October 15, 2019

ER 4.20, Of Past Regret and Future Fear: The Sins of the Father (and Mother)

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

Summary: I think it’s safe to say that Benton and Elizabeth are officially dating. He spent the night at her place, and she even felt comfortable leaving him in bed while she went to work out. Now she’s on her way to work, and he’s on his way to Reese’s baptism. Elizabeth doesn’t feel left out since he didn’t invite her; she gets that it’s just for family. As he leaves, she tells him last night was “really lovely.”

Things are much more tense at Carol’s, where she and Doug are getting ready to have brunch with her mother. Helen shows up in a better mood than expected, and with a surprise guest, a man named Javier. Even more surprising, Helen is ready to toast the two happy couples with champagne. This is the first Carol has heard about her mother having a boyfriend.

Doug and Carol take the brunch leftovers with them to work, talking over Helen and Javier’s relationship. Carol doesn’t approve, and notes that her mother normally hates men. Doug teases that Helen’s having sex, so she’s happy now. Carol tries to ignore him. She tells Mark that the victim of a chemical accident is on his way to the ER.

Elizabeth runs into Romano, who notes that she’s picked up a lot of extra shifts in the ER. He’d like to chat about her job and her future. Mark, Carol, and Elizabeth go to the roof to meet the helicopter bringing in the victim from the chemical accident, Paul, who’s in pain but awake and alert.

Carter meets up with Millicent at Chase’s long-term care facility. A doctor tells them Chase is getting worse, but Carter disagrees. He knows the progress Chase has made and insists that he’s capable of more than Millicent and the doctor think. He urges Chase to draw something, but Chase has a hard time holding a drawing utensil. Mark tells Paul that his condition will depend on how much hydrofluoric acid has been absorbed into his skin. Paul feels like Mark isn’t telling him something. Mark just says that hydrofluoric burns can be serious.

Benton meets up with Jackie and his niece and nephew, Patrice and Steven, at the church where the baptism will take place. Steven wants to know where his uncle’s new boyfriend is. Patrice reports that Walt (who I guess wasn’t invited) said Mae must be rolling over in her grave, I guess because Elizabeth is white. Nobody asked you, Patrice. Carla has brought Roger with her to the baptism, and the minister thinks he’s Reese’s father until Benton corrects him.

Carol tends to Paul’s burns as he tries not to writhe in pain. Mark tells Weaver that his prognosis is bad; burns of this magnitude are always fatal. Now they need to find out if he has any family out of town who need to be contacted and told to come to Chicago. Mark is now fully honest with Paul, telling him that while they’re doing all they can for him, he’s going to die. At most, he probably has about 12 hours left.

Sometime later, when Paul feels a little better from the pain medication, he wonders if Mark was wrong, since he doesn’t feel like he’s dying anymore. Carol just says they’ll keep doing all they can for him. She asks if there’s anyone they can call for him, but Paul says it’s too late. The only person he wants to see is his daughter, and he’s been away from her for too long.

Jeanie and Doyle tend to a teen who fell from a bridge into a river. Doyle asks for a psych consult, but he insists he didn’t jump. He was just having some drunken fun with friends. Doyle can’t believe he’s going to come out this with just a couple of broken ankles. Carol tells Mark that Paul wants to see his daughter, whom he hasn’t seen in six years…since she was six months old. Mark is supposed to be done with his shift, but he’s willing to stick around. Carol says she can do everything Paul needs now.

Weaver examines an older woman named Ms. Weinbach who may have pneumonia. That could throw a wrench into her plans to marry her boyfriend next month. Carol calls Paul’s ex-wife, who seems less than sympathetic about his impending death. Paramedics bring in an unidentified man, nonverbal man who was hit by a car while using his wheelchair. Carter and Anna guess that he has cerebral palsy.

Benton comes in to do some notes, glossing over the details of the baptism when Elizabeth asks how it went. Weaver takes over Paul’s care for Mark as Carol tells Paul that his ex won’t be bringing their daughter, Molly, to see him. Paul decides it’s for the best. He always intended to make things up to Molly, but he ran out of time. Carter pulls Weaver aside to help him and Anna with their patient. He steals a piece of machinery from Doyle, because I guess that rivalry is still in play.

A father brings in his young son, whom he accidentally hit with his car. It’s Doug’s time to shine! Paul takes an interest in the case and tells Carol she can go help out if she needs to. She assures him that the others have it. He asks her to make sure the few thousand dollars he has in his bank account get to Molly, but without letting her know where the money came from. Doug’s patient is bleeding internally, so Benton pulls the father aside to let him know that his son needs surgery. Carol tells Connie she needs to go somewhere and asks Connie to look after Paul for her.

Elizabeth and Romano go to Doc Magoo’s for a super-awkward lunch, and that’s even before he tells her that their relationship hasn’t moved in the direction he’d like. He basically says the same things she said to Benton to convince him to try dating her. Once Elizabeth gets over her shock, she tells Romano that, since she works for him, dating would be a bad idea. He takes this to mean that she never dates co-workers. Romano says that for a little while, he thought he was competing with Benton for Elizabeth’s affections. She says nothing.

Carter has trouble communicating with his unidentified patient, who seems to be trying to tell him something. Anna realizes that he has a bad cut on his hand and may need to see a hand surgeon. The patient objects to this and bangs his leg on the bed to communicate this. Weaver diagnoses Ms. Weinbach with pneumonia somehow transmitted by her boyfriend Daniel’s falcon. Elizabeth finds Benton in an OR, ready to operate on the boy, and comments that he’s not working on his notes as he’d planned. He thinks she’s trying to start a fight. She asks if something happened between when they last saw each other, since he was in a good mood earlier.

Carol finds Paul’s ex, Sandy, at work and tries to change her mind about bringing Molly to the hospital. Sandy says she feels bad for him, but he walked out on his daughter, so why does Sandy owe him anything? Carol says that she was young when her father died, and she wishes she’d had a chance to say goodbye. If Molly doesn’t get that chance with Paul, she’ll regret it for the rest of her life. Sandy says that Molly has no memories of Paul, so it’s different. He made bad decisions, and now he gets to suffer the consequences.

Doyle delivers some lab results to Weaver, telling her that Ms. Weinbach tested positive for HIV. Weaver didn’t even realize she’d requested a test for HIV, but it makes total sense with Ms Weinbach’s symptoms. However, she’s in a bind since she didn’t have Ms. Weinbach’s consent to do the test.

Doug examines a baby named Josh who’s been on methadone since his birth, thanks to his mother’s drug use. Doug says he’s in withdrawal, possibly because the mother, Vicki, is taking the methadone herself; she can’t get her own while she’s still using. Vicki wants to leave, but Doug tells her that since she put her son in this situation, she needs to help him get better.

Carter and Anna are finally able to understand that their patient wants them to call someone. Benton tells his patient’s father that because of the damage to his spleen, they had to remove it. Benton’s bedside manner is still poor, so the father doesn’t get at first that, other than that, the boy will be okay. Maybe lead with that next time, Benton.

Weaver tells Ms. Weinbach that they need to run more tests, but she may have the kind of pneumonia that’s a defining illness of AIDS. She admits that they tested her accidentally. Daniel pulls Weaver aside to ask her to treat Ms. Weinbach for pneumonia and let her go. Weaver can’t just let her leave untreated, but Daniel doesn’t want her to be burdened. He’d like Weaver to tell her she has something else. Weaver declines to engage in medical malpractice, so nice try, Daniel.

Carol returns and tells Paul that Molly isn’t coming. She offers to write a note, but Paul says it’s too late. He repeats that he was eventually going to make things up to her. He tried to call her, but Sandy wasn’t happy about it. Paul thought she just needed time to come around. Carter and Anna’s patient is no longer a John Doe – his personal assistant identifies him as a Mr. Lorenzo, a multilingual hieroglyphics expert. Maybe Carter and Anna should have had him draw them pictures.

Carter spots Millicent in the hallway and goes out to talk to her. She wanted to move Chase to another facility, but now she’s decided that Carter’s opinion is important, and if he thinks Chase should stay, she’ll support that. They’re both determined to do whatever they can for him. Millicent wants Carter to remember that even if she and John Sr. aren’t giving him money, they’re still his family. He can finish his residency, but then he needs to leave medicine and run the family business. Carter tells him he’s only ever wanted to be a doctor, and he’s not giving it up.

Anna and Connie find Josh alone in an exam room, apparently having been ditched by Vicki. Doug notes that she misinterpreted what he meant when he told her to do the right thing. Carol sits with Paul, telling him he probably doesn’t have much time yet. She promises to stay with him, since he’s scared. He asks if she wishes she’d done anything different in her life. She reads him back the letter he dictated to her for Molly. It says that she’s the best thing he ever did; leaving her was the worst. If he gets to go to Heaven, he’ll look down on her. Carol cries over his apology for never getting to know his daughter.

Elizabeth finds Benton on the roof, brooding instead of celebrating Reese’s baptism with his family and Carla. He laments that Roger gets to spend more time with Reese than Benton does. Then he wanted to have lunch with Elizabeth, but she had plans with Romano. She tells him that he asked her out, so she lied and said she doesn’t date colleagues. They laugh over their intentions to have a relationship without complications. Benton decides he wants to go to the family celebration after all, and he wants to take Elizabeth. She thinks he should go alone and make it all about Reese. They’ll just meet up later at her place.

Carter runs into Anna on the street while he’s on a break. She spots a guy named Max getting out of a cab and has a near-intimate reunion with him before she realizes Carter’s watching. Doyle accidentally wakes Doug, who was taking a nap while waiting for Carol to get off work. She’s wrapping up things for Paul, who passed away not long ago. Carol wonders if her father asked for her on his deathbed like Paul asked for Molly. All she remembers is what her mother has told her. What if that’s not the truth?

Doug suggests that Carol ask Helen about her father’s death. Carol says that, after it happened, her mother spent years saying that you can’t rely on men. Now Helen’s in a happy relationship and Carol is holding back. She admits that she said she wants to move slowly because she’s afraid of losing Doug. He tells her she has nothing to apologize for.

Thoughts: Paul is played by Michael Rapaport. Patrice is played by Taraji P. Henson.

I think Mae would be less upset about Benton dating someone white and more surprised that he’s dating anyone at all (and that he has a child).

How about we close the blinds in the trauma room before little kids catch a glimpse of the man dying of chemical burns?

October 1, 2019

ER 4.19, Shades of Gray: Poor Carter Is Basically the Same as Rich Carter

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:55 pm by Jenn

“Ma’am, we don’t accept pro-life literature as a valid form of payment”

Summary: Now that Carter has told Millicent he’s done taking the family’s money, he needs a loan. He only has one tax return to work with, since being a doctor is his very first job. Plus, he agreed to return to interning without pay. The loan application gets rejected pretty quickly, and the man reviewing it advises Carter to make up with his grandparents.

Morgenstern and Benton have to attend an M&M on Swanson’s death, though Morgenstern doesn’t seem concerned that Benton will pin things on him. The surgeons are somber, as their boss is mourning – Scott passed away. Jeanie sings “Simple Gifts” in the shower, sadly getting ready for his funeral.

Carter tells Anna that the loan officer she recommended turned him down. He owes Mark money for a baseball bet, but he doesn’t have it. Anna teases that he can make some extra money selling Tupperware or Amway. She’s amused that he’s about to see how the other half lives. Al G. (who I’m just going to call Al now, since the other Al left) brings in a drunk man named Mike and hands him off to Carter for treatment.

Anspaugh and Jeanie talk about his marriage to his late wife in Scott’s room. Scott boxed up some of his things for Jeanie to have, including his beloved Green Day CD and some copies of Soap Opera Digest. Morgenstern kicks off the M&M, then invites Benton to tell the attendees what happened. In the ER, Mike hovers over a kid who’s having breathing problems. Carter tries to take Mike away, but Mike fights him and shoves him to the floor. Doug complains that Carter put an unstable man in the same room as his young patient; no one cares about kids.

The M&M attendees, including Weaver and Kayson, ask Benton and Morgenstern questions about what happened during Swanson’s operation. Benton admits that he pushed Morgenstern aside and took over. He defends himself, saying Morgenstern was just standing there while Swanson was dying. He thinks the procedure he tried was their only option. Morgenstern disagrees.

Carol arrives at work just as a pregnant woman is brought in. A clinic was bombed because it performs abortions, though it also provides family planning and prenatal care. Doug tends to a pregnant teen named Zoe while Weaver and Jerry deal with the press over the phone. Some injured protesters are then brought in.

Carol helps Doug with Zoe while Anna treats a woman named Brianna, who was at the clinic for an abortion. She starts hemorrhaging, so Weaver announces that they need to finish the procedure. Anna freezes up and says she can’t help. Afterward, Anna says she’s not sure why she couldn’t assist. Brianna was 18 or 19 weeks along, which meant the baby could have had a chance. Weaver tells her she needs to leave her personal feelings and moral leanings at the door when she comes to work.

Carter tends to an elderly man named Mr. Newton whose son, Burke, doesn’t think he needs all the expensive tests Carter’s going to run. He also hasn’t been providing his father with much care at home. The M&M committee comes to a decision: Benton is suspended, effective immediately, until Anspaugh comes back and they can do a more extensive investigation.

Zoe starts having breathing problems, worrying her devoted boyfriend, Donny. Carter calls a social worker about Mr. Newton, and she agrees that he needs to be removed from his son’s home. She’s disgusted that someone could treat his own parent like this. Carter tells Burke that Mr. Newton was horribly neglected and will be sent to a care facility. The hospital now has temporary guardianship, removing Mr. Newton’s power of attorney.

Anna examines a woman named Mrs. Martinez who has glass in her eye from the bombing. She’s horrified by how far the protesters went. She marched with civil rights protesters in the ’60s and wishes people had remained peaceful. However, she also sees abortion as murder, and thinks Anna should be upset that the clinic takes away a life for every life Anna saves as a doctor. She practically calls abortion doctors Nazis and wonders who they’ll kill next.

Anna declines to take her offered materials about her protest group. Mrs. Martinez leaves it behind anyway, then heads off with a graphic sandwich-board sign slung over her shoulder. Anna follows her, telling her that the radical protesters were probably encouraged by the sign to do something drastic. Mrs. Martinez says that if the sign upsets Anna, then it’s done its job. Anna says the only thing the sign has done is incite violence, which is really what makes her upset.

Zoe is now unconscious because of a clot, and Doug doesn’t think she’ll recover. The baby, however, appears to be fine. Benton tells Elizabeth about his suspension as he leaves his shift early. Paramedics bring in a final bombing victim, Allison Beaumont. Mark ignores Benton’s suspension to enlist him for help with a trauma. He even dismisses Kayson when he tries to object. Kayson decides the trauma is bad enough that Benton should keep up what he’s doing.

As Elizabeth and Romano work on Allison, Anna checks on Brianna. She’s already ready to go home after her abortion. Carter tells Mr. Newton that Burke won’t be his guardian anymore because of elder abuse. Mr. Newton is distraught to be removed from his home, where he’d planned to die in his own bed. Mark and Benton’s patient is taken straight to the OR, where Benton starts in on a procedure without scrubbing or putting on a sterile gown. Morgenstern jumps right in to help, sending Benton away as soon as he has control of the situation.

Zoe’s parents arrive, and her father is upset to see Donny there. Donny says Zoe’s parents treat her horribly, and if he hadn’t come into her life, she probably would have killed herself. Allison goes downhill fast, but Elizabeth refuses to stop working on her. Brianna thanks Weaver for her care, saying this will have to be the most memorable abortion she’s had. She’s had a few before, and thought her boyfriend would want this baby. Weaver advises her to start birth control, but Brianna isn’t interested. She thinks Weaver’s lecturing her on sex because she doesn’t get any herself.

Zoe’s parents and Donny have two choices if they want the baby: Have it delivered now, which would give them a premature baby needing lots of care, or wait until Zoe’s farther along, which means keeping her alive even though she’ll never wake up. Doug recommends that option, which Zoe’s father notes will mean using her as a human incubator. Donny wants to give the baby a good chance, since Zoe wanted her so badly, but Zoe’s parents get to make the final decision, since Zoe and Donny are minors.

Carol treats a bombing victim’s minor arm injury, then notes that she left her insurance information off of her paperwork. The woman says she’ll pay cash; she doesn’t want her husband to know she was at the clinic. She thought she was past the baby-making stage of her life, and she wanted to quietly get an abortion and never tell her husband. Thanks to the bombing, she didn’t get the procedure. Carol tells her that she can pass the cut on her arm off as a dog bite.

Elizabeth managed to save Allison, but she admits to Benton that the case scared her. He tries not to be a robot as he comforts her. Jeanie planned to sing a hymn at Scott’s funeral, but she sings his favorite Green Day song instead. Allison’s paramedic buddies have stuck around to make sure she’s okay, and Zadro thanks Elizabeth for her care. Romano apologizes for trying to get her to stop saving Allison. He invites her to get a drink, but Elizabeth is never going to want to spend any more time with him than necessary.

Morgenstern tells Weaver that he let things get out of hand. He’s reviewed the tape of Swanson’s surgery, which he took right afterward, before Benton could get it. He wanted to avoid confrontation, and he knows Benton could handle a black mark in his file, but he wants to be honest about what happened. Morgenstern puts in the tape to show Weaver the truth about his screwup.

Jeanie stays behind at the church after the funeral, and Anspaugh approaches her to talk about her special connection with Scott. He wrote in his journal that Jeanie got what he was going through better than anyone else. She reveals that Scott wanted to join the Army when he grew up, just like his father. Zoe’s parents change their minds and decide to have Zoe carry the baby to term. They don’t want Donny involved at all. Doug thinks they’re just being vengeful, but Zoe’s parents feel that Donny took their daughter away from them, and they’re not about to let him take their granddaughter, too.

Carter also changes his mind, deciding that having Mr. Newton removed from Burke’s care isn’t what’s best for him after all. Mr. Newton wants to go home, so he should be allowed to. The social worker notes that people in abusive situations don’t always make the best decisions. She doesn’t want him to be harmed any more than he already has been. Carter reluctantly lets her take Mr. Newton to a care facility.

Anna tells Weaver that she’s been thinking about her freeze-up in the trauma room all day. Weaver says that she did some work overseas in countries where abortion is illegal. She saw patients who couldn’t be helped because they’d taken matters into their own hands and accidentally harmed themselves too much. Anna thought she was pro-choice, but Brianna was so far along that it made her second-guess herself. She doesn’t know if she’ll be able to get past that.

Morgenstern stops Benton on his way out of the hospital and tells him he’s going to have Benton’s suspension rescinded. He gives Benton the tape of Swanson’s surgery, confirming that Morgenstern screwed up. He’s resigned as chief of surgery. Benton has passion for his job that Morgenstern has lost. He feels like he doesn’t belong there anymore. Benton says that Morgenstern taught him everything he knows. Morgenstern says he may be a great surgeon, but after what he let happen, he’s realized he’s not a great man. He smells spring, “all green and full of possibility.”

Carter resorts to ramen for dinner as he tells Doug that he overstepped with Mr. Newton. Doug invites him to get a real meal. Benton goes to Elizabeth’s to lament that his mentor has just left the hospital. He was close to Morgenstern but never told him how much Morgenstern means to him. Clearly, Benton doesn’t want that to happen with Elizabeth, so even though he doesn’t say verbally that he has feelings for her, he shows her by kissing her.

Thoughts: Carol’s secretive patient is played by Cristine Rose.

Benton staying to help Mark after his suspension is ridiculous, because Mark wouldn’t have done anything if Benton had left, but the people who suspended him are scary and shouldn’t be ticked off for any reason.

Show, leave Allison alone. Hasn’t enough bad stuff happened to her? I don’t think we ever see her again after this, so I’ll tell myself she lived happily ever after.

September 24, 2019

ER 4.18, Gut Reaction: I Don’t Know What Varices Are, But Rupturing One Can’t Be Good

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:57 pm by Jenn

Goodbye, doomed preteen

Summary: Carol has gone on a shopping spree for the clinic, thanks to a new donation from Millicent. She checks in with Mark, who’s volunteered to organize this year’s ER banquet, to be held that night. Unfortunately, things haven’t gone as planned. The caterer couldn’t work with their budget, so Jerry made other plans with a Swedish caterer. Mark is skeptical.

Weaver asks Mark about a memo from the dean concerning a pediatric attending. She’s upset to learn that Doug took the idea to the dean; she doesn’t think the position is necessary. Mark thinks that once the dean allows some further investigation, he’ll agree and the whole thing will be dismissed.

Doug tries to convince a mother to let him examine her toddler, but she insists on leaving, since she had to wait three hours and now has to go to work. Doug decides this is serious enough to stop the mother from leaving, and he threatens to call the police and have her arrested for child endangerment if she doesn’t stay. Weaver tries to play peacemaker, then points out to Mark that this might not be the kind of person they want as an attending.

The mom gives in and stays, and though she’s calm by the time she’s allowed to leave with her daughter, she’s not happy. Lydia hopes it doesn’t rain that night so everyone dressing up for the banquet can keep their clothes dry. Jerry says it won’t rain, but Carol says the news reports otherwise. She asks Carter if she can ride to the banquet with him and Anna. Carter says he’s not going with Anna. Carol asks if they broke up; she thought they were dating because she picked up some chemistry. Carter pleads platonic friendship, but Carol urges him to ask Anna out.

Elizabeth complains to Benton that Romano keeps tabs on her too closely; she wishes she could change that, but she might lose her work visa. Benton thinks Morgenstern would sponsor her instead. Elizabeth wasn’t impressed when she met him and doesn’t think that arrangement would be any better. She’s been offered a job back in England but would like to stay in the States, where men actually listen to women.

In a trauma room, Elizabeth gets a big surprise: Allison Beaumont, the young woman whose leg and voice she helped save, is now a paramedic. She’s brought in a patient who has diagnosed himself with something the other doctors haven’t picked up yet. Dr. Swanson is a pathologist, and Benton thinks he’s right about his diagnosis.

Carter urges Anna to go to the banquet, even though she thinks it sounds cheesy. She decides to go since he’s going, and he offers to drive her. Mark hasn’t paid the deposit on the banquet space, and the florist was unable to deliver the flowers there. He decides to have them sent to the hospital instead. Jerry offers to line up music, since the band fell through, but Mark is done with his unimpressive assistance. He books an act called the Machine.

Doug tells Mark that the girl he treated earlier is sick enough to justify the lengths he went to in order to have her treated. He wants Mark to make sure Weaver knows he was right. Mark offers to call the mother, Mrs. Bevins, to have her bring the girl back for IV antibiotics. Doug claims he can be diplomatic and handle it himself. Uh, maybe get Carol to handle that, Doug.

Swanson needs surgery, so Morgenstern comes to the ER to see what’s going on. He recognizes Swanson’s name, as Swanson was one of his med-school professors. Swanson even inspired Morgenstern to become a surgeon. Benton tells Swanson he needs surgery, which Swanson would like to have done laparoscopically. Elizabeth doesn’t think that’s a good idea, but Morgenstern disagrees. Benton sides with him. Morgenstern invites Elizabeth to assist so she can see for herself that Morgenstern has the better idea.

Mark becomes even more skeptical about Jerry’s food plans when he learns that Jerry’s mother is making borscht. At least it’ll be free! Romano comes down for a consult, second-guessing Mark’s diagnosis. The bone-marrow drive for Scott hasn’t yielded a match for him, but Anna did match with a patient in another state. Romano offers to do the extraction as soon as he’s done with his next patient. He makes it out to be a minor thing, though it involves drilling holes in Anna’s pelvis.

Doug asks Carol if she thinks he has what it takes to be an attending. Carol admits that “diplomatic” doesn’t exactly describe him; a better word would be “insouciant,” which Doug isn’t familiar with. Scott’s still in the hospital, listening to Green Day and trying to avoid eating hospital food. His pain is worse, even with Doug’s PCA. Anspaugh comes by, and Scott’s nickname for him, Dr. Bad News, proves fitting, as Anspaugh announces that they haven’t found a bone-marrow match. They can try experimental chemo, but it sounds like a long shot. Jeanie promises to stay with Scott if he wants to try it.

Elizabeth isn’t looking forward to surgery with Morgenstern, but she can’t put her finger on why she doesn’t really like him. She admits that she doesn’t have much experience with laparoscopic procedures. Benton teases that she always goes after attendings when she’s nervous. She offers to swap procedures with him and observe the laparoscopic surgery when she’s done with hers.

Morgenstern reviews one of his old teaching tapes before he does the procedure. Weaver tells him that Swanson said very nice things about him. Morgenstern likes that Swanson cares about science and people’s souls. She invites him to the banquet that night. Doug offers Scott more pain medication, then says that Anspaugh is worried that he doesn’t completely understand what he’s in for with the experimental chemo. Since Jeanie’s going to stay by his side, Scott wants to go for it.

Carol tries to call Millicent – the check she wrote didn’t clear, and all the supplies Carol bought for the clinic are getting repossessed. Carter realizes that she put a stop payment on the check and asks what Carol did. Carol isn’t sure; the only possibility is bad press from giving out birth control to teens. Carter isn’t sure how Carol can fix this. He hopes it’s just a misunderstanding.

Morgenstern is fine with the Benton/Elizabeth switch in surgery, and has Shirley put on some Peruvian pan-flute music. Anna tells Carter that she matched for a bone-marrow transplant, which means she won’t make it to the banquet that night. She wasn’t aware that the donation will leave her sore for a few days. Carter has performed a bunch of them, so she asks him to do hers, thinking he’ll help her stay calm. He’s surprised that she’s a little bit of a chicken about the procedure and agrees to do it.

Weaver tells Mark that she enjoyed last year’s banquet and wishes he’d been able to book the same space this year. Mark says it was available, but he wanted to hold it in a place called the Shangri-Lodge. It’s less pretentious. Mark questions Romano’s orders for their shared patient, and when Romano ignores him, Mark says loudly that he’ll manage his patients in his ER his way. Romano backs down, glad to see that Mark has a spine.

Morgenstern and Benton’s procedure seems to be going fine, though Morgenstern feels hot. Benton notices that Morgenstern is in the wrong anatomy, but Morgenstern doesn’t want to be questioned. Benton just wants to make sure Morgenstern doesn’t nick one of Swanson’s varices. Morgenstern accuses Benton of screwing something up, then blames him when something goes wrong and Swanson starts bleeding.

Doug tells Jeanie that he’s not sure Scott really wants to do the experimental treatment. He thinks Scott has a crush on Jeanie and wants to please her. Jeanie denies this, saying she wants Scott to make his own decisions. Doug gets that, but he’s not sure Scott can actually decide for himself. Things with Swanson get worse, and as Elizabeth comes in to observe, Benton decides they need to open him surgically. Morgenstern won’t help, so Benton shoves him out of the way and takes over. Morgenstern just watches silently.

Carter gets ready for Anna’s procedure as she talks about having a bad experience with tonsil surgery as a kid. She thought she was going to die, and she promised God that she would always be a good person if He let her live. The drape on Anna’s back falls off and Carter gets to admire her butt for a few moments. This is, sadly, the closest they will ever get to being naked with each other.

Swanson doesn’t survive his surgery, and Benton asks the pathologist, Upton, if he can sit in on the autopsy the next afternoon. Anspaugh has been made aware of the situation, and he talked to the anesthesiologist about Benton and Morgenstern’s disagreement in the OR. He asks Benton to gather all the charts for the case, as well as the tape from the OR – they usually record laparoscopic procedures.

Carter tells Carol that Millicent’s stunt with the clinic money might not be about her. He’s disappointed that Anna went home and will probably skip the banquet. Scott offers to give Jeanie a ride in the Viper he’ll definitely be able to buy one day, because he’s totally going to beat this cancer. She notes that he doesn’t talk about his friends much. He says he’d rather be with her.

Carol is contemplating taking out a home loan so she can keep the clinic open. Before Doug can give his opinion, Mark pulls him away to treat baby twins in respiratory distress. Benton goes look for the Swanson tape, but there’s nothing in the machine. Mark, Doug, and Carol work on the babies together; one is stable but the other stops breathing. Doug calmly walks Mark through a procedure to help her.

Morgenstern tells Benton that today’s disaster was a one-time thing, as far as he’s concerned, and he’ll support Benton in whatever comes next. He plans to say that Swanson’s cause of death was ruptured varices. Benton says Morgenstern accidentally cut his gastric artery. Morgenstern denies ever cutting the wrong thing in his 20-year career. Benton screwed something up with his clamp.

Benton denies this and says the tape will show what really happened. Morgenstern says there’s no tape. He notes that Benton’s actions in the OR could be considered insubordination, and could even be grounds for dismissal. Benton says he wouldn’t have acted so forcefully if Swanson’s life weren’t at stake. Morgenstern advises him to focus on the medicine when they present the case at a morbidity and mortality seminar. Hypotheticals and accusations should be set aside.

Carter appeals to Millicent to give Carol back her donation. He knows Millicent is upset with him; she shouldn’t take it out on the clinic. Millicent says that’s not the case, but come on. She complains that her grandsons don’t want the family involved in their lives, but they’re happy to live off the family trust. Carter says that, in that case, Millicent can keep her money.

Weaver catches Morgenstern on his way out of the hospital and again invites him to the banquet, hoping it’ll cheer him up. He blows her off. Weaver then tries to talk to Mark again about the pediatric-attending position, which Mark is now leaning toward being a good idea. Weaver warns that it’s a policy change that could undermine their authority. Mark says that attendings run the best emergency department. Weaver says she agrees, seeming to think that Mark is on her side.

Mark pulls Doug away from the Bevins girl, whom Doug is amusing with bubbles, because the writers wanted to come up with yet another way to make people swoon over Clooney. Mark tells Doug that if he really wants to be an attending, he should go for it. Outside – where (sorry, Jerry) it’s raining – Romano warns Benton that he’s in for a fight over what happened in the OR. Benton’s a resident and Morgenstern’s the chief, so one of their statements is going to carry a lot more weight than the other’s.

The Shangri-Lodge is…well, there are taxidermy animal heads on the walls. That’s all you need to know. There’s no band, no food, and only one drink ticket for each guest. Doug and Carol can’t hide their laughter when they lie to Mark that it’s nice. The Machine arrives, but it’s just one guy who plays a keyboard and cymbals at the same time. Carter tells Carol that he couldn’t get Millicent to listen, but apparently he did, because she sent another check over to the clinic after he left.

Anna made it to the banquet after all, high on painkillers. Carter addresses their obvious chemistry and says he didn’t want to make a move because he didn’t want to harm their friendship. Anna feels the same, but there’s another guy – she’s not completely done with her ex. Carter resigns himself to just being friends with her. Scott goes into arrest, and Jeanie rushes to help save him. The rest of the team wishes that Scott’s family had agreed to sign a DNR instead of keeping him alive for a short, miserable time period.

The banquet food is bad and the music isn’t much better, but the ER staff is trying to enjoy themselves anyway. Mark thanks his co-workers, who are like his family, for sticking by him through the past year. They always give their best, and they make the ER a place they can all be proud to work. Doug gets everyone to serenade him.

At Doc Magoo’s, Benton tells Elizabeth about Swanson’s surgery, insisting that all the mistakes were Morgenstern’s. It’s the two surgeons’ words against each other, and Elizabeth didn’t see enough to know what happened. She thinks he should stick to his convictions if he’s positive he knows what happened.

At the banquet, everyone forms a conga line, and Mark dances with Weaver. She tells him that the separate pieces of the party were awful, but it’s still been a great experience. Jeanie tells Scott that he needs to make the decision about his medical care by himself and for himself. He tearfully tells her he doesn’t want any more chemo. They fantasize about driving off in his viper, going to the beach, and watching the sunset together.

Thoughts: Things I get strangely proud of while recapping medicalese: I spelled “laparoscopically” right on the first try. (I did not, however, spell “insouciant” right.” I thought the A was an E.)

As a doctor, Anna should probably know more about what bone-marrow donations involve.

Mark, about tiny stethoscope decorations: “Dumb idea?” Chuny: “No, just tacky.” Thanks, Chuny.

Imagine being so mad at your grandson for keeping a secret that you defund a free clinic.

September 10, 2019

ER 4.17, A Bloody Mess: Ahh, There’s the Romano We Know and…Well, Despise

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:08 pm by Jenn

Look at this cutie

Summary: Jeanie’s surprising Scott with a trip to a rock-climbing gym so he can get in shape for a trip to Yosemite over the summer. Mark and Doug are in the hospital cafeteria, where Benton’s having breakfast with Reese while Carter naps at the table. Reese is doing very well after his premature birth, and Benton has fully adjusted to being a parent. Well, except for the part where sometimes your baby dumps his breakfast on you for no reason. Mark and Doug are amused, both at the mess and at Benton being a father.

Carter’s so out of it that he doesn’t wake up when his pager goes off. Mark wakes him just as Doug’s goes off. Mark invites Doug to watch a basketball game with him, telling him he can check with Carol. Doug says he doesn’t have to ask her permission. Mark is also paged to the ER, where a bunch of people covered in blood are being brought in from a car accident. Elizabeth asks a patient if she can use synthetic blood to treat her, but the patient objects since it was tested on animals.

The patient isn’t actually injured, so the ER staff is confused about all the blood. Carol gets the explanation from two of the patient’s friends: It’s cow blood. The friends were going to use buckets of it during a protest of a college’s use of animals in their research labs. After all the supposed traumas, which brought all available emergency staff to the ER, the only victim of the car accident was a squirrel. Jerry pronounces it DOA.

While everyone’s cleaning up the mess, Doug tells Carol that he wants to watch a basketball game with Mark that night. She thought they were supposed to see a movie, but she’ll let Doug choose who he wants to spend the evening with. Weaver tells Doug that Neil (the doctor who hates him…wait, that doesn’t narrow it down) told her Doug hasn’t turned in his paperwork to renew his fellowship. Doug says he may not want to continue it.

Morgenstern was supposed to wait another month before coming back to work after his heart attack, but he’s back early. He’s in an excellent mood and offers baked goods and hugs. He believes that his heart attack was the best thing that ever happened to him. Now he wants to work “in the trenches.” Thanks to his time as a patient, he now knows that all the patients they treat have their own stories.

Benton washes off Reese’s breakfast while going over the steps of a surgical procedure. There’s no door to his shower stall, so he gets a little jumpy when Elizabeth starts talking to him around the corner. She’s just solidifying study/dinner plans for that evening, but he thinks she’s trying to see him naked, since she hasn’t yet.

A man named Dave brings his pregnant wife, Karen, into the ER to be treated for dehydration and nausea. Scott coaches Jeanie through some climbing, impressed with her skills even though she’s only taken a couple of lessons. Scott himself is nervous to climb, but Jeanie won’t let him put it off. Partway up the wall, he asks to come down, and Jeanie realizes he pushed himself too far.

Mark reads Elizabeth’s synthetic-blood study and sees that she’s listed him as an advisor, since he helped her get it used in the ER. He’s surprised that Romano let her proceed on her own. Elizabeth admits that he doesn’t know yet how far she’s gone with the study. Mark doesn’t mind being the only advisor and isn’t going to interfere in whatever Elizabeth wants to do with it.

Dave is unhappy with Karen’s OB’s treatment of her during her pregnancy, her fourth after three miscarriages. She briefly passes out, and Anna tells Dave that she may suffer from morning sickness through her whole pregnancy. Jeanie brings Scott in to get checked over, thinking it’s not serious enough for Anspaugh to put off the operation he’s about to do.

Romano operates with Benton, who’s fully prepared for the procedure. The daycare center sends down a message asking him to come up, and Romano tells him to go ahead and leave. Morgenstern and Weaver work on a store owner named Wan Sak Jang who was shot at work. Elizabeth declares him a perfect candidate for her blood study. Morgenstern laments that someone who worked hard his whole life could now die. He gets shaky during a procedure and says he has something in his eye, then leaves. Unfortunately for him, this is Elizabeth’s first impression of him.

Romano comes to the ER and discovers that Elizabeth is using synthetic blood there without his authorization. She tells him Mark approved an ER study. Romano’s not pleased. Karen’s feeling better after being rehydrated, and she insists that she can handle the extreme morning sickness through the rest of the pregnancy. Anna says her lab results disagree. Karen refuses to give up the baby, but Anna has no plans to make her do that. There are drugs she can take, even though they could endanger the baby. Basically, Karen will need to choose between risking her own life or her baby’s.

Doug tells Mark that they’ll have to postpone game night until another time. Mark says Carol can come along, because everyone loves being a fifth wheel. Romano introduces Elizabeth to Mr. Jang’s son, Lindsey, as Mr. Jang is taken to surgery. Lindsey has heard about the synthetic blood and is mad that it was used without anyone’s consent (even though it worked well). Romano ditches Elizabeth to try to soothe Lindsey on her own. It doesn’t work, as Lindsey vows to hold Elizabeth responsible if his father dies.

Doug starts to pull Jeanie out of Scott’s room to talk to her privately, but Scott wants to hear everything himself. His blood cell counts are low, which means his bone marrow may not be working properly. Jeanie decides Scott shouldn’t hear this after all. She leaves the room with Doug, who tells her he needs a biopsy; Anspaugh has already given consent. Carol sees a teen named Natalie while Weaver tells Mark that they need to discuss Doug, as it looks like he doesn’t want to come back to County next year. Natalie’s there for Carol to administer her normal birth control and remind her to use condoms.

Dave is mad at Anna, thinking that she talked Karen into keeping her pregnancy even though it’s putting her at risk. He figures that since her last name is Del Amico, she’s Catholic and is pushing her beliefs on Karen. Carter tries to intervene, which Anna definitely doesn’t need. Anna tells Dave that she’s done everything she can to help both Karen and the baby. She needs to make the decision on her own.

Mark asks Doug about the rumor that he’s not coming back next year. Doug confirms that he’s not renewing his fellowship, but not because he wants to leave – he wants to become an attending. This would be a brand-new position, and Doug thinks it’s necessary. A third of their patients are children, and a pediatric attending would provide better care for them. Doug asks Mark to back him up on the idea.

Elizabeth complains to Mark that Romano torpedoed her plans to use Mr. Jang in her study. He promises to provide backup if she needs it. Reese has a fever, so Benton has to take him out of daycare and get him to Carla’s before a procedure he has to perform. His car won’t start, so Elizabeth offers to take Reese to Carla’s. Benton says it would be awkward, but he agrees when Elizabeth suggests that he drive her car while she plays with Reese.

Weaver finds Morgenstern in a student lab, practicing a procedure on a cadaver. He says he wanted to brush up on his anatomy after months away. He asks if Weaver ever thinks about her patients’ lives while she works on them. Does she think about their hopes or dreams? Weaver surprises no one by saying she doesn’t. Morgenstern didn’t, either, but today, all he could think about was Mr. Jang’s life, and how he was relying on Morgenstern. Weaver tells him that she had a seizure during the benzene incident, so she can relate a little to the experience of being a patient instead of a doctor. Morgenstern thinks that means she’s also looking at the big picture now.

She tells him the big picture can be humbling, but also destructive. It can shake your focus and your confidence. Morgenstern tells her a little about the life lived by the person whose cadaver he’s now working on. Then he admits he made it up. But if he did know the truth, it wouldn’t make him less focused – just a better doctor. Speaking of distractions, Jeanie provides one for Scott while Doug does a bone-marrow biopsy. They pretend Scott’s rock-climbing and looking for handholds.

Benton fills up Elizabeth’s car (though she thinks you can coast for a while after the light comes on indicating the tank is empty – hey, there’s a perfect metaphor for Mark and Cynthia’s relationship!), and Elizabeth tells Reese she hopes he doesn’t inherit his father’s stubbornness. She asks Benton if he’s worried about Carla seeing them together. Is it because he still has feelings for Carla? Is it because Elizabeth’s white? Benton says he doesn’t know how to respond to that. He backs up the car, promptly hitting something. Make that someone – he injured a woman.

The woman, Ms. Ingram, is taken to County’s ER, though she’s not injured too badly (or at least not badly enough to make her forgot that she needs to call her boss, since she’s on her lunch break). Benton brings in Reese, worrying that he’s hurt since he cried right after the accident but is sleepy now. He asks Anna to examine the baby, reluctantly leaving them alone when Mark pulls him away to get a cut on his head taken care of. Instead, Benton tries to help Carter with Ms. Ingram, and Mark has to drag him away.

Anna assures Benton that Reese is fine. Benton quickly starts worrying about something else, the surgery he’s supposed to be performing. Romano’s in the ER to do a surgical consult on Ms. Ingram. Benton asks what Elizabeth told her, since she accused him of worrying too much about Reese to look where he was going. Ms. Ingram works for a lawyer, so Elizabeth shouldn’t have told her anything. Benton definitely won’t be making it to surgery any time soon, since the police want to question him.

Carol tells Jeanie that she’s opened up the clinic so the staff can get tested in case Scott needs a bone-marrow transplant. Jeanie’s grateful but doesn’t think they should jump to that yet. Mark pulls Doug away from Scott to tell him that Anspaugh’s worried about Scott’s pain management. Doug’s using his patient-controlled pain-medication system (PCA) on Scott without having asked Mark if he could. This is exactly why Doug wants to be an attending – so he doesn’t have to answer to Mark anymore.

Carter tells Benton that Ms. Ingram doesn’t seem to have serious injuries. He notes how scary it can be realizing that one small mistake can have such big consequences. Benton hears familiar voices down the hall and heads over to find Carla and Elizabeth chatting. Their first meeting has gone much better than Benton has clearly been fearing. Elizabeth tells him he needs to relax. She thinks he believes that her involvement in the situation led to disaster.

Morgenstern treats a boy with stomach pain, then tells Yosh to get him the number of a Cub Scout pack so he’ll have something to do. Weaver’s happy that Morgenstern came back to the ER. The two of them handle an emergency together, and this time Morgenstern has a steady hand, though he doesn’t look confident afterward.

Carol tells Mark that she’s happy he and Doug are spending the evening together. Mark tells her that Doug canceled their plans. Natalie’s back, this time with her mother, who found Natalie’s medical paperwork and condoms. Carol can’t violate confidentiality, but she offers to talk to Natalie in private and try to get her to open up to her mother.

Romano accuses Elizabeth of trying to go behind his back and get her name on a study. He wishes she were doing something more respectable and less morally ambiguous. However, he also wants to give her a role as a coordinator for the synthetic-blood study in the whole Chicago area. Elizabeth realizes that this is a bribe to get her to drop her ER study.

Carol tries to spin Natalie’s situation by noting that if she tells her parents she’s using birth control and condoms, it’s because she’s trying to be responsible. It could be worse for her if she keeps shutting out the people who care about her. Her mother is obviously concerned, and since her father brought her to the clinic that morning, he clearly loves her.

Natalie corrects Carol – that older man with her this morning was her teacher, not her father. Well, more specifically, he’s her sexual partner. Natalie insists that they love each other; they just have to keep things quiet because the teacher has an unstable wife. Carol tells her the relationship is illegal, but Natalie won’t listen. She really believes they love each other.

Doug tells Jeanie that Scott’s biopsy results show that his cancer is back. Jeanie laments all the times she told him it was behind him. He’ll need a bone-marrow transplant, but he hasn’t been told yet. Jeanie decides not to be present when he is. Elizabeth checks on Mr. Jang after his surgery, and he thanks her for saving him. Lindsey told him about the blood study, and Mr. Jang is interested in learning more. Lindsey still has some reservations but is now open to it.

Ms. Ingram’s labs indicate that she has a pancreatic injury, but Carter points out the Benton what the real culprit is: She was drinking during her lunch break. Mr. Jang wants to participate in Elizabeth’s study, so she’s going to keep conducting it in the ER. She knows it might not be smart politically, but to her it’s the right thing to do. Anspaugh tells Jeanie that Scott handled news of his cancer returning well, and is ready to fight it. Even without knowing about Jeanie’s own health problems, Scott sees her as a kindred spirit.

Anna draws Carter’s blood for the bone-marrow drive, asking about Chase. He discourages her from visiting by saying the facility where Chase is being treated is strict about them. Carol tells Doug about Natalie, who came to the clinic for birth control and wound up having her secret outed. She just hopes it doesn’t scare off other teens from coming to the clinic for methods to practice safe sex.

Thanks to Ms. Ingram’s drinking, Benton is off the hook for the accident. A conversation between Haleh and Malik reveals that Ms. Ingram is embarrassed by the whole thing and won’t be getting any lawyers involved. Benton would like to put the whole thing behind him, too. He tells Elizabeth he wants to cancel their plans for that evening, which doesn’t surprise her. Things have definitely chilled between them.

Weaver tells Morgenstern that she enjoyed working with him again. He’s pleased with how well she’s taken over his role, especially the administrative stuff he never cared about. Now, though, everything interests him. Elizabeth asks Carol and Anna if they have plans for the evening. “I did, and then I didn’t, and now I don’t know anymore,” Carol says. The three women agree to regroup at Elizabeth’s place for drinks. Carol tells Mark and Doug that she doesn’t know what they’re doing, but now she has her own plans, so they can do whatever they want.

Jeanie checks in on Scott, trying to hide her tears over his illness. He tells her Anspaugh said she can come to Yosemite with the family. The bone-marrow registry has already found some possible matches. Carol, Anna, and Elizabeth bond over cosmos, and Carol discovers that she’s the object of envy from the other two because she has a sex life. They ask her for details, but before she can provide any, Benton stops by. He tells Elizabeth she’s right about him feeling uncomfortable dating a white woman. Anna and Carol come to the door and learn of their relationship for the first time. He’s spooked and runs off.

Carter visits Chase, who’s conscious and alert but has physical limitations. Carter gives him a book on Walker Evans, a photographer Chase likes. Chase accidentally spills water on it, and a nurse has to help him take off his wet pajama top. Carter has clearly been visiting a lot, as he knows the nurse by name and is familiar with the progress Chase has made – or not made, since he’s unable to button his shirt on his own. Like Carter said to Benton, one mistake has led to major consequences and changed Chase’s entire life.

Thoughts: One of the students Carol questions is played by Nicole Bilderback.

Fun things that happen when I’m doing these recaps: I find myself deciding that “cadaver” is more accurate than “corpse.”

Why didn’t anyone ever tell Eriq LaSalle that he was mispronouncing Anna’s name as Ana?

Hey, Natalie’s teacher, way to keep your relationship secret by taking her to a busy ER for birth control. I’m sure no one would find that strange or inappropriate.

September 3, 2019

ER 4.16, My Brother’s Keeper: Too Much or Not Enough

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

Angst face!

Summary: Doug has spent the night working on Mark’s computer to finish a presentation. Mark is trying to quit smoking (again), this time with the help of a nicotine patch. He has Cynthia’s luggage, which was finally recovered after the trip to San Diego. She quit her job right after returning, so Mark hasn’t seen her to be able to return it. Doug tells him to take the luggage to the hospital so Cynthia can pick it up there instead of being forced to come to Mark’s place. Instead, Mark takes the luggage to Cynthia’s apartment, but she’s moved out. He mopes in his car with a cigarette.

At County, Weaver invites Doug to join interns’ rounds, but he’s not interested. She knows he’s presenting his research on PCA use (pain medication administered by the patient as needed), but she’s not sure he’s been thorough in his work. He’s convinced her that it should be used with pediatric patients, but there are still some issues with his work. Doug ignores her to chat with Mark but tells her she made her point. Carol pulls Doug away to treat a six-year-old who’s having seizures.

Doyle dumps some difficult patients on Carter, then leaves after working the night shift. Carter promises to have some difficult patients for her when she comes back in 12 hours. Lily gives Mark a patient with end-stage lung cancer, at Carol’s request; she’s hoping he’ll take the hint to quit smoking. Carter thinks he already has. Mark asks Jerry if Cynthia left a forwarding address, but it sounds like she just disappeared after picking up her last paycheck a few days ago. Jerry, who’s doing some spring cleaning, is delighted to find some Twinkies that are just a few years old.

Doug’s unable to figure out why his patient, Adrian, is having seizures. Paramedics have determined that he drank soda with something in it, but they don’t know what that something is. Elizabeth and Benton are flirting when Romano approaches them to announce that Elizabeth’s heroics in the collapsed building have been outlined in the newspaper. He follows it up by giving Elizabeth her six-month review, which isn’t as glowing as the article.

Adrian’s parents arrive at the hospital but are equally clueless as to what their son drank. There are photography supplies all over the house, which is probably what Adrian ingested, but without knowledge of what, exactly, he drank, Doug can’t treat him. Mark pulls Anna away for a John Doe who was supposedly in a motorcycle accident. He was sent over from another hospital because he’s uninsured, but Anna was told he just needed observation. In truth, he’s unresponsive for unknown reasons. Anna thinks the other hospital negligently dumped him on them.

Carter treats a man who appears to be homeless, though he claims he was about to take a flight to San Francisco to see his daughter. However, he doesn’t know where, exactly, she lives, and he doesn’t have her phone number. The man says it’s his own problem if he wants to fly across the country and have to figure out where to go.

Adrian’s patient wakes up but, like everyone else, doesn’t know what he drank. He says Eric gave it to him. He starts seizing again as Adrian’s father, Keith, flies out of the trauma room to interrogate another boy. The boy, Eric, runs off, and Doug corners him in the bathroom. Eric explains that Keith is his stepfather and Adrian is his half-brother. He claims not to care if Adrian dies.

Doug works his magic to get the boy to open up to him…as well as show marks on his arm that he claims are from Keith. Once Doug figures out what Adrian drank, he’s able to administer treatment. He promises the boys’ mother that they’ll take care of both boys.

Carter calls around to try to find out where his patient should go. He needs to be cleaned up before he can try to fly again, and Carter, Mark, and Carol all pass the responsibility around until it lands on Malik, who’d tried to avoid it in the first place. Anna determines that her John Doe has a subarachnoid bleed and should never have been transferred to another hospital.

Mark’s patient, Mr. Kyle, declines further treatment, knowing he doesn’t have much time left. His wife is reluctant to take him home, but Kyle doesn’t think he’ll be getting any better anyway. Elizabeth confronts Romano over her poor evaluation; he says she seems distracted. She came to focus on trauma surgery, but now she’s picking up pet projects. He invites her to join him on a study of a synthetic blood product.

Anna gets a neurosurgeon to come see her patient, but they can’t do much for him – he’s going to die. The neurosurgeon isn’t sure if he would have had a chance if he’d actually been treated previously instead of passed along. His only option is major surgery that might not have any effect. The only person who can approve that surgery is Dr. Mack, who’s currently in surgery.

Doug catches Mark smoking outside as he searches a Dumpster for some presentation materials Jerry may have accidentally thrown out in his spring cleaning frenzy. Doug says Adrian’s going to be okay, but his case falls under the category of Sometimes Being a Pediatrician Is Awful. Mark tells Doug that he went by Cynthia’s place, but she’s moved already. He regrets the way he handled the end of their relationship. All he can think about are her good qualities. Doug finds his presentation stuff and runs inside to yell at Jerry. Mark sees Kyle leaving and regrets his cigarette.

Jeanie and Scott discuss Days of Our Lives, which they’ve been watching together. Scott says that Jeanie’s prettier than Deidre Hall, which Jeanie says may be the nicest thing anyone’s said to her all year. (To be fair, it’s only March, and Al would say nice things like that if he were still in town.) He’s finished his last round of chemo, so next week he’d like to go to a movie instead of hanging out in the hospital. Jeanie reminds him that she has to work.

Eric and Adrian’s mother, Mary Jo, thanks Doug for saving Adrian, but she’s not grateful that the family has to talk to a social worker. She thinks it was an accident and Eric didn’t mean to hurt his brother. Doug says this was Eric’s way of lashing out because of Keith’s abuse. Mary Jo insists that no one’s abusing him. Eric’s out of control, and Keith just has to be strict to keep him in line. The burns on his arm are self-inflicted. Mary Jo starts yelling, and Mark advises Doug to avoid the men’s bathroom for a while. Oh, I’m glad we’re joking about his massive trauma now.

Anna and Carter are both on the phone, she trying to contact Mack and he trying to get information on his patient’s daughter. Mark is next on the phone, trying to track down Cynthia by using Carter’s story of finding a patient’s daughter. Scott heads home without saying goodbye to Jeanie.

Paramedics bring in a bunch of people who OD’d on a bad batch of heroin (though…is there such a thing as a good batch of heroin?). Anna recognizes one of the patients as Chase. Carter takes over his cousin’s care, though Anna and Carol don’t think he can be saved. He’s been unresponsive for at least 40 minutes, and Carol figures he’s brain-dead. Carter refuses to stop working.

Benton and Elizabeth go for a walk outside, discussing her evaluation. He advises her to overcompensate in any area where she’s received criticism. They run into Jackie, and Benton introduces Elizabeth to her as a “colleague.” He acts like he’s just showing her around the city because she’s from another country. Jackie notes that Benton isn’t usually so generous with his time. Elizabeth and Benton use “support” as a euphemism for “get naked together.” Jackie gets it.

Mark gets Cynthia’s phone number but chickens out before leaving a message on her answering machine. Carter worries that he pushed too hard in reviving Chase, but Anna says she would have done the same thing. He regrets not trying harder to get Chase into rehab. Anna notes that Carter couldn’t make him go if he didn’t agree. Chase’s parents are in Singapore, but Millicent and her husband are on their way. Anna tries to comfort Carter, who’s really shaken up.

Kyle is brought back in, and this time Mark wants to admit him. Anna’s patient’s son has been found, and he IDs his father as Tom. Anna tells him that Tom’s only hope is a surgery with only a slim chance of success. Carol drags Doug off for his presentation as Jeanie goes to the Anspaughs’ house to see Scott. She’s clearly become friends with the family, as Scott’s younger sister has spent time with her. Scott doesn’t want to hang out with Jeanie anymore, since she clearly was only friendly with him because it was her job. She still wants to be friends, and invites him to a movie.

A doctor Chuny calls the Grim Reaper comes to the ER to discuss organ donation with Tom. Anna wants to give him some time before they confirm that Tom won’t make it. Mack has now examined Tom and determined that he doesn’t have a chance. Her resident shouldn’t have told Anna that surgery was an option. Tom wants a second opinion, but Mack is the highest up the chain, so he’ll have to go to another hospital. That’ll be Tom’s third in a day. Anna asks why Mack can’t take a shot at surgery, but Mack knows it would be a waste of time. She shouldn’t have given Tom’s son any hope.

Carter tells his grandparents that Chase’s brain-wave activity indicates probable damage. This could mean anything from memory problems to a chronic vegetative state. The elder Carter (whose name is also John; we’ll call him John I) asks if Carter knew about Chase’s drug use. When Carter says yes, his grandparents question his decision to try to detox Chase on his own instead of sending him somewhere. They think they should have made the decision for Chase.

Doug gives his presentation at the med school, which Weaver catches the end of. Anspaugh seems at least a little impressed. Weaver asks about the randomization of the control group, a concern she’d brought up previously. Elizabeth tracks down her future husband, Mark, to ask if she can sign up for some time in the ER to get more trauma experience. She accompanies him to Kyle’s trauma room, where he’s been found unresponsive on the floor. Elizabeth finds a gunshot wound, and Malik finds the accompanying gun. Kyle shot himself to end his suffering, so Mark and Elizabeth decide to let him go.

The Carters want to move Chase to a neurology facility, but Carter tells Millicent he needs to be stabilized first. He wishes he could go back in time and change things. Millicent indicates that she knew something was going on, since she says that she assumed Chase would ask if he really needed help. Carter notes that Chase asked him for help.

Millicent wants to know if Chase ever told Carter why he started using. Carter says he probably just felt overwhelmed. Millicent says that her generation just embraced difficulties – they were defined by them. She knows Carter probably blames the family for Chase’s issues. He’s always been indulged by has seen it as oppression.

As Mark flushes his cigarettes, Doug and Weaver bicker over her medical decisions in a case she took on to let him go to the presentation. She knows he’s really upset because her questions pointed out a flaw in his research, which means he has to redo part of it. Doug accuses her of ambushing him, but she reminds him that she brought up the issue that morning and he blew her off.

Doug blasts her for leaving a sick baby in the ER to go undercut him in front of his superiors. Weaver says she wasn’t about to let him use PCA in situations where the research doesn’t support it. He asks if she’s now the self-appointed expert on the subject. Today, she didn’t help any kids, and in fact, could have almost killed one. Weaver responds with, “Screw you,” which isn’t going to make her look any more mature than Doug. Mark tries to play peacemaker, but Doug won’t like that, since Mark sides with Weaver.

Doug leaves the conversation when he sees that Adele is leaving with Eric. She explains that his rage has made him too hard to handle at County. He needs to be committed so his problems can be dealt with. Doug has to admit that Eric didn’t show any remorse when he admitted to poisoning his brother. Doyle arrives in the middle of a very tense ER.

Anna checks in on Tom, whose son still wants him to have the operation. Anna has to admit that she pushed too much to save Tom and was overly optimistic. Tom’s son says that a doctor at another hospital has agreed to do the surgery. That doctor happens to be the same neurosurgeon who sent Tom to County in the first place. Anna blasts him for being negligent because the patient didn’t have insurance.

Mark finally tracks down Cynthia and visits her at her very nice new apartment. She’s already gotten a new job, and says she needed a fresh start, which would have been hard to accomplish while still working with Mark. She must be doing well because her son is spending the night after not living with her for a while. Mark thinks he made a mistake breaking up with Cynthia, but she knows he doesn’t really love her. She feels she deserves better. At County, Carter continues tending to Chase. He was in complete control last week, but this week, he’s helpless.

Thoughts: John I is played by the late George Plimpton, which is A+ casting.

I love that Scott watches a soap. It would definitely give him and Jeanie hours of conversation material.

I also love that the Anspaughs are super-rich but have the same bathroom tiles my middle-class parents had for 25 years.

Carter and Anna should have gotten together! You know I’m right!

August 27, 2019

ER 4.15, Exodus: Carter, Take the Wheel

Posted in TV tagged , at 5:04 pm by Jenn

The face of a (decontaminated) hero

Summary: Doug goes to see Carol before work, but she doesn’t come to the door. Elizabeth is preparing for a ride-along with Zadro, who doesn’t think she’s ready for what they could face. She’s there to observe and see what the paramedics experience every day. She promises to follow protocol and not go off on her own. They head to the scene of a building fire and learn that someone’s trapped in some rubble. Elizabeth offers to crawl under the building to tend to him. The building is just barely still standing, so Elizabeth is risking her life for the trapped man.

At County, Anna and Weaver chat in the cafeteria before running into Carter. He’s working in ophthalmology right now and offers to examine Weaver, who thinks she might need new reading glasses. Paramedics bring in a man named Chuck who fainted during a breakfast meeting. He thinks his assistant overreacted and his condition isn’t serious. He hopes Jeanie isn’t the only medical professional who will be treating him; he’d prefer a doctor. Jerry tells Weaver that a fire and explosion have led to a number of injuries, so they’re about to get an influx of patients.

Elizabeth and a firefighter do what they can for their patient, Leo, but Elizabeth can’t assess his arm, which is pinned under concrete. She’s worried that she won’t be able to save it and will have to amputate. She promises Leo that that will be the last resort. Elizabeth requests something she can use to oil Leo up so they can slide his arm out. The firefighter suggests motor oil.

Carter’s supervisor for the week kicks him out of the exam he’s performing and sends him to the ER for a glaucoma patient. The people from the fire and explosion start coming in, including a guy named Glenn. Jerry is pleased that Chuck has excellent insurance, which could help with the ER’s budget deficit. Weaver tells Chuck that he may have had a small heart attack, so he’ll need to stay there for a little while. He asks her to call his regular doctor, though Weaver promises that his standard of care at County will be terrific.

Elizabeth and the firefighter, Dewey, oil Leo up and try to yank him out of the spot where he’s stuck. It doesn’t work. The building shifts and debris falls on them, thanks to an explosion in the chemical area of the building. One of Dewey’s fellow firefighters radios that they need to evacuate immediately. Elizabeth refuses to leave Leo behind, ordering Dewey to go get whatever he needs to get Leo out. She knows no one will let the firefighters or paramedics leave her behind if she’s still down there. Leo isn’t as optimistic as Elizabeth that this one piece of equipment they need will solve all their problems.

Carol brings Doug a patient, an eight-year-old girl named Sophie who’s altered. She tells him she wasn’t at home when he came by because she had an early meeting. Doug is skeptical, so Carol asks if he’s monitoring her. He says he only stopped by the house to offer her a ride to work. Sophie’s babysitter, Donna, tells Doug and Carol that she’s been sick for a couple days, but not this sick. They send her to try to contact Sophie’s mother again.

Carter examines the glaucoma patient, Bikel, who mentions that he used to do a scientific TV program. Then “that son of a b&^$% Mr. Wizard” came along and Bikel’s 15 minutes of fame were over. Thanks to his science background, Bikel understands the cause of his problems and the mechanism of the equipment used to treat it. He offers to build Carter one out of household materials.

Sophie’s in kidney failure, possible from E. coli. They have to put her to sleep to intubate her and help her breathe. Sophie’s mother arrives, shocked that her condition has gotten so bad. She asks for a second opinion before allowing Doug to give her dialysis. Doug bluntly says that she’ll die without dialysis. Back at the building, Elizabeth ignores Dewey’s warnings and uses a jig to raise the building slightly and make it easier to get Leo out. It work, but more debris falls, and the group is barely able to make it out before the building collapses on them.

At County, some people from the chemical wing of the building bring in a co-worker. They’re all covered in solvent, which has made some of their other co-workers sick. Weaver tells Jeanie to bag up their clothes. As Carter is escorting Bikel out, they smell the solvent, which Bikel recognizes as benzene. Carter figures it’s just something being used to clean the floors. Bikel tells him to find out where the smell is coming from ASAP.

Carter heads to the ER, where the benzene smell is slowly affecting everyone. Weaver collapses, and Anna and Jeanie help her as she starts seizing. Carter announces that it might be benzene, so everyone needs to be sure not to touch it. At the building, the fire captain yells at Elizabeth for taking too many chances. She and Zadro are told that there’s an unknown solvent leaking from a holding tank, so everyone at the scene will need to be decontaminated.

With Weaver out of commission, Anspaugh away, and Mark still in California, no one is in charge of the ER. Carter starts handing out assignments so they can keep the contaminated patients away from the others. Glenn, being wheeled through by Benton on his way somewhere else, tells the staff to call a Hazmat unit. Jerry has the idea to start up a fan to get rid of the fumes, but Carter stops him, worried that a spark could ignite.

Carol makes the decision to close the ER to new traumas. Jerry runs around looking for something. Elizabeth and Zadro bring in Leo, but Carter won’t let them enter the ER. He sends them to a back hallway and assigns Malik to assist with prep for surgery Leo needs on his arm. Chuck gets moved out of the ER as Benton brings Glenn back through. Randi has passed out from the fumes, so the staff is down one more helper.

There’s a traffic jam in the hallway, as the surgeons don’t know where to take their patients. Another victim from the explosion is brought in, even though Carol put a stop to paramedics coming in. The paramedics are mad, but Jerry blames them, since they didn’t control the scene, allowing the first benzene-covered patient to be brought in by a co-worker. Everyone yells at each other to move until Carter decides it’s time to put on his superhero cape and take control.

Carter announces that they need to evacuate the ER. Anyone contaminated by benzene will be sent to the ambulance bay. Randi, now conscious again, objects to going outside without her coat. Carter tells Anna that they need to send non-urgent patients home. People who need x-rays or stitches can wait in the lobby. Carter starts taking record of all critical patients, then sends them to the cafeteria, since it’s big enough to hold them all.

Doug needs to move Sophie during her treatment, which the dialysis nurse, Dori, says is a horrible idea. They have to unplug the machine and use a hand crank to continue keeping Sophie breathing. Jerry searches the lounge for the hospital’s disaster manual, but Carter doesn’t see the point. Right now, they need to move. Anna finds information on benzene, and she and Carter determine that they just need to keep treating those affected with oxygen.

Benton takes the lead in the cafeteria, ignoring the complaints of a cafeteria worker who doesn’t want her tables moved. Outside, Jeanie tells the fire captain that they need to set up shelters for the patients in the ambulance bay. Carter sends a bunch of supplies to the cafeteria, then prepares to stock the other triage areas. The captain tells him he needs to evacuate along with everyone else. Carter asks for five more minutes to make sure the supplies are taken care of. The captain gives him two.

Doug, Carol, and Dori are about to move Sophie up to the pediatric ward. Lily calls Carter in to help her transport an elderly woman, Inga, who needs manual oxygen bagging. Carter sends Lily off with supplies, thinking he can move and bag Inga at the same time. There isn’t enough room for Sophie’s bed, her dialysis machine, Doug, Carol, and Dori in the elevator, but Doug doesn’t want to take Sophie to the cafeteria with the other critical patients. He tells Dori to take the elevator with the machine and meet the rest of them upstairs.

Poor Inga has to bag herself as Carter wheels her through the hall. The fire alarm starts going off, and moments later, the elevator Doug, Carol, and Sophie are in stops. Sophie, who’s awake and aware of what’s going on, only has 20 minutes of oxygen left. Doug presses the alarm and hopes someone hears it.

The Hazmat team has arrived and is decontaminating peoplein the ambulance bay. Sophie’s mother is outside, and not happy that she won’t be let in to find her daughter. The fire captain assures Carter that there’s no fire; someone must have panicked and pull the alarm. Weaver’s conscious but confused, which Carter tells Jeanie is probably from her seizures, not the benzene.

The captain tells Carter that they’ve divided the ambulance into cold and warm zones. No one goes in the warm zone without a Hazmat suit. The ER is a hot zone. The hospital’s VP of operations, Harriet Spooner, arrives to take on the role of incident commander. She chastises Carter for evacuating the ER to the cafeteria; he should have sent the patients to the physical therapy wing. Carter’s like, “We were a little too busy trying to save people’s lives to look up things like that.”

The firefighters are alerted to the alarm from the elevator, but the phone is dead, so they can’t contact Doug and Carol. They’re currently trying to keep Sophie calm and alive. Doug’s annoyed that they don’t have a medication they need, and Carol reminds him that it wasn’t her idea to move Sophie like this. They pick something else, though if they don’t get out in the next ten minutes, before Sophie’s oxygen runs out, it won’t matter.

Leo’s ready for surgery, so Elizabeth takes him out of the cafeteria. A decontaminated Weaver is brought in and placed next to Chuck, whom she doesn’t remember treating. Chuck is probably mentally making a list of reasons this hospital sucks. Chuny gets another ventilation machine for the critical patients, and Inga declines to be the first one to use it. She insists she’s fine continuing to manually bag herself.

Carter takes Harriet to Weaver, who probably doesn’t appreciate her superior seeing her in this position. Weaver doesn’t even remember what happened to her. Harriet has an action packet and walkie-talkie for the chief medical officer, which she guesses is Carter. She heads to the elevator to oversee Doug, Carol, and Sophie’s rescue.

Doug is done waiting and manages to pry open the doors a few feet short of the next floor. Carol’s worried that he’ll hurt himself climbing around; he jokes that, in that case, she won’t have to worry about commitment. As Sophie’s oxygen levels fall to dangerous lows, the rescue team makes contact with Doug. Carol doesn’t think Doug can get the doors all the way open, but with help from the rescue team, he proves her wrong. Scrub nurse Kit is waiting with oxygen for Sophie.

Romano meets Elizabeth in the OR for Leo’s surgery, though he doesn’t think they’ll be able to save his arm. (Ooh, foreshadowing.) Benton tries to take care of Glenn in the cafeteria, with limited resources. Weaver asks Chuck to tell her what happened while she was unconscious. She’s not happy to hear that he was present when her clothes were removed.

One of the contaminated people is having trouble breathing, but the fire captain doesn’t want Carter to go into the warm zone to help him. It’ll take Carter a long time to suit up, and by the time he’s done, the patient will be out of the warm zone. Carter’s not willing to wait, so he grabs some equipment and tries to make a break for the warm zone. The fire captain stops him, but Carter breaks away and makes it in. As soon as he’s intubated the patient, Carter’s forced into a decontamination shower.

Glenn needs surgery on his leg, but it’s Inga who’s in serious need of help. In the ambulance bay, Carter hears that she’s coding and runs back to the cafeteria to help. Benton, Anna, and Chuny are trying their best to save her, but they have to declare her death after 18 minutes. Benton takes Glenn off to surgery, leaving Inga’s body behind. Carter’s mad that he didn’t take her to the ICU. Anna points out that he turned the cafeteria into an ICU. Carter corrects that it’s just someplace they threw together. Anna knows from reading Inga’s chart that she wasn’t going to live much longer anyway.

Chuck feels dizzy again, thanks to another heart episode. Carter sends Jerry to the pharmacy to get some medication. He and Anna need to shock Chuck’s heart, but the battery on the remaining crash cart is dead. Chuny and Lily move it to a wall to plug it in. Carter looks around the room, weighing his options, then fills a bin with ice water. He dunks Chuck’s head in, triggering a reflex that slows his heart and revives him. Jerry returns with the medication, thinking he’s just saved the day.

Leo’s out of surgery (minus one arm), and when Elizabeth gets a minute to breathe, Benton examines a bruise she sustained under the building. She asks for a “debriefing” once he’s done with surgery for the day. So…that’s where their relationship has progressed. Up in pediatrics, Sophie is doing much better, and she gets Doug and Carol to admit that they were scared on the elevator. Since she was on a ventilator, she wasn’t in any danger from the benzene, so her mom’s upset that Doug and Carol reacted the way they did. Sophie says they took good care of her.

On their way to the ER, Doug asks Carol if she’s still mad about that morning, and what she perceived as him spying on her. She says she was just annoyed, and he doesn’t need to check up on her. He says he wanted to see her last night, and they shouldn’t spend so much time apart anymore. She agrees. They get in another elevator together, hoping this one will do what it’s supposed to.

The ER is quiet and empty when Carter leads the critical patients back in. Weaver thinks she’s well enough to take charge. She appreciates Carter’s help during the emergency and asks him to speak to the press. Carter’s barely listening as she tells him how important the PR response is. He’s still overseeing the operations in the ER.

Jerry tells Weaver that the admins who work the day shift are to blame for the poor emergency response – they haven’t been keeping their work area organized. Things would have gone more smoothly if Jerry had been able to find the manual he needed. Now that he’s back working days, he promises more efficiency.

Carter runs into the fire captain as he leaves for the night. Carter things the staff handled things pretty well, but the fire captain disagrees. The staff was unprepared, though Carter himself did all right. In fact, the captain wants to work with him to schedule disaster drills. Carter says he doesn’t have the authority to head up something like that; he’s just an intern. The fire captain is surprised to hear that. Mark arrives, fresh off the plane from California, and Carter goes back inside the hospital to tell him everything he missed.

Thoughts: Four recognizable guest stars here:

This is one of my favorite episodes. This is how to do an episode about a big disaster. The show, unfortunately, won’t always remember this later.

Look how mature Benton is, letting Carter take charge. He could have postured and tried to take over, just because he felt like it, but instead, he let Carter keep running things. I think he knew Carter could handle it.

August 13, 2019

ER 4.13, Carter’s Choice: There Will (Possibly) Be Blood

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

Not seen: Doug trying to back out of the lounge

Summary: Carter’s driving to work behind a snowplow, which doesn’t help when he has to walk through snow to the ER. He’s working a night shift, which is where Jerry’s been stuck since the grenade incident. Things in the ER are quiet, so Lydia’s amusing herself by looking at possible new haircuts. Jerry wants to talk to Weaver about being moved back to day shifts, but he’s not sure how to approach her. Carter thinks Weaver has a sense of fairness and will agree that Jerry’s excellent work history is in his favor. Malik disagrees – Jerry should beg.

Anna’s napping in an exam room, so Carter doesn’t wake her to give her a donut. She wakes up anyway, and Carter offers to buy her breakfast at Doc Magoo’s while she gets a little more sleep. She asks after Chase, who’s doing better. Carter thanks her for her help with him, and she says she was happy to give it. Before he can go across the street to get breakfast, a trauma comes in.

The patient is a gunshot victim, but because of a lack of recent donations and the snow outside, the hospital is running low on blood. A paramedic tells the doctors that the patient, who was shot multiple times, is a security guard who interrupted a rape – and yes, the would-be victim was an elderly woman. Fortunately, the patient stopped the assault. He also may have shot the rapist.

The doctors start to take the guard to the OR, but they lose his pulse and have to take him back to the trauma room. Mark has arrived and joins the group to help. He soon realizes that the guard’s too injured to save, and though Carter wants to keep working, since the man is a hero, there’s nothing he can do. Once time of death has been called, Carter storms out of the trauma room.

Weaver runs into Anspaugh in the parking garage and asks how the board voted on the Synergix agreement. They voted to let Synergix run the ER, which disappoints Weaver. Anspaugh says she put him in an awkward position – she pushed him for the deal, then changed her mind. The hospital can’t back out now without looking foolish. Anspaugh invites Weaver to tell the board she was mistaken about her support for Synergix, which might help smooth things over.

Cynthia tells Mark that she either has to sign a six-month lease on her apartment or move. Mark either senses where this is heading or doesn’t want to talk, because he lets himself get distracted by other people. Cynthia notes that she spends most nights at Mark’s; why should she pay rent on her own place? He offers to help her pay her own rent instead of letting her move in. Cynthia finds a reason to run away.

Jerry approaches Weaver to employ Carter’s method of reasoning with her to get back on day shifts. Weaver doesn’t care – if he can work Randi’s shift, since she’s snowed in, he can move back to days. Carter finally gets breakfast from Doc Magoo’s, but he slips on the wet floor right by the doors and drops everything. Anna’s like, “Are you okay? And more importantly, is my toast okay?”

Paramedics bring in the elderly would-be rape victim, who was strangled, then pushed down a flight of stairs. Mark, Anna, and Carter are solemn as they work on her. Carter finds “WHORE” on her stomach, this time carved with a knife instead of written with marker. Anna has trouble moving on with the case. Also trouble: Greg is one of the paramedics who brought in the woman, and Carol is now at work, which could get awkward.

Benton has a hangover from his night out with Elizabeth, and she offers him a handshake to make sure there are no hard feelings. It’s really just a ploy, since she’s wearing a joy buzzer. She’s excited by the joke shop down the street from her apartment. Benton tells her that Carla wants to put Reese in daycare, but Benton thinks he’s too young. Elizabeth can’t relate – her mother went on a three-week vacation after her birth, then let her be raised by nannies and go to boarding school. She invites Benton to have lunch with her.

Doug comes in, though there are no pediatric patients yet. Jerry tells him that the cops have cornered the suspected rapist in a warehouse. Doug finds Cynthia crying in the lounge, and as much as he doesn’t want to talk to her about her personal problems, he asks her if she’s okay. She opens up about Mark’s dimness about her hints at moving in together, even though their relationship seems to be going great. Does he not think Cynthia’s good enough for him? Or is he scared because he cares so much? Doug’s face: “Can Jerry fire another grenade in here and give me an excuse to leave?”

The rape victim is taken for tests, and Greg asks Carol how she’s doing. Benton asks Connie where her children go while she’s at work. Connie tried a babysitter, but the sitter was a disaster and cost $8 an hour. Finally, Connie sent the kids upstairs to the hospital’s daycare; they love it. The only drawback is that being around other kids gets everyone sick, but Lydia says it builds up their immune systems. Benton notes that his mother raised him and his sister at home. Doug says he needs to join the modern world.

On his way down the hall, Doug spots Carol and Greg chatting and freezes. He’s happy to get an excuse to go up to OB. Carol corners him there and tries to talk, but when Doug guesses that Greg is the guy she kissed, he’s not interested in a conversation. He accuses her of humiliating him in front of his friends. Carol lists all the women Doug slept with at the hospital, which humiliated her. She would have to sleep with the entire Bulls line-up to match his number of conquests.

Carol says that this is about Doug not being happy that things aren’t going exactly as he’d hoped. It’s always been that way – Carol has spent years working around his schedule and insecurities and inability to commit. (Hmmm, is that where Mark got it from?) She cries as she says this isn’t about Doug. A relationship is supposed to be about two people being equals. She needs something, and Doug can either grow up and accept it, or he can continue being as self-centered as always.

Weaver tells Mark that because of the blood shortage, she’s going to ask the staff to donate. She adds that the board wants to let Synergix come onboard. Mark dryly congratulates her, knowing that was her pet project. Weaver admits that she has reservations now, and it would be great if all the ER attendings opposed the decision. Then no one looks like the bad guy. Mark asks to see the statistics before he makes any moves.

Jeanie reports that the cops have caught the rapist and he’s being brought to County for treatment. Everyone objects, but Mark tells them to do their jobs like they normally do. Anna confirms that the would-be rape victim wasn’t raped, which is one small piece of good news. She and Carter are disgusted that someone would do this.

Doug tells Mark that Cynthia’s upset, and Mark proves to know exactly what’s going on. He asks about Carol, making Doug wonder if she talked to Mark about their problems. Cynthia pops in to tell Mark in a subdued manner that the rapist has arrived and there was a big accident on the parkway. Doug notes that he and Mark should talk later.

The rapist, Jack, has a gunshot wound, a broken leg, and bites from the cops’ K-9s. He’s only 19. No one particularly wants to save him, especially Carter, but Mark isn’t about to deny medical treatment to someone in need. Anna’s the only person helping out without being prompted. Mark goes next door to take care of a victim of the car accident, leaving Carter and Anna to tend to Jack.

Carol and Jeanie examine a pregnant woman named Mary who isn’t feeling well. She and the baby’s father, Robert, both have developmental disabilities. Mary hilariously objects when Robert reveals that she ate a whole pint of Cherry Garcia the night before. Carol and Jeanie quickly determine that Mary’s in labor; they’re excited to get to help her out.

As Yosh pulls the police officers in the room away to talk to the victim, Carter and Anna start to insert a central line in Jack. Carter accidentally cuts him badly enough that Lydia says Jack needs a blood transfusion. He doesn’t want to use the hospital’s dwindling supply on Jack, so he decides they should auto-transfuse him with his own blood. Anna’s not happy with this, but Carter figures he’s still giving Jack the blood he needs.

Mark comes back over after Jack has stabilized. Anna excuses herself from the case as he’s taken to surgery. West addresses Weaver’s sudden insurrection against Synergix, telling her she should have brought any concerns she had to him. She shoots back that he should have been more honest about the organization’s strategies. He notes that the company is public, so Weaver could have looked all the info up herself. She says it was buried behind all the happy, flowery stuff. She’s willing to make hard choices, but not endanger patients.

Carol tries to interrupt and talk to Weaver, but Weaver brushes her off to emotionally yell at West. She accuses him of using her to get the deal. He underestimated her once, and was right to, but he’d better not do it again. Weaver then turns her attention to Mary, who’s refusing to go to OB because she’s afraid her baby will be taken away. Carol’s been treating her at the clinic and thinks she’ll stick around if they keep her where she is.

Weaver gently tells Mary that if she leaves, it could be bad for the baby, and she knows Mary doesn’t want that. Mary agrees to stay. Weaver gets Mary and Robert to admit that Mary’s sister Judy warned them that the baby would be taken away from them. Weaver tells them that babies aren’t taken away from nice parents like them, so they shouldn’t worry.

Benton never agreed to have lunch with Elizabeth, but she buys them sandwiches from a vending machine and joins him in a lounge. She starts in with some double entendres, then manages to be seductive while peeling and eating a hard-boiled egg. She thinks they should date, since they have few other ties in town, enjoy each other’s company, and work so hard that they wouldn’t be able to find anyone else. She promises not to disappoint. Benton’s amused but says he wouldn’t be comfortable with that. Elizabeth isn’t too disappointed.

Judy arrives while Mary’s in active labor. Weaver, Carol, and Jeanie are doing the delivery, and everything is fairly calm. Anna comes in at the tail end, and everyone’s happy as Madison is born and Robert cuts the cord. Later, Carol tells Judy that it’s too soon to know if Madison has her parents’ disabilities, but there’s no reason to think she won’t be neurotypical. Judy asks when the social workers will come. Carol tells her there’s no need – the parents are loving and capable. They live on their own, and Robert works. Judy asks if Carol’s qualified to make that assessment.

She tells Carol that Robert does maintenance at his uncle’s shop. Neither adult can drive because they don’t read well enough to take the test, and Judy has to do their bills. They’re both sweet and loving, but that doesn’t mean they can take care of a child. Carol coolly hits her back with the question about whether she’s qualified to make that assessment. Judy wishes she weren’t.

Mark agrees with Weaver that Synergix shouldn’t take over, or at least he’s going to let her make the decision because he doesn’t care enough to get involved. The phones are going crazy because Cynthia left work hours ago and Jerry’s taking a nap. Chuny takes a call he should have and announces that the blood bank has finally been restocked.

Carla shows up and asks for the forms Benton was supposed to sign to put Reese in daycare. He’s annoyed that she left Carla in her car with a “friend.” She gets equally annoyed when he doesn’t back her up on the decision to put Reese in daycare. He reminds her that he gets a vote, too. He heads out to the car to see Reese, ignoring Carla when she tries to stop him. The “friend” in the car with Reese is Roger McGrath, Carla’s new boyfriend.

Chase comes to the ER, doing much better now that he’s done with detox. He wants to take Carter and Anna to dinner, but Anna doesn’t want to spend time with Carter. Chase tells Carter that if he doesn’t go after Anna, Chase will. Mark tells Doug that he’s going to find Cynthia and talk to her about their issues. He promises he knows what he’s doing. He adds that they saved the rapist.

Carter chases Anna to an El station, where they fight about his decision to auto-transfuse Jack. He was willing to use extra blood on the guard; why didn’t Jack get the same treatment? Carter says he felt that auto-transfusion was the best option. She knows that’s not true. Carter notes that Jack lived, so it doesn’t matter. Anna calls it dumb luck. Carter’s usually aggressive; why wasn’t he today? She knows he didn’t care if Jack lived or died.

Carter says that since he was in charge of the case, it was his call. Anna asks if he would have made a different call if Jack hadn’t been a rapist. Carter says that every case is different. Anna asks if he withheld treatment. He says no, but she asks again. He repeats his answer, but it looks like he’s thinking about whether or not he’s being honest.

Elizabeth finds Benton moping in a hallway, and he invites her to play darts again. Just darts. Elizabeth jokes that she’ll play as long as she’s not being unappreciated. West tells Weaver that he’s going to tell Anspaugh that Synergix no longer wants to work with County. He only wanted the contract so he could work with Weaver anyway. He doesn’t want her to feel like he used her or underestimated her. She underestimates herself.

Doug spies on Carol as she teaches Mary and Robert how to swaddle their daughter. He tells her he didn’t mean to push; she should take as much time as she needs to figure out if she wants to commit. He’ll wait for her. And thus ends the big Doug/Carol blow-up of 1998.

A drunk Carter surprises Anna at her apartment and admits that he wanted Jack to die. The blood should have been saved for another patient. What if another patient had died because they’d wasted blood on Jack? Carter takes full responsibility for his decision, but he doesn’t necessarily regret it, and he still might not regret it if Jack had died. Carter asks if Anna’s sure that he made the wrong choice. She takes his hand and says she’s not.

Thoughts: ’90s music alert: Smash Mouth’s “Walking on the Sun,” which is now stuck in my head for the rest of the month.

Who came up with, “And then Elizabeth flirts while peeling a hard-boiled egg”?

Sigh. Another “newborn” who’s clearly four months old. It’s especially funny when they say she’s only six pounds. She’s almost as big as Reese!

August 6, 2019

ER 4.12, Sharp Relief: MISTAAAAAAAAAAKE!

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 4:53 pm by Jenn

This scene from “Scrubs” went through my head multiple times during this episode

Summary: Doug and Carol meet up in the doctors’ lounge before she goes out for a paramedic ride-along. He’s off for the day and planning some big surprise at 5 p.m. He urges her to say “I love you,” which he usually says first. Jeanie meets Romano, who’s going over Scott’s scans with Benton. He needs surgery for some sort of obstruction.

Doug goes to Doc Magoo’s, where Mark has started smoking again. Doug reveals that he’s gotten wedding rings, and his surprise for Carol is a trip to the clerk’s office to get a marriage license. He wants to show her how serious he is. At 12:01 tomorrow morning, he wants to get married. Mark happily agrees to be his best man. Doug says he knew every other relationship he was in was wrong, but he wants to spend the rest of his life with Carol.

As Carol leaves for her ride-along with Doris and Greg, Mark and Weaver receive a patient who’s in pain from a possible ectopic pregnancy. The paramedic bringing her in regrets having to drive farther than usual to transport her; County is the closest receiving hospital. Jeanie checks on Scott, who refuses to have another operation, even though his tumor is back and has to be removed. She tells him straight out that without surgery, he’ll die. Scott still won’t budge, so Jeanie bribes him with hockey tickets.

Elizabeth is supposed to be part of Scott’s surgical team, but she wants to help out with Allison’s vocal-cord surgery instead. Romano passive-aggressively complains about her spending so much time on Allison’s case. Then he tells Allison not to worry, since he taught Elizabeth everything she knows. Weaver complains to West about her patient’s long ambulance ride, thanks to hospitals in the area closing. West has plans to make things better.

Carter and Anna’s patient, Mr. Dwyer, has a worm in his leg, which he contracted after drinking river water. Anna uses a toothpick to start pulling it out. Carter has heard that the worms can be as long as a meter. “I really didn’t need to hear that,” Mr. Dwyer says, laughing good-naturedly. Anna can only pull a couple of centimeters of the worm out every day; if she pulls out too much at once, it’ll break off. Mr. Dwyer says he should put in for combat pay.

Chase shows up, supposedly looking for Compazine for nausea, but Carter knows he’s covering something up. Chase says he stopped using heroin a couple days ago and just needs something to help him get past the worst part. He denies that he wants help detoxing. They yell at each other for a little while, and after Chase storms out, Anna tells Carter it’s better to let him go. She had a friend in med school who had a drug problem, and Anna has been in Carter’s position many times. She warns Carter not to let his cousin drag him into his problems.

The paramedics take a break at their station, and Greg complains about Dwight’s vegetarian cooking. Carol praises his carob brownies. While operating on Scott, Romano tries to rope Benton into trash-talking Elizabeth with him, but Benton won’t take the bait. Romano says female surgeons always have something to prove. Yeah, they have to prove their skills to sexist pigs like you. Romano continues that he likes Benton because he’s “not one of those militant minorities.” Shirley the scrub nurse confirms that the tumor indicates that Scott’s lymphoma is back.

Weaver has done some research and found out that Synergix has closed a ton of hospitals in the Midwest. West tries to dance around how bad that sounds. Instead of just closing bad places, they’re reconfiguring them and turning them into specialized centers. But that means closing trauma centers, and it means charging more for that specialized care, which means the people with the greatest need for medical care can’t get it anymore. West tells Weaver that County is essential and won’t be going anywhere. Weaver shoots back that they can’t close if everyone else does.

Jeanie asks Malik to help her get hockey tickets, since she didn’t actually have them yet when she told Scott she did. Malik thinks she’s going on a nice date. Elizabeth observes Allison’s surgery, offering moral support more than assistance. Weaver’s skipping a big Synergix luncheon, now uncertain that they should be taking over the ER’s operations. She tells Anspaugh they might want to delay the board’s vote for a couple weeks. Benton interrupts to tell Anspaugh that Scott’s cancer has come back.

Cynthia smells cigarette smoke on Mark, which means he has to give her a dollar. I like that system. She wants to hang out that night, but Mark brushes her off because of his secret plans with Doug. Carter asks to leave work early, wanting to go check on Chase, who left him a bunch of messages but now isn’t answering his phone. Anna guesses that he’s going over to help him, the exact thing she told him not to do.

Carol, Greg, and Doris go to an apartment where an elderly woman is bleeding and unconscious. Distressed, Greg blurts out that she’s dead. Carol takes control of the case, trying to keep Greg calm at the same time. He gets the woman breathing again, but Carol is worried about him. Back at County, Allison’s procedure is successful, and she’s able to speak for the first time in weeks.

The paramedics deliver the woman to the hospital, then leave for another run before they can find out if she’ll be okay. Carter goes to Chase’s apartment and offers his help. Chase denies that he needs it, and he doesn’t want the help Carter’s there to provide anyway, in the form of the names of treatment centers. Chase doesn’t want his secret addiction to get out, since he comes from such a prominent family. Also, he’s definitely not getting clean, since his dealer arrives moments later to make a sale. Carter tells Chase that if he buys, he’s on his own for real. Chase sends the dealer away.

The paramedics’ patient doesn’t survive, and it turns out she’s one of the growing number of elderly rape victims the ER has seen recently. There are different detectives on the case now, since the perpetrator has crossed district lines. Mark notes that he hasn’t heard anything on the news about the case. There have now been three victims, and the public has no idea what’s going on.

Carol asks Greg if he’s okay, since he had such a strong reaction when they found their patient. The patient’s wallet is in the ambulance, and when Greg sees a coupon inside for cat food, Carol says that someone should go back to the apartment and check on the cat. Anspaugh tells Jeanie that Scott needs more chemo, and no one knows how long his treatments will take. Anspaugh asks Jeanie to be Scott’s part-time private-duty caregiver, since they’ve developed such a good relationship. Father and son both admire her a lot.

Carter patiently tends to Chase as he goes through detox in his apartment. Then he’s not so patient anymore, and Chase practically turns feral, and really, the whole thing is a mess and a bad idea. Elizabeth tells Benton that Allison’s procedure went well, and Kotlowitz thinks she’ll have full use of her voice in a couple weeks. She invites him out for a drink, dismissing his excuse that he doesn’t drink alcohol. He can have something else.

Carol and Greg return to their patient’s apartment, where no one investigating the crime scene has seen a cat. The door to the roof is open, so Carol and Greg head up there, finding the unfriendly pet. Greg confides that when he first saw the patient, he was reminded of his mother, who hanged herself when he was nine. He found her body. Greg first felt angry, then felt guilty because he was thinking of himself instead of the patient. He sees his mother as selfish for not thinking how her death would affect the family.

Carol says that she thought about everyone but herself when she attempted suicide. She was so caught up in everyone else’s expectations for her that she didn’t consider her own. Now, she’s okay. Greg praises her for opening the clinic, calling her a super-nurse. He tells her she can leave, if she has somewhere to be; he’ll wait for the cat to agree to go inside with him. She decides to stay. This is a MISTAKE, because Greg is totally into Carol, and he kisses her, and she doesn’t fight it, and it’s worse than Chase’s detox.

Weaver tries to avoid West as she leaves for the night, but he doesn’t take the hint. She asks him to delay the board vote – she no longer believes in Synergix’s supposed mission. They’re turning decent health care into a luxury. Weaver says she just needs more time to think about the whole thing. West wonders if she means the Synergix arrangement or their relationship. I’m going to go with both, West.

Carter bugs someone at the hospital pharmacy for a prescription he ordered for Chase. Anna delivers it herself, along with some other things she knows Chase will need. Elizabeth and Benton play darts together at a pub, discussing Benton’s decision not to drink alcohol or eat pork. He’s not Muslim and doesn’t have control issues; he just doesn’t like the taste. Elizabeth recommends Pimm’s, which tastes like ginger ale and fruit. She suggests a darts contest, with the winner picking the loser’s next drink. Benton cracks an actual smile, enjoying himself, at least until Elizabeth hits the bull’s-eye after throwing her dart backwards.

Scott wakes up after surgery and tells Jeanie that since he agreed to have it, he wants his hockey tickets. She produces center-ice seats, which means Malik’s connection with the team must be really good. Scott asks Jeanie to stay with him so he’s not alone. Anna sticks around Chase’s apartment for a while, admiring some photos he’s taken. Carter says his cousin is very talented, which makes his addiction even more tragic. Anna admits that her med-school friend with drug problems wasn’t really a friend – he was her boyfriend. Carter admits that he doesn’t know what he’s doing, but Anna thinks he’s handling things fine.

Benton has loosened up, either from the Pimm’s or the company, and he and Elizabeth are dancing at the pub. They’re having so much fun that they stay until closing. Elizabeth indicates that she wants to continue the date, but she doesn’t want to make a move while Benton’s tipsy. He tells her he had a great time.

Carol finally gets home hours after she was supposed to meet Doug. She didn’t call, so he was worried that something happened. Carol says she and Greg both had a tough day, so they were talking things through. After that, she went for a long walk so she could do some thinking. All the engagement/marriage talk is moving too fast, and she doesn’t think they’re ready. Doug says he is. Carol admits that she and Greg kissed, but things didn’t go further than that. Doug storms out, rejecting her apology.

Thoughts: I remember yelling, “Noooooo!” at Carol when this episode first aired. It’s okay, 15-year-old me. It’ll all be okay.

No way did Weaver not do her homework about Synergix’s closings before she pushed County to get in bed with them. No way was she that personally affected by her attraction to West that she wouldn’t do research.

Romano: “You know how it is with female surgeons.” Benton: “No, I don’t. Why don’t you tell me?” Is…is that…my respect for Benton? Is that what this feeling is?

July 30, 2019

ER 4.11, Think Warm Thoughts: The Passion of the Carter

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

Illness is no excuse for that hat, Scott

Summary: Carol’s on her way out of the house to go to work, but Doug wants her to take a minute to set a wedding date and determine her ring size. She doesn’t want to make a big deal out of their eventual marriage, since she’s done that before. She’s fine just being engaged for now. Weaver and West have spent the night together again, and she apparently accepted his invitation to spend Christmas with him in the Caribbean. She thinks Anspaugh will be very happy with the work Synergix has done on the budget. After they get in their cars to go to work separately, they have phone sex.

Speaking of sex, Romano makes a remark about it to Elizabeth while they’re discussing cars. Take a moment and think about what would have happened if Romano had been around during the #MeToo movement. Just imagine it. Anyway, Allison Beaumont needs more surgery on her leg and is ready for the next steps in her recovery, though she’s down about her vocal-cord paralysis. Elizabeth wants to do a procedure that will fix it, noting that there’s a doctor in Chicago who can do it. Romano reminds her that it’s not covered by Allison’s insurance.

Someone in the ER waiting area is very upset that the vending machine has eaten his money. In turn, Randi is annoyed that the guy is making too much noise. She gives him his money back so he’ll shut up, but she won’t do the same for another patient, Carlene, who claims she put money in the machine, too. Mark is trying to quit smoking, which makes Chuny happy. Swift has been sent over by Synergix as a substitute attending, so he and Mark will be working together again. The angry patient accidentally knocks over the vending machine onto himself, cracking up Carlene.

Carter speaks to a bunch of second-year med students about why they should consider emergency medicine as their specialty next year. When it’s time for a Q&A session, a student asks if patients ever come to the ER with foreign objects in their rectums. Carter tries to keep things professional, but he does admit to removing a bowling trophy from someone’s rectum.

Another student asks if Carter’s ever killed anyone. Carter talks about the patient he accidentally killed in “Do One, Teach One, Kill One.” A student is surprised learn that he left surgery for medicine. Can he really make a career out of emergency medicine? Can he see himself still doing it in 10 or 15 years? Carter isn’t sure about that.

West presents his budget ideas to Anspaugh, who’s impressed with how quickly West has put everything together. Anspaugh sends him out of the room so he can ask Weaver what the staff thinks about Synergix taking over. Weaver says she hasn’t heard anything negative, though she hasn’t had a conversation with Mark about it. Anspaugh wants to find out how everyone feels before he makes any decisions.

In the ER, Swift tells Mark and Chuny how awesome it is working for Synergix. He has a regular schedule with plenty of time for his personal life. Synergix also uses different methods to determine injuries, so they can skip expensive tests and scans. Elizabeth visits Allison, who’s using a laptop with a speech program to communicate. It’s been tough for her, since she’s a talkative person, but she’s in good spirits, though still eager for vocal-cord surgery.

Benton has also been speaking to students along with Carter, and he chats with one named Laura as they’re leaving. She spots Carter and recognizes him from the PBS documentary. Benton complains to Carter that speaking to students is a waste of time. They’ll never know what being a doctor is really like until they’re actually doctors, and by that time, many of them will be in the wrong profession. Like Carter’s students, Benton’s were only interested in whether he’s ever killed anyone. His response: “Just med students.”

Weaver asks Mark his opinions on Synergix, and he says it seems like a fast transition to let them take over. He’s worried about having to give up authority over patient care. Weaver promises that they’ll only take over things like administrative tasks like billing. Yosh arrives with Christmas cookies, wanting to keep the holiday spirit alive even though it’s January. Carlene complains that the nurses are slacking off instead of treating patients. Then she gets racist with Chuny, so now no one wants to deal with her.

The vending-machine guy, John, is done being treated for accidentally self-inflicted injuries, and he hits on Randi as he’s leaving. He wants her to know upfront that he spent some time in prison, but he’s done his time and thinks they could have some fun together. Randi’s interested. Carol tends to a client patient who’s brought a bird in with him, in his beard. Carol either doesn’t see this as a big deal or she’s too busy to worry about it, so she just sends him on his way.

She gets pulled away when her mother arrives to announce that Doug came to ask for Carol’s hand in marriage. Helen really hopes it’s a joke. She had no idea that Carol and Doug had been back together for eight months. She has doubts that they’ll actually get married. Carol tries to send her away, so Helen reminds her that she was there when Doug broke Carol’s heart the first time around. She knows men like him don’t change.

Anspaugh tells Mark that his 12-year-old son, Scott, was treated for lymphoma the year before, and he’s being brought in from school with abdominal pain. Scott and his previous doctor didn’t get along, so Anspaugh would like Mark to take care of him. Weaver spots the two talking and wonders what it’s about. Both are surprised that Anspaugh has kids (he also has a daughter); since his wife died, he’s a single parent. Mark enlists Jeanie for assistance, though Jeanie isn’t sure Anspaugh would want her involved. Mark mostly just wants her there because she’s a friendly face.

Scott arrives and sees his trip to the hospital as unnecessary. He just has a simple stomachache. Mark and Jeanie let him walk in instead of riding in a wheelchair, as Carol tries to call Doug to talk about her mother. Scott’s brattiness quickly explains why he and his previous doctor didn’t get along. He’s pretty bold to yell at Mark in front of Anspaugh that he won’t let anyone stick him with a needle.

Elizabeth goes across town to talk to Dr. Kotlowitz, the doctor she wants to perform Allison’s vocal-cord surgery. She thinks that when he meets Allison, he’ll want to perform the procedure out of the kindness of his heart. She makes it clear that she’s there for Allison, not Romano. This week in Plotlines No One Cares About, Anna and Chuny find a Tamagotchi left behind by a patient. Anna will have to take care of it so it doesn’t die before the owner comes back.

Jeanie tells Scott that she made a bet with Anspaugh that she can stick him to draw blood without him feeling it. If she wins, she’ll give Scott some of her $10 prize. Scott blasts her for talking to him like a kid and sends her away. Jeanie stands up to him, telling him that if he doesn’t cooperate, she’ll get a nurse to hold him down while she does her job. Anspaugh spies through the door as Jeanie earns her $10.

Anna, Tamagotchi, Maria Bello should fire her agent. Cynthia misses low-tech toys like her Barbie van. A Meals on Wheels volunteer named Susan brings an elderly woman named Mrs. Reilly who seems to be struggling to take care of herself. Susan worries that she’s had a stroke. Mrs. Reilly is calm and pleasant, but she thinks it’s August and that Carol is someone she knows.

Laura shows up for Carter’s next speaking engagement, ready to get a sales pitch for emergency medicine. Cynthia teases Mark for going through a pack of nicotine gum so quickly. As she looks through her bag for another pack, Mark spots her birth-control pills and sees that they haven’t all been taken. She reminds him that she has another pack in his bathroom. She definitely doesn’t want to get pregnant.

Doug calls Carol back as she and Yosh are examining Mrs. Reilly. She’s annoyed that Doug talked to Helen about their engagement before Carol could even tell her they were back together. As Yosh and Susan are changing Mrs. Reilly into a gown, Carol spots “whore” written on her back. She sends Yosh and Susan away, though she asks Susan to stick around a little while longer, since Mrs. Reilly doesn’t seem to have any family.

One of the detectives from Mrs. Larkin’s case comes in to talk to Carol and Mark about Mrs. Reilly. They’re not sure if she’s altered and can’t remember her assault because of dehydration, Alzheimer’s, or trauma. Mark asks if the police will be making any announcements about what appears to be a serial rapist. Cynthia lets Carol know that Yosh is still seeing clinic patients while she’s working with the police. Carol says Yosh can’t handle them alone, but Cynthia reports that Doug has come in to help. She thinks Doug believes Carol’s mad at him. Maybe not so much anymore.

Jeanie takes Scott for some scans, though he’s already guessed that his tumor is back. Jeanie tells him not to worry until he knows for sure. She asks about his interests, and he scoffs when she says that she shares his love of John Woo movies. Laura catches Carter as he’s leaving for the day and asks if she can shadow him in the ER sometime. He’s working that night and invites her to join him. Then he asks her to dinner before his shift.

Benton heads to work as well, running into Romano, who thanks him for speaking to the students. He calls Peter “Pete,” which Peter says he doesn’t like. Romano thinks he should like it, but Peter won’t budge. Elizabeth was right about Kotlowitz, as he’s just met Allison and agreed to do her procedure. Romano pretends he’s totally fine with that.

After Kotlowitz leaves, Romano yells at Elizabeth for going behind his back (she’s even worked things out with Anspaugh to give Kotlowitz temporary privileges). He finds the procedure unnecessary; the one her insurance covers is satisfactory. Elizabeth disagrees – Allison wants her voice back, and it’s their job as her doctors to do everything they can for her. Romano asks if Elizabeth is questioning his commitment to Allison’s best interests. If she is, she’s making a huge mistake.

Doug makes America swoon by hanging out with a baby, then chats with a pregnant woman named Sherry who has Down’s syndrome. Her food stamps have been cut, so she needs to know what she can do without. (Carol helped her make a food chart the last time she was there.) Doug offers to make some calls and find an agency that will help Sherry out.

Mark performs a rape exam on Mrs. Reilly, who seems to think it’s decades earlier, and that she’s receiving an exam because she’s pregnant. After a few moments, she realizes that’s not right, but she still doesn’t remember her assault. Mark thinks she’s lucky in that way. The Tamagotchi owner arrives, but despite Anna’s daylong efforts to take care of it, it’s dead. Cynthia gives her a comforting pat on the hand and says she did the best she could. Then she gives the young owner the bad news while Anna smacks the Tamagotchi around, trying to revive it. I hope she doesn’t do that with her human patients.

Anspaugh thanks Jeanie for all the work she did with Scott. It’s not clear yet if his abdominal problems mean his cancer is back. On their way to the hospital after dinner, Carter and Laura come across an unconscious homeless man. Elizabeth and Romano are cool toward each other as they scrub in for Allison’s leg surgery, but Romano has decided to back down and allow Kotlowitz to do his procedure. He tells Elizabeth she was right to do everything she could for Allison. Elizabeth asks if the two of them are all right. “You and I are a match made in Heaven,” he replies.

Carter and Laura help bring the homeless man into the ER, where Mark starts tending to him. Swift’s shift is over, and he and Mark are supposed to get dinner together, but Mark can’t leave just yet. Laura’s really impressed with Carter’s skills, and Mark can see she likes him. Susan has to go home, which means Mrs. Reilly is really alone in the hospital. Susan admits to Carol that she won’t feel comfortable delivering meals to Mrs. Reilly’s building anymore. Carol assures her that she’s not a horrible person for feeling that way. She did a wonderful thing by looking out for Mrs. Reilly.

West comes by to get Weaver and asks if Anspaugh said anything about his proposal. She laments that Anspaugh asks Mark to help with Scott, when she would have been just as good a choice. She thinks Anspaugh has forgotten that she’s a doctor, since she’s doing so much administrative stuff now. Carter thought the homeless man was hypothermic, but he’s just drunk. Without the rush of an emergency or the flashiness of a special procedure, Laura’s no longer interested. She moves on to Benton instead.

Doug’s hours in the clinic have definitely helped Carol forgive him for approaching her mother. He’s proud of all the work she’s done at the clinic. Carter complains to Mark that he didn’t inspire any of the students he spoke to. He wanted them to see the passion he has for emergency medicine. Mark tells him that, over all the years he’ll work as a doctor, the sum total of his patient care will be what counts, not his passion.

Mrs. Reilly thinks she just got a bump on the head and made an unnecessary trip to the hospital. She tells Carol that she’s become forgetful in her old age; the other night, she accidentally left her keys in the doorknob. This triggers a memory, and she remembers a man coming into her apartment and attacking her. Carol holds her as she cries over her remembered trauma.

Thoughts: Carlene is played by Telma Hopkins.

Who wrote the tamagotchi plot, and where do I send my complaints?

We get it, Carter gave up glamor when he left surgery. Let’s move on.

I love Susan so much. The world needs more Susans.

July 23, 2019

ER 4.10, Do You See What I See?: The Miracle Worker

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

Couldn’t be cuter

Summary: Carol wakes Doug up at the end of a night shift, and they lament that they won’t be able to spend Christmas together the next day. Herb gets his picture taken pretending to shock a patient as he finishes up his stint as Mark’s lawyer. He’s made the whole lawsuit disappear, and even got Mark out of having to apologize to the Laws. Weaver’s spent the night with West in his hotel room, so…that happened.

On his way to work with a bunch of presents, Benton runs into Anna, who warns that Reese might spend his first Christmas playing with the boxes his presents came in. An ambulance arrives at the same time they reach County, and they pause to tend to the patient being brought in, a homeless man named Bart. He’s blind, but when Benton touches his forehead, Bart opens his eyes and starts exclaiming that he can see.

As the doctors move Bart into a trauma room and start treating him, he describes everything he sees, proving he really can see. Benton isn’t sure he was really blind before. Carol tries to get a nurse to swift shifts with her so she can spend Christmas with Doug, but she has no luck. She asks Carter if she should provide Millicent with anything special when she comes to see the clinic that afternoon. Carter warns that she’ll be under intense scrutiny.

Henry’s still working on completing his clerkship, and he thinks the only thing he has left to do is a major emergency procedure. Carter’s not sure that’s all he’s lacking, but he’s probably going to let that slide, since he’s eager to get rid of Henry. Cynthia learns that her credit card limit has been frozen, so she can’t pay for the present she picked out for Mark. He hasn’t gotten her present yet, either, so he offers to pay off her debt.

Paramedics bring in a seven-year-old who got stuck in the chimney while trying to find out if Santa could really fit. Carol tells an EMT named Greg that he can get cleaned up in the hospital, since he’s covered in soot. Henry asks to do the kid’s intubation, but Mark doesn’t want him to treat this as a teaching case. Jeanie wants to give some of County’s needles to a clinic patient so he doesn’t spread his Hepatitis B to people he’s been sharing with. Jeanie says the patient won’t report her – will Kerry?

Word of Benton’s supposed miracle has spread, and Carter teases him about it. Benton blows it off, then corrects Lydia when she says Bart is blind. He’s taken off, and Benton figures he just wanted some attention. Anna thinks he’s being too humble. West has arranged to work a shift with Weaver, so either he’s really into her or he’s playing some weird long con. Carol asks for a taxi voucher for Pablo, who’s misplaced his shoes. Weaver tells him he can wait in chairs instead of outside in the cold, so she’s in a good mood. West suggests that they make arrangements with a cab company for comped vouchers.

Carol officially meets Greg, who’s now squeaky clean. Carter gets a new patient, Vinnie, who has chest pain and isn’t doing well. West joins him and Henry for the trauma, and Henry asks to do any necessary intubations. Instead, he’s assigned to bag Vinnie, who keeps murmuring something about a woman named Maria. Elizabeth comes in to do some paperwork before heading to England for Christmas. Romano invites her to join him for Allison Beaumont’s next operation, which, if successful, will save her leg.

Carter, West, and Henry are unable to save Vinnie, but Carter figures Henry can still use his body to practice intubations. Vinnie’s brother, Joey, arrives just then and thinks that Vinnie’s still alive. Carter plays along as he rushes Joey out. Mark and Anna tend to a 67-year-old woman named Mrs. Larkin who was bound and gagged, then raped in her apartment. Chuny finds “whore” written on her stomach in black marker.

Jeanie goes to the lounge to take her medication but realizes she didn’t bring it to work with her. As Elizabeth and Romano operate on Allison, Jeanie asks Weaver to get her a dose of the medication she left at home. Weaver easily agrees. Carter and Henry tell Vinnie’s family that he didn’t make it, leaving out the part where he was already dead when Joey showed up. Henry tries to be helpful by telling Vinnie’s wife that his last thoughts were of her. Except – oops! – she’s not Maria. Maria is Joey’s wife. Stop helping, Henry.

Mark and Carol continue taking care of Mrs. Larkin, having to ask her questions about her assault. Hearing about it makes Mark think of his own attack, and he has to excuse himself from the room. Anna tells Benton that she looked up Bart’s records, and when he was in the year before, he was definitely blind. Benton wonders what Bart’s angle is. “The Lord words in mysterious ways,” Anna teases. Another homeless man comes in, having heard from Bart that Benton works miracles, and asks Benton to make him walk again. Benton says he can’t help.

Mark tells two detectives about Mrs. Larkin’s assault, getting annoyed when they question whether her memories are accurate. Elizabeth is about to leave for the airport when she learns that Allison, who’s been in a coma for the ten days since her car accident, is waking up. She’s still intubated, so she can’t speak, but she’s fine mentally and wants to know where her mother is. Elizabeth breaks the news that her mother died.

Mark finds a toy Cynthia bought, which she claims is for a friend’s child. Moments later, she comes clean: It’s for her own five-year-old son. She hasn’t seen him for three years and never mentioned to Mark that she had a child. He lives with his father and grandparents, and though Cynthia misses him, she knows that’s what’s best for him. Thanks to Mark’s money, she’s able to give him a nice Christmas present.

Carol tries to swap shifts with Chuny but again has no success. Millicent arrives for a tour of the clinic, dragging along Chase, who’s dressed as Santa. They realize a little Christmas tree near the admit desk is on fire, and Carol quickly puts it out with a fire extinguisher. The smoke sets off the sprinkler system. Womp womp. Weaver decides that the lights at the desk need to be taken down because they’re old and could be dangerous. She’ll let Cynthia’s brand-new light-up Rudolph stay, though.

After a quick change of clothes, Carol shows Millicent around the clinic. Carter runs into them and sees that Chase is filling in for their grandfather as Santa. Benton comes across Nat, who’s struggling with a broken floor buffer, and they chat about Reese’s first Christmas. When Benton pats Nat on the shoulder, the buffer starts working. Carol searches the lounge cabinets for decaf coffee, which doctors would never drink, because what’s the point? He tells her about Cynthia’s secret child, wondering if the fact that she didn’t mention him is a bad sign. Doug may have been right about her being a bad fit.

Elizabeth admits to Benton that she kind of wants to confess to Allison that her eagerness to do a special procedure led to Allison’s coma. She knows that it’ll make her feel better to let go of the guilt, but it won’t help Allison. Benton reminds her that she did her job, and everything has turned out fine, so there’s no point in bringing it up.

Mark talks to the detectives again, wanting more information on Mrs. Larkin’s case. He can tell they’re not that concerned with helping her. Carter helps Chase get some presents from the car to pass out to hospitalized kids. Carter’s relieved that their grandfather skipped the visit because now he doesn’t have to defend his decision to go into medicine. Chase notes that he still thinks Carter’s a surgeon, not back to being a lowly intern.

Henry wants to perform a spinal tap on a patient, but Carter tells him he misdiagnosed the flu. Maybe Carter should just let him finish his clerkship right now so he can go back to the lab and be far, far away from people. Carol introduces Millicent to Jeanie, who agrees to let Millicent shadow her for a while. Elizabeth extubates Allison, then decides she needs a head and neck surgeon.

Millicent observes as Jeanie chats with a teenager named Gina who’s pregnant and denies that she could have been exposed to HIV. She figures since she doesn’t sleep with drug users or gay guys, she’s not at risk. Jeanie reveals her own HIV status by saying she never slept with a gay man or drug user, either. Gina agrees to get tested.

Bart’s back, and he’s blind again. He asks Benton to touch him again and redo his miracle. Benton touches him, but nothing happens. Mark finishes up with Mrs. Larkin, who regrets having to miss Christmas Mass. She usually plays the organ, and she doesn’t think the church will be able to find a substitute in time. Mark tells her she shouldn’t worry about that. Mrs. Larkin admits that she hates her rapist, but she doesn’t want to be like that – as a Christian, she’s supposed to forgive. Mark says she doesn’t have to, but Mrs. Larkin knows hatred won’t undo what happened to her.

Mark leaves work a little early, telling Weaver and Cynthia that he has something to take care of. He also wants to hold off on making any plans with Cynthia. Carol finishes up Millicent’s tour and invites her to stay for a staff potluck. Millicent declines, probably because she’s never attended a potluck before. Carter finds Chase in Millicent’s limo, shooting up heroin. Chase says he’s not an addict; he just does it when he’s bored. Carter realizes that the spider bite he treated Chase for wasn’t really a spider bite. Carter isn’t interested in his medical opinion. They both clam up when Millicent joins them.

A neurologist finds a mass in Bart’s brain that explains his blindness. She can’t explain his brief return of sight, since the mass means he shouldn’t have been able to see anything for years. Elizabeth has missed her flight, so she’ll be spending Christmas in Chicago. Romano invites her to a party, but Elizabeth wants to wait for news on Allison, who may have paralyzed vocal chords.

Connie has Gladys Knight tickets on New Year’s and is desperate to change shifts with someone so she can go. Finally, Carol has someone to trade for her on Christmas. In more good news, Millicent has sent over a huge Christmas tree for the staff to enjoy, plus a check for $150,000 for the clinic.

Mark goes to the Laws’ house and tries to apologize to Kenny’s mother for not saving her son, but she doesn’t want to hear it. Chris comes out to confront him, and Mark says he knows now that Chris wasn’t the person who attacked him. Chris admits that he was happy when he heard someone hurt Mark. But even if the family had successfully sued Mark for medical malpractice, Kenny would still be dead. Chris can’t find any meaning in his brother’s death. Mark just says he’s sorry.

Benton tells Bart that he has a tumor, and though it’s operable, he probably won’t regain his sight once it’s out. Bart is still hopeful, since seeing anything today was also unlikely. He spent the day in the park with his guide dog, watching him in the snow. He’s pleased that he got to see something so beautiful. Carol tells Doug that she got the next day off, but she’ll have to work New Year’s. In a twist worthy of O. Henry, Doug switched shifts with Anna so he and Carol could work together on Christmas. Okay, not really; he’s just kidding.

Carol decides it’s time to tell their co-workers that they’re back together. She takes Doug to the potluck and announces that they’re seeing each other. No one gets the big deal. Turns out they all knew (except Weaver and Anna), and they’ve been taking bets on when the couple would finally come clean. Doug adds a surprise: He wants to marry Carol. He tells everyone to talk her into it. Carol doesn’t accept or reject the proposal, just teasing that Doug always has to outdo her.

Everyone goes outside to enjoy the tree and the snow. West invites Weaver to join him somewhere warmer for the holidays. She and Jeanie wish each other a Merry Christmas. Carter wants to skip his family’s party, so he tries to make plans with Anna. Henry has finished his last procedure, so Carter gives him his Christmas present – an evaluation that says he passed emergency medicine. It’s really a present for Carter, who no longer has to deal with him. As Elizabeth sits with Allison as she undergoes an exam, Cynthia and Mark spend the evening together. Benton leaves to spend Christmas with Reese, taking a moment to admire the tree.

Thoughts: Greg is played by George Eads, later Jorja Fox’s (Doyle) co-star on CSI.

Oh, good, we’re starting the old-ladies-keep-getting-raped arc. Merry Christmas, everyone!

“I made it so you don’t have to say you’re sorry” isn’t something you want your lawyer to say. If it’s between saying you’re sorry and possibly paying thousands of dollars, just apologize.

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