May 16, 2023

ER 13.9, Scoop and Run: Abby’s Thanksgiving Is Stuffed With Turkeys

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

Give this woman a medal!

Summary: It’s Thanksgiving, and Sam, Abby, and Gates are discussing various ways to cook a turkey as they work on a patient. Abby asks if Luka remembered to pull the giblets out of theirs. I don’t think he knows what she’s talking about. The patient sings the praises of deep-fried turkey, but Sam thinks it sounds gross. Luka comments that Americans are too sentimental about their holidays. Abby notes that he celebrates at least three Croatian holidays.

Her pager goes off and she’s summoned to help with a patient transport just a few minutes before her shift is supposed to end. Gates offers to take her place, but it’s just for residents. Abby tries to pass the pager off to Jane, who’s next up to get it, but since it went off during Abby’s time, Jane says no. Abby plays the “this is my kid’s first Thanksgiving and I really don’t want to miss it” card. Jane tries to argue that not following the rules could result in some butterfly effect disaster and bad karma.

Abby turns to Ray next, but he’s on Pratt’s radar for not spending enough time in the ER, so he’s been banned from transports. Speaking of Pratt, he’s working on Thanksgiving because Morris somehow managed to make plans to spend the holiday with all of his kids. Weaver’s also working; the Lopezes took Henry to Florida, so she decided to come in. Ray likes being at the hospital on Thanksgiving, since most people stay home. Abby tries to get out of her transport, since the patient just had a heart attack and shouldn’t really need a doctor with her.

Paramedics bring in a 12-year-old named Lulu who’s been vomiting and has stomach pain. Jane and Gates each try to take her on as a patient. Lulu throws up cranberry sauce on Jane, and Abby comments that karma sucks. Yeah, but you still have to go on the transport. She gives Luka instructions for Thanksgiving dinner, but if I were her, I wouldn’t be confident that he can handle everything on his own.

Hollis tells Luka that he went to see Ames about Joe’s stuffed frog, and Ames claimed not to know anything about it. He also denied talking to Abby in the park. Hollis thinks that Ames is struggling too much to spend any time messing with Luka’s family. I think Hollis is naïve and dismissive, but hey, I’ve been wrong before.

Abby meets Wright, the flight medic in charge of the transport she’s helping with. He calls her “honey” and she somehow doesn’t shoot blood out of her eyes. They board a helicopter and Abby gets a crash course (…maybe not the right term to use when she’s on a helicopter) on what to do and not do. All of the crew members on the helicopter are guys, and I don’t think even one of them knows how to act around a woman. But at least Abby gets a nice view of Chicago as they fly to pick up their patient.

Gates examines Lulu as Jane (who had to change into pediatric scrubs) tells her that she can’t eat or drink anything in case she needs surgery. Gates teases her about the scrubs. Alex has come in because Sam doesn’t want him being lazy at home all day. She’s going to make him help out as a form of community service. He’s not at all happy about it. Gates flirts with Neela, who jokes that he’s harassing her.

Abby and Wright go to a hospital (one too small to handle major illnesses, I guess) to pick up their patient, an elderly woman named Elizabeth. She’s intubated and not stable enough to be moved. Abby doesn’t think she’ll survive the flight to County. Even if she does, her family probably won’t be able to meet her there before she dies. She thinks it would be better for Elizabeth to die there, with her loved ones at her side, than in the air or alone at County. Wright tells Abby that their job is to scoop and run. Plus, the longer they stand around talking, the worse Elizabeth will get. Abby wants to make sure the family understands the reality before they leave.

Ray tends to a man who crashed while giving his wife a ride on a tandem bike. Wait, let me back up. Ray tends to a blind man who crashed while giving his wife a ride on a tandem bike. Sam asks him for a prescription for a woman who gets a migraine every Thanksgiving because of her mother’s stuffing. Obviously the easy solution is to stop eating it, but she loves it too much. Speaking as a big stuffing fan, I get it.

Ray confides to Sam that holidays weird him out. He doesn’t get all the rituals and traditions. Sam likes those, so she’s disappointed that she has to work all day and can’t just hang out at home with Alex. Ray’s family doesn’t seem close, so he’s not missing anything with them. Sam teases that he has something hot waiting for him at home, then asks if he lost his phone. She called it earlier to track him down, and she’s super-amused that Katey answered it.

Elizabeth’s family doesn’t seem pleased with the conflicting messages they’re getting from Abby and Wright. They approve having her transported to County via helicopter. Abby and Wright butt heads about what’s best for the patient, which Wright doesn’t really care about – they’re just delivery people. Abby thinks he’s refusing to accept the responsibility that comes with his job. He shoots back that she’s the one in denial. There’s no way to give Elizabeth a good death. If she thinks she can turn this into a good experience for Elizabeth’s family, she’s just arrogant.

The family sends Elizabeth off on the helicopter, and since she’s stabilized a little, Abby admits that maybe she was wrong. That doesn’t last long, as Elizabeth soon declines. Back at County, Neela examines Lulu to see if she needs surgery. Alex is passing out cookies to patients, and he and Lulu start chatting. She’s disappointed that she can’t eat anything on Thanksgiving. Gates tells her that he talked to her mother, who apparently didn’t want to speak to her. Alex agrees to hang out with her until her parents get there.

Abby and Wright try to stabilize Elizabeth, and he calls Abby “darling,” and I would be like, “Okay, I’m grabbing the controls and flying us into the river,” but she just keeps working. Nothing works, so Elizabeth dies on the helicopter, just as Abby predicted. Happy Thanksgiving to Elizabeth’s family, and to Abby, and NOT to Wright.

Back at County, paramedics bring in a woman named Mandy who got impaled on a sharp star decoration at a super-early Black Friday sale. There were discounted purses and pushing involved. I don’t care. Abby calls Luka from the helicopter, and Wright says over the headsets they’re both using that he’s taking care of Luka’s “girl.” Abby, push him out of the helicopter! She calls the guys in the helicopter a word that I didn’t know Standards and Practices allowed on network TV then. The pilot pretends that he mixed up his channels, which allowed them to hear the call.

An alert comes in about a vehicle crash at a ravine. The pilot ignores it, since he’s at almost 11 hours of his maximum 12 for the day. Wright says another medic unit will respond, but Abby notes that they’re close by. She pressures the pilot to at least tell the person making the call where they are. Then she accepts the run for the helicopter, calling Wright “darling.” Ha!

Mandy got lucky and doesn’t have any major injuries. She does, however, have to listen to Jane complain about holiday consumerism and be in the same room as Crenshaw. The helicopter flies over the ravine and the team gets some details they didn’t receive earlier: The vehicle that crashed is a bus, so there are multiple casualties. Abby has to basically rappel down into the ravine.

The good news is that there are a bunch of uninjured people in the ravine, trying to help the injured ones. Basically, Abby and Wright just need to do triage until paramedics arrive. After Abby helps a couple of people, she hears a kid named Milo yelling from the bus, which is balanced on the edge of the ravine. His mother, Melanie, is pinned under a dislodged seat. Abby and Milo aren’t able to move it or her. Melanie asks Abby to take Milo and go, since the bus is creaking and tilting.

Alex is a little annoyed to keep getting phone calls from Sam. Lulu says he’s lucky – her foster mother only has her so she can get money from the state. When Lulu got sick during Thanksgiving dinner, her foster mother sent her off in an ambulance and kept eating. Abby, throw her out of the helicopter, too! Gates invites Neela to his place after work, since Meg and Sarah are out of town. He makes it clear that he and Meg are definitely not together. Not that they were together before. They’re just even more not together now.

Milo doesn’t want Melanie to be alone, but Abby asks him to help her by pointing a flashlight at her so she can see what she’s doing. She gives him her iPod so he can listen to music instead of hearing everything in the ravine. He still has to see all the blood and trauma, but he also gets to see people like Abby helping save lives.

Once all the critical patients are being tended to by paramedics, Abby asks about Melanie. Someone I think is a firefighter securing the scene says no one can go back on the bus until it’s stabilized. That might take hours, though, and Abby says Melanie won’t make it that long. Wright tells her there’s nothing they can do; they can’t endanger the first responders’ lives. Milo overhears and runs back to the bus. Abby reluctantly stops him and tries to comfort him. Then when Wright and the firefighter’s backs are turned, she goes back to the bus.

Melanie is still conscious, but she doesn’t think she’s going to last much longer. She gives Abby messages to pass along to Milo’s father about things he likes. The bus shifts but Abby keeps working, keeping Melanie awake by asking her more about what Milo likes. Wright joins her, unhappy that she defied orders but finally ready to think about patients as people and help save a life.

Ray leaves Katey a message about coming by to get his phone. Crenshaw asks him about Jane, since her anti-consumerist rant made him interested in her. Sam has lost track of Alex and asks Malik to track him down. Track down your own kid! Paramedics bring in a teen who fell down the stairs at her grandmother’s house. More specifically, she passed out while doing whip-its with cans of whipped cream. Sign me up for that family dinner next year! Sam’s like, “I can’t wait until Alex makes stupid decision like this as an older teenager.”

Abby and Wright are able to get Melanie on a backboard and pull her out of a window that’s now a skylight, what with the bus being on its side. Just after they hand her off to paramedics and jump down off the bus, it tilts and slides into the ravine, where it explodes. I hope there were no other passengers still on board, because they definitely wouldn’t survive that.

Alex confides to Gates that he feels like Sam is always mad at him. As Neela joins them, Gates says that sometimes you have to go the extra mile for a girl. Alex is happy to hear that Lulu’s appendectomy went well, and Gates sends him to see her. Gates and Neela go to the roof to receive patients from the bus crash, though his shift ended and he’s just hanging around to spend time with Neela. He invites her over again, offering to make her dinner. I’m going to be honest, I’m only 50 percent confident that that’s not a euphemism.

Courtney has come by to have dinner with Weaver. Pretty Black woman = Pratt catnip, so he introduces himself. After she leaves (to make arrangements for her dogs, so she can spend more time with Weaver!), Pratt asks Weaver to “hook a brother up.” I’m delighted to report that she tells him that his gaydar is horrible. Weaver and Courtney are dating! Yay!

Pratt’s brain is like, “Gay woman might help with gay brother problems,” so he asks Weaver when she knew she was gay. “Are you coming out to me?” she teases. He confides that he found Chaz with another guy. Chaz thinks it could be a phase and a time for experimentation, but Pratt doubts it. Weaver does, too – Chaz is just saying what he thinks Pratt wants to hear.

Pratt points out that Chaz is taking a female classmate to Thanksgiving with his family. Why would he do that if he’s gay? Oh, Pratt, you naïve little bunny. Weaver says that when she was Chaz’s age, she brought a lot of guys home to meet her parents. She didn’t admit to herself that she was a lesbian until she was 30. Once she accepted it, her life got a lot better.

Abby makes it back to County in one piece and simply tells Sam that her transport went well. Sam comments that she got to miss out on the chaos of the ER. Wright has Abby sign a log to confirm she went on a transport, then starts to leave without saying anything like “happy Thanksgiving” or “you did great today” or even “may God strike me dead before I ever have to see your face again.” Abby thanks him, though, and he tells her that she’s “pretty tough for a girl.” WHY ARE YOU NOT SHOOTING BLOOD OUT OF YOUR EYES, ABBY? Oh, wait, she calls after him, “Go to Hell.” She’s smiling, though, and he laughs back at her.

Elizabeth’s family is in the waiting room, so Abby goes out to ruin their Thanksgiving. Neela goes to Gates’, where…oh, hey, he actually made dinner! It’s tacos, not turkey, but still. Neela chugs some wine because, like me, she expects sex to happen. She tells Gates that she’s been thinking about what she knows they’re going to do, and she’s clearly anxious about it. He assures her that they can take things slowly. For now, that involves making out.

Katey brings Ray some brownies along with his phone. They’re going to be seeing a lot more of each other because she’s starting an ER rotation. She’d planned to avoid that so they wouldn’t have to navigate the trickiness of working together, but her intended radiology rotation fell through. Ray notes that he won’t be able to evaluate her. She’s not worried.

Ray thinks that Abby was gone on the transport run for so long because she and the guys were goofing off. That’s what they did the last time Ray was with them. Jane and Malik act the same with Abby, sure that she had an easy day away from the ER. Abby’s desperate to go home to her family, but they surprise her by coming in instead.

Neela and Gates have done the opposite of take things slowly, and Meg and Sarah return to find them naked in his bed. Sarah runs off, and Meg just complains that Tony didn’t use a coaster. Tony, it’s time to move out. Sam and Alex are about to head out to get dinner, but Luka has brought food in for the staff and invites them to stay. Katey introduces herself to Weaver, mentioning that she just started an ER rotation. Weaver says that she hopes Ray is giving her a “lay of the land.” Pratt and I make the same expression, which says, “He’s giving her a lay, all right.”

Courtney and Weaver flirt, and Pratt, who’s done a lot of growing up in the past five minutes, jokes along with them. Courtney invites him to come over and watch football with them the next day. Pratt whispers to Weaver that she’s lucky. Abby reminds Luka of a few things that Joe likes, just in case something happens to her. Crenshaw lets her know that Melanie is doing well. Luka asks if Abby’s okay and how the transport went. Seeing that everyone’s having a great time together, Abby decides to wait until later to give him the scary and sad details. They go sit with their colleagues as Pratt toasts their little work family.

Thoughts: In terms of episodes where a character risks their life to save people, this ranks high. Abby really could have died helping Melanie, and Melanie definitely would have died if Abby hadn’t jumped into action. And to drive home how dangerous the situation is, a full four seconds pass between when the bus leaves the edge of the ravine and when it hits the bottom – that’s how deep it is.

Any woman who gets called “honey” by a male work colleague should get to take all the money out of his wallet. Buy yourself something nice, Abby.

The kid who plays Milo, who was about 11 when this first aired, is really good. I fully bought that he was scared for his mom, rather than an actress he probably met ten minutes before shooting their scenes.

Pratt: “You have excellent taste in women, Dr. Weaver.” Weaver: “Of course I do.” Love it.

April 11, 2023

ER 13.4, Parenthood: Pratt’s a Big Boy Now

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

I don’t know why Abby thought she would enjoy a mommy/baby class anyway

Summary: Gates’ day starts with Meg and Sarah fighting like only a mother and her preteen daughter can. Meg asks Gates to get involved, but Gates wisely wants to stay out of it. Meg channels her inner Rachel and storms off yelling that she hates living there. Gates just eats his Cheerios and pretends everything’s going well.

Things are much quieter at Abby and Luka’s, where the new parents are discussing getting a nanny so Abby can go back to work full-time. Luka hides a smile when Abby says she’s taking Joe to a mommy/baby class. Yeah, doesn’t sound like an Abby thing, does it? Gates drives Sarah to school as she complains about the clothes her mother made her wear. She climbs into the backseat to change. She says she’s under a lot of pressure to fit in at school, but Gates thinks this is for a guy. Oh, let the girl wear what she wants. He advises her to forget about her clothes and ignore the guy, which will make him notice her.

Pratt leads Hope through an intubation, which she’s sure she can do successfully with Pratt and Jesus guiding her. Please don’t put the two of them on the same level. Pratt’s head is already too big. Doctors are trained to hold their breath while they intubate; if they run out of air, it’s taking too long. Hope takes way too long and ends up passing out.

Pratt gave the transport beeper to Jane today, but Ray didn’t think she wanted it, so he took it from her. Pratt lectures him about that and about not staying on top of his critical patients. How does Ray still have a job there? Pratt complains to Luka that all the interns are incompetent and all the technology is outdated. Luka, send him back to Sudan. He’s not grateful enough yet for what he has in the U.S. Pratt continues whining about the interns, saying that Jane is creepy: “She’s always sneaking up on me. She’s like those twins in The Shining.” Luka tells him to adjust his teaching processes based on the interns’ strengths and weaknesses. Pratt turns to find Jane staring at him. Uh, okay.

Abby’s late for the mommy/baby class and immediately gets shamed for the way she carries Joe. She bites back, so the teacher suggests that she not join the class. Morris hands off some patients to Pratt so he can go to Max’s soccer game. Max hasn’t told his parents yet that he reached out to his father. Pratt tries to get Luka to help him with all the patients Morris just dropped on him, but Luka’s going to take the trauma case coming in, and he thinks Pratt needs practice handling a lot of patients on his own. Pratt just gives them to Ray instead.

He interrupts Haleh while she’s teaching the interns something and asks one of the ones we don’t care about a question. He can’t answer it, but Gates can. Pratt doesn’t give him any credit for knowing the answer. A patient named Emma asks Pratt if she can speak to his boss. She’s under the impression that Morris is his superior. Pratt offers to help her, but Emma declines, since he’s not Morris.

Gates continues showing his smarts, which the other interns don’t share. Pratt asks why he failed the in-service exam if he knows so much. Gates casually says that he doesn’t test well. Pratt wants to see his charts, which Gates says he’s still working on, even though he’s already been chastised for not charting as he goes. Fortunately, Pratt leaves him alone to help Luka with his trauma patients.

Neela meets a med student named Katey, who Crenshaw sent to shadow Neela for the day. She confides that she went out with another student a few times but they weren’t compatible, partly because he doesn’t do oral. Katey, you are 30 seconds into meeting someone who will no doubt be giving you reviews. Keep it professional. They run into Crenshaw, who gives them a patient who’s been there 27 times. It seems like he wants to break Neela, who’s not going to let him.

Sam is working with Luka on his trauma case when Timmy comes in to tell her that Alex’s school called – he didn’t show up this morning. Sam’s surprised, since she drove him there herself. Neela and Katey come in for a consult, and it seems like Katey is smarter than all of the ER interns, except for Gates. Their patient is a kid named Thomas who was injured when his grandfather, Clive, cut down a tree.

Pratt leaves him to go with Ray to tend to Emma, who was supposed to be discharged but is declining. Pratt then gets called away to take care of a burn victim and another trauma case. He quickly starts delegating. Sam calls Alex and tells him he has ten minutes to get back to school. She joins Pratt to help the burn patient, Mr. Stevens. Next door, Jane, Haleh, and Chuny are working on the other patient, Luis. Pratt is probably overwhelmed, but he keeps his cool and tries to keep an eye on everyone.

Morris gets a little too sports dad-ish at Max’s game, and Max’s mom, Adelle, gets suspicious. Yeah, you guys really didn’t think this through. Pratt juggles Mr. Stevens and Luis at the same time, while Ray lets Gates take care of Emma. Pratt reminds Ray that Gates is an intern and needs to be supervised. Gates determines that Emma needs a central line, but he doesn’t stop to question whether he’s allowed to do it.

As Luka tends to Thomas, Abby leaves him a message letting him know she’s taking Joe to the park if he wants to join them. She’s going to look for “some normal moms.” She strikes up a conversation with some nannies and learns that it’s common for the men who hire them to fantasize about sleeping with them (and, in many cases, to makes those fantasies a reality). Abby lies that she’s a nanny, too.

Pratt runs into a problem when Mr. Stevens, Luis, and Clive all need immediate care at the same time. Jane announces that Gates has requested a rib spreader. Pratt finally realizes that he needs Luka’s help, but Neela tells him that Luka has his hands full with Thomas. Pratt makes some quick decisions.

Max’s other mom, Brinn, arrives at his game, and her friends asks if she knows Morris. He’s not doing a very good job of flying under the radar. When he gives Max a chest bump and a pat on the butt for a goal, Brinn goes after him. A dad threatens him, and Morris accidentally knocks the guy out throwing him off. He calmly says he can help the man, since he’s a doctor. Brinn punches him in the stomach.

Abby’s new nanny buddies trash-talk their bosses, giving her insight into exactly why she shouldn’t want to hire one. All of Pratt’s patients are stable, but he can’t get Neela to take Luis up to surgery yet. He tries to override Crenshaw, which I’m sure won’t come back to bite him. Pratt finds Gates dictating his notes on a recorder, which Pratt says is a bad idea, since they don’t have time to wait for them to get transcribed. Gates thinks this is more efficient. Pratt should be relieved to hear that he didn’t use the rib spreader to spread ribs, but instead to get some metal off of a guy’s leg.

Pratt tells Gates that no matter how cool the others think he is (or he thinks he is), he needs to follow the curriculum the ER has developed to train interns. Gates challenges Pratt to teach him, but Pratt says he can’t teach someone who already thinks he knows everything. Gates clearly doesn’t think about the possibility that he could screw up and someone would have to take responsibility for his mistake. He figures it’s not an issue because he hasn’t screwed up.

A critical-care doctor comes by to ask Gates about Emma. She admires his treatment plan and praises him for dictating his notes so she doesn’t have to decipher yet another doctor’s bad handwriting. She thinks Gates is an attending, and an annoyed Pratt tells her that he’s an intern. Gates lies that the recorded notes were Pratt’s idea. Instead of taking the W, Pratt asks to see the rest of Gates’ charts.

Pratt asks Timmy if the gift shop still sells personalized gifts. Timmy teases that if he wants to write his name in his underwear, he can just use a Sharpie. Morris comes in with the paramedics bringing in the guy he knocked out. He declines to tell Pratt the details of the guy’s injuries. Thomas’ parents are understandably upset with Clive for using a chainsaw with his five-year-old grandson around. Pratt steps in to defuse things, but I don’t think Clive is going to be allowed around Thomas any time soon. He tells Pratt that he wasn’t a great father, and he just wanted to make up for it by being a good grandfather.

Sam lets Pratt know that the police are there to question Morris. Brinn and Adelle have accused him of being a child molester. Pratt starts to go deal with that fiasco, but Katey tells him that Luis is having breathing problems. Neela thinks she can get him a surgical airway, so Pratt gives her permission. It’s kind of like the Gates situation, where a mistake will come back on him, but at least he’s worked with Neela for years and knows she has the skills to do this. Crenshaw objects later, since she was unsupervised, but Pratt accepts the responsibility.

Luka comes back from helping stabilize Thomas and is pleased that Pratt handled so much on his own. Pratt even tells Luka that he can leave early. Luka asks Sam if she found Alex; apparently he skipped school to go to the mall with a friend. Luka notes that he has that to look forward to with Joe someday. Sam seems happy for him.

Katey gushes over how well Neela took care of Luis. She thinks even Crenshaw is secretly impressed. Ray introduces himself to her as he gives Neela some mail that’s still being delivered to his apartment. Katey hopes the two of them hooked up while they were living together. She’s definitely interested in Ray. Neela takes her mail to the drug lockup so she can open one letter in peace. It’s a $12,000 check for Gallant’s death benefits.

That jerk cop Hollis questions Morris about what happened at the soccer game. Morris tells Hollis that his relationship with Max is “sort of secret.” Uh, not like that, though! Brinn and Adelle tell Max that Morris is going to go to jail. Pratt asks how he feels about that. Max wisely confesses that Morris is his father. I don’t think his moms are happy about that.

Pratt’s question about customized gifts was a prelude to getting Gates a shorter coat to remind him that he’s still learning. If I were Gates, I’d be like, “Sweet, free coat! Thanks, man!” Luka goes home and tells Abby about taking care of Thomas, but she doesn’t want to hear about anything bad happening to kids. He agrees that they should get a nanny, but she quickly says no. They can handle childcare on their own. Luka goes to the nursery to see Joe, and Abby smiles to herself when she hears him singing “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” over the baby monitor.

Gates tries to study at home, wishing he’d stayed a paramedic. Meg tells him that doctors are much sexier. Sarah comes up to Gates’ little loft to visit him and tell him he was right that she should ignore the boy she likes. She asks if he saved anyone today and says it must be gross seeing so much blood. He tells her he saw more as a paramedic. Also, he’s part vampire, so it’s cool. He convinces her to talk to her mother about the things they’ve been fighting about.

Pratt’s shift is over and he’s proud not to have any patients still in need of care. Timmy tries to convince him that Gates is a good doctor. Pratt admits that he’s okay, but he has a lot of room for improvement. Hope is concerned over reports that Morris was attacked, and he tells her that he turned the other cheek. You know, like Jesus did when…those guys…trespassed against Him. Ooh, so close. He worked things out with Max’s moms, and he thinks they’re going to be up for a threesome with him. Shut up, Morris. Pratt is about to leave when Hope asks for help with something. He stays late to teach her, because our little Pratt is all grown up.

Thoughts: Katey clearly introduces herself as Katey Evans, but every source I’ve seen for her character calls her Katey Alvaro, so I don’t know what’s up there.

How many “can this doctor really handle the pace of the ER?” episodes do we need? The answer: No more. Knock it off.

Look at Brinn, living out all of our fantasies by punching Morris in the stomach. Next she should punch Crenshaw for calling Neela and Katey “girls.”

I got so confused because I thought Adelle was Max’s mom at first, not Brinn. Then I remembered that lesbians exist and Max has two moms.

I love it when parents sing seemingly random songs to their babies. Like, how did Luka learn that Joe likes the Clash?

Gates and Sarah’s relationship is sweet. I like how excited she is that he’s a doctor, and that she calls him Doc.

April 4, 2023

ER 13.3, Somebody to Love: Judgment Calls

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

John Mahoney was always great in everything he did

Summary: County’s new interns have reported for their first day of work. One of them is Gates, and the only other one we need to care about is named Hope. Morris is supposed to be back as an attending, but he called to say he’d be late. He found it much more important to drive around town in a convertible, singing “Believe It or Not.” In other ER changes, Neela’s about to start her first day as a surgeon. Chuny tries to reason with a woman named Harriet who refuses to sign any forms until she gets her lawyer involved. Apparently she’s trying to get in touch with Johnnie Cochran and won’t buy the news that he’s dead.

Paramedics bring in a man named James who has a history of heart problems. Poor Zadro, who must have been relieved not to have to work with Gates anymore, still has to deal with him, just now as a doctor instead of a fellow paramedic. He’s also on probation because the guys from the bar who Gates assaulted filed a complaint, and it came down on Zadro. He hopes that working in the ER means Gates will have to listen to someone else for a turn. He calls Gates “killer,” and Gates tries to reassure everyone else that he didn’t mean that literally.

As Harriet tries to get a call in to Obama, a man named Bennett gets ready for a drag performance. He gets word from a neighbor that something happened to James. He goes to County, where he has to fill out a form before he gets permission to visit. Morris gives Ray a transport beeper, which means he gets to ditch his patients to help transport critical patients. Ray’s thrilled, because he’ll take any excuse not to work.

A woman named Angela comes in looking for Luka, and since she’s pretty, Pratt offers his help instead. For once, he gets called out for flirting instead of being professional. “I think you got served,” says Timmy, who’s back for the first time since season 1. He’s filling in while Jerry’s recovering. Haleh tells Pratt that Timmy was Jerry before Jerry was Jerry. He got stuck in a rut in Chicago and traveled the world for a while, doing the sorts of things that make him unable to remember a lot of the ’90s.

Angela is there to talk to Luka about a patient named Curtis Ames. He suffered some paralysis after a stroke he had while Luka was treating him for pneumonia a couple years ago. Luka gave his deposition a year ago and was told that there was nothing to worry about because the case didn’t have merit. Apparently he was wrong. Angela’s pretty casual about Luka being targeted in a malpractice suit, and she tells him it doesn’t mean he’s a bad doctor. This happens to everyone.

Gates moves through his rounds like he’s been a doctor for years. Sam’s pleased with his speed, but Pratt’s annoyed that he hasn’t filled out his charts. Bennett finally gets permission to see James, who he says is his business partner. Gates notes that he has some mascara on his face. Bennett says he had a long night.

Dubenko welcomes Neela to surgery and introduces her to her new colleagues, including Dustin Crenshaw. He’s the chief resident and he’s super-annoying. Sir, we already had a Romano. We don’t need another. Thank you. Anyway, he thinks Neela wasted her time working in the ER before figuring out that she wanted to be a surgeon. She frames it as honing her clinic skills.

Gates checks on James, noticing but not commenting on the fact that Bennett is treating him a little more intimately than one would a business partner. Bennett must sense that Gates isn’t judgmental because he admits that they’re a couple. They’ve been together more than 15 years. Bennett says that James didn’t think that he would ever find someone who would love him. Bennett himself thought he would live out his life doing drag. James wakes up and says that sometimes he looks like Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Eve. Gates seems to think the two of them are sweet together.

Sam catches Luka as he’s leaving and asks him to sign something. She notes that they never talked about what happened the day of the shootout. She feels responsible for getting him involved, but he firmly says that if it weren’t for her, he would have died. Sam is doing pretty well after the ordeal, and she’s sending Alex to a therapist, but he doesn’t seem to be getting anything out of it. Luka tells her not to beat herself up. She did what she had to do.

Hope has gone overboard with a patient, getting more history than she needs. Pratt has no patience for hr. Morris comes in with paramedics as they deliver a combative man who may have taken drugs. Harriet takes pictures as Pratt joins in the others’ attempts to subdue the man. Harriet promises that Obama will be seeing the pictures.

James is feeling better, and he wants Bennett to go get ready for his show that night. He’s performing at a fundraiser for an HIV and AIDS coalition. James says he never misses a show. Gates tells him that he didn’t have a heart attack, but his kidneys are causing trouble and he’ll have to go on dialysis. James is tired of medical treatments and refuses. Bennett calms him and asks for other options. Unfortunately, the only other one is death.

Bennett and Gates try to convince James to undergo treatment, but James is tired and has had enough. Bennett reminds him that they’ve always agreed to “choose more life.” James finally agrees, but only if Bennett calls someone named Lorraine and asks her to bring someone there. Bennett doesn’t think that’s a good idea, but James insists. Bennett explains to Gates that Lorraine is James’ sister, and James wants to see her son. Bennett has never met them. James didn’t realize that he was gay until he was 50, and his family wasn’t accepting. James left them and eventually found Bennett.

Pratt complains about another chart Gates didn’t fill out. Gates says he’s trying to use his time well. Sorry, that’s not going to fly. Weaver arrives and Pratt is surprisingly happy to see her, since she’s not an intern who needs her hand held or a slacker who doesn’t do what she’s told. Also he probably appreciates that she can’t yell at him since she’s not his boss anymore. He tries to get her involved in overseeing the interns, but they don’t seem interested in that. Pratt admits that it’s a little awkward that they’re now on the same level.

Paramedics bring in a man named Hector who claims that someone called 911 after seeing him sleeping on a sidewalk. He and Gates know each other well from Gates’ time as a paramedic. Pratt shoos Gates away to do his charting instead of tending to Hector. Hope tries to bond with Hector, since she’s a Christian and he has a religious tattoo, but she’s thrown when he hits on her.

Lorraine, her and James’ brother Harold, and Lorraine’s son Brian arrive. They don’t know who Bennett is. James’ heart is now causing problems, and Sam asks his siblings if he has a DNR. Bennett says they should do whatever they can for him. Brian reveals that he’s been in touch with James and knows about some of his health issues. Harold doesn’t think that James would want his life extended if he was reliant on machines. He and Lorraine ignore Bennett’s attempts to change their minds, telling him this is a family matter and they want to speak privately.

Gates hasn’t filled out James’ chart, so Pratt gets notes about his medications from Sam and starts making decisions. Weaver learns that some protocols in the ER have changed since she was in charge, and not necessarily for the better. James is declining further, and Gates comes in to help Sam and Pratt stabilize him. An alarm on Bennett’s watch goes off to signal that it’s time for James’ afternoon meds. One of them is digoxin, which wasn’t in Sam’s notes. Apparently Gates told her something different because he misread Zadro’s original notes.

Pratt tells Bennett and James’ family that what they do next depends on James’ DNR status. The siblings have decided that they should stop trying to save him. Bennett objects, but Harold says that James is elderly and doesn’t have someone to take care of him. Bennett says he’s always been that person. Harold thinks the siblings get to make the decision because they’re James’ blood relations. Buddy, James didn’t even tell Bennett to call you! He didn’t say anything about you! Bennett yells that the siblings don’t know James or what he would want. Bennett does because he loves him. Harold dismisses him, saying he has no part in this.

Gates wants to try another medication, but Pratt doesn’t think it’ll work. He apologetically tells Bennett that James’ family gets to make the decision here. They’ll continue CPR as long as it looks like there’s a chance of James making a meaningful recovery. Pratt quietly tells Gates to call time of death in five minutes.

Gates follows Pratt out of the room to slam him for causing James’ decline. Pratt blames Gates, so Gates asks for a chance to fix it. Pratt says it won’t happen. Besides, they have to respect the family’s wishes. Gates notes that this is a teaching hospital, so Pratt should teach him. Pratt gives him one more shot at reviving James before he needs to pronounce him. It’s Gates, so of course he overrides Pratt’s orders and tries his idea. Sam asks if he discussed this with Pratt. Ooh, should have worded that differently, because yes, they discussed it, but not the way Sam means.

Morris, Ray, and Timmy observe as Weaver works with Hope, shifting back to the teaching mode she used to engage earlier in the series. Morris thinks Hope is attractive. Shut it, Morris. Weaver looks for a piece of equipment that Morris tells her has to be locked up because it kept getting stolen. He brags that only attendings have keys to the location. Weaver yanks the key off the lanyard around his neck and reminds him that she’s an attending. Timmy asks Morris if there’s a rule against desk clerks dating doctors (meaning Hope). Morris calls him “not Jerry” and says he has dibs.

Gates and Sam have stabilized James to the point where he can undergo dialysis. A couple of his and Bennett’s friends arrive, and Harold comments that James is “screwed up,” since at least one of the friends appears to be either trans or in drag. Bennett is apologetic about James never telling his siblings that he was gay, then gets understandably mad when Harold calls him a degenerate. The siblings think that James wasted his life, and they’re upset that he lied to them for years. Bennett says he didn’t want to. He just didn’t know how else to live his life the way he wanted to. Harold tries to get him to leave, but Bennett won’t go.

Chuny summons Gates to help with Hector, who’s not doing well. Gates snaps at Hope to stop reciting Psalm 23. Neela and Morris meet up with Abby, who’s downtown with Joe. He immediately throws up on Morris. Thanks, Joe! Abby finds motherhood “bizarre,” but she’s obviously adjusted to it really well. Morris tries to get her to nurse Joe in front of him. SHUT UP, MORRIS.

Gates has determined that Hector has internal bleeding. Neela’s impressed. Crenshaw embarrasses her in front of her former colleagues by making her take notes while he does an examination. Pratt checks in with Sam, asking if Gates pronounced James dead. She tells him that Gates’ idea worked. Pratt bursts into Hector’s trauma room to yell at Gates for disobeying orders. He tells Gates to leave for the day, even though his shift isn’t over.

Instead of listening (because why start obeying Pratt now?), Gates wisely goes to the lounge to fill out the charts Pratt’s been bugging him about all day. He tries to smooth things over with Pratt, but their problem is less about Gates not taking orders and more about him feeling like Pratt doesn’t trust his judgment. Gates thinks that James has a chance because of what he did, but Pratt gets him to realize that their errors caused damage to James’ brain, and he’s not going to make a meaningful recovery.

Dubenko checks in with Neela, who complains that Crenshaw is treating her like a nurse instead of an intern. Dubenko says that’s his call. She’s annoyed that she was allowed to do more during her elective than she is in a program that’s supposed to be teaching her. Dubenko acknowledges that Crenshaw is tough, but his methods work. Neela’s in a different culture now and has to get the ER out of her system so she can become a surgeon. The humiliation is part of the effectiveness.

Gates stops by James’ room before leaving, and Bennett tells him that his friends are encouraging him to go to the fundraiser. He’s figured out that James isn’t going to recover. He knows Gates made a mistake, but he’s not upset. He appreciates how well Gates treated both of them. Bennett thinks that James’ siblings are right and it’s time for his life to end. But Bennett has never been able to give up on “fantasy.” He’s going to hold on to the hope that James will be okay. As a drag performer, he’s something of a liar, but it makes him feel better. Gates says there’s nothing wrong with that.

Morris asks Hope out, but since he hasn’t welcomed Jesus into his life, she won’t accept. She invites him to her Bible group instead. Neela offers to help Gates adjust to the ER, then invites him to get coffee sometime. I guess she’s over Gallant’s death, huh? Sam talks to Alex about his psychiatrist, who told her that he hasn’t been talking much. He says he can’t talk to the doctor. Then he reveals that he wasn’t really asleep the night Sam killed Steve, and he saw everything.

Gates goes home to his roommates, a woman named Meg and her preteen daughter Sarah. Sarah’s super-supportive of Gates’ new job and hopes he saved a bunch of people on his first day. Bennett gets ready for his performance, during which he sings “You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You.” Neela looks at pictures of Gallant while Brian sits by James’ bed and Gates and Meg make out.

Thoughts: Bennett is played by the late John Mahoney. Hope is played by Busy Philipps, who was on Freaks and Geeks with Linda Cardellini. Sonya Eddy, who plays Harriet, also played the records room employee Benton talked to in “A Walk in the Woods.” The timing of this episode coming up is depressingly appropriate, as she died last year and was just memorialized on General Hospital last week.

The joke about Harriet trying to get in touch with Obama is funnier now than when this episode originally aired in 2006, when he was still a senator.

Hope is kind of annoying but she would make a gret psychiatrist, since she seems to like listening to people.

I’m going to tell myself that Brian and Bennett stay in touch after this and Bennett becomes Brian’s honorary uncle.


March 28, 2023

ER 13.2, Graduation Day: The Kitchen Sink

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

Everyone should have a Maggie to sit with them when things get hard

Summary: Sam has been driving her and Alex’s getaway car all night, and she’s so out of it that she’s barely able to swerve out of the way of an oncoming truck. She stops at a diner to call someone for a ride, knowing it’s not safe for her to keep going on her own.

At County, Joe is under the care of Dr. Rabb, who tells Abby and Luka that they’ll need to trust her to do what’s best for their baby. Abby knows a little of what to expect, since she did a rotation there, but she’s never seen it from this side before. She wants to know what color her son’s eyes are. Luka tells her they’re blue. Neela had asked Luka if she could come visit, but Abby isn’t ready to see anyone yet. Too bad, because Maggie’s here!

Sam called Elliot, who comes to meet her at the diner. She’s worried that she’s going to be arrested for killing Steve. Elliot points out that she was justified, but she tells him that she was free and clear. She could have gotten away, but she went back specifically to kill Steve. Elliot tells her not to repeat that to anyone – they’ll be the only people who know. She can get away with a self-defense claim.

It’s business as usual at County, with Weaver still in charge while Luka’s with his family. Neela took a nap during her impromptu night shift, and Pratt tells her to go home and rest. He expects that Gallant’s parents will want to see her. In the NICU, Maggie’s the only person who doesn’t understand all the medical jargon being tossed around about Joe. Rabb tells her that Abby was a star student during her rotation there. Maggie guesses that she never let herself be proud of that.

As Maggie marvels over the baby’s heartbeat, Luka quietly tells Abby that he didn’t ask her to come to Chicago. Abby isn’t too upset about her presence, though, especially since she seems stable. Neela brings the new parents coffee and meets Maggie for the first time. There might be a problem with Joe’s heart, and Abby has to tell Maggie that they can’t just fix it right away. This is going to be a long journey.

Gates, who we last saw getting surgery from Neela in the field, brings in a guy who covered himself in tinfoil and tried to climb some tower. Gates says hi to Neela (who he calls Mayday) as she’s leaving and says he’s glad she’s okay after the big shootout the day before. He’s disappointed when she doesn’t banter with him. Pratt tells him that her husband just died. As the two of them and Weaver are trying to subdue Tin Foil Guy, Pratt spots Sam arriving in the ER. She tells Weaver that a friend dropped her off and that she needs a rape exam. Weaver gives her a hug.

Maggie takes notes on Joe’s treatment and disapproves of a student doing a procedure on him. He’s actually a resident, but even Abby isn’t convinced that he knows what he’s doing. Rabb gently tells her that he’s doing a good job. Maggie is writing everything down so she can look it up later. She brings up the connection between smoking and premature labor, and Abby says she quit two years ago. Maggie notes that stress could have caused the early delivery. Luka defuses the tension by telling her about the shooting and Abby’s fall. Rabb says the cause of the early delivery doesn’t really matter.

A nurse invites Abby to come to a lactation seminar, and Maggie goes with her. Luka stays behind with Joe and talks to him in Croatian. Abby wants privacy while she pumps breast milk, which Maggie finds ridiculous. Maggie, you’re going to want to pick your battles here. Abby’s doing an amazing job keeping it together, but we all know she could snap at any minute.

Weaver and Haleh tell Sam about Joe and Jerry’s condition as they do her rape exam. Sam says she knew that Steve was a thief, but she never thought he was capable of what he did yesterday. She feels responsible. Weaver asks what happened to the fugitives, and Sam says they’re all dead.

One week later: Gates and Zadro go out in the pouring rain to tend to a guy who Gates thinks OD’d. Gates gives him Narcan, injecting it in a way Zadro says they’re not supposed to. Gates radios county to try to get permission to do something else, but Pratt shuts him down. Gates lies to Zadro that he gave approval. Zadro warns that if he’s lying, Zadro won’t back him up.

Luka takes a break from an ER shift to check on Joe. They’ve been trying to wean him off his ventilator, but he’s had a bit of a setback. Rabb asks if Abby and Luka have made a decision about a trial involving a hypertension drug. Abby thinks the risks are too high; they still have other options they haven’t tried. Maggie attempts to weigh in, but Abby doesn’t appreciate that. Rabb wisely dismisses herself from the conversation.

Abby complains that Rabb has been pushing them to do the trial for a week. Luka accuses her of always seeing the worst in people. Abby disagrees, and besides, this is their child they’re talking about. Luka also dismisses himself from the conversation. Maggie gently tells Abby that he could be right. The new drug might turn everything around for Joe. They should follow their instincts. Abby snaps at her mother to shut up. She didn’t ask Maggie to come or be involved, so maybe she should leave.

Morris comes by County to visit his former colleagues and brag that his new job with the pharmaceutical company is sending him on a trip to Vegas. Then he admits that he hates the job and wants to come back to County. Gates and Zadro arrive with their patient, and Zadro learns that Gates lied to him. Pratt threatens to report him.

Weaver attends a meeting about Clemente, where Anspaugh announces that he’s firing Luka. Amazingly, Weaver takes responsibility, but Anspaugh points out that she’s not the one who kept Clemente on after he proved to be trouble. Apparently Weaver said previously that she told Luka to get rid of Clemente and that he ignored her. She admits that that’s not true. As she leaves the meeting, Morris begs her to get his job back. Like literally begs on his hands and knees. She tells him she can’t help him – she’s no longer the chief of staff.

Luka determines that Gates’ patient didn’t actually overdose. He doesn’t know what’s actually wrong with him, though, so he just keeps trying different things to see if something works. Pratt says they’re throwing the kitchen sink at him. Gates is still there, and he suggests a condition that’s pretty rare. He knows about it because he got a question about it wrong on his boards and had to look it up later. Luka lets him administer a treatment, since they have nothing to lose. It does the trick.

Morris tries to bug Luka about getting his job back, but Luka doesn’t have time for him. Maggie sneaks Abby some coffee, which they aren’t supposed to have in the NICU, and tells her about a time when Eric was hospitalized as a baby. He almost died, and Abby’s father thought they should just say goodbye to him. Maggie ignored what the doctors said and refused to give up on her son. Abby says she’s not like Maggie, but Maggie thinks she is. She needs to find the strength to get through this. Abby isn’t sure she can. “You’ve spent your whole life getting strong enough to do this,” Maggie replies.

Luka returns to the NICU to try to talk to Abby again about the drug trial. Maybe the kitchen sink method will work for Joe. Abby’s worried that something will go wrong; they won’t be able to undo it. But Luka seems confident enough that it could work, so Abby agrees.

One week later: The drug trial was successful and Joe has made huge improvements. Luka and Maggie are able to convince Abby to leave the NICU for a little while. The nurses aren’t thrilled that Maggie will be staying behind. Elliot goes with Sam to talk to a detective or ADA or someone (it’s never specified) about what she claims happened to Steve. Elliot throws his weight around and pressures the guy to stop pursuing murder charges.

Neela runs into Abby and Luka as they’re taking their break outside. They only chat for a little while, and Luka says Neela’s doing fine at work, but it’s clear she’s struggling. She’s been staying at Abby’s, and Abby figures that she might as well give up her apartment since she’s always at Luka’s. Luka wants to revisit his sort-of marriage proposal right before everything went haywire. He’s not going to pressure Abby, and she doesn’t see the point in publicly proving her love for him. Luka agrees that marriage can wait until later.

One of Joe’s monitors starts beeping, and though Maggie’s concerned, a nurse just turns off the alarm and says it happens all the time. Then something else beeps, followed by another alarm. Maggie wants Rabb to come see Joe, but the nurse says she’s overreacting. Maggie thinks Joe’s breathing too fast, and she demands that the staff get Rabb there now.

It turns out she was right to worry, since Joe needs to be intubated. Rabb even says that it’s a good thing Maggie was watching him. Joe needs surgery, and Maggie tells Albright not to let any residents operate. Abby wants to call a chaplain and have Joe baptized just in case he doesn’t get better.

Neela gets drunk with a couple of strangers at a bar who walk her out, giving off vibes that she shouldn’t be alone with them. Fortunately, Gates and Zadro arrive just then and Gates gets her away from them. One of the guys gets rude, so Gates beats them both up. Zadro, request a new partner. You deserve better than this guy.

Anspaugh is operating on Joe, so Maggie should be happy. A chaplain performs the baptism and Luka watches from the OR while Abby observes from the gallery. Gates takes Neela home (well, to Abby’s) and she puts on music and drunkenly dances. She wants Gates to stay, and when he says he’s going to leave after he gets her settled, she grabs him and kisses him. To his credit, he stops it and asks if she can call someone to come stay with her. She says she doesn’t have anyone.

Maggie joins Abby in the gallery, where Abby’s starting to simmer with fear. She says she can’t keep pretending everything’s going to be okay. Maggie urges to her to let all the bad things go. Admittedly, she didn’t have a lot of reasons to be optimistic while she was growing up, but she’s not a child anymore. She needs to believe that Joe will be okay. He starts declining, and Abby turns off the intercom so she doesn’t have to hear bad news. She tells Maggie she’s trying to stay positive.

Two weeks later: Word has spread that Weaver’s taking the heat for what happened with Clemente, and that she’s been demoted. Ray asks Neela (who’s wearing sunglasses indoors, so I assume she’s hungover) if she’s talked to Abby recently. She thinks Abby and Luka want privacy for a while. Gates and Neela run into each other for the first time since her drunken antics and she starts to apologize. He says he’s glad he was the one who took her home. Pratt hands out white coats to the interns who are about to start working in the ER. One of them is Gates. Now he and Neela will see each other all the time! Oh, boy!

Sam asks if anyone’s heard from Jerry, who was supposed to be released from the hospital the day before. Frank says they just talked. Because they’re secretly best friends! Morris is still at the pharmaceutical company, unable to enjoy any of the perks that come with the job. Saving Jerry was difficult but possibly the best moment of Morris’ life. He feels silly working a fancy job now. He’s figured out what’s important and wants to practice medicine again. He just needs Luka to get back to him about getting his job back.

Elliot comes in to tell Sam that the DA has finally declared Steve’s death justifiable homicide, so the whole ordeal is over. You know, except for the part where Sam and Alex were taken hostage and she was raped and then killed her son’s father. At least she can stop worrying about going to jail. Elliot asks if she’s talked to Alex about what happened. Sam says he just knows that Steve is dead, but not the details. Elliot offers to help her with anything else she might need.

Morris gives a presentation to some doctors, trying to get them on board to prescribe a drug from his company. Pratt pulls him out to tell him that Luka is going to offer him his job back. Morris ducks back into the meeting to tell the doctors that his drug is a scam. Neela gets drunk again at the hospital’s graduation party for the interns, but this time she keeps her lips to herself. She introduces Ray to Gates, setting up the new love triangle for the season.

Morris wants to be allowed to call Weaver “Kerry” now that their colleagues. That’s a no, Archie. Luka comes by, saying that Abby wanted to tag along but decided this wasn’t the night for it. Weaver asks how she’s holding up, and Luka says she’s okay. With all that, it would be understandable if viewers assumed that Joe died…but he didn’t! He’s home with his mom, who’s been so grateful for Maggie’s visit that she wants her to come back sometime. She couldn’t have gotten through the NICU experience without Maggie.

Maggie laughs because Abby’s been defiant ever since she was a child. She teases that she hopes Joe causes Abby as much pain and agony as she caused Maggie. Abby tells Maggie that she doesn’t have to leave just yet, but Maggie assures her that she can handle parenting on her own. Back at the party, Luka shows his colleagues pictures of his son and passes out cigars.

Thoughts: Yes, Maggie is overbearing in this episode and Abby is justified in being annoyed with her, but think about what it means that she dropped everything to come help out and provide support. The Maggie from Abby’s childhood would never have done that. Look how far she’s come. And I love how she takes notes and tries to remember everything that’s important. That’s someone you want in your corner.

Weaver is so maternal toward Sam when she shows up in the ER. It’s really sweet.

Frank to Morris, who’s wearing a purple shirt: “What’d you do, mug a pimp?” Morris: “Yeah, your dad says hi.” Pratt: (cracking up)

How mean that they made us think Joe died. Don’t be so mean, show!

March 21, 2023

ER 13.1, Bloodline: Who Had the Worst Day?

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

These two…

Summary: Police are securing the scene at County after Steve and Rafe shot up the ER. Weaver’s in the ambulance bay, looking shaken. She asks an employee who saw the fugitives leave if Sam was with them. He confirms that they dragged a woman out of the hospital. Weaver tells a cop Sam’s name and insists that he find her. Then she instructs Lily to have the ER shut down to incoming traumas and page Luka.

Frank heard about the shootings and came in to lend a hand. He’s a little shaken when he sees Jerry, who’s still being worked on in a trauma room. Aw, they fight a lot but they’re buddies! Weaver assures him that Jerry will be okay. She and Chuny find Timmy, who’s alone and scared. Weaver advises a cop to get a cut on his leg checked out, but he’s just going to bandage himself up and get back to work.

In the getaway van, Rafe and Steve change clothes and complain about how things went wrong. Sam tells Steve that Alex’s insulin level is peaking and he needs to eat something. It sounds like Steve doesn’t know much about his son’s diabetes. Back at County, Weaver checks in on Jerry and his team, who are waiting for the equipment Abby was supposed to get. Weaver says she’ll go find it. Instead, she finds Abby unconscious and bleeding outside the suture room. Then she hears Luka thrashing around and sees what the fugitives did to him.

Pratt and Neela are still at the cemetery, but when they hear about the shootings and what happened to Abby, they head to the hospital. Weaver and Chuny take care of Luka, who’s mostly fine and just wants to be with Abby. She’s awake now but dazed. A quick exam reveals that the baby is okay. It also reveals that it’s a boy. Weaver thinks there could be a problem with the placenta, which means Abby could need a C-section. Abby doesn’t agree, but she tells Weaver to send her to OB for an exam. She asks Luka to stay back and take care of Jerry.

Weaver continues running the ER, letting Pratt and Neela know when they arrive that Jerry’s heading to surgery and Abby’s okay. Neela goes straight to Abby, who insists that there’s nothing to worry about. Neela wants to go to OB with her anyway: “For fun, we can play Who Had the Worst Day?” The fugitives ditch the van for another vehicle in a convenience store parking lot, and Sam convinces Steve to get Alex something to eat. He and Mary stay back with Alex while Rafe goes in with Sam. Steve tells Alex to stand up straight and be a man; he’s not a little kid anymore. Yeah, I guess being kidnapped by your own father makes you grow up pretty fast.

Morris and Ray are having trouble stabilizing Jerry, so Luka takes over. They don’t think he’s well enough to work, so once he’s helped out a little, they make him sit down. Sam wisely keeps her eye on the convenience-store cashier and a security camera, making sure she’s caught on film stealing food. Rafe catches her, too, and averts her plan to get busted by someone who can help her.

Luka talks Morris through Jerry’s tough intubation, which is finally successful. They quickly send him up to surgery with Dubenko, who tells Luka that everyone from his floor is doing what they can to help out the ER doctors. Coburn examines Abby and tells her that while the baby is okay, she’s in preterm labor. She’s at risk for a placental abruption, which means she needs a C-section, just as Weaver guessed. Abby clearly doesn’t what that, but she doesn’t object.

On the way out of the store, Sam asks to use the restroom. This finally gives her a moment away from Rafe, and she writes a note on a paper towel saying she’s been kidnapped. She leaves her hospital badge with it. Again, Rafe catches her and ruins her plans. When she starts to leave, he grabs her by the hair and threatens to hurt Alex if she tries anything clever again.

Abby’s in pain now but doesn’t think she’s having contractions. Her placenta seemingly hasn’t abrupted, either, but Coburn wants to run tests. She knows Abby knows the risks and the steps they need to take in case the baby is born prematurely. Abby refuses to accept that she might deliver two-and-a-half months early. In two weeks, the risks will go way down; she’ll stay on bed rest until then. She wants Coburn to stop thinking about the worst-case scenario. Frustrated, Luka notes that that’s Coburn’s job. Abby finally agrees to the recommended treatment.

Things have calmed down a little in the ER, at least in terms of patients, so Weaver says they can reopen for traumas. Her leadership is definitely what’s gotten everything under control (plus, I assume, everyone’s willingness to work a little harder to make up for the colleagues who are currently unable to do their jobs). The fugitives get stuck at a railroad crossing, and Rafe impatiently drives around the gates. A cop starts following them and eventually pulls them over, so Steve loads his gun and tells everyone to be cool. As the cop is either running their plates or calling for backup, Rafe takes off again.

Jerry’s mother has arrived at County, and Morris tells her about his condition, optimistic about his prognosis. Mrs. Markovic has nothing nice to say about County. She claims that Jerry could have gone to Harvard and then law school. You know, if Harvard hadn’t rejected him four times. She asks how much Jerry’s treatment will cost. Morris is impressively patient with her but flees as soon as he can.

He joins Neela, who’s observing Jerry’s surgery. Dubenko is his typical calm self even through complications. Neela has a hunch about what’s causing a problem with Jerry’s heart, and Dubenko follows through and stabilizes him. He asks Neela to scrub in. I guess Neela’s rough day isn’t so bad anymore.

The fugitives end up in a police chase, and Sam begs Steve to let her and Alex out, since he doesn’t need hostages anymore. Instead, they continue the chase, and the cop ends up in a truly scary crash that’s really impressive by stunt standards. When Sam asks again to be released, Steve yells that she’s not leaving.

Abby and Luka worry about her as they wait to see what happens with the baby. Abby says they’re not ready, but Luka thinks they are. He asks if they can name the baby after his father, Mongo. Abby tries to stay diplomatic, but Luka admits that he’s kidding. His father’s name is actually Josef. Abby suddenly doubles over in pain and says she thinks her water broke. She’s actually bleeding again, and the baby’s heart rate starts dropping. Coburn guesses it’s an abruption, so Abby needs to go to the OR.

The fugitives stop at a junkyard and fight about what they should do next. Alex asks Sam if Steve is going to hurt them. She promises him that everything will be okay. When the fugitives go into some old building, Sam and Alex start searching their things for weapons or car keys. Sam promises that she won’t let anyone hurt Alex. They hear gunshots from the building and rush back to the car. Steve emerges and just asks if they’re hungry. I think it’s safe to say that Rafe and Mary are no longer part of this.

Pratt checks on Frank, who says that he always believed that nothing ever really changes – there’s always war and there are always bad guys. Today, he feels like the world is getting worse. Pratt disagrees. Today was a just a rough one for them. As Neela scrubs in to help Dubenko, Abby anxiously awaits her C-section. Morris and Pratt watch together as Neela joins Dubenko. Luka monitors Abby’s blood loss as Coburn does the C-section. The baby isn’t in great shape, and Abby and Luka wait to hear him cry as Neela and Dubenko wrap up Jerry’s surgery.

The baby isn’t breathing, and the NICU doctors need to move him out of Abby’s OR. Abby’s bleeding and isn’t clotting, making her worry that she’s going to bleed out. She tells Luka to go to the NICU with the baby, yelling at him when he says he wants to stay with her. She doesn’t want the baby to be alone. Luka reluctantly leaves as Coburn tries to stop Abby’s bleeding.

After Alex falls asleep in the backseat of the getaway vehicle, Steve sits with Sam and talks about the stars as if this is just a normal family road trip. She tells him that she was going to ask him what happened to turn him into this person, but she thinks he was always on this path. Steve says he loves Alex, no matter what Sam thinks. Sam’s like, “Yeah, you really did a great job showing that today.”

Steve says that Sam is right to be mad. It’s his fault that their family split up. Now the three of them need to stay together. He’d rather all of them die than be separated again. He starts kissing Sam, telling her he doesn’t want her to be afraid of him. She doesn’t need to be. He lowers her to the ground and starts removing her clothes. She’s too tired to fight, and Alex is asleep just a few yards away, so she stays quiet and still while Steve rapes her.

Coburn has tried multiple ways to stop Abby’s bleeding but nothing has been successful. Her last option is a hysterectomy. Weaver goes to the NICU to let Luka know that Jerry’s in recovery. Unfortunately, there’s no news on Sam. Weaver can empathize with Luka, since Henry spent some time in the NICU. She tries to keep him optimistic. Luka’s exhausted and overwhelmed, and he can barely keep his emotions inside. Weaver tells him to go be with Abby, implying that she’ll stay with the baby so he won’t be alone.

Neela, Pratt, and Morris tell Jerry how they saved him. Mrs. Markovic comes in and complains about how she’s had to sit in the waiting room for hours and missed water aerobics. She’s annoying, yes, but she was also clearly scared, and she’s relieved that Jerry’s going to be okay. Morris tries to get in good with her with some Yiddish, since she’s a stereotypical Jewish mom, but she’s not impressed.

Luka goes back to Abby, who’s relieved to hear that other than being premature, the baby is doing pretty well. She asks if one child will be enough for Luka. She wound up having to have a hysterectomy. Luka assures her that one is all they need. Abby’s disappointed not to be able to go to the NICU for at least 24 hours, but Luka has connected some sort of monitoring system to his phone, and they’re able to watch the baby like he’s on a video monitor. Abby wants to name him Joe. She doesn’t remember much about her father, but he liked Joe Frazier because he was a “pure fighter.”

Luka goes to the restroom to wash up a little. He breaks down, finally allowing himself to cry. He’s already lost a wife and two children, and he almost lost his partner and his third child today, but he knows he needs to stay strong. He picks up a trash can and throws it at a mirror.

Steve falls asleep after he’s done with Sam, and she finally gets her moment to run away. Alex is already in the getaway car, so she just has to get the keys and drive. She pauses instead and goes back to Steve, taking his gun. She aims it at him, checking to make sure he’s still asleep, then fires it three times.

Thoughts: Mrs. Markovic is played by the late Estelle Harris.

Frank’s concern over Jerry in no way makes up for his general horribleness, but it’s very sweet. It’s nice to see how much everyone likes Jerry.

I hate how TV shows always fall back on pregnant women having to have emergency hysterectomies. Leave women alone!

March 14, 2023

ER 12.22, 21 Guns: A Bad Day to Die

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

These are their “everything is completely fine” faces

Summary: Pratt is heading off to a graveside service for Gallant, which only he, Gallant’s parents, and Neela will be attending. There will be another memorial later that the County staff can go to. They tell Pratt to give Neela their good thoughts. Haleh introduces Weaver and Sam to a woman named Mary who’s an EMT trainee and is going to spend the day shadowing in the ER. Then she drops Mary in Sam’s lap.

Ray asks Pratt how Neela’s doing, since she hasn’t returned his calls. Pratt says she’s better than expected, but she probably needs some space from her ex-roommate. He might complicate things. They learn that Neela’s skipping the funeral, having said that she’s not up to it. So I guess she’s not doing as well as Pratt has led on.

Abby wakes up to the sounds of Luka talking to himself in Croatian while trying to put together a crib. He’s had insomnia because of Gallant’s death and the mess with Clemente, and he’s using his extra waking hours to prepare the nursery. He talks to the baby in Croatian, and Abby tells him how much she appreciates all he’s doing. Also, maybe they should talk about where their relationship stands. “You’re right – let’s get married,” Luka says.

Weaver meets with Anspaugh before they go before a committee to discuss the Clemente situation. A patient who had a toe amputated after being treated by Clemente is going to sue. Weaver says that Clemente was cleared by the Impaired Physicians Committee and never tested positive for drugs on the job. She doesn’t believe he ever compromised patient care. Anspaugh doesn’t think that matters. Clemente’s on a list of bad doctors posted by the state board. Weaver should have checked it.

The board is upset with Weaver’s hiring practices, but she argues that she hired the best attending she could find. Anspaugh notes that she knew Clemente’s history, including the unspecified Newark incident we keep hearing about. Weaver says that was complicated, and it wasn’t clear what really happened. Anspaugh chastises her for not keeping a better eye on Clemente. She notes that she’s not in the ER much anymore; she doesn’t know what goes on down there. That’s another problem: The board isn’t sure that Luka is capable of running the ER. Weaver thinks that’s ridiculous; he’s doing well enough with what he has.

Luka’s a little cool toward Abby as they work on a patient together, so it’s not surprising to learn that she didn’t answer his sort-of proposal the way he’d hoped she would. It’s not that she doesn’t love him or want to be with him – she doesn’t think they should get married just because they’re having a baby. Plus, their lives are about to change completely, and she’d like to get through becoming a parent before she adds another major change.

Weaver calls Luka away to tell him that she’ll be out of the ER for a while for a meeting about Clemente. She makes it seem like Luka’s to blame for Clemente getting out of control, since he saw all the warning signs but didn’t fire Clemente. Luka worries that he’s going to get fired next. Weaver says that if she weren’t chief of staff, Luka might not be in charge of the ER.

Pratt goes to Neela’s place to try to talk her into going to the funeral. She’s not ready to say goodbye, since she thinks that means she’s going to forget Gallant. She’s already started to. She’s obsessed with trying to figure out why Gallant went back to Iraq. Pratt says he did what he felt was right. He wanted to be part of something bigger than himself. Pratt gets that now that he’s been to Darfur. Sometimes trying to make a difference means taking risks. He assures Neela that no one wants to forget Gallant. The funeral is part of that.

This is Morris’ last day at County, since he’s taken that pharmaceutical job, so he’s making a video of all his colleagues saying nice things about him. Abby reluctantly participates, saying she feels like a hostage, since he told her what to say. A kid named Timmy comes in with a stomachache, and Morris punishes Abby by assigning her to his case. Abby has to tend to an elderly man named Mitch first, so Jerry hangs out with Timmy.

Two of Mitch’s friends tell Abby that when he didn’t show up for a trip with their church group, they started praying. They had visions that led them to Mitch, who was half a mile from the church. Sam is next for Morris’ video, which she thinks is for his parents. She tells him to go see a patient who needs a rectal exam, but Morris refuses. He’s not treating any patients today who are old, young, or need rectal exams. Only hot women for Morris!

Mary’s not a very fast learner, so Sam takes her for more observation. She tries to get information on Mitch out of his friends, but they don’t know much about his condition or medications. Ray examines Timmy as Jerry chats with him about the school play he was in. Timmy wanted to play a bunny but got stuck as a strawberry instead. Jerry feels his pain – he wanted to be the Cowardly Lion in a production of The Wizard of Oz, but he was cast as a Munchkin instead. (Clearly this was before Jerry got really tall.)

Paramedics bring in a prison inmate named Rafe who was injured in a fight. His sparring partner was Steve, and the fight ripped open his stitches from his appendectomy. Sam hears him yelling in the hallway. Luka has no patience for Mary’s lack of medical skills or what he sees as Sam’s failure to properly train her. Mary may be the one woman in history to not be attracted to Luka.

Pratt and Neela ride to the funeral with the casualty officer who told Neela about Gallant’s death. He lets them know that Gallant’s parents requested a military honor for the service. Neela clearly just wants everything to be over. Once Mitch is stable, Abby tells his friends that it looks like he took too many pills by accident. One of the women says she can feel something bad there. She asks if everything’s okay with Abby’s baby. Abby says things are fine, but she doesn’t seem confident. The women hope that she believes in God, because they couldn’t have brought children into the world without faith in a higher power.

Sam apologizes to Luka for being a little off her game in the ER. Mary’s dragging her down. Mary tells Sam that Luka needs to lighten up a little. Sam just says that it’s his department. She obviously wants to check on Steve, whom Ray says is going to be fine. He won’t make her treat her ex. They go tend to Rafe, who’s having breathing problems and needs to be intubated. Sam tells Mary that they’re using something called vec (vecuronium), which will sedate him for the procedure. Ray decides that he doesn’t need intubation yet.

A prison guard asks how long Rafe will be there. Rafe snaps at him and the guard taunts him. Sam tells the guard that as long as inmates are at County, they’re patients, not prisoners. Rafe appreciates her compassion. At the cemetery, Neela numbly sits through the funeral. Everyone flinches at the 21-gun salute. Neela remembers her last in-person fight with Gallant, when she tried to talk him out of not going back to Iraq. She also remembers the first time they expressed interest in each other and how happy she was to see him when he got back to Chicago.

Rafe will have to spend the night at County, but his injuries aren’t too serious. He tells Sam that Steve started the fight and is “a wrong number.” Sam should stay away from him. She leaves Mary to keep an eye on Rafe while she goes to see Steve in the suture room. Her back is turned to the window into the trauma room next door, but Steve has an eye on it. He watches as Mary suddenly puts a cloth over Rafe’s guard’s mouth, then uncuffs Rafe. She comes into the suture room with a gun. As Rafe drags his unconscious guard into the room, Mary orders Sam to close the blinds.

Morris gets a patient to say a bunch of nice things about him. I don’t think she knows English well enough to get what she’s saying. Morris, this is really sad. Jerry and Timmy play a computer game at the admit desk as Luka reviews a chart and sees that Mary screwed up some vitals again. Ray tells him that Steve is back after a jail brawl.

Rafe puts on a guard’s jacket and tells Sam that she’s going to wheel Steve out like he’s going back to prison. Sam warns Steve that once he crosses this line, he won’t be able to cross back over. He tells her that he’s been busted for a bunch of stuff and will be in prison for a long time. She yells that that’s what he deserves. Rafe breaks up the argument and tells Sam that if there’s anything they haven’t anticipated, she needs to mention it now.

Luka’s on his way to check on Rafe, who he sees isn’t in his trauma room. He goes next door to the suture room, and Mary moves the blinds away a little to say she needs a second. Sam shakes her head, trying to tell Rafe not to get him involved. But Mary opens the door and suddenly Luka is in the middle of the prison break. He tries to overpower Steve, and Sam yells for Rafe not to shoot him. Instead, Mary injects Luka with a syringe full of vec. Steve beats him up and knocks him out.

Sam checks on Luka, telling Mary that the vec paralyzed his muscles and made him stop breathing. She uses a bag to give him oxygen and begs Rafe and Steve to let her intubate him. If she doesn’t, he’ll die. Steve doesn’t want a murder on his hands, so he sends Mary (who is clearly Rafe’s girlfriend) to get their getaway van while Sam takes care of Luka. Mary runs into Abby, who’s looking for an ultrasound machine. Mary keeps her out of the suture room, telling her that Luka went somewhere else. Abby starts to open the door, her eyes still on Mary, and Rafe points his gun at her. She figures out where Luka went and cluelessly walks away.

At the funeral reception, Colonel Gallant tells Pratt and the casualty officer how Sitting Bull told his warriors, “This is a good day to die.” That’s how soldiers should think, and it’s how Colonel Gallant raised his son to think. Neela gives him Gallant’s medals, since to her, they only mean that her husband is dead. Colonel Gallant comments that this is a hard time for all of them. Neela is furious that he seems to think Gallant had a noble death. He could have convinced his son to stay in the U.S. Instead, he made Gallant want to go back. It would have been easier to convince him to stay for a better reason: Because they loved him.

Sam shakily tries to intubate Luka, apologizing to him, since he can hear and feel what’s going on. She asks Steve why he got her involved in this. Steve says this was all Rafe’s idea. Rafe’s eager to leave, and he’ll go with or without Steve. Sam asks for one last try, enlisting Steve to help her with the intubation. She’s successful, and she refuses to leave with the guys until she’s sure Luka’s stable. She’s relieved to see him open his eyes.

Rafe turns out the lights, leaving Luka alone in the dark as he, Steve, and Sam leave together. Morris and a couple of cops stop them to ask Sam about Mitch, who’s been declared a missing person. She tells them to check in sutures. Morris doesn’t catch on (no surprise there), and he doesn’t recognize that the guard with Sam and Steve is actually Rafe.

Steve wants to take a different exit, since there are cops around now, but they’re close to the front door, so Rafe insists that they keep going. Jerry asks Sam for paperwork, which she claims is in sutures. As she walks by the admit desk, she turns around and pulls a Donna, calling Abby “Abigail” to let her know that something’s wrong. Abby immediately catches on.

The cops who were with Morris ask Rafe to come back. He, Steve, and Sam make it out the first set of doors and into the waiting area. It’s quiet in there, except for the noise of the coin a girl has just put in a vending machine. Steve gets up from his wheelchair, and he and Rafe start shooting into the ER. Jerry shields Timmy while Abby dives for cover, falling over a cart full of charts. The cops fire back, but they’re not very good shots, which is actually a good thing, because Steve has Sam pressed up against him.

As the guys reload, two more cops step off an elevator. Rafe shoots them and the guys run out to the ambulance bay. Mary is just pulling up in their getaway van, and Sam struggles against Steve when he tries to get her inside. She tells him to stop shooting and go. He should think about Alex. “I already did,” Steve replies. He opens the door to reveal that Alex is in the back of the van with duct tape on his mouth and wrists. As soon as Sam registers what’s happening, she jumps in the van. Cops make it outside and shoot at the getaway van, which makes a clean escape.

Abby’s ears are ringing as she gets up. Police start taking care of the crime part of the shooting while Zadro calls out for people to indicate if they need medical attention. Haleh checks on Abby, who has a cut on her head but seems fine otherwise. As the staff assesses the scene, Abby discovers that Jerry was shot. He would not recommend the experience. But he saved Timmy, so at least he got to be a hero.

Mary speeds down the highway as the escapees try to figure out what to do next. Steve says that he prayed for God to make him a better man, and after a while, God finally started talking back. He told Steve that losing Sam was where his life fell apart, so he could fix everything by getting her back. I assume God wasn’t the one who came up with the escape plan or the idea to kidnap Alex.

Abby, Morris, and Haleh work on Jerry, though Abby has trouble with a procedure and Morris hands it off to Ray. Abby says she’s a little dizzy from hitting her head, but she can still work. She asks Ray if Luka took a patient to the OR. Ray says he hasn’t seen Luka. He’s tied to a gurney in the suture room, and though he manages to thrash around enough to move it across the room, he can’t accomplish much on his back, with a tube down his throat.

Pratt and Neela have gone back to the grave site. She asks if this is something she’ll never get over. He thinks it’ll make it stronger, and she’ll move on with her life, because that’s all she can do and it’s what Gallant would want. He keeps getting calls from the hospital and says he thinks something’s happening over there.

Jerry’s declining, and Morris tells him they would really appreciate if he would crack a joke right now. He thinks Jerry’s bleeding somewhere they haven’t noticed yet. Weaver comes in and is shocked to see Jerry injured. Morris keeps insisting that he’s bleeding internally. The team finally figures out that it’s his chest, so Abby goes to get some kind of machinery.

She ends up in the trauma room where Rafe was treated, and Luka can see her through the window in the suture room. He watches as she doubles over in pain, then looks down to see blood on her hand from between her legs. She puts her hand on the window between them, then slides down the wall, passing out. Luka thrashes desperately on the gurney, unable to do anything as Abby bleeds out just a few feet away.

Thoughts: Linda Cardellini (Sam) and Parminder Nagra (Neela) are both really good in this episode. Then again, I’ve never seen them in anything where they weren’t really good.

It’s so completely (and frustratingly) in character for Weaver to try to pin the Clemente stuff on Luka when she’s the one who hired him, and Luka handled things the best he could. Bad Kerry! Bad!

Obviously I would never encourage anyone to do what Steve, Rafe, and Mary do here, but using Mary as a kind of inside woman is pretty brilliant.

That’s it for season 12. Up next: Forest Whitaker and more John Stamos.

February 14, 2023

ER 12.18, Strange Bedfellows: Listen Up

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

Pictured: Three actors I really like

Summary: Sam is asleep – drink! She’s in her new bed at Elliot’s house, which is big and nicely decorated and just generally screams, “THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE HAVE MORE MONEY THAN YOU WILL EVER SEE IN YOUR LIVES!” They chat about his three children and his late wife. He’s hosting a dinner for his board of directors that night, and he wants Sam to hold off his nighttime treatment until afterward. He tells her that he’ll have his housekeeper make her and Alex breakfast, and Sam can borrow a car.

Neela’s meeting up with Gallant’s parents later in the day; they’re in town for a family wedding. She confides to Abby that she doesn’t think they want to advertise that she’s their daughter-in-law. She’s back to working in the ER after her surgical elective, and Morris teases her about being back with the “commoners.” Abby smells something gross and realizes it’s Morris. Apparently there was an issue with a colostomy bag that a shower didn’t quite clear up.

Sam gets dropped off in a nice car and Morris comments that she has a sugar daddy. “Jealous?” Abby asks. Luka tells her that he’s been emailing with Carter. He needs help in Darfur and asked Luka to come join him. It’s not clear if Luka told Carter that he’s expecting a baby (or if he said anything about him and Abby being back together), but he promises he would be back before the baby comes. He won’t go if Abby doesn’t want him to. She says he doesn’t need her permission, and he can go if he thinks it’s something he should do, which is code for, “You better not think this is something you should do.”

Olivia goes to Pratt’s apartment, and he quickly tries to hide the evidence that he entertained another woman the night before. (He’d better hope she stays in the shower, because she’s still there.) He pretends to be sick and won’t let Olivia in. When she hears the water in the shower turn off, she puts it together and leaves. Can’t say you don’t deserve that, Pratt!

Morris has looked up the Mercedes that dropped Sam off and ID’d it as a car that costs $100,000. He asks her who “Daddy Warbucks” is. “Go kill another patient, Morris,” she replies. To be fair, his last patient who died had lung cancer and was 97, so I don’t think that’s on Morris. The Gallants call Neela to let her know that they’re there. Ray wants to talk about their living arrangements, thinking she wants to move out because there’s a problem between them. Really, it’s because she’s married now and shouldn’t have a roommate. She’s started looking for a new place.

Gallant’s parents – Colonel Gallant and Gloria – are happy to see Neela and are very warm toward her. Ray runs off before meeting them. Back in the ER, paramedics bring in a teen named D’Shawn who crashed a stolen car. The girl in his backseat hasn’t been ID’d, but we’ll find out her name is Brook, so that’s what I’m calling her. Colonel Gallant asks to shadow Neela and see how things work in the ER. He was a medic in Vietnam, so Gallant’s decision to go into medicine didn’t completely come out of nowhere.

Ray and Sam take care of D’Shawn, who’s conscious but just mumbles. The cops who came in with him think he’s on drugs. One of them – Hollis, the cop who brought in Darnell and made Pratt draw his blood – has a wound on his face and says D’Shawn took a swing at him. Neela talks Colonel Gallant through everything she and Abby are doing with Brook as if he’s a med student. Abby’s not thrilled about it. Morris joins them and he and Neela run things together.

Sam asks D’Shawn to be still as they move him off of the paramedics’ backboard. Hollis yells at him, and Ray suggests that they tape his head down so he doesn’t move when he gets a CT. Sam is much more sympathetic, noting that he has to be in a lot of pain. She’s curious about how D’Shawn’s jaw was broken, since an airbag couldn’t have done it.

Neela, Morris, and Abby are having trouble intubating Brook because of [something medical that has to do with her not opening her jaw]. As a nurse, Abby treated someone who had that reaction to a medication, and she knows of another medication that should fix it. Neela wants to cut into Brook’s neck instead, but Abby snaps at her not to. Her diagnosis is correct, and they’re able to stabilize Brook.

Brook’s CT is normal, so Abby wonders why she stopped breathing in the first place. Luka says it could be from drugs or alcohol. She’s still unconscious, so she can’t confirm or deny that. Abby asks Luka if he’s decided whether or not he’s going to Darfur. She doesn’t like that he’s putting the call on her. Luka promises that it’ll just be a couple of weeks, but she knows he can’t say that for sure. The last time he went to do medical stuff overseas, he almost died.

D’Shawn is eager to get out of his trauma room, and Morris and Ray guess that his head injury is making him combative, because there’s no alcohol or drugs in his system. Uh, maybe it’s because he’s Black and Hollis is a full-on jerk. He tells D’Shawn that if Brook dies, he’ll be facing murder charges and a prison sentence of 25 years to life “with [his] homies.” Any white guy who says “homies” unironically is someone who shouldn’t be trusted.

Colonel Gallant tells Neela that she’ll learn a lot working under Abby’s command. Neela starts to tell him that they’re actually on the same level, then changes her mind and just says Abby is great. Gloria wants to take Neela shopping for housewares, and she’s more than happy to go without Colonel Gallant. The two of them bicker about Gallant’s absence.

Paramedics bring in an elderly man named Jim who was attacked by an equally elderly woman named Fredna. She hit him with her husband’s urn. Luka notices a scar on Jim’s chest that Jim says is from a pig heart valve transplant. “You’ve got a pig head, too, philanderer!” Fredna calls after him. Okay, that was pretty good.

Brook’s declining, and Ray joins Abby and Morris to take care of her. Jim is also declining, and Fredna tells Luka and Sam to let him die. Sam jokes that they sound like they’re married. Abby comes to ask Luka for guidance on Brook, and he advises her to talk to D’Shawn and find out if she took drugs. Fredna realizes that Jim is worse off than she thought, and now she’s legitimately worried.

Abby asks D’Shawn if Brook has any medical conditions. D’Shawn can’t talk because of his broken jaw, and one of his hands is also injured, so Abby asks Hollis to undo his handcuffs to let him write something with the other hand. Hollis says no. Abby decides to take off his restraints, ignoring Morris’ warning that he’s dangerous. As they continue talking, we see the scene from D’Shawn’s perspective; their speech is muffled, like they’re underwater. He makes movements with his hand until Ray realizes what’s going on – D’Shawn is deaf and has been trying to sign something.

Ray determines that D’Shawn reads lips, then asks him if Brook took drugs. D’Shawn signs something in response but Ray doesn’t know what he’s saying. Abby gives him one of the patient communication boards that have recently been put to use in the ER, and D’Shawn writes an X and a G to indicate that Brook took Ecstasy and GHB. While Abby goes to tend to her, D’Shawn writes Brook’s name for Ray. Hollis pretends to be apologetic, but Ray won’t excuse what he’s sure was police brutality.

He goes with Morris to help Abby with Brook, and Abby again makes a call about her condition that Morris doesn’t want to be patient to confirm. Ray asks Jerry to find a sign language interpreter, but it turns out Jerry speaks it. (He’s trilingual, but he doesn’t say what else he speaks along with English and sign.) Morris deals with a kid who’s very unhappy to have to wear a cast on his arm for six weeks. “You suck,” he tells Morris. He hits Morris’ hand with the cast just as a pharmaceutical rep approaches him to discuss medications.

Pratt offers to help Luka and Sam with Jim, whose pig valve was damaged when the fight with Fredna raised his blood pressure. Pratt assures her that he’ll be okay. Jerry interprets for D’Shawn that he and Brook went to a party, and he couldn’t wake her up, so he rushed her to the hospital. Ray notes that the car was reported stolen. D’Shawn explains that it’s Brook’s parents’ car, and she snuck out. Abby asks why D’Shawn didn’t stop for the police. He wanted to get Brook taken care of first, and he thought he could just explain everything when they got to the hospital.

Ray asks why D’Shawn fought with the police. D’Shawn says he fought them in self-defense. He couldn’t communicate with them since they don’t sign. Brook has never gotten drunk like this before. D’Shawn doesn’t drink, since he’s an athlete. Abby tells him that he probably saved Brook’s life. He thanks her and Ray for helping her (and, I would imagine, for listening to him).

Neela has lunch with the Gallants and learns that Colonel Gallant has arranged a residency for Gallant in Oklahoma. Gloria’s optimistic that he’ll want to stay in Chicago with Neela. Colonel Gallant assures Neela that she’ll get used to moving around whenever Gallant gets relocated. I don’t think Neela thought about that when she agreed to marry him.

Gloria doesn’t seem to have appreciated seeing the world as much as Colonel Gallant has. Yeah, winter in Anchorage doesn’t sound much fun, and their other postings were in places like Indiana and North Dakota. Colonel Gallant reminds his wife that they also got to go to Italy and France. They’ve had a good life. He asks Neela if she and Gallant have discussed having children. Well, since they haven’t even decided where to live, probably not.

Brook is conscious and doesn’t seem to have any neurological problems. She tells Abby and Jerry that, ironically, D’Shawn is the only person in her life who listens to her. The pharmaceutical rep, Jordan, wants to talk to Morris about a job at her company as the director of physician relations. He would get to travel, he wouldn’t have to work nights or weekends, and he wouldn’t have to work with any bodily fluids. Plus, his starting salary would be around $300,000 and he’d be eligible for bonuses. $300,000 – that’s three Mercedeses!

Fredna insists on sticking around while Jim is in surgery so he won’t be alone when he wakes up. Pratt advises him not to make her mad again. Jim says he can’t help it – he’s a ladies’ man. Hey, so is Pratt! Do you think he’ll learn anything from this? Luka praises him for his help, then comes up with an excellent solution to two of his problems. Pratt needs a change in perspective and Carter needs help in Darfur, so Pratt will be going over there for a month. He’s going to be an attending soon, which means he’ll be responsible for tons of a decisions. This is a great time for him to practice.

Neela takes the Gallants to her apartment, which I’m sure they’re thrilled about her sharing with a guy who isn’t their son. When Gloria goes off to make a phone call, Colonel Gallant apologizes to Neela for their constant bickering. Neela acts like she’s used to it, since her parents are the same. Colonel Gallant announces that they’re separating. They haven’t told anyone yet; they wanted to wait until after this family wedding. They want to tell Gallant themselves. Okay, maybe don’t tell Neela before him, then. Don’t make her keep a secret from her husband!

Luka wants to finish the Darfur conversation with Abby, but she thinks it’s over. They’re not married and don’t live together and haven’t defined their relationship, but he promised they would parent together, so she doesn’t like the idea of him leaving. She also doesn’t like that he wants to go, and she doesn’t like that she doesn’t want him to go. She admits that she’s scared and doesn’t want to do this alone. But she will if she has to. Luka tells her that he’s sending Pratt. “To help you with the baby?” she asks. Heh. He clarifies that he’s sending Pratt to help Carter. Well, he lies that Pratt volunteered. Abby’s very relieved.

Alex comes by and mentions to Luka that he and Sam moved to an awesome house. Luka doesn’t know about Sam’s new job with Elliot, but this explains her new chauffeur. She tells him they’re doing great, in a way that says, “You don’t need to worry about us, but I know you do.” Neela checks on Gloria, who guesses that her husband told Neela about their separation. She can tell that Gallant and Neela really love each other, and she wishes that love could be enough for everyone. She still loves Colonel Gallant.

Neela starts to say that there could be a chance for them to reconcile, but Gloria interrupts to ask if she knows why Gallant volunteered to go back to Iraq. Neela thinks he felt like he was needed there, and he has a strong sense of duty. Gloria replies that she compromised and sacrificed for years because of duty. Gallant is just like his father. They’re soldiers, and they’ll always choose war over their wives. Neela needs to remember who she is and do what she wants, which includes staying in Chicago.

With all of her basic needs now met, Sam actually has time to relax in the evenings. Well, she’d have time if Elliot’s housekeeper didn’t come get her to tend to her boss. He lost consciousness during his dinner party (in a room away from the crowd, fortunately), and Sam determines that he needs a transfusion, or at least oxygen. Elliot refuses, since that’ll take him away from the party for too long. She reminds him that he hired her to take care of him. He notes that he’s her boss, so she has to listen to him. Sam decides this might not be the best arrangement after all.

Brook’s parents are having her transferred to another hospital, and from the way they completely ignore D’Shawn, I don’t think he’s welcome to come with her. A police sergeant confirms that D’Shawn didn’t steal their car; they reported it stolen when they came home early and didn’t realize that Brook had taken it. Hollis apologizes for the “misunderstanding,” and for assuming that D’Shawn was in a gang because he was “flashing gang signs,” AKA using sign language. D’Shawn flashes one last sign at them: the middle finger. Nicely done, D’Shawn. Jerry figures he doesn’t need to interpret that.

Morris thinks it’s a good thing that Ray didn’t meet the Gallants. He’s not sure how Ray is able to live with Neela. None of the women Morris has ever slept with will give him the time of day now. “Neither one of them? I’m shocked,” Frank quips. Ha! Ray realizes that Morris thinks he slept with Neela. Actually, everyone thinks he did.

Frank gives Pratt some stuff that Luka left for him related to his trip to Darfur. Pratt is cranky, and Olivia, who’s just arrived, comments that he must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. She asks who he slept with, and he says it was no one. He apologizes, but Olivia isn’t in a forgiving mood.

Pratt uses the “we never said we were exclusive” excuse, tagging on that he never meant to hurt her. She notes that if he thought it was okay to sleep with someone else, he wouldn’t have pretended to be sick. Excellent point! Pratt tells her he likes her and wasn’t trying to mislead her. He can’t keep talking about this, though, since he has to shift his focus to his trip to Darfur. Olivia thinks he’s lying about that, which is totally fair of her.

Elliot compromised with Sam by taking oxygen with him back to the party. He even sat the whole time and listened to people instead of doing all the talking. He’s ready for his transfusion now. Sam seems to have softened, especially since he’s proven that he doesn’t have to be stubborn or in charge all the time.

Ray gets home as Neela’s packing to go stay at Abby’s, since Abby’s at Luka’s most nights. He’s sad to see their cohabitation end, but he doesn’t try to talk her out of going. She gives him back a T-shirt of his that she stole to sleep in, then says she’ll get more of her stuff tomorrow. He follows her out to her cab and says he wishes he didn’t feel the way he feels right now. She’s the best friend he’s ever had. Neela doesn’t respond – she just gets in the cab and leaves.

Thoughts: When it comes to parents, Gallant hit the casting jackpot: Colonel Gallant is played by Ernie Hudson and Gloria is played by Sheryl Lee Ralph.

Laura Innes (Weaver) directed this episode.

Apparently we’ll be seeing Hollis a bunch more times. Ugh.

We’ve had this ridiculous problem with Abby before, where she’s outspoken all the time but won’t say straight out that she doesn’t want Luka (or, in the past, Carter) to leave. It’s okay to say you’re not comfortable with it! You’re pregnant and anxious and totally justified in not wanting Luka to go halfway across the world! You should say so!

More Alex/Luka cuteness: Alex has to wear a suit jacket as part of a school uniform now, and when Luka sees him in it, he asks if Alex is getting married.

January 31, 2023

ER 12.16, Out on a Limb: Who Will You Be Now?

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

No disrespect to Gallant but this pairing makes much more sense than him and Neela

Summary: Weaver is on her way to County to help out on her day off, since Clemente is on leave and Neela is still doing her surgical elective. Luka tells her to go home and spend the day with Henry instead. Henry’s schedule is full, though, as he’s going to a museum with Mrs. Lopez. Weaver figures she might as well help out since she’s already there.

Chuny read some article about potty training babies at six months, which Abby finds ridiculous. (So does everyone else who’s ever been around a six-month-old baby.) Morris announces that there’s a statewide blood shortage, so they need to be conservative with transfusions. Then there’s something dumb about oysters being an aphrodisiac and Morris claiming it’s true. I don’t care.

Weaver isn’t just at County to work – she’s there to cancel her hip surgery, which she was supposed to have that afternoon. But her excuse is that the ER is busy and they begged her to come in. Her surgeon, Kline, doesn’t buy it, since she’s already rescheduled twice. She needs to just have the operation. Kline thinks it’s simple: She’s in pain, so she needs to fix it. Weaver sticks to her story about the ER.

Ray treats a man named Lemoyne whose rings and bracelets are so tight that they’re cutting off his circulation. Also, his neck hurts because of all his chains. A small price to pay for glamor, right? Ray sees that his chains have eroded into his skin (!!!) and he has an infection. He’ll have to remove his chains. Lemoyne refuses, since he never takes them off, even in bed (“the ladies love the bling”).

Weaver finds kielbasa in a fridge that’s supposed to hold medications. Abby points the finger at Frank, so Weaver says, “Tell him to keep his sausage to himself.” I’m not touching that one. Not touching it at all. Abby shows her a 3D sonogram, which Weaver coos over. She runs into a supply cart and is almost overcome with pain. She tries to brush it off and keep chatting with Abby, who says that Luka wants to find out the baby’s sex while she wants to be surprised. Abby’s feeling great in her second trimester, and Weaver says Sandy felt the same. When she rounds a corner and is alone, she starts crying from the pain.

Neela arrives with a big container of cookies for an Army Spouse Club meeting that night. She tells Ray and Morris that the staff can have one cookie each. Yeah, I’m sure someone will enforce that rule. Paramedics bring in a teenager named Donna who hit a jogger with her car. Abby bonds with Donna’s passenger, Katie, since they both have uncommon, tough-to-pronounce last names. Donna’s in bad shape, and Ray and Weaver disagree over how to treat her.

Katie’s not as bad off, and she tells Abby and Chuny that she and Donna skipped school to go to the mall. They left because Donna had a headache. She fainted in the car and Katie was unable to pull it over. The jogger they hit, Highsmith, is also conscious and in pretty good spirits, all, “This is what I get for trying to get in shape.” Luka sees Weaver taking pills in Donna’s trauma room and asks Neela to see if she needs any help. She definitely does, since she drops a syringe and can’t bend over to pick it up. Sam does it for her.

Pratt shows Neela an x-ray of a guy who’s a “professional regurgitator.” A what now? He swallowed a lightbulb and needs surgery. Neela doesn’t find this nearly as fascinating as I do. Pratt tells her that Jose is being released today. Neela replies that he has an infection and has to stay another week. She assumes that things went well when Pratt told Luka how he covered for Darnell. They certainly went well in Pratt’s head, clearly the only place he’s said anything to Luka so far.

Katie has bruises on her arms that Abby originally thought were from the accident, but they’ve spread. They’re also on her legs. Abby and Chuny quickly jump into action to get Katie tested and isolated. Abby runs to Donna’s trauma room, where she’s being declared dead, to announce that the girls have meningococcemia. Weaver calls for everyone who’s come in contact with the teens to start prophylactic treatment.

Katie’s parents arrive but can’t see her while she’s in isolation. The staff is working on contacting kids from the girls’ school to let them know they’ve been exposed. They’re getting a medication called Cipro from other hospitals, since they don’t have enough on hand. Abby can’t take it because she’s pregnant, so she looks into alternative treatments. Luka doesn’t think Cipro would hurt the baby, but Abby doesn’t want to rely on the assurance that it’s “probably safe.”

Pratt goes to visit Jose for what doesn’t seem like the first time. A man named Richard Elliot is brought in by his driver after he lost consciousness in the car. He doesn’t want to undergo tests, since he knows what’s wrong – he has myelodysplastic syndrome, a problem with his bone marrow. It’s treated with chelation and transfusions.

Frank makes an announcement over the intercom telling the owner of the huge SUV in the ambulance bay to move it. Elliot’s like, “That’s me, gotta go,” but Morris and Sam don’t want to release him. He can barely stand without falling over, so he gives in and consents to a transfusion. He tells Sam that he usually gets them at home. He keeps his own personal blood supply that he buys on eBay. (He’s kidding.)

Luka made Abby get the shot of Cipro, and he advises her not to stress too much about the possibility that she caught meningococcemia from Katie. She doesn’t want reassurance or hot chocolate. Luka says they’re in this together, but she wants him to let her worry when she needs to. He offers to worry along with her. She says okay, so he asks how long they should worry. She says 10 or 20 minutes.

Luka bought pizza for the staff in what Frank thinks is an effort to make up for their exposure to a potentially deadly disease. Neela reports that all the surgeons are mad at her because they have to take Cipro. Frank left out her cookies, and Neela’s surprised to see that there are still plenty left. She asks for opinions and Chuny says, “Reviews are still coming in” in a way that really means, “Your average rating is zero stars.” She and Frank gesture to Morris behind Neela’s back that he shouldn’t eat one. After Neela leaves, Frank puts a “biohazard” sticker on the container.

Ray wants to bring a date to his and Neela’s apartment that night, and he begs Neela to…give him permission? To bring over a date? When he’s always been allowed to before? I don’t know. Abby invites Neela to have dinner with her, since she’d like to dine with someone who doesn’t nitpick everything she eats. Neela wants to throw Abby a baby shower, but Abby thinks it’s too early to think about that. She seems to be putting off coming to terms with how completely her life is going to change when she becomes a parent.

Abby spots Weaver practicing bending over, which she’s still unable to do. Weaver admits to canceling her surgery. She says it’s not a good time for it; Henry and the ER need her too much. Abby notes that Henry will just get more active as he gets older. She guesses that Weaver is scared. Weaver won’t confirm or deny that, but she turns away, obviously trying to hide tears, which is all the answer Abby needs.

Paramedics bring in a drunk guy named James who was beaten up in a bar brawl over a March Madness game. His equally drunk buddies are being loud and obnoxious, and they don’t think the fight or James’ injuries are a big deal. Sam checks in on Elliot, who seems to have been observing her while she was tending to another patient and showcasing her excellent bedside manner. He complains that he pays $20,000 for a boutique doctor and can’t get in touch with him when he needs to. Sam jokes that if boutique nurses exist, she wants in.

Elliot thinks nurses and teachers should be paid as much as pro basketball players and movie stars. Sam definitely doesn’t disagree. She asks what Elliot does for a living. He does something with hedge funds, which explains how he can afford to spend $20,000 on a doctor. Sam gives him a blanket without him even asking, since she noticed that he was cold.

James’ heart rhythm is unstable, and Luka tells his friends to call his parents. Luka kicks them out of the trauma room, and Pratt slams them for acting like idiots while their friend is in such bad shape. One of the guys, Phil, says they’re not always like this. They’ve been friends since they were kids. Pratt advises him to find some new friends. Phil confesses that he’s the one who hit James. Pratt knows that friends can take things too far sometimes, and he softens toward Phil. He assures him that everyone’s done something they wish the could take back.

During a coffee break, Weaver asks how Abby would describe her. Abby goes with words like “doctor” and “mother,” while Weaver’s fishing for the label of “disabled person.” It’s how she’s always been and how she sees herself. She’s never thought of herself as broken or handicapped, so she doesn’t feel like she needs to be fixed. Without her pain and sudden limitations, she’d never even think about surgery. The operation will allow Weaver to get around without her crutch, but Weaver wonders what else she’ll be giving up. Who will she be afterward?

Elliot is done with his treatment and very grateful for the care Morris and Sam provided him. He tells Sam that he fired his personal doctor, who never got back to him. Alex comes in with some cuts and bruises on his face from some older kids at his school. They stole his cell phone, too, those jerks. Elliot gets to see Sam’s maternal side as she comforts her son. He’s supposed to be discharged in a wheelchair, but he charms Sam into letting him walk out. He chats with her about his own grown kids, one of whom has been trying to convince him to move to Florida.

Pratt finally approaches Luka to tell him about how he covered for Darnell. Meanwhile, a couple of Donna and Katie’s classmates come in because one of them, Michelle, wants to see if a bruise on her neck is from meningococcemia. Abby diagnoses her with a hickey, and the other girl says she told her so. Morris asks Abby what she thinks Pratt and Luka are talking about. Abby suggests that they’re talking about him.

Neela goes to get her cookies, but instead she gets an intervention from Frank, Morris, and Ray. They try to delicately tell her that the cookies are horrible. She storms out. Ray talks Weaver out of treating a dislocated shoulder, knowing she’s not in the shape to do it right now. She decides to talk to Kline again about her surgery.

Luka’s unhappy with Pratt and warns that he’ll have to report this to the state medical board. They’ll likely suspend his license, which means his whole career will be in jeopardy because of one bad decision. He asks if Pratt would risk his career for someone who did what Pratt did. He suspends Pratt for five days and advises him to use the time to think about what it means to be a doctor. Pratt thanks him but Luka says not to, since this isn’t a reward.

Ray is done for the day, and he hands off a patient named Mr. Gauthier to Abby. He hit his head “trying to stop an epidemic.” That epidemic? Children being horrible in public. He told a kid at a coffee shop to use his inside voice, and the kid’s mom threatened to call the police. Mr. Gauthier left but tripped over a stroller on his way out. Abby gasps, not because of his injury but because she just felt the baby move for the first time. “Great. It’s all about you, isn’t it?” Mr. Gauthier asks sarcastically.

I guess Weaver didn’t eat anything all day and no one took her surgery slot because Kline is going to operate on her as scheduled. She looks like she regrets changing her mind again when she goes over the list of possible complications. Neela’s late to the Army Spouse Club meeting, but fortunately, she shows up with store-bought cookies instead of her own. The hostess doesn’t know how army wives like her are able to handle being married to both the military and their careers.

Sam and Alex run into Elliot as they’re leaving the hospital. Alex admires his SUV and Elliot offers to give him a ride any time he wants. Sam sends him to the mini-mart to get a soda, and Elliot tells his driver to tag along. He gives Sam his card and tells her that on top of firing his doctor, he fired his home-care nurse. He’d like Sam to take her place.

Sam is flattered but doesn’t want to quit her job. Elliot says this would be part-time and the hours would be flexible. She’d have to work overnight, so he would be happy to have her and Alex move in with him. Sam thinks that’s nuts. Elliot tells her that his house is so big that she and Alex could have their own space. His housekeeper has lived there for 15 years and he barely sees her. She could watch Alex after school. Sam is resistant to what she thinks is a pity offer. Elliot wants her to see this as opportunity rather than charity. She admits that it just seems weird to her. He tells her to think about it and get back to him.

Neela chats with the other Army spouses, one of whom is pregnant and will give birth before her husband gets home from deployment. She’s okay with it since she knew what she was getting into when she married a soldier. She appreciates the support she gets from the group. Another woman says it’s a small price to pay while their spouses serve their country.

Neela brings up the management of the war and weapons of mass destruction, which causes tension. The sole male group member asks how she can support what Gallant is doing if she doesn’t support the war. Uh, because there’s a huge difference between “I’m proud of my husband for the sacrifices he’s making for our country” and “I don’t think our government is handling this war well, and my husband shouldn’t have to be fighting in it in the first place.”

One wife says that their duty is to support their spouses’ duty. Neela replies that her duty is to be a good wife and doctor, not to let herself be brainwashed by “some pseudo-patriotic delusion.” Everyone in the room falls silent. I bet Neela wishes she’d brought those horrible cookies so she could have the pleasure of watching some of these people get sick.

Weaver summons Abby to her bed before she’s taken in for surgery. She wants Abby to be Henry’s legal guardian if something happens to her in surgery. (The Lopezes are great and all but they’re getting older.) Abby notes that Luka’s part of her life, but Weaver doesn’t have a problem with him taking in Henry. Weaver admits that it’s hard being alone, and she’s always felt like she could depend on Abby. Abby says she can and accepts the paperwork that would make the arrangement official.

Neela heads home, surprised to hear “Unchained Melody” through her apartment door. When she enters the apartment, Ray is alone, watching a basketball game. He’s also a little teary and trying to cover it. She accuses him of secretly watching Ghost after his date stood him up. He won’t admit to the movie, but he does admit to the failed date.

Neela asks if it’s possible to kick yourself out of a club. She tells him she’s proud of Gallant, but she feels like she can’t share her feelings with the other Army spouses. She feels pathetic for living like a college student with a roommate. Ray tries to cheer her up by pulling up a World Poker Tour game he recorded for her on the DVR. As they settle in to watch together, Weaver receives anesthesia for the operation that will change her life.

Thoughts: Julia Ling, who plays Michelle, returns for a few episodes in season 14 as Mae Lee Park.

Why is Morris the person calling Katie and Donna’s classmates about possible exposure? That seems like something he would make an intern do. Actually, it seems like something you would call the school administration about and let them handle.

There’s a nice throwaway moment where Luka thanks Lily for her work on James and says she did well. It must be so nice for an overworked, underappreciated nurse to get that kind of recognition from anyone, especially someone who’s senior staff.

Leaving aside the fact that they just met and she doesn’t know anything about him, Sam’s job offer from Elliot sounds like hitting the nursing lottery. Money for something she knows how to do easily AND free housing AND someone to watch Alex after school? There almost has to be a catch.

January 17, 2023

ER 12.14, Quintessence of Dust: The Smoking Gun

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

Have I mentioned how much I like John Leguizamo? ‘Cause I really like John Leguizamo

Summary: The day shift is on its way out, and Pratt is passing some patients on to Abby before going to a charity bachelor auction. Morris says that only the 50 hottest bachelors in Chicago are participating, and as the 51st, he just missed the cut-off. Haleh questions Pratt’s claims that his Black girlfriend is okay with him, also Black, being auctioned off to rich white women. “Take it easy, Angela Davis,” Pratt says, pointing out that they might not all be white.

With Clemente still MIA, County has been working with some moonlighting and temporary attendings. Abby doesn’t like them since they never know what’s going on, but Morris appreciates that, since he was able to get one to buy dinner for a whole shift. Clemente has missed four shifts now, and Morris and Jerry assume he’s been hanging out with Jodie.

They’re right, as they’re currently in bed, her doing a crossword puzzle, him offering up answers while tied to a bedpost. He gives her the word “quintessence,” which is from Hamlet and means “no higher form.” They’re both naked and neither is sober, thanks to what I assume is coke. He has no interest in leaving, and they haven’t gone anywhere in a week.

Pratt is “sold” for $600 to someone who is decidedly not a rich white woman, unless it’s a woman with a very deep voice. The next morning, Jerry shares a postcard from Carter, who hasn’t been very good at keeping in touch. Morris fights with Albright, then asks Luka to weigh in on “Dr. Stalin” and her tendency to take over their turf. Albright mocks him for the new nickname, and Morris says that in college, he spent a semester in Germany. Luka gives him a look. “Where we studied…Russia,” Morris says, taking a stab in the dark.

Albright tells Luka that her residents need trauma training so they can clean up the ER staff’s messes. Morris doesn’t think they’ll get much out of that training. The ER residents, however, need to be able to handle anything and everything. Albright taunts that they definitely need more training, which Morris and Weaver agree is cold. Albright calls Morris a sissy, then tries to whine to Luka again. He tells them to work things out themselves.

Weaver’s covering for Clemente but has to stay off her feet as much as she can, thanks to her hip injury, so I’m not sure how much she’ll be able to do. Frank suggests having her talk to Albright about her attitude, since they’re both a demeaning, gendered insult I refuse to repeat. Shut up, Frank. Abby is on my side, but Albright doesn’t mind guys seeing her that way, since it means they respect her. Uh, I don’t think they do. Morris doesn’t, at least.

When Pratt arrives, everyone wants to know how much money he went for at the auction. The other employees had a pool, but it doesn’t sound like anyone guessed that someone would pay $600 for dinner with him. He admits that a guy won, and all the male staff members at the admit desk stare at him. “Is he cute?” Ray asks. Everyone cracks up. Pratt says he didn’t meet the guy.

The others tease that maybe the guy will pay for dinner, but that he shouldn’t assume that means anything. Abby’s annoyed that they’re being homophobic, though I don’t think they are. It’s not like they’re saying it’s gross that Greg’s having dinner with another man. Morris tells Luka that his woman is getting weird. Abby threatens to hit him with a hole puncher if he ever refers to her as someone’s woman again. Luka pulls her away before she follows through on that. She confides that she’s on edge because she’s waiting for some test results about the baby.

Paramedics bring in a 60-something homeless man named Dexter who was beaten by some teenagers. They were trying to steal his can opener, of all things. He thinks they were taking part in a dare. Also, he wants his can opener back. Jodie and Clemente go shopping at the mini-mart, still stoned. They’re loud and giggly and generally the exact kind of people you don’t want to encounter when you’re shopping.

Abby and Luka call Coburn to get the test results, which Abby is anxious about and Luka is characteristically optimistic about. He holds her hand as she gets the news that everything looks good. Jodie and Clemente go to his apartment, barely through the door before they start undressing. They don’t realize that Jodie’s husband, Bobby, is lurking in the shadows. He tells Jodie to get her things, but she refuses to leave with him. Bobby hurls racist slurs at Clemente, who orders him out. Jodie blurts out that she filed for divorce.

Bobby turns apologetic, just like a typical abusive spouse when they realize they’ve crossed a line. He doesn’t want to leave Jodie there with Clemente. Clemente defuses things before they can get bad by advising Bobby to leave and call Jodie later. Bobby goes, and Clemente comments that that went pretty well, considering. But Bobby returns moments later and fires a gun at them.

Frank and Morris tease Pratt some more about his “man date.” Morris reveals that he had four dates with a trans woman. I’m sure he handled it very maturely and calmly when he found out. Sam asks for morphine for a patient who was supposed to be in the OR by now. Morris, of course, complains to Albright, then announces that he’s forbidding his residents from writing orders for patients she’s keeping in the ER until they’re ready for surgery. Albright writes the orders herself, gives them to Abby, and tells her that Morris is “a little penis.” Abby’s like, “I just walked in; why are people putting me in the middle of their fights?”

She and Luka go out to the roach coach, discussing whether they want to find out the baby’s sex. He does, but she’s not quite ready for the pregnancy to feel so real. Luka reminds her that the baby’s 16 weeks along, so it’s already pretty real. She wonders if there’s anyone they need to tell. Um, do you mean other than your mother?

Clemente speeds down the street and crashes his car in the ambulance bay. Jodie’s in the backseat, covered in blood. Luka, Abby, and Sam start taking care of her, and she asks for Clemente, then says, “He shot me.” Ray is still with Dexter, who practices piano chords as a nervous habit. Ray recognizes them and they start talking about music. When Ray was younger, his father listened to jazz records by a musician with the same last name as Dexter. Turns out that was Dexter himself.

Clemente assures Jodie that her injuries aren’t anything to worry about. When Luka asks, Clemente tells him that Bobby shot Jodie. The staff is skeptical, since it sure sounded like Jodie was saying that Clemente shot her. He jumps in to help take care of her, but Luka shuts him down. Pratt comes in and happens to be close enough to catch Clemente when he starts to collapse. Pratt drags him to the next trauma room for treatment for a shoulder wound. Clemente tries to use that to convince Sam that he wasn’t the shooter.

He calls instructions into the next room, where Weaver joins the team to try to stabilize Jodie. She determines that Jodie needs surgery immediately, and since Albright hasn’t responded to Sam’s previous pages, they should contact Dubenko instead. He’s just finished a procedure with Neela where she screwed something up. He chastises her for it and tells her not to get defensive or make excuses. However, he’s sympathetic since he knows Gallant went back to Iraq.

Jodie’s losing a lot of blood, so Luka isn’t happy that Albright is missing and Dubenko took so long to come to her trauma room. Neela goes to help Pratt and Weaver with Clemente, and they’re a little amused by how she acts like a surgeon. He’s anxious about Jodie’s condition and yells more instructions to her trauma team. Weaver tells him that Luka knows what he’s doing. Clemente thrashes around, trying to get up, and he knocks Weaver to the floor. She responds by putting him in restraints.

Albright joins Dubenko and Neela as they’re operating on Jodie. Neela has to admit that she doesn’t know what she’s doing. Morris comes in to fight with Albright more, and when Neela tells him this is a bad time, he says he can’t hear her because she’s dead to him. Wait, Neela found a way to get Morris to stop talking to her? Teach it to everyone else, Neela! Albright asks Dubenko to make Morris go away. Morris taunts her for tattling to her attending, and Dubenko tells Albright to get rid of the annoyance. Morris is gleeful that she’s been kicked out of surgery.

Back in the ER, Haleh, Chuny, Ray, and Frank gossip about what happened to Clemente and Jodie. Frank is sure that Clemente shot himself to make it look like he was an innocent victim. Pratt tells them to knock it off. Chuny gives Ray a wallet she found, which happens to belong to Dexter. Inside, Ray finds a newspaper wedding notice for a woman named Sarah, who has Dexter’s last name.

Clemente lets himself into Jodie’s OR, where Neela still doesn’t know what she’s doing. Dubenko says they’ll probably have to remove one of Jodie’s kidneys. Clemente objects, so Dubenko sends him to observe outside the OR. Neela wants to try to save Jodie’s kidney, and Dubenko is open to suggestions. She’s not sure what to do, and he tells her to think like he’s not there and she’s in charge. He ignores Clemente as he continues protesting, then gives Neela the go-ahead to try her idea.

Morris: (yelling at Albright). Albright: (declaring war). Me: (screaming into a pillow). Abby and Haleh don’t like how Albright treats them; they think she’s only interested in the male residents. Abby’s eating her third ice cream sandwich of the day, and Morris casually asks if she’s pregnant. She pauses before making a “that’s completely absurd!” face. He says it must be true, so she tries to deflect by accusing him of being in love with Albright. They both clam up when Pratt asks what they’re talking about.

Ray has contacted Sarah, wanting her to know that her father’s at the hospital. He didn’t attend her wedding since he didn’t want to be seen in his current state. She tells him that she would have paid for a suit for him, but he firmly says he doesn’t want her money. She asks him to stay with her and her husband, at least for a little while. He says that’s not right for him.

Neela, Dubenko, and their team work calmly and steadily on Jodie. Pratt brings Clemente a copy of Jodie’s tox screen, upset that Clemente didn’t mention in the ER that she’d used drugs. He figures that Clemente didn’t want to be treated himself because he would have been tested, too. Pratt hopes Clemente has a good story to tell the police, because right now it looks like he’s the shooter. Jodie’s the only one who can clear him.

Luka runs into Alex and gives him a hockey puck he got at a recent game. They chat a little about how Sam wants Alex to go to college but he wants to be a NASCAR driver. Dexter left without Ray signing off on his discharge, and he most likely went back to the streets. Pratt’s “date” has arrived, and everyone’s surprised to see that it’s a woman. Pratt pretends he was just joking about a man winning him at the auction.

Jodie’s surgery is over and Albright isn’t happy that Neela scrubbed in or has a good rapport with Dubenko. Albright is Neela’s supervisor during this elective, so Neela should be trying to impress her. Neela says she’s not trying to impress anyone. Albright threatens payback if Neela ever tries to prevent her from joining an operation again. Excuse me? Neela didn’t do that at all. Shut up, Albright.

Clemente wants to see Jodie in the ICU, and apparently no one’s called the police or anything, because no one stops him. He thanks Neela, who says they did their best. Luka kindly tells Sam about his and Abby’s baby so she doesn’t have to hear it from someone else or with a bunch of other people. Sam can’t cover her surprise and what’s most likely some grief over what she won’t ever get to have with him again.

Clemente talks more Shakespeare to an unconscious Jodie, as if people actually do stuff like this in real life. Weaver comes by and says she heard that the surgeons were able to save Jodie’s kidney. Unfortunately, the blood loss and other complications mean Jodie could have neurological damage. Weaver tells Clemente that the police went to his place and found drugs. They think he shot Jodie. He asks about the gun, which the police didn’t find. Then he asks if he’s fired. “Not yet,” Weaver says.

Pratt heads out with his date, whose friend “bought” Pratt for her. He has the biggest grin on his face when he says good night to Ray. Dexter is right out on the corner, collecting change. Ray tries to talk him into working on his relationship with Sarah, but Dexter’s still resistant. Ray takes him to Ike Ryan’s, where Dexter starts playing the piano and singing “Many Rivers to Cross.” Everyone at the bar is captivated.

Abby finally calls Maggie to tell her about the baby. We don’t hear her response, but she must be ecstatic. Clemente reluctantly leaves Jodie’s side so he can talk to the police. Sam leaves the ER with Alex, saying goodbye to Luka. Luka finally gets a chance to read Carter’s postcard, which sends us into a glimpse of Carter and Debbie in Africa. But we’ll have to wait until the next episode to find out more about what they’ve been up to.

Thoughts: Albright and Morris, either make out already or shut up. No, wait – make out already AND shut up.

Dubenko was annoying when he first came on the show, but he’s growing on me a little. He shows Neela a good balance of toughness and kindness, and he never loses patience with her during surgery. I also like how he handles Morris, Albright, and Clemente. No matter what’s going on, he always puts the patient first.

I think it’s sweet that Luka still makes an effort to be friendly to Alex. Even better, Alex is comfortable talking to him.

December 20, 2022

ER 12.10, All About Christmas Eve: Jingle Bell Shock

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

This doesn’t capture even a tenth of how cute Luka is in this episode

Summary: Luka’s on his way to work, and he’s in a great mood. He’s even wearing a Santa hat, since it’s Christmas Eve. He gives a Furby to a hospital employee who needed to buy one, then asks how Pam the paramedic’s mom is doing and gives her a book. He hands out candy canes to kids in the waiting area and “ho ho ho”s his way into the ER. He gives a scarf to Frank (who says the last time he got a present was when a helicopter fell on Romano) and a neon stethoscope to Neela. Morris gets NSYNC’s greatest hits and Pratt and Ray get Bears tickets.

As an additional present, they don’t need a full staff in the ER this evening, so Luka’s going to let some of them leave early with pay. Pratt predicts that this will jinx them into being swamped. The residents play rock paper scissors to determine who gets to leave. Neela is apparently the queen of the game, and she knocks out Morris, Pratt, and Ray. She and Gallant are heading to Jamaica for their honeymoon, so now she has extra time to pack.

Morris calls Clemente an “evil elf” when he comments that Morris must be gay since he likes NSYNC. How professional, Clemente. Frank advises him to call Jodie, since she’s been calling incessantly yet again. Clemente asks if they can change the main number. Of…the hospital? Frank suggests that Clemente work somewhere with a different extension – maybe Cambodia.

Luka tries to surprise Abby with a kiss but instead scares her into almost dropping the cake she brought in for the hospital’s Christmas party. He offers her a present he got her but she says she can’t open it now. He’s fine with her opening it the next morning, which makes her wonder if they made plans to spend Christmas together. Apparently she agreed to it last night. She doesn’t remember, and he teases that that’s probably not the only thing she forgot saying. Y’all, he is SO HAPPY. It’s unbelievable.

As Sam was informed previously, Steve has been moved to a Chicago prison from Colorado. She visits him and tries to find out why he was moved, but he won’t tell her. He asks if she still has a bunch of stuff he gave her and Alex, then warns that some authorities might come looking for them. Sam tells him not to try to contact Alex. Steve claims he’s found God and is changing, but she doesn’t want to hear it.

Paramedics bring a woman named Tamara to the ER after a car accident. She starts seizing as Luka and Ray tend to her. Haleh’s looking for people to sing with her at the staff party that night, and when Eve volunteers, Haleh says she needs people who will have her back, not stab her in it. OOH. Haleh, watch out or you’ll end up on Santa’s naughty list. Actually, now that I think about it, Santa wouldn’t dare put Haleh on the naughty list. Morris volunteers next, insisting that he can sing. Haleh tells him he can audition. She extends that invitation to Weaver, too, but Weaver decides to keep up her ten-year streak of abstaining.

Abby discusses a patient with Clemente, an elderly man named Mickey who started out with a cough and is now experiencing pain. Tamara’s awake and alert, and she knows it’s Christmas Eve and she’s in Chicago, but she thinks it’s 1986. Ooh, so close. Just 20 years off. She needs a medication that’s only in the drug lockup, and Haleh tells Luka and Ray she can’t go get it because she’s the only nurse in the trauma room. Eve comes in and clarifies that they’re short some of the nursing staff because Santa Luka sent them home.

Neela’s on her way out for her honeymoon, and she confides to Abby that she’s nervous because she and Gallant are having Christmas dinner with his parents before they go to Jamaica. Gallant told them about the marriage over the phone, and apparently their response was to hang up. Luka pulls Abby away for some “department chief business,” like, keep it in your pants for 20 minutes, Luka. A kid uses a crutch to hold mistletoe over Abby and Neela’s heads and urges them to kiss: “Britney and Madonna did it.” Sorry, kid. You’ll need to ask Santa for something else.

Ray tells Tamara and her husband, C.J., that she has a condition caused by low sodium. She’ll need to stay overnight, even though she feels better, but Tamara doesn’t want to be away from her kids on Christmas. Abby and Luka discuss their plans for the next day, and he tries to get her to guess what her present is. Ray interrupts to get Luka to convince Tamara to stay. Abby tells Luka that he’s going to love what she got him. He doesn’t think she actually got him a present. She makes some guesses about her gift, and he tells her to page him when she figures it out.

Eve makes plans with her boyfriend on the phone, then chastises Sam when she shows up late for her shift. She’s not too upset, though, and she tells Sam that her football-playing boyfriend (a linebacker for the Bengals) might flake out on her. Weaver and Pratt go to meet an ambulance bringing in a six-year-old named Danielle who was shot. Her mother, Nadine, explains that she was an innocent bystander caught in some crossfire. She talks to the police while Weaver, Pratt, and Abby work on Danielle. Chuny finds Danielle’s Christmas list as Pratt tells her to contact Olivia.

Some sunglasses-wearing blind kids sing carols in the ER as victims of some sort of holiday disaster argue with each other. There’s a Santa, a guy credited as Hanukkah Harry, and a guy credited as Kwanzaa Kenny. I don’t think I want any more details. Luka and Ray talk to Tamara, who doesn’t get or care about the risk she’s taking by leaving the hospital now. She reveals to Luka that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer a few months ago and has a very poor prognosis. She doesn’t want to pursue treatment, and she intends to spend Christmas with her family, who don’t know she’s sick yet.

Abby lets Nadine know that they’re still working on stabilizing Danielle so she can have surgery. Nadine laments that their neighborhood has always been dangerous. Her husband is out of town and will be back tonight, but she hasn’t been able to reach him yet to tell him what happened. Haleh continues to try to recruit singers, giving Clemente a pass when he proves he’s not very talented. Clemente tells Mickey that his blood tests are normal, so he can go home. His cough is probably from a virus. But Mickey’s having chest pain all of a sudden, so he should probably stick around.

Sam asks Santa, Harry, and Kenny questions I said I didn’t want the answer to, like what happened. Harry explains that someone complained that their company only celebrates Christmas, so their boss made things more diverse. And then I guess they started fighting? We never find out. Santa makes an inappropriate comment about an overweight patient, so Eve threatens to hurt him. Okay, I know he’s a jerk but you can’t threaten physical violence against Santa! You’ll get coal in your stocking for the rest of your life!

A surgeon named Jessica Albright, who’s covering for Dubenko, comes to Danielle’s trauma room to complain that she hasn’t been sent to surgery yet. Oh, so sorry the unstable six-year-old gunshot victim wasn’t able to align with your schedule, ma’am. Weaver tries to pull rank to make Albright back off, but she’s not impressed. She’s annoyed that they’re holding an OR for a patient who hasn’t been sent up yet. Again, she’s six, and she’s not stable. Shut up, Albright.

The sunglasses-wearing singers are still at it, and unlike carolers we’ve seen here before, they’re on the quieter side, so I don’t think they’re disturbing anyone. Tamara and C.J. leave with Luka’s blessing, since she promised to come back after her kids open their presents in the morning. Eve complains to Sam that her boyfriend is going to spend Christmas at his mother’s, without Eve. Sam suggests that they spend New Year’s together instead.

Santa is rude to the blind carolers, which means this guy should never, ever be allowed to play Santa again. Eve tells him to sit down and shut up. Santa continues mocking them, so Eve punches him, then pours his urine sample on him. Okay, she’s definitely getting coal this year. Weaver thinks it’s time to bring Nadine into Danielle’s trauma room to say goodbye; they’re not going to be able to save her. Olivia’s been waiting with Nadine, but she leaves when Pratt comes to get her. Pratt reluctantly tells Nadine that they haven’t been able to save her daughter. Nadine should go be with her now.

Weaver gently explains to Nadine that they’ve done everything they can for Danielle, but she’s lost too much blood. Nadine reminds her unconscious daughter that God does things for a reason, and maybe this is because God wants Danielle to be with Him. Weaver puts a hand on Pratt’s arm so signal to him to stop giving Danielle chest compressions. Nadine tells Danielle that she can let go if it’s time. God and her parents don’t want her to be in pain. Nadine promises that she and her husband will always love Danielle, and she doesn’t need to be afraid. Suddenly Danielle’s heart starts beating again on its own.

Santa demands that Eve be fired, but it doesn’t look like Sam is going to corroborate his story about what happened. The carolers can’t/won’t, and they think he deserved it anyway. Santa complains to Clemente, who spots a woman at the admit desk and flees. It seems Jodie has gotten tired of calling and has come to see Clemente in person. He tells Frank to get rid of her, then hides behind a bunch of IV stands so he can get down the hall without being seen.

Olivia tells Nadine that the owner of the store where she and Danielle were shopping IDed the shooters, and the police are on the way to arrest them. Pratt tries to get Danielle’s OR back, but now she has to wait. He promises Nadine that if no one comes down in the next two minutes, he’ll take Danielle upstairs himself. I’d love to see Albright try to argue with him. His stubbornness would come in handy here.

Abby auditions for Haleh with “Silent Night.” Let’s just say that no one will be able to sleep in heavenly peace while she’s singing. Chuny is even worse (though I suspect that Laura Cerón is singing badly on purpose, because her voice is actually nice; she just can’t stay on key). Ray proves why he plays guitar in his band instead of singing. After his audition, he tells Morris that Haleh makes Debbie Allen’s character in Fame look like Mother Teresa.

Luka blasts Eve for attacking Santa, but she has no regrets. He tells her to apologize or she’ll lose her job. Eve gloats that only the nursing supervisor can fire her. Mickey has undergone a bunch of tests but none of them has turned up anything. Now he has a headache. Clemente accuses him of making it all up and tells him he needs to leave so an actual sick person can have his bed. It sounds like Mickey’s just lonely and doesn’t want to spend the holidays alone.

Jodie approaches Clemente, so he makes up a disease Mickey has that will keep Clemente busy treating him. Jodie, an ICU nurse, calls bull. Clemente tells Haleh to admit Mickey, then tries to get rid of Jodie. She’s married to a cop, and Clemente is justifiably worried that the guy will track him down.

Luka and the nursing supervisor question Sam about Eve’s behavior. Sam doesn’t want to talk behind her boss’ back, especially when there isn’t a lot of positive stuff to say about her, but she doesn’t have much of a choice. She objects to the nursing supervisor’s decision to fire Eve the day before Christmas. Clemente tries again to send Jodie away. He didn’t know she was married when they got together, and he broke up with her when he found out. He wants her gone before her husband finds him. Jodie thinks he still has feelings for her, so they should act on them while she’s in town.

Danielle finally gets taken up to surgery, though Albright doesn’t think they can save her. Can we have Dubenko back, please? I don’t even like him that much, but he’s definitely better than this twit. Weaver praises Pratt’s work on their patient. He tells Olivia that the police should make the shooters come to the hospital to see what they did. She takes him to the ambulance bay, where a bunch of people are holding a candlelight vigil for Danielle. Unfortunately, Chuny comes out to tell Pratt that they lost Danielle’s pulse, and she’s on her way back to the trauma room.

Sam runs into Eve, who’s crying in the lounge – not because she got fired but because her boyfriend broke up with her. Sam realizes too late that Eve doesn’t know about her termination yet. Clemente has to get right back to work after a quick hook-up with Jodie; he tells her he’s setting up a new life for himself and needs to avoid drama. She says that her husband, Bobby, hit her, and obviously she couldn’t go to the police. She left him and would clearly like to be with Clemente now. He’s free to contact her at her hotel while she’s in town.

At the admit desk, Frank and Abby tease Clemente a little about Jodie (Abby’s talked to her multiple times when she’s called). Abby tells him his fly is down. Luka takes Abby with him to meet an ambulance, asking her what she’ll be cooking for Christmas. She asks if he has amnesia about their previous relationship, since she definitely doesn’t cook.

The police did, indeed, bring Danielle’s shooters to the hospital so they can see the consequences of their actions. Weaver rejoins Pratt to try to stabilize her. Olivia asks if she can bring in the shooters, and Pratt sends Nadine out since she doesn’t want to see them. The shooters deny that they shot a little girl; they didn’t realize the bullet went through someone else and hit her. Pratt tells them that Danielle’s probably not going to survive. When they’re in jail, they should remember what they did to her. He hopes it was worth it.

Eve confronts Luka for getting her fired on Christmas Eve. He tells her she’ll be missed. “Bite me,” she snarls. All you’re doing is getting yourself more coal, Eve. She says she tried to do something good and elevate the ER. “Screw yourselves. You all suck,” she tells the staff around the admit desk, fulfilling everyone’s fantasy of what they’d say if they were fired or quit their job dramatically. When Sam tries to calm her, Eve accuses Sam of trying to steal her job and calls her Judas. Nope, that’s Easter.

Pratt checks on Nadine while Danielle’s in surgery and tells her that things are looking much better for her. He promises that the shooters will pay for what they did. Nadine would prefer if they would stop instead. The community turns their backs on the kids and doesn’t educate them, then wonders why things like this happen. Pratt notes that people have choices. “Some people don’t know they do,” Nadine says.

Luka’s first shift as the chief of the ER is done, and Weaver thinks he did pretty well. The mother of the kid Alex spent the day with brings him to Sam, letting her know that he told his friend that his father is dead and that his friend’s father is going to die, too. The mom thinks Alex needs help, and until he gets it, he’s not going to be hanging out with her son. Luka offers to help Sam out, but she brushes him off.

She asks Alex why he lied about Steve, and Alex says that he doesn’t need his father, which is basically the same. Sam insists that Steve loves Alex, but Alex thinks a father who really loved him would call. He doesn’t think Steve misses him. When Sam says he does, she’s lying for him.

The staff holds their party at Ike Ryan’s, and it looks like the only singer who made the cut to sing with Haleh is Morris. She sings “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” while Abby buys a snow globe at the mini-mart, because Luka was right and she didn’t get him anything. Clemente plays chess with Mickey (aww!) and Sam takes Alex to visit Steve. Pratt sits with Nadine until her husband finally arrives.

Abby leaves the hospital, walking through the growing vigil for Danielle. Morris finally gets to sing something, and he sounds terrific. Abby joins Luka at the party and gives him the snow globe, which is only part of his present. She opens hers, a compass. “It seems we always find each other,” he explains. She takes him outside so they can talk in private. She’s really enjoyed the past few weeks that they’ve been back together, and she doesn’t want to ruin their rekindled relationship. But she has big news: She’s pregnant. With that, Luka’s awesome Christmas ends with him in shock.

Thoughts: Has anyone on this show ever had a planned pregnancy? It might just be Weaver and Sandy, and that was only out of necessity.

Honestly, Luka being as happy as he is makes anything I might want for Christmas feel insignificant. I feel like I’ve gotten presents for the next five years.

When Morris loses rock paper scissors to Neela, he tries to argue that his paper is actually sheet metal. Ha!

I admit I’m a sucker for montages of bad auditioners. They should have given us more.

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