July 10, 2018

ER 1.25, Everything Old Is New Again: Goodbyes, Both Spoken and Unspoken

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

Clooney should trademark that look

Summary: Carter’s asleep – drink! Malik wakes him up for a trauma, and since no other doctors are available, Carter’s somehow in charge. The 14-year-old patient shot himself in a suicide attempt and needs a crike, a procedure in which a hole is cut in his throat. Lydia is able to outline the steps for Carter, because nurses are awesome, but Benton arrives in time to do the actually cutting. When he learns that Carter was about to do it, Benton just chuckles. He remembers that this is Carter’s last day as a med student, and instead of giving him some advice or words of wisdom, he gives administrative instructions.

It’s raining when Carol wakes up on what’s meant to be her wedding day. Amazingly, the rain doesn’t annoy her. Chloe and Susie are staying with Susan, and though Chloe was invited to the wedding, she doesn’t feel strong enough to go. Susan thinks she is. At County, Mark encourages Doug to go see Diane and tell her how he feels. Doug thinks the breakup is for the best, though he feels bad for Jake. Benton tells Carter that he needs to fill out an assessment of their time together. Carter’s thrilled to get to write down his feelings about the rotation.

Mark tries to talk to his next patient, a drunk woman named Bonnie who would rather have a cigarette than any medical treatment. Carter gives Benton a horrible assessment, with some egging on from Haleh. Out of a possible 40 points, Carter gives Benton 16. He feels a little bad, but Haleh points out that Benton had to evaluate Carter as well, so he’s probably not going to get any kind treatment there.

Swift helps Mark with Bonnie, overruling Mark’s diagnosis and recommending conservative treatments. As soon as he leaves, Mark overrules his overruling. Doug and Carter meet with a preteen named Caleb who’s feeling sick after finishing chemo. Caleb’s annoyed at their concern, so Doug tells him they can’t rule out meningitis, which can cause irritability, because the irritability might just be from Caleb’s personality. (Basically: “Stop being a brat so we can figure out what’s wrong with you.”)

Benton runs into Jeanie, who claims she hasn’t returned his calls because she’s been busy. Also, he shouldn’t call her at home. She asks to meet him later so they can talk. Mark was right about Bonnie’s diagnosis, and instead of being offended, Swift praises him for making a tough call. Then he tells Mark that the hospital has been served with a wrongful-death suit over what happened to Jodi O’Brien. Mark is upset but not surprised.

Benton examines Susan’s patient, Thomas, who has end-stage AIDS. Since Benton has no bedside manner, Susan explains things to Thomas’ partner, Jason. An oncologist sees Caleb, admitting him for antibiotics. Carter has no responsibilities, somehow, so he offers to hang out with Caleb and his sister, Sarah. Caleb continues being irritable, so Carter gives him one last chance to be nice and ask Carter to stay. Caleb declines.

Thomas is declining, and Benton tells Jason that he may need surgery. Thomas’ mother has power of attorney and is on her way, but possibly not quickly enough. As Susan heads out to get ready to be Carol’s bridesmaid, Benton tells Carter that the person who was going to take the ER sub-internship went elsewhere. The slot is open again, and it’s Carter’s if he wants it. Carter excitedly accepts, then races to take back the assessment he turned in. It’s too late – Hicks already has it.

Swift tells Mark that he’s going to take Morgenstern’s recommendation and hire him as an attending. Mark wants to discuss it with Jen, but he’s grateful for the offer. At Doc Magoo’s, Benton laments to Jeanie that he didn’t get to say goodbye to his mother. She tells him that she likes him, but this is about Mae. Benton says they’d both like to think that. (This scene is really vague. I’m pretty sure she’s trying to say they have nothing connecting them except Mae, while he’s saying there’s chemistry there.)

When Susan gets home to grab her wedding outfit, she finds Susie there alone, and Chloe nowhere to be found. She’s left a note saying she went to buy cigarettes, which is such a deadbeat-parent cliché. Carter asks Hicks if he can get his evaluation back for some edits, but instead, Hicks offers to show him Benton’s evaluation of him. Surprisingly, Benton had nothing but positive things to say about Carter. Carter pretends he just filled out a negative review because he was upset about not getting the sub-internship. Hicks graciously allows him to retract his evaluation, as long as he fills it out honestly.

Thomas’ mother, Marjorie, sings a lullaby to her unconscious son. Benton recommends a procedure, but Marjorie doesn’t want Thomas to endure any further pain. Benton agrees to keep up the current treatment in hopes that it’ll work. Outside the room, Jason tells Benton that Marjorie made the decision Thomas would have made. He wants to take Thomas home to die, but Benton thinks he should stay so they can manage his pain. Jason says that Thomas’ loved ones have already said their goodbyes, but they’re still not ready to let him go.

Doug tells Caleb’s father that he seems to have an infection unrelated to his chemo. Carter comes back to try to befriend the kid again, this time succeeding with an offer to play Mortal Kombat. Susan has to take the baby to the wedding and hand her off to the Greenes, since Chloe didn’t come back in time. The wedding party greets Carol outside the church, and everyone’s ready to proceed…but Tag isn’t there.

Benton sits with Thomas, holding his hand and inevitably thinking of his mother. Carol finds Tag sitting by himself, worrying that she doesn’t love him as much as he loves her. She assures him that she wouldn’t marry him if she didn’t love him. She admits that he’s right, but she still wants to be with him. Tag doesn’t feel the same, so we have a runaway groom.

At County, Connie teases Doug that Carol and Tag must be hitched by now. I guess Connie didn’t get invited to the wedding? That sucks – Haleh and Lydia got to be bridesmaids. Jake comes by to try to fix Doug and Diane’s relationship, but Doug knows it’s unfixable. He admits that sometimes he hurts people without knowing why.

Now that Caleb has softened a little, Carter opens up to him: His own brother had cancer as a child and sometimes took out his anger on Carter like Caleb does on his sister. Carter knows he was just trying to mask his pain. As Sarah looks on, Caleb tentatively asks if Carter’s brother made it. Carter says no, but he had a different kind of cancer than Caleb does. Plus, it was a long time ago, and medicine is better now – and the kids are tougher.

The wedding is off, but everyone gathers for the reception anyway. Malik wonders what will happen to the food. When Rachel says she’s hungry, Mark decides it’s okay to raid the buffet. The bridesmaids and Jen are ready for the open bar. Doug goes to the church, where the non-bride is crying in a pew. She asks what’s wrong with her, and why she can’t fall for a good guy. Doug says Tag is boring, which makes Carol laugh. She confides that she’s afraid she’ll never be happy. He assures her that she will be, not even realizing that when she is, it’ll be with him.

Carter thanks Benton for teaching him over the course of the year. Benton tells him he’ll be a good doctor, possibly the first kind words he’s ever said to Carter’s face. The reception is going on as if the wedding actually happened, and when Carol arrives, she expresses her gratitude for having friends who care about her. She’s had a great year because of them. Everyone dances to “Tequila,” and it looks like the actors are really enjoying themselves. Of course, Doug can’t keep his eyes off of the non-bride.

Back at the hospital, Carter turns in the contents of his locker, ready for a summer off before he begins his sub-internship in the fall. Sarah tells him that she hopes one day she can make a difference in someone’s life like he did for Caleb today. Rolando encourages Carter to come back and visit sometime, unaware that Carter will be working there in the fall. He heads off as the busy hospital continues to operate without him.

Thoughts: One season down, 14 to go! Things are about to get a lot more interesting. (Two words: Kerry Weaver.)

I was expecting Marjorie to be hateful and judgmental, which would be an easy direction for the show to go with that storyline. I’m glad they didn’t.

The plot parallels in season 1 don’t hit you over the head like they do in later seasons. It’s nice.

The Carol/Tag breakup is so anticlimactic, but she really wouldn’t have been happy with him. He’s a jerk, though. If you don’t think it’s a good idea, call it off before everyone gets to the church.

 

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July 3, 2018

ER 1.24, Motherhood: Cue “The Circle of Life”

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

Welcome to the madhouse, Susie

Summary: Susan’s asleep, so drink! Chloe wakes her up to announce that she’s going into labor. Well, really, she’s been in labor for a while; her contractions are now just two minutes apart. Susan quickly gathers her things including a giant boombox, and they rush to County. Susan hands her sister off to Carter, who isn’t very helpful with the Lamaze breathing. By the time Susan has put on a gown to help out with the delivery, the baby is already crowning.

Susan and Nurse Chuny Marquez deliver while Carter tries to find the right cassette to play. He fails, so Susan and Chloe provide their own soundtrack, singing the Beatles’ “Blackbird.” Mothers everywhere curse Chloe for having such a fast, easy delivery. Everyone else watching rolls their eyes, because the baby is gigantic and at least three months old.

Susan shows the baby off to Carol, still stunned that she delivered her own niece (and on Mother’s Day). Carol hopes to start trying for a baby soon after she gets married, though right now she’s just trying to get through all the preparations. Tag’s family is in town and driving her crazy. As they run up to the roof to meet a helicopter, Mark tells Carter that he’s been picked for the ER sub-internship he applied for. Carter hasn’t heard back about the surgical sub-internship yet, and needs to accept or decline the ER one by the end of the day.

Doug arrives at work and tells Rolando that there’s a horse in his parking spot. Rolando isn’t sure if that necessitates a call to security. Susan and Carol tend to a man named Josh who fell unconscious after mixing ammonia and bleach to clean his kitchen. In the trauma room next door, Mark, Carter, and Benton tend to a teenager named James who was impaled on rebar. Hicks comes by to help, so Mark goes over to check on Susan and Carol, who have things under control.

A scout mother named Dolores brings in some sick kids she’s diagnosed with giardia from contaminated water. Doug gets puked on. Mark checks out a girl named Joanie who appears to have the flu, but he wants to do a spinal tap to make sure she doesn’t have meningitis. Benton operates on James, actually letting Carter do some stuff for once. Benton even seems to be in a good mood, at least until things start going south for James.

Diane comes by to invite Doug along while she and Jake go house hunting. She tells him that, depending on how things go, Doug may one day get an invitation to live with them. Cue Doug’s internal screaming. Benton sends Carter off to do some charts and labs, allowing him to scrub in on another operation later if he does all the work. Then Benton has to tell James’ mother that he didn’t survive surgery. Happy Mother’s Day, James’ mom!

Carol fights with Tag over the phone, disagreeing with his insistence on having dinner with his mother three nights in a row. When she hangs up, she tells Mark and Susan that their wedding caterer canceled and the bridesmaids’ dresses are late. Mark summons Carter into the lounge to ask if he’s made a decision about the ER sub-internship. Carter turns it down, thinking he’ll get the surgical one. Mark says that people look down on medical doctors while surgeons get all the praise. But he thinks Carter will excel in any specialty.

Susan and Chloe’s mother, Cookie, comes to see her new granddaughter. She is…not very maternal. Chloe and baby Susie are supposed to move in with Chloe’s parents when they get out of the hospital, but Cookie was under the impression that they’d have more time to get ready. She starts badmouthing the baby’s father, which Susan decides is her cue to leave.

A girl named Kaitlin was playing in a mother-daughter softball tournament when she was stung by bees. Her mother, Mrs. Sandburg, thinks Kaitlin’s allergic, since she herself is allergic. Doug decides not to have a lengthy discussion with her about genetics. Carter stitches up a woman who passed out after drinking too much at a Mother’s Day brunch. Joanie doesn’t have meningitis, but Mark is concerned that her heart murmur might be worsening because of an infection.

Linda invites Doug to have drinks with her and her mother, or, when he turns down that offer, meet up with her afterward. She’s impressed when he resists the temptation to cheat on Diane. Benton, Susan, and Connie receive a patient who may have had a heart attack. Carter’s allowed to intubate the man, but Susan has to lend a hand. Cookie pops in to talk to her daughter, who’s a little busy. The trauma is soon over when the doctors find out what’s obstructing the patient’s airway: his dentures.

Carter’s next patient is supposed to be a very old woman named Ada who cut her arm. Unfortunately, she’s no longer conscious, and possible not even still alive. While various people run around in the background to tend to Ada, Cookie tells Susan that Chloe and the baby can’t come home with her. Susan will have to help her make other plans. Susan’s upset that her parents have changed their minds after promising to help. Cookie finally admits that she doesn’t want to take care of another child after parenting her own.

Carol and Susan take a break together, lounging in beach chairs on the hospital roof. They decide that while Tag honeymoons in Paris, Susan and Carol will go to Hawaii. They’ll leave Chloe and the baby with Tag’s family. Susan might even stay in Hawaii forever. Their fantasies end when Susan gets paged back to the ER, where Chloe’s giving the baby a little tour. Doug finds her and tells her she should wait a while before taking the baby around lots of people.

A man bursts into the ER with a woman named Nina who overdosed on drugs. Chloe is drawn to the sight, most likely remembering her own struggles with drugs. She asks Connie to take the baby back to the nursery. Joanie needs a valve replacement, and Mark tries to reassure her mother, Mrs. Lafferty, that it’s a routine procedure and nothing to worry about.

Carol and Susan return to work, still wearing their sunglasses from the roof. Susan finds Chloe crying on a staircase, overwhelmed by all the bad things she’ll have to protect her daughter from. After all, their parents couldn’t keep Chloe from getting into trouble. Chloe thinks she’ll feel better when she finally gets home. Susan decides not to tell her that she won’t be going to their parents’ house.

As Hicks tells Benton that a decision has been made about something – a decision Benton doesn’t agree with – two female gangbangers come in, one with a gunshot wound to the head and one with stab wounds. Rosario, the stabbing victim, insists that she’s fine and demands that the doctors let the other woman, Angelina, die. She probably will, as she’s so badly injured that Mark wants to see if she’s an organ donor. Just then, a third woman storms in and screams at Rosario for cutting off her ear. Malik has to tackle her and drag her out.

Jerry comes in to tell Benton that Mae’s nursing home is on the phone with an urgent call. Carter takes a moment to worry about him. Hicks then tells him that he hasn’t received the sub-internship. Once their traumas are done, Doug teases Susan, calling her Big Susie (since the baby is now Little Susie). He also praises Malik for his tackling skills. Malik tells Mark that the woman brought Rosario’s ear with her. Fun!

Benton races to Mae’s facility and learns that her heart stopped that afternoon. Using language similar to what Benton used when he told James’ mother about James’ death, the doctor tells Benton that Mae has died. Jackie and her children are also there, and Benton finds his sister sitting in their mother’s room, where her body is still in her bed. After a hug, Jackie leaves Benton alone to have some private final moments with Mae.

Mark and Doug are both at work late (Mark’s waiting for Jen to come in from Milwaukee), so they play some basketball. Doug is uncertain about moving in with Diane, and asks if Mark knew when the time was right to make that decision with Jen. He figures that if he’s not sure, he’s not ready. Mark asks if Doug’s lack of readiness has anything to do with Carol’s upcoming wedding. He shoots a basket, saying that if he makes it, Doug’s ready, and if he doesn’t, Doug isn’t. We don’t get to see what happens.

Susan gives Susie her first astronomy lesson, pointing out some constellations. Carter comes by to meet the baby and get some feedback on his decision to turn down the ER sub-internship. Susan says it’s too late, since Mark has already offered it to someone else. Jen arrives at the hospital just as Joanie’s condition deteriorates. Poor Jen has to wait while her husband saves a little girl’s life. How sad for Jen! Her life is so hard!

Diane goes by Doug’s house and sees him with Linda. He insists that nothing happened, then says that he’s just having a bad reaction to her suggestion that they move in together. He tells her this won’t happen again, but Diane thinks it will. Joanie has stabilized enough for surgery, and the surgeon is just as reassuring as Mark was. Carol and Jen eat pizza and compare pre-wedding disasters. Jen claims that Mark wanted a big wedding but she didn’t. When Mark finally joins them, Jen pretends to be understanding about the delay, but we all know she’s mad.

Jeanie comes to the nursing home, where Benton is still finishing up making arrangements for Mae’s body. He notes that he’s used the language Mae’s doctor did many times, about how they did everything they could to save Mae, but he’s never had to hear it himself. He thought he would be better prepared. Jeanie takes his hand as he gets emotional over his inability to fix his mother. Then the hand-holding turns to kissing. Back at County, as Benton mourns a death, Susan celebrates a birth, singing “Blackbird” to her new niece.

Thoughts: This episode was directed by Quentin Tarantino. Yeah, you read that right. Dolores is played by Kathy Griffin, so I’ve officially hit my yearly limit of having to watch her in things.

Want to feel old? Little Susie would now be 23.

I wonder why they killed Mae off so quickly. Did they realize that her story was too much of a burden on Benton? It was the inevitable ending for the plot, but it came on so fast.

June 26, 2018

ER 1.23, Love Among the Ruins: Everyone Has a Big Decision to Make at the Same Time! What a Coincidence!

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

I know it’s the obvious caption here, but still: Same

Summary: Mark is…NOT asleep! He’s awake in the middle of the night, having stayed at Jen’s place even though she was resistant to let him. He talks about happy moments in their past, then tries to get romantic with Jen, who resists. Mark, let it go. You’re better off without her. At County, Jerry is in a much better mood than Mark, having been cast as Romeo in a production for the Shakespearean theater group he just joined. He recites the balcony monologue to Lydia, who isn’t impressed. Then Swift scares him with a mask and invites him to help wake up some sleeping drunks.

Susan and Malik tend to a cab driver who was mugged. Kovalev is also a matchmaker, hooking his passengers with each other. Div happens to be one of those passengers, so now Susan knows what he’s been up to since they split up. Swift chases out the drunks, offering them donuts as they leave, then tells Carter that he received his application for the ER sub-internship. This is the first Benton is hearing about it. Carter says he hasn’t made up his mind yet about whether he wants to focus on trauma or surgery.

Mark learns that Doug will be coaching Jake’s Little League team; Mark thinks this is a big step in Doug and Diane’s relationship. He hasn’t heard about the attending position he was supposed to get, and he’s not about to approach Swift about it. Benton complains about having to write a recommendation for Carter for the ER sub-internship, telling Carter to write something himself that Benton will just sign his name to. Haleh gives Benton a message from his student-loan service stating that he’s three months behind on his payments.

Susan sends Chloe off to appointments for the baby and some social services. Chloe demands lunch money, then offers to make dinner for her sister. Susan begs her not to. Carter stitches up Kovalev, who tries to find a woman for him in his matchmaking album. Carter himself can be included in the album for just $10. Carter declines, but Kovalev extends him a freebie in exchange for the medical treatment.

Carol complains to Tag that a woman getting married right after them at the same church wants to buy their flowers, since they’ll already be there. But since the flowers will be “used” by then, she’ll only pay a third of the original cost. All the wedding planning is getting to Carol, and the couple still has to write their vows. They run into Diane, whom Tag knows, and when she says she’s heard a lot about Carol, Carol wonders if she heard it from Doug rather than Tag. They chat about the wedding, and Carol invites Diane. Tag’s not happy, because now Doug will come.

As Mark and Susan treat a guy who drove his car into a tree, Diane gives Doug something he left in her bedroom while he was sneaking out to avoid being seen by Jake (which is dumb, since Jake knows he’s been sleeping there). They sneak a quick makeout session, which Carol sees. Mark and Susan’s patient, Donny, wrote a suicide note for someone named Amy, which explains why he drove into a tree. Swift joins the trauma and takes over when he disagrees with Mark’s ideas for treatment. Mark leaves, deciding he’s not needed.

Sometime later, Lily tells Susan that the Amy from Donny’s letter is on her way to the hospital. Susan thinks Lily tracked her down, but Lily says Amy called on her own. Doug chastises Mark for walking out of the trauma room, which will definitely hurt his chances for becoming an attending. Mark claims that he doesn’t care about the job anymore. Doug tells him he’s being an idiot. And when Doug thinks you’re being dumb, you’re definitely being dumb.

Benton is at the admit desk when a man comes in with a cut on his hand. Benton determines that he needs stitches and passes him on to Carter. Carter recognizes the man as Howard Davis, the father of one of his former classmates, and a member of the board of directors. Swift also recognizes Davis and makes sure he gets preferential treatment. Benton, not Carter, will be tending to Davis’ wound, though Davis asks Carter to tag along. Jerry quips that he hopes Davis didn’t hurt the hand he writes checks with.

A bunch of high school basketball players come in with their nun coaches; one of the girls is sick, and Doug suspects meningitis. All of the players and coaches will need to be isolated until the doctors can determine if they’ve also contracted meningitis. Amy arrives and hears that Donny is in a coma. Susan gives her the suicide note, and Amy tells her that Donny made his attempt in front of her house, hoping she would witness it. He took pills after their last breakup, but Amy was told that it was a cry for help. She didn’t think he would try again for real.

Davis chats with Carter about his son, who dropped out of college and now writes for Vanity Fair. Benton is bored but perks up when he learns that Carter used to do dressage. He had a white Icelandic pony! Named Marigold! Benton keeps a poker face but probably hasn’t been this happy in years. He’s probably trying to figure out how to work that into Carter’s recommendation.

The sick basketball player will be okay, but Doug and Carol want her teammates and coaches to take a preventive drug to make sure they don’t get sick as well. Because it can be harmful to pregnancies, the also have to take pregnancy tests. The head coach, Mother Lawrence, asks for exemption for herself and her assistant coach, Elizabeth, since they’re nuns, but she has no problem letting the girls take the tests.

Donny wakes up, but Amy leaves without talking to him. Carol teases that Doug must be loving the chance to examine a bunch of Catholic schoolgirls. Tag comes by to have lunch together so they can work on their vows, but Carol needs to keep working with Doug. Tag pulls a Mark and walks away, hurt.

Speaking of Mark, Swift asks if he has a problem with authority. Mark says only when that authority is undermining his judgment. He doesn’t like being treated like a med student when he’s a resident. Swift says he doesn’t act like it. Morgenstern talked him up, but Mark seems grumpy. Swift doesn’t treat Mark the way he does because he wants to, but because Mark doesn’t have his head in the game.

Amy’s still hanging around the hospital, and she’s willing to go talk to Donny, but she doesn’t want to get stuck taking care of him. She tells Susan that Donny has a lot of problems and always needs help. His sweetness has always kept Amy around, but she claims this will be the last time. She’s just afraid that Donny will try to kill himself again. It’s hard for her to walk away, but she can’t be responsible for his life. She gives Susan a note to give to Donny.

Doug’s shift is over, and he’s pleased to report that no one’s pregnancy test came back positive. Susan tries to call Chloe, admitting to Mark that she hates not knowing where her sister is. He tells her that he finally talked to Swift, who wants him to adjust his attitude. Benton gets another call about his loans, which makes Susan and Mark complain about their own. Benton remarks that Carter must be happy not to have to worry about loans. After Carter leaves, Benton tells Mark, Susan, Jerry, and Malik that Carter’s family is super-rich.

Haleh brings in two patients with pool balls stuck in their mouths. One did it on a dare; the other did it to show the paramedics what happened to his friend. Haleh names them Dumb and Dumber. Carol tells Lydia that she hasn’t been sleeping much because of all the wedding plans. By the way, the wedding is two weeks away. She asks if Lydia had any doubts leading up to her marriage. Lydia says no, but the marriage only lasted four years before her husband left. She can’t imagine Tag leaving Carol the same way.

Elizabeth asks to talk to Carol privately, revealing that she didn’t take the preventive medicine. She may be pregnant. A man runs in carrying his son, who (squeamish people, look away) fell on a hanger and got it embedded in his mouth. Doug goes to Jake’s Little League game, providing lots of good encouragement for the kid. Back at County, Mark and Swift determine that the hanger is close to some major arteries, so removing it will be tricky. It’s probably good that the boy’s father speaks little, if any, English and can’t understand when Swift tells Malik to find some bolt-cutters.

Elizabeth is praying in the hospital chapel when Carol comes to tell her that her pregnancy test was negative. Elizabeth admits that she’d kind of hoped it was positive. Her boyfriend wants to marry her, but she’s been preparing to become a nun for more than two years. She’s not sure which path God wants her to take. If she were pregnant, the decision would be made for her.

Wendy tells the boy’s father what the trauma team is doing as they do it. Mark and Swift work well together, with neither second-guessing the other or trying to take over. They successfully remove the hanger and send the boy to surgery to fix his wounds. Susan finds Carter writing his recommendation and reads what he’s written about himself. He’s conscientious and punctual, which Susan says makes him sound like a train conductor.

Malik finds an article about Carter’s family, and he, Benton, and Jerry discover that Carter’s father’s net worth is $178 million. (Also, Carter’s father’s name is Roland here, but later it’s Jack, because first-season continuity on this show is awful.) Jerry wishes he’d been nicer to Carter. Jeanie comes by and asks Benton for help with a paper she’s writing for her classes to become a physician’s assistant (formerly nursing classes, because…well, first-season continuity on this show is awful). They may see each other later when they go see Mae.

Jake hits an inside-the-park home run at his game, but he misses touching first base when he rounds the bases. A kid on the other team notices, but Doug ignores him. When the umpire asks whether or not Jake touched the base, Doug says he did, so the home run stands. The kid on the other team yells that Doug is a liar.

After the game, Doug admits to Jake that he screwed up, and he has no excuse for lying. His father would have done the same thing, and since he’s the only paternal role model Doug has to draw from, Doug hasn’t developed great parenting skills himself. The two agree not to tell Diane what happened. On the plus side, at least Jake hit a home run.

Carter gives Benton his recommendation, which Benton signs without reading. Annoyed, Carter asks what Benton wants from him. Benton turns the question around on him, and Carter replies that he wants the surgical sub-internship. Then he’ll have a better chance of becoming a surgical resident, the best way he knows to challenge himself. Carter admits that he’s not sure he can hack it as a surgeon. Benton asks why he’s applying for the ER sub-internship if he wants the surgical one. Carter responds by ripping up his application.

Doug brings Jake back to the hospital to meet up with Diane. He claims he’s pleased that he’s traded in his bachelorhood for the life of a family man. The guys see Jerry leave in his costume, bidding them good morrow. Carol finds Tag working on his vows and asks to hear them. They say that Carol’s the only woman Tag has ever truly loved, and the only one he can see spending his life with. Carol likes them and promises that she feels the same way. Tag wonders why she isn’t sleeping well, if that’s the case.

As Doug and his new little family leave for the night, Benton goes by Mae’s room, running into Walt. Walt tells him that Jeanie just left and reminds Benton that she’s married. He knows Benton has a crush on her, since he starts talking like Barry White when she’s around. Walt makes Benton laugh by singing “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe,” but Benton’s feelings for Jeanie clearly aren’t a joke.

Susan’s on her way out for the night when she goes by Donny’s room and finds Amy with him, promising to stick around. There’s obviously a parallel here to Susan and Chloe’s relationship, and when Susan gets home and learns how irresponsible Chloe’s been all day, she says she’s done being a caretaker. She’s spent her whole life bailing Chloe out, and she’s done. Chloe needs to leave, and since she’s 34, she’s only enough to figure out where to go.

A woman from radiology, Melanie, comes to Carter’s for Kovalev’s films. She saw his picture in the matchmaking album and wants to go out with him. Carter’s so surprised that, no matter what Melanie says, all he can respond is, “Uh-huh.” Jen’s already in bed when Mark gets home, and though he plans to go read in the living room and give her some space, now she wants to get it on. (Maybe Walt can serenade them.) Rachel wanders in with a stomachache, so even though Mark and Jen aren’t going to be getting any closer tonight, at least their family is all together…for now.

Thoughts: Elizabeth is played by Amy Ryan.

Hey, Davis, having a kid who writes for Vanity Fair in his mid-20s is pretty impressive, whether or not he dropped out of Brown.

I’ll admit I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t see Doug trying to convince two nuns to take pregnancy tests.

June 19, 2018

ER 1.22, Men Plan, God Laughs: Unfixable

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

Hi. I’m back for no reason

Summary: Maybe we should have a drinking game where we drink every time an episode starts with someone sleeping. This one does, so drink! Mark wakes up for work at 5:45, sharing his bed with medical journals instead of his wife. Benton complains to a doctor at Mae’s new facility about how she’s not mobile enough. The doctor doesn’t think Mae is ready for the mobility Benton wants her to have. She has to remind him that Mae broke her hip and won’t heal overnight.

Susan calls her mother to help with Chloe’s health insurance, now that she’s back in Chicago. Rolando the desk clerk isn’t organized enough for Swift’s liking, and he blames a cold, so Swift tells him to go home. Paramedic Doris Pickman brings in a man who was caught in a metal press, and Doug enlists Carter to help him with the trauma. Benton joins in as well, climbing on the patient’s gurney to put his dislocated hip back in place. This saves the man’s leg, and may be the only thing Benton has control over in his life right now.

When Mark makes it in to work, he tells Susan that he wound up not going to see Jen after Susan encouraged him to. She warns him to get on Swift’s good side, but Mark plans to leave early so he can go to Milwaukee. He confides that he’s not sure things are going to work out. Carter’s studying for the boards, even though they’re four months away. He hopes to get a surgical sub-internship, though Susan thinks Mark will recommend him for one in the ER. Carol and Doug scare Carter by telling him that the boards’ failure rate has gone up.

A teenager named Katie went to work with her mother at a naval base and pulled off her earmuffs at the firing range, temporarily deafening herself. Doug checks her over, asking the mother why there’s a naval base on Lake Michigan anyway – “who’s going to invade? Canadians?” Mark checks out a baby named Henry whose lips turn blue when he eats. His father, Leonard, blames himself, since heart problems run in his family. Mark detects a murmur in the baby.

A manic patient named Mrs. Dibble tries to engage Susan in conversation until Malik takes her back to her room. Susan tells Mark that she appreciates that her brain creates the right balance of chemicals. She complains about Chloe’s poor habits as a guest and says she won’t let Chloe derail things like she’s always done before. Swift asks Mark to meet with him at the end of his shift for a joint commission survey, but Mark says he has personal business. Swift asks when residents started having personal business.

A girl named Samantha fell off a wall at school and is unconscious. Benton can’t figure out why her condition is deteriorating when she gets to the ER. Diane wants to close Doug’s file over the incident where he attacked an abusive father, but that requires Doug to go to a therapy session, and he’s resistant. She wears him down, partly because she’s doing her job and partly because she likes Doug.

Susan’s next patient is a doctor named Strong who wants pain medication for a back problem. Susan wants to finish his workup first. Benton and Carter realize that Samantha’s coma wasn’t caused by a head injury but is a result of diabetic ketoacidosis. Haleh offers to pass the case along to Doug, but Benton wants to stay in charge. As Doug gets a phone message from Linda, who’s been out of the picture for a while, Carol tells Mark that she and Tag want Rachel to be their ring bearer. Mark says he’s not sure where they’ll be in May.

Chloe arrives for an appointment, and Susan works hard not to gripe at her sister for wearing her clothes and breaking her blender. Mark, Haleh, and Wendy treat a drunk, combative patient named Reicher and give him an endoscopy. Using a camera to look into his stomach, they see that he has an ulcer. As Mark leaves the trauma room, he runs into Mrs. Dibble, who’s more stable but is feeling low now. She says she doesn’t think anything good will ever happy again. Mark can relate.

Samantha’s stabilizing but hasn’t been taking her insulin. Haleh again offers to pass the case on to another doctor, since it’s not surgical, but Benton still wants it. Rolando calls for a replacement, now thinking he has the flu. Reicher’s wife arrives and reveals that her husband lives on the street. She’s brought him some clean clothes, but she doesn’t want to see him. She just wanted to know if he was alive.

Connie shows Susan some of Strong’s test results, and Susan sees that he signs his name Dr. Lyle Strong, M.D., a redundancy a real doctor wouldn’t make. She makes up a diagnosis, then busts him for providing urine with chicken blood in it in an attempt to score pain meds. Connie suspects that Strong got his self-diagnosis from a medical textbook. Before the interrogation can continue, he runs out in just his gown and shoes, passing Jerry as he arrives to replace Rolando.

Henry may have a hole in his heart, and his father, Mr. Offenbach, still blames his genetics. Mrs. Offenbach is pretty calm about the fact that her eight-week-old needs an operation. Mark assures Mr. Offenbach that his son’s condition isn’t his fault. Jake asks Doug to help out with coaching his Little League team, and Doug easily agrees. Linda shows up, inviting Doug to celebrate a deal she just closed, and Jake pays very close attention to her flirting. Doug declines the offer and assures Jake that just because Linda flirted doesn’t mean he returns her affections.

Jeanie comes by to chat with Benton, inviting him to grab dinner with her during a break. He hesitates, possibly because she’s married, and possibly because he’s Benton and doesn’t like to socialize. He examines a teenager named Charlie who’s been having a weird feeling in his arm and leg. He still feels a little sick from a recent flu, and fell a couple days ago. Benton passes him along to Doug, and as Benton leaves, Charlie remarks that he’s nice. That’s probably the first time someone’s said that about him, and it may be the last.

Susan’s annoyed that Chloe isn’t taking her pregnancy more seriously, but she can’t help laughing at the thought of their mother becoming a grandmother. Samantha’s awake now, and Benton reveals to her mother that she hasn’t been taking her insulin. Samantha’s angry that she’s sick and could be facing unfair complications like blindness. Benton says that pretending she doesn’t have a serious illness won’t get her anywhere. She needs to accept that things are the way they are. He tells her flat out that if she doesn’t take her insulin, she’ll die. I bet Samantha doesn’t agree with Charlie that Benton’s nice.

Doug examines Charlie and determines that he needs an MRI. Charlie doesn’t get why he needs to have his head scanned when his leg is the problem. Away from Charlie, Doug tells Malik to make him a priority and bring Benton back to the case for a consult. Coburn gives Chloe an ultrasound and confirms that she’s having a girl. Chloe still wants to name the baby after Susan. She’s thrilled, but Susan is much more reserved.

Benton gets Charlie’s MRI back as Doug goes to his therapy session with a doctor named Murphy. He pegs Doug as “a reasonably normal guy with sloppy impulse control.” The next time he wants to take out his anger on someone, it needs to be in a bar, not the hospital. Doug can’t believe that Murphy is telling him it’s okay to hit someone. After asking Doug to promise never to attack someone in the ER, Murphy says he’s free to go. Doug asks to talk about his other problems, so Murphy recommends therapy.

Carter asks Mark about the ER sub-internship, even though Mark isn’t sure his recommendation will do him much good right now. Charlie has an aneurysm pressing on his spine, and he needs immediate surgery. The requisite surgeon won’t perform it, but he knows a doctor at another hospital who will. Mark treats a woman’s dog bite and seems confused when she says she’s going to tell all her friends to come see him when they have medical emergencies.

Dyer, the doctor Charlie needs, is out for a run, so Benton makes Carter hand over his car keys so Benton can go hunt him down. Carter thinks that Benton’s going above and beyond for his patients because he can fix them while he can’t fix his mother. Doug thinks Carter’s been taking too many psych classes. Mark tells Doug that his dog-bite patient may have been hitting on him. Doug agrees, saying that Mark’s been moody, and “women like to save moody men.”

A man comes in with a gunshot wound, and his mother tells the trauma team to let him die. She calls him the devil as Carol removes her from the trauma room. Doug takes over for Mark so he can make his train to Milwaukee. The patient’s mother tells Mark that her son is a killer, so saving him is a bad idea. Mark’s like, “I guess my day could be going worse.”

Diane tells Doug that she’s fine if their relationship doesn’t work out, but she’d like to know what kind of future they have so she can be prepared for the possibility of Jake getting hurt. Doug just says he hopes they’ll be together for a long time. Mark passes his patients off to Susan, then nervously goes off to see his wife. Yeah, I wouldn’t be in any rush to go see her either.

Swift’s looking for Benton, who’s still out looking for Dyer. Carter tells him Benton’s in surgery and gathers up the charts Swift needs. Jerry thinks Carter’s trying to suck up so he’ll get the sub-internship. As Benton finds Dyer, Swift grabs Carter to come help out with a woman named Leslie who was struck by lightning. He lets Carter run the trauma, which he does confidently. He credits Benton, Mark, and Susan for being good teachers. When he won’t say which is the best, Swift praises his diplomacy.

Dyer accepts Charlie as a patient, and Benton sees him off to Dyer’s hospital. Charlie has guessed that something is really wrong with him, and Benton is honest with him about the seriousness of his condition. Charlie could die, but Benton promises that he won’t. (In later seasons of the show, that would mean he definitely would, but it’s season 1, so we just never find out what happens to him.)

Benton returns to County, where Swift compliments his work with Carter. Carter has finished Benton’s charts, letting Swift believe that Benton did the work himself. Benton thanks Carter, who asks him to repeat himself, just because he wants to hear the words twice. Chloe has gone on a shopping spree and brings all her new baby things to the hospital to show Susan. Susan’s upset about all the money Chloe spent using her credit card. Chloe points out that she’s going to be someone’s mother. If their mom could do it, she can, too.

Mark spends a little time with Rachel, then tries to talk to Jen, who doesn’t want to get into it. He tells her that he needs to have more time with his daughter. He offers to move to Milwaukee, even if he and Jen are really over. He doesn’t think he’ll get the attending job anyway. Jen is noncommittal and hesitates before letting Mark spend the night.

Benton and Jeanie have dinner together, talking about their parents’ embarrassing behavior at their graduations. Benton is trying to come to terms with the fact that Mae will never get better, and that there’s nothing he can do about it. He thanks Jeanie for helping him through everything. Jeanie tells him that he seems able to get through anything. Benton says he used to think so.

Thoughts: Mrs. Dibble is played by Debra Jo Rupp.

I am, ultimately, a Carol/Doug shipper, but I like Diane a lot. Her sass with Doug is exactly what he needs in a girlfriend.

I appreciate Malik’s attempt at humor when he’s moving Charlie and jokes that they drop a lot of people, but..probably not the right audience or time.

Rachel: “3 plus 3 is 6. And 4 plus 4 is 8. And 6…Daddy, I don’t have any more fingers.” Hee.

June 12, 2018

ER 1.21, House of Cards: Handle With Care

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

“Google Earth. Always taking pics”

Summary: This show is seriously obsessed with people sleeping. Doug is in bed with Diane, and since he slept through his alarm, she wants him to get moving before Jake finds out he spent the night. But when Doug goes to use the bathroom, he runs into Jake, who knows he’s been there the past two nights. He also doesn’t care that his mother is in a relationship.

If you’ve missed seeing Benton be short with Carter and Chen, you’re in luck! Here he is, being short with Carter and Chen. The students are supposed to complete procedure books by the end of the day, and Chen’s isn’t done. She complains that Carter’s been there longer and has done more procedures, so he has an advantage. She’s especially mad that he’s already done a femoral cutdown.

Mark wants his patient to have an ultrasound in case he has appendicitis. Susan doesn’t think it’s necessary, since he could just have gas. Swift joins them and makes his own diagnosis: the flu. The stomach pain is from gas, and the ultrasound is unnecessary. Mark doesn’t appreciate being second-guessed.

Mae is ready to be released from the hospital, but Benton and Jackie haven’t told her they’re sending her to a care facility. Benton wants to be the one to break the news, but Jackie comes along so the siblings can provide a united front. Mae doesn’t take the news well, but she doesn’t protest like she’s done in the past.

Susan thinks Swift was out of line the way he jumped into her and Mark’s case, but Mark thinks he was right to stop them from running unnecessary tests. He knows Swift’s opinion of him isn’t going to change. The two are pulled in to tend to a new patient, and Susan allows Carter to insert a central line. Chen is again jealous. Doug examines a girl named Janette who probably has the flu, though her heart rate is a little fast. Her mother, Mrs. Ryan, worries about the cost of the tests Doug needs to run, since she doesn’t have insurance. Doug promises that they’ll work something out.

Mark and Carter examine a woman named Anita who has a bad cough. Mark suspects tuberculosis, but Anita isn’t forthcoming with details that might help him come to a conclusion. She finally admits that her daughter has also been sick. Mark wants to make her stay at the hospital, since she could be highly contagious, but he can’t force her. All he can do is give her medicine and advise her to take it. Anita seems nervous about her immigration status, but Mark promises they won’t ask any questions. She agrees to stay a little longer.

Susan and Carol try to keep straight faces while welcoming two patients, elderly sisters who were involved in a slow-motion car crash. The paramedic who brings them in, Zadro, says the only danger they present is to each other. Janette gets worse quickly, and Doug has to shock her heart back into rhythm. Carol examines one of the elderly sisters and realizes that one of them, Sari, has horrible vision, even with her huge glasses. She blames her sister, Shirley, thinking Shirley blinded her in the car accident. Then Carol realizes that Sari’s wearing the wrong glasses. Womp womp?

Haleh invites Carter to perform a pelvic exam that he can include in his procedures book. Carter’s already done plenty of those, but Haleh doesn’t care. Doug tells Mrs. Ryan that Janette has a heart condition and needs to be admitted. She’ll be fine, and someone from Social Services will help Mrs. Ryan apply for Medicaid. Susan encourages Mark to talk to Swift about his behavior earlier, but Mark still doesn’t see a point. When a pregnant patient comes in, Mark tells Susan to take her.

Carter’s patient, Mrs. Blum, has requested him personally, though he’s never met her. She explains that he treated her friend Barbara, who got pregnant a week after Carter examined her. Barbara thinks Carter was the key, so she told her friend to see him in hopes that she’ll get pregnant as well. Swift asks Mark why Susan’s examining the pregnant patient Mark was supposed to see. Swift knows about Jodi and wants Mark to present her case at a conference that afternoon.

Mrs. Salazar does indeed have TB, so Mark tells her to bring her family in to get tested. Mrs. Salazar says she’ll bring them tomorrow; she feels okay and wants to leave. Mark tries to tell her how serious her illness could be, and how worried he is about her kids. He tells her straight out that her immigration status doesn’t matter. Mrs. Salazar ignores him when he angrily tells her that she’ll infect anyone she comes into contact with if she leaves. Susan pulls him out of the room and points out that yelling isn’t going to make Mrs. Salazar want to stick around.

Doug has a patient who needs a procedure Carter hasn’t performed yet, so Carter gets to do something else to put in his book. He gets peed on by a baby for his troubles, but at least Carol, Doug, and the baby’s mother get a good laugh. Susan talks to a woman named Mrs. Gainsley whose husband made her come in because he thinks she has paranoid delusions. Her answers to Susan’s questions don’t indicate that she does, but that doesn’t keep Susan and Lydia from becoming concerned over the arsenal of weapons she’s brought with her.

Jeanie’s waiting with Mae for the ambulance that will take her to her new home. Benton promises his mother that she’ll like the facility, but she doesn’t want to talk to him. Doug thinks Mark will do fine at his conference, but Mark knows the doctors attending will be out for his blood. He gets even more worried when he learns that the conference room where the “interrogation” was going to take place was too small to hold all the attendees, so it’s been moved to the auditorium.

Chen’s day starts looking up when she hears Benton chastising Carter for giving a patient water when she wasn’t supposed to eat or drink anything. Carter’s mistake leads to Chen being rewarded with an invitation to scrub in with Benton. The auditorium is full, and it’s time for Mark’s interrogation. Despite the short amount of time he was given to prepare, Mark answers all the questions like a pro. Swift defends Mark’s skills, but Coburn won’t stop pressing him. Mark admits to his mistakes, saying he should have taken Jodi up to OB earlier.

After the interrogation, Swift tells Mark that eventually he’ll get over his feelings of guilt for what happened to Jodi. Mark wonders if he’s supposed to feel relieved once everything gets worked out. Then he tells Swift not to disagree with a diagnosis in front of a patient again. Doug gets Jake a bike, which seems inappropriate when Diane hasn’t even spoken to Jake about their relationship. But it’s Doug, so I probably shouldn’t expect better from him.

Mrs. Salazar has split, and though Lydia offers to reach her at home, Mark thinks she gave them a fake address. Susan enlists him to help take care of a patient named Mr. Smiley who crashed his car. Smiley is uncooperative and resists medical attention, but since he’s drunk, Mark gets to override him. Chen’s riding high on her great day and even offers to get Haleh coffee. In exchange, she asks Haleh to throw her some procedures.

Haleh sends Chen to insert an IV on a drug addict. Wendy determines that the patient needs a central line, a procedure Chen hasn’t performed yet. As Mark, Susan, Benton, and Carol finish up with Smiley, Wendy finds Chen finishing up her patient’s central line. She wasn’t supposed to do it, and definitely not on her own. Wendy’s worried that she’ll get fired (though she wasn’t in the room and didn’t know Chen was doing it, so she’ll probably be off the hook).

Chen thinks she’s done everything right, but she realizes that she left the guide wire in the patient’s chest. Swift and Benton have to get involved, and the patient will have to go to the cath lab. Carter finds out what happened and tries to talk to Chen, who runs off in distress. And that’s why you don’t compete with your colleagues in a profession where mistakes can lead to major complications and even death.

Carter later admits to Carol that he feels responsible, though she points out that he wasn’t the one who almost killed someone. Benton comes looking for Chen, telling Carter that Swift wants to talk to her. The patient is okay, but he could sue. Diane chastises Doug for getting Jake a bike when he already has one. He can’t just get Jake everything he wants. Diane thinks Doug is trying to go through Jake to win her over.

Mark and Susan go to Doc Magoo’s together, and he reveals for the first time that he and Jen are over. He’s worried about all the time he’ll lose with Rachel. Susan urges him to go to Milwaukee and try to smooth things over. Back in the ER, Doug, Carol, and Lydia work on a boy named Billy who was hit by a truck. It goes on forever, and I’m not sure of the point, other than to demonstrate that, while emotionally immature, Doug is a competent doctor. Afterward, Diane offers a peace offering in the form of pizza with Jake.

Mae is settling into her new home, looking at old pictures with Benton. She thinks he’s younger than he is and asks if he still wants to be a doctor. She tells him that his talent is God’s gift to him; what he does with it is his gift back to God. Mark calls Jen from the doctors’ lounge and tells her he wants to visit the next day. She puts him off until the weekend. Mark ends the call by telling Jen he loves her, but she doesn’t say it back. Susan goes home to a surprise outside her apartment: Chloe. She’s baaaaaaack.

Carter goes to see Chen at her house, which is actually her parents’ mansion. It’s full of people attending a catered party. She admits that she wanted the central-line procedure so badly that she didn’t care about the patient. She’s going to quit. Carter thinks she can get past this and become a great doctor. Chen doesn’t like being surrounded by sickness, though; she only likes the science part of medicine.

Carter tells her that when he was a kid, his brother was sick, and was in and out of the hospital. When Carter saw how the doctors treated him, he realized that’s what he wanted to be. Chen says that’s the difference between them – Carter cares about his patients, and takes the time to listen to them. She’s not looking forward to telling her parents what happened, and is wise enough to know she should wait until after the party, which is for their anniversary. She’s grateful that Carter came to see her.

Mark’s horrible day ends on a high note when Mrs. Salazar returns to the hospital with her children so they can be treated. At Susan’s, Chloe reveals that her boyfriend ditched her and sold her stuff. She still has Susan’s coat, though a kid in the car she hitched a ride in threw up on it. Susan wants her to see an OB (hopefully not Coburn), since she’s only seen a doctor once in her time away. Despite all the angst Chloe causes, Susan’s happy that her sister’s okay, and is ready to help her through whatever comes next.

Thoughts: ‘Bye, Chen! You served no purpose in these episodes, and you’re mostly just annoying when you come back in season 6. Congratulations on being a waste of Ming Na’s talents.

I thought the twist was going to be that Mrs. Gainsley’s husband was dead, so she really was delusional because she was talking to his ghost.

Coburn shouldn’t be asking any questions at Mark’s interrogation, since her department is to blame for not coming to the ER.

April 10, 2018

ER 1.12, Happy New Year: Susan vs. Kayson, Round 1

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

Really, Susan, you should be glad that this mess is almost out of your life

Summary: Carter runs down the street to the ER to tell Mark that there’s a man out in the street who appears to have been shot. The two of them and Carol take a gurney to the man and start working on him. Carol peg him as a gangbanger who was ditched on the street after being shot by a rival. Mark allows Carter to do an intubation, since he’s observed dozens of them. With Mark and Carol’s help, Carter does it well. He wants to accompany the patient up to the OR, but Benton says it’ll already be crowded enough.

Sometime later, Hicks comes to the ER to check out one of Mark’s patients. Another, Mrs. Davies, insists that she doesn’t need to stick around, though she’s already been under observation for hours. Lydia’s struggling to stick to her New Year’s resolution to quit smoking, so Bob gives her some encouragement. Doug tries to examine a boy who injured his eye while having a paintball fight with his brother. He tells their mother to keep the paint away from them; she’s offended, like she needs that kind of parenting advice.

Al brings in a homeless patient named Gilbert who’s uninterested in seeing a doctor. He’s also racist, and Al smacks him for throwing a slur at Hicks. Susan tries to talk to Kayson about a patient, but he won’t even slow down on his way to the OR. She wants him to see Mrs. Davies so she can finally leave.

Benton tells Carter that the patient he brought in died in surgery. Carter points out that this is supposed to be his surgical rotation, so maybe he should be doing surgeon things instead of Benton’s scut work. Benton doesn’t see the point in breaking tradition, since this is what all medical students do. Carter notes that he’s there to learn. When Benton asks if he’s learned anything, Carter demonstrates that he’s at least learned to keep his mouth shut at the right time.

Gilbert’s legs are severely frostbitten, though he insists they’re fine. He does perk up at the thought of a warm whirlpool bath, though. Kayson finally comes back to see Mrs. Davies, telling Susan she should have been released hours ago. Chloe comes by, and Kayson takes advantage of her interruption to dismiss himself. He tells Susan to try harder to get his attention next time. Susan tries to pay it forward with brushing someone off by telling Chloe she can’t talk, but Chloe blurts out that she and her boyfriend, Ronnie, are moving to Texas.

Susan takes a break so she can interrogate Chloe about her decision to move. Ronnie doesn’t have a job yet, and the two haven’t found a place to live. Now that Chloe’s pregnant, she needs to make solid plans. Chloe guesses that Susan doesn’t think she should have the baby. She refuses to stay with their parents, since they think she always makes the wrong decisions. Realizing there’s nothing else she can do right now, Susan gives her sister her coat.

A firefighter comes in after being injured in a fire, and his colleagues watch anxiously outside his trauma room. Peter gets coffee with his sister, Jackie, who wants to find a care facility for their mother. Jackie just got a new job, which means she can’t be with Mae all the time. Peter thinks she’s making up for the fact that she had to look after him after their mother went back to work. He doesn’t want to send their mother away, so he tells Jackie he’ll find other arrangements. She complains that he’s suddenly stepping up after leaving everything to Jackie and Walt for six years. She tells him they all have to make the decision together.

Carter tells Mark that he doesn’t think Benton is interested in supervising him anymore. Mark advises him to get used to it, since he’ll probably have worse supervisors in the future. Doug watches Carol longingly as she goes to chat with one of the firefighter’s colleagues. He’s only been on the job three weeks and now isn’t sure he can handle it. Carol tells him to get some rest first.

A patient named Mr. Vennerbeck thought he had a heart attack, but Susan doesn’t see any damage. He tells her he came in two months ago with back pain and was given some medication. She doesn’t think he needs it again, since his pain has gone away, but she can’t sign him out yet.

Carol looks for help with a trauma, and Mark tells her to take Carter. He runs into Benton as he’s getting his coat to meet a helicopter, and the two go up to the roof together. Carter volunteers to intubate the patient, and Benton allows him to after Mark indicates that it’s okay. Morgenstern comes to get the patient from the trauma room, and Carter presents the case like a pro. Benton rewards him by inviting him to scrub in on an operation that night.

Susan has to again flag down Kayson to get his input on Mr. Vennerbeck. Kayson says he can be released, so Susan sends the patient home. Mr. Vennerbeck is annoyed that he had to wait around so long, and Susan apologizes. Hicks overhears and tells her not to worry about getting people’s approval. They take as long as they take to make sure they’re thorough, and they shouldn’t apologize for it.

Doug tries to break up an argument between two pregnant sisters who want to give their babies the same name. Mark enlists Susan to help out with a patient – this one also pregnant – who’s on drugs. She goes into labor while they’re examining her. They try to rush her to labor and delivery, but the baby is breech and starts coming out in the hallway.

Carter helps Doug and Carol with an elderly couple found unconscious in their apartment, probably from carbon dioxide poisoning. Hicks talks Mark through delivering the breech baby, who at least sounds healthy. Lydia comes in to tell Susan that Mr. Vennerbeck is back in the ER. She realizes he has a murmur and may have had some sort of rupture. An angry Kayson comes to help out, telling Susan she’s not needed on the case anymore.

I guess the theme of the episode is pregnancy, because Mark is now counseling a woman who’s crying over the news that she’s pregnant. She tells him she wants the baby; it’s her husband who’s going to have an issue with this. Turns out he’s infertile. Mark doesn’t know what to say, so he walks out. Susan goes over some x-rays with Carter, who notices that she’s distracted. She sends him to scrub in early for surgery, knowing Benton will be early, too. She advises him to remember the names of three body parts, though he doesn’t get why.

Carol checks on the elderly couple, who are both going to be fine. Doug’s sitting with them and says they’re lucky to have been together so long. We get it, you love her; can we move on? Benton walks Carter through scrubbing in for the first time, as it’s a lot more intensive than just washing your hands. Morgenstern and Benton start the procedure without him, talking about how Morgenstern saw a piano showroom on the highway that he’d never noticed before. Shirley the scrub nurse, who will pop up throughout the series, helps Carter finish getting ready, but he immediately contaminates himself by touching Benton’s shoulder.

Doug ends his day with some noisy sex with Linda, teasing that he can’t remember her name. She thinks someday he really will forget her name. He says it sounds like she believes they won’t last. As she goes to get ready for a trip, Doug says he treated a couple who’ve been married for 48 years. Linda says that if they were the marrying kind, they’d already be married to other people. She thinks he’s too afraid of responsibility and aging and all that stuff that comes with real life.

Carter’s hesitant to get too close to the operation, but Morgenstern is more concerned with him learning than Benton is. He asks Carter about some anatomical feature, and thanks to the three body parts Susan told him to remember, Carter knows the answer. Plus, now he looks smart in front of his boss.

Mark and Susan make eggs in the hospital kitchen and talk about Chloe’s big move. He slams her for not being supportive of Chloe’s plans, but Susan knows that Chloe doesn’t get the realities of parenthood. Mark’s optimistic that having a baby will turn her life around. Susan says that Chloe has never been responsible, and though Susan loves her, she shouldn’t have a child.

Kayson summons Susan to the doctors’ lounge and spits out that Mr. Vennerbeck is dead. He shouldn’t have been released in the first place, considering his condition when he came in two months ago. Susan says his diagnosis then was muscle pain, not anything related to his heart. Kayson says he probably had atypical angina, and Susan should have mentioned it to him. The case was more complicated than Susan thought, and as a resident, she didn’t have the knowledge to present everything to Kayson that she should have. Now Mr. Vennerbeck is dead, and his wife is consulting an attorney. Kayson wants a full investigation.

Thoughts: Chloe, who lives in Chicago, doesn’t have a winter coat, but Susan only gets concerned about it just before Chloe moves to Texas? Uh, okay.

Jackie works for a parks and rec department, and now I’m dreaming of an ER/Parks and Recreation crossover.

Morgenstern and Benton play a game involving foreign capitals while they’re operating, like surgery isn’t difficult enough without throwing in some geography.

April 3, 2018

ER 1.11, The Gift: Last Christmas, I Gave You My Heart (Literally)

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

I volunteer to cheer him up

Summary: A man dressed in a Santa suit is dozing in the ER waiting room, having come in to get checked over when he woke up dizzy. He sees that it’s 10 o’clock and tells Carter he needs to go to work. Mark tells Susan he needs to get Jen a great Christmas present, especially after he got her a Dustbuster last year. He hasn’t bought this year’s present yet, even though it’s Christmas Eve.

Susan’s just coming on shift, so along with a present, she gets a bunch of patient info. Mark’s supposed to be leaving, but he sticks around when a man brings in his son, Murray, who almost drowned in the lake. Murray’s father prays over him as the doctors get to work. Carol heats up some saline in the microwave so they can try to warm Murray up.

Benton and Carter go to the roof to meet a patient named Teddy Powell who was in a snowmobile crash. Back downstairs, Murray’s heart stops. Benton agrees with Carter’s treatment suggestion of draining burr holes in Teddy’s head, but he doesn’t want to do it unless it’s absolutely necessary. I think Teddy would agree, if he weren’t comatose and possible brain dead.

Mark, Doug, and Carol revive Murray, and after Carol leaves the trauma room, Mark brings up her engagement party. Doug says he’s not going. Mark tries to leave again, but pauses to talk to Murray’s father, Dante. He warns that they can’t know for sure what his condition will be when they warm him up. Then Haleh tells Mark to go check on a patient named Regina. She’s mumbling something about a party, so Haleh, Lydia, and Mark start singing “It’s My Party.”

Hicks looks at Teddy’s brain scans, which show that he’s brain dead. Since his organs are viable, Hicks tells Benton and Carter to find his family and get consent to donate. Carol drags Mark into another case as Susan fixes up a man named Mr. Kaminski who got burned while tapping into a power line to juice up the thousands of Christmas lights on his house. He’s disappointed to be out of the running for a prize he’s won for a number of years.

Murray might still have brain damage, and Doug knows he has a long recovery ahead of him, but he’s awake, so that’s something. Lydia’s transporting a gurney with mistletoe hanging from the IV stand, so when she gets Mark under it, she kisses him on the cheek. He tries once again to leave so he can go shopping, but once again, he has to jump on a trauma – an elderly man was stabbed.

Haleh tells Benton that Teddy’s wife is on her way just as Teddy’s heart starts to falter. Benton revives him, then realizes, “I just resuscitated a dead man.” Mark stitches up a cut on Patrick’s head as Carol tries to find out what happened to the helmet he always wears. He tells them a joke about a cat walking on sand “to get sandy claws,” but they don’t get it. (It’s a play on “Santa Claus,” guys. Keep up.)

Benton and Carter use a very, very ’90s computer to look for possible donor matches who need Teddy’s organs. They find two perfect matches and get started on giving two people a Christmas surprise. Susan examines Mrs. Goldberg, a woman with stomach pains, while Malik finds Patrick a new helmet. Carol can’t get in touch with Patrick’s family, so she invites him to hang out for a while.

Susan does an ultrasound on Mrs. Goldberg, who’s worried that she has gallstones or a tumor. Instead, she’s pregnant. She’s thrilled that she’s finally having a baby after years of trying. Doug enlists Carter to examine a kid named Kirby who ate part of a poinsettia. Doug and Carol warn Carter to wait a minute before looking in Kirby’s mouth, but he ignores them and gets vomited on.

Susan gives Mr. Kaminsky some lights that were decorating the front desk. He says they’re antiques and he’ll be able to use them next year for an old-fashioned display. Jerry complains about the missing lights, and about all the popcorn being eaten off the tree at the front desk. Doug’s next patient, Mrs. Abernathy, is depressed, and her condition isn’t helped by the holidays.

Teddy’s wife arrives, and Benton tells her that he’s brain dead. She thinks her husband is just in a regular coma and might wake up. When Benton tells her he’ll never recover, she asks for a second opinion. Linda comes by looking for Doug and volunteers to finish up Mark’s Christmas shopping. Carter runs into Susan and asks if she’s opened her Secret Santa gift yet. She’s too distracted to realize that it must be from him.

Mary’s back and singing again. She thinks the hospital is a hotel and requests a suite from Carter. Hicks chastises Benton for not moving things along with Teddy; the transplant teams are waiting for him in the OR. She’s even more annoyed when she learns that Benton called the teams before he got Mrs. Powell’s consent. Even though his driver’s license says he’s a donor, she has to sign off on the organ harvest. The surgeons are flying in from all around the country – on Christmas Eve, no less – so Benton will have to figure out what to tell them if they can’t go ahead with the harvest.

Doug recommends antidepressants and therapy for Mrs. Abernathy, who thinks her depression is tied to the marriage proposal she turned down 40 years ago. She regrets the rejection, since she only said no because her would-be fiancé was Jewish, and her parents didn’t approve. Last year, Mrs. Abernathy found letters he sent her that her mother intercepted. She tried to call him, but he died three years ago.

Benton asks Mark to help him talk Mrs. Powell into approving the organ donation. Mark says he’ll see what he can do. The Santa who left that morning is brought in, now unconscious and pulseless. Instead of trying to get Mrs. Powell to do what Benton wants, Mark encourages her to do what Teddy would want, and what’s right for her. Mrs. Powell admits that she doesn’t know what Teddy would want – they haven’t spoken in five months. He called her yesterday, wanting to spend Christmas together, but she said no. She wanted to hurt him like he hurt her, and make him beg for forgiveness.

Santa dies, and Carter blames himself, lamenting, “I killed Santa.” Doug and Mark meet up in Murray’s room, hoping he’s okay. Mary finds Patrick singing “We Three Kings” to Kirby and joins him in his serenade. Carol tells Carter that Patrick’s parents went out of town and left him with a neighbor, but he must have wandered off. Carter tells her that Mary’s family left her with a cousin so they could have a break. Her Alzheimer’s is getting worse.

Susan can’t reach Div, and Malik tells her he heard that Div quit. She asks Carter for a ride somewhere. Doug gets dressed up for some fancy gathering with Linda, and the fact that Carol is able to simply wish him a merry Christmas and then walk out of the lounge is astonishing, because he looks HOT. He confesses to Mark that he still thinks about Carol all the time. He’s afraid to tell her, not because she might reject him but because she might want him back. Mark points out that she’s not married yet.

Benton checks in with Mrs. Powell, telling her they’re running out of time for the organ harvest. She doesn’t appear to care, but then she asks for the consent form. Carter drives Susan to Div’s apartment, and when she lets herself in, she finds it trashed and abandoned. She realizes he moved out without telling her. The phone’s ringing, but the caller hangs up when Carter answers.

Jerry realizes that more lights are missing and asks Bob if she took them down. She tells him whoever said she did is lying. Carter drives Susan home, telling her he’s her Secret Santa. She kisses him on the cheek, and it obviously means more to him than it does to her. He offers to come in and keep her company, leaning in for a kiss. Susan puts the brakes on, then gives him the present she’d gotten for Div. It’s a robe, and Carter puts it on right there in the hallway.

Doug takes a cab to Linda’s party, but when he gets out to go inside, he changes his mind. Linda drops off Mark’s present for Jen, some lingerie. Lydia says he has good taste – all her ex ever got her was a vacuum cleaner. While Benton and Hicks start the organ harvest, Susan opens her present from Carter, a music box shaped like a piano. She loves it. Chloe wakes up and asks about Div; when she hears he split town, she tells Susan she’ll get over it. She gives Susan a tree ornament with her name on it, then says Susan will have to share it with the baby. Chloe’s pregnant and naming the baby after her sister.

Doug crashes Carol’s engagement party and tells her he still loves her. She denies that she returns his feelings. Tag follows them outside and gets between them as Doug tries to insist that Carol come home with him. He challenges Carol to look him in the eyes and tell him she doesn’t think about him while she’s with Tag. Tag slugs him, but Carol breaks things up. She tells Doug to stay out of her life.

Benton and Hicks successfully complete the organ harvest, and Benton asks to close Teddy up. Mary sings “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” as Mark tells Dante and the rest of Murray’s family that his brain function is normal. Doug mopes by himself outside a church. Benton finishes up with Teddy, then grabs the cooler containing his heart. Haleh puts a bow on the cooler, which is awesome, and Benton takes it up to the roof so the heart can go to its new owner.

Thoughts: A kid named Murray is just weird. Who looks at their newborn and says, “I think I’ll call him Murray”? P.S. His father’s name is Dante Valerio, which sounds like a Nic Cage character.

I always assumed they used some special medical equipment to heat saline, but no – just the microwave in the staff lounge.

Formal-wear Clooney is the best Clooney. Don’t argue; you know I’m right.

March 20, 2018

ER 1.9, ER Confidential: Thanksgiving Turkey With a Side of Trauma

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

Yeah, Carter, let’s make sure this is all about you

Summary: Oh, great, we’re back to starting out episodes with people sleeping. Susan wakes up in the middle of the night alone, since Div is in the living room, recording his thoughts on tape. He gets no more pleasure out of life and can’t concentrate or sleep. When Susan makes her presence known, Div says he was just working on a patient history. Susan seems uncertain and may not believe him.

Doug’s relationship is going much better – he and Linda are going on vacation together. He feels weird about letting her pay for everything, but she knows he doesn’t make that much money. It’s Thanksgiving, so Doug takes a pie with him to work. Bob has her American holidays confused and is putting up Halloween decorations. Jerry commandeers the pie while Carter practices stitches on a pig’s foot. Doug and Mark discuss their holiday plans; Jen and Rachel will be coming back to Chicago for Thanksgiving, along with Jen’s parents.

Susan’s first patient of the day, Edgar, doesn’t think he has much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. He’s so grumpy that he’s been banned from his dialysis clinic. He complains about the “information superhighway” while Carol and Susan get him ready for dialysis. “The more I see of people, the more I like pigs,” Edgar says. Let’s hope he doesn’t see what Carter’s been up to.

As Bob puts up a “Happy Easter” banner, Carter asks Benton if he should bring anything to dinner that night. Apparently he wasn’t listening when Benton uninvited him after Mae extended an invitation. Since Carter’s parents are out of the country, he has no other plans. As the two examine a patient named Ms. Carleton who crashed her car into a bridge, Carter makes a discovery that he and Benton don’t know how to process: Though she goes by Ms., her anatomy makes them think she’s a Mr.

Benton hops over to help out with two teenagers who came in after killing a woman in a car crash. One boy, Larry, has a bad head injury, but Langworthy wants to do everything she can to try to save him. The other boy, Andy, is distressed, so Carol explains what the doctors are doing as they try to find out if he has internal injuries. Langworthy realizes that her patient is gone, so she stops working on him. Andy has internal injuries and is sent straight to surgery. He quietly tells Carol that he was the one driving the car, even though it was Larry’s. He blames himself for his friend’s death.

Edgar’s still complaining to Susan while Carol, Doug, Mark, and Jerry talk about the reckless things they did as teenagers. Well, not Mark – he and his friends were dorks. Tag comes down for a consult with Doug but makes him wait while he chats with Carol. Carter has no idea how to deal with a transgender patient, so he just stops talking. Ms. Carleton notices and tells him about how hard it is to see how people view her. She wonders if they’re right to look at her with disgust.

Al brings in a man named Francis who’s bleeding from a fight with a turkey. Francis is an animal-rights activist and tried to steal/rescue a bird he thought was being abused. The turkey wasn’t very appreciative and started pecking him. Francis responded by breaking the bird’s neck. Al would like to donate it to the hospital’s Thanksgiving party. Tag volunteers to pluck and prepare it.

Susan tells Mark that all the things Div was saying into his recorder fit with a diagnosis of depression. She doesn’t know what to do. Mark says that Div obviously needs psychiatric help, but Susan doesn’t want to force him into anything. Mark insists that someone needs to say something to him. If he’s that depressed, he shouldn’t be treating patients. Susan gets annoyed with Mark’s lack of compassion.

Francis tells Doug about the turkey’s poor treatment while Doug takes care of his cuts. Francis thinks that since all humans and animals came from the same origins, we should be kinder to animals. Next door, Tag’s going to town on the turkey’s feathers, and Francis doesn’t want to watch. (Doug probably doesn’t either.) He admits that he secretly enjoyed killing the turkey.

Ms. Carleton tells Carter that her father called her up a few years ago after a long estrangement. When they came face to face again, Mr. Carleton didn’t recognize her because she was now living as a woman. He wanted to reconnect because he was dying, and he later told Ms. Carleton that even though she wears dresses now, she was still his son. Mark comes in to check Carter’s work, calling Ms. Carleton “ma’am.”

Edgar has dozed off, giving Susan some peace for the first time all day. Then he wakes up and the yelling starts again. She’s gotten him an appointment at his usual clinic, but now he doesn’t want to go. Susan tells him that neither of them wants him to come back to County Hospital. Edgar tells her to shove it, and she walks off, trying to calm herself.

Andy and Larry’s mothers arrive, and Carol tells them that Larry died. Susan gets a little revenge on Edgar by telling him she’s taking his temperature rectally, then leaving a fake flower where the thermometer should be. Carol takes Andy’s mother to see him and eavesdrops while Andy tells her what happened. At least, he tells her his version of the story: He claims Larry was driving and ran a red light.

Mark whines that Doug called him boring earlier when he criticized Mark’s idea of fun as a teenager. Then he admits that he’s never done anything irresponsible in his life. He’s never even spent money on something he doesn’t need. Talk turns to Doug and Linda’s relationship, which Doug says makes him feel like a kept man. “I’ve never been a kept man,” Mark laments.

A woman comes in with chest pain, and Mark tends to her. Carol tells Lydia about Andy’s confession to her, wondering what she should do. Is it her place to tell the police something a patient confided? There’s no cardiologist currently at the hospital, so Benton and Langworthy come to look at Mark’s patient. Langworthy decides that she needs a procedure, and since Benton’s never done it, he asks to take the lead.

Susan meets up with Div in his office, where he apologizes for his recent “difficult” behavior. He thinks he might have embarrassed her. He admits to struggling with depression, but he thinks things are starting to work themselves out. Susan hopes they can talk after dinner with Chloe and her new boyfriend.

Carol runs into Larry’s mother, who admits to being angry with her son for driving recklessly and killing someone. Carol tries to keep a poker face. While Carter goes looking for a missing Ms. Carleton, Langworthy guides Benton through the procedure while Mark and Haleh assist. Things go south and the patient’s heart starts to fail, so Benton needs to move faster. He’s hesitant, but Langworthy is confident in his skills. He’s successful and everyone’s relieved.

Carol goes back to Andy’s room and confronts him for lying to his mother. She understands why he did, but she doesn’t think it’s fair to let Larry’s mother believe he caused the accident. Carol knows from experience that keeping a secret makes it hard to live with yourself. Andy asks if she’s ever killed anyone. She says no, but she’s hurt people close to her. She admits that she still has some secrets.

Jerry runs down the hall, telling Carter that there’s a woman on the roof, about to jump. Carter quickly realizes that it must be Ms. Carleton. He runs up to try to convince Ms. Carleton that there are people there who want to help her. But Ms. Carleton feels like she can’t pass for a woman anymore, so there’s no reason to stay alive. Div joins Carter on the roof, and Carter starts to calmly ask Ms. Carleton to talk to him. Instead, Ms. Carleton lets herself fall. Carter cries out in horror.

In the ER, the staff tries to block out the trauma and enjoy dinner together. Carol pulls Tag aside for a talk while Doug and Linda get ready to go to the airport. Linda practically gasps in shock when she realizes she accidentally purchased seats in coach instead of first class. Doug thinks Mark is lucky to get to spend Thanksgiving with his family instead of a sugar mama. Nearby, Francis abandons his morals for one night and eats some turkey.

Carol and Tag go for a walk outside so she can admit that she slept with Doug last winter, while she and Tag were dating. This was before her suicide attempt, and they haven’t slept together since, but they did kiss. Tag is understandably upset, though telling Carol to go to Hell is a little too far. He yells that he’s been faithful and patient, especially after she tried to kill herself. Should he treat her badly, like Doug does? Tag’s mad that Carol felt the need to tell him. What’s he supposed to do with this info?

Benton tells Langworthy that their heart patient is doing fine. Langworthy is leaving the next day for her fellowship, so Benton wants to thank her for her support. She doesn’t feel like she did anything special, since County’s a teaching hospital, but she does acknowledge that he made a great save. She says she’ll see him when she comes back in the spring. (I guess she gets a job somewhere else, since we never see her again.)

Benton finds Carter trying to process what he just witnessed. Benton blames himself for Ms. Carleton’s death – he should have realized that she was trying to kill herself when she crashed her car. Next time, they’ll both be more attentive. Carter’s still down, so Benton tells him he can come have dinner with his family. When Carter tries to decline, Benton guilts him into pleasing Mae.

Susan, Chloe, and Chloe’s boyfriend, Ronnie, have gathered for dinner, but Div is MIA. He’s the lucky one, though, since Chloe didn’t cook the turkey long enough. She and Ronnie start fighting, and Susan tells them both to shut up and stop acting like toddlers. She tries calling Div again, but he doesn’t answer his phone. He’s currently standing in the middle of a busy street, in the rain, clearly not coming out of his depression like he’d claimed.

Thoughts: Ms. Carleton is played by Vondie Curtis-Hall, who later returns as Roger. Edgar is played by Garrett Morris. Larry’s mother is also David Silver’s mother.

Fun fact I just learned: Ellen Crawford (Lydia) and Mike Genovese (Al) are married in real life.

Continuity error: Carter says his parents are in Switzerland to visit his sister, but we know from later episodes that he doesn’t have a sister.

I wonder what the confidentiality rules are for nurses. Carol never says she can’t tell the police the truth about the crash, just that she doesn’t know if she should.

March 6, 2018

ER 1.7, Another Perfect Day: Living Arrangements

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

This wouldn’t be a bad date, if it were…actually a date

Summary: For once, we don’t start the episode with someone being woken up. Instead, we open with Jerry abandoning the front desk because he’s trying to do a bunch of things at once. A patient named Patrick answers a ringing phone, talks for a few moments, then hangs up. Benton tells him to go sit somewhere else, but Patrick, who appears to have developmental delays, doesn’t listen. He spins around in Jerry’s chair, then falls off.

In the lounge, Carter makes a phone call about an apartment. Doug nabs a free bagel, then puts it back in the basket when Carter tells him Tag brought them in. Haleh tells Benton that a stabbing victim is coming in, so Benton gives Carter some instructions to help out. Benton mentions an interview he has that afternoon about the fellowship he and Langworthy both want. He thinks Carter believes Langworthy will get it, but Benton thinks he has a chance.

Benton runs the stabbing victim’s trauma, making the decision to create a surgical airway in the ER (AKA a crike), despite Haleh and Connie’s hesitance. Benton does everything confidently but calmly, and Morgenstern praises him for his success. Since Benton’s fellowship interview is just hours away, this has to be good for his chances.

Carter gets a call back about the apartment, but it’s not available anymore. He tells Jerry that he’s been living at home, but his father things he’s a freeloader. Jerry says he found a place through a patient. When an 85-year-old man died of a heart attack, Jerry grabbed his apartment. Benton learns that his fellowship meeting has been pushed back a couple hours. Haleh tries to assign him a patient, insisting that he take the case when Benton tries to hand it off to Carter. After she leaves, Benton overrules her. Jerry adds his own case – a man in his ’90s who lives in a nice neighborhood.

Mark sleeps in a little, and when he wakes up, Jen isn’t in any rush to see him off to work. Back at the hospital, Susan and Carol tend to Patrick, who has minor injuries from a fall but didn’t hurt his head because he was wearing a helmet. He’s excited that he gets to have an x-ray taken of his arm, and that he’ll get to keep the picture.

As they leave, Carol comments that the patients are sweeter than the guys she dates. Susan confirms that she’s been going out with Div; she thought it was a secret, but everyone’s seen them having lunch together all the time. Carol tells Susan that Div is taking her out for her birthday tonight and wants her to wear a black dress she owns. Susan asks if Div put it in the hospital newsletter. “The bulletin board,” Carol teases. “I will kill him!” Susan exclaims. “…After dinner.”

Doug asks Jerry if Linda’s been around, but she hasn’t. Carter goes to see the patient Benton gave him, a teenager who goes by the street name Slice. The cop who brought him in, Al Grabarsky, is less interested in Slice than he is in Lydia. He goes out to chat with her while Slice uses some sort of tool to try to pick his handcuff lock.

Malik tells Susan that a motorcycle rider hit by a truck is coming in, but when she goes to greet the ambulance, she instead gets ambushed by a bunch of nurses and doctors wanting to wish her a happy birthday. They give her flowers and blown-up gloves with faces drawn on them. While everyone’s distracted, Carol and Tag slip off to the roof to make out. He wants them to move back in together (I think she moved out after her suicide attempt), but Carol’s been hesitant to agree. She wants to move slowly and make absolutely sure that’s the right decision. He tells her that if she has a problem with their relationship, she needs to deal with it.

Doug goes back to Jerry to ask again about Linda, who still hasn’t called. Mark finally makes it in, pretending he had car trouble. Doug knows better, but he thinks it’s nice. Al is still chatting with Lydia, showing her pictures of his dogs. When Haleh learns that Slice (real name: Mookie; I’d use a nickname, too) is still in the ER, being seen by Carter instead of Benton, she gets mad. Slice is equally mad when he learns that, as an intern, Carter isn’t getting paid to stitch him up.

Susan tells Div that he shouldn’t have said anything to Doug about their date; Doug is apparently a big gossip. Malik approaches to talk to Div about a patient, but it’s the third time Malik has brought him up, and Div is fed up. He claims not to have time to see the patient, though he has time to chat with Susan, so… This is early-season Malik, so he says nothing. Later-season Malik wouldn’t put up with this crap, and Div’s just lucky he didn’t snap at Haleh, or he wouldn’t have a head anymore.

Carol summons Doug for an incoming trauma case, a 12-year-old boy pulled from the lake after a boat collision. Like Benton, Doug runs things calmly but decisively, and Carol is right in step with him. Even when the boy’s heart stops, the two keep their cool and send the boy off to surgery in just a couple of minutes. Left alone in the ER, the two compliment each other, moving closer and closer together until they kiss. Doug apologizes, but Carol says he wasn’t alone in the act.

Patrick’s ready to go home, but he wants to come back and visit sometime. Doug sees Carol and Tag talking like nothing just happened. Jerry tells him that Linda hasn’t come by, but Doug has almost forgotten who that is. Mark wishes Benton good luck on his interview, but Benton no longer seems confident about it. Haleh then confronts him in the men’s room for passing off his patient to Carter. Benton asks if he’s supposed to mentor every gangbanger who comes in. Haleh says she’s never asked him to do so before. She’s known Slice since he was a sweet little kid, and she’d like him to go back to being that boy.

Mark has a patient who’s in a coma, but Mark can’t figure out why. Carter does some brainstorming with him and figures out that the man might have had a seizure. That with the man’s fever leads Carter to guess that he has meningitis. Carter’s never done a lumbar puncture before, so Mark gives him the opportunity.

Benton runs into Langworthy before his interview, for which he’s changed into a suit. They laugh over the candidate who’s currently being interviewed, agreeing that he’s incompetent. Since Langworthy has surgery to perform soon, Morgenstern lets her do her interview before Benton. Mark talks Carter through a successful lumbar puncture, calling it a champagne tap. Connie explains that that means Carter’s resident has to buy him a bottle of champagne. Mark says the nurse is supposed to do it.

Mark then goes across the street to Doc Magoo’s to meet Jen. She has a meeting that night, so she’ll need the car to go back to Milwaukee. She’s worried that she’s not up to her job and will blow this great shot. They go through their schedules, trying to figure out when they can see each other again, now that Jen and Rachel are spending most of their time in Milwaukee. Mark tries to assure both of them that they’ll make their new living arrangements work.

It’s finally time for Benton’s interview, but his résumé isn’t as impressive as the fellowship team would hope. The interview is over faster than it took Doug and Carol to stabilize the boy after the boat collision. Jerry leaves for the day, giving Lydia a note to give to Carter about a possible apartment. She tells him there are a couple available in her building, too. Haleh tells Benton that she’s hired Slice for a program that will allow him to do community service and stay out of juvie. Benton will be his supervisor, whether he likes it or not.

Linda finally shows up, so now Doug has someone to flirt with and take his mind off of Carol. He and Susan take a couple digs at each other about their personal lives. Chloe arrives to be annoying again and try to get Susan to come to a club with her and her latest boyfriend. Mark gives Carter a bottle of champagne to celebrate his first great LP, and Lydia gives him Jerry’s note and the info that there are two other possible places for him to live in her building. Carter says it’s the perfect day.

Not for Susan, though, as Chloe and her boyfriend have passed out in the lounge. Susan asks what they’re on, but Chloe says they just drank vodka. Susan confronts her sister for stealing her TV and VCR. Chloe says Susan’s just like their parents, always criticizing her. Susan says she was treated the same as her sister; she had to prove herself just like Chloe did. Chloe starts screaming about how Susan doesn’t have to worry about getting a job and finding place to sleep like she does. She puts her hand through a window and starts screaming more.

Once Chloe’s calm (probably through the magic of drugs) and getting stitched up, Div sits down with her to talk through her problems. Susan decides not to stay for the conversation. Outside, Mark finds Doug playing basketball, and they talk about Linda, who Doug thinks might be too “perky” for him. Lately, he’s been more attracted to withdrawn, confused women. Div tries to cheer Susan up, but she’s not longer in a mood to celebrate her birthday.

Benton praises Carol for how well she and Doug took care of their trauma patient together. She finds Doug and tells him the boy will be fine, then announces that she told Tag she would move back in with him. Doug wants to know when she made this decision. Carol says their kiss was an accident, but Doug says there are no accidents. “Thanks for letting me know,” he says coolly.

Susan’s up on the roof, sneaking a cigarette, when Carter comes up looking for someone to share his champagne. He tells her she’s not the only person with a crazy family. (Oh, Carter. Your family’s not crazy. They’re just super-rich WASPs.) Carter says he comes up to the roof a lot to get a break from Benton. But thanks to Mark, he’s finally had a good day. Susan encourages Carter to call the doctors by their first names, though he notes that she calls him by his last name. Carter asks about Chloe’s boyfriend, joking that he was going to ask her out. Susan tries out calling him John, but it doesn’t sound right to her. They end their very different days with a drink.

Thoughts: Patrick: “Knock knock.” Carol: “Who’s there?” Patrick: “Patrick.” Carol: “Patrick who?” Patrick: “…Me! Patrick!” Can he stay?

Men everywhere, please take note of Al’s flirting methods. You can’t go wrong with dog pictures.

You have to feel a little sorry for Tag. I  mean, imagine having to compete with Doug.

I assume Langworthy was going to be a love interest for Benton, but something fell through, so they brought Jeanie in for him later instead.

February 27, 2018

ER 1.6, Chicago Heat: The Temperature Isn’t the Only Thing That’s High

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

Ughhhhhhh

Summary: Mark is, yes, sleeping, but this time he’s at home. He gets called in to work on his day off, and he has to take Rachel with him. Carol tells him that Mercy has closed to trauma, and another ER has lost power, so County’s the only one open. Also, it’s really hot, even though it’s October, and the air-conditioning isn’t working, so everyone’s a little moody. Until Rachel’s babysitter can come get her, she’ll have to hang out at the hospital, with all the dead bodies and stuff.

Lydia takes Rachel, so Mark goes in to help Doug with a five-year-old named Kanesha who’s experiencing heart problems. He tells Kanesha that he’ll bring Rachel in to meet her when she’s feeling better. Jerry tells Mark that a pizza delivery guy called to say he was stabbed and is driving himself to the ER. Unfortunately, the driver either passes out or forgets to hit the brakes, and his car crashes right into the ER. Tag steps out of an exam room, takes in the scene, and quips, “Somebody order a pizza?” Thanks, Tag.

Kanesha now has a fever on top of her congestive heart failure. The doctors are stumped and decide they need more information from the family. Benton examines the delivery guy, who only needs a Band-Aid. His “stab wound” is only a scratch. The delivery guy insists that it was a really big knife.

Jerry and the nurses make bets about a patient’s blood alcohol level. They range from .200 (Wendy) to .550 (Susan). Susan’s sister Chloe arrives to be annoying for the first of too many episodes. She couldn’t pay her rent, even with a handout from Susan, so she needs a place to stay for a few days. Susan says no, but Chloe wears her down, promising not to screw up again. It’s implied, but not confirmed until later episodes, that her screwups involve drugs. Susan orders her not to have any friends over.

Kanesha’s father, Mr. Freeman, tells Mark that she had some heart problems years ago, but they were supposedly resolved. He’s worried, while his other daughter, a teenager, is just bored. Kanesha’s hypertensive now, making Mark wonder if she ingested poison. Ivan is back yet again, having shot someone who was trying to rob him. Mark, Doug, and a woman from the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) tell Mr. Freeman that Kanesha’s okay, and doesn’t have congestive heart failure – she overdosed on cocaine.

Ivan’s caused a lot of damage to the robber, a teenage boy. Benton takes care of everything himself, telling Carter to stay out of the way. Susan and Malik tend to a patient named Monty who’s HIV-positive and has been drinking. Susan warns him not to mix alcohol with his medication. Langworthy comes to the ER to look at the robber, but Benton won’t give up his position in charge of the trauma.

Mark takes Rachel to meet Kanesha, and they have a really cute five-year-old conversation. Rachel wanders over to the next trauma room and gets an eyeful of Benton and Langworthy pulling open the robber’s chest. Mark finally pulls his daughter away, saying that someone bad must have hurt the robber. Carter stitches up a cut on Ivan’s head as Ivan defends his decision to shoot before he could be shot. He thinks anyone else would do the same in that situation.

Doug apologizes to Carol for ambushing her at home, but she’s not receptive. He winds up in an elevator with Tag, who’s a little more gracious. After all, he gets why Doug would want to still be with Carol. Benton and Langworthy do…something, then rush the robber to the OR. Ivan sees them going, seemingly realizing for the first time how serious things are.

The drunk patient’s blood alcohol level is .473; Lydia was the closest, having used her patent technique that involved smelling him. Mark complains to Jerry about a dead body that hasn’t been moved all morning. A pharmaceutical rep named Linda Farrell brings in a pizza to try to get on Jerry’s good side. She claims she’s supposed to meet Mark (who runs off to hide), and says she’ll wait when Susan tells her Mark is busy.

As Carol helps Tag fix a patient’s dislocated shoulder, he tells her that Doug is still in love with her. Carol says that he always wants what he can’t have. Tag wants them to live together again, but Carol is hesitant. Another patient in the room is enjoying the scene. She wonders if Carol’s unsure about moving in with Tag because of Doug. Carol says she’s standing in her own way. Mr. Freeman tells the woman from DCFS that the cocaine wasn’t his, and he doesn’t know how she got it. The home doesn’t seem dangerous, so Kanesha won’t be removed from it. Doug, however, isn’t going to send her home until he’s confident that she’ll be safe.

Susan finds her locker open a crack and realizes that her wallet is empty. She’s annoyed but not surprised. Div tells her to report her credit card stolen, even if it means Chloe gets arrested. Susan can’t bring herself to go that far, but she’d like Div to talk to Chloe as a psychiatrist. She’ll just introduce Div as her boyfriend to cover up what he does. Div notes that the conversation could reveal some deep, dark secret Susan doesn’t know about. He won’t go along with the scheme.

Benton breaks the news to Ivan that the robber isn’t going to be okay. Ivan says he was scared. He wants to stick around, probably in denial that things won’t turn out all right. After Benton leaves, Ivan starts to cry. Rachel goes back to see Kanesha before she leaves, and Mark asks Doug how long he’s going to keep her there when she doesn’t need to be admitted. Rachel suggests that Kanesha live with Mark. Mark tells her that some families don’t have both a mom and a dad, but things work out anyway.

Doug tells Carol that Tag accepted his apology, so maybe all three of them can be adults around each other. He tells her again that he’s sorry, offering to let her hit him if it’ll make him feel better. Linda interrupts to flirt, and Carol chooses that moment to take him up on his offer and punch him in the arm. She’s totally jealous that Linda might become the new object of his affection.

Monte tell Susan that he’d like to get into a program to deal with his alcoholism. But he needs money – just $100, or even $50. Susan refuses to give him anything. Things get heated, and Jerry has to drag Monte away as he yells that he was only asking Susan for help.

Mr. Freeman confronts Doug for keeping his daughter from him. He thinks it’s a race issue, and says Doug has no right to judge him. “Watch me,” Doug replies as he walks away. (I think Connie’s judging him, too, and that can’t be about race.) The robber doesn’t survive surgery, and when Rachel asks Benton if he made the boy better, Mark says they tried but couldn’t. Rachel confirms that Benton’s sad, and asks why he’s not crying. He says he’s crying in his heart.

Connie tells Doug that Mr. Freeman was right about Doug having a racial bias in this case. Doug thinks he’s making the right decisions to protect a little girl. Connie suggests that they ask Mr. Freeman if he’ll take a drug test. They can also find out who’s been hanging around the house, and drug-test other people. The drunk patient cleans up nicely, and is now standing upright, so I guess he’s sober again. Jerry still hasn’t moved the dead body, so Rachel gets another look at him as she leaves.

A detective questions Benton, who tells him that, according to Ivan, the robber had shot him twice. He thinks Ivan was justified in defending himself and doesn’t belong in jail. The detective reveals that the robber was unarmed this time. Ivan chased him out of the store and shot him on the street. Benton tells Ivan that the boy died, but I guess the police aren’t going to arrest him, because he just leaves.

Doug tells Mr. Freeman that his drug test was negative, but his teenage daughter’s was positive. Mr. Freeman isn’t surprised. He asks if Doug has kids. (He does – a son – but we never meet him, and Doug rarely talks about him.) Mrs. Freeman died not long ago, and she and her older daughter fought a lot in the months before her death. Mr. Freeman thinks his daughter is trying to harm herself because of her grief. He doesn’t know what to do for her. Doug promises that he can help.

As Mark puts Rachel to bed, she asks if he would fix her if she got hurt. He says he would. She wants to confirm that he wouldn’t let her die. Mark says that she’s the most important thing in the world to him; he would do anything to make her better. Susan gets home and finds that Chloe, who’s not there, has left a mess everywhere. To add insult to injury, her TV and VCR are missing. Div’s there, and he decides he’ll talk to Chloe and get her some help.

Thoughts: Andrea Parker (Linda) will always be Miss Parker to me.

It’s so weird watching Rachel as an adorable, sweet little kid when I know what a horror she is as a teenager.

A five-year-old ingested cocaine and the police don’t get involved? Huh?