November 22, 2022

ER 12.6, Dream House: Monkey Business

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

Whoever’s responsible for this storyline, show yourself

Summary: Gallant is coming to visit in a few days, and Neela would really like her and Ray’s apartment to be clean when he gets there. Not that Ray has time to clean, between shifts at the hospital, gigs with his band, and bringing home a new bed buddy every couple of nights. The most recent, Zoe, is still there, using Neela’s toothbrush. Ray trusts her not to take anything when they leave her behind to go to work.

Abby and Frank try to eavesdrop on Clemente as he talks quietly on the phone at the admit desk. He’s doing a favor for someone involving an infant warmer, and he recruits Abby to assist him. He tells her to keep things quiet. She asks if they’re going to be treating his illegitimate love child. Nope, it’s a baby chimp. Yeah, you read that right. They’re treating a chimp named Darwin. Kill me now.

Eve tells the nurses that some changes they were hoping for have been approved, but in exchange, they have to give up working overtime. Dubenko arrives in the form of a robot, more or less – he’s working remotely but still maintaining a presence via a screen on top of a mobile metal body. The future is here! Abby does a double take when she sees him.

Haleh sends Pratt to the waiting room, where Chaz has asked to see him. Eve reminds Haleh that no overtime means no overtime, including working shifts in other departments. Haleh isn’t happy to be busted, but she apologizes and says it won’t happen again. We all know that means she just won’t get caught again.

Clemente and Abby examine Darwin as Clemente tries to ease Abby’s discomfort with treating a chimp. It should be fine, since chimps and humans share 96 percent of their DNA. Abby asks if Clemente knows Darwin’s handler because they went to clown school together. Joke’s on her, since the handler actually worked at Ringling Brothers and Clemente had “kind of a circus thing.” He asks if there’s anyone else they can get to help, since he can’t spend all day with a chimp. Abby leaves to get some equipment and Morris offers to help, since he loves babies. She blows him off and enlists Neela instead.

Chaz is at County because he hurt his hand while fighting with Charlie (not a physical fight, though; Chaz got mad and punched something). He tells Pratt that he always felt like there was something going on that he didn’t know about. When he met Pratt, things clicked. Everything was great when he first showed up, but when he cut off Charlie, things went downhill. Chaz feels like Pratt cut him off, too, and he wants a relationship with his brother.

As someone bangs on the door of the suture room where they’re treating Darwin, Clemente tells Abby that baby chimps are susceptible to sepsis. Eve calls the room phone to tell Clemente that it would be really nice if he would do his job and treat some patients. Clemente leaves, telling Abby and Neela to keep the chimp healthy. And then for some reason, “Coconut” by Harry Nilsson comes on the soundtrack (you know, “put the lime in the coconut”), because this plot is wacky! Morris comes in, still wanting to help, and thinks they’re just treating a really ugly baby. Maura Tierney and Parminder Nagra deserve better.

Inez tells Pratt that Chaz is talking to a social worker. He yells at her for filling out a chart for Chaz. Since she has Eve looking over her shoulder and is a mandatory reporter when abuse is suspected, I’m on Inez’s side here. And not just because Pratt’s annoying. Pratt tells the social worker, Liz, that he’s familiar with Chaz’s family and knows they’re stable. Chaz confirms that there was no physical fight; he hit a chair. Liz doesn’t believe him so Pratt announces that Chaz is his brother. That’s enough for her to defer to him.

Sam gets sprayed with some sort of IV fluid by an agitated patient, and Eve finds her while she’s changing into a dry scrub top. She’s pleased with how Sam encouraged Inez recently and praises Sam’s interpersonal skills. She has the respect of younger nurses and the trust of older ones. Eve wants her to move into nursing administration so she can help with staff education and implementing policies. Sam isn’t interested until she learns that the promotion comes with a raise. Unfortunately, her first task is to fire Haleh.

Sam balks at having to do that, but Eve notes that Haleh has been warned three times about breaking the overtime rules. Sam suggests counseling her, but Eve isn’t interested in that. She asks Clemente about the patient being seen in the suture room. He says the patient is a VIP for privacy issues. Eve needs a name for the board, so Clemente says he’s Darwin Magilla. He’ll be transferred back to his referring facility, which is close to where he lives. His mom couldn’t come because she doesn’t drive.

As Clemente runs away before he can be asked anything more, Sam tells Eve that she’s not going to fire Haleh. Eve says she’ll be gone no matter who fires her. She realizes that Sam has never fired anyone before, so she just needs to learn how. Eve will teach her later. So now Sam has to work a shift with Haleh, knowing the whole time that Haleh’s going to be fired.

Clemente returns to the suture room, where Abby and Neela tell him that Darwin’s doing better. They think he should stay for observation, but Clemente wants him gone ASAP so they don’t get caught. He realizes the two residents have grown attached to the chimp and don’t want to see him go. He tells them to discharge Darwin so they can get back to work: “There’s a giraffe out there clogging up triage.” Heh.

Paramedics bring in a 12-year-old named Barry who was crushed by some scaffolding at a construction site. His father, Paul, had a heart attack while trying to dig him out. Pratt, Morris, and Inez tend to Barry until Pratt goes next door to help Ray and Haleh with Paul. Clemente wanders in to observe and Pratt goes back to Barry, figuring out that he has a problem Morris hasn’t discovered yet.

They talk to Barry about the construction site – his father is building his mother’s dream house. Robo-Dubenko checks in, and Barry’s like, “Is that a…?” Morris tells Barry that County is really advanced. Paul is still unconscious after being stabilized, and Clemente and Robo-Dubenko disagree over his best course of treatment. Clemente wants to try induced hypothermia.

Sam tries to make small talk with Haleh without letting on that anything’s wrong. Haleh thinks that even as tough as Eve is, the energy she’s bringing to the ER is going to be good for everyone in the long run. Neela overhears and asks Sam if Eve is really working out well. Sam says she’s a terrorist. Zoe shows up just then and asks Neela for help.

Clemente uses some equipment he apparently stole from his last hospital to induce Paul’s hypothermia. Robo-Dubenko is skeptical that it’s the right treatment. Clemente shoves the “little mechanical b%$@#” out of the trauma room and into the drug lockup. The thing Zoe needs Neela’s help with is pain when she pees. Neela thinks she just has a bladder infection brought on by too much sex. As she’s taking down Zoe’s information, she learns that Zoe is only 14.

Barry looks in on Paul from his trauma room, asking Pratt when he’ll wake up. He spills that Paul cheated on Barry’s mother and she kicked him out. He’s building the house to try to make it up to her. Barry’s mother arrives and Ray tells her that they’re working on waking Paul up. Neela comes to get Ray, informing him that Zoe’s there and, by the way, only 14. “In prison math, I believe 14 equals five to ten,” she says. P.S. Zoe has chlamydia. Ray defends himself, saying he didn’t know how old she was. Neela makes the outrageous suggestion that he talk to the people he sleeps with before they jump in bed.

Ray confronts Zoe, who says she never told him her age because he never asked. Turns out she’s still in the eighth grade – she’s not even in high school yet! She figured Ray wouldn’t like her if she knew she was only 14. He tells her he also doesn’t like courtrooms and prisons and guys named Hank who want to do…you know, the stuff prisoners named Hank might do to you. Neela gives Zoe a prescription and tells her she’ll need to undergo more tests. Zoe wonders who she caught chlamydia from. Ray asks how many possibilities there could be. “Wait, were we being monogamous?” she exclaims.

Eve comes to get Sam so she they can fire Haleh together. Sam begs Eve not to go through with this, but Eve wants to send a message to the other nurses that there are consequences to breaking the rules. They meet with Haleh and break the news that she’s being let go. Eve leaves Sam behind when they’re done, acting like this was just something to cross off her to-do list. And now poor Sam looks like the bad guy.

Chaz goes to say goodbye to Pratt before he leaves, and Pratt puts the blame for the family dynamics on Charlie. Chaz thinks he went through some things that he never talked about – maybe some things that Pratt’s mother never told him the truth about. Luka arrives just as Abby’s getting the results of her recent mammogram. They’re normal. Haleh asks Frank to forward anything for her to her house. Abby lets her know on behalf of everyone that they’re sorry to see her go. Haleh says she’ll come visit sometime. Now everyone’s unhappy with Sam for being the messenger.

Clemente gets a page and tells Abby they’re in a “code banana” situation – Darwin is being brought back. Sam follows Haleh out and tells her how horrible she feels about her firing. Halah covered for Sam tons of times, and she’s mad that Sam was willing to pull the trigger here in exchange for some extra money. But she didn’t know she would have to fire you! Haleh, don’t be mad at Sam! You both just need hugs!

Pratt finds Charlie on a basketball court and accuses him of calling Pratt’s mother a liar. He snaps at Charlie not to ever call him “son.” He’s not one of the Ceasefire kids who think Charlie’s a good mentor. He’s not a role model. Charlie tells him that he doesn’t know everything that happened when Pratt was a kid. Pratt doesn’t want to hear it. He warns that if Charlie isn’t careful, he’ll lose Chaz the way he lost Pratt. He shouldn’t talk to Chaz about Pratt.

Charlie thinks that since Chaz asked what happened, he deserves to know. Pratt’s mad that Charlie only told Chaz his side of the story. Pratt’s mother raised him without any help from Charlie, and he feels like she wasted her life. Charlie says that he tried to come back but she wouldn’t let him. He doesn’t want to have this discussion when they’ve both clearly had rough days, so he tells Pratt to come by his house sometime. He wants Pratt to have something that used to belong to him and Pratt’s mother anyway. Pratt demands that he hand it over right now.

Darwin’s having trouble breathing, so his handler, Alonzo, brought him back. (He also takes care of Darwin’s mother, Cookie, and their owner’s llama.) Apparently Darwin did develop sepsis after all, and Clemente doesn’t think they can save him, but Abby wants to keep working. Well, yeah – no one wants to be the one to tell someone that their baby monkey died.

Charlie takes Pratt to his place but Pratt won’t go inside. Charlie rings the bell instead of unlocking the door, then tells Chaz he has to get something for Pratt. (I thought this was building up to the news that Charlie’s wife kicked him out, but that doesn’t happen.) Chaz thinks Pratt went to talk to Charlie because of him. Chaz invites Pratt in for dinner, and Pratt finally gives in. Back at County, Neela feels bad that the girl Ray liked turned out to be jail bait. On the plus side, she didn’t give him chlamydia. He’ll have to get tested for other stuff, though.

Neela goes to the suture room, where Clemente and Abby are still trying to save Darwin. It’s been more than half an hour, and Clemente thinks they’ve put him through enough and need to let him go. Alonzo wants to get Cookie so she can be with him when he dies. She should know why her baby was taken away from her. Clemente doesn’t see the point but Abby and Neela think it’s a good idea. He tells them they’re taking this too far. “Oh, come on, you’re the one that started this whole monkey business,” Abby reminds him. She realizes what she said and whispers, “I didn’t mean to say that.”

Charlie’s family sits down for dinner without him. Pratt learns that his stepmother had surgery for a broken hip at County, and he had no idea. Charlie hasn’t found what he was trying to get for Pratt, so Pratt follows him to the basement while he keeps looking. He asks why Charlie didn’t tell him that Evelyn had surgery at County – Pratt could have helped. Charlie says he didn’t seem to be in the mood.

He gives Pratt a stack of letters his mother wrote Charlie while he was in prison. He also has a picture of Pratt with his mother when he was a kid. Charlie says he made mistakes and never denied them. He went to prison for “stupid, petty stuff” and has regretted his decisions, but life is more complicated than Pratt things.

Cookie is at the hospital, and she gives Abby a little kiss for helping to make Darwin comfortable. I again request that someone kill me now. Darwin dies. Cookie pets him and grooms Abby. Maura Tierney calls her agent. Clemente checks in with Morris, who tells him that Paul’s treatment worked. So that’s one patient Clemente saved today and one he didn’t.

Abby tells Clemente that they see a lot of patients and some days they don’t even register for her, so she’s not sure why it was so sad to see Darwin die. Clemente reveals he’s facing suspension – apparently Eve wasn’t pleased when she found out about his super-top-secret patient. He wanted a robot and a monkey as a kid, and now he’s over it. Throughout the episode, Clemente has been calling Abby “Lockhart,” and she’s corrected him with her first name every time. This time when she does it, he says he knows her name.

Something else that’s been happening all episode: Clemente’s phone keeps ringing. It happens again as he’s heading out, and he tells the woman on the other end, Jodie, to stop calling him. She yells something unintelligible. He won’t tell her where he is, only saying he’s not in New York. She yells so much that he can’t get a word out, so he throws the phone in a bin of infectious waste.

On his way home, Pratt starts reading his mother’s letters to his father. He ends up at an abandoned house and sits on a bench outside to keep reading. Charlie finds him there and Pratt tells him this is where he and his mother lived. He’s upset that his mother pushed Charlie away when he tried to come back into their lives. He asks what Charlie did to make her hate him.

Charlie says he got into trouble, so maybe Pratt’s mother was trying to protect him. When Charlie got out of prison, he wanted them to be a family. Pratt notes that he was still a kid when his mother died, but Charlie didn’t show up. Charlie says he tried, but Pratt had moved to Detroit by then. Charlie regrets giving up instead of looking for him. He had his second family by then and was trying to hold them together.

Charlie’s done his penance and continues to do it every day. He still needs forgiveness from Pratt, though. Pratt acknowledges that he’s heard everything Charlie’s said, and he gives him a hug, but the past is past. Even if the truth is more complicated than what Pratt knows about the past 20 years, Charlie wasn’t there. It doesn’t matter why – he was gone, and they can’t change that. Charlie insists that they can fix their relationship, but Pratt disagrees. Instead of pressing, Charlie just sighs and walks away. Pratt looks at the picture of himself and his mother as he goes.

Thoughts: Imagine being in the writers’ room of this show when someone pitched a plot about a chimp. How would that person not get laughed out of the room?

Neela’s “oh crap oh crap oh crap” fake smile when she realizes Zoe’s a teenager is Emmy-worthy.

I don’t think I could ever go back and visit a workplace I was fired from, especially not while the people who fired me were there. In fact, I’d probably refuse to go, and I’d tell my co-workers that if they ever wanted to see me again, they’d have to come to me.

Were they trying to make us think that Abby and Clemente were going to get together? Otherwise I don’t get the stuff with her name.

October 25, 2022

ER 12.2, Nobody’s Baby: Last Resorts

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

I was wrong – Ray does have a heart after all

Summary: Despite all but breaking up after finding Alex, Sam and Luka are still together. Sort of. She’s clearly not into it anymore, but fully breaking up means moving out, so she needs to find a new apartment first. Luka hasn’t gotten the hint, as he thinks they just need some time apart, which he would use to visit his father back in Croatia. Sam tells him that she’s looking for a new place to live. She needs to think things over before they do anything else.

Abby races to catch an El train, annoyed when a couple of women she asked to hold the doors ignore her. She meets up with Neela and they notice the women talking about them. One of them comments snarkily that Neela’s shoes look comfortable and match her backpack. What is this, middle school? On the way off the train, one of the women hurts her ankle. Neela examines it for her, telling her she may have broken it. The woman says she wants a second opinion, so Neela tags in Abby, who says, “Your ankle may be broken and you’re a b%$@#.”

At County, Morris complains to Pratt that Abby, Ray, and Neela are all liabilities. They’re more competent than you are, pot boy. He says they have no brain, no courage, and no heart. I’m not sure which is which. Neela has no courage and Ray kind of has no heart, but Abby definitely has a brain. Also, when Morris says they need to go see the wizard, Pratt is skeptical that he would consider himself that.

Morris announces his presence to the residents, reminding everyone that he’s the chief. Abby calls him “Big Chief Pain in the A%$.” Morris gets all, “Don’t make fun of people with Native American heritage! I’m 1/16th Chocktaw!” Abby’s not on screen but I assume she’s rolling her eyes. Chuny says that Jake sent everyone a postcard from San Francisco. So if anyone was wondering how things worked out between him and Abby (and I doubt anyone was), there’s your answer.

Luka brings in three interns, including Jim, who worked with Ray in the previous episode. Chuny tells him that one of his patients may have died. As Morris heads off with the interns, Ray tells Abby and Neela to pick numbers between 1 and 10. The winner, Neela, gets to pick between Jim and another intern, Munson. Ray has apparently already called dibs on the third, Clemons.

Paramedics bring in a pregnant woman named Claire who was in a car accident and is now having contractions. Ray thinks she’ll be giving birth today, so she asks Sam to call her friend Toni so she can be there. Luka tries to pull Sam aside for a chat, but Sam says she’s too busy. She also won’t let Luka try to hand her work off to a new nurse named Inez.

Ray does a little teaching, telling Clemons that the #1 rule in the ER is if you don’t know something, just fake it. Remind me never to consent to getting medical care from Ray. He tells her to go get something, but she doesn’t know what it is, so she asks Abby. Abby tells her that the #1 rule in the ER is if you don’t know something, ask. That’s how you learn. Yes, that’s definitely a better rule than Ray’s. Abby heads off without telling Clemons how to use the thing Ray told her to get, so Clemons turns to Neela. Neela’s #1 rule in the ER is if you don’t know something, look it up. If someone gives you the answer, you’ll just forget it.

Abby checks in with Munson, who is a man of few words (and possibly also little knowledge, since he’s reading a scan backwards). She tells Pratt that she doesn’t think Munson likes her. Pratt scoffs at that, since everyone likes her. He also thinks she did a great job teaching Jake. He’s under the impression that Jake isn’t at County now because he didn’t match there.

Chuny asks Pratt to get on the radio and pronounce a death for some paramedics. Who knew that was allowed? Paramedics bring in a kid who passed out at a mall food court. Abby quizzes Munson on what to do, and he’s hesitant and leaves something out. She assures him he’ll get the hang of it. “I know,” he replies shortly. You know, buddy, you’re not making a great first impression here.

After Pratt’s done pronouncing the patient dead for the paramedics, Chuny tells him there’s someone in the waiting room who asked to see him. It’s Charlie. Pratt pretends not to know him and tells Chuny to make him wait. You would dare make the great Danny Glover wait?? Monster! Pratt goes to check in with Ray, who’s giving Claire an ultrasound. The baby’s breech and Claire’s already started delivering him without even realizing. Everyone stays calm, but the previously serene Claire is now getting anxious.

Toni arrives and Luka tells her that Claire wasn’t injured in the car accident. Toni explains that Claire is a surrogate, and her baby is actually Toni and her husband’s. Luka can’t tell Toni how the baby is without Claire’s consent. He still wants to talk to Sam, who’s still busy. Luka, get the hint. You look pathetic right now. Claire’s labor is progressing, but since she’s almost full-term, the only problem seems to be the baby being breech.

Pratt grabs Inez for a trauma involving a shooting. He asks if she’s worked one before and she shows him a scar on her arm from her own shooting experience. She simply explains that she grew up in the Bronx. Neela and Jim go see their next patient, Drew, who happens to be the woman who hurt her ankle at the El station. She wonders if her day could get any worse.

Pratt runs into Charlie when he walks through the waiting room to receive his next patient. Charlie guesses that Pratt knows who he is, and he asks why Pratt came to his house. Pratt says he wanted to see Charlie for himself, and now he’s done with him. Charlie follows him to the ambulance bay, saying he didn’t know Pratt was in Chicago (he was in Detroit before that). He understands Pratt’s anger toward him and wants to explain himself. Pratt replies that he doesn’t need anything from Charlie and never has. He doesn’t want to see Charlie anymore.

Charlie ignores him and tells him that he has a half brother and sister; they’re Pratt’s family, too. Jocelyn is in college and Chaz is a high school senior with a swim meet that night. Pratt scoffs that family is suddenly important to Charlie. Charlie keeps talking as Pratt and Inez start working on their patient. Charlie, go inside and ask for a guy named Luka. You two will probably get along really well. He tells Pratt he’s sorry he walked away and doesn’t want his son to make the same mistake.

Abby, Luka, Sam, and Malik work on the boy from the food court (I’ll call him Johnny Doe), and Abby catches a mistake Luka almost makes with a medication. She lets Munson take charge but he’s still tentative. Pratt brings in his patient and tells the other team to take Johnny somewhere else. Luka agrees but Abby thinks it’s too soon to move him.

She asks Luka if she did something wrong or isn’t handling the case correctly. He tells her that Sam’s moving out, which is all Abby needs to know about why he’s not himself today. She offers to listen if he wants to talk, but he notes that if he wanted to talk, Sam would probably be staying put. Abby’s like, “Now I know our breakup was your fault.” Heh.

Coburn comes to the ER to examine Claire. Oh, hey, Coburn! Where ya been? Whatcha been up to? Delivering babies, I bet. Claire objects to the recommendation of a C-section, but there’s a 25 percent chance that there will be complications if she delivers naturally. With a C-section, there’s only a 2 percent chance. Coburn agrees to wait to make a final decision.

Ray’s frustrated that Claire isn’t thinking about what’s best for the baby. Coburn reminds him that she can’t do anything without Claire’s consent. Ray notes that she’s the surrogate, not the baby’s actual mother. Coburn says it’s still her body at question here, and she has the right to refuse surgery.

Abby tries to sneak a peek at Jake’s postcard but gets called away. Chuny tells her that Johnny’s friends, who ditched him at the mall (little jerks), are there to find out what’s going on. When Abby asks if Johnny took something, they try to run off again. Chuny wrangles them and Abby interrogates them until they spill that Johnny, whose real name is Liam, is having problems because his parents are divorcing. The only thing they can offer up that’s medically relevant is that his family is vegetarian, but Liam ate two big cheeseburgers.

Liam’s unresponsive now, so Abby goes back to him. She quizzes Munson some more, but Malik knows the answers better than he does. Abby realizes that Liam could have a metabolic issue. She wants to draw his blood right in the ER lobby instead of waiting for him to go upstairs for more tests. The sample needs to be cold, so she tells Munson to get some ice. He grabs the first cold thing he sees, Morris’ Frappuccino. Abby puts a vial of blood in it and sends Munson to the lab.

Ray tries to get Claire to understand the risk she’s taking by not agreeing to the C-section. This runs up against Sam’s attempts to keep her calm. Claire keeps refusing the C-section, since she wants to have her own kids some day. I guess she doesn’t get that it’s possible to give birth naturally even after a C-section. She asks to consent as a last resort, only if the baby’s in danger. That’s good enough for Ray, and he downplays the risks Sam tries to go over with her. They bicker in the hallway and Sam reminds Ray that part of his job is informing the patient of possible outcomes.

Pratt’s gunshot victim isn’t doing well, and Neela tells him they need to pronounce her dead. He does, then chastises her and Ray for second-guessing him when they don’t know as much as he does. Well, if you think you can save her, then keep working! Don’t give in to them and then pretend they have the authority here! Can everyone just leave their personal problems outside the hospital, please?

Liam’s doing worse and Luka isn’t happy that Abby never passed him on to the ICU. But it turns out her guess about a metabolic problem was right, and she knows how to treat it. She tells Luka how she applied her knowledge of the patient’s emotional state (depression over the divorce) and physical state (normally a vegetarian) to determine what was wrong. (She thinks Liam’s family is vegetarian because his metabolic disorder makes him unable to handle the protein in meat.) Luka and Malik both praise her for the catch.

Luka goes out to meet an ambulance and finds Alex playing basketball on the hoop no one uses anymore. He clearly still wants Alex to be a part of his life, but it’s not clear if Alex feels the same way. Really, I think he doesn’t know how to feel because he’s not used to having a father figure who actually wants to spend time with him. Neela brings Abby with her to take care of Drew, who’s either been waiting for six hours or is someone who exaggerates. I’m guessing it’s the latter, since she threatens to call their supervisor if they don’t treat her well.

Toni’s husband, Rod, has arrived and is upset that Claire won’t consent to the C-section. They have a contract in which she says she’ll undergo any necessary medical procedures related to the pregnancy. If Claire doesn’t consent, Rod threatens not to pay her for her service. He’ll get a court order if he has to. Ray tries to defuse the situation, now taking Claire’s side because he can’t do anything to force her to consent.

Rod and Toni tell Ray that they spent a ton of time and money trying to conceive but kept having miscarriages. They gave Claire the last of their embryos. Hmmm, I wonder if there’s a way to parent a child that doesn’t involve a pregnancy or a surrogacy. Like, maybe there are kids out there who don’t have parents, and they can be matched up with people who want kids but can’t have them? Maybe there’s some procedure that could be ADOPTED to make that kind of arrangement easy to ADOPT?

Anyway, the baby’s heart rate is dropping, so Ray sends her to labor and delivery. Claire insists that Rod trust her – she knows her own body. She also doesn’t want him or Toni to be with her when she gives birth. I’m surprised there’s nothing in this supposedly iron-clad surrogacy contract demanding that they be present.

Pratt tells the daughter of his shooting victim that her mother was shot during a robbery attempt and they couldn’t save her. The daughter asks how the hospital found her, and whether her mother said anything. She has no interest in seeing her mother’s body – they were estranged, each waiting for the other to budge and admit she was wrong about some long-ago fight. “I guess I win,” the daughter says sadly. Hey, do you think Pratt will take anything from this experience and apply it to his own life?

Coburn delivers the baby naturally, but Ray thinks they need to switch to a C-section because his heart rate keeps dropping. He presses Claire to consent. Coburn basically ignores him and keeps delivering. The baby isn’t breathing and doesn’t have a pulse. Ray isn’t very gentle when he tells Claire, so Coburn kicks him out of the room. “I thought I could do it,” Claire says.

Pratt goes to the school Charlie told him Chaz attends so he can watch his brother’s swim meet. He doesn’t let Charlie know he’s there, but he smiles proudly when his brother does well. Ray tells Rod and Toni that the baby’s oxygen deprivation may have caused neurological damage. Rod wants to go home: “We didn’t pay to have a brain-dead baby.” He would be “normal” if they’d done the C-section. Hey, Rod? You’re a piece of crap. Toni tells Ray they were going to name the baby David, then leaves with her husband, though she’s at least sadder about that than Rod is.

Liam’s doing better, and he tells Abby that one of his friends thinks she’s a MILF. Amused, Abby says she’s not a mother, she’s a doctor. Okay, but you can be both! Also, this is foreshadowing! Abby finally gets to see Jake’s postcard, but instead of reading it, she tears it up. Neela catches her. Morris looks over Neela’s charts from the day and micromanages her. Abby claims not to have anything to run by him.

Clemons asks Abby to help her with something since Ray never came back from labor and delivery. Abby figures he stayed to hit on the nurses there. Instead, he’s sitting with David, whose chances of overcoming the neurological damage are slim. Also, his parents abandoned him and Claire doesn’t consider him hers. Coburn tells Ray that there’s nothing more he can do for David. Ray replies that the baby had a rough day and shouldn’t spend his first night alone.

Pratt waits around after the swim meet and congratulates Chaz on his performance. Chaz remembers meeting him but doesn’t know who he is. Pratt reveals that he’s Chaz’s half brother. Chaz says he heard rumors about Charlie having another child but never knew they were true. He’s stunned but handles the situation well, just saying he’s happy to meet Pratt.

Charlie finds them together and is also happy that his sons have met. He invites Pratt to come to dinner with the family, but Pratt isn’t ready for that. Jocelyn and her mother, Evelyn, come in, and Charlie tells them who Pratt is. I think Evelyn might know about him, but she’s surprised to hear Charlie be so open about him. She and Pratt are polite to each other while Jocelyn just stands there, a little confused. Charlie tells Pratt that this is hard for all of them but Pratt should get to know his family. Pratt replies that they’re just Charlie’s family.

Luka goes home and finds his place quiet for the first time in months. There’s nothing to do but drink a beer and mope alone. It’s okay, Luka – your life is about to get a lot better. And we’re going to enjoy it, too!

Thoughts: If my friend was carrying my baby and refused a less risky procedure in favor of a riskier delivery without any explanation other than. “I don’t want to,” I’d definitely be upset. But I also wouldn’t abandon my child just because he wasn’t born completely healthy, so that’s where my sympathy for Toni and Rod ends.

Ugh, Luka, don’t tell Alex that the breakup wasn’t your idea. Don’t make Sam the bad guy here.

Jokes aside, I’m very pro-adoption and wish people would consider it over the time, money, and physical and emotional toll of failed IVF and surrogacy.

October 11, 2022

ER 11.22, The Show Must Go On: We Only Part to Meet Again

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

Okay, ‘bye!

Summary: Sam and Luka discuss their plans for that evening as he walks her out of the ER after she’s finished a shift. She tells him that Alex keeps asking when he can visit Steve. He doesn’t know that Steve is in prison. Apparently Steve said he would explain things to Alex but never did, and Sam just…didn’t do anything. Well, there’s no way that decision will ever come back to haunt anyone!

Carter arrives with a bunch of pizza, having apparently volunteered to throw his own going-away celebration. He’s following through on his vow to Kem to return to Africa and eventually win her back. Sam says goodbye, sorry that she’ll miss his party. The staff organized a surprise farewell for Carter and Sam just accidentally ruined it. Luka tells him to keep quiet.

Jerry complains that after 11 years, Carter only bought the staff pizza. I was going to say that Jerry’s ungrateful, but Carter’s super-rich, so it’s a legitimate complaint. Carter goes to take care of an 11-year-old named Janell who hurt her wrist while playing volleyball in gym class. She has a lot of questions about medical stuff.

Ray’s wrapping up a shift as Pratt gives the new batch of interns a tour of the ER. One of them is Jane. Morris invites Ray to watch a baseball game with him, but when Ray says he’s going to a party, Morris decides that sounds like more fun. Pratt tells the interns to look at how tired the rising residents are; the interns are the before picture and the residents are the after.

Abby, Neela, and Ray still can’t quite grasp that they’re about to be residents. Ray hasn’t signed his employment contract yet, though, since he’s still thinking about what Susan said. Maybe this isn’t the right place for him. The new interns try to help Pratt calm an agitated patient, and one of them gets knocked down. “Lucky for us, interns bounce,” Haleh comments.

Ray reluctantly lets Morris tag along to his party, though he doesn’t think Morris will have fun since he doesn’t know anyone there. Morris thinks they’ll be able to connect over music. The partygoers are mostly hanging out on the decks of what looks like a multi-story duplex or condo building.

Morris is excited to get to hang out with regular people after spending so much time at the hospital. Ray’s like, “Please be cool around my friends, you dork.” Morris wants to talk to Ray about his lack of initiative, like, this is a party. Stop talking about work. They say hi to a couple of Ray’s friends, including a guy named Riley who was hoping Ray would bring Neela. Morris proudly says he’s chief resident. “Wow! That means, like, nothing to me,” Riley replies. Heh.

Janell watches and asks questions as Carter examines another patient. The school nurse who came in with her tells her to stop bothering Carter, but Janell doesn’t think she’s annoying him (she is; he’s just being nice about it). Jerry tells Carter that the sewer problem from the previous episode is still an issue, so there’s only one available OR. Do you hear that, people of Chicago? Only one of you can have surgery at a time. Be careful.

An actor from a community theater production is brought in after getting hit in the head with a piece of scenery. He’s dressed as a cow, and Neela comments that it’s a good thing she’s not Hindu. He’s followed by another actor, this one with burns. He explains that they’re putting on a musical about the Great Chicago Fire (hence the cow). Carter spots Haleh and Malik leaving, and they give him two different excuses why.

Pratt goes looking for K.J., who’s still doing community service at County. He tells Carter they’ll miss him when he leaves. Carter hopes to see him at his surprise party, which Pratt claims not to know anything about. He checks in with K.J., who’s completed his assignments for the day but is still hanging around because his father hasn’t come to pick him up yet. Pratt offers to take him home after they go to Carter’s party.

One of Ray’s friends, Benny, shows off his new tattoo, the opening guitar chords from “Free Bird.” Ray advises him to keep an eye on the redness around the tattoo’s edges. His friend teases him for sounding like a real doctor. Ray decides to own it because it impresses a woman name Jessica. Another friend, Molly, asks if Ray has anything for the heartburn her pregnancy is giving her. Her husband, Kyle, asks for “mellowing agents” instead.

Ray’s done with the medical talk and invites Jessica to go get a drink with him. She’s surprised he’s a doctor, since she just thought he was a musician. He throws a couple of beers down to friends on the lawn, then chats with Jessica about how his double life is going. Morris approaches, asking about drinks, and Jessica informs Ray that Morris has been telling everyone that he’s Ray’s boss.

Back at County, the cow (Mike) and the burn victim (Stan) bicker while Neela and Abby treat them. Stan hopes he isn’t left with scars, since he uses his body a lot in his work. Neela guesses that he’s a porn star. Luka pulls Abby aside to say he’s going to leave for a while to go to Carter’s goodbye party at Ike Ryan’s. They’re closed to trauma because of the plumbing issues, so he doesn’t expect any emergencies. Which of course means there will be at least one. Luka tells her he’ll come back in half an hour, and then she can go to the party.

Sam goes home and finds a letter for Alex from Steve. She pulls it out of the envelope before he can see that it came from a prison. Alex is annoyed that she won’t give it to him until he’s finished his homework. He comes close to calling her a nasty word he should never use. On top of not getting his letter, he’s upset because he knows Sam and Luka aren’t getting along, and he’s worried they’ll have to move again.

Luka shows up at Ike Ryan’s with Carter, who pretends to be surprised. Ray makes out with Jessica on a deck but has to leave her when Kyle tells him Morris is throwing up inside. As Ray goes in, Kyle runs into Molly, telling her he’ll join her on a deck after he talks to some people inside. Ray finds Morris in a corner, lamenting that he’s not as laidback as Ray is. People don’t expect much of Morris, which is part of the reason he wanted to be chief resident. Ray admits that he’s just good at faking it.

Morris feels sick again, so Ray heads off to get him some water. Just as he’s about to step back onto a deck, it drops. It falls down to the next level, sending all three floors of decks crashing down. Kyle yells for Molly and runs for the stairs to go find her. Jessica is sitting on a railing, which is still holding up, but she no longer has any way to get down. As Ray watches in horror, the railing breaks and Jessica falls onto the debris and bodies below.

Ray and some other people race outside. Despite not being much of a leader at work, Ray immediately takes charge, telling someone to call 911. He guesses there are at least 20 people with injuries. Jessica’s alive but impaled on something, so Ray tells someone to stay with her and keep her still. Morris just looks on, shell-shocked, as Ray assesses the situation. He yells for everyone to be quiet, then assures them that paramedics are coming. They need to uncover as many people as they can without moving anyone until Ray has checked them over.

Stan and Mike’s director shows up at County, hoping they can return to the show and redeem the second act. Abby doubts the actors are up to resuming their roles, but the director says they’re professionals: “The show must go on.” Abby asks why the show can’t stop sometimes. Shhh, Abby, it’s a metaphor! The show is THIS show! It’s going on without Noah Wyle! You get second billing now and your career is set for life, so shhhhh!

Morris finally starts helping with the triage efforts at the party, which Ray is still running calmly and confidently. Molly’s alive and seems to be okay, but she’s worried about her baby. Ray finds Benny under a bunch of rubble, identifying his arm from his tattoo. He hears ambulances in the distance, finally coming to help.

Alex finishes his homework and goes to get his letter. He asks Sam if they’ll ever live with Steve again. He thinks Steve has a steady job as a river guide. Sam tells him straight out that they won’t be living with him again. Paramedics load up the injured partygoers, but Ray isn’t sure if there are more under the rubble. Zadro notes that it took the paramedics eight minutes to get there, which means Ray assessed about 25 people in less than ten minutes. Ray notes that there was no paperwork to slow him down.

He’s not sure why County is closed to trauma, and he doesn’t think the hospitals the paramedics plan to take the victims to will be able to handle the patients’ injuries. Zadro tells him they’ll go to County if Ray can get them to agree. Ray calls, surprising Chuny, and tells Abby that County needs to open to trauma. Abby balks at taking more than one critical case, but Ray insists that they take five – they’ll die if County doesn’t accept them. (Make that four, since one just died.)

Abby keeps hesitating, and Chuny reminds her that their radio calls are recorded. Abby finally agrees to take four patients, then mobilizes the staff to move people around and get ready for traumas. It’s a good thing the new interns are still there and can help out. Abby tells Chuny to page Luka and get him to come back from the party.

Luka tells the guests that they should enjoy themselves because Weaver’s paying for all their food and drinks. He tells Carter what his father used to say when a friend went on a journey and when Luka came to work in the States: “We only part to meet again.” Carter’s touched. As everyone claps and clinks glasses, Luka’s pager goes off, but he doesn’t hear it.

Neela, Chuny, and Jane take care of Molly when she’s brought to County. They realize she’s in labor (fortunately, she’s almost full-term). Neela confidently runs her treatment while Abby takes charge of another case next door. Ray’s with a friend named Nick, who needs surgery for a bad leg injury. Dori reminds Ray that there’s only one available OR.

OB is busy, so Neela proceeds with Molly’s delivery herself. She keeps going even when there’s a complication but ultimately decides she needs to switch with Abby, since Abby has OB experience. Molly and Kyle tell her that the baby is a girl and they’ve already named her Janis (I’m guessing on the spelling; since they’re musicians, I assume she’s named for Janis Joplin). Luka hasn’t responded to his page, so Abby sends an intern to Ike Ryan’s to get him. Molly needs a C-section and they can’t wait.

The party at Ike Ryan’s has quieted down, and Pratt and K.J. head out. Haleh tells Carter to make sure his toast is ready because he’ll need to say something to the remaining partygoers. While he heads to the restroom, Abby’s messenger intern races to the bar. Luka finally returns to County and joins Neela and Ray to help save Riley. The messenger intern gets sick, so…maybe he should find another career.

Haleh tells Luka that Abby’s doing some procedure on Molly that she probably shouldn’t be doing. Instead of stopping her or yelling at her, Luka just joins her team and lets her keep going. Abby delivers the baby, who seems fine, and takes a moment to let out a breath of relief that everything turned out well. Pratt drives K.J. home and finds his father, Darnell, passed out on their porch after drinking. Judging from the way K.J. acts, this is a common occurrence. Pratt’s mad that Darnell didn’t pick up his son. He’s the only father K.J. has.

After learning that Jessica’s stable and going in for surgery, Ray checks on Nick. He’s not doing great, but he’s still able to flirt with Neela. Sam gets a call about her credit card and realizes that Alex stole it. Carter’s still in the restroom at Ike Ryan’s, trying to figure out what to say to his colleagues. He practices in a mirror, saying he feels like he grew up with all of them. But when he goes back to the bar, only one guest is left, an orderly Carter doesn’t even know (he came for the free food). He’s watching a slide show with pictures of Carter and his co-workers from over the years.

All the traumas have been dealt with, and Ray, Abby, and Neela finally get a chance to breathe. Morris arrives, having been sent to another hospital for a quick sobering up, and asks if they need anything. They’ve already handled it all, so he goes to lie down. Thanks for showing up and doing nothing the whole episode, Morris! Susan arrives with Carter, who she says was hugging the orderly when she got to his party. Janell is still in the ER, and Carter says he’ll take her as his last patient.

Sam runs in, asking if Luka has heard from Alex. Carter talks to Janell’s parents, telling them she probably has a future in medicine, what with all the knowledge she’s soaked up during her time in the ER. Her parents ask if Carter remembers them. Janell’s mother went into premature labor in 1994, and since there was no time to get her to the OB floor, Carter delivered Janell in the ER. Carter doesn’t remember but Janell thinks it’s cool. (He did help deliver a baby in the first episode, and though there’s no way to know if it was Janell, I’m willing to believe it was.)

Sam tells Luka that Alex tried to use her credit card to buy a bus ticket. They wouldn’t let him, and when they called the police, he took off. Luka thinks he’s probably hiding at a friend’s house. Sam wants to go out looking for him (she left a babysitter at the apartment in case he comes back). Even though Alex also stole some money, Luka doesn’t think Sam should worry that he’s going to run away. She has good reason to worry, though, since Alex didn’t take any medication with him for his diabetes. Luka agrees to get some from lockup and go with Sam to find him.

Pratt stands outside a brownstone for a few moments, then goes up to ring the doorbell. He tells the guy who answers that he’s looking for Charlie Pratt. The guy, who’s a few years younger than Pratt, says that’s him, so Pratt figures he has the wrong address. But then an older man comes to the door and says he’s also Charlie. (We’ll find out later that the other Charlie goes by Chaz.) Pratt got his name from Ceasefire, which Charlie does some work with. Pratt decides to just leave, but he stops when Charlie asks, “You all right, son?” He invites Pratt in, but Pratt leaves.

Ray joins Abby and Neela as they fill out paperwork about their cases. He’s just confirmed that Jessica’s going to be okay. Neela advises him to go home and get some rest, but he wants to be at the hospital when his friends wake up. Carter comes in to say goodbye and tell them about a letter he wrote years ago. Mark always had his interns write themselves a letter to open on the last day of their residency. Carter’s says that he’s scared and has a lot to learn, and he hopes he learns quickly (and doesn’t kill anyone). It also says that if he’s good at his job, he can become an attending some day, and that’s all he needs. He gives it to Abby, who’s a little teary.

Carter walks through the ER, remembering things his co-workers said to him over the years, including Mark’s “you set the tone” pep talk. In the ambulance bay, he finds Morris doubled over and still feeling sick. “You set the tone, Morris,” Carter says. “Huh?” Morris replies. Carter laughs and says, “Never mind,” then leaves for the last (but not really the last, because he’ll be back) time.

As “Free Bird” plays, Ray decides to sign his contract to work at County. Abby gives him and Neela pads of paper so they can write themselves letters. Sam calls some of Alex’s friends as she and Luka drive around the city, trying to figure out where he might be. He’s on the side of a highway on-ramp, hitchhiking. A pickup truck pulls over and he gets in.

Thoughts: Charlie is played by Danny Glover. Janell is played by Keke Palmer.

The revelation that Pratt’s father’s name is Charlie makes his attitude toward Charlie in “Time of Death” even clearer. (I think it’s also significant that Charlie named his second son after himself, not his first, and the second son is the one he didn’t abandon.)

The deck collapse freaks me out SO MUCH. Even more than the multiple shootings and stabbings and other traumas we see on the show. It gives me a full-body shudder.

I don’t want to talk about how Morris is the one to get the “you set the tone” speech, so I’ll just complain about how only guys get it throughout the series.

I’m disappointed that we didn’t get to see Weaver saying goodbye to Carter. He worker with her longer than any of the other remaining doctors.

’00s music alert: “Pain” by Jimmy Eat World, “Right to Be Wrong” by Joss Stone

Season 11 is done! Up next: John Leguizamo and a surprise pregnancy (unrelated).