January 26, 2021

ER 7.21, Where the Heart Is: Go Forward, Not Back

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

Close the blinds! Don’t make this poor woman watch her brother die!

Summary: Cleo’s playing with Reese, who’s over at her house for the day. A sitter was supposed to come watch him, but since Cleo has the day off, she canceled the sitter. Benton is hesitant to let her watch his son, so he passive-aggressively notes that Reese needs a lot of attention. Yeah, most kids his age do. Let your girlfriend watch your kid instead of paying a stranger to do it. There’s a softball game that night (remember the County softball team from seasons ago?), which Cleo is playing in, and she wants Benton and Reese to come cheer her on. Benton hates fun, so he tries to use the excuse that Reese didn’t bring a jacket with him. Cleo notes that they can go to Carla’s and pick one up.

Maggie is still in Chicago, staying with Abby, and has been going to therapy. Abby’s been spending a lot of time with her, and they seem to be getting along well. Maggie thinks Abby should go spend time with Luka, though. She says Abby’s lucky to have two great men in love with her, Luka and Carter. Abby doesn’t want to approach that subject. Wait until next season, Maggie. She bugs Abby to have a real conversation with her and invites her to a therapy session. Abby refuses.

Weaver stops by Legaspi’s place and is surprised to see another woman there. Looks like Legaspi has rebounded from their relationship quickly. Mark is back at work but struggling with lack of sleep due to having a newborn. He and Abby team up to treat a seven-year-old named Ben who burned his hands. His neighbor, Mrs. Shayotovich, brought him in. Ben is very unhappy about being in the hospital, and if he were an adult, he would have been restrained by now.

Dave’s looking at new cars, trying to decide between a BMW or a Porsche. He asks Randi which she can see him in. “Most of the time, I see you walking,” she replies. Dave reveals that he’s been moonlighting at a clinic, so he’ll soon be able to afford a down payment on a luxury car. Once he can’t afford the rest of the payments, he’ll fake his own death. Heh. Weaver chastises Dave for browsing for a car instead of working. Carter quips that he still has to pass his driver’s license test.

Weaver pulls Carter into the lounge for a talk. He applied to be chief resident, but he’s still on probation, so he’s not eligible. Carter notes that his probation time will be up by the time the slot needs to be filled. Weaver asks why he wants the role anyway – what if taking on a demanding position jeopardizes his sobriety? Carter thinks he can handle it, but Weaver can’t forget about everything that’s happened. She’s surprised he thought he would even make the first cut.

Mark and Abby struggle to tend to Ben, who yells at both them and Mrs. S. She tells them that she thinks Ben was trying to put out a fire he set himself. He’s home by himself a lot. Luka wants Abby to fill in for a sick softball player, even if it means spending an evening away from Maggie. But she would rather keep an eye on her mother than have fun with her boyfriend and co-workers. Chen asks Carter what Weaver wanted to talk about. He tells her he was rejected from the race for chief resident, which means Chen will probably get it. He seems at least somewhat genuine when he says she deserves it, though not as much as he does.

Benton goes to Carla’s to get Reese’s jacket, and Carla tries to get him to stick around for a while. She reveals that Roger recently moved out. She wishes she and Benton had stayed together; it would have been better for Reese, at least. Roger told Carla he never loved her. Benton thinks he was just trying to be hurtful, but Carla wonders if they ever had a real connection. She gets flirty and tries to remind Benton of their relationship. He gets where she’s going with this and tells her to cut it out.

Cleo calls and suggests that Benton pick up something for dinner so they can have a picnic at the softball field. Reese starts to play Cleo’s piano, and she realizes he’s messing with the keyboard cover. She calls out to him to stop, but of course, he can’t hear her. The keyboard cover slams down on his hand and he cries out.

At County, Chen and Carter give Dave instructions for a patient, then laugh over what it was like being a junior resident. Weaver calls Chen in for her own meeting about the chief-resident position, and the news is the same as Carter’s: She’s not getting it. Thanks to maternity leave, Chen hasn’t done the amount of procedures and shifts needed to become a senior resident, so she’s not eligible.

Chen plans to work hard to make it up by the deadline, but Weaver tells her that hospital policy discourages that much extra work. Chen argues that the rules about eligibility are sexist and discriminatory. Weaver practically offered her the position before her pregnancy. Weaver knows, but Chen didn’t complete the program, so it’s out of her hands. Chen notes that giving the baby for adoption was a sacrifice she made for her career. She feels like she deserves further consideration. Weaver says she’ll think about it, but she obviously won’t.

Ben has finally calmed down, but he’s still a brat – he tries to grope Abby. Mark thinks he has an additional injury from a fall. He also finds a bruise behind Ben’s ear. Dave is still focused on getting a car, so Weaver sends him off to, you know, do his job. Legaspi comes to the ER and asks Weaver why she stopped by the house. Weaver wanted to give her a letter (I assume it’s the letter she was working on at the airport), but she changed her mind when she realized Legaspi has a new girlfriend.

Luka approaches as the two are finishing their conversation and asks Weaver if the two of them are okay. Abby finds Legaspi as she leaves and asks for details about the therapy session Maggie wants her to attend. Legaspi tells her it’s not an ambush and she’s free to skip it. Cleo has brought Reese to the ER, where she tells Benton and Carla that his hand is broken. He’ll have to wear a cast for a few weeks, which will hinder his signing. Carla blasts Cleo for not keeping a better eye on Reese, who needs more attention than hearing children. She yells that she doesn’t want Cleo anywhere near Reese.

While waiting for an ambulance to arrive, Luka tries to strike up some small talk with a distracted Weaver. She tells him that she and Legaspi were in a relationship, but it’s over. Luka asks if something changed, and Weaver says yes. Luka asks if she still loves Legaspi. When Weaver says yes again, Luka urges her to “go forward, not back.”

The ambulance they’re waiting for brings them Jim, a man who was hit by a car while changing a tire on the side of the road. His sister, Bonnie, is with him but doesn’t want to leave the ambulance. Bonnie, who’s developmentally disabled, enjoyed the ambulance ride so much that she wants to keep going. Weaver joins Luka in Jim’s trauma room and assures Jim that Bonnie’s not hurt.

Abby goes to the therapy session after all, arriving as Maggie and Legaspi are talking about ways Maggie can stay healthy. She wants to go back to Minnesota, where the kids grew up. She hasn’t lived there for years, but she grew up there and has family and friends there. One of her friends has already offered her a place to stay and might be able to get her a job. Once Maggie has saved enough money, she’ll get her own place.

Abby laughs at the idea of Maggie thinking she can live a normal life on her own. Maggie doesn’t want to stay in Chicago or go back to Florida, where Abby’s brother lives. She’s worried about being a drain on her children. Abby says Maggie’s plan sounds romantic, but not realistic – it’s not going to magically solve all her problems. However, Abby doesn’t have any solutions herself. She tells Maggie to go ahead and do what she wants, then leaves.

Ben’s father, Derek, comes to the ER and tells Mark that Ben is always getting into trouble. He blames the absence of Ben’s mother. Mark tells him Ben’s burns will heal, but he needs to speak to a psychiatrist before he can be released. He asks Derek if he’s noticed the bruises on Ben’s body. Derek says they must be from fights at school.

Chen chats with Bonnie as she stitches a cut on Bonnie’s forehead. Bonnie and Jim’s parents died in a car crash, but it sounds like he takes really good care of her. Weaver and Luka are having trouble stabilizing Jim, thanks to some internal bleeding, and he’s worried about his recovery, since he needs to take care of Bonnie.

Benton is on Cleo’s case about Reese’s accident, as if she doesn’t already feel bad enough about what happened. She’s annoyed that he’s acting like she deliberately let Reese get hurt. Weaver finds Bonnie wandering around, looking for Jim, who was supposed to be on his way to the OR. Instead, he’s brought back to the ER, since his blood pressure dropped. He’s barely conscious but is still more worried about Bonnie than about himself.

Legaspi has talked to Ben, who didn’t want to open up much. Mark notes that he got very quiet when Derek arrived – Ben seems terrified of him. Mark believes that Derek is abusing Ben. Weaver, Luka, and Chen work to save Jim, but he keeps declining. Poor Bonnie is in the suture room next door, watching through the window and probably not understanding what’s happening.

Abby goes for a walk with Carter and complains about Maggie and Legaspi ganging up on her in therapy. Just a week ago, Legaspi wanted to keep Maggie on the 90-day psych hold, but now she’s supporting Maggie’s plans to move away and live on her own. They turned on Abby for not agreeing to Maggie’s plans.

Carter thinks she should look at this differently than Maggie’s past crises. After all, this time she’s trying to stay well. Abby can choose to hope she’ll make it or give up, which Abby doesn’t seem to want to do. Carter went five minutes without talking about himself, so he brings up his rejection as chief resident. He acknowledges that part of facing addiction is accepting that some people won’t get over it.

Back in the ER, the doctors still haven’t been able to stabilize Jim. Bonnie comes in, objecting to Weaver shocking Jim, since she thinks it’s hurting Jim. Eventually the doctors realize they’re not going to be able to save him. Weaver and Chen take on the horrible responsibility of telling Bonnie that her brother died. She has trouble grasping the idea, and Weaver tells her she’s going to have to be brave.

Legaspi finds Abby in the lounge and asks her to give Maggie another chance. Legaspi thinks that Maggie has a good shot of turning things around this time. If Abby lets Maggie leave town without addressing their issues, neither of them will be happy. Abby doesn’t think happiness is a possibility anyway. Legaspi asks why, but Abby’s not the one in therapy, so she won’t elaborate. She will, however, consider Legaspi’s advice.

Weaver brings in Adele to deal with Bonnie’s situation; she has no other family, and she has the developmental level of a child, so she can’t live on her own. All the facilities that would be able to take her are full, so she’ll have to go to a group home. Weaver objects to that, since Bonnie won’t get the attention needs. Adele says there are no other options.

Mark needs Adele next, since Social Services wants to take Ben into emergency custody. They tell Derek that they have some suspicions about his previous injuries. Derek has excuses for everything, and Adele tells him that if they turn out to be the truth, Ben will get to go home in three days. Derek refuses to let Adele take Ben, so she yells for security to restrain him. Ben begs to stay with his father, but Adele picks him up and carries him away.

Maggie surprises Abby with dinner when she gets home from work. Abby tells her that she left the therapy session because it scares her to hope too much. Maggie understands. She knows she might not succeed, but after her suicide attempt, she realized she doesn’t want to die. Even more than that, she doesn’t want Abby to have to watch her die. Maggie is going to take control of her life, which will allow Abby to move on with hers.

Maggie thinks Abby’s putting her life on hold because of her mother. She won’t even take the night off to go to the softball game. Abby argues that she doesn’t sit things out. Maggie tells her to stop using her mother as an excuse not to do the things she wants to do in life. She should go to med school and get married. Abby notes that she did get married. Maggie tells her to get pregnant, then. Abby reveals that she did that, too. When she was with Richard, she had an abortion because she felt like she wasn’t meant to be a mother.

Realizing what Abby’s real concern is, Maggie says that her bipolar disorder first surfaced when she was a lot younger than Abby, so it’s unlikely that Abby also has it. Maggie has always kept an eye on that. Abby worries that any child she has might have bipolar, but Maggie notes that she would love that child anyway.

She guesses that Abby never told Richard about her pregnancy or abortion. Abby thinks that was the beginning of the end of the relationship; they never talked about anything. Abby was too scared to risk becoming her mother or having a child like her mother. Maggie hugs her as she cries, telling her that life is about taking risks. Otherwise, you miss out on good things, and Abby deserves those good things.

Weaver puts Bonnie in a cab to a group home, though Bonnie doesn’t completely understand why she can’t go back to her house. Somehow, Weaver is able to see Bonnie off without crying or offering to let Bonnie live with her, which I probably would have done. In happier news, softball! Luka looks goofy in a backwards baseball cap! Abby comes to the game and agrees to play. Maggie’s with her, ready to play cheerleader.

Scans show that Mark was right about an injury Derek didn’t know Ben had. Legaspi thinks he was also right about Derek being abusive. Weaver finally gives her the letter expressing her feelings. Even if Legaspi has moved on and doesn’t want to get back together, Weaver wants Legaspi to know how she feels. Mark asks Ben about his injuries, which Ben lies about. He finally says that he’s bad a lot, so he gets punished. He thinks he deserves it. Mark gently tells him he won’t be able to go home.

Malik (R.I.P. Deezer D) makes a great hit at the softball game, and Maggie cheers for Abby as she rounds the bases. Abby sits with Maggie to watch as Luka tries his hand at softball for the first time ever. Despite what Abby thought earlier in the day, the two of them are happy. Luka hits a foul ball but doesn’t know what that means, so he runs the bases anyway. Abby and Maggie let him have his moment.

Thoughts: I can’t believe I’m just now realizing this but Randi and Meghan from Felicity are basically the same person.

Way to not defend your girlfriend to your ex, Benton. Sometimes I wonder why Cleo continues to put up with him.

I’ve watched this episode multiple times over the years, and the Bonnie plot wrecks me every time.

Telling Derek they think he’s abusive right in front of Ben was a big misstep on Mark and Adele’s part. Though I guess, after the next episode, that’s going to be the least of Ben’s problems when he gets older.

January 19, 2021

ER 7.20, Fear of Commitment: Every Day Comes With Its Own Surprises

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

Weaver’s worst plot ever

Summary: Benton is at a nursing home to see Ferris, as he promised he would. He arrives just as Ferris appears to be having a heart attack. Earl and Walter are also residents there and are trying to be helpful, unlike the nurse on duty, who only does basic things like taking people’s blood pressure. The paramedics arrive, including Doris, and Benton gives them instructions for Ferris’ treatment. He rides in the ambulance with Ferris, promising he’ll be fine, even though he’s in congestive heart failure. The ambulance hits a man on a motorcycle, so now the paramedics have a second patient to transport.

Maggie is still in County’s psychiatric ward, but physically she seems fine, and psychologically she’s stable. Abby is sympathetic because she’s there on a 90-day hold, but Maggie understands it. She feels bad for putting Abby through everything she did. Benton hands the motorcyclist off to Dave, then checks on Luka, who’s taking care of Ferris. Benton returns to the motorcyclist but struggles to treat him since he smacked his hand against something when the ambulance crashed.

Legaspi stops by the ER and mentions to Abby that Maggie is on her way to the courthouse for a hearing. This is the first Abby’s hearing that Maggie is contesting her commitment. Luka has stabilized Ferris but can’t get him a bed yet. Benton promises to get things sorted out after he operates on the motorcyclist.

Abby complains to Luka that Maggie didn’t tell her about the hearing. She guesses that Maggie doesn’t want Abby to show up and testify that she should remain on the 90-day psych hold. Luka offers to go to the courthouse with Abby, but as always, she says she’s fine handling things on her own. Luka asks if she would prefer going with Carter. Low blow, but also…fair.

The staff has pitched in money to get Mark and Elizabeth a gift basket and video baby monitor. Dave objects to adding his own $50 just because that’s what the other (richer) doctors are giving. He then tries to pass the buck (…see what I did there?) on a patient he doesn’t want to have to take care of. Chen calls him on his crap and he asks if she’s PMSing. Of course, that just makes things worse.

In the OR, Benton is suturing the motorcyclist with his left hand, since he hurt his right hand in the crash. Romano busts him and takes over, noting that if anything goes wrong, Benton will be on the hook for malpractice. As Benton leaves the OR, a nurse tells him that his wife is there. (She means Carla.)

Down in the ER, Carter is treating a woman named Noni who’s pregnant but experiencing pain. In the next bed, Chen’s patient, Grainger, wants medication for a migraine he’s been unable to treat with his regular meds. He blames numbers of some kind – 80, 146, 72, 109. Carter realizes those are the numbers on Noni’s monitor, which was out of Grainger’s line of sight.

A homeless patient maces Dave for not respecting her requests not to be touched or have her belongings touched. Amazingly, we don’t get to see Chen smirking. Weaver takes the patient’s mace and tries to figure out why she seems familiar. She casually threatens to have the patient arrested if she doesn’t calm down. The patient shoots back that they used to drown redheaded babies because they thought they were evil. Weaver replies that they used to burn crazy people, thinking they were witches. I smell a buddy-comedy spin-off for these two!

Abby tracks down Rifkin, the lawyer who will be arguing that Maggie should remain on the 90-day hold. He doesn’t have all the details he needs since he just got the case that morning. They run into Nesmith, the lawyer who will be arguing on Maggie’s behalf. His defense strategy is claiming that Maggie didn’t intend to kill herself when she took all those sleeping pills. Rifkin wants to put Abby on the stand to testify that Maggie did want to die.

Carla is in the ER because she took a misstep and broke her ankle. She was carrying Reese at the time, but he’s okay. Benton chastises Carla for carrying their son while wearing heels. She’ll need surgery, but she says she can’t stay in the hospital; Roger isn’t around to look after Reese. Oh, if only there were another parent who could take care of him. Carla mentions that she and Roger haven’t been getting along well lately.

Benton offers to take care of Reese while Carla’s in the hospital, but she knows Benton moved in with Cleo and doesn’t think that would be a good environment for their child. So she never had Reese around Roger before they were married? Benton notes that Cleo is a pediatrician, the best possible person for their son to be around. Carla says Cleo doesn’t seem like the motherly type. Yeah, well, neither do you, Carla.

In court, Deraad testifies that Maggie hasn’t shown any signs of being suicidal since she was admitted to County and has followed all the recommendations for treatment. Abby is called to the witness stand next, but there’s an interruption when another patient waiting for his hearing starts complaining about how long it’s taking. Luka arrives as Abby testifies that she thinks Maggie should remain committed. The agitated patient gets more agitated and has to be removed from the courtroom.

A paramedic brings in a man who was pushed down during a fight and is, according to the paramedic, faking unconsciousness. He’s wearing a possum costume and has given his name as O. Possum. Another costumed patient IDs him as Brett and says Brett bit him. Dave has to change his clothes post-macing, so Carter gives him a white coat, which Dave normally refuses to wear. Chen cracks up, but I think it’s more at the thought of Dave being an actual doctor than at the sight of him in the coat. Lily summons Carter to tend to Noni, who’s collapsed and bleeding on the bathroom floor.

Nesmith tries to argue that Abby wants Maggie to remain committed because she doesn’t want her embarrassing, mentally ill mother living with her. Abby says that Maggie has lived with her briefly a few times before, but she always stops taking her medication and disappears. Nesmith notes that Maggie looks pretty stable right now. Abby says she’s only been taking her medications for a week; this won’t last. Nesmith gets Abby to admit that Maggie isn’t a danger to herself when she’s med-compliant. Abby says she can’t look after Maggie – after all, Maggie attempted suicide while under Abby’s care.

Carter determines that Noni is miscarrying the baby just as the baby’s father, Victor, arrives. Weaver treats Brett’s bite victim (we don’t know his name but he’s dressed as a kangaroo, so I’ll call him Kang) and asks if he and Brett are rival mascots. Kang introduces her to the mind-blowing, yes-this-is-a-thing world of furries. Brett started to take things too far while mock-grooming Kang, so Kang hit him. Weaver appears to be rethinking her career decisions.

Maggie testifies that she overdosed on sleeping pills but didn’t mean to kill herself. She just wanted to sleep through the drive from Oklahoma to Chicago. She took a few, didn’t think they were working, and took more. In the gallery, Abby tells Rifkin that she took 900 milligrams, 36 pills. Maggie apologizes to her for putting her through all of this. Abby tells Rifkin to ask her where she got the pills. The judge hushes her. Maggie insists that she can take care of herself if Abby won’t take her in. Abby comments that her credit cards have all been canceled. The judge hushes her again.

Carter sends Noni to the OR to stop her bleeding. He tells Victor that Noni’s inability to clot properly could be a sign of liver disease. He asks about any medications Noni’s taking that could have caused that, and Victor hesitantly mentions root extracts that are supposed to induce a miscarriage. Carter’s confused, since Noni seemed to want the baby. Victor admits that she didn’t know she took the extracts – he snuck them into her tea. So Victor’s definitely going to jail, right?

Weaver determines that her macing patient has a tumor on her ovary. “Every day comes with its own surprises,” the patient spits out. Weaver finally realizes why she’s familiar – she’s Princess Taffeta, a former children’s show star. “Every day comes with its own surprises” was her catchphrase. P.T. doesn’t want to be admitted to the hospital, and she doesn’t have any family members who can come be with her. She doesn’t think it matters, since in the end, everyone dies alone.

Abby takes a smoke break while court is in recess, and Luka joins her to try to assure her that her testimony went well. Maggie wants to talk to her, and Luka thinks Abby should see her. Even if Maggie doesn’t want her help, she needs it. Abby agrees, but the conversation doesn’t go well – Maggie says she doesn’t want to be a burden to Abby, but Abby doesn’t believe that Maggie is finally going to take care of herself this time. She can’t take Maggie’s word that she’ll seek treatment after her commitment time is up.

Kang tells Weaver the origins of his furry obsession (which I don’t think she asked for, dude): His boss had him dress up as a reindeer for a Christmas party, and wearing a costume made him feel free and outgoing. He’s not a plushie or a furvert, though. I think you can intuit what a furvert is; a plushie is someone who’s “overly fond of stuffed animals.”

Cleo and Dave tend to a teen named Lynda, finding marks on her back from a folk cure Dave is familiar with. It involves heating a coin and dragging it across someone’s back. He thinks the coin used on Lynda was dipped in oil of wintergreen, which can lead to aspirin toxicity. Looks like the white coat turned Dave into a real doctor after all. Carter talks with Noni after her operation, assuring her that she’ll be able to have children in the future. He can’t convince her to press charges against Victor, since she thinks he just got scared about becoming a father.

Rifkin questions Maggie about the sleeping pills she took, trying to get her to admit that she intended to kill herself. She continues to insist that she accidentally took too many (“too many” being nine times the recommended dose). She admits to stealing the pills, but only because she knew Abby wouldn’t buy them for her if she asked. Rifkin notes that Maggie has been committed twice for suicide attempts, one of which was also an overdose.

Dave asks Lynda’s grandmother about the folk treatment, but the grandmother doesn’t speak English. Benton brings Reese along as he visits Ferris, who also has Earl and Walter visiting. They’re familiar with the exploding-condom story and seem pleased to meet the culprit. Earl overhears Dave struggling to communicate with Lynda’s grandmother and offers his services – he was a translator in the Army and speaks Cantonese. Cleo and Dave discover from Lynda’s blood tests that the coining wasn’t what caused her to get sick, so they’re out of ideas. Earl provides a possible clue: Lynda’s grandmother thinks she’s possessed because she’s started having sex.

Weaver catches P.T. trying to leave the hospital without receiving treatment. She asks P.T. to speak to a psychiatrist before she signs herself out. P.T. knows she doesn’t have long to live, so she gives Weaver one of her puppets from her show, Mr. Whiskers. She says the puppet ended her potential career as a famous actress, but on the plus side, the show paid for her first house.

The judge is ready to make a ruling in Maggie’s case: She’s released on her own recognizance. The judge quickly moves on to the next case, but Abby objects. Rifkin tells her they have to move on. Abby complains that she’s the one who’s been dealing with Maggie’s issues for 30 years, and no one else understands how serious things are. The judge doesn’t have to care about what happens after Maggie leaves the courtroom. Maybe next time the judge won’t hear the case at all because Maggie’s suicide attempt will be successful.

Benton wants to stick around the hospital to make sure Ferris is taken care of, so Cleo offers to take Reese home with her until they can reach Jackie and ask her to pick him up. Benton doesn’t want to put that responsibility on Cleo, but she’s excited about hanging out with Reese for the afternoon. Dave recognizes Mr. Whiskers and thinks Weaver got him on eBay. He’s brought in a chaplain to talk to Lynda, thinking her problem is psychosomatic – she just feels guilty because her grandmother caught her messing around with her boyfriend. Cleo’s skeptical, but Dave says she just can’t admit that he outsmarted her.

Maggie returns to County to sign paperwork that will allow her release. Legaspi will only give her three days’ worth of medication; Maggie has to come back each week to get more. She’ll be staying in a shelter since Abby won’t let Maggie stay with her. Abby wishes her mother luck, knowing they’ll see each other the next time Maggie has a mental-health crisis.

Maggie says that might not happen, but Abby knows she won’t just walk away from this suicide attempt and turn her life around. When Abby saw Maggie seizing in the ER, she was sure that Maggie was going to die. This could still end that way. But Abby will always show up and try to fix things because Maggie has that power over her.

Carter has called the police on Victor, even though Noni never agreed to press charges. The law considers what Victor did murder, a crime whether Noni wants it to be one or not. Chen tries to get in touch with Grainger, but there’s no record of him with the VA. There’s also no record of the doctor she let him leave with. (There must have been a scene that was deleted.) Weaver goes looking for Mr. Whiskers and finds him with Brett, who appears to be a plushie. Poor Mr. Whiskers. Poor us.

Benton chats with Ferris about how Benton’s screw-up led him to become a doctor. Ferris says he should be proud. Benton notes that sometimes he gets so tired from his hectic life that he forgets what’s important. To him, the two most important things in the world are his son and his surgical skills. He’s a father and a doctor before anything else. Ferris asks if he’s considered teaching, but Benton doesn’t think that’s in his skill set. Ferris says caring is the only skill he needs.

Weaver goes to visit Legaspi, giving us some exposition that the harassment charges against Legaspi were dropped after Shannon admitted she’d lied. Legaspi doesn’t want to have dinner with Weaver or be friendly with her in any way, since Weaver won’t let go of her insecurities about her sexuality. Abby and Luka end the day together, and she thanks him for being there for her today. Then Maggie shows up, looking for someone to be there for her.

Thoughts: Lots of familiar faces here:

How dare the show disrespect Laura Innes with this episode’s plotline for Weaver. The woman was nominated for two Emmys for your show!

90 days seems like too long of a psych hold for someone who’s no longer in crisis. There has to be some sort of treatment facility Abby and Maggie could compromise on where Maggie could receive care and monitoring without being treated like she’s under lock and key. (In fact, in a later season, they visit a facility that would work.) Plus, if Abby thinks Maggie’s going to ditch her meds again, 90 days won’t change anything. It’ll just delay what Abby thinks is inevitable.

For the record, Carla barely acknowledges Reese when they’re together, while Cleo is always happy to see him. You can see she really likes children and get why she went into pediatrics. Unlike Carla, I would absolutely trust her to look after my child.

September 29, 2020

ER 7.4, Benton Backwards: So Men Only Turn Violent Because of Women, Eh?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 4:58 pm by Jenn

Worst first date EVER

Summary: Benton is looking for a new job now that Romano has had his privileges revoked at County. He’s not having any luck, and he’s taking it out on Cleo. She’s annoyed that he won’t talk to her about his troubles and won’t let her help him find a new job. At County, Carter’s having much more luck: He’s allowed to work on trauma cases again. He can only work on two patients at a time, which means he’ll have a lot of downtime to do things like read medical journals.

Carter’s first patient of the day is a homeless man who may not be able to be saved. Dave helps him out while asking if Carter knows anyone who could join him and his buddies for a hockey game that night (playing, not watching). Carter focuses on the patient, wanting to warm him up before they have to admit they can’t save him. Some pigeons fly out of the man’s coat as the doctors and nurses work. Carter’s the only person in the room who ignores the birds to keep shocking the patient.

The wacky mass trauma of the day is an explosion at a salon that sent a bunch of pageant contestants to the ER. Audrey (AKA Miss Skokie) is concerned that the burns on her legs will prevent her from competing that night. Malik is distracted by all the beautiful women in the ER. Dave asks him to join his hockey game, ignoring Mark when he volunteers himself, since he played hockey in college. No uncool people allowed, Mark.

Dave gives Chen a patient, calling him “daddy material.” Hush, Dave. Chen’s mom calls, and Chen tells Frank to say she’s with a patient and can’t talk. Frank refuses to lie, so Chen picks up the phone and pretends she’s been avoiding her parents because she’s busy, not because she’s hiding something. Carter’s homeless patient seems to have died, so he’s free to take a new patient, a guy who got a little sloppy with his superglue. Weaver gives him a second patient, a guy who cut his hand on a tin can.

Benton tracks down a doctor named Gottschalk who has an opening on his faculty. Dr. G. has already filled the position with someone who has excellent recommendations and references; he implies that Benton doesn’t have those things. Benton figures that Romano must have bad-mouthed him around town to prevent him from getting hired anywhere. Back at County, Weaver tries to help an elderly man, Archie, who thinks he’s about to ship out for Korea. She gives Abby instructions for his care.

Carter treats his second patient, giving him a shot to numb his pain before giving him sutures. Abby comes in to get something, and Carter mentions that he’s going to an 8:00 meeting that night, in case Abby wants to join him. Chen treats a boy named Kenneth who has a genetic disorder that has led to his spleen becoming enlarged. His mother, Mrs. Stein, wants any treatment possible to prolong his life, even though he’s end-stage. Chen agrees to talk to a surgeon about removing Kenneth’s spleen, but Mark doesn’t think that’s appropriate for his care.

Luka spots a pigeon feather in Abby’s hair and pulls it out for her. Her confidence from their kiss has diminished, but she’s still brave enough to ask him on a date. He suggests going out that night. Benton comes to County to confront Romano for getting him blackballed from every hospital in town. Romano says that there’s a per-diem position open at County, and though it doesn’t come with benefits (or respect, really), it’s Benton’s if he wants it. “You couldn’t pay me enough to work for you again, you arrogant little prick,” Benton replies. Romano advises him to work on his people skills.

Legaspi compliments Weaver’s shirt before telling her that Archie has an infection but not a psych disorder. Unfortunately, his nursing home has given away his bed. As Weaver chases away a bunch of guys who are clamoring for the pageant contestants’ attention, Legaspi says that since Archie talks like a veteran, he might actually be one, which means he’s entitled to VA benefits. She knows someone at another hospital who could help them.

Benton asks Weaver if there’s any chance he could work as a liaison between the ER and the OR. She reminds him that he stole as many patients as he could from the ER when he was a resident. Benton actually has a good idea for the position – if he taught the residents some procedures they could do in the ER, fewer of them would need surgeons. He could also expedite surgical patients and set schedules. Weaver agrees to the job…if Benton can get Romano to agree to it. Good luck, Benton.

Romano comes to the ER to talk to Chen about Kenneth, agreeing with Mark that surgery isn’t right for him. Chen wants to give Kenneth more time with his family, but Romano isn’t about to start caring about a mother’s wishes or about extending a little boy’s life. He comments on all the pageant contestants, saying the explosion is a commentary on how some people pursue beauty at all costs. They have some nice legs, though.

Speaking of legs, Audrey’s upset about hers, since it’ll be hard to hide her burns during the pageant. She tells Mark that he may find the whole thing stupid, but she’s pre-med and is trying to get a scholarship. Mark asks Malik to call someone named Ms. Pruitt, then tries to get himself recruited for Dave’s hockey game again. Dave says it’s rough (meaning Mark, who’s middle-aged, isn’t up for it), but Mark insists he’s tough enough.

Carter joins Luka to treat a patient with multiple gunshot wounds. Archie watches from the hallway until Weaver finds him. He talks about a military buddy who was killed in battle and asks if Weaver has seen war. She says she hasn’t, but he knows she’s seen people die. Weaver gently tells Archie that he can’t go back to his nursing home. He refuses to go to the VA, getting agitated at the idea. He hugs Weaver and begs her not to let them take him away.

Chen has to tell Mrs. Stein that she couldn’t get anyone to approve surgery for Kenneth. Mrs. Stein insists that he’s still aware of his surroundings, even though he’s unconscious. Chen tells her that it’s likely that he wouldn’t survive the operation. Mrs. Stein thinks Chen believes she’s selfish for trying to keep him alive as long as possible. Chen will understand once she has her own baby.

Luka and Carter have trouble stabilizing their patient, so Carter uses a stitch he probably learned from his days as a surgical intern to fix some damage. It works, and Luka and Haleh praise him for the trick. Legaspi tells Weaver that Archie is AWOL from the Korean War. He was a corporal who deserted while on leave in 1951. Now, 50 years later, the Army wants to punish him. Legally, the doctors can’t do anything for him, but it’s not like everyone on this staff always follows the letter of the law.

Benton tracks down Elizabeth, who’s been avoiding his calls because she doesn’t know what to say to him about Romano’s antics. He asks her to get the word out that he’s looking for a job. She knows of an opening in Philadelphia, so if Benton’s desperate and willing to move away, that could be a possibility. Shirley tells Benton that he’s needed in the ER – not for a patient but for his family.

Carter and Haleh are getting their patient ready to be taken to surgery when a teenage girl comes to the trauma room to check on her. She calls herself the patient’s sister, but judging from the way she pulls out a gun and fires bullets into the patient, either she’s lying or they have a really bad family dynamic. Carter is shaken and steps aside as some other staff members run in to try to save the patient. He guesses they won’t be able to.

Benton goes to the ER, where Jackie has brought her son Jesse (with Reese tagging along) in to be treated for wounds he got from a fight. Cleo is tending to him and says it’s nothing serious. Jackie’s worried because he hit his head (someone slammed him into a locker), so Cleo tries to reassure her. Luka checks on Carter, telling him that the shooter was found. She’s only 15. He suggests that Carter take the rest of the day off to recover from the trauma.

Benton thinks Jesse is just going through normal teen issues, but Jackie tells him that Jesse’s changed. He has a girlfriend who’s “pretty rough.” Jesse’s gotten violent and disobedient, even shoving his father. Jackie asks Benton to try to talk to him. Abby and Luka meet up to go on their date as Chen tries to find a surgeon who will agree to operate on Kenneth. Mark reminds her that they can’t always follow through when they give patients hope.

Dave tests Mark’s hockey skills and reflexes with crutches and a roll of bandages. Mark passes the test, so Dave allows him to play with his team. Legaspi has pulled a stunt with a dead patient’s social security number in order to get Archie admitted to another nursing home. Weaver objects, but not forcefully enough to get Legaspi to call off the plan. They learn they’re headed to the same seminar, and Legaspi offers to save Weaver a seat.

Ms. Pruitt arrives in the ER and assures Audrey that she can use makeup to disguise her wounds for the pageant. Mark decides not to tell Audrey that Ms. Pruitt normally uses her makeup skills on corpses. Elizabeth is annoyed that Mark is playing hockey instead of doing something boring with her. He never even mentioned that he plays hockey. Then there’s kissing. Like the boy in The Princess Bride, I would like to skip the kissing.

Carter takes out his frustrations of the day on a punching bag at his grandparents’ house. Millicent is surprised to see him home early; he lies that things were slow. She admits that she wanted him to feel uncomfortable being back in the ER so he would leave. That way, she wouldn’t have to ask him to. She knows Carter likes his job, but he can do it just as well in private practice. He doesn’t have to destroy himself to save others. The ER is where Lucy died, and where Carter almost did. It’s where his addiction began. Millicent thinks it’s beating Carter’s beautiful spirit out of him. Carter promises that he’ll be fine, but she doesn’t believe him.

Abby and Luka play foosball at a bar (she’s better at it than he is), and he suggests that they play pool on their next date. There’s a table in the lobby of the hotel where he lives. He gets a discount on his room rate in exchange for working as the hotel’s doctor. Abby is skeptical about how enjoyable that is, but Luka likes the arrangements – he gets maid service and all the amenities of a hotel. He invites her to come see his room sometime. But not like that! Not, like, for sex! He doesn’t want to sleep with her! He does want to kiss her, though.

Benton sits Jesse down for a man-to-man talk about how Jesse’s new girlfriend has changed his behavior. Benton has the safe-sex talk with his nephew, though Jesse says he’s not doing anything. He’s annoyed that his parents won’t treat him like the man he thinks he is. Buddy, I’m not sure your voice has finished changing, so let’s hold off on calling you a man. Benton notes that he’ll need to show his parents respect if he wants it in return.

Elizabeth tells Benton that she’s gotten him a spot as an attending in Philadelphia. Cleo isn’t as excited by the news as Benton is. It’s only an hour-long flight, so they can keep seeing each other. Abby and Luka leave the bar for a walk by the water. They’re comfortable enough with each other now to hold hands. Suddenly, a man comes up behind them, hits Luka over the head with a pipe, and demands Abby’s purse. Luka grabs the man and throws him on the ground, slamming his head into the pavement over and over until Abby makes him stop.

There’s more violence at the hockey rink, where Mark gets slammed into some boards. That will be important later. Carter returns to County, telling Weaver that it’s important for him to finish his shift. She tells him to stick to minor cases, but Elizabeth overrides that by calling him in to help her take care of the mugger.

Benton goes to Carla’s restaurant to tell her about his new job in Philadelphia. He wants to work out a visitation schedule with Reese. Carla is never going to allow Reese to fly to another state by himself – as far as she’s concerned, their joint-custody arrangement only applies to Chicago. Plus, Benton fought Carla and Roger when they wanted to move to Germany. Carla tells him that if he doesn’t stay in Chicago, he’ll have to give up custody. He made the rules, and she’s just playing by them. He throws a plate of food at the wall in protest. Sorry, whoever ordered that for dinner. You’ll have to wait a little longer because someone had a tantrum in the kitchen.

Abby thinks Luka needs sutures for the wound from the mugger’s pipe, but he wants to keep watching the team working on the mugger. A detective asks them what happened as Carter, Elizabeth, and Haleh struggle to save the mugger. The detective determines that since Luka thought his and Abby’s lives were in danger, it’s pretty clear that he acted in self-defense. Of course, being cleared legally won’t help Luka feel less guilty about hurting someone, and it won’t erase what Abby had to witness. She brings Cleo to look at Luka’s head wound, but he still won’t leave the window where he’s watching the trauma.

Out of options that will allow him to both work and keep custody of his son, Benton goes to Romano’s office to grovel. Down in the ER, Carter and Elizabeth admit defeat and declare the mugger dead. Luka walks out of the hospital without saying anything to Abby. Luka’s season-long brood-fest starts…now!

Thoughts: No one seems concerned that Jesse is suddenly several years older than he used to be, so I guess we should just ignore it.

Benton is kind of living the dream – telling off your jerky boss but still ending up with a successful career.

Romano must not have the same reputation outside of County as he does inside if people believe the bad things he says about Benton. A reference check from a jerk should never be taken seriously without an investigation.

Once again, Chen treats a boy named Kenneth who has a genetic disorder.

You know, metal detectors would be really helpful in protecting the ER staff and patients. Guess when they get installed? Season 9. Freaking A.

June 2, 2020

ER 6.9, How the Finch Stole Christmas: Instead of Toys for Tots, County General Has Game Boys for Gangsters

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

Romano must have been visited by three ghosts before this

Summary: Carol is trying to balance doing mom things with talking to her own mom on the phone. Please be aware of how difficult it is for her to take care of two newborns on her own. At County, Elizabeth is summoned to see Dean, who pretends to be in pain so he can bug her. He claims he didn’t rape or murder Sandra, and thanks to Elizabeth’s coercion, he can’t be charged with the crime. She says she wishes she could go back and do things differently. Dean wonders if she would have let him die.

A 24-year-old woman named Valerie is brought in with complications from a heart condition. She’s already on the list for a transplant. Weaver lets Lucy take charge of her care, but Lucy isn’t sure what to do. Weaver walks her through it and they stabilize Valerie. Lucy promises to get her home in time for Christmas, but Weaver pulls her aside and tells her that probably won’t happen.

On the surgical floor, Elizabeth and Benton chat about their Christmas plans; Mark is in San Diego, so Elizabeth is alone for the holiday. Benton has managed to rearrange his schedule so he can spend Christmas morning with Reese. Detective Cruson calls to give Elizabeth some news about Dean’s case.

Things are busy in the ER, and Cleo wonders if it’s always like this on Christmas Eve. A nurse named Amira tells Weaver she needs a prayer break, since it’s Ramadan and she’s Muslim. Carter goes around collecting Secret Santa gifts, and Malik reminds everyone that he wants a Game Boy. Weaver opts to sit out the gift exchange. Then she gets another kind of gift: a ton of vomit from a sick Santa.

Benton comes to examine Valerie, since Lucy thinks she’s sick enough to be moved up the transplant list. Benton agrees and tells Lucy to send her to the cardiology wing. Valerie tells Lucy that she thought about going to med school, but she couldn’t handle all the smells involve with being a doctor. She opted for a master’s in fine arts instead, though she may not make it to her graduation. She knows she’ll die without a transplant.

The puking Santa is one of a group; they’re Wall Street traders who dress up together every year and deliver presents to homeless shelters. They’re all sick from bad eggnog. The puker, Greg, says they need a Mrs. Claus, but Weaver’s not interested. Carter cracks up at the idea, so Weaver punishes him by making him give all the Santas rectal suppositories.

Luka volunteered for a double shift to let others take the night off. He and Cleo encounter Chad, who fell down the stairs while drunk. Carter treats a boy named Tommy who got his penis caught in his zipper. Tommy’s not very cooperative, so I hope Santa has already locked him in for the nice list or he won’t get any presents. Lucy interrupts Benton during an operation to talk about research she’s done on a possible treatment for Valerie. They can insert an LVAD, which will keep her heart pumping until she can get a transplant. The hospital doesn’t have a current trial program, but another hospital does, and Benton approves moving Valerie there.

Elizabeth tells Dean he’s being taken to jail because there’s evidence that he was involved in another murder. Dean gets agitated, so Elizabeth has him put in restraints. He complains of pain again, and Elizabeth thinks he’s crying wolf, but Kit thinks he has a legitimate complaint. That means he’ll be spending the holiday in County instead of jail.

Carol brings the twins to the ER, thinking Kate might be sick. The nurses are thrilled to get to see the babies. Lucy makes a call about transferring Valerie, but she can’t go until the next morning. Lucy asks Chuny about having equipment transferred to County instead. Tommy’s upset that he can’t go back to the mall to see Santa, since the mall’s closed. Carter cheers him by dressing up as Santa, though Tommy thinks he’s a fake, since he doesn’t look like the Santa at the mall. Yosh says this is Santa’s younger brother.

Carter ditches the act to go help Benton with a gunshot victim, a teen named Taylor. He pins his shooting on a guy named Loman. They find a gun on him, which Carter confiscates. Luka examines Kate but doesn’t think she’s seriously ill. He offers to do a septic workup, just to be on the safe side, and though Carol knows it’s probably overkill, she kind of wants to do it. Luka compromises with just a couple of tests. Carol asks Haleh to draw Kate’s blood, since she’s the best at it in the ER.

Cleo wants to call Chad’s father, since his mother obviously isn’t doing much to help him stay out of trouble. Chad isn’t close to his father, who moved away and started a new family. Mrs. K. arrives at the hospital after being told that her son fell and was injured…even though she was in the house at the time. She was busy with a loud Christmas party downstairs. Cleo tells her that Chad’s blood-alcohol level is .26, which I think means he should actually be dead. Mrs. K. says she let him have a drink, but Cleo notes that he had to have had more than that.

An elderly man named Howard is brought into the ER after passing out and driving into a nativity scene. Benton finds a mass that could be an aortic aneurysm. Elizabeth tells Dean that he has a clot in his leg and needs immediate surgery. Dean doesn’t want to be fixed up and sent to court; he’d rather just die. He creepily (though he does everything creepily) tells Elizabeth that he thinks about her at night. She gives him the coldest stare in history and confirms that he’s refusing surgery.

Lucy tells Benton that she got the LVAD sent to County. She may go on Santa’s naughty list, as she signed Benton’s name as the authorizing physician for a $50,000 piece of equipment. Oh, also, Benton isn’t qualified to insert an LVAD. Romano is the only one who can do it, and he has the night off. Connie disapproves of Benton’s refusal to go above and beyond for a patient. Howard starts crashing while Benton and Connie are in an elevator with him, and they shock him as the doors open on a floor where some people in Victorian costumes are caroling. They stabilize Howard, who wakes up and says he saw his late wife, Edith.

Haleh gives Carter a Game Boy for Malik, hoping this will shut him up. Carol calls her mother to let her know that she brought Kate to the hospital. Her test results still don’t show anything serious, but Carol isn’t satisfied that she’s okay. Luka agrees to do more tests. Carol admits that taking care of the babies has exhausted her more than her work in the ER ever has.

Lucy gets a hold of Romano, who’s not happy to be called so late at night (and who thinks at first that this might be a personal call, as if Lucy would ever want to hook up with him). He hangs up on her. Taylor, who only has minor injuries, asks Carter for his gun back, since it was supposed to be a Christmas present for his younger brother. Carter gives him Malik’s Game Boy instead.

Cleo calls Adele in to deal with Chad, since Mrs. K. obviously isn’t helping him (and may actually be enabling him). Benton prepares to operate on Howard, but he doesn’t want the surgery. Seeing Edith made him think she’s waiting for him, so he’s ready to die and reunite with her. Benton tries to convince him that he just had a hallucination, but Howard disagrees. Benton cautions that without surgery, he probably won’t live through the night. Howard’s okay with that, since that means he’ll get to spend Christmas with his wife.

Lucy breaks the news to Valerie that she won’t be getting the LVAD implanted. Valerie vows to tough it out until she gets a transplant. Luka tells Carol that Kate’s blood count is normal, so she probably just has a virus. Carol apologizes for being difficult, but Luka doesn’t hold it against her. It’s 2 a.m., which means it’s officially the girls’ first Christmas.

Benton tells Anspaugh and Elizabeth about Howard’s refusal to have surgery. Elizabeth brings up Dean and says she’s looking forward to getting rid of him. Anspaugh reminds her that her personal feelings have no place in the OR. He tells Benton that Howard is probably scared, and seeing Edith made him feel better. If he thought Benton understood that, Howard might listen to him. Even though both patients have the right to refuse treatment, it’s their doctors’ job to keep them alive.

Lucy goes to Romano’s house to ask him in person to perform Valerie’s surgery. He tells her he doesn’t care, so she snaps that she didn’t know what she was thinking, asking a doctor to take care of a patient. Both Lucy and Valerie need Romano’s help. A few teens come to the ER looking for Carter, having heard that he gave Taylor a Game Boy in exchange for his gun. Carter doesn’t have any more Game Boys, but he does have other presents to trade to them.

Benton goes to talk to Howard, but he’s too late – Howard died. Elizabeth, however, still has a chance with Dean. She thinks he’s risking his life just to deprive her of the satisfaction of fixing him. She tells him what he risks by not having surgery, trying to scare him. He’s not impressed and asks if that’s the best she can do. Elizabeth tells him that if he keeps ignoring her advice, he’ll have no one to blame but himself. Dean thinks Elizabeth cares about him, not as a doctor but as a woman. She lies that she does, so he agrees to the surgery.

Weaver and Lily treat a man named Thorpe who burned his hands while fixing a generator. He’s preparing for TEOTWAWKI, the end of the world as we know it. Lily thought most of the glitches had already been fixed, but Thorpe says it only takes one to cause a lot of damage. The hospital will be at huge risk. Weaver says the hospital has been inspected, but Thorpe thinks of something that might have been missed. He offers to check it out for her.

Cleo tells Chad and his mother that she’s gotten him a spot in an in-patient treatment. Mrs. K. promises to try harder to control him, but Cleo doesn’t think she can. Chad begs her to reconsider, swearing he won’t drink again. Thorpe shows Weaver and Lily that their computer system isn’t ready for 2000 after all. He flees before anything more can happen, leaving Weaver alone to fix her crashed computer. Malik is upset about the loss of his Game Boy, as well as Carter’s naïvety with a bunch of gang members who want free stuff. Carter doesn’t care since he’s getting guns off the streets.

Carol gets her first moment of silence in weeks and falls asleep in an exam room. Luka asks Connie to make sure no patients are sent in there for a while. Weaver can’t get tech support on the phone, and she’s getting worried about the hospital’s preparedness for Y2K. Santa Greg used to work in tech support and offers to download a patch to fix the computer.

Elizabeth operate on Dean, noting to Benton that she could easily make one wrong move and get rid of him. Benton gets paged to the OR next door, where Romano’s operating on Valerie. He’s impressed by Lucy and all her research on the surgery. Benton wants to scrub in, but Romano says he missed his chance. Lucy thinks Valerie could use all the help she can get, so Romano lets Benton join them.

Haleh, Connie, and Lily discuss whether 2000 is really the start of a new millennium. Chuny wonders why she’s spending so much money on New Year’s Eve plans if the new millennium doesn’t start until 2001. Carol wakes up from her nap feeling rested and grateful to her fellow nurses for looking after the girls for her. Luka offers her and the girls a ride home; he sold his boat and got a car.

Cleo visits Chad as Carter tells Weaver that he traded all the Secret Santa gifts for guns, then had to write checks as more gang members came in to trade. Now he has a Santa sack full of guns to give the police. A 17-year-old drive-by victim comes in, and Carter recognizes his name, Loman, as Taylor’s shooter. Another victim, a seven-year-old, comes in right after him; he was hit by a bullet meant for Loman. Carter tries to save the younger boy, but there’s nothing he can do.

Romano finishes Valerie’s operation, which leaves her with a clicking noise in her chest from the LVAD, but also a beating heart. Carla brings Reese by, since Benton couldn’t get to her house to pick him up. Carla reveals that when Roger asked for time off for the custody trial, he lost his chance at the promotion that would have moved them to Germany, so the custody fight can end. Benton pretends to be sorry, but he gets to keep Reese close by, so he can’t be too upset.

Officer Al has brought Taylor in with more minor injuries related to Loman and the seven-year-old’s shootings. Upset that Taylor went out, got another gun, and accidentally killed a child, Carter dumps the bag of guns on his lap and angrily tells him to take as many as he wants. Carol gets the girls back home and invites Luka to stay for some eggnog. He’s not familiar with the drink, but when he hears that it contains rum, he’s happy to try it out.

Greg fixed the computer, and he and his fellow Santas are on their way to get some bland food. Weaver recommends Doc Magoo’s, which is always open, just like the ER. Greg invites her to join them. She asks about his work and expresses interest in investing in his software company. Romano checks on Valerie, then tells Lucy that she’ll be disciplined for her actions. It’s not because she actually deserves it – he just has to maintain his reputation as a jerk. Valerie thanks Lucy for her help, calling her a doctor, even if she isn’t one officially.

Thoughts: I thought it was really sweet that Carol asked Haleh to draw Kate’s blood because she’s so good at it. I bet nurses don’t hear a lot of compliments about how well they stick someone with a needle.

The Elizabeth/Dean stuff is gross, and I don’t get the point.

Aw, remember Y2K panic? Remember how apocalyptic people thought it would be? Imagine knowing then what would happen in 2020. We would have all died of shock.

May 12, 2020

ER 6.6, The Peace of Wild Things: Father Figures

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

A fun thing to do during boring episodes is play Spot the Mulleted Nurse

Summary: Carter and Weaver run into each other on the way off the El early in the morning. There’s already an ambulance approaching the hospital, making them think this will be a busy day. At County, Mark tells them there was a fire at a nursing home, so a lot of elderly patients are coming in. Plus, there’s no desk clerk and Jeanie isn’t coming in.

Jackie’s squabbling with her teen daughter when Benton comes into the kitchen for breakfast. Jackie complains to Benton that her daughter can sink a basket from 20 feet away but can’t get her clothes in the hamper. Put a basket over it! Benton tells Jackie that Carla told him Reese might not be his son. Jackie crabs about Carla putting him through all the custody stuff when she doesn’t even know if he’s Reese’s father. Benton confides that he’s thinking about taking a DNA test, but he’s worried about the results. Jackie thinks he should find out sooner rather than later, so Reese doesn’t find out first and accuse Benton of lying to him.

Carol tracks down Meg, who’s been out of touch for a while. She has a bladder infection, so Carol wants her to come back to the hospital for treatment. She urges Meg to go to the detox program she ran out on. Meg says she quit using on her own a few days ago. Weaver demands more nurses from another part of the hospital to help with all the elderly patients, but whoever she’s talking to won’t budge. Weaver says she hopes the person gets in a horrible accident and lands in the ER so Weaver can be of no help to him or her. Ouch. On the plus side, a desk clerk named Andrew has arrived, so that’s one position filled.

Carter helps a woman named Jean find her husband, Barry, who was admitted after the fire. Carol and Lawrence both arrive in the midst of the chaos, and Weaver asks Carol to help out at the desk. Dave and Haleh tend to a woman with some breathing problems, though Dave can’t figure out what’s causing them. Haleh guides him like he’s a child until he realizes what’s wrong.

Andrew’s an aspiring comedian, so Malik urges him to practice his impressions. Carol is semi-amused by his passable Keanu Reeves impersonation. Weaver’s annoyed that Jeanie keeps skipping work and tells Malik to call her and tell her to come in and explain herself. Dave brags to Lucy that he made a tough diagnosis while doing something with a Bunsen burner in a lab. She tells him he has to jiggle the handle on the burner to get it to turn off. She adds that Haleh already told her that she made the diagnosis, not Dave.

Carter has taken over Barry’s care, and he tells Jean that they need to intubate him to help him breathe. There’s a small chance he’ll get better, but he most likely won’t. Jean wants to be optimistic and give intubation a try. Carter says Barry’s heart could be causing problems, so they should run some more tests and make sure they know what’s really wrong.

Cleo presents a patient to Lawrence, who can’t handle tending to a woman with dementia. Because he probably has dementia. Got it? Are we all on the same page? Good. Mark and Weaver smell gas and start to move people out of the trauma hallway. Mark goes into a room, tracing the source of the gas, and gets blown back by a sudden explosion.

Once Mark is determined to be okay, Weaver reports that the fire department thinks the explosion was caused by a Bunsen burner. Cleo used one earlier but is sure she turned it off. Romano comes in to ask questions and be grumpy. Carter examines a preteen boy named Eddie who has flu-like symptoms. In the lounge, the nurses check out a cake they’ve gotten for Carol’s surprise baby shower. Connie finds a pair of glasses in the fridge, and Weaver recognizes them.

Benton visits Elizabeth in her new office but can’t start a conversation before Romano interrupts. He wants Elizabeth to take one of his surgeries the next day while he deals with administrative stuff. She learns from him that Mark was involved in the explosion in the ER. Romano then shifts gears to ask how much she would pay for his sperm. He claims a sperm bank is recruiting him for a donation. Elizabeth is somehow able to keep from laughing in his face.

Weaver returns Lawrence’s glasses to him and tells him where they were. She’s definitely worried about his mental state. Carol asks Cleo for a prescription for Meg’s bladder infection, even though Meg hasn’t come in to be examined. Carter has determined that Barry’s heart is failing, which is probably what’s causing his poor health. He thinks it’s time for Jean to let him go. Jean isn’t ready to make such an important decision, but she agrees to sign a DNR.

Weaver goes to see an old colleague named Dr. Spielman, Lawrence’s previous boss. Weaver thinks he left his last job because of politics, but Spielman implies that something else was going on. Once Weaver has gotten answers to her questions, she goes back to County, where Lawrence is taking care of a stabbing victim with Dave. Whatever Lawrence’s problems may be, he still has skills, and he and Dave are able to save the patient.

Lucy overhears Chuny and Yosh talking about how Cleo could get fired for not turning off the Bunsen burner. They think she was the last one to use it. Andrew does a Christopher Walken impersonation for Benton, who’s not impressed. Neither am I, and Andrew also needs to get his movie facts straight, because he seems to think Walken played Billy Crystal’s role in The Princess Bride. Anyway, Benton takes Reese to an exam room and swabs both of their cheeks for a DNA test.

Carol goes to the pharmacy where Meg works and finds her outside, having a suspicious conversation with a guy. She’s smoking and tells Carol that her personal care is none of Carol’s business. Lucy confronts Dave over possibly causing the explosion, but Dave insists he turned off the burner. He doesn’t care that Cleo might get fired. Carter talks to Cleo about Eddie, whom he’s diagnosed with diabetes. Cleo offers to come with him to talk to Eddie’s father about his poor diet and lack of exercise.

Weaver tells Mark that Lawrence was forced out of his last job. She jumped at the chance to hire him because he was her former teacher; she clearly didn’t think about why he might have been dismissed from his job. She admits that it was because Spielman thought Lawrence was showing symptoms of having Alzheimer’s. When she asked him to undergo testing, he blew up at her and quit. Mark thinks Weaver has to fire Lawrence; he’s showing the symptoms at County, too, and could endanger patients. Weaver doesn’t think she can fire her mentor, whom she loves like a father.

Cleo tells Eddie’s father, Mr. Bernero, that there’s a trial they can get Eddie into, but the medication he requires is expensive. Mr. B doesn’t have insurance right now and can’t afford the medication and monitoring Eddie needs. Cleo tells him that if Eddie changes his diet and starts exercising, he could improve his health without the medication.

Mr. B starts a new job soon and will get insurance in a few months, so he’d like to wait until then. Cleo warns that waiting could lead to complications. Mr. B notes that diabetes would be a preexisting condition, so the new insurance may not cover it if they start treatment now. Mr. B’s mother is in an HMO and also has diabetes – can’t Eddie take her medication? Cleo won’t accept that as appropriate treatment, but Carter is okay with Mr. B’s ideas. The two of them argue about their options, and Cleo reminds Carter that if he lets Eddie leave without appropriate treatment, his life will be endangered.

Carter goes back to Barry, who’s declined quickly and will be dead soon. Mark tells Lawrence that he left a patient in the waiting area hours ago, waiting for a prescription. Lawrence writes it and hands it over without a chart or refresher on the patient’s condition. It turns out Mark set him up – the patient is an employee from accounting, and Lawrence has never seen her before. Lawrence tells Weaver and Mark that he was just confused, since he’s treated so many people today. Weaver replies that she saw Spielman. Lawrence storms out of the ER without responding.

Barry has died, and Jean kisses him goodbye and tells him how sweet he was. She thanks Carter for all his work. Carol and Reggie track down the guy Meg was talking to at the pharmacy and catch him and Meg engaging in a drug deal. Reggie and some fellow cops ambush and arrest them. Meg sees Carol in Reggie’s squad car and yells at her for her actions.

Dave finally grows a conscience and tells Weaver that he may have been the person who caused the explosion. Fortunately, the fire department found a rupture in a pipe, so no one’s to blame. Dave needs to be more conscientious of safety, though. Weaver tries to call Lawrence, who hasn’t come back. Mr. B brings Eddie’s chart to Carter and asks him to tear up the page that says he has diabetes. Carter says that’s illegal, but Mr. B is desperate and begs Carter to help. Ugh, the American healthcare system SUUUUUUCKS.

Carol tells Mark that she did something and isn’t sure it was the right thing. Mark says he did, too, possibly ruining the rest of Lawrence’s career. He offers to sit and talk with Carol, but she knows the nurses are throwing her a surprise shower. She admits that she misses Doug, but she hasn’t called him or responded to the messages he leaves when he probably knows she isn’t home. She doesn’t know what to say to him. I don’t know, maybe you can say, “Are you planning to be involved at all in your children’s lives?”

Carter pretends he misplaced a sheet in Eddie’s chart and has to fill out a new one for his patient, who only has the flu. Jeanie finally comes in and tells Weaver that she’s resigning. She’s the happiest she’s ever been and wants to spend as much time as possible with her family. Weaver is happy for her and doesn’t try to get her to change her mind. She invites Jeanie to come back to work when Carlos gets a little older.

Benton takes Reese to Carla’s and tells her he took a DNA test. He has the results already but isn’t going to open them. He was there for every step of Carla’s pregnancy and every day Reese was in the NICU. Reese is the first and last thing he thinks about every day. Benton loves him, and Reese is his son, no matter what DNA says. Benton doesn’t have much in his life, and he’s not willing to lose his child. He emotionally asks Carla not to take him away.

Carol is summoned to her surprise party and pretends she didn’t know anything about it. Malik tells Weaver that Lawrence is back and looking for her. She finds him in a trauma room, where he recites a poem about stillness and the “peace of wild things” (hey, just like the episode title!). He doesn’t get how he can remember a William Blake poem he memorized 30 years ago but not which patients he saw today. I don’t know, man, but that ain’t a Blake poem.

Lawrence admits that he started noticing symptoms about a year ago and saw a neurologist. He started taking medication to slow the development of Alzheimer’s, but clearly it didn’t do enough. Weaver encourages him to sign up for trials in the hospital, but Lawrence would rather kill himself than prolong his life like this. He accepts that he can’t practice medicine anymore. Weaver thinks he could lecture med students, but Lawrence doesn’t see the point in being a doctor if he can’t treat patients.

Seeing the woman with dementia that morning shook him – she had no clue who or where she was. Lawrence knows that’ll be him in a few years. He’ll be unable to care for himself, and no one will come visit him. Weaver cries as she says she will. Lawrence notes that he won’t know who she is. In the lounge, Jeanie clears out her locker, looks in on her co-workers at Carol’s party, and happily leaves to go home to her family.

Thoughts: I’m going to advise Lucy not to wear her hair in braids. She already looks 20; her patients aren’t going to be comforted by her young hairstyle.

Why do ER doctors need Bunsen burners in the ER? Doesn’t their hospital have lab techs? Is this like House, where the doctors always did all their tests themselves?

Carter is excellent with Jean – very patient and gentle. Exactly who you would want as your dying husband’s doctor if you were Jean.

Carol really doesn’t have anything better to do than meddle in Meg’s life? You’re about to have two babies, hon. Go buy cribs or paint the nursery or something. You can’t save everyone.

Goodbye, Jeanie, possibly the only normal person on this show. Enjoy your cool husband and cute baby.

April 14, 2020

ER 6.2, Last Rites: Mark vs. Weaver, Round 1 of 1 Billion

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

I will not apologize for finding this man attractive. I WILL NOT

Summary: Elaine enters the ER in slow motion, for some reason. She wanders around looking for Carter, because, as we know, security at County is a joke and people can just walk around whenever and wherever they want. She finds him and asks what time he’s off work. Elaine, try the phone next time.

Mark is in San Diego, cleaning up his parents’ house after his mother’s funeral reception. He checks on a sleeping Rachel, then goes to the garage, where David is making a linen chest he once promised to make for Ruth. He thanks Mark for his eulogy, and Mark says the color guard at the funeral was nice. David says that Ruth’s death doesn’t feel real yet.

A new doctor, Malucci (sorry, Dr. Dave), has started at County. He and Lucy tend to a teenager who keeps getting beaten up for dressing punk/goth. Lucy can’t believe that his principal hasn’t done something to stop the bullying. Carter tells Dave to call plastic surgery for one of the teen’s injuries, but Dave thinks he can handle it himself. We get to see more of the differences between these two when Dave gives Lucy vague treatment instructions while Carter gives her specific ones.

Dave notices his fellow newbie, Cleo, arriving at work and calls her Jackie Joyner. She tells him to get a life. Do better, Cleo. Reggie brings in a drunk guy who flirts with Jeanie. Reggie calls her his fiancée, but Jeanie tells Yosh they’re “not exactly” engaged. Romano leads a surgeons’ staff meeting, which Benton ignores to chat with Elizabeth. Romano announces that Elizabeth is now associate chief of surgery. This is news to her.

Carter treats a young woman named Amy whose cancer has spread all over her body, including to her brain, leaving her with an altered mental status for weeks. Her father, Mr. Stehly, tells Carter that she has a DNR and doesn’t want to go back to the ICU. He brought her in to be made more comfortable, but not for any other treatment.

Mark comes back from California and goes straight to work. Carter brings him into Amy’s case. Weaver has instituted a new charting system where every complaint a patient has is detailed on a different form. Sounds tedious. Elizabeth bursts into Romano’s office 15 minutes later than he expected her to come confront him. He tells her he gave her the position as associate chief because he needs her to smooth things over with their colleagues. In other words, she gets to do all the stuff he doesn’t want to do. Elizabeth doesn’t want the job, but she knows she needs to take it.

Carlos is doing a lot better and hasn’t exhibited any side effects from the HIV medications he’s started receiving. In fact, he’s well enough to be discharged. He’s going to an intake center since no appropriate foster family has been found (and his mother died yesterday). Jeanie worries that he won’t get the care he needs.

Carol assists Luka as he treats a boy with a sore throat. The boy asks about Luka’s accent, so Carol asks where he’s from (Croatia). She asks if he’s going to give the boy Tylenol for his fever. Luka says no, since fevers have a purpose. They’re the body’s natural way of fighting infection. Carol notes that Tylenol would make the boy feel better.

Benton meets with a therapist who’s been assigned to assess his family dynamic for his attempts to keep Carla and Roger from taking Reese to Germany. She asks about Benton’s feelings toward Roger. Benton doesn’t think Roger has anything to do with the custody situation, even though, you know, Reese lives with the guy. Benton is confident that Carla won’t be able to take Reese out of the country.

While doing something on the surgical floor, Carter spots Elaine as she’s about to have a consultation with Elizabeth. Carol checks on a patient named Vanessa who’s been admitted from her nursing home. Carol notices a Sacred Heart on a journal Vanessa has with her, and the two talk about their religions. Vanessa laments that her husband’s Catholicism didn’t help him at the end of his life. However, she’s so sick that she’d appreciate going to Heaven right now. Carol offers to find her a priest to talk to, but Vanessa declines.

Jeanie tells a DCFS social worker named Bob that she’d like to take Carlos in. She hasn’t been screened or trained yet, so Bob says that won’t be possible. However, he thinks he might be able to approve of her taking Carlos while they look for a foster family for him. Jeanie thinks she’ll be able to get licensed in the meantime and keep him longer. Carlos brings Reese to her meeting with the therapist, and Benton inadvertently gets a point in his favor when Reese cries over being taken away from him.

Mark and Carter do a procedure on Amy that will make her more comfortable. Elizabeth comes by and checks on Mark, asking how David is doing. Mark isn’t sure how he’ll adjust to life without his wife. He heard about Elizabeth’s new role and wonders what Romano’s up to – why did he pick her? Elizabeth’s offended and says she’s considering accepting the role. Dealing with Romano is a small price to pay for the freedom she’ll get. She tells Mark to stop being passive-aggressive about how he feels. He warns her that Romano has screwed her over in the past, so there’s no reason to think he won’t do it again.

Carter’s annoyed that Dave did his patient’s stitches on his own without calling plastic surgery. Dave says he consulted with them and they thought he did a great job. Carol brings him Vanessa’s chart, but Dave trusts whatever Carol’s done to treat her and doesn’t bother to follow up. Elaine shows up to see Carter again, pretending she had a meeting nearby and came by to ask him to lunch.

Dave runs in from the ambulance bay, asks Randi about an empty ambulance outside, then heads back out. He tells Carter that there’s a construction accident down the street. Dave grabs some supplies while Carter uses the radio to call for an ambulance whose crew is currently inside it. The two of them run to the accident site, where a man named Joe is trapped under a bunch of stuff. Carter needs to intubate him, but he doesn’t have a lot of room to work, so Dave has to serve as his eyes from a higher vantage point. By the time paramedics arrive, Carter’s done.

Amy wakes up while her father’s out of the room and begs Mark to help her: “I don’t want to die today.” She agrees to be put on a ventilator, though it’s likely she’ll never be able to come off of it. She repeats that she doesn’t want to die. Lydia reminds Mark that Amy has a DNR, but he wants to override it.

While Joe is brought into the hospital, Mr. Stehly confronts Mark for ignoring Amy’s DNR. Weaver gets involved, trying to smooth things over. She tells Mr. Stehly to get the paperwork proving Amy has a DNR. He wants Amy to be taken off the ventilator, but Weaver agrees with Mark that she shouldn’t be taken off until she can breathe on her own.

The paramedics give Dave the evil eye as Carter introduces him to Benton as a new resident. He encourages Dave to call Benton “Dr. Pete.” Ha! Dave tries to run the trauma, but Benton edges him out, then gives the same treatment instructions. When Dave objects, Benton kicks him out of the trauma room. Dave doesn’t get why someone who outranks him and doesn’t know anything about him might not trust his medical skills. Zadro tells him that if he wants to play paramedic, he has to leave his patients with the doctors after they get to the hospital.

Mr. Stehly threatens to call a lawyer, but Mark thinks his actions were justified. Weaver next moves on to breaking up a fight between Dave and the paramedics. Carter’s handling it well already, noting that the EMTs were MIA, and the site was just down the street. Another EMT points out that they could have gotten a call and would have had no idea that Carter and Dave took some of their equipment.

Zadro offers to take things outside with Dave, who’s ready to fight him. Weaver rolls her eyes at both of them and sends the EMTs off. Then she yells at Carter and Dave for ditching their responsibilities at the hospital to do a job they weren’t trained or covered for. The hospital could have been hit with a major trauma while they were gone, and they would have been down two doctors. Dave is like, “But that didn’t happen, did it? That means it’s all okay!” Weaver, whose patience with people is never above a 5 on a scale from 1 to 10, is already at a 2 with Dave.

Bob is upset to discover that Jeanie had Carlos tested for HIV without his mother’s consent. He doesn’t think it will affect her chances of becoming his foster mother, though; she clearly cares about the baby. However, his director won’t approve the arrangement. Jeanie asks if her race or HIV status are factors. Bob says race isn’t, but her HIV status doesn’t help. Not matter how Jeanie approaches the situation and how well-suited she is to care for Carlos, Bob won’t budge.

Benton tries to take Joe into surgery, but Romano banishes him back to the ER and gives Elizabeth the procedure. He reminds Benton that it was his choice to take the trauma fellowship. To add insult to injury, Elizabeth’s new role as associate chief gives her the honor of being allowed to operate by herself. Mark’s having a stressful day, but he doesn’t take Carol’s suggestion to take more time off from work. He already took a week off, as if burying his mother was a restful vacation.

Vanessa is declining and asks Carol when the priest is coming. Carol hasn’t called one, since Vanessa told her not to, but she promises to find one. Weaver learns that Jeanie wants to become a foster parent and tells her she gave Bob a great referral. Jeanie says it’s not going to work out; some things aren’t meant to be.

Weaver tells Mark that she needs a detailed record of the care Mark gave Amy. Mark snipes that her new charting system will help with that. Weaver tells him this is serious, and he’s put the hospital in a bad position. Mark notes that Amy’s over 18 and gave him clear instructions. Weaver replies that Mark overrode a signed DNR.

Carter interrupts to ask how he should treat Amy. Weaver and Mark give him different instructions, then fight about whether Amy was mentally competent to revoke her DNR. Carter’s like, “Oh, crap, Mom and Dad are fighting.” Weaver says that she’s not sure Mark is in a state of mind to be objective about his patient, so she’s taking over. Mark says she’ll have to fire him first. Weaver ignores him and tells Carter to call her if Amy codes. Mark tells Carter to call him instead.

Carol has a hard time finding a priest before Vanessa dies. She’s also looking for Dave and asks Lucy where he might be. She quips that he’s probably off doing a search-and-rescue mission with the Coast Guard. Luka is on his way out for the day but offers to stay to help Carol with Vanessa, since Dave isn’t around to approve her treatment.

Romano chastises Elizabeth for taking a conservative approach to her solo surgery. She tells him to lay off Peter and let him back in the OR. Romano says he was just messing with Benton. He does want Elizabeth to oversee Benton’s procedures, which is quite a reversal from a couple seasons ago, when Benton was Elizabeth’s boss. Romano hands over a list of people Elizabeth will need to terminate (so he doesn’t have to do it himself).

Carter asks Elizabeth about his “patient,” Elaine, and why she was on the surgical floor. Elizabeth says she came for a second opinion about a breast cancer diagnosis. She’ll need a mastectomy. Haleh calls Carter to Amy’s room, where she’s crashing. Carter wants to shock her, but Weaver joins him and refuses to let anyone resuscitate Amy. Not only does she have a DNR, but she has no chance of making a meaningful recovery.

Vanessa mistakes Luka for a priest, so he plays along, telling her that she can die in peace. Carol looks on as he gives her a blessing. Mark returns to Amy’s room and gets Carter to give her CPR, then tells Weaver that if she doesn’t let him shock Amy, he’ll quit. Weaver gives in but asks him how far he’s going to go to try to save her. She wanted a ventilator, but would she want this? Mark tells her to shut up or leave. As Vanessa dies, Amy’s heart gives out and Mark decides to declare her dead. Weaver follows him out of the trauma room, but he’s in no mood to talk to her.

Jeanie goes to see Reggie at the police station and tells him she wanted to accept when he proposed and get married right away. She didn’t because she thought it might be for the wrong reason – getting married to help her chances of getting Carlos. Now that she knows she can’t have Carlos, she’s realized that she really does want to marry Reggie. Aw, now he can call her his fiancée for real.

Carol isn’t sure about the ethics of Luka pretending to be a priest, but he thinks it’s fine since he just gave her a blessing, which anyone can do. What’s important is that she held on to her faith. He just threw out a little Latin and a little Croatian and faked it. Carol feels the babies moving around, and Luka asks if he can touch her stomach. I guess Carol learned something from Dorothy last week because she lets him. After Carter and Elaine have sex, she guesses from the way he’s looking at her that he knows why she was meeting with Elizabeth. She covers herself up and tells him to leave.

Carla tracks down Benton and asks if he hired a PI to ask her friends questions about her. Benton says he hired a lawyer but doesn’t know if that lawyer hired a PI. Carla says that Roger’s job in Germany is a great opportunity and Benton shouldn’t keep him from it. Benton says he’s Reese’s father…but Carla says he might not be. UM, WHAT? She slept with someone else around the time he was conceived. Benton firmly replies that Reese is his son, then walks away.

Thoughts: Amy is played by Paige Moss.

I know Dave is obnoxious. I know. But…he’s so cute!

I love that when Dave comes in asking about the ambulance, he tells Carter to call 911. It sounds so weird to hear someone saying that in a hospital. In fact, when they get to the site and Carter asks if anyone has called 911, a worker asks, “Ain’t you the 911 guys?” Heh.

I’m not a lawyer, but I think if Benton’s name is on Reese’s birth certificate, that’s enough for him to have legal rights.

April 7, 2020

ER 6.1, Leave It to Weaver: Another Day at the Circus

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:56 pm by Jenn

Hello, gorgeous

Summary: Carol starts out her morning by getting on an El train. Judging by the size of her stomach, it’s been a few months since “Getting to Know You.” A guy on the train recommends that she sit, then asks a 20-something guy to give up his seat. Carol says she’s fine standing, and the guy won’t give up his seat anyway. After she’s off the El, Carol almost walks in front of a couple of rollerbladers. One of them falls and gets a little scraped up.

Carol heads to a coffee shop, where the guy who wouldn’t give up his seat is first in line. (There are a lot of unnamed characters in this episode. We’ll call this guy Rudy, because he’s rude.) An older woman in front of Carol chats with her about her pregnancy, then asks to touch her stomach. Carol declines, tired of everyone wanting to touch her. The woman (we’ll call her Dorothy; she just looks like a Dorothy) is like, “Well, I asked nicely, didn’t I?” Yeah, step away, Ms. Entitled.

Instead of just making herself warm milk at home, Carol orders it at the counter. The kid behind her (Pip, because he’s a pipsqueak) says that’s nasty. He’s getting a vanilla latte. He’s, like, ten, by the way. They bicker a little. A girl’s balloon pops and Carol jumps. The girl, Michelle, demands another balloon, even though she had two. Carol is probably regretting getting pregnant at this point. One thing she won’t regret: leaving the coffee shop when she does, because seconds later, a pickup truck drives right through the front of it.

Carol hitches a ride to County in an ambulance transporting the rollerblader who fell. Rudy is also brought in, and when Benton doesn’t treat him quickly enough for his liking, he demands to speak to a manager. He recognizes Carol, whom Mark tells him is the manager. Heh. Blood loss finally makes Rudy shut up.

Weaver takes charge of the mass trauma as Randi asks when the new doctor, Kovac, is coming in. A guy with a migraine asks to be seen, but Weaver doesn’t consider him a priority. Once they’ve made sure Benton has a handle on Rudy, Carol and Mark go check on Michelle’s mother, Mrs. Kinney. She doesn’t know where Michelle is. Randi brings in a doctor named Charles Cameron who was supposed to have coffee with Elizabeth. He agrees to wait while Elizabeth works. She tells Mark she has an interview at another hospital. She’d like to save the cardiothoracic fellowship at County as a last resort.

Anspaugh has to leave Carter alone with a patient so he can take a phone call. Haleh and Chuny tell Carter that there’s a rumor that Anspaugh is quitting as chief of staff and going back to surgery. He’s tired of all the administrative stuff involved with the chief position. The guy with the migraine (Wade, after the actor playing him, because I can only be so creative today) yells for help again. I’d think that yelling would make his migraine worse, yes? Weaver asks Randi to kill him.

Carol asks if Michelle has come in. Lily says a couple more patients are on their way, even though Weaver declared County closed to more traumas. Randi tells her that Romano overruled her. Weaver tries to overoverrule him. Mark and Elizabeth work on Mrs. Kinney, who has injuries to her heart and lungs that can’t be fixed surgically. Elizabeth decides to put her on bypass. Romano stops by and recognizes Cameron, who doesn’t reveal while he’s in town.

Benton wants to take Rudy to surgery, but Romano tells him to make sure Rudy doesn’t have a clot first. Benton just loves being second-guessed in front of his colleagues. A very, very handsome man comes to the hospital and spots Michelle sitting in the back of an ambulance. He introduces himself as Luka. (Get it out of your system now: HE LIVES ON THE SECOND FLOOR. HE LIVES UPSTAIRS FROM YOU. YES, HE THINKS YOU’VE SEEN HIM BEFORE.) Michelle doesn’t want to get out, so Luka asks if he can sit with her.

Weaver helps Lucy treat a woman’s dislocated shoulder while agreeing to be her mentor. Wade continues yelling about needing help. If he’s that desperate and impatient, why doesn’t he go to another hospital? Lucy wants to focus on emergency medicine for her final year of med school, and she’d appreciate having someone to go to with questions. Weaver understands, since that helped her a lot when she was a student. Carter asks Weaver about the rumors about Anspaugh quitting as chief. Lucy has heard a worse rumor: Romano will be the new chief.

Weaver runs to Mark to ask for a chat when he has time. Right now, he and Elizabeth are starting Mrs. Kinney on bypass, which does what Elizabeth wanted it to. Mark tells Weaver that Anspaugh would have said something to him if he were leaving the chief position. Suddenly the fire alarm goes off. Everyone starts moving patients in case it’s not a drill or false alarm.

Rudy crashes, so Benton enlists Carter to help him as he does the procedure he was supposed to do in the OR. Mark and Weaver try to get everyone to evacuate calmly. Benton and Carter keep working on Rudy, more concerned with saving him than possibly getting burned up in a fire. It’s a good decision, since there’s no fire – Wade pulled the alarm to get some attention. I’m sure the sound really helps his migraine. Randi decks him.

As Chuny goes around telling everyone they don’t have to evacuate, Luka carries Michelle out of the ambulance. Carter and Benton start moving Rudy out of the ER to take him up to surgery. The gurney hits a cart, dislodging an oxygen tank, which starts spinning around. The oxygen acts like rocket fuel, sending the tank flying through the ER until it lodges in a door. Luka carries Michelle into the ER and asks if she’s ever been to the circus. When she says no, he replies, “You have now.”

Sometime later, the alarm has stopped blaring and Wade is finally being treated. Mark wants him charged with inciting a riot. Luka, who’s the new doctor Randi was asking about earlier, offers to tend to Michelle’s minor injuries. Weaver says the new pediatric resident, Cleo, will take care of her, but Cleo isn’t on yet. Luka reports that Michelle wants to see her mother. Mark says it’s not a good idea.

Weaver takes Lucy to tend to one last patient found in the rubble of the coffee shop. Cleo arrives, having jogged to work (it’s only four miles). Luka takes Michelle to see her mother, explaining how all the machines and tubes are helping her. His calm manner makes her calm as well. Carol assures her that Mrs. Kinney will be awake soon.

Benton and Romano operate on Rudy together, Romano commenting that Benton hasn’t yet said he was right about him needing surgery. Romano tries to find out if Cameron is there to interview Elizabeth for a job. “Do all our conversations have to revolve around Elizabeth?” Benton asks. Romano says that maybe they don’t need to have any further conversations at all.

The last trauma victim is too injured to save, so Mark pulls Weaver away to report what he’s heard about the rumors: Anspaugh is leaving as chief, and Romano may take over for him. Weaver knows he’s not right for the job. Luka stitches up Pip, who doesn’t get the concept of a moonlighting doctor. Luka manages to stay patient as Pip asks a bunch of questions. Finally, Pip gets that Luka is like a substitute teacher. He asks what kind of accent Luka has. “Thick,” Luka replies. (For the record, he’s Croatian.)

Paramedics bring in a baby named Carlos, whose mother was found unconscious. Jeanie takes care of the mother, who has AIDS, while Cleo tends to Carlos. He may have pneumonia. Jeanie asks if Cleo wants to test him for AIDS, but she can’t without the mother’s permission or a court order. Cleo can’t believe that a woman with AIDS would have a baby without any kind of support. Jeanie keeps quiet, then asks Haleh to add an HIV test to Carlos’ lab orders.

Carol checks in on Luka, recognizing Pip. Carol needs some stitches for a cut on her arm, so Luka does the honors. She comments that he took Michelle in to see her mother even though Mark and Weaver said he shouldn’t. Luka thinks they’re still trying to determine if he’s a good doctor. He’s worked at County a couple of times, but only enough for the others to start calling him by his first name. He hopes his suturing on Carol’s arm will make her happy enough to call him Luka.

He continues that he took Michelle to see her mother because he doesn’t believe children should be kept in the dark – it makes them more scared. Carol says he sounds like he has a lot of experience with that kind of thing. When her stitches are done, Weaver asks her to talk to the children of the last victim and let them see their mother’s body. Carol’s not familiar with the patient, and she realizes when they walk into the trauma room that it’s Dorothy.

Lydia and Connie ask Mark if he’s going to fight Romano’s possible promotion to chief of staff. He assures them that he and Weaver are meeting with Anspaugh to tell him what they think. Elizabeth is back from her interview with Cameron but doesn’t know how it went. Carol asks Mark how their relationship is going. He makes it sound like it’s casual, so Carol asks if she’ll have to beg for information. Mark says they’ve both backed off a little.

A woman named Elaine comes in with some pain after a fender-bender. Carter recognizes her as his cousin’s ex-wife. Chuny looks on as Carter examines her hand and they supposedly display sexual tension. Carter and Elaine reminisce about her wedding to his cousin, not mentioning that Carter was probably a preteen at the time. Also, she was married to his cousin. He’s hot for his cousin’s ex.

A social worker named Robert comes to see Carlos, who will need to go into foster care, since his mother may not make it. It’ll be hard to find him a foster family; he’s Latino and may have HIV, two strikes against him for couples who want healthy white babies. Those couples are really missing out because this baby is super-cute.

Benton rushes to a court-ordered mediation session with Carla, the result of a restraining order Benton got preventing Carla and Roger from taking Reese to Germany. His argument is that Reese’s language skills will fall behind if he’s not in the U.S. Carla says she’ll get him a tutor. She notes that Benton doesn’t have room for Reese, so Reese can’t stay with him. Benton says he’s moved in with Jackie to give Reese more of a family. Carla says he would have that with her and Roger, “his black mother and his black stepfather.” Benton thinks she’s mad because he dated Elizabeth.

Carter shows Elaine an x-ray of her hand, and she recites the following ridiculous dialogue: “Not much of a measure of a hand, is it? I mean, of what a hand can do?” Nothing’s broken, so she can leave. She complains that that means she can go to a Carter Family Foundation fundraiser (say that five times fast), since she has no excuse to skip it. Carter tells her he’ll be thinking of her…just in general. At the fundraiser. Not while he’s falling asleep or anything.

Weaver and Mark head to their meeting with Anspaugh, hoping that if enough people object to Romano being made chief, it won’t happen. A bunch of doctors are at the meeting, including Kayson and Deraad. Romano’s also present, which is ridiculous. No one has a good reason not to agree to make Romano chief, especially since no one else wants the job.

Mark is the first to cast a nay vote – Romano’s management style rubs people the wrong way, and his time as acting chief hasn’t gone well. Anspaugh turns to Weaver next, and she shocks Mark by saying that Romano has turned things around and has become a good leader. If he becomes chief, she’ll support him.

After the meeting, Mark confronts Weaver at the Roach Coach, but she defends her decision to back Romano for the job. Anspaugh was clearly going to give it to him, and it was politically smart for her to side with him. Romano will be their boss; he can’t see them both as enemies. Romano has apparently been nearby the whole time, unseen, and he’s happy to get to surprise them. He pulls Weaver away to discuss something.

Jeanie meets Reggie at Doc Magoo’s, and it’s clear from their conversation that they’ve stepped things up and are spending time at each other’s homes. Jeanie talks about Carlos and how sad it is that he’ll have to go into foster care. His HIV test came back positive, but Jeanie can’t disclose that since she wasn’t supposed to order the test. She’d love to take him in, but she doesn’t have a support system, so DCFS will never let her become a foster mother. Reggie says they can solve that problem by getting married. Jeanie thinks he’s joking around, but he’s completely serious.

The nurses applaud Mark in the ER, happy that he at least tried to oppose Romano’s promotion. Weaver asks to talk. Paramedics bring in a pregnant woman after a car accident, and Luka quickly determines that she’s dead, so they need to deliver the baby immediately. He has Carol reach right inside her and hold her stomach open while he extracts the baby. Carter tries to save the mother, but Luka was right, and they declare her dead. The baby, however, is fine.

Jeanie goes back to check on Carlos, who’s doing fine and is still very cute. Kit tells her that his mother has end-stage AIDS. Jeanie tells her to start Carlos on the regular HIV treatment, even though he hasn’t been tested (at least as far as Kit knows). Weaver tells Carter that not only has Romano been made chief of staff, but he’s appointed her chief of the ER. Carter’s happy to hear it. Then he’s not, because Weaver doesn’t think it would look right if he kept living in her house.

Luka returns an unused suture kit to a supply cabinet, not wanting to waste the supplies that would normally be thrown out. He checks to make sure Carol’s okay after what she had to see with the baby and dead mother. She says she feels lucky. She calls him Luka and says that, no matter what Mark and Weaver think, he’s a good doctor.

Carter meets Elaine outside the fundraiser she attended and asks her to get a drink. She’d rather do something else. No details; use your imagination. Lucy asks Weaver if there’s any extra reading she can recommend to her new mentee. Weaver doesn’t want it to look like she favors Lucy over other students, so that arrangement will have to be called off. She suggests that Lucy ask Mark to mentor her instead. Really, that’s a better idea anyway, since Mark is a good teacher.

Chuny tells Weaver that there’s a call for Mark, who’s already left for the night. It’s from David – Mark’s mother has died. Mark is taking his anger at Romano and Weaver out on some baseballs at a batting cage. Elizabeth tracks him down and praises him for trying to stall Romano’s promotion, even though it may hurt Mark’s career. Elizabeth gets in the cage and Mark cheers her on as she hits some balls. If they’d backed off each other before, they’re back on track now.

Thoughts: Elaine is played by Rebecca De Mornay.

Luka is the show’s way of apologizing for not being able to hold on to George Clooney. Show, you are forgiven.

“And then Carter hooks up with his cousin’s ex, who’s 12 years older!” is something that was actually spoken in the writers’ room.

I can’t believe Anspaugh let Romano sit in while everyone was discussing him. Of course they all supported him! They didn’t want to get on his bad side!

March 31, 2020

ER 5.22, Getting to Know You: Children, Lost and Found

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

This picture doesn’t show it really well, but the kid is super-cute

Summary: Jeanie’s walking to work when Reggie pulls up beside her in his patrol car. She’s been brushing him off for work (and because she’s been pretending she’s seeing someone else), but when he offers her a ride, she accepts. Benton and Reese have a session with the hospital audiologist, who says Reese is doing great. She wishes they had more time together. Benton tells her that his new trauma fellowship will give him more free time, so they can add more sessions. The audiologist mentions that Carla is also doing a weekly session, as is Roger, whom she calls Carla’s fiancé.

On her way to work, Weaver spots a toddler alone on the sidewalk. She asks a few people if he’s their son, but no one knows him. Back at County, Benton learns that Romano has set up the phones with codes people have to dial to get an outside line. He calls Carla to ask to talk about what he learned from the audiologist. Weaver brings in the toddler (we’ll call him Johnny Doe), who’s dehydrated and may have ingested opiates. Carol and Haleh can’t get a good vein to insert an IV, so they have to call Elizabeth for surgical access.

Lucy is late to meet Carter, Romano, and Mark in the ER for the presentation of a patient. Remember how Lucy’s on Ritalin? She clearly hasn’t taken it today. Romano is unimpressed with her patient history, which doesn’t reflect well on Carter. While Reggie talks with Weaver and Jeanie about Johnny, Elizabeth inserts an IV and discusses him with Carol. They wonder if he was abandoned or if he wandered off from drug-addicted parents who don’t even know he’s missing. Mark pops in and tells Elizabeth he brought his tux but left their tickets at home. She tells Carol they’re going to a fundraiser.

Carter chastises Lucy for being unprepared and tells her to pull herself together. She tells him she stopped taking her Ritalin. Antoine comes in after a fight, and his mother tries to assure Carter that he’s not associated with whichever gang beat him up. She’s grateful for the mentoring Carter has given her son. Antoine says he was mugged, and he thinks his facial injuries are a good excuse to skip an interview Carter set up for him for a summer science lab. His mother and Carter think he should go anyway.

Lydia chats with a patient named Celinda who makes a prediction that a man she saw in the hallway will be losing his gall bladder soon. Lydia says she’s right. Celinda’s exam bed is next to Johnny’s, and when Carol and Lydia promise that he won’t bother her, Celinda says she knows. Lydia explains to Carol that Celinda is “medically empathetic.” She’s able to determine what’s wrong with other people, though she can’t do so for herself (which is why she has to get a doctor to tell her if she has appendicitis).

Just by looking at Carol, Celinda can tell that she’s pregnant. Carol pretends she’s crazy and tells Lydia to get a psych consult. Weaver takes a picture of Johnny so they can get his image out to anyone who might recognize him. She says he was wandering around, lost, but Celinda says he looks found instead. Mark and Elizabeth are on their way to Doc Magoo’s when a car speeds toward them out of control. It’s being driven by a girl who’s sitting on her sick father’s lap.

Once he’s stabilized, Mark talks to the daughter, Sarah, since Lucy hasn’t gotten very far in getting information from her. Sarah explains that her father has epilepsy but hasn’t had a seizure in a couple of years. When he had one while driving, she took over so he wouldn’t crash. Mark pulls Lucy out of the room and asks her if she’s okay. She just says she didn’t sleep well. He notes that she’ll continue to lose sleep when she becomes a resident, so she needs to find a way to deal.

Reggie hasn’t had any luck finding Johnny’s family, and he has to leave to deal with a guy who’s standing on a van downtown, waving a gun around and threatening to kill himself. Chuny takes a message for Carol canceling an appointment with her doctor. Lydia recognizes the doctor’s name; she was Connie’s obstetrician. Chuny and Lydia realize that Carol must be pregnant. Jerry notes that the doctor is also a gynecologist, but the nurses ignore him and spread the gossip to Haleh and Yosh. They guess that if anyone would know for sure, it would be Mark.

Carol wonders how Johnny’s family could go so long not knowing where he is. Weaver reports that he tested positive for opiates. Celinda tells Carol that he’s okay, but there’s something inside him she can’t quite see. She’s still sure that Carol’s pregnant, which Carol finally confirms when they’re alone. Celinda can usually determine a baby’s sex before birth, but in Carol’s case, she can’t figure it out. After a long look, she seems to come up with some new information.

Benton meets with Carla, assuring her that he’s not upset that Roger has been taking Reese to audiology sessions. The more he works with people, the better. Carla reveals that she and Roger got married, and he’s being transferred to Germany. Benton objects to them taking Reese to another country. Carla tells him she’s Reese’s mother, and what she wants will happen.

Elizabeth wants to talk to Mark about their developing relationship. They duck into an exam room for privacy and catch Carol giving herself an ultrasound. The doctors take over for her and help her try to determine the baby’s sex. Both Mark and Elizabeth see what Celinda seemed to figure out earlier: Carol is having twins.

The nurses have spread the gossip about Carol’s pregnancy all over the ER, so everyone keeps smiling at her. Lily pulls Mark away from Jeanie and a still-struggling Lucy to tell him two people are coming in with gunshot wounds, a man who was waving around a gun and a police officer he shot. Jeanie worries that the officer is Reggie.

Weaver notices a scar on Johnny’s back, possibly from a surgical procedure. She examines him further and realizes he has a shunt, a tube draining excess fluid from his head. Celinda thinks that was the thing she kept feeling inside him. She appreciates having that mystery solved. Weaver thinks the shunt may be infected, though, so Johnny will need a spinal tap.

The shooter is brought in, but not the cop, so Jeanie continues worrying about Reggie. Jerry tells Lucy that she’s late for a session with Seth. Mark, Carter, Jeanie, and Lily work on the shooter, but his heart is too damaged for him to survive. Just as they’re calling his time of death, Reggie arrives, perfectly fine. He reports that the cop who was shot only got grazed and will be fine. Reggie’s still distraught, though – he’s the one who killed the shooter.

Seth’s mad at Lucy for forgetting about him and being late. Any progress she’s made with him has just met a setback. Carol sends Johnny’s information to all board-certified neurosurgeons in the area to see if they recognize him. She tells Elizabeth she’s in denial about her big news. Lily gives her a big smile, and Carol asks Mark about that movie where everyone turned into pod people.

Jeanie and Reggie go for a walk so he can talk about his feelings about the shooting. She admits that she’s not really seeing someone else. She tells him she has hepatitis C, but her medication is working. Reggie assures her that he could have handled that if they were dating. Jeanie says it took her a while, but she realized she’s not sick – she’s healed. What God throws at us doesn’t matter; it’s about how we handle it. Maybe the shooting today didn’t happen to Reggie, but for him.

Benton, Elizabeth, and Romano operate together, and Romano takes advantage of his captive audience to complain about Benton taking the trauma fellowship. Elizabeth says she’s accepted it and is moving on. Romano urges her to take the cardiothoracic fellowship Benton originally wanted. Antoine comes back to the hospital, this time with worse injuries. He went after the kid who mugged him earlier, and he’ll need surgery. He’ll also have to miss out on the lab he was going to interview for; his hands are both broken and he won’t be able to do the work. Carter’s mad that all his hard work has been for nothing.

Weaver asks Carol if she thinks Johnny’s parents abandoned him because he wasn’t born “normal” and needed a shunt. Obviously, having a disability and having been adopted, she’s thought a lot about that. Lucy laments blowing it with Seth, and Dr. Deraad tells her she can’t be late for their sessions again. Seth is already feeling abandoned as it is.

Elizabeth blasts Romano for mentioning the cardiothoracic fellowship in front of Benton. Romano, of course, doesn’t care about Benton’s feelings. Anspaugh is next to confront Romano, complaining about the new code system on the ER phones. Romano explains that he doesn’t want patients’ families using the phones to call other people. Plus, now they can track all calls and make sure employees can’t make personal calls. Anspaugh reminds him that a lot of the staff works long hours for little money. He can shove his phone system.

Yosh tells Lucy about Carol’s pregnancy and swears her to secrecy, as if anyone in the hospital doesn’t already know. Lucy promises to keep quiet, then takes some Ritalin. She runs into Carter (literally), who tells her he’s happy she stopped taking the pills. He wants her to succeed. Lucy thinks he just wants to be seen as a good teacher. Carter wants her to be a perfect reflection of him, and she can’t do that.

Elizabeth tells Benton that Romano was a jerk in the OR, but Benton doesn’t care. He’s more concerned with the possibility of Carla taking Reese out of the country. He vows to keep her from leaving. Jerry gives Carol a fax, and she tells him she knows he knows. She takes the fax to Weaver, along with Johnny’s real name, Jack. His neurosurgeon recognized him and called his parents, who are on their way in. They’re frantic – Jack was kidnapped by his nanny a few weeks ago. Weaver’s happy that Jack gets to go home, but maybe a little disappointed to lose her little buddy.

Benton goes to Carla’s and tells the babysitter that Carla will be home late, so he’s taking Reese to his place. Carter smooths things over with Antoine, saying he just wants the best for him. He thinks Antoine’s mom is better at appreciating who he is. Antoine complains that his mom wants him to grow up to be just like her. Carter says his parents are the same – they want him to be a rich white guy. Antoine’s like, “Oh, poor you.” Carter tells him he’ll get another chance to do something like the summer lab.

Mark and Elizabeth are on their way out for the fundraiser, but when they run into Carol leaving as well, they come up with excuses to keep them in the hospital a little longer. Then they run outside to join the rest of the staff, who’ve gathered to surprise Carol with an impromptu baby shower. She announces that she’s having twins, and was already feeling overwhelmed before that and wasn’t sure how to tell people she was pregnant. She’s happy to be able to share the news with her friends.

Carla leaves a message on Benton’s answering machine, looking for Reese, but Benton ignores her. Mark and Elizabeth missed the boat the fundraiser was taking place on, so they head to an amusement park instead. Elizabeth wants to make sure they’re not jumping into a relationship like she did with Benton. She’s not used to being caught off-balance like she has been by this. Mark tells her he doesn’t know where things are going, but he feels like he’s found something amazing. He wants to get to know her better and not be scared of what might happen. He doesn’t want to miss another boat.

Thoughts: Celinda is played by Teri Garr.

Weaver may be brusque with adults but she’s really good with kids.

Instead of a lost and found, the ER has a lost-and-now-it’s-ours box. Heh.

I’m a third of the way through the series! Up next: Luka, Abby, Carol’s departure, and the most shocking episode of the series that doesn’t involve a helicopter.

December 3, 2019

ER 5.5, Masquerade: The Scariest Thing This Halloween Is the Stupidity of the Future Doctors of America

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

Peter Benton (can ya dig it?)

Summary: It’s Halloween, and Jerry’s plotting something. He stashes something behind a Dumpster in the ambulance bay, then tries to pretend he didn’t. Mark and Chuny meet an ambulance bringing in a woman named Coco who’s babbling. She claims to be pregnant, but the paramedics don’t think she is. Jerry calls someone to report that their plan is in motion.

Weaver tells Lydia that the night shift isn’t wearing costumes this year, since they might scare the patients. I don’t think Lydia’s French-maid costume will scare anyone, except maybe a patient who thinks he or she is being treated by an actual maid instead of a certified nurse. Weaver suggests festive pins instead. She thanks Randi for reading her memo about costumes, but Randi, who’s wearing a suit not unlike one Weaver might wear, has dressed up as “a total stiff.”

Yosh sends Doug to the new pediatric area of the ER, telling him there’s a child with puncture wounds. It’s just a prank organized by Carol, who wants to kiss her boyfriend with vampire fangs. He’s not amused, which is pretty interesting since, as Carol points out, he’s pulled plenty of pranks in the past. He wants to be more serious now that he’s an attending. He’s also asserting some power by insisting on signing off on all pediatric patients. That means he’ll be looking over Mark and Weaver’s shoulders.

Mark asks Carol to help him with Coco, who continues to claim to be nine months pregnant without any evidence. Mark asks for a tox screen and psych consult. Elizabeth has dressed up as a milkmaid, I guess, because she loves Halloween. Benton teases her for thinking that Halloween involves romantic hayrides. After all, they’re in Chicago. He says he has something against costumes. Elizabeth is sure that when he was a kid, there was someone he wanted to be. Benton claims there wasn’t. Dale ruins Elizabeth’s bad mood by giving her annoying work to do.

Weaver brushes off a man who comes to the ER looking for Mark; she’s busy trying to get a computer to work. Lily brings a wheelchair and some medical supplies into the ER, saying she found them in the ambulance bay. Jerry offers to take care of putting it away, then takes it right back outside. Carter arrives with Roxanne, who’s going to a teamster party that night, which gives her an excuse not to help Carter chaperone a dorm party. Lucy catches them as they’re about to make out, and she doesn’t get the hint that Carter wants her to go away. He gives her a fake arm so she can practice inserting IVs.

Weaver gives Carter a bunch of files so he can present a case at a conference the next day. She notes that it would be good experience for someone who eventually wants to be chief resident. Paramedics bring in a drunk man named Joe who claims he wants to quit drinking. Carter tells Lucy to set him up for detox.

Mark meets up with the man who was looking for him, Dan Litvak, a potential new chief for County. Weaver recognizes his name and beats herself up for not being more polite to him earlier. Doug gets a real patient, a kid named Jared who had an allergic reaction to his clown makeup. That means he’ll have to skip trick-or-treating. Jeanie promises to find him something fun around there instead. “Fun stuff around here sucks,” Jared declares, possibly making George Clooney break character and laugh.

Mark checks in on Coco, who would like to know where her baby is. He tells Carol to give her Haldol, an antipsychotic. Weaver finds an excuse to talk to Mark so she can wrangle an introduction to Litvak. She pretends not to know who he is or why he’s there. She learns that he’s there for his second interview, and the search committee plans to vote tonight on who to hire. Weaver didn’t think the vote was until next week. Litvak isn’t very impressed with his supposed competition for the job.

Lucy does well with the fake arm, so Carter agrees to let her try an IV on a real patient. She’s apologetic for not being truthful with him before, but he admits that he wasn’t supervising her closely enough. They head off to take care of Joe, but he’s fled the hospital. Lucy hopefully asks if anyone else needs an IV.

As Elizabeth tries to guess who Benton wanted to be as a kid, they meet up with Reese, who’s come by for a visit. He’s adorably dressed as a bee. Carla says they just came from a party at Jackie and Walt’s, and she was unable to convince Walt to put on one of his ’70s “supa-dupa-fly” costumes and come with them. Elizabeth makes sure to get a picture of Reese with his parents.

Thanks to the Haldol, Coco is now coherent, but she still says she’s pregnant. Carol tells her she’s not, but Mark realizes they didn’t get a pregnancy test, so it’s possible she is. Coco tells them she has schizophrenia and stopped taking her medication when she found out she was pregnant. The Haldol could leave the baby with malformed limbs.

Benton and Weaver work on a trauma patient together, debating whether a sternal saw should be used in the ER or just the OR. She thinks his preferred way of doing things is too slow. Mark confirms that Coco’s pregnant, but they don’t know if the Haldol affected the fetus. Coco wonders if she’s really up for carrying the pregnancy to term, since it means staying off her meds. Mark thinks she should wait a little while before she makes a decision.

Later, Mark tells Carol that he thinks Coco might terminate the pregnancy. Carol notes that that would get him off the hook for possibly harming the baby. She invites him to get a drink after work, but he has plans to meet up with Jen for some kind of talk. Carter tells Lucy that she can leave early, since everything in the ER is under control. She heads off to get ready for the party he’s chaperoning.

Joe is brought back in, repentant over leaving earlier. He says again that he wants to quit drinking and make a fresh start. The drink he left the hospital to have will be his last. Mark says he’ll get Joe a detox bed if he promises not to run off again. He’s decided to believe Joe when he says he’ll stay; he was a cynic with Coco, and look how that turned out. Carol decides to get some extra insurance by taking Joe’s clothes.

Weaver tries to examine a little girl named Amanda who won’t stop screaming. Doug steps in to come up with a way to test her without using needles. Benton, Elizabeth, and Jeanie tend to a preteen named Barbie Klingman who was in a car accident. She has an abdominal bruise from her seatbelt, which may mean she has a bowel injury that will require exploratory surgery.

Litvak observes as Doug and Weaver keep tending to Amanda, using a pad that gives her a painkiller without an injection. Weaver, never Doug’s biggest fan, is very pleased with the method. Litvak is familiar with it, as his hospital participated in some trials. Lucy’s one of only a few people at the dorm party, so Carter feels comfortable going off to do some work for his presentation. Lucy offers to be in charge while he’s gone, as if the three med students there need a chaperone.

Benton, Romano, and Dale operate on Barbie, who still has glitter on her face from her princess costume. Romano makes some Benton-seriously-report-him-to-HR comments about how Benton and Elizabeth should check into a jungle-themed hotel room for the night. The surgeons find a couple of masses in Barbie’s abdomen that appear to be abnormal lymph nodes. Instead of letting Elizabeth scrub in, Dale sends her to pathology to get the masses tested.

Jeanie tries to get Doug to realize that he can’t see every pediatric patient on his own, so he needs to send some to the regular ER. Rachel comes by to hang out in the lounge while Mark and Jen talk. She mentions that she and Jen are moving to St. Louis, which is news to her father. Elizabeth returns to the OR with results from the biopsy of the masses. They’re testicles.

Carter returns to the dorm, where the party has really gotten going. Maybe a little too much. For example, the med students have set some furniture on fire and are in the process of throwing it out a window. These people are studying to be doctors. Pray you never get sick. Lucy’s been drinking, so she’s not much of a chaperone. Carter gives the fire-starters a fire extinguisher, then declares the party over. A tipsy Lucy doesn’t get why and asks if they were too loud. “No, the furniture was too on fire,” Carter replies.

Mark complains to Carol that once again, Jen has made a major life decision and he’s the last to know. Carol laments that it’s right on the heels of Mark getting to spend extra time with Rachel. Mark was able to convince the necessary people to give Joe a detox bed, but he’s taken off again. Mark is having a really bad night.

Elizabeth sits with Dale as he tells the Klingmans (Klingmen?) that Barbie is biologically male, but her anatomy didn’t develop properly, making her appear female. She’ll need estrogen to continue life as a girl. They had to remove the testicles because other people with her condition have developed malignancies. Elizabeth tells the Klingmans that Barbie’s genetics don’t matter; she was raised as a girl, so she’s a girl. However, her male anatomy means she’ll never have children.

Elizabeth says they’ll get the Klingmans in touch with a genetic counselor to figure out how and when to give Barbie the news. As they leave, Dale compliments Elizabeth on her skills at speaking with patients’ family members. Just when it looks like he might not be a 100% horrible person, he cracks that the Klingmans will have to change Barbie’s name to Ken. IT’S CALLED INTERSEX, DOCTOR. Look it up.

Lucy and some fellow med students keep drinking in their lounge, complaining about the horrible assignments they’ve been given by their residents. Lucy uses the fake arm to hold a shot for her. At County, Weaver tells Romano how important it is for the ER staff to be able to use a sternal saw in traumas. Romano doesn’t think it would get enough use or would fit within the standard of care. Weaver says the current standard of care is poor anyway. Romano advises her to do a study and enlists Benton to work on it with her. Benton doesn’t support the idea, but Romano thinks Weaver’s proposal will fail anyway, so it doesn’t matter.

Elizabeth’s good mood from earlier is faltering, and she’s not sure she’ll be up to a date with Benton after they’re off work. He calls Walt to ask for help in turning things around. Mark goes to Doc Magoo’s with Jen and Rachel so they can talk about how Jen is moving to another state and hasn’t said anything yet. Mark surprises her by not fighting her decision to move. They can’t both spend every day with Rachel, and he accepts that. Spending extra time with her over the summer helped him see that he and Jen need to think about her more than themselves.

Barbie wakes up after surgery and laments not being able to go trick-or-treating. She at least had fun making her costume with her mother. Elizabeth finds her tiara and puts it on her. Lucy, Bernard, and a third student are now pretty drunk, and think their fourth friend, Willie, has passed out from overindulging. They pull the prank on him where you put shaving cream on someone’s hand and then tickle his nose with a feather. Willie doesn’t regain consciousness, making Lucy realize that something’s really wrong. She sends the guys to call 911 while she gets Carter.

Carter determines that Willie’s not breathing, so he gives Willie CPR. His reward is vomit in his mouth. As an ambulance arrives, Lucy realizes that Willie took liquid ecstasy. Another student says a classmate, Branch, also took some, so Lucy rushes off to check on him. Mark settles a sports bet with Officer Al, then learns that Joe has turned up at a liquor store. Mark offers to call off the bet if Al will get Joe and bring him back to the ER.

Lucy and Carter find Branch passed out in a bathroom and give him CPR together. Benton checks on Elizabeth, who’s working late with Dale (though he calls her a “great little intern”). Benton pulls rank and tells Dale to let her leave already. Elizabeth is back to being excited about Halloween and wants to put her costume back on before she and Benton go out. She’s also still trying to guess his childhood dream job.

Al brings in Joe…only he’s not Joe. He’s Lloyd, Jerry’s cousin, and has used the hospital supplies Jerry took for him to enter a costume contest. He’s proud to have won an honorable mention. Weaver compliments Doug on all his work over the day, then gives him charts for all the patients the other doctors saw, since he said he wanted to sign off on all of them. Suddenly Weaver likes this new process. Carter and Lucy accompany Branch and Willie to the hospital, but since Lucy’s been drinking, Carter won’t let her assist.

Elizabeth exits the hospital to find Benton in one of Walt’s “supa-dupa-fly” suits, leaning against a vintage card. He’s filled the backseat with hay and gotten his nephew, Peanut, to take them for a hayride. Music comes on, and Benton notes that Elizabeth never figured out who he wanted to be as a kid. She recognizes the song as the theme from Shaft.

Weaver gives Jerry a bill for all the supplies he borrowed for Lloyd. He doesn’t have the money, so he’ll get some of it taken out of his paycheck for the next ten weeks. Mark tells Weaver that the search committee voted to hire Litvak as the new chief. He has a huge ego, so he wasn’t Mark’s first choice. He admits that he voted for Weaver. Jerry has a question about his paycheck garnishments, but now that Weaver won’t be in charge anymore, she decides to tear up the bill. She puts on some devil horns as she leaves for the night.

Carol stays late with Doug as he unloads some supplies in his new workspace. He gets her back for her earlier prank by pretending to cut himself with a box cutter. Carter meets up with Lucy back at the dorm after determining that Branch and Willie will be fine. Lucy says she didn’t know they were doing drugs, but Carter blasts her for not being better at being in charge. Lucy notes that she wasn’t responsible for policing everyone – he was supposed to be in charge. Carter chastises her for not being more mature. You were supposed to be in charge, Carter! Gaaaah!

And now, my favorite Benton/Elizabeth moment ever: As Peanut drives them around Chicago, Benton leans back coolly, channeling Richard Roundtree. Elizabeth sings along with the song and he teases her about not having rhythm. She cracks herself up by playing air tambourine badly enough that Benton has to ask what she’s doing.

Thoughts: You still can’t convince me that Benton was ever actually a child. He’s like Chidi from The Good Place – a 40-year-old in a child’s body.

Parents, don’t name your kid Barbie. She’ll never be able to escape “where’s Ken?” jokes. Also, don’t name your child Branch. That’s just mean.

Bravo to Kellie Martin for doing all the party scenes on skates, since Lucy was dressed as a roller-skating ’50s waitress.

November 19, 2019

ER 5.3, They Treat Horses, Don’t They?: In Case You Didn’t Know, Insurance Companies Are Awful

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:58 pm by Jenn

I mean…just…sigh

Summary: The ER is being painted, and for some reason, the painters are starting in the copy room. Weaver disapproves. Mark tries to make conversation with Rachel, who’s showing signs of the teenager she’ll later become. She makes bare-minimum conversation with her father, then gushes to her mother when she calls. Weaver learns that her title has changed from acting chief to interim chief. Anspaugh tells her they’re forming a committee to look for a permanent chief. She gives him an evaluation she did of Doug.

Carter has gone from living in a mansion to living in an okay apartment to living in a dorm and having to share a bathroom with a bunch of guys. Poor Carter, slumming it with the middle class. Having to fix a clogged toilet and losing your toothbrush down it in the process isn’t fun, but his beard may be worse. When he gets to work, Randi says he’s starting to look “mythic.”

Weaver asks Mark if he thinks “interim chief” sounds better than “acting chief.” He tells her Anspaugh asked him to serve on the committee to find a replacement. She hopes he can remain unbiased since she’s one of the candidates. He decides to pass on the opportunity. Jeanie returns from a music camp in the wilderness and meets Lynette. She isn’t working until noon, so she volunteers to help out at the clinic. Her first patient is a boy who has roundworms, which is definitely worse than losing your toothbrush while unclogging a toilet.

Benton meets with a doctor who confirms the audiologist’s findings: Reese has hearing loss. Benton has looked into cochlear implants, but the doctor isn’t a fan, since they require destroying the patient’s residual hearing. Plus, Reese isn’t a candidate right now. He should use hearing aids right now and get into speech therapy. Benton asks about sign language, but the doctor thinks that will just limit him.

Doug wants to take Carol and Mark to lunch, but he won’t tell them what the special occasion is. A painter finds some papers in the copier and gives them to Jerry, who sees Doug’s name on them and tells Randi to put them in his box. Roxanne comes by to talk to a nurse about insurance and asks Carter to examine her healing toe. He’s a little more interested in her than he was the last time he saw her.

It’s Elizabeth’s last day as a fellow before becoming an intern again. Benton is distracted as they scrub in together, and she’s worried that he thinks she made the wrong choice. He says he just can’t imagine being an intern again. Anspaugh lets Benton know that the patient they were about to operate on just died.

Mark, Lucy, and Carol get a patient named Rodney who took a carving knife to the forehead. He’s drunk and combative, so Lucy helps tie restraints around his arms. She doesn’t tie hers properly, so he flails and sends her flying. Carol is quickly getting fed up with the inept student. Doug’s new patient is a 15-year-old named Dana who broke her leg while playing soccer. However, she didn’t fall or have a collision, which means she probably has a tumor.

Doug finds the papers in his box and is confused about why they’re there. Benton fights with someone with his insurance company in his attempts to get hearing aids for Reese. Dwight tells Mark that a call came in about a hostage situation and shootout; he’s welcome to tag along with the paramedics if he’d like. Mark is hesitant but decides to accept.

Lucy uses Rodney’s unconscious body to practice inserting an IV. She fails and Malik has to redo it. She admits to Carter that she asked him for help, which Carter encourages her to do, since they can teach her a lot. Mark and Dwight meet up with a bomb squad, since the person who took hostages has explosives. He’s also been taken down by the cops and needs medical attention. Dwight is up for the job, but the guy running the show wants Mark to go since he’s a doctor.

Doug tells Jeanie, who was helping him with Dana, that she may have Ewing’s sarcoma. He gives Jeanie the chance to bow out and see other patients, but Jeanie wants to stay on the case. Paramedics bring in an elderly woman named Emily whose neighbor found her unconscious. Carter stabilizes her, telling the neighbor that it’s not clear if she’ll live. The neighbor doesn’t care about Emily, per se; she just wants to know if her apartment will become available, since her sister’s looking for a place.

Doug and Jeanie tell Dana’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ellis, that she may have cancer. Dana hasn’t been told anything yet. Mark works with a bomb squad guy, Clark, to try to treat the bomber without, you know, blowing anything up. (Clark calls the bomber Boris; I have no idea if that’s actually his name, but I’ll go with it.) Back at County, Benton tells Carla what he’s learned about Reese’s hearing. She thinks everything will turn out fine. Benton’s insurance is awful, especially for a doctor, and he doesn’t have much in the bank, but Carla can chip in. Elizabeth spots the three of them together.

A woman named Margo introduces herself to Carter as a representative from Emily’s HMO. She reveals that Emily has a DNR, so all the work Carter did to stabilize her was for nothing. Margo won’t approve her admission to the hospital; she can’t justify spending money on a woman who shouldn’t be alive. Carter argues that she’s on a ventilator, so she has to be admitted. Margo disagrees.

Mark and Dwight bring in Boris after he’s been separated from the explosives. Benton helps tend to him in the ER and discovers a box that might be a detonator. Clark says that as long as they don’t mess with it, it should be fine. Good thing Clark is here to reassure the staff. Hey, everyone! It “should be fine”! A guy from the bomb squad says so!

Boris has wrapped chicken wire around himself and the detonator, which will have to removed in the OR. Jeanie pours saline on it, which shorts out the electricity. Clark yells that everyone has about five seconds to get out. As the others run for cover, Benton stays behind, counting. He cuts out the detonator, tosses it in the corner, and covers himself. After it goes off, he checks out the minimal damage, then goes right back to work.

Having run out of time to go out for lunch because of Mark’s heroics, Doug buys pizza for him and Carol. Before he tells them why he wanted to have the meal together, he gives a dramatic reading of the papers in the copier – it’s his evaluation from Weaver. Shockingly, it’s negative. Doug then announces that the evaluation doesn’t matter. A friend on a committee told him he’s already been approved to become a pediatric ER attending. Carol’s thrilled, and though Mark had doubts, he’s happy for his friend.

Weaver interrupts the celebration to tell Mark that Rachel’s there. Somehow, she came across a horse with colic and promised its owner or handler or whoever that Mark can help. Mark points out that he’s a people doctor, not a veterinarian, but there are no vets close by who can help. Mark is obviously going to help Cherry Blossom, because how else will he get his daughter to pay attention to him again?

Roxanne is still hanging around the hospital, and when she spots Carter again, she asks to get together sometime to talk about…investing. Sexy. She gives him a free guest pass to a health club and tells him she’s there every night around 7. Woo-hoo, Carter’s gonna sauna and talk about interest rates! At least it’s better than fighting 30 guys for a shower.

Weaver treats a man who’s having trouble breathing. They paralyze him to intubate him, but they don’t have a big enough blade for the procedure. Randi may have a solution, since she’s gotten her hands on the knife extracted from Rodney’s forehead and would like to keep it. Mark goes in to help Weaver, who feels like she’s being pushed aside. Then she learns from a painter that the copy room’s being painted because it’s being turned into an exam room for the new pediatric attending.

Carter tries to get Weaver’s advice on Emily, but Weaver’s not in the mood. She tells him that if he wants to be chief resident, he needs to start making big decisions on his own. Elizabeth tracks down Benton, thinking he’s going back to Carla, and asks him to let her know if she’s about to be dumped. He assures her that that’s not what’s going on. He snaps that he’s not avoiding her, then reveals that he’s dealing with Reese’s hearing problems. He didn’t want to tell her because it’s private.

So…Mark treats the horse. Jerry reluctantly helps give Cherry Blossom an enema, not wanting to get too close to his hindquarters. Doug visits Dana, who’s heard that she needs to see an oncologist and is smart enough to know what oncologists treat. She overheard him talking to her parents and mentioning possible amputation. Doug tells her that the doctor will go over all her options, but Dana just wants a straight answer.

He tells her that amputation may be her best option. Dana’s adamantly opposed to that, though her survival isn’t guaranteed either way. Doug says that if she were his daughter, he’d opt for amputation. Dana asks if the doctor amputates even if she says she doesn’t want that. He tells her they’ll go over all the facts and options before any decisions are made.

Carter calls the person who holds Emily’s power of attorney; he has more than 700 clients and hasn’t met any of them. Yet he’s allowed to make their medical decisions. Carter fills Mark in, trying to figure out what he should do. Mark reminds him that Emily has a DNR, so they need to let her go. Carter goes back to her trauma room and starts the steps to do so. When he takes her off the ventilator, she starts breathing on her own. Jerry goes out to check on Cherry Blossom, who hasn’t shown signs of the enema working yet. He helps get Cherry Blossom out of his trailer so he can walk around a little. As a result, he gets crapped on. Womp womp.

Weaver pulls Mark into the lounge to ask if he knew that Doug got the attending position. She’s annoyed that no one kept her in the loop. Mark tells her to accept it and move on. Weaver’s annoyed that Mark told her he didn’t support Doug getting the position, then celebrated when he got it. Mark says they have to live with the hospital’s decision. He thinks she’s really just mad that she hasn’t been made the permanent chief. She needs to decide if she wants to be a doctor or an administrator.

On her way out for the day, Lucy stops by to see Carter, who’s sitting with Emily. She’s now declining again, and Lucy’s surprised that Carter doesn’t do anything to save her. He tells her this is what Emily wanted, and she’s not suffering. As soon as she’s died, Carter starts signing the charts Lucy needs him to sign.

The Ellises are upset that Doug talked to Dana about her treatment. While he told her that amputation is her best chance at survival, he also offered some alternative treatments. Doug says he wants her accept that amputation might be what’s best for her, rather than being forced to comply with a treatment she doesn’t want. Mr. Ellis say it’s their decision, not Dana’s. He tells Doug to stay away from her. Doug says Dana needs to feel like her parents are on her side, not working against her.

Mark has changed his mind and wants to be on the search committee to find a new chief after all. Roxanne helps Carter hook up a new sound system in his room, then slow dances with him. And…that’s it? That’s the end? Whatever.

Thoughts: Clark is played by Dean Norris. Dana is played by Ashley Johnson. Mrs. Ellis is played by Ann Gillespie.

Benton with the bomb has to be his coolest moment in the whole series.

Do you think Carter and Benton ever talked about how they both like jazz? …Yeah, probably not.

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