March 19, 2019

ER 3.14, Whose Appy Now?: DNR? NBD

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

Heh

Summary: Mark starts out his day in the shower with Heather, so that date must have gone well. Nick the dog joins them, simply to remind us that he still exists. While kicking him out of the shower, Mark gets a call from a woman named Polly, whom he’s having dinner with that night. Someone’s playing the field! He tells Heather he has a staff meeting that night, so he can’t go out with her, but she gets him to change his mind.

Carter is stuck in limbo, unable to move on to his rotation with Hicks until Benton submits his evaluation. Malik accidentally injured Doug in a basketball game, and when Doug shows up to work with a cane, Weaver thinks she’s making fun of him. They immediately get to work on a boy who stopped breathing after choking on a little rubber ball. Doug uses a syringe to move the ball up into the boy’s mouth so Weaver can remove it without having to cut an airway in his throat.

Jackie goes by Benton’s place, where he’s been brooding since he heard that Carla’s pregnant. Jackie has heard the news, or at least guessed it for herself, and knows Benton’s the baby’s father. She calls him an idiot, then urges him to step up and be a father. He promises he’ll handle it. He goes to get ready for work, though he’s having pain in his abdomen.

Mark now has two dates tonight and can’t decide who he’d rather be with. Doug thinks Heather makes more sense since she has Bulls tickets. Mark decides to reschedule with Polly, though Doug thinks he’s taking a big risk dating two women at once. With Carol out on suspension, Haleh’s filling in as nurse manager, and realizing how hard the job is. The staff learns that a bunch of patients have come down with staph infections, so Greg wants to test everyone to see if one of the employees is spreading it.

Carter asks Benton for his evaluation, forcing him to sign it right that second instead of putting it off. Benton evaluates him as doing a satisfactory job. Then we’re back to Carter and Doyle competing, which was boring the first time around and hasn’t gotten any more interesting. Haleh tells them to work together, which appears to be a foreign concept. Each wants to put a chest tube in their new patient, but since she needs two, Weaver says they can both do one.

Benton’s in a lot of pain, so he leaves Weaver in charge of the two children. Greg tries to enlist Jeanie to help him find the staph spreader, but Jeanie isn’t interested in spending any more time with him than she has to. A teenager named Jad (…Jad? I don’t know) comes in with breathing problems due to cystic fibrosis. His girlfriend, Katie, tells Doug and Weaver that she thinks he has a DNR (which Jad confirms). They’re from out of state, so someone will have to call Jad’s doctor back home to find out for sure.

Mark and Haleh try to talk to a patient named Mr. Papion, but he’s too busy pacing and counting to three to give them any information. Nina the psychiatrist arrives and says she knows him as a regular visitor to the hospital. She gets him to stop his rituals by having him snap a rubber band around his wrist. Mark wonders if that kind of behavioral therapy will work on Rachel, as she’s started sucking her thumb again since Mark and Jen’s divorce. Nina jokes that she used electroshock therapy on her daughter when she started wetting the bed after Nina’s divorce.

Lydia learns that Jad’s doctor is a pediatrician, which goes against Katie’s claim that he’s 19. When she reluctantly admits that he’s 17, Doug suddenly has the right to give Jad whatever treatment he wants, such as the intubation he’s been fighting. Mark plays sick to postpone his date with Polly, but now there’s a third woman showing interest in him: Nina. He replaces his postponed date with Polly with a new date with Nina.

Doug asks Katie why she and Jad are really in Chicago. She says they stole his mother’s car and were on their way to Mexico so Jad could live out the last few months of his life on the beach. Jad’s mother, Norma, arrives and tells Doug that Jad doesn’t have a DNR. He’s ready to be extubated, but if he stops breathing, Norma wants Doug to intubate him again.

Jeanie has joined Greg’s investigation, because I guess she just couldn’t resist his charms. An IV drug user with multiple gunshot wounds is brought in, and a paramedic reports that he may have AIDS. Hicks oversees as Carter and Doyle finally work together instead of bickering. In fact, Doyle saves Carter a lot of trouble when she sees that his finger is near a bullet and warns that it’s sharp and could cut him, which would put him at risk for contracting AIDS. Carter thanks her by letting her do the fun part of the case.

While the nurses miss Carol and her organizational skills, Hicks compliments Carter and Doyle’s newfound teamwork abilities. They have to keep their hands in the patient while he’s moved upstairs for surgery. I think this is the equivalent of two sitcom characters accidentally getting handcuffed together. Weaver catches Benton giving himself an ultrasound and guesses that he has appendicitis. A quick exam approves this, and Benton is sent to the OR, not as a doctor but as a patient.

Chuny and Wendy discuss Mark in a mix of Spanish and English. Chuny’s fine with him dating around, since their relationship was just a fling. Apparently he’s really good in bed. Chuny, never discuss that again, I beg you. Mark tells Doug that he’s back to two dates tonight, after trying so hard to get himself down to one. Weaver has spoken to Jad, who asked to speak to a different doctor since Doug doesn’t want to consider his feelings. He thinks Jad is a mixed-up teen runaway who doesn’t get what signing a DNR really means. Weaver thinks Doug has a bigger problem with the situation than he should.

Hicks promises Benton that she’ll be in the OR during his appendectomy. Scrub nurse Shirley is amused that she gets to prep one of her colleagues for surgery. Greg and Jeanie can’t find a connection between the staff members and the staph sufferers (…sometimes I make my own fun), but he realizes that the patients’ charts all have the same handwriting. Jerry appears to be the culprit.

Hicks lets Doyle scrub in on the gunshot patient’s surgery, so she and Carter get ready together. He’s impressed that she recognized the bullet and kept him from touching it. Hicks informs them that plans have changed, and they’ll now be performing an appendectomy. Carter’s disappointed to be moved to something so boring, until he learns that the patient is someone he’s most likely been eager to cut open for years.

With only about three months left to live, Jad really doesn’t want to spend his last days in the hospital. Doug doesn’t care that he’s turning 18 in three weeks – he doesn’t get to decide what happens to him while he’s still a minor. Doug reminds him that Norma is trying to keep him alive because she’s afraid of losing him. Jad points out that he’s going to die either way. He’d like Doug to talk to her about letting go of her son.

Carol comes by to pick up a paycheck she’s going to spend on candles at Pottery Barn. Wasn’t she having money problems just a few episodes ago? Haleh continues to suck at math, leading to an overabundance of medical supplies that apparently can’t be stored anywhere but the ER. Greg and Jeanie oversee Jerry’s hand-washing technique, horrified that he doesn’t always wash his hands after using the bathroom.

Just before he’s put under, Benton learns that Carter will be his surgeon. I guess someone should have given someone else a better evaluation. Doug talks to Norma about Jad’s DNR, now willing to give Jad input on his own treatment. He at least thinks Norma and Jad shouldn’t spend Jad’s last few months alive fighting with each other.

Jerry’s about to page Nina for one of Mark’s patients when Polly shows up with elderberry extract to treat Mark’s supposed illness. Carter has Shirley put on “Ride of the Valkyries” as he prepares to start Benton’s surgery. The surgeons take pictures with him while he’s unconscious. Then Carter turns serious and gets to work.

Mark leaves Polly in the lounge while he takes Nina to his patient. Then he has to leave Nina to go to the front desk, where Heather has come by with their basketball tickets. She wants to chat, so Mark stashes her out of the way while he tries to keep her, Polly, and Nina from seeing each other. But Polly and Nina ruin things, revealing that they know each other, and that they both had plans with Mark for that night. Heather joins the group, and Mark’s completely busted.

Norma has signed the DNR for Jad, so when he has trouble breathing, Doug keeps him from being intubated. Benton’s surgical team dances and sings to their background music as they finish up the operation. Carter shows off his skills to Doyle, who…let’s just say she’s not as impressed as he wants her to be. But he hasn’t found out why yet.

Greg thinks he and Jeanie make a good team and should try going on a date again. Jeanie shuts him down, asking to keep things professional. Jad’s in respiratory failure, and when he stops breathing, it looks like that will be it for him. But Norma begs Doug to violate the DNR and intubate her son. Despite not being able to breathe, Jad is still conscious, and he gives Doug a pleading look. Doug ignores it and intubates him.

Jeanie stitches up a patient who remembers her from a stay in the hospital about a year earlier. He has AIDS and thought he was going to die last year, but the cocktail now being given to many HIV/AIDS patients has worked for him. He feels like a death-row prisoner who got pardoned by the governor.

Benton wakes up in recovery, imagining Hicks, Weaver, and Carter all announcing that they’re pregnant. In reality, Carter tells him he’s fine, and he even kept the appendix for him. Benton, still feeling the effects of the anesthesia, mumbles that he screwed up and never gave the kid a chance. Carter offers to call Carla, since Benton was talking about her. He teases that Benton also said he regrets treating Carter badly and wants to make it up to him. Benton doesn’t buy that, but he does laugh.

Mark apologizes to Nina for the whole triple-date thing, but she’s not interested in smoothing things over. She gives him a rubber band and tells him to snap it whenever he gets the urge to date three women at once. Now that she has hope that her future isn’t set in stone, Jeanie tells Greg she’ll go out with him again after all.

On his way upstairs to be admitted, Jad gives Doug the finger, which…fair. Chuny teases Mark for getting busted by his three dates, and since he still has dinner reservations with one of the women, he invites Chuny to join him. Carter tries to jump on the dating bandwagon and invites Doyle to hang out, but she already has plans. She tells him he can tag along if he wants.

Haleh screwed up with the nurses’ timecards, so they don’t get their paychecks. For some reason, they don’t stage a coup and have her replaced with someone else. Doyle takes Carter to a shooting range, which they’re enjoying until she spots her ex. Carter’s surprised that the ex is a woman, which explains why Doyle is able to resist Carter’s charms. He accidentally shoots an exit sign instead of his paper target.

Chuny turned Mark down, so he ends up taking Doug to dinner at a fancy restaurant. Really, this is the longest, most stable relationship either of them has had with anyone, so it makes sense. Jeanie and Greg’s second date goes much better than their first, though she tries to back out of getting coffee. She admits that she’s afraid of liking him too much. He kisses her, which makes her emotional, since no one’s kissed her in a long time. She asks if he’s afraid, and instead of answering, he kisses her again.

Thoughts: Lots of recognizable guest stars in this episode, three of them from X-Files episodes:

Seriously, though, Jad? Who’s named Jad?

Mark and Nina should have been a thing. Then we wouldn’t have had to put up with Cynthia in season 4.

March 12, 2019

ER 3.13, Fortune’s Fools: Is Doug Also Going to Yell at Carol for Trying to Do the Right Thing?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:52 pm by Jenn

No commentary necessary

Summary: On their way to work, Mark asks Doug how many people know that he and Chuny are dating. Turns out they’ve run out of things to discuss, so Mark’s ready to end it. Doug tells him he’s already covered the spread in the office betting. He advises Mark to tell Chuny that their relationship is starting to interfere with work, and he doesn’t want to ruin their friendship.

Carter and Benton’s schedule has been light lately, but Carter thinks that’s good because it’s given them more time to prepare for a conference that afternoon. Benton doesn’t confirm that he’s ready to do his half of their presentation, so Carter offers to help him out. Benton says he’ll ask if he needs assistance.

The nurses are back, trying not to worry that management will just fire all of them. Haleh thinks they’re going to get everything they want. Chuny disagrees – the news about Carol’s mistake is out, and is featured in the day’s newspaper. They all think a temp is responsible, and that their sickout led to a man’s death. Carol tries to visit the man’s grave, but there’s no headstone, so she just sticks some flowers in the snow.

Prospective interns are interviewing today, and Anspaugh wants Weaver and Mark to show them what a real ER is like. The nurses tell Carol that they’re not going to take the fall for what a temp did while they were out. Carol says it was her fault, and she was told that after she filed an incident report, the whole situation would be over.

Two men come in with gunshot wounds, one a teen named Hernandez, the other a cop named Mattimore. Mattimore’s injuries are less severe than Hernandez’s, and he insists that the doctors help the teen first. Lydia has little sympathy for a teen who would shoot a cop. Mark assures Mattimore, who just has a leg injury, that they’re helping Hernandez.

Jeanie meets with a patient named Mike who’s been experiencing headaches. His wife, Cindy, says he hasn’t been himself – he’s been aggressive in his sleep and was confused when he woke up. Chuny had invited Mark to dinner the previous night so her family could meet him, but he backed out. To his surprise, she gives him the exact same line Doug said he should give her about how they should split up because of work and their friendship. So apparently a complete consensual breakup is possible.

Carol confronts Mary, the nursing supervisor, thinking she went to the press with the story about her ER error. Mary says it wasn’t her; someone must have wanted to influence the nursing union’s negotiations. Carol says the negotiations and the sickout have nothing to do with her mistake. Mary disagrees – if the nurses had been working like they were supposed to, Carol wouldn’t have made the error. Carol still wants to take full responsibility. She can’t believe she’s the only person who cares that she killed someone.

Now that he’s out of pediatrics and back doing general surgery, like his dozenth hernia repair, Benton is a little bored. Morgenstern thinks it’s good that he’s slowing down. Sometimes, people need to take a step back and reevaluate things. Mark tells Doug that he and Chuny are over, and Chuny seemed a little hurt but will be okay. She is already – she’s back flirting with Zadro.

Weaver introduces Mark to the six prospective interns, but don’t bother worrying about their names because none of them ends up on the show. Weaver gives her half of the interns thick handbooks and takes them on a tour while Mark throws out his handbook and invites his three to play doctor with him. (Not like that. Probably.)

A cop tells Connie that when he found Mattimore after he was injured, he didn’t have his gun out to defend himself (this cop is the one who shot Hernandez). Carol’s annoyed by how proud the cop is of himself for shooting someone. After he leaves, Carol asks Mattimore why he didn’t shoot back after Hernandez shot him. Mattimore says he’s been a cop for more than 30 years and has only fired his gun twice outside the practice range. Carol notices a twitch in his arm, and he says it’s just a little sore.

Haleh pulls Carol outside to tell her that management is using her error to pull their agreement and renegotiate the nurses’ contracts. She can’t believe Carol didn’t see this coming. Carol tells Haleh that she and management can fight all they want – Carol’s priority is her patients. Weaver has her interns follow the journey of a urine sample while Mark takes his group around to see actual patients. Jeanie asks his opinion about Mike, thinking he may have a lesion. Mark tells her to consult with Greg, her infectious-disease-specialist non-date.

Sasha, a chef from the hospital cafeteria, is in the ER with a burn on his leg from scalding water. Mark lets his interns assess and treat the patient, which is much more interesting than the tour the other interns are taking. Carol finds Doyle chatting with Mattimore, who arrested her cousin for breaking and entering. Mattimore is the kind of guy who goes easy on young offenders, and has in fact helped rehabilitate at least one. His arm twitches again, and Carol thinks there’s something going on that Mattimore doesn’t want to talk about.

Hicks suggests that Carter sign Benton up for an operation that afternoon, since he hasn’t been very active in choosing his cases. Carter signs up his boss, because he’s an idiot. An ICU nurse named Lisa brings in her son, Benny, who hurt his elbow. He’s wearing a Superman costume and will only respond to the name Clark Kent. His mom thinks he got hurt trying to fly.

Mark treats a woman named Heather for a hand injury, still keeping his interns involved. Heather flirts with Mark right in front of them, which amuses one of the interns. Carol mentions Mattimore’s twitch to Doyle, advising her to order a CT just to make sure it’s nothing major. Doyle’s hesitant to order such an expensive test without more indication that it’s needed, but she agrees to perform a neurological exam on Mattimore to see if anything comes up.

Greg comes to see Mike, thinking he might have an infection in his central nervous system. Once Cindy mentions that she found Mike talking to himself in the middle of the night, I figure they should call a psych consult, but considering how much psych on this show sucks, it’s probably a waste of time. Once they’re alone, Greg tries to talk to Jeanie, but she’s not interested in anything other than being professional.

Carter tells Benton he signed them up for surgery, but Benton tells him to back out. Doug notices Benny’s lack of communication and asks Lisa if that’s normal. She explains that her husband died in a car accident a few months ago; Benny was in the car, and was alone with his dying father for about ten minutes before the ambulance arrived. Doug suggests having Benny talk to a child psychiatrist. But in the minute Doug and Lisa have been out of the exam room, the child has taken off.

Since flirting hasn’t gotten her anywhere, Heather straight out asks Mark on a date. Mark once again turns to his interns, quizzing them on the ethics of a doctor dating a patient. Heather points out that if Mark weren’t her doctor, there would be no problem. Hypothetically, if she were at a bar that night at 6:30, and he came in to have a drink, everything would be fine. Then she asks to see a specialist.

Weaver’s interns have to watch while Weaver and Chuny treat a man’s abscess. It’s gross. Doyle asks Mattimore to participate in her neurological exam, but he declines, since his only injury is to his leg. Carol pushes him to do it, but he refuses, so Doyle can’t do anything. Benton spots Carla in the ER waiting room, but she won’t tell him why she’s there. He finds out himself when Lily tells her Dr. Coburn is ready to see her. Yep, guess who’s pregnant!

Morgenstern bores the interns during lunch while staff members look for Benny. Sasha’s so pleased with his treatment that he sent free bratwurst to the ER. Mark’s not that grateful. Doug teases him about Heather, so Mark hands her off to Doyle. Jeanie and Greg discover that Mike has neurosyphilis, which Jeanie notes will be a big surprise to his wife. Greg reminds her that they can’t tell Cindy. Jeanie wants to take the case back over, but Greg is worried about handling it wrong and destroying the couple’s marriage. Jeanie points out that Mike could destroy the marriage by not telling Cindy.

Carter’s late for the seminar because he was waiting for Benton so they could go over their notes. Benton isn’t there at all, as he’s bugging Carla about her pregnancy. He’s not sure the baby’s his, but she’s offended when he questions the paternity. She’s going to have the baby, no matter how he feels about it, and doesn’t even bother to wait around and hear if he wants to be involved.

Mattimore tells Carol that when Hernandez pulled his gun, Mattimore just saw him as any other kid he’s encountered. He figured that in a matter of seconds, they would both walk away. When Mattimore’s arm twitched, Hernandez thought he was going for his gun, so he fired first. Carol asks if anyone else in the police department knows about Mattimore’s twitch. Mattimore says no, since he’d be placed on desk duty. He’s worried that he has something serious, but Carol says it could be something treatable. He agrees to think about getting tests done.

Carter finishes his part of his joint presentation, but Benton still hasn’t shown up to do his half. When Carter realizes he’s not coming, he pretends he already knew Benton couldn’t make it and just does the rest of the presentation himself. No one goes easy on him, even though he has no idea how to answer their questions.

Doug finally finds Benny, who’s trying to break up a fight between an angry couple in the waiting area. Benny thinks he would have been protected if the man had come after him, since he has superpowers. Doug tells him meanly that he’s just a six-year-old boy, not a superhero. Way to be gentle with the traumatized kid, Doug. I don’t think you’ll be adding Lisa to your list of single moms you’ve dated.

Mark checks in with Carol, who tells him no one will talk to her. She’s considering going to the newspaper and telling them the man’s death had nothing to do with the sickout. That might lead to her losing her job, and Mark isn’t sure she’s ready for that. Greg wants to separate Cindy and Mike before he gives Mike the news about his health, but Jeanie won’t force the issue. Mike wants Cindy to stay, so she hears along with him that he has neurosyphilis. Mike’s confused, since they’ve only ever been with each other…right? Apparently not, and Cindy’s not the one who’s most surprised to get this news.

Mark lets his interns into the ER while he and Doug treat a man injured in a car accident. He even lets them participate in procedures. Benny’s hiding in the corner, and Doug has Haleh take him away. Carter finally finds Benton and lays into him for missing their seminar. Benton has no sympathy for Carter’s interrogation, saying he shouldn’t have tried to cover for Benton. Carter complains that his reputation is now shot. Benton doesn’t even have a good excuse for why he wasn’t there.

At Doc Magoo’s, Carol meets with a reporter named Tom so she can give her side of the story. Doug apologizes to Benny for the way he reacted when Benny tried to be a superhero. He just doesn’t want Benny to be haunted by the failure to help someone. But Benny should always do what he thinks is right, no matter who tries to stop him. Doug can’t remember if Superman had a dad, but if he did, Doug thinks he was proud of his son.

Carter assists Hicks with the surgery Benton wanted to back out of. Hicks asks if Benton’s recent mopiness is affecting Carter’s career. Carter doesn’t want to badmouth his boss, but Hicks tells him that if Benton has no use for him, her team would welcome Carter. Jeanie won’t hand over Mike’s chart so Greg can call the Department of Public Health; she argues that part of her job is advocating for patients. He reminds her that she’s a physician’s assistant, and he’s the physician here, so she needs to assist him. Blah blah blah, just make out already.

Mark’s interns leave for the night exhilarated by the experience. Weaver complains that her group didn’t seem to care about the job. Mark’s, however, all want to intern at County. Anspaugh thinks Mark should consider going into teaching. Mary hears about Carol’s statement to Tom and asks why she went to the press. Carol insists again on taking responsibility for her error, no matter the consequences.

Carter tells Benton that Hicks offered him a position on her team, so next week, Benton will no longer be his boss. Benton doesn’t care. Carter notes that just weeks ago, Benton would have been furious about Carter going behind his back to another surgeon. “Since when did I start caring about what you do, Carter?” Benton asks. “Never,” Carter replies. But now Benton doesn’t care about himself or his own reputation either. Carter asks for an evaluation, which Benton promises he’ll provide. Carter says he learned all the surgical skills he used today from Benton.

Mark goes to the bar where Heather’s waiting and they pretend to meet for the first time. Mark’s interns are also there and send the two of them drinks. Carol hands off some administrative tasks to Haleh, revealing that she’s been suspended. Everyone watches as the one person who’s been mature and responsible about this whole situation leaves the hospital.

Thoughts: Why did they bring C.C.H. Pounder back after all those episodes away if they’re not going to have her do anything?

Benton: “And you’re sure it’s mine?” Carla: “I’m gonna forget you said that.” I’m not, because your story is going to change in a couple years.

Doug, please don’t yell at the traumatized child. Wait, let me amend that – don’t yell at any children.

’90s music alert: Sublime’s “What I Got.”

March 5, 2019

ER 3.12, Post Mortem: I Thought Confession Was Supposed to Make You Feel Better

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:52 pm by Jenn

Don’t bother me, I’m brooding

Summary: Carter is contemplative when he gets to an El station to head to work, since that’s where Gant died. At County, he tells Anspaugh that he thinks it was an accident, probably in denial since the other option is that Gant killed himself. Carter admits that they weren’t as close as they’d been in the past, since Carter was staying at Keaton’s place a lot. (Of course, he doesn’t mention Keaton by name.)

Anspaugh wonders if there was anything they could have done to prevent Gant’s suicide, if that’s what it was. After all, Benton’s treatment of Gant was common knowledge. Carter says that Gant complained a lot about the hours and the work, but Carter thought he was just venting. Anspaugh asks if Carter believes Benton was too hard on Gant. Carter diplomatically says he’ll have to give that some thought. Anspaugh asks Carter to go to Gant’s apartment with his father to box up Gant’s things.

Dale and another resident catch up with Carter as he’s leaving Anspaugh’s office. Dale asks if Gant “pulled a Cobain.” Stay classy, Dale. He thinks their hours could get shortened if Gant’s death is ruled a suicide. Well, I’m glad someone’s going to get something positive out of the death of his colleague! And I’m so glad it’s Dale! The other resident thinks Carter would have noticed if Gant showed signs of depression, since they were roommates. Carter says he would have.

He goes to the ER to cover Gant’s shift, telling Weaver he hasn’t seen Benton. Everyone’s getting ready for two patients coming in with gunshot wounds, and the advance warning allows them to get everything they’ll need ready. In fact, they’re ready way before the patients arrive. Benton arrives, and Carter asks him to say a few words at Gant’s memorial service. On what planet does Carter think that’s a good idea?

The two shooting victims are a bride and groom shot at their wedding. They’ve also brought along a surprise third victim, the best man. Carter is assigned to take care of the best man, but he takes a moment to study Benton first, seeing that Benton isn’t affected by Gant’s death like everyone else in the ER is.

The best man tells Carter that the shooter was the bride’s ex. He suddenly gets worse and needs a central line, but there’s no room for Carter to perform it in the hallway. He pulls the best man into the groom’s trauma room and works back to back with Benton. That makes it harder to figure out which patient’s monitors are beeping.

Mark and Chuny are…a thing now, apparently. She tells him that the nurses are still unhappy with their new shift proposal, and if nothing changes, they’re going to stage a sick-out. The bride and best man are stabilizing, but the groom is dead. While finishing up with the body, Carol asks Malik to work a double shift since some nurses have already called in sick that afternoon. He keeps a poker face when he tells her he can’t do it.

Carter and Benton take an awkward ride in an elevator on the way to getting the best man to surgery. Carter asks again for Benton to speak at Gant’s memorial, but Benton says he’s not good at public speaking. He doesn’t get why Anspaugh is questioning all the residents on their team, since it’s not like they were with Gant when he died and could answer any questions.

Carter says Anspaugh’s curious about Gant’s state of mind before his death. He adds that he doesn’t think anyone’s blaming Benton. “Why would they?” Benton asks. Carter checks his mail slot, then sees that there’s something in Gant’s – an evaluation from Benton.

Charlie is still in the hospital, moved to the psych ward while she’s being evaluated. Her doctor, Middleton, doesn’t think Doug should see her, since Charlie’s mad that he told her he wouldn’t call the police or a social worker, then did exactly that. Middleton isn’t surprised that Doug wants to keep trying to see her, since obviously he doesn’t want Charlie to hate him.

The nurses make plans for their newfound free time while they’re on their sick-out. Haleh thinks that it’ll only take one shift without nurses for the administration to realize cutting their overtime is a horrible idea. Connie’s worried about leaving their patients without proper care, but Haleh says that’s the whole point – the contract they’re expected to sign already compromises patient care.

Chuny goes off with Mark, not bothering to try to hide their new relationship, and Haleh and E-Ray express concern over her falling for him. Connie doesn’t see the problem. Haleh reminds her that Mark is on the rebound, and that doctor/nurse flings never work out. (Fun fact: Connie herself had a fling with a doctor.) E-Ray says the bigger problem is with Chuny and Mark’s astrology. Carol asks Haleh to work a double shift, since some illness seems to be going around and the whole night shift has called out. Haleh says she’s coming down with the illness herself.

Doug visits Charlie under the guise of checking her neurological status, and tries to defend his decision to call the police and social worker. She’s having some vision issues and will need to see an ophthalmologist. Doug promises that she’ll end up somewhere safe, but Charlie thinks she’s been placed on a psych hold because she was raped. She wishes she’d lied, so Doug wouldn’t have called the police. She’s especially worried that she’ll be sent to a group home. Doug promises that no one will hurt her.

Mark surprises Chuny with a motorcycle helmet so she can ride his bike with him. He wants to go away for a vacation with her in the spring. Carol sends Chuny away to do her job, trying to get her to agree to work a double shift. Chuny says she has to stick with the other nurses. Carol points out that she’s a nurse, too, but Chuny says they all see her as management. After she leaves, Carol pointedly asks Mark if he’s heard from Susan. He denies that he’s using Chuny as a rebound.

Paramedics bring in a patient who got sick at the airport after coming back from Paris. Jeanie sees from his itinerary that before Paris, he was in Gabon, in West Africa. Suddenly they might be dealing with an infectious disease like Ebola. Mark calmly puts some protocols in place. Jeanie started the case, so she offers to stay on it, which will keep other doctors and nurses from potential exposure.

Carter asks Benton if he should take on Gant’s patients, but Benton says he’ll do it. Carter relays a message from Morgenstern that the police have ruled Gant’s death an accident. Benton says that makes things easier on everyone, but Carter notes that it’s not necessarily true. The two of them knew Gant better than almost anyone, so they know his emotional state. Benton says that he’s not Keaton, and he’s not interested in talking about, like, feelings and stuff. Hicks resurfaces to pull the two into surgery with her.

Doug fights with Adele Newman, a social worker, about where Charlie should go when she’s released from the hospital. Doug and Middleton know that Charlie will most likely run away if she’s sent to a group home. Adele wants to try to find her mother, but she gets the sense that Charlie doesn’t want that, since she hasn’t been helpful in giving information that could locate her. Doug thinks Charlie’s mom is incompetent, so sending Charlie home is a bad idea. Middleton notes that Charlie could go live with another relative, but she still won’t cooperate. Adele agrees to let Doug try.

Greg Fischer, an infectious-disease specialist, comes to the ER to examine Jeanie’s patient. Greg wants to follow the proper precautions, but so far he hasn’t heard anything that makes him think they’re on the brink of an outbreak. Carter’s a little off in surgery, and Benton isn’t having it. Hicks is much more sympathetic, since everyone on staff has taken Gant’s death hard. She asks Benton what it was like working with Gant, and he says it’s too soon to say. He hadn’t “distinguished himself” yet.

Hicks is surprised, since Gant had awesome transcripts and strong recommendations. Benton says he must have been having adjustment problems. Hicks notes that that must mean Benton noticed him struggling. Benton says Gant wasn’t prepared to work in a place like County. Carter asks why, if that’s the case, Benton gave Gant a great review.

Benton argues that he gave that review before some recent backsliding, and he didn’t think Gant even saw it. Carter confirms that he didn’t, which means Gant never heard anything encouraging from Benton. Hicks tries to defuse the situation by sending Carter out of the OR, but Carter gets off a parting shot by telling Benton that he’ll have to live with the weight of Gant’s death.

Chuny tells Mark he can stop sending flowers; in her family, that means a much deeper commitment than where they are now. Carol tells Mark, Weaver, and two others – Roger Drummond from labor relations and the nursing admin, Mary Cain – that all of the nurses scheduled for the night shift have called out. The hospital is filing an injunction against the nurses’ union, since the sick-out is a violation of their contract.

Carol says no one has admitted to an organized sick-out. Mary has arranged for substitute nurses to fill in, but Carol isn’t happy about that idea. Mark backs her up, saying they’ll be helpful with non-emergencies, but not with what the ER needs to do. The two of them and Weaver decide that they need to close to trauma.

Charlie sees an ophthalmologist, but he doesn’t think there’s anything major to worry about. He also thinks Charlie is Doug’s daughter, thanks to a joke she made. Doug’s annoyed that Charlie either clams up or lies, which makes it hard for people to help her. Charlie points out that adults lie plenty, so why shouldn’t she? She asks why Doug doesn’t have kids, and he says he hasn’t gotten his life together long enough to have a family. (I guess he doesn’t want her to know that he does have a kid; he just doesn’t see him.) Charlie would be happy to let him adopt her and make him a father.

Adele has a surprise for both Charlie and Doug – she found Charlie’s mom. She’s not in Cleveland, as Charlie claimed, but in Chicago. She’s also a horrible mother and is only concerned about the scars Charlie will be left with after her attack. Doug’s face: “I’ve made a huge mistake.”

Carter reaches out to a psychiatrist, Nina Pomerantz, who Anspaugh said is available to help Gant’s colleagues work through their grief. She recognizes Carter’s name, revealing that Gant came to her for a few counseling sessions when he first started at County. Carter asks if she approved when Gant quit therapy. Nina says he seemed to be adjusting well to his new job, so she didn’t see anything wrong with stopping their sessions. She can see that Carter’s experiencing some survivor’s guilt. Carter thinks he really is guilty.

Carol greets her subs as the regular nurses leave. Chuny tries to convince Carol that the sick-out will be good for the nurses, but Carol knows that’s not the point – there just isn’t money to meet the nurses’ demands. Greg has determined that Jeanie’s patient doesn’t have Ebola, but he’s going to keep working the case with Jeanie. Weaver sees them getting along well and tells Jeanie she should have suggested Greg for her earlier. Jeanie thinks she means as a boyfriend, but Weaver means as Jeanie’s doctor. He used to have a private practice specializing in HIV and AIDS, but he came to County after his partner died of AIDS.

Doug fills Mark in on Charlie’s issues and how awful her mom seems. Fortunately, she won’t be sent home right away, so Social Services can take some time to figure out what’s best for her. Carol runs into Carter, who’s taking a few minutes alone in a waiting area, and says she could get used to not running around for traumas. She tries to ease his guilt over not realizing that Gant needed help. They get interrupted when a homeless man is brought in by his friend after having a Dumpster dropped on him.

Greg and Jeanie do some lab work and end up talking about astronomy. He invites her to join him and his telescope that night (not a euphemism). They determine that their patient has malaria, which they can easily treat, and which, best of all, isn’t going to cause an outbreak.

Mark, Carol, Weaver, Carter, and their ragtag band of nurse subs work on the homeless man. His friend bugs Carter, who gets more and more agitated as the friend says that he let his buddy down. Carter finally leaves the room before his guilt makes him explode. Mark goes after him, and Carter admits that he knew Gant was struggling, but he was too busy to help or let himself get dragged down. Mark understands that Carter had his own struggles, so he wasn’t responsible for his friend’s problems. He can’t be sure that he could have even helped Gant. Carter laments that he wasn’t a very good friend.

The homeless man doesn’t make it, so Carol and Weaver inventory the trauma room to make sure all their supplies are accounted for. Weaver compliments Carol for handling the sick-out, since she can’t just participate with her friends. They realize that they administered the wrong type of blood to the homeless man, possibly because Carol didn’t take a bag off the infuser before putting on a new one. She may have killed the patient.

They bring Mark in to figure out what to do next. Carol thinks it’s simple – she screwed up and killed someone. Mark and Weaver note that they were in the middle of a busy trauma, working with people who didn’t know what they were doing, and Carol was doing the jobs of multiple people. Carol doesn’t see that as an excuse. She didn’t check the label, so it’s her error. Mark and Weaver agree to let it go if Carol doesn’t file an incident report, but Carol knows that wouldn’t make up for what she did.

After Gant’s memorial service, which Benton skipped, Carter apologizes to Hicks for going off on Benton during surgery. She understands and lets it go. Benton arrives and meets Gant’s father, who believes that his son looked up to Benton. Benton admits that he was tough on Gant. Gant Sr. says he had to, because life is hard. Gant picked an ambitious specialty, so he knew he was in for hard work. Gant Sr. hopes that his son didn’t disappoint Benton. Benton says he thinks Gant would have made a great surgeon.

Jeanie tells Weaver she’s meeting Greg that night; he’s the perfect friend to hang out with because he’s gay and won’t pressure her to date. Weaver’s confused, because Greg isn’t gay. The partner he had who died was his professional partner. Greg is totally straight and totally eligible. Jeanie wants to back out so she doesn’t have to tell Greg that she has HIV. Weaver encourages her to go anyway.

Mary and Drummond come to the ER to tell Carol that the nurses’ union has backed down, and everyone will be back to work for the next shift. She gives them her incident report and confesses to giving her patient the wrong blood. Mary and Drummond aren’t too concerned, possibly because the man was homeless and has no family to sue the hospital. Carol says the sick-out wasn’t a factor; she just screwed up. Mary says they may be able to bypass an investigation, but Carol doesn’t want special treatment. She worked a double because she’s a manager (which she’s never accepted before), and it was her job.

Adele tells Doug that Charlie’s home situation with her mom is bad, and one or two of her mom’s boyfriends have been abusive toward her. The two of them and Middleton meet with Charlie and her mother, and Charlie reveals her plan to get her mother to allow her to live with Doug. Adele, Middleton, and Charlie’s mom think Doug has signed off on that, but Doug sets things straight. Charlie threatens to run away for good, which would be Doug’s fault. There’s yelling, and Middleton tells Doug to leave.

Jeanie and Greg go to Doc Magoo’s when they realize the conditions aren’t good for astronomy. They talk about Cassiopeia, who, according to myth, was sitting around, waiting for Mr. Right. Greg appears to think he’s Jeanie’s Mr. Right, so he kisses her. She’s not disappointed, but she wants to make sure he knows what he’s getting into, so she tells him she has HIV. Suddenly, things go from cute and potentially romantic to completely awkward.

Carter’s back on the El platform, where Benton is also contemplating things. He admits to being hard on Gant, but says he thought that was the best way for Gant to learn. Carter says he doesn’t blame Benton, but he feels like he’s been walking around with a secret Benton won’t admit to. Benton says he went to his high school reunion a few years ago, which was pretty sparse because there were a lot of dropouts, and many of his classmates are now in prison or dead. He doesn’t know how he feels about Gant’s death, but he doesn’t want Carter to tell him how he should feel.

Carter asks if Benton really wants to go through this alone. If he does, they’ll just keep their distance from each other and pretend nothing happened. After all, that worked out really well for Gant. Carter heads off alone, leaving Benton behind on the platform to think about what a jerk he is.

Thoughts: Nina is played by Jami Gertz.

Noah Wyle is really good in this episode. His body language alone says how hard this all is for Carter.

I don’t know if it’s Gloria Reuben or what, but Jeanie is cute with every love interest this show pairs her with (except Benton).

November 27, 2018

ER 2.20, Fevers of Unknown Origin: For Crying Out Loud

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

If I woke up in bed with Jen, I’d make this face Mark is making, too

Summary: Carol’s on an EMT run with Shep and Riley, so we can see more of Shep’s declining stability. Yay! Doug has landed in bed with Karen, and it takes Doug, like, five minutes to realize that he spent the night with his father’s girlfriend, or whatever she is to him. Neither of them is that disturbed by it, though.

Carol and the paramedics are called to a basement where a water heater has exploded. A little girl is trapped under some debris. Riley’s flustered, so Carol does his job for him and revives the girl. She objects when Shep tells the girls’ parents they can’t ride to the hospital with her. He thinks they’re drunks, and since they were dumb enough to let their daughter sleep near an unstable heater, they…don’t deserve to stay with her and try to keep her from being scared, I guess.

Susan was supposed to have the day off, but she’s at work, pretending that giving up Susie isn’t affecting her. She imagines herself searching her apartment while Susie cries. Weaver thanks her for filling in on short notice, promising she’ll be able to go home in a few hours. Susan says she can stay for a full 12-hour shift.

Morgenstern summons Mark and Weaver for what they think is an announcement of who won resident of the year. He promises that he submitted her name. Carter wants to assist on a breast reconstruction; Benton doesn’t really care. He thinks plastic surgery is a dumb specialty. The paramedics bring in the girl from the basement, and Doug and Benton will be working on her together, trying to ignore the tension between them.

Susan stitches up a blind woman who was mugged. Thanks to a self-defense course, the use of her cane as a weapon, and some sharp teeth, the woman not only got away with minor injuries, she also bit off the tip of the mugger’s pinky. She’d like to keep it as a souvenir. The girl from the basement, Becky, isn’t badly injured, and Shep credits Carol with taking good care of her. Benton finds a hernia and sends Becky to surgery.

Morgenstern wants to talk to Mark and Weaver about who should be chief resident next year. Mark nominates Susan, but Weaver isn’t sure she has all the qualities they want in a chief. Morgenstern agrees with her that they shouldn’t jump to any decisions. Hicks tells Carter that he hasn’t seen enough pediatric patients to graduate, so he’ll need to work with Doug for the next four weeks instead of assisting in plastics cases.

Connie brings her baby to visit, which makes Susan feel awkward. She thinks about her apartment search again. Lydia and Haleh enlist her to help them with a woman named Joanne who passed out in a crosswalk. She’s pregnant and is worried that she’s suffering another miscarriage. Susan thinks Joanne’s dizziness and high blood pressure are a result of her pregnancy, but Joanne says she’s had dizziness in between pregnancies. Susan decides she needs an ultrasound before she’s sent to OB.

Mark and Weaver go in to check on the case, since OB is upset that Susan hasn’t turned Joanne over to them yet. Weaver urges Susan to let her go already, sure that Joanne has preeclampsia. But Susan has correctly guessed that Joanne has a mass that’s causing her health problems and will need surgery. Fortunately, the baby should be fine. Mark congratulates Susan for the catch, though Weaver thinks OB would have figured it out.

Shep complains to Carol that Riley is a weak partner. He’s mad that Raul died trying to help lost causes in their fair city. Mark tells Randi that he and Jen are trying to work with a mediator to sort out their divorce. Randi says she doesn’t believe in divorce (but she doesn’t believe in marriage either). As an ailing Loretta comes in, Doug watches Days of Our Lives in the lounge with Lily and Haleh. He assures Carter that working in pediatrics won’t be too demanding for him.

A woman brings in her father, Mr. Dellanova, who has heart problems and is feeling sick. Susan almost immediately realizes that he took too much digitalis. This time, Weaver lets her take control, trusting that Susan knows what she’s doing. Benton chats with a Dr. Bradley, who wonders why Benton took almost three months to file a report about Vucelich’s fraud. He gives back the report, since Vucelich has added an addendum to his study listing all the data Benton thought he’d left out. Vucelich now claims that he always intended to include it.

Mark treats Loretta for dehydration connected to her chemotherapy. He’s annoyed that her doctor isn’t paying enough attention to her concerns, which include radiation burns that another patient said she shouldn’t have. Weaver wants Susan to present Mr. Dellanova’s case to some med students, but Susan doesn’t see the point. Weaver tries to get Mark to back her up and convince Susan to think more like a teacher. As they discuss her, Susan has trouble concentrating and flashes back to her apartment search again.

Doug gets a message from Karen, so Mark teases him a little. Doug says they have a “mutual acquaintance.” As Mark is about to go track down Loretta’s doctor and yell at him for sucking so badly, Jen shows up in hopes of working out their divorce settlement without their lawyers.

Carol and the paramedics go to an apartment building to tend to a teenager who was shot. One of his friends calls Carol a whore, so Shep grabs him by the neck. The victim is in bad shape, and as Shep tries to work on him, the boy’s brother keeps getting in the way. Shep eventually shoves him out of the way, but the boy hits his head on a coffee table and knocks himself out. Shep doesn’t care.

Carter thinks his patient just has the flu, but Doug thinks a seven-day fever of unknown origin is more than that. He diagnoses Kawasaki’s, and it’s a good thing he reviewed the case, because missing that could have been fatal. I’m thinking Carter isn’t as good to go on graduation as he thinks he is.

Susan stabilizes Mr. Dellanova, then tells his daughter that she’s surprised he took the wrong dosage, since it was right in the bottle. He doesn’t need glasses, but he also has trouble reading the paperwork he’s supposed to sign. Susan guesses correctly that he’s unable to read and has always hidden it from his daughter. She thinks he should tell her and let her help him. Mr. Dellanova asks if Susan has children, so of course she flashes back to her search again. We get it, show!

The paramedics bring in the brothers and Doug sticks around to tend to one, which means Karen has to wait to go to lunch with him. She goes to watch him in action, because apparently you can just wander around County without anyone caring. Doug and Benton work on the shooting victim while Carter, Carol, Weaver, and Harper work on the brother. Shep admits to pushing him, but Riley thinks he’s downplaying the seriousness of the situation. Shep tells him off for not keeping his mouth shut.

Doug’s finally ready for lunch, but seeing all the blood in the ER has made Karen lose her appetite. She’s concerned that she can’t reach Ray, who’s supposedly in the Cayman Islands with some of her money. But who cares, when she has his son? Mark finally finds Loretta’s doctor, Howard, who clearly doesn’t care about the side effects she’s suffering or the fact that she’s overwhelmed with her condition and treatments. I think he’s confused that Mark cares about a patient so much.

Carter tricks Benton into attending a surprise party in a trauma room – he’s been named resident of the year. Weaver tells Mark that Susan showed all the qualities they want in a chief resident today; she just wishes Susan would be like this all the time. As he’s leaving for the night, Doug maturely congratulates Benton for his honor. Hicks tells Benton that Vucelich seems to have nominated him for the award.

Carter says goodbye to Harper, who’s going…somewhere. Who cares? She’s leaving the show. Shep complains to Carol that Riley’s filing an incident report about his violent behavior. He wants Carol to agree with him that he didn’t do anything that bad. While Mark and Jen work out some custody arrangements without any complications, Susan treats a man named Mr. Johnston who claims he accidentally cut off the tip of his pinky while making a sandwich. He also has a testicular injury courtesy of a cane. Susan and Haleh strap him to a gurney while they call the police.

Mark and Jen…oh, freaking A. Mark and Jen just had sex. She doesn’t know what to tell her new boyfriend, Craig. Mark points out that she’s had to confess to infidelity before. Jen thinks he only slept with her as an act of revenge. In other ill-advised-couple news, Doug and Karen go to a nightclub together.

Susan goes home to her empty apartment and reminisces about when it wasn’t so empty. Then we learn why she’s really been so distressed: Chloe and Joe have taken Susie and moved across the country. When they were leaving, Susan ran up to her apartment to look for one of Susie’s toys while Susie cried in the car. Susan got so worked up that she started crying, too. Chloe found the toy, and Susan realized that she has to let the baby go for good.

Thoughts: Joanne is played by Romy Rosemont. She was also in a Grey’s Anatomy episode with Scott Michael Campbell (Riley). And she’s married to Stephen Root! I had no idea!

Carter treats a little boy, and when he tells the kid to take a deep breath, the kid takes the hugest, most overexaggerated breath ever. I love it.

Sleeping with you doesn’t get revenge on you, Jen. It only punishes Mark. Also, on another show, this probably would have led to a pregnancy and a paternity mystery, so thank God this doesn’t go there.

November 20, 2018

ER 2.19, Fire in the Belly: That Fire Is Actually Your Appendix Rupturing, and Thanks to Benton, You Now Have Sepsis

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

But at least she doesn’t have sepsis!

Summary: Carol’s asleep – drink! Shep wakes her up and tries to talk her into calling in sick so they can spend the day doing nothing together. Carol needs the money, so she wants to work, but she gives Shep her blessing to play hooky alone. He just wants to spend a day away from sick people. They’ll find some cows and have sex near them. The cows will have to be sexy, and they’ll have to be okay with a live sex show, I guess. Carol says they can go somewhere that weekend.

At County, Benton gets some patient information from Jeanie, then learns from Hicks that a doctor has refused to work with him because of either his behavior regarding Vucelich or what happened with Doug and Brett. Harper is thrilled to reunite with a college buddy, Dale Edson, who’s going to be a surgical resident at County soon. Carter silently freaks out about his girlfriend possibly dumping him for another guy.

Doug is still hooking up with Hulda, apparently, and he wants Mark to double date with them and another woman that night. Mark’s not interested, and Doug hopes he’s not delaying getting back into dating. He gets a loan application so he can get money to help him pay for Brett’s cancer treatment. Susan tells Mark she has to miss some M&Ms that afternoon so she can go to court and fight Chloe over getting custody of Susie.

Benton continues being persona non grata as Susan and Haleh deal with a cranky patient named Mrs. Garvey. She had chest pain earlier, but when Susan explains how she wants to monitor her, Mrs. Garvey complains that Susan’s being condescending. She keeps asking to have things explained to her again. Carter asks to run a code, so Mark and Benton humor him and let him give out orders for an incoming trauma. But when the patient comes in, she’s already dead. In fact, Dale guesses she’s been dead at least three hours. Carter was all ready for nothing.

The patient’s young son, Jeremy, has also come in, but he’s in shock and isn’t talking. Shep tells Doug and Carol that a neighbor heard the patient and her boyfriend arguing that morning. Carol worries that the boyfriend will come after Jeremy, since he seems to have witnessed his mother’s murder. Benton realizes, almost before it’s too late, that Mrs. Mendoza, a patient Jeanie sent home with food poisoning, actually needs to have her appendix removed.

Weaver brings in some techs to set up equipment in trauma rooms so they can record procedures. Mark doesn’t think that’s a good idea, but Morgenstern has already signed off. Carter wants to do Mrs. Mendoza’s appendectomy, but Benton brushes him aside. The other doctors participating wish she’d come in sooner. Mrs. Garvey complains about the things Susan has written about her on her chart, calling her difficult. Again, she asks Susan to explain thinks multiple times. Susan has no patience, but I think she makes it pretty clear that Mrs. Garvey needs immediate treatment to keep her heart from exploding.

A detective tries to talk to Jeremy, but Doug gets protective and sends him out of the room. Carter digs for information on Harper and Dale’s relationship; she says they never dated, but they did hook up once. Chuny finds a possible surgical case and decides to give it to Dale. Carter grabs it before she can. Iris the video director is there with the video techs and still wants to cast Mark in something. Now she wants him to be the spokesperson for some exercise equipment.

Hicks agrees that Carter’s patient needs surgery, and unlike Benton, she’s willing to let Carter do the appendectomy. Benton’s still working on Mrs. Mendoza when Carter shows up next door. Benton asks someone to close the blinds just before Mrs. Mendoza codes. Weaver explains Mrs. Garvey’s condition to her with a lot more patience than Susan. Apparently Susan’s explanation of Mrs. Garvey’s health didn’t convince her to have a necessary procedure; instead, the patient was going to leave AMA (against medical advice). Weaver tells Susan to work on her anger issues.

Carter’s appendectomy patient doesn’t need an appendectomy after all, but he does have a toothpick in a place it shouldn’t be, which explains his stomachache. Hicks congratulates Carter on his first toothpick-ectomy. Meanwhile, Benton tells Mrs. Mendoza’s husband that she made it through surgery, and he thinks she’ll recover, but it’s possible she won’t. Mr. Mendoza is understandably upset that his wife was discharged when she clearly shouldn’t have been.

Shep and Carol go to check on Jeremy, who’s not only wandering around the hospital alone, but has also found his mother’s dead body. Come on, County staff. This shouldn’t be hard to handle. Susan tries to fight her “walking anxiety attack” as she leaves for the day. Iris invites Mark to get lunch, but Mark turns her down, still not getting that she wants to date him. Doug’s father spends him a bunch of money, so Mark thinks Brett’s cancer treatment should be all taken care of.

Benton blasts Jeanie for not giving Mrs. Mendoza a thorough examination. She insists that she did; if Benton didn’t think she was thorough enough, he should have checked her out himself. Hicks tells Carter that they’re going to be ranking surgical interns from now on. Those who fall into the bottom third of the bunch will be cut from the program. So it would have been nice if Carter had been able to do an appendectomy today.

Carol, Shep, and Riley try to tend to an unstable patient who’s wearing a vest full of old buttons. Riley doesn’t know who LBJ is, because a) he’s a baby and b) public schools are awful. The patient attacks Carol, and Shep retrains him with so much force that the patient stops breathing. Shep is about to intubate him when Malik finds the patient’s pulse. Then the patient clocks Shep. Fun day at County!

Susan meets up with her father outside the courthouse, but he doesn’t want to go to the hearing. Even though he’s told Susan he’d back her up, he know can’t choose between his daughters. Henry says that Joe, Chloe’s fiancé, is a great guy. Unlike her past boyfriends, who were mostly criminals, Joe is on the right side of the law – he’s a cop.

Doug keeps bugging Mark about going on the double date, and Mark keeps refusing. He finally reveals that, as he’s been with Jen since they were teens, and he’s never cheated, she’s the only person he’s ever had sex with. Doug laughs because he can’t begin to understand what that’s like. Mark admits that he’s nervous about the possibility that he won’t impress any other woman he might sleep with. Doug just laughs some more.

Carter overhears a radio transmission about an incoming trauma and asks Doug if he can run it. Doug says he already promised the next trauma to Dale. The patient is coming in 15 minutes, so Carter asks Jerry to page him in ten minutes, then invites Harper and Dale to have lunch with him in the cafeteria.

Susan and Chloe appear before an arbitrator who wants to help them settle Susie’s custody without going to court. Susan lists all of Chloe’s past problems, but Chloe thinks she’s done enough to turn herself around and show she’s responsible. The arbitrator gives her three overnight visits a week and warns Susan that if she keeps going with the fight for custody, she’ll lose. She should think about the possible damage she’ll cause by continuing the fight.

As Carol fixes Shep up after his altercation with Button Guy, he complains about the city and says they’re not raising their kids there. Carol somehow keeps herself from responding to his assumption that they’ll be having kids together. But he’s right – her future children will not be raised in Chicago. Mrs. Mendoza has sepsis, and Hicks has seen from her chart that Benton sent her home without a full examination. She thinks it was obvious that Mrs. Mendoza was at risk for a ruptured appendix. She points out that he jumped on Doug for a similar mistake.

Carter gets a page that he pretends is about some labs he was waiting for. While Harper and Dale stay in the cafeteria, completely clueless about Carter’s scam, he runs to the ER and steals Dale’s trauma. Hicks comes in to watch as Carter performs a successful procedure. Mr. Mendoza thinks Benton is going above and beyond with his wife, since he’s been sitting by her bed all day. Benton admits that he wasn’t completely honest earlier. He didn’t examine her, so he didn’t catch her condition before it became serious.

Hicks asks Carter to tag along as she takes his patient to surgery. Dale and Harper arrive just as they’re leaving, and Harper easily figures out what Carter pulled on Dale. Susan takes Susie to her parents’ and drops her off with Chloe for the night. Joe is friendly and invites Susan to stay for dinner. Susan hesitates, but Chloe and Henry encourage her to spend some time with her family.

Weaver goes over a recording of Carter’s trauma with some bored staff members and highlights him wiping his nose on his glove before grabbing a piece of equipment. She wants to compare it to a trauma Dale ran earlier in the day. Just as Mark asks Iris to have dinner with him, the tape starts playing Doug and Mark’s conversation about how Mark has only ever slept with Jen. Everyone has a good laugh as Mark runs away.

Jeanie wants to know if Benton hates her, since he doesn’t even look at her when they talk. He claims he’s past their failed relationship, but he certainly doesn’t do or say anything to make her feel like that’s true. Jeanie, face it – he’s just not a warm person. It’s not about you. Doug’s loan gets denied, so Mark encourages him to use Ray’s monetary gift to pay for Brett’s treatment. Doug doesn’t want to have to thank him.

Apparently Iris wasn’t scared off by Mark’s lack of sexual experience, as she’s accepted his dinner invitation. At the Lewises’, Joe tells Susan that she did a great thing by taking care of Susie. He reveals that he and Chloe met in AA. He knows he’s not really supposed to get involved with a newcomer to the program, but they two of them won’t get married for a while. Susan isn’t sure she’ll even make it a year staying sober.

Harper’s ticked about Carter’s behavior and calls him a weasel. He’s more interested in doing procedures than maintaining their relationship. They’re done. But at least a mime at the carnival they’re at gives him a giant balloon as a consolation prize. Doug learns from the detective on Jeremy’s mom’s case that Jeremy did, indeed, witness his mother’s shooting, but not in the way everyone thought. He grabbed a gun to shoot the boyfriend but accidentally killed his mom instead. Everyone have a great night!

Mark and Iris’ date ends in bed, and she teases that she taped them. Shep drives Carol home in his ambulance, saying that he thinks Jeremy is going to be haunted by his actions for the rest of his life and will end up like Button Guy. They come across a fight, and Shep gets distracted while calling for police backup. He almost hits a pedestrian, who responds by breaking the ambulance’s windshield. Shep tackles him and beats him up. He yells at Carol when she tries to pull him off.

Doug goes looking for his father and finds Karen instead. They get a little flirty and start drinking together. Benton gives Hicks some of Vucelich’s files and announces that he’s going on the record about Vucelich’s fraud. He’s done making excuses for not doing the right thing. Susan tells Chloe that she’s not convinced that she’s changed, and Susan’s still mad about her past screw-ups. Chloe really believes that she can be a good mother, or at least she wants to be. Susan sees them off to bed, listening to Chloe sing “Blackbird,” the same song Susan sang to Susie right after she was born.

Thoughts: Ugh, Dale Edson. I can’t stand that guy.

“It’s Nuremberg Chicken day.” Do I want to know what that is? Why would you name a dish that?

Jeanie continues to amaze me in thinking that Benton is anyone other than who he always presents himself to be. Girl, just keep things professional and become friends with everyone who hates him. He’s doing you a favor by not talking to you.

 

November 6, 2018

ER 2.17, The Match Game: You Can Cut All the Tension With a Scalpel

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

I guess they give them white uniforms so they can be bleached, but it’s still a dumb idea

Summary: Mark rides his new motorcycle to work and tells Jerry he feels like a Hell’s Angel. Jerry admires the beard he’s growing, though it’s taken him a week to get it to where it is. He’s also ditched his glasses for contacts. Someone’s having a midlife crisis! Jerry tries to invite himself along on an evening out with Doug and Mark, but Doug doesn’t take the bait. Hicks tells Benton that Vucelich published his study, so Benton’s accusations haven’t gone anywhere. Since he isn’t willing to take it to the ethics committee, Hicks thinks he should keep his mouth shut.

Carter’s so nervous about finding out which hospital he’s matched with that he’s throwing up in a bathroom. Harper is unbothered and possibly amused. Susan and Chloe meet up for breakfast, and it’s super-awkward. Chloe credits Susie as her motivation for turning her life around. She’s been clean for five months and is engaged. (If she’s getting married to a guy she’s known less than five months, I don’t think she’s as put-together as she thinks.) Chloe says she wants to be Susie’s mother, and Susan replies that Chloe leaving was the best thing that’s ever happened to the baby.

Carol has to wear an all-white nurse’s uniform to work, now that she’s signed on with a temp agency. Her hours were cut in half, and her earthworms died, so this is her best chance to make some extra money. Doug teases her by making sure she sees that Jeanie has been named Employee of the Month. Up in daycare, Susan finally puts some security in place, ordering the staff not to let Chloe see Susie without permission.

Mark treats a patient named Mr. Bartoli who had chest pain after a romantic encounter with a postmistress. Mark recognizes his enhancing ointment as digitalis, which can cause a heart arrhythmia. Mr. Bartoli thinks Mark can relate to being a bald guy with low testosterone who needs some help. Carter thinks his hopes of being matched with County are going to be dashed, which he deserves after the way he’s been acting over the past few weeks. He vows to put his patients first from now on. He gets his first chance with a teenager named Brett who was in a car accident, then with the teen’s grandfather, Mr. Bowman.

Shep is back at work, now partnered with baby EMT Riley. He’s not happy about it. Mr. Bowman is more worried about Brett than himself, so he doesn’t let Carter give him a full exam. Carter quickly moves on to try to help other people. Brett has a leg injury, and Mr. Bowman notes that he injured the same knee a few months ago playing basketball. Benton asks to see his previous chart.

Other car accident victims arrive, including Freddie, who claims to be sober but has track marks on his arms. Mark runs around helping various people, and assists Susan in saving Freddie’s life. It’s hard for her to be happy about it since Freddie caused the crash and killed one of the victims. Carter examines a man named Mr. Ledbetter who wants to go to work so he can continue trying to make partner. Carter says he wouldn’t feel right about letting Mr. Ledbetter leave without a full workup.

Brett’s leg isn’t broken, but Benton thinks he has the beginnings of a tumor. He can’t believe the doctor who treated him the last time he was there didn’t catch it. Carol checks the chart and sees that the doctor was Doug. Mark thinks the tumor is small enough that it would be easy to overlook, but Benton doesn’t think that changes the fact that Doug misdiagnosed Brett. Mark tells Benton not to say anything to the family – he’ll talk to them.

Carter gets his match letter and is thrilled to see that he’ll be doing his residency at County next year. He wants to spend his lunch break celebrating with Harper. Lydia brings in a filthy man named Hugo, and the nurses try to figure out whose turn it is to clean him up. After a round of Rock Paper Scissors, Carol gets the task. She tries to hand it off to Jeanie, but Jeanie knows this is a nurse’s job.

Freddie’s mother arrives and denies that her son uses drugs. Susan says he tested positive for cocaine, but Freddie’s mother says it was wrong. Susan yells that he got drunk and high, drove a car, injured a bunch of people, and killed a girl. She gets a slap in return. Carter calls his father to share his good news, but their phone connection is bad because his father’s on a boat and Carter has a ’90s cell phone. He tells Mr. Ledbetter that he’ll need to see a hematologist for severe anemia, then takes off to hang out with Harper.

Mark tells Doug about his missed diagnosis, then calls in Kathy Snyder, a hospital lawyer. Kathy says that they have no legal obligation to tell Brett’s family that they missed the tumor on his last visit, which means they won’t know that they can sue for malpractice. Mark agrees that they should keep quiet. Doug volunteers to tell Mr. Bowman about his grandson’s condition; it’s his case and his responsibility.

Hugo sings “Younger Than Springtime” while Carol hoses him off in a shower. Jeanie comes in to get Carol for something, and Carol accidentally sprays her with the hose, making herself feel better. In the lounge, Susan tells Mark that she’s fighting to make sure Chloe can’t take Susie back. She notices that his usual brown eyes are now blue, thanks to his new contacts. She gets a page and frantically tells Mark to send security to daycare.

Jeanie asks Carol to tend to a patient who’s throwing up, since that’s a nurse’s job. Carol gets her back by telling her to stitch up Hugo’s bleeding hand, as that’s a job for a physician’s assistant. Susan races up to daycare, thinking Chloe has shown up, but it turns out the staff paged her so she would be able to watch Susie take her first steps.

Doug tells Mr. Bowman that Brett has a tumor, but the doctor coming to take care of him is terrific and has had a lot of success with patients like Brett. Later, Benton approaches Mr. Bowman and realizes that no one told him that Doug missed the tumor four months ago. He complains to Mark, saying that whether or not they have a legal obligation to come clean, they should do so for ethical reasons. Mark brushes him off.

Doug pleads with a doctor to take on Brett’s case, offering to pay part of Brett’s bill and make up some of the cost by working in the doctor’s clinic. The doctor accepts the offer. Carol gleefully tells Mark that Hugo tripped on his way out of the hospital, and now Jeanie has to give him more stitches. Susan tells Mark that Susie took her first steps, which has turned her whole day around.

As Mr. Bowman thanks Benton for what he did for Brett, the little devil and little angel on Benton’s shoulder scream in his ears for a few moments. The little devil wins, and he decides to come clean. Mark examines a woman named Iris who suffered a minor head injury while working on an infomercial. Haleh laughs silently as Iris hits on Mark, equally hoping to cast him in an infomercial and get him into bed. Mr. Ledbetter’s still waiting for test results, since Carter hasn’t returned and hematology never showed up. He tells Susan to fax the results to his office, since he’s leaving.

Mr. Bowman confronts Doug for not telling him that he missed the tumor four months ago. Doug apologizes, but Mr. Bowman doesn’t think he’s sincere. Doug wants to continue trying to set up Brett’s care with the oncologist, but Mr. Bowman is done with his “help.” Meanwhile, Carter and Harper celebrate at a hotel with sex and champagne.

Iris also wants to celebrate, inviting Mark to dinner once he tells her that her brain scans are fine. She wants him to do an infomercial about a blood-pressure drug that also helps with male pattern baldness. Mark was led to believe that some women see baldness as a sign of virility. “Who told you that, some bald guy?” Iris laughs. Jeanie hands Hugo back off to Carol to get him a cab, because this stupid plot still isn’t over.

Susan has to give Mr. Ledbetter the bad news that he has leukemia. Carter and Harper have moved their celebration to a giant bubble bath, which he accidentally drops his pager into when it goes off. Shep and Riley bring in a girl who was injured at gymnastics practice, and Shep complains about Riley’s sloppy IV-insertion technique. The tension spreads to Doug and Benton, as the former doesn’t want to work with the latter, knowing that Benton was the one who ratted him out to Mr. Bowman. Mark has to step in and send Benton away.

Carter finally returns to the hospital, taking his sweet time to respond to his page. Susan blasts him for not realizing from Mr. Ledbetter’s examination that he has cancer. Carter’s tipsy, so when Hicks invites him to scrub in on an operation, he has to decline. Hicks tells him that ignoring his pages was bad enough, but drinking while on call is truly horrible. In fact, it’s grounds for expulsion. Carter whines that he just matched at County. I highly doubt she cares, dude.

Doug and Mark decide to call off their guys’ night out, though Doug thinks Mark should go without him. Haleh and Lydia agree with each other that Benton did the right thing by telling Mr. Bowman about the missed diagnosis. Carter’s received enough congratulatory gift baskets to feed the entire hospital, but he’s back to puking in the bathroom. Mark assures him that he can’t be expelled without a hearing, though he could lose his match. Mark will try to help.

Shep comes in to tell Carol that Riley backed into a homeless man in the parking lot. Yep, it’s Hugo. He was out in the ambulance bay, waiting for the cab Carol never called for him. Doug and Benton encounter each other in the lounge, both keeping their mouths shut this time. Carol and Jeanie tend to Hugo together, realizing that their rivalry has caused enough damage.

Mark confronts Benton for going against his orders and causing trouble for Doug and the hospital. Benton says that if Doug had done his job, Brett wouldn’t be facing amputation. Mark says that telling the family wasn’t Benton’s decision to make. He knows Benton is trying to ease his guilty conscience since he didn’t blow the whistle on Vucelich. “The truth is a lot easier to tell when it’s not your own career on the line,” he notes.

Carol chastises Shep for being so hard on Riley. Shep thinks he’s being punished for going into the fire and causing Raul’s death. Carol reminds him that he saved three kids, but to Shep, that’s not as important as the fact that he killed his best friend. Doug tells Susan that he saw dozens of kids the day he treated Brett, so he didn’t have time for an extensive exam. He acknowledges that Benton didn’t do anything wrong in telling Mr. Bowman. Susan notes that Doug is the one who has to pay for the mistake, but Doug says Brett’s the one who has to face the worst consequences.

Mark goes out to a bar and runs into Kathy. She helps him look for a lost contact, which somehow got stuck in his goatee. Susan takes Susie home, trying to avoid Chloe, who’s staked out the apartment. Chloe has gotten a lawyer and plans to file for visitation rights. Susan announces that she’s adopting the baby, no matter how badly Chloe wants her back.

Jeanie runs into Benton at Doc Magoo’s and tells him he did the right thing. Benton says he “broke the code,” which reminds Jeanie of a story Mae once told her. As a child, Benton turned in a kid for stealing money, and wound up blacklisted with a broken nose. Benton says he’s never learned to keep his mouth shut. At home, Susan reads Susie Goodnight Moon, clinging to what might be one of her last nights with her baby.

Thoughts: Mr. Bartoli is played by Richard Schiff. Iris is played by Joanna Gleason.

“Ha ha, my patient got hurt and now Jeanie has to do more work!” Shut up, Carol.

The number of times Carter should be fired, or at least harshly disciplined, throughout the series is probably in the double digits.

October 23, 2018

ER 2.15, Baby Shower: Regular-Baby Baby Mamas

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 4:52 pm by Jenn

For the record, Abraham Benrubi is only one inch shorter than Scottie Pippen

Summary: Benton is in bed, but he’s not asleep, so don’t drink. He rides an exercise bike while going over the steps of a surgical procedure. He scrapes frost off of his car window, but the car won’t start. When he gets to work, his procedure has been canceled, which leads him to ask Hicks if there’s a problem. Since he left Vucelich’s study, he’s been underused. Hicks points out that with Vucelich, Benton had a ton of stuff to do; now he has to wait for the schedule to catch up with him.

Benton passes the time by doing some paperwork before he’s paged to the ER to try to save a man who jumped on the El tracks. He takes over the case from Mark, obviously eager to prove that he’s still a good doctor. Mark quips that when he’s done taking this guy to surgery, he can come back to the ER and help all the other patients by himself.

Susan was looking forward to sleeping in, since she doesn’t start work until 11, but Susie didn’t get the memo. Moments later, a woman named Mrs. Pearline buzzes Susan’s intercom to say she’s there to do a home inspection for Susie’s adoption. Susan’s place is a mess, and she’s tired from working late the night before, but if she doesn’t agree to the visit now, she’ll have to go back on a waiting list for a long time.

Doug still has the Bulls tickets his father gave him, not wanting to trash good seats just because they came from Ray. Jerry tells Doug and Carol that Scottie Pippen was at the hospital the day before with a kid from his tutoring program. Doug doesn’t believe him. Jerry shows him the autograph Scottie signed, but Doug thinks it’s a fake because he doesn’t know how to spell Pippen. No one else on staff saw Scottie, so no one can back up Jerry’s claims.

Connie’s heavily pregnant, working her last shift before going on maternity leave. She’s overdue and will be induced in a few days if nothing happens. Doug teases that an elephant’s gestation period is two years. Carter’s planning to ask Benton to rewrite his letter of recommendation for Carter to get a fellowship that only has six open slots for 90 applicants. The original recommendation just says that Carter has “put forth a consistent effort.” Carter’s obsessed with this application and plan, but he stops when Harper asks how long it would take after intercourse for a pregnancy test to turn out positive.

Connie brings down some laboring women, announcing to the ER that the sprinkler system on the OB ward is going off, so everyone needs to be moved to other parts of the hospital. So be prepared for the staff to deliver a bunch of babies through the whole episode. Benton assists with his patient’s surgery, though the other doctors think he’s a lost cause. One tells Benton that he’s free to do anything he wants surgically since they’re now looking at a teaching exercise – there’s nothing left to save.

Mark tends to a mother named Christy, who will need to be helped along in her delivery. Jerry tells Chuny to back him up on his claim that Scottie Pippen was in the ER yesterday. She jokes that Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman were also there, and she, Connie, and Jerry in a basketball game. Coburn comes to assess the situation with all the laboring women, though Weaver says the ER staff can handle it. Coburn is skeptical, since Mark is one of those staff members. She quickly takes over with Christy.

As Harper draws some of her own blood for a pregnancy test, Doug tells Christy that her baby is healthy. Coburn tensely gives some instructions as she heads off to take care of more women. She changes her mind and stays when Mark realizes that Christy has a surprise second baby coming. She never knew she was having twins, despite having an ultrasound months ago. The second baby is breech, but Mark calmly handles the delivery, never letting Christy see that this could be a complication. Everyone’s happy, both for Christy and for Mark.

Susan makes it to work, stressed after what she thinks was a disastrous home visit. She asks Mark to lie when a social worker comes in to do work-site interviews. Mark’s next patient, Monica, wants to be induced, but since the ER doesn’t have enough monitors for everyone, they need to wait until she labors naturally. Monica’s not happy about this. Susan meets her next patient, Tina, who’s only 13. Her mother can’t be reached, but the couple who will be adopting her baby are there with her.

Harper brings in a patient to share Tina’s room, a woman named Ms. Clark who’s straight out of The X-Files – she thinks her pregnancy is the result of an alien abduction. Apparently Mulder and Scully won’t take her calls, though. Harper sends Ms. Clark’s bloodwork to the lab, adding in her own vial for a pregnancy test. Susan sneers to Lydia about a father who’s being supportive of the mother of his child; she thinks men like that give women false hope that guys like him actually exist.

Carter joins Benton in the ER to kill some time observing before his interview. He asks Benton if he had time to do another draft of his recommendation letter. Benton says he only did one draft, but Carter has lost his nerve and doesn’t ask for another. A doctor brings in some med students to watch Benton “raise the dead,” as he’s still trying to save his patient. Benton just says that he knows how to fix the man, so he’s doing his job.

As Connie passes through the ER, Weaver, Lydia, Jeanie, and Chuny talk about some beet soup at Doc Magoo’s. The story going around is that it’s inducing labor in pregnant women. Weaver says there’s a scientific basis; a lot of plants contain an ergot derivative that makes the uterus contract. Jeanie tells Susan that one of the laboring women, Leah, may be using crack, so they need to pay extra attention to her.

Mark delivers Monica’s baby as she tells her husband he’ll be having the next one if he doesn’t get a vasectomy. Connie has a short temper with Monica’s screaming, but when they deliver the baby and realize she weighs about ten pounds, Connie tells Monica to scream all she wants. The baby isn’t breathing, and as Doug tends to her, he guesses that Monica developed gestational diabetes during her pregnancy. Mark is again calm with the mom.

Susan and Jeanie talk to Leah, telling her they’ll have to run a tox screen on her since she has a history of drug use. Leah is annoyed that Jeanie told Susan about her past crack abuse. She insists that she’s clean and has learned from the mistakes she made when she was younger. Doug has revived Monica’s baby, and Monica is now super-friendly and happy. She kisses both Doug and Mark, declaring her love for them.

Carter meet some of the other candidates for the fellowship he wants, quickly realizing that they’re much more accomplished than he is. Susan tends to Tina, who’s struggling a lot with her labor. The adoptive father worries that she’s depending on him and his wife too much. They’re adopting her baby, but not her.

A woman named Anna arrives in labor, but what’s one more baby delivered in the ER? She tells Mark that she has breast cancer but had to stop treatment when she found out she was pregnant. She only has a few months left to live. Mark asks someone to page Coburn, but Anna resists. She calls her OB on a giant cell phone that looks funny even for a mid-’90s piece of technology.

Doctors keep rotating in and out to assist Benton as he continues his marathon surgery. He thinks there’s no harm in trying everything they can. A doctor tells him that the patient’s mother is a nurse at the hospital, so at least one person will be grateful if Benton’s work is successful. Leah’s tox screen comes back negative, so Jeanie apologizes for suspecting that she was using. A friend of Leah’s comes to visit, and Jeanie reluctantly lets her stay.

As Weaver tells Jeanie that something odd came up in Ms. Clark’s bloodwork, Tina is rushed away to deliver. Mark loses his cool for the first time all day, telling Anna (who’s also a doctor) to stop giving instructions and just focus on delivering. Then he tells the nurses to do exactly what Anna said. Weaver summons Harper to Ms. Clark’s room, asking why she ran a pregnancy test on a woman who appears to be nine months along. Harper can’t hide her joy when she hears that the pregnancy test came back negative. Labs confirm that Ms. Clark is also not having a baby, just a lot of gas.

As Jerry chats with a man about cigars, Scottie arrives to thank him for his help the day before. Jerry asks him to stay put while he runs off to find a witness. He chooses Mark, who’s in the middle of delivering Anna’s baby. Jerry runs back to the desk to get Scottie and bring him to Mark, but he’s already gone. “Is he kind of a tall guy?” Wendy, clearly not a sports fan, asks.

Susan coaches Tina through her delivery, telling her she’s doing better than a lot of adult women. Leah asks to use the bathroom, declining when Jeanie offers to accompany her. Jeanie gets suspicious and follows her, watching as Leah pauses in front of the bathroom door instead of going on. She gives Jeanie some drug paraphernalia, brought to her by her friend. She admits that she used drugs a little during her pregnancy and is frustrated that she’ll never get clean.

A man who was working on the sprinkler system was electrocuted, so the ER staff finally has a different kind of patient to work on. Anna has delivered a healthy baby but is now sad to remember that she won’t get to spend much time with her daughter before her impending death. So that’s depressing. Mark and Doug check in with another new mom, Leslie, the one with the super-supportive partner, Harris. Susan wants to clone him, and Leslie and Harris say that might be possible someday, since they’ve already used modern technology to conceive their baby.

There’s only one mother left who’s close to delivery, which means the ER staff has delivered nine babies to eight mothers, with very few problems. Coburn lets Mark know that she’s pleased with his work. Christy’s husband arrives after spending the whole day trying to find a replacement for his bus route. Doug happily introduces him to his new sons, and he promises that today will be the last time he’s not there for them. Doug is sure he’ll be a great father. Leah’s the last mom to deliver, and though the baby seems fine now, Leah’s drug use could have lasting effects. Doug tells her she’ll probably be allowed to keep the baby, though he’s clearly not thrilled about that.

Carter does his interview with Hicks and some other doctors, having to do a trick with a magnet, a knot, a string, and a coffee can while he answers questions about surgical procedures. He screws up the trick, and Hicks asks what he would do if he made a mistake like that in surgery. Carter simply says that he would prepare the damage and proceed. Hicks likes that answer. Another doctor admits that the trick might not actually be possible; what’s important is his temperament. That combined with his academic achievements, board scores, and letters of recommendation are what they’re looking at.

Vucelich gave him a glowing recommendation, but Carter’s worried about Benton’s. The doctors are pleased that Carter survived working with Benton, but they’re even more pleased with Benton’s words of praise. The final question in the interview is why Carter wants to be a surgeon. He pauses, then says that when he sees people who are sick or injured, he knows he can fix them, so that’s what he wants to do. Sounds like Carter isn’t too different from Benton after all.

Connie learns that Leslie had beet soup at Doc Magoo’s the night before. Lydia, Chuny, and Susan giggle to themselves, then put on poker faces when Connie looks at them. The ER staff realize that Leslie and Harris aren’t the perfect couple they thought – they’re actually with other people. Specifically, Leslie and her partner used Harris as a sperm donor so they could have a baby. Harris and his partner will be the baby’s godfathers. Susan knew she was right about the situation being too good to be true.

Benton’s finally done with surgery, and the patient’s alive, for now. Carter brings him dinner and thanks him for setting the bar high for him and being a good example. Now that Tina’s seen her baby, she’s not sure she can go through with the adoption. She doesn’t think taking care of a baby is as hard as everyone says. Plus, her mom will help her. You know, the mom who’s been out of contact all day and is just now arriving to be with her daughter. The adoptive parents are devastated, realizing that their plans aren’t going to work out.

Doug goes to see Ray, surprised that he’s at such a nice hotel. He’s even more surprised to learn that Ray owns the place. Doug returns the Bulls tickets, saying he’s no longer playing along like he and his mother did when Doug was a child. He’s not going to let Ray get away with dropping in, giving him presents, and disappearing again. A father sticks around for his kids’ childhood, and Ray never did, so he’s no father. Ray says that Doug and his mother deserved better.

Doug mentions that he helped deliver a bunch of babies today. Ray starts to tell Doug about the night he was born – he and Doug’s mother were at a cabin (a cabin that the bank later took back, Doug notes) and had to skate across a lake to get to the hospital. Doug, unlike his father, decides to stick around for this story.

Connie clocks out of work, annoyed that no one’s around to say goodbye, since she’ll be gone for a while. She heads across the street to Doc Magoo’s and orders beet soup. Just then, a bunch of her co-workers burst out of the kitchen to throw her a surprise baby shower. Mark jokes that after Connie has some soup, they can go back across the street and deliver her baby. Meanwhile, Doug and Ray play foosball together at the hotel, spending more time together than they have in years.

Thoughts: Christy is played by Nia Long. Anna is played by Lindsay Crouse.

“What kind of soup should our diner serve, along with sandwiches, burgers, and pie?” “…Beet?” “Oh, yeah. Definitely beet.”

One of Carter’s competitors for the fellowship is named Andrea Zucker. Is that a nod to Andrea Zuckerman on Beverly Hills, 90210? This Andrea is also from California.

Dear everyone: If a friend brings you drugs while you’re in the hospital to have a baby, get new friends.

October 2, 2018

ER 2.12, True Lies: Heirs Apparent

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:09 pm by Jenn

Could you be mean to this man? Never

Summary: Rachel’s asleep – drink! Mark wakes her up and serves her breakfast, getting the hang of this single-father thing. Jen calls to check on them, and for some reason thinks Mark is bad-mouthing her to their daughter. Rachel’s struggling with her parents’ split and the fact that they live so far apart. She thinks Mark will eventually move back home. He decides to distract her with pancakes and ice skating.

Helen is well enough to be discharged from County and moved to a nursing home. Vucelich avoids questions from Ruby about when she’ll be able to walk. He invites Benton to a dinner party at his place that night; he’ll be able to put in some face time with some prestigious bigwigs. He’s also encouraged to bring a guest. Ruby’s concerned that Helen isn’t really ready to leave the hospital, but all the doctors involved think she is. Carter ushers them out the door, as he’s been told over and over is his goal. Whatever happens to Helen, she’s not his responsibility anymore.

Mark brings Rachel to the hospital for a few minutes before they go ice skating. She holds Susie while Mark tells Susan that the past few days have been tough. He invites her to come skating with them, an idea Rachel doesn’t like. She’s starting to display the attitude we’ll see a lot of when she’s a teenager. Carol tells Doug that his dad keeps calling, but Doug doesn’t want to talk to him.

Carter tells Benton that he finally got rid of the Rubadouxes. He asks who Benton will take to Vucelich’s party, vetoing his first choice, Jackie. Carter suggests Jeanie, laughing at the idea of Benton bringing his sister to a party full of surgeons and their trophy wives. Benton knows he’s right and quickly invites Jeanie to the party. She accepts once they establish that it’s not a date.

A patient comes in after a car accident that left him impaled on a guardrail. (Owwwwww.) A maintenance man has to bring in a saw to cut him off of it. Mark, Susan, Rachel, and Susie go skating (Susie’s in a little sled; it’s cute), but only three of them have a good time. Rachel clearly doesn’t like that her father has a new woman in his life, even though they’re just friends.

“My first medical consult!” the maintenance man declares as he finishes his work with the saw. Hicks arrives to help Benton and Carter take the patient to the OR so Vucelich can operate on him. Just then, the Rubadouxes return – Helen passed out. Benton tells Carter to take care of her but not “make a career” out of her. In other words, treat her and street her again.

The skaters return to the hospital, where E-Ray is filling in for a sick Jerry. Desk clerk is actually a better job for E-Ray than nurse, as he’s better with computers and administrative tasks than he is with medicine. He’s also a licensed daycare worker, so he offers to look after Rachel. Hicks and Benton operate on Mr. Guardrail, waiting for Vucelich to join them. Since he’s going to take a while to get there, Benton insists he can do the operation himself. Hicks agrees to let him.

A drunk woman is brought to the ER in respiratory distress, and Susan soon loses her pulse. Lily sees from her ID that her name is Barbara Dean, and today is her 50th birthday. She looks older than that, probably as a result of lots of partying. Helen (whom Ruby calls Sylvie, which is really confusing) is unconscious, and Carter and Jeanie tell Ruby that she may have had a stroke. Ruby’s worried that he was right about her leaving the hospital too soon.

E-Ray entertains Rachel by showing her pictures of skin lesions. He thinks she’ll benefit from “confronting [her] fears in a supportive and nurturing environment.” Susan calls Barbara’s daughter, who wants nothing to do with her mother. Lily finds her medical records, which show lots of alcohol-related injuries and illnesses. Doug’s father calls yet again, and Doug tells E-Ray to say he died. Carol has big news for everyone: Morgenstern is in the suture room, wearing a Catholic schoolgirl’s uniform. They all run off to see.

Benton’s attempts at surgery aren’t going so well, and he loses his shot at proving himself when Vucelich finally arrives to relieve him. Hicks takes responsibility, saying she let Benton’s enthusiasm cloud her judgment. Benton just looks on as she and Vucelich finish up. Aww, poor Benton. Now he won’t get to sit at the big kids’ table!

Ruby’s distressed over Helen’s condition, and Carter isn’t as sympathetic or gentle as he’s been in the past. A bunch of staff members giggle over Morgenstern’s clothes, considering taking a picture they can use as blackmail material for the next several years. Mark and Susan finally go in and learn that Morgenstern lost control of a caber, a huge log thrown in the Highland Games. His schoolgirl’s uniform is really traditional Scottish attire. Mark determines that his leg is probably broken.

Benton tells Jeanie he has to stay late at work, so their dinner non-date is off. Noah and his brother Kenny come in after being hit by a car; Noah only has minor injuries, but Kenny’s hurt pretty badly. Noah says that he doesn’t know where their mother is, and their father isn’t around. (It seems like the actor screwed up the line, or it was poorly written; it’s the mother who isn’t around.) Carol recognizes him as a previous County visitor.

Carter gets stuck between a rock and a hard place, where Ruby is the rock and Benton is the hard place. Carter’s trying to get Helen admitted to County, but Benton thinks he’s spending too much time on something unimportant. Barbara has a do-not-resuscitate order in her records, but Susan wants to put her on a respirator to treat her breathing problems. Barbara refuses to revoke the DNR.

Benton tries to leave a message with Vucelich’s assistant canceling his attendance at the dinner party. The assistant says that unless he has a terminal illness that will kill him before the party, he’d better be there. She also admits that he’s a last-minute addition because someone else canceled, and Vucelich’s wife doesn’t like empty chairs. He should think of this like surgery: If Vucelich requests his presence, he shouldn’t decline.

Morgenstern plays bagpipes in the suture room while waiting for his x-rays to come back. He’s disappointed that having to wait to get a cast on his leg means he’ll miss partaking in the haggis and reciting Robert Burns’ “To a Haggis.” He practices while Mark takes a phone call. Benton tells Jeanie he can make it to dinner after all, so she’ll be expected there, too. Jeanie is somehow fine with this.

Rachel plays jacks with Malik, who’s used to playing with girls since he has four sisters. Carol tells Doug that she remembers Noah because he came in with his father last fall after his father passed out drunk. DCFS is now getting involved. Doug blasts Dave Donovan, the DCFS rep, for not getting the kids out of their home where they’re obviously unsupervised. Dave says he’s familiar with the family and didn’t think the kids needed to be removed – their father’s gotten sober and is going to AA. The kids were playing hooky; their dad isn’t responsible for what happened to them.

Jeanie bugs Carter to tell Ruby that Helen’s doing poorly, so he needs to prepare himself to say goodbye. Carter brushes her off. Barbara’s daughter, Karen, comes in but doesn’t want to actually talk to her mother. Susan urges her to make peace before Barbara dies. After making calls to multiple departments in an attempt to get Helen admitted, Carter finally gets neurology to accept her for a nerve study she’s probably not really qualified for. He no longer cares; he just wants her off his hands. He also still won’t tell Ruby how serious Helen’s condition is.

Mark decides it’s time to tell Rachel that he and Jen aren’t going to get back together, and he won’t be moving home. He wishes it didn’t have to be this way. Jen arrives to pick her up, but Rachel doesn’t want to leave her father. She screams as Jen carries her away. Benton goes to Vucelich’s party, where Jeanie is already socializing and is probably better liked than Benton will ever be.

Kenny and Noah’s father comes to County, and Doug interrogates him on where he was while his kids were playing in the street and getting hit by a car. Carol tries to mediate as Doug blasts the father for making multiple visits to the ER in the past because of his drinking. Carol finally pulls Doug aside and tells him to call his dad if he wants to yell at a father. Noah and Kenny’s dad is doing the best he can.

Morgenstern’s family comes to see him in the ER, playing bagpipes and drums. They’ve even brought the haggis. Haleh enjoys herself until she learns what’s in haggis. Karen’s now sitting with Barbara, remembering the times she saw her mother unconscious when she was a kid. She used to be afraid or angry; now she doesn’t have the energy to be either. She’s not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

Vucelich’s dinner party is exactly how you would expect a dinner party full of rich, white people to be. Benton praises the work of one of his colleagues, and another says that Vucelich considers him “the heir apparent.” Benton confides to Jeanie that after his horrible showing in surgery that day, he doesn’t think he’ll be the heir anymore. He expects Vucelich to kick him off his study. The two of them try to figure out which part of their meal is a truffle.

As Doug sees Noah’s father hugging him, trying desperately to be a good parent, Vucelich asks Benton if they can speak alone. Benton prepares himself for the worst. Barbara’s declining quickly, and since she signed a DNR, there isn’t much Susan can do for her. Now Karen wants more time with her mother, and she’s distressed when Barbara flatlines and Susan and Lily do nothing.

Vucelich offers Benton a cigar and booze, neither of which he wants to partake in. (I’m not sure if it’s been mentioned before, but Benton doesn’t drink.) Benton apologizes for performing badly in surgery and backs up Hicks’ earlier assertion that he overstepped his bounds. But Vucelich knew that would happen, and that Hicks would keep an eye on things. He likes that Benton keeps one eye on details and one on the horizon, like all good surgeons.

Vucelich says he enjoys looking at puzzles and assessing risks. Benton replies that that’s why he’s enjoyed being on Vucelich’s team. Vucelich wasn’t sure, since Benton never expresses that enjoyment. He was afraid he was seeing something in Benton that Benton doesn’t see in himself. Benton says he wants to see it. Vucelich likes that. Back at County, Doug finally calls his father but hangs up before he gets an answer. Susan and Mark come in, and the three end their tough day with some of Morgenstern’s family’s booze.

Ruby finds Carter as he’s doing paperwork and blasts him for lying. He knows now that Helen will never get better, and will never be able to leave the hospital. He’s sure that Carter knew the whole time but didn’t say anything, even though Ruby thought they were friends. Carter argues that he was just doing his job. He admits that he doesn’t know if Helen got worse because she was released from the hospital.

Carter lists all the things he did for her, but Ruby knows that he only sees him and Helen in terms of their problems, not as people. He just wants Carter to tell him the truth. Carter yells that Helen’s dying, and Ruby thanks him, finally getting confirmation of what he’s been fearing. He no longer wants Carter to call him by his nickname. They are definitely not friends.

Thoughts: Vucelich’s assistant must really hate Benton, because why else tell him he didn’t make the first cut for the guest list?

Carter, Benton, and Vucelich are lucky that Ruby never sues for what could probably be classified as medical malpractice.

Yvonne Zima (Rachel) is great in this episode, and especially impressive when you realize that she was only seven at the time.

It seems like this episode confirms what’s been obvious for a while – Benton’s way of practicing medicine doesn’t work. Carter tried it and got burned. He’s a much better doctor when he ignores Benton and forms a relationship with his patients. He has to see them as people, like Ruby says, and not like medical cases to be worked through before he can go home for the day.

August 7, 2018

ER 2.4, What Life?: Everything’s Coming Up Carter

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

Hulda seems more fun than Linda anyway

Summary: Mark’s asleep – drink! Hulda wakes him up in Doug’s apartment so he can take a call from Rachel and Jen. Susan’s having a much more hectic morning, trying to get both herself and Susie ready on her own. Benton’s having an angry morning, since his car’s out of commission and Walt is out on a test drive instead of fixing it. Jackie tells her brother not to take his bad mood out on Walt, since it’s his own fault he messed around with a married woman and got hurt.

Susan makes a stop at a store so she can buy diapers, then tries to chase off a guy who wants to clean her windshield. He recognizes her from a trip to the ER and asks for Demerol. She thinks he’s getting too close to the baby, but he just wants to make sure she doesn’t forget her diapers. At County, Carter waits for Benton while Weaver lectures Harper about wearing too many earrings.

Benton finally makes it to work in a loaner car, but someone steals the parking space he was about to pull into. Things turn physical – there are prosthetic limbs involved – and Benton hurts his finger. Susan comes in late, happy to see that things are slow. In reality, everyone’s just outside bringing in patients from a big traffic accident. Well, everyone except Carol and Shep, who have enough time to confirm their date that night.

Randi replaces Susie’s wardrobe while Harper wonders if Weaver’s seen her outfit. Lydia and Connie are proud of Carol for landing a date with Shep, but Doug just makes fun of his name. Susan tells Carol that she can claim that Chloe abandoned Susie after she’s been gone three months. Carol notes that Chloe might come back, but Susan doesn’t think she deserves a second chance.

Susan examines a ma with belly pain, thinking he just has indigestion, though it could be from heart trouble. He’s more interested in what’s for lunch than in his health. Carter and Harper went to a concert the night before and decide to get dinner together. He’s secretly taken an x-ray of Benton’s hand and determined that he dislocated a joint in his finger. Benton’s story is that he slammed it in his car door. He and Carter head in to help with one of the accident victims, and since Benton can’t do a necessary procedure, he announces that Carter will handle it.

Susan takes Susie to daycare, hoping this is just a temporary arrangement. She at least has a babysitter coming by for an interview that afternoon. Mei-Sun brings in Chia-Chia, remembering the order Doug gave her to always bring the child straight to him instead of going to the pediatric clinic. Weaver accidentally annoys Susan by asking Mark if she can deal with someone who’s threatening to sue and wanted to talk to someone in charge.

Carter’s thrilled that Benton’s injury has allowed him more responsibility. He finally fixes the dislocation, but Benton doesn’t even bother to thank him. Shep calls in on the radio for what he claims is a noon calibration check. Lydia thinks he just wanted to hear Carol’s voice. Benton spots Weaver talking to the man who wants to sue – it’s the guy he attacked in the parking lot. Benton quickly steers Hicks away from the conversation before he can be spotted.

As a cab driver brings in an elderly woman who can’t speak, Susan, Harper, and Haleh determine that a 14-year-old girl named Amy is pregnant. Her clueless mother thinks she has appendicitis. Susan kicks her out so they can have a confidential conversation. Later, she complains to Weaver that she’s only getting boring cases. Weaver thought she should have a lighter load since she’s adjusting to taking care of Susie on her own. Susan coolly says that she’ll let Weaver know if she needs special treatment.

Weaver’s annoyed to learn that Doug didn’t put Chia-Chia on the patient board. Mark steps in and tells Doug to play by the rules. Amy guesses that she’s pregnant, and though she’s adamant that Susan not tell her parents, Susan tells her she’ll need some sort of support system. The woman from the cab has her medical history with her, though not her ID. She has end-stage MS and possible dementia. Carol already has some affection for her.

Hicks invites Carter to scrub in on an operation, since Benton can only observe. Benton makes a sad face. Amy’s mother has also guessed that she’s pregnant, and she’s not pleased that Susan won’t let her participate in discussions about her daughter’s condition. Weaver thinks they should call security to keep Mrs. Thompson away from Amy, but Susan says Amy’s ready to tell her. Weaver tells Susan that sometimes seemingly boring cases present challenges. “If you’re considering violence, count me in,” Doug says.

Susan was supposed to go give Susie a bottle at noon, but she’s almost an hour late. She wants the daycare workers to go ahead with the feeding, though Doug tells her she’s allowed to have a life. They vent about Weaver, cracking up Carol and Chuny. Of course, Weaver overhears, and she doesn’t appreciate that Doug used a fake cane to imitate her use of a crutch.

Mark and Harper have no luck finding a bed for their nameless patient or figuring out where she was living before she came in. Shep makes another call, this time one that’s actually work-related, and Carol hears gunshots over the radio. Carter and Hicks get along great and work well together while Benton quietly seethes on the sidelines. Carter even gets to assist with a procedure that Benton hasn’t gotten to do yet.

Susan confides in Doug that she’s thinking about adoption for Susie. He thinks she’s looking for adoptive parents and suggests a doctor in the hospital. She clarifies that she was thinking of being the adoptive parent. Susan’s hungry patient, Tom, won’t stop eating, and she’s at the end of her rope with him. Shep and Raul arrive with their patient, a 12-year-old who was shot, and Carol sees that Shep is uninjured. Instead of being relieved, she’s short with him.

The nameless woman has started moaning, and Mark decides it’s time to find her a bed, even if no doctors have agreed to admit her to their services yet. Shep and Raul try to calm the uncle of their patient, who’s desperate to see her. But it’s not because he’s worried about her – he strapped at kilo of drugs to her leg and he wants it back. Shep chases him, accusing him of shooting his own niece. The uncle gets tackled and the drugs end up everywhere.

Mark and Harper find a room for the nameless woman and tell a nurse they’ll take it, as if they’re apartment hunting. The nurse threatens to call someone with authority who can make them take the woman back to the ER, but Mark threatens to tell her supervisor that she stopped taking admissions before the end of her shift. Susan interviews a babysitter, but the woman is unwilling to work with Susan’s unfixed schedule. She reminds Susan that babies need structure and stability.

Tom has finally eaten his way to major health problems, and with Susan away, Mark and Weaver have to tend to him. They pump his stomach after realizing that he drank an entire bottle of some solution he was only supposed to get an ounce of. Weaver blames Susan for not giving Lily clearer instructions (though her instructions were clear; Tom drank the rest on his own). Mark sends the two outside to finish their fight, then tells them to meet him in the lounge for mediation.

Carter has to cancel his plans with Harper since Hicks has asked him to monitor a patient overnight. Judging by their kiss, Harper’s okay with this. Mark sternly tells Susan and Weaver that they need to learn to work together better. He wants to make it clear that he supports Weaver in her management decisions, so Susan needs to go along with them. But if Susan runs into obstacles that keep her from doing her job, Weaver needs to step up. After Susan leaves, Mark tells Weaver that Susan is a great doctor, so if there’s a problem, Weaver needs to fix it.

Immediately after the conversation ends, Susan and Doug apologize to Weaver for the conversation she overheard earlier. She accepts, but she doesn’t want to chat. Doug tells Mark it was just a misunderstanding and asks if he’s enjoying his role as peacemaker. Doug then heads off with Linda, even though he woke up in bed with Hulda that morning. Hicks suggests that Benton do physical therapy to get his finger back in shape. She even suggests a therapist: Jeanie. AWKWARD.

Weaver and Susan team up to tend to a man who fell onto a piece of equipment in which his arm is now stuck. The nameless woman’s husband has arrived and is apologetic for sending her to the hospital. He’s now unable to take care of her on his own, and he can’t afford a care facility. He came in because he missed her after just a few hours apart. Susan guesses that her and Weaver’s patient has cyanide poisoning from his job, and though Weaver isn’t certain, she lets Susan administer treatment. She turns out to be right, and Weaver’s pleased.

Mark notes to Carol that Susan has been spending a lot of time with Susie lately. It turns out he didn’t know that Chloe left, and that Susan’s taking care of the baby on her own. Raul makes a radio check (Randi wonders if he’s single) and tells Carol to answer the pay phone. It’s Shep, who wants to apologize for anything he did to make Carol mad. He’s guessed that she was worried about him, which means she cares. She has to laugh at herself.

Mark invites Hulda to get a drink with him, since Doug is out. Moments later, Doug comes home with Linda, so Mark pretends that Hulda’s his friend. It turns out the women know about each other and are fine with not being Doug’s only girlfriends. Mark decides to pass on hanging out with them to call Susan and let her know she can turn to him if she needs anything. Susan hears him leave the message, then calls the doctor Doug said might be interested in adopting Susie.

Thoughts: I recap with closed captioning on so I don’t miss anything, and whoever has to caption all the medical terminology deserves an A+ and a gold star.

Harper, stop dating the guy who keeps talking down to you.

I think Doug’s apology to Weaver is the most mature thing he does in the whole series.

July 31, 2018

ER 2.3, Do One, Teach One, Kill One: Mark’s Greene, But Carter’s Greener

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:10 pm by Jenn

Okay, I’m not mad at this

Summary: Mark and Jen have spent the past few days together in Milwaukee, and things are going so well that she gets in the shower with him. For some reason, he thinks this is a good time to bring up his idea to spend a few nights back in Chicago when he has to work early the next morning. He’ll stay at Doug’s, though Jen doesn’t like the thought of Mark being around Doug’s parade of girlfriends and one-night stands. At County, Carter presents a patient named Ed to Benton, briefly getting distracted when he sees Harper. But Benton agrees with his assessment and allows him to make Ed his own patient.

Carol does another ride-along with Shep and Raul, going with them to an apartment building to check on a landlady’s tenant. The man is dirty, overweight, has a bunch of rabbits, and is singing to himself. When he says he doesn’t want to go to the hospital, Shep and Raul start to leave, since they can’t force him. Carol doesn’t think he’s mentally competent to make decisions about his own health. Shep resists, since he just cleaned the rig, but Carol wins the argument.

Susan brings Susie in to daycare, annoyed to see that she already has four patients lined up. Weaver tells her that since she’s a resident, she needs a larger load. Wendy tells the doctors that she’s working on an article about Mark for a nursing newsletter and will be interviewing them. Benton leaves Jeanie a message to arrange a meet-up. Chuny’s interested in knowing more about his personal life. Mark examines the singing man, Mitchell, and tells Carol he’s at risk for a cerebral hemorrhage. Mitchell cries and asks what will happen to his rabbits while he’s gone. Carol volunteers Shep to look after them.

Haleh brings Doug a four-year-old HIV-positive boy named Chia-Chia, whose mother, Mei-Sun, couldn’t wake him. Doug quickly determines that Mei-Sun gave the boy too much Dilantin, a seizure medication. Carter shows Harper how to perform a pleural tap on Ed. At first Carter’s successful at draining fluid from the patient’s lungs, but then Ed starts bleeding. Carter hesitates when Harper says they should get Benton, but he soon realizes he’s in over his head.

Doug gets the Dilantin out of Chia-Chia’s system and assures the boy that everything’s okay. Benton rushes Ed to the OR, making Carter think he’ll be out of the running for a surgical residency next year. Yeah, because that’s what’s important right now – not the fact that you botched a procedure and endangered your patient’s life. Wendy interviews Haleh, who says that Mark was really helpful when he first started working at County. “So would you say that, back them, he was sort of…green?” Wendy asks. “No, Wendy. I would never say that,” Haleh replies.

Hicks and Benton work to save Ed as Carter apologizes for his screw-up. Hicks is understanding and reveals that Benton, her best student, once made a similar mistake. Because of Ed’s drinking habit, he screwed up his veins and liver, so his health wasn’t going to hold out much longer anyway. He needs a more extensive procedure to save his life. Benton notes that Carter accidentally did Ed a favor.

Susan comes across a patient named Mr. Holthouse who’s using a Tibetan singing bowl to help him relax. He determines that she’s under a lot of stress and offers to tell her about some relaxation techniques. She tells him she’s more relaxed than she looks. Jerry reveals that he’s been promoted to supervising emergency services coordinator, though the promotion is in title only, and doesn’t come with any extra benefits or responsibilities. It makes Jerry want to wear a tie to be fancy, though. Mitchell starts seizing, and Mark and Carol try to do the math to determine how much Dilantin to give him. (Is this episode sponsored by the makers of Dilantin?)

Mei-Sun tells Doug that she usually takes Chia-Chia to a pediatric clinic upstairs, but they see a different doctor every time and often have to wait a number of hours to be seen. Doug has new medication for Chia-Chia and asks Mei-Sun if she can read English. She gets offended, thinking he’s implying that she gave her son too much Dilantin because she couldn’t read the instructions. Doug realizes that she was given two prescriptions and followed both correctly. The clinic is to blame for the overdose. He tells Mei-Sun to bring Chia-Chia to him the next time he needs a doctor.

Despite having a spinning feeling, Mr. Holthouse is able to stand on his head. Weaver questions Susan’s decision to order a CT scan for a case of vertigo. They bicker a little, and Weaver ends up telling Susan to run all procedures by her. Mitchell didn’t survive the hemorrhage Mark feared he would have, so his rabbits are now owner-less. Shep feels bad for both the animals and their owner.

Doug calls one of the clinic doctors to blast him for giving Chia-Chia a prescription that, combined with one he was already given, put his life in danger. Susan complains to Mark about Weaver and asks him to tell her to back off. Carter observes as Hicks and Benton continue working on Ed, eventually fixing his liver. However, his heart is weak and they wind up having to try to shock him into rhythm.

Weaver brings up her problems with Susan to Mark, thinking Susan resents Weaver’s position. Mark delicately says that Weaver’s assertiveness might be causing a communication problem. Ed doesn’t survive his surgery, which means Carter’s first official patient has died. Benton reminds him that Ed was really unhealthy; he probably would have died of liver failure within a month if his heart hadn’t given out. Carter reluctantly goes to inform Ed’s family of his death. Benton tells him this kind of experience is how he’ll learn and become a better doctor.

Doug jokes around in his interview with Wendy, pausing to check out a woman passing by. She’s Randi Fronczak, the new clerk. She needs a physical before she can start work, and Mark silently signals that Jerry shouldn’t assign Doug the task. Malik tells Carol that a huge guy who’s high on PCP has climbed on top of an ambulance. Susan diagnoses Mr. Holthouse with inner-ear inflammation, which will heal, though he’ll have to stop standing on his head and floating in his sensory-deprivation tank for a little while. He wants to give her his prayer bowl.

Mark joins Carol, Shep, and Raul outside to try to get the high patient off the ambulance. (He doesn’t get a name, but since he’s on angel dust, I’ll call him Mr. Angel.) Mr. Angel hits Raul with something, so Mark takes Raul inside to get fixed up. Carol thinks she can talk Mr. Angel down, but Mr. Angel isn’t in a rational place; he keeps yelling for someone named Mara. He expresses his displeasure at her absence by pulling the lights off the top of the ambulance and tossing them on the ground.

Jerry asks Susan to give Randi a physical, which Susan “completes” by telling Randi to inhale and exhale. Ed’s roommate, Olaf, shows up, and Carter has to tell him about Ed’s death. Olaf doesn’t care – he just wants the remote control Ed hid from him. Carol and Shep come up with a plan where Carol distracts Mr. Angel while Shep climbs up to inject him with Haldol. Mr. Angel starts spitting at Carol, but Shep doesn’t let that stop him. Benton tracks down Jeanie and tells her they really need to meet. Doug runs into Chloe, who’s visiting Susie and thinks she’s sick (she’s not). Chloe acts a little strange when Doug asks if Susan knows she’s there.

Susan and Haleh work on a prisoner named Curtis who swallowed razor blades to earn himself a trip to the hospital. He put tape on the blades first, so he hasn’t caused any internal damage. Weaver thinks they should leave the blades inside him, but Susan wants to remove them. At an impasse, Susan tells Harper to get Mark. Mark sides with Weaver, telling Susan they can remove the blades if he starts bleeding later.

Chuny presents Carter with Ed’s liver, which was removed so it could be taken to pathology. He’s in charge of taking it there. Mark gives Wendy an interview, telling her about an intense case he once handled. The patient died, though, so it’s not really a compelling story. Susan goes to do something on a computer at the front desk and discovers that Weaver loaded an instructional program using her own voice. This is the last straw for Susan, who storms off to complain some more to Mark.

Doug agrees to let Mark crash at his place, though they might not be the only people there. Neil yells at Doug for yelling at one of his residents, then warns that he’s dangerously close to losing his job. Even his buddy Mark won’t be able to help him. Carol hears Susan ringing the prayer bowl in the bathroom but decides not to ask any questions. Harper finds Carter with Ed’s liver and suggests that they “give him a send-off.”

Carol runs into Shep and Raul as they’re fixing up their rig, and Shep asks Carol to go out with him. She tells him this isn’t a good time, but it’s not a no forever. Shep teases that she’s dated too many doctors; she’s “shopping in the wrong part of the store.” Instead of looking for Gucci, she should be in the automotive department. This wins her over, and she agrees to a date. Meanwhile, Benton waits for Jeanie, but she doesn’t show up to meet him.

Doug checks in on Chia-Chia and finds Mei-Sun crying in his room. She feels guilty for giving her son HIV, and thinks she’s being punished since he’s sick and she’s healthy. Doug tries to comfort her. Benton waits for Jeanie at her car and angrily asks how long he has to wait for her to tell Al about their affair. She’s upset that he made an ultimatum. Benton figures this is her answer – she’s not going to leave her husband for him. Doug and Mark go to Doug’s place, where Hulda the flight attendant has let herself in to wait for her boyfriend. She’s not concerned about Mark seeing her naked, something I don’t think he’ll be telling Jen about.

As Susan’s leaving for the night, she runs into Chloe, who’s on something. She has a big plan to sell stuff at a flea market, but apparently not a flea market in Chicago. She’s leaving to make some money, and she’s not taking Susie with her. Susan is now, suddenly, a single mother. In less angsty ends to the day, Carter and Harper take Ed’s liver to a bar and raise a glass to the man.

Thoughts: Mei-Sun is played by Lucy Liu.

Show, if having Shep cuddle a bunny was an attempt to get me to like him, it didn’t work. Nice try, though. (And it’s a good look for Ron Eldard.)

This week in pointless plots: Wendy’s. Poor Wendy.

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