, but Susan knows the patients won’t stop coming. Tag brings Carol some music to listen to so they can pick a band. He recognizes Swift, telling Carol they played football together in college. Some frat guys come in with frostbite after being left in Lincoln Park without their clothes; Susan dubs them “popsicle pledges.”

Benton finds Mae restrained in her bed and promises that it won’t happen again. He’s mad that Jeanie let the doctors restrain her for trying to leave her bed. Jeanie admits that she’s the one who requested it. Benton tells her not to come back. Carter’s next patient, Arlena, thinks her abdominal pain is due to the moon, which has putting something inside her. Carter agrees that there might be something inside her, but he suspects it’s a baby. She wants to do his astrological chart. (For the record, Carter’s birthday is June 4th, 1970.)

Susan has a patient named Jimmy who can’t stop hiccuping. His fiancée thinks it’s related to their upcoming wedding. Carol and Tag discuss honeymoon destinations and china patterns, like, have they done ANY planning yet? The patient whose leg they’re casting is amused. Swift asks where Mark is, since he’s scheduled to work, and Susan lies that he went home sick.

Carter confirms Arlena’s pregnancy, but she thinks their “journey” together isn’t over yet. She senses that he’s conflicted and trying to find his way. He should follow his inner voice and fight against people who want to destroy him. Carol welcomes back a patient who went on the run so he could have a drink. Just as Susan’s starting to enjoy most of the male doctors being gone, a cherry bomb goes off in a trash can. She and Carol decide it’s courtesy of the popsicle pledges.

County gets a call to implement disaster protocol – there was a fire at a nightclub, and they’ll need to tend to patients with third-degree burns. Doug gets called in and has to leave Diane behind in bed. She offers him a spare key in case he gets the chance to come back, though he’ll have to leave before Jake gets up. Benton is also paged to the ER (he has a short trip to make, since he’s in his mother’s hospital room), but Mark doesn’t hear his beeper over the noise in the busy arcade where he’s playing a video game.

Things are quiet when Doug arrives in the ER almost 30 minutes after he was paged. Swift reveals that there was no disaster; he just wanted to see how long it would take everyone to respond. Now he has a captive audience to go over some policies. Chen asks Carter to help her with her patient, who’s been groping her. The patient, Mr. Denardo, doesn’t appreciate being tended to by such young doctors, but it’s that or risk infection in his injured finger. Chen almost sets him on fire by combining a cauterizing tool with ethyl chloride.

Swift quizzes his staff on illnesses and procedures, stumping Doug with a question. Bob answers it correctly when she comes in to tell Susan that Mark’s on the phone for her. He’s finally answered his page and makes it to the ER and hour and 47 minutes after being summoned, as Swift is wrapping up. He recognizes Mark from Doc Magoo’s and mentions the lie Susan told about him having the flu.

Benton returns to his mother’s room and finds her on the floor next to her bed. Susan and Carter determine that Arlena is pregnant with twins, which Arlena says makes sense, as Carter’s a Gemini. One embryo is healthy but the other is ectopic and has to be removed before it ruptures. Arlena takes the news well, happy to be able to continue the other pregnancy.

Carol cleans up a patient named Talbot who claims to be a werewolf who needs to be placed in restraints until sunrise. He spooks her by growling at her. Carter hears him howling, and Carol advises him to lock the door when he goes to take a nap. Jimmy’s hiccups are gone, but they were caused by abscesses on his liver, so Susan needs to run some tests. She asks some questions that make Jimmy realize that she suspects that he has HIV. He claims that he hasn’t had unprotected sex with any men or prostitutes who could have given him the virus.

Doug and Mark discuss Swift, wondering if he’ll take Morgenstern’s recommendation to make Mark an attending. Doug can tell that Mark is distracted by the O’Brien case and encourages him to let it go. Mark can’t stop thinking about how Jodi won’t be around to see her son take his first steps in a year. Doug invites Mark to come home with him so they can talk, but Mark wants to be alone.

After taking care of a bunch of drunks and psych patients, the doctors get a trauma. Carter is pulled out of bed to help Susan and Carol give a patient chest compressions. Haleh tells Susan that a baby was found in a trash bag and is being brought in with hypothermia. (Hey, whoever’s responsible for this: Enjoy Hell.) Susan hands the baby off to Swift so she can go back to the other patient. Tag also joins the group, helping to restart the patient’s heart. Susan teaches Carter how to massage it so it fills. Once the patient is stable, Susan returns to Swift and the baby, who’s improving. Swift tells her to take a break now that things are under control.

Chen’s still taking care of minor patients, so Carter brags that he got to do an internal cardiac massage. The sun is already up when Doug makes it back to Diane, so he doesn’t have much time before he has to leave again. Jen finds Mark sitting on an El platform, the same place Doug left him hours earlier. Doug called her and sent her to talk to her soon-to-be-ex-husband. Jen reminds Mark that he’s human, so he can’t save all of his patients. She seems to think that having breakfast will solve everything.

Jimmy’s fiancée asks Susan if there’s a chance she could be sick, too. She confides that she thinks Jimmy’s keeping something from her. Benton goes to Jeanie’s house and meets her husband, Al. Benton admits that he can’t take care of his mother on his own, like he thought he could. He asks her to help him find a facility where she can get the care she needs. Susan and Carol congratulate each other on how well they rocked the full-moon shift. Carol asks Susan to be a bridesmaid, warning that she might not be as excited about the honor when she sees her dress.

Susan then finds Swift trying to fix a sink in a bathroom, since maintenance hasn’t shown up. He suggests that she apply to be chief resident and is surprised to learn that she’s only a second-year resident. He wants to make some changes to the chain of command in the ER. Carter claims he had a great night, and he calls in a radio request for Susan. The two of them and Carol end their shift by dancing to “Twist and Shout.”

Thoughts: David is played by a practically unrecognizable Adam Scott. Al is played by a different actor here than in later episodes, and this guy is handsome, but he’s no Michael Beach.

This episode is a good example of why I could never be a doctor: Any job that requires me to be awake at 2:30 in the morning isn’t a job I want.

Early episodes really had a lot of storylines that never got resolved, and too many patients to keep track of. Think of all the first-season patients whose fates are never known. There’s so much left open.