April 10, 2018

ER 1.12, Happy New Year: Susan vs. Kayson, Round 1

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

Really, Susan, you should be glad that this mess is almost out of your life

Summary: Carter runs down the street to the ER to tell Mark that there’s a man out in the street who appears to have been shot. The two of them and Carol take a gurney to the man and start working on him. Carol peg him as a gangbanger who was ditched on the street after being shot by a rival. Mark allows Carter to do an intubation, since he’s observed dozens of them. With Mark and Carol’s help, Carter does it well. He wants to accompany the patient up to the OR, but Benton says it’ll already be crowded enough.

Sometime later, Hicks comes to the ER to check out one of Mark’s patients. Another, Mrs. Davies, insists that she doesn’t need to stick around, though she’s already been under observation for hours. Lydia’s struggling to stick to her New Year’s resolution to quit smoking, so Bob gives her some encouragement. Doug tries to examine a boy who injured his eye while having a paintball fight with his brother. He tells their mother to keep the paint away from them; she’s offended, like she needs that kind of parenting advice.

Al brings in a homeless patient named Gilbert who’s uninterested in seeing a doctor. He’s also racist, and Al smacks him for throwing a slur at Hicks. Susan tries to talk to Kayson about a patient, but he won’t even slow down on his way to the OR. She wants him to see Mrs. Davies so she can finally leave.

Benton tells Carter that the patient he brought in died in surgery. Carter points out that this is supposed to be his surgical rotation, so maybe he should be doing surgeon things instead of Benton’s scut work. Benton doesn’t see the point in breaking tradition, since this is what all medical students do. Carter notes that he’s there to learn. When Benton asks if he’s learned anything, Carter demonstrates that he’s at least learned to keep his mouth shut at the right time.

Gilbert’s legs are severely frostbitten, though he insists they’re fine. He does perk up at the thought of a warm whirlpool bath, though. Kayson finally comes back to see Mrs. Davies, telling Susan she should have been released hours ago. Chloe comes by, and Kayson takes advantage of her interruption to dismiss himself. He tells Susan to try harder to get his attention next time. Susan tries to pay it forward with brushing someone off by telling Chloe she can’t talk, but Chloe blurts out that she and her boyfriend, Ronnie, are moving to Texas.

Susan takes a break so she can interrogate Chloe about her decision to move. Ronnie doesn’t have a job yet, and the two haven’t found a place to live. Now that Chloe’s pregnant, she needs to make solid plans. Chloe guesses that Susan doesn’t think she should have the baby. She refuses to stay with their parents, since they think she always makes the wrong decisions. Realizing there’s nothing else she can do right now, Susan gives her sister her coat.

A firefighter comes in after being injured in a fire, and his colleagues watch anxiously outside his trauma room. Peter gets coffee with his sister, Jackie, who wants to find a care facility for their mother. Jackie just got a new job, which means she can’t be with Mae all the time. Peter thinks she’s making up for the fact that she had to look after him after their mother went back to work. He doesn’t want to send their mother away, so he tells Jackie he’ll find other arrangements. She complains that he’s suddenly stepping up after leaving everything to Jackie and Walt for six years. She tells him they all have to make the decision together.

Carter tells Mark that he doesn’t think Benton is interested in supervising him anymore. Mark advises him to get used to it, since he’ll probably have worse supervisors in the future. Doug watches Carol longingly as she goes to chat with one of the firefighter’s colleagues. He’s only been on the job three weeks and now isn’t sure he can handle it. Carol tells him to get some rest first.

A patient named Mr. Vennerbeck thought he had a heart attack, but Susan doesn’t see any damage. He tells her he came in two months ago with back pain and was given some medication. She doesn’t think he needs it again, since his pain has gone away, but she can’t sign him out yet.

Carol looks for help with a trauma, and Mark tells her to take Carter. He runs into Benton as he’s getting his coat to meet a helicopter, and the two go up to the roof together. Carter volunteers to intubate the patient, and Benton allows him to after Mark indicates that it’s okay. Morgenstern comes to get the patient from the trauma room, and Carter presents the case like a pro. Benton rewards him by inviting him to scrub in on an operation that night.

Susan has to again flag down Kayson to get his input on Mr. Vennerbeck. Kayson says he can be released, so Susan sends the patient home. Mr. Vennerbeck is annoyed that he had to wait around so long, and Susan apologizes. Hicks overhears and tells her not to worry about getting people’s approval. They take as long as they take to make sure they’re thorough, and they shouldn’t apologize for it.

Doug tries to break up an argument between two pregnant sisters who want to give their babies the same name. Mark enlists Susan to help out with a patient – this one also pregnant – who’s on drugs. She goes into labor while they’re examining her. They try to rush her to labor and delivery, but the baby is breech and starts coming out in the hallway.

Carter helps Doug and Carol with an elderly couple found unconscious in their apartment, probably from carbon dioxide poisoning. Hicks talks Mark through delivering the breech baby, who at least sounds healthy. Lydia comes in to tell Susan that Mr. Vennerbeck is back in the ER. She realizes he has a murmur and may have had some sort of rupture. An angry Kayson comes to help out, telling Susan she’s not needed on the case anymore.

I guess the theme of the episode is pregnancy, because Mark is now counseling a woman who’s crying over the news that she’s pregnant. She tells him she wants the baby; it’s her husband who’s going to have an issue with this. Turns out he’s infertile. Mark doesn’t know what to say, so he walks out. Susan goes over some x-rays with Carter, who notices that she’s distracted. She sends him to scrub in early for surgery, knowing Benton will be early, too. She advises him to remember the names of three body parts, though he doesn’t get why.

Carol checks on the elderly couple, who are both going to be fine. Doug’s sitting with them and says they’re lucky to have been together so long. We get it, you love her; can we move on? Benton walks Carter through scrubbing in for the first time, as it’s a lot more intensive than just washing your hands. Morgenstern and Benton start the procedure without him, talking about how Morgenstern saw a piano showroom on the highway that he’d never noticed before. Shirley the scrub nurse, who will pop up throughout the series, helps Carter finish getting ready, but he immediately contaminates himself by touching Benton’s shoulder.

Doug ends his day with some noisy sex with Linda, teasing that he can’t remember her name. She thinks someday he really will forget her name. He says it sounds like she believes they won’t last. As she goes to get ready for a trip, Doug says he treated a couple who’ve been married for 48 years. Linda says that if they were the marrying kind, they’d already be married to other people. She thinks he’s too afraid of responsibility and aging and all that stuff that comes with real life.

Carter’s hesitant to get too close to the operation, but Morgenstern is more concerned with him learning than Benton is. He asks Carter about some anatomical feature, and thanks to the three body parts Susan told him to remember, Carter knows the answer. Plus, now he looks smart in front of his boss.

Mark and Susan make eggs in the hospital kitchen and talk about Chloe’s big move. He slams her for not being supportive of Chloe’s plans, but Susan knows that Chloe doesn’t get the realities of parenthood. Mark’s optimistic that having a baby will turn her life around. Susan says that Chloe has never been responsible, and though Susan loves her, she shouldn’t have a child.

Kayson summons Susan to the doctors’ lounge and spits out that Mr. Vennerbeck is dead. He shouldn’t have been released in the first place, considering his condition when he came in two months ago. Susan says his diagnosis then was muscle pain, not anything related to his heart. Kayson says he probably had atypical angina, and Susan should have mentioned it to him. The case was more complicated than Susan thought, and as a resident, she didn’t have the knowledge to present everything to Kayson that she should have. Now Mr. Vennerbeck is dead, and his wife is consulting an attorney. Kayson wants a full investigation.

Thoughts: Chloe, who lives in Chicago, doesn’t have a winter coat, but Susan only gets concerned about it just before Chloe moves to Texas? Uh, okay.

Jackie works for a parks and rec department, and now I’m dreaming of an ER/Parks and Recreation crossover.

Morgenstern and Benton play a game involving foreign capitals while they’re operating, like surgery isn’t difficult enough without throwing in some geography.

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April 3, 2018

ER 1.11, The Gift: Last Christmas, I Gave You My Heart (Literally)

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

I volunteer to cheer him up

Summary: A man dressed in a Santa suit is dozing in the ER waiting room, having come in to get checked over when he woke up dizzy. He sees that it’s 10 o’clock and tells Carter he needs to go to work. Mark tells Susan he needs to get Jen a great Christmas present, especially after he got her a Dustbuster last year. He hasn’t bought this year’s present yet, even though it’s Christmas Eve.

Susan’s just coming on shift, so along with a present, she gets a bunch of patient info. Mark’s supposed to be leaving, but he sticks around when a man brings in his son, Murray, who almost drowned in the lake. Murray’s father prays over him as the doctors get to work. Carol heats up some saline in the microwave so they can try to warm Murray up.

Benton and Carter go to the roof to meet a patient named Teddy Powell who was in a snowmobile crash. Back downstairs, Murray’s heart stops. Benton agrees with Carter’s treatment suggestion of draining burr holes in Teddy’s head, but he doesn’t want to do it unless it’s absolutely necessary. I think Teddy would agree, if he weren’t comatose and possible brain dead.

Mark, Doug, and Carol revive Murray, and after Carol leaves the trauma room, Mark brings up her engagement party. Doug says he’s not going. Mark tries to leave again, but pauses to talk to Murray’s father, Dante. He warns that they can’t know for sure what his condition will be when they warm him up. Then Haleh tells Mark to go check on a patient named Regina. She’s mumbling something about a party, so Haleh, Lydia, and Mark start singing “It’s My Party.”

Hicks looks at Teddy’s brain scans, which show that he’s brain dead. Since his organs are viable, Hicks tells Benton and Carter to find his family and get consent to donate. Carol drags Mark into another case as Susan fixes up a man named Mr. Kaminski who got burned while tapping into a power line to juice up the thousands of Christmas lights on his house. He’s disappointed to be out of the running for a prize he’s won for a number of years.

Murray might still have brain damage, and Doug knows he has a long recovery ahead of him, but he’s awake, so that’s something. Lydia’s transporting a gurney with mistletoe hanging from the IV stand, so when she gets Mark under it, she kisses him on the cheek. He tries once again to leave so he can go shopping, but once again, he has to jump on a trauma – an elderly man was stabbed.

Haleh tells Benton that Teddy’s wife is on her way just as Teddy’s heart starts to falter. Benton revives him, then realizes, “I just resuscitated a dead man.” Mark stitches up a cut on Patrick’s head as Carol tries to find out what happened to the helmet he always wears. He tells them a joke about a cat walking on sand “to get sandy claws,” but they don’t get it. (It’s a play on “Santa Claus,” guys. Keep up.)

Benton and Carter use a very, very ’90s computer to look for possible donor matches who need Teddy’s organs. They find two perfect matches and get started on giving two people a Christmas surprise. Susan examines Mrs. Goldberg, a woman with stomach pains, while Malik finds Patrick a new helmet. Carol can’t get in touch with Patrick’s family, so she invites him to hang out for a while.

Susan does an ultrasound on Mrs. Goldberg, who’s worried that she has gallstones or a tumor. Instead, she’s pregnant. She’s thrilled that she’s finally having a baby after years of trying. Doug enlists Carter to examine a kid named Kirby who ate part of a poinsettia. Doug and Carol warn Carter to wait a minute before looking in Kirby’s mouth, but he ignores them and gets vomited on.

Susan gives Mr. Kaminsky some lights that were decorating the front desk. He says they’re antiques and he’ll be able to use them next year for an old-fashioned display. Jerry complains about the missing lights, and about all the popcorn being eaten off the tree at the front desk. Doug’s next patient, Mrs. Abernathy, is depressed, and her condition isn’t helped by the holidays.

Teddy’s wife arrives, and Benton tells her that he’s brain dead. She thinks her husband is just in a regular coma and might wake up. When Benton tells her he’ll never recover, she asks for a second opinion. Linda comes by looking for Doug and volunteers to finish up Mark’s Christmas shopping. Carter runs into Susan and asks if she’s opened her Secret Santa gift yet. She’s too distracted to realize that it must be from him.

Mary’s back and singing again. She thinks the hospital is a hotel and requests a suite from Carter. Hicks chastises Benton for not moving things along with Teddy; the transplant teams are waiting for him in the OR. She’s even more annoyed when she learns that Benton called the teams before he got Mrs. Powell’s consent. Even though his driver’s license says he’s a donor, she has to sign off on the organ harvest. The surgeons are flying in from all around the country – on Christmas Eve, no less – so Benton will have to figure out what to tell them if they can’t go ahead with the harvest.

Doug recommends antidepressants and therapy for Mrs. Abernathy, who thinks her depression is tied to the marriage proposal she turned down 40 years ago. She regrets the rejection, since she only said no because her would-be fiancé was Jewish, and her parents didn’t approve. Last year, Mrs. Abernathy found letters he sent her that her mother intercepted. She tried to call him, but he died three years ago.

Benton asks Mark to help him talk Mrs. Powell into approving the organ donation. Mark says he’ll see what he can do. The Santa who left that morning is brought in, now unconscious and pulseless. Instead of trying to get Mrs. Powell to do what Benton wants, Mark encourages her to do what Teddy would want, and what’s right for her. Mrs. Powell admits that she doesn’t know what Teddy would want – they haven’t spoken in five months. He called her yesterday, wanting to spend Christmas together, but she said no. She wanted to hurt him like he hurt her, and make him beg for forgiveness.

Santa dies, and Carter blames himself, lamenting, “I killed Santa.” Doug and Mark meet up in Murray’s room, hoping he’s okay. Mary finds Patrick singing “We Three Kings” to Kirby and joins him in his serenade. Carol tells Carter that Patrick’s parents went out of town and left him with a neighbor, but he must have wandered off. Carter tells her that Mary’s family left her with a cousin so they could have a break. Her Alzheimer’s is getting worse.

Susan can’t reach Div, and Malik tells her he heard that Div quit. She asks Carter for a ride somewhere. Doug gets dressed up for some fancy gathering with Linda, and the fact that Carol is able to simply wish him a merry Christmas and then walk out of the lounge is astonishing, because he looks HOT. He confesses to Mark that he still thinks about Carol all the time. He’s afraid to tell her, not because she might reject him but because she might want him back. Mark points out that she’s not married yet.

Benton checks in with Mrs. Powell, telling her they’re running out of time for the organ harvest. She doesn’t appear to care, but then she asks for the consent form. Carter drives Susan to Div’s apartment, and when she lets herself in, she finds it trashed and abandoned. She realizes he moved out without telling her. The phone’s ringing, but the caller hangs up when Carter answers.

Jerry realizes that more lights are missing and asks Bob if she took them down. She tells him whoever said she did is lying. Carter drives Susan home, telling her he’s her Secret Santa. She kisses him on the cheek, and it obviously means more to him than it does to her. He offers to come in and keep her company, leaning in for a kiss. Susan puts the brakes on, then gives him the present she’d gotten for Div. It’s a robe, and Carter puts it on right there in the hallway.

Doug takes a cab to Linda’s party, but when he gets out to go inside, he changes his mind. Linda drops off Mark’s present for Jen, some lingerie. Lydia says he has good taste – all her ex ever got her was a vacuum cleaner. While Benton and Hicks start the organ harvest, Susan opens her present from Carter, a music box shaped like a piano. She loves it. Chloe wakes up and asks about Div; when she hears he split town, she tells Susan she’ll get over it. She gives Susan a tree ornament with her name on it, then says Susan will have to share it with the baby. Chloe’s pregnant and naming the baby after her sister.

Doug crashes Carol’s engagement party and tells her he still loves her. She denies that she returns his feelings. Tag follows them outside and gets between them as Doug tries to insist that Carol come home with him. He challenges Carol to look him in the eyes and tell him she doesn’t think about him while she’s with Tag. Tag slugs him, but Carol breaks things up. She tells Doug to stay out of her life.

Benton and Hicks successfully complete the organ harvest, and Benton asks to close Teddy up. Mary sings “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” as Mark tells Dante and the rest of Murray’s family that his brain function is normal. Doug mopes by himself outside a church. Benton finishes up with Teddy, then grabs the cooler containing his heart. Haleh puts a bow on the cooler, which is awesome, and Benton takes it up to the roof so the heart can go to its new owner.

Thoughts: A kid named Murray is just weird. Who looks at their newborn and says, “I think I’ll call him Murray”? P.S. His father’s name is Dante Valerio, which sounds like a Nic Cage character.

I always assumed they used some special medical equipment to heat saline, but no – just the microwave in the staff lounge.

Formal-wear Clooney is the best Clooney. Don’t argue; you know I’m right.

March 27, 2018

ER 1.10, Blizzard: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chaos

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

An army ready for battle

Summary: Jerry sings “Jingle Bells” on his way to work, happy that it’s snowing. The trauma rooms are currently all empty, and there hasn’t been a patient all shift, so Wendy’s amusing herself by rollerblading through the halls. Elsewhere in the hospital, Mark and Susan use headlamps to sneak around in the dark and play a prank on a sleeping Carter. Connie decides to use her downtime to put up Christmas decorations, while Haleh does a crossword puzzle. Lydia’s stuck there because of the snow.

Carter wakes up while Susan and Mark are scheming, but goes back to sleep when they tell him they’re doing inventory. A news report says the snowstorm could be huge, but no one at the hospital seems worried. Mark and Susan use the intercom at the front desk to summon Carter to a trauma room, then gather the nurses to watch as he stumbles out of bed. He falls over because Mark and Susan put a cast on his leg.

A snowball fight breaks out outside the ER, and Carol gets caught in it when she shows up for work. Malik entertains everyone with some rapping while Jerry and the nurses play soccer on rolling chairs. Mookie compliments Malik’s rhymes but looks down on his peach scrubs. Bob helps put up decorations, looking confused about the reindeer. Carter, still wearing the cast, explains that they pull Santa’s sleigh. Mark and Susan tell him he’ll have to wait for the cast to dry before he removes it.

Lydia pages the ER staff to the desk so Carol can show everyone her engagement ring. Doug arrives with Linda and attempts to maintain a poker face when he hears the news. It goes from 0 to awkward really fast. Linda gushes about their Caribbean vacation and complains that Doug just lounged around all week. Carol thinks that sounds like fun.

“If you had an alien baby, would it show up on a pregnancy test?” a temp clerk wonders as Mark does some paperwork. He takes a call from a man named Mr. Blinker whose wife is in labor but doesn’t want to come to the hospital – she’s enjoying watching the snow. Mark tells him to call an ambulance. Linda tries to leave, then comes back in to use the phone, as her Lexus is snowed in thanks to a plow. She sees Carol’s ring and tells her it probably cost about $12,000.

Mookie thinks that since there are no patients, he shouldn’t have to work. Haleh disagrees. As the day progresses, there’s still nothing to do, so the staff plays another round of wheely-chair soccer. Carol gets a call about a huge pile-up on the highway that resulted in 50 to 100 casualties. Since Mercy Hospital’s power is out, all the victims may be sent to County. The staff watches a news report about the accident and gears up for a suddenly busy day.

As soon as patients start coming in, things get chaotic. Doug and Mark use walkie-talkies to communicate while Doug triages people. Everyone helps out everyone else, moving people around quickly so they can clear up space for other patients. Even Jerry and Linda are called into action; he bandages a boy’s forehead while she answers phones. A guy walks in holding a bag containing his own thumb and gets an express ticket to the OR.

Carter has trouble communicating with his patient, Mrs. Thui. A police officer brings in a little girl he found alone in the snow. A man comes in missing a leg, but unlike the guy with the thumb, he doesn’t have the limb with him. Mookie walks around wearing headphones and taking in all the trauma. For the first time, he realizes how intense the ER can be. The unidentified little girl from the snow is still crying, so Haleh sings “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” to calm her.

The snow doesn’t stop Patrick from making his way to the ER for a visit. A firefighter gives Morgenstern a ride so he can help out with some of the patients. One of Div’s patients, Regina, tells Doug that aliens implanted a device in her nose. I wonder what the temp clerk would say about that? Doug puts a senior doctor named Flint to work doing things like stitches, which he hasn’t done in years. Doug also tries to get a woman to deliver some bedpans, but she introduces herself as Dr. Hicks, the new ER attending.

Mookie helps Benton stop his patient’s bleeding in a trauma room. Benton realizes that the man, Dexter, is someone he knows from his old neighborhood. The temp clerk attempts to sign out, since her eight-hour shift is over. Mark’s patient has chest pain, but not from a heart attack – he was lighting a cigarette when his car crashed, and the lighter is now embedded in his chest. “Ouch,” Mark understates.

While Doug tries to revive Mr. Ramos, a man he thought was stable, a seemingly okay patient complains about having to wait for an ice pack. Carter critiques Flint’s stitches, giving us a glimpse of the arrogant doctor he’ll become in the future. Linda puts her wealth to good use by ordering a bunch of pizzas. Patrick plays with the little girl from the snow, then plays “Deck the Halls” over the hospital’s intercom.

Mr. Blinker calls the ER again, and Mark talks to him while trying to help Doug revive Mr. Ramos. He tells Mr. Blinker to disregard his wife’s wishes and physically carry her to the ER. A nun looks on as Mark tells Doug that they need to let Mr. Ramos go. Doug chastises himself for not recognizing that the man’s injuries were serious.

The final patient from the pile-up comes in, and Carter recognizes his name; he’s Mrs. Thui’s husband. Mr. Thui’s confused, since she wasn’t in the accident with him – he’d called her to pick him up. The nun asks to pray over Mr. Ramos’ body, and some of the staff watch reverently. Hicks joins Benton as he works on Dexter, remarking that she’s heard about him. The man who wants an ice pack complains again about the wait while the doctors try to shock Dexter back into rhythm.

Susan’s patient needs immediate surgery for an abdominal aortic aneurysm, but all the surgeons are currently operating. She decides that Benton can perform the procedure in the ER. When she goes to get him, Hicks gives her some instructions. Bob, who’s been taking in all the trauma silently all day, watches as the patient, Mr. Morris, codes. Something in her clicks on and she grabs some equipment and does the procedure herself. The nurses are stunned. When Susan returns, they tell her that Bob saved the patient. Bob runs outside, her hands still covered in blood.

The parents of the girl from the snow come claim her, and Patrick joins them in a group hug. Also now at the hospital: Dexter’s leg. Hicks wants to get started on reattaching it, and she asks Benton to join her in turning the trauma room into an OR. Morgenstern compliments Susan on saving Mr. Morris; she doesn’t tell him who really did the procedure. Carol takes a patient to Carter, who’s trying to remove his cast by himself. The patient, a motorcyclist who often crashes, tries to remove it for him.

While Doug gives Mr. Ramos’ wife the news of his death, Carter finds Bob crying outside. She tells him she’ll never be a doctor in the States. She reveals that in her country, she was a vascular surgeon. She hasn’t taken the board exam in the States, so she’s not permitted to operate yet. She’s afraid that if word gets out that she operated without her certification, she’ll get in trouble. Since the patient lives, Carter thinks the board will be grateful. He offers to help her with her English for the exam.

Patrick puts on “The 12 Days of Christmas” as Mark and Doug go in to help Hicks and Benton operate on Dexter. Mr. Blinker calls again, telling Mark that his wife is ready to deliver. Mark walks him through it, and the doctors can hear the baby’s first cries through the phone as they successfully finish the operation.

Carol checks on Doug, knowing that news of her engagement and the loss of his patient have made for a tough day. He tells her everything’s fine, but it’s definitely not. Linda watches them, then asks Carol if she thinks everyone has one person out there who’s perfect for them. If so, Carol is Doug’s.

Hicks praises the staff for their great work as they get ready for a pizza dinner, courtesy of Linda. Carter brings Bob back in and everyone applauds her. Patrick puts “The Christmas Song” on and dims the lights for a cozy atmosphere. Despite the craziness of the day, everyone’s relaxing and enjoying their time together. As Mark heads home, the Blinkers finally arrive at the hospital with their new son, grateful to Mark for his help.

Thoughts: Hicks is played by C.C.H. Pounder.

Benton, maybe don’t call an orthopedic surgeon a “bone-crusher” in front of a patient.

The guy with the lighter in his chest is waaaaay too calm about it.

I’m really confused about the Thuis’ storyline. Maybe something got cut? I don’t get why Mrs. Thui was at the hospital. Did she crash her car while going to get her husband? Why don’t they ever explain it?