April 16, 2019

ER 3.18, You Bet Your Life: Who Would Pick Al Over Greg??

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

Nope, wrong choice

Summary: Mark has been having a little trouble juggling parenting and work, now that Rachel’s staying with him, so he’s been late taking her to school for a few days. Rachel’s annoyed by that, and by her after-school arrangements to play with a girl she doesn’t really like. At County, Benton goes looking for Carla, who’s already been sent home. Coburn catches him looking at her chart and chastises him for violating Carla’s privacy. She already knows that Benton is the baby’s father. Benton asks about a test Coburn ordered, but she tells him to ask Carla.

Greg wants to make weekend plans with Jeanie, who’s in a bad mood because she found out her viral load has gone up. Plus, today would have been her and Al’s ninth wedding anniversary. Greg reminds her that she had the flu last week, which explains her increased viral load. It should be undetectable again soon. He wants to give her happy memories of her former anniversary by going away for the weekend.

Jerry has leased a new car, though Malik is surprised he could afford it. Anspaugh tells Mark that he and Weaver both applied for a teaching job, and though Mark is the better candidate, he hasn’t published any articles. He needs to find an interesting case and write it up soon. No pressure, but if he doesn’t, Anspaugh will look foolish for backing him to the hiring committee.

Carol’s reading over a textbook and thinking of all the questions she screwed up on the MCAT. Doug tries to cheer her up, but he can’t erase the fact that nurses don’t exactly have a glamorous job, and they have to take orders from younger doctors. Carter and Lydia treat a gambler named Bartok (though he prefers to call himself an investor, since he uses scientific methods to place his bets). Carter agrees to place a $5 bet. Bartok asks to keep his hat on, which is part of his “scientific” methods – he always keeps it on after he makes a bet.

Al comes by with flowers for Jeanie, but she doesn’t want to celebrate their horrible marriage. Now they’re both in a bad mood. Marks tends to a woman named Ida who has stomach pain and thinks she needs surgery. She’s already had five of them, but Mark thinks they might have been unnecessary. He thinks she has porphyria, which can be misdiagnosed as a surgical ailment. If Mark’s right, this could be the perfect case for him to publish.

Paramedics bring in an unidentified woman they found unconscious in a car near a cemetery. Mark confirms his porphyria diagnosis, foreseeing his case study being published in all sorts of newspapers. Haleh bursts his bubble when she realizes that Ida is a psych patient who likes having surgery. Benton tries to call Carla, then talks to Carter about Bartok; Carter wants to stick with him for the day to make sure he doesn’t get overlooked. Amazingly, Benton approves of this, even though it takes Carter out of the OR for the day.

The unidentified woman was found with a bunch of pills, including some for HIV, so Weaver and Jeanie guess that she OD’d. One of the pill bottles says her name is Suzanne. The staff isn’t sure about one of the medications she took, so Jeanie suggests calling Greg to help them out. She wonders what made Suzanne want to hurt herself.

While Jerry brags to someone on the phone about his new car, Weaver gets a call for “Dr. Markovic” from a cryogenics lab. Apparently he’s been making donations at a sperm bank, pretending to be a doctor, and has used the proceeds for his car. Jerry thinks it’s fine; women focus on the fact that he’s tall and has an IQ of 150, not on his fake medical credentials. Weaver doubts he has an IQ of 150 (hers is 145) and challenges him to take a test to prove it. If he doesn’t score a 150, she’ll bust him for lying.

The nurses find a wedding ring on Suzanne’s finger, but her address on her pill bottles is for a motel, and someone who works there says she lives alone. Suzanne has two pictures of a child in her car, and Greg finds the girl familiar. Suzanne regains consciousness and tells Jeanie the girl is her daughter. “I killed her,” she says.

Carter checks on Bartok, who has an intestinal blockage and will need surgery. Bartok’s scared, but Carter tells him the chief of staff will be taking care of him. Bartok asks for his phone so he can call his daughter. Carol is giving an injection to a patient when Doyle stops her, saying he needs an IV instead. The patient, a former Marine, doesn’t have a problem with a second needle stick.

Nina comes down to the ER to see Ida and flirt with Mark a little. She panics when she learns that Mark left Ida alone in her trauma room. See, Ida has a habit of eating things she shouldn’t when she’s been denied surgery, so she’ll have to undergo it anyway. This time, she’s eaten medical instruments.

Benton lies that Carla’s one of his surgical patients so someone other than Coburn will let him see Carla’s ultrasound tape again. Greg figures out that Suzanne’s daughter, Katie, was one of his patients, but she died of AIDS-related pneumonia last month. Jeanie realizes that Suzanne blames herself for Katie’s death because she gave Katie HIV.

Carter shows Bartok’s chart to Anspaugh, but Anspaugh thinks he’s too sick for surgery – he’s septic already. Carter thinks Bartok will have a better shot with surgery, but Anspaugh doesn’t want to take the risk, and probably not just because it’ll make the hospital look bad for losing a patient. Carter gives the news to Bartok, who thinks the doctors are just pushing him aside to let him die. Carter promised that he would be okay, and now he’s gone back on his word. Carter decides he can’t just let things end there.

Doyle needs to draw blood from the Marine, but she’s having a lot of trouble with it. Carol advises Weaver to help her, but Weaver thinks Doyle needs to learn sometime. Carol complains that nurses should be allowed to do this kind of procedure, since they know what they’re doing. Carter takes Bartok’s case to Hicks, who agrees with Anspaugh that it’s too much of a risk to operate. She admits that he could have a chance if they act quickly, and Carter says Bartok’s okay with just having a chance.

Mark sees all the stuff Ida swallowed on her X-ray and realizes this could be the unique case that will get him ahead. Thanks to some methanol she ingested, Suzanne is now blind. Jeanie tells her that her husband is on his way and asks if there’s anything Suzanne wants to tell him. Suzanne just says she’s sorry.

Jerry takes his IQ test while Weaver keeps an eye on him nearby. I don’t think the front desk is the ideal place for this test, and Weaver should probably be treating patients instead of reading and babysitting Jerry, but okay. Jerry attempts to ask Doug for help, but Weaver tells him it’s an IQ test, not a survey. Doug is called away to treat a teenage girl, Betsy, who had a gallbladder attack on her way to prom.

Suzanne’s husband, Roger, arrives and is pleased to learn that his wife is dying and is pain. She cheated on him, got AIDS, and gave it to their child, so this is what Roger’s been waiting for. Hicks and Carter operate on Bartok, though Carter’s the only person who thinks it’s worth it. Anspaugh interrupts to tell Hicks that he rejected Bartok as a poor surgical candidate. Obviously Hicks didn’t know that, so Carter went to Mommy when Daddy said no. Anspaugh is furious, and Carter will have to beg for his job at the end of the day. Hicks tells Carter to scrub out.

Mark wants to remove the surgical instruments from Ida through an endoscopy, but she refuses, still wanting surgery. Mark changes her mind by telling her how invasive and traumatic an endoscopy is. But before Mark can do the procedure, he gets called to Rachel’s school to pick her up. Benton shows Carla’s ultrasound to a neonatologist named Tabash, who tells him everything looks fine. He’s not happy to learn that Benton went behind Carla’s back to get more information.

Betsy needs to have her gallbladder removed right away, which means she’ll have to miss the prom. She’s willing to take antibiotics and risk getting worse if she can delay the surgery until tomorrow. Doug tries to negotiate with her so she can go to prom, then check back into the hospital as soon as it’s over. Betsy’s more stubborn with Doug, but it’s good practice for when he has to deal with his own teenage daughters.

Mark meets with Rachel’s teacher, who asks if she has any restrictions…because of her leukemia. Apparently she’s been telling her classmates that she’s dying of cancer. After a fight with a popular girl, Rachel is now on the outs with a lot of her classmates. Doyle and Carol take care of a patient together, but things get awkward when Doyle insists she can insert a central line and Carol doubts her abilities. Doyle snaps at her, so Carol says she’ll call a surgeon to do it.

Doug sends Betsy and her date, Jeffrey, to the prom in an ambulance. Betsy has to stay on an IV and isn’t allowed to eat or smoke, so I’m not sure how much fun she’ll have, but at least she won’t have to miss the dance. Carter meets with Anspaugh and Hicks, who are more than ready to terminate his residency. Carter has no regrets, since they gave Bartok another chance. He survived the surgery, which just makes Carter look like more of a hero.

Doyle wants to give her patient a medication that could harm his kidneys, but she ignores Carol’s warnings. Since Doyle is the only doctor in the room, the nurses have to follow her orders. Doug comes in and takes over, effectively ending the Doyle/Carol stand-off. Suzanne’s declining and thinks that Greg is her husband. She begs for his forgiveness, so Jeanie tells Greg to just say he forgives her. Greg resists, disappointing Jeanie.

Weaver scores Jerry’s IQ test and tells him he did horribly – worse than if he’d just guessed on everything. She forces him to call the sperm bank and change his profile. Mark returns with Rachel, and Weaver tells him she performed Ida’s endoscopy, which Mark had told Haleh to delay until he got back. Weaver wants to co-author a paper with Mark about Ida, entitled “The Woman Who Ate the ER.”

Doyle tracks down Carol and calls her out for her attitude and second-guessing Doyle’s orders. She doesn’t care if she’s younger than Carol – Doyle is the doctor and Carol is the nurse. Doug overhears, so not only has Carol been embarrassed by the icy student council president, but it happened in front of the hot captain of the football team.

Speaking of confrontations, Mark tells Rachel what her teacher said about her lies. Clearly she just craves attention from her father, and thinks being sick will do the trick, since he spends his days taking care of sick people. Suzanne dies, and Greg approaches Jeanie while she’s wrapping things up with the body. Jeanie brushes off his apology over not pretending to be Roger, but she’s not ready to go away with him for the weekend.

Carter visits Bartok post-op and tells him that while he’s going to recover, they had to remove so much of his intestine that he’ll never be able to eat solid food again. He can still drink and smoke, though, so he’s okay with that. Bartok asks how the horse he bet on did, but Carter doesn’t know. Bartok decides it doesn’t matter.

Jerry has retrieved Jeanie’s flowers and put them on the front desk, because Jerry has very low standards for things. Malik is now taking over his sting and is setting up an appointment at the sperm bank as “Dr. McGrath.” Benton finally goes to Carla’s place to tell her he wants to be a father to their child. She gives in and tells him to come back that weekend to help out around her apartment.

Carol tells Doug that Doyle’s right – she hates taking orders from someone younger. They come from the same neighborhood, and Doyle got through med school, but Carol can’t even get through the door. Doug tells her she can always get through his door. “Anything in a bra can get through your door,” she points out. He claims he’s reformed and raised his standards. He greets Betsy as she and Jeffrey return to the hospital, happy that he let them go to the prom.

Rachel falls asleep in the lounge waiting for her father to get off work. Haleh brings him a case that would be great for an article, but Mark’s in dad mode now and tells her to give it to Weaver. Hicks informs Carter that he’s on probation but somehow still has a job. She wanted to kick him out, but Anspaugh wants him to stay. This is his last chance, and he needs to remember that he’s not a law unto himself.

Jeanie goes to Al’s and apologizes for being rude about the flowers when he was just trying to be nice. He asks if she really thinks their entire marriage was a disaster. They agree that some things were good, and he takes responsibility for the bad ending. He doesn’t blame her for hating him. Jeanie says she doesn’t hate him, and she doesn’t want to be mad anymore. She admits that she misses him, then hugs him.

Thoughts: Nina, I don’t want to tell you how to do your job, but calling a psych patient a “fruitcake” isn’t exactly professional.

So do Rachel and Jen live in Chicago again? Rachel’s in school there, and Mark didn’t have to go far when he visited at Christmas, but I don’t think a move was ever mentioned.

Listen, I have nothing against Al. He’s fine. But…he’s not a better choice than Greg! Jeanie made a mistake.

February 19, 2019

ER 3.10, Homeless for the Holidays: Employee X

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

It’s Doug’s best day ever!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

34 hours of work should be illegal.

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

Apparently escaping from your abusive husband is just that easy.

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

February 12, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hey, Mark? You suck.

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

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

February 5, 2019

ER 3.8, Union Station: Leaving on an El Train

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

Adios

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 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?

 

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