November 6, 2018

ER 2.17, The Match Game: You Can Cut All the Tension With a Scalpel

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

I guess they give them white uniforms so they can be bleached, but it’s still a dumb idea

Summary: Mark rides his new motorcycle to work and tells Jerry he feels like a Hell’s Angel. Jerry admires the beard he’s growing, though it’s taken him a week to get it to where it is. He’s also ditched his glasses for contacts. Someone’s having a midlife crisis! Jerry tries to invite himself along on an evening out with Doug and Mark, but Doug doesn’t take the bait. Hicks tells Benton that Vucelich published his study, so Benton’s accusations haven’t gone anywhere. Since he isn’t willing to take it to the ethics committee, Hicks thinks he should keep his mouth shut.

Carter’s so nervous about finding out which hospital he’s matched with that he’s throwing up in a bathroom. Harper is unbothered and possibly amused. Susan and Chloe meet up for breakfast, and it’s super-awkward. Chloe credits Susie as her motivation for turning her life around. She’s been clean for five months and is engaged. (If she’s getting married to a guy she’s known less than five months, I don’t think she’s as put-together as she thinks.) Chloe says she wants to be Susie’s mother, and Susan replies that Chloe leaving was the best thing that’s ever happened to the baby.

Carol has to wear an all-white nurse’s uniform to work, now that she’s signed on with a temp agency. Her hours were cut in half, and her earthworms died, so this is her best chance to make some extra money. Doug teases her by making sure she sees that Jeanie has been named Employee of the Month. Up in daycare, Susan finally puts some security in place, ordering the staff not to let Chloe see Susie without permission.

Mark treats a patient named Mr. Bartoli who had chest pain after a romantic encounter with a postmistress. Mark recognizes his enhancing ointment as digitalis, which can cause a heart arrhythmia. Mr. Bartoli thinks Mark can relate to being a bald guy with low testosterone who needs some help. Carter thinks his hopes of being matched with County are going to be dashed, which he deserves after the way he’s been acting over the past few weeks. He vows to put his patients first from now on. He gets his first chance with a teenager named Brett who was in a car accident, then with the teen’s grandfather, Mr. Bowman.

Shep is back at work, now partnered with baby EMT Riley. He’s not happy about it. Mr. Bowman is more worried about Brett than himself, so he doesn’t let Carter give him a full exam. Carter quickly moves on to try to help other people. Brett has a leg injury, and Mr. Bowman notes that he injured the same knee a few months ago playing basketball. Benton asks to see his previous chart.

Other car accident victims arrive, including Freddie, who claims to be sober but has track marks on his arms. Mark runs around helping various people, and assists Susan in saving Freddie’s life. It’s hard for her to be happy about it since Freddie caused the crash and killed one of the victims. Carter examines a man named Mr. Ledbetter who wants to go to work so he can continue trying to make partner. Carter says he wouldn’t feel right about letting Mr. Ledbetter leave without a full workup.

Brett’s leg isn’t broken, but Benton thinks he has the beginnings of a tumor. He can’t believe the doctor who treated him the last time he was there didn’t catch it. Carol checks the chart and sees that the doctor was Doug. Mark thinks the tumor is small enough that it would be easy to overlook, but Benton doesn’t think that changes the fact that Doug misdiagnosed Brett. Mark tells Benton not to say anything to the family – he’ll talk to them.

Carter gets his match letter and is thrilled to see that he’ll be doing his residency at County next year. He wants to spend his lunch break celebrating with Harper. Lydia brings in a filthy man named Hugo, and the nurses try to figure out whose turn it is to clean him up. After a round of Rock Paper Scissors, Carol gets the task. She tries to hand it off to Jeanie, but Jeanie knows this is a nurse’s job.

Freddie’s mother arrives and denies that her son uses drugs. Susan says he tested positive for cocaine, but Freddie’s mother says it was wrong. Susan yells that he got drunk and high, drove a car, injured a bunch of people, and killed a girl. She gets a slap in return. Carter calls his father to share his good news, but their phone connection is bad because his father’s on a boat and Carter has a ’90s cell phone. He tells Mr. Ledbetter that he’ll need to see a hematologist for severe anemia, then takes off to hang out with Harper.

Mark tells Doug about his missed diagnosis, then calls in Kathy Snyder, a hospital lawyer. Kathy says that they have no legal obligation to tell Brett’s family that they missed the tumor on his last visit, which means they won’t know that they can sue for malpractice. Mark agrees that they should keep quiet. Doug volunteers to tell Mr. Bowman about his grandson’s condition; it’s his case and his responsibility.

Hugo sings “Younger Than Springtime” while Carol hoses him off in a shower. Jeanie comes in to get Carol for something, and Carol accidentally sprays her with the hose, making herself feel better. In the lounge, Susan tells Mark that she’s fighting to make sure Chloe can’t take Susie back. She notices that his usual brown eyes are now blue, thanks to his new contacts. She gets a page and frantically tells Mark to send security to daycare.

Jeanie asks Carol to tend to a patient who’s throwing up, since that’s a nurse’s job. Carol gets her back by telling her to stitch up Hugo’s bleeding hand, as that’s a job for a physician’s assistant. Susan races up to daycare, thinking Chloe has shown up, but it turns out the staff paged her so she would be able to watch Susie take her first steps.

Doug tells Mr. Bowman that Brett has a tumor, but the doctor coming to take care of him is terrific and has had a lot of success with patients like Brett. Later, Benton approaches Mr. Bowman and realizes that no one told him that Doug missed the tumor four months ago. He complains to Mark, saying that whether or not they have a legal obligation to come clean, they should do so for ethical reasons. Mark brushes him off.

Doug pleads with a doctor to take on Brett’s case, offering to pay part of Brett’s bill and make up some of the cost by working in the doctor’s clinic. The doctor accepts the offer. Carol gleefully tells Mark that Hugo tripped on his way out of the hospital, and now Jeanie has to give him more stitches. Susan tells Mark that Susie took her first steps, which has turned her whole day around.

As Mr. Bowman thanks Benton for what he did for Brett, the little devil and little angel on Benton’s shoulder scream in his ears for a few moments. The little devil wins, and he decides to come clean. Mark examines a woman named Iris who suffered a minor head injury while working on an infomercial. Haleh laughs silently as Iris hits on Mark, equally hoping to cast him in an infomercial and get him into bed. Mr. Ledbetter’s still waiting for test results, since Carter hasn’t returned and hematology never showed up. He tells Susan to fax the results to his office, since he’s leaving.

Mr. Bowman confronts Doug for not telling him that he missed the tumor four months ago. Doug apologizes, but Mr. Bowman doesn’t think he’s sincere. Doug wants to continue trying to set up Brett’s care with the oncologist, but Mr. Bowman is done with his “help.” Meanwhile, Carter and Harper celebrate at a hotel with sex and champagne.

Iris also wants to celebrate, inviting Mark to dinner once he tells her that her brain scans are fine. She wants him to do an infomercial about a blood-pressure drug that also helps with male pattern baldness. Mark was led to believe that some women see baldness as a sign of virility. “Who told you that, some bald guy?” Iris laughs. Jeanie hands Hugo back off to Carol to get him a cab, because this stupid plot still isn’t over.

Susan has to give Mr. Ledbetter the bad news that he has leukemia. Carter and Harper have moved their celebration to a giant bubble bath, which he accidentally drops his pager into when it goes off. Shep and Riley bring in a girl who was injured at gymnastics practice, and Shep complains about Riley’s sloppy IV-insertion technique. The tension spreads to Doug and Benton, as the former doesn’t want to work with the latter, knowing that Benton was the one who ratted him out to Mr. Bowman. Mark has to step in and send Benton away.

Carter finally returns to the hospital, taking his sweet time to respond to his page. Susan blasts him for not realizing from Mr. Ledbetter’s examination that he has cancer. Carter’s tipsy, so when Hicks invites him to scrub in on an operation, he has to decline. Hicks tells him that ignoring his pages was bad enough, but drinking while on call is truly horrible. In fact, it’s grounds for expulsion. Carter whines that he just matched at County. I highly doubt she cares, dude.

Doug and Mark decide to call off their guys’ night out, though Doug thinks Mark should go without him. Haleh and Lydia agree with each other that Benton did the right thing by telling Mr. Bowman about the missed diagnosis. Carter’s received enough congratulatory gift baskets to feed the entire hospital, but he’s back to puking in the bathroom. Mark assures him that he can’t be expelled without a hearing, though he could lose his match. Mark will try to help.

Shep comes in to tell Carol that Riley backed into a homeless man in the parking lot. Yep, it’s Hugo. He was out in the ambulance bay, waiting for the cab Carol never called for him. Doug and Benton encounter each other in the lounge, both keeping their mouths shut this time. Carol and Jeanie tend to Hugo together, realizing that their rivalry has caused enough damage.

Mark confronts Benton for going against his orders and causing trouble for Doug and the hospital. Benton says that if Doug had done his job, Brett wouldn’t be facing amputation. Mark says that telling the family wasn’t Benton’s decision to make. He knows Benton is trying to ease his guilty conscience since he didn’t blow the whistle on Vucelich. “The truth is a lot easier to tell when it’s not your own career on the line,” he notes.

Carol chastises Shep for being so hard on Riley. Shep thinks he’s being punished for going into the fire and causing Raul’s death. Carol reminds him that he saved three kids, but to Shep, that’s not as important as the fact that he killed his best friend. Doug tells Susan that he saw dozens of kids the day he treated Brett, so he didn’t have time for an extensive exam. He acknowledges that Benton didn’t do anything wrong in telling Mr. Bowman. Susan notes that Doug is the one who has to pay for the mistake, but Doug says Brett’s the one who has to face the worst consequences.

Mark goes out to a bar and runs into Kathy. She helps him look for a lost contact, which somehow got stuck in his goatee. Susan takes Susie home, trying to avoid Chloe, who’s staked out the apartment. Chloe has gotten a lawyer and plans to file for visitation rights. Susan announces that she’s adopting the baby, no matter how badly Chloe wants her back.

Jeanie runs into Benton at Doc Magoo’s and tells him he did the right thing. Benton says he “broke the code,” which reminds Jeanie of a story Mae once told her. As a child, Benton turned in a kid for stealing money, and wound up blacklisted with a broken nose. Benton says he’s never learned to keep his mouth shut. At home, Susan reads Susie Goodnight Moon, clinging to what might be one of her last nights with her baby.

Thoughts: Mr. Bartoli is played by Richard Schiff. Iris is played by Joanna Gleason.

“Ha ha, my patient got hurt and now Jeanie has to do more work!” Shut up, Carol.

The number of times Carter should be fired, or at least harshly disciplined, throughout the series is probably in the double digits.

Advertisements

October 30, 2018

ER 2.16, The Healers: Deadbeats and Dead Friends

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

The first of many times something will blow up on this show

Summary: Shep and Raul are done with a shift and about to go get breakfast when they’re sent to help out at a fire. Susan’s also up early and looking ahead to a big day of making moves to adopt Susie. Shep and Raul go to the site of the fire, an apartment building; explosions keep going off and people are coming outside on fire. A woman begs Shep to go in and get her kids, since she could only make it out with one. Raul tells Shep to wait for firefighters to arrive, but Shep goes in anyway.

Mark has taken off his wedding ring but feels weird about it. Doug notes that Jen definitely isn’t wearing hers, since she’s moved on to another guy. He reminds Mark that he asked why he wasn’t getting any action; wearing a wedding ring while trying to date is pretty dumb. Mark asks if Doug wants to hang out that night, but Doug has plans with his father. Carol takes a call from Dwight the paramedic about victims being brought in from a fire. She isn’t looking forward to having to take care of burn victims.

Susan meets with a social worker who tells her she has an advantage since she’s related to Susie. Chloe’s been gone for five months, and Susie’s father didn’t respond to any notices Susan placed in the paper trying to contact him, since the social worker thinks a judge will be fine with terminating their birthrights. Susan was expecting a lot more hurdles in the process, but it looks like she’ll be formalizing the adoption without any complications.

Dwight brings in the first burn victim, telling the staff that the fire and explosions were from a math lab in the building. Mark and Doug work on the patient like he’s anyone, but Carter has a lot of trouble looking at him. Lydia realizes that Shep and Raul’s unit responded to the fire, and it’s not clear whether both of them made it out all right. Doug volunteers to let Carol know, not that she has any time to find out if her boyfriend’s okay while the ER is dealing with multiple traumas.

After some chaos, Carol learns that one of the paramedics, either Shep or Raul, might be en route to the hospital as a patient. She goes outside to wait for the next ambulance, trying not to panic. Susan arrives and joins in the madness, though everyone has either been taken off for treatment or declared dead. Mark’s annoyed that she’s late, since Weaver didn’t tell him that Susan wouldn’t be in when Mark thought she would. Susan says she was somewhere important, and he says her job is important, too.

Paramedics bring in a kid they say was saved by someone from Shep’s unit. Shep is the hero, and he suffered some minor injuries when the floor went out from under him. Raul is MIA. Doug works on the kid with Riley the baby paramedic while Mark and Carol take care of Shep. He’s worried about Raul, saying over and over that Raul was right behind him when he fell through the floor. Jerry pops in to say that they found Raul, but he won’t say what his condition is.

Susan examines a firefighter who tells her that Shep and Raul went into the building without the proper gear. If they hadn’t, the kids they saved would have died. Doug’s kid is still in bad shape, thanks to carbon monoxide, and he’ll need to be taken to another hospital for treatment. Raul finally comes in, badly burned and having trouble breathing. He asks for the truth about his condition, so Mark tells him it’s bad. Raul is at least relieved to hear that Raul’s mostly okay.

Next door, Shep insists on being unstrapped from his backboard so he can go see his partner. Carol refuses, threatening to put him in restraints if he keeps fighting her before they’re sure he’s not badly injured. She agrees to go find out how Raul is while Shep is taken for x-rays. He asks her to tell Raul that he thought Raul was right behind him – Shep didn’t mean to leave him behind.

Mark tells Carol that Raul has burns on 85-90% of his body. In other words, things are really bad. Doug comes in to try to help, even though Mark, Benton, and Carter are all there. The burn-unit doctors are busy, so Benton volunteers himself and Carter to do a procedure. Mark rounds up Doug, Susan, and Carol so they can discuss some of their patients. They shake their heads at a missing mother who apparently left her kids to fend for themselves after her meth lab caused the fire.

Carol explains what’s happening to Raul while Benton and Carter do their thing. Carter is still having trouble, struggling to cut into Raul’s damaged skin while Raul is looking at him. He finally decides he can’t handle it, so Mark steps in. As a burn doctor finally arrives, Doug talks to a kid named Max, one of the kids abandoned by their mom. He doesn’t know where she might have gone. The burn doctor volunteers to tell Raul how bad his condition is, but Carol says she’ll do it. Firefighters line the hallway and give him their positive thoughts as he’s taken for treatment.

Well, well, well, guess who’s back? It’s freaking Chloe. Since Randi wasn’t around for all the drama, she doesn’t know that just letting Chloe go up to daycare without telling Susan she’s there isn’t a good idea. While Carol takes on the unfortunate task of telling Shep that Raul’s in bad shape, Carter tells Benton that he’s not sure he can handle taking care of burn patients again. Benton blankly says that he can. This is one of the worst situations they’ll have to deal with, and Carter didn’t get sick or faint, so he did okay.

The missing mom arrives with one of her kids, who she didn’t realize needed to come to the hospital. Mark, Susan, and Doug revive him, feeling little sympathy for the mom. Raul’s family arrives, but they won’t have much time to spend with him – his doctor thinks he won’t survive the night. Mark sends Doug off to the Bulls game, thinking that since he’s come so far with his father, he should see things through.

Carol tells Raul how bad his condition is, and he asks not to be put on a ventilator when he’s unable to breathe anymore. She assures him that the kids he helped save are going to be fine, thanks to him. He admits that he’s scared, and she tries to comfort him. Susan catches Lydia crying in the lounge; despite being a veteran nurse who’s seen multiple traumas over the years, sometimes she can’t handle all the emotions that come with her job.

Doug waits for Ray outside the game, but he doesn’t show. At the hospital, the nurses don’t want to go home yet, and the firefighters who battled the fire earlier don’t know what to do other than hang around the hospital. Lily invites them to get something to eat with the nurses. Susan finally learns that Chloe’s around and races to daycare. Doug gets tired of waiting for his father and leaves, disappointed by Ray’s absence once again.

Chloe hasn’t run off with Susie, as Susan feared, but of course her return is going to throw a wrench in Susan’s adoption plans. Carol goes to get Shep to take him to see Raul, but Shep blames himself for Raul’s condition. Raul wanted to wait for the firefighters and their gear, but since Shep went into the building, Raul decided to follow. Carol warns that Shep will regret it forever if he doesn’t go see Raul, as hard as that may be.

Doug tracks down Ray at a restaurant, where he’s dining with a woman named Karen. Ray claims that he left a message at the hospital that he would have to miss the game for a meeting. He would have been at the game if he could have. Doug’s smart enough not to buy the lies Ray’s been telling his whole life. Doug was at the game, and Ray was where he’s always been – somewhere else.

Ray says he can’t change the past, as if he’s trying to make the present any better. Doug blames his inability to commit on his deadbeat dad. Over the years, he’s turned into Ray. Ray reminds him that he’s 34 and can’t blame his life on his father anymore. It’s his choice whether or not to be responsible.

The firefighters and some of the ER staff share memories of Raul at Doc Magoo’s. Lily reveals that Shep is afraid of heights, so he always makes Raul do anything high up. A paramedic laughs that Raul’s Christmas present to Shep was skydiving lessons. Once they’re done with happy memories, things turn somber, and even the perpetually stone-faced Randi gets sad. Shep visits Raul and apologizes for the way things have turned out. And then Raul dies, but it’s off-screen, but this whole thing is really about Shep, so that’s not really a surprise.

Thoughts: The firefighter Susan examines is played by Michael Cudlitz. The burn doctor is played by Gregory Itzin. Karen is played by Marg Helgenberger.

Shep’s downward spiral begins…now.

Once again, County daycare’s security sucks, if Chloe can just walk in whenever she wants.

July 31, 2018

ER 2.3, Do One, Teach One, Kill One: Mark’s Greene, But Carter’s Greener

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:10 pm by Jenn

Okay, I’m not mad at this

Summary: Mark and Jen have spent the past few days together in Milwaukee, and things are going so well that she gets in the shower with him. For some reason, he thinks this is a good time to bring up his idea to spend a few nights back in Chicago when he has to work early the next morning. He’ll stay at Doug’s, though Jen doesn’t like the thought of Mark being around Doug’s parade of girlfriends and one-night stands. At County, Carter presents a patient named Ed to Benton, briefly getting distracted when he sees Harper. But Benton agrees with his assessment and allows him to make Ed his own patient.

Carol does another ride-along with Shep and Raul, going with them to an apartment building to check on a landlady’s tenant. The man is dirty, overweight, has a bunch of rabbits, and is singing to himself. When he says he doesn’t want to go to the hospital, Shep and Raul start to leave, since they can’t force him. Carol doesn’t think he’s mentally competent to make decisions about his own health. Shep resists, since he just cleaned the rig, but Carol wins the argument.

Susan brings Susie in to daycare, annoyed to see that she already has four patients lined up. Weaver tells her that since she’s a resident, she needs a larger load. Wendy tells the doctors that she’s working on an article about Mark for a nursing newsletter and will be interviewing them. Benton leaves Jeanie a message to arrange a meet-up. Chuny’s interested in knowing more about his personal life. Mark examines the singing man, Mitchell, and tells Carol he’s at risk for a cerebral hemorrhage. Mitchell cries and asks what will happen to his rabbits while he’s gone. Carol volunteers Shep to look after them.

Haleh brings Doug a four-year-old HIV-positive boy named Chia-Chia, whose mother, Mei-Sun, couldn’t wake him. Doug quickly determines that Mei-Sun gave the boy too much Dilantin, a seizure medication. Carter shows Harper how to perform a pleural tap on Ed. At first Carter’s successful at draining fluid from the patient’s lungs, but then Ed starts bleeding. Carter hesitates when Harper says they should get Benton, but he soon realizes he’s in over his head.

Doug gets the Dilantin out of Chia-Chia’s system and assures the boy that everything’s okay. Benton rushes Ed to the OR, making Carter think he’ll be out of the running for a surgical residency next year. Yeah, because that’s what’s important right now – not the fact that you botched a procedure and endangered your patient’s life. Wendy interviews Haleh, who says that Mark was really helpful when he first started working at County. “So would you say that, back them, he was sort of…green?” Wendy asks. “No, Wendy. I would never say that,” Haleh replies.

Hicks and Benton work to save Ed as Carter apologizes for his screw-up. Hicks is understanding and reveals that Benton, her best student, once made a similar mistake. Because of Ed’s drinking habit, he screwed up his veins and liver, so his health wasn’t going to hold out much longer anyway. He needs a more extensive procedure to save his life. Benton notes that Carter accidentally did Ed a favor.

Susan comes across a patient named Mr. Holthouse who’s using a Tibetan singing bowl to help him relax. He determines that she’s under a lot of stress and offers to tell her about some relaxation techniques. She tells him she’s more relaxed than she looks. Jerry reveals that he’s been promoted to supervising emergency services coordinator, though the promotion is in title only, and doesn’t come with any extra benefits or responsibilities. It makes Jerry want to wear a tie to be fancy, though. Mitchell starts seizing, and Mark and Carol try to do the math to determine how much Dilantin to give him. (Is this episode sponsored by the makers of Dilantin?)

Mei-Sun tells Doug that she usually takes Chia-Chia to a pediatric clinic upstairs, but they see a different doctor every time and often have to wait a number of hours to be seen. Doug has new medication for Chia-Chia and asks Mei-Sun if she can read English. She gets offended, thinking he’s implying that she gave her son too much Dilantin because she couldn’t read the instructions. Doug realizes that she was given two prescriptions and followed both correctly. The clinic is to blame for the overdose. He tells Mei-Sun to bring Chia-Chia to him the next time he needs a doctor.

Despite having a spinning feeling, Mr. Holthouse is able to stand on his head. Weaver questions Susan’s decision to order a CT scan for a case of vertigo. They bicker a little, and Weaver ends up telling Susan to run all procedures by her. Mitchell didn’t survive the hemorrhage Mark feared he would have, so his rabbits are now owner-less. Shep feels bad for both the animals and their owner.

Doug calls one of the clinic doctors to blast him for giving Chia-Chia a prescription that, combined with one he was already given, put his life in danger. Susan complains to Mark about Weaver and asks him to tell her to back off. Carter observes as Hicks and Benton continue working on Ed, eventually fixing his liver. However, his heart is weak and they wind up having to try to shock him into rhythm.

Weaver brings up her problems with Susan to Mark, thinking Susan resents Weaver’s position. Mark delicately says that Weaver’s assertiveness might be causing a communication problem. Ed doesn’t survive his surgery, which means Carter’s first official patient has died. Benton reminds him that Ed was really unhealthy; he probably would have died of liver failure within a month if his heart hadn’t given out. Carter reluctantly goes to inform Ed’s family of his death. Benton tells him this kind of experience is how he’ll learn and become a better doctor.

Doug jokes around in his interview with Wendy, pausing to check out a woman passing by. She’s Randi Fronczak, the new clerk. She needs a physical before she can start work, and Mark silently signals that Jerry shouldn’t assign Doug the task. Malik tells Carol that a huge guy who’s high on PCP has climbed on top of an ambulance. Susan diagnoses Mr. Holthouse with inner-ear inflammation, which will heal, though he’ll have to stop standing on his head and floating in his sensory-deprivation tank for a little while. He wants to give her his prayer bowl.

Mark joins Carol, Shep, and Raul outside to try to get the high patient off the ambulance. (He doesn’t get a name, but since he’s on angel dust, I’ll call him Mr. Angel.) Mr. Angel hits Raul with something, so Mark takes Raul inside to get fixed up. Carol thinks she can talk Mr. Angel down, but Mr. Angel isn’t in a rational place; he keeps yelling for someone named Mara. He expresses his displeasure at her absence by pulling the lights off the top of the ambulance and tossing them on the ground.

Jerry asks Susan to give Randi a physical, which Susan “completes” by telling Randi to inhale and exhale. Ed’s roommate, Olaf, shows up, and Carter has to tell him about Ed’s death. Olaf doesn’t care – he just wants the remote control Ed hid from him. Carol and Shep come up with a plan where Carol distracts Mr. Angel while Shep climbs up to inject him with Haldol. Mr. Angel starts spitting at Carol, but Shep doesn’t let that stop him. Benton tracks down Jeanie and tells her they really need to meet. Doug runs into Chloe, who’s visiting Susie and thinks she’s sick (she’s not). Chloe acts a little strange when Doug asks if Susan knows she’s there.

Susan and Haleh work on a prisoner named Curtis who swallowed razor blades to earn himself a trip to the hospital. He put tape on the blades first, so he hasn’t caused any internal damage. Weaver thinks they should leave the blades inside him, but Susan wants to remove them. At an impasse, Susan tells Harper to get Mark. Mark sides with Weaver, telling Susan they can remove the blades if he starts bleeding later.

Chuny presents Carter with Ed’s liver, which was removed so it could be taken to pathology. He’s in charge of taking it there. Mark gives Wendy an interview, telling her about an intense case he once handled. The patient died, though, so it’s not really a compelling story. Susan goes to do something on a computer at the front desk and discovers that Weaver loaded an instructional program using her own voice. This is the last straw for Susan, who storms off to complain some more to Mark.

Doug agrees to let Mark crash at his place, though they might not be the only people there. Neil yells at Doug for yelling at one of his residents, then warns that he’s dangerously close to losing his job. Even his buddy Mark won’t be able to help him. Carol hears Susan ringing the prayer bowl in the bathroom but decides not to ask any questions. Harper finds Carter with Ed’s liver and suggests that they “give him a send-off.”

Carol runs into Shep and Raul as they’re fixing up their rig, and Shep asks Carol to go out with him. She tells him this isn’t a good time, but it’s not a no forever. Shep teases that she’s dated too many doctors; she’s “shopping in the wrong part of the store.” Instead of looking for Gucci, she should be in the automotive department. This wins her over, and she agrees to a date. Meanwhile, Benton waits for Jeanie, but she doesn’t show up to meet him.

Doug checks in on Chia-Chia and finds Mei-Sun crying in his room. She feels guilty for giving her son HIV, and thinks she’s being punished since he’s sick and she’s healthy. Doug tries to comfort her. Benton waits for Jeanie at her car and angrily asks how long he has to wait for her to tell Al about their affair. She’s upset that he made an ultimatum. Benton figures this is her answer – she’s not going to leave her husband for him. Doug and Mark go to Doug’s place, where Hulda the flight attendant has let herself in to wait for her boyfriend. She’s not concerned about Mark seeing her naked, something I don’t think he’ll be telling Jen about.

As Susan’s leaving for the night, she runs into Chloe, who’s on something. She has a big plan to sell stuff at a flea market, but apparently not a flea market in Chicago. She’s leaving to make some money, and she’s not taking Susie with her. Susan is now, suddenly, a single mother. In less angsty ends to the day, Carter and Harper take Ed’s liver to a bar and raise a glass to the man.

Thoughts: Mei-Sun is played by Lucy Liu.

Show, if having Shep cuddle a bunny was an attempt to get me to like him, it didn’t work. Nice try, though. (And it’s a good look for Ron Eldard.)

This week in pointless plots: Wendy’s. Poor Wendy.

July 24, 2018

ER 2.2, Summer Run: Welcome to Hell

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:11 pm by Jenn

Reason #483 not to tick off Benton

Summary: Carol’s doing her ambulance ride-along with Shep and Raul, and their first patient is a teenager with multiple gunshot wounds. There’s another teen victim, but Raul quickly determines that he’s beyond saving. They head off with the other boy, Payaso, whom the paramedics are familiar with. They leave the dead boy behind with his weeping mother. “Welcome to Hell,” Shep tells Carol.

Weaver has started her new job at County and has already ticked off Doug. She’s also told Bob not to fetch food for him anymore. Carol and the paramedics bring Payaso in for Susan to try to save, though he’s been unresponsive for 35 minutes. He starts bleeding a bunch, so it’s not looking good. Benton goes looking for Carter but instead finds Harper, who tells him they were up really late. She’s getting dressed, so Benton would be justified in thinking that they slept together.

Weaver meets Carol and thinks she’s a paramedic. She tells Susan it’s time to give up on Payaso and turn their attention to a patient who can be saved. Susan refuses, so Weaver calls Payaso’s time of death. As things get hectic in the trauma room, Carol welcomes Shep to her own Hell. Carter swears to Benton that he and Harper didn’t sleep together; they just shared adjoining beds in a quiet corner of the hospital. Benton doesn’t care, and just wants to make sure Carter’s ready for the operation they’ll be performing later. (He’s…probably not.)

Once things have calmed down, Weaver chats with Carol about implementing some new policies in the ER. They’re things that would make the nurses’ jobs easier, and Weaver’s willing to make sure they happen. Still, Carol thinks the change in personnel will be tough. Carter and Morgenstern scrub in together, and Morgenstern finally explains why he’s back: He went to Brigham to head up a new emergency department, but it was never approved, so he came back to County. He’d rather operate than work with all the researchers at the other hospital anyway.

Benton and Jeanie quietly try to make plans to get together while not letting anyone else in on their secret relationship. Chloe brings Susie by for daycare before heading to her business class. Susan forgot about a job fair Chloe’s going to that afternoon, which means that, for probably the first time, Chloe’s more on top of things than her sister is. Carter assists while Benton and Morgenstern operate on a man’s arm, and by “assists,” I mean that he holds the guy’s arm up when a pulley could be doing the job. Benton’s punishing him for oversleeping.

Mark comes in from Milwaukee and tells Susan a horror story about his awful commute. She and Doug tell him in vague terms that Weaver isn’t going to be fun to work with. Jeanie calls Al and lies that she has to attend a study group that night, so she probably won’t be home until midnight. (If you feel bad for him because she’s cheating on him, just know that she’s not the only one who’s broken their marriage vows.)

The paramedics bring in a woman covered in maple syrup, which at least means they don’t have to frantically try to save her. Loretta’s back, and Mark thinks she has pelvic inflammatory disease. Carol says it’s a job hazard, meaning Loretta’s a prostitute. Doug examines a boy named Byron who set a fire in the hotel room where he and his mother, Cindy, live. Well, where they used to live, since she figures they won’t be allowed back.

Mark questions Harper and another med student, Barinski, about Loretta’s possible diagnosis. Like Mark, she thinks she has PID. Harper knows her stuff, but Barinski doesn’t. In fact, Loretta knows more than he does. Susan is summoned to daycare since Susie has a fever, which means she has to be sent home. Susan rushes the baby downstairs for an exam. Doug tells Haleh to call a psychiatrist for Byron, then agrees to examine Susie. Susan’s overly concerned and tells Bob to call Chloe, but Doug doesn’t think the baby’s too sick.

Mark, Harper, and Barinski move on to another patient, and again, Barinski doesn’t know what’s going on. Carter makes a diagnosis, but Benton isn’t impressed. Carol and Shep nab some supplies from the hospital, which is apparently okay. Weaver asks them to tell Payaso’s mother that her son didn’t make it. Despite being familiar with Payaso, Shep doesn’t know his family, and he doesn’t think this should be part of his job. Carol goes with him to tell Payaso’s mother and sister what happened. Since Mrs. Rodriguez doesn’t speak English, Shep has to translate. It’s sad in both English and Spanish.

Carter takes Benton to a patient named Rawlings who has abdominal pain. Benton determines that he needs to go to the OR immediately, and he’s impressed that Carter diagnosed the patient on his own and has already made arrangements for his surgery. Weaver nitpicks Susan’s medication orders, telling her that since the nurses at County are so great, the doctors need to make things easier on them. Doug determines that Susie just has a cold and will be fine in a few days. The bad news is that Chloe isn’t at business school…and hasn’t gone to class in three weeks. She dropped out and didn’t tell Susan.

Mark tries to get Susan to help with a trauma case, since she’s been sitting by the front desk with Susie for about 20 minutes. “It’s all very exciting,” Mark promises. Carter tells Harper about a surgery he helped with, mansplaining something to her. He pretends that he didn’t have to participate much in the arm surgery because it’s so basic. Benton finds Harper practicing inserting IVs on Carter and is at a loss for words.

Doris brings in a man who robbed a bank and wasn’t so successful making his getaway. Susan’s in a bad mood and snaps at Connie, who just exchanges an eyeroll with Lydia. The nurses find money the robber stuffed in his clothes, then soon discover that the dye pack in with the money makes a big mess when deployed. Good thing Susan’s wearing a clear mask over her face. Carol and the paramedics are called to get a patient, but another
rig has already arrived. The paramedics decide to take a break and get some snow cones.

Benton praises Carter for his steady, calm work in the OR. He’s invited to scrub in the next morning, but not to sit with Benton and his buddies. Susan cleans up the dye while Weaver tries to make polite small talk. Susan doesn’t even soften when Weaver tells her how cute Susie is. Mark asks Susan what’s going on, and Susan complains about Weaver’s management style. Mark wonders if Weaver thinks Susan is as abrasive as Susan thinks she is.

Shep and Carol ride a Ferris wheel (even though he’s afraid of heights) and get to know each other. Raul has to stay on the ground, because I guess it’s harder for Shep to flirt when another guy is around. Cindy wants to leave Byron in the hospital so she can go to work. Doug reluctantly promises to keep Byron there until his mom comes back. He’s in with a psychiatrist, but it’s not the one Doug requested. This one is Paul Myers, a resident, and Weaver called him. While Doug and Myers are out of the room, Byron sets another fire. Freaking A, kid.

Benton spots Jeanie and her broken-down car on his way out of the hospital. He asks why she didn’t call him to give her a hand. He doesn’t see that Al (now played by the very handsome Michael Beach) is there. He’s completely oblivious that his wife is having an affair, or that her affair partner is standing right there. Cindy returns to County wanting to take Byron off to her cousin’s house without finishing up his much-needed psychiatric evaluation. She promises to follow up later, hopefully before Byron burns down the cousin’s house.

Doug confronts Weaver for calling Myers, since he’s a resident and doesn’t specialize in children. Weaver doesn’t care that the other doctor owes Doug a favor – Myers was available, and Byron needed immediate help. Plus, Myers has to follow the hospital’s protocols, which means they would know if he was following up appropriately. She blames the second fire on Doug, since he left Byron alone in the room. (I blame whoever left fire-starting materials in the room with a known pyromaniac.) She also blames Doug for Cindy’s decision to leave against medical advice.

Connie finds Susan in the lounge with Susie, who’s been having trouble staying asleep. Connie reveals that she’s pregnant with her third child. Susan apologizes for snapping at her earlier, but Connie considers them even, since Susan got hit with all the dye. Mark, Weaver, and Carter tend to a high school football player named Daniel who took a hit to the chest. Weaver thinks he has a complication that’s pretty rare in this case. She tells Daniel it’s weird, which makes him a weird guy, but they like that about him. Weaver keeps the patient calm while still managing to teach Carter. I think Mark’s impressed.

At home, Susan tells Chloe that she knows she dropped out of school. Chloe’s spent a few days waitressing, so at least she’s made some money. The classes made her feel dumb, and she never fit in with her classmates. She wanted to succeed, to show both her sister and daughter that she could. She kept quiet about dropping out because she didn’t want to disappoint Susan. But once again, she’s screwed up. Susan asks what happened to the waitressing job, and when Chloe doesn’t answer, Susan knows she’s screwed up yet again.

Mark misses his train to Milwaukee, which I’m sure Jen will respond to with understanding and polite good humor. Benton and Jeanie meet up, but he’s decided that they can’t keep sneaking around. He wants her to tell Al about their affair.

Thoughts: Barinski is played by Richard Speight, Jr.

Apparently a lot of people like Shep both before and after he becomes aggressive. I’m not one of them.

I also don’t see Benton’s appeal. Is he secretly a good conversationalist? Does he have a sense of humor we don’t know about? Or is he just really good in bed?

 

July 17, 2018

ER 2.1, Welcome Back Carter!: Kerry Weaver Has Entered the Building

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:53 pm by Jenn

Look how normal and non-threatening she looks. Don’t be fooled

Summary: For once, no one’s asleep at the start of the episode, since it’s the middle of the day and everyone’s out and about in Chicago, going about their lives. Then a gang member opens fire. A woman is shot trying to shield her young son. Mark tries to save another shooting victim as a police officer attempts to get information on the shooter. Everyone wants to know where Susan is as they run around, tending to all the victims. Susan’s with a man who needs to have his heart monitored, and she has to leave him to help out with all the traumas.

The woman from the street comes in, worrying about her unborn baby. Her toddler seems fine, but he’s obviously upset about the whole thing. Benton asks where Carter is. Carter happens to be stuck in a big traffic jam, having just returned to Chicago from his summer vacation. He ditches the cab and makes a run for it, carrying all his luggage and souvenirs with him. He knows he’s in for some yelling for being late.

Jerry’s trying to hold down the fort at the front desk, taking calls while trying to ignore a woman with bipolar disorder who won’t stop talking to him. A woman named Harper Tracy introduces herself and her buddies as the new third-year med students, there to meet Mark. When he learns that the students know how to take medical histories, Jerry puts them to work. Meanwhile, Mark and Benton send the pregnant woman off to deliver her baby.

Carter finally makes it to the hospital, and Jerry sends him to the OR. Morgenstern is inexplicably back, telling Mark that, now that he’s an attending, he has more responsibilities. He needs to go to a staff meeting, meet with the med students, and handle more problems on his own. Mark is also in charge of the schedule, which will benefit Doug; Mark quickly offers him a graveyard attending shift and the extra money that comes with it. There currently aren’t any pediatric patients for Doug, but Jerry has reserved a Scandinavian flight attendant for him. Doug appreciates it.

Carter scrubs in to assist with Benton and Coburn’s emergency operation on the pregnant woman. Coburn quizzes Carter on anatomy and isn’t impressed with his lack of knowledge. She notes that that reflects poorly on Benton. Doug meets the flight attendant, Hulda, who hurt her ankle when she slipped on a little bottle of vodka. She also has an earache, possibly from all the “going up and coming down.” Doug thanks whatever forces are at work here that he’s single.

Mark doesn’t have much time to spend with the med students, so he sends them to an exam room to read medical texts. He asks Susan to find Harper and have her rejoin the group. The two discuss the new opening for chief resident; Susan doesn’t have time to step up. She suggests a doctor named Jane Pratt. Mark checks in on Susan’s heart patient, who has to stay in the ER for a little while longer, since there’s no bed open in cardiology. He’s not getting much rest, with all the yelling and chaos.

Benton and Coburn deliver the baby, who had the horrible luck of being shot while still in the womb, but who is otherwise fine. The nurses gather for a quick staff meeting, run by Carol. Though the nurses complain about some of the things they’re chastised for or qualifications they need to meet, they clearly respect Carol and understand that she’s just the messenger. They also can’t complain too much about having to complete hours doing ambulance ride-alongs when Carol has to participate as well.

To add to the chaos of the ER, some maintenance guys are there to fix the AC. Jane Pratt is interested in the chief position and lets Mark know. She’s heard that Kerry Weaver, a doctor at Mt. Sinai, also wants the position, but Jane thinks she’d be better at the job. Carter withstands his inevitable browbeating from Benton, who reminds him that anytime he looks bad, he makes Benton look bad. He beat out 15 others for this surgical sub-internship, so he’d better show that he earned it.

Mark meets Loretta Sweet, a patient with a rash on her thighs. It’s not serious, probably just a minor allergic reaction, and the treatment is pretty basic. (This scene is pointless and just establishes a character we’ll see a few more times.) Carol greets an ambulance and starts tending to a man who was found unconscious.) The paramedics who brought him in, Shep Shepard and Raul Melendez, stick around to help Carol and some other nurses until a doctor can be found. Carol determines that the man’s airway was obstructed and clears it.

Carter tries to study for an upcoming operation, but it’s difficult with nurses coming in and out, and a drunk patient yelling next door. Susan invites him to show Harper how to start an IV, thinking Carter will find her attractive. Harper’s still with the bipolar patient, Mrs. Constantine, finding it hard to take a history from a woman who’s manic and talks about anything and everything. Still, Harper is able to diagnosis her with cellulitis. Carter shows her how to start an IV, already a better teacher than Benton ever was (though Harper’s also a better student than Carter ever was).

Carol’s patient came in with his son, Noah, and Carol assures the boy that his father will be okay. He’ll have to stay in the hospital for a while, so Noah needs someone to look after him. Noah says his father never stays in the hospital, so it’s not a problem. Carol determines that Noah has had to call 911 for his alcoholic father a number of times in the past. She’s impressed that the kid, who’s only about nine, knows how to fix a broken VCR. (If anyone reading this asks me what a VCR is, I quit.)

Harper tracks down Mark and tags along while he and Susan check in on the heart patient. The AC still hasn’t been fixed, and now there’s dust falling from the ceiling over the front desk – hopefully not asbestos, as Susan fears. Carter hands out souvenirs from his trip to…wherever he went. He gives Jerry a voodoo doll, and when Benton comes by, cranky as usual, Jerry says that Carter should have saved a doll for himself. Carter did, and it might even work on Benton.

Jeanie is now working at County, but she and Benton are stiff around each other, barely speaking. Carter gives Doug a figure he calls the god of fertility. Carol teases him, not realizing that in three years, she’ll want it to work. Carter thinks he’s ready for his next surgery, but the procedure has been cancelled. Now he has to assist with something he hasn’t studied for. Carter takes out his frustration on his Benton doll.

Mark goes to a management staff meeting, nominating Jane as the next chief resident. Morgenstern notes that she and Mark are very similar; he should pick someone who would complement his weaknesses. Carol backs up Mark’s pick, but Morgenstern is leaning toward Weaver. Mark agrees to meet her, unaware of how much his life is about to change.

A doctor named Neil complains about Doug’s time in the ER; pediatrics shouldn’t have to pay his salary if he’s always in the ER. Morgenstern points out that the ER can’t afford to pay for Doug’s fellowship. Coburn says she likes Doug, but he’s “a bit of a cowboy.” Neil says he’s arrogant and undermines Neil’s authority. He threatens not to sign off on his fellowship renewal. Morgenstern will have to find the money to keep him on.

A man carries his unbreathing brother, Jimmy, into the ER. The only available treatment room is the one the AC guys are currently working in. Harper hasn’t joined her fellow med students, so Susan allows her to observe. Mark mentions to Carol that he didn’t realize how much management talks about the residents. Carol gleefully asks if he wants to know what they used to say about him. She adds that Morgenstern has a point about Jane.

Doug thanks Mark for his extra shifts, since he needs the money for car payments. Mark remembers that Doug knows Weaver from his residency and asks if she would make a good chief. Doug’s response isn’t promising: “You ever see Cuckoo’s Nest?” Carol’s patient wants to leave, as Noah predicted, and he’s not pleasant about it. She lets him throw a tantrum until he’s coughing so hard he can’t stand. He’s just made her point that he’s unable to leave the hospital. She suggests that he get sober so Noah will have a father he can be proud of.

Jimmy isn’t doing well, and the AC guys are causing more problems than they’re fixing. Lydia tells them to come out of the ceiling already. One of them falls on Jimmy’s gurney, apparently smacking him hard enough in the chest that his heart goes back into a stable rhythm. Carter has now embarrassed Benton in front of another surgeon, and Benton is only going to give him one more chance to show he’s not completely incompetent. Carol tells them that the gang shooter has now been shot and is being brought in.

The infamous Dr. Kerry Weaver comes to the hospital, confident that Mark is going to hire her as chief resident. The shooter arrives, and for the first time all day (well, second, if you count starting an IV with Harper), Carter proves useful. It only lasts for a minute, as he soon starts to feel sick. Once the patient is stable, Malik teases Carter about the smell in the room, causing him to pass out.

Jimmy’s stable and will be okay, though Susan decides not to give his brother details on how he was stabilize. The shooter doesn’t make it, and Benton tells Carter to sew him up. He needs to be there at 5 the next morning for surgery. Carol tells Shep and Raul that the shooter didn’t make it, then asks if she can do her ride-along with them next week. Both guys say yes, and Shep is especially looking forward to it. Doug teases Carol about that.

Susan complains to Mark that her cardiac patient still hasn’t gone to cardiology. She tells him he needs to do something about the length of time it takes to transfer patients. Benton has heard that Mark hired Weaver and thinks it’s a good idea. Susan’s surprised that Mark didn’t pick Jane, and then didn’t tell her he didn’t hire Jane. Mark snaps that it was his decision. He’s trying to leave for the night, but Jerry reminds him that the med students are still waiting for him.

Mrs. Constantine has stabilized, and she’s grateful to Harper for her kind treatment. Her son brought her cello to her, and she wants to thank Harper with a musical performance. Mrs. Constantine plays beautifully, bringing peace to the ER for the first time all day. Along with Chuny, who works in the ER now, Carter helps clean up the shooter’s body. Carol finds him later and acknowledges that he had a tough day. He tells her he did a pediatric rotation at another hospital over the summer, then spent a few weeks in St. Bart’s. MUST BE NICE.

Mark makes his train to Milwaukee with moments to spare, so that’s still going on. Chloe and Susie are still staying with Susan, but they have a good routine going – Susie goes to daycare while Chloe takes classes, and the three spend the evenings together. Chloe has gotten over her earlier hesitance with the baby and is doing well in the parenting department.

Benton and Jeanie’s awkwardness with each other at work is just a smoke screen – they’re sleeping together. She leaves just before midnight, trying to get home before her husband gets off work. Jeanie and Benton have progressed to the “I love you” stage of the relationship, or at least Jeanie has. Peter just goes back to sleep, which means the writers lulled me into a false sense of security – they fooled me by not starting the episode with someone sleeping, then ended it that way.

Thoughts: Harper is played by Christine Elise.

Laura Innes (Weaver) was originally only supposed to be in six episodes. She wound up appearing in almost 250.

Benton gets a turkey sandwich, but isn’t he a vegetarian? Oh, right, early-seasons continuity. Not important.

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.

 

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.

Next page