June 2, 2020

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

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

Romano must have been visited by three ghosts before this

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 12, 2020

ER 6.6, The Peace of Wild Things: Father Figures

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 14, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts: Amy is played by Paige Moss.

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

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

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

April 7, 2020

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

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

Hello, gorgeous

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts: Elaine is played by Rebecca De Mornay.

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

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

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

March 31, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts: Celinda is played by Teri Garr.

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

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

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

December 3, 2019

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

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

Peter Benton (can ya dig it?)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 19, 2019

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

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

I mean…just…sigh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 10, 2019

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

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

Look at this cutie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 13, 2019

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

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

Not seen: Doug trying to back out of the lounge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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