June 11, 2019

ER 4.4, When the Bough Breaks: Surprise! Benton Is Human After All!

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

Cue mass casualty in 3…2…

Summary: Benton drops some things off at Carla’s apartment in preparation for Reese’s homecoming. She thinks he’s being overly cautious, but Benton doesn’t want her to have to wait for paramedics if something happens. For a first-time mom, Carla is very confident that everything will go fine. Meanwhile, Doug and Carla go rollerblading; she’s good and he’s inexperienced.

Jen surprises Mark at his apartment to complain that Rachel fell asleep at school. Rachel claimed that Mark let her stay up late the last time she visited. Jen thinks Mark’s assault is messing with him psychologically. No kidding, Jen! Until Mark is more like his normal self, Jen will be keeping Rachel away from him.

Carter’s gotten into motivational self-help stuff, in an attempt to turn around his year, since it hasn’t been going that great yet. He and Anna meet their new med students, James and Ivan, and Carter eagerly takes on the job of getting them acclimated. Thanks to his refusal to wear a helmet while rollerblading, Doug banged his head and gets an ice pack in the ER. Carol pretends not to know what happened.

Connie alerts everyone at the admit desk to a televised police chase involving a motorcycle. Weaver has finally gotten her hands on Doug’s research study, which lets children control their own pain medication, and encourages him to use data from another study to finish it. Doug isn’t interested in her help in getting a grant, but Weaver thinks he’ll have to leave for private practice by the end of the year if he doesn’t get one.

Since Carter had a bad experience with his last med student, Anna tells him he can choose between Ivan and James this time. Both guys seem competent, though, so Carter will probably be okay no matter who he gets. Paramedics bring in a guy named Jeremy who was hit by a car when he walked into traffic. He claims he’s an angel, and he can sense pain in Mark.

Benton meets up with Carla, whose friend Daphina has come to drive her and Reese home (Benton’s on duty). Benton doesn’t like her. Elizabeth sees him with his son and notes that he’s pretty secretive, since she had no idea he had a child. Benton gets paged back inside, so Carla impatiently sends him back to work.

Anna examines a boy with asthma whose mother, Mrs. Landeta, would prefer to have him treated by Doug. The police chase is still underway, though Doug and the nurses think the police are about to finish it off. Mrs. Landeta asks Doug to take over her son’s case, so Anna reluctantly steps aside. Speaking of being pushed aside from a job, Al has lost his at a construction site. He figures he’ll end up getting shut out of every site in the city. Jeanie tries to give him encouragement, but Al knows the kind of people he’s dealing with.

Carter calls Benton to the ER to consult on a patient he’s sure will end up needing surgery. Benton reminds him that he has to get an ultrasound first, but Carter’s sure of the outcome and thinks it makes sense to warn Benton early. Anna complains to Carol that Doug is patronizing; she can’t believe that Carol ever dated him. Carol says that Mrs. Landeta is just used to Doug. Weaver says that Doug has trouble dealing with strong women. He doesn’t know how to handle women he can’t charm or vilify.

Doris is back for treatment and unhappy to have to wait. The police chase has ended with a crash into a school bus, and the victims will be coming to County. Doris is going to have to wait a lot longer now. Weaver sends someone to find Mark, who’s smoking on the steps of an El platform when he sees ambulances speed by on their way to County.

Cynthia’s thrust into the middle of her first trauma, trying to coordinate communicating with the victims’ families. They’re mostly middle-schoolers on a field trip. Elizabeth’s patient isn’t happy to hear that her nearly amputated arm will have to be fully amputated so it can be reattached. Benton displays some actual good bedside manner with her.

In the middle of the chaos, Jeanie goes off to tend to a man who fell off a roof while installing a satellite dish. Mark thinks his young patient is a goner, but Doug wants to keep working on him, since he’s a child. Ivan can’t handle all the trauma and gets sick, so Benton makes Carter take him out. Jeremy looks on while Carter assists Weaver with an intubation.

Carol sees a trail of blood in the hallway and follows it to a bathroom, where Doris is bleeding. Jeanie’s patient goes south and needs a chest tube, a procedure Jeanie’s not supposed to perform. Connie tries to get Mark to help her, but Mark’s busy with his patient. Carol realizes that Doris is in labor despite her insistence that she’s not pregnant. Mark hears her yelling and rushes to help the baby Carol just delivered. He’s not breathing, and Doris accuses Carol of dropping him. Benton comes by and is shaken by the sight of the preemie.

With all the doctors still busy, Jeanie and Chuny are left to insert a chest tube on their own. Doris thinks she’s in labor again (it’s just the placenta), and she yells at Carol, “Don’t drop this one!” (It’s not funny, but…it’s also a little funny.) Jeanie’s patient’s son finds Weaver and tells her to come help Jeanie, who doesn’t seem to know what she’s doing. Well, dude, you were the one urging her to do the procedure, so…hush.

While Mark, Benton, and Carol work hard to save Doris’ baby, Jeanie successfully inserts the chest tube just as Weaver comes in. She has to admit that she used her finger instead of a clamp, which is beyond the restrictions of her job. Weaver sends her away. Mark decides that the baby can’t be saved and has to tell Benton to stop doing chest compressions. Mark doesn’t notice how difficult this is for Benton, but Carol does. Benton goes straight for the phone and calls Carla to check on Reese.

Weaver compliments Carter on the method he used to help her with the intubation. He credits Benton, and Weaver says Carter was lucky to have him as a mentor. Too bad Carter doesn’t have the same relationship with Ivan, who’s still recovering from his bad reaction to the trauma. Doug apologizes to Anna for stealing her patient from her, but Anna’s willing to let that go. James comes in from his lunch break, unaware that there was a mass casualty in the ER while he was gone.

Weaver tends to Officer Mulvahill, the cop who crashed into the bus while he was chasing the motorcyclist. He’s not hurt too badly, but he’s upset with himself for causing the crash that injured so many others. Benton operates with Elizabeth, who mentions again that she was surprised to learn he has a child. She thought he was too ambitious and driven to have a family. He surprises her again by telling her that Carla isn’t his wife.

Jeremy complains about negative energy in the hospital, then spies on Mark and Cynthia while they talk. Jeremy tells Mark that Cynthia likes him. Doug tells Carol that he worked things out with Anna, but Carol thinks Anna isn’t as cool with the situation with the patient as she’s let on. Weaver tells Carol to fill out an incident report about Doris’ baby in case she wants to make a statement. Carol doesn’t think she has to worry about the ramblings of a crack addict, but Weaver reminds her that she was suspended last year, so she needs to be extra-careful.

The motorcyclist is brought in, having finally been captured, and Weaver passes him off to Carter so she doesn’t accidentally-on-purpose hurt him. Jeanie tries to defend her actions with her patient, but Weaver tells her that when they agreed to let her keep working at County, she agreed to not do certain things. Apparently Jeanie should have just let the patient die if she had to.

Carter spots a welt on the motorcyclist’s body, which a police officer says is the result of the guy sliding into a fence. Yeah, it definitely doesn’t look baton-shaped. Carol asks Mark to back her up in her insistence that she didn’t drop the baby. Mark agrees with Carol that Doris’ statement won’t hold water, but since he didn’t see the delivery and whether or not Carol dropped the baby, he can’t give an eyewitness statement. Carol interprets this as him indicating he doesn’t believe her.

Doug gets back to Mrs. Landeta and her son (Jaime), whose breathing is better but who now has diarrhea. Doug suggests getting a stool sample, which Anna also wanted earlier but didn’t mention to him. Doris has asked for a lawyer, so Carol probably shouldn’t be her nurse anymore, but whatever. Doris says again that she didn’t know she was pregnant; if she had, she would have stopped using crack. No one’s told her yet that the baby didn’t survive. She figures she would have messed up the child anyway. But she still asks Carol if she’s physically able to have another one.

Carter sends Ivan off for the night, hoping he’ll have a stronger stomach tomorrow. Benton’s making one last call to Carla before he leaves work on time for once. When Chuny gets Carter to tend to the worsening motorcyclist, Benton tags along to help out. He chastises Carter for not getting a surgical consult even though the patient seemed stable. So, to sum up, no matter what Carter does, Benton disapproves.

Cynthia tells Mark that Jeremy’s family has been found; he’s supposed to be on medication but may have stopped taking it when he came to Chicago for college. Anna urges Carter to talk to Benton about how he treats Carter, as if he hasn’t been this way for three years now.

Doug tells Anna that he’s determined that Jaime doesn’t have asthma after all – he has strongyloides, a parasite, and the prednisone Doug was going to give him would have made him worse. He thinks Anna suspected this but didn’t say anything. The two of them bicker about how their personal issues shouldn’t get in the way of patient care. Cynthia interrupts so Doug can tell the mother of his and Mark’s patient that he died. Now Anna feels bad about her petty squabbles with Doug.

Benton wants to stay late to operate on the motorcyclist, but Elizabeth offers to do the surgery instead so he can go home to Reese. She warns that she probably won’t be this generous again, so he should take advantage. Mark prepares to give Jeremy some Haldol, but Jeremy says he doesn’t want to feel normal. Mark shouldn’t run away from fear. He needs to make friends with it and embrace the light; it’ll save him.

Carter follows Benton as he leaves, complaining that there’s no point to his mistreatment anymore. Benton tries to brush him off, but Carter refuses to let him walk away. Benton finally tosses him to the ground. That leads to more complaining from Carter, who thinks he’s earned Benton’s respect after three years. Benton says he threw that respect away when he left surgery for emergency medicine. Benton took time to mentor him, but when Carter decided to leave, he went to Anspaugh instead. Carter apologizes, but he doesn’t sound that sorry. Benton tells him to stop seeking approval.

As Doug goes back to his research, Mark tells Carol that he learned Doris’ baby died in utero two days ago. Carol’s still upset, but Mark says it’s not about whether or not he believed her story – he would have been on her side no matter what. Carol says he should have been on Doris’ side. She’s been in the ER multiple times, and Mark never gave her a pregnancy test. Mark doesn’t think he did anything wrong, and though Carol can’t really disagree, she thinks more can be done for their less fortunate patients.

Weaver’s cooled off about the Jeanie situation, but she tells Jeanie that she had the right to be mad. After all, Weaver fought for Jeanie to keep her job, and Jeanie repaid her by doing something she wasn’t supposed to. Jeanie needs to remember that her decisions affect others. Jeanie admits that if she had to make that decision again, she might do the same thing.

Mark and Cynthia leave at the same time, and she asks him to walk her to the El platform, since it’s nighttime. He offers her a ride home instead. Benton goes to Carla’s and takes in the heartwarming scene of mother and son cuddling together. Despite his difficult day, he gets to end it on a good note.

Thoughts: Daphina is played by Merrin Dungey. Jeremy is played by David Denman.

Shout-out to the girl playing Elizabeth and Benton’s patient, who truly howls like someone whose arm is falling off.

One of the other patients was drawing on his hand with a pen, and when the bus crashed, the pen got lodged in his hand. Why did I decide to watch this show again?

June 4, 2019

ER 4.3, Friendly Fire: Weaver’s in Charge and Everything Is…Fine

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

Same, Cynthia

Summary: Doug drives Carol to an El platform so they can keep pretending they’re not practically living together. At County, Tabash tells Benton and Carla that Reese is doing well enough to probably be able to go home the next week. Time for the next Benton/Carla disagreement: Should Reese be circumcised? Carla is pro; Benton is against. He considers his opinion the final decision.

Instead of working, Mark passes work off to Anna and watches Jerry Springer in the lounge. Weaver, meanwhile, takes on more work, accepting the position of acting chief of emergency services. Anspaugh confides that not everyone is a fan of Morgenstern’s management practices. Weaver already has a plan to get things back under budget, even if it means making enemies. She’s fine with that – just like many reality-show participants, she’s not here to make friends.

Cynthia arrives for her first day of work, confusing Carol, who didn’t realize Mark had given her the job. Weaver quickly starts changing policies and practices while Carter hunts for Henry. Carol complains to Mark that he hired a dud, but Mark, like Benton, thinks his decision is the final word.

Carla asks Anna if she thinks Reese should be circumcised. Anna says it’s something she recommends for patients, and Carla shouldn’t have any second thoughts. Carla asks her to do it. Since Anna and Chasity are getting all the cases Carter’s missing, Carter’s available to take a trauma patient after a motorcycle accident. No one can insert an IV, so Carter opts for a central line. Maggie comes in and pulls rank, taking over the case and sending Carter to do sutures.

Al comes in after an incident with a crane at a construction site. He’s scraped up but mostly fine. Weaver questions why Doug’s salary is being paid by the emergency services department, which means they’re underwriting his fellowship. She’d like to read his research proposal.

Carter continues hunting for Henry, then complains to Mark that Doyle pulled him from a trauma and gave it to Anna. She’s been doing that a lot lately. Mark tells Carter that he’ll have to keep doing sutures unless he can get Henry to do them for him. Carter gets a call on his hilarious mid-’90s cell phone, but reception in the hallway isn’t great. Anna warns about how big a bill he could be racking up.

Jeanie fixes up Al while a paramedic tends to his friend Bill. He mentions that Al fell on him, so all the blood on him is Al’s. Jeanie and Al both freeze. Carol takes care of Casey, a guy from the same construction site who grabbed a live cable to try to save everyone else. Casey’s boss doesn’t want him to report his hand injuries to workers’ comp so the boss doesn’t get in trouble. Carol notes that that will keep Casey from receiving disability while he’s out of work.

Anna hands a case off to Carter, a woman named Kirsten whose husband was unable to wake her this morning. He doesn’t know of any illness or injuries she had that would leave her unconscious. Carter does a test to determine if there’s something wrong with Kirsten’s brain stem, and he clearly doesn’t like the results, but he doesn’t want to tell Kirsten’s husband, Josh, that anything bad has happened.

Benton goes to visit Reese and catches Anna in the middle of circumcising him. Benton argues that Carla had no right to ask Anna to do the procedure. Carter shows Mark Kirsten’s scans and shares his diagnosis of an infarction. Mark agrees and says she’ll probably start declining quickly. Carter feels horrible that he has to tell Josh that his 27-year-old wife is about to die. Mark casually reminds him to ask about organ donation.

As Carol’s gathering Casey’s things, she finds a joint and realizes that he was high at work. He thinks his status as a hero cancels out the fact that he may have caused the situation that led to his heroics in the first place. Carol heads off to fill in Casey’s boss. Cynthia’s first day is going well, but there seems to be some skepticism (at least from Jerry and Haleh) that she should have been hired.

Heather pops in again, trying to get Mark to go out with her. Mark begs off, claiming it’s not because he doesn’t want to spend time with her. A man named Ed comes in with a gunshot wound to the leg, accidentally sustained when he was cleaning a gun. His wife, Glenda, wants to take some of their other weapons into the hospital since they’re expensive and can’t be left in their car. Malik tells Jerry to stash it behind the admit desk.

Carla and Benton bicker about the circumcision, and I’m just going to say that they’re both in the wrong here. He was a jerk for putting his foot down without discussion, and she was a jerk for going behind his back. She thinks he was just against the circumcision because he isn’t circumcised. Benton doesn’t think that’s a big deal. Carla says the real problem is that he shut her down.

Carter has given the bad news to Josh that Kirsten had a stroke and is going to die soon. Josh is in denial, thinking she could still get better, and doesn’t want to just do nothing until she dies. Carter pauses a respectable amount of time before mentioning organ donation. Fortunately, Josh responds well, saying that Kirsten would want to help people. But suddenly, that conversation is out the window: Kirsten’s awake.

Mark, Weaver, and Doyle are working on Ed when Carter pulls Mark out to see Kirsten. Mark’s shocked, since people with her kind of stroke don’t ever wake up. He sees for himself that Kirsten is awake, then reexamines her scans. Rather than a stroke, Kirsten has an aneurysm that caused swelling in her brain stem, which led to her loss of consciousness. She’ll need an MRI right away before the aneurysm bursts.

Jeanie asks Al if Bill knows his HIV status. Al says no, and he doesn’t see the point in telling him, since Bill didn’t have any cuts, so he couldn’t have been infected. Jeanie disagrees about keeping quiet, but Al’s afraid that word will spread and he’ll end up without a job. Jeanie thinks the responsible thing is to tell Bill so he can get tested just in case.

Glenda shows Jerry her collection of guns while Ed is getting x-rays. The couple has some connection to a guy who trains “patriots” on using weapons. Cynthia asks if she means a guy like David Koresh. Glenda’s face indicates that that was the wrong thing to say.

She offers to sell Jerry a grenade launcher, which I’m sure he’d have a lot of use for in Chicago. She promises Cynthia that it’s unusable; it’s illegal to sell usable ordnance. But there’s a kit he can get that will change that. Jerry jokes about shooting his neighbor’s loud dog. Not funny, Jerry. Also not funny: The weapon is actually loaded after all, and Jerry accidentally fires a grenade through the lobby, out the door in the ambulance bay. He hits Ed and Glenda’s truck, setting off all the ammo inside.

Firefighters put out the resulting fire, and Glenda is arrested as she protests that the weapons are her personal property. Cynthia has ringing in her ears, so Mark checks her over. She tells him that, even after this, she feels safe at County, thanks to all the doctors. Somehow they start talking about Death of a Salesman, and how sad it is when Willy Loman looks back over his life and realizes there was nothing there.

Benton, Elizabeth, and Anspaugh operate on Ed, the latter two hitting it off well. Paramedics bring in Laura, Carol’s bulimic patient from the previous week; her eating disorder has led to her vomiting blood. Doyle’s mad that Laura wasn’t admitted to psych when she was last at County. When she learns that Mark didn’t authorize it, Doyle complains that they’re picking up his slack.

While undergoing an MRI, Kirsten starts declining again. Carter tells Josh that she needs immediate surgery, but Josh no longer trusts the doctors’ decisions. First they said she was going to die; then she woke up and seemed fine. He doesn’t think Kirsten really needs surgery. Mark steps in and tells Josh that she’ll die without it. Josh backs down and consents to the operation.

After Ed’s surgery is over, Elizabeth tells Benton that she thinks Anspaugh is a gasbag. She’s not used to “old tossers” coming to the OR; in the U.K., they’re too lazy. Benton is amused and tells her she can feel free to keep speaking her mind. At the admit desk, Haleh, Malik, and Connie giggle over how there was an actual explosion on Weaver’s first day in charge. Weaver overhears and says she’s just glad no one was hurt.

She reminds Doug that she wants to read his research, then goes to help Doyle with a patient. She tries to gain Doyle as an ally, warning that the county would love to close the ER. All her policy changes are an attempt to save it. She really hopes some people will understand and come on board. Doyle’s like, “…Yes, I am so on board, scary lady.”

Mark bursts into an OR to try to pull a surgeon named Corelli out of a procedure to operate on Kirsten. Doug and Elizabeth tend to a boy with a hernia, and she praises his bedside manner with kids. Carol’s in and out of the room as Elizabeth asks Doug to go out on the town with her. Carol dismisses herself before Doug can tell Elizabeth he’s seeing someone. That’s not a problem for Elizabeth, who really just wants people to spend time with.

Al and Jeanie tell Bill that he may have been exposed to Al’s HIV. Bill’s upset that Al never told him or their co-workers. He agrees to get tested, but since Jeanie also has HIV, Bill doesn’t want her touching him. Doug chases down Carol to tell her that he has no interest in Elizabeth and certainly didn’t flirt with her. He told her he was seeing someone but didn’t mention Carol’s name. If Carol wants to keep dating, she’ll have to trust him.

Carter gives Mark the good news that Kirsten got to surgery in time and has a great chance at a full recovery. He wants to take Mark to see Josh so Josh can thank him, but Mark gives Carter all the credit. Carol tells Mark that Laura’s now going to be admitted to psych. Mark admits that he screwed up by not having her admitted before. Carol lets him off easy, but Mark says he didn’t go the extra mile in patient care. Carol doesn’t think it should just be the doctor’s responsibility. There needs to be a safety net.

Haleh tells Carol that Weaver is punching everyone out, like she threatened. Interns will take over the nurses’ tasks. Weaver tells Carol that nurses spend the ends of their shifts slacking off anyway. They don’t generate income, so their extra hours shouldn’t be compensated. Carol’s like, “Yeah, saving money is definitely more important than the patient care we provide.”

Mark decides to go out with Heather after all, I guess because he doesn’t want to be Willy Loman looking back on his pointless life. Weaver tells Jerry that he has almost a month’s worth of unused vacation time, so she suggests that he take it now. Doyle reminds Carter that he was supposed to be doing sutures today, but he kept doing other things. Carter accuses her of giving Anna special treatment because of a personal interest. Doyle laughs that off, then compliments Anna’s hair when she comes in.

Carter appreciates that Anna gave Kirsten’s case to him, so he offers to return the favor with dinner. Instead, Anna asks for help figuring out tax deductions. He invites her to chat about it over dinner, because he can’t take a hint. She tells him she has to do laundry tonight, so he invites himself along.

Doug and Carol meet up on an El platform, and she’s past her jealousy over Elizabeth. Mark and Heather go to dinner, and he tells her he’s missed her. Carter slums it in a Laundromat, which leads to physical comedy with a shaking dryer. The sandwiches Anna gets them for dinner end up in a machine with the clothes. Mark and Heather try to have sex, but he either can’t perform or is just left unsatisfied. He wants to smoke, but she asks him to do it outside, since she’s allergic. He decides to just leave instead.

Thoughts: Fun with out-of-context quotes: “What happened to that boy’s penis should have been left up to me.”

Today’s lesson: You can keep any weapons you want at the front desk as long as you say they’re not usable. Security won’t even notice.

I believe the situation was that Abraham Benrubi needed time off to do another show, so they had to find a way to temporarily write him out. They couldn’t have gone with something less ridiculous?

May 28, 2019

ER 4.2, Something New: Time to Stop Letting Mark Be in Charge of Things

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

“Hi! I’m a doctor now! Please don’t mention my more-famous brother or the time my wife didn’t thank me in her Oscars speech!”

Summary: Mark’s stuck in traffic on his way to work when he spots an open parking spot on the street. As he swerves over to grab it before anyone else can, he almost hits Carter. Carter yells and swears until he realizes he’s yelling and swearing at his boss. Mark says he doesn’t park in the garage anymore, since it gives him the creeps. (I thought he usually took the El anyway?) Carter’s looking forward to meeting his new med student, who he plans to treat…basically the same way Benton treated him: like a servant.

Weaver goes to see Morgenstern and is greeted by William H. Macy’s bare butt. Thanks, show! He’s doing well after his heart attack but is still on morphine, which is making him loopy. This is probably a bad time for Weaver to ask him to work on some paperwork for the hospital. He asks her to take care of them, and in fact would be very appreciative if she took over some of his other responsibilities. He admits that he feels “like a sheriff with no posse.” Weaver gets it and agrees to help out with administrative tasks.

In case it was still ambiguous, Doug and Carol are definitely back together. He brings her breakfast in bed, teasing that when she woke up alone, she probably thought he’d left her. He asks if he can have a drawer so he can keep some of his things at her house. Carol’s surprised, since Doug never wanted a drawer when they dated before. This will make it harder for him to just leave when he gets worried about commitment.

Weaver tells Mark that Morgenstern has made her acting chief of the ER while he recovers. Mark is just happy he doesn’t have to take on the admin stuff. Doug and Carol come in separately and pretend they didn’t spend the night together. Weaver asks Carol and Mark to interview candidates for a desk-clerk position. Jerry’s confused about why there’s someone coming to do his job. Just then, Mark gets served with some kind of papers.

Jeanie and Al have breakfast at Doc Magoo’s, still enjoying their reunion. He hasn’t told his boss about his HIV status, so he needs an excuse for a doctor’s appointment that afternoon. He can’t exactly kill off his grandmother again. Benton and Carla’s son is doing much better and is ready to be taken off his ventilator. Benton’s skeptical that it’s time, but Tabash plans to extubate him that afternoon. Carla chastises Benton for being so pessimistic about everything – he hasn’t even wanted to name the baby. She wants to get on with their son’s life.

Anna treats a boy who broke his arm when he fell out of his bunk bed. Doug pulls her out of the room, calling her Anna, and she asks him to call her Dr. Del Amico in front of patients. Doug didn’t even notice his informality; he calls his friends by their first names at work. He advises her to take on more adult patients, since she’s already done her pediatric residency and is now in an emergency program. Anna wants to control her own caseload, and she reminds Doug that he’s not her superior. He’s in charge of pediatrics, though.

Mark steps in and tells Anna that she’ll need to run adult patients by Doyle, then Mark or Weaver. Oh, and Carter will need to do the same. This is news to Carter, who seems to keep forgetting that he’s back to being a first-year intern and has no say in anything anymore. Carter argues that he’s done more ER procedures than Maggie, and he spent a lot of his surgical internship teaching Doyle. She objects, but Mark says it’s a moot point. His rule stands. Doug soon laments his instructions to Anna, since it means he has to take her younger patients, including the ones who barf.

Hicks reintroduces Benton to Elizabeth, who will be shadowing him on trauma cases today. Meanwhile, Carter and Anna meet their med students, George Henry and Chasity Lee. Chasity is very eager and knows she won’t be doing anything glamorous for a while. Henry states right out that he’s not interested in patient care; he’s a researcher. Because of his combination M.D./Ph.D. program, he hasn’t worked with patients for four years. Carter isn’t sure how to handle this information.

Benton takes Elizabeth to the ER to help Doyle with a gunshot victim named Ernesto. For Elizabeth’s benefit, Benton has everyone go over their steps methodically. Elizabeth and Doyle start talking about kinds of bullets, which almost makes Benton roll his eyes. Carter wants to join them, even though he hasn’t been paged, since he wants to get involved in an interesting case. Benton and Doyle tell him they have more than enough doctors, so Carter isn’t needed.

Mark and Connie take care of a woman named Ethel who appears to be extremely drunk but claims she isn’t. Instead of helping with a cool gunshot case, Carter now has to take care of a drunk who needs rectal medication. Well, really, Henry will be taking care of her while Carter lies back and relaxes. Mark and Carol are working through the list of desk-clerk applicants, with only a few left to go. Jerry learns that when he was up for the job, the nurses took bets on who would get it.

Mark and Carol’s current interviewee is a humorless woman who’s worked in nine other hospitals. She’s obsessed with precision and is already annoyed with the late start of her interview. Jeanie treats an elderly woman named Estelle who fell down her stairs. She claims her sister pushed her. Benton and Elizabeth scrub in for surgery with Dr. Breedlove, and he cautions her to pay more attention than she did in the ER. She quickly goes against the stereotype of polite Brits by commenting on how short Breedlove is. Benton’s like, “Who is this woman who speaks her mind and will clearly be my next love interest?”

Henry bores Carter with talk of some of his research while Anna basks in her med student’s efficiency and cheery attitude. Jeanie asks Carter to tend to Estelle, so Carter hands her off to Henry. Mark and Carol interview Cynthia Hooper, who’s unprepared and has no experience in clerking. She thinks she’d be doing billing, which she wouldn’t. She does like working with people, though. Cynthia’s nerves get the better of her and she starts crying, making Carol give Mark a look that says, “Are we done here?”

Doug treats Jesús, a seven-year-old with a cough that might mean he has pneumonia. Doug has some trouble communicating with the boy’s parents, who don’t speak much English. Doug’s Spanish isn’t great, and though he’s able to ask questions of the parents, the Trajillos, he can’t understand their answers very well. Mark and Carol have no good prospects, and though Mark is willing to hire one of them, Carol says he wouldn’t fit in. They run into Heather, one of Mark’s exes, on their way to see a patient, an 18-year-old named Laura who passed out.

Carter brings Ethel’s case to Mark, wondering why she’s slurring when her blood alcohol level isn’t that high. Mark tells him to just move her along so he can see more patients. Benton and Carla go back to the NICU for the baby’s extubation, which goes well. They’re able to hold him for the first time without any wires or monitors. Carter loses track of Henry, who took an overly detailed history of a patient. Jeanie and Carter tell him to edit himself and stop ordering so many tests.

Jeanie tells Estelle that a social worker is coming to find her a new place to live so she doesn’t have to go home with her sister. As Jeanie adjusts the woman’s pillow, Estelle asks if she’s going to be smothered. Her sister tried that, too. So either Estelle is delusional or people just really hate her. Carol tells Laura that she passed out because she was dehydrated. She thinks Laura’s hiding something she hasn’t mentioned. She looks in Laura’s mouth and asks if her dentist has talked to her about her enamel.

Anna brings Carter and Henry to see her patient, a man named Oliver who was found wandering and may have schizophrenia. Malik, who’s passing by, says Oliver thinks he’s Sidney Poitier in Lilies of the Field. Malik should be flattered. Oliver is difficult to have a conversation with because he has short-term memory loss and keeps veering off on stream-of-consciousness tangents. Carter and Anna want to do a CT scan before they call psych, and Henry guesses that Oliver has a brain lesion.

Doug enlists Chuny as a translator to tell the Trajillos that Jesús will be okay after some antibiotics. A social worker named Thomas comes to meet Estelle, who begs Jeanie not to let her be sent back to her sister’s house. Weaver tells Mark that Carol wants to interview more candidates, but Mark thinks they’ve found one who will do the job fine. Weaver’s okay with that. Mark chastises Carter for scheduling Ethel for an MRI, but Carter says that Doyle approved.

Carol tells Mark that she suspected and got Laura to admit that has bulimia. They can’t get her an appointment at an eating-disorders clinic for weeks, so Carol wants Mark to talk to her. Mark says he deals with acute patients, not chronic ones, so he’s not the right person for the job. (I don’t know that an 18-year-old woman would listen to a guy like Mark anyway.) Also, if Carol has any other concerns about the desk-clerk candidates, she should talk to him, not go behind his back to Weaver.

Henry was right, and Oliver has a big lesion on his brain. Anna has to tell him that it could be serious, which makes him cry, which makes me feel horrible because he seems so sweet. Carter finds Henry in a lab, working on his research. Because he’s ten years old, Carter starts touching stuff without knowing what it is. Henry manages to stop him from mutating his genes.

Benton rushes to the NICU in hopes of being there the first time Carla tries to feed the baby. It’s been pushed until that night, so Benton asks Carla to page him when it’s time. She wants to pick a name, but they haven’t decided whether to give the baby the last name Reese or Benton. She figures she’ll be doing all the work, so her son should have her last name. Carla asks if Benton would see the two of them as a family without a baby. He wouldn’t, but she admits that she wouldn’t, either.

Paramedics bring in another gunshot victim as a guy scans the hallway for radioactivity. “I love this job,” Haleh murmurs. Elizabeth comes to assist, surprised to have another gunshot victim, because she doesn’t understand America yet. Elizabeth runs the trauma, at one point asking everyone to take a breath and slow down a little so they don’t rush anything. She does everything calmly and just as methodically as Benton would want.

As Carol goes out to get some medication, Jesús’ mother starts yelling for help – her son is coughing up blood. Anna runs in to help. Elizabeth stabilizes the gunshot victim, so when Benton finally comes in, there’s nothing left for him to do. Benton comments that Elizabeth must have been paying attention earlier after all. “Always,” she replies.

Thomas tells Jeanie that Estelle’s sister couldn’t have pushed her down the stairs since Estelle’s sister has been dead for years. Jeanie considers killing Estelle herself. She’s mainly annoyed that she spent all day taking care of one patient and is still waiting on tests for her. On top of that, Estelle told Thomas that Jeanie tried to smother her with a pillow. Jeanie assigns Henry to babysit Estelle until her tests results come back.

Chuny clears up the translation error that led Doug to miss Jesús’ diagnosis – they didn’t realize that by “shots,” he meant vaccines. Jesús may have whooping cough. Anna says she’s missed it herself, and Doug thanks her for stepping in. Anna runs into Oliver as he’s taken for scans, but he’s now forgotten why he’s in the hospital.

Carter tells Mark that Ethel isn’t drunk, she has multiple sclerosis. Mark doesn’t bother to praise Carter for catching that she was sick instead of just drunk. In the restroom where he was attacked, Mark tells Doug that the papers he got that morning were for a malpractice suit filed by Kenny Law’s family. Mark kind of thinks Chris attacked him, and is now adding insult to (literal) injury.

Anna tells Carter that she had to tell Oliver he was dying five times. Her reward for all her hard work is a tiny paycheck. Carter pretends that he’s also hurting financially. He wasn’t supposed to get paid at all, so he’s pleased to have a check. Except then Weaver asks him to endorse it back to the hospital (the check is just for malpractice purposes and other administrative stuff). As a cap to his long day, Carter’s shoes are radioactive, thanks to his trip to Henry’s lab, so he has to get rid of them.

Benton sits with Carla as she nurses the baby for the first time. He’s ready to give in and let her give the baby her last name. But Carla is also ready to give in and accept Benton as the name. In fact, she has an idea that will satisfy both of them: call the baby Reese Benton.

On his way out for the night, Mark lights a cigarette (because he’s in a bad place emotionally! Don’t you get it??) and runs into Cynthia. She apologizes for her awkwardness in the interview. He lights a cigarette for her and they chat about her recent move to Chicago. Mark spontaneously announces that Cynthia got the clerk job, so Carol’s going to be thrilled about that. Right now, though, Carol’s happy because she’s at home with Doug, giving him a drawer.

Thoughts: Cynthia is played by Mariska Hargitay. Henry is played by Chad Lowe.

TV characters on morphine will always be funny to me. My favorite is Ben from Parks and Rec.

Chuny can’t be the only ER employee who speaks Spanish, can she?

I love the compromise of the name Reese Benton. I think it’s the last compromise Carla and Benton ever make.

May 14, 2019

ER 3.22, One More for the Road: In Which Somehow, Miraculously, Carter Is Still Gainfully Employed

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

I guess the bandana is supposed to make him more intimidating?

Summary: It’s 4:12 a.m., but Mark’s defying our drinking game by not being asleep. He’s also not dressed, so thanks for that. He’s just sitting in a chair, watching the rain outside. Doug’s just arriving at work, and Anna’s there because she couldn’t sleep. She’s been staying in a hotel and needs a place to live. Doug recommends that she talk to Carol, who grew up on the side of town where Anna wants to live. Benton is still by the baby’s side, but he has to go get ready for a shift. Jeanie and Al are in bed together; he’s watching her sleep, and somehow, it isn’t creepy.

Carter’s waiting for Anspaugh when he arrives for the day, wanting to set up a time to talk later. Anspaugh has time now, and he gets annoyed when Carter tries to delay their conversation. Carter finally announces that he’s thinking about leaving the surgical program. Now Anspaugh’s more than annoyed. He reminds Carter that he entered into a contract – in exchange for training, he’s supposed to give his best effort. He can’t just run home to Mommy. If Carter says anything more about being in the wrong program, he’ll be out of the hospital altogether.

Mark goes into the bathroom where he was attacked; for some reason, the broken mirror hasn’t been replaced. Anna chats with Carol about living arrangements, saying she’s looking forward to living alone. She’s the oldest of eight kids, and the only girl. Their father was a mailman, so Anna’s used to not having money. The two examine a boy named Chuck who has pain in his hip.

Carter tells Mark that, despite the response he got from Anspaugh, he’d still like to leave surgery for emergency medicine. He’s missed the match for the year, but he hopes Mark can help him get a spot anyway. Mark suggests that Carter get Weaver’s help instead. Benton operates with Hicks, spacing out because of lack of sleep and his distraction over the baby. He gets paged and steps out.

Mark and Doyle take care of a man named Mr. Munder who felt chest pain while working out. He’s afraid he’s having a heart attack like his father did at his age. Doyle orders a bunch of tests, but Mark, who appears to be back to his normal self, at least professionally, tells her to start with prescribing aspirin. Weaver and Jeanie tend to an elderly man, Bert, who’s on a ton of medication.

Doug tells Carol that he’s applied to a Big Brother program and put her down as a character reference. He invites her to get dinner that night, but she already has a date. Chuny and Connie aren’t that impressed with the guy. Doug learns that Anna ordered some sort of test for Chuck and tells Carol to hold off on it until Doug can check him out.

Carla and Benton meet with Dr. Tabash, who tells them the baby’s brain appears to be fine. They still have to look out for possible negative effects from low oxygen. Chances are that the baby will be fine, but there’s still a small chance that he’ll have learning disabilities or other complications. Mark tells Doyle that he’s decided to buy a gun after all. Jerry gives him a message that a detective is coming by later with photos of possible suspects. Mark asks Doug for a prescription for painkillers (and we’re probably supposed to think that will lead to an addiction, but it doesn’t, so just ignore that).

Munder has more chest pain, this time definitely from a heart attack. Mark stays calm while taking care of him. Weaver calls Carter for a surgical consult on Bert, but further examination shows that the care his wife is giving him at home isn’t very good. Carter asks Weaver to talk to Anspaugh on his behalf, but Weaver doesn’t think there’s money in the budget to pay him. Carter laughs as he says he’ll work for free. Oh, Carter. OH, CARTER.

Anna goes looking for Chuck, but Doug has already released him. She confronts him for taking over her case, but he pulls rank. She tells him he can take risks with his own patients, not hers. Mark and Doyle continue tending to Munder as Carter determines that Bert doesn’t need surgery. He and Jeanie gently question Bert’s wife about his nutrition and exercise. Carter tells her that it might be time for her husband to go to a care facility. She’s not interested.

Paramedics bring in a teen girl who appears to have overdosed on drugs in the park. Carol recognizes her and tells someone to get Doug. Anna thinks Carol’s calling him in to take over another one of her cases, but Carol tells her that Doug knows the patient – it’s Charlie.

Mark looks through some mug shots to try to ID a guy the police suspect as his attacker. He doesn’t recognize anyone, but he picks one who might have been the guy. The detectives don’t confirm his identity, but it’s clear that it’s the wrong guy. One of the detectives offers to refer Mark to a victims’ group so he can keep working through his trauma. Mark would rather trash the doctors’ lounge.

Doug checks in on Charlie, then goes off to call her mother. Benton chats with Kit, a NICU nurse, while Carla holds the baby. Benton admits that they haven’t chosen a name yet, and Kit says she thinks it’s “safe” to pick one (in other words, the baby will live). Doug and Carol discuss Mark’s lounge tantrum, and how he left to run an errand when he was done.

A guy comes in looking for Charlie, saying he’s her friend, though Doug notes that someone who doesn’t know her last name probably isn’t that close of a friend. Doug says the guy, Tommy, can ask Charlie’s mom if he can see her. Tommy says Charlie’s mom won’t be coming to see her, since she’s in jail. In that case, Charlie will be turned over to the Department of Children and Family Services, her worst nightmare.

Weaver confronts Carter for not warning her that Anspaugh doesn’t support his move from surgery to emergency medicine. He won’t budge. Weaver would love to have Carter in the ER, but she’s not going to mediate his issues with Anspaugh. Charlie’s taken a bunch of drugs, and it looks like she has hepatitis. Anna has restrained her, but Doug asks to have them removed, since he knows Charlie won’t talk to him otherwise. Charlie refuses to go back to foster care; she wants to go stay with friends. Doug offers to get her into rehab so she can straighten out her life.

Al stops by to see Jeanie, letting her know he wants to cook her dinner that night. Weaver’s surprised to learn that they’re back together. In case it wasn’t clear that Mark is having some issues, he’s smoking now. Doug tells him he won’t write him a painkiller prescription. He needs to get help. Mark thinks Doug has no place to talk, since he’s never been through a trauma like this. Doug offers to listen if Mark ever wants to talk.

Weaver pages Anspaugh to the ER for a consult, since she couldn’t find Carter. This frees Carter up to meet with a social worker, dietitian, and physical therapist about Bert’s care. Jackie finds Benton in the hospital chapel and remembers how he used to run to church as a kid in hopes of looking like he was repenting after he’d caused trouble. Benton shares his fears that something will turn out to be wrong with the baby. Jackie knows he’ll love his son no matter what. Life doesn’t always go the way we want, but we deal with it.

Carter hopes to find a care facility where Bert and his wife can both live, even though she doesn’t need as much care as he does. Anspaugh calls Carter away for rounds, but the people Carter’s been consulting with object. He’s the one who’s been dealing with the couple, so he needs to stay on. Anspaugh gets more and more impatient, and though it’s rude of him to demand that Carter leave in the middle of the conversation, it’s nowhere near as rude as Carter yelling at him in the middle of the hallway that he’ll come when and if he can.

The nurses’ shift ends, and Carol gets prettied up for her date. Doug and Anna meet with Adele, who isn’t sure that Charlie’s telling the truth about the poor conditions of her foster home. It’s kind of a moot point, though, since Charlie has fled the hospital. As Mark is leaving, Doyle tells him that Munder is doing better and will be getting a pacemaker implanted. His wife thanks Mark for saving him. E-Ray comments that it must be great to save people’s lives.

Doug and Anna drive around looking for Charlie, whom Anna says reminds her of herself. Weaver doesn’t bother to hide her disapproval over Jeanie and Al’s reunion. (Maybe she’s a Greg fan, like me.) Jeanie says she’s happier than she’s ever been, but not because of Al – because of herself. She’s no longer afraid of living her life. She’s been in love with Al since she first saw him at the age of 16, and she knows he feels the same about her. Weaver just tells her to have a good night.

Mark falls asleep on an El train on his way home, waking up when some loud punks get on. They start hassling him for money, so he gets off at the next stop. They follow him, so he pulls a gun on them and chases them off. Doug and Anna have no luck finding Charlie; it sounds like she and Tommy have scored some good drugs and are holed up somewhere. Doug invites Anna to get something to eat, and she questions what, exactly, he has in mind. She asks how long ago he and Carol broke up. He says it was a long time, but Anna still doesn’t want to get in the middle of that.

Carter approaches Anspaugh as he’s leaving, trying to clarify that he has nothing against surgery or surgeons. He knows he could be competent at surgery, but not great. In emergency medicine, he could excel. He wants to spend time with his patients, and he knows he’s good at it. This is how he wants to make a difference in people’s lives. He asks Anspaugh not to make him give that up or waste his talents.

Anspaugh says he’s sometimes wondered if he made the right decision in becoming a surgeon. Carter’s 25 but feels certain about what he wants to do. He was able to get Bert and his wife into a nursing home together. Anspaugh tells Carter to find him in the morning so they can work out some arrangements. So Carter has won yet another round with Anspaugh. Meanwhile, Mark runs to a bridge and tosses his gun into the river. Money well spent!

Doug’s lurking in the shadows outside Carol’s house when she gets home from her date. He teases her about not letting the guy come in. She says it was only the third date. Doug does that cute smirk he always does – the smirk that made half of America fall in love with George Clooney – and then kisses her. She’s surprised, but when he leans in again, she welcomes him. Back at County, Benton holds his son for the first time.

Thoughts: Who calls a kid Chuck? Like, when he was born, did his parents say, “Let’s call the baby Chuck”?

If I ever even THOUGHT about raising my voice to my boss the way Carter does to Anspaugh, I’d either be fired or I’d be so ashamed that I would never be able to face her again. Carter is too gutsy for his own good.

Mark seeing the teens on the train and immediately panicking made me think of this.

Season 3 is done! Next up: Elizabeth, Romano, and actual character development for Benton.

May 7, 2019

ER 3.21, Make a Wish: I Hope Carol Wished for a Less-Creepy Fake Baby

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

Yeah, this looks like a guy who’s ready to go back to his stressful job

Summary: Carter finds Benton before an ER shift to discuss their transplant case from the previous week. He’s starting to think he’s in the wrong place. He loves surgery, but he’s not completely satisfied. Benton doesn’t know what that means. Carter doesn’t like that surgeons don’t get to know their patients better.

Anna’s getting acclimated to working at County, and has undergone an extensive security check. Weaver says they’re beefing things up in the wake of Mark’s attack. He’s coming back to work today, and Weaver wants everyone to work together to give him a light load. Doug mentions that it’s Carol’s birthday, which annoys her, since he promised he wouldn’t. But he also told everyone last year, so it can’t be a secret anymore, right?

Jeanie and Al are fully back together and making out in her kitchen. He gets distracted by her microwave, complaining that she never let him have one. Back at County, Carla’s in labor, and Coburn can no longer do anything to stop it, even though it’s two months early. Time for Benton to become a father!

Mark arrives for his first shift post-beating. He has a cast on his hand and a huge, ugly bruise around his eye, which should put his patients right at ease. He meets Anna, who mentions that she’s kind of already met him, though he was unconscious at the time. Mark jumps in to help Doug and Carol with a trauma, but Doug urges him to take it easy.

Benton is a great birthing coach, if what you want in a birthing coach is a guy who ignores you to ask your doctor questions about your treatment. Coburn eventually tells him to shut up and be helpful. Security is adding cameras, bulletproof glass, and armed guards, which we know from future seasons will do absolutely nothing.

Mark thinks everyone’s overreacting. The better plan is to change how they deal with patients and families. Weaver isn’t convinced that a patient or family member was responsible for Mark’s attack. Mark points out that the ER is slow, and some patients have been sitting around for hours. Anyone would get mad enough to attack someone. Chuny hands him some charts, which he drops, and when he bends down to pick them up, he can’t hide that he’s still in pain.

Anna joins Coburn for Carla’s delivery, and Benton rolls his eyes over the fact that she’s just a resident. Despite that, Anna definitely knows what she’s doing, and doesn’t have any trouble taking charge when she needs do. In the lounge, Doyle offers Mark the opportunity to choose from a variety of weapons like pepper spray and stun guns. She admits that she keeps a gun in her car. She once used it to scare off a guy who tried to rob her at a drive-through. Mark decides to “pass on the armaments,” but Carter takes a look, and promptly gets pepper spray in his eyes.

Coburn and Anna deliver the baby, who’s not doing well (and also, the fake baby they use for this scene is really disturbing). Benton finds himself in the rare position of being helpless. Carol laughs as she washes out Carter’s eyes, and he complains about how lousy his life is going right now. He asks about her willingness to start her whole career over in med school. Mark comes in for a few moments, and Carter’s like, “I know I just maced myself, but Mark looks worse than I do.”

Carla’s distressed not to have any news on the baby, and it doesn’t help that her gurney is briefly parked outside a room where happy mothers are holding their healthy babies. Mark and Carter tend to a trauma patient named Harry who crashed his car in a suspected DWI. Carter doesn’t smell alcohol on the guy’s breath. Harry seizes, and Mark accidentally gets his broken hand caught under him.

Benton goes to the NICU to find out the baby’s treatment plan. The neonatologist, Tabash, fills him in, then tells him what he should pass along to Carla. Right now, they have to wait and see how he responds to his current treatment. Tabash asks the baby’s name, but Benton and Carla haven’t decided on that yet.

Doug tells Carol that their co-workers are throwing her a surprise birthday party. She thinks he’s joking, since he mentioned it earlier, but now he’s gotten an invitation and knows it’s real. Fortunately, since Doug knows Carol doesn’t like celebrating her birthday, he can get her out of it. The excuse they’re using: Carol’s having dinner with Doug. Carol calls it a trap, but Doug calls it a rescue.

Jeanie learns from Anna that Carla had the baby, who’s struggling. Anna says she’s worked on lots of preemies but never gets used to it. Randi mentions that Mark’s obsessed with treating patients quickly now, and Weaver says he just needs a few days to settle back in. Doug checks in with Mark, who thinks a week off work was enough time away. He gave the police a list of people who might have attacked him. He feels like he got a wake-up call and will now remember to use better bedside manner.

Jeanie goes to the NICU, where Benton tells her how bad off the baby is. Carla’s sitting with him but has asked Benton to stay in the hallway. Jeanie guesses that Benton hasn’t told his family or co-workers about the baby yet. She encourages him to reach out to his support system. She also tells him to stop standing in the hallway.

Carter and Connie treat a man named Lensky who has bad stomach pain. Weaver pulls Carter aside to report that Mark thinks Lensky’s waiting too long for a surgical consult. Carter and Weaver agree that he probably has a perforated ulcer, so Anspaugh will need to examine him. Doug and Carol need to treat a boy named Russell who broke his wrist, and Doug is willing to try to fix it without painkillers. Russell yells as soon as they approach him, so Doug changes his mind.

Benton tells Tabash that Carla will want to know all the possible outcomes for the baby. Tabash says all parents want that, but they can’t see the future. Benton is concerned with the baby’s eyesight, even knowing that’s not the biggest problem he could face. Carter tells Mark that he talked to Harry’s mother, who mentioned that he was going to a pre-employment screening for his new job. She also said she was relieved that the police didn’t find any marijuana on Harry. Harry appears to have drunk so much water to dilute his urine and clear out the pot that he gave himself water intoxication.

Thanks to the painkillers, Russell is much happier. He’d like his dad to be with him, but his dad can’t handle medical stuff and is staying out of the room. Russell says his father usually sings to him, so Carol volunteers Doug to take his place. Doug invites her to do a duet. For some reason, Doug opts for “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.” You know, every kid’s favorite song in 1997.

Anspaugh’s annoyed that Carter made him come to the ER for a consult he didn’t really need. Any senior resident should know this was a surgical case. Carter tells Lensky he needs surgery, but Lensky panics and tries to leave. Carter asks if something happened to him or someone else that has made him so opposed to surgery. Lensky confides that his father died during a gallbladder operation, a procedure the surgeon said over and over was simple. Now Lensky’s wary about trusting another surgeon.

Later, Carter tells Weaver that he tried his best but couldn’t change Lensky’s mind. He’s dreading Anspaugh’s disapproval. Weaver gives Carter some ideas of what he can do next. Before Carter can get too down about the situation, Haleh brightens his day with Harry’s labs. Carter was right about the water intoxication.

Mark meets with a detective who tells him all the leads he gave the police have been cleared. The detective is surprised that Mark isn’t happier about the news. Carter tells Mark that he was right about Harry, but Mark doesn’t really care. Tabash wants to give the baby nitrogen oxide, since it’s helped some full-term babies. There’s a risk of development problems, but sticking with the current treatment has its own risks. Benton and Carla need to discuss their options.

Weaver follows Mark outside, and he tells her he was wrong about all his possible attackers. He thought he was starting to piece things together, but now the police say it was just a random attack. For the first time in his life, Mark is the victim, not the person treating the victim. Weaver reminds him that they see those victims every day, and they can’t let themselves get overwhelmed with the thought that they could be in the same position. He says it makes them different from their patients, but Weaver thinks it makes them the same.

Carter tells Anspaugh that Lensky declined surgery, but Carter has discovered that he doesn’t need it after all. The ulcer has spontaneously sealed itself off. Anspaugh insists that Lensky needs surgery, but Carter found an article that says he can be treated medically. “You think this is about what he wants?” Anspaugh asks. Carter says yes, of course, but Anspaugh reminds him that surgeons cut.

Carter disagrees – if he can find a medically acceptable treatment that his patient agrees with, he should do it. Anspaugh is bothered by the fact that Lensky is refusing a necessary procedure, but it bothers him even more that Carter is helping him go against a surgeon’s recommendations.

Mark snaps at Lily, so yeah, Weaver, he’s getting better. As Carol and Doug head out for their dinner together, she learns that a temp clerk will be working at the admit desk that night. E-Ray won’t tell Carol why, like it’s a government secret. Mark runs into Nina, who wants him to meet with a counselor who specializes in PTSD. He denies that he needs that kind of treatment. He claims things are getting back to normal, and he doesn’t appreciate Nina being a shrink with him. So that near-relationship is definitely over.

Benton apologizes to Coburn for being so intense during the birth, but it’s not like this is the first time she’s had to deal with a father who wasn’t being calm. Carla’s doing fine, at least physically, and Benton thinks it’s time to let her know what’s going on with the baby’s treatment. Doug takes Carol home so she can change for their dinner, but it’s a trap after all – the surprise party is at her house.

Al surprises Jeanie at home with a garage door opener. He always thought they were dumb, but I guess since Jeanie got him a microwave, he felt the need to repay her kindness. Carol’s guests brought booze but no food, so that party’s going to be fun. Doug teases her about drinking milk straight out of the carton. He tells her he wanted to make up for all the lousy birthdays she’s had in the past.

Carter asks Weaver what he would have to do to switch from surgery to emergency medicine. Would he have to redo his residency? Weaver asks if he’s talked to Mark, but Carter knows better than to bring that up when Mark’s being so grouchy. On his way out of work, Mark gets nervous in the parking garage, thinking a guy walking by is going to attack him. He only feels safe when he gets in his car.

Carol gets a nice birthday cake with a ton of candles. The women at the party put rings around the candles, saying that’ll make Carol’s wish come true. If she’s wishing for what I think she is, it will. As she blows out the candles, Benton stands in the hallway outside the NICU, watching his son.

Thoughts: Yeah, a guy with a broken hand and busted ribs is exactly who you want taking care of you in an emergency.

I know it’s not as respected or whatever as being a doctor, and his family would flip out, but Carter should just be a nurse.

Maybe I need shorthand fro the phrase “Anspaugh is annoyed.”

’90s music alert: Better Than Ezra’s “Desperately Wanting.”

April 30, 2019

ER 3.20, Random Acts: Who Among Us Hasn’t Wanted to Punch Mark in the Face?

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

Nice makeup job here

Summary: Doug and Mark are playing golf, though Mark isn’t very good at it. Doug thinks he needs to play more, to really lean into that “all doctors play golf” stereotype. At County, Hicks tells Benton that he’s been invited to help out with a transplant operation. Benton nicely asks if Carter can help out, too. Al wakes Jeanie up on his couch; she spent the night after having a little meltdown. He tells her his medication has changed because of some resistance. She suggests new medications, but he’ll have to enroll in a study to get them. Jeanie offers to help him with that, though it’ll require her to talk to Greg.

At County, Carol is reading aloud from some story Jerry found at the admit desk. It’s trashy romance, and the characters are all based on ER staff. A psych patient causes a ruckus, telling Mark that chaos is his destiny. Benton meets Carla for a doctor’s appointment, and she tells him she’s no longer going to Lamaze classes with him, since he acts like a drill sergeant. Coburn’s running really late, so Carla tells Benton to go back to work.

Randi denies authorship of the story, since she wouldn’t produce something with so many typos. Mark spots Doug discussing golf with Anspaugh and wonders if he’s trying to butter up Anspaugh for work. Chuny and Randi say he’s trying to get an invitation for a golf game at an exclusive country club. Mark is supposed to go to a meeting at Rachel’s school, but he gets sidetracked by a patient.

Jeanie asks Greg if there’s an opening in the study Al wants to be in. Greg invites her to dinner, but Jeanie declines, and not for the first time. She admits that she’s looking for a study slot for Al, not herself. Mark oversees as Doyle stitches up a girl named Alyssa whose father doesn’t want Mark to leave his daughter’s care to a student. Mark promises that Doyle is capable of the job and can consult with a senior doctor if necessary. Mark and the dad bicker a little, but Mark leaves anyway.

Carter prepares a young man named Carl for surgery to donate a kidney to his sister, Jean. Jean jokes that she offered to trade her stereo for the organ. The siblings have a great relationship and are concerned about each other’s treatment. Chris Law shows up looking for Mark, wanting to discuss some paperwork.

Doug practices his putting while Carol continues enjoying the romance story in the lounge. Doug’s character is immediately identifiable as him. Anspaugh asks Doug to take care of the son of a country club member, noting that good treatment might lead to an invitation to play at the club. Carol asks to tag along as his guest, then says she couldn’t go, since the club doesn’t allow women, black people, or Jews. In denial, Doug says they’ve changed those rules.

Returning from the meeting at Rachel’s school, Mark runs into Chris in the hospital parking lot. He’s upset that his mother received a hospital bill, since Kenny didn’t survive. He blames the hospital for killing Chris, and he’s also not happy that they lost the body, so his funeral had to be delayed two days. No one’s paying the bill until the hospital apologizes. If they send another bill, Chris will have to fight someone, maybe Mark.

Mark shares the encounter with Doug later, and Doug suggests alerting security, but Mark brushes it off. While Doug tends to Peter, Anspaugh’s VIP patient, Benton and Carter assist with Carl and Jean’s transplant operations. Carter gets to take Carl’s kidney to his sister, which makes Benton nervous. Carter takes the task very seriously, makes the other surgeon laugh, and is allowed to scrub in for the transplant.

While talking to Peter, Doug gets curious about how often the boy falls down. He does a quick test that tells him something about the boy’s eyesight. Carol catches Weaver taking a peek at the romance story, where her character isn’t written very nicely. Carol tells her it’s not supposed to be taken so seriously. Then she gets the idea that Weaver wrote the story. Weaver says she didn’t.

Paramedic Pam rushes in with her grandfather. She stopped by to see him on her day off, and her recent training on stroke protocol makes her think he had one. Jean’s surgery goes well, but Carl starts to decline while his surgeon is closing up. Carol thinks Doug ran more tests than necessary on Peter, but an ophthalmologist confirms Doug’s suspicion that the boy has a genetic disorder that could lead to blindness.

Mark and Weaver tend to Pam’s grandfather, Ralph, whom everyone calls Gramps. Pam asks if they’re going to give him TPA, the usual treatment for a stroke. After she leaves to make a call, Weaver tells Mark that she thought this would happen – people who learn about strokes now think TPA is a miracle cure when it can actually make things worse. Mark tells her they’ll follow protocol, but he’s on the stroke team and Weaver isn’t. He promises he won’t administer TPA if Gramps isn’t the right candidate for it.

Jeanie preps Al for his interview for the drug study, though he doesn’t think he deserves her help. She tells him they’re friends, and this is what friends do. Mark tells Weaver that Gramps is a candidate for TPA, but Weaver still won’t sign off. Mark asks her to tell Pam about the risks and prepare her for the possibility that her grandfather will die. She should hear it from someone who isn’t going to push her into a treatment.

Carl is stabilized, and Benton and Carter are invited to a post-op debrief with the other surgeons. Greg asks to interview Al personally, which is a really, really bad idea. He digs into how Al contracted HIV and whether he’s living with anyone. He’s not, which is a strike against him, since the study requires a strict regimen. Al says his ex-wife is around to provide backup if he needs it; in fact, she’s back in his life. Greg tries not to die inside.

Pam agrees to the TPA, so Mark administers it. In the surgeons’ debrief, they go over the two operations to determine how they can perform them better in the future. Carter excuses himself to go check on Jean. Weaver, Jerry, Doyle, and Randi have decided that Carol wrote the romance story. Carol thinks Weaver’s trying to throw suspicion off of herself. Doyle says it had to be written by “an incurable romantic who is very warped.” Carol says she’s not warped.

Doug sends Peter and his parents off to a specialist, advising them to make sure he knows his condition isn’t his fault. Carol and Anspaugh both look on, impressed. Carol apologizes for accusing Doug of ordering unnecessary tests, but nowadays, he’s so glib that she’s never sure what’s real with him. Lydia passes by and congratulates Carol for writing a great book. Doug jokes that she stole the idea from him.

Carter tells Jean that Carl had some complications but is going to be okay. Carter’s going to see if the two can be put in the same room. Weaver introduces Doug to Anna Del Amico, a new resident doing an emergency pediatric elective before she starts work in a few months. Greg tells Jeanie that Al has been accepted into the trial. Now he knows why Jeanie has been resistant to going out with him. He thinks Al manipulated Jeanie into helping him get new meds. Jeanie admits that she doesn’t know if she still loves him.

In the bathroom, Mark runs into Jerry, who asks if Carol has ever expressed any interest in him. Jerry’s character in the romance story is portrayed in a very flattering way, and since Jerry thinks Carol wrote the book, he believes she’s into him. Mark asks if Carol’s ever said anything about him.

Jerry leaves, and moments later, someone emerges from a stall and attacks Mark. He slams Mark’s head into a mirror and throws him in a stall. Mark gets up to leave, but the attacker pounces again, pounding on Mark some more and stomping on his hand. Mark loses consciousness and bleeds on the bathroom floor.

Right outside, Weaver, Doyle, and Chuny discuss the story. Chuny doesn’t like how she was portrayed. She walks right by the bathroom door just as she and Weaver are wondering where Mark is. Carl and Jean are reunited, but Benton chastises Carter for missing the debriefing. Once again, Carter has focused on his patients’ well-being instead of the medicine. Benton gets a message from Carla, who called from Coburn’s office.

Doug heads into the bathroom and is shocked to find Mark unconscious and covered in blood. Anna helps him check Mark over. The two of them, Weaver, Lydia, and Malik rush him to a trauma room, chasing Chuny out after she gets emotional at the sight of her ex. Coburn tells Benton that Carla started having contractions, so she’s being admitted in hopes of preventing early labor (she has eight weeks to go). Carla tells Benton that she thinks she knows when the baby was conceived. He’s already figured it out. They agree that it seems like a long time ago.

Jeanie and Al are back at his place, wishing they hadn’t taken their previous relationship for granted. They won’t be doing that anymore. She kisses him, so it looks like Greg is officially out of luck. Things start getting more physical, and Al rushes out to buy condoms. She laughs, something he’s missed while they were apart.

Mark’s mostly okay, other than a broken hand, but no one knows who attacked him. Randi brings up Chris, and Doyle says a psych patient kind of threatened Mark. Anna goes to take care of one of Doug’s patients so Doug can stay with Mark. Weaver tells Anna it’s not usually this crazy in the ER, which is a total lie. She sends everyone off to do their jobs instead of waiting for news on Mark.

Weaver heads next door, where Gramps is doing much better. Weaver admits that Mark made the right call. Carol tries to calm Doug, who’s anxious about his friend. When Mark regains consciousness, Mark and Carol are with him and assure him that he’ll be okay. Doug jokes that he signed Mark up for a double shift that weekend. Mark just wants to know what happened.

Thoughts: Alyssa is played by Heather Matarazzo.

I found Anna boring in the show’s original run, but after rewatching her episodes, I like her.

So of course, the two big questions are who attacked Mark, and who wrote the story? I think someone associated with the Laws had to be responsible for the attack. It’s too much of a coincidence of them not to have been. And I really don’t know who wrote the story, but I wish the show had revealed that.

April 23, 2019

ER 3.19, Calling Dr. Hathaway: Dale Edson? More Like FAIL Edson

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

Look at the way he looks at her! He’s totally still in love!

Summary: Doyle accidentally wakes Carter up (he’s asleep – drink!) when she stumbles over him in the doctors’ lounge. It’s a good thing she does, though, because he’s late for something. Mark thinks he’s getting the hang of parenting Rachel alone, since Jen is still gone, but he forgot that she has a Brownie meeting he was supposed to speak at. He offers to take her to Six Flags that weekend to make up for his parenting failures.

Carter makes it to rounds late and unfamiliar with the case Dale is presenting. So not only does he look inferior to Dale, but it’s all in front of Anspaugh. Doug and Carol meet up with each other on their way to work, and she tells him her MCAT results came in. She hasn’t opened them yet because she’s sure they’ll be bad. Doug grabs them from her, but before he can open them, Weaver tells Carol she did well. Incredibly well, actually. Weaver tells Mark he has to work on Saturday, so now the Six Flags trip will have to wait.

At Carla’s place, Benton helps her adjust to having gestational diabetes. At first it looks like she’s warmed toward him a little, but when he tells her he has to go to work, she cools again. Word spreads that Carol did great on the MCAT, but she reminds people that she hasn’t even applied to med school, so they shouldn’t call her a doctor yet. Jerry prepares a mouse trap, since he saw a rodent around, and Weaver tells him a lab animal escaped and there’s a big reward out for it (but only if its captured alive). Looks like this will be Jerry’s plot this week.

Carter’s been banished to the lounge for the day to practice laparoscopic procedures. He thinks Anspaugh has turned on him since Carter went behind his back with Bartok’s surgery. Yeah, no kidding. Carter shows Doyle how to use robot graspers to stack dice. Jerry looks for the mouse, Heidi, in an exam room where Jeanie’s trying to, you know, do her job. Her patient spots the mouse, but Jeanie loses patience and turns out the light to finish her procedure.

Doug sends Carol’s med-school dreams floating off into space when he tells her how much he had to borrow to pay for his education. He’s still paying off the loans. They tend to a baby named Joel who has a shunt in his heart and was found unconscious in his crib. His mother, Andrea, wants to stay in the trauma room; Carol lets her stay, but Doug gets impatient having to answer her questions.

Benton’s helping with a trauma when Jerry tells him Carla’s on the phone for him. Carter takes over the trauma with the idea to use a catheter to open an artery. He was inspired by a People magazine article he wrote about paramedics rescuing a girl from a well. The girl was fine; her puppy…not so much. Benton is so impressed that his praise for Carter might be described as “exuberant.” When they hand the patient off to Anspaugh, he chooses Dale to scrub in over, even after Benton says Carter saved the patient in the ER.

Doug still won’t answer Andrea’s questions, so she asks Carol for explanations. Carol finally removes her from the room and gently tells her what’s going on. Andrea’s only request is that Carol let her go back into the trauma room if Joel gets worse – she doesn’t want him to die alone.

Jerry and Wendy place some humane traps around the admit desk in hopes of catching Heidi. Mark’s next patient is Brenda, who got stuck on a bucket-turned-latrine while camping. Carol tells Andrea that Joel should be conscious again soon, then offers to get her food or coffee if she wants it. Doyle chastises Carter for letting Dale edge him out for surgery, not getting that surgery is all a game and Carter has to play a certain way. He hears Benton on the phone with Carla, about to skip out on his shift to go help her again.

Mark and Haleh try to brainstorm ways to get the bucket off of Brenda. Her supposed husband, John, calls her by the wrong name, making Mark suspicious. He uses a can opener to cut a hole in the bucket, releasing the suctioning pressure and removing it. The patient Carter saved earlier, Gunderson, is now having a post-op allergic reaction, and Dale’s in surgery with Anspaugh, so Carter saves the man again. He’d like to talk to Dale about this right away.

Weaver wants to pull Carol off of Joel’s case to show her a more interesting one. Carol leaves Chuny to take over for her with Joel, asking her to bring in Andrea as soon as Doug says she can. Back at Carla’s, Benton gives her an injection, then offers to go grocery shopping for her, since she’s supposed to stay off her feet. Now Carla’s fine with him going to work and leaving her alone, but Benton calls in with claims of a family emergency so he can stay with Carla.

Carter stabilizes Gunderson, then tells Dale that he’s allergic to the antibiotic Dale gave him. Dale first says he didn’t take the patient’s history since he thought Carter did it. When Carter says he heard Anspaugh tell Dale to do it, Dale says he did, and Gunderson didn’t mention any allergies. But the portion of his file for allergies is blank, so Dale didn’t write down that he didn’t have any.

John and Brenda do something in a supply closet (no, not sex), which Mark hears the tail end of. Weaver basically makes Carol an honorary med student so she can teach her about doctoring stuff. Carol bows out pretty quickly when she realizes that Joel is doing poorly. Doug doesn’t want Andrea back in the trauma room, since he’s had to open Joel’s chest, but Carol brings her in. Unfortunately, she’s too late, and when Andrea gets back to the trauma room, Joel has already died.

Carol’s half upset that Joel died and half upset that she was with Weaver instead of Andrea when Andrea really needed her. Andrea’s now doing tasks like calling the mortuary and trying to figure out what to do with her son’s clothes. Carol thinks it would benefit her to see her son and hold him one last time.

Jeanie and Wendy spot Heidi in an exam room while they’re tending to a patient who suddenly wonders what kind of dump he’s in. Jeanie threatens to bring in her cat tomorrow. She feels something on her foot and realizes she’s stepped in one of Jerry’s trap. (Good thing they’re humane.) She has to go to a suture room to use wire cutters.

Dale brings Anspaugh to Gunderson’s bedside, where Carter explains his allergic reaction. Dale has altered the chart since their last conversation; it now says that Gunderson has no known drug allergies. Anspaugh says in that case, they couldn’t have known he would react badly to the antibiotic, so no one’s in danger of being sued. Dale’s in danger of having his face punched by Carter, though.

Carol lets Andrea hold Joel’s body, telling her to take all the time she needs. Brenda and John return to the ER, as John now has a button stuck up his nose. He claims he sneezed while wiping his nose on his cuff. Haleh notes that his cuff isn’t missing any buttons, but Brenda says he changed his shirt. Mark thinks he can solve this without a specialist. It takes him just a few seconds, but now he wants Haleh to call for a psych consult.

Jackie runs into Benton while he’s shopping for Carla and warns that he’s in for a lot of errands. Benton complains that Carla’s been more difficult than usual. (Ohhhh, just wait, buddy.) Jackie asks who Carla will depend on if Benton doesn’t keep helping her. Weaver has Carol assess a patient, then tells her she can perform an intubation. She does well, and Chuny teases that Carol is Weaver’s new pet.

Nina comes for John and Brenda’s psych consult, but they quickly explain their weird behavior. They’re clinic researchers studying creative problem-solving in ERs. Mark did an awesome job. The researchers say the study is being funded by some very high-up people, including some government officials. In fact, Mark could get some follow-up contact from Hillary Clinton. (Because she…needs information on ER problem-solving?)

Doyle finds Carter brooding by the river, and he tells her what Dale did. She can’t believe Carter didn’t tell Anspaugh that Dale changed the chart, which is both unethical and illegal. Carter says that they have to be team players, and he’s already hurt himself by his actions with Bartok. Doyle thinks Carter’s just scared.

Nina teases Mark that John and Brenda’s study could make him famous for being innovative. He admits that he’s having trouble in other areas of his life, like with Rachel. Nina can’t believe “Super Doc” is having problem keeping his commitments. Weaver needs the room where Andrea’s still holding Joel, but Carol stands up to her, wanting Andrea to take her time. Weaver tells her she’ll have to stop thinking like a nurse once she becomes a med student. Carol says she’s not a med student yet.

Anspaugh and Dale come to the ER for a patient Doyle and Carter are working on, and Doyle decides to do what Carter don’t. She urges Dale to tell Anspaugh anything he hasn’t mentioned yet about Gunderson. Dale just says he’s called Gunderson’s mother, which makes him look like a better doctor for worrying about Gunderson’s emotional care. Doyle gives him another chance to ‘fess up, but Dale keeps quiet. After he and Anspaugh are gone, Doyle slams Carter for also keeping quiet.

Later in the day, Carter encounters Dale in the lounge and calls him a liar. Actually, he calls him a “liar, liar, pants on fire,” because Carter is less mature than Rachel right now. Dale tells him to go to Hell, so I guess he’s not that mature, either. He thinks his “adjustment” to Gunderson’s chart wasn’t a big deal. Carter threatens to tell Anspaugh, which could hurt Dale’s career. Dale promises to help Carter out in exchange for silence, but Carter isn’t about to take any favors from him. He warns that if Dale ever pulls a stunt like this again, Carter will bury him.

Mark solves his Brownie problem by inviting Rachel’s troop to the hospital for a tour. Nina thinks this was a very creative solution. Mark asks her out, though it’s more of a group outing than a date; they’ll be bringing their daughters along. Andrea’s done holding Joel, and she’s very grateful to Carol for giving her this extra time. They pray over the baby’s body together.

Doyle admits to Carter that she can’t really judge his actions since she doesn’t understand the surgery game. He admits back that he might be full of crap. She encourages him to talk to Benton, since Carter trusts his judgment. She reveals a secret stash of beer in the lounge fridge, which is all Carter needs to put together the feelings he’s been developing for her and start to ask her out. “Not a chance,” Doyle says. (I guess Carter thinks she’s bi, or else he’s forgotten that the ex they ran into at the shooting range was a woman.)

Jerry’s annoyed with Jeanie for wrecking one of his traps. Jeanie tells him to take it out of his reward. But there may not be any reward – Wendy has accidentally squashed Heidi. Jeanie determines that the mouse is still breathing, and when she learns that there are thousands of dollars at stake, she decides it’s worth it to do a little work. She orders Jerry to being “mouth-to-mouse resuscitation.” (HA!)

Jeanie reveals that she once worked in a vet’s office. Once she gets a promise from Jerry that he’ll split the reward with her, she works with Wendy to revive Heidi. Once the mouse is okay, Jeanie heads off to get her reward – which she’ll be sharing with Wendy, not Jerry. She offers him 10% for being in the room while the women did all the work.

It’s nurses’ night at some restaurant, but Carol doesn’t get invited along. She’s annoyed that she spent the whole day being treated like a beginner. She’s good at her job – why does she want to change that? Mark and Nina take their girls bowling, and she clearly wishes the two of them were alone. They kiss, and Rachel doesn’t look too happy about her dad’s blossoming relationship.

Carla invites Benton to hang around after he’s made her dinner. She gets all juvenile and whiny when he says he has to go home and do some things for work. He said he’d be a part of the baby’s life and her pregnancy, but now he’s busy. As they fight, Carter shows up to give Benton some files and talk about Dale. Benton just brushes him off. Carol goes to nurses’ nights and tells her co-workers she’s going to stick to her current job. Everyone’s happy.

Thoughts: John is played by Harry Shearer. Brenda is played by Julie Hagerty.

Interestingly, Carla’s now fine with needles.

Mark gets the credit for creative problem-solving, but Haleh deserves some, too.

Weaver tells Carol to hold her breath while doing the intubation – if she runs out of air, she’s taking too long. If that were me, I’d focus too much on holding my breath and get distracted, or I’d rush before I passed out. Yet another reason I’m not a doctor.

April 16, 2019

ER 3.18, You Bet Your Life: Who Would Pick Al Over Greg??

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

Nope, wrong choice

Summary: Mark has been having a little trouble juggling parenting and work, now that Rachel’s staying with him, so he’s been late taking her to school for a few days. Rachel’s annoyed by that, and by her after-school arrangements to play with a girl she doesn’t really like. At County, Benton goes looking for Carla, who’s already been sent home. Coburn catches him looking at her chart and chastises him for violating Carla’s privacy. She already knows that Benton is the baby’s father. Benton asks about a test Coburn ordered, but she tells him to ask Carla.

Greg wants to make weekend plans with Jeanie, who’s in a bad mood because she found out her viral load has gone up. Plus, today would have been her and Al’s ninth wedding anniversary. Greg reminds her that she had the flu last week, which explains her increased viral load. It should be undetectable again soon. He wants to give her happy memories of her former anniversary by going away for the weekend.

Jerry has leased a new car, though Malik is surprised he could afford it. Anspaugh tells Mark that he and Weaver both applied for a teaching job, and though Mark is the better candidate, he hasn’t published any articles. He needs to find an interesting case and write it up soon. No pressure, but if he doesn’t, Anspaugh will look foolish for backing him to the hiring committee.

Carol’s reading over a textbook and thinking of all the questions she screwed up on the MCAT. Doug tries to cheer her up, but he can’t erase the fact that nurses don’t exactly have a glamorous job, and they have to take orders from younger doctors. Carter and Lydia treat a gambler named Bartok (though he prefers to call himself an investor, since he uses scientific methods to place his bets). Carter agrees to place a $5 bet. Bartok asks to keep his hat on, which is part of his “scientific” methods – he always keeps it on after he makes a bet.

Al comes by with flowers for Jeanie, but she doesn’t want to celebrate their horrible marriage. Now they’re both in a bad mood. Marks tends to a woman named Ida who has stomach pain and thinks she needs surgery. She’s already had five of them, but Mark thinks they might have been unnecessary. He thinks she has porphyria, which can be misdiagnosed as a surgical ailment. If Mark’s right, this could be the perfect case for him to publish.

Paramedics bring in an unidentified woman they found unconscious in a car near a cemetery. Mark confirms his porphyria diagnosis, foreseeing his case study being published in all sorts of newspapers. Haleh bursts his bubble when she realizes that Ida is a psych patient who likes having surgery. Benton tries to call Carla, then talks to Carter about Bartok; Carter wants to stick with him for the day to make sure he doesn’t get overlooked. Amazingly, Benton approves of this, even though it takes Carter out of the OR for the day.

The unidentified woman was found with a bunch of pills, including some for HIV, so Weaver and Jeanie guess that she OD’d. One of the pill bottles says her name is Suzanne. The staff isn’t sure about one of the medications she took, so Jeanie suggests calling Greg to help them out. She wonders what made Suzanne want to hurt herself.

While Jerry brags to someone on the phone about his new car, Weaver gets a call for “Dr. Markovic” from a cryogenics lab. Apparently he’s been making donations at a sperm bank, pretending to be a doctor, and has used the proceeds for his car. Jerry thinks it’s fine; women focus on the fact that he’s tall and has an IQ of 150, not on his fake medical credentials. Weaver doubts he has an IQ of 150 (hers is 145) and challenges him to take a test to prove it. If he doesn’t score a 150, she’ll bust him for lying.

The nurses find a wedding ring on Suzanne’s finger, but her address on her pill bottles is for a motel, and someone who works there says she lives alone. Suzanne has two pictures of a child in her car, and Greg finds the girl familiar. Suzanne regains consciousness and tells Jeanie the girl is her daughter. “I killed her,” she says.

Carter checks on Bartok, who has an intestinal blockage and will need surgery. Bartok’s scared, but Carter tells him the chief of staff will be taking care of him. Bartok asks for his phone so he can call his daughter. Carol is giving an injection to a patient when Doyle stops her, saying he needs an IV instead. The patient, a former Marine, doesn’t have a problem with a second needle stick.

Nina comes down to the ER to see Ida and flirt with Mark a little. She panics when she learns that Mark left Ida alone in her trauma room. See, Ida has a habit of eating things she shouldn’t when she’s been denied surgery, so she’ll have to undergo it anyway. This time, she’s eaten medical instruments.

Benton lies that Carla’s one of his surgical patients so someone other than Coburn will let him see Carla’s ultrasound tape again. Greg figures out that Suzanne’s daughter, Katie, was one of his patients, but she died of AIDS-related pneumonia last month. Jeanie realizes that Suzanne blames herself for Katie’s death because she gave Katie HIV.

Carter shows Bartok’s chart to Anspaugh, but Anspaugh thinks he’s too sick for surgery – he’s septic already. Carter thinks Bartok will have a better shot with surgery, but Anspaugh doesn’t want to take the risk, and probably not just because it’ll make the hospital look bad for losing a patient. Carter gives the news to Bartok, who thinks the doctors are just pushing him aside to let him die. Carter promised that he would be okay, and now he’s gone back on his word. Carter decides he can’t just let things end there.

Doyle needs to draw blood from the Marine, but she’s having a lot of trouble with it. Carol advises Weaver to help her, but Weaver thinks Doyle needs to learn sometime. Carol complains that nurses should be allowed to do this kind of procedure, since they know what they’re doing. Carter takes Bartok’s case to Hicks, who agrees with Anspaugh that it’s too much of a risk to operate. She admits that he could have a chance if they act quickly, and Carter says Bartok’s okay with just having a chance.

Mark sees all the stuff Ida swallowed on her X-ray and realizes this could be the unique case that will get him ahead. Thanks to some methanol she ingested, Suzanne is now blind. Jeanie tells her that her husband is on his way and asks if there’s anything Suzanne wants to tell him. Suzanne just says she’s sorry.

Jerry takes his IQ test while Weaver keeps an eye on him nearby. I don’t think the front desk is the ideal place for this test, and Weaver should probably be treating patients instead of reading and babysitting Jerry, but okay. Jerry attempts to ask Doug for help, but Weaver tells him it’s an IQ test, not a survey. Doug is called away to treat a teenage girl, Betsy, who had a gallbladder attack on her way to prom.

Suzanne’s husband, Roger, arrives and is pleased to learn that his wife is dying and is pain. She cheated on him, got AIDS, and gave it to their child, so this is what Roger’s been waiting for. Hicks and Carter operate on Bartok, though Carter’s the only person who thinks it’s worth it. Anspaugh interrupts to tell Hicks that he rejected Bartok as a poor surgical candidate. Obviously Hicks didn’t know that, so Carter went to Mommy when Daddy said no. Anspaugh is furious, and Carter will have to beg for his job at the end of the day. Hicks tells Carter to scrub out.

Mark wants to remove the surgical instruments from Ida through an endoscopy, but she refuses, still wanting surgery. Mark changes her mind by telling her how invasive and traumatic an endoscopy is. But before Mark can do the procedure, he gets called to Rachel’s school to pick her up. Benton shows Carla’s ultrasound to a neonatologist named Tabash, who tells him everything looks fine. He’s not happy to learn that Benton went behind Carla’s back to get more information.

Betsy needs to have her gallbladder removed right away, which means she’ll have to miss the prom. She’s willing to take antibiotics and risk getting worse if she can delay the surgery until tomorrow. Doug tries to negotiate with her so she can go to prom, then check back into the hospital as soon as it’s over. Betsy’s more stubborn with Doug, but it’s good practice for when he has to deal with his own teenage daughters.

Mark meets with Rachel’s teacher, who asks if she has any restrictions…because of her leukemia. Apparently she’s been telling her classmates that she’s dying of cancer. After a fight with a popular girl, Rachel is now on the outs with a lot of her classmates. Doyle and Carol take care of a patient together, but things get awkward when Doyle insists she can insert a central line and Carol doubts her abilities. Doyle snaps at her, so Carol says she’ll call a surgeon to do it.

Doug sends Betsy and her date, Jeffrey, to the prom in an ambulance. Betsy has to stay on an IV and isn’t allowed to eat or smoke, so I’m not sure how much fun she’ll have, but at least she won’t have to miss the dance. Carter meets with Anspaugh and Hicks, who are more than ready to terminate his residency. Carter has no regrets, since they gave Bartok another chance. He survived the surgery, which just makes Carter look like more of a hero.

Doyle wants to give her patient a medication that could harm his kidneys, but she ignores Carol’s warnings. Since Doyle is the only doctor in the room, the nurses have to follow her orders. Doug comes in and takes over, effectively ending the Doyle/Carol stand-off. Suzanne’s declining and thinks that Greg is her husband. She begs for his forgiveness, so Jeanie tells Greg to just say he forgives her. Greg resists, disappointing Jeanie.

Weaver scores Jerry’s IQ test and tells him he did horribly – worse than if he’d just guessed on everything. She forces him to call the sperm bank and change his profile. Mark returns with Rachel, and Weaver tells him she performed Ida’s endoscopy, which Mark had told Haleh to delay until he got back. Weaver wants to co-author a paper with Mark about Ida, entitled “The Woman Who Ate the ER.”

Doyle tracks down Carol and calls her out for her attitude and second-guessing Doyle’s orders. She doesn’t care if she’s younger than Carol – Doyle is the doctor and Carol is the nurse. Doug overhears, so not only has Carol been embarrassed by the icy student council president, but it happened in front of the hot captain of the football team.

Speaking of confrontations, Mark tells Rachel what her teacher said about her lies. Clearly she just craves attention from her father, and thinks being sick will do the trick, since he spends his days taking care of sick people. Suzanne dies, and Greg approaches Jeanie while she’s wrapping things up with the body. Jeanie brushes off his apology over not pretending to be Roger, but she’s not ready to go away with him for the weekend.

Carter visits Bartok post-op and tells him that while he’s going to recover, they had to remove so much of his intestine that he’ll never be able to eat solid food again. He can still drink and smoke, though, so he’s okay with that. Bartok asks how the horse he bet on did, but Carter doesn’t know. Bartok decides it doesn’t matter.

Jerry has retrieved Jeanie’s flowers and put them on the front desk, because Jerry has very low standards for things. Malik is now taking over his sting and is setting up an appointment at the sperm bank as “Dr. McGrath.” Benton finally goes to Carla’s place to tell her he wants to be a father to their child. She gives in and tells him to come back that weekend to help out around her apartment.

Carol tells Doug that Doyle’s right – she hates taking orders from someone younger. They come from the same neighborhood, and Doyle got through med school, but Carol can’t even get through the door. Doug tells her she can always get through his door. “Anything in a bra can get through your door,” she points out. He claims he’s reformed and raised his standards. He greets Betsy as she and Jeffrey return to the hospital, happy that he let them go to the prom.

Rachel falls asleep in the lounge waiting for her father to get off work. Haleh brings him a case that would be great for an article, but Mark’s in dad mode now and tells her to give it to Weaver. Hicks informs Carter that he’s on probation but somehow still has a job. She wanted to kick him out, but Anspaugh wants him to stay. This is his last chance, and he needs to remember that he’s not a law unto himself.

Jeanie goes to Al’s and apologizes for being rude about the flowers when he was just trying to be nice. He asks if she really thinks their entire marriage was a disaster. They agree that some things were good, and he takes responsibility for the bad ending. He doesn’t blame her for hating him. Jeanie says she doesn’t hate him, and she doesn’t want to be mad anymore. She admits that she misses him, then hugs him.

Thoughts: Nina, I don’t want to tell you how to do your job, but calling a psych patient a “fruitcake” isn’t exactly professional.

So do Rachel and Jen live in Chicago again? Rachel’s in school there, and Mark didn’t have to go far when he visited at Christmas, but I don’t think a move was ever mentioned.

Listen, I have nothing against Al. He’s fine. But…he’s not a better choice than Greg! Jeanie made a mistake.

April 9, 2019

ER 3.17, Tribes: Black, White, and Greene

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

Okay, let’s keep the child out of the ER

Summary: Mark, Doug, Carter, and Malik are playing basketball outside the hospital when an ambulance brings in a combative patient named Mr. Thomas. He OD’d on his son’s jimson weed tea, and the son is worried about how his father will react when he comes down. Carol is dealing with a college student named Lori who’s worried she’s pregnant. She got drunk at a party and may have hooked up with a guy named Mike, but it might not have been consensual.

Thomas, still high, admires his family jewels, which Weaver isn’t as impressed by as he is. Thomas wonders if Malik’s are prettier and grabs his butt. Whatever Malik gets paid, it’s not enough. Benton arrives outside, and Mark suggests that he and Doug play Benton and Carter in a game of two on two. Benton declines, because the idea of bonding with his co-workers has no appeal to him.

Once the basketball playing is over, Mark helps Lily wrangle a woman named Babs who’s either mentally unstable or on drugs. Thomas’ son has brought in the tea his dad drank, and Weaver is barely able to stop Jerry before he drinks some. Carol tells Lori that a drug screen shows she was roofied. Lori feels stupid for trusting Mike. She’s not sure they should call the police, since she’s not positive that she was raped. Carol calmly says they’ll finish her evaluation and see if there’s any evidence.

Paramedics bring in two gunshot victims from a drug deal gone bad. One is black and one is white. The black victim isn’t hurt too badly, so Mark prioritizes the white one. Doyle takes care of the black one, Kenny, assuring Mark that he’s not armed. Kenny’s brother, Chris, arrives and tries to find out who shot him. He’s furious that Mark is tending to the white guy, Brody, and seemingly ignoring Kenny. Mark says they’re taking care of both guys, and the hospital treats everyone the same.

Kenny starts declining, so Mark joins Doyle in working on him. No one will tell Chris what’s going on, so he turns to the only other black man in the room, Malik. Malik recognizes Kenny’s name and tells Mark he’s a star high school basketball player. Chris runs to the trauma room next door and asks Benton to come take care of his brother. Mark keeps working, asking someone to get security to remove Chris from the room, since he’s getting aggressive.

Carter chats with Babs, who’s now lucid. She tells him she’s had chest pain for a few weeks. Jeanie seems to have moved past her hesitation to sleep with Greg, because she’s gathering supplies and would like Weaver to write her a prescription for a diaphragm. She’s still nervous, though, and isn’t sure she wants to potentially expose Greg to HIV when they’re still at the beginning of their relationship. Then, without even knowing who she is, Jeanie meets Carla, who’s been brought in after a car accident.

Mark meets Brody’s parents and tells them he’s stable but will need surgery. Chris overhears the polite conversation and complains that Mark is treating the white family like their VIPs. Mark insists that, based on the initial exam, Brody was in worse condition than Kenny, so he was prioritized. Chris spits that when Mark saw Kenny, he just thought of him as “another shot [n-word].”

Mark joins the Brodys, telling them that their son was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and was an innocent bystander. But the Brodys have some information that turns the whole case around: Brody is often in the wrong place at the wrong time because he’s a crack addict. That means, while Mark assumed Kenny was a drug dealer, he was actually the innocent bystander.

Carol examines Lori and determines that she was raped. Lori jumps to the worst-case scenario, worrying that she’s contracted an STD. Carol has already called a counselor, and she wants Lori to call the police, at the very least to get Mike off the streets before he can attack anyone else. What’s worse, if he’s combining roofies with alcohol, he could kill someone. Lori asks Carol to stay with her, and Carol promises she will.

Carter calls the hospital that released Babs before she came to County and yells at them for dumping her because she doesn’t have insurance. Kenny’s basketball coach, Stan, comes to the hospital with some of his fellow players, who are upset about their friend being hurt. They’re pleased that Chris has already been there and is probably taking care of things.

Carla’s baby seems to be fine, but she needs stitches and an x-ray of her ankle. She confides in Jeanie that she hates needles and plans to have a natural birth. Chris and the basketball players want to be let onto the surgical floor while Kenny’s in surgery, but Jerry won’t give them access. He complains to Mark that “the natives are restless.” Connie accuses him of making a racist comment, but Jerry defends the use of the word “natives” because the guys are locals. Mark tells Jerry to watch his mouth.

Doyle says that the basketball players think Kenny was shot by someone who bet on the other team for a championship basketball game. Mark can’t believe that someone would be shot over a sport. Connie points out that people are shot over basketball shoes. Doyle suggests that Mark set the guys straight and tell them that Brody was a drug dealer. Mark notes that that’s a privacy violation, and the police need to take care of that stuff.

Rachel and Jen arrive with the news that Jen’s mother had a stroke in Florida. They’re heading down there, which means Rachel will have to miss school, as well as soccer practice. Mark suggests that Rachel stay with him instead. Jen doubts that Mark can balance work and parenting, but Mark insists that he can handle it.

Benton and Hicks operate on Kenny while they discuss Carter’s transfer to Hicks’ team. Benton claims not to have a problem with it, as long as it’s for Carter’s own good. Carter sees that Babs has an abnormal EKG and needs to be admitted for monitoring. She shouldn’t have been sent away from the other hospital. Lori leaves, grateful that Carol stayed by her side through her ordeal.

Jeanie chats with Carla, who’s definitely decided to let Benton keep his distance from the baby. She thinks that if he were to try to be a responsible parent, he’d spend the whole time wishing he were somewhere else. Weaver treats a ring bearer who swallowed his mom and stepdad-to-be’s wedding rings right before the ceremony. The bride and groom will have to wait until he passes the rings. The ring bearer thinks this is awesome.

Paramedics bring in a man named Mr. Brown who was hit by a car while crossing the street in a wheelchair. Weaver objects to a paramedic’s use of the word “handicapped” and suggests “person with a disability” instead. She quickly determines that Brown is drunk, and possibly high on something. He objects to having his stomach pumped, but Weaver ignores him.

Because Carla has A-negative blood, she’s also rh-negative, which could cause a problem with the baby if the father is rh-positive. Carla’s torn between getting stuck with a needle and asking Benton his blood type, neither of which seems like a fun activity to her. She opts for the less painful one, telling Jeanie that the baby’s father actually works at County. Jeanie’s stunned when she learns it’s Benton.

Carter tries to track down a cardiologist named Smith who treated Babs years ago. That’s like finding a needle in a haystack. A number of Kenny’s friends have come to the hospital and are hanging around the hallway, so Mark asks Malik to send them to the waiting area. Malik just loves having a white man ask him to talk to other black people so he doesn’t have to do it himself.

Rachel’s still around, waiting for a babysitter to pick her up, and asks why Mark isn’t taking care of Jen’s mother. He promises that she’s getting good care from the doctor where she lives. Another gunshot victim arrives, this one from the school playing Kenny’s in the championship. Doug thinks someone shot him as payback for Kenny. Mark locks eyes with Chris, who certainly doesn’t seem broken up about this.

Mark handles the trauma while he squares away arrangements for Rachel. Because single parents can have it all! Brown has used a bunch of drugs, and he asks if Weaver is going to bust him for “wheeling under the influence.” He thinks he’s justified in taking drugs because he’s paralyzed. She guesses that he’s not doing physical therapy after the gunshot wound that put him in the wheelchair. She tries to counsel him about adjusting better, but Brown isn’t interested in that, or in rehab.

Kenny’s doing poorly in surgery and will most likely never be an athlete again, if he even survives. Jeanie comes by to pull Benton aside and ask his blood type. She tells him Carla’s in the ER with minor injuries, and she wants him to share his blood type. Benton doesn’t know it, so Jeanie will draw some to find out. The newest gunshot victim is stable, and Doyle wonders if the game will be canceled. The staff guesses there will be more victims.

Mark tries to smooth things over with Chris, telling him that Kenny was injured during a drug deal but wasn’t involved. The rival player shouldn’t have been targeted since Kenny wasn’t shot on purpose. Chris balks at being accused of arranging the shooting, but Mark just wants him to spread the word so no one else tries to get revenge. Chris thinks he’s being profiled. Mark yells that he sees gunshot victims every day, but Chris doesn’t care, since Mark has never seen his brother bleeding to death in the ER.

Carter finally tracks down Babs’ former doctor and records, which let him know that her EKG hasn’t always been abnormal, so it’s a good thing she’s in the hospital. Benton gives Jeanie his blood sample, wondering if he should swing by the ER and see Carla. She didn’t say she wanted to see him, so he heads back to surgery. Mark asks Malik to tell Kenny’s family he’s still in surgery so they can have an update. Malik is again annoyed to be Mark’s messenger.

Weaver tells Mark about Brown, still interested in getting him into rehab. Then Mark heads to another trauma, as a fourth gunshot victim has come in. Weaver lies about Brown being motivated to get sober so she can get him a bed in rehab. Hicks comes to collect the latest trauma patient, and Doug praises Carter for saving him. She gives them the bad news that Kenny died in surgery. She apologizes for keeping Carter in the ER all day, but he’s not unhappy about it.

Doug examines two Little League players who collided during the game. Their fathers start arguing, so Doug sends them out of the room, telling them not to let their sons become rivals off the field. Mark asks Malik to come with him when he tells the Laws that Kenny died. Malik finally puts his foot down and reminds Mark that he’s a nurse – if he’s scared, he should call security. Mark goes to the waiting area alone and tells Chris that his brother died.

Carla’s started laboring, so Coburn has to give her an IV to give her medication to stop it. Jeanie offers to do the needle insertion, knowing Carla hates needles. Weaver tries to convince Brown to check into rehab, offering painkillers if he’ll try it for a few days. Brown accepts. Jeanie calms Carla by telling her to imagine a happy place. Carla won’t share where that place, since “it’s X-rated.” Heh.

Rachel’s sitter hasn’t arrived, so Doyle offers to take her to Doc Magoo’s for dinner. She’s still in the ER when the Laws and Kenny’s friends walk past, mourning Kenny. Rachel asks if Mark took care of Kenny like her grandmother’s doctors are taking care of her. Doyle says he did. Mark asks Haleh if she thinks he made racist assumptions when Kenny first came in. Haleh diplomatically says that black and white people see the world in different ways. White people often say certain things don’t have to do with race, but for black people, everything has to do with race.

Babs has a heart attack, so Mark rushes to help Carter, who stabilizes her. Coburn gives Carla an ultrasound, quizzing Jeanie on the procedure. They determine that the baby is a boy, which makes Carla happy. Mark beats himself up for thinking Babs was on drugs, as if he hasn’t made enough mistakes today. He tells her she’ll be fine, thanks to Carter. “Never shoulda smoked that crack, huh?” she responds.

After their day of saving gunshot victims, Hicks tells Benton that she has space for him on her team of general surgeons. Instead of being ambitious and seeking a tough specialty, he should focus on healing people. At first it looks like he’s going to decline, but he accepts. This means he’ll be working with Carter again, which amuses him.

Worried that putting off tending to Kenny led to his decline, Mark has talked to the surgeons, but there’s no way to know for sure. He admits to Doug that he does make assumptions based on race, and he tries not to act on them, but…you know. Racism. Doug says Mark is the least cynical person he knows.

Brown goes back on his deal with Weaver, leaving the hospital without checking out rehab. Weaver predicts that he’ll be back. Lydia’s like, “Yeah, he’ll be back to get drugs.” Mark tells Malik that he was right to call him on his behavior today. Appeased, Malik rejoins the basketball game. Benton goes to see Carla, who’s asleep, and watches the tape of her ultrasound, getting his first glimpse of his son.

Thoughts: Brown is played by Clifton Collins, Jr. Thomas is played by Richard Fancy.

Carla: still enjoyable for now. It’s weird.

Mark’s bedside manner in this episode is as faint as his hairline. He’s usually much better than this.

April 2, 2019

ER 3.16, Faith: Well, I Guess It Would Be Nice If Greg Could Touch Your Body

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

What’s worse, Carla’s hat or her coat?

Summary: Carol’s asleep – drink! Her mother’s making breakfast and trying to take care of her after the hostage situation. Carol insists that she’s fine; she sees worse things at her job than she saw in the convenience store. Helen notes that it’s a big day, as Carol’s supposed to find out if she still has a job. Carol is also preparing for the MCAT, which Helen thought she gave up on.

She tries to encourage Carol, who doesn’t believe that Helen actually thinks she can become a doctor. She wishes her mother had told her from a young age that she could be anything she wants, like a lawyer or an astronaut. “Fine. Go be an astronaut,” Helen says. She’ll love Carol no matter what she does. Carol’s the one who holds herself back, since she often quits because she’s worried she’s not good enough. That includes her wedding. Helen reminds Carol that she has a good job now and a good life. Helen’s proud of her; Carol just needs to be proud of herself.

Benton catches Carla on her way to work and apologizes for not being in touch since she told him she’s pregnant. She’s annoyed that he’s kept his distance, which tells her a lot about his plans for the baby. Benton is ready to pick up his share of the responsibilities, but she’s not convinced that he’s going to be a stable presence in the baby’s life. She thinks he just wants to contribute money. Benton wants his child to have a man in his life, but Carla notes that the man in the child’s life might not be him. She knows Benton only worries about himself, so she’s not expecting anything from him.

Benton goes to work, his first day back since his appendectomy, and for some reason, everyone wants to see his scar. These people are weird. Carter gleefully shows around the pictures he took of his handiwork. He’s also keeping the appendix in a jar on his mantle. Okay, creepy. Mark sees the nurses chatting, and Jerry mentions that their contracts are up again. Haleh’s sure that things will work out.

Paramedics bring in a woman named Louise who has Down syndrome and is having trouble breathing. Doyle detects a heart issue, probably the after-effect of an illness Louise had recently. Carol meets with Mary from management, who tells her she’ll get a written warning in her file, but as of today, she can get back to work. Carol’s surprised that her punishment is so light, but she can’t be disappointed that the whole ordeal is over.

Jeanie and Greg have worked things out – yay! – and now she wants to go to the opera. He’s not really interested, but she wants to do something spontaneous and romantic. Greg isn’t sure what’s romantic about the opera. Jeanie may be starting to regret this relationship.

Louise’s mother, Mrs. Cupertino, arrives, and Mark asks about Louise’s general status and mental competency. He’s surprised that Louise isn’t on a waiting list for a heart transplant, since she’s sick enough to have needed one for a while. Mrs. C. says they won’t put her on the list because of her mental delays. Hicks checks on Benton to make sure he’s recovering well from his surgery. He thinks she’s trying to see if he’s physically ready, but she’s showing actual human concern for his health and well-being.

Doyle’s upset that UNOS, the transplant coordination service, won’t put Louise on a transplant list because she has Down syndrome. Mark thinks there must be something else going on, but when they talk to the long-missing Kayson, he won’t even admit Louise to the hospital. The hospital transplant committee, not UNOS, refused to put her on the list. She’s in her 30s, and most people with Down’s don’t live to be much older than that, so there’s no point in giving her a new heart.

Doyle objects, but Kayson doesn’t care what she thinks, since she’s just a first-year resident. Mark tries to play peacemaker while still siding with Doyle to advocate for Louise. Kayson says he’d love to give her a new heart, but the committee has made its decision.

The nurses are thrilled to have Carol back at work (especially Haleh, who gets to hand back her supervisory duties). Weaver’s also pleased to have a competent person running things again. Carol says everything’s fine with her, as if she’s surprised that everyone thinks she should be having post-traumatic stress or something.

Carter examines a woman named Mrs. Jarnowski who, despite having some stomach pain, is in better health than she should be based on her diet. She says she eats the same way her mother did, and her mother only died the year before, at age 96, in a car accident. Carter yawns in the middle of their conversation, which is totally professional. He thinks Mrs. J. needs a surgical consult.

As Mark examines Louise, Mrs. C. tells Mark and Doyle that before Louise got sick, she was living in her own place, working, and serving as an altar girl at church. Mark gets a list of the members of the transplant committee, making Doyle eager to see the jerks responsible for rejecting Louise. Mark tells her to watch her attitude.

Doug welcomes Carol back to work, then mentions that he knows the MCAT is that afternoon. Carol has decided not to take it, since med school is a lot of work and would cost a lot of money. He offers to help her out if she changes her mind. Haleh tells Carter that Anspaugh is checking out Mrs. J., even though he wanted Hicks to do her consult. Anspaugh thought it was a good teaching case, but nothing stands out to him as too serious. Dale agrees, because of course he does.

Mark tracks down Nina, who was on the transplant committee. Since Kayson was on board with giving Louise the transplant, she must have been rejected for non-medical reasons. Mark thinks if he can get Nina and one other doctor to change their minds, Louise will get a new heart. Nina says their decision has to be unanimous, but she did reject Louise.

Mark asks if Louise’s life is less important than someone else’s. Nina argues that she isn’t competent to understand the situation and won’t be able to take care of herself afterward. The heart would go to waste. Mark starts to leave, then turns back to tell Nina that all her excuses are bureaucratic things she tells herself so she can sleep at night. Louise makes people happy, and she has as much right to live as anyone else. Nina’s decision will lead to her death.

Greg takes Jeanie to a picnic in the park, which would be a great, spontaneous, romantic idea if it weren’t February in Chicago. Jeanie at least appreciates the effort. He’s spontaneous again when he announces that he thinks it’s time for them to have sex. Well, probably not right there in the park. Jeanie isn’t sure Greg gets what a big step that is, but he’s completely ready for it.

Mrs. J. is having trouble breathing now, and she’s in more pain. Her daughter, Yolanda, tells Carter that Mrs. J. is usually pretty stoic, so if she’s complaining of pain, it must be mad. Instead of calling Anspaugh back, Carter tells Haleh to page Hicks. Benton’s big task for the day is a circumcision on a man who wants to convert to Judaism for his fiancée. He wishes he’d known earlier that this would be a condition of the relationship. Hicks brings in some people to observe, then goes to the ER.

A doctor named Ewing calls Doug to pediatrics for an update on Jad. It’s his 18th birthday, and he’s signed a DNR. He wants Doug to take him off the respirator, even though he probably won’t live more than a few minutes after that. He’s sure of his decision and has said goodbye to his mother and girlfriend, so Doug agrees to honor his wishes. Jad struggles for a minute off the respirator, then surprises Doug by stabilizing.

Carter tells Hicks that he disagrees with Anspaugh’s diagnosis of Mrs. J. Hicks tells Haleh to page Anspaugh as Carter gives his theory – a heart problem that threw a clot that’s now affecting her bowel. Anspaugh comes straight from lunch with Weaver and, to his credit, immediately agrees with Carter’s assessment. He rushes Mrs. J. to surgery, though Hicks tells Yolanda she’ll be fine. Anspaugh’s so impressed with Carter’s work that he allows him to take lead on the operation.

Mark returns to Louise’s room, where she’s playing Jenga with someone named Jimmy. Doyle reveals that Jimmy’s her brother; she brought him to keep Louise company. Mark tells Doyle what Nina said, and Doyle disagrees with all of it. Mark suggests that they call another hospital to get on their transplant list. But then Nina comes by with the paperwork Mrs. C. needs to fill out to get Louise on the transplant list after all.

Doug tries to make a deal with Jad that will let him go off and do whatever he wants during the day, then spend the night at the hospital. Jad isn’t interested, no matter how much extra time that could give him. Doug tries to give Jad his home phone number in case he needs anything, but Jad isn’t interested in that either. Katie takes the number after he leaves.

The nurses got their new contract, so Jerry raids the hospital cafeteria for celebratory cake. Doug looks for Carol, but Weaver says she changed her mind about working immediately after her return and went home earlier. Mark tells Doyle that the transplant committee is ready to put Louise on the list, but Doyle tells him that now Mrs. C. won’t sign the surgical release. Kayson and Doyle both made it clear that Louise will die without a transplant, but Mrs. C. just wants to take her daughter home.

Mark tries his hand at talking to Louise’s mother. She says she was 41 when Louise was born, and the doctor advised Mrs. C. to put her in a state hospital. Mark repeats that Louise will die without a transplant. Mrs. C. and Louise only have each other, and Mrs. C. doesn’t want her daughter in a group home after Mrs. C. dies. She knows Jesus will be waiting for both Louise and Mrs. C. when they die, and Mrs. C. will next see her daughter in Heaven.

While Benton bores Hicks’ students with a dull procedure, and proves why he should never be a teacher, Carter gets ready for Mrs. J.’s surgery. The student has surpassed the master! Mark and Doug meet up in the lounge and recount their depressing workdays. They wish they could have done more with their medical skills today. Mark suggests they get dinner together, but Doug wants to head out and help an old friend.

Greg has decided to suck it up and go to the opera after all. Jeanie thinks he’s trying to prove something to her, and promises that they can slow things down if they’re moving too fast. Greg’s like, “Instead of that, can we skip the opera?” Jeanie is really the one who wants to take things more slowly.

Carol gets home to find Doug waiting for her, knowing she took the MCAT after all. She felt old, and though she had to make a lot of guesses, she also knew more than she’d expected. She invites him in for coffee, but he says he needs to get up early. Carol assures him once again that she’s fine after the hostage situation. Doug asks why she took the MCAT. She says she took it for herself – she wanted to see if she was good enough. He promises she is.

Benton’s day of boring procedures is over, but he’s still hanging out in an OR when Hicks comes by. He admits that she was right to question how he’s been coping with everything that’s happened to him over the past few months, like Gant’s death and almost killing that baby. His life isn’t working out the way he’d expected. Hicks tells him he’s not responsible for Gant’s death, but Benton knows he could have been a better mentor.

He wishes he could say he had a master plan, but honestly, he never thought about Gant. He was just an intern; Benton had more important things to worry about. Hicks tells him he’s not invincible, and all doctors have to learn and grow in their careers. It’s a lifelong process. Benton just needs to have faith. Hicks sends him home, promising that his procedures the next day will be a better use of his skills.

Thoughts: Being Carol’s mother must be exhausting.

Carol took one science class a few months ago and suddenly she’s ready for the MCAT? Also, that plot eventually just fizzles out – I wonder if they ever intended to do more with it.

Jad’s first act as a legal adult should have been to change his name.

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