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.

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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.