October 9, 2018

ER 2.13, It’s Not Easy Being Greene: Off Days and Days Off

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 4:51 pm by Jenn

ANGST! SO MUCH ANGST!

Summary: Mark is out for a jog on a snowy day, on his way to the hospital even though he has the day off. Haleh calls him dedicated while Chuny calls him sad. Weaver tells Susan that she and Morgenstern think Susan would make a great chief resident next year. She gives Susan instructions on a procedure she’s performing while talking about time management and how Susan will be able to balance her job responsibilities and Susie.

Carol’s upset to learn that she’s had her shifts cut. It doesn’t get better when Jeanie complains that she’s been given more shifts. Jerry tells Carol that she can join an investment club for $2,000 and get $10,000 to $20,000 within ten days. Carol educates him on the wonders of pyramid schemes. Let’s hope it’s not too late for Jerry to get out. Vucelich tells Benton that he wants him to go to Paris to present info on their study. They’ll need to find another patient for the study soon, since some Norwegian doctors are doing the same research.

Benton asks Malik where Carter is, and Malik says Carter’s late but will be coming any minute. Cut to…a sex joke, since Carter’s in bed with Harper. He tells her some of the things he thinks about to “delay the inevitable,” like procedures and equipment inventory. I think it’s safe to say that Carter has the world’s worst pillow talk.

Mark tells Susan that Jen is suing for full custody of Rachel, and is painting him as a distant father. They give each other TB tests while they discuss the possibility of Susan becoming chief resident. She’s not sure she could do it while working fewer hours than other chiefs have. Mark advises her to be warmer with Weaver, since they’ll be working closer if Susan becomes chief. Doug learns that Mark is working on his day off and just laughs.

Benton sticks Carter in the ER while he goes hunting for another study participant. Carol chats with a patient named Mrs. Henry who got dizzy while working in her garden. She raises earthworms, which generate a beloved kind of fertilizer and sell for a good amount of money. Carol’s inspired to go into this line of business. Mark’s patient, Alan, had a seizure and now has an erratic heartbeat.

Carter wants to get an interview for his residency, but it doesn’t look like anyone’s interested. Harper brings him an x-ray, thinking her patient has an aortic aneurysm and needs to see Vucelich. Carter can’t see the calcification she thinks is on the scan and advises her not to call Vucelich. She passes the patient along to Carter and goes off to help Mark. Seconds later, Susan glances at the x-ray, sees what Harper saw, and diagnoses an aneurysm.

Alan’s heart rhythm gets more erratic, so Mark kicks his wife, Mrs. Wimbur, out so he and Harper can try to figure out what’s wrong with him. He’s smart enough to know that nurses are valuable sources of information, and he asks Haleh and Lydia for their input (low potassium and cocaine, respectively). They stabilize Alan, but only briefly.

Carter presents Harper’s patient’s x-ray to Vucelich and Benton, who confirm that Harper’s diagnosis was right. They praise him for the catch, and he doesn’t tell them that Harper was the one who read the x-ray correctly. Lydia and Haleh, however, were both wrong about Alan, and Mark still doesn’t know why he’s having heart problems. Alan gets worse, requiring CPR, but after 20 minutes, he’s not any better. Susan joins the group and first suspects what Haleh did, that cocaine is a factor. When Mark says he’s clean, she says Alan might be acidotic.

More time passes and Doug comes in to try to help. Eventually, close to an hour goes by, and the doctors are unable to save Alan. Mark laments that he was only 32. He gives the bad news to Mrs. Wimbur, but he’s unable to tell her what caused her husband’s death. She blames Mark, since she was originally told that Alan could be saved.

While Jerry tries to escape his pyramid scheme, Susan tells Weaver that she officially wants to be considered for the chief position. Weaver’s like, “Oh, great! Now go take care of some more patients.” Carol takes Mrs. Henry for tests, though Mrs. Henry is worried about having to leave her worms in her truck. She figures no one will steal them, even though they’re worth $5,000, but she fears that they’ll freeze to death. She asks Carol to bring them into the hospital and feed them some table scraps.

Susan’s patient, Mrs. D’Angelo, is suffering a lot of pain from stones in her gall bladder. She wants surgery, but since her condition isn’t life-threatening, her insurance won’t pay for it. (God bless America.) Mark calls pathology to ask for a rush on Alan’s autopsy so he can answer his medical mystery. Susan tells him to go home, but Mark doesn’t appreciate being accused of killing a patient and running the risk of being sued. Susan assures him that he did everything right.

Vucelich and Benton operate on Harper’s patient while Carter assists by suctioning. The patient has a bad reaction to the anesthesia, and Vucelich blames Benton for not getting a full history. Once he starts getting things under control, Vucelich realizes that since the patient had never had an operation before, he wouldn’t have known about an intolerance to the anesthesia, so he wouldn’t have mentioned it in the history. He extends an olive branch to Benton by inviting him to lunch. Weaver gives Susan some advice on Mrs. D’Angelo’s treatment; it sounds like she’s trying to teach, but Susan takes it as criticism.

Mark meets with Morgenstern and Kathy Snyder, a hospital attorney, who announces that they’ve worked out a settlement with Sean O’Brien. Morgenstern’s happy to put this behind them, but Mark isn’t – this will be a black mark on his record and will follow him for the rest of his medical career. Kathy points out that they could lose millions if they go to trial. Mark insists that he didn’t do anything wrong, so he shouldn’t admit that he did. Kathy says that experts disagree. Morgenstern does, too, but Mark refuses to settle. He’ll hire his own lawyer and fight on his own if he has to.

Carol and Chuny take a look at Mrs. Henry’s worms, which Carol sees as a key to getting the money she needs to fix up her house. Lydia feeds them some yogurt. Harper finds Carter to bask in the glory of making her diagnosis, but her mood quickly darkens when she realizes that Carter didn’t give her any credit with Vucelich. He says he meant to, but everything happened fast. Harper doesn’t accept his excuse that Vucelich and Benton just assumed that he’d made the catch.

Mark tells Susan about the settlement and how Morgenstern is blaming him for Jodi’s death. Susan says that it was a tough diagnosis that any of them could have missed. But when Mark asks what she would say if she were called to testify in court, she doesn’t want to give an answer.

Jerry tries to convince Malik to start their own investment club, but Malik’s no idiot. Carol goes looking for the worms, but they’re missing from the room where she stashed them. Doug examines a teenager named Ray who’s been having headaches and dizziness, but seems mostly fine.

Carter interrupts Vucelich and Benton’s lunch to tell them that Harper made the diagnosis. Vucelich blasts him for taking credit, but since the patient isn’t a candidate for the study, it doesn’t really matter who made the diagnosis; no one will get a finder’s fee. After Carter leaves, Vucelich calls him a “strange boy.” Benton questions the patient’s exclusion from the study, but Vucelich just casually says that the patient has neurological problems that make him ineligible.

Susan tells Mrs. D’Angelo that they’re not going to give her an ultrasound because it’s clear what her problem is. There’s no point in spending the money. She’s been able to secure a slot for surgery at the end of the year, but since it’s only February, that doesn’t do Mrs. D’Angelo any good. Carol, Lydia, and Wendy (R.I.P. Vanessa Marquez) find the worms outside and rush them to a trauma room to warm them up. Susan rushes in to help, thinking they have a real, human patient. She makes a hilarious patient as Carol tries to break the worms out of the block of ice they’ve become.

When nothing abnormal shows up on Ray’s tests, Doug talks to him, trying to find out if his problems are stress-related. Ray says things are fine, but he’s clearly upset about something. He tells Doug that there’s something wrong with him. Doug thinks he’s just having normal teenager anxieties, but Ray has a secret: He’s come to the conclusion that he’s gay. He doesn’t know what to tell his father or brothers. He’s sick of pretending to be someone he’s not.

Doug calls for a psych consult, just wanting to give Ray someone to talk to. Haleh doesn’t appear to agree with this form of treatment. Benton tells Harper she made a good call with the aneurysm, but it’s too little too late. Susan calls Harper and Carter in to help tend to a patient as Weaver looks on. Harper tells Carter to shut it when he tries to offer some help. Mark and Doug meet up at a diner, where Mark admits that he may have killed Alan. He heard a murmur on examination, and he should have done more to save him. Doug thinks Mark is holding himself to too high of a standard.

Harper screws up something on the patient, and Carter tries to take the blame, but Harper wants to own up to her own mistake. Susan and Weaver discuss treatments, but Susan makes it clear that she’s not going to give in to Weaver just because Weaver has seniority. Susan ends up being right, and she gloats a little too much, asking Weaver questions that she would normally ask an intern or med student.

Mark goes to the morgue to find out if Alan’s autopsy has solved any mysteries. Haleh advises Doug to talk to Ray himself instead of continuing to wait for a psych consult. She asks if Doug is trying to avoid having a difficult conversation with Ray because he’s gay. Doug insists that he’s not homophobic, but he doesn’t think he’s the right person for the conversation because he has no expertise on the subject. Haleh doesn’t seem convinced.

The pathologist, Dr. Upton, doesn’t find anything abnormal with Alan’s heart. She tells Mark that medicine is an art, and it’s ambiguous. Sometimes there are no answers. In this case, she can’t determine Alan’s cause of death. Mrs. Henry is ready to be released, but her worms won’t be going home with her. Carol couldn’t save them. She gives the news as if she’s telling any patient’s family about a death.

Jeanie finds Benton looking over the protocol for Vucelich’s study. He wants to know if Vucelich is dropping patients with bad outcomes from his study so his results won’t be skewed. Harper yells at Carter for his behavior all day, which he blames on his poor odds at getting a residency at County. He’s forgotten a bunch of Benton’s patients’ orders and has to keep working.

Weaver calls Susan on getting a fact wrong in her impromptu Q&A in the trauma room. Susan finally blows up at her, saying it’s not worth it to be chief resident if she’ll have to put up with Weaver always looking over her shoulder. But Weaver thinks this reaction means Susan’s more qualified to be chief resident than she thought. Ray’s father arrives to take him home, and Ray pretends his trigonometry classes are the cause of his headaches. (Dude, I feel you.) Doug invites him to talk if he ever wants to, but Ray’s ready to go back to being his fake self.

Benton goes looking for records on Helen Rubadoux, who was also dropped from Vucelich’s study. He pulls out a few more files while he’s at it. Jerry’s come into a bunch of money, thanks to his pyramid scheme, so he’s ending the day on a good note. Carol has been able to salvage a few worms (she claims Mrs. Henry gave her some), so she’s going to see if she can make some money with them. Carter finally finishes his tasks and apologizes to Benton for being an idiot earlier. He also has to confess to being late with some orders. Looks like the golden child is slipping. Benton finds something interesting in a patient file and makes a phone call.

Mark smooths things over with Susan, admitting that he was in denial. He’s not sure he should keep practicing medicine. Susan says they all ask themselves that. Mark hopes the job is worth losing his family over. He now knows that Alan’s death wasn’t his fault. He did everything right and Alan died anyway. The lesson is that they can’t win. Mark asks if anyone thought it was strange that he came to work on his day off. Susan lies that they didn’t. (She’s a bad liar but he doesn’t catch on.) Then Mark ends his day the way he began – running.

Thoughts: Freaking animal plots. Just…why?

Carol: “What happened to those worms in radiology?” Susan: “They’re doing a consult.” Ha!

Mark needs a hobby. I don’t even think about work when I have a day off.

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October 2, 2018

ER 2.12, True Lies: Heirs Apparent

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

Could you be mean to this man? Never

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 25, 2018

ER 2.11, Dead of Winter: Jeanie Deserves Better Than…Just…All of This

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

I’ll be your mommy, you cutie pie

Summary: It’s a snowy, windy night in Chicago, and the ER is relatively quiet. Jeanie learns that a baby in respiratory arrest is on the way in, and she goes to wake Susan. Susan promises she’s getting up, but Jeanie has to go back and make sure, like a mom waking her child for school. Elsewhere in the city, Mark is alone in his quiet apartment, living the bachelor life. At least he can drink juice straight out of the bottle without anyone getting on his case.

Shep and Raul respond to what they think is a call to tend to a drunk man who slipped on some stairs and hit his head. The police on the scene actually have something much more important for the paramedics to deal with: a dirty apartment full of kids in tattered clothes. There are no adults at home, and the oldest child isn’t even ten.

Susan fills Mark in at the hospital – in all, 22 kids were found in the apartment. They’re all malnourished, and the parents haven’t been identified or found. The police arrested a man who claimed to be an uncle. Some of the kids are now at County, with lots of medical problems because of their malnutrition and neglect. Doug takes charge while Mark talks to one of the older kids, Ty. Some of the kids are his siblings, and some of the others may be his cousins, but he’s not clear on everything. Shep tells Mark that only about half the kids had clothes.

Ruby listens nervously as Benton, Carter, and Vucelich discuss Helen’s condition nine days after her surgery. Though the surgery went fine, Helen is experiencing some complications, including paraplegia. Benton thinks she should go to a care facility. Vucelich disagrees and asks for Carter’s opinion. Carter thinks a few more days of treatment at County will do the trick. Vucelich allows him to take over the case.

Mark and Lydia examine Ty, who says he’s always made sure the kids have enough to eat. His mom gives him her food stamps when she doesn’t need them. He asks about Trey, who has cerebral palsy. Mark says he’ll check on him, asking Lydia to find a dental school that can send students to examine the kids’ teeth. (Smart thinking.) He learns from Susan and Jeanie that at least one of the kids has lice, so all the kids will need to be treated. He tells Susan she can leave, since her shift is over, but Susan wants to stick around and make sure all the kids are okay.

Doug and Malik are examining Trey, who has cigarette burns and welts. Someone better be going to jail after all this. Benton goes to the front desk to answer a page but instead runs into Al (Jeanie’s husband, not Lydia’s boyfriend). Even though Carter said that Jeanie told him she and Al are through, Al is there to pick Jeanie up for breakfast. In the midst of the crazy morning, Mark gets a summons from a process server. Jen is filing for divorce.

Pete Tuteur from the Department of Children and Family Services arrives as Jeanie, Malik, and Chuny give the kids lice treatments. Jeanie demonstrates that she’s great with kids, and one of the girls must agree with me, because she asks if Jeanie will be her mommy. Benton checks in with Carter, who hasn’t decided yet what to do for Helen. He give a nurse some instructions, ignoring her when she tells him the risks.

Pete tells Mark that a couple of the kids from the apartment are supposed to be living with their grandmother, but he hasn’t located her yet. The kids’ alleged uncle is living large on all the government payments he gets for taking in the kids. His other money comes from selling crack. Mark thinks this is an argument for welfare reform, because this situation must be the norm, and everyone must be taking advantage of the system. Shut up, Mark.

Susan needs a surgical consult for one of the kids, who has a mass. Mark tells her that Jen has served him with divorce papers, so he’ll have to get a lawyer. Susan invites him to hang out with her at home that evening, but he declines. Shep and Raul stop by again, and Randi admires how cute Raul is. Shep and Carol tell her Raul’s gay, so she’s not his type. Benton gets another page, and again doesn’t know who it’s from. Randi is no help.

Shep tells some of the staff about how horrible the conditions were in the apartment. He blames the kids’ mothers – why can’t “these people” just take care of their children? Benton and Malik take offense to the phrase, while Randi defends Shep, saying he didn’t mean anything racist. Shep says if he’d meant something discriminatory, he would have said “black people” instead of “these people.” Malik calls him David Duke anyway.

Carol jumps in as Shep goes off about personal responsibility. He points out that Benton’s a surgeon while Shep, a white guy, is a paramedic. Benton says it’s not that simple, and the system doesn’t work equally for everyone. Shep says it seems to be working pretty well for Benton. Jeanie pulls Benton away, but Malik makes sure Shep knows the argument is his fault.

Loretta comes in with her kids, Annie and Jimmy, and Mark determines that Jimmy has strep throat. The family has moved into a new house, and Loretta is still at her new job. Lydia takes the kids to the family room so Mark can talk to Loretta about some vaginal bleeding she’s been having. Jeanie brings Benton in to examine Susan’s patient, Michael, as Benton realizes that Jeanie’s the one who’s been paging him. He complains that she’s been wasting his time by not waiting around to tell him what she needs. Susan points out that things have been hectic in the ER all day.

Benton isn’t very gentle in his examination of Michael, and after he’s done and leaving in a huff, Jeanie follows. She tells him that if he’s mad, he should take it out on her, not a scared little boy. “Is that it?” Benton asks, saying possibly the worst thing he could say right now. Jeanie keeps standing up to him, finally telling him to either find a way to be compassionate or leave medicine.

Mark tends to a man named Mr. Mills who appears to have had a heart attack. Benton could learn a lot from Mark, who’s able to take charge of the patient and steer his son outside without being rude, short, or heartless. Jeanie goes to meet with her supervisor, Bobbi, who wants to go over Jeanie’s first student assessment. She’s skilled, but not assertive enough, and she may not be cut out for the ER. Jeanie thinks the assessment is from Benton, but it’s from Carol. Bobbi accepts that Carol might be annoyed that Jeanie’s encroaching on her turf, but Jeanie still needs to demonstrate that she can cut it in the ER. Jeanie promises she can.

Doug has learned that Jen has filed for divorce, and he’s surprised that Mark couldn’t make things work. What does that mean for Doug in the future? (Don’t worry, Doug. You’ll be just fine.) Susan’s still at work, and Mark tells her to leave by 5. A woman named Mrs. Proulx arrives, looking for the kids from the apartment. She’s their grandmother, and it seems like she has no idea what kind of conditions they were living in.

Carter butts heads with a nurse again, then shares a cup of coffee with Ruby. Ruby tells him about Helen’s past in musical theater. Carter admits he did Pippin and The Fantasticks in school. I can’t believe no one else is around to hear this and tease him about it later. Ruby emotionally tells Carter that he’s not ready to lose his wife.

Jeanie pulls Carol aside to talk about her assessment. Carol says Jeanie is “competent but timid.” She needs to become more aggressive to survive in the ER. Jeanie asks if she’s done something to offend Carol, but Carol promises that her critiques aren’t personal. Jeanie needs to stop waiting around to be told what to do. But Carol also doesn’t like that nurses with 20 years of experience have to answer to physician’s assistants with only a few months of training. Jeanie says that she took four years to complete two years of school because she had to work full-time. Carol doesn’t care – Jeanie has to stop looking for validation and just do her job.

Benton tells Vucelich that Helen’s paralysis isn’t getting better. Vucelich thinks it’s a small price to pay, considering how badly she needed the surgery they performed on her. Benton’s worried that he’s to blame for the complications, but Vucelich assures him that his technique was perfect. They’ll have to exclude Helen from Vucelich’s big study, though. He formally invites Benton to join the team. Mark tells Mr. Mills’ son, Howard, that his father’s prognosis isn’t good. Howard thinks he’s ready to die, especially in the wake of the death of his wife of 50 years. Benton gets some extra money and perks from joining Vucelich’s team, so his day is looking up.

Susan tells Mrs. Proulx that Trey is well enough to be taken into custody by DCFS, and he’ll be going to an emergency shelter. There will be a court hearing next week, when Mrs. Proulx can attempt to get custody. She tells Susan and Pete that the kids were living with her until a month ago, all with their own beds. Then their mother took them, insisting that she was doing better. Mrs. Proulx says their mom used to be a great parent, but drugs changed all that. She says goodbye to the kids, reminding Ty to take care of Trey. She leaves the hospital sad and alone.

Mark’s next patient is having stomach pains and thinks she just overate. He assigns Jeanie to give the patient a rectal exam and collect a stool sample. Chuny smiles to herself over Jeanie’s bad fortune until Mark tells her to help. Carter tells Vucelich that Helen’s condition still isn’t changing. Vucelich tells him that’s not important – they just need to get her “buffed up” so they can send her to a care facility. She’s not going to get better, so they just need to polish her up and send her off to be someone else’s problem. Carter worries that the things he’s tried have made Helen worse, but Vucelich reminds him that she’s dying no matter what.

In the cafeteria, Shep tries to make peace with Malik, who’s not interested in appeasing a white guy who wants to make sure the black guy likes him. Carol and Raul try to call Shep away, but he persists. Malik finally says he doesn’t think Shep is a bigot, though he clearly does. Shep loudly tells Carol and Shep how he can’t be racist because his EMT partner is Latino and they play basketball with a bunch of other non-white people. Malik manages to not laugh at him from the next table.

Benton examines Mark’s patient, Mrs. Saunders, and realizes that she didn’t overeat – she’s in labor. Her sister’s shocked since she didn’t know she was pregnant, and supposedly went through menopause. Jeanie joins Benton to deliver the baby, despite the fact that neither really knows how. Ruby thinks Helen’s doing better, and that Carter will be able to fix her up. Carter gently tells him that Helen may need long-term care. Ruby insists that Helen is strong and will eventually be able to go home with him. He appreciates that Carter, unlike his colleagues, actually cares about them.

Doug and Chuny tell Mark that Mrs. Saunders wound up having twins. In much more depressing news, Loretta has cancer. Her phone isn’t working, so Mark decides to go to her house and give her the news in person. Jeanie meets Al at Doc Magoo’s, unsure what he wants to talk about. He tells her that they should give their marriage another try. They can even have kids, like she’s wanted. Jeanie’s tired, both from her exhausting job and from how much work this relationship is. Al says he’s done playing around and is ready to get serious, but Jeanie just walks out.

As Mark looks for an address that doesn’t appear to exist, Benton tries to make up for his earlier treatment of Michael. He explains that the boy has a hernia and needs to have an operation to fix it. Michael’s scared, but Benton tells him he’ll be fine and it’s not a big deal. He even agrees to stay with Michael for a while. Mark decides to go to Susan’s after all, and the two settle in for the evening with pizza and beer. Carter is woken up by his pager, having given the number to Ruby. Ruby has some questions for his new favorite doctor, and Carter probably has some regrets about his kindness.

Thoughts: Carter looks like he’s playing dress-up in his white doctor’s coat.

Jeanie calling out Benton for acting like a child is sooooo satisfying.

Shep: “My sister dated a black guy for two years.” Ha! Shep doesn’t even have a black friend he can use for an “I have black friends” argument – he has to go with his sister’s ex!

September 18, 2018

ER 2.10, A Miracle Happens Here: A Christmas Carol

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

It’s Santa! I know him!

Summary: Shep’s alarm goes off at 5:45, and he has to be rudely awoken by some annoying Santa-themed rap. Carol’s already up and around, trying to get a fire going in her newly discovered fireplace, since the furnace went out during the night. She can’t get the flue open, so Shep suggests that they have Christmas at his place. Carol insists on having it in her new home and tries to think of ways to make it work. Shep will probably win this round, since there’s now a hole in the roof letting snow in.

Some carolers sing “Carol of the Bells” at the hospital, and their lovely voices almost make up for their hideous outfits. (The women are wearing caps with snowmen on them. If they have children, those kids are now dead from the humiliation.) The group is from the recovery wing, and they invite the ER staff to sing for them at 4 p.m. Apparently Carol made the arrangements but didn’t tell anyone. Unfortunately, no one can sing. Susan and Doug try to volunteer Mark, who’s not in yet, as he’s with the hospital’s lawyer. Sean O’Brien is suing him.

The lawyer tells Mark that the case is going to take a long time to move forward, and he plans to settle anyway. It’s better to leave Mark with a black mark on his record than for the hospital to have to pay out a million dollars. Mark heads off to find a bathroom, running into Sean and his son, who’s now about a year old. Sean definitely doesn’t want to make small talk with the man he’s suing for his wife’s death.

Some costumed skaters doing an on-ice nativity play were injured by a Zamboni, so Susan, Doug, and Harper are busy in the ER. Officer Al eases Susan’s fears by reporting that baby Jesus was played by a doll. However, the Zamboni driver appears to be drunk, so I think he’ll be spending Christmas in jail. Meanwhile, Mark will be spending it moping by himself, since his family is in Milwaukee and his wife is sleeping with someone else.

Carter wants to observe an operation Benton’s performing, but he hasn’t finished his work from the night before, since he was busy trying to comfort a patient’s family. No one’s going to be a nice person on Benton’s watch, even on Christmas Eve, so Carter doesn’t get to observe. Carol tries to round up participants for the carol singing that afternoon, but no one wants to sing. Doug mentions that the cops are charging the Zamboni with a DUI, even though he wasn’t technically driving a car. Mark dubs it a ZUI.

Benton scrubs in with a couple other surgeons who a) don’t want to make small talk with him and b) don’t even know his name. Vucelich informs them that their patient has changed his mind about having surgery, but he thinks he and Benton might be able to get him to change it back. Carol tends to a patient named Stan Calaus who cut himself while carving a wooden toy. He and his wife used to sell their goods at craft fairs; now he has a whole crew helping out, and they still have more orders than they can keep up with. Carol tells him he would make a great Santa, but he must hear that a lot.

Vucelich tells Benton that part of being a surgeon who employs cutting-edge techniques is selling his methods to patients. He lets Benton take the lead in convincing the patient, Mr. Chamberlain, to let them operate. Mark has signed up to work both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and Doug nicely offers to take one of those shifts. Mark would rather work than spend the holidays alone; Rachel will be with Jen until Christmas night.

Shep brings in an unconscious woman named Hanna Steiner who was carjacked. Mark notices tattooed numbers on Hanna’s arm, and he and Shep have to tell Malik that that means she’s a Holocaust survivor, because wherever Malik went to school growing up, the school system sucked. Mr. Chamberlain tells Benton and Vucelich that he doesn’t care what techniques they’re using; his wife, Macy, wants him to wait, so he is. Carter arrives with Macy, having convinced her that the procedure is the way to go. This is the family Carter spent the night talking to, and they love him now. Vucelich rewards him with the offer of scrubbing in.

Hanna regains consciousness and asks about Tirzah, her granddaughter. She was in the car when it was stolen. The car has been found by the police, but there was no baby inside. Mark and Haleh’s day just got a whole lot worse. They try to call Hanna’s son, but she doesn’t think that’ll do any good, since he lives far away. Mark tries to encourage her to get a CT scan while they wait for news on the baby. Hanna says something in Yiddish, and when Mark understands her, Hanna decides to defer to his medical recommendation.

Al shows Susan the ruby earrings he wants to give Lydia for Christmas. He’s uncertain about the choice, since they’re nothing that special or expensive, but Susan promises that they’re perfect for Lydia. She finds Mark fighting with Jen on the phone about wanting to keep Rachel with her a couple more days so she can go to a party with her cousins. He complains to Susan about Jen’s horrible timing in having an affair. She invites him to spend the holiday with her, Susie, and her parents, though I’m not sure that’s better than spending it alone.

Vucelich and Benton operate on Mr. Chamberlain as Carter observes closely. Vucelich thinks Benton is lucky to have a student with such a good rapport with patients. He lets Benton finish up, but Benton gets flustered since they’re rushing for a personal-best operating time. They don’t break their record, thanks to Benton, but Carter gets to help out, so at least one person in the operating room is happy. Weaver spots an old friend named Mlungisi who’s in town for a visit. She hugs and kisses him, showing more affection than she will in the entire rest of the series. Carol, Mark, Haleh, and Randi are stunned.

As a man rushes his teen son in with a bullet wound in his shoulder, Mark chats with Hanna, trying to help her stay positive that Tirzah will be found safe. She covers the numbers on her arm and tells him it’s easier to be a victim of discrimination when you’re a child because you don’t know any different. Mark notes that she’s seen the worst in people. Hanna says she’s also seen the best, like Tirzah.

Mark tries to assure her that the carjacker just wanted the vehicle, so he won’t hurt the baby. Hanna knows that the best way to get revenge on those who have hurt you is to keep living your life like they don’t own you. But then something like this happens and you remember that everything can be taken from you. Hanna admits that when she was getting her CT scan, she prayed for the first time in 50 years. She asks if Mark knows Yiddish and if he’s religious. Mark says he’s the child of a lapsed Catholic and an agnostic Jew. She teases that he’s no good to her; she can’t ask him to pray for her family. Mark says he’ll try.

The staff is supposed to go to a restaurant for a party later, but since it’s snowing and traffic isn’t moving much, Carol thinks everyone who’s still there at 4 p.m. might as well go sing with her. Susan says her voice is so bad that when she sings to Susie, the baby goes to sleep immediately as a defense mechanism. Carol says they can both just mouth the words, though that won’t be any good if no one else is singing. Carol tries to enlist Carter, but he pleads “chronic tone-deafness and acute stage fright.”

Mark agrees with Carol that Stan looks familiar – just like Jerry Garcia. Apparently it’s Show Susan the Earrings You Bought for Your Girlfriend Day, because Carter wants Susan’s opinion on the earrings he’s going to give Harper. Unlike Al’s rubies, Carter bought Harper real diamonds. He’s worried that she’ll think they’re too much, since they haven’t been dating that long. Susan says Harper will be happy that he thought to get her something so nice.

Some teens bring in a priest who was shot at his church. Jeanie is horrified that someone would shoot a priest. Weaver has arranged to take some time off so she can be with Mlungisi while he’s in town, and since Mark was already scheduled to work, it’s not a hassle. Harper and Randi try to get Weaver to tell them how she and Mlungisi know each other. Weaver just says that she had a farm in Africa.

Susan and Jeanie work on the priest, who asks to speak to Diablo, one of the boys who came in with him. Susan wants the priest to stay calm, but he insists, so Jeanie goes to get Diablo. A baby is being brought in after being found in an adult theater (oh, classy), and the police think she might be Tirzah. Mark and Doug check her over, but she seems fine, just unhappy. Hanna wanders in and recognizes her as Tirzah.

The priest tells Diablo that his shooter wasn’t from the L.G. (which we can assume is a gang). He gives Jeanie his rosary beads for Diablo. Carol checks on Stan, who’s sending off his wife and kids to finish up their work. Mrs. Calaus promises she has both their maps, the naughty and the nice. Carol tells Stan that she’s enjoyed being his nurse today; everyone else she’s encountered has been scroogey. Stan tells her she has to find the Christmas spirit within her rather than rely on other people to show it.

Carol changes her methods, telling some of the staff that she’s going to sing Christmas carols, and they can join her if they’d like. No one does, but at least she doesn’t feel grumpy anymore. Susan and Jeanie rush the priest to an elevator to take him to surgery, but they have to take him back to the trauma room when he destabilizes. The teens who brought him in are eager for information, which the staff don’t have time to provide. Hanna wisely takes Tirzah out of the room while they’re working.

Mark discovers that the bullet severed the priest’s aorta, so they get some scans. By the time Jeanie returns with the films, the priest is dead. The teens are devastated and ask for a priest to deliver last rites. In a much cheerier part of the hospital, Carol sings a respectable version of “The 12 Days of Christmas” to some patients in the recovery wing. Mark, Susan, Doug, Carter, Harper, Malik, and Lydia join her, making up their own lyrics. No one sounds good, but Carol appreciates their effort, and the patients are happy to see them.

Benton lies down in an on-call room, reciting Scripture about Jesus’ birth to himself. Lily grabs him to come take care of an elderly woman named Helen Rubadoux who may have an aortic dissection. When Carter arrives to help, Benton puts him to work doing what he does best – talking to the patient’s husband, Ruby. Carol goes looking for Stan, but he’s already left. The window in his room is open, and Carol thinks she hears sleigh bells. (Also, Stan Calaus is an anagram for Santa Claus. Sigh.)

Carter tells Ruby that Helen needs surgery, and though her odds of survival are only 50/50 because of her age, it’s necessary to give her any chance at all. He suggests a new procedure that will complete the surgery faster, lowering the odds that Helen will have a heart attack. Even better, Vucelich developed the procedure and would perform the operation himself. Ruby asks Carter if that’s what he would do, and Carter says it is, so Ruby gives his consent.

Diablo calls someone to report that the priest has died, so they need to make the L.G. pay. Jeanie hangs up the phone and reminds Diablo that the priest said it wasn’t the L.G. Diablo thinks he lied to keep a truce between gangs. Jeanie asks if the priest would want them to keep up the gang war in his name. She gives Diablo the rosary beads and tells him to help the man who always tried to help others.

Hanna’s large family has arrived with a menorah, wanting to celebrate Hanukkah with her in the hospital. Mark and Hanna both think they should leave and let Hanna rest, but the family doesn’t want her to be alone. As Vucelich and Benton prepare for Helen’s surgery, the staff learns that the snow has forced them to cancel their Christmas party. Carol says she wishes she could have everyone over to her house, but without heat, it wouldn’t be fun. Shep reveals that he spent the day fixing the fireplace, so everything’s good. Carol suddenly wishes she hadn’t invited everyone over.

Mark joins the Steiners as they light their menorah and play dreidel. One of Hanna’s granddaughters says that the letters on the dreidel mean “a miracle happened there.” Hanna’s happy that the family had their own miracle in Tirzah’s safe return. And there was a second miracle – Hanna and Mark prayed together. Hanna felt for decades that God had forsaken her, but she realized today that He’s always been with her in the form of her family. Mark decides to leave the family by themselves.

Things are very festive at Carol’s, and even Benton comes by after he finishes Helen’s surgery. Harper and Lydia admire each other’s earrings, deciding they each like each other’s pairs better. They consider switching, not thinking Al and Carter would notice, but Susan stops them. Jeanie tells Benton she was thinking about him today, knowing this is his first Christmas without his mother. He tells her she made him memorize the Bible verses he was reciting to himself earlier, and always liked to hear him say them on Christmas Eve. Benton notes that this is also Jeanie’s first Christmas on her own.

Shep finds Carol scrounging for more cups in her kitchen and announces that he loves her. That’s fine on its own, but then he goes further, saying he wants to spend his life with her and have kids with her. Okay, you’ve been dating for, like, three months. Slow down. Carol isn’t ready to make a big commitment, but she does appreciate hearing that he loves her.

Mark calls Rachel, promising that Santa will find her at her grandparents’ house. He asks if she wants to stay for the party with her cousins, knowing that if she does, he won’t get to spend Christmas with her. He promises they’ll have their own “post-Christmas, post-Hanukkah, pre-New Year’s Day celebration” when she gets there. He goes back to work as some staff have a joyful snowball fight outside the ER doors.

Thoughts: Ruby is played by the late Red Buttons. The priest is played by Tony Plana.

Clooney mouthing the final “bohm” in “Carol of the Bells” made me lose it.

Carol: “Last chance to spread some holiday cheer.” Benton: “What?” Exactly. “Holiday cheer” is a foreign language to Benton.

September 11, 2018

ER 2.9, Home: Jen Is at the Top of Santa’s Naughty List

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

I’m sure those pencils will keep him warm when he’s sleeping outside in Chicago in December

Summary: Doug’s asleep – drink! Susan wakes him up and asks him to examine Susie, who has a cough. Doug pronounces her happy and healthy, which must be because Susan’s so great with her. They hand the baby off to Connie and go to meet another baby, this one much sicker than Susie. As Haleh takes the frantic parents out of the trauma room, Doug decides that the baby can’t be saved. He has to tell Susan a couple times to stop trying to revive him. Doug gives the horrible news to the parents as Susan takes Susie back from Connie.

Carter and Harper have worked things out and are dating, or whatever the kids call it when they spend a lot of time together and hook up. They try to make out in an elevator but Benton interrupts. They get clumsy in their attempts to find a quiet place where they can be alone, then have to pretend they’re looking for someone’s films when they realize Susan is in their hiding spot. (Thank you, Susan and Benton. I didn’t want to watch that.)

Carol brings stuff in for the hospital’s Christmas drive, trying to get rid of some things her mother wants to off-load since she’s moving. Doug and Mark laugh at her old records and baton. Carter and Harper finally find a make-out spot, but it’s the hospital chapel, and they’re soon joined by some nuns. These two are definitely going on Santa’s naughty list.

Shep shaved! It’s a Christmas miracle! He thinks Carol should be sadder about her mom selling her childhood home. He’s brought in an unidentified patient who’s now drawing something in an exam area. Doug and Mark tend to a man named Ethan Brown who was hurt in a hit-and-run. He’s able to ask for his wife through his possibly broken jaw, but Mark wants him to leave on his oxygen mask and stop trying to talk.

Carol tells Shep’s patient, Mr. Sullivan, that he can’t smoke in the hospital. She and Jeanie tend to his minor wounds as he tells them he’s an architect. He doesn’t seem completely mentally aware, so Carol tells Jeanie to call psych. As Benton notices a hickey on Carter’s neck, the two of them check out Ethan. Jeanie tells Carol that she’s identified Mr. Sullivan, whose real name is Joshua Shem. He has schizophrenia and ran away from his residential home. Because it’s his third time running away, they won’t take him back.

Doug told Mark he can’t work that night, so some of the female employees wonder if he’s going on a date. He remains mum. Ethan’s wife arrive, frantic at first but much calmer when Mark assures her that her husband will be okay. A teenager comes in with her sister, Reba, who was treated for injuries at a skating rink but had a seizure on the way home from the hospital. Looks like she has a head injury that the doctor who treated the cuts on her legs didn’t discover. (That doctor will also be on the naughty list.)

A police officer who came in with Ethan tells Mark and Susan that a witness told him who was driving the car that hit him: his wife. Mark quickly tells Lydia to call security, but Mrs. Brown has already found her husband and is trying to finish what she started with her car (this time with her bare hands). Ho ho ho, Mrs. Brown is getting coal in her stocking.

Mark tells Susan he’s spending the holidays with Jen’s family, clearly a sacrifice he doesn’t really want to make. Susan checks on Reba, who says she doesn’t remember what happened, then promptly has another seizure. Carter runs into Vucelich in the bathroom and says that Benton wanted to have an interview with him, but Carter forgot to sign him up. Vucelich agrees to see Benton anyway.

Susan struggles to end Reba’s seizures, finally guessing that she’s having an allergic reaction to the lidocaine she was given at the previous hospital. Records faxed over from St. Anne’s show that she was given a toxic dose. Weaver thinks Susan should write a case report, then have the hospital pay for her to present it in Miami. Susan doesn’t think she can take time away from the ER to do the necessary research, then leave town when she has both work and family responsibilities. She worries that Mark is disappointed in her for turning down the opportunity.

Dr. Myers meets with Joshua, who declines the offer of medication. He just wants to work on his drawing and go home (though he doesn’t actually have a home). Myers can’t hold him, since he’s not a danger to himself or others, and Joshua says he can take care of himself. Jeanie thinks Myers is just checking this case off his to-do list, but Carol defends him. Myers gets dozens of cases like Joshua every day and does everything he can for his patients. They’ll just have to stall and hope they can find Joshua a new residential home.

Carter, now wearing a huge bandage on his neck, tries to rearrange his plans with Harper since he now has to stay for Benton’s interview. He still hasn’t told Benton about the interview, though. When he tries to bring up the subject, Benton says he doesn’t want to participate in the study Vucelich is interviewing doctors for. Good job, Carter!

Carol catches Joshua trying to leave and admires his drawing of an arch. He says he draws what “they” tell him to draw. She tells him about her new house, and he identifies the style and interior. He tells her there’s a fireplace she didn’t know about. Weaver asks why Joshua hasn’t been discharged, and Carol says she wants to put a sterile dressing on one of his cuts. She’s actually stalling by offering Joshua food, but Weaver’s fine with letting him warm up and have a meal.

Carol hears Doug on the phone, confirming his plans for the evening and promising the person he’s talking to that she’ll look beautiful no matter what she wears. He still won’t give any details on who he’s meeting. Mark then gets a call from a hospital in Milwaukee and learns that Jen and Rachel were in a car accident. Rachel’s fine but Jen’s hurt. Doug offers up his car keys as Mark rushes off to see his family.

Susan calls the hospital back and tries to get information on Jen, but she has no luck. It makes her wonder if County is this tight-lipped. Lydia mentions that she used to date an OR tech at the hospital, so Susan makes her call him. Carter recognizes the arch from Joshua’s drawing as the Sullivan Arch, which he’s seen pictures of in an installment at the Art Institute. Carol remembers that Joshua introduced himself as Mr. Sullivan.

Shep amuses himself by looking through Carol’s old yearbook and the things her friends wrote. He wants to rescue it from being given away. Weaver tells Susan that Morgenstern wants to talk to her about presenting Reba’s case – he’s excited for this great opportunity. Benton ruins Carter and Harper’s plans by giving them more work to do. Jeanie calls around, looking for a place for Joshua, with no luck.

Benton goes to his interview with Vucelich, which turns into a field trip. Joshua’s mother, Madeline, arrives but says she can’t take him home. He’s let go of everything in his past and won’t stay. He was going to be an architect, but a breakdown in college derailed his plans. Madeline gives Joshua some money and pencils, the old thing he still cares about.

Morgenstern helps Susan and Carter tend to a man who fell off a ladder while setting up a Christmas display. He laments that he crushed Rudolph, though he should be more upset about the long, sharp thing sticking out of his arm. I know I am. Morgenstern tells Susan how great Reba’s case sounds, but she again declines the opportunity. He reminds her that she’s a candidate to be chief resident next year. Susan knows she needs to start publishing, but she thinks she’s taken on enough responsibility and doesn’t need “extra credit.”

Mark makes it to the hospital in Milwaukee, and I guess the episode ran short because we have to see him running around instead of just going right to Rachel and Jen. Jen is stable but has a broken leg and possible internal injuries. Despite being a doctor at County, Mark has no standing at this place, so he’s kept away from her as she’s treated.

Susan gets a Christmas card from Chloe that’s full of money. Anyone else would be excited to get $3,000, but Susan isn’t appreciative. Doug, who knows all about deadbeat relatives, advises her to take what she can get. In Milwaukee, Mark finds Rachel and meets a guy named Craig, who was in the accident with her and Jen. In fact, he was driving their car when they were hit. Mark’s too distracted to understand the significance of this.

Jeanie can’t find a place for Joshua, but he’s already taken off. She wonders if she’s cut out for doing this kind of work, since her previous job as a physical therapist let her see her patients’ progress. Carol says they just have to do what they can for everyone. She finds Joshua’s pencils under his bed.

Vucelich takes Benton to an operation so he can see firsthand the work Vucelich does. Benton knows his stuff and is suddenly interested in joining Vucelich’s study. Vucelich tells him to scrub in. In Milwaukee, Jen’s doctor tells Mark that she doesn’t have internal injuries, and surgery to repair her leg went fine. Craig asks Mark to translate from medical jargon to English.

Doug’s dinner date is with his mother, Sarah, and though his relationship with his father is nonexistent, he and his mother get along well. He tells her his father called, and she guesses that he wants money or is up to something. Doug isn’t worried and promises that his father can’t touch them ever again.

Carol takes Joshua’s pencils to the Sullivan Arch, which Joshua has made his home. He says they’re all he needs, but she gives him a blanket, too, ensuring her spot on Santa’s nice list. Carter finally finishes his extra work and meets up with Harper, who’s chatting with Jeanie. She guesses that they’re dating, but Carter says they don’t have time in medical school. Harper mentions that she’s going into the Air Force after med school. Carter teases that she’s going to become an astronaut after that.

Susan runs into a neighbor while doing laundry, and doesn’t correct the neighbor when she thinks Susan is Susie’s mother. It looks like that sounds good to her. Carol puts on some music at home, and she and Shep take hammers to a wall to uncover the fireplace Joshua told her was there. They celebrate by dancing and making out to “Take a Letter Maria.”

The lyrics “take a letter Maria / address it to my wife / say I won’t be coming home” foreshadow the conversation Mark is about to have with Jen (well, if Jen were the husband and Mark were the wife). He’s figured out that Craig isn’t just a friend or co-worker or second cousin or whoever she was going to pretend he was. Jen’s in love with him. Merry Christmas, Mark: Your wife is cheating on you.

Thoughts: Joshua is played by Adam Goldberg.

Jen’s father is a reverend. WELL, HIS CHRISTIAN TEACHINGS SURE DIDN’T STICK.

Susie’s at that age where babies babble in almost-intelligible language. I love that age.

September 4, 2018

ER 2.8, The Secret Sharer: Look Who’s Talking (Whether or Not They Should Be)

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

You’re welcome

Summary: Mark rushes to a meeting with Morgenstern and Neil, who are waiting to talk to Doug about his heroics with Ben. Neil isn’t impressed, but Morgenstern says the hospital board wants to acknowledge Doug’s actions (and also thank him for all the positive publicity he’s brought to the hospital). The board is also unhappy with Neil for firing Doug, which means he’s about to get his job back. There’s a whole gala planned to praise him, too. The men offer Doug a fellowship extension, reporting to Doug, but he points out that he’s already accepted another job. They insist that they want him to stay at County.

Doug does some schedule negotiating with Mark, leaning toward accepting the offer. Meanwhile, Carter examines a boy named Wilbur who has suddenly come down with some facial paralysis. His mother comments in Spanish that Carter seems too young to be a doctor. Wilbur translates, and Carter takes it as a compliment. He assures the two that Wilbur’s condition, Bell’s Palsy, isn’t serious. He adds that he’ll be a doctor in four months. That’s not good enough for Wilbur’s mom.

Susan’s having trouble with childcare and hasn’t been able to work night shifts for a while. Mark tells her she needs to work something out; he can’t keep covering for her. Jeanie and Benton continue their chilly relationship toward each other, equally unhappy to have to spend the day in the ER together. Shep and his stupid mustache bring in a teenage girl named Julia whose brother Kyle found her after she attempted suicide. Julia refuses to talk about what happened.

An elderly woman named Mrs. Ransom sets up some knickknacks by her bed as she waits for Susan to come check her out. She may have pneumonia, but she’s very pleasant and is even willing to have her regular teatime in the ER. Doug rushes in with a boy named Alan who’s having an asthma attack, because he didn’t get to do enough heroic things in the last episode. Carter continues treating Wilbur, despite his mother’s reservations.

Julia becomes combative when Mark, Carol, and Lydia try to give her charcoal to soak up all the acetaminophen she took. Carol takes over the procedure, saying out loud how much she hates this kind of case. Once Julia’s taken care of, she goes out to chat with Shep and another paramedic, who think girls like Julia just overdose to get attention. If they really meant it, they’d use another method. Carol gives him the perfect “oh, is that so?” look, then tells him, “I really meant it.”

Susan calls her mother to ask her to look after Susie the next night. Carter and Harper’s post-breakup relationship is much better than Jeanie and Benton’s, and she’s even hopeful that he’ll want to hang out again (and possibly get back together). Carter casually declines her invitation to dinner. Doug interrupts to ask Carter about Wilbur; he thinks Carter may have missed something indicative of a more serious condition. Susan has no luck with her parents and still needs childcare for the next night.

Julia may have damaged her liver, which means she took a huge amount of pills. Mark and Carol haven’t been able to contact her parents, and she’s still not talking. Alan is doing much better, but his asthma attack was a reaction to his grandmother’s dog. Since Alan’s staying with her for the week, she’ll have to find other living arrangements for the dog. Grandma realizes that Doug is the doctor from the TV, which means Alan is going to be fine.

Haleh tells Doug that Alan’s HMO wants him transferred to another hospital across town. Doug refuses, since Alan’s condition is still unsteady. He makes a false note on the chart so the HMO will agree that his oxygen levels are falling and he’s not able to be moved. Haleh shows Chuny, who made the original note, and Chuny tells Doug she’s not going to lie for him. He again refuses to send Alan anywhere else right now.

Carol sits down with Kyle to find out why Julia might have tried to kill herself. He tells her that their mother died not long ago and their father isn’t around much. Carter tries to get in touch with Wilbur’s mother, but his lack of knowledge of Spanish makes it difficult to leave a phone message for her. He tells Mark that he’s sure he checked what he was supposed to, but he wasn’t looking for the right thing, so now he wants to follow up.

Mrs. Ransom doesn’t have pneumonia, and she’s made herself useful in the ER, looking after a baby while his mother takes a nap. Susan realizes that Mrs. Ransom could be the answer to her childcare problems. As it happens, Mrs. Ransom is looking for work, and she’s available to work nights. Mark notices the discrepancy on Alan’s chart and asks Chuny about it. She pleads ignorance of Doug’s note, only saying that if a mistake was made, it wasn’t hers.

Shep apologizes to Carol for what he said earlier, but she tells him everything’s okay. Carter is now being overcareful about tests, becoming even worse when Lydia tells him his new patient is one of Vucelich’s. Mark pulls Doug out of Alan’s room to confirm that he falsified the chart to put off the transfer. Mark knows that the HMO won’t pay his bills when they see the discrepancy on the chart. If Doug’s going to stay at County and work under Mark, he’s going to have to stop being a cowboy. Doug objects to having to work for Mark instead of with him (though he wouldn’t want to work for anyone else, either).

Carol sends Kyle out of Julia’s room so she can try talking to the girl again. On top of all her other problems, Julia’s pregnant, and Carol guesses that was the reason for her suicide attempt. She confides in Julia that she also attempted suicide, so she understands where Julia’s coming from. Julia says that everything fell apart after her mother died. Kyle would cry in bed at night, like when he was a kid. She would go in to comfort him…and now she’s pregnant. Carol connects the dots. I throw up.

Susan gets all of Mrs. Ransom’s recommendations from her nanny agency, becoming even more certain that this is going to work out perfectly. Then Jerry and Mark ruin everything by showing Susan the woman’s medical tests. Paramedic Pam Olbes brings in a Civil War reenactor whose foot was run over by a cannon. I bet that’s a new one for Mark. Kyle learns that Julia told Carol everything and panics that their father will be furious. He may even react violently, since Kyle knows he has a gun. He decides not to wait around to find out what happens.

Jeanie’s supposed to practice her sutures, so Benton gives her a patient to work on with Carter. Carter, however, is busy running countless tests on his/Vucelich’s patient, Ms. Briggs. Benton calls him an idiot and has to apologize when Vucelich comes to consult on the patient. But it turns out that she has a blood disease and needs treatment ASAP. Suddenly Carter looks smart. Vucelich even invites him to assist on an operation.

Mrs. Ransom is ready to start working for Susan right away, but Susan has bad news for her: She may have aplastic anemia. It’s terminal, and she needs to be admitted for a bone marrow biopsy. Mrs. Ransom has already had one, and apparently knows her diagnosis but doesn’t want the treatment. She still wants the nanny job, though. Susan tells her that she won’t be able to work anymore, and she needs to be admitted. Mrs. Ransom thinks she’s the one to be the judge of her own condition.

Mark takes care of the reenactor, who’s eager to go back to the battlefield. He tells Connie about his character’s accomplishments. He requests ether for anesthetic, then a bullet to bite on when that’s not available. As a last resort, he suggests that Mark send a private out to get some bourbon. “We’re fresh out of privates,” Mark replies, suggesting lidocaine instead. The reenactor decides he’s fine with the bullet. With Carter busy, Benton helps Jeanie with her sutures. She tries to make small talk, mentioning that she saw Jackie recently, and though the conversation isn’t warm, it’s not as awkward as it’s been.

Julia and Kyle’s father, Mr. Kazlaw, finally arrives as two victims of a motorcycle accident are brought in. Doug takes one patient and Mark takes the other. They disagree over which patient is more critical, and Mark makes the call that his needs a CT scan before the other. Doug examines Mark’s patient himself and says Mark’s wrong. They yell at each other for a while until Mark tells Doug to leave. He’s taking Doug’s patient and writing him up.

Carol talks to Lydia about Julia and Kyle’s…whatever, not realizing that their father can hear her. Big oops! Once Carol realizes the error, Mark tells the teens what happened and assures them that someone will stay with them in case their father becomes violent, as Kyle fears. Carol and Lydia feel horrible for what happened, and Mark tells them they’ll discuss confidentiality at a staff meeting the next day.

As Doug is leaving for his gala, Mark tries to get him to talk, but Doug ignores him. He only stops when Jerry tells him his father is on the phone. This is a surprise since Carol was under the impression that Doug and his father haven’t spoken since Doug was 12. Benton and Jeanie finish up on their patient, finally back on…well, not good terms, but much better terms. Carter joins them, and after Jeanie leaves the room, he hints that Benton should ask her out. Benton says Jeanie’s married, but Carter reports that she told him she’s divorced.

Susan goes to get Susie from the hospital daycare and is surprised to see her father playing with her. Henry disagrees with his wife’s feelings on what they should or shouldn’t be doing as grandparents, and he wants to look after Susie on the nights Susan has to work. He wishes he’d agreed to help out a long time ago.

Carter finally gets in touch with Wilbur’s mother and makes arrangements to go see him at home and make sure his condition isn’t serious. Harper still wants to have dinner, and Carter lets her tag along in exchange for a home-cooked meal. Mr. Kazlaw returns to the hospital after angrily storming out, and Carol apologizes for the way he found out what was going on with his kids. She realizes he’s holding a gun, but he asks her to take it from him.

Doug’s late to the gala, despite leaving way before Mark and Morgenstern. Morgenstern decides that if he doesn’t show up, they’ll tell the crowd that he’s out looking for more people to help. Doug sends a message to Mark letting him know he’s playing pool somewhere. He gives the speech he was going to give at the gala, acknowledging Morgenstern for kissing up to him after approving his termination, and Neil for being unqualified and mediocre at his job.

Doug gets in a dig at Mark for being self-righteous and not standing up for him when Neil fired him. Mark thinks Doug is trying to go out with a bang at County. He asks why Doug’s father called. Doug mentions that his father used to say, “If you’re going to make a mistake, make it a big one.” Yes, it’s a great idea to take advice from the man who abandoned his family, only pops in when he needs money, and will later die in a car crash that was his own fault. (Uh, spoiler.)

Jeanie goes to say good night to Benton before she leaves, but he’s not so warm-ish anymore. He wants to know why she didn’t tell him she and Al had divorced. Jeanie points out that they haven’t been talking much, so it’s not like she had a chance to say anything. She insists that her and Al’s problems had nothing to do with Benton. (I bet they had a little to do with him, though.) Carter and Harper go to Wilbur’s house for what Harper says is Carter’s first house call. He does his exam and clarifies that Wilbur is fine. His mom is still not impressed.

Mark gives a speech at the gala, praising Doug for caring so much for his patience. He’s proud to present Doug with an award for community service. Doug starts his speech, worrying Mark, but instead of railing against everyone, Doug just says that the people in his life already know how he feels about them. He just expresses gratitude for the award and gets off the stage.

Carter admits to Harper that it’s scary to think he’ll be a doctor in a few months, without anyone looking over his shoulder. Harper wants to talk about something other than work. Carter decides he’s done talking, so he kisses her. She teases that he must not be able to think of anything to say to her. They make out on the street.

Doug drops his award off a roof, to Mark’s shock. Doug says that his father called him for the first time in 22 years because he saw his son on TV. Now, Doug worries that he’s acting like his father, what with his inability to make commitments and his tendency to yell at his boss. Mark jokes that maybe the problem is him, since he doesn’t like that kind of treatment. Doug asks if the fellowship is still available, and Mark says it is.

Carol comes home to find Shep on her roof, getting rid of some rotting tiles. Unfortunately, he’s gone too far and made a big hole. Carol apologizes for blindsiding him with her admission, though Shep admits that he’s the idiot here. He promises that he doesn’t think any less of her for her suicide attempt. Mostly, he’s just glad that she didn’t succeed. Carol says she is, too.

Thoughts: Kyle is played by Austin O’Brien, who was in It Guy for a while in the ’90s.

Sheesh, Doug, at least wait longer than a day after all that praise before you pull something stupid.

Daycare lady, if a guy comes in saying he’s a kid’s grandfather, but you’re not sure because his only ID is an expired driver’s license, SEND HIM AWAY. Though on second thought, an abduction from the hospital daycare might be the only crisis this show never had.

August 21, 2018

ER 2.6, Days Like This: Aggravated Mayhem

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

“I know you’re not feeling well, sir, but we’re talking about me now”

Summary: Mark stops at a payphone somewhere downtown to call Doug and leave a message asking him to bring him some paperwork. At County, the staff is trying to handle a mass gang shooting. A man named Abraham Zimble comes looking for Carol; he’s a mobile notary and she’s asked him to sign some paperwork so she can buy a house. She doesn’t have time right now, though, so Abraham will have to wait. Susan notes that with Carter and Benton in surgery, Doug MIA, and Mark on his way in from Milwaukee, the ER staff is currently all female. Malik objects.

Unable to reach Doug, Mark goes to his apartment to get the paperwork himself. He offers to wait and go to work with Doug, but Doug nervously tells him to go on ahead. He’s unable to rush Mark out of the apartment before he can discover that Doug isn’t alone – and he’s not with Hulda or Linda. He’s with Harper. Mark blasts Doug for sleeping with a med student, warning that he could be fired. And unless Mark wants to get in trouble for not saying anything, he’ll have to report this to Doug’s superiors.

Jeanie reports for work in the ER as a physicians’ assistant. Weaver pretends that she’ll have a warm welcome, like Weaver’s own. Thanks to her history as a physical therapist, Jeanie knows how to read an x-ray, which makes Weaver happy. The person who isn’t happy is Benton, who’s shocked to see his ex in the ER. He completely ignores her.

Now at work, Mark helps out with one of the gunshot victims. Doug wants to talk, for some reason thinking this is a good time. When he doesn’t get the hint, Mark snaps at him to go away. While Jerry and Randi try to handle all the chaos, Al (the police officer, not Jeanie’s husband) brings in a gang member who bit him. The gang member, Jorge, tries to argue that he was justified, since Al’s dog bit him first. The gang member calls Randi a nasty name, so she tackles him and screams in his face. And that’s when we all learned not to mess with Randi.

Harper finds Mark after he’s done with his trauma and asks to talk to him. Abraham has become a patient, having collapsed in the cafeteria. Mark’s surprised to hear that Carol bought a house; apparently she got a great deal. Carter chats amiably with Jeanie, which makes Benton even more annoyed than he was before. Jeanie looks like, if she hadn’t already broken up with him, this would make her want to.

Carter goes off to do some dumb assignment for Benton and runs into Harper. He invites her to a Blues Traveler concert (awww, remember Blues Traveler?), but she says they need to talk. He’d rather hear what she has to say right now, though he probably changes his mind when she announces that she slept with Doug.

Al has handcuffed Jorge to a gurney while he has his hand examined. Weaver and Jeanie try to ignore him, then go take care of his wounds. Jorge reacts badly, attacking them both and trying to run away (even while he’s still handcuffed to the gurney). Randi uses Weaver’s crutch to knock him out. Weaver’s impressed, as she should be. “Just don’t tell my parole officer,” Randi replies.

Doug disagrees with Neil, his boss (who hates him), about whether or not a kid named Joseph should be admitted. Neil says no, and since he’s in charge, he gets the last word. Jerry, Lydia, and Wendy wonder what Randi did; Jerry says assault, Lydia says grand theft auto, and Wendy says kidnapping. They start a betting pool. Doug defies Neil’s orders and tells Jerry to admit Joseph.

Benton examines a man named Mr. Lake who had chest pain but isn’t feeling it anymore. Benton wants him to be seen by a cardiac surgeon, Carl Vucelich, in case he has an aortic aneurysm. Mr. Lake is hesitant and asks Susan’s opinion, since Susan was his original doctor. She defers to Benton, then pulls Benton out of the room to ask why he got involved. She suspects that he’s using Mr. Lake to get an in with Vucelich in hopes of being invited to assist on his aortic aneurysm study.

Doug runs into Harper and apologizes for the post-sex awkwardness. Harper has no hard feelings. Carol signs her paperwork as Abraham, who thinks he had a heart attack, wonders if his job is too stressful. It’s hard for him to watch people sign paperwork they haven’t fully read, then pay a bunch of money for houses they might not be able to completely afford. Carol tries to ignore him and finish signing.

Mr. Lake doesn’t need surgery after all, so Benton has to cancel Vucelich’s consult. Susan feels bad that Benton no longer has an in with him (or she at least pretends she feels bad). Mark tracks down Doug on the roof and confronts him for admitting Joseph behind Neil’s back. Doug changes the topic of conversation to Harper, insisting that he didn’t seduce her. Mark says it doesn’t matter; he still broke the rules. He also slept with Carter’s girlfriend. Doug says Carter has nothing to do with this. Mark spits out that, as usual, it’s all about Doug.

Benton’s supposed to give Weaver a few stitches (courtesy of Jorge’s attack), but she got impatient waiting and asked Jeanie to do them. She invites Benton to talk Jeanie through the process. Benton does so as if he’s trying to break a Guinness record for the fastest suture-instruction-giver. “He’s nothing if not thorough,” Weaver quips to Jeanie. Malik makes his guess for the What Did Randi Do? pool, suspecting that she was busted for breaking and entering. Chuny thinks assault with a knife is more likely. Carol tells Jerry to stop mocking Randi for an experience that must have been demoralizing and humiliating.

Vucelich comes to the ER, even though Benton canceled his consult, and tells Benton and Susan that Mr. Lake does need surgery. Benton thought his aortic dissection was within the limits for medical treatment, but Vucelich tells him to expand those limits. He spoke to Mr. Lake himself, and the patient has agreed to surgery, so Vucelich is doing it. He invites Benton to join him, and Benton allows Carter to come along.

Neil yells at Doug for admitting Joseph, and the two have a fight in the hallway, within Carol’s hearing. Neil reminds Doug that his fellowship ends on New Year’s Eve, and it’s not going to be renewed. In the OR, Carter’s pleasant personality and inquisitive nature make Vucelich and Morgenstern appreciate his presence. Benton, with his…lack of both of those things, seems like a fun-killer.

Abraham urges Carol to finish her paperwork, wondering if she’s putting it off because she’s not sure she really wants the house. Carol says she’s just busy. It’s not clear whether she’s relieved when Jeanie gets puked on and Carol has an excuse to delay the signing a little longer, but she might be. She tries to talk to Doug, who pretends nothing’s wrong.

Carter’s a little more willing to talk to Harper, who tells him she made a mistake and it won’t happen again. He notes that they only went out a few times and kissed once, so it’s not really like she cheated. She didn’t even need to tell him. Carter says it’s not that big of a deal, but to Carter, everything’s a big deal. Harper says that yesterday was the worst day of her life, what with having to help with Chia-Chia’s lumbar puncture. She wanted to end the day with someone who’d been through it with her.

Susan and Doug tend to a girl who had a seizure while trying to pretend that Doug didn’t just get yelled at by his boss. Jeanie tells Peter that she tried to avoid having to work with him, but County is the only hospital nearby with an ER rotation. He acts dismissive, and she asks if he’s going to be like that the whole time she’s there. They should try being professional and civil.

Mark meets with Morgenstern and Neil to discuss the Doug situation. Neil refuses to budge on his decision to renew Doug’s fellowship, no matter how good a doctor he is. Mark goes to bat for his friend, but Morgenstern doesn’t think anyone can control Doug, even Mark. It doesn’t matter how much he’s needed in the ER.

Mark then goes to talk to Harper, who’s worried about what the discovery of her fling means. She’s afraid that her career will be defined by one night with Doug. Without coming right out and saying it, she asks Mark not to tell anyone about the fling. Doug goes back to his seizure patient, who’s awake and agitated. Weaver tries to comfort her, demonstrating a bedside manner that’s very different from the way she talks to her colleagues. Doug thinks she could have even had a good career in pediatrics.

Jeanie deals with a patient named Mr. Stubey who really doesn’t want a nurse. Jeanie assures him that she’s not one. Then he pees on the floor. Womp womp. Benton summons Harper to help with a patient, which means she and Carter will have to be in the same room at the same time and pretend everything’s fine. You know, like everyone else working in the hospital today. As soon as Carter gets an excuse to leave, he does.

Carol catches Doug moping about his life, though he admits that it felt good yelling at Neil. He’s been at County longer than he’s ever been anywhere or with anyone, so he’s accepted that it’s time to move on. Carol offers to talk if he wants to call her later. At the admit desk, Weaver hears the pool participants bickering over whether they should ask Randi what she did. Weaver calls them wimps and asks Randi herself. Randi gives them a list: “malicious mischief, assault, battery, carrying a concealed weapon, and aggravated mayhem.” Sounds like she’s a perfect fit for the ER.

Carol’s having a light-hearted phone conversation with Shep when Lydia tells her that Abraham is crashing. Carol realizes she only has two pages left to sign, and she rushes to finish them before Abraham dies. I’m sure Susan and the nurses in the room appreciate her lack of help. Carol finishes buying her house just in time.

Doug tries to talk to Carter, who’s blowing off some steam at the hospital’s basketball hoop. Doug attempts to join the game, apologizing for sleeping with Harper and urging Carter to give her another chance. Carter said he listened to her side of things, and he needs time to make peace with what happened. Weaver realizes that the seizure patient is deaf and speaks sign language. Weaver knows some sign and is able to tell the girl, Janie, that she’s going to be okay.

Carol takes Shep to her new house, though “new” isn’t a word that’s been applied to this place in quite a while. It’s pretty clear why Carol got such a good deal. Also, it’s right under some El tracks, so it can’t be much fun to live there. Still, Carol’s excited, and Shep’s excited for her, celebrating by carrying her over the threshold.

Mark runs into Doug on an El platform and confirms that he didn’t tell Morgenstern that Doug and Harper slept together. He chastises Doug for admitting Joseph when it was clear he didn’t need to be; Doug was just pushing Neil’s buttons, the same way he’s been pushing Mark. Doug can’t – or, more likely, won’t – explain why. He just waits until Mark leaves and mopes by himself some more.

Thoughts: Vucelich is played by Ron Rifkin. Jorge is played by an unrecognizable Guillermo Diaz.

Al’s K-9 partner is named Peggy. I love it when dogs have names like that.

Suggestion for season 7 of Orange is the New Black: a cross-over featuring Randi. (Fun fact: Yvette Freeman, AKA Haleh, played one of Frieda’s Golden Girls in season 2 of OITNB.)

Shep’s mustache: NO.